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Comment Re:Big deal (Score 1) 312

They criticise what deserves criticism and give credit where it's due. Almost all religions teach compassion, which is a good thing. Some of them have dubious metaphysical tenets or practices, which deserve criticism.

One reason for the distinction you raise is that many people regard the Buddhist metaphysic and its emphasis on individual empirical investigation as far more plausible than the Christian metaphysic and the Christian emphasis on faith.

But that's a separate issue from calling on the government to suppress something because it's a "cult", or "mind-wank". People should be free to mind-wank as much as they like, as long as they're not harming others. That's freedom of religion.

Comment Re:Big deal (Score 1) 312

Well, I guess the fascists were going to crawl out of the woodwork eventually.

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falun_Gong#Beliefs_and_practices):

Falun Gong aspires to enable the practitioner to ascend spiritually through moral rectitude and the practice of a set of exercises and meditation. The three central tenets of the belief are 'Truthfulness' (, Zhn), 'Compassion' (, Shàn), and 'Forbearance' (, Rn).[28] Together these principles are regarded as the fundamental nature of the cosmos, and are held to be the highest manifestation of the Tao, or Buddhist Dharma.

Truthfulness, compassion and forbearance? Holy mother of god, how horrible! We should suppress these people asap. Quick, call Cisco.

Comment Re:It's a really nice idea... but, (Score 1) 312

That's interesting... but the argument in your last sentence -- which I acknowledge doesn't represent the whole gist of your comment -- is a version of the infamous Pol Pot Defence (in which Pol Pot says "What, criticise me? What about Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Satan? I'm not as bad as them. Go criticise them.")

If Cisco knowingly supplied equipment to suppress Falun Gong, make them pay now, not in 50 years' time. They're as good a place to start as any. Set a precedent, then carry it through to all the other bastards.

Comment Re:Philosophy is fundamental (Score 1) 515

A "History of Western Philosophy" necessarily tells only half the story: the western side. If you're into philosophy, you own it to yourself to explore Eastern philosophy, which is (also) the hotness. Try Nagarjuna particularly, if you're into epistemology, or even just into having your head blown open, laughing stupidly and asking "What is the matrix?"

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source 185

lilbridge writes "Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water — have been discovered in the tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air."

Comment Worldwide movement (Score 1) 44

Robert J. Ekas is obviously the American representative of what will become a worldwide movement.

In South Africa, a university student who may or may not have flipped off the police in a presidential cavalcade was summarily arrested, had a bag put over his head and was detained while his home was searched. Nice.


Fortunately the media kicked up a big fuss about it. It's not illegal to be rude.

Revisiting the "Holy Trinity" of MMORPG Classes 362

A feature at Gamasutra examines one of the foundations of many MMORPGs — the idea that class roles within such a game fall into three basic categories: tank, healer, and damage dealer. The article evaluates the pros and cons of such an arrangement and takes a look at some alternatives. "Eliminating specialized roles means that we do away with boxing a class into a single role. Without Tanks, each class would have features that would help them participate in and survive many different encounters like heavy armor, strong avoidance, or some class or magical abilities that allow them to disengage from direct combat. Without specialized DPS, all classes should be able to do damage in order to defeat enemies. Some classes might specialize in damage type, like area of effect (AoE) damage; others might be able to exploit enemy weaknesses, and some might just be good at swinging a sharpened bit of metal in the right direction at a rapid rate. This design isn't just about having each class able to fill any trinity role. MMO combat would feel more dynamic in this system. Every player would have to react to combat events and defend against attacks."

Comment Put it on both sides of the keyboard (Score 1) 344

This looks really great. But for me, a mistake is that the touchpad is in front of the keyboard. You have to move your arms forward and back when you want to switch; using one hand on each is tricky if the touchpad registers your dangling sleeve or your wrist.

I think it would be much better if the total area of the touchpad was split between the two side of the keyboard. Then you could have both hands on the touchpad or one on the touchpad and one on the keyboard, and you wouldn't have to do the forward-back thing with your arms.

Comment Re:Celsius: It's for telling temperature (Score 1) 1233

Take one meter. Make a cube of that side, a cubic meter. Fill that with water near the sea level and you get a volume of 1 Liter of water.

Um. Negative on that, Command. Our cubic metre seems to be holding not 1 but 1000 litres of water at sea level.

Regardless, the elegance of your system cannot be denied.

By the way, while you Americans are converting from F to C, please also convert from liters to litres, from center to centre, etc. Cos it's prettier our way.

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