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Comment Re:Most People download to sample before buying (Score 1) 188

There once was a time where you had good radioshows. Hell, there even was a time MTV actually stood for Music TeleVision.
However, the rise of 'payola' meant a decline in musical diversity on the radio's and even on MTV.

At this point, the cassette trading with friends got really popular, people would give eachother cassettes to listen to(and copy).
Later on, came the internet radio's that catered to specific publics that allowed people to yet again discover new music from smaller artists.

Fast forward to today: A lot of internet radio's have been killed and the few remaining ones are eighter access restricted (pandora is US only) or only available through subscriptions (last.fm & consorts). I happen to be a last.fm user and I live in Europe. This service is only available to me for a monthly fee, won't run on mobile devices (apperantly, the labels have seperate licences for internet access on a PC and on a 'mobile device', go figure) and still restricts various artists music from playing in several regions.

I still buy CD's, mostly from smaller artists, but were it not for the internet and piracy, I'd have less then 1/10th of the amount of CD's & albums I have now.

Comment Re:16-bit? (Score 5, Insightful) 312

As a photographer I disagree with your statement. The advantage of working with raw picture files is that you have much more data available then you have after a lossy compression has been applied to your image. Shooting in RAW allows you to do all sorts of neat tricks that with a standard jpg are extremely difficult if not impossible.

Believe me, you do notice the difference between a processed jpg & a processed raw file.

Comment Re:We sure don't make stuffs like they used to (Score 1) 238

All the issues you mention were typical for a specific platform (x86/Windows), there were systems even back then that lacked those issues. When I look at what NASA did with limited electronics and at we do now with our Gigahertz smartphones, I can't help but feel we're wasting that beautifull hardware with trivial un-optimised crapware, and that saddens me.

Just think, there is still an active (albeit small) Commodore 64 demoscene squezing tricks out of the old girl that the designers never thought were feasable. That for me is a lot more impressive than a smartphone rendering 3D virtual worlds.

Comment Re:Hopefully (Score 1) 796

Your whole argument hinges on the claim that I (or someone else) believes in the scientific method while I consider it to be a tool (for lack of a better word).

No. My argument hinges on a statement that I called A, and on your acceptance that A is true. That's why I said, 'Statement A could be "the scientific method is the best method we know of so far"...or it could be something else entirely.' Suppose for a moment that A is the statement, "Slashdot is news for nerds. Stuff that matters." That would be something else entirely than belief in the scientific method. However, my argument still works with that statement because my argument didn't depend on belief in the scientific method at any point. My argument depended only upon there being a statement that you accepted as being true. At this point we can stop supposing that statement A is "Slashdot is news for nerds. Stuff that matters." I make precisely two claims about A. First, it's a statement, and second, you accept it as being true. Now, by the law of generalization (and assuming my argument is valid and my premisses are true) then at least one of my four conclusions must be true. If my argument is invalid then I invite you to show me where I've made my mistake.

Again, your argument falls apart because using a methodology is not making a statement. My statement in that case was that I do not know of any better methology to gather knowledge. That statement does not lead to any of your four conclusions:

1) You believe in something that's unprovable. 2) You believe circular reasoning is valid. 3) You believe at least one statement that is inexpressible because it's infinitely long. 4) You state things are true when you actually don't believe they are.

Ergo, your argument fails.

If my premisses aren't true, then I invite you to tell me why you keep making statements.

Because statements in themselves do not lead to any of your four conclusions.

My question is simple: Why do you believe in your religion (be it hindusm or christianity) and not in the others?

That may be your question now, but it certainly wasn't what I responded to. What I responded to was your quotation of Stephen F. Roberts, which I repeat here.

Stephen F. Roberts: "...I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

My claim amounted to saying that Roberts' quotation was worthless insofar as rejecting the existence of any one particular god, analogously to it's worth in rejecting the number 2 as the only even prime.

The intent of that quote is not to make you reject your god(s), but to make you think why you reject others. This is the core sentence in that quote: "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods". The quote does in no way invalidate the existance of a god or gods, nor does it in itself offer any argument why you should dismiss your god(s). Those arguments are provided by yourself once you awnser why you reject other gods.

I still haven't seen you provide anything to change my mind regarding that.

It's plain English. If you do not grasp it that is not my shortcoming.

Let me summarise by saying that I am making two claims. Firstly, you (probably) believe in something without proof. And secondly, Mr. Robert's insight doesn't permit one to reject the existence any particular god.

~Loyal

You are mistaking in the first one and you do not grasp the core idea behind the second.

Comment Re:Hopefully (Score 1) 796

No, I don't believe that.

Perhaps I've explained myself poorly. Let me try again. You've made the claim, "No, I don't believe that," which presumably means that you don't believe that the scientific method is a good way to learn about the universe. I have a little trouble reconciling that with the later claim you made that you accept that the scientific method is the best way we know so far, but I suppose it's possible that the scientific is both the best way we know so far and not a good way.

