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Comment: Comparisons (Score 1) 459

by taylormc (#41732427) Attached to: Scientists Who Failed to Warn of Quake Found Guilty of Manslaughter
We have an example in the UK of a comparably embarrassing prediction. On Oct 15th, 1987, the BBC weather forecaster, Michael Fish, stated: "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way; well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't..." . It is a matter of record that later that night winds of hurricane force lashed the southern UK, killing 18 people. The difference is that we didn't find Michael Fish guilty of manslaughter. We laughed at him. We laughed at him because even the worst-educated person in the UK can see that with the best will in the world, predictions (even assuming that prediction is the right word for what the geologists did) can go wrong. In whatever God-forsaken part of the world I might have imagined that this earthquake episode might have taken place, I could scarcely have imagined a Western European country. To imagine that all, or indeed any, of the deaths that occurred could be laid directly at the door of these geologists is beyond insane. It's positively Neolithic.

Comment: Re:Comparison to 'Older music' not fair (Score 1) 576

by taylormc (#40816743) Attached to: Study Finds New Pop Music <em>Does</em> All Sound the Same

It's easy to dismiss today's pop-music as simplistic and look up to Wagners and Mozarts of the past. However, 200 years ago, most of the western worlds population never heard an opera and the music they were playing/singing and listening to was just as simplistic. A typical tune, like Pastime with Good Company was nowhere near the complexity of the Ride of the Valkyries

On the other hand, there is still a lot of serious music being made now-days that is being listened to by a minority, just like before.

"Pastime with Good Company" is a lot older than 200 years. It's attributed to King Henry VIII (which could well mean that one of his court musicians n2helped" him with it).

Comment: Communism an issue in 2006? (Score 1) 298

by taylormc (#16009274) Attached to: Indian State Encourages Microsoft Removal
I find it absolutely amazing that, 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the word "communist" still constitutes an effective slur in arguments involving US citizens and organizations. Wake up and smell the coffee - Kerala's political leanings are not an issue here: lots of us with very un-Communist political leanings are quite in sympathy with its decision to distance itself from MS' monopolistic practices.

Programming is an unnatural act.