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Comment Re:Lemme get this straight (Score 1) 186

You said it. Incarceration for non-violent crimes is detrimental to the individual and collective society. Shooting oneself in the foot, so to speak.

Only the violent belong in cages. Nice ones too.

We are a wealth society. Only violent people go to prison and even then the cages should be nice.

Comment Re:You don't need a CMS (Score 5, Insightful) 187

Disclaimer: I know this will seem pedantic but I am trying to get people to think about problems in the long term (solutions that work for thousands of years, not hundreds).

If we use the format YYYY-MM-DD for dates (for instance 2013-04-07), they sort both alphabetically and numerically, they are easy for human eyes/minds to parse at a glance (my apologies to the vision impaired) and there won't be a reason to change to format for approximately 7,895 years (but who is counting, really).

Please see ISO 8601: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601

Obligiatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/1179/

Comment Re:Hatebase as in hate speech, as in ... (Score 4, Interesting) 190

NLP = natural language processing

This is the same as any NLP crowd-sourcing tool; it's simply designed with a focus on correlating vocabulary with prejudicial sentiment.

In case some of you were wondering about the acronym. That becomes:

This is the same as any natural language processing crowd-sourcing tool; it's simply designed with a focus on correlating vocabulary with prejudicial sentiment.

To take the conjugation one step further it becomes:

This shit be the same shit as any goddamn shit where we get other motherfuckers to do the fucking dirty work of working out when shit-talkers, shit-talking in some other fucking language, be talking shit is a way that means that those fuckwits mean to start some shit.

Of course, sometimes you can take conjugation a bit too far.

Comment Re:Hatebase as in hate speech, as in ... (Score 4, Insightful) 190

Instead of "they", please try using the the word "we".

Here is a FTFY (aka fixed-that-for-you) example. I will now conjugate the following:

No, they do not believe in the true concept of FREE speech - their only aim is to force everyone in using political correct speeches

With the FTFY conjugation which takes ownership of all aspects of society by turning all third person plural forms into first person plural forms that quote becomes:

No, we do not believe in the true concept of FREE speech - our only aim is to force everyone in using political correct speeches (sic)

My point is that "they" are not the problem. My point is that "we" are the problem. Every last fallible one of us can be a problem or a solution. The difference is often a matter of how compassionate we are combined with how much we are able to take personal responsibility for problems. Even (maybe especially?) the problems which seem to be caused by other people.

While I may be liberal and you may be conservative, the reality is that our society is comprised of both of us and we are both liberal and conservative. We are all the things we which are. By treating the problem as "our" problem instead of "their" problem we can approach the solution with realism and healing, instead of idealism and revenge.

Of course we could, instead, go on blaming other people, but look where that has gotten us so far . . .

Comment Re:An Element of the Divine (Score 1) 219

I would first like to note that I feel the word "magic" is an unwieldy and childish word which is commonly used for certain phenomena. The truth behind the phenomena in question is actually manifold.

I believe some of the phenomena in question (telepathy for instance) have a firm grounding in the laws of physics and that they will eventually be explained by science. People once thought magnets were magic and we no longer think so. It is my belief that science will one day explain telepathy just as it does magnets.

There are other phenomena which I believe will never be explained by science but which are "real" all the same. In place of the word "magic", I would prefer the phrase "non-ordinary reality".

Please understand that my conception of reality is, most likely, very different from yours. I think all of reality is an illusion and the ultimate goal of conscious beings is to learn to escape this illusion and join the one true mind which is a singularity without any attributes which a human mind can conceptualize. Some have called this singularity "Brahman". (See this for a rough explanation of the concept of Brahman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman)

I do not believe that "reality" is real. You seem to believe there is one, true, absolute, objective reality. Maybe you do not, but you seem to. I, on the other hand, believe the exact opposite. Reality is manifold and all "realities" are falsehood. This fundamental difference is probably going to be the source of a great deal of confusion and difficulty when you and I attempt to explain our beliefs to each other which is why I have taken such great care to point it out.

So, some "magic" is just things science cannot yet explain but which are grounded firmly in this "reality". Other "magic" is the "bending" of "reality". Reality is elastic, in my experience. The rules can be changed if force of consciousness is applied, but these changes go away and "reality" reverts to its previous form when the force or forces are removed again.

I hope this makes my previous statements appear differently to you. I will now address some of what you said.

I once felt as you do: That my brain had some kind of privileged direct access to reality.

You're a snarky one, aren't you? I never said that, nothing even close to that. You seem to be both snarky and fond of the straw man argument. I will not defend a point you have imagined I have made when I have not actually made it. Nothing I wrote stated or implied privileged or superior access to reality. I hope it is clear to you now that I don't even believe that "reality" is "real".

My personal view is that if it were real it would be absolutely trivial to demonstrate its reality to just about everyone. Like magnetism.

Now, there is a comment worth expanding upon.

Imagine the following scenario: We are living in the stone age. I tell you I have seen stones that can pull pieces of iron to them with an invisible force of attraction. I claim to have seen these stones with my own eyes and I tell you they are real.

Now, as someone that had never seen a magnet with your own eyes, you would be a fool to believe such an outrageous claim. On the other hand, if I had seen a magnet with my own eyes, touched one and been able to experiment with one, I would know with absolute certainty that they are real things.

Both of us would believe the other person to be mistaken. Both of us would be totally correct to hold the beliefs that we did if using logic and experience as a basis for our beliefs is what we mean when we say "correct".

It is my belief that the impasse you and I are having is perfectly analogous to the scenario of two stone age people talking about magnets. You know the impossible thing I suggest is absurd and you attack the claim with passion. I know my claim is true because I have had direct experience with the truth in question.

Comment Re:An Element of the Divine (Score 1) 219

I once felt as you do: magic isn't real. I changed my beliefs only because I eventually had my own direct experience with non-ordinary reality. ("Non-ordinary reality" being a more clinical term for "magic".)

I cannot prove this to you. Only your own direct experience with non-ordinary reality will make you believe in it.

Saying you don't believe in magic makes sense when you have never seen it. When you have seen it it makes sense to believe in it. I really do hope you get to experience magic some day.

It was wonderful (as in truly full of wonder) to realize I was wrong about "reality". To quote Richard Bach: "What a pleasure to be wrong."

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