Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:And this makes it different from other religion (Score 4, Interesting) 540

I'm not clear on just how a religion that teaches that God doesn't really desire you to sacrefice your first born, is a bad thing. Yes, saying that you should be willing to do things you find morally abhorent, if your God requires them of you, is a rather primative moral code, a bad thing, and all that. However if you take the account as factual, God stopped Abraham before he went through with it. Abraham was living in a place where other religions did practice infant sacrefice (if that part of the OT is also factual - and note that most modern archaeologists and historians don't dispute that part regardless of their own religious affiliations). If it wasn't Yahway telling him to do it, Abraham would have had the example of other religions suggesting it was the right thing to do - and if Abraham or others had been inspired just by those examples, the various Bels and Marduks and such of the region, what would have stopped them from following it all the way through? The old testament version of God at least says, in effect "Yeah, I'm expecting obedience just like every other single god you've even remotely heard of, but now I'm gonna show you I'm more worthy of that obedience than those gods, because there are things I won't ever ask you to do, because I care about you and yours too much to ask them of you". The parable of Abraham is about a supposed deity saying He's not just expecting BLIND obedience, He's willing to give some sign of why He should actually deserve obedience. Yes, (some) more modern versions of religions have gotten to a lot better moral theory than that, but it was still a small step in the right direction.

While were at it, criticising Islam or at least its founder, sort of depends on the situation. There's a certain difference if the prophet created teachings to justify his taking a child bride, or if that was the way things still worked in the region, at that time, and he just didn't behave to a higher standard than the secular society immediately pre-islam. Most of the people throwing out the pedo-prophet charge have no idea if the actions of Mohammed were any worse than typical for the parent culture, or about average, or even a bit better, and it may be that the worst claim to be leveled against Islam is it didn't make the people who joined behave to a higher standard than they would have otherwise.

The modern Roman Catholic church has failed dramatically, becoming one of the safest places for child molesters to hide. Unlike the 9th century, the current church is operating against a background of secular cultures who overwhelmingly have clear laws specifying a minimum age of consent, and just about all of those cultures
set that age at at least 14 for any sexually related activity and 16 or higher for some forms. It's actually less explicable than the ancient examples.

Comment Re:Same tired argument from government bureaucrats (Score 4, Interesting) 296

For anyone who thinks domestic spending is the problem - please consider this:
            It is possible to hide military and homeland security spending as black projects. Some of this is known to be hidden in civilian projects. (For example, it was recently revealed that a lot of National Endowment for the Arts spending, from the 50s through 80s or later, was hidden CIA funding for black projects to make the USSR look bad). There are many current examples, such as Dept. of Transportation roads that pass through stateside miltary bases and are heavily developed until the edge of those bases (or at least as far as the tank parking compounds and tank ranges), but are budgeted as being for special access to low income communities on the back sides of those bases (even though they are gravel from the base edge on). There is no evidence ever for a civilian agency being able to hide any funding in the military or security budgets.
          If you look back at cases where people have admitted there exist black projects, there are many where the person has given the impression where the projects are hidden in other parts of the military budget but never has any government representitve openly stated that black projects are always confined to the military side, and there are known counterexamples. Some statements look carefully crafted to give the public the impression black projects aren't hidden in the civil side, without technically lying when testifying to congress.
          It is literally impossible to prove that 'entitlement' or other civiilian side spending is responsible for the current economy, as the general public is not told what part of that entitlement spending is really black projects. It may be possible in theory to prove that even the open record military/security budget is driving the debt, since the real total must be greater, not less, but proving the reverse is impossible without having access to things the general public does not get to see. Anyone who advances the claim is either making it without enough real information to be sure, or has just violated an oath and revealed classified information.

