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Comment Re:The real issue I have is (Score 1) 655

> When you study a system, especially a complex system, it defies imagination that you can tweak a single variable and control the entire system.

So, to continue with the example of the day: we'll reduce the amount of oxygen available to a human, and see if that has any effect. It's just a single variable, after all; surely it can't control the entire system.

There's an argument to be made about percentages, and whether CO2 in the atmosphere is more like oxygen to a human, or maybe more like nitrogen, but that's not the argument you presented.

Comment Re:Not what he meant by virtual: (Score 2) 256

"Equally science fiction" is overstating it just a bit. We have observed that a human consciousness can exist - there are several billion examples around at the moment (minus a few politicians). There are no observations of wormholes or faster-than-light communications.

So, a consciousness in another medium has a better chance of being built than an ansible. Of course, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it.

Comment Re:Reading is so over rated (Score 1) 415

He said he was once a voracious reader, but his schedule got in the way. While Cryptonomicon is an excellent work, it requires attention, and probably doesn't work as well when read in small chunks. So the problem could have been time, not "he doesn't like to read" (that's a massive oversimplification of his point, BTW).

The problem could also have been that he didn't like some topic in the book. I had a friend return a copy he'd borrowed because he didn't want to read through the "gay agenda" involving Alan Turing in the first few chapters.

Your problem, on the other hand, is a bit tougher to diagnose. What led you to post such a pointless, vapid comment? Are you really that bored?

Comment Re:Reading is so over rated (Score 1) 415

Different strokes, YMMV, etc.

But I thought Cryptonomicon was a fascinating and enjoyable work of genius. I stayed up late reading it, even when I shouldn't have. It got to the point where my work probably suffered during that time. There haven't been many books that have affected me that much; Catch-22 is the only one that comes to mind at the moment.

Of course, when I reached the end of Cryptonomicon, I wanted more. So when The Baroque Cycle was released, there was 'more'. Well, be careful what you wish for - sometimes more becomes 'too much'.

Anyway, if you're ever able to make more time in your schedule for reading, you might want to give Cryptonomicon another chance. Or not - it's not like there's a shortage of good books out there.

Comment Re:A good reason to go independent (Score 2) 550

Alas, the answer to most of these questions is 'it depends.' And then when we get to the what-might-have-been questions, things get even more speculative.

But it still may be instructive to look at a couple of high-profile incidents:

In the Aurora, Colorado shooting, the killer was a methodical, well-prepared lunatic. That's an unusual combination, so there probably isn't much that would have stopped him. Deny him a legal gun, and he could probably find an illegal one. Deny him that, and he could build a bomb to throw into the theater. Deny him that, and he might build a truck bomb. And so on.

In the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Arizona, the shooter did not put as much effort into preparation. Here, regulations could have changed the equation. In particular, if he hadn't had legal access to a 30-round clip, it's unlikely that he would have had one. Then, there probably would have been fewer bullets fired and fewer people shot.

That's not to say that we should ban 30-round clips - there are other incidents and a number of other trade-offs to consider. In this case, there are already so many in clips circulation that it's unlikely that a ban would be very effective.

But we definitely can talk about it.

(PS - in the middle of our discussion, this post was added. I think he just wanted to demonstrate how to make an infantile post about the issue :-).

Comment Re:A good reason to go independent (Score 2) 550

'Led to' can be an emotional words, but they are often accurate. People often get their hackles up when they confuse 'led to' with 'was the primary reason'.

For instance - in the incident in Wisconsin, the fact that various policies allowed the perpetrator to obtain a firearm 'led to' there being a shooting. That's something of a tautology, however - a more important question is whether there still would have been a mass murder if he didn't have a gun. And whether as many people would have died. And whether there could have been a policy that would have prevented him from obtaining that firearm. And whether that policy would have caused more problems, in enforcement, curtailment of liberties, and preventing others from using weapons in self-defense. And so on ...

None of these questions are easy to answer. Thanks to the emotions that surround these issues, there really isn't a dispassionate source that tries to examine them.

And thus every debate devolves into endless talking points and slogans, with almost all sides making a mess of it.

Comment Re:A good reason to go independent (Score 4, Insightful) 550

Careful - that's a dangerously slippery slope. What if the company donated to planned parenthood? What if the mayor banned atheists from owning businesses?

In short, what about the first amendment?

Glenn Greenwald discussed this at length:

Comment Re:Naive, because most investors (especially VCs). (Score 1) 438

In my opinion both, ...

You've reached the same conclusion as the jury in the trial. They found fault with both parties, and split it 80/20.

I've always found that the most compelling evidence against McDonald's is that they admit to requiring an unusually high temperature so that the coffee could be consumed later, presumably when the consumer had reached their destination and was no longer in the car. That was not standard behavior - most other stores served drive-through coffee so that it could be immediately consumed.

Comment Re:Naive, because most investors (especially VCs). (Score 1) 438

Several key points from the McDonald's case:

  • - What is the appropriate serving temperature for coffee? 'right after making' and 'right before consuming' are different things.
  • - What is the appropriate serving temperature for coffee sold through a drive-through window?
  • - What is the appropriate container and container handling for a hot liquid served in a drive-through?
  • - Who should know and understand the dangers inherent in the mix of hot liquids and drive-throughs? The corporation that developed and studied it, or the customer?

There are tradeoffs and discussions to be had around each of these points. Basically, the case is not a good example of a frivolous lawsuit.

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