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Comment Re:Evolution at BYU (Score 1) 100

that reply is of the "but Einstein believed in God" sort. whereas i stated that religion is based on faith and faith is inconsistent with science. i did not state that someone who currently is willing to believe that a god is possible (even probable) cannot do good science; just that they cannot hold this belief in the face of contrary evidence, which is to say faith. faith accepts no evidence and cannot be placed aside for evidence. so "real science" (as you introduce the term) is entirely inconsistent with "real faith" (as you introduce the term). they are philosophically orthogonal concepts.

Comment Re:Evolution at BYU (Score 1) 100

"testimonies"? ...is that some specialized mormon terminology like being 'sealed' rather than married? i've read endless screeds about how one can make religion and science happily co-exist. but in the final analysis, it can't happen; at least not with standard faith-based religions. science essentially demands that nothing can be taken on faith; and religion essentially demands that anything important (the root of one's philosophical tree, if you will) must be taken on faith. if you're a faithful you cannot be a clear-minded scientist. i know this will be tediously countered, but faith is anti-science, and faith is the basis of religion.

Comment shape at the end of the recursive series (Score 2) 87

so if one scanned what was printed, printed that, scanned that and printed for N cycles (optionally including a grind-it-up for media source for the next generation) then the series convergence no matter if one started with the venus-de-milo or a sierpinski-tetrahedron would be a sphere?

Comment matryoshka dolls (Score 1) 715

"now even the charter schools are broken! we need to create a safe learning environment that takes a step away from the current entrenched system!" this is paraphrased, but that exact sentiment was shouted at a recent county meeting in my area. in short: we need to charter school the charter schools. so what was begun as an external effort to break the teachers' union (which may, or may not have got a bit too powerful; but i'll tell-ya, their salaries sure doesn't reflect that) is now a enfeebling case of: if i don't like something about the system, lets fork it -- each child in their own school system! one superintendent per student! this is hyperbole of course, but i'd council fixing the system at large rather than running from it to create a new system to screw up.

Comment Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 1) 510

that wouldn't be a category error (as it's typically defined) and no one here are assuming that not "killing outright" is a sign of harmlessness. sometimes all that requires is a persistent form of ignorance. ("..the boy as Ignorance and the girl as Want. The spirit warns Scrooge, "Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased")

Comment Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 2) 510

you have that backwards. cross-breeding is more "shot-gun" than selectively inserting genes (which many here would equate with GMO'ing). when Lord Snagglebottom wanted to cross-breed his sheep to get a longer coat, he didn't let any of the offspring breed that didn't have the desired trait. and he had to do a helluva lot of that until -and *if*- he ever got something like he wanted. whereas if he could isolate the gene for long coat he'd get a much more immediate and direct result *if* it's possible (with a single gene product).

in terms of cross-breeding the most direct approach was to -wait- until nature fortuitously produced the variant and then breed that "true". like the Dachshund dog or the "Golden delicious" apple. but you see, we humans, we don't like to wait, and that's why we're on top of the "gene pool". technology is neither good or evil, but impatience is part of its motivator.

Comment Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 1, Insightful) 510

how about cows bearing the genetic material of a snake? pretty scifi, eh? almost certainly the product of an eeevil mad scientist? nope: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/01/how-a-quarter-of-the-cow-genome-came-from-snakes/ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-03/snake-genes-27hitchhike27-into-cow-dna/4451308

the first category error in this whole imbroglio is presuming that the word "natural" has any clear meaning.

Comment Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 0) 510

i wasn't conflating hybridization with genetic modification. that tomato strain was genetically modified, by plasmid insertion, -then- cross-pollinated with most other major strains. or... are you willing to say generation 1 of GMO is GMO whereas generation 3 isn't? what if the wind blows a GMO crop's pollen to a non-GMO? (as has been provably happened) does everywhere the GMO crop touches become GMO... and forever-after in all germ lines? it's complicated. there is no single definition of GMO, legal (as opposed to scientifically based), or otherwise, even in Europe where most folks think the matter is somehow perfectly resolved. as for "unchecked fashion" you're already too late, you're alive in a sea of GMO and you'll never be able to point to where it is and where it isn't. and it's by *nature* an expanding influence - such is evolution.

Comment Re:going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 2, Insightful) 510

Every last thing you eat could be credibly labeled as GMO. even that tomato you grew yourself in your yard has been genetically modified (there was a genetically modified fugal resistant strain produced in the late 1980s which has been cross-pollinated to most others, so most seed stock carries the advantage) Therefore, please, slap a GMO label on everything you eat, before you eat it. but it would be far more informative, for example, to stick an "M" for Monsanto on just their products.

Comment going after GMO is like banning screwdrivers (Score 4, Insightful) 510

screwdrivers can/will be used to make hideous things (bombs, kill-droids, ...) but since everyone can understand screwdrivers no one would think to ban, or even restrict, them. GMO is complicated, really requiring an advanced to degree to appreciate. GMO can be used like screwdrivers to do evil (typically in the hands of some eeevil profit driven corporation (e.g. Monsanto in concert with Roundup) or it can be used to work towards really noble goals like improving the nutrition and disease resistance of crops in developing countries (e.g. search for "Golden rice").

in other words, going after GMO-the-technique is anti-progressive. one should instead go for (federal) regulation of GMO products. even indiscriminate labeling campaigns just naively suppress the technique, both good and bad usages.

ok, (having spoken my peace); on with the pitchforks and burning-brands!

Comment what determines Slashdot article initial expansion (Score 4, Interesting) 102

(for example) "Bionic Eye Implant Available In US Next Month" starts out closed/shuttered/compressed/whatever yet several even more esoteric Slashdot articles are initially presented with a full accompanying paragraph to read without an initial click to open them out. i'm just curious what determines this state(?) clearly it isn't number of comments.
The Internet

Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Approve Work On DRM For HTML 5.1 307

An anonymous reader writes "Danny O'Brien from the EFF has a weblog post about how the Encrypted Media Extension (EME) proposal will continue to be part of HTML Work Group's bailiwick and may make it into a future HTML revision." From O'Brien's post: "A Web where you cannot cut and paste text; where your browser can't 'Save As...' an image; where the 'allowed' uses of saved files are monitored beyond the browser; where JavaScript is sealed away in opaque tombs; and maybe even where we can no longer effectively 'View Source' on some sites, is a very different Web from the one we have today. It's a Web where user agents—browsers—must navigate a nest of enforced duties every time they visit a page. It's a place where the next Tim Berners-Lee or Mozilla, if they were building a new browser from scratch, couldn't just look up the details of all the 'Web' technologies. They'd have to negotiate and sign compliance agreements with a raft of DRM providers just to be fully standards-compliant and interoperable."

Comment Can the connection to amazon be turned off? (Score 1) 88

I've got an ~series2 Kindle that i use for pdf etc viewing; but the catch is that I often have review articles on it that must not be accessible by anyone but me for the time that I've got them (or else the lawyers start to parachute from black helicopters). A Kindle with the wifi off is an great solution for me and my colleagues for this purpose; but color would be *sweet*... so my question: if one buys one of the new Kindle Fire models can one be tolerably be sure of turning off all external access? Is there still a wifi *off* option? ...doesn't really sound like it.

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