Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:I deeply dislike the end-run aroudn the courts (Score 1) 270

The problem is that encouraging a system that involves the lawyers getting huge pay days while the victims get nothing means that lawyers will look for ways to go after companies for things that really aren't unfair. This creates overhead and risk for companies which make them not pursue helpful things for the consumer on the grounds some asshole might sue them over it to get a fat paycheck.

The root of the problem is that the class action system is BADLY broken, (you give up your rights even if you are never notified about the class action if you fit the definition of the class, for example), I agree there could be some point to it if the system worked right, but at this point it isn't. The "cure" is a greater evil than the problem and causes more harm to the consumer.

Also, as an aside, the details in the earlier post about Netflix are incorrect, the proposed settlement is 25% for the lawyers (2.3 million) and 9 million to charity, with 30,000 split among 6 named plaintiffs. They're still scum bags and I fully intend to remove myself from the class or file my objection with the court, just haven't decided which yet.

Comment Re:don't buy the fucking thing then (Score 1) 760

Those are completely different things. One is a criminal investigation, the other is intelligence. Yes, sometimes the investigations are wrong or politically motivated, but those are the result of corruption or human error. They have nothing to do with intelligence methods. So i repeat, show me relevant evidence for your paranoid drivel.

Comment Re:Comment follows (Score 1) 231

You are partially correct, they are not strictly prevented, but the restrictions in regard to disposal and the cathode ray tube chemicals made it cost prohibitive. I forget the exact details, but they would not have vanished entirely without the price going up for disposal. At the time they disappeared, it was still over 6 times the price to get a professional grade LCD and the professional and consumer lines of CRT manufacture were independent enough for one to exist without the other.

Comment Re:Comment follows (Score 3, Informative) 231

Fail troll fails. The A90F+ was a graphics workstation grade monitor. ViewSonic's consumer lines were crappy, but they made outstanding professional gear when accurate color reproduction and color gamut matter. My $600 HP was the best value around to match the quality. At the time both monitors had 5 star ratings (the A90F+ has since dropped if only because of people complaining about the bulk.) It is a S-IPS panel with 110% AdobeRGB coverage. Most LCD monitors that have similar quality and color reproduction levels run upwards of $1000, so $600 for the HP panel was a steal.

Comment Re:Comment follows (Score 3, Informative) 231

CRTs can no longer be sold or manufactured commercially for environmental reasons. It was a sad sad day when my beautiful ViewSonic A90F+($150) died and I had to replace it with a $600 HP display in order to get anything resembling the same quality of display. :(

Comment Re:doh! (Score 1) 138

Sane people give up what the believe, when they can prove things that contradict it.

There are more forms of proof than scientific. They may not be scientifically rigorous, but it is incredibly arrogant to assume that just because you can't think of an answer that resolves conclusion A and conclusion B, that the two simply can not both be true. That isn't to say that a burden of proof that my beliefs are wrong couldn't be met, but I've had some very solid experiences to back my beliefs that I believe defy statistical likelihood. If you have an actual mathematical proof that God does not exist, then I am open to your criticism of my assumption that both are somehow true, however when we are talking about the only parts that I don't have a way to match up are things that a) happened far in the past, b) are not particularly disprovable by science and c) fairly lacking in useful detail for scientific verification in the Bible. The key is that I never stop looking for the answers of how they fit. It isn't scientific, I realize that, because I'm going in pursuing a particular answer, but it is not insane and is still a valid pursuit of knowledge using reason. It just isn't purely the scientific method.

3. Accept that science is how and the Bible is why.

You are missing his point here entirely. The point of the Bible was never to be a book explaining how things happened. The details are vague, poetic, non-specific and visual language is frequently used. Metaphor is frequently used. The reason the events are recorded is not to answer people's scientific curiosity, but rather to show details of the character of God and answer the questions of why. It is not a scientific text book and to treat it as one is foolish. You are making the exact mistake that the OP was warning against.

Ah, yes. Omphalism: God created Adam and Eve with navals, even though they weren't born. Because, because, because... Well, it would actually have been a stupid thing for God to do, wouldn't it.

I think this is something that both the OP and I would agree with you on. It's a silly notion that we both find silly as well.

But why would you accept that, even if there was nothing contrafactual in it? Why not choose some other culture's sacred precepts for your guide?

Because, as the OP said, the science starts to align pretty damn well if you take a non-dogmatic approach to analysis. Also, due to personal experience with the religion or even simply objective philosophical consideration of the moral values (for example Pascal's wager). Reasons can vary from individual to individual. For me, a sufficient burden of proof has been met based on my personal experience with Christianity to believe it is correct unless strong empirical evidence can be presented that it is wrong. Thus far, nobody has been able to provide said empirical evidence against since I've been able to resolve (quite nicely in fact) the vast majority of scientific understanding to the Bible.

So if you're going to interpret the Bible as referencing something other that what it actually says, why believe it at all?

