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Comment Re:Stross's blog said it all (Score 1) 248

The problem with eliminating the hard core fans is that it is difficult to sort them. If I'm "looking for a new book to read"(browsing), like checking out books similar books to something I've read, maybe a popular book has a large number of 5 stars. I don't want to check out all of them on a book I've never/barely heard of.

Also, I've known some people who just seem to give a lot of high ratings. 4 or 5 to almost everything they read.

For this reason, sometimes I find 4 star ratings more useful than 5 star ratings.

I rarely find 1 star ratings useful for the reason you listed. But, I have given a few 1 star reviews-actually, maybe I haven't put them down on a website, but they would be 1 star ratings if I did.

Comment Re:Limit reviews to purchasers of the product (Score 1) 248

As another commenter said, it's become the default place to read reviews of products. What about people who want to review something they bought elsewhere/got as a gift?

For books, I use a website that's FOR reviewing books and keeping track of books. I do it more for myself than for others. I've got books in two countries, and don't want to buy multiple copies. It's also good as kind of a "book journal".

I've always been a little uncomfortable with the connection between the website(mainly amazon) selling the stuff and the website having reviews. I'd like to see a website that has more of a disconnect.

Comment Re:Screw the bus (Score 1) 604

Very few car crashes require a person to decide between whether the people on a bus die or the person in the car dies. The vast majority of events would depend upon whether the car or human has better reaction time and environmental awareness. I think the rarity of those events make it mostly irrelevant. Maybe selfish (for the human in the car) computer control is 10.000X safer than human control. Maybe non-selfish (for the human in the car) computer control is 9.999X safer than human control. Either way, I'd take computer control over human control.

The only time freedom of travel would be relevant is if you want to go to some poorly definable location(like off-road). Suggesting it is relevant to freedom of travel in some other way would mean some kind of other legal restrictions(you can't go to this part of town).

It might be relevant as a privacy thing. I think cops would want to be able to control the computer in some cases.

Networking the car(like so cops can control it) would mean malware problems.

Comment Re:More books... (Score 1) 700

I was REALLY disappointed by it. I'm an atheist(so, it's not because it's negative about Christianity).

The theological critique was ok, but nothing I hadn't heard before.

The fictional aspect inherently suggested a comparison to the original Book of Job. In Heinlein's version, he had to shave without water. He could SEE his girlfriend. Some people he barely knew died, and he saw a lot of devastation.. His wife died, but he couldn't stand her anyway.

What the original Job went through was SO MUCH worse. In the original Job's whole family was killed, he got diseases, lost everything, including all his friends.

Comment Re:You Should Buy First Edition Hardback Books (Score 1) 415

Used paperbacks are better. They don't retain their resale value, but they are so much cheaper, who cares? Except whether they look great on shelves-I think they do, though. The low price means you can buy more books, though. I've bought books at half the original cover price-25 cents.

Shopping in bookstores is pretty much the only kind of shopping I enjoy. Browsing for ebooks isn't quite the same.

Comment Re:Pssst, hey IRAQ, I heard about US WMDs (Score 1) 277

1. The post did not claim Agent Orange was not a chemical weapon. It claimed it was not a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
2. Mustard Gas(by the definition in the post) would be a Weapon of Mass Destruction, if the intent of the design to to kill in large numbers. I think that was the intent(or disable in large numbers) of usage of Mustard Gas.

Mustard Gas is primarily chemical in its effects and it is weapon. I don't think anyone would disagree about it being a chemical weapon.

Personally, I would argue that destruction of large numbers of peoples' lungs would label it as a WMD, but I'm not sure about the post above or any official military definitions.

Comment Re:J. K. Rowling (Score 1) 1130

Battlefield Earth is on my list of worst books I've ever read. A list with maybe 5 others. It's BORING. Like half the book takes place AFTER the entire planet of bad guys is killed off. It reads like an economics textbook.

The SF is bland and unoriginal. The main character did no wrong-a perfect main character is not interesting.

Comment Re:Stanislaw Lem (Score 1) 1130

I just read City by Simac. It seemed to have a common (for me, very negative) trait for old school SF. Hardly any ACTION. It was all a thought experiment, TALKING about the development of the world. Of course, I'm a fan of the way cyberpunk explains hardly NOTHING, and just throws you into the action.

City wasn't really a novel, though. It was a collection of short stories, with a narrator.

Comment Re:A Canticle for Leibowitz (Score 1) 1365

I found it uplifting, at the same time. Even though people continually destroy themselves, they fight to survive-they adapt. They also idealize knowledge(which I kind of also do). Of course they do it so much they forget the point-like just copying things with no idea of the meaning. A favorite example was the blueprints-for years, they'd colored white paper(black? blue?) because the originals were that color.

It also gave me less of a negative opinion of religion-Christianity was pretty much the bastion of knowledge in the Middle Ages in Europe.

Comment Re:We're gonna lose a lot. (Score 1) 636

Other posts refer to what I'm saying, but are dismissive and not-descriptive, only saying "serious gaming".

When my wife first got her smartphone last year, I optimistically looked for games. The RPGs(that's mostly what I play) I found are about the level of old SNES games. My taste in games has changed in the past 20 years. While occasionally, I like a game like "Cthulu Saves the World"(done in that style), games like Fallout are more to my taste. That level of graphics isn't coming to smartphones soon. I don't know whether they could handle the AIs in Fallout, but I REALLY doubt they will be able to handle the AIs of a game like Civilization 5.

If RPGs suddenly all were at the level of SNES games, I'd read books a LOT more. And, I've not been impressed by e-book readers. Used books are cheaper than new books-all e-books are "new". AND you have to pay for a reader. I wouldn't worry about dropping a paper book. While, I don't like getting a book wet, that would be more the case for an ebook reader. So, ebook readers aren't moving ME toward "post-PC" either.

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