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Comment Fans want Sonic to be different things (Score 0) 34

Sonic has the unattainable goal of pleasing a fanbase which is split into two incompatible camps: one camp mired in nostalgia, who wants the old 2D games, and one smart and handsome camp who recognizes that a game which is all about going fast needs to be able to show what's in front of you at a greater distance than a sidescrolling camera will allow.

This divide between the fans was made really obvious when Sonic Generations came out: "It's good," some reviewers said, "but I wish they didn't have to include those awesome and fun 3D bits. Still, the 2D portions make the game worthwhile." While other reviewers were more forward thinking: "It's good," those reviewers said, "but this shows pretty clearly why 3D Sonic works better than 2D Sonic - you can actually see what's in front of you. The 2D portions are still pretty fun, but 3D is obviously the right way to go."

Comment Re:Am I that out of touch? (Score 1) 316

The only one of those things which could effect an election is the abortion one. If he's a democratic candidate who votes against abortion, that puts him further towards the right - so it's a choice to possibly appeal to some on the right who are anti-Trump. Virginia is also a swing state, so that's another plus, although 538 says it only boosts her election chances by 0.7%.

The choice of vice prez only marginally effects the overall election odds, unless it's a really interesting choice like Palin, and this guy is in no way interesting. This gets an emphatic "meh" from me.

Comment Re:Raw milk faddist here (Score 2) 238

It was poorly phrased. Of course the amount of calcium in the milk remains the same, but over heated milk does seem to have reduced bioavailability of calcium. The above poster's claim of a 50% reduction between raw and pasteurized milks seems to be really high, but I can't find any numbers on that. Pasteurization does reduce B and C vitamins in milk by about 5%.

Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 1) 279

This is why I didn't want to use the jargon. I don't know, the Wikipedia article on determinism says that causality is a traditional method of reaching determinism but is not required. The article on fatalism says that determinism is strictly about causality. I am certainly more comfortable with the physics side of this than the philosophy side.

Looking for a more authoritative source, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a lengthy article (which I haven't read) but puts in a conveniently quotable bit near the top:

Determinism: The world is governed by (or is under the sway of) determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a time t, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law.

That's annoying. It implies causality but doesn't actually require it, even though the article is specifically on Causal Determinism, which is distinct from just plain determinism. I'm sure it's explained somewhere in there, but you know what? I don't care. You can have at it if you want.

Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 1) 279

If determinism is true, then given a complete, perfect and accurate description of the universe at one time, and enough memory and time to compute upon it, you could model any future state of the universe from that.

That's causality. If you have perfect causality, and perfect knowledge of the present, then you can predict the future. That's not determinism. Causality is one way of getting to determinism, but it isn't a requirement.

Determinism is basically what I described before as inevitability, although I didn't want to use the jargon because it has connotations which I'm not wholly comfortable discussing.

Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 1) 279

An electron doesn't magically have free will about its location just because its exact position isn't causally determined.

You've lost me on this analogy. Determinism doesn't require causality, it requires inevitability. The fact that an electron's position is random at any given point in time would only be significant if you had a time machine and could observe an electron being at different places at the same point in time. (Assuming the same observational conditions, I've not talking about wave-particle duality here.) This would represent a break in inevitability.

That seems like a convoluted way of explaining things though, let's go with a roulette wheel instead: you spin the wheel and get a random number, and we're going to assume that this is a special wheel which always produces a random number independent of all other observable factors in the universe (gravity, cosmic rays, everything). The wheel is not independent of time, however. We don't know how time influences the wheel. Then you get in your time machine, go back, and do it again. If you get a different number then you have proven that time is not immutable.

Causality can create inevitability, but it isn't a requirement.

Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 1) 279

You made a conscious decision, as opposed to an unconscious one, to stop drinking. Whether that was an exercise in free will comes down to whether or not you ever had the option to choose otherwise. If the future is predetermined and actions just march us toward inevitability, then free will does not exist and you chose to stop drinking because you were destined to do so. If the future is not predetermined then we have some influence over how the future takes shape, that's called free will.

At least by one definition. As I said, this is the domain of philosophers and they have tons of jargon for everything. A poster above mentioned that this is only the definition of free will in the domain of determinist thought, and that isn't the only way to look at it.

Comment Consciousness is not the same thing as free will (Score 5, Insightful) 279

The reason why free will is the province of philosophers (and theologians) is because it has nothing to do with neuroscience. What they're talking about in the summary is conscious thought, not free will. Free will is the ability to influence your environment by your own volition, independent from the inexorable march of time or destiny or god's plan. Consciousness is your ability to think about how you're influencing your environment as you do it.

Comment Re:Bull Stuff (Score 1) 322

This is not representative. Yes from your perspective you're giving better care when you ignore the system, maybe it's easier and faster to glance through a chart and just remember what you need to know about a particular patient, but this system wasn't established to help you. This system was established to help patients who aren't always being treated by the same doctors, who need to go elsewhere sometimes, and who don't always have the stellar level of care that you no doubt give them. Where would we be if we built our infrastructure around helping only the best doctors and their tiny number of patients?

This same argument comes up all the time in other contexts. Whenever you make a change which helps the group, which provides a net benefit, but which may hinder some individuals you get this complaint. The talking heads love this stuff because anecdote plays very well on TV - put some photogenic people in front of the camera and get them to say, "X didn't help ME!" and then the talking heads turn to the audience: "We're not saying that X is bad, we'll let you decide."

Comment Re:License to work (Score 5, Insightful) 635

Most of your argument there consists of, "I hate farmers." You throw in a bit at the end about how non-sale sales and customer lock-in are okay, although maybe that's only when they're directed at farmers, who you hate.

Ignoring the first part of your argument: when a company sells a product, but retains practical ownership over that product, that's a big problem and it's been happening more and more wherever the opportunity to do so has arisen. The farmers in this case are asking for nothing which hasn't already been addressed for other vehicles, and regardless of how greedy they may be this is a perfectly reasonable request.

Comment Re:XBox 1: jumped shark, shark ate it (Score 1) 107

::sigh:: This is just not true. Only the Xbox and Playstation have this problem, I have never connected my Wii U to the internet and it has never given me any trouble.

Forgot about that one, did you? If the other two are so bad, and they are, why do people keep ignoring the one that actually does what it's supposed to, and does it really well? I am sorely disappointed in how readily gamers have bought into this marketing meme that there are only two current-gen consoles. The only functional console of the lot is the one that's doing the worst commercially.

Comment Re:Soros? (Score 1) 1124

Every one of the arguments raised in this thread was acknowledged and addressed in TFA. I know it not fashionable to read the article, but this is silly. Eliminating administrative overhead? Specifically mentioned and accounted for. Raising taxes (especially on the rich)? Also discussed. Eliminating other social programs? Yes, also accounted for.

And yes, raising taxes is the only way that UBI could work. The problem is that it would require raising taxes by a very large amount, and his argument is that with Americans' attitude towards taxation this is politically infeasible.

Comment Re:Soros? (Score 4, Interesting) 1124

And Soros hates Universal Basic Income, so this guy is acting as Soros' shill? Is that what you're saying? I don't know squat about what George Soros thinks, so that's a legitimate question.

I do know a little bit about Robert Greenstein though, just a little, and he's run the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities since well before Soros did the thing with the currency trading. He's been around for a while, and he can think for himself.

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