unixknight

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Everything posted by unixknight

  1. unixknight

    So um... I have an announcement.

    @askandanswer that was AWESOME! Thank you!
  2. unixknight

    So um... I have an announcement.

    Mission Accomplished.
  3. unixknight

    Nonbeliever's questions about your faith

    Haha thanks for the note then. Glad to help!
  4. unixknight

    A Feminist Marries Herself

    Agreed... it is cowardice but it does happen. And unfortunately we do have to factor that in when we choose our supporting links.
  5. unixknight

    A Feminist Marries Herself

    All that said, I can understand why @Mores would want to avoid the possibility of the well being poisoned if someone doesn't like the source he used. We've all seen people dismiss arguments outright just because of what they saw in the URL. I wish there were an ideal solution, but if there is, I can't see it.
  6. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    For the same reason you take care of a kid even when they're 17 years and 10 months old. Our stewardship of the planet isn't over until it's over.
  7. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    A note on that, since I've worked in an environment supported by such funding. When it comes to research in scientific areas, funding is absolutely everything. In my case, the finding was a grant form the NIH to construct a system for cardiac research, so it was completely apolitical. That funding paid for everything. My salary, the salaries of the other developers, software, hardware (including servers and someone to maintain them) and plenty of ancillary costs like social functions, travel for training, etc. On our project, only two people had a job once the funding ran out... The PhD who was running the whole thing (he drew a salary form the university) and my supervisor, who was paid out of some kind of general money bucket provided by the university. On the day that NIH grant ran out, we were OVER. Badly as they wanted to keep me employed, they just had no funding to do it and my job ended. Funding from grants is everything. Without it, nothing at all happens. And there's more. To remain relevant, a PhD who's into research needs to publish papers and submit them for things like peer review, or PubMed, etc. (I got co-author credit for such a paper while I was at this job.) This is the "product," if you will, that gets produced by the work supported by the grant. This is what the expected outcome is, and it needs to be one that is viewed favorably in the future, because that increases the likelihood of getting future grants. Since there's a finite amount of grant money out there, competition for it can be pretty fierce. In the latter days of the grant I worked under, the boss was trying to apply for new grants to keep the money flowing, but alas it was not to be. Our PhD boss was a pretty honest guy, and his goals were sincere, but I saw others who were outright liars. I know of one university in America that straight up went against the requirements of their grant and commercialized their product, rather than keep it open source like they were supposed to. They also claimed credit for software I'd written until I had to go after them to properly cite me as one of the authors and maintain the open source license. In science, as in everywhere else, there are honest people and serpents. There are noble goals and opportunistic goals. So when you think about a field of research that is highly politicized, it doesn't take much imagination to see how objectivity can rapidly be compromised. Politicized science is funded by entities with an agenda, whether they be governments, institutions or corporations. And if they have an agenda, don't you think they're likely to grant research money to people who they expect will provide the desired result? If you're Exxon Mobil, what kind of scientist are you likely to grant money to when you have to do some government mandated environmental impact study? If you're a government department during a regime that is pushing for green legislation, what kind of track record in researchers are you going to be looking at when granting federal money for studies on climatology? If you're a government theocracy, will you fund research into the missing link? If you're a university trying to attract the dollars of left-wing minded people, what kind of researchers will get grant money form you when it comes to LGBT studies? If you're a researcher and you know these are the kinds of grants being given, would it be reasonable to wonder about the scientific neutrality of your research?
  8. unixknight

    The Justice League Movie

    Yeah, finally saw it. Yeah, I know it's been out a while. It was boring, drab and derivative. I think the Justice League movie is the epitome of what's wrong with this last iteration of the DCU. Its flaws are the flaws of the DCEU in general, and it's not surprising that there won't be any more DCEU films from this iteration. *Spoilers, duh.* The DC comic book universe has had a light, optimistic, hopeful tone. Its heroes tend to be noble, virtuous and positive. Think of the traditional portrayal of Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawk & Dove, etc. There were exceptions, of course... Most notably Batman... but Batman's darkness gave a narrative balance to the brighter tone of the other Justice League members that was really good. This version of the DCEU went full dark and gritty on *all* of the characters. Wonder Woman was less so, but then, she also had the most popular (and best made) film in the DCEU. So here, Warner Brothers was trying to compete with Marvel by not letting the DC tone be the DC tone. You know, the one that has had it successfully competing with Marvel for many decades? The Justice League was trying to be the Avengers. Specifically, the first Avengers movie. Disagree? Tell me where you've heard this plot synopsis before: A team of separate superheroes join forces, somewhat reluctantly, to fight off a Big Bad villain who invades the Earth form another world, bringing an alien army with him to acquire a cube shaped plot MacGuffin. Along the way, an even bigger, more powerful villain is hinted at. They rushed it. By the time the MCU had The Avengers, it already had movies to introduce Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America. Each of these characters was very true to their traditional comic book selves and the real challenge in The Avengers was to see if these different characters could successfully be written into one movie. The Avengers was an experiment, and a very successful one. Justice League was rushed, with only two characters having already had their own movie in which they were fleshed out and introduced. The other characters felt like accessories. They didn't invest the time to introduce these characters and get the audience to care about them before shoving them into a story that was meant for us to care about them just because we're told to. Aquaman is a jerk. He has zero charisma and actually doesn't want to be liked by anybody. I don't blame the actor for this. Jason Momoa is very charismatic and he can really be likeable even when he's playing a rough character. He was wasted in this film. Add to this that Aquaman's character is just hard to write for, by virtue of his powers. He's an aquatic character who can do cool aquatic things fighting a battle in this movie somewhere in the middle of the largest continent on the planet. The climax of the film should have taken place in Atlantis. There was already a cube there anyway. Just rearrange the order in which Steppenwolf acquires the cubes and you can also eliminate the pointless battle in Atlantis early in the film. The Flash/Barry Allen is hard to connect with. He's like the teenage kid that no teenage kids will be able to relate to, because he doesn't act like a teenage kid. (For a primer on how to do it right, see how Marvel is handling Spider-Man.) At least there was a modicum of friendly chemistry between him and Cyborg, but Cyborg wasn't very relatable either. The action scenes were boring because we don't care about them. We know how each and every one of the action sequences is going to end even if we'd gotten no spoilers at all. Last but not least, Warner Brothers was trying to launch a whole new superhero movie franchise right as superhero movie fatigue was beginning to set in. These guys get millions of dollars to make these decisions. I do not understand this. So it was boring. It felt pointless, and it kept comparing itself to the Avengers. We need Richard Donner and Christopher Nolan back.
  9. unixknight

    The Justice League Movie

    I need therapy
  10. Lately the press has shown us that that level of stupidity on their part is more than plausible. It wouldn't be the first time they stepped on a rake in their zeal to try to smear Trump.
  11. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    Like any religion, Environmentalism has its hypocrites and opportunists. The difference between Al Gore and Joel Osteen is all in the flavor, not the substance.
  12. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    So far all I see are promises and plans. Such things change once nobody's paying attention to them anymore. As for any elements that are already in place, well it's too early to know if they're even going to make a difference. So I just don't see the ironclad, concentrated awesome here.
  13. unixknight

    The Justice League Movie

    I don't buy the argument a lot of people make that say "well Superman is so powerful you *know* he'll always win in the end 'cause he's just so OP. That argument is garbage. Nobody goes to *any* superhero movie not expecting the hero to win. Did anybody really think there was a chance that Spider-Man was gonna lose to the Green Goblin? Did anybody doubt that Batman would defeat Joker? Anybody? Of course not. Superman's no different in that regard. No good super hero movie is just about whether the hero is strong enough to save the day. We know they are. That's not what makes the story interesting. The thing that makes Superman stories unique is a matter of scale, and what his options are. That's it. Superman stories are at their best when they explore Superman as a being who knows perfectly well how powerful he is, and his greatest struggle is in controlling the temptation to go too far. Think of the end of the 1979 Superman movie. What was the climax of the film? Was it Superman battling Luthor? Nope. Was it stopping the nukes? Nope. That wasn't the climactic struggle. The climax of the film was that moment when Superman had to make a choice. "It is forbidden to alter the course of human events." - Jor-El vs. "One thing I know son, is that you're here for a reason." -Jonathan Kent Superman had a choice to make. His powers had nothing to do with which choice was right. He had to choose. Kryptonian notions of power, or traditional American (dare I say it? Christian) values of mercy. He chooses to believe he has a purpose for being here, and he goes back in time to stop the second nuke. So challenging Superman physically doesn't make an interesting Superman story. It's the moral dilemmas. This can be said of other superhero movies as well. Didn't Spider-Man have to deal with dilemmas about how to use his abilities? Uncle Ben said something very much like the lesson Jonathan Kent taught Clark: "With great power comes great responsibility." The Dark Knight was a film that was packed with moral dilemmas. At their core, superhero movies aren't nail biters. They're explorations of the human condition by exaggerating the kinds of moral questions and dilemmas we face all the time, packaged into brighter colors and wild action.
  14. unixknight

    The Justice League Movie

    So why is that broken? (I"m going somewhere with this, not just being facetious.)
  15. unixknight

    The Justice League Movie

    Broken in what way?
  16. unixknight

    The Justice League Movie

    And that's the thing... The dichotomy between Superman and Batman is the whole point of putting them together. They kinda sorta brushed against it in Batman v Superman with Superman having an issue with Batman's methods, but that was it. No nobility vs. pragmatism dichotomy. No light vs dark. No nothing. None of the things that made these two characters interesting when they're near each other exist. Now granted... in many previous Justice League media there was very little dichotomy as well, but in those examples it tended to be Batman who was lighter, like the Adam West version. Since the 1989 Batman movie, Batman has ben reasserted as a darker character. That's fine. Useful narrative choice. But now it's like he's taking the whole DC universe with him. Forget Marvel, it's like the entire thing is trying to be Image comics instead of DC.
  17. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    And a link to the agreement proves what?
  18. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    I don't know if that was a reply to my statement or someone else's, but assuming it was for me, that isn't what I said. I said "My contention is that we've yet to see any real effects, either in policy or in practice." I didn't mention effect.
  19. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    What you provided was evidence that four countries have made a series of promises and plans. That isn't the same as evidence that the accords are doing anything at all. My contention is that we've yet to see any real effects, either in policy or in practice.
  20. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    Great. And?
  21. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    I stand corrected. That said, the accords aren't working, and the U.S. isn't even out of it yet. (Legally it takes 3 years, which means we'll be out this year.)
  22. unixknight

    The Justice League Movie

    They released Aquaman because it was already mostly finished anyway, but with the sequel said to be scheduled for December of 2022 I doubt it'll happen. There will be another Wonder Woman, though this year. I bet it'll be unrelated to any DCEU stuff though.
  23. unixknight

    Life and lifestyle stuff

    If it's worth noting that Trump pulled us out of the accord, it's also worth noting that even without the elements of the accord, the United States is still on track to be c ompliant with them while several other signatories of the Paris Accord are not. It is also worth noting that the nations with the highest contribution of pollutants (like China) were never signatories to begin with.
  24. unixknight

    What’s the last movie you watched?

    I say it wasn't bad because the one thing it got right is one of the things I love about Superman. In every good Superman movie, there's at least one moment when it seems all is lost, things are bad, and hope is gone. Then, in a moment, there's a moment of realization when the characters in the film as well as the audience can think "Superman is here. Everything's going to be all right now." I. LOVE. that moment. They did manage to work it into this film.
  25. unixknight

    What’s the last movie you watched?

    So yeah I realize that Endgame is the film du jour in this thread but I haven't seen it yet so instead I'll talk about the movie I DID see recently... Justice League. Yes, I know it's been out a while. I'd been delaying watching it because, despite how much I love Superman, I couldn't make myself prioritize it. I was afraid. I was right to be afraid, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I started writing a lot more but yanno, maybe I'll just start a new thread.