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Comment Re:First, what makes a good Sci-Fi... (Score 1) 1222

Nah, that's bollocks. Sci Fi has many subgenres and not all of them are deeply philosophical or have to be. Military fiction and Space Opera are science fiction, too, and it is possible to make good movies about any conceivable topic and genre.

The problem is that in sci fi movies silly action and horror is overrepresented and generally sci fi movies are way lower quality than science fiction in literature. That has always bothered me, and it doesn't look as if it's going to change anytime. I have no idea why, as it's not like this for other genres - e.g. crime novels and movies are much more on a par. Maybe it has to do with the production studios and film funding.

Comment Enemy Mine (Score 5, Interesting) 1222

Because of the story it is based on, which I had read before. Westworld (1973) was also pretty good. Unfortunately, there are not so many good Science Fiction movies, although there are quite a few. I don't remember any good recent ones, even though I watch all of them. Metropolis with live classical piano accompaniment was also very good. They Live is also fantastic, and I also liked Solaris (1972). Many more, of course, but I'll stop there.

Comment Re:Fact checking? (Score 3, Insightful) 112

As incomprehensible as this may appear to some people, there are facts and it's also very easy to get down to them and discern real news from false news and its way worse cousin fake news. If some alleged news does not withstand repeated scrutinity from various different news organizations, including professional ones, and if it is not taken up by many different sources including professional ones, then it's most likely false news and might also be fake news. (The latter is even easier to spot for anyone but the mentally deranged, but see the comment below.) As for "fringe content", that is reported by news agencies every day, if you're interested in local traffic accidents, curious or funny anecdotes, etc. you should get a subscriptions to AP, Reuters, etc.

If some news is repeated by many different newspapers and TV channels, that's a good sign, because there is only one reality.

The people who think there are multiple realities are confused, they confuse opinions and editorial comments with facts and have chosen bad and unreliable sources (news aggregator sites, for instance). In my experience a principle from sound engineering describes very well what's going on when people start to get confused, babble about social constructivism or 'alternative facts': Garbage in, garbage out. If you get your 'news' primarily from Facebook, that's too bad for you.

Comment Re:Racist (Score 1) 366

First of all, Being against Islam or Christianity is not racist at all, it's quite reasonable in my point of view. Being against something or someone doesn't make anyone a racist, certainly not according to the definition that I gave. (Did you even read my post?) Second, this is not about 'my' definition, I'm not Humpty-Dumpty, it's about the meaning of the word, which for a long time has had nothing to do with races and also isn't meant that way according to law. It concerns the deliberate discrimination of minorities. Third, yes, of course, someone who actively discriminates a white middle class US citizen just because he converted to Islam does definitely qualify as a racist.

It would be nice to have a word as strong as "racist" that works for both minorities and majorities, i.e., that points out that someone makes crass overgeneralizations and holds overly general negative stereotypes about some large group of people without pointing out any particular individuals or particular bad actions. However, this is not very important for majorities, because these can defend themselves against injustice fairly well by being in the majority.

Comment Re:Racist (Score 1) 366

Well, if you start arguing that way, then you'll find that there is no racism anywhere because there are no races in the sense racists would assume. The idea of a phenotypical race is considered ill-conceived and plays no substantial role in biology for a long time. Nazi talk about races is pseudo-science and everybody knows it, since the time we're able to map genes.

But "racism" as it is used nowadays, has nothing to do with races anyway, it's about marginalizing and discriminating minorities, as every educated adult including you knows. Often the word is also used to convey the original sense of chauvinism, i.e., discriminating people by their country of origin.

However, I'm pretty sure you and the /. moderators who voted you up knew all that already. What you and they reveal by your hypocritical language corrections is that your are, indeed, bigoted racists, whether you are aware of it or not. On a side note, regardless of the meaning of "racism", judging 1.6 billion people on the basis of the actions of a few dozen to maybe even a few thousands among them is just stupid.

Comment Applied Combinatorics (Score 2) 259

Fred S. Roberts, Barry Tesman: Applied Combinatorics, CRC Press, Special Indian Edition (way cheaper and good quality).

This book is awesome, just like all other books by Roberts. Unfortunately, I can only read it for learning some basics and taking a look the many examples, as I lack the time to really work through it. :/

Comment Re:I still don't 'get' realistic war simulations. (Score 1) 174

Well, to be fair the games you mention aren't realistic war simulators at all, the only halfway realistic FPS-style simulator is ArmA. However, I generally agree, even ArmA is not realistic. In reality people are screaming like hell when they're hit, the guts of civilian casualties are splattered around or buried under buildings, almost everything is done with airstrikes from a safe location, and otherwise you're sitting around doing nothing or being occupied with chickenshit maintenance tasks 95% of the time. At least that's what I gather from the documentaries I've seen. But at least ArmA 3 get gets some realism points from me - I can't play it because I'm too afraid of getting shot.

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