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Comment Re:How much do they vary? (Score 1) 227

The joke is that the Old Testament we have today is probably closer to the original text than the New one.

That isn't true, for any reasonable definition of "original". The majority of the New Testament (i.e. everything which isn't the gospels) seems reasonably intact, given the history of its transmission. Sure, in most cases we don't know who wrote it, when, or why, but that's beside the point.

Having said that, it's hard to say what you mean by "original". Job and Jonah are a case in point. The Jonah story is almost certainly fairly close to what the original author intended, given the lack of alternative readings. The epic poem of Job, however, shows a lot of evidence of editing. We're missing half of one of the dialogues, and at least one of the monologues, the prologue, and the epilogue, were added later, possibly at different points. Oh, and then there's the Documentary Hypothesis.

So you do need to be clear on what you mean by "original". When it comes to very ancient texts, there probably is no such thing.

Comment Re: Obligatory.. (Score 1) 227

don't know how to say this as nicely as possible, but..
are we sure we are talking about the same book?

I'm not the person you're replying to (obviously), but yes, you're almost certainly referring to the book with Acts 15 in it. Wikipedia has more on the Noachide laws if you're curious; this is absolutely settled.

Oh, it's also the same book which gives a method for terminating a pregnancy via magic. Hopefully it's not the same book that cynical politicians have subtly rewritten to suit their agenda...

Comment Re:We Need More Programming Languages! (Score 1) 137

I'm glad to hear they got rid of the curly braces and copied Python.

I get annoyed every time someone mentions indentation-based structure and seem to think that it was an original idea in Python. Python contains no original ideas that I'm aware of. No, that's not how I judge a language, but it's one of the criteria I used to decide if I want to learn a language or not.

I also get annoyed every time this discussion happens and someone seems to think that Python would be a great language if only it had curly braces. Python is a terrible language, the lexical syntax for which is the least objectionable thing about it.

Comment Re:E.g. We can't use it if we can't cheat (Score 1) 77

If there is a need for transactions to be atomic, perhaps multiple signatures with expiration dates would be useful. One to "pre-sign" the transaction, and if that transaction isn't cancelled (perhaps with a nonce that is stored as a hash), after "x" amount of time, the transaction becomes permanent. Or, a signature to start a transaction, another to end it. One can use blockchain technology in a lot of ways, and allowing people to "un-sign" something is just asking for trouble.

Comment Re: But not climate change research (Score 3, Funny) 69

If your paper confirms climate change, you are more likely to get funding.

If your paper confirms that GMOs are as safe as mother's milk, you are also more likely to get funding. Also, if your study shows that vaccines are safe, you are more likely to get funding.

Are those examples of confirmation bias too?

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