Pretty much the same thing. In her book Eunichs for the Kingdom of Heaven Uta Ranke-Heineman documents misogyny through the history of the Catholic church and she starts out by showing that misogyny and disdain for sex (the two inevitably go together) were actually inherited by the Catholic church from the pagan religions that the Catholics absorbed. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I'm skeptical that Apple will succeed in a big way in the business world. IT people are usually over worked and under appreciated which makes them hostile to change. Most shops can accomodateWindows, Linux, and Unix but I think IT people will fight very hard to keep Apple out. I also think the arguments for the iPad start to deminish when you move from the consumer world to business. With consumers ease of use is paramont. That's why I went back to Apple for my personal use. I got fed up with the maintenance associated with Windows when I didn't have an IT person to call on and had to figure it out myself. But for the business world that is switched. What is most important is conformity and price. You can train users and you can also constrain what they do. In fact to some extent for most users you WANT to constrain what they do.
The Mercedes example to me only shows the "exception that proves the rule". For a high-end product like that having sales people with an iPad will add extra status and the price of the iPad is trivial compared to the commission on even one sale. That's not the case for most kinds of sales.
BTW, I hope I'm wrong. I've just had a lot of bad experiences trying to get Apple used in even small ways in various IT shops so my experience tells me its going to be a tough sell. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
This argument is the last refuge for intellectuals who still believe in religion. If you ask your average church goer whether God, heaven, and hell exist and are real places they would say absolutely yes. And for them there is no equivocation, they exist the same way that a house, or car, or person does. Also, if you go back in time to before we understood things like evolution virtually everyone (with a few exceptions such as Spinoza and the American deists) believed in a physical God and actual places such as heaven and hell.
Now that science has eviscerated all the intellectual proofs for God the last defense for those who want to believe but still have a basic understanding of science is to say that for God existence means something else than for any other object. And then what follows as in this article are discussions of poetry and art and emotions. To me its obvious what is going on: people don't want to discard their comforting beliefs so they perform philosophical gymnastics that if you strip off all the flowerly language come down essentially to "God doesn't really exist but I'm going to keep on talking and behaving as if He did" Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
You don't know what you are talking about. An NC-17 rating is considered to be death at the box office and most directors and producers go to great lengths to avoid them. Films are almost always re-edited if the initial rating is NC-17, much to the disgust of the creative people involved. I recommend the movie "This Film is Not Yet Rated" an excellent documentary on the corrupt and hypocritical nature of the ratings system. About Sex Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I found the end story about the data warehouse system to be rather bizarre. So your biggest complaint against this doctor is he sent you an email with spelling errors? Seriously? Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
You are either a very priveledged person who has no concept of the difficulties that working people with children trying to also go to school go through or you are just clueless. Judging from the name you chose for yourself my guess is the latter. About The Northeast Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Ntzoke Shange ranks right up there with Eve Ensler. Both have created monumentally mediocre plays that champion worthwhile issues. Issues are good but they don't necessarily make great or even good art. In both cases the creations flourish only because, just like that emperor with no clothes, people are afraid to state the obvious, that there just isn't very much there. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Its sad that some people are more concerned with apologizing for pedophiles than with stopping future abuse. Even assuming everything you say is true what difference would it make? Is it really a defense of child abuse in the Catholic church to say it happens in other churches as well? If that is the case then we should be investigating it in protestant churches and where ever it occurs. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Well said. Its a shame that the vast majority of government sponsored R&D has been for "defense" for decades now. There was a very brief couple of years during the first Clinton administration where they managed to do some serious investment, I think it was called the Technology Reinvestment Program, in non-defense or in "dual use" general things such as super computers and networking that could be used for business and the military. But that ended and in the current climate that believes the only thing government can or should do is blow things up I don't see it coming back. About Careers Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I thought this was an excellent article on a subject that is getting blown out of proportion. I'm a big civil rights fan and I hate a lot of what was done and still lingers on from the Bush administration. Spying on emails without a warrant, detaining people without habeus corpus, torture, those are things that make my blood boil. But while the extra airport stuff annoys me (for some reason the shoes are the thing that really gets to me) I think its fairly minor.
