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Comment: Re:Motive (Score 2) 268

by supercrisp (#48672311) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?
I don't know if you're getting your info from The Instutitute for Historical Review or Fox News, or somewhere like that, but we have the actual intercepts of communications in which Togo explicitly says to ambassador Sato that Japan is willing to surrender territories gained: Japan "has absolutely no idea of annexing or holding territories she occupied during the war." The War Department had these intercepts summarized/interpreted and ready for dissemination on 12 July 1945. This information was used and discussed in the run-up to dropping the bomb. We also have these discussions where the people deciding to drop the bomb or not considered the one request, to allow the emperor to live and remain considered "divine"; and we have the records of that committee rejecting this possibility. Further we have the Stimson memo that suggests that nukes be used to indicate to Stalin that he needs to slow down in Europe. Of course he knew we had the nuke, because his spies already had him building his own copy. Anyway, we've got all this info, and yet people still come back with, well, lies circulated by people who don't want to accept nuclear realpolitik. Here's the Togo-Sato intercepts: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/.... I think you can get the rest of it here: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/....

Comment: Re:The human eye is proof God exists (Score 2, Insightful) 173

by Yosho (#48667337) Attached to: Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

The appeal is that it's the truth. People want to discover the truth about how our world works and how we came to exist in it, and science is how we do that -- and every bit of science we have indicates that evolution is the only plausible explanation for the current diversity of life on Earth.

you're pushing the idea that life has no true purpose and random death means progress

No, we're not, and I think the whole "you can't have meaning without religion!" bit is one of the most insidious lies the Christian church has pushed. Not following the dogma laid out in 2000-year-old books means you can make your own purpose in life. You can decide what gives you meaning and what you consider progress. I promise that if you go to any Humanist gathering, you will see plenty of people who have meaning and purpose without religion. Talk to them a bit, even -- I'll bet they'll be perfectly friendly if you say, "Hey, I'm a Christian but wanted to see what you guys are all about." Learning first-hand what life without religion is like is better than taking your pastor's word for it (after all, do you think maybe he has his own agenda?).

I'd rather bet on a .001% chance that Jesus is Lord than 99.999% chance that life is based on nothing but random chance and death.

Here's the thing, though: there's not a 0.001% chance of that, there's a 0% chance of it. There is zero evidence than any sort of supernatural being exists at all, and it's a huge leap from there to "Christianity is true," with just as much evidence. You are believing it purely because it makes you feel good. That's your choice, but maybe you should find out what the alternative is actually like before dismissing it.

Comment: Re:It's totally superfluous (Score 4, Interesting) 160

by Yosho (#48658049) Attached to: NetworkManager 1.0 Released After Ten Years Development

And these guys spent 10 years simplifying that?

No, they spent 10 years simplifying things like scanning for wireless access points, detecting the encryption type, and storing credentials. Or setting up routing over Bluetooth. Or configuring and switching between different types of VPNs. Or bridging between multiple interfaces. And having a little icon in your system tray that you can right-click on to do it all.

If the only thing you ever do is set a static IP for your ethernet card then you probably don't need it, but a lot of people do more complex things than that.

Comment: sigh (Score 5, Insightful) 188

by SuperBanana (#48656799) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

"The cost savings is great, but isn't the biggest driver for me, it's mainly the principle that I don't own the device I paid for, and I'm really tired of having cat litter everything in my home."

So exercise your rights as a consumer to research beforehand and not buy it. Or return it. Or modify it, as you have. Or, for god sakes, ask your vet or friends with cats or reddit for advice on having cat litter everywhere (I believe the most common solution is a covered box with fairly high side.) You can also teach your cat to pee/crap in the toilet, believe it or not. There are little "litter box" inserts that reportedly make it pretty easy; the cat goes "oh, another litter box" and uses it for a week or two, and then you remove the insert, and if the cat notices, they go *shrug* and still use it. No more litter, no more stink.

But for god sakes....I was around on Slashdot when the fist inkjet printer companies started chipping their cartridges. I also learned about Gillette in...either middle school or high school. That was a century ago, if not more. The "handle is free, the blades are disposable and we have a very healthy profit margin on them" model is quite, quite old. Why are people surprised? Especially if you read Slashdot, why didn't you do research on it?

