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Comment: Re:Boom. Boom. Boom. Another one bite's the dust.. (Score 1) 121

No worries ladies and gents. Just some black hole or star being absorbed into a circle of more stable vacuum than the twitchy sort of vacuum we have over here. Move along. Move along. There's literally nothing to see there.

C'mon, there's got to be some highly implausible yet scientific sounding explanation that blames it on a time hole to the future slamming shut. Right? Maybe Elon Musk has been working on a time portal, but he hasn't quite figured out how to make it appear close enough to be usable?

Comment: Re:A Simple Retort (Score 1) 556

Yes, ultimately I *believe* in gravity. People find evidence of God's existence; others find evidence of gravity's existence. The difference - as I'm sure you are aware - is that one passes the scientific method; the other doesn't or won't submit to it. Then again, dogma finds a way into many non-religious things (hang out with raw vegans and you'll see that in action).

Playing my own Devil's advocate - one can argue that a man-derived scientific method is insufficient to test for the existence of God; after all, if I bake a cake and it decides I don't exist, the cake doesn't disappear.

One thing I think you have wrong -- God wouldn't be inside the universe. God created it. I suppose - going back to the cake analogy - God could bake himself into the cake. But he would still be an exo-cake being, and would have existed before the cake.

Mmmmm, cake.

Comment: Re:A Simple Retort (Score 1) 556

The probability that life would develop on any given planet...

That doesn't prove God; it only provides a good argument that we are very likely alone in the universe, at least to the extent that life has developed here. Sure, 100 light years away there may be a planet with some kind of primordial ooze on its way to becoming life as we know it; however, I'm guessing we won't be around in 100 million years to meet them. Or perhaps by then we will be the Borg and assimilate them all.

Comment: Re:A Simple Retort (Score 1) 556

You have that a little wrong. God *can* (in principle) be proven. If the sky breaks open, choirs of angels break forth, a 10km-long arm reaches down from the skies and an 8km golden-haired, bearded face looks down upon humanity and utters words of unshakable truth...then God is proven.

Except that isn't going to happen. If one believes the bible, at some point the believers will be vanished into heaven, which basically proves God's existence, even if he doesn't show his golden-bearded chops directly to us (which also would kill us, again, only if one believes the bible). At that point the Antichrist rises, and if we do not follow him (or her, if it is Hillary) and we choose God then we get killed. Since the obvious choice is then God is real, but the consequence for following him is death, we get a pass on our lifetime of sin and go to heaven.

Not that I actually think that is going to happen, but it made for some entertaining 1980's rapture movies. And the book of Revelation is a great read.

Comment: Re:It's actually not a contradiction. (Score 1) 44

China has the largest population of internet users. Despite apparent continued attempts to censor what their citizens have access to, the Chinese are very interested in extending international market share of their three state-owned internet companies.

I read it as "China is enhancing the speed at which they can control the internet within their borders."

Comment: A Simple Retort (Score 5, Interesting) 556

The nature of God is such that it cannot be proven. Otherwise, we lose the choice to believe.

That said, science has yet to prove what the universe is, so how could we expect it to prove something outside of it?

Note: My philosophy is "when you die, you're dead."

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 2) 719

by thedonger (#48634693) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims. It is foundational to the scientific method. Denial, on the other hand, is the a priori rejection of ideas without objective consideration.

That's funny. The first definition on Google states "a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.", which seems to be a good fit for those who are denying global warming. If anything, it seems as though the Fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry should call themselves something different.

The Fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry are Google Deniers.

Comment: Re:We have the best form of Democracy in the world (Score 1) 141

by thedonger (#48628785) Attached to: Who's To Blame For Rules That Block Tesla Sales In Most US States?

While I pretty much agree with everything you say, I'd like to add one (completely subjective) detail: I don't think egotistical types are limited to government. I've seen people rise in corporate power structures as a result of ruthless and aggressive behavior. It's almost a tautology that those who crave power, who are willing to shove others aside, end up near the top of the heap. There probably aren't many auto dealerships, for example, who are run by introverted, accommodating people.

Again, it's just my opinion.

I agree. What I meant to imply is only that we don't want them in government. To reach the top level of business requires at least a little psychopathy.

Comment: Re:We have the best form of Democracy in the world (Score 2) 141

by thedonger (#48626731) Attached to: Who's To Blame For Rules That Block Tesla Sales In Most US States?

Actually it kinda does. The ability to constantly abuse the system means there is a massive flaw in said system.

The flaw is how we use it. Freedom and liberty are hard to maintain, and we have allowed government to become something other than "we the people." It has become an entity unto itself, and as such it strives first and foremost to ensure its own survival. We have recast the role of statesman to celebrity, which guarantees ego rules the roost. Regulatory agencies within the executive branch are de facto law making bodies, and in the end we hinge our hopes on Supreme Court decisions, who amended their charter - at least in practice - to include filling in the legislative gaps left by Congress, who are too busy running their reelection campaigns.

If our government is car, we're passengers who are allowing a bunch of drunks to drive it. We are getting what we deserve, so long as we choose to not take the wheel.

Comment: Re:We have the best form of Democracy in the world (Score 1) 141

by thedonger (#48625341) Attached to: Who's To Blame For Rules That Block Tesla Sales In Most US States?

When looking at a five-year-old article by Nate Silver that looked at political donations by car dealers, fully 88 percent of those donations went to Republican candidates, and just 12 percent to Democrats. That possibly suggests a propensity among Republican state legislators to support the interests for car dealers over those of electric-car buyers. Is the small bit of evidence enough to make a case?

But we have the best democracy you can fine anywhere. It doesn't matter if our legislators are being bribed indirectly, or get embroiled in obvious conflict of interest matters.

Welcome to the USA!

Ohh wait, let's preach to the world about free markets.

The fact that we don't use our government correctly does not make it inherently bad.

And maybe that Nate Silver stat just means that Republicans are more likely to be business owners, and that local politicians are more likely to listen to business owners.

If someone doesn't support Uber then they are acting against the principles of small government and the free market, and therefore not accurately representing Republican values.

Fundamentally, there may be no basis for anything.