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Comment Re:What about keyword searches? (Score 3, Insightful) 266

For Pete's sake, I've never understood why they didn't support some simple subset of regular expressions. Just "simple" stuff, like character classes and multipliers.

Also, while I don't mind being corrected on my spelling (being that, despite trying to be diligent, I certainly make mistakes), what the heck is up with google flatly refusing to search for my exact text? It was fine when you searched for 'x,' they asked "do you actually mean y?" But now, it takes me three searches before I figure out the magic phrasing that will actually do my search and not return "corrected" results.

Comment Re:Scourge? (Score 3, Interesting) 161

Balderdash! The key to preparing eggplant is the following two steps:

1) Slice the eggplant into ~ 1.5 cm - 2 cm slices. Salt one side of each slice. Reassemble eggplant, wrapping with cling wrap to hold it together. Let it rest for ~30 minutes until all the bitter juices leech out, and then wipe each slice dry.

2) Roast or grill eggplant for a couple minutes, until it looks like it has started cooking.

Then, do whatever you want with it.

Also, it helps to know that the eggplant has "male" and "female" fruit, and that the female fruit has a more bitter flavor.

Comment Re:and that's the problem with vigilante justice (Score 1) 267

I wasn't the [great]grandfather ;^)

Also, ironically, I don't own a gun (although I have no issues with them, per se). I just know that if everyone in my neighborhood did, I would never try to break into their houses (assuming I even had the intent to do so in the first place).

All suppression of a good does is force the creation of a black economy - ne'er-do-wells will still acquire the weapons if they were illegal. In a world where the gun hadn't been invented, I would be loathe to introduce one, but the cat's out of the bag, and if there are malicious individuals with them, I would prefer to be able to reduce their odds of using them against me.

Comment Re:and that's the problem with vigilante justice (Score 1) 267

...when in truth there are thousands of kinds, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with the two... and to construct such a contrived logically incoherent pile of crap as that quote above to justify to us that we should be content living as slaves under the moneyed classes is frankly ignorant and repulsive...

I completely agree with you. There is a wide continuum of possible governments. Upon rereading the quote, I believe Lewis was simply conjuring up a second image to act as a foil to the first. Nearly everyone can understand that living under a robber baron is bad, and if given a choice, would not do so. Thus, if a government of moral busybodies is worse, one should not want to live under that either.

thank you for creating in me a new strong dislike of cs lewis, for his logically flawed, bad intentioned thinking in that disgusting quote. what an asshole

That was never my intent, and I'm sorry if I've given you some insult. I merely aimed to state that you would be no happier living under an oppressive bureaucracy of my design than I would be in a "society [that is] regulated and secure". Is complete anarchy good? Certainly not, I agree with you, and would add that anarchy inevitably leads to despotism. As you said yourself, though, there are thousands of kinds of government; championing an overly powerful one because of a fear of your neighbor is not going to give you the results you believe it will.

Comment Re:and that's the problem with vigilante justice (Score 1) 267

i fear my fellow man far more than i fear my government

The catch is, your government is selected from amongst your fellow men, and frequently consists of the worst of them. The individual may be disorganized and chaotic, but a hierarchy is organized and directed at the whims of the most power hungry individuals. Do you fear uncertainty more than oppression?

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. -- C.S. Lewis

Comment Re:Punishment based on victim, not crime (Score 2, Insightful) 417

If you have trivially-bypassed locks on your house, and someone "picks" them and walks in, are they still guilty in the United States of breaking and entering? As much as I hate to so heavily punish somebody for a harmless prank, adding "on a computer" to a crime shouldn't change it dramatically. Harm was done, and traditional breaking and entering typically carries sentences greater than what he received.

Comment Re:SURE! Why not?? (Score 1) 405

Don't get me wrong, I understand it, and am willing to part with money in order to help the school district handle more students, keep par with inflation (so they don't have to gut all the goodies and extras, which in the end are some of the few truly valuable parts of the institutions), and all that good stuff, but I am still waiting for the study that links higher school district budgets with more educated students. I wouldn't be upset if they could justify it. But they don't bother!

Schools seem to be one of those few industries where they can mandate steep price hikes practically overnight in order for you to get... the same damned thing. The only other one that springs to mind is telcos.

Comment SURE! Why not?? (Score 2, Informative) 405

My school district just declared that their budget is going to increase by 40% over the next 4 years, to over $180 million! Why not throw some of these in there too?? They already announced those numbers so they can let us know that unless we pass gargantuan levies over the next three years, they'll be $70 million in the hole by then - why not throw in some incredibly expensive chairs, too?

Comment Re:This is second place (Score 1) 1260

I don't frequently take the time to feed the trolls, but It's better than what I'm working on right now, and you were rather rude, so...

Most people don't understand or intuit infinity.

Infinity is a great abstraction, and perhaps difficult for anyone but great minds such as yourself to truly grasp. For practical purposes, however, most people DO understand it to mean something to the effect of "bigger than the biggest number I can imagine."

In fact, the parent doesn't understand infinity, because with an infinite number of doors,, the probability that you picked the car is exactly zero, not "vanishingly small",

It's a turn of phrase. I was alluding to its zero-ness. Just in case your autism interferes with your comprehension in the future, sometimes when people write or speak, they use literary devices to add color to what they say. Best of luck with that.

and the odds are not "very, very high" but exactly 1 that you picked a goat to start with.

Once again, allusion. My post might be your first exposure to it, but I didn't invent it.

Stick with about 1000 doors - that usually delivers the intuition without confusing people!

Get real. People can't intuitively imagine one thousand doors any more than they can intuitively imagine infinite doors. Perhaps when I tell you to imagine 1000 doors, you can pull up a room with each of them labeled, clearly in view, but the majority of humans can't imagine more than 6 or 7 distinct things at once. A thousand, a million, infinite, it doesn't matter. They'll use the same machinery to picture it - "a huge number bigger than I can imagine."

Comment Re:This is second place (Score 4, Insightful) 1260

The Monty Hall problem and its delinquent cousin the Tuesday Boy problem are genuinely difficult because the answer is highly dependent on the way that the question is posed.

I would argue that the Monty Hall problem is difficult because people don't take into account the fact that the result is NOT path independent.

It would be much easier (I think) to understand intuitively if people realized that it was highly likely that they picked the wrong door to start. A more intuitive way of explaining the problem to somebody would be to increase the number of doors - to say, infinity. If there are infinity minus one closed doors with goats behind them, and a single door with a car behind it, the odds are obviously very high that you picked a goat. The probability that you picked the car is vanishingly small. Therefore, when the host opens every door except yours and one other, and they all reveal goats, the odds are very, very high that the other door hides a car, and yours hides a goat.

Now, reduce that to 3 doors. The same logic applies.

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