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Comment Re:Ambigious Emotions (Score 1) 87

If you're uncertain, maybe it was both?

Seriously though, the only time cable hasn't had "undue control on the programming pipeline" in my area was when it only offered about eight channels, and the rabbit ear option picked up five. We're thirty years past that point, though. I suppose satellite TV is cheap enough now, but it's not ubiquitous enough to say cable has lost that control, IMO.

Comment Re:Lake Wobegon Effect (Score 1) 520

So while I agree that many may be overestimating their abilities, /. probably does have a crowd with a higher overall (or at least technical/logical) skill set. How many laborers or unskilled factory workers do you think read /.?

I think it's more likely to work the other way, actually. Manipulating material and tools all day would probably hone one's spatial reasoning far more than dealing with abstract or logical problems. I just got back from a 600 mile solo kayak trip in NW Manitoba a couple of weeks ago, and I only looked at my compass 6 times, twice to set magnetic north, and four times to double check what I already knew. I think growing up on a farm fixing engines, welding broken machinery, or inventing machinery modifications probably did a lot more for my sense of direction and spatial reasoning than calculus, PERL programming, or any other strictly rational activity.

Comment Re:People definitely neglect science... (Score 1) 656

Honestly... I think people who know a lot of science are probably the biggest problem with science education.

I can't remember the exact quote, but in "Down and Out..." Orwell says something like:

"Socialists, like Christians, are generally the worst advertisements for their beliefs"

It's probably true for most people who primarily identify themselves by a shared group belief, really.

Comment I like this poll. (Score 1, Interesting) 860

The poll left out my favourite doctor, though: Granny Weatherwax. I occasionally ask people whom I meet who their favourite fictional character is, and often find out interesting things about them that way. I think it's a better question to ask, compatibility-wise and conversationally, than favourite music or movie type questions. It lets you know more about what personal traits they like or are interested in.

Comment Sheesh. (Score 1) 379

No, you shouldn't be worried.

Just as the Ubuntocalypse (which occurs after the Zealous Zebra release) is a constant worry for us all, there are only about four unused Toy Story names, which would mean Debian will run out of names in 2138. A third Toy Story movie should give us about five hundred more years of Debian release names.

By that time, the "Toy Story" branch of releases will enter "Testing", and "The Incredibles" branch of releases (based on dozens of movie sequels) will become the "Experimental" branch. This should last until the heat death of the universe, at which point all Debian releases will be classified as "Stable".

Comment Re:7.777777777 miles per day (Score 1) 137

That's probably not a bad average speed for travel on foot, really. I go on extended canoe and kayak trips, and although I've had days where I've covered over fifty miles, most days of travel are only about 25 miles. The average is only about 15-18 miles/day, though. Occasional rest days, bad wind/water days, fishing days, "too much rain" days etc usually make up about 25% of total days. My longest so far is only 40 days, and I think I'd be purposely slowing myself even more so I wouldn't get fatigued for a 90 day trip.

Wind, whiteout, gear repair, and rest days would have to be assumed for their terrain, I think. 7.8 miles a day average seems totally reasonable. Considering it's a 90 day average, maybe even slightly optimistic. It's nearly 1/3 of a marathon/day over ice and snow (pulling hundreds of pounds), every day, for 90 days.

Comment Re:Not quite... (Score 1) 255

Okay, right up to this point:

Alice only has access to the information she *brought* with her when they separated.

it makes sense, and is essentially determinism, AFAICT. I don't really understand how this is possible:

And after she sees the half-coin, if she polishes the tail image off and inscribes another image ... no more entanglement! That is, by looking at her half-coin, you no longer are capable of learning what Bob had.

Okay, she wipes out the state (or rather non-state?) of the particle by the interaction of viewing. It's not my field at all, but it looks pretty much identical to Schroedinger's Cat. But I'd say that's the point that gets viewed as weird/possibly mystical. I could be completely off base, but it seems to me that the simplest example is the problem of knowing an electron's position vs. its velocity. That seems pretty straight forward to me. The physics and math between that and "a quantum way of thinking" are either non-existent (AKA I'm completely off base) or generally esoteric enough that they come across as nonsense to a layman.

Looking at it, my interpretation is: a particle which is not acted upon behaves deterministically (but this is not possible to know), a particle that is acted upon was indeterminate until acted upon. You know she has "tails", logically, but it can't be proven until its checked, at which point its original state becomes uncheckable. Anyhow, that's the rampant conjecture that happens with me, and where it gets mysterious. Spooky, no. Nor capable of miracles of Star Trek teleportation etc, but still mysterious and open to my own ridiculous speculation.

Comment Re:Just another way to fight... (Score 1) 281

The situation is almost identical in Canada, except rather than:

There are 2 main parties, plus a 3rd with a small but meaningful number of seats.

we've managed to introduce a fourth party which had its origins (ostensibly) in separatism, but is largely a status quo party with regional motivations. Our Tories also stopped being Tories during a phase after Brian Mulroney. We only had Joe Clark to kick around as the official Tory, since the other Tories were busy trying to be popular rather than promoting their traditional ideals.