No you misunderstand me, let me clarify: I accept that the scientific method is the best way to gather knowledge that I know of. I do not believe it is in absolute terms the best method, but since I do not know any better ways I stick with said method. The reason why I use with this method is because it's methodolical and falsifiable, it has nothing to do with believes, but is purely a practical desision.

The reason I say that your claim amounts to a claim that the scientific method is not a good way to learn about the universe is because I said (verbatim,) "do you believe that the scientific method is a good way to learn about the universe?" to which you replied (also verbatim,) "No, I don't believe that." However, I don't want to get bogged down in those details too much, because I have these other details that I want to get bogged down in.

Let's suppose you have a belief, which I'll call A. I don't mean that in the sense of taking A on faith, but rather in the sense that you accept A as being true. Statement A could be "the scientific method is the best method we know of so far" or it could be "no, I don't believe that," or it could be "the method is simple," or it could be "there is no logical, reasonable or provable argument why your faith would be correct and others wrong," or it could be something else entirely. There are only two requirements on A; it is a statement and you accept it as being true. Given that you accept A, there are only two possibilities--either there is a reason for believing A, or there isn't. Let's consider the latter first. If there isn't a reason for believing A then you believe in something that's unprovable (which is something that you've claimed is untrue.) Now let's consider the former. Here, again there are only two possibilities. Either the reason for believing A is A, itself, or it's something else. If the reason for believing A is A itself, then you accept circular reasoning as being valid, and you cannot reject the bible's claim to be accurate--or rather you cannot reject it on the basis of circular reasoning being invalid. If you reject it then it must be on some other basis. If the reason for believing A is something else, then let's give it a name in order to make it easier to reason about. I'll call it A-1. This is where the infinite recursion comes in, because I ask what reason you have for accepting A-1? It must either be unsupportable, or in the A through A-k list, or it must be a new reason which I'll call A-2. The reason that always creating a new reason is a problem is that all finite reasons can be expressed with a finite number of characters, which would mean that you believe at least one thing that cannot be expressed. Now let's turn to the final possibility, that A doesn't exist. That would mean that you don't believe anything. The problem with that is that you've made a large number of statements, and you don't believe any of them. So, to summarize, the following are the only possibilities: 1) You believe in something that's unprovable. 2) You believe circular reasoning is valid. 3) You believe at least one statement that is inexpressible because it's infinitely long. 4) You state things are true when you actually don't believe they are.

The scientific method is a tool, just like mathematics, language and a hammer. Do you believe in a hammer? Or do you accept that a hammer is a proper tool for the proper job?

Your whole argument hinges on the claim that I (or someone else) believes in the scientific method while I consider it to be a tool (for lack of a better word).

Frankly, I believe 1), and I think Gödel does, too, which I believe you can find more about if you study one or the other of his incompleteness theorems.

I think your whole argument is based on a false pretence. But that's just me. If you think people believe in a methodology, more power to you.

You are comparing a method of work with religion which, to be honest, is above silly.

Wait 'til I get started.

For instance, I accept the concept of evolution as being the correct theory to explain how we as a species came to be, however, if tomorrow it turns out to be completely wrong and that there's a completely different mechanism at work, that will not alter my world view.

Did you write what you meant to write? I ask because it appears that you are saying that you would continue to believe that evolution is the correct theory even if you were given evidence that it's not.

English isn't my native tongue, so maybe I wasn't clear enough there. What I mean is that for practical reasons I accept the theory as being correct. If however, a discovery is made that points out that the theory in fact is wrong, and a new theory takes it's place, I will evaluate the new theory and accept that as being the more correct one (if indeed it holds up to scrutiny). Wether evolution theory as it is today is correct or not doesn't affect the way I view the world, it however does affect my knowledge and understanding of things. I have no stake in the theory being correct or not. The theory for me is purely a tool to understand the facts that I observe.

Would you please explain something to me? Let's suppose I believe in Visnu, but I don't believe in the flying spaghetti monster because it was imagined by Bobby Henderson in 2005 to protest a decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to teach Intelligent Design. How would the creation of the flying spaghetti monster by Bobby Henderson be relevant to the non-existence of Visnu? I suppose that it's possible that Bobby Henderson created Visnu in 2005 to protest a decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to teach Intelligent Design, but barring that?

You are comparing something that you have faith in with something that you know is made up on purpose in order to validate your own faith? The FSM has nothing to do with what I said. My question is simple: Why do you believe in your religion (be it hindusm or christianity) and not in the others? Why do you not believe in the sun god Ra? Why do you not believe in Apollo? Why do you not believe in any of the countless other religions this world has? There are religions that predate yours yet you discard them without any logical, provable or reasonable argument.

Do you know why?

Comment Re:Hopefully (Score 1) 796

Not too sure about this, I think religion stems from when proto humans began to form language & communities. I think religion was the glue needed to keep the different families together in a collective.

