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Comment Re:As a fan of hard sci-fi... (Score 1) 267

Hard Scifi is Scifi based on accurate science. Since science changes quickly, hard scifi changes quickly. And, science can predict things with varying levels of accuracy. Ways of getting around FTL are pretty speculative, so it makes SF less hard. The Force is not a very hard piece of SF.

Star Wars is often called SF Fantasy, because it has the trappings of SF(spaceships, blasters, etc.) but the structure of a fantasy novel(rescuing the princess, the wise mentor who dies, etc).

Comment Some Geeks don't like it for non-geeky reasons. (Score 1) 406

It's formulaic. That's why I don't like it. I watched an episode or two. I could pretty much predict what was "funny" thing going to happen next. What "funny" thing someone was going to say next.

I don't hate it. I don't live in a country with English as its primary language, so I don't listen to people talking about it much. I caught an episode visiting the US, and don't think I laughed once. I think a family member put it on because "You're a geek[or whatever]. You'll like this." So, I might hate it if I lived in the US.

Comment I am a genre player (Score 2) 119

I mostly play single player RPGs, some strategy games. These days one of the defining points of RPGs is in a LOT of games. I'm talking about character development, which in video game RPGs has usually been shown as character ability development. The other main defining point of RPGs is plot. This has also been in more and more games. As other games gain those traits my interest in them increases. I prefer RPGs that require thought more than speed on the keyboard.

Genres blend, divide, and blend again. When Diablo came out, I thought stay away from any action RPG. Nowhere near enough plot. I did eventually play it. It didn't even have enough freedom of character creation, to say nothing of plot. I thought it was more similar to what was called adventure in the days of Legend of Zelda(NES).

But, games like Morrowind and Mass Effect pulled me toward Action RPGs. These days most RPGs also part of whatever genre both FPS and sword fighting games like Skyrim make up.

When I was a teenager, I'd pretty much play any game I had available. But, games that had character progression, I was more likely to replay. Zelda, Metroid.

Comment don't live in the US now, but didn't care before (Score 1) 144

I don't live in the US, so this post will probably be the biggest deal for the Fourth for me.

I've never been patriotic. I find people are a better object of loyalty than countries. I've rarely been impressed by fireworks since I was a small child. And, when I was a kid, we didn't usually do the big family BBQ thing. The biggest effect it used to have as an adult was that I had a day off. Occasionally, I would go to some fireworks because my mother or girlfriend wanted to go.

So, disinterest.

Comment video? (Score 2) 352

How is what he's arguing significantly different from video lectures? We've had VCRs with the ability to replace a classroom like this for a long time. But, other than teachers who would sometimes show a video during his class, videos haven't replaced teachers.

I had a class in college that was broadcast. It wasn't as engaging as in person, even though the lecturer was engaging. There was no opportunity for discussion, though some lectures don't have much opportunity for that, anyway. But, K-12 aren't 200 person lectures. They're much more interactive.

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

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

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

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

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 (Score 1) 720

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:Curious (Score 1) 132

I live in Taiwan. I have internet access far cheaper than I had in the US. Bundling with cable is not an issue.

Given that net neutrality is not an issue in the legislature here, I doubt video bandwidth is actually a cost problem in the US.

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

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.

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