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Comment What is silence? (Score 1) 185

No rhythm? No pattern? Why are you only looking for radio signals, for indications of intelligence as defined by yourself?

By my standard, anyone who does not paint his face green and hop on one foot is an irrational fool. By my standard, I have never seen a rational person in my life (including myself), just background noise.

I would argue that the patterns seen in galaxies and stars themselves are quite meaningful, complex, and rhythmic.

And I would argue that that is the most significant message you can find among the stars. The irony is that it's staring you right in the face, you who are so desperate for a sign, yet you don't--or won't--see it.

Then, since you don't see what you want to see, you make up a story to explain why the evidence doesn't match your presuppositions, rather than evaluating the evidence itself.

If you'll allow me to anthropomorphize the universe: the universe is laughing at you, with sadness.

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 1) 185

You're exaggerating. No, we can't go back in time and record video of the biblical writers penning with their own hands to conclusively prove who wrote what.

But it's simply not true that there's very little reason to believe that they were written by certain people, especially the books of the NT. Sure, there're lots of skeptics, and anyone who wants to make any theory look bad can focus on weaknesses and exaggerate them. But if you look at the whole picture, there are many reasons to support the authenticity of the books of the Bible.

Of course, many people do not want the Bible to be true, because then it would have authority to make claims on their lives, and they'd have to make changes in their lives. Humans are arrogant: we want to do what we want to do. We don't want anyone telling us what we should or shouldn't do. So if we destroy the credibility of the Bible, we are free to ignore it and do whatever we want without guilt.

The irony is that even the staunchest athiests live and work under systems of thought and morality and ethics--not to mention biological processes and principles--that come from God. They can deny it and claim that these concepts popped into existence out of nowhere, randomly, from goo, but they have a heavier burden of proof than those who claim that God did it.

Athiesm can give no answers, and science can not answer all questions. Without God, life is utterly meaningless, and there is no fundamental basis for any ethical or moral standards. That's why people want to destroy the Bible: because then they have no responsibilties and no guilt. But they are not looking at the other side of the coin: a life truly without meaning or purpose. The implications of that they do not want to face. Something about foxholes and athiests, you know.

Comment Epistemology (Score 1) 185

No, of course not. God communicated through people, through human beings and human words. The inspiration-by-dictation idea is a red herring, a false dichotomy: that God either dictated Scripture word-for-word or that it's all a fiction, of purely human origin. And athiests say that Christians are narrow-minded! Who says that God couldn't have taken a middle way, using humans to communicate to humans? If God exists, who are we to say what he should or shouldn't do?

If you think about it, it may be that it was in his wisdom that he did this. For example, after the Exodus, when the Israelites were at Mount Sinai, all the people trembled and were afraid when they heard and saw God's presence up on the mountain. How would you feel if the creator of the universe--a being who knows both every star in every galaxy in the universe and every subatomic particle in every atom of every molecule of every hair on your head--approached you directly? I imagine it would indeed be terrifying!

We can't even comprehend the size of the parts of the universe we can see; we can write down estimates of numbers, but we can't truly comprehend it. So how could we expect to truly comprehend a being that is infinitely bigger than the universe?

The sad truth is that human arrogance knows no bounds. Just like in the story of Adam and Eve, we want godlike knowledge, and we actually think we can attain it. Then we look at something like this and realize, we're nowhere near even understanding what we can see. We can't even comprehend things we can see with the naked eye, such as the nature of personality or consciousness or gravity, much less the remotest galaxy billions of light-years away.

But in our arrogance, we say, "Surely we can know all these things soon, and can understand how the universe and ourselves were created--surely there is nothing beyond our understanding; therefore the existence of a being that is larger than what we can see or understand must be impossible. There cannot be an intelligent entity larger and more powerful than ourselves, or than what we can become."

It's like the tower of Babel all over again, just with science instead of bricks.

Time will tell, but we'll all be dust by then. In the meantime, Christ said that the time to repent is now, because the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Proceed at your own risk. Consider carefully how much you can really be certain of. Keep an open mind and seek the Truth before your time is up.

Comment Re:Ubuntu does what Ubuntu wants (Score 1) 320

How ironic that the one who complains most loudly about irrational zealots sounds more like one than those whom he criticizes.

I don't treat Linux as a religion. I do prefer the Free Software ideology, but that's not the point for most people: the point for most people is that Linux works better than Windows for their needs. Even if I didn't care about FOSS, Linux just plain works better in most ways.

You talk about bugs being ignored for years and years? Windows is like the poster child for that problem. With Linux, I can actually file a bug report that the actual developers can see and can actually get fixes--rather than having to wait for the next 3-5 year OS update, which might not even fix it.

The "many eyes" theory is primarily about security flaws in FOSS vs. proprietary software--it's not so much about bugs in general, though it can apply to some extent. And you'd have to be a truly irrational person (like APK) to honestly claim that Windows has a better security record than Linux.

I don't know nor care who Robert Pogson is, and I don't read LinuxInsider. No one said that the Linux community nor its press is free of annoying people--this is planet Earth. Maybe you should read LWN instead, where you can find people who are knowledgable, involved, and just as interested in pragmatism as in ideology.

