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Comment The other equations... (Score 1) 331

So, we have equations estimating the number of planets that exist in a habitable zone within our galaxy. And from that, we've extrapolated a relatively large number.

But the other equation is, from a perfectly habitable planet, what's the chances of life evolving? There require a lot things to come completely in alignment for life to occur. Who knows, a day later and the earth might have missed out on life entirely. My suspicion is that the chances for life occurring are extremely low. Maybe not as low as 500,000 to 1, but probably lower than the average person would seem to think. Then from that number, what's the chances of life evolving to such a level that they can even develop the means to envision space travel or communication? It's only happened once on earth, after all.

People think that just because there are a lot of planets that there should be lots of aliens. But I think that there are a lot of big equations left to work out. We have a very huge number which is probably countered by a number of very small numbers. I could easily imagine that we eventually find that the chances of life occurring on a "habitable" planet are less than 1 billion to 1, which would make the chances of life occurring elsewhere in our galaxy fairly remote.

Then again, I'm no expert. I'm just trying to bring up the other big questions we have yet to really tackle... at least as far as I'm familiar with.

Comment Re:Bad news for humanity (Score 2) 331

C) So far removed in time (evolved to spacefaring, lasted for thousands of years, and still died off before we stopped throwing rocks at each other) that we simply missed the evidence that they existed.

Your other arguments have merit, but this one I really don't believe is possible. The more a species spreads out, the greater its chance of survival is. For the most part, any civilization that has developed the ability to move off world in large numbers has freed itself from all known forms of extinction. Any other "what if" scenarios you throw at the equation are likely to be countered by advancements in technology, distance, or rapidly-growing numbers. As I like to say, "humans are just as resistant cockroaches, we just require our technology to do it." The same would be true for any alien species that developed past our level of technology.

Comment Re:Where are the aliens? Simple (Score 1) 331

On the flip side, with the current level of human technology, we could probably survive (to a non-extinctional level) any of the conditions that made many former species extinct:

Meteor? Early warning defense system, missiles, cave habitation, and post-collision: air filters

Early earth? Lead radiation suits, air conditioning, shelters.

The list continues.

Of course, most of these things would still wipe out huge swaths of the world's population, most likely the poor, less educated, and less technologically sophisticated. But killing enough humans to cause permanent extinction would take something beyond what our world has seen in its lifetime. Of course, something of our own making could, but I highly doubt it would lead to mass extinction. Call me an optimist, but the human race is about as resilient as cockroaches, even though we require technology to be that way.

Comment Re:Do they not already have restrictions? (Score 1) 478

As a teen, I was always convinced that sexuality was something that the adult world wanted to horde for themselves. As an adult, I still feel this way. There's a strange "mine, not yours" attitude towards sexuality with minors. It's not "protection", there's really nothing to protect from. It stems from a desire by parents to keep their children innocent as long as possible. Reality? Innocence is an adult ideal thrust on children that really doesn't mean anything. There are African and Islander cultures in which children masturbate and have sex with eachother from a fairly early age, and grow up to be perfectly normal members of society, and they are still considered "innocent". This is all cultural, there is nothing biological about this.

Comment Re:Why not just use Pinyin? (Score 1) 508

Farsi isn't related to Arabic in any shape or form. It's an indo-european language. Closer to Greek and Hindi than it is to Arabic. People often forget that the Persians have no historical connection to the Arabs. Their ancestry came from the migration between India and Europe. Arab ancestry comes from north africa and asia-minor. The languages haven't intermingled much either.

Comment Chasing the big red ball... (Score 1) 764

Microsoft have been chasing the big red ball for almost a decade now. Apple made the iPod, they came out with the Zune 4 years late, without the "must have" factor. Apple made the iPhone, Microsoft scrambled, stumbled, fell, and have basically given up. Apple made the iPad, now Balmer wants to chase the ball some more. Problem is, even if they catch the ball, Apple will have already cornered the market, and will have created the next "must have" item, which will likely replace the current one.

If Microsoft REALLY wanted to catch Apple at it's game, they should just bypass the whole Tablet thing, and look ahead at what the next big "must have" is. Apple's probably already working on it, and the only way Balmer will ever beat them to it is if they throw their resources and analysis at THAT. Let Apple take the tablet market, the way Apple is successfull is because they create their own markets. Microsoft should learn to do the same.

Comment Re:Has anyone considered... (Score 1) 185

I think everyone is defining "casual" and "core" not as amount of time people are putting into games, but the amount of thought. Needless to say, Final Fantasy and MGS are, no matter how you look at them, NOT casual games, and never will be. They are lengthy, complex games that take not only a player's time but patience and full attention. I would argue that those two series are pretty much the antithesis of casual gaming.

