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Comment Obvious really (Score 1) 921

It actually makes perfect sense if you look upon acceptance of religion as a really deep seated fear of the "ending of self".

Because they are so afraid of dying or ending, they cling to religious belief to make them feel better that they will "continue after death". But deep down they don't truly _feel_ that certainty. So they fight death with all the fear that drove them to religion in the first place.

Those of us who have accepted that death mean the ending of self don't _want_ to die. But we've accepted it becasue we are no longer _afraid_ of it.

Saddened by it, yes. Want to avoid it, yes. But terrified of it to the point that we will lie to ourselves about the existence of an afterlife?


Comment Re:Ignorance is diverse as well as widespread (Score 1) 1038

As a science type, I encourage you to not turn off your brain to astrology, Feng Shui, crystal power, and other crap.

Instead, test it formally, with double blinds, hoping that it works (so you don't subconsciously suppress data). Then if you find something, have others duplicate your work. That's the scientific method.

Done, Done, done and done. There have been _endless_ double blind tests of alternative medicine and other magic beans. All of them show that the accuracy (if even testable) is no better than blind chance.

The reason "us science types" are so dismissive of these things is we're sick of re-debunking ideas we finished with _decades_ ago.

Comment Re:Are you an idiot? (Score 1) 902

Actually by your argument what this will actually do is accelerate evolution of the human race. As some people will select for (according to you) features in their children that will make them more sickly and other "dog breeder" problems. These will eventually reach the point where they will become sterile and/or die young and the people who didn't design their babies inherit the earht. Huzzah!, or something.

Or if the designing works well the designed babies will out-breed and perform the non designer babies and _they_ will inherit the earth. Evolution at it's finest!

Comment Using it right now. :P (Score 1) 569

It's actually amusing that I looked up from sitting at my PC reading The new Peter F Hamilton book on my sony PRS-505 when this article popped up in my RSS feed. I bought my Sony about 6 months ago. I'd been following e-readers for a while but they were either too expensive, too DRMed or too crap for me to bother. When the 505 came out I kept an eye on reviews and finally decided to "treat" myself and buy one. I bought it with some trepidation worried that I wouldn't like the "feel" of it or would miss books (smell touch etc). I am happy to report that I have used it almost ceaselessly since I got it for all kinda of reading. It's a joy to read on and truly does "disappear" when I'm reading as a good book should do. I love it for travelling because instead of stuffing my bag with 2-3 big paperbacks I just slide the PRS (in the hard clamshell I bought for it) into my laptop bag. I discovered 3 months ago the libprs software that took it from a great reader to an awesome one allowing me to DL and format multiple online magazines and blogs for my reader. My _only_ complaint (and this is just me getting used to it) is that I often forget to charge the unit (because it needs charging so infrequently) and I'll sometimes get an an airplane without realising I only have 1 hour of battery left. Nothing is more frustrating than having your batteries go flat at an exciting part of a book on a 12 hour flight. But It's only happened to me once and I always make sure I charge it before I travel now. (You feel quite silly loading up your laptop on a plane so you can plug your book into the USB port to power it. :P ) All in all it's been a highly pleasant experience and simply as a result of me using it at work on my lunch breaks something like 10 of my workmates have bought them and also use them daily (we actually have to label our books now so no-one walks off with anyone elses.) I would not want to go without my e-book now and while I do still pick up the occasional book not available in e-format that's getting less common as the catalogues get more complete. I still like classic book.. but I'm _totally_ sold on e-book readers.

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