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Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 1) 279

It's only in the last decade or so that experiments have shown our thoughts can and do have a strong influence on of the dna that builds and maintains the brain and nervous system. In other words our thoughts can turn our genes on and off, when it gets the switches stuck in a self-destructive combination it drives us towards extreme behaviours which we call "mental illness". Philosophically I think Hofstadter's "I am a strange loop" and "Godel, Escher, Bach" present the most convincing model of consciousness as an emergent property of the mind boggling complexity of the feedback mechanisms in a living organism. He also makes a very strong case for the impossibility of a mind that's even theoretically capable of fully understanding itself.

Comment Re:Somebody didn't get the memo... (Score 1) 279

Well said, I would actually be more concerned if radiologists never found any systematic errors in their models. From the summary it sounds like a very interesting experiment, I think the "free will" angle is just click bait. What they appear to have done is use a clever mental trick to help them understand how the brain responds to and controls the two big optical sensors hanging off the front of it

Comment Re: So what is YOUR plan? (Score 4, Insightful) 406

Hopefully the desire to usher in the apocalypse is not shared by mainstream Republicans.

Unfortunately the same desire is shared by more than a few republicans, they call it "the rapture". Their christian god lifts them to heaven while everyone else burns, apparently the same god told muslims a different story.

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

You seriously regard it as acceptable for someone who seeks public office to lie about an issue of public importance? And I'm the one that's detached from reality? I don't even know the relevance of your story about ambulance chasing. What I do know is that if Hillary was running against any sane candidate she'd be taking a serious hit for being caught in such obvious lies. As it stands, people are voting against Trump, not for Hillary, so she'll probably get away with it, but even still.....

I really don't know if you're an apologist for her or if you just are so afraid of Trump that you can't condone any criticism of Hillary. Trump scares the shit out of me too, but I'm still going to vomit in my mouth when I pull that lever for Hillary. Maybe we'll get lucky and a meteor will land on the debate hall, take them both out, and between the two parties SOMEONE sane and respectable will emerge.

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

That's a pretty good argument if you have never told a lie or made a misleading statement

You've now crossed into apologist territory. I tell you that I'm going to vote for her but you still can't let it go, you have to defend her at all costs.

Guess what? I'm not running for elected office!!!! She fucking lied, repeatedly, about an issue of public interest, while running for the highest office in the land. Why is it so hard for you to unequivocally condemn such behavior? We have the right to expect better from those that would lead us. The worst part is the lies weren't necessary. She could have simply said, "I make a mistake." and left it at that, but she has too much hubris to do that.

Here's another video that's telling.

H-U-B-R-I-S

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

but I actually count her gender in her favor

Her gender is irrelevant. I don't like her because I don't trust her. Neither do 57% of our countryman. You can't attribute all of that to sexism, the "vast right-wing conspiracy," or whatever other excuse the Clintons may point to.

Watch that TDS clip. She lied. It's very obvious and straightforward. As I said many posts ago, hubris. Bill and Hillary have it to a degree that's shocking even by Washington standards.

Unfortunately, as you say, the alternative can't be contemplated. As it stands now I fear that he may well win; I would not have that fear if he was running against Sanders, Biden, or almost any other Democrat. I wish the Democrats had gone with almost anybody else. Or that the Republicans had nominated one of the sane candidates. Alas, that was not to be.

We quite literally get to pick between the douche and the turd. The frightening thing is that the world is a very dangerous place right now; never have our problems been so big while our leaders were so small. *sigh*

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

War is messy. Unlike our enemies, we don't deliberately target civilians. We fight with one hand tied behind our back, obeying the rules of civilized warfare despite the fact that our enemies do not do so. If we chose to play without rules, as they do, we could wipe them out tomorrow.

How do you suppose Ancient Rome would have responded to 9/11? They would have killed every enemy male of military age and sold the women and children into slavery. Be thankful we largely play by the rules of the civilized world, because we could end Islamic terrorism 30 minutes after POTUS picked up the phone if we were so inclined.

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

You're really going to play the sexist card against me just because I don't like Hillary? Give me a fucking break dude. She's going to get my vote -- the alternative is too scary to contemplate -- but I don't have to be fucking happy about it, and if you think all opposition to her is grounded in sexism you're delusional. Even The Daily Show dislikes her. When the Democrat earns the scorn of TDS there's obviously something wrong.

Or Trevor Noah is a sexist. Yeah, that's probably it. *sarcasm*

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

You don't count Russia as a peer country? They have the ability to completely destroy the United States 45 minutes after Putin makes a phone call. If nukes are too theoretical for you, consider this: They can occupy several NATO members, overnight, and present us with a fait accompli. Then we get to choose between a protracted war, with a nuclear armed state, or the abandonment of those allies and collapse of the post-1945 world order. NATO would probably win a protracted war with Russia -- assuming it didn't go nuclear, a very big assumption -- since economics, technology, and demographics are on our side, but it would be very costly in terms of blood and treasure.

China is definitely a near-peer country. They already have the ability -- without using nukes -- to make it extremely costly for us to honor our commitments to our Asian allies. They can rain conventional missiles down on American soil -- Guam and the NMI -- and if a conflict went nuclear they could exact a very heavy price from CONUS. The rest of the near-peers are all allies (Germany, UK, France, Japan, Israel) or at least friendly competitors (India), so we've got that going for us at least.

(Actually, I'm glad that we dominate -- I just think it's a bit overkill to do so by so wide a margin.)

Well, that's an interesting observation. You kind of surprised me with that one. Why is it "overkill?" You specifically cited the USN to prove your point but I think you're ignoring the reality that the USN has obligations in every ocean and sea on the blue marble. 10 supercarriers sounds like overkill, but in reality you can only deploy about 1/3 of them at any given time; the rest will be in the yard for maintenance and overhaul. Four of them are deployed right now, which may be four more than anyone else has, but it's still pretty thin coverage when you think about the demands placed on the USN.

Don't get me wrong, I do see a lot of waste with our defense spending. I'm not certain why we still maintain a force of ICBMs when SSBNs are infinitely more survivable. I don't understand why cheap and proven platforms like the A-10 fall out of favor. There's a lot of things I would do differently if I was SecDef. Alas, he hasn't asked me for my opinion. :)

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