Maybe it uses the same technique to "reveal" spiritual principles. I.e., means anything you want it to mean, other than what it says?

This is where I agree with you, but disagree with the OP. If things were not accurately recorded, then it throws a lot more in to question. There are still alternatives in a lot of cases with outliers where something may have been improperly canonized and added after original authorship, though the flood in particular is problematic as it is referenced in both the old and new testaments and makes it hard to use the corrupted cannon argument. Another viable fallback position is that it was a regional event that was recorded by those who experienced it and they recorded it as worldwide when it wasn't. I don't particularly like this fall back position either as it still leaves some interesting questions, though not as critically as the event simply not existing at all.

Yes, he repented creating such a vile species as ourselves (so much for his purported prescience), and decided to destroy it with a Rube Goldberg mechanism that also drowned all the world's kittens, rather than just magically uncreating the evildooers. And worse, his fix didn't work: we're still as wicked as ever.

This is actually exactly why the event/story is recorded. It shows several things very clearly about God. First, he sees human life as uniquely special (personal theory is this is due to free will). As far as the Rube Goldberg complexity, why do you think it more complex than "magically" making evildoers go away? If you come from the background of myself or the OP, I hazard we both hold the view that God works through existing physical laws the vast majority of the time. (If you were going to build a complex system, would you build the rules to support doing what you want to be able to do, or would you build it so you had to break the rules any time you wanted to step in?) Which of the two approaches is really more Rube Goldberg? I'd challenge that the magically make them disappear idea is far more complex. As for why to not just start over, the point was that God won't destroy the innocent to remove the wicked. As to how wicked we are now, it's a guess how wicked we were then vs now, though I'd guess you are probably right. There are far more Christians and Jews now than there were if there were only one family then though. I realize that isn't all perfect answers, but I hope it will explain some of the viewpoint the OP and I are expressing.

Why do you keep trying to rationalize and reinterpret a mythology that's so obviously bogus? Wouldn't it make more sense to just ditch it?

Other than arrogance at your own ideas being correct, what makes it obviously bogus? As previously discussed, while the widely held dogmatic understanding seems to be pretty obviously bogus, that doesn't mean the whole thing is obviously bogus. The limitation you are trying to place is that only scientific evidence can be used to establish if something that is inherently untestable is true. Science isn't capable of answering untestable questions. The question isn't why rationalize, but can what I believe to be true be matched to what I can observe as true. Even science does this a fair bit. If evidence is found that refutes part of a theory, we don't simply throw out the entire theory, we look for ways to understand the impact of this new information and use it to enhance our understanding.

You're showing a loyalty that would be admirable, *if* it was to something that deserved your loyalty. But it's just a stupid cultural tradition, so the misplaced loyalty makes you look foolish.

See above.

Comment Re:don't buy the fucking thing then (Score 1) 760

Like it or hate it, as long as no action is taken, there isn't any reason that anything that results in a statistically meaningfully increase in chance of an issue shouldn't cause more attention to be paid, particularly in any automated systems. The thing I think most people don't realize is just how much information has to be parsed through in order to find the relevant bits and the penalty for missing a relevant bit is much much bigger than the penalty for analyzing something that didn't pan out. (Real harm to life and property vs some wasted time). As long as the additional scrutiny has no change in the way the person is treated and no action is taken due to suspicion unless more is found, then there is no problem.

Intelligence gathering isn't the only thing that works this way. Insurance works very similarly. You evaluate the likelihood of a problem and if something shows any statistically meaningful indicators, you look for more. The more indicators you find, the harder you look. You start with quick easy checks that aren't work intensive to try and further refine the search. Many of the "low work" indicators are simple things like looking for electronics or holding what may be considered extremist religious beliefs. These are quick things that don't assign guilt or innocence, but can help note trends and filter down the information some. You can actively avoid some, but the idea is that you throw the net wide and get progressively more detailed. The fine line is when you start treating those who have been noted as being guilty instead of simply data points that merit further consideration. I'm not saying the system is perfect, but how else would you meaningfully get through the amount of information generated?

Comment Re:doh! (Score 1) 138

I get the feeling we're not necessarily all that different, though I'd challenge that there is an option you haven't considered. It is kind of close to your answer 3 because the Bible was never intended to be a guide to how things work. (My previous arguments agree with your conclusion about #4, which is just silly both scientifically and theologically.)

The point I would bring up is don't be too quick to dismiss the truth of the Bible as accurate. I think similarly in that if I absolutely can't find a resolution, then I must assume that the observations of science have an explanation and that I may be missing the appropriate understanding of scripture, but with very few exceptions, I have not found things that don't conceivably match up between Genesis and scientific observation. What they do challenge is the dogmatic interpretation of a particular understanding of scripture. Going more in to the theological side of things, you can see this with many complex theology topics that are purely philosophical. One example is free will vs divine foreknowledge. There are two major schools of theological thought about this, either that your actions are pre-determined and known or that you have free will. However, there is a very narrow line of reasoning between these that indicates that foreknowledge and even creation in a given state do not preclude free-will and thus while the outcome is known it is still our choice. This enters in to interesting scientific grounds when you consider the fact that without some external factor, the world is simply a complex set of reactions in which no free will would be possible unless some non-deterministic force was introduced. (Which I posit is the free will we posses.)

