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Comment Re:gb (Score 1) 219

I agree that Facebook is a good tool, but we had friends before Facebook advent, and we will have friends after it will be forgotten. The point is that we should not rely only on Facebook, taking in account its flaws, and we should avoid addiction. BTW, a face-to-face conversation, or a phone call, when possible, is much more effective than a Facebook message.

Yes, we had friends before and Facebook may well become irrelevant one day, but social networking is here to stay. Email is here to stay. So are newsgroups and online fora and relay chat. Forms of communication, once invented, cannot be un-invented. Some of them do fill niches better than any did before. Face-to-face is charming and telephones are polite, but inviting a hundred people at once is much better on Facebook. Efficacy is sometimes not the point; efficiency is.

Comment Re:gb (Score 1) 219

Good question. Depends on the event. I can send a mass email to any pre-determined set (colleagues in my department, members in my club) for events going from the private (birthday parties) to the public (protest marches and elections). The flexibility and visibility settings keep it context-specific and useful.

Comment Re:gb (Score 1) 219

I do. I stay in touch with friends (real ones I know and care about from meatspace) in Vancouver, New York, Paris, Dubai, and Bangalore. I use it to send out mass invitations to events, share photos, and participate in conversations in a way email does not permit. Having all my information in one place organises my life and makes it simpler. Like it or not, Facebook has its uses.

Comment Re:Complete waste of money!! (Score 1) 102

If by 'believe' you mean 'accept without evidence', then you aren't much of a scientist. If by 'believe' you mean 'trust its ability to deliver a better future', then you're being myopic in this regard. There is no reason China and India shouldn't advance their scientific capabilities simply because they're poor. Development is not a sequence; all of it must happen in parallel. America hasn't shut down research because it has no decent airports, nor has Europe decommissioned the LHC because they're facing a debt crisis in Greece. If you're going to build a civilisation, you need to learn to do more than one thing at a time.

Comment Re:It's a good thing... (Score 1) 1090

I really hope the militant atheist faction on Slashdot takes note of this. Crazy people look for an ideology to justify their actions and prejudices. Sometimes they find one ready made in the form of Christianity, Islam, environmentalism, or the FSF. Other times they invent one. Similarly, all of these ideologies have a lot of mostly rational members (I've never met a completely rational human - and neither have you). Blaming the ideology for the crazy person is a lazy cop-out.

Atheists aren't the ones with a book telling them to slaughter people who believe differently, nor do are they the ones who insist eternal damnation awaits those people. They are certainly not trying to take away anyone's right to believe in any hokum they like. See the (many) differences?

Comment Re:So that's like... (Score 1) 153

b) The British Commonwealth equates to 'the English-speaking world' more legitimately than the United States alone

Are you bloody kidding? The US, has, by far, the greatest number of primary and first language English speakers than the rest of the world combined. KTHXBIBI.

The rest of the world covers more ground than the United States alone. America is not 'the English-speaking world' (related: it is not 'the world'.) America is one country, and unlike military or economic power, size alone does not dictate legitimacy in such matters. Millions use English for commerce or education at a first-language level and aren't counted as primary speakers merely because they have a different mother tongue.

Comment Re:So that's like... (Score 1) 153

I did not mean to imply the United States is still part of the Commonwealth.

I talk in English myself.

The entire British Commonwealth uses Celsius.

So... you meant to imply that we don't speak English in the US? Or what?

I meant to imply that 'talking in English' doesn't necessarily oblige one to use the Fahrenheit scale. Or any of the hideous Imperial units Americans seem to be so fond of.

Comment Re:So that's like... (Score 1) 153

The entire British Commonwealth uses Celsius.

Language wise, English equals British about as much as Spanish equals Spain.

In other words, lots of countries were subjugated many hundreds of years ago by the two empires. English is simply a footprint from that period of time, as is Spanish. Since most of the countries are now separate entities and disparate, logic would dictate that the ousted countries' activities would hold no bearing on said countries' activities.

a) The British Commonwealth includes the United Kingdom.
b) The British Commonwealth equates to 'the English-speaking world' more legitimately than the United States alone.

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