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Comment Re: The Book of Mormon (touches atheism, other top (Score 1) 259

Some of it, yeah - but not all. Not everyone agrees on capital punishment - even within the LDS church. And paid (and usually corrupted) clergy are commonplace and accepted in Western society. Baptizing babies is completely ridiculous because babies can't repent of their sins, but millions of Christians are still baptized that way today every year. The American empire and peace in its homelands will fall apart if we ever cut way back on military spending and don't act like decent people to each other and around the globe.

It clarifies these debatable issues and becomes a philosophical guidepost for the American continent, for this time - which is what makes it unique. It didn't come from the Middle East, China, India, Mecca, etc. - it was written for the New World.

As a work of fiction, it still makes those points in its stories as allegories/legends, etc..

Comment The Book of Mormon (touches atheism, other topics) (Score 1) 259

As a Mormon, you generally try and study The Book of Mormon daily - even if only for a few minutes - because inspiring words make you consider new concepts each time you read it.

Fact or fiction, its stories surprisingly give the reader philosophical nuggets that are very relevant today, like some of the ones I threw together below (book chapter#):

* Old debates between Atheism vs. Christianity focuses on many of the same, general core ideas as they do today (Alma 30)
* While rehabilitating prisoners is the right thing to do (Helaman), capital punishment shouldn't be banned outright because it sometimes serves the greater good (1 Nep. 4)
* Preachers that work for pay, popularity and power (i.e modern televangelists, priests) can commit terrible crimes to obtain those things (Alma 1, 31, 35)
* Lazy, comfortable societies and their leaders neglect their military strength and ultimately end up conquered (Mosiah 19)
* Efficient, absolute rulers like kings or dictators can be the best OR worst form of government (Mosiah 29)
* Democracy is generally better than absolute rulers because it gives the society the freedom to survive or die by its own choices (Mosiah 29)
* Democracy is fragile and can be upended easily, and requires responsible, educated, involved citizens to survive (pretty much all of Alma and Helaman, 3 Nep. 7)
* Wealthy, connected people usually clamor for more power than they already have (multiple places)
* Liberty and democracy come at a steep price, and patriotism/nationalism in the right hands can motivate people to do great things. (Alma 2, Alma 46)
* Great, innovative military leaders make up for fewer resources (Alma 46-62)
* Mafias and other forms of secret combinations/groups undermine governments - corrupting laws for their own gain (Helaman 4)
* Religious reformation/conversion can move a society to do far more than any military action - "the word is mightier than the sword" (Helaman 6)
* Economies and nations prosper when the majority of the people share core Christian beliefs - charity, honesty, honor, etc. (the whole book)
* Propaganda and how it can be abused by governments to terrible ends (Alma 48)
* Long lasting wars (years or even decades) numb societies to Christlike-principles like charity, hope, positivism and make them forget about the service those military men may be providing (last 6-7 chapters of Alma)
* "Signs" from God don't convert anyone for the long term. They just scare people for a while until they forget them again. (3 Nephi 1)
* Evil empires/hordes are ultimately leeches that must have an innocent host to feed on to survive (3 Nephi 4)
* Voluntary communism (sharing of one's wealth with others) is the road to true social equality, and pride (looking down your nose at others) is the poison that brings those systems down (4 Nephi)
* Churches baptizing babies are wasting their time (Moroni 8)
* Wars are truly awful - regardless of the era or available technology (Moroni 9)

The Atheist vs. Christian debate in Alma 30 is one of the most relevant of all the chapters in the book today, IMO.

Comment Free global markets != wonderful thing (Score 0) 60

Con men, liars and thieves have always preyed on the unsuspecting. Turn up the number of potential crooks to 1+ Billion in a highly industrialized and atheist (right and wrong aren't enforced socially in the same manner as Western countries) nation like China, and then put thousands of miles between the crooks and their prey. You're going to have a LOT of corruption coming out of a situation like that.

When politicians talk about the pros of free global markets (at their puppetmasters' whims), they don't talk about problems like these. And they DEFINITELY wouldn't want to sound racist or insensitive to other cultures by suggesting other countries are rife with fraud.

Comment DDG == Google yet, but improving. (Score 4, Informative) 210

I decided to give DDG a try full-time as my default in the browser a while back (year or two?). DDG wasn't getting it done, however, so I would just end up back on Google. It was easy to justify since my office still uses Google docs/spreadsheets and is deeply intertwined with their products and I can't 100% escape their "Big Google" ecosystem. Besides, their results were usually superior when it came to getting me the exact results I wanted (vs. just being close) QUICKLY - so I took advantage of the saved time I'd already paid for with my privacy already.

I'm finding that more recently, however, that DDG is "good enough" in most cases. I still go back and forth because I'm too impatient, but DDG always gets the first shot - and I don't go back very often.

