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Comment Re:Excellent (Score 1) 1576

I remember back during the Clinton days in a red state the amount of vitriol and extremely vile and vulgar things said about Clinton. Then in the Bush days, particularly in the second term, it happened all over again

I was fine with Bush Jr. right up to the point where his administration essentially lied us into the Iraq War. After that - vitriol earned.

Comment Re:Like Apple? (Score 1) 198

apple got lucky with the price of mobile components dropping to reasonable levels and the fact that samsung and others started to make touch screens

Dropping mobile component prices would be advantageous to anyone involved in the mobile market. Touch screen technology could have been used by MS as well, but wasn't. Why did it turn out just to be "lucky" for Apple?

Comment An Atheist Who Loves Religion (Score 1) 1142

I am essentially an atheist. The very concept of the supernatural is nonsensical to me. However, I have to say that I find many aspects of world religions to be fascinating, enlightening and sometimes even useful to the human race. It's something I'd hope we'd always have around in some form or another.

The way I see it is that religion is a great tool for giving meaning to people's lives, and absolutely useless for figuring out how the world works. As long as their beliefs do not directly contradict established scientific consensus then I have no problem with it.

So say someone believes in the Big Bang, the formation of stars, our planet and diverse species evolved from older forms of life; but think some guiding force is behind it in some undefinable way? Well sure, why not? Now I think they're wrong and I have no problem telling them this, but I don't think this makes them a fool. I respect their beliefs, and feel no need to try and convince them otherwise. Just as I'm sure they think I'm wrong, but expect them to respect my beliefs in turn. But where they try to conflate their religious dogma with scientific theory, that's where I start to have a problem.

Are there any parts of any world religions that you respect or admire? Do you feel that believers and non-believers of religion can coexist, or is it an all or nothing proposition for you?

Comment Re:NG, what happened to you (Score 1) 77

Me personally, I'm fine with dramatic language to describe the event. But dramatic license, i.e. falsehoods? Give me a fucking break.

Every single time I've read a debunking of some false, seemingly true, scientific "fact" I used to believe; the truth turned out to be far more interesting. Any science writer who can't convey this to his or her audience should be looking for another job.

Comment When I heard the learn'd astronomer... (Score 2) 185

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

-Walt Whitman

Comment Re:Bent of mind (Score 4, Insightful) 767

They're usually not. In fact, mathematicians can be the worst: they think computer science is a subset of math and it really isn't.

Computer science is, practically by definition, a subset of math. But there are many branches of mathematics out there, and being great at one doesn't necessarily mean a person is great at all of them.

Also, just because someone happens to be a great computer scientist doesn't mean they must also be a great programmer.

Comment Re:Lies (Score 1) 1264

The foreskin has no more purpose than an appendix, and having it there is just as dangerous and useless.

False. Also, it turns out the appendix does currently serve a purpose after all. You ever think of doing some research before making baseless claims?

Comment Re:Spoilers (Score 1) 323

This is the hard part. I have no idea why someone would be interested in a person. People aren't interesting, ideas are interesting. Having ideas doesn't seem to make one interesting to other people though, except for rare exceptions. I'm lucky enough to have found one, but in general it seems that being an interesting person has more to do with being able to talk big without actually saying anything.

I think that's the most insight packed into a small paragraph that I've ever seen. Damn.

Comment Re:What is consciousness and what is its mechanism (Score 1) 259

I have to say that this there is not a big effort to solve this question. For me it's the most important question to answer, and most interesting. Where do you start to answer such a question? Of course many great thinkers have tried to answer the question, but at the moment it's little more than just philosophy.

I think you're answering some of your own questions here. As interesting a topic as it is, it's doubtful that anyone knows a concrete place to start in understanding consciousness. How can you put in big effort to solve something when you don't quite know what that something is? At that point you're kind of stuck at the philosophy stage by necessity.

Also, if you have the capability to wonder whether or not you are conscious then, yes, by definition you are.

Comment Re:I guess you don't understand languages either (Score 1) 594

Oh, but it is. C is actually very, very close to assembly language,

Do tell.

with only the most unimportant CPU-specific details abstracted away

This makes no sense whatsoever. Requiring the programmer to write the "CPU-specific details" is the defining characteristic of assembly language. Without this, no language can be considered remotely close to assembly.

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