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About tobarstep

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday May 26

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  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Florida, US
  • Real name: Todd S.

tobarstep's Activity

  1. tobarstep added a post in a topic The Death Of The Left?   

    Which is just slightly left of right. The "center" of US politics is somewhere to the right of Reagan these days. I really don't see any authentic left in US politics. What passes for it, the Democratic Party, is fascism with a smile, while the Republicans are just fascism.
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  2. tobarstep added a post in a topic Pinker on Scientism   

    I see this in some of the critics of scientism as well. Massimo Pigliucci comes to mind here. Their concern with scientism seems to be merely centered on the misapplication of the term "science" rather than the implications of assigning some type of social/political authority to it, which is what concerns me the most. The more I look into these topics, the more I start to feel that the demarcation "problem" is a red herring.
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  3. tobarstep added a post in a topic Evaluating scientific consensus   

    This paragraph just about sums it up for me. So much of what is taken as "progress" or "civilization" is really just convenience. Yes, good things have come (and gone) and people live to longer ages now, mostly due to drastic reductions in childhood mortality, but that doesn't mean we have to take all "technology" as a package deal. Why can't we enjoy the benefits of the polio vaccine without having to suffer through social media smartphone apps?
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  4. tobarstep added a post in a topic "In place of thought"   

    These aren't mine, but from a little book called the Contradictionary. Sort of a Devil's Dictionary of the current age.

    ECONOMY - as an adjective, "cheap"; as a noun, that which compels us to render ourselves thus

    INVENTION - mother of necessity

    SACRED - possessing a quality characteristic of cows, venerated by the cowed
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  5. tobarstep added a post in a topic The Conjuring   

    I feel like this is a continuation of what is going on with television. Where the most popular shows on the History Channel and Discovery are about UFO's/aliens or "reality" programming that - in addition to being about the most banal subject matter available - is entirely scripted.
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  6. tobarstep added a post in a topic Conversation With My 4 Year Old   

    Just keep him away from horses...
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  7. tobarstep added a topic in Influence   

    "Scientific Method" spawns morality
    Is it just me, or does this article seem like Sam Harris is paying a PR firm to write a puff piece to take attention away from Steven Pinker?
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  8. tobarstep added a post in a topic Self Realization: 24 steps   

    Well, a statement like this

    runs counter to one of the cornerstone assumptions of Existentialism that "existence precedes essence". As this quote above seems itself a cornerstone assumption of your own philosophy, I think The Heretic is correct in saying it probably doesn't belong in this subforum.
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  9. tobarstep added a post in a topic What books are you reading now?   

    Obviously the initial draft of The Murder Room was written c.200 CE.
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  10. tobarstep added a post in a topic im gonna try a bootcamp thing   

    From personal experience, I can say the language programs are fairly rigorous. Those hour figures are a bit misleading. You can read 2000 hours and think it's a few hours here and there, spread out over several years, but it's more concentrated, like a full-time job. You're in a classroom for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week learning one subject (well, they actually cover culture as well). But that is just the instruction time. If you're having difficulty, you'll need to put in more time outside of class on your own. Further misleading is that those are not average figures applied to the population as a whole. Unless you score in the top percentiles of the language aptitude test, you won't even be admitted to a language like Arabic or Chinese. So that 2000 hours is the amount of instruction time estimated for someone who already has a high aptitude for learning languages.

    Some people yes, some no. This is a YMMV area. Truthfully, they are sending way more people through the language school than they have jobs for. I myself spent my days doing translation and transcription after the course, but a lot of my peers did not. It wasn't due to their lack of proficiency (although some people that were doing it should not have been) but a lack of demand. And it's a somewhat targeted proficiency, that "general professional proficiency". No, you're not likely going to be able to translate Pushkin in anything but the most literal sense.
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  11. tobarstep added a post in a topic Today, I Saw Tomorrow   

    I have a Macbook Pro from 2006 or '07 and the male end of the cord appears as you described it. I think that is how it is supposed to be. On a side note, the battery in that laptop wore out faster than it should have, in my opinion (certainly much faster than the battery in my cheapo ASUS laptop).
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  12. tobarstep added a post in a topic Today, I Saw Tomorrow   

    They say Sartre wrote at least 20 pages per day in his notebooks.
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  13. tobarstep added a post in a topic Today, I Saw Tomorrow   

    We had an IBM Selectric as well, though I was rarely allowed to use it. Which I suppose is why I used the manual - the Selectric was the adults' typewriter.

    I seem to remember that's also what we used in my high school typing class. Even though personal computers were in the early stages of ubiquity then, we still used typewriters to learn typing. I suppose computers were deemed too expensive for such mundane uses.
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  14. tobarstep added a post in a topic Today, I Saw Tomorrow   

    I wouldn't mind finding an old manual typewriter in serviceable condition. I used to type on one all the time as a kid; writing stories and just random junk. Looking back, it seems as if I was destined to be a writer, and it's something I'd still like to do now. I wonder where the hell I went wrong...
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  15. tobarstep added a topic in Learn   

    Upcoming Coursera "MOOC" on Kierkegaard
    Most of the "Massive Online Open Courses" seem to be about more technical and mundane subjects like Startup Engineering and Software Defined Networking, but every now and then one happens across a humanities diamond in the rough. This course doesn't begin until October, but it looks promising.


    If you've not done one of these courses, there isn't much to it beyond enrolling. Nothing is absolutely required of you (unless you want the largely useless certificate of completion), and I typically "audit" them by just watching the lecture videos and doing nothing else.
    • 1 reply