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Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 684

by qortra (#42035815) Attached to: Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying
There may be a connection, loosely interpreted. However, I just don't think the OP really had any interest in discussing the original topic. He just wanted a platform to mention his thoughts about how stupid he thinks the Old USA is concerning issues like climate change and creationism, and of course once we're on this topic, he knows we won't leave.

In general, people get on Slashdot and they want to talk about a particular thing, but there aren't any articles specifically about that topic on the front page. So, they jump on the closest article they can find and hope it's close enough. "Speaking of Open Source, have you noticed how hard it is to Open Doors lately?"

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 684

by qortra (#42035685) Attached to: Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying
Ad hominem definition:

marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

The following three statements are instances of Ad hominem attacks (in this case, all levied against me in this thread):

but that's just displaying your lack of analytic skills which in a normal studious person can quickly identify

full of people like you who aren't capable of such critical thoughts

That hole you're standing in is getting pretty deep; you might want to stop digging.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 4, Insightful) 684

by qortra (#42035119) Attached to: Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying
Something being obviously stupid/wrong/anti-intellectual is not mutually exclusive with it being a political or religious issue (as it seems you are claiming). For instance, if 50% of people in a country strongly believe that women should be legally required to wear a Burka in public and 50% believe that they should be allowed to wear whatever they want, it is a political issue in that country. This is regardless of whether this is any insurmountable evidence that such a law would be harmful or unjust.

but that's just displaying your lack of analytic skills which in a normal studious person can quickly identify

Again, you regress to Ad Hominem attacks. Why are you so quick to point out how little estimation you have for other peoples' "analytical skills"?

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 684

by qortra (#42034399) Attached to: Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying
Feel free to redefine the term "fiscal conservatism" if you'd like, but the current consensus is that is "Free trade, deregulation of the economy, lower taxes, and other conservative policies are also often but not necessarily affiliated with fiscal conservatism".
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiscal_conservatism
If you do redefine the term, please consider revising the Wikipedia article.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 2, Insightful) 684

by qortra (#42034297) Attached to: Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying
OK dude, let's break this down.

- Creationism is, among other things, a religious issue in that religion is typically the determining factor in whether one believes it.
- Both creationism and climate change are, among other things, political issues in that politicians are elected based on their views on these issues.
- Even if I stipulate to your meaningless claim that "Creationism" and "Climate Change" are "just anti-evidence ignorance" [sic], it doesn't change my original point that these issues have nothing to do with the original article, which (one more time) is about bullying.

Politics and religion are about ideas and beliefs, creationism and climate change are about nonsense and anger.

This sentence is semantically null. Revise and resubmit.

full of people like you who aren't capable of such critical thoughts

This is an Ad Hominem fallacy.

Comment: Re:Audiophiles (Score 2) 468

Basing it on money is not a good guideline in any industry that basis most of it's product on marketing and exploiting urban myths.

You can assume for the purposes of the conversation that by "$150", I mean "the best speakers that can be obtained for $150". *Some* of the industry exists through marketing and other gimmicks, but exactly what proportion is up for debate. Again, engineer-geek style audiophiles like myself are generally not so easily manipulated.

I could build a 50 dollar speaker that will sound as good, if not better, the many 5000 dollar speaker.

[citation needed] Even if I were to stipulate that you could build a competitive speaker for $50 in parts (and I don't believe you, for the record), the speaker is still worth way more than that since a person would be paying for your time, expertise, and potentially any shipping or payment processing that was required. Furthermore, there is a raw cost of materials that makes pretty standard thresholds in pricing tiers. For instance, in order to minimize resonance, you have to have sufficient enclosure rigidity. This requires raw materials that will be a not-insignificant proportion of cost of the speaker, and in some cases (for larger speakers) set you back more than $50 alone (for a large quantity of decent quality MDF).

no. They are what people ignorant of the actual engineering say. They are also used because they are an 'opinion'

Seriously, this is just stupid. Just because a word is imprecise doesn't mean that it is used by ignorant people. Sometimes a certain amount of imprecision is desirable and expedient for the purposes of conversation. For instance, I am a software engineer. In some cases, we will look at a piece of software and claim that it is "buggy", or that the code is "messy", or that performance is "scalable". These are all very imprecise terms, but they are useful for providing a quite overview of the situation. More detail can always be used later (like the exact number of unresolved bugs, or the performance benefit from doubling the number of CPU cores), but for a quick overview, the imprecise terms does quite nicely. Likewise, though a term like "muddy" is imprecise, it has a widely understood meaning (described in my previous post) that is helpful when communicating with audiophiles or especially with audio engineers.

Spoken like someone who doesn't like his statements to be testable.

Don't take my sentence out of context. In many cases, engineer audiophiles will provide graphs to show a variety of things, especially frequency response. However, textually describing such things is a huge pain in the ass. Let's say you're listening to some new speakers, and you notice a gigantic hump in the frequency response (5dB in amplitude) starting around 250Hz and ending around 400Hz. (just 50Hz past the bass-midrange crossover). According to you, why the fuck can't we just call it "muddy"?

Comment: Re:Audiophiles (Score 1) 468

Way to generalize. Audiophiles come in all breeds - for instance, I am an engineer/scientist audiophile. Don't lump us all together.

No, you can't hear a difference between this $5000 speaker and this $150 speaker.

