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Comment Re:a psych eval..... (Score 1) 456

it means intentionally taking your own life

Fair enough. I guess in keeping with the parent post it's more a question of the psychological definition of being "suicidal" rather than the definition of the word suicide. The former may have more of a psychological medical definition than the latter. And even then there would be a lot of interpretation involved in the evaluation of the patient.

Comment Re:No different... (Score 4, Interesting) 456

I wouldn't say "willingly inviting death" but I see the point you're making.

I'm reminded of an episode of M*A*S*H where a soldier was brain-dead due to too much shrapnel turning his head to swiss cheese. The doctors were waiting for his body to fully die (all other functions were still going, but slowly fading) because they needed to harvest some tissue to save someone else. The soldier's friend, recovering from his own injuries, was upset that they were just waiting like vultures to butcher his friend.

The priest asked him if his friend was the kind of guy who would jump on a grenade to save his buddies. The soldier responded that, yes, his dying friend would have done that without a second thought. "Well," the priest said, "that's what he's doing right now." He died back on the battlefield, the rest of his body just hasn't figured it out yet.

This guy is facing a similar decision, he just wants to make it himself while he can before someone else has to make it for him.

Comment Re:a psych eval..... (Score 5, Insightful) 456

Accepting the inevitability of death isn't exactly the same as being suicidal. We all know we're going to die, most of us just ignore that fact in our daily lives. But when someone is directly facing that reality they may choose to want to make it "mean something" as in this guy's case.

"Suicidal" means wanting to die. I doubt this guy wants to die, but he does want his inevitable death to mean something to someone.

Comment Re:Learning Without a Negative Response? (Score 1) 329

Define "private." There's nothing private about the fact that a person has friends and socializes with those friends. Why should such information be treated as some kind of top-secret embarrassment that must be hidden at all times?

If I were hiring for such a company, I'd be a little suspicious of a candidate who never tells anything to anyone. (Consider how conspicuous and ineffective an "intelligence agent" Colonel Flagg was in the M*A*S*H serious.) They probably favor the candidate who can tell the difference between "something which should be kept secret" and "something which doesn't matter and can be public knowledge." (And, God willing, "something which should be public knowledge, but that's another case entirely.)

Comment Re:On the other hand.... (Score 2, Funny) 329

the self-righteous goody-goody people in our society who never drink, never screw, never do anything wrong at all

Man, if only that were the case. Then they would be nothing more than an evolutionary anomaly that would take exactly one generation to correct.

Comment Re:Learning Without a Negative Response? (Score 3, Insightful) 329

So don't put your dirty laundry on the internet.

The key problem here is that, in cases such as the given example, it's not dirty laundry. The social issue at hand isn't so much the retention of information, but the ability (or, in this case, inability) of people in society to properly parse and understand that information. A company would seriously be fooling itself if it thinks it preserved some kind of integrity by not hiring someone who occasionally unwinds with friends at a party. They already have employees who do that, they just ignore the fact that they don't actively know about it. The fact that they can't distinguish between the two is a problem.

Comment Re:Dept of Troll Prevention.... (Score 5, Insightful) 377

Slashdot doesn't filter them out very effectively, it's forever plagued by them. What it does have is ways for knowledgeable users (it's entire userbase) to reduce the noise and bring out the signal, all the while knowing full well what trolls are and how to ignore them. A local newspaper has a much smaller and much less savvy audience and needs to actually filter it out somehow, which can be exceedingly difficult if even possible at all.

Comment Re:Non Sequitur (Score 5, Insightful) 305

The computer is just a tool. I'd think it has no direct effect on education whatsoever. Smart kids with supportive parents will gain a great deal from having a computer. Dumb kids with dumber parents will spend hours on Youtube, twitter etc and learn nothing of consequence.

Exactly. If the parents are buying the computer as a teacher in the same sense that they bought the TV as a babysitter then they're doing it wrong. Kids who want to learn and grow will see it as a tool to help them perform that task, whereas kids who want to play Farmville and watch YouTube will see it as a tool to help them perform _that_ task. Perhaps the presence of the computer in the home strengthens the divide, but the divide has already been there. The student has to want to learn. There are exceptions, but generally (at least in American culture) low-income households and neighborhoods don't place a very high social value on education, and kids pick up on that at a much earlier age than a home PC can affect.

Comment Re:Scum (Score 1) 312

So does robbing somebody with an unloaded gun.

The threat of violence is much closer to "violent" than "non-violent." If one believes that the person asking for (or demanding, in your example) money has a firearm, compliance with their demands would probably be the wise choice. I would, however, characterize a willingness to give money to anybody who calls me on the phone as an unwise choice.

Comment Re:Ah My (Score 2, Funny) 371

My thoughts exactly. If Facebook is stronger than your religion, then your religion could use a little strengthening. It reminds me of when a guy at a church I used to attend said that he saw The Da Vinci Code in the theater and it "challenged his faith." I suggested that he challenge his faith more often, it could really use the exercise.

Comment Re:Something baffles me slightly (Score 1) 702

My thoughts exactly. I don't think they put quite the effort into the first iPad that they really could have because its success on the market was so questionable. The device was a risk to say the least. But the sales numbers speak for themselves at this point and it's probably proven to be worth more investment from Apple.

Speaking for myself, I don't see the iPad really justifying its price tag right now. That's just speaking in terms of my own gadget budget and gadget needs. But I'm definitely counting on future releases to make product a _lot_ better. Maybe the next one will be worth the $600 or so. And/or maybe the release of the next one will drive down the prices of the legacy one if there's such a gap in the specs. It's all just speculation of course, but I'd be willing to bet money that the next iPad will be pretty awesome (for definitions of awesome which fit within the iDevice ecosystem, so the average Slashdotter can apply their own metrics there).

Comment Re:Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 364

I'm not an expert on this by any means, but here's my two cents...

Try not to think of it in terms of light trying to escape in a straight line and just not being strong enough to do it. Instead, think of the straight line as not being straight. Gravity wells curve space-time (a Google Images search for "spacetime" will yield some familiar diagrams of spheres resting on a fabric), and the event horizon of a singulatiry is the point in that curvature where it's so "steep" that it curves back in upon itself. This is difficult to show in the aforementioned diagrams, because it's less about the picture and more about the math behind it.

Basically, from behind the event horizon it's impossible to escape not because you don't have enough force to get away but because all paths lead back to the singularity.

If somebody with more knowledge/expertise on the subject can correct/elaborate, please do.

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