Comment Re:Same tired argument from government bureaucrats (Score 5, Interesting) 296

Plus, both the President Bush and President Obama Tax cuts were supply side biased, and the Bank/Mortgage bailouts were 100% supply side* Togther these represent 4 really huge commitments to test the theory behind trickle down/supply side and they have failed disasterously every single time. So listening to the people who backed and continue to back supply side at all is like listening to a doctor who still advocates bleeding the patients, shaking rattles at them to drive off evil spirits, and treating Malaria with crocodile dung. Whatever will actually help the economy, it's NOT going to come from the Supply-siders.

* The tax cuts were biased about 2 to 1 for supply side - that is, economists on all sides of the issue agreed that the individual consumers were together driving about 69 to 70 % of all spending, and NOBODY who studied sales figures came up with another number, but both years tax cuts paid out about 35 % to individual consumers and 65 % to the supply side minority, in the form of accelerated business depreciation. The Mortgage bailouts were very close to 100% supply side - the only way they really could have been demand side was directly paying off bad loans to let people keep their houses. That's what supply side and demand side mean. You know all the right wing guys who are claiming these bailouts are socialist? That they are a bigger problem than the two off-the-books wars? They were also exactly what the right advocated, and got. When some idiots try something four times, for what they themselves have claimed were the four largest single expenditures ever by any nation, and then they themselves claim it made the economy worse in the end, why is anyone still listening to them?

Note: I'm not claiming here that Keynesians or the real Socialists or any other particular economic theorists are definitely right and have all the answers, but if they are all wrong, at least in part, the supply-siders and trickle-downers and so on are definitively so much more totally wrong, we need some whole new ideas in economics. Deciding, for example, the Keynesians are wrong, without first spending as much as just one of the bailouts or stimuli to test it, and then testing supply side four times without learning anything, is all the proof anyone half rational needs that some of our economists and politicians are quacks at best, brutal, child-destroying, war-mongering monsters at the worst still reasonable interpretation, and criminals by the same sort of standards we would not hesitate to apply to a profession such as engineering or medicine.

Comment Re:So copyright is not just who can copy? (Score 1) 338

Acting is so biased that every actor you can name off the top of your head is in the top 1% by most metrics - income, total number of projects, projects by category, awards, etc. People outside the industry usually think Tom Cruise is typical of the top 1%.

        Whoopi Goldberg is well above the typical line for the top 1%. Whoopi would score in the top 1/10th of 1% by some metrics just for appearing in a featured role in one film that got an unrelated Oscar (Ghost, which got a special effects Oscar ), even if she hadn't gotten an Oscar of her own for it. Just getting a credit in a film that wins an Oscar means you are 1 in 1,000 actors, let along if the film gets a big oscar like Best Actor. Her nomination (The Color Purple) tacks on another 0 to the ratio if we are using awards as the measure, and a Best Supporting actress actual award adds a second 0. She would get into the top 1 % easily if she had never had a film career or a weekly TV series, just for having been semiregular on a popular show (Star Trek TNG). Just appearing as a "Special Guest Star" once each on 2 TV shows is enough to make an actor 1 in 1,000.

            By at least one common industry metric, Don Knotts is in the top 1/100th % of all actors - Just for being a regular on three long lasting TV shows (The Andy Griffith show, Mayberry and Three's Company), even if you don't add his movie career, which would probably put him in the top 1/500th % or so. That's right, getting the part of Mr. Limpett or Mr. Chicken elevates a TV actor above 80% of their fellow top 1%ers, who have never worked film at all.

          Jack Klugman would easily make the top 1% on salary, awards or reviews just for the Odd Couple, but add Quincy and he was probably in the top 1/10th% in all three categories, and add his early film career and particularly at least one appearance in a great classic (Twelve Angry Men), and he becomes seriously elite, 1 in 100,000 or so..

          If you want an actor who is about average for the top 1% of all actors, think of that person who played the assistant to the famous actor - that person you can't remember his or her name without consulting a TV or Movie database. That's the average top 1%er. The guy who played a uniformed officer half a dozen times to Friday and Gannon, but you think he did a few more things. The woman in the 4th seat in Night court's jury box, who had the fainting spells, and you saw her again as a receptionist with three lines in Burn Notice, so much older you didn't recognize her.