And I also don't mind the full body scans. To me its the kind of thing we need a smart technical solution to speed up the process. I'm as they say a very sex positive hetero male. I like looking at women and at pictures of women but I can't see how anyone could get turned on by the grainy pictures those scanners produce. I think its really a sign of our puritanical culture that so many people are so hung up about people taking grainy pictures of them. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I don't think we really need much analysis. The truth as they say is out there, all you have to do is look.
The US has cultivated the most reactionary forms of Islam since the end of WWII as a defense against "communism". It was really a defense against nationalism but communism worked better to scare people. Then those rotten commies committed the ultimate act of treachery. They gave up! In the conservative and then neo-conservative intelligensia there was literal panic about the fact that we no longer had an enemy. So we needed a new one and Islam was perfect. The fact that there is no actual war between Islam and the west is highlighted by the fact that one of the strongest US allies (Saudi Arabia) is also the most powerful state for the most extreme form of Islam (Wahabi).
"Well, maybe if they have The Mother Of All Hacker Battles online, and they manage to drop the internets like a bad habit, "
That won't happen. its one of the major flaws in this article that it pretends the cloud is more vulnerable to hacking, in fact its less although there are some new concerns that have to be dealt with.
"there'd be less web-based espionage, industrial, or otherwise. "
There is almost zero actual web-based espionange industrial or otherwise right now. Most of the hacks that make the news are nuisance attacks not anything like espionage. Things that take down a server for a while or corrupt some data or steal some data that wasn't classified as secret.
The military (unlike the every day perception) has been pretty smart about how they handle data, they have very rigorous policies and procedures that they follow for handling secret data and as long as those policies are followed its virtually impossible for anyone to get at such data via the Internet. About Israel Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
"Employment of the beer can analogy was a deliberate simpling down to engage netizens who have little or no knowledge of subject matter."
OK, but that doesn't justify giving people an inaccurate picture of where the risks are in Cloud computing which I think it did a bit.
"Moore's Law will render the the cloud obsolete "
Why is that? I mean to some extent that's almost a tautology. Moore's law is what drives the rapid change in the IT world and just as other architectures (Mainframe, client-server, distributed components) that preceded the cloud were replaced by newer architectures so eventually will the cloud is that all you meant or are you implying that as Moore's law makes computers more powerful we will go away from servers completely? If its the latter I disagree.
"The main points of the article are that netizens while being data mined to the hilt for free disclosure info, they are chumps, [who] don't have role in a crafting the future of the information highway beyond heavily mediated social media conversations that are a cruise to nowhere. "
You have a high opinion of your readers. We are chumps eh? And as for "heavily mediated social media conversations that are a cruise to nowhere. " to be honest that's pretty much what I think this article was. A lot of buzzwords and names but little content and most of the actual content was mis-guided or just wrong. About Israel Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Thank you. That's it exactly. No deep mystery. Its amazing that educated men like Dr. Lanza still quote the paradox as if it were an open question. A quick trip to the math department of any college and he could get it explained in a few minutes. About Death Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I just read a fascinating book by Steven Pinker called The Blank Slate. Pinker described some of the things we know about how the physical brain creates consciousness. One of the fascinating experiments he described was where people have the connection between their left and right brains severed. Since the different sides are responsible for things like speech, vision, etc. you would get amazing results. E.g. show someone two different bits of info, one to the left and one to the right and ask them the question and they will answer one way verbally and another if asked to point.
Now, I already knew about these experiments but the fascinating thing I didn't know was that when confronted with these inconsistencies people would make up complex rationalizations that they absolutely believed to be true.
"when a subject's right hemisphere is shown the command walk she will walk out of the room. When the left hemisphere is asked why she did that rather then say 'I don't know' or 'no reason' she'll invent some plausible reason 'to get a coke'"
To me this demonstrates the amazing ability humans have to invent rationalizations and to spontaneously believe and remember what fits in with our needs and preconceptions. About Death Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
"I believe in God, or at least I think that belief in God is a positive and inspiring factor in one's life. "
So regardless of whether God exists or not you think its a good thing to believe that He does? I just don't get this. For any other subject we don't weigh the alternatives as to which will make us feel better. We evaluate facts and arguments and determine what makes the most sense. Why is God somehow different? Why do people decide that on what seems to be one of the most important questions you can ask -- is there a supreme creator of the Universe? -- that its better to just ignore the truth and believe what makes us feel good? Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I think the bickering between atheists and religious people about the amount of good/bad done by religions is rather pointless. Most atheists admit that religion does some good and no rational person can deny that evil has certainly been done in the name of religion.
