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Comment Re:shared set of fictions (Score 1) 18

If you think about it, any religion that could be "proved", wouldn't then require faith.

No, I understand that. It's a basic premise of religious belief. My mother is a devout catholic. I was raised as a catholic. I understand Christian theology better than most self-proclaimed atheists. As with technology, I intensely dislike people who attack things they haven't taken the time to understand.

Now... I do not agree with it, but I will gladly go to war to defend your right to exercise your beliefs in peace and tranquility :)

or the natural (like Darwinism).

I don't have to believe in evolutionary theory. It does not require faith, so it's not a religion. I can look at the existing evidence and decide if I agree with the scientific methodology that produces its basic theoretical basis. I can challenge it if I have a differing conjecture or even conflicting evidence. Last time I looked the Vatican did not allow for any of that.

Still, I do not think it's appropriate to apply the scientific method to religious beliefs. That's just a clever cop-out tactic cooked up by people who are hostile to religion. Just don't tell me 'Darwinism' is a religion and we'll be OK :)

Comment Don't worry (Score 5, Interesting) 138

The US power grid is so ancient, convoluted and in such a massive state of disrepair that we can be sure we're safe from terrorists. They wouldn't even know where to begin to find a point in the system that could be used to trigger a catastrophic cascading failure like the one in the East Coast a few years ago.

Trees on the other hand... trees are truly evil.

Comment Well (Score 1) 23

My sister had reservations about this at first, mostly from the retarded propaganda around the whole thing. But in the end she didn't have a problem with my nephews and niece showing up at school and hearing this.

Too much noise around this I think. There was no agenda as far as I could see, which I would have objected to even if I happened to agree with it. I don't have a problem with the President addressing kids with a positive, non-propaganda message.

And keep in mind they attend a private catholic school :)

Comment Re:shared set of fictions (Score 1) 18

Truly religious people (those who are honest about their value system) don't operate on the assumption that their beliefs are fiction. They believe that the guy in the sky is real and that his influence on our reality can be successfully measured and quantified.

They are as convinced of that as much as a particle physicist is of the existence and measurable, observable behavior of a proton or electron.

That doesn't make it any better of course, nor does it make it any less fictional. But not all religious [nuts] are hypocritical like that.

Comment Re:Inflated Numbers (Score 3, Insightful) 374

This is a fav argument as always - the problem is that when you look at OS share collected by online data aggregators like NetApps it seems someone is actually connecting these mythical warehoused copies of Vista to the internet.

Personally, I think it's amazing Microsoft found a way to make unsold boxed DVDs of Vista to the internet. They might struggle to make Aero run on older hardware, but they're brilliant at wireless networking and power management.

By the way, 30% of roughly a billion PCs in the world... I'd like to have me a "complete failure" like that one every two or three decades.

Comment OK but (Score 1) 451

Number of people who use Magnatune < people who download the latest Britney Spears wreck from LimeWire.

Yes, this is wrong. But government employees are adults and I don't think they're being indoctrinated by this. And it makes no difference, because people who download crappy pop or rap music from P2P networks are the last ones who would ever even think of looking into freely-licensed music (and I'd agree with them since most of it is crappy, in my opinion).

Also, of course it ignores things like iTunes and Amazon MP3 sales, for example.

But let's cut down on the outrage here, please. This is not the way to communicate the problems with illegal vs legal content sharing, it's just more hand waving at dumb policies that make no difference either way. Ultimately the only thing the government and companies are trying to do is inoculate themselves from liability. The policy could have been worded better to reflect that instead of piling on legitimate file sharing, but again, Magnatune users are the least of their problems, and we all know that very well.

Comment Wish I could help (Score 1) 3

But I don't own a single .NET book, other than the original O'Reilly C# In a Nutshell reference for the language, which I got as a gift way back in the day. And I really didn't use it that much. I've really never been big on computer books. The only one I ever *really* got some mileage out of was the original Jet Database reference published by MS Press, but that's because there was no real internet to speak of back then :)

That said, anything written by Sells, Brown or Petzold should be pretty good.

I haven't done a lot of WinForms, but it's really not that much of a paradigm shift if you're familiar with MFC or even VB6. The "mapping" is pretty straightforward, especially all the control plumbing and the graphics stuff (pens, brushes, HDCs, etc). Some stuff is trippy, like the idea that every item in a listbox can be an object that just needs to override ToString() for example, but you get used to that quickly enough.

Comment Re:And then it was proptly deleted (Score 3, Insightful) 192

Right, I suppose "shuns experts" was a bit vague. Let me clarify. Wikipedia is the place where an expert's credentials and experience are no match for an unknown conspiracy theorist who has decided an article must include certain content _he_ believes is perfectly valid and useful to mankind.

That joke about the astrophysicist having to contend with the kid from Kansas who owns a book that talks about the laser-wielding sharks at the center of the galaxy, while humorous, has a well-documented basis in reality.

So no, I suppose Wikipedia doesn't shun experts. It just insults their intelligence. Or it makes them go through a number of exciting and mind-numbing procedures that only the regulars know how to emerge victorious from.

Authoritative-sounding proclamations from people like you about what Wikipedia is supposed to be are very different from what it actually is, and you all know that quite well.

The last time I edited a Wikipedia article in 2006 my changes were reverted by one of those zealous article owners (which I'm told by people like you are not supposed to exist), and I was later banned from editing for three days by one of his administrator buddies. Not by him you understand, by his buddy. I was given the choice to "file a content dispute" or something like that. All over a paragraph added to the article about an 80s rock band from Argentina. With a perfectly acceptable backing source, by the way.

Do you think actual experts on important topics would go through that kind of bullshit? They don't. Because not only do you have to be an expert on your field to successfully contribute to Wikipedia. You have to be an expert on Wikibullshit as well. And most people don't have time for that kind of thing. So very few articles ever actually benefit from any sort of real expertise.

Comment Re:And then it was proptly deleted (Score 2, Insightful) 192

But THE POINT is: if your encyclopedia is NOT a "reliable source"; then WTF is wrong with your encyclopedia?

Wikipedia is the largest organized compendium of popular culture in the history of the human race. It has some encyclopedic content, and happens to be massively cross-referenced, so some people call it an "encyclopedia".

I like Wikipedia. I read it sometimes when I'm bored. It is undoubtedly valuable in many ways. But it's not an encyclopedia by any stretch of the imagination. A culture that shuns subject matter experts and at the same time pretends to inform me about said subjects may be entertaining, but never trustworthy.

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