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For those of us who are too lazy to read the book, can you summarize the difference between empathy and "rational compassion"? I think I have a  idea but I could be, like, way off

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I've told this true story before:

I was in either Kansas City, MO, or Omaha, NB, for a big gathering of radical peace activists. (I've been to such gatherings in both places. I forget which one this incident happened in.) A small group of us, maybe 8 or 9, were together and one of them, a man dressed in ordinary clothing (no clerical collar or robe) put a kind of cloth thing over his shoulders and began saying Mass. (I recognized it because the Bach B Minor Mass is one of my favorite pieces of music.) I figured he was spoofing it, which seemed like a wonderful thing to me, so I went along with it. He broke a chunk off a piece of bread, ate the chunk, and passed the rest around, and each person broke off a piece and ate it, except for one guy who broke off a piece of bread but held on to it. Then he passed around a cup with wine in it for everyone to take a drink from. The guy who had not eaten his piece of bread now dipped it in the wine and then ate it.

When it was all over with I thought it was all a great joke.

The next day I learned that the man who had conducted this Mass was actually a real Catholic priest, and it was a real Mass, and I had actually taken Communion. I was surprised because everybody there knew I was an atheist, but it turns out that this particular priest disagrees with the Church on the matter of who should be allowed to take Communion. He believes that everyone should be allowed to take Communion.

So there are different ways of offering Communion within the church. They have changed with time, and are different in some places, and apparently the priest has some discretion.
I listen to one right wing radio show, every once in a while they discuss science and take it for granted that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and humans evolved from apes.  I wonder if this pisses of some portion of their audience?
Tech Talk / Re: Learning to Code
« Last post by werecow on Today at 05:54:03 PM »
Let me give an example of the kind of thing I'm talking about:
Code: [Select]
from PyQt5.QWidgets import QWidget, QTextEdit

class MyTextEdit(QTextEdit):
    def __init__(self)

class MyWindow(QWidget):
    def __init__(self)
    self.window = QWidget()
    self.textbox = MyTextEdit() # what's the difference between this and self.textbox = QTextEdit() ?

I can't speak for other programmers, but the only reasons I can think of to do that right now would be if I either a) needed to circumvent something that happens in QTextEdit.__init__, b) if I really needed a constructor without arguments for whatever reason (and none was available), c) if I for some reason needed to distinguish some particular instances of the text edit from others by using their __class__, d) if I'm doing some weird thing that require that class names of widgets are patterned according to some sort of rule, like if they have to occur in some particular alphabetical order, or e) if my keyboard is broken and I can only type Qs by using alt codes; and there may be something to Johnny's remark about old style vs. new style classes (but I'm not sure, don't know the details of those).
Tech Talk / Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Last post by estockly on Today at 05:51:26 PM »
"But many car companies predict it will be a decade or more before they begin to sell or rent fully autonomous cars to the general public. "

I think the authors must be fringe lunatics, conspiracy advocates, technology deniers,...

I agree that it may be a decade or more before fully autonomous cars are sold or rent to the general public as this quote implies, but ride-sharing services will probably have fully autonomous cars on the roads before then.  They almost do now, though the "almost" is a pretty big step.  And the general public will be getting partially-autonomous cars in the next couple of years.

Elon Musk is shooting for a shorter time frame. The gap between level 4 and 5 is bigger than the gap between 0 and 4. But Elon knows that, probably better than any of the other CEOs.
I am utterly shocked that the same players as always are coming out as unsympathetic to people who are not white men. As someone who has almost certainly felt more physical pain in my life than the responder (I played football in high school but more importantly I lived for years with really bad dental problems, problems that culminated in multiple extractions and root canals, and in the process pain so extreme that the experience of having anesthesia wear off in the middle of one of those root canals doesn't even place in the top 5 of my most painful moments), I concur with others who say that experiencing really severe pain inures you to lesser hurts, and since giving birth is perhaps the most common shared experience of extreme pain that we have as humans, I just see no reason why women as a whole would have higher and not lower thresholds than men.

The thing is, too, that for all of these anecdotes about how men are socialized to just suck it up and act stoic, we are also I think far freer in our society to admit that our shoulder hurts or whatever than women are. In fact, if we're going to compare hoary stereotypes, what about the one that's about how men get whiny and miserable when they have a cold whereas women will just act like it's no big thing?

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Hey teethering, we all seem to take issue with his redefining the term "god."  But everyone else has managed to do it without being a jerk about it.
Ah, goddammit.
It's more than a little weird to drop the "supernatural" aspect of divinity, which I think to most is the defining property of "God" all in an effort to make some sophomoric and trite point about how powerful technology might be becoming.  All this with diagrams and bullet points which illuminate literally nothing of substance, but seem to be employed in an effort to offer gloss to vapid and self-congratulatory dilettante philosophizing.
Tech Talk / Re: Learning to Code
« Last post by werecow on Today at 05:44:21 PM »
I remember year 8 of high school, I had to choose between drama class or computer programming class as an elective for years 9-12. I Signed up for the 4 year drama program. I wonder if my life would have been different if I took the programming class. There are a good amount of jobs available, good-paying ones. A friend in high school now is the lead support engineer for the entire healthcare system in my province.

I feel like I am too old to learn programing at this point

Go for it anyway! You may not get a job as a software developer right away, but it's a fun skill to have, and it's really not that hard to pick up some basic skills (though getting really good at writing complex programs well will take years and a good brain). }|:o)
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