The real question that matters, and I would think this should be rather obvious but apparently it isn't, is what is the truth? If there IS a God as described by Christianity and if there are such places as heaven and hell then by all means it makes sense to worship that God.
But if there isn't (and I think Dawkins makes the case amazingly well that there isn't in the God Delusion) then even if we might get some short term comfort from believing in myths it seems to me the history of human progress has been to search for the truth. If we care so much about the truth when it comes to the natural world, why would we suddenly resort to myths about the nature of Good and Evil and the Afterlife? Its just intellectual laziness, believing things because we were brought up that way and because we feel that the alternative may be uncomfortable to confront.
I loved the article but I think you have a really good point. Its easy and fun to laugh at how unintelligent they are but the fact is the vast majority of them are voting against their interests. If they really understood just what they were supporting they would realize it IS big intrusive government, corporate bailouts, corporate welfare, etc. Its a lot harder to do but what the left should really be trying for is to reach out to the Tea Party. Listen to their fears and explain why their interests are mostly the same as ours. About Christine O'Donnell Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Nowhere in this article did I see any mention of an actual threat to the UK that they would be ill equipped to defend against as a result of these cuts. And I'm not surprised, the cold war is over and -- as much as military lovers such as this author hate to admit it -- the world is for the most part moving to settling conflicts via diplomacy rather than force. The threats that do exist are mostly from terrorism and they do not require the massive military expenditures of the past. In fact bloated armies are actually ill equipped to dealing with such threats as demonstrated by the 9/11 attacks against the US, the only remaining military super power.
The real threats to the UK and the world come from issues such as global climate change and the resulting upheaval that will be caused as well as proliferation of nuclear weapons. Those threats also can best be dealt with via diplomacy and negotiation not through force. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Science is a method for finding the truth. In the past there has been agreement between most scientists and most religious people that things such as ethics were out of bounds for science and most people still think that.
But there are people who are starting to question that division such as Sam Harris. I don't agree with everything he says but I agree with his basic premise that questions of ethics and value should no longer be considered out of bounds for science.
So I'm actually agreeing with you. The problem with chemical warfare and other terrible crimes of science was that scientists thought moral questions were out of bounds. They left that to politicians and religious leaders and when those leaders said "we need better weapons" they didn't question it. Science needs to provide the same tools for objectivity, peer review, reliance on facts not emotions (or holy books) to questions of value and ethics. Of course that won't be easy. There will be more pressure to bias findings based on prejudice and preconceived ideas because questions of value hit people much more emotionally than questions about the natural world. But science is the only technique we have to get beyond those emotions and biases. Religion just gives us various sacred books and people's interpretations of those books. That is why it really has made no significant progress answering anything in the past millenia but science has made so much progress in the last few hundred years. About Spirituality Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
That's a good question. During the cold war there was actually a real chance that we could jointly blow up most of the world in a fight with Russia and yet people didn't seem as afraid as they do now.
I don't think its an accident. Eisenhower was right about the military/industrial complex. We have that now more powerful then he could have imagined and it needs never ending fear to justify the insane amount we spend on "security" and "defense". About Bill O'Reilly Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
This is a reply to your comments below. First I admit I don't know much about Bahai but what little I know is positive. It seems to be more open minded then most religions.
But ultimately my faith is in the truth. And my analysis of history says that Truth doesn't come from holy books or designating some individual as the Mesiah or the Bab. Its cool you work for peace and justice and encourage science and art and in all those things I would gladly work with you.
But ultimately I still think you are wrong. Truth isn't in holy books its in reason. And reason isn't easy. It doesn't come from just wishing it so. The only reliable technique we humans have found to get beyond all our prejudice and bias and preconceived ideas so far is science not religion, even a benign religion such as Bahai. About Spirituality Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Even if that were true is that really the standard you want for Israel? "We aren't as bad as Syria!" When Israel was formed it was to provide a home for an oppressed people not to become an oppressor itself, even if a minor one. About Lebanon Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I agree but why would you expect Iran to adhere to a higher moral standard than the US? How many times has the US intervened in Central and South America? Indeed just about anywhere in the world for that matter? Has Iran ever sponsored coups by fascists against democratically elected governments the way the US has in Chile and indeed in Iran? Has Iran ever invaded other countries the way the US has in Grandada, Panama, Iraq? I agree Iran is out for their own interests but compared to the US they are amateur imperialists. About Lebanon Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I'm not aware that this is such a major problem but if it is the correct answer is to change the laws in the US or other countries. The US has separation of church and state if we let people start to decide that certain laws are unfair and therefor they will use the Quran (or Bible or Torah) instead it not only violates our constitution it would result in chaos since the US has so many different religions. e.g., Eli wants a solution based on the Torah and Eddie wants one based on the New Testament.
The founders of this country realized how bad it was when governments mandate religion, that's why they wisely set things up the way they did.
"Quran based laws of inheritance is simply wonderful if you deeply make a comparative study without haste and prejudice "
If you look at my other comments I am strongly against any prejudice against Islam. However, as I look out at places such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan (under the Taliban) I don't see that societies based on the Quran are so great. They seem to me to be hostile to providing basic rights to women, gays, and anyone that doesn't conform to their preconceived notion of what is right. E.g., the Taliban destroyed an amazing sculpture of Budha carved into a cliff that had been there for centuries. About Islam Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
The US has separation of church and state. I'm not aware of anyone who has succesfully used "honor killings" as a defense to a murder charge here. My position is simple: no religious justification can be an excuse for disobeying the law. That applies to Christianity, Islam, or anything else. If this case happened as described then I think the judge made a mistake. My guess would be that sexism was involved as well as many men (regardless of their religion) still believe that its impossible for a husband to rape his wife.
As for the Imam corrupting this guy's thoughts: there are a lot of backwards ideas preached by lots of religions. I'm an atheist and look forward to the day when humanity casts off religion completely. But in the mean time I recognize that the government has no business telling preachers or Imams what they can or can't say as long as long as they don't cross the line and actually advocate violence, for example the way many Christian anti-abortion ministers do. About Islam Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I agree with that. If you look through my comment history for the past few days you'll see I spent several comments arguing against fellow atheists who claim that there is no good at all from religion. Things like the social justice movements, the support provided to people in substance abuse programs, the inspiration for art and music are all examples where religion has I think obviously played a positive role and I find it depressing when atheists act like fundamentalists and say simplistic things such as that religion is just "fairy tales".
IMO the question of whether an atheist or religious culture would be better is impossible to answer. And frankly its not important to me. I have a more important over riding value and that is finding the truth. I believe that ultimately the closer humans come to a correct understanding of the universe the better their lives will be. Its possible that in the short term that may involve some pain as people wean themselves from false beliefs that provide comfort. About Atheism Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
"Stalin's power grab was the cause of his crimes, not atheism. He didn't want any interference with Communism, his religion if you will. Obviously you have to destroy all of the old framework for the new."
That's not obvious to me at all. I think ultimately religion will go away and atheism (some mixture of psychology and philosophy) will take its place. But I think an essential part of making the transition from religion to atheism is the belief in reason. That belief says that you never try to coerce someone to believe something through force but rather you use reason.
Speaking of history, I have read quite a bit by the way, the communists committed many terrible crimes in the name of wiping out religion and enforcing communism. You are wrong that they didn't coerce people to become atheists. There was immense pressure to be a Marxist in Soviet Russia (which meant being an atheist) and not just any Marxist but a Stalinist. You could be tortured and killed not just for defending religion but even for defending Trotsky's ideas. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
"Stalin's power grab was the cause of his crimes, not atheism."
I agree. But my point is its inconsistent to say atheism didn't cause Stalin's crimes but religion caused all of Christianitiy's. A Christian can say -- I think rather plausibly -- that those who burn people at the stake and otherwise use force in the name of Jesus didn't understand Jesus's message. All I'm arguing is that a rational person should apply the same standard in cases where he is defending atheism (Stalin) as in cases where he is attacking Christianity. If anything we should hold atheism to a higher standard, since its supposed to be about reason not dogma.
I agree with Dawkins on most things but this is one where I disagree a bit. To me its pointless to argue about how many crimes have been committed in the name of religion vs. atheism. I agree many more were committed in the name of religion but also as an atheist I have a natural bias to think that. And in any case it doesn't matter. Evil people can distort any belief system.