Your robotic, do-everything catbox would've cost substantially more if the company were not figuring on a continuing revenue stream. In fact, it might have cost so much that nobody would've bought it.

Comment: It will empower the people who own/direct it (Score 1) 417

by WillAdams (#48569437) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

the people who are paying for the development and paying the power bills. Everyone else will be viewed as just a resource to be exploited.

Fictional take on this --- Marshall Brain's novella _Manna_ --- available free on-line: http://marshallbrain.com/manna...

The first half seems all-too-likely, the second, likely impossible.

Comment: Re:I am no economist, but as a geek ... (Score 1) 205

by the phantom (#48557223) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

Also, I did not imply that you had claimed that hunter gatherers have it easy, although you may have been misled by my british turn of phrase. I would claim that 13-20hrs of work a week is having it easy, my question to you was whether or not that was true that hunter/gathers worked less than this? My assumption is that they would need more time than this to acquire food each week.

A typical person in a hunter/gatherer society spends (on average) less than four hours per day on subsistence activities (acquiring food, shelter, clothing, etc.).

Comment: Re:I am no economist, but as a geek ... (Score 1) 205

by the phantom (#48556003) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

You are rebutting an argument that I did not make. I said that hunter/gathers generally have more leisure time. I did not claim that hunter/gatherers "have it easy." Note that I specifically attempted to rebut such arguments a priori: hunter/gatherer societies are vulnerable to natural disasters (and even minor disasters that probably wouldn't have much impact at all on an industrial society, such as a bad season for the pinon trees) and hunter/gatherers don't have the resources to live a modern lifestyle. They have more leisure time, though significantly fewer choices in how they spend it.

As to your argument that only 1/3 of your wages cover basic living expenses: if you are spending 8 hours a day performing an activity that is used to pay for your food and shelter, that is time spend procuring food and shelter, whether or not you have an excess. If you can earn enough to feed yourself in 3 hours a day but don't have the option of heading home for another 5 hours, that isn't leisure time. If, on the other hand, you really do have the option to work fewer hours and choose not to, I congratulate you on finding a job that you enjoy spending your leisure time doing (not many of us are that lucky).

Comment: Re:I am no economist, but as a geek ... (Score 2) 205

by the phantom (#48552675) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons
In hunter/gatherer societies, people typically have *more* leisure time than people in agrarian and industrial societies (where leisure time is understood to mean time that is not spent in the production or procurement of food and shelter). There are some developed nations---primarily in Europe---where people are beginning to approach the amount of leisure time that hunter/gatherers have. The nomadic lifestyle of a hunter/gatherer is simply not sustainable for a human population of 7 billion people; it has a certain brittleness with respect to natural disasters like a bad rainy season; and it doesn't provide the resources to maintain the standard of living that your average middle-class suburbanite has grown accustomed to, but you didn't make those arguments. ;)

Comment: Physical games (Score 1) 171

by metlin (#48543965) Attached to: Preferred Type of Game?

I enjoy rock and ice climbing, sailing, and flying. And they are all done outside in the real world.

There's a certain satisfaction that comes from physical exertion that is not accomplished in a board game or a video game.

Although I have seen some people go crazy over flight sims. While they are good learning tools for some planes where it's hard (and expensive) to rack up hours, they're definitely no substitute for the real thing. That feeling of g's when you master an acrobatic maneuver or the joys of landing blind.

Comment: Don't overcomplicate this. (Score 1) 312

by supercrisp (#48537615) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness?
I've been there, first a grad student and now a professor. I also teach people about how to write, so I follow the research on this. First, as you age, this will happen some; it started for me in my early 40s. Second, you don't need a lot of these distractions. You might get push-back from people; you might think you need this stuff, but start aggressively using airplane mode on your phone. Use software on your computer that blocks distracting domains for a set period of time, or even go somewhere without internet access to work. Or leave your networked devices at home. Simple. Third, the body is part of this, nutrition, sleep, cardio exercise, are all shown to have significant impact on ability to concentrate. Fourth: pay attention to your moods, set work goals, don't whip up on yourself while making yourself work, etc. Fifth and final: keep all activity sustainable and form good habits (avoid bad habits like butt-chugging caffeine, popping Ritalin, or maintaining a marijuana fog).

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.

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