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Comment Re:a rat != a pig != a dog != A boy (Score 1) 230

Actually, the version of Animal Liberation I read was the Second Edition, had been revised, and included references to facts as recent as the late 1990s. He actually says that things have improved since the first edition, but not by enough.

The way you describe your field and the certainty you have that most of your colleagues are as conscientious and compassionate as you gives me hope. However, the skeptic in me finds it extremely difficult to believe that all your colleagues are like you. Ordinary people generally treat animals very badly. I've seen it with my own eyes, read about it in the news, and I know, from talking to them, how little thought people give to the wellbeing of animals. Why should I expect scientists to be any different?

I always say to people that it's pointless for laymen to argue about things like these. At the end of the day, all I'm doing is using arguments made by an expert (which I consider Singer to be). But for every expert there is another expert which could make a counter-argument which is very convincing to laymen. But only another expert can tell who's right. You're an expert (or, at least, you sound like one, and are a professional in the field), so I can't argue with you. You have first-hand experience, I do not. I've read a book. I really hope you're right, and that things HAVE improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, and I hope they keep improving. I want to believe what you say. It would make me feel so much better about the world.

Finally, I never wanted to get into an argument about this, especially not with an expert. I just felt that you made it sound as if Singer was saying animal experimentation is all OK. I know that's not what you meant, but I just wanted to clarify.

Comment Re:a game that tells the truth about religion (Score 1) 523

... the problem is not religion, it is extremism ... Yet you suddenly take a 90 degree turn and start rambling about how religion encourages murdering, even though it's ... only justified by twisting the words and intents of said religion (which is easy if your audience are uneducated peons, as they were during the Crusades/Inquisition).

So are you saying that the Catholic Church was full of extremists during the Crusades and Inquisition?
Conventional historians would say that their motivations were more about control, power, and geopolitics.

Comment Re:Libertarians -- foot in mouth yet? (Score 1) 596

Why should I pay a bunch of people in government to make decisions with my money when I can make those decisions myself and keep a butt-ton of money to boot? The government takes over $120 out of my meager $530 weekly paychecks and gives me nothing in return. Most of that money goes to pay for government health care for the poor and elderly. I will never see a dime of that money. The rest of it goes to a retirement plan which I will never see benefits from.

Essentially a bunch of con-men have conned us into believing that we should pay them to make financial decisions for us, then taken all of our money and used it on projects which never benefit us.

Operating Systems

Submission + - Michael's Got a New Notebook...

An anonymous reader writes: Lionel Menchaca just posted on "I just heard that Michael's added a new notebook to his hardware collection. It's a Precision M90 mobile workstation with Ubuntu 7.04 and a list of open-source applications. He's also running an NVIDIA Quadro FX 3500 graphics card with 512MB RAM. I figured a few of you might want to know. "

Submission + - The Math of Text Readability

An anonymous reader writes: Wired magazine has an article that explains The Law of Optical Volumes, a formula for spacing the letters on a printed page that results in maximum readability. Wired's new logo (did anyone notice?) obeys the law. Unfortunately, Web fonts don't allow custom kerning pairs, so you can't work the same magic online as in print. Could this be why some people still prefer newspapers and magazines to the Web?

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