For me ALL that counts is the truth. And there are countless arguments (e.g. Dawkins God Delusion) that show that any traditional religion is just a myth people believe because of social pressure not because they came to it by reason. Atheism on the other hand is the rational conclusion I think any unbiased scientific person would make as they look at the universe. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Exactly. That is my point. There is however a process in the NPT for countries that import and export nuclear technology to adhere to so that the UN can verify that the transfer is only for peaceful purposes. If (as I suspect) Venezuala and Russia are following the NPT process then really this story shouldn't be about how Russia is an evil exporter of nuclear technology but rather how Russia is a good global citizen because (unlike the US) they sign and follow the UN NPT. Its very telling that the NPT isn't even mentioned in this article. The AP showing their usual "objectivity". About Latin America Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I was raised a catholic but around the age of 12 I realized that religion was a lie and became an atheist and I've been one ever since and I know quite a bit about it.
"What crimes were done in the NAME of atheism? "
Well I agree with you, really no crimes were done in the name of Atheism. However, religious people can point to Stalin for example, who was an atheist and who did abolish religion through force and can say his crimes (which there were a lot of) were committed in the name of atheism. Alternatively they would say that things like the Inquisition and 9/11 were not done in the name of religion but by people who distorted the teachings of Jesus and Mohammed.
For me atheism means, to simplify a bit, the values of the enlightenment: reason over force and not villifying someone because they disagree with you. That's what I try to do is have reasonable debates with all people and that's why I think people who simply spew venom against religion aren't much better than dogmatic fundamentalists for religion. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Many of my atheist friends point out all the countess examples of suffering caused by religion: e.g., the inquisition, ... But I think its pointless to point to what evil people do in the name of a any belief system and use that evil to slander the belief system. I feel the same way about the wrongs done in the name of atheism. I think there are far fewer crimes done by atheists but my point is it doesn't matter either way, Bad people can distort any ideology and use it to justify their crimes.
Going forward we have to ask ourselves which has more promise to help us understand human nature and resolve problems of evil? Religion or science? Religion never seems to make progress toward understanding anything. Its all based on how people interpret ancient books written thousands of years go. I don't see the logic in expecting these books to provide us with any insights we don't already have. Science on the other hand has made amazing strides in understanding the world. From the way intelligent life evolved to the very first microseconds of the universe. Its interesting to me that problems of good and evil have so far been hard for science to comprehend. However, lately with advances in biology and psychology we are making progress. That is why people such as Sam Harris believe that science may eventually give us a good understanding even on issues such as good and evil. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I think religion will be replaced by some new discipline. Some combination of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. I have no idea what that new thing will be but I think a good starting point would be the values of the Enlightenment. And one of those values is to do away with the "us vs. them" mentality. Just because I think religion is wrong doesn't mean it has to consist completely of charlatans and gullible fools.
And I can tell you from experience it doesn't. I've worked with people in the social justice community, e.g. a group calld CISPES who were devout roman catholics and those people were some of the most selfless dedicated people I've known. Their commitment amazed me.
I've also worked in the mental health field and seen the incredible effect that faith can have in helping people overcome addiction.
On a more personal level one of my girlfriends was severely abused as a child. The only way she could cope with life was through her faith and it always impressed me the way the people from her evangelical church would be there to support her at any time of the day or night.