You're basically just being hyperbolic and making gross generalizations. Linux WORKS great for me. I've been using it full-time as my desktop OS on at least four different systems for nearly a decade, and I've had far less trouble than I ever have had with Windows--and I used at least five different versions of Windows for over a decade before switching. I've never had to reinstall from scratch, and I've never had the system become unusable because of things Windows users suffer, such as viruses, malware, and registry corruption. On the other hand, when I used Windows, I would have to reinstall the OS from scratch every 6-18 months, and worry about any software I downloaded being infected, and deal with registry corruption and IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL BSODs which made the system unbootable (happened so much I remember the exact error!) on a fairly regular basis--while Linux on the same system had no such issues.

No system is perfect, and that includes Linux, the kernel, and any Linux distro you choose. If you expected perfection, then you set yourself up for failure and disappointment--these are computers we're talking about! (Sounds to me like you should have used Debian Stable or an Ubuntu LTS or even RHEL--those don't change for many years at a time, so breakage and regressions are hardly issues.)

To me, Linux is fundamentally about freedom and practicality. I exercise my freedom to choose by choosing to not be subject to Microsoft's whims and incompetence, and choosing to use software which cannot be taken away from me by EULAs or forced upgrades. I also have no viruses or malware to worry about (I'm not saying none exist for Linux--I'm saying it's not an issue in practice). I also have the freedom to configure my environment, UI, and UX to my heart's desire, and keep them the way I set them. You may exercise your freedom by choosing to deal with the problems Windows users' suffer. More power to you: that's what freedom is all about.

But quit with the non sequiturs and falling-sky anecdotes: Linux DOES work, and in many ways it works better than Windows ever has. Perhaps your bad experiences speak more of your incompetence than flaws in Linux, or perhaps you just got an unlucky combination of hardware and immature drivers (which are likely fixed by now, while Windows users are at the mercy of Microsoft and proprietary OEMs). The REALITY is that Linux works wonderfully for many people, usually with far fewer hassles than Windows.

Comment Re:Irony (Score 1) 320

WFM is not a valid response for hardware/driver bugs. If the dev can't reproduce it, then mark it as Incomplete or NEEDSINFO and then leave it alone. Until a bug has been FIXED, it should remain OPEN.

This is the fundamental problem with Ubuntu's bug handling. Compare it to Debian, where bugs may remain open for years, but if they get closed, they are FIXED, and they aren't closed UNTIL they are fixed.

Comment Re:What they are actually reporting an Issue. (Score 1) 320

Settle down, cowboy, you're starting to sound like APK.

Your logic is...not. Your silly numbers and "math" show you know little about how the kernel is actually developed. Maybe you should spend more time on LWN than arguing with Slashdotters; they're rubbing off on you.

There is plenty of room to criticize Ubuntu and other distros, but you're the one acting like a lunatic. No Linux distro is perfect, but I'm happily enjoying my Software Freedom and freedom from Microsoft garbage, and have been for nearly a decade now. Now go enjoy your freedom to choose, as well.

Comment Ubuntu does what Ubuntu wants (Score 2) 320

Dude, just stop. I have reported many critical Ubuntu bugs to Launchpad--I'm talking about stupid bugs that should never have happened, should never have been released, could quickly be fixed or reverted--but no one at Ubuntu is responsible for fixing them, or for taking the lead on getting the right people to fix it, so nothing happens. That, or 6 months after you report it, a bot says, "Thank you for helping Ubuntu by reporting this bug. Please test the latest version of the software to see if the bug still exists." You confirm it, and 6 months later, same thing. Meanwhile, no actual effort has been expended to investigate or fix the bug. It's like a slap in the face to the bug reporter: it's saying that his time is worthless, when he's already spent time dealing with and reporting the bug.

So get off your high horse. There are plenty of people like me who do exactly that: we file bugs, we complain when they are ignored, we complain when they are not fixed, we complain when stupid regressions appear, we complain when boneheaded decisions are made to release buggy garbage that shouldn't have seen the light of packages.ubuntu.com--but Ubuntu does what it wants to do. New and shiny is more important than stable and reliable and consistent--even for a Long Term Support release, big fat ugly smelly bugs go ignored, and pleas to release the blatantly obvious fix fall on deaf ears.

If it wasn't for dpkg and apt, I'd gladly try another distro. One of these days I'll probably go back to Debian, where at least packages have maintainers who are supposed to be responsible for them, and bug reporters don't get told to test unchanged software over and over again.

Comment Reason does not oppose God's existence (Score 0) 622

I reason that it is much more likely that God exists and created the universe and human beings than it is that the universe spontaneously came into existence, and that life, leading to the inexplicable complexity that is humanity, happened as a result of random occurances.

Sound reasoning reaches the conclusion that one cannot conclusively disprove God's existence any more than one can conclusively prove it. The least faithful view that one could call even slightly reasonable is agnosticism.

The fundamental reason to advocate athiesm is that it allows one to justify any behavior, because without God there is fundamentally no basis for morality. Thus an athiest can do whatever he can get away with and not feel guilt, because, hey, we're fundamentally nothing more than masses of randomly-generated goo which will amount to nothing in the end--therefore human life has no value.