That proto-religion evolved into more complex concepts and the first from of law. It's only when people became capable of expanding their knowledge and civilisation to such an extent that you could have people doing nothing but 'think' that education and real laws came into place. Religion however stayed in place as a glue for the whole community.

This need for religion and faith could be genetic and would explain fundamentalists/fanatics and even conspiracy theorists. As for people going from religion to atheism (or vice versa), I don't think those people had any "real faith" to begin with, but rather went with the flow of their community.

Comment Re:Hopefully (Score 3, Insightful) 796

I can't even conceive the idea to put belief (let alone faith) in something that's unprovable.

I suspect that you actually do put belief in something that's unprovable, but that you simply don't realize that you are doing so. For example, do you believe that the scientific method is a good way to learn about the universe? If so, then what proof do you have that such might be the case?

No, I don't believe that. I accept that the scientific method is the best method we know so far. I don't put a belief or faith in a method. You are comparing a method of work with religion which, to be honest, is above silly.

Many people would answer that it can be proved using the scientific method,

The scientific method is based around the concept of falsification.

but those same people scoff when shown a claim by the bible that the bible is reliable, and call it circular reasoning.

The bible isn't a methodology. The bible is a literal (or philosophical) text. Two completely different entities. The bible uses it's own authority to validate itself as fact (or philosophy) while the scientific method is just that. A method.

Ultimately, you're left with an infinite regress of reasons supporting reasons, which to my mind is more difficult to put faith in than the existence of god.

I don't have any faith. The questions "where do we come from", "why do we exist" and various others are fun topics to discuss, but they do not influence my world view. I don't need faith in a god (or in science) in order to consolidate reality with my own thoughts. For instance, I accept the concept of evolution as being the correct theory to explain how we as a species came to be, however, if tomorrow it turns out to be completely wrong and that there's a completely different mechanism at work, that will not alter my world view. (It would however, be a very fascinating discovery)

On the other hand, suppose you're skeptical about the scientific method.

The method is simple. If you do not grasp it then you have a serious intellectual deficiency. I can explain the method in 3 lines:
Make observation: Apple falls from tree
Make a hypotheses: something attracts the apple and causes it to fall
Perform experiments to confirm the hypothesis.

You can be skeptical of any given theory, but nothing is stopping you from validating it yourself. Even so, the correctness of a theory does not enter my world view, a theory (in science) is a tool, not a philosophy.

Ask yourself whether skepticism is the correct way to approach knowledge of the universe.

I do not believe anything at face value. When I read an article that makes a certain claim, I might accept that claim as usefull knowledge, but it doesn't alter my world view.

Shouldn't one be skeptical of such a belief?

One should think for himself.

One must either accept and operate on the assumption that skepticism is the appropriate opinion to hold, or that it's not. One must accept one of those beliefs on faith, as it were.

No. One must only accept one of these on faith. The other one, science, is a combination of a methodology and a set of observations and theories about those observations. You possess a mind of your own to think about and validate said methodology and theories.

Stephen F. Roberts: "...I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

Mr. Roberts' claim proves too much. Let me show you why using analogy with mathematics, as I'm particularly fond of mathematics. Let's suppose I believe that there exists precisely one even prime, and analogously that precisely one god exists. Let's suppose furthermore that Mr. Roberts believes that no even primes exist, and analogously that no god exists. I dismiss candidates 3, 17, and 61 because they aren't even. I dismiss candidates 10, 34, and 100002 because they aren't prime. I dismiss candidates h, e, and pi because they aren't integers. I dismiss candidates -3, 0, and 1 because they aren't greater than one. I now understand why I dismiss all the other possible even primes (other than 2). Mr. Roberts' would now claim that I understand why he dismisses 2. In fact, I don't. Number 2 is even; it's a prime; it's an integer; it's greater than one. Arguments that claim that something doesn't have a property have no bearing on other predicates. Specifically, if I claim that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist because it was imagined by Bobby Henderson in 2005 to protest a decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to teach Intelligent Design, then that has no bearing on the god that we supposed I believed in at the beginning of this paragraph, provided that we didn't suppose I believed in the flying spaghetti monster.

~Loyal

You just proven you didn't understand the quote. The point of what he said is that you (assuming here) believe in the (christian?) god but not in for instance Visnu or any of the other gods. You dismiss those religions just like an atheist like myself dismisses yours. There is no logical,reasonable or provable argument why your faith would be correct and the others wrong.

Comment Re:Hopefully (Score 3, Interesting) 796

I still think it's basic genetics. I can't even conceive the idea to put belief (let alone faith) in something that's unprovable. Sure, I can suspend disbelief during a movie and all, but my whole life? Unfathomable.
It would actually be kind of ironic if evolution was the cause for the existence of religion I guess.

The best quote I ever heard was this one:
Stephen F. Roberts: "...I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

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