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Adrian Colley
One/zero discriminator
One/zero discriminator

Adrian Colley's posts

Atheism is a faith. It's an irreligious belief system. It's the same kind of belief system as a religious belief.

The sole article of faith is that the external world is exactly what physical experiment shows it to be.

To put it another way: we are not brains in vats; we do not live in a Matrix-style virtual reality; we are not in a solipsistic imaginary world; and there are no demons, angels, gods, or other entities hidden from our sight but interacting with our world. The world is what it appears to be, and no more.

This is such an obvious thing to believe about the world that many atheists don't recognise it as a positive belief. But if you didn't believe it, you wouldn't be able to take the world seriously -- you'd be like the man in the shack in The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, questioning whether memory is an illusion.

Atheists' acceptance of the world as it appears to be gives us meaning and purpose. Our fragile humanity is all we have, and all human progress and happiness depends on what we do with our lives. It's a noble calling, this realisation that we're collectively responsible for each other.

So, when you hear phrases like "people of all faiths and beliefs", don't feel left out. Push back on "people of religious faith", because that's where the superstition lies.

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For the discerning cat who dreams of going to space.
Working gadgets: Astronaut Cat Home.

Yes, it looks odd. Like a russian space capsule for your pet. Yes, it takes a lot of room. Yes, it's expensive. But it actually does work.

The official name is "Litter-Robot III Open Air", which is awesome in a really cheesy way. It's arguably a horrible eye-sore, and sane people would just scoop their cat litter by hand from any number of perfectly good litter boxes that you can get for a small fistful of dollars.

But I've tried several different versions of automatic litter boxes, because if there is one defining word for me, It would be handsome lazy. The original littermaid worked fairly well for us (many many years ago - "lazy" is not some mid-life crisis, as much as a defining part of my life), but stuff would get stuck, if you know what I mean. And the version with metal tines took that to a whole new level. And the other random version by another manufacturer we tried would do the same.

For a couple of years we just gave up, and did the manual thing. The cat reacted to our inevitable failings by mostly going outside instead, which worked, but wasn't optimal. And a few months ago, I just said "F--k it, better living through technology", and decided to go for the Russian Cosmonaut Cat look, even if it seemed ridiculous.

And it really does work, so far. The cat is happy, I am happy, and we haven't had a single "things stuck" experience in three months so far.

Dammit, if I can go out in public wearing white socks and sandals (and if my wife married me despite that), our family can definitely live with an oversized cat litter box that looks like the Vostok I capsule.

Edit, since it is relevant: one very big reason for automation was that the dogs seem to be fascinated by the "organic almond roca", if you know what I mean. Enough said about that.

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Angus was one of the Search & Traffic SREs at Google, and he gave a talk at Container Camp on functions-as-a-service. His main point was that FaaS is moving quickly through Commoditization to Boring. In support of this, he offered his characteristically long-term view of the evolving software stack; which is more interesting. He could have called this talk "where Boring comes from", but I imagine people would have misinterpreted.

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Those reforms were, of course, designed to preclude exactly the kind of power relationship to which Trump now lays claim. In a foundational 1978 speech that has shaped subsequent Department policy, Jimmy Carter's attorney general, Griffin Bell, affirmed the independence of the Justice Department and its constituent entities, including the FBI. Bell declared, “it is improper for any Member of Congress, any member of the White House staff, or anyone else, to attempt to influence anyone in the Justice Department with respect to a particular litigation decision, except by legal argument or the provision of relevant facts.”

The astonishing implication of Trump’s view is that he believes the president may shut down an FBI investigation that displeases him. Indeed, Trump went so far as to say that too: when explaining why it would not be a problem even if he had told Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, he stated, “other people go a step further. I could have ended that whole thing just by saying—they say it can’t be obstruction because you can say: ‘It’s ended. It’s over. Period.’”

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From the article: "I happened to catch a bit of an old episode when HBO re-ran the entire series last week. And there was a scene where seven different important characters were on screen at the same time. And every single one of them niggas is dead now."

I'm trying to think which scene that was, but there's probably more than one answer.

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Basically, if there's a god, he's messing with us to make it seem like he's not there.

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There's a thing called Journal Citation Reports which can be used as a quick measure of the reputation of a journal. #til

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"Look into the eyes of the Dragon and despair!"
Close-up of The Great Red Spot
Image Credit: +NASA, Juno, SwRI, MSSS, Gerald Eichstadt, Sean Doran

On July 11, the Juno spacecraft once again swung near to Jupiter's turbulent cloud tops in its looping 53 day orbit around the Solar System's ruling gas giant. About 11 minutes after perijove 7, its closest approach on this orbit, it passed directly above Jupiter's Great Red Spot. During the much anticipated fly over, it captured this close-up image data from a distance of less than 10,000 kilometers. The raw JunoCam data was subsequently processed by citizen scientists. Very long-lived but found to be shrinking, the Solar System's largest storm system was measure to be 16,350 kilometers wide on April 15. That's about 1.3 times the diameter of planet Earth.

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They are proud of their beliefs, and proud of their president, and proud of their nation, and all three are apparently the same thing.
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