This is why, for example, communist nations heavily restrict religion: without religion, people are nothing more than resources to be used up by those in power and discarded or eliminated whenever they become inconvenient.

Without God, there is no hope for anyone on this planet, and life has no meaning whatsoever. If you truly advocate athiesm, you are promoting nihilism. Look yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning and admit to yourself that you believe there is no purpose or meaning or sense in life, that nothing means anything at all. Then ask yourself, "Now what?" You need to come face-to-face with your utter hopelessness.

You need to go to the very bottom and think about epistemology, about reason and knowledge themselves. If you truly are seeking the Truth, you need to start over with an open mind, one that is truly reasonable.

If you've already made up your mind, if you're sure you already know, then you are truly hopeless, because the only hope anyone has is to seek the Truth.

Comment Re:any plans on long-term memory? (Score 1) 114

So, something reminds you of something funny, and you remember it, and you laugh about it.

That's called life.

I think you should stop thinking about remembering and stop remembering thinking about things; just accept who and what you are and live your life. You seem to think there's something wrong or unusual about you--what if there's not? Maybe the problem is not your memory--maybe the problem is that you think there's a problem.

Comment Re:Hyperthymesia (Score 1) 114

My mom can remember details like that that bewilder me. She can remember who she was talking to, why they were there, what they were wearing, what she was thinking, what their family members were doing, what they talked about...and this is stuff that happened 30-40 years ago. This is especially true for events like trips or special occasions.

But she doesn't remember details about how to operate electronics or computers as easily as I do.

Sorry to burst your bubble. You don't sound that out of the ordinary to me.

Now if I could choose a few arbitrary dates of your life and have you recite your activities of that day in that level of detail, that would be unusual. But a plane trip that involved unusual occurances such as you described makes for much more significant memories. I'd say you have a slightly above average memory, but you're well within the bell curve.

About the recipe, that's cool, but I'm sure many cooks can recall their recipes well enough to not look them up. That's especially true if it's associated with a tactile activity like cooking and eating.

By the way, for a guy with a great memory, your spelling isn't so great. ;)

I'd get tested by qualified people before claiming to have a super memory.

Comment Re:Autobahn (Score 1) 992

You're full of generalizations.

Define "passing." How close to the vehicle I'm passing do I need to be in order to be eligible for the left lane? How much faster do I need to be going? If I'm already exceeding the speed limit to pass, am I obligated to merge into a small space between vehicles so the idiot tailgating me who wants to drive 15 over the limit can pass me sooner?

The real issue with driving safely is maintaining safe following distances. For an average vehicle, one should drive 3-5 seconds behind the vehicle ahead at a minimum. When driving a large or heavy vehicle, a larger margin is required.

The problem is that most people are impatient, selfish, and short-sighted. There are many drivers who will always drive faster than the vehicle ahead of them, no matter the actual speed, and they will always be closing to an unsafe following distance until the other driver moves out of the way--or they pass to the left, but they wait until they are too close before changing lanes. There is never any excuse for driving too closely to the vehicle ahead of you. Relative speeds, absolute speeds, or impatience are not valid excuses.

Comment Re:It's an Effing Toll Road (Score 1) 992

No, he has an excellent point that you seem to have missed. For example, I'm driving on an interstate which has a speed limit of 70. There are vehicles in the right lane going 68. I am passing them in the left lane going 72. Then a jerk who wants to drive 80 comes up on my tail and tailgates me until I get past the slower vehicles--and as soon as I'm past them, he jumps into the right lane and passes me before I can move ahead to a distance that is a safe following distance for the last vehicle I passed so I can merge right.

There is no excuse for the jerk's behavior. I am not obligated to merge into a space a few car lengths long just so he doesn't have to wait for me to finish passing the slower vehicles. I'm already a) exceeding the speed limit, and b) driving at or faster than the average speed on the road.

This happens to me over and over every time I drive on an interstate. I am left with two choices, both of which are unsafe, but only one of which leaves me with any kind of control: a) merge into a small space between vehicles before I'm finished passing, leaving me boxed in with unsafe distances ahead of and behind my vehicle, and then possibly ending up stuck in that spot until several other cars pass in the left lane; or b) continue driving in the left lane, slowly passing the other vehicles, with the idiot tailgating me, leaving himself zero reaction time if I had to hit my brakes.

In this situation, I am most definitely not obligated to move out of his way, and he is guilty of following too closely.

Comment The Awesome Bar is the best thing about Firefox (Score 1) 665

The Awesome Bar is the best thing about Firefox. I've been using Firefox since Phoenix 0.6, and it was a huge upgrade. I can type a few words, or even just a few characters, of any part of a URL or page title, and if I've been there before or bookmarked it, it will come up in the first few hits. If it's a page I visit every day, just one or two letters is all it takes. No messing around in 12-level hierarchical bookmark menus, no wasting screen space on a "bookmarks bar", no messy "home pages" full of links, no wading through a Google search.

I can't fathom why some people hate it so.

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