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Comment Re:Was Jesus riding Nessie? (Score 0) 936

Anyone that preaches ignorance by saying Genesis is literal is using religion as a money making scheme. Simple as that. Anyone who believes that deserves to have their money taken from them (in form of donations, etc). After all, the fastest way to get rich is to make a "church" since it's not taxed and no one can prove you're lying.

Science and religion are not mutually exclusive, after all scientists are trained not to jump to conclusions. Making conclusions about God when there is no proof (for or against it) is contrary to any science education that I know of.

These people are using any means necessary to ram their "belief" down everyone's throat. After all, the more "believer" they have, the more donations that'll come their way. They're no better than those Nigerian scammers (except you can actually prove that those Nigerian scammers are lying).

It always boggles my mind how people cannot understand that they're basically being scammed.

Comment Re:Copyright infringement is not theft (Score 1) 257

Their use of the word "steal" is, unfortunately, deliberately done. Sounds better than "copyright infringement", to which people would say "meh". "Steal" is such a strong word, people now start using "Steal" for pretty much everything nowadays.

Hell, if they can somehow use the word "rape", "murder", etc, they will. For example: "downloading is raping the artists (digitally)", "by downloading, you are indirectly murdering the artist's children by depraving them of basic necessity".

I find it quite funny when they accuse people of "stealing", when they're using creative accounting to literally steal from the artists.

Comment Re:I never used to send SMS (Score 1) 468

In some countries the telcos charge an insane amount of money for voice calls. Texting is way cheaper. Sometimes it's so extreme that there's no difference between making a mobile-to-mobile calls and international calls (at least in Australia). Also, as you pointed out, texting is much less intrusive than a phone call.

In a more extreme case, in Indonesia, texting lost out to blackberries. This is because the telcos there charged 20-50 cents per day for unlimited BBM access, while they charge about the same for a minute of voice call.

Comment Re:It would help if they finished quoting (Score 1) 1268

I blame the calculators, where students that young are allowed to use one.

When you're that young and faced with a problem you don't understand and you have this thingamajig that spouts out answers faster than you could type it in, you can bet that everyone will start to absent-mindedly punch numbers into it, if it can help them get away from homework sooner.

The many opinions (on slashdot, no less, where everyone here is very well educated) that using brackets as a substitute for variables creates confusion is even more ridiculous. It doesn't matter if it uses x, or (), or [], or whatever, if it's not a number or operator, then it's an unknown. Simple as that.

The debate that using () as a variable is wrong is even weirder than saying = is an operator. At least I can understand where the = confusion comes from.

Comment This is because of calculators (Score 1) 1268

I don't get why so many people here are confused by the brackets. To me, an equal sign simply means the left part and the right part of the sign are the same thing. Anything that is not a number or an operation is simply variables.

My first thought when I see that 4+3+2=()+2 is to remove the 2s and arrived at 4+3=(). I had more difficulty understanding the 4+3+2=9+2=11 part, since it makes no sense whatsoever in the presence of the equal signs, until I realized that it makes sense for people that use calculators.

I agree that the problem stems from the use of calculators in school, where people would equate the equal sign as an operation (on par with +,-,etc).

This is a good reason to bring back the old RPN HP calculators and mandate its use in school. Those things don't have an equal sign and basically forces you to perform math properly.

Comment Re:Two senses of "closed." (Score 1) 850

Well people blame Apple because they have the last word on what's in the App Store, so if something bad is in the App Store, it is by default Apple's fault. People would less likely to blame Apple if the App Store is less restrictive. There is a middle ground actually, they can use (ironically) Microsoft's model of signed drivers. They can put up a big sign saying that installing a non-signed app is not covered. This way, people that want to be in Apple's walled garden can install exclusively signed apps and people like me that want to tinker with my hardware can have the option to install a non-signed apps. Wishful thinking, since Apple won't ever do that. Steve Jobs is a proven control freak.

Anyone actually recognize the irony of this Flash debate and Apple's closed systems? In their 1984 ad, they say they're freeing people from IBM mind control while in reality they're the one that's doing it now.

Comment Re:Example: Standard Deviation (Score 1) 429

Most people I know learn stat by using calculators and computers. Add that to the problem of people's fear toward mathematical formula with big sigma signs and big root squares, and you can be assured that no one would learn stat properly. I seem to get the impression (at least from people I know) that formulas with sigmas are "complex" and they just skip over it. This is a fundamental problem, and I had to explain to some very well educated people to see sigma signs as a "for" loop in computer programs. Then they think it's not so bad after all.

Stat depends on assumptions, and the assumptions must be stated prior to doing anything, otherwise the analysis in itself is useless. Most stat classes that I took used normal distribution as an assumption, and in many cases it just doesn't apply. The worst that I've seen is someone trying to use the 95% confidence interval (which is based on normal distribution assumption) on something that I know for certain is Laplacian distributed.

I think calculators and computers are the worst thing that can happen to statistics learning. It should not be used to learn stat, ever. They encourage people to be hasty, careless, and have the impression that stat is just a collection of magic formulas that gives whatever you want.

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