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Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 1) 573

by spitzig (#49312247) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

The "southern Democrat" block that was one of the big anti-civil rights blocs mostly moved over to the Republicans after Johnson supported the 1965 Civil Rights Bill. Although, I think after that, neither side could really use anti-civil rights as a position. After that, both sides still were sometimes opposed to civil rights, but would usually only show opposition to things that are more specific(like quotas). Republicans have shown more opposition to these specific things.

Comment: Re:Mandarin does have a "Yes" and a "Negative Yes" (Score 2) 274

by spitzig (#49282563) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

I would disagree with that. I would say there is no "Yes", but there is a "No".

Shi4 could be translated as "is" or "Yes, it is." Dui4 could be translated as "correct" or "Yes, you are correct." "hao3" could be translated as "good", "ok", or "Yes, it is good."

You can put bu4 in front of any of these to change them to a negative answer. Also, in translating a "Nooooo!!!!" from a movie, it would probably be "buuuuu4!!!! Sometimes mei3 is used instead of bu4 in front of words to make them negative-it just depends upon the word.

Most words of this type (that are used like verb/adjectives in English) have this pattern.

*To any unfamiliar with the language, I am using numbers after the Mandarin to indicate tones, which are more important in Chinese than English.

Comment: prescriptive/descriptive (Score 1) 667

by spitzig (#49266895) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

There is an argument that's been going for hundreds (or longer) of years. Is English prescriptive or descriptive. Does it follow rules or is the language just the way people use it?

I generally fall on the side of it being descriptive.

Things like the article's example: "I can't get no satisfaction." This can be considered in three ways:
1. It's improper to use double negatives. Conversation with most groups of friends, it's fine. A formal talk or a research paper, it's not.
2. Most native speakers of English know the intended meaning. (English is descriptive)
3. The "rules" of English would say the sentence means the opposite of the intended meaning.

I've been teaching English in a country where English is not the main language, or even the second most common language. When I ask myself whether English is prescriptive or descriptive in context of my career, I ask myself "What do I tell my students?" I can't just give them vocabulary, tell them to make sentences, and tell them if they've made sentences that I understand. I also need to give them rules. What is the difference between "I ate." and "I have eaten."

Sometimes there is disagreement about whether something is proper English. That can also mean there is a disagreement about the meaning.

Comment: Re:islam (Score 1) 1350

by spitzig (#48778847) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

I would mostly agree about your definition of religion, but I think it misses the mark. I'd say it's about "holy stuff". Maybe has supernatural beings. Some sort of organization.

Marxism does have a belief in a higher order of the world. There is a belief about the "inevitability of history"-toward that economic system. The way they talk this about sounds like religion. It's a stretch to call it a religion, though.

Comment: http://www.silentpcreview.com/ (Score 1) 720

by spitzig (#48488737) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

I had a loud PC in my bedroom-I had trouble sleeping with it on.

The next PC, I decided to put together myself, using this website. When I turned it on, it was so quiet I didn't think it was on, and started it again.

The PC I built wasn't even that quiet by the website's standards. Mostly it consisted of getting a quality case, using larger fans, and grommets with the hard drive. These days, the hard drive could be supplemented with an SSD, making it even quieter. It helps not have a top of the line PC-mine was mid-range.

Comment: Re:From the article... (Score 1) 339

by spitzig (#47118633) Attached to: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

I think someone from today would be more lost in Jefferson's time than someone from his time would be lost today.

Compare getting food. I have some vague idea of how to use a musket or a bow and arrow, but hunting with one? I'd starve. The operation of making dinner from store bought items from 1800 would be lost on me-they used to spend a LOT of time making meals. Vice versa? Appliances are made to be easy to use-and learn. Foods are often already made to eat at the store, and the components that go into food, like broth or bread are often already made.

Travel. Learning to ride a horse takes a long time. I'd ridden in cars as a kid, but I learned how to drive an automatic in 15-30 minutes.

Comment: Low on the scale (Score 1) 268

by spitzig (#46427331) Attached to: It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

I would say I'm low on the scale. I am not judging this based on an online quiz, but anecdotal evidence(talking to people).

I rarely listen to music. If the situation is such that listening to music is practical, I usually prefer something else. In bars, I prefer conversation. Often I find the music irritating because it hinders conversation. I carry music on my phone, but usually prefer to listen to audiobooks. Occasionally, I listen to music because I'm in a certain kind of mood. I also find it good as white noise while I'm in a public place trying to read a paper book, and don't want to hear conversation. Much of my taste in music is too distracting for white noise, though.

General response to the article, though: REALLY? People like different things?!? I am shocked. In related news, I have no interest in sports.

Comment: Re:Recall how it was going to turn us into Satanis (Score 1) 218

by spitzig (#46055221) Attached to: Celebrating Dungeons & Dragons' 40th Anniversary

Yeah, it had the stats for devils and demons, but could you actually play them? Now, tieflings are standard characters. And, I'm sure there are full-blooded devils/demons you can play as monster characters pretty simply. The fools had no idea of the True Power of the Darkside! Or, of mixing metaphors!

Comment: Re:no, it's not dead (Score 1) 170

by spitzig (#43222497) Attached to: The Nielsen Family Is Dead

They are (increasingly) irrelevant in that the Nielson ratings DON'T accurately measure viewership of shows. One reason is because a decreasing percentage of those shows are shown on TV. Shows are being produced for more methods of viewing, and types of ads. People who are advertising on something other than TV are going to be decreasingly interested in Nielson ratings.

They also were always only a sampling. It only chose a certain number of families and tracked their viewing habits. I used to live in an area of the country that wasn't counted because it was too small. The city had 1 million people in the metropolitan area.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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