I'm limiting this to people who have a union card, mind you, not the aspiring actor who has never yet landed a role.

Comment Re:The RIAA always gets what it pays for (Score 2) 95

Not to disagree with that, as far as it goes, but it's a limited explanation for many reasons - for just two:

1. There are hardware manufacturers and net service providers who are also very big companies. Some of them, i.e. Intel or even Apple, are much larger than any of the RIAA or MPAA members. To understand why new copyright legislation proposals are nearly constant while new laws favoring tech giants aren't, means first understanding what the content industries offer the legislative branch which these other companies can't. It's not more money - maybe it's a matter of much more effective lobbying with fewer fiscal resources, or maybe 'Hollywood glamour' sometimes counts for more than cash contributions.

2. At least some major players among the RIAA and MPAA members are notorious for shady deals and creative accounting. If they butt heads with other powerful entities, they should be relatively easy marks for investigations or lawsuits that leave them with no resources to lobby, because they will be to tied up in covering their asses. It would probably be a lot easier to get the public at large riled up at the recording industry than it would against any of the businesses they are inconveniencing. It would also appear that the RIAA, etc. would have a hard time pressuring any congressmen that were prepared to take support from other sources instead - that is another way of saying the recording industry has carrots, but not many sticks. The actual history of their lobbying efforts doesn't fit that - their great success at getting very extensive changes to the laws suggests instead they have people who know a lot of dirt on the legislators, and opposing the industry effectively requires knowing something of what that dirt is and when the RIAA, MPAA, etc. switch to 'non-fiscal incentives'.

Comment Re:Nice hobby project (Score 1) 97

You're right, a Pi has its uses, but let's get more specific. A low powered device smaller than a typical deck of cards - aren't most uses either going to be monitorless/headless or involve very small, low powered displays? If the design has a component big enough to hold the whole Pi inside some spare, empty space - if you can shoehorn the Pi itself into the big, honking gaming keyboard or the monitor, then that's where it should go, not connected by cables to a 23 inch desktop monitor and other input and output devices that together mass 100 or 500 times the Raspberry Pi. Who really has plenty of space and power for a 3D printer but can't find the additional space or power for at least a laptop sized controller and pattern storage device? I keep expecting to see Pi's used to do things such as overlay a GPS coordinate, date and time stamp on an in-vehicle camera and display system, or put into an Estes model rocket to record a G-sensor's output. So far, there's not much of that sort of use out there, but many people building something that still weighs 80-90% of a laptop or even desktop sytem. Just because a Pi can technically run Quake 2, doesn't mean it's ideal use is a gaming PC.

Comment Re:Hot, liquid fluorine is too corrosive (Score 3, Insightful) 258

Weinberg and others as far back as the 1940s had to work with massive amounts of radioactive heavy metal-fluoride salts, as the gaseous diffusion process itself worked with Uranium Hexafluoride. The first US gasous diffusion plant was run from the early 40s to 1987, and employed over 12,000 people in a building of over 2,000,000 square feet, so it looks like the required safety protocols were very robust and should scale to any desireable degree for power plant use.
          John W. Campbell wrote an Astounding editorial in the early 50s listing over a dozen materials that had been determined to be safe ways to handle fluorine compounds and were publicly declassified by then, and mentioned the various Nickle alloys among them. Surprisingly, many concrete and cement formulas that use Calcium Carbonates as their base are common, easy to produce materials which are highly Fluorine resistant, and various substances already incorporating Fluorine, such as the Flurocarbons and related, including Teflon, give flexable sealants, gaskets, and liners for containment vessels. There's a lot of very tough problems in this area which have already been well solved, often for half a century or more.