Yes, frequently you can. It's ironic that you picked speakers as your example since they are one of the few pieces of audio gear that *will* make an appreciable difference, even to the layman, There is a law of diminishing returns, of course. Additionally, there comes a point at which the sound cannot be said to be "better" or "worse", but is merely "different". BTW, $150 is pretty cheap. Depending on the kind of speakers you're trying to buy, there will probably be a noticeable step between there and $500, let alone $5000.

It is worth noting that the above does not apply to amplifiers in my experience. Well built amps tend to have a pretty small variance, other than the amount of power that they can output or the features that they include (such as decoding for popular surround formats or multi-zone control).

No, these cables don't sound "warm".

Audiophiles of my type (engineer/scientist geek) do often dismiss the high-end cable market as hokum. This is not because there isn't a difference in the electrical characteristics of the cable (there is a difference). However, I am not aware of a legitimate double-blind study which shows an appreciable auditory difference created by cables. Most audiophiles of my type will provide the same (or similar) reasoning. That being said, there is a certain level of cable investment that I feel is justified. For instance, one can possibly use a coat-hanger as a short run speaker-cable without any noticeable difference. However, using that same hanger would probably yield problems if used as a low-level analog interconnect between some source (e.g. a computer) and an amplifier. Because the hanger isn't shielded and that signal is then amplified, the relatively small amounts of interference acting upon the hanger can become quite noticeable. This is especially problematic with long runs of analog video cables. In those cases, poor shielding *will* result in a noticeable degradation of video quality. Generally, I just buy my cables from Monoprice (cheap, consistent).

Regarding some of the colorful adjectives that you often see audiophiles using (e.g. "warm", "bright", "muddy", "tinny", "deep", "full"): they are often shorthand for a particular frequency characteristic. For instance, "muddy" usually refers to an excess of sound in a relatively unpleasant frequency range (mid-bass) between perhaps 150Hz and 300Hz. Describing each sound you hear with meticulous frequency ranges and amplitudes gets old pretty fast, so it's way easier to have a short hand. Some audiophiles go too far and try to use these adjectives creatively - this is not generally helpful, since a good descriptor should be understood by all. Haphazardly using the same BS terms one uses to describe an acting performance (e.g. "luminescent") doesn't help anybody. Audiophiles of my type don't do that. We use precise language to describe sound, equipment, music, and most everything else (it's a trait that's common among engineers and scientists who rely on precision).

So, in conclusion, those who make uninformed, inaccurate generalizations are the dumbest group of people ever. Yes, that includes you (I mean, did your name ever leave any doubt?).

Comment: Re:Dear Mr Stallman (Score 2) 1452

by qortra (#37665174) Attached to: Richard Stallman's Dissenting View of Steve Jobs

An ecosystem, that if willingly chosen by the user, deprived them of computing freedom ... No, I should want to be insulated from the effects of their choice.

A reasonable point. Perhaps proponents of free software would be more magnanimous towards Apple if they more insular and less litigious.

Comment: Re:Stallman and FOSS (Score 1) 1452

by qortra (#37663320) Attached to: Richard Stallman's Dissenting View of Steve Jobs

It's interesting that persons promoting freedom want to restrict what other people do.

It's almost as crazy as suggesting that constitutional democracies were more free than unlimited dictatorships.

While I disagree with just about all of the grandparent's post, his point on licenses may actually have merit. BSD style licenses are truly free. GPL is a very strange license, and in at least one sense, is actually restrictive. It makes fairly specific demands on how implementers and extenders of GPL technologies need to handle propogation of the technology (among other things). Yes, this is done with the intention of making the software free and open in perpetuity. However, it doesn't change the fact that GPL has many strings attached.

I'm an info-anarchist, so in my perfect world, everything would be automatically BSD licensed. However, given what I consider to be a flawed system of patents, copyrights, and other "intellectual property", GPL is a solution that uses rules and restrictions to explicitly enforce a level of software openness that I appreciate.

Comment: Re:Great no-hype article on techdirt about Jobs (Score 1) 1452

by qortra (#37662808) Attached to: Richard Stallman's Dissenting View of Steve Jobs

And in many respects, Jobs was just another scam artist.

I agree with, and am impressed by Stallman's statement. However, I don't agree with yours [above]. The brilliance of Steve Jobs is that he gave people exactly what they wanted. The product simply can't be a scam when the public specifically asked for it. People apparently want a product that sacrifices freedom for conformity, beauty, and a modicum of security. This shouldn't be surprising. We've made the same sacrifice across the globe as our governments take away our freedoms in exchange for the flimsy promise that we won't be antagonized by the forces of communism, Islam, or the current boogieman de jour. Even according to Judeo-Christian tradition, the Israelites begged God for a king to rule them so they could be like all the other nations: and God granted their request.

You don't have to be a scam artist when you're king.

Comment: Re:Dear Mr Stallman (Score 5, Insightful) 1452

by qortra (#37662336) Attached to: Richard Stallman's Dissenting View of Steve Jobs
Interesting indeed: I was, by contrast, quite proud of Stallman for this statement. I thought it was concise, respectful, yet completely honest. That takes a lot of guts, especially when public opinion is swinging a very different way. To give a point by point rundown Stallman does the following in this statement:
  • Acknowledge the tragedy of Jobs' death
  • Acknowledge the tragedy of death in general
  • Acknowledge the success of Jobs' in the marketplace
  • Acknowledge Jobs' as a pioneer in computing
  • States that Jobs created a proprietary ecosystem that ultimately deprived users of computing freedom

With which, other than the last, do you have a problem? And with the last point, do you honestly disagree? Or do you just think that people shouldn't speak honestly about the faults of a man after his death?

Old programmers never die, they just hit account block limit.

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