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Comment Why the Drupal hate? (Score 4, Insightful) 192

I have been using Drupal to do site development for 5 years now. I have developed small and medium sized sites for everyone from restaurants to professional membership organizations. I use it for sites of all sizes because eventually someone asks for a feature that isn't available or is painful to implement in WP. I have written custom modules and complex themes in relatively short timeframes because of the flexibility of the platform.

You don't like Drupal - that's great, don't use it. I am not a big RoR fan. I tried it out for a new project at work and it just didn't "feel" right. I was able to get the Symfony2 framework up and running pretty quickly and we are developing a multi tiered app in house with it. I don't hate RoR and I don't need to bash it. Plenty of intelligent developers who know more than me are using it and developing kick-ass software. It just didn't fit for me.

Nah - we can't have that kind of adult response. Quit liking what I don't like!

Comment Re:Prove Otherwise Please (Score 1) 1774

First of all I think you are attacking a straw man. I never said that I was opposed to evolutionary theory. It seems to hold up well in many ways, and I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the religious zeal that defends evolution to the point of denying its weaknesses.

I happen to believe in guided evolution. I think there are enough questions about evolution and abiogenesis that blind evolution is unlikely.

Secondly, while I don't have a problem with language reconstruction, I think there are valid questions to be asked in that realm as well. I am not a linguist, so you can take my opinion for what its worth, but I think it is pretty humorous that we think we can accurately reconstruct a language that hasn't been spoken in thousands of years. There isn't anyone to confirm that the assumptions behind the reconstruction are correct, and there is no way to verify. That doesn't invalidate linguistics or the reconstruction process completely. It does mean that we have to have at least a shred of humility and acknowledge the weaknesses inherent in the process.

Comment Re:Prove Otherwise Please (Score 1) 1774

Which is as absurd a demand as saying "Show me every generation of the spoken language between Proto-Germanic and Elizabethan English with complete syntax and vocabularies."

One does not have to have a complete data set to be able to make inferences based upon the data we do have, and thus we can say with a high degree of confidence that "Elizabethan English is descended from Proto-Germanic" and "all extant life evolved from a common ancestor", when in both cases we can only make indirect inferences about what Proto-Germanic and the earliest common ancestor of life were like.

This isn't quite the same thing. A spoken language dies when its speakers die. Evidence only remains if the culture had writing that is on a substrate that can survive long periods of exposure.

When a species dies out there is at least a possibility that there will be some fossilized evidence. I don't think we would find complete fossilized skeletons, but we should be able to find some evidence of intermediate species. I think it is disingenuous to ignore the very real questions about intermediate steps in the evolutionary process. We may find more fossils in the future that demonstrate the evolutionary transitions, but right now this is an area that is lacking

Comment Re:The Failure of Ideas (Score 1) 368

That cracks me up. It's because of a Big Idea that 1/3 of the human population even eats. Big Ideas is exactly why many people put food on their table.. not just food, but an abundance of food.

We have an abundance of unhealthy food. Simple carbs and fat laden crap. Most families can't afford to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Add to that the vast urban tracts that don't even have access to a decent grocery store and you can see that we have a real food problem that isn't being addressed.

The promised land is a goal you set to always be better. Here are some thing you might want to consider: Polio, pretty much GONE. Most childhood diseases, gone. Between those two things, child death has moved from expected, to tragic. I can sit in my home and watch pretty much any movie any time. I can also go tot he park and play with a baseball. A purchase which helped put food on the table on the other side of the world. Contrary to what some people trying to choke this country have said, life is better then it was even 20 years ago.

It is great that childhood diseases are gone. We have picked the low hanging fruit. We are making very little headway on resolving diseases of aging such as dementia, Alzheimers and cancer. The options that are available are so expensive that they are only available to people with $$$. We continue to defund research and pay pharmaceutical companies billions to create drugs to treat symptoms, but don't actually solve problems.

Because of the highway system, my work option are far wider, my life style is higher, everyone's in the US's is higher.