By defining the two sides of the issue in simple terms, there is a very limited number of possibilities for which both sides are true. I think the same may be able to be said about science and the Bible. While the purpose of these two sources of knowledge are completely different, they both tend to demonstrate things that shed light to the other. In the case of scientific observations of our origins, it gives a lens through which we can refine our look at Genesis and the Biblical creation. It leads to some interesting thoughts such as what I mentioned about Adam and Eve not necessarily being the first man and woman, but rather potentially being the introduction of free will to the system. The Bible does seem to describe categorical differences between the offspring of Adam and Eve and the other humans. This could also potentially relate to the previously mentioned genetic Eve that someone else was pointing out. It gives possible hints as to what the Bible means when it says he created Adam in his image (my guess would be the presence of free will.)

Ultimately I hold hard and fast to two assumptions. First, that God would not conceal himself or use some type of trickery to deceive people about his creation. Second, that the theological basis of scripture is true and that if properly canonized, the content of scripture in general is true as stated, though perhaps not properly interpreted. (There is certainly metaphor and visual, poetic descriptions within scripture, so study has to be approached carefully.) All my study is to try to find the points where the two co-exist happily and see what it can tell me about both. Where I can't figure it out, I simply accept that both are accurate and that I need to keep looking.

Comment Re:doh! (Score 1) 138

There is not enough water because of the fact we currently have mountains and large underwater trenches. At one point in history, the geography was considerably more flat since most of the trenches and mountains are the result of plate collisions. This is why time-scale and not nature of an event is the problem. There is more than enough water to cover the planet if the land masses were properly shaped at some point in the past.

Comment Re:doh! (Score 1) 138

Hmm, that is actually very interesting. I'm not sure how it factors in to my views, but it doesn't seem to disagree any. Is there a particular reason that you don't think there could have been some type of flood, perhaps associated with a plate collision as that seems to be consistent with the description given. I have not had the opportunity to look in to the topic as much as I'd like yet, so I'm truly interested in any evidence either supporting or contradicting.

Comment Re:doh! (Score 1) 138

Perhaps my parens was confusing. I was pointing out that from a Biblical perspective, one could make an argument than mankind is only 6000 years old or so. You could also use it to point out that there is no problem with humanity being far far older. The context of my original comment was pointing out that there is effectively no way to use the actual way the Bible talks about creation of the world to indicate that the world itself is that young. I do not personally believe that people have only been around 6000 years, nor do I believe that even a literal interpretation of the Bible requires viewing humanity as having only existed for 6000 years.

Comment Re:Yessssss, Google... (Score 1) 214

I can see some legitimacy to that concern, but I see that as more an issue of government corruption than an inherent issue with Google as a company. As a private company, they have to obey the law in regards to requests for information from law enforcement and such. Is it something we should monitor, yes, but I don't link it to a problem with Google as an organization.

Comment Re:Yessssss, Google... (Score 1) 214

See, it's the imagine them cooperating with other companies that is where I run in to an issue. Google has no financial interest in sharing their data, they sell a product that depends on them being the only one that has the information and they take lots of safeguards to make sure they don't lose exclusive access to that information. They have a privacy policy that states basically the same thing that they will not disclose the info about you that they gain and will only act as a service provider to other companies seeking to use Google services that utilize the profile. They haven't given any reason to suspect that they would violate this. If it was a company like Facebook or Apple, I'd 100% agree with your concern as those companies have a track record of not giving a shit about the people providing them information, but I've never seen any indicators from Google that show anything other than trying to broker a mutually beneficial deal between customers and advertisers and make their money off the extra benefit they can offer both.

Do I think we should watch Google closely? You bet your ass I do. I trust them, but that doesn't mean I don't watch their behavior closely. They've earned my trust over the years by behaving responsibly and trying to "not be evil" as they say. If their behavior was to start to look more shady, I would move to distance myself from them and make sure that my profile was poisoned and out of date. As long as they don't start looking like they are headed in the direction you describe, I see no issue, and they currently offer a lot of legal protection (in the form of their privacy policy) to guarantee they don't.

Comment Re:don't buy the fucking thing then (Score 1) 760

Do you have evidence to support your theory? Last time I checked, it still requires evidence and a crime to be able to prosecute someone. Simple suspicion isn't enough to do anything. In theory, they could hold you if they had strong links thinking you were a terrorist without a trial, but do we have evidence of this happening in the case you suggest, or only when there actually is substantial evidence beyond the scale of being a person of interest? I don't deny there is potential for abuse (as there always is in any situation), but simply taking note of a behavior as a flag for further attention does not seem nefarious to me unless you have some evidence to indicate that it is.

Slashdot Top Deals

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard