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General Discussion / Re: Stephen Hawking makes it clear: There is no God
« Last post by Chesire on Today at 03:33:26 AM »
I liked toffler a lot of his imaging of the future was lot more positive than the grim dark mechanistic fascism of wells , blair and huxley and dick .
Not that it matters junior high was a longtime ago when I discovered  toffler .

“Running through the maze of life, you come across profound ambiguities and complexities. Yet the essence of living a meaningful life remains simple- following your heart and pursuing your life purpose.”
― Roopleen
General Discussion / Re: Stephen Hawking makes it clear: There is no God
« Last post by Taaiit on Today at 03:05:17 AM »
There is no answer. There never was an answer. There never will be an answer. That's your answer.

Gertrude Stein
General Discussion / Re: Stephen Hawking makes it clear: There is no God
« Last post by dermot on Today at 02:55:06 AM »
David Graeber wrote this one.  It is hard to know what to quote.  I like the overall effect of actually looking at the reality, compared to the promises/illusion.

Great stuff. Quotewise, this is great, regarding the promised future vs. the one that arrived:

...below it all lay an uneasy awareness that the postwork civilization was a giant fraud. Our carefully engineered high-tech sneakers were not being produced by intelligent cyborgs or self-replicating molecular nanotechnology; they were being made on the equivalent of old-fashioned Singer sewing machines, by the daughters of Mexican and Indonesian farmers who, as the result of WTO or NAFTA–sponsored trade deals, had been ousted from their ancestral lands. It was a guilty awareness that lay beneath the postmodern sensibility and its celebration of the endless play of images and surfaces.

Marx right?

Even capitalism’s greatest detractors, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, celebrated its unleashing of the “productive forces.” Marx and Engels also believed that capitalism’s continual need to revolutionize the means of industrial production would be its undoing. Marx argued that, for certain technical reasons, value—and therefore profits—can be extracted only from human labor. Competition forces factory owners to mechanize production, to reduce labor costs, but while this is to the short-term advantage of the firm, mechanization’s effect is to drive down the general rate of profit.

For 150 years, economists have debated whether all this is true. But if it is true, then the decision by industrialists not to pour research funds into the invention of the robot factories that everyone was anticipating in the sixties, and instead to relocate their factories to labor-intensive, low-tech facilities in China or the Global South makes a great deal of sense.

I'm currently reading Toffler's 'Futureshock', and 50 pages in it's hard to believe this man was ever given much weight. Graeber's description of him as a 'lightweight' is excellent.

This is a great point also: the extent to which the Human Genome Project exists as a 'Great Triumph' for Progress, when it was largely a failure (Sheldrake points out that you'll get a better estimate of a child's adult height by using a ruler and measuring his parents heights). Yet, the public has been allowed to maintain the illusion of a Great Scientific Triumph (blissfully unaware of the 'Hereditary Problem') - or the fact that a human being has fewer genes than a grain of rice:

Part of the answer has to do with the concentration of resources on a handful of gigantic projects: “big science,” as it has come to be called. The Human Genome Project is often held out as an example. After spending almost three billion dollars and employing thousands of scientists and staff in five different countries, it has mainly served to establish that there isn’t very much to be learned from sequencing genes that’s of much use to anyone else. Even more, the hype and political investment surrounding such projects demonstrate the degree to which even basic research now seems to be driven by political, administrative, and marketing imperatives that make it unlikely anything revolutionary will happen.

This is spot-on - and I've even seen it in animation/design work - the whole damned thing is infested with business speak (and therefore, business-think):

The increasing interpenetration of government, university, and private firms has led everyone to adopt the language, sensibilities, and organizational forms that originated in the corporate world. Although this might have helped in creating marketable products, since that is what corporate bureaucracies are designed to do, in terms of fostering original research, the results have been catastrophic.

Ahem cough cough ahem AHEM

Quote one of the most bizarre fits of social self-destructiveness in history, we seem to have decided we have no place for our eccentric, brilliant, and impractical citizens. Most languish in their mothers’ basements, at best making the occasional, acute intervention on the Internet.

A nation of bureaucrats! Again, I've seen this even in the entertainment industry, belly of the beast.

Americans do not like to think of themselves as a nation of bureaucrats—quite the opposite—but the moment we stop imagining bureaucracy as a phenomenon limited to government offices, it becomes obvious that this is precisely what we have become. The final victory over the Soviet Union did not lead to the domination of the market, but, in fact, cemented the dominance of conservative managerial elites, corporate bureaucrats who use the pretext of short-term, competitive, bottom-line thinking to squelch anything likely to have revolutionary implications of any kind.

If we do not notice that we live in a bureaucratic society, that is because bureaucratic norms and practices have become so all-pervasive that we cannot see them, or, worse, cannot imagine doing things any other way.

What a life. I loathe paperwork to the point of pathology - can barely bother to file a tax return. Pitiful existance, oh, and fuck cars:

Someone once figured out that the average American will spend a cumulative six months of life waiting for traffic lights to change. I don’t know if similar figures are available for how long it takes to fill out forms, but it must be at least as long. No population in the history of the world has spent nearly so much time engaged in paperwork.

medically unfit ?

I can hook a gallon of bleach up to the iv drip in about 30 seconds , long as I don't have to change gloves in between patients  >:D
Breaking News / Re: Back to Baghdad: ISIS in Iraq
« Last post by Chesire on Today at 02:25:40 AM »
An off the shelf drone and some off the shelf odds and ends , a place to land in kobani.  30 days worth of operation flight time. I will take care of your little isis problem for 10 million or your money back.  >:D
I think Hawking is over rated. If he is so smart why does he still sound like a speak and spell. ;)


G-d 'll get you for that one, Farmer
cause chanting , arm flailing , fierce staring prolific tweeting  and other nonsense will change things  ;D

all political power comes out of a barrel at 1220 FPS  >:D

What are they shooting? .22?

308 at 500 yards

things noobs should study , ballistics  >:D
During the same time and in the same jurisdiction as Kincora:

Around a fifth of boys at Rubane House in Co Down were subjected to sexual or physical abuse, according to a public inquiry, equal to if not worse than that by loyalists at another home, Kincora in east Belfast.Rubane was the subject of a police investigation in 1995, the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry was told. Three De La Salle order brothers were charged but none convicted after their trials did not go ahead due to legal issues.Former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) detective chief superintendent Eric Anderson wrote a note to the Director of Public Prosecutions.It said: "Sexual abuse by a considerable number of the De La Salle brothers on the children and consequently between children is rampant."It said most of the offenders were dead or medically certified unfit for trial."The full horror of the abuse in this establishment is reflected in 41 files already submitted through your office to the DPP."I consider the complaints made to show it to be on a par with, if not worse than the abuse at the Kincora children's home (a notorious establishment frequented by loyalists in East Belfast)."f
Maybe it really won't be called "Windows 9"? Maybe it'll be "Windows 7.1"? >:D

This tablet-inspired UI design (operating systems and websites) is a fucking plague. The autotune of the digital world.

Hope they can roll back to something resembling 7.

I've shown W8 users that you can access any program just by typing its name (OH WOW I DIDN'T KNOW YOU COULD DO THAT!!!).  ::)
Breaking News / Re: Back to Baghdad: ISIS in Iraq
« Last post by dermot on Today at 01:40:35 AM »
War Nerd puts the over-rated clowns into perspective (not that I'd want them on the edge of my town), but an existential threat to the Free World is definitely not the picture painted here:

...the fall of Kobani would be a bad thing. A very bad thing, because IS is something unusual: A demonized group that really is as demonic as the mainstream media makes it out to be. Not as powerful, not as important, but every bit as demonic. Islamic State—latest in a long string of names for what was once “Al Qaeda Iraq”—is a collection of the worst survivors of various Sunni Iraqi militias, spiced with a few over-hyped European misogynist converts. A rotten group, whose idea of godly fun is killing heroic, uppity women like Samira Al-Nuaimi and raping captured Yazidi children, and I hope they all suffer miserable deaths, the sooner the better.

But IS is not performing the great military feats these scare stories give them credit for. And making them out to be such great conquerors only inflates the ridiculous vanity of the sadistic ham-actors who flock to IS.

Take this alleged push toward Kobani. To see how little it really means, you need certain skills, like… oh, I dunno, being able to read a map. So start by finding Kobani on a map—which isn’t always easy, because Kobani is the Kurdish name, and many sites, including Google Maps, list it by the competing Arab one, “Ayn al-Arab,” though a search for “Kobani” will direct you to the right place, under the name “Ayn al-Arab.” OK, now, you’ve found Kobani/Ayn al-Arab, right? Yeah, little town on the Syria-Turkey border—which, by the way, is the key to everything that’s going on there. Now, let your finger drift westward along that border about 25 km. You’ll come to another little border town called Jarabulus.

Now hit the plus sign on your Google Map and you’ll see what a tiny chunk of borderland there is between Kobani and Jarabulus. The Syria/Turkey border is 877 km long, so the 25 km between Kobani and Jarabulus amounts to less than three percent of the border.

So what? Well, the point is that Jarabulus, a dusty little nowhere town of about 12,000 people, happens to be the location of one of the first “Emirates” declared by Islamic State in Syria.

Assad’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA) never made a serious attempt to hold the border crossing at Jarabulus, so it came under Sunni rebel control as early as the summer of 2012. At that time, the resistance was an ad hoc group organized on clan lines, like many spontaneous Sunni neighborhood insurgent groups in the early stages of the war. This one, according to the excellent Syria analyst Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, was called “The Family of Jadir,” after its leader, Yusuf Al-Jadir. This group controlled the little town of Jarabulus—without calling it an “emirate”—until IS (which was still calling itself “I.S.I.S.,” or “The Islamic State of Al-Shams [Syria]”) took Jarabulus by force, in June of 2013.

Keep this timeline in mind when you’re trying to assess the significance of IS’s big push toward Kobani: IS(IS) took Jarabulus, only 25 km west of Kobani, more than 15 months ago. If it really were anything like the powerful, mobile force it’s being made out to be, it could and should have swarmed east to take the next significant border town, Kobani/Ayn al-Arab, immediately afterward.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, IS did what it always did: Publicity. It declared this nowhere little town of Jarabulus an “emirate.” You could have heard the Syrians laughing even over the celebratory AK fire. “Emirate”? Jarabulus? Those two words just don’t go together in Syrian Arabic. It would be like Bakersfield declaring itself an “Empire.” No, even that doesn’t catch the absurdity of “Emirate of Jarabulus,” because Bakersfield is a fairly big town. More like “The Empire of Turlock.” (Sorry, Turlock, but I got a ticket once going through your lousy one-street burg and now you pay the price.)

The next thing IS(IS) did when they took Jarabulus was to cut off water supplies to Kobani, hoping to use thirst to drive the Kurds out, a tactic they tried several times over the next few months.

What they didn’t do was mount a serious frontal attack on Kobani, even though the town was defended only by lightly-armed YPG militia. It wasn’t until June, 2014—when IS had a big success on its Eastern (Iraqi) front, panicking the weak Shia-Arab “Iraqi Army” into abandoning all of Anbar Province without a fight—that IS was able to transfer some of its captured heavy weapons to the attack on Kobani, overrunning Kurdish town militias who were trying to stop tanks and artillery with nothing more than AKs and a few RPGs. With all this armor—paid for by you American taxpayers, so thank Mister Cheney the next time you see him—IS was able to take several dozen Kurdish villages in the enclave around Kobani.

But stand back a second and squint at this supposedly significant advance. First of all, it came a whole year after IS declared its “Emirate” in Jarabulus, just 25 km west of Kobani. So the front lines barely moved in that year, even though the Kurdish forces were no more than neighborhood militias with nothing more than small arms. Second, it only happened when IS, using its one good move—shifting forces across the Iraq/Syria border, away from pressure and toward opportunity—gained a huge, though temporary, advantage in weaponry by bringing Iraqi armor against those village militias. And third—and most important: It failed. Even with that huge advantage in weaponry, IS has failed to take Kobani, after a year and a half of woofing, a massive bulk-up with captured Iraqi armor, and the covert help of the Turkish authorities, who have been doing everything to make life easier for Islamic State forces and harder for the Kurds opposing them.

Even with all that overbalance of forces against them, the Kurds of Kobani have kept this supposedly unstoppable IS juggernaut at least 14 km from Kobani. That’s weakness, almost laughable weakness. And it puts a new light on Islamic State’s one significant victory, its rout of the so-called Iraqi Army from all of Anbar Province last June. That Army was huge and expensively fitted out with all the latest American gizmos, but it was also demoralized, corrupt, and stuffed with conscripts from the Shia of the South, who had been a subject people, terrorized by, and terrified of, their Sunni masters. It’s not that Iraqi Shia won’t fight; they will, and very fiercely—but only for their besieged neighborhoods, their hereditary imams, or—above all—any public insult to their religion. You find that pattern among subject peoples all over the world: They’ll die for the ’hood or the temple, but they can’t cold-bloodedly form up, march into the territory of their former slave-masters, and occupy that territory without quaking at the thought the old masters will reassert themselves.
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