So, no, as much as I think religion is wrong and will eventually be replaced I don't think its just about selfish people trying to gain power. Its unfortunate that those selfish people get so much attention these days. About Religion and Science Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I mostly agree with Mr. Ruse. All these equivocations by people like Gould seem disingenuous to me. There aren't different realms of truth. Either Jesus really rose from the dead or he didn't. I frankly find it amazing that any educated person today can seriously believe that he did but utlimately I have more respect for people who say they believe that than people who try to do a bunch of philosophical hand waving and say that while Christianity (or any religion) is not literally true it is still true in some other way. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Yes, its insanely hypocritical that we make martyrs forever of a few thousand Americans killed by terrorism yet when we kill hundreds of thousands directly and indirectly in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere that's just considered the price of us maintaining "stability". About Latin America Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I don't share your joy that the country is being bakrupted by endless war and corruption. As usual the people who will suffer the most are the poor. I agree with your assessment just suggesting that a better approach rather than to be jubilant about how bad things are is to try and do something to make them better. About Latin America Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I didn't find any reference to the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty here (NPT). That really makes all the difference. The idea that Russia is some rogue state selling nuclear technology is laughable. The US is the country that enabled countries such as Pakistan, India, and Israel to develop not just peaceful nuclear technology but weapons technology. My guess is that Russia and Venezuela are following the NPT -- which the US has never signed and has ignored in the past-- so of course AP just ignores the issue. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I don't follow the idea that countries rich in oil have no need for nuclear power. Oil is a finite resource and sometime in the not too distant future it will be gone and well before that we will hit peak oil where demand outstrips supply. As that happen oil will get more and more valuable and its natural for countries like Iran and Venezuala to want to get electricity from other sources so they can sell it for massive profits to suckers like the US who want to remain addicted to oil forever. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I'm an atheist but I think that's a bit over simplistic. Traditionally even scientists such as Steven J. Gould have said they believe in a dichotomy: religion considers questions of value (e.g. good and evil) and science considers questions of the natural world. Many scientists would say that science can never answer ethical questions. Now, I personally believe that's wrong. I agree with Sam Harris that science can deal with ethical questions. But I think in doing so we need to understand what religions try to do and talk to people of faith, not just dismiss them. About Religion and Science Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
This is a bit off topic but there is a fantastic article on RichardDawkins.net Its a speech Dawkins gave to a rally protesting the UK government's subsidizing the pope's visit to the UK. One of the things the pope recently mentioned is the old "Hitler was an atheist" claim. Dawkins not only points out the irony of someone who was a member of the Hitler youth making that claim he shows how historically wrong the claim is, a great read:
IMO Chopra isn't saying much of anything. If you go through the comments here you will see many people point out fundamental flaws in his article. If you can't get the basics right, then you have no business going into extended speculation as he does.
This stuff is possible to understand if its presented right. I plan to read Hawkings' book but in the past I didn't think he was that great at explaining this stuff to people who weren't physicists. IMO two people who ARE very good at explaining this to non-pros are Brian Greene and Sean Carroll. Greene is my favorite. I had to read most of the chapters in his books twice to really understand them but it was well wroth the effort. I felt as if I understood things like relativity and space-time as I never had before after reading his books The Elegant Universe and the Fabric of the Cosmos. Carroll's book From Eternity to Here (deals mostly with the concept of time) is also quite good. About Religion and Science Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I used to like Microsoft Office but IMO its been bloated with so many features that most people don't use and in the case of Powerpoint I think when they are used (e.g. animation) often end up distracting rather then adding to the presentation because the emphasis gets to be on bells and whistles rather than on what the speaker has to say.
Also, in the case of MS Word I find it very difficult to use for large multi-person documents because it is so easy to mess up the formatting. Someone copies a section of text from another document and if they aren't careful they end up copying not just the text but the fonts, styles, etc. I've spent hours going over a document tweaking it to adjust all the various styles that were indadvertently added. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I haven't used Open Office for several years but when I did last use it about 5 years ago I liked it a lot. The reason I stopped using it was that there were compatability issues with MS Office and since the company I was with used Office as the standard as did virtually all of our clients it turned out to be more work to use Open Office (think it was Star Office back then). I didn't see any dates on these quotes and I notice many of them came from Europe which was very aggressive in using Open Source several years ago. I think it would be very interesting to know when these quotes were obtained. My guess is they might be very old and that Open Office has fixed a lot of the compatability issues which is why Microsoft is getting worried. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I agree about the energy and matter. It is still essentially true that energy and matter can'tt be created or destroyed because they can be converted into each other and the net amount of energy/matter is constant (if you "destroy" matter you create energy and vice versa).
But the information part is just flat out wrong. I'm a bit over my head as well, I'm not an expert in the field but I know enough about Information Theory to shout BS at the idea that "information can not be destroyed". In fact the initial impetus for Information Theory in the first place I believe was to mathematically model the loss of information that occurs naturally in any message system.
And from the stand point of entropy my understanding is that Information can be equated to a decrease in entropy. I.e. , the more information the more order you have and the less entropy. Hence, the law that says the net entropy in a closed system is always increasing says that the net information in a closed system is always DECREASING. I may be saying some of this poorly, I'm just an amateur so if anyone wants to correct feel free but I really can think of no justification for the statement "information can't be destroyed" from a scientific standpoint. It just seems flat out wrong and I would be interested if anyone can provide an argument to say otherwise. About Religion and Science Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
"Just as matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, neither can information."
