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Comment Re:Science Journalism (Score 1) 570

I don't know why you guys keep doing this. It's not religion, its ideology. Ideology is the prime mover. Religion is just its handmaiden. Just compare the terms islam and islamism. The former is the religion, the latter is the ideology. Ideology doesn't need religion, by the way, Pol Pot and Stalin, killed millions without religion's help, but they sure needed ideology.

Comment Re:Annnd... brain goes splat. (Score 1) 1328

It's not necessarily 1800s thinking to strongly associate mass and gravity. Your post while good, doesn't address the real issue that the OP was asking about.

Essentially, if there's literally nothing, then there is nothing from which to build a stress-energy tensor. So how did that stress-energy tensor appear? from what? nothing? The OP associated it with mass, but replace mass with energy, and I think we still have the final cause issue he was on about.

Comment Re:Wow, didn't see this one coming... (Score 1) 157

well...not from me, obviously, as I'm commenting.

I too have found his works increasingly indulgent. The Baroque Cycle was sufferable because (1) it didn't push any idealogical barrows and (2) it was a deep immersion into times and places I've never been. Anathem though, pushed some barrows, i found myself being lead by the nose into Stephenson's point of view, and the book failed to be interesting enough to be worth the effort.

Comment Re:Stephenson just isn't a techie any more... (Score 1) 157

bloody hell...what a rant.
Look Neal Stevenson's interest in the 17th and 18th Centuries with the Baroque Cycle is unlikely to have any thing to do with him wishing he was there, or that he is primitivist, that he harps after religion, or wants to live in a cave. You've obviously got some axe to grind, if you think its reasonable to suggest such a thing. If you're so offended by his abandonment of Sci Fi (if that was really his primary interest in the first place), head off to the hard science paradise that is Greg Bear, Greg Egan or Ian Banks.
By the way, I'm a techie, and I enjoyed the baroque cycle, so you can drop the 'we' stuff as well please.

Comment write tests as you code (Score 1) 396

I know, I know, TDD is talked about ad nauseum, but I often find that when I've just written some logic, and I'm writing some tests for it, that I pick up quite a few bugs, and actually learn more about what I'm really writing.

Even so, some parts can still be boring, but at least, if you break it up and do it test-driven then you're not faced with writing 47-odd tests in one big lump, after you've written heaps of logic.

Comment Re:Drake (Score 1) 206

Venus' lack of plate tectonics is most likely due to its lack of water. Water acts as a lubricant (through hydrolsing various minerals and allows for greater slippage. On venus most of the original water boiled, ended up in the upper atmosphere, got disassociated by ultraviolet light and the hydrogen escaped into space.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 691

well...not exactly, several of the other big oil companies have been hauled in front of the US congress because it had been revealed that BP were far from alone in their lax (or non-existant) safety measures. So actually, it's like this: "at least half of all motorists fail to maintain their cars properly, so the Government recognising such a widespread lack of concern over human health have decided to ban the use of cars, until the situation can be made to improve."

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