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Comment Re: Obligatory.. (Score 1) 231

God is quite an elusive idea - but I do like very much the idea of loving your neighbor!

But if really boils down to that, why carrying forward all the baggage that can be summarized in that one wise and precious sentence?
Why loading yourself with the need to explain away everything else, when you could just choose any modern philosopher (say, Peter Singer) that says essentially the same thing, but without the references to goats, stoning and the like? It appears on the face of it an enormous effort and rather a waste of energy. What am I missing?

Comment Re: Obligatory.. (Score 1) 231

thanks for your answer, I mean it!
one thing I don't understand is the following - maybe you can help (no irony)

the new testament is not getting into details on topics that many Christians seem to care about. topics like human sexuality, origins of the cosmos, laws of nature, and more.
when many Christians are looking for answers on such topics, they tend to refer to the old testament. however, when such answers appear unpalatable in the old testament (see e. g. stoning), they use the argument that the new testament has supeseded those things.

is it a fair reading? how do you know when something is superseded and when?

Comment Re: Older = Better (Score 1) 231

if you tried living in a cave, fighting bears with bare hands, surviving the decimation of your tribe by a neighbor tribe, to then die at age 25 of a small infection, all the while believing that the god of blood and thunder rules the forest, and moves the sun, his slave and concubine through the sky... ... you would have a different opinion.

Comment Re: With the way the world is... (Score 1) 284

not sure, but maybe he's trying to say that math *may* not be the universal language of all the possible universes, but just a result of how out particular simulated universe is organized.
i certainly can't imagine how a universe with non mathematical laws would be like; I suspect nobody does. It could, however, just be a distortion field of our point of view, I. E. a lack of perspective. I also can't imagine a quantum world, but I accept its because I didn't evolve in one (ok, I did, but you know what I mean)

Comment Re: Travelling at 20% of the speed of light (Score 2) 218

"The biggest difficulty is transmitting useful data back to Earth as there's going to be very little power available."

wouldn't be possible to send many of those at regular intervals on the same path, and use the them as a line of breadcrumb repeaters of sorts?

Comment Re: Surprised? (Score 1) 140

"Cut me some slack."
no worries... it was actually meant largely as a self deprecating joke... (because I myself get annoyed maybe 100 times a day for things that I immediately feel guilty for getting annoyed... things like if one badly designed toothpaste tube doesn't let you squeeze it all out... so I have to constantly remind myself "yeah, first world problems".. Btw, I guess this constant self reminding is actually a first world problem in itself, or a first world metaproblem..) cheers!

Comment Re:Free Speech Must Be Stopped!!! (Score 2) 465

Some humble thoughts:
        - The UK has a conservative government, and had one for some time.
        - The current Scotland Yard commissioner was appointed by Boris Johnson, a staunch conservative, when he was Mayor of London.
        - The legislative background of this supposed initiative is the so called Malicious Communications Act, which at least in its most recent incarnations is again a brainchild of a conservative government.
        - According to the narrative you suggest, the liberal media would be conspiring to cover up the presumed misdeeds of a conservative appointed commissioner, under a conservative government, trying to (mis)use a law squarely backed by conservatives.
        - That does not honestly appear to make much sense, especially in the current UK political climate.
        - The "next article" on the page you link as reference has the following headline (copy pasta) : "I could do that: Woman who thinks she's faster than Usain Bolt claims she could sprint 100 metres in just SEVEN seconds." You know, that's the Daily Mail, that's what they do. So really take anything they write with more than one grain of salt.
        - The Independent article you mention is available in the google cache: http://webcache.googleusercont...
        - The Independent traditionally has mixed views, but in the most recent occasion they endorsed a conservative-led coalition: "For all its faults, another Lib-Con Coalition would both prolong recovery and give our kingdom a better chance of continued existence.". Hardly a fortress of the "left".
        - The UK Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron appears in this case to be quite reasonable. (For our American friends: In UK 'liberal' has a different meaning than in the US, but liberals are still considered on the "left" of the conservatives, for the ones that are especially attached to those labels). So, Farron is on the record as saying about this initiative: “Online bullying is an increasingly serious problem but police should not be proactively seeking cases like these and turning themselves into chatroom moderators. With such measures, even if well-intentioned, there is a real danger of undermining our very precious freedom of speech.”
        - I don't know why the article from the Independent appears to have been removed since publication. But I very much doubt, given what above, that one should think of a grand liberal conspiracy as the likely explanation. Unless liberals are conspiring against themselves, using a conservative-endorsing newspaper as their outlet.
        - For that matter, I equally very much doubt there is any ongoing grand conspiracy of conservatives (and I am not too convinced with this grand conspiracy of cats either). Maybe I am hopelessly naif, but in general, I like to start with the simplest possible explanations and move from there. In this case the Independent suddenly realizing after publication that they "like the idea of a leftist Thought Police", is NOT the simplest explanation - it's rather at the "WTF" end of the spectrum.

In general, a very friendly advice that I try to regularly also give to myself: try to focus on the issues, avoiding to rely too much on precooked but fuzzy categories like "the ruling class" "people on the left" "people on the right" "the liberal media", "conservative something" etc.

If you want to voice your concerns about the dangers of governmental overreach on digital media, I'm happy to join my concerns to yours. But you lose me fast if you throw around, in support to your concerns, suggestions of conspiracies and labels like "leftist Thought Police" recycled from a page on the Daily Mail.

Comment Re: Good luck with that. (Score 5, Funny) 347

"With an evironment like that, we can rule out higher life forms."

Centaurians called.
They wanted to know how can we sustain higher life forms on Earth - since we have neither the cyclic megahurricans that are essential to recharge cyclic biotanks, nor we have a proper dark side of the planet where we can comfortably hatch our silicon eggs.
To be frank, they sounded rather narrow minded about any real possibility of life without those things.

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