HS Thomas

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Recent posts by HS Thomas

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

The effect of this can be clearly seen in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Does anyone really think that without an independent and powerful Pope supporting them that the Polish people would have stood up to the USSR? Lech Walesa says that the Pope's support was key in the drive away from the USSR.

The Pope Lech Walesa was talking about was Polish. I think he is still Pope.

And yes, he is.

Karol J�zef Wojtyła , known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, on May 18, 1920.
[ June 22, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago
Continuing collecting what I think are relevant literature and waiting for Valentine to turn up some

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About by Donald Knuth of The Art of Computer Programming fame would be an interesting read.

Or listen to :
Audio Video

[ June 08, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

You're the only person I have ever seen argue this point of view. I don't know anyone else who feels that CS people must promote machines over man, or that business people must promote man over machines.


Not the only one, Mark.

Better Humans : The Age of Purposeful Machines

Man (or geniuses) have to try and keep up. And didn't Gary Kasparov drew with after being beaten by the world's best chess programs ? Apparently the matches didn't make for good exciting chess either.
The next matches would have to now that the innovativeness feel is past :
which is where the business value comes in, I think.
[ May 30, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Healing harp music with some samples
Annoying but you have to click in the ON button at the top each time else it's preset to OFF at the start of each sample.
[ May 30, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago
Does it really matter what anyone thinks ?
Energy crisis 'will limit births'
My very last post - whatever the future smallholder or java coder - thanks to everyone for contributing to a great site, especially sheriffs and bartenders.Oh and trailboss. Owe a great debt which won't be forgotten and will act with more consciousness of actions and reactions. May the force be with you all and be wary of things that go 'bump' in the night.

and to the fans of Tori Amos , Rufus Wainwright , Johnny Cash
or just keen weed gardeners ?
[ May 10, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago

Message from the Committee's Secretariat
On Thursday 12 February the media reported a the research of some Korean scientists, who claim that they have produced 30 cloned human embryos. The research will be published in Science, one of the world�s leading journals (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3480921.stm
The research is being conducted to create stem cell lines, which could be used to treated degenerative disorders such as Parkinson�s disease. Research has shown that stem cells can develop into a wide range of tissues. The cloning technique means that the patient would not reject the implanted cells.
Research on human embryos for therapeutic purposes (including cloning) is legal in the UK but regulated under a 2001 amendment to the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.
What issues does the raise? Does this bring the prospect of reproductive cloning any nearer? Is there a danger that licences will be sought to export cloned embryos? Once out of the UK, it might be possible to take them to country in which they could be implanted in a woman�s womb?

Does it really matter? If human reproductive cloning can be proved safe and with a high chance of success, what are the ethical reasons for preventing it?
Dr Alun Roberts
Committee Specialist
Science and Technology Committee
- Athlete cheats seek genetic boost
[ May 10, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago
Personalities like Saint Bob Geldoff could go a long way to influencing governments.
Saint Bob praised the US administration for it's Aid programs bringing himself under criticism for forgeting the US stand on Aids programs particularly in Africa. A tragedy is that lots of children in Africa are born with Aids.
Saint Bill Gates will do
Why didn't Scott McNeally think of off-loading a few million to boost Sun ?
[ May 10, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago
A single female playing a great big harp - singing mostly English ballads and early Christian hymns. Have it on video should listen to it again.
[ May 10, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago

Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
What does the anti-abortionists say about chinese policy?
As far as I know chinese couples are allowed to have 2 kids only. For 3rd, 4rth, etc. kid, they'll have to pay prohibitive taxes.
It appears that this policy has been really eficient to lessen population explosion problem, which still heavily aflicts lots of parts of the world. On the other hand, there are cases in rural China, where parents kill female babies, because they think its better to have son. This is against the law, but the law creates the context for this behaviour.