Comment Re:Reliable (Score 2) 87

Fox news is the only TV news that actually went into court petitioning for a verdict that it was OK for them to lie, that they didn't lose the first amendment derived right to keep sources confidential just because they were using those sources to deliberately lie. They got that verdict. As part of that case, Fox news is the only TV news that has admitted for the record, in a court of law that they out and out lied. Maybe that's why more people think Fox lies. You are technically correct because you used the clause "in the last year", and this has all been a matter of record for several years now - but you'ld be equally correct if you said "Charles Manson didn't actually kill anyone at the Tate or LaBianca residences". Fox didn't admit to lieing last year, but they are still admitted liars - and Manson didn't physically weild any weapons against anyone on the night of August 9th, 1969, but he is still a murderer.

Comment Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (Score 1) 129

Yeah, you're right, it's all 'choice'.
People who have $50,000 SUVs are the top 10% of income earners or better. You say "how many times do you see...". Are you arguing that we wouldn't see the lower 90%, (or the lowest 30% or whatever), who simply don't have the option to pay as much for food, buying the same cheap crappy food in similar or worse proportions? What's your claim here? That if I could see what's really going on, I would see the wealthiest people choosing poorly, but wouldn't see the poor people having no choice? Or are you actually claiming that the poor make better choices than the rich? You're using anecdotes as data, appparently to turn 'some of the wealthiest make poor choices' into both 'everybody makes poor choices' and 'everybody has the same choices as the wealthy'.

Comment Re:So, who is partying (Score 3, Insightful) 239

Right, because there never was a movement such as Russian style Communism where a tremendous number of people who didn't believe in a personal afterlife were willing to die because of the projected benefits to future generations. There's never been a war fought to a Pyrrhic victory, where both sides didn't have religion to cause it, so there never was a Mongol horde or an Ottoman empire. No persons who don't believe in an afterlife have ever been fanatics, and if we just stuff all the believers into one big oven there won't be any fanaticism any more. Right. And you have title to this bridge in Brooklyn where a Nigerian prince has a hidden fortune....

Comment Re:News for nerds! (Score 3) 239

People who want everyone else to go elsewhere should go elsewhere. Slashdot has metrics and studies that tell them how many of their nerd followers are computer types - they know there's demand for this sort of article - and they know how few people would visit the site if everyone followed your advice. You're basically demanding something that, if you got it, would shut the site down so in the end you wouldn't get anything. That's not veiled criticism - you're the kind of idiot who wants to fly to the moon on gossamer wings and pitches a little baby tantrum at the people trying to tell him he would suffocate. Leave, please!

Comment Re:Only Americans... (Score 1) 150

When WW2 began, there were highly placed members in the imperial cabinet who made predictions. Predictions such as "Japan will win all naval engagements with the US for at least the first 2 1/2 years", or "It will take the US at least 18 months to take any location where they can base bombing runs against the Japanese mainland.". Both of these predictions, and many similar ones turned out to be directly, factually wrong. The Doolittle raid was a successful strategic bombing mission against the mainland, only four months and eleven days after the Pearl Harbor attack. The Battle of Midway was a Japanese loss six months after Pearl, a loss where the Japanese saw four of six carriers sunk to take down one US carrier. The people who made these erronious predictions were promoted and rewarded after they proved wrong. They enjoyed support sufficient that when some Japanese military personel pointed out that they had been wrong, they were able to have their critics disgraced, and in some cases summarily executed, in a few cases alongside their families. The war wasn't going to be "basically over" until they were removed from power, period.

Comment Re:I prefer to think they deserve it... (Score 1) 209

No, no it's not. Your analogy is like saying any politician that assumes people who aren't actively complaining don't object (or they would be complaining), becomes a rapist. The people who modded you insightful are those people who really, literally believe all politicians are sub-human scumbags that deserve to be called rapists or worse, and probably believe as well that total anarchy is a good thing. Go ahead, keep feeding them red meat.

Slashdot Top Deals

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.