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Comment Re:Modern Luddites (Score 1) 544

I don't see why Luddism is the necessary conclusion.

It could just as easily be: Sky-high unemployment, and to hell with the workers anyway. Human input isn't really necessary for a variety of tasks. When machines become cheap enough for a short-term profit, why hire humans to flip burgers, push mops, write tickets?

Jobless recovery and all that.

Comment How is it that all the comments thus far (Score 4, Informative) 226

are nearly entirely made by people who don't know what they are talking about?

This is a real problem in all of the sciences. The biomedical sciences have had the best money for a long time, and if they are beginning to have problems, it isn't good.

For those not in the know: grad students are slave labor. postdocs are a notch better, but only barely. Remember how Gordon Freeman was treated in the intro to half-life? Consider that a documentary.

Comment Re:If you're willing to stay a season behind (Score 2) 312

Yes, and I won't. Most others won't, either.

HBO can wake up and come to terms with the fact they can't fully control distribution, or they can continue to lose sales. Piracy is a market pressure that keeps prices low. HBO can react to that pressure or stick their collective heads in the sand and look like buffoons. Currently, they're engaged in the latter.

Besides, I fully expect HBO to pill the plug at the end like Deadwood anyway. Why? Because apparently they were afraid they wouldn't be ably to sell enough copies of Deadwood elsewhere. Your $900 a year meant fark all. Hooray!

Comment Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score 1) 911

Wasting mod points to reply:

We were a superpower after WWII not because of how badly we treated our own labor, but because we were the only industrial economy that wasn't bombed to oblivion and back.

We still had our factories. Pretty easy to "build" a superpower when you're the only one with the buildy-thingies.

Towards the end of the 20th century the other developed nations caught back up.

Comment Re:Dawkins/GODSPOT-0DAY (Score 1) 343

Atheism is the belief, without evidence, in the lack of existence of any deity. Theism is the belief, without evidence, in the existence of some deity or deities or their rough equivalents. Both are unproven and (probably) non-falsifiable beliefs.

Wasting mod points to comment: The first claim is not entirely correct. As is, in certain ways, the second. In both cases, a collection of empirical facts can be stacked just so to support either statement. If one accepts the general epistemological rules for building consensus data through empirical observation (and the surrounding baggage), then the theist position is the more convoluted one. Every day things happen without miracles (or anything demonstrable as such), and every day more observations get added to the evidence pile for an atheist position.

If one doesn't accept or follow the general epistemology of science (particularly in the modern, Kuhnian and Popperian way) then one likely sees what might be miracles all the time, and those observations get added to the theism pile.

Disagreements about what constitutes evidence are where we are, not two incommensurate positions that are entirely untestable. Well, I suppose someone could be in that third position, but they'd be the third person out in any debate. I prefer the a priori assumption that the universe is comprehensible until, well, it's not.

Comment Re:inb4 (Score 2, Insightful) 140

To re-hash the point for the millionth time:

The athiest needs faith.

Technically, no, he does not. There are gnostic and agnostic atheists, just as there are gnostic and agnostic theists.

A gnostic atheist "knows" there is no god(s), an agnostic atheist does not believe in the existence of a god(s), but will claim they cannot know for certain.

Admitting the lack of certain knowledge -and- the lack of a belief in what are essentially unsubstantiated rumors don't require much faith in anything other than one's own powers of observation.

Comment Re:expensive cupcakes (Score 2) 611

If by $3.95 you mean $1.50 then perhaps. $2 on the outside, and that's overpriced.

The $3+ drinks are usually made with milk and/or flavor and espresso. Drip coffee is still cheap. Yes, even at big chain coffee shops. If you don't want to pay that much, don't buy expensive fancy drinks.

If I could still find $.50 drip coffee, I imagine it would taste like crap.

(Unless, of course, you live in a large metro where prices are higher, but that's all your fault).

Comment Re:Haught isn't in favor of creationism (Score 1) 717

As Einstein put it, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Claims to the contrary demand extraordinary proof.

On the contrary - the empirical project can get along just fine without the supernatural.

To be a good empiricist, one must relegate the supernatural to that realm that is entirely untouchable by observation. Or, in other words, let God live in places so small that it doesn't matter. If that counts as still "believing", then fine. Fully one third of the US population holds an inerrant view of the Christian bible - the difference in beliefs between that group and "an empiricist who lets God live in small places" is staggering.

Comment Amusing (Score 1) 496

I have been arguing that this would happen for at least a decade. In an economy like ours it is a real problem as the number of jobs decreases while productivity increases (or, at least jobs fail to track with productivity). You end up with a lot of broke potential consumers. Ruh-Roh.

Either we start figuring out how to get by with everyone working 20ish hours a week or Marx's economic collapse will finally happen.

I'd much rather work 20 hours per week.

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