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Comment Re:Even if it is money, I get it.... (Score 1) 109

I believe the correct answer is not only do you not change the money, you are obliged to contact the police and report the person.

Yes and no respectively. But if the cops ask you, you have to answer honestly or you're an accessory... unless they're asking about your spouse, then you don't have to answer. Whee!

Comment Re:Pegg's Star Trek is an abortion (Score 1) 103

Science fiction is a reflection of today's society.

So why is there so little gay crew?

ST:TOS made TV history in the 1960's with the first interracial kiss when the civil rights movement was ongoing. I'm sure critics called that pandering as well.

I'm sure they did. But the difference is that Trek isn't breaking any ground here whatsoever, and they're going against the wishes of both the original, revered creator (who envisioned the character as straight) and the actor who made the role famous. Put it all together, and it spells fail.

I am not offended by gay characters. I am offended by this senseless pandering. Not because it's gay, but because it's senseless.

Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 103

Obviously 99% of the crews of Star Trek ships could've been automated away, but who wants to watch a TV series about machines?

It's not that obvious, if you take the Trek universe as a given. There's a bunch of times when the people kept working when the machines didn't, so they clearly were not redundant.

Comment Re:Who is Kurzweil? Why should I care? (Score 1) 200

I think life is probably fairly common. Intelligent life very likely much less so. Even on Earth, intelligence is a solution to the problem of survival used by only a small fraction of organisms, and even among the organisms that use intelligence as a solution, that intelligence doesn't have to be at the level exhibited by a rather small number of tool-using animals.

But it's going to be a long time before we figure out whether intelligence is rare or not. I don't think SETI is the answer, since incidental transmissions (like TV and radio) only propagate out a few light years before they become indistinguishable from ordinary background radio sources. No, I actually think we'll ultimately identify other civilizations through advancements in optical and radio telescopes which will betray tell-tale signatures like pollution in the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets. That's still many years away, but eventually we're going to build large scale space-based interferometer array that will be sensitive enough to image continents and oceans on exoplanets.

Comment Re:Slashvertisements (Score 1) 286

There seems at the moment about a 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 chance of Trump actually being elected. While he's showing better performance than expected in some states, it still seems that Hillary has the advantage. But there's a helluva lot of time until November, and who knows, maybe Trump will finally start acting like someone who wants to be President, as opposed to someone who wants to mount the most expensive comedy routine in history.

Comment Re:Who is Kurzweil? Why should I care? (Score 1) 200

I'm particularly troubled by these comparisons of DNA to source code. First of all, any programmer that would create code as sloppy and filled with junk sections would probably be canned. While the analogy works in simple terms, the way DNA and RNA encode and then transcribe that back into proteins is far far more complex than how a computer runs code. In some ways, DNA is far superior, because it tends to be a lot more fault tolerant, but in other ways it is much less efficient and tends to be much more error prone (which is a good thing, those transcription errors are one of the major ways in which life evolves).

Ultimately the analogy fails because cells are not computers. They do not function like computers. DNA could almost be more compared to something like a printing press, except that on occasion letters get inserted into the process, sometimes even entire sequences, and on other occasions letters go missing, not to mention the odd occasion where another press's sequence of letters get transferred.

It is a useful analogy for introducing certain concepts surrounding cellular activities and protein production, but it remains an analogy only at that basic level, and fails on the details.

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