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Comment Re:In plain English, what's a FreedomBox? (Score 2) 54

this is what it does: It provides the necessary software to support a private, possibly semi-secure, social network. Think: Facebook, but small and secret, presumably to protect your membership from an oppressive large authority.

(this post is a traditional trick to get someone who actually can answer this sensible question to become so enraged by this incorrect reply that their activation energy is achieved and we get a good answer. so take what i've written up there as false bait. (this works particularly well when one wants a clear definition to obscure technical terms. just get yourself on a Haskell board, and write: "monads? simple! they're factory objects that provide closures for a formal lambda expression" then watch the horror and outrage and eventually you get the correct answer from the former lurker class))

Comment be there, done that, barely survived... (Score 1) 452

If your boss has any basic science education try to sell them on the "a monoculture is at more risk to attack" approach. that's not entirely false, but mostly it sounds good and pointy-hairs tend to swallow it.

Then choose some version of Ubuntu or Red-Hat, but be ready to suffer all the horrors of dealing with the document, spreadsheet, calendar exchange formats. Those issues, more than any other, will spell failure. (just one middle-level moron who can't open your LibreOffice 'power-point' stack and you're toast) So, far more important than distribution is to be ready (practice!) your corporate compatibility two-step. (once saved my bacon by showing that my 'beamer' stack made everyone's powerpoint stack look like crap)

Beware of the vindictive IT staff who don't want to learn one more thing beyond their 'microsoft certification' merit badge. They will make your life a living hell. good luck!

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.

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