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Comment: Further on Li, Chan, Norris, etc. (Score 2) 151

by fyngyrz (#48471455) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Sorry, didn't quite mean to submit there.

TKD is a very specialized sport art. Very limited engagement rules and a complete lack of tools for dealing with anything but an upright, sparring style opponent relegate it to at best a functional niche limited to kicking (which any well rounded martial artist can convert into a different engagement, ground for instance) in the course of which instantly defanging most of the TKD stylists tools. TL;DR, TKD is more of a sport than a martial art. I should know; I'm dan-ranked in it within the context of the Korean taekwondo jidokwan, one of the earlier kwans that preceded the establishment of the WTF and ITF collaboration / standardizations.

Chan's martial arts background spans several styles (Shaolin gongfu, taekwondo, and hapkido), and consequently is broadly based with ground, standup, upright grappling, locking, striking, blocking, kicking, footwork and defensive components. He is by *any* sane measure a much more well rounded martial artist than Norris (and if you just admire kicking skill, I'm surprised you didn't bring up Bill "superfoot" Wallace.)

Li started training at age 8. He won his first national championship at age 11 -- remember we're talking about China here -- he traveled to more than 45 countries as a member of the Beijing wushu team. He held the title of All-Around National Wushu Champion from 1974 to 1979. He trained in internal and external styles, as well as the (then) required shíba ban bingqi (eighteen arms or weapons.)

(Please excuse the mangled pinyin; I don't use pinyin much, preferring actual hanzi, and traditional hanzi at that. (hanja for you TKD folks.) But slashdot doesn't support them (why? some geek site, lol)

Further, he practices wushu, which looks cool but is not a very effective martial art.

Wushu means "martial art." It doesn't tell you squat about martial art effectiveness, other than that the practitioner, like a "martial artist" in the US, practices some martial art or arts. You should have a look right here so next time you use the term wushu in the context of a Chinese martial artist, you actually know what you're saying. Although, technically speaking, just like gongfu (doesn't really mean martial art at all), the term carries implications you might not initially grasp; for instance, to a Chinese, a Korean TKD master is both a gongfu and a wushu master, plain and simple. Which again demonstrates that wushu doesn't mean anything even close to what you thought it meant.

However, your previous statement is worse in that it amounts to a blanket dismissal of all of China's martial arts, which is nothing short of ludicrous. Combined with your bewilderment of both Chan and Li's training backgrounds, your credibility is somewhere south of zero on this matter.

Comment: Expatriate woes (Score 1) 181

by fyngyrz (#48471213) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

I'll breathe a sigh of relief when I have alternative citizenship.

You think? So you haven't had the appropriate discussion with a tax professional familiar with expatriate situations, then. You're in for one seriously depressing conversation. Some locations are worse than others due to local issues in the country of desired residence (the UK is one of these, for instance... your in-country tax load would be very high, starting with VAT and petrol and employment of UK+US tax specialists and going downhill from there -- read this and weep), but you will soon find out just how hard Uncle Sam has worked to make your choice to reside elsewhere a very, very difficult one to follow through on after just a short taste of the many US tax-related downsides, never mind what your ultimate destination country has in store for you.

Comment: Re:He still plead guilty to something ... (Score 1) 181

by fyngyrz (#48471141) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

It's not just the chance of long jail terms: benefits of pleading out can include huge financial benefits (trials are extremely expensive), huge time benefits (trials take a long time during which uncertainty and pre-trial restrictions take a very real toll), may pose the difference between not just guilt, but they type of guilt -- felony or misdemeanor, conviction or adjudication withheld, witness activity or fines or restitution instead of part or all of a jail term -- but yes, on top of all that, you know they will throw the book at you if you don't comply with their desire for you to plead out.

The system is, in terms of serving justice, utterly, completely broken by the plea mechanism.

Comment: Re:He still plead guilty to something ... (Score 1) 181

by fyngyrz (#48471083) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

There is a pretty strong correlation between pleas and guilt. Not perfect but not worthless either. Increasing that correlation is the goal.

There is absolutely no way of determining that under a system where pleading out offers less of a downside than going to trial. And that is not only the case in the US justice system, the benefits usually swing so hard towards the "you'd be better off with a plea" side of the scale that you'd have to be batshit insane to go to trial. The monetary, time, future employment issues and reputation costs provide more than sufficient downside, but even the benefit of knowing what you face as opposed to what you apparently don't is highly compelling (Ex post facto laws can change the evaluation down the line, but of course it's far too late then),

Comment: Re:Because it's Jackie Chan (Score 2) 151

by fyngyrz (#48470981) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

What's kind of funny is that the meme invokes Chuck Norris, a complete hack of a martial artist who came to fame in a time when crude technique was the general order of the day (Bruce Lee notably excepted.) Then you invoke Jackie Chan here, who is really pretty good; but you also disrespect Jet Li, who is nothing short of an awesome martial artist. 1-2-3 in skill inverted to 3-2-1 in offered kudos. All I can conclude is that the public has a very weird perception of martial artists.