First of all that's not actually true about matter and energy. That's a newtonian view of physics. Einstein showed that in fact mass can be converted to energy and vice versa. e=mc2 But even worse is the statement that information can't be destroyed. Where in the world did that idea come from? Its simply false. Informatin can absolutely be lost. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Well said. To me that is one of the fundamental differences between the spiritual or religious approach and science. Spirituality creates stories that make people feel they are attaining some wisdom. Science actually develops theories that need to be tested. Science will always be harder and will always have certain questions that are yet to be answered. Spiritualists will grab on to those questions and say "ah ha science can't answer this it must be God!" There really is no new "crisis" its just the latest version of people grabbing on to the undefined boundaries of science and claiming that for religion. About Religion and Science Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Not really. The good that utilitarians usually define is not what most philosophers define as hedonism. Its defined as happiness in the broadest sense which includes basic rights such as free speech, basic human rights, etc.
"And neither is Christian"
As for what is or isn't Christian IMO that's really impossible to determine. There are countless different interpretations of Christianity from the essentially fascist mind set of The Family who view money and power as the ultimate indication of who is chosen by Jesus to the very liberal revolutionary interpretation of liberation theology. If you read the books by Jeff Sharlet (sp?) on The Family its really amazing. They openly praise people like Hitler and Stalin and want to immitate the tactics of fascists and communists.
And it doesn't even make sense to argue what Jesus "really thought" since even the writings of the gospels were by people who never knew him and were already adding their own interpretations and bias into the words they claimed were said by Jesus. About Rand Paul Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Sorry but I don't buy the notion that NPR is all that objective. How many times on NPR did you hear people raise the legitimate concerns about the intelligence on WMD before the Iraq war? How much press does the death of a Palestinian or Pakistani civilian get compared to the press for a dead American or Israeli? When on NPR do you hear people that represent a truly left wing point of view such as Noam Chomsky or Michael Parenti?
I think you are missing the point. One can be appalled by the holocaust and still condemn the barbarous treatment of the Palestinians. Indeed to really be true to the memory of the victims of the holocaust one should resist similar acts of barbarism against any people, even when those acts are committed by some of the descendants of the holocaust. About Roman Polanski Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Mr. Estes, I haven't even bothered commenting because in my experience comments that actually address censorship on this site seldom make it through. But if by some chance this comment makes it in and you or other Huffpo people are interested we have a whole blog full of examples of censorship that seems arbitrary: http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/ Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
And if you had offered evidence and some Truth Movement people had dismissed it I would agree with you. But you didn't. You started out by calling them "batsh*t crazy "truthers" That's just name calling and is no better than the people who dismiss evidence.
And while I don't agree with most of the Truth Movement theories, and I agree many of the "Truthers" are irrational, I can understand why they are open to conspiracy theories and I think there are some very interesting open questions about 9/11 Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I agree about the "buildings are wired". Not only is there little evidence but the theory itself doesn't make much sense. There are a million things that can go wrong with a plot like this. If you are going to do a false flag operation the most important thing is plausible deniability. Being able to blame it on the external group you are trying to frame. Planting controlled demolitions is exactly the kind of thing you would never do as is firing a missile at the Pentagon. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I agree. I think there are a lot of holes in the "official story" but most of the conspiracy theories are so convoluted that they just seem absurd. The idea that you are going to plant bombs AND then fly planes at a building make no sense. For the reasons you stated also because plausible deniability is an essential aspect for any false flag operation. To plant explosives requires building access, several people to plant them and runs the risk of exposing the whole thing if the plane doesn't hit the building. The same for the "missile hit the pentagon" Firing a missile at the Pentagon requires all sorts of supporting people not to mention getting rid of the ACTUAL plane and all the people on it. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I don't think that Iraq is the main thing that feeds conspiracy theories, but I do agree that stupidity is part of what does.
When you look at all the missed opportunities there were to uncover and stop some of the conspirators its easy to believe that you aren't just looking at incompetence but complicity. Examples: the CIA helped one of the terrorists get into and stay in this country even though they knew he was a terrorist. The FBI had a laptop which if they had looked at it would have given them clear evidence about the coming plot. Agents in the FBI asked for a warrant to look at the computer but were refused by their bosses. Other agents in the FBI were concerned about reports of middle eastern men taking flight classes and only learning to take off not land. They also wanted to investigate and were refused. Then there is the smoking gun memo hand delivered to Bush titled "Bin Laden determined to strike the US" the month before the attack.
I don't agree with most of the conspiracy theories but I can see how people would look at all these examples of incompetence and think there is something more behind it. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
There are a lot of reasons to not vote for Meg Whitman. However, I've always thought the witch hunt to find out if politicians used illegal help for housework or yard work was ridiculous. I thought it was a foolish issue when its applied to democrats so I think the same for Republicans. Most professionals in major cities, especially in places like California, use house cleaners and other help without being all that diligent about checking if they are documented. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I agree this is a major problem. I think there are two causes.
The first is just the decline in funding for anything but the basics, and often not even that, in most schools. When I grew up our high school had a computer club and we went on field trips to see computers (this was in the 70's) and we even experimented building and programming computers using kits. This wasn't a school for gifted children. It was just your average middle class suburban high school. Now I doubt you would have any support for these kinds of programs in anything but the most elite schools.
The other cause I think is that more and more there is an emphasis on schools to train people for jobs. So that is why when high school kids do get training its for things like MS Office. Those skills are the most likely to get them an entry level job. And once in college the vast majority of the best American kids go for the careers likely to lead to management careers or other things seen as higher status and better paying than software engineering. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Hey, this is the Internet, don't you know the rules? If we don't agree you are supposed to insult me. Seriously, though thanks for the reasonable reply. Regarding your first response, that happens a lot.
I agree with you there are a lot of awful things going on in this country. But I think saying we've lost our freedom because a pop singer got her spot cut from a children's show because her outfit was too provocative isn'tone of them. I saw the original clip and her outfit totally made me hot and if it totally made me hot I can see a reasonable argument that it might not be appropriate for a kids show.
And I'm sure at this point you think I'm some bible thumper but no. I'm an atheist hippy living in San Francisco and I've personally induldged in things that... well never mind that. But I've also raised a daughter who is now in college. I've spent many nights with her talking about, listening to her cry about, hearing about her friends who were on medication or hospitalized over body image. Girls in our culture are bombarded from the time they can speak with countless messages that tell them they are only worth while if they are concentration camp thin and sexualized. So as much as Ms. Perry makes me hot I can understand people wanting her to tone it down for a kids show. About SNL Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
"In 1184, the Roman Catholic Synod of Verona legislated that burning was to be the official punishment for heresy, as Church policy was against the spilling of blood. It was also believed that the condemned would have no body to be resurrected in the Afterlife.[dubious – discuss] This decree was later reaffirmed by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215, the Synod of Toulouse in 1229, and numerous spiritual and secular leaders through the 17th century.
Civil authorities burnt persons judged to be heretics under the medieval Inquisition, including Giordano Bruno. Burning was also used by Protestants during the witch-hunts of Europe.
Among the best-known individuals to be executed by burning were Jacques de Molay (1314), Jan Hus (1415), St. Joan of Arc (30 May 1431), Savonarola (1498) Patrick Hamilton (1528), John Frith (1533), William Tyndale (1536), Michael Servetus (1553), Giordano Bruno (1600) and Avvakum (1682). Anglican martyrs Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley (both in 1555) and Thomas Cranmer (1556) were also burnt at the stake." About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I don't see any hypocrisy at all. There is a vast difference between saying someone has the right to do X and saying that X is a good thing to do. I think flag burning and book burning are foolish but I defend them as legitimate acts of free speech.
Also, there is an immense difference between someone burning a Qur'an now and what the Catholic church did to Gnostic texts around 200 AD. Both are wrong but burning a Qur'an is not going to eliminate the Qur'an from the sum of human knowledge. When the Catholic church burned Gnostic texts they attempted, and almost succeeded, to eliminate them from our intellectual history. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
How many words of the Bible are devoted to describing all the effort Mary put into raising Jesus? I don't recall any. Its been a while since I read the New Testament so perhaps I'm forgetting a passage here or there but as I recall it essentially jumps from his birth to when he is a man, except for the wonderful story of chasing the Capitalists, sorry I mean money changers from the Temple. About Christianity Read the Article at HuffingtonPost