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Comment Don't dis Perl! (Score 1) 388

Hey man, I wrote a TON of enterprise-ready perl code in the late 90s and early 2000s that is still going strong.

Perl is like English - flexible enough to write both Shakespere and "50 Shades of Grey". And it is still my go-to language for fixing stuff quickly.

Yes, there's a lot of really crappy perl out there - but crap is not langauge-dependent.

DG

Comment It's the references, Stupid (Score 1) 866

What makes shows like the Simpsons and Family Guy funny are all the cultural references. 90% of the material in those shows are references to other works.

If you are not familiar with the material being referenced, then you don't get the joke - or the point being made.

The same is true in literature. If you are not familiar with the English literary canon, then you will miss all the references to it from later derivitive works - from all genres. Science Fiction makes reference to classical literature all the time. Somtimes explicitly (Inferno) but more often times, obliquely.

DG

Comment I think we may start to see comic book stories (Score 2) 396

So far, all the superhero movies have been start-from-scratch, where the movie has to intoduce the hero, tell the origin story, set up a Big Bad to get the hero moving along the path to heroics, etc.

So each superhero movie has been more or less the same as all the rest - change the character, nudge the origin, different baddie - but overall, same formula.

But actual comic books don't do this (very often). When you buy a comic, you already know the hero's backstory - what you are getting is a story featuring that hero.

I postulate that with the superhero movies doing so well - and with so many characters having been introduced to the non-comic-reading public, that it will become possible to do stand-alone movies featuring known characters.

So you could do, for example, Arkham Aslyum (per the graphic novel) where the opening scene is Batman showing up at the front gate and meeting Gordon to be briefed on what is going on inside and why Batman is needed there - without having to show Batty's parents getting murdered, the discovery of the Batcave, the origin of the Batmobile etc etc.

You might have to do a couple of establishment scenes to show how this Batman differs from whatever movie came out last, but that's trivial compared to a full reboot.

DG

Comment This is Human Nature (Score 1) 277

The core issue here is that humans are primates. Sure, we are a lot more intelligent and communicate far better than even our nearest evolutionary cousins, but that primate "primal" nature is still very much there.

Every single human institution falls victim to this. Big ideas and lofty goals in the macro are eventually swallowed up by primate social drives in the micro. The institutions that do best and survive the longest are the ones that have effective checks and balances against the primate, or leverage aspects of the primal nature to support the institution.

If you truly want to understand human nature, read "How to Wind Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, and "Gorillas in the Mist" by Jane Goodall - and compare Dale's common sense and highly astute analysis of human social behavior against those of the gorillas.

And watch the light of understanding come on for pretty much every human social interaction you've ever had over the course of your entire life.

DG

Comment I have one - and it rocks (Score 4, Informative) 302

I got a 16Gb the first time they were deeply discounted.

It was a little buggy at first, but the OS2.0 update completely fixed that.

It's blazing fast, multitasks, plays Flash, is a decent form factor, and gets incredible battery life. And now it runs Android apps to (I ported Androku over to it to run my Soundbridge - easy)

For as much as people seem to love throwing rocks at RIM, the Playbook is a great product.

DG

Comment Re:Are there any actual truths in it though? (Score 1) 462

I'm more interested in - man alive, it is repugnant to say this - the "pleasant" parts. The parts that have nothing to do with race or any other key Nazi tropes long proven wrong.

Assuming they exist. He couldn't have gotten every single word wrong, could he?

And please let me reiterate - I am in no way an admirer of Hitler or his philosophy. I am not seeking to celebrate the stuff Hitler got right. I am instead seeking to show that you can make any book look good if you choose your quotes carefully.

DG

Comment Re:Are there any actual truths in it though? (Score 1) 462

Granted - anything Hitler has to say on "race" is going to be completely out to lunch and is pretty much a given to be "bad" stuff.

But if he says something like "farmers need to get their produce to market and an efficient transportation system is a way to make that happen" - well that's true, even if it did come out of Hitler's mouth.

I'd love to see a list of quotes from Mein Kampf that follow a similar pattern - stuff that is unquestionably true, even though the source is pretty much the worst possible source ever.

DG

Comment Are there any actual truths in it though? (Score 1) 462

I have had an essay peculating away in my brain for a while whose subject is the selective reading and quotation of various holy books.

The bible, for example, is full of all sorts of horrible things, but there are passages that contain "just", "lawful", "good", or "moral" stories and instructions - for simplicities' sake, let's call them the "bad" parts and the "good" parts.

Those who hold up any particular religious philosophy as the paragon of human virtue quote the "good" parts and ignore the "bad" parts.

Well, Nazism has this wonderful rhetorical value as being one of the few philosophies that is universally regarded as being wholly "bad". Aside from a few nutcases - who most of the world recognize as abhorrent - nobody has anything good to say about Nazis. They are the go-to bad guys.

Mein Kampf is the Nazi bible, or at the very least a work of Nazi scripture. The common view of the book is that it must be evil through and through. I posit, however, that there exist passages in Mein Kampf - much like the bible - that are, if not ethically and morally good, at the very least neutral. If so, this would make it possible to - again, much like the bible - to selectively quote Mein Kampf and use it as an anchor for a moral philosophy.

Not that I'm in any way interested in rehabilitating National Socialism! The point here being that if you can find good in Mein Kampf, well, what does that say about the practice of selective quoting in the bible?

I think you can see where I'm headed with this.

Anyway, I have never read the book, so the postulation that it contains good/neutral passages remains (to me) unproven. Are they in there?

DG

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