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Comment Not for Everyone. (Score 4, Insightful) 367

Call me a Luddite, and I respond that I've been using computers for hours every day since 1979.

I know hardware, I know code.

I will never own a smartphone.

Why, you ask? (or most probably don't)

I made an observation a few years ago that up until the early 90s, I would use computers to get away from people for a few hours. Now when I want to get away from people, I stop using them for a few hours.

The social media hivemind empowered by the smartphone is not for everybody.

Every evening I sit on my porch with my 16-year-old cat and watch people out walking their dogs or taking an evening stroll. It's astonishing how many people do so with their nose attached to a smartphone. Furthermore, it's really really sad to see.

Smartphones have made it too easy to be super-stimulated. I know enough about computers and enough about addiction to know when to abstain from certain behavior.

I know their utility, and having that much computing power in your pocket is certainly a dream I've held since I was very young, but how it's been promoted and indoctrinated and utilized by society at large is quite disconcerting from a certain point-of-view.

Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and smartphones... it's like the worst version of advanced inter-connectivity from classic science-fiction has come to pass. /rant off

Comment Re:And at the end of all this hoopla, (Score 1) 501

Outside of enterprise, my opinion is that that the only reason Windows as a platform exists at all in 2016, is gaming.

Legacy enterprise and legacy gaming keep Windows on many millions of machines, I think.

If I could port my gaming collection completely over to Linux tomorrow without resorting to an online (Steam) solution to do so, today would be my last day having anything to do with Windows and Microsoft.

I know Dosbox has long had Linux support, and lots of newer games are native Linux, but there's a vast grey area there that spans about 15 years of gaming, and that grey area keeps me tethered to Windows in part for the time-being.

If you substitute the word 'enterprise' for the word 'gaming' in the previous paragraph, you also cover another huge chunk of what keeps Microsoft in business against all better judgement.

Addendum: Apple and Google and Facebook and all the other data-mining, walled-garden monopolies are just as bad if not worse in how they conduct themselves.

I miss the open internet a lot.

Comment Re: If their intent is to destroy ... (Score 1) 230

Addendum:

Further, just to point out the logical fallacy in your last statement, if you're choosing to deny the good the U.S has done in the past, then logically, you would have to deny all the bad they've done as well, no?

Or are you just selectively cherry-picking history to prop up an unsustainable argumentative position?

Your Fu is weak.

I won't respond further, because, let's face it, you're having your ass handed to you right now, but if you come up with something honest and worthy of response, I'm your huckleberry.

Cheers.

Comment Re: If their intent is to destroy ... (Score 1) 230

What an unbelievably selfish, detached, and thoroughly post-modern thing to say.

You seem to think your position in history is an island unto itself.

Again,silly.

Further, the U.S. is still, by far, by far, the greatest force for good in this world. You can deny that reality all you want, doesn't make it any less true.

(Still not American.)

America has done all kinds of things wrong. Many stupid and wrong things. No question.

I would like to hear you find and name one positive thing they've done for humanity in the last 20 years. Can you be that honest?

Still waiting for a proper reply.

Country of origin? At least a stab at understanding capability and intent?

Comment Re:If their intent is to destroy ... (Score 1, Insightful) 230

I disagree.

The mistake, in my opinion is not acknowledging that the problem IS Islam in its entirety.

There are currently 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Do I think every last one of them is out to kill the infidel with every waking breath? Of course not.

I am convinced, however, that Islam is not just a religion. It has no separation of church and state by its very nature, and it is the very definition of a totalitarian ideology.

How do I know this? I've done the reading.

When people compare Islam to Christianity (disclaimer, not a Christian), the only real way that comparison is even remotely sound is to compare something in its current form (Islam) to something as it existed centuries ago.

Even then, a pre-Reformation, height-of-the-Inquisition Christianity was a very different philosophy than Islam has always been and continues to be.

At the core, the teachings of Christ are very very different than the teachings of Muhammad. Source? Again, I've done the reading.

Muhammad carried a sword, personally led armies into battle, and one of the central tenants of Islam, and you can deny this all you want, is to spread that Ummah until it encompasses the whole globe.

What Jesus had to say was far, far more benign, and the proper comparison to make between Jesus and another religious 'prophet' is to compare his philosophy to that of Buddha.

Buddha and Jesus would have got along fabulously.

