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davyB's Avatar Joined about 7 years ago
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Go to: Comic in US 'hate speech' row

davyB's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by davyB

Ah, Youtube! I am a Youtube presence (under another nom du net).

The doofus from the Peoples' Republic of Berkeley said, 'People should not be allowed to spew racist propaganda without others being able to respond.'

If he had bothered to go to the source, he would have discovered that Condell does allow others to respond. He could have left a response himself. Condell gets a lot of negative comments, and he leaves them be.

You can post responses too. Here's the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhN6CG1zCRc

Here's a follow-up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1ZLXbKeL2U

Thu, 31 May 2007 17:30:00 UTC | #43737

Go to: What I Think About Evolution

davyB's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by davyB

Nrvous, maybe God went the primordial sludge route because he simply couldn't do it by fiat. As a computer programmer, I can assure you that there are problems that can be handled pretty well with genetic algorithms that are intractable when approached head-on. Or maybe the universe is an experiment, and he had no idea how it was going to come out. A sort of cosmic screen saver.

I kind of favor the latter, because if God designed everything knowing how it would come out, how do you explain Sam Brownback?

Thu, 31 May 2007 17:09:00 UTC | #43730

Go to: Groundbreaking Research Has Scientists Talking With Apes

davyB's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by davyB

Let me tell you about an afternoon I spent with a young friend of mine.

He was talking only a little. He had learned to say, "The moon," and point to the moon outside. Or if you said, "The moon," he would point. "Gerbil" was also in his vocabulary.

I was sitting in a hallway with him, reading him a picture book. On one page there was a moonlight landscape. I pointed to the picture of the moon and said, "The moon." At first he looked very puzzled. Then suddenly, a look of wonder came over his face. "The moon? The mooooon?" he said. "Yes, the moon." He became very animated. "THE MOON!"

He ran to the bathroom and returned with a hair brush. He held it out. I said, "Brush." He said, "Brush." I nodded agreement. He took the brush back, returning it to where he got it, and came back with another object. We played the name-that-object game for a long time. Amazingly, he laughed at the sound of "goggles."

What I had seen was the exact moment when he figured out that words (nouns) have meaning. Before he had just been exhibiting behavior that brought him praise from grown-ups.

How does one design an experiment to determine whether a bonobo is just pointing to "the moon" without knowing that words have meaning?

Thu, 31 May 2007 16:42:00 UTC | #43724

Go to: The Dawkins delusion

davyB's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by davyB

He misses the mark too. The reason that people "believe" cannot be that it makes them feel better. Too many believers feel miserable to give that any credence. Here's the real reason: social norms.

Monotheism may have been invented by tyrants to control the populace, and it is frequently exploited by politicians today. But it perpetuates itself by social momentum. When non-believers are treated as sinful outcasts, it is hardly surprizing that people profess to be religious. And to keep a sense of integrity, they must "believe that they believe." Thus the cycle goes on through the generations.

Tue, 29 May 2007 16:03:00 UTC | #43094

Go to: The Paradoxical Hatred of Christopher Hitchens

davyB's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by davyB

Just because he's wrong about the war doesn't mean he's wrong about everything.

Sun, 20 May 2007 02:23:00 UTC | #40107

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