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Comment Confusing symptom with cause? (Score 2) 467

What I'm hearing is "Paranoia is good for you, and magical thinking is a symptom of paranoia." But then, the magical thinking itself isn't good for you, but a symptom of paranoia. If you can be sufficiently paranoid without having weird beliefs other than the paranoia itself, you should be able to get all the benefits without all the bullshit.

Even this is a stronger statement than the article claims -- it's saying paranoia was *once* good for you. It seems very possible that this whole mechanism of religion, ultimately founded on paraonia, may be a vestigial construct.

Comment Re:How well does that perform? (Score 1) 123

Why not?

Modern games aren't bottlenecked at the disk. Even if they were, the bottleneck then becomes the network, since it's been read from disk into RAM at this point. But try it -- next time you fire up a modern game, when it's attempting to load a level, watch the hard drive light. Usually it flickers from time to time. Then fire up Defrag or something, which you *know* will generate a lot of disk activity, and compare.

And that's just loading. Once it's loaded, it's in RAM. The disk is just a nice big place to dump savegames and screenshots.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn this is partly because of consoles. There just isn't that much guaranteed bandwidth from those optical disks -- certainly not more than there is over a Gigabit network.

Comment Some good points were made... (Score 1) 980

...but it very quickly becomes reactionary. For example:

Like the ubiquitous drop shadow. "Did you know that *this* window is on top of *this* window?" it whispers to me, endlessly.

This is actually useful. Compare to, say, window borders. "Did you know the stuff over *here* is in *this* window, and the stuff over *there* is in *that* window?" People can, and do, get by with window managers which draw smaller borders (one pixel around the edge with a few-pixel-thick bar at the bottom, say), or even none at all.

The point of drop shadows isn't that you're some little baby who might forget, but that it's actually helpful to realize, at a subconscious level, which window is on top of which, and where the boundaries are. It's optimizing for how your brain works, so you can be *faster.* Many of these effects can be turned off, even on OS X, but the drop shadow is one of a few which don't realistically obstruct you (it's dimming a few pixels out of a gigantic display; I have room to spare), and do actually make you faster.

I use a commandline, and I hate wizards as much as this guy does, but this could be such a better article without its get-off-my-lawn stubborn-ness.

Comment Re:Summary is a little misleading (Score 4, Insightful) 845

From TFA:

"I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities."

And he couldn't answer a single question right. How much do they learn between eighth and tenth grade? Is it actually likely that the eighth-grade one is something we should all expect to get perfect on in less time than it takes to write a post about, but the tenth-grade one is so hard that a reasonable person couldn't be expected to get a single question right?

My guess is tat this guy is not able to make sense of complex data. You are

Comment HDCP, not HDMI (Score 1) 161

Even the summary gets this right.

This is about HDCP, which exists on both HDMI and DVI. I wouldn't be surprised to find something similar on DisplayPort.

This is not about HDMI, which can deliver an unencrypted video signal, just as DVI can.

Honestly, this makes about as much sense as saying "Reverse engineers crack ethernet copy protection" when talking about Ubisoft's DRM.

Comment I think it'd be depressing. (Score 1) 191

I mean, I'd love to be working on this stuff, but Microsoft so rarely does anything with it other than hold onto it in case they might someday do something with it.

I'd much rather work for a company which does less cool things which actually stand a chance of either making it to market or being released as open source.

Comment Re:Child? (Score 1) 948

it isn't child abuse unless it leaves a mark.

You know what doesn't leave a mark? Waterboarding.

If there are physical marks on your body, yeah, that's a sign of abuse of some sort -- though you still want to make sure it looks like actual abuse, and not some normal bumps and scrapes.

But if that's the metric, abusers will find a way to inflict maximum pain without leaving a mark.

My parents would beat the shit out of me if I ever stepped out of line and I still didn't turn into a sociopath.

I hope you're not implying that this makes your abuse ok. I mean, great, you've moved past it, but just because someone else was less abused than you doesn't mean it's not abuse.

It teaches the child that there are consequences to his actions.

There are ways to do this without laying a finger on them. "Grounding" is the traditional one. Or confiscating the stuff they care about -- I was a geek, so to discipline me, they'd take my computer.

If the child really has nothing they value that you can take, that says something about you as a parent -- why don't they value anything you have the authority to take away? Have you not given them things they'd be attached to?

And if you don't know what's going to work well, then you really ought to spend more time with your kid.

What's more, physical violence doesn't necessarily teach them that there are consequences to their actions -- after all, no one ever hurts you in their presence. No, maybe it teaches them that might makes right -- that when they're big enough, they can get their way by telling you what to do, and beating you if you don't do it. It may be that you're not in their life when they realize this, but someone else is...

Everyone needs to stop pushing their values on other people and telling them how to raise their kids.

That's not what this is about.

If you're right and this isn't abuse, then you're right, and that applies to everything I just said. I'll gladly tell people how I think they should raise their kids, but I won't try to enact legislation to enforce that.

But if it is abuse, that's a category of things we do interfere, and I hope you agree that this is a Good Thing.

Comment Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (Score 1) 943

Given that everyone can see that the sun gives us light, and
if man were to invent a creation story it would be most natural to create the sun first.

Nope, everyone can see that the sun is very bright and exists in the day. It's not immediately obvious that it's the only source of light -- in fact, the entire sky is lit up by the sun. So if man were to invent a creation story, he might imagine first that there was a light sky and a dark sky, and that the sun and stars were added afterwards.

It is somewhat poetic that this lines up with our current understanding of the Big Bang. The first thing that emerges from the Big Bang is raw energy, which could be thought of as light (though I'm not sure whether it actually is), and that light is how we know it happened (cosmic background radiation -- EM waves, like light, but in a different spectrum). But this seems like blind luck, honestly. Had the story said that the Sun and the stars were created, and then light, this would be almost as consistent with how we understand the universe (though the Sun wasn't among the first stars created).

Given that it would require a deity to create light, then give it a direction, then give it a source, and
such an order of events would be necessary for stars to be visible in a young universe.

We currently know ways of creating light which do not require a deity -- just flip a light switch. Isn't it reasonable to suppose that, even in a young universe, light could be created in a way which we don't currently understand, but does not require a deity?

And all of this does nothing to explain the concepts of day and night existing before the Sun. It's not just light. It's God calling the light Day and dividing it from Night.

Comment Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (Score 1) 943

The six thousand year number isn't really in there. People made it up by adding together ages of biblical figures. If you read a economics textbook in a similiar screwed way you could get the idea that ice on the beach is likely $100.

What, exactly, is screwed up about that? Are you suggesting that some of these biblical figures never existed, or that the lineage given is incorrect? These present similar problems.

But "Euclid's Elements" sucks as a math textbook, too. But that doesn't mean it is wrong.

Interesting you should mention that. Didn't Euclid have a ton of incorrect proofs of correct intuitions? But we know they are correct because we went back and actually proved them correct, which means there's now a body of literature which is superior to that of Euclid.

Various schools of theology give different answers to that question. You can hear their arguments and decide for yourself if they convince you or not.

I've heard several arguments, none convincing. The best is that we can examine the Biblical text carefully and find that there are things which are meant literally and things which are meant figuratively -- for example, if I talk about the sun rising tomorrow, of course we both know that I actually mean what appears to be the sun rising, but is actually the sun becoming visible as the earth rotates.

The problem is that there doesn't seem to be consensus about which parts are literal and which parts are allegorical.

Comment Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (Score 1) 943

If you find a error in a textbook, would that cause you to loose all trust in its whole content?

Well, if the 'six thousand year' part is correct, then it's off by a factor of almost a million. If I found an economics textbook which claimed that the median annual income in the US was just under five cents, I'd get a new economics textbook, yeah. Kind of an important number to get right, and kind of a ludicrous amount to be off by.

Also: The hebrew word used for day in the genesis story can be translated to both "day" and "time span".

Night and day are made in one time span. The Sun is made in a later time span. The order is completely off, both in the multiple genesis stories, and with regard to what we know about the universe.

Is that even a error or isn't it just a completely wrong way to understand a biblical text? Most of time literal interpretation seems to completely miss the point.

If I can't interpret my economics textbook literally, it sucks as a textbook.

If it's not supposed to be a hard science textbook, but if it's meant to be read as poetry and metaphor, then how do I know what's true and what's not? Maybe Jesus didn't literally exist. Maybe he was a metaphor for generosity, self-sacrifice, death, and renewal. Though if he's supposed to be about sacrifice, sorry, Prometheus has him beat.

Comment Re:Answers actually quite revealing (Score -1, Flamebait) 920

That you have an Office for Faith-Based Partnerships is telling. Church and State are hardly separate when they are in a partnership.

There's more to it than that. This asshat is a minister. He got a fucking minister to respond from the fucking white house to a petition for increased separation of church and state.

Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation - context matters.

He's quoting Obama here. Frankly, I would think Obama would agree that there is a difference between a mention in public and the mandatory pledge of allegiance requiring children to pledge allegiance to one nation under God.

Reading the rest of it is just getting creepier by the minute:

These phrases represent the important role religion plays in American public life...

The role religion plays in American life is that America is considered to be one nation under God? I mean, that pretty much directly contradicts the other Obama quote he mentions:

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.

Right. As such, why the fuck would you have us pledge allegiance to the Christian God (or, if you like, the Jewish God) while ignoring the rights of children of other faiths or of no faith to not pledge to a being they don't believe in?

We're proud of that heritage...

The heritage of the McCarthy era? Are you sure?

Holy shit. This guy -- either Joshua DuBois, or Obama if he agrees with this shit -- needs to be out on his ass tomorrow. Those are not the words of a free country. Those are the words of a theocracy, complete with this doublespeak:

Our nation's Bill of Rights guarantees not only that the government cannot establish an official religion, but also guarantees citizens' rights to practice the religion of their choosing or no religion at all.

Except, of course, when swearing in to testify, when paying with cash, or when going to school. Then, you're free to practice any monotheistic religion that happens to be compatible with "One nation under God," or "In God we trust."

If he actually believes the first part of his letter, he needs to read some history, and then he needs to go talk to Obama about how "E Pluribus Unum" would be a better and more traditional national motto to put on our currency, and how we really shouldn't have a pledge of allegiance in the first place.

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