Muhammad would have tried to convert both of them to Islam at the tip of a sword.

As another point, Hinduism is also a quite benign theology in comparison to Islam.

I'm sorry, the history of Islam is predatory, expansionist, and almost always violent.

The only reason everybody seems to have forgotten that, is that with the gradual embrace of science by Christendom over the last few hundred years, the mostly-Christian West has been so wildly successful and advanced so far beyond the rest of the world technologically, that after the fall of the Ottoman Empire one hundred years ago, yes, Islam, for the first time since it's creation, didn't pose a material threat to everyone else.

Now, the West has shared their science with everybody, the playing field is again much more level, and once again, Islam has the means to try and spread that pesky Ummah, which again, is one of the sole doctrines of the ideology that is Islam.

Once again, Source? Did the reading.

Re-read my first post in this thread. Learn about the Crusades. Learn about Vienna, Tours, the Barbary Pirates, etc, etc, etc, etc.

I'm not making this shit up. I wish I were. I really do.

TL:DR You are the one making the serious mistake.

p.s. Most estimates (did the reading) put the percentage of Muslims that we would consider 'radical' at about 20-30%.

That's 300-500 million 'radicals', and if you think that sounds preposterous, you're not paying attention to everything that's going on in the world.

Most estimates (DTR) put the percentage of 'radical' Christians world-wide at a fraction of 1%. There are 2.2 billion Christians, so you're still talking about 10-20 million potentially dangerous Christians, just to be fair. There are indeed nutjobs to be found everywhere. Islam just has far, far more than everybody else.

Cheers.

Comment Re: If their intent is to destroy ... (Score 0) 230

But, I'm not American.

Other than that little fact, your post is still quite silly.

Also, a tad hateful. You seem pretty hateful toward America, and if you are European and even the slightest bit honest with yourself about the history of the 20th Century, you owe America a debt you will never be able to repay. Think the Berlin Airlift for starters. Your parents and your grandparents know what they owe the United States. Just because you don't, doesn't make it any less true.

And again, I say all of the above as a non-American.

America makes all kinds of mistakes, but if you think they are the great evil you describe, you are merely seeing what you wish to see, perhaps to fill some hateful need within you.

Further, it's very easy to hate the United States, because deep down in whatever rational part of your mind that still exists, you know they're no physical threat to you at all. You're safe to hate them, and you know what? That's your right.

A right that the United States bought for you, many, many times over. If you can't acknowledge that, again, you're just a silly angry dishonest little person.

It's just laughably dishonest, is all. Laughably. Dishonest.

Would you be brave enough to answer if I ask what country you call home?

I realize this will fall on the deaf ears of an anonymous coward, but have you ever considered framing events via the concepts of capability and intent?

Comment Re:If their intent is to destroy ... (Score 1, Interesting) 230

Hey TC,

Thanks for the kind reply.

I read a paper about 15 years ago that I will try to summarize quickly here:

If you throw out all the myriad labels we use to divide ourselves into sub-groups within our different societies; left, right, liberal, conservative, all the various religions and organizing governmental doctrines we cling to, there are really only three overarching and competing philosophies in the world today.

1. Theocratic fascism.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The lunatic fringe of those who believe in a higher power. Think the Westboro Baptist clan or a far-too-large segment of the Muslim world. They want to impose the will of their dogma on the rest of us at literally any cost.

2. Philosophical Empiricism.

To try and sum it up in very few words, these are people who are compelled to ask the deeper questions of how things really work, and how things really are. At it's most pure, this philosophy encompasses the Scientific Method among other things. P-Empiricism can lead to some pretty uncomfortable conclusions, because again, it forces its adherents to look honestly at the world and the universe they inhabit.

3. Philosophical Idealism.

Again, to sum up most likely poorly in very few words, these are people who are compelled to see the world as they wish it to be. An underlying linchpin to this philosophy is something called teleology. It's an emotionally-driven philosophy at its worst, and it is very, very widespread in the West at present. P-Idealists see things how they want them to be, and perhaps in some cases how they should be, but they have a very difficult time reconciling reality when in flies in the face of what they wish to see.

Very dumbed down summaries. But necessary to say this:

The third of the three philosophies I listed here is the real problem, in my opinion.

