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Comment Re:Kid won't know what to do when an adult (Score 1) 607

Exactly. As a parallel, every time I hear someone say "Derpy-derp derrr.. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...", it gives me an overwhelming urge to snap their spine. By their logic, I'm turning them into fricken superman!

Oh, and I think I'd invest the several hundred dollars in some judo lessons instead. When my kid's 6 he/she will be able to kill you with a toenail.

Comment Re:You mean "Coldest Naturally Occurring Spot" (Score 2, Funny) 108

The speed of light, as we've all heard, is a constant: 186,171 miles per second in a vacuum. But it is different in the real world, outside a vacuum; for instance, light not only bends but also slows ever so slightly when it passes through glass or water. Still, that's nothing compared with what happens when [Lene Vestergaard] Hau shines a laser beam of light into a Bose-Einstein condensate: it's like hurling a baseball into a pillow. "First, we got the speed down to that of a bicycle," Hau says. "Now it's at a crawl, and we can actually stop itâ"keep light bottled up entirely inside the BEC, look at it, play with it and then release it when we're ready."


Since my boggled eyes probably won't constitute a worthy post, I guess I should add this. :) (it's a tiny bit relevant lol)

Comment Re:This is a common problem for OSS (Score 3, Funny) 127

I could maybe understand this law making sense in the cold war era, and/or as it relates to hardware crypto, but it seems pretty irrelevant and ignorant for them to try and restrict the exchange of digital informa-- I'm sorry, for a second there I was thinking that politicians and legislators actually had a grasp on reality, please excuse my momentary lapse.

Comment Re:Oblig xkcd... (Score 5, Insightful) 127

Oh wow... Either /. searches and penalises for the letters f-i-r-s-t appearing in a primary post, or I just got bitchslapped at the speed of light.

I apologise.

Also, I should also mention the fact that legislation against encryption is ridiculously counter-productive; if the feds are after someone for any good reason, and that person is a criminal, they aren't going to respect such a restriction if they're already violating more serious laws. If all they succeed in doing is reducing legitimate commercial trade in such products, they're hurting themselves but at the same time improving the market tremendously for illicit dealers (note this observation applies to drugs as well, hmm).

Comment Re:Dig upan Old Meme (Score 1) 463

Memes don't actually die though, they just lie dormant, waiting for the chance to trigger again... Usually after the initial stage of widespread use it will degenerate rapidly into the "the-only-people-using-this-meme-now-either-don't-realise-it's-no-longer-cool-or-realise-but-are-mocking-it" stage, followed by the dormant state... then months or sometimes years later, it may resurface, in some cases memetically modified and even more annoying.

Comment on 'Selling Science' (Score 1) 899

What this has to do with making science popular? I have no idea, and maybe that is a silly quest anyhow. Some people are trapped for whatever reason and don't seem to be interested in the "truth", but rather tend to be more interested in a sense of stability in the world that does not challenge what they already are familiar with - which happens to be the antithesis of the goals of science, I think. The question "Are you a Scientist?" maybe could be replaced by "Are you committed to discovering the truth - no matter what you already believe?". I would also question whether it is really in the domain of science to sell science to those who are not interested

Well... here's where I turn to Dawkins (in his written word, not his spoken; he has very little patience for the indoctrinated, which is of course understandable). In his books he quite eloquently espouses the appeal of a life spent in pursuit of knowledge, and the wonderful purity of trying to do good for its own sake, and realising that we DO have power over our own lives and our own choices.

He also has an awesome knack for breathing life into what may previously have been thought of as fairly dusty subjects. Even though I already considered myself an undoubted atheist and moderately well-versed in the ways life worked, I was nonetheless engrossed in his treatment of natural selection in The Blind Watchmaker! I actually just took it down off the shelf last night because it's been 6 months since I read it last, and funnily enough it's the only non-fiction book I've ever considered RE-RE-reading (I have a good memory for books, I hardly ever put any through a second iteration).