Comment: Oh no, you di'nt go there... compulsion... (Score 2) 151

by fyngyrz (#48470933) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Costs are often through the roof with these technologies; mounting complexities and steep installation costs result in flash peak expenses that only gutter out after years of trussing up the math in spreadsheets. Tiling the cells can shake out some additional margin, but just the thought of it gives me shingles.

Comment: Re:Oh, please (Score 1) 438

by fyngyrz (#48468423) Attached to: The Schizophrenic Programmer Who Built an OS To Talk To God

Sin is a perfectly reasonable social construct. The dictionary defines it as "Any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense." It is often used in the context of morals (another perfectly reasonable social construct), but not always.

Original sin is superstitious claptrap. The offspring of a heinous murderer is not, in any way, responsible or culpable for the acts of the parent via inheritance. Japanese and German nationals born after the end of WWII (and in many cases earlier) cannot be held responsible for the atrocities perpetrated by their ancestors -- the idea is fundamentally unsound.

Likewise, "Sinning before God" is utter nonsense. It carries all the significance and weight that "Sinning before the Easter Bunny" does. Both ideas gain only the weight that their communities, through delusion or disingenuity, care to arbitrarily assign to them. A good example is the assignment of sin to a person for wearing mixed fibers as a matter of theist dogma; it is purest meaningless claptrap. Delusion or disingenuity.

Comment: Re:Oh, please (Score 1) 438

by fyngyrz (#48468129) Attached to: The Schizophrenic Programmer Who Built an OS To Talk To God

Mental health issues are not cut-and-dried.

Agreed. But racism is. When an animal is rabid, you put it down. It's not the animal's fault, but it's dangerous. With racism, you don't make excuses for the perpetrator -- you call it what it is and you don't encourage or make up reasons why it's ok -- it bloody well isn't ok, and it makes absolutely no difference as to why it's being put forth. Racism deserves zero social support, direct or indirect. Zero.

When mental illness foments, supports or creates hate and divisiveness, the situation has escalated beyond any reasonable level of tolerance. "Living with it" transforms abruptly from a kindness to abject stupidity. Even the very weakest grasp of history tells us that racism never, ever leads anywhere worthy, and that's the upside. The downside is absolutely horrific.

Try living with a serious mental illness for a while and then get back to us, mkay

Don't make baseless assumptions, m'kay? You'll spend less time savoring the taste of your own shoes, deluded into thinking that is the flavor of rhetorical success.

Comment: Re:Past time for AV recording of police actions (Score 1) 1080

by fyngyrz (#48464705) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Did you know that police work isn't even in the top ten jobs with the most risk of death? Check it out, starting with most dangerous and ending with the least:

  1. Construction workers
  2. Farmers and ranchers
  3. Drivers, truck drivers
  4. Electrical power line workers
  5. Sanitation workers - trash collectors
  6. Steel workers
  7. Roofers
  8. Pilots and flight engineers
  9. Fishermen
  10. Loggers

Furthermore, most police officer deaths occur in traffic accidents. Not in conflict with an aggressor.

(Source: National census of fatal occupational injuries, 2012)

Personally, I see no reason for a beat/patrolcar cop to carry a weapon at all. Particularly as the evidence shows they're far too willing to use them in non-life threatening situations -- just like this one.

Furthermore, with tasers readily available, many situations that might call for submission of a more powerful (or skilled) individual are still controllable without resorting to the extremes of discharging a firearm.

There's also something to be said for the idea of criminals knowing the cop isn't going to kill them, so it isn't nearly as attractive to kill the cop to prevent that. The fact is, if you think the cop is going to kill you, there's absolutely no downside to killing them first. It is a situation set up in the way most likely to fail.

It's going to get worse, too, as the trend is to more heavily arm the cops -- don't think for a moment that the response won't be more heavily armed criminals. It's as inevitable as the next sunrise.

But you're right. The odds of anything changing are very low. The American Couch Potato League likes armed cops, and they like it when cops do whatever they like -- they absolutely lap up movies and television shows where cops step outside the boundaries of the law, as well as vigilante scenarios. Until, of course, they are the victims. But by that time, they're embroiled with the system, and it's far too late. No one pays known criminals any mind. They're subhuman, after all. And they must have done something to deserve it, even if they "get off" or "plead out."

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"