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Comment Re:Anthropological principle (Score 1) 186

No, not unlikely at all. In fact, totally the case

I cannot prove that God exists. But I cannot prove the God does not exist (and even that would be contingent if you were positivist, because the conclusive evidence for either case could arrive at any point in the future). The hypothesis is not one amenable to falsification. That's the agnostic part.

But, on the availability of the current evidence, I see no reason to accept that God exists: there is no convincing argument to me that supports it. That's the atheist part: I do not think there is a God (or Gods).

Comment Re:Anthropological principle (Score 3, Informative) 186

Well, it might a be a slightly garbled statement of the Strong Anthropic Principle, which posits that in some kind of deterministic way, the laws of nature are fashioned to ensure that intelligent life (specifically, us) will result. Personally, I find that slightly presumptuous.

The Weak Anthropic Principle, however, posits that the laws of nature are what they are, and intelligent life (specifically, us) is simply the serendipitous by-product of the way that things happen to be. In a universe of this size, the probability that such an event might happen at least once, somewhere, must be close to 1, one might think.

I think the difference is how deterministic you think the mechanics of the universe are, and how important we are within that situation.

Personally, I'm an agnostic atheist, which brings me to the Weak side, but even that doesn't deny the existence of a non-interventionist God. Take your pick.

Comment Re:It seems like an exaggerated story (Score 5, Insightful) 551

Looking at the pictures, no one looked delighted to be there. Tim Cook in particular looked like he been asked to eat week-old dog shit, to be frank. Attendance is a necssary evil, like your mother making you take cod liver oil to "keep you regular" when you were a kid These could be the opening shots in a long and messy few years, as tech companies rub up against a thin-skinned and authoritarian lower order primate. But hey, he's a smart guy. Who needs intelligence briefings, eh? Not like that dumb Obama guy. Sad!

Comment "heroes" (Score 1) 412

While some of these people may indeed be heroic and decent, they are being asked to do some morally questionable things by the people and agencies managing them. There's only so much conflict any thinking person can take before you have to come down one way or another, and it seems that many are either taking the money, or just don't like the reality of some of what they are being asked to do. Which is sad all around.

Comment Re:I'm sure that'll work (Score 2) 113

Yup, The Dunning-Kruger Effect in full ...ahem...effect. Asking those who are reading (and believing) this stuff to evaluate how reliable the content is strikes me as being even worse than useless, and actively harmful, because positive feedback on such articles will encourage further propagation. And facebook wil be able to say that audiences rated the articles highly, so they must be ok.

Comment Well.. (Score 1) 244

It always struck me (even as an undergrad 25 years ago when we were talking about SR and GR) that this could be the case - that c could be "instanteously" or "episodically" constant, but need not have been the same value for ever. It's not unreasonable to suppose that the value of c could look like a decay curve, or some function whose value tends to the limit we are now seeing over time from some earlier maximum. I just never got around to asking anyone why not at the time - pity. I suppsoe it goes back to a calculus way fo thinking for me - at any instant in some changing system, even things which are changing may appear from within that system to have fixed, immutable values, even if that's not what they truly are.

Comment ::shrug:: (Score 1) 232

It had to happen eventually. The phone market is maturing, the economies of the developed world are not in the best shape, so people are holding onto phones longer. The developing worklds is not a magic cash cow either. The market for these techologiesis very competitive; there are lots of choices. Apple's revennue groweth has not been a bubble, but it couldn't go on incresing for ever without constraint. It's no wonder that companies like Apple and Google are investigating where the next big change is coming from becasue the market is saturating.

Comment Re:It's A Bargain (Score 2) 460

Yup, welcome to the wonderful world of price-elastic demand, Netflix. I laughed at "We think some members perceived the news as an impending new price increase rather than the completion of two years of grandfathering." If you end up paying more than you did before, it's a price increase, even if the company artificially held that cost down for a while. Trying to dress it up any other way just looks a bit...silly

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