Further: yachts aren't the thing here, so that's different.

As well, Stephen Leacock referred to Canadians as "a mysterious race of Scottish bankers", and (dutifully) we're unable to generate a proper sex scandal, and instead rely on nepotism and financial impropriety.

And even further: our three-way homosexual romps are done with the wife's consent, and generally given a prime time slot on CBC.

Beyond that, I have nothing to add, except maybe asking the name of Obama's brother's drug dealer. He'd make a great Governor General.

Comment Re:Getting verrry old (Score 1) 319

Damnation and hell for you and your kin for all of eternity. I hope the money you received burns right through your pocket and into the ground you stand on. May your petard be hoisted and forever flutter in the stench of foul winds and acrid smoke. May the bird of short-sighted bitterness fly up your rectum and build a rocky perch where only the seeds of deceit and low-mindedness find purchase until the end of time.

Sheesh. Where did you get a copy of my wedding vows??!?!?

You're just like Microsoft, I say, just like Microsoft!

Comment Re:A wikipedia that was "cool like that" (Score 1) 439

I hope you realize, you've just argued for Clippy, as did those who modded you up.

Personally, I see "citation needed" and I assume it's passing on information about the data. I honestly don't think it would add anything to having a howling wolf, barking spider, or vectorized Mel Blanc rip off involved.

Certainly design matters. Cute or childish sprites are not good design for a site designed to provide reasonably accurate information. That sort of thing si only good for MS help, Geocities, twelve year old girls, or the TimeCube guy.

Comment Re:Oh hey, look, in the distance, that ship... (Score 1) 437

I hate war criminals because I am Jewish

That's strange. I hate war crimes because I'm human. Why did you mention it? Were you personally a victim of the holocaust? If not, you certainly are unable to provide any more insight than many are. Did you grow up black in an area where cops used you for beating practice? Did you spend your childhood getting raped more times than you could count? Did you end up in a refugee camp with all your family dead? Simply being Jewish provides no more insight into oppression or abuse than being chubby, thin, ugly, beautiful, famous, unknown, brilliant, or stupid does.

We won't hang the offenders as is appropriate (Nuremberg anyone?), we won't hand them over to the victim nations. We didn't stop the crimes and as members of a democracy that makes us complicit.

Of course you're not going to hang anyone. You should. People who get into those positions make promises which get them in power. With that much power, failure to fulfill those promises should result in execution. I personally don't consider this radical at all, though it certainly would be an unpopular opinion. I also think a cop who commits a crime should have his/her sentence doubled. When we're talking Secretary of defense, HOC, POTUS or whatever, the power is a millionfold. The repercussions should be, too. In a democracy, you and I give these people a great deal of power. I want a better employee than what you suggest we just move on from.

We blindly followed zealots and morons into domestic and foreign policies that have ruined our nation morally and economically

QED. Instead of taking responsibility, or at least having a dialogue about punishing those responsible for shit that any medium-weight non-super-power-aligned government would have gone to the Hague for, you suggest just forgetting the whole thing and moving on. Right there is the moral failure. You live in a democracy (theoretically...technically a republic, I suppose). It's your responsibility to correct your government. We're all pretty effing powerless, though. So I can't really argue with you being silent. You're arguing for erasing the whole period as anything with repercussions, though...

That's nice: "we all knew it was wrong. Let's just move on!" More or less. The actions of the last administration have radicalized tens (probably hundreds) of millions of people. Hell, in Winnipeg of all places, I've seen people (white guys wearing baseball caps, single chick in a car FWIW) yell at cars with ND license plate: "Fsck off, Americans", "Go home, American", and a few others with the same sentiment. I certainly never in my life saw anything similar until you attacked Iraq. You've radicalized these people. It's fine to say: "get over it". That's great when you haven't really faced the repercussions of your foreign policy. If you lost not only your livelihood, but your ability to have one, or your kids due to indiscriminate bomb attacks (collective punishment???), or your Dad, or Mom, or best friend, or even spent the last few years with a foreign power enforcing a curfew, it's no longer a question of "let's move on" for most people. I sincerely doubt it would be for you, either. Your line of thinking perpetuates the current state of affairs, and the next time somebody (who has legitimate anger without your philosophical slant) finds a chink in your armour (a la 911), I have little doubt that the thinking on your part will be: "they are all religious zealots that must be destroyed". nauseum. You'll be surprised and shocked, of course, and simplify the reality into a loaded tautology which guarantees you behave the same way the next time.

People are generally pretty forgiving, and want to move on with their lives. But unless they see some genuine effort from those who unjustly fscked them up, or at least the token acknowledgement (AKA executive branch punishment), it reinforces the radicalization.

You've designed a great theoretical government model. It's your responsibility to enforce it, or at least not be an apologist for moving on without repercusssions to those who betrayed it (whether they had the best interests or the worst is irrelevant, IMO).

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman