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Comment Re:Only the one awful boss (Score 1) 300

Here I thought I was the only one! I've got someone that I look up to - not a coworker, just someone who happens to be a friend of the family that has a lot of useful age and wisdom. The problem is that he conveys everything by story (frequently the same couple dozen stories), and each story generally has the same set of sub-stories.

I don't know that I've ever seen him go past five, but tracking recursion is exactly what I do when I'm waiting for him to get back onto the original topic, and he never fails to properly unwind the stack.

Comment Re:detecting fallacies = detecting bs (Score 4, Funny) 402

I run into the same issues with my wife - who does not understand things like the limitations of the conversion of a proposition; consequently, she does not understand me, for how can a woman expect to appreciate a professor of logic, if the simplest cloth-eared syllogism causes her to flounder?

For example, given the premise, 'all fish live underwater' and 'all mackerel are fish', my wife will conclude, not that 'all mackerel live underwater', but that 'if she buys kippers it will not rain', or that 'trout live in trees', or even that 'I do not love her any more.' This she calls 'using her intuition'.

I call it 'crap', and it gets me very irritated because it is not logical.

Comment Re:Where have I heard that before (Score 1) 609

Replying to myself - I realize that the earlier comment was slightly offtopic, given that it was focused on USian politics and not the UKian issues, but I think the overarching theme is the same.

Given a populace driven by misinformation on both sides, a margin this close cannot be considered "What the people want" in the truest sense. The whole reason for representative democracy is that people can't be bothered to get actual facts (or, barring that, some semblance of knowledge for and against an issue). We hire politicians to do that for us.

The fact that the system is populated with humans and is inherently corrupt doesn't change that any. It's still a smaller number of people who can devote considerably more time to the issue than I can, and who have resources to get the necessary information better than I can by using various news sources.

Will they fail? Absolutely. Will they fail as much as if we did phone in voting for every major decision based on which Lord / Senator danced the best? Yeah...I'm not so sure on that one.

Comment Re:Where have I heard that before (Score 1) 609

Depending on exactly what question you're asking - yes. I certainly do. Not necessarily in an argumentative way, but it's still valid.

We've got a democratic system that has two parties which have a number of wedge issues on either side. In order to stand out from the other party, each of them continues to push deeper into the territory of their respective base.

As a result, you frequently get people voting not because someone truly matches their ideological stance, but because they don't want someone who is further away from their ideologies. Instead of us having two largely similar candidates debating over nuanced policy measures and differing views of how they feel the country should proceed, we get demagoguery that demonizes the opposition and alienates a decent portion of the people who would otherwise claim to be a part of that party.

I think that with a split that is that close to 50/50 (ignoring the actual voter turnout), you have a population that cares strongly about some hot-button topics, but which probably agrees on other hot-button topics (with the results varying from person to person). Presidents seem to have this opinion that they have a mandate from the masses, when in fact they have at best the accession of a plurality.

This is both good and bad. If we saw 80% voter turnout and a 87% vote for one person, it would suggest that the other party has failed so miserably that America completely agrees on what needs to be done. In general, while the parties appear to be moving ever further apart, the average of where they are still seems to be going more or less in the direction that democrazy is suggesting that it wants to go.

Aside: I saw the typo in the last line there, and decided to keep it because, well, its apropos.

Comment Re:In some ways (Score 1) 348

I love the idea of an advanced civilization coming along and discovering that we've made a modern Rosetta stone out of the collected works of Dr. Seuss.

Graduate studies courses in ancient human civilization discuss how we destroyed our climate, and how we had now-extinct creatures who would speak for the trees, and so on.

Comment Re:Completely wrong.... (Score 1) 618

When somebody else wants to fuck your wife do you quibble about whether or not his service will be satisfactory to her?

No, I assert that even given that the activities of screwing the milkman and getting supper are mutually exclusive, now that the screwing is over, surely then, supper may now, logically, be got.

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982