You can drive your car to a non-existent job? Well goody for you. Again, there is a large and growing underclass in this country that can't afford a car or the outrageous fuel prices to run it. Employment has stagnated and the options for employment have narrowed. It is a choice between something in the tech field or a low paying service job. Middle class jobs are becoming extinct.

The current economy? would have LOVED for it to be this good in the 80's. Safety Crime? Way the fuck down since the 70's and 80s.

I think you need to look at history and see that the majority of Americans are not benefiting from big ideas today. The gulf between rich and poor widens, access to basics like health care and education is becoming more difficult and real income is shrinking. Some things have gotten better. Increased access to broadband internet and by extension all kinds of information is nice, but that doesn't address basic needs. We are not better off as a society than we were 20 years ago when you look at the big picture.

Comment The Failure of Ideas (Score 1) 368

Disillusionment with "ideas" permeates our culture and has lead to a lack of interest in pursuing and discussing new ideas. Despite all of the grand ideas of the past 125 years, our wealth gap is widening and for the first time we are losing ground financially, educationally and socially. All of the past ideas have not changed one thing about the realities we live with. As a matter of fact we could argue that many of those ideas got us into the mess we are facing today.

People are tired of ideas. Ideas don't work in resolving the issues of survival most of our society is facing, they don't put food on the table, and they haven't lead us to the Promised Land envisioned by many Enlightenment and modernist thinkers.

Comment Re:Confused (Score 1) 518

It isn't the job of businesses to take care of anyone - even their employees. The number one job of a business is to maximize profit.

Ideally, the individuals who profit from the operation of a business would be interested in taking care of the individuals in society. Unfortunately those people seem to have take the attitude that they have gotten their piece of the pie and don't care about the reality others may be living in.

I agree with the analogy of the Romans used by unity100 upthread. The wealthy have no reason to care about our society any longer. The analogy isn't perfect but it seems like we are headed in the same general direction.


Pope Promotes Christian Netiquette 218

angry tapir writes "Pope Benedict XVI Monday gave his blessing to social networking, urging Catholic Internet users to adopt a respectful Christian netiquette when spreading the Gospel online. The pope said new technologies were creating unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship but warned against creating false online profiles out of vanity or diluting the Christian message to achieve popularity."

Comment Sounds Like Drupal (Score 2) 98

Drupal is uneven, missing features that you would expect from a full CMS and enabling functionality via contrib modules that I have spent months coding in the past. Features show up that are clearly not ready for prime time and are slowly developed into useful modules that become a core part of the Drupal developer's toolkit. It really seems like the archetypal open source/agile project in that way. Unfortunately, that style doesn't work well in a dead tree format. It will be interesting to see if a second edition hits the shelves that fixes some of the glaring problems.

The "King of All Computer Mice" Finally Ships 207

An anonymous reader writes "The much-anticipated, much-mocked 18-button joystick mouse from WarMouse is now shipping. The press release features an impressive set of user quotes from game designer Chris Taylor, new SFWA president John Scalzi, and a doctor who runs a medical software company. Crazy or not, it's obviously more than just a gaming mouse."

Publishing Company Puts Warning Label on Constitution 676

Wilder Publication is under fire for putting warning labels on copies of historical US documents, including the Constitution. The label warns "This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today." From the article: "The disclaimer goes on to tell parents that they 'might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.'"

Comment Re:Cloud storage, the Solution begging for a probl (Score 1) 183

I just signed up for Mozy for a measly $54/year. I have almost 9GB of data backed up to their servers that took about a week to completely upload from my laptop when I was occasionally connected to the internet and not using it. I have a very small consulting business and I don't have time to juggle hard drives, run to the bank to keep a secure offsite backup or spend time worrying about my data.

If I don't pay my bill, the data does disappear. So What? I probably moved to a different service or a local backup solution at that point, or my business failed and the backups are the least of my concerns.

You may think it is expensive, but I find it to be a deal. I don't know what it would cost me to replace my data, but it far exceeds the cost in time or money of backing up using Mozy. You may have a different cost/benefit balance sheet and find that these services are too expensive and you may have other reasons you are not comfortable using them. That is fine, but understand your needs are not the same as the millions of people who do find value in online backup.

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Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso