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Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 1) 1125

by ultranova (#49387117) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

Just a Dora The Explorer is a factual representation of the world of Dora The Explorer.

And would be a perfectly factual source for someone trying to figure out what Dora The Explorer would do. Yes. You're getting it.

By your definition a fact can be literally anything and of any relative value.

No, I'm saying that people usually say "what would Jesus do" as shorthand for "what would Jesus, as depicted in the Bible, do, based on these depictions".

a pointless distinction unless we're talking about a comparison to reality.

And what is that? Was Jesus a real person who's life Evangeliums record or an entirely fictional character? Luckily, we don't need to know this in order to answer the question "what would Jesus do?" We can simply assume a place, called "the world of Bible", and assume everything we know about the guy is true there. The price of this unified treatment for two mutually exclusive worlds is that the concept of "fact" becomes more complex with the addition of context: in which worlds is the fact true?

Not that you can avoid that complexity, since the very concept of imagining is really just a process of making these alternative worlds with different sets of true facts.

Comment: Re:Contradiction in article summary (Score 1) 291

by ultranova (#49386689) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

They are extras, and on a really good day they get a line and become a glorified extra. They have the talent to be better then most movie stars, but that's really common in LA.

I call bullshit. They can shoot their own show/movie/whatever and upload it to Youtube if they're really that good, or even any good.

It's a golden age of small-studio productions of all kinds, ranging from abridged anime series to original science fiction films to rap battles to My Little Pony rap battles. Saying you didn't get a chance to show your awesome talents is ridiculous.

Comment: Re:Cannot regulate bitcoin in the traditional sens (Score 2) 31

by ultranova (#49379669) Attached to: Bitcoin In China Still Chugging Along, a Year After Clampdown

It is a complicated technology

Bicoin is a distributed double-entry bookkeeping ledger where transactions need to be signed by the crediting account's (secret) key. And Bitcoin is also the (imaginary) currency unit used in said ledger.

Seriously, there's nothing there anyone who knows even the basics of accounting wouldn't recognize. It's just wrapped in a high-tech packaging.

Comment: Re:Cause, or effect? (Score 1) 322

by ultranova (#49379469) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

There you go, making sense again.

"These snooty scientists, what do they know?"

I was raised in a very poor family, one of the poorest in our city, but I have an IQ that's very high, and I always made good grades in school. I don't see the relationship between poverty and smaller brains, nor do I see the relationship between poverty and crime. Of course I was raised in a good family that wasn't trash.

"I'm very smart. I lifted myself up by my bootlaces. Anyone who doesn't is trash. Crime is done by criminals for for the evulz, and is thus not affected by economic circumstances."

Parental involvement makes more of a difference, and unmarried teens are simply not the best parents. Ask any teacher and they can tell you which students have parents who care.

"Teens having sex is bad. Children doing badly at schools is caused by parents not caring rather than working two full-time jobs to make ends meet."

Congratulations, I think you hit almost all popular right-wing talking points. All that's missing is some scaremongering about immigrants. Maybe you could work that into the bit about crime?

Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 5, Insightful) 1125

I have a serious problem with gay marriage, as marriage is a religious ceremony, so the state should stay out of it. Civil union is the state sponsored joining, and should be the proper avenue for the state to allow something that religion indicates is wrong.

The problem is, the state can't recognize marraige without defining it. If you agree that the religious ceremony has no legal significance (that is, married couples also need to get a civil union if they want the state to respect their union), then fine; but if you want your marriage ot mean anything to the state itself, the state can't avoid deciding what it considers a valid marriage - and then carrying the moral and legal responsibility for that decision, if it would happen to put citizens into different categories based on religious beliefs. Indeed, it would be forced to recognize an official religion that gets to choose.

So, the only way to get the state out of marriage is to go pure civil union route and ignore whatever religious or other ceremony anyone feels fit to add on their own time.

Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 1) 1125

Sincerely I cannot understand how this is modded informative. There is absolutely no factual data that supports what you just said. Sure, the bible implies what you described, but well, it's the bible, and the day we'll start to take the bible as "factual data" in Slashdot will be the day logic gets shattered to pieces.

The Bible gives data about the behaviour of biblical characters that is factual in the context of how these characters, as described in the Bible, would behave in a given situation. The grandparent was modded informative for making one such analysis.

In other words, Bible is a factual description of the World of Bible, which may or may not resemble the World of Average Slashdotter or World of Average American in some important ways. The same is true of all literary descriptions, whether meant as factual in the context of WoAA or not.

Comment: Re:Still photos (Score 1) 445

by ultranova (#49364835) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

You are assuming we have to pander to pilots preferences. Just TELL them, "you will be videoed or alternatively you can choose another profession".

And some percentage of them will, which makes the available pool of pilots at a given price smaller, resulting in either lower quality or higher prices or both.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 234

by ultranova (#49364229) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "alter orbital structure and energy levels"?

I mean part of the electrostatic attraction between atomic nucleus and orbiting electrons should be countered by expansion of space between them, which in turn affects stable electron orbits. In fact all forces should get weaker with distance faster in an expanding space than in flat space.

Electromagnetic force is mediated by virtual photons, who's wavelength gets longer as space expands, thus sapping electromagnetism of some of its native strength and somewhat altering the lowest-energy point of all structures held together by it.

Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 2) 81

by ultranova (#49364033) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

I was a little confused when I saw that wording in the story, and now that I'm hearing this wording is the important part, I'm getting a little concerned. Are we not all citizens? Have we been divided into citizens and ruling class, now?

We've always been divided into serfs and lords. Human spirit simply doesn't have the strength to resist using power to get more. The lords, blinded by the seeming invincibility of their position and the system which grants it then end up draining that very system to the point of collapse and revolution, and the cycle repeats.

Whether it can be broken is anyone's guess. Democracy has slowed and complicated the gravitational collapse of current system somewhat, but it couldn't alter the end result, since all manifestations of power in our societies are not under democratic control, and are thus free to join biggest existing masses of power and make them even bigger.

I'm all for popularizing science among all citizens, but I'd rather we word that as "science for the masses" or something.

That very desire should already answer your question. As our masters keep telling us: if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 234

by ultranova (#49360023) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

That the thing about dark matter... it has a perfectly reasonable explanation (WIMPs). It's not that weird of a "thing".

I dunno. Usually when a theory requires more and more unseen entities over time it's a sign that it's time to replace the theory. We know General Relativity is incomplete, both because it doesn't take into account quantum effects and because it has internal contradictions - specifically, it assumes a continuous spacetime geometry but predicts non-continuous points (black hole singularities). Most likely Einstein simply missed some observer-specific assumption - for example, GR assumes mass-energy has an exact distribution rather than probabilistic one - and thus GR is not completely general.

A question I've had for a while... if space itself is being inflated (or any sort of mathematically equivalent scenario) - everything inflating in all directions at all scales - wouldn't there be some sort of weak radiation signal from electrons expanding into a higher energy state due to dark energy and then collapsing back down?

No, because a continuous force wouldn't drag electrons up and then let them drop back down. What it would do is alter orbital structure and energy levels. But how they'd be altered depends on how quantum mechanics and GR combine, which we don't currently know.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 4, Insightful) 378

by ultranova (#49356307) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

It appears this German guy knew that, and was hiding his problems from his employer and the regulatory agencies that license his operation of giant passenger aircraft.

So what happens when you remove doctor patient confidentiality? The other depressed people will not see them and will still fly, only without having received psychiatric help or medication. That makes the risk larger, not smaller.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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