Comment You're kidding right? (Score 2, Insightful) 510

Designers HATE Flash. HTML stems from traditional typography layout languages. Designers have been used to and comfortable with that format for over 5 decades. Flash is NOT a designer-friendly environment. It's a motion graphics and video editing-friendly environment... if it's friendly at all. Flash was made popular by the geek teen crowd for making crude animations, and has been picked up by some websites, which more-often-than-not, use it in garashly over-elaborate ways. It's a hack. That's all there is to it. It's buggy, it has compatability issues, and often slows down or prevents users from accessing content that they could have just as easilly gotten with HTML.

As long as I've been a designer and a user, I've hated Flash. I've crossed my fingers from over 5 years ago and hoped that it wouldn't catch on. Thankfully, most of the big sites stay away from it, and that is a credit to their sense of simplicity in design. Flash is just too unstructured.

Comment Re:That's great and all... (Score 1) 369

If that's the case, then why do so many beer lovers drink in small amounts and not get drunk? I think you'll find that it's the one's who don't like beer or don't care that are likely to get drunk so frequently. That's my experience anyway.

I drink maybe one good beer every couple nights. I can't even feel the alchoholic effects of one beer. Why? Because I love the taste. Other people argue about the taste of coffee, or the enjoyment of spicy food, or the taste of seafood. One person's "pile of piss" is another person's luxury, you'll find it in just about any type of food, or music, or even personality traits.

So, if it holds true for opinions of all flavors, why you gotta think that beer is any different?

Oh yeah, because you happen to be one who hates beer. Grow up and accept that not everyone has the same taste buds as you, man.

Comment Re:Why omit Newton? (Score 1) 1238

Not having intercourse with the opposite sex don't necessarily make you a virgin. Realistically, Sir Isaac Newton was homosexual, according to most reports. There are conflicting reports as to whether he had sexual relations with the men he was with. No, he never had heterosexual intercourse, but only because he wasn't inclined to. He likely made the "greatest accomplishment" comment as a sort of joke.

That said, he was devoutly christian, though the church he belonged to seemed to look down at heavy-handed proselytization (not that this is any relevance to the conversation).

Comment Re:Maybe they're scared of us too? (Score 1) 1015

I understand that nay-saying humanity is a popular pastime around here, but it's largely irrelevant. Our wars and monstrosities may simply be a natural course for a growing intelligent race it's way through cultural adolescence. Simply assuming that humanity must be "much worse" than anything else out there is kind of like saying that America is much worse than anything else out there. I'm no gung-ho "America is the greatest country on the planet!" whore, but from various subjective and objective standpoints, there is much worse out there.

Don't let your "human guilt" cloud your intelligence. There's nothing to say that humanity's atrocities are any better or worse than any other sapient race. You're right, they could be like the aliens from "The Abyss", and judge that our fighting is a horrible problem to be ended before we become more powerful, or they could also be empathetic enough to realize that we have other sides as well (like the aliens from The Abyss finally did). Who knows.

Human guilt is silly, just as White guilt is.

Comment Re:10 types of people (Score 1) 195

Here here. I work as a video producer/editor and end up doing a lot of software troubleshooting at work, my main hobbies are music recording and sound design. At the end of the day, when I've finally been able to get myself into "leasure mode"... I don't want to have to do MORE technical things just to relax. It's hard enough to get myself settled into a non-productive mode, why would I want to turn around and risk stressing myself out even more?

Comment Re:Gay rights are civil rights. (Score 1) 348

Morally, I have no problem with polygomy. But when we're talking about legal contracts that bind financial assets, things can get really complicated really fast. Unlike gay marriage, it also has the ability to be abused fairly severely for purposes completely unrelated to spousal arrangements. I'm not an economist or a lawyer, but I just have a feeling that this would cause a lot of complications and problems. Yes, some would argue that that, in of itself, is not a reason to ban polygomy outright. Maybe it is something we should look into, but that's a different notion altogether.

Homosexual couples are simply asking for the same benefits and legal recognition that is in place for heterosexual marriages. Polygomists, by nature of them being more than 2 people, inherently CAN'T ask for the same exact rights, since what they're asking for doesn't actually exist. And once again, maybe it should... but way too many people use it as an analogy for gay marriage, when it brings up a huge host of new complications that the gay marriage issue does not.

Comment Re:Angry Much? (Score 3, Interesting) 348

Agreed. Abolish marriage as a legal contract. Allow civil unions to define legal pairings, and let individual churches choose whether or not to recognize certain "marriages". Everybody wins... ...that is, everybody except those that want to force their hangups on everyone else. I say 'fuck 'em'

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