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Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 2) 549 549

The car behind you speeds up, overtakes you, fills up the gap and awaits next opportunity to overtake the car that previously was in front of you. Meanwhile, you slip back to keep your distance, only to have the procedure repeat it self.

The process you are talking about happens to me all the time. Don't really see what the issue is. Let them rear-end somebody if they want to. Getting overtaken by a few people in a hurry never cost me any real time. In fact, I frequently see the overtakers at the same stop light I'm at once we both get off the freeway.

Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 1) 549 549

Well said! I think it's a shame they call things "accidents" when it's something like running a red light or speeding. That's just bad driving. But something like falling debris or frolicking wildlife? Pretty fair to call that an accident. In all of the cases I can think of, I would rather have a Google car respond than my own feeble driving abilities. Not to mention, they have superior threat detection.

Comment Re:I believe it was Mark Twain who said... (Score 1) 339 339

Unfortunately, this is not actually the case. Memories are fallible. You have to remember what you did or said, or what opinions you had at the time. Numerous studies have shown that it is trivial to make people remember details in a different way than what really occurred. How many people have heard stories from their childhood so often that they can't remember what is actual memory, and what is reconstructed from the story? I have a hard time remembering which of my siblings did stuff, or which of my friends told me a story. Hell, I've even forgotten an entire day (no drugs involved, honest).

Once I went on a trip with some friends and was excessively tired due to long work schedules. We had a great time hanging out at the lake and jet-skiing. A few years later, I went jet-skiing with the same friends. They were confused when I said I had never been jet-skiing before, and I had no idea how to operate the thing. They said, not only had I been jet-skiing, but that I was quite good at it. To this day, I have no recollection of the first outing. But I accept it as the truth, because they all said it happened. This was in the days before ubiquitous cell phones and digital cameras, and nobody would have brought a camera jet-skiing. So it's their word against mine, and I have to side with them.

Comment Re:Dramatic much? (Score 1) 339 339

I say not paying property tax can result in death because it reduces the cash flow to schools, thus reducing the quality of education, thus reducing the number of well-educated doctors, thus reducing people's access to quality healthcare, leading to worse health outcomes, including death. See! That was easy!

Comment Re:And my wife Morgan Fairchild... (Score 2) 339 339

There have been studies showing that humans are not alone, when it comes to the fine art of deception. Certain birds, mammals, and even fish have been known to use some form of deception to improve their situation. One of my favorites is the cuttlefish, which can show flashy male mating patterns on one side of the body, but leave the other side (facing potential competitors) dull and uninteresting.

As far as humans go, I imagine it's part learned and part innate. I have a four-year-old who lies all the time about stupid things that don't carry a negative consequence. Yet she's perfectly honest when I ask her whether she colored on her wall again.

Comment Re:Welcome! (Score 2) 1083 1083

I have read the book. What are you trying to imply? Because if it's a dig against one group or another, I don't understand it.

Of all the futures in all the dystopian novels I've read, Brave New World would be the one I would want to live in most. Unless you consider the Shrodinger's Cat Trilogy to be dystopian, because then I choose the one where John Wayne is president of Hell (Alabama).

Comment Re:...meth (Score 1) 168 168

Pretty much nothing stops meth head copper thieves.

I don't know about that. 480 volts of AC seems to do the trick around here. We came in one day to find one of our breakers tripped. Go out to check the line, and phase A and B cables got cut. The ground cable was about halfway cut, and the bolt cutters were still laying on the ground. Idiots were right next to the disconnect switch, but weren't sober enough to know to shut it off. Over by the fence was a hand truck, and it looked like something roughly human-sized had been pushed over the barbed wire fence. Of course they were back a few months later... but they never messed with that one line again.

Comment Re:Null hypothesis (Score 1) 444 444

The null hypothesis is the assumption that things don't have a relationship. That is because far more things are not related than are. The size of my shoes is not related to the velocity of the solar wind. The frequency of web forum posts is not related to the life span of dolphins. Pick any two random measurable things, and they will not be related in any provable fashion most of the time. That's why it's so interesting when things are related. The whole point of any scientific research is to disprove the null hypothesis, i.e. prove correlation, for some set of data. If you want to do away with it, you will send us back to the dark ages, where adultery causes fishing shortages, and Jews cause the plague.

Comment Re:They should be doing the opposite (Score 1) 309 309

There was a pretty good example last month. I don't think any musician listening to the two songs would say one is copied from the other. Maybe inspired by, but not copied. Nearly every march has horns playing upbeats, a trio section, and a stinger at the end. That doesn't mean the estate of John Phillip Sousa should be suing every composer of marches who came after him.

But even when you are "copying" the nature of copyright law still stifles innovation of transformation. I arrange music for a wind ensemble at my church. In order to even do that, I have to get written permission from the original copyright holder, which isn't trivial in most cases. That's time I could be writing music instead of doing paperwork. Yes, I could write my own tunes, but a congregation isn't going to connect with original music like they do with something they've heard 50 times before.

Then you've got companies who make a business model out of publishing public domain works, copyrighting the edition, and then suing anybody else who tries to publish the same public domain work. Not just music either, but books and photographs, too. Granted, this isn't a rampant problem, but it's enough of a concern/annoyance that some people drop out of creative markets altogether.

Comment Re: Since when.... (Score 1) 270 270

Sorry. My ignorance of Twitter shows. My understanding was that unless you "follow" somebody, their post will not be pushed to your device. Yes, it's searchable, but so is everything else on the Internet. It's nothing that could have caused panic on the plane or otherwise terrorized large numbers of people. If anything seeing the guy taken away in handcuffs was probably more horrifying for the people on the plane, than if they had seen a random string of letters with no inkling of what it actually meant.

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir