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Comment This is like legalizing marijuana (Score 1) 197

There is always going to be gold buying and selling in WoW. On most servers you can easily buy game time cards codes for gold which people buy in the real world for real money. So it is easy to say that this is another example of Bliz caving, but it is just acknowledging the reality of the situation, and giving players a legal way to do it that isn't illicit, much like legalizing marijuana - it is going to happen no matter what stance they take, it causes dubious hurt, and it might just as well be legal to some reasonable degree.

Comment What you need to know about current Sesame Street (Score 1) 271

My daughter's favorite show is Sesame Street, and she is turning 3. My son, who is turning 7 often watches it with her. As a result I am very familiar with the show these days. Elmo is a small part of the show. He usually has just one segment of the show, Elmo's World, and it isn't that obnoxious even if you hate Elmo. Cookie Monster is about as big of a part of the show as he has ever been, and although they are careful not to glorify his obsession with cookies in quite the way they used to, he hasn't fundamentally changed, and his enthusiasm for cookies is as high as ever. Kids really pay attention to the show, it has clout with them, so this is very good news.

Comment Re:Where's Jesus? (Score 1) 585

You write this like a modern person with modern sensibilities and a modern understanding of information, and a modern person's demand for proof, and in it's absence appear to draw or at least infer a conclusion that only a modern person would draw. Writing was a ridiculously expensive exercise, both from an educational and mechanical perspective. Jesus was an obscure prophet of a basically heretical religion, his impact was initially minuscule, and I'm not remotely surprised nothing contemporaneous was written down and kept. By the way there have been several Quest for the Historical Jesus efforts, many of them quite detailed and interesting, if anyone cares to study the matter. I tend to fall somewhat into the Third Quest camp of John Dominic Crossan. The clearest 'proof' that Jesus did exist as a historical person is the zeal of his followers, which you so skeptically dismiss. And in fact some people date the earliest Pauline writings to only about 15 years after the death of Jesus (1 Thessalonians, IIRC). It seems to me that while it is possible to call into question the miracles of Jesus and divinity of Jesus I'm satisfied that he did indeed exist.

Comment Up to the Viewer to determine meaning (Score 1) 425

Reader Response Criticism in hermeneutics says that once an artist releases a work, s/he loses control over it. S/he cannot force an interpretation of the work on anyone, it is up to those who experience it to respond to it. That is where the meaning of the work lies, not in the intention of the artist, which is not considered to have over-riding relevance. So if we think that Han shooting first is what happened because this is what we saw in 1977, and is in keeping with our view of Han's character, and Lucas goes back and re-cuts it, as he did, we can say that we disagree with that. The difference here is that the law doesn't really support this, and he has control over the version of the scene that he wants. That said, he cannot change what we remember to be true, nor the cuts that already exist outside of his domain. I wonder how much longer consumers will have control over editions of art what with the proliferation of streaming movies and e-book services like Kindle.

Comment Obligatory Compared to a Human Post (Viet Nam era) (Score 1) 113

When my dad was in Viet Nam he flew C-130s in combat situations, and while he was there he led the entire Air Force in combat hours. I remember he had 1,142 combat missions, I don't remember the number of combat hours, but I think his career total including C-141s and non-combat hours was maybe 10-11,000. So he probably had what, 1-2,000 combat hours? It probably cost a million dollars to train him. I realize humans are controlling these things, but still, the efficiency of the whole thing is pretty staggering when you thing about it.

Comment War has always been about cost benefit anaylsis (Score 1) 456

If you can blow up an aircraft carrier with a cheap aircraft or missile, or destroy a geared and trained army with a volley of arrows from afar, you win not only the battle but the war. This was true 1,000 years ago and will remain true until the fire of the universe dims. War is often about bang for the buck, and I see the US as being on the losing end of this kind of dynamic for a long time. It has gone from hiding behind trees and shooting at the British Army to hiding behind body scanners... Sooner or later the US will have to settle for less security because this kind of spending is unsustainable, never mind the cost to freedom.

Comment Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (Score 1) 426

I define a cult as a group of people to which one belongs that seeks seeks to control one's access to persons outside of that group. Groups that raise themselves above one's family tend to fit this characterization quite easily. Of course, this just shows the bias I have towards the importance of family, others may not share this view.

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