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Comment Re: Extraordinary claims require ... (Score 1) 248

According to Wikipedia, Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but the references used in the articles should be reliable sources.

For what it's worth, the references in this quote from

"Even today, no fixed theoretical limit to human longevity is apparent.[2] Studies[1] in the biodemography of human longevity indicate a late-life mortality deceleration law: that death rates level off at advanced ages to a late-life mortality plateau. This implies that there is no fixed upper limit to human longevity, or fixed maximum human lifespan.[3]"


1. Gavrilov, Leonid A.; Gavrilova, Natalia S.; Center on Aging, National Opinion Research Center/University of Chicago (June 2000). "Book Reviews: Validation of Exceptional Longevity" (PDF). Population Dev Rev. 26 (2): 403â"4. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2000.00365.x. Retrieved 18 May 2009.

2. Gavrilov, L. A.; Gavrilova, N. S. (1991). The biology of life span: a quantitative approach. New York City: Harwood Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-3-7186-4983-9.

3. Gavrilov, Leonid A.; Center on Aging, National Opinion Research Center/University of Chicago (5 March 2004). "Biodemography of Human Longevity (Keynote Lecture)". International Conference on Longevity. Retrieved 18 May 2009.

If these are not reliable sources, then have that fight over on the Wikipedia article's talk page.

Comment Re:Ignorance shouldn't be an excuse. (Score 1) 30

claim ignorance

Security is mostly / always at the cost of convenience, and often costs money budgets don't have (until it is too late).

I know that in our organization, security is always an afterthought, even though we in IT try to make it a priority. Decisions made by people who are ignorant are almost always wrong (broken clocks being right twice a day), because they are almost always based on convenience over security.

And when the inevitable security problems come up, they expect IT to fix them, without compromising all their stupid decisions along the way.

When ever someone makes a REALLY stupid suggestion (easily guessed passwords), I try to put it into terms they can understand ... "Why not set everyone's password to the exact same thing, that way when someone forgets their password, their neighbor can tell it to them! CONVENIENT!!!"

Comment Re: Hardly news.. (Score 1) 85

One race instills systematic impediments that create an uneven playing field holding back other races from equitably participating in the riches of our society. This is just wrong!

You mean like the SF quarterback who is among the %01, raised by white parents when his black parents abandoned him, complaining about being "oppressed"?

IF there are systemic impediments that create an uneven playing field, it is by those who keep insisting that there are impediments even in the face of all the proof in the world that such things do not exist, because the belief is what is holding these people back.

Or, think of it this way, the whole DNC "you can't make it because rich white people are keeping you down and you need our (DNC) help" is patently offensive and racist. Partly because it is run by "rich white people" telling poor black people they need rich white people's help. If that isn't fucking racist, I don't know what is.

Comment Re: Hardly news.. (Score 0) 85

Tribalism is based on Evolutionary group behavior. Humans cannot really survive well as individuals in an evolutionary setting.

You cannot nullify millions of years of evolution by simply willing it away. So, while you "struggle to understand", I don't struggle to understand, because it is easy to understand. It isn't an "irrational emotional response", it is bred into us, and is pure instinct, just like breading itself is.

The other option to this is that we are not millions of years old evolutionary creatures, but are a creation of a deity, much much younger. And as a creation, then we must argue over which creation story is correct, and thus begins the "tribalism" that occurs over such arguments.

Personally, I like to think that tribalism is neither good nor bad, but how things "are". My tribe (aka Family) exists, my choice of friends (alliances) extends my tribe. I get along with some other tribes, and I don't get along with some other tribes. It isn't binary, but often appears that way.

My particular view is also one of the reasons why I am a Libertarian. Because, as long as your tribe leaves my tribe alone, to live as we see fit, and I do the same, I really don't care what god you believe in, what OS you use, what race you are. The problem are those people who DO care what others believe, and do ... and demand that I follow their rules.

Comment The law of small numbers (Score 1) 248

If you held a lottery where the odds of winning were 1 in a billion billion billion, but someone won, would you call the shenanigans?

Living to 143 or even 153 would be an extreme outlier, but to imply it is an actual impossibility by calling it a "statistical impossibility" isn't helpful.

Now, it may actually be the case that there is an upper limit on the human lifespan (personally, I think there is, but we don't have the science to prove it yet), and it may be the case that this upper limit is under 143 years (personally, I doubt this is the case). If we eventually prove that man cannot live more than 142 years, then - and only then - can we say that this claim is actually impossible on its face. Until then, we can - and should - say that it is extremely improbably and the claimant has a very high burden of proof.

Comment Extraordinary claims require ... (Score 5, Insightful) 248

... extraordinary evidence.

An identity card whose date has only recently been confirmed isn't enough.

You still need to confirm that the card-holder is the person who matches the genuine records.

You also have to assess the credibility of those in the records office and answer questions like "why wasn't this confirmed long ago, like when he applied for a penson (no pension? okay, I'll accept that) or when he hit age 100 (not important enough? okay, I'll accept that), age 110 (you better have a darn good answer) or when he got to be the oldest man in his country (every month of delay in searching for accurate records from this point on makes his claim less and less credible).

It's been 30+ years since he would've been the oldest person in the world. If there haven't been serious, continuous, diligent, credible efforts to find and authenticate his age since the mid-to-late 1980s, then it will take something extra-ordinary, such as confirmation that he fathered someone known to be born more than, say, 120 years ago, for his claim to be accepted. Even if there has been a serious, continuous, diligent, credible effort to find proof of his age for the last 30 years, the fact that it took so long to find it hurts his claim.

Comment Re:social experiments (Score 1) 312

All of this presumes that people do not have a will of their own and are more or less working off pure instinct / animalistic nature.

This assumption, that people CANNOT control themselves (default behavior) is how we get into this mess. Because we assume people cannot control themselves, we then excuse behavior. And then when we start excusing some behaviors, we allow for that logic (when it actually starts applying again) to replicate to all sorts of other "instinctual" aspects, like boys raping girls who are passed out.

How about we stop saying people CANNOT control themselves, and say that they WILLNOT control themselves. IMHO we should be teaching self control and willpower. But that doesn't create a subservient sheeple class in society.

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