We in the West have about half our citizens living in a society that has been so materially successful, they have been afforded the luxury to take a vacation from history for most if not all of their lives, and their wishes for a better world have been indulged, both wisely and foolishly, for a few decades now.

I have no idea how to convince half of our population that sometimes the world is a scary place, and sometimes you need to fight for your survival, when the very idea of that is so abhorrent to them that they just simply choose to 'believe' otherwise.

I'm with you in what you say, and I like to think I can construct a cogent argument if needed, but I've found it to be almost like arguing the case for reality with the mentally ill.

I don't even know where to begin anymore. You need some common ground, and when all you get in reply is variations on, "La la la, you're a racist, war-monger, blue meanie, La la la", it's very, very disconcerting.

Meanwhile, Islam continues to spread like a cancer among us.

Thanks again for being rational actor.

Comment Re:If their intent is to destroy ... (Score 2, Interesting) 230

I haven't posted on Slashdot in years, but I recently posted something somewhere that I will repost here in reply to you.

It was initially a response to an article written by Roger Simon, titled "Are We Ready for Reality after the Brussels Terror Attacks?".

https://pjmedia.com/diaryofama...

If you want to know how suicidal Western culture is at this point re. Islam, just watch how I get called out as a racist for daring to say these things.

Point is, I agree with everything you said, and I thank you for posting it.

Asian and Western cultures have their differences, but the last thing either society is trying to do to this world is bring into existence some kind of apocalyptic scenario. In my opinion Islam is utterly incompatible with ANY other culture in the long run, and we can blame ourselves all we want because that's safer today, but the problem will never go away until we fight back, and fight to win.

Anyway, here's my repost in its entirety:

Mr. Simon,

I don't know if you will ever read this, regardless, here goes:

I'm with you. I agree with everything you've said in your article, "Are We Ready for Reality after the Brussels Terror Attacks?".

I'm very sure that thousands and thousands and thousands of people from every corner of the globe agree with everything you've said.

I agreed with your conclusions yesterday. I agreed with them last November. I agreed in London, and Madrid, and Beslan, and Mumbai, and of course in New York and Washington.

I've agreed with you each of the 28,025 times the website thereligionofpeace.com has documented an attack that has occurred in the name of Islam world-wide SINCE 9/11.

I agreed with you when Sadat was murdered. I agreed with you when people fell from the sky over Lockerbie.

I agreed with you during the Six-Day War. I agreed with during the Yom Kippur War.

I agreed with you when I learned of Churchill's thoughts during the River War.

I agreed with you when I learned about the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

I agreed with you when I learned that the Crusades were defensive in nature.

I agreed with you when I learned of the Battle of Tours and Charles Martel.

When I look at the history of the last 1400 years, and I see that Islam is a predatory ideology founded by a warlord, I agree with you.

My question to you, and to anyone else reading this who has a thought to add, what next?

Who is going to organize all of us to destroy this culture of hate once and for all?

Who is going to bring about the cultural revolution, and it would take nothing less than that in the West at this point, to really, really fight back, and fight back to not just win and hold in check, but to win for all time?

This has been going on for 1400 years, and I can't even get my closest friends and family to acknowledge the threat we face right now, today.

I ask you Mr. Simon, what next?

p.s. Say what you want about the Chinese and Japanese, etc, they are not fools in the way that we in the West are, and not letting The Enemy infiltrate their societies en masse as we have done, is like adding 10% annual growth to their prospective GDP(s). It's a huge bonus for them not having to fight this fight. And all they've had to do to gain that advantage is be honest about the reality they inhabit.

Comment The Cosmological principle will still hold. (Score 5, Insightful) 106

All this observation really implies is that the true and full size of the universe is much larger than what has been documented so far.

Currently, we can observe a bubble of space around us to a radius of about 13.5 billion light years. That's as far as we can see. This may well be analogous to being at the center of a water balloon, submerged in a swimming pool of much greater volume.

We can currently see to the inner surface of that balloon, but the far greater mass of water outside of it remains hidden for now to our instrumentation.

Complex systems will always tend to appear homogenous, given enough subjective distance.

Fun fact: The rotational period of the Milky Way is approximately 200-250 million years.

The universe we currently observe is approximately 13.5 billion years old --- there is no way a spiral of such definition could form after only 50-odd rotations, and yet still be so topographically distinct from other such bodies.

That's simply not enough time.

2c

Comment Re:Stop (Score 1) 694

Sure, why don't I just do ALL your fucking googling for you. Sit tight.

Dismissive, condescending, and frankly wasteful. Initiating your response with this tone is probably beneath you.

You must really use sources other than Limbaugh and Trump.

A silly attempt at pigeonholing my opinion. Again, you should think more of yourself than this. How am I supposed to take you seriously when the first three sentences you wrote in reply are this shallow?

If you think the list below is the mark of someone very, very average, you must keep company with some very,very accomplished people - how many of them are in Congress?

I'm not American. I know many, exceedingly accomplished people. Being a member of the U.S. Congress is not much of an intellectual or executive accomplishment, really. Nor, may I add, is being a Junior Senator. There are many very bright politicians, and just as many catastrophically stupid ones. Not a consistent marker of exceptionalism.

But we're talking about Barack Obama here, right? So enough with the subtle ad hominems, ok?

1.) President of the Harvard Law Review - that's not easy to come by. And don't try to claim "affirmative action" for that one - there's no way the rich whites who got passed over would have taken that lying down.
2.) Graduates from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude ( top 10% )
2.) Community organizer - this gets mentioned a lot by the RadicalRightWingNuts, as if it's a bad thing. Isn't that supposedly how the Tea Party got started (aside from the clear evidence it was actually funded by billionaires)?
3.) Author - wrote "Dreams from My Father" shortly after graduating from Harvard. How many politicians have published a book at the start of their careers?
4.) 4 years as a civil rights attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Gallard. Some details at http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/06/nation/na-obamalegal6
5.) Twelve years of teaching at UofChicago Law School ( info below is currently posted at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/media )
                    Statement Regarding Barack Obama
The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer."

From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.

Yes, I was fully aware of the preceding before I posted, thank you. Yes, that is his resume, in short.

The question here isn't what, but why. There is nothing in the accomplishments listed above that should rationally lead one to anoint somebody a savior.

His articles are average. His books are rudimentary. He is certainly not a compelling orator when off-script. It's the minutia of the man that should give one pause. Again, Barack Obama is utterly average. The question you still need to answer is how someone of such obviously modest gifts has achieved so much?

I'm certainly not arguing his accomplishments as listed, as relatively pedestrian as they are. My point remains; how did such an ordinary man become known as an intellectual giant? How did such an average person rise through the system to become President of the United States?

Worse, how did such an ordinary man acquire such blind devotion in his adherents?

I don't agree about Obama and affirmative action but do you know who the ultimate product of AA is ( yes, there's a double-entendre here ) - former 2-time POTUS George Walker "Fucknuts" Bush. How did he get into Yale? Was it his grades, his SAT scores? Hmm, I wonder.
Do you why Obama was so readily received? Because of Fucknuts' Fantastic Fuckups, which the country is still living with. I can't get into all of them but here's a couple:
1) 2 fucking wars - okay, 9/11 was bad shit but invading Afghanistan was a terrible idea and the Iraq war is just a crime. Instead of 100,000s of troops on the ground in some very unfriendly nations, pay for info, for kill and capture, and use snipers and tactical strikes - when you have good intel. These are terrorists, not a standing army like the Gulf War.
2.) Turning a surplus into a huge deficit and just buggering the debt. Bad enough that the 2 wars was bleeding the Treasury but tax cuts for the wealthy? Stupid beyond words.

What does any of this have to do with Barack Obama and his abilities? Wasteful.

I'll give you and example of what I'm trying to say here.

I despise Conrad Black. He's a pretty evil guy, and I don't use that word lightly. Not a fan.

However, if you put Barack Obama in a room with Conrad Black for a few hours, Mr. Black would simply devour him. Black is an exceptional intellect. Obama is not.

In practice, I would prefer to be governed by neither, of course. Both men have little understanding of the real world in which 99% of us live.

Having spent most of my adult life in at least peripheral contact with academia, now more than ever I believe in the "first four hundred names in the phone book" philosophy of government.

"I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."
--William F. Buckley, Jr.

Barack Obama is the worst of that. An academic that didn't come by even that meager title honestly.

If you find that impossible to believe, then I suggest that it's perhaps you that has little real-world experience on a current-day university campus.

It happens every day.

Cheers.

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