A Summary of positive-negative rights :
A "positive right is a claim to something ... while a negative right is a right that something not be done to one. ... The effectiveness of the negative right does not depend on a positive right, because enforcement will follow due to extralegal considerations.
... The negative right is diminished without positive government action but does not therefore require a positive legal right to be effective.
... There is a thin and confusing line between government action and inaction, but a negative right is one that can always be satisfied by inaction of some kind (even if it may also alternatively be satisfied by a government action), while a positive right cannot be satisfied by inaction and intrinsically requires government action.
... A negative right would be warranted, consequentially, if its restraint on government action improved the society. ... The outcome would seem to be consistent with the essence of the positive right, which is an individual entitlement to government assistance. ...
The �haves� must provide the �have-nots� with sustenance to maintain their �right to life.�
These are positive rights, a right to something that others must provide - they do not limit what others (including foetuses ?) may expect from us or we (as foetuses ? ) expected from others.
The rights to self, to property created through our own labor, to what we exchange with others� these are negative rights, they limit what others may expect from us.
In China abortion would be seen as a +ve right with no rights to foetuses , in the West abortion is generally a -ve right.(Which seem to amount to the same thing.)

Are such laws ok or not?

Should the person let someone else decide for the individual bearing in mind in some states the foetus is an individual with rights.
the two significant problems with relying on the courts to enforce positive rights and to promote the interests of the poor. The first problem involves the economics of rights enforcement. Advancing an agenda through litigation is not a simple or an inexpensive endeavor. Rather, it requires considerable resources and expertise, and the process disadvantages the very impoverished groups that positive rights are meant to protect. Hence, reliance on the judicial process to promote positive rights is an unpromising strategy. The second problem is the politics of rights enforcement. While we espouse an independent judiciary , the reality is that courts are loathe to displease the elected branches or to tread upon their constitutional turf. An order requiring those branches to fund and to offer economic assistance to the poor is the sort of action that the judiciary is unlikely to make or to enforce.
[ May 09, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago
Britney Spears could learn a dance move or two from the video I compiled entitled "mememe" by mimi.
BS played at Wembley last w/end. � 27 per seat. Apparently Dads dragged their sons along.
19 years ago
Thought someone was taking Jim to task for being too quiet lately.
Must be the weather...
19 years ago
(also see http://www.nesta.org.uk/ourawardees/profiles/3857/02_profile.html)
2 are good for learning java and contest Human vs machine , "boo" , 1 is for 6-11 year olds.
Let us know which one you reckon you'd spend more time on.
[ May 09, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago

Originally posted by Warren Dew:

I love it!
I would definitely prefer having been aborted to having been born mentally retarded, myself.

Wonder how long will it be before the "state" or insurance company refuses to cover medical expenses for handicapped children based on tests performed before the child was born.
These would be very dehumanising decisions. We are really discussing what humanity is all about.Doctors' fear of being sued for a mis-diagnosis would encourage them to recommend abortions at the smallest hint of a disability.
Never mind , tripping into eugenics and the search of a perfect child and hot housing "geniuses". Which would mean 99.5% of people on this planet have NO rights to be born.
In tommorrow's or even today's world a Stephen Hawking would be squashed in the delivery room.
[ May 07, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago
Imagine if "you" were the extra "potential" foetus and go from there.....
A foetus might have rights to be born or not.(seemingly decided by families and ruling courts of law).Foetuses cannot express their decision but born babies certainly make known their rights. Don't know of any babies who say "Thank you very much , I'll just lie here and don't give me any food or clean me up. No Cuddles. No walkies. "

France's highest court of appeal has ruled that handicapped children are entitled to compensation if their mothers were not given the chance of an abortion. The ruling follows a case brought by three families with physically deformed children, who argued that if doctors had detected the foetuses' disabilities they would have had the pregnancies terminated.
Doctors and campaigners for the disabled have reacted furiously, describing the decision by the Cour de Cassation as an incitement to eugenics.
The ruling was a surprise because it upheld a widely condemned landmark decision - known as the Perruche case - which awarded a mentally retarded boy damages last year because he had not been aborted.
The case was widely described as establishing in law a disabled child's "right not to be born."

The families in this case obviously cannot cope with their childrens disability. Most disabled people would uphold their right to be born as would a "potential" foetus IMO if it could.
[ May 07, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
19 years ago