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Comment It is a very sad day. (Score 5, Insightful) 745

When I agree with Scalia and Thomas and no one else on a Supreme Court decision. You cannot change the rules of incarceration. There is a sentence. If you want to hold prisoners longer make the sentence longer. You could even make the possibility of additional comfinement, but you can't make the sentence a court gave them any longer without a new trial.

Well I guess you can now. Who the fuck cares about the Constitution? No one. No one who matters anyway.

Comment Re:No answer is sort-of an answer (Score 1) 248

Yes, but the best outcome possible for this kind of study is "inconclusive." There is never a "No" just outcomes that are not statistically significant. Basically, how you "disprove" a link to a disease is by doing a bunch of studies. When the majority come out without any statistically significant link, we can be more and more sure that there is no significant link.

The Internet

Pope Rails Against the Internet and Transparency 840

tcd004 writes "At a conference on digital media at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI attacked the idea of transparency in the Internet age, warning that digital transparency exacerbates tensions between nations and within nations themselves and increases the 'dangers of ... intellectual and moral relativism,' which can lead to 'multiple forms of degradation and humiliation' of the essence of a person, and to the 'pollution of the spirit.' All in all, it seemed a pretty grim view of the wide-open communication environment being demanded by the Internet age."

Comment Translation (Score 0, Troll) 150

We've been looking for 50 years, and... we got nothin'.

So let's see if an army of tinfoil hat types and Star Trek nerds can find enough false patterns in the static to ensure our job security, because we're worried Obama wants to derail our gravy train. Something about "results." Don't people know that SETI is about giving hope to the world that we can find aliens that we can't communicate with in any way. Imagine what we could learn from the broadcast of an interstellar Jay Leno. The mind boggles!

Comment Re:I think expectations are too high... (Score 1) 454

It is foolish to assume that there is no other life in the universe. It is also foolish to assume it is only a matter of scanning the skies with a radio telescope to find it.

There are a lot of these "What if?", pie-in-the-sky arguments for SETI, but the hard truth is that it may be impossible for us to detect intelligent life with current instruments, and we have nothing we can do if we were to find that life.

I'd like someone to tell me the SETI endgame. Let's assume we can detect a signal. Then what? We can't communicate with them. We can't visit them. It wouldn't be likely that they are broadcasting information we could really use, and even if they were, it probably wouldn't be strong enough to decipher.

SETI is a foolish waste of money. People argue that it is like winning the lottery, and it is worth the cost to play. I say that the chances aren't significantly better paying a dollar for a number than they would be simply finding the winning number discarded in a gutter.

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