His TV appearances and debates are enjoyable for a difference reason - it's funny seeing stupid ideas get shot down, but it's in his written work that he really shines, since there he can truly be an illustrative, positive force, and not just The De-stupidator. :)

Comment Re:Just Stop! (Score 1) 899

Thanks man, for your optimism that the scientific process will eventually make progress towards the truth.

Well, it's not really optimism but rather a feature of the scientific method if you think about it - while it certainly is POSSIBLE for false information to enter the repository that we call 'scientific knowledge', and this certainly happens on a regular enough basis with small things (as people pose and test new hypotheses, and they are then refuted or confirmed as the years pass), the overall trend will ALWAYS be an increase in the breadth (range) and resolution (accuracy or precision) of our knowledge. The scientific method, when applied properly, is inherently self-correcting. :)

Now, this can be likened somewhat to certain open source projects, which while yes they may be available for anyone to scrutinise and attempt to submit improvements (like scientific knowledge), there may always be areas that don't receive much attention, and these bit can contain 'bugs' for some time... but as soon as those parts become relevant and more frequently used, the bugs will be ironed out relatively quickly.

Even if every country in the world converted to official theocracies tomorrow, I believe this progressive course would not be significantly slowed unless they started killing scientists and people who think like scientists.

I've been getting impatient and have been missing that side of the big picture, and taking this whole scientific truth thing way to seriously! I gotta chill out - we'll get there eventually.

Sure thing matey - we all stand on the shoulders of giants... some generations are destined to be the equivalent of giant human pyramids (great leaps in the collective knowledge), while others may have to settle for being shoulder pads (little incremental refinements) ;)

Though maybe we have limited lifespans precisely for the reasons you stated that it is so easy for people to get trapped in limited ideas, so it is natures way of giving us a way out.

I think it has more to do with our metabolisms, but ok. :)

A changing of the guard if you will that eventually allows new ideas to enter and allows the religions to fall away and be replaced by new ideas.

I pray to the Sacred Spaghetti that this day may come sooner rather than later!

Whatever happens, I certainly plan on moving to Sweden before I start a family - they have one of the only school systems I would consider putting my own children through (pretty much anywhere else I'd homeschool). They also have a lower mindvirus infection rate than most other countries. ;)

Comment Re:Science =! Public Policy (Score 1) 899

Al Gore is a boob, yes we agree on that. But, Al Gore did what you and I did not do, have conviction and yell from the treetops.

He can afford really good treetops though. And louder shouting. In many languages.

As soon as I saw this topic, my first thought was "holy crap, that's a lot of comments in a short time", and my second was a memory of that Sliders episode where actors and jocks weren't glorified, but the biggest nerds were the superstars with the big ad deals etc - I want to live in that world, lol.

Oh, also, I remember how much it sucked finding out there were people smarter than me (I mean, by more than a little bit) when I was about 13-14... but at least then it was still just a handful of people I'd met online and offline, plus a few hundred people I'd just heard about... I can't imagine what it must be like to be more ignorant than most of the people you meet, that must be so scary and depressing *shudder*

The sooner the masses get educated the sooner we divert at least SOME of our resources away from 'defence' and into more worthwhile pursuits, though I doubt the reigning oligarchic corporatocracy would allow such a farce (in their eyes) to come about. :( They haven't been constantly diluting the education and upping the mass-meds to try and make people SMART, after all. :/

Comment Re:Just Stop! (Score 1) 899

Check this out too. I think you will love it:

Ew, furry alert :/

j/k, this is cool stuff lol

One of the good things about science is that even if a new (fundamental) idea is hard to get accepted, at least you know that *eventually* it'll make it into the paradigm... since in time more and more people will 'discover' the same truths as yourself (if it's correct and supported by experimentation etc).

The same cannot be said for getting new moralities or updates ways of thinking added into a religion or other doctrine of societal behaviour.. since many such human-borne mindvirus botnets have internal checksum tests that attempt to reject access to the network from nodes that have defective/altered installations - or attempt a reinstall with factory defaults.

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interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language