So, if you tried DDG in the past and found their results wanting, you should give it another try.

Comment Don't have access to wired service w/o a cap? wow (Score 1) 243

If there's not a wired internet service provider in your area without a data cap, complain to everyone loudly. Your congressman, with a hand-written letter. To the FCC. To the cable company. Everyone. LOUDLY.

Why? Because a data caps on a wired service are a scam and profit center for cable companies to gouge people. And no, it's not like craving Oreos.

Even Comcast, which just capped their customers at 1TB, still offer an unlimited plan for more $$$$$$. Is there a data shortage, or not? To cable companies: If there is indeed a data shortage due to increased video consumption, then stop giving away such huge bandwidth swaths for so cheap - and then asking the government to bail you out. As you always say (when it suits your needs), "Let the free market decide what it should cost."

Or use your lobbying power to get the government to subsidize more infrastructure to get the throughput.

Seriously, cable company executives: Do you all just want to go straight to hell when you die? Maybe there'll be some mercy in the form of a 1Terabites/month cap on punishments before Satan has to pony up extra and say, "Damn it. To hell with this.. Cya on the 1st day of the next billing cycle, jerks."...

Comment The new MacBook Pro didn't help (Score 1) 228

I'm a more recent convert AWAY from Windows at work in 2013 (7 is going to be my last Windows OS at home), and then they drop this turd of a new MacBook Pro on us.

I'm not interested in a fancy function keys bar or Touch ID because I don't need my MacBook Pro to be an iPhone that happens to have a keyboard. I want a fast, powerful, reliable OS on a fast, powerful, reliable laptop that just works without any extra effort.

Comment Here we go again (Score 2) 106

Like your phone or not, we all owe a huge vote of apprecation and thanks to the engineers at Apple, Google, Motorola, etc.. They have to deal with countries trying to hack their devices all the time, along with every serious hacker out there on the planet - and for the most part they have been doing a great job of keeping our data on our devices private.

The leadership of those conpanies also deserve a pat on the back. Unlike the phone companies that climbed into bed with Uncle Sam like a whore all out of rubbers but ready to get it on anyways, Tim Cook and his ilk stood their ground on this issue when the feds came calling. And I don't care why they did it (business reasons vs. goodwill for the average consumer); They did it, and that's all that really matters in the end.

(This says nothing about what Google and others do when it comes to privacy and collecting data for business efforts, but that's another issue...)

Comment 10-15 mins to fill your car with gas? (Score 1) 304

Incidentally, if you time it you'll probably find the whole process of filling your car with gas takes ~10-15m. Their change is completely reasonable

Whether the electric car charge time is reasonable or not is 100% subjective, but your estimate of gas filling times is a ridiculous, "+1 for TESLA" exaggeration. From turning off the car to tearing off a receipt and driving away (paying by credit card at the pump), a complete 16-20 gallon tank fill-up is 3 minutes tops anywhere I buy gas. Maybe tack on an extra minute or two for a huge truck or SUV.

I suppose it could take 10-15 minutes to fill your car if you walk in to pay and you get stuck standing in line behind ten other 44 oz. soda carrying people who all pay with debit cards - while your car sits completely filled up most of the time? Or maybe someone's filling a 1 gallon portable tank 16-20 times and pouring it into their car's tank manually? Maybe they're using huge measuring cups?

Comment Hacking review !== Election results review (Score 5, Insightful) 557

This isn't a Jill Stein or Hillary fanatic's fantasy scenario, where some "evil player" will be uncovered and the results could be overturned or changes.

This is just an honest review of what MAY have happened as a result of bad players trying to fiddle with the election. This is a really good idea to help ensure future presidential elections being trustworthy and valid.

Comment Ok with porn or not, that was genuinely stupid (Score 5, Insightful) 251

...from a PR standpoint. This doesn't exactly help the perception about how misogynistic web development environments are for women. And the last thing a somewhat fading development platform (at least outside of large enterprise) like Drupal needs is for something to fire SJWs up...

Where was the, "Das ist eine wirklich schlechte Idee?", leadership from the conference organizers in Munich?

Comment Re:Not good enough... (Score 1) 95

Why? Because the Amazon reviews being honest and helpful is far more important than whether you actually buy the product from Amazon or not.

In my case, sometimes I buy an item at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc., that's total garbage - and I want to get the word out there to warn others away if it's available on Amazon. I've done this to a couple of products that really pissed me off when they cut quality corners or were openly deceptive in their ads, and those reviews were the most highly appreciated/helpful/valued by other Amazon shoppers.

IMO, this policy seems like a good compromise to combat a deluge of fake reviews while still allowing me to express my opinions.

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