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  1. NASA finds solar system with 7 planets

    Why do I have the sudden urge to play Stellaris after seeing the artworks made for these planets?’s_impression_of_the_ultracool_dwarf_star_TRAPPIST-1_from_the_surface_of_one_of_its_planets.jpg
  2. US politics: Donny, you're out of your element

    Thanks for the history lessons about the American parties, guys! I always had a feeling that the Republicans of history's past had a somewhat more sensible program, way before the Tea Party further radicalized it. But I could never put my finger on when exactly they shifted to conservatism at all costs. And I'm obviously not the only one. This discussion reminds me of the atmosphere in the chat of Star Trek Online the days after Trump's election. What shall I say, I needed some relieve. And I couldn't believe that the Trumpsters were trolling everything even there, ranting about immigrants and praising their great emperor until the actual Trekkie crowd gave up arguing back. But there was that one guy who kept using this echo chamber to repeat over and over again that conservatism freed the slaves and therefore we should all praise today's Republicans for it. That was the last straw or something: A wave of ridicule swept over the entire chat, somewhat fixing my hope for mankind. Still, that Trumpists show up in a Star Trek community is a good sign for me how tone-deaf his true believers are. Hating everything that even has the name 'social' in it, calling it communist with a frothing mouth and yet they have no problem watching and playing Star Trek, which was always supposed to be pretty damn left with its political messages. Like this guy arguing that Picard would crack down on oh so tyrannical SJW's. Yes, really. Picard, the one character who is supposed to be written as paragon of humanism and perceived as condescending by many people for good reasons (and I say that as a big fan of his character). Things like this make me doubt that conservatives, or at least radical conservatives, are thinking anything regarding their political standpoint and the one of the people around them through. It's only about 'we against them', about painting some vague picture of an enemy that needs to be opposed at every turn, never even sparing a thought for what exactly it is they are opposing and what exactly it is that they stand for.
  3. NASA finds solar system with 7 planets

    Wow, this is really cool. Two other fun facts: First, Trappist-1 is only 39 lightyears away, which is basically nothing. The Centauri System with its three stars is a little more than 4 lightyears away. On the other hand, Wikipedia lists 56 star systems that are 15 ly or closer to earth, our galaxy is absurdly dense. Second: Due to the youth and weird nature of Trappist's sun, the system will probably exist till the very end of the universe. Which is awesome in a lot of ways. Regarding the density of the system messing up the tides: Was my first thought as well. Those planets are ridiculously close. I wouldn't be surprised if the weather is utterly insane despite the amazing view. I want to remind you guys that a year on Trappist D, E and F is only 4, 6 and 9 days long, respectively.
  4. US Politics: Papers, Please

    I doubt Tehran does. They look careful at what he's doing and so far responded with a tactic that looks like 'eye for an eye' but I suppose they just desperately want to show Trump that his policies have repercussion. I don't think they have any interest in a direct confrontation, no sane leader does. Especially when there is a certain chance that the guy with the button isn't bluffing at all... Pyongyang however... I have to put my hands into the air, that one is utterly unpredictable, especially since they burned bridges with their only remaining ally, China, for god knows what perceived reason. That could get awry really fast.
  5. Given the current climate, I'm starting to think the new Star Trek show should have a female Arab captain to remind people that... well, people are people. And Star Trek has a history of pushing current and future problems into the spotlight by showing a society that has grown past silly rhetoric of hate and fear. But why do I have the dreadful feeling that even Star Trek won't be brave enough to go against hate in these modern times. The first seasons of Enterprise and their disgustingly warped War on Terror stupidity comes to mind. Gah, at least I will be less concerned over its inevitable crash then...
  6. US Politics: Redefining National Security

    Wow... this is getting really pessimistic here. And here I am still grasping at the straw that Trump is merely incompetent and corrupt and would erode democracy only by accident. I know, I know, the real danger are his puppeteers exploiting his whims, but still... Anyway, I am somewhat reminded of that weird ass dream I had two days ago. In which Trump makes the US leave UN and NATO over some stupid quarrel with the other member nations and Putin comes in, shrugs and offers to take the helm in both institutions. Yes, even NATO. And he's applauded for his level-headedness while the US returns to the isolationist policy of the early 20th century.
  7. Historical Help: Munich 1938

    Well, while Werthead's assessment was meant as a pointed simplification, it is an interesting question to be sure. Though I don't know what you expect for an answer. Every kind of offensive on the side of the allies would have been easier than tanking Blitzkrieg. The only question is how fast they would have been able to mobilize their troops (allowing the Germans to relocate their troops and fight back - after all, the disarmament of the treaty of Versailles was already completely erased). It is also dubious the Russians would have joined, because Stalin frankly wouldn't have cared enough and even though the non-aggression pact in the wake of the joint invasion of Poland wasn't made yet, the Soviets helped the Germans train their troops and Stalin hoped to cooperate with Hitler some more to help his own expansionist policy. I highly doubt he would have buried these thoughts over such small fries. So then it would have been only France and England. France, still sore about WW1 and aghast over the dismantling of the Versailles treaty might have spearheaded an intervention to contain Germany, but it would have likely only been localized and not a full out war. If you want to theorize a bit, supporting Poland would have been the most sensible thing to do in 1939. When the German forces were occupied in the east, opening a second front to sandwich Germany early on would have been the best possible action for the Western Allies in my humble opinion. And this act of unabashed aggression would have been reason enough for full mobilization as well.
  8. U.S. Politics: It's Torture

    Very eloquently put! Even as someone who has invoked Godwin's law before in order to describe the factors that led to his election, I have to totally agree regarding the thoughtless executive orders of the last few days. He may have risen on an eerily similar sentiment of disappointment in the system and through his advisors he is a very real threat to democracy, but at least he doesn't have any kind of coherent plan. Still doesn't make it any less terrifying... I also have the impression that he's currently just crossing out his campaign promises one after another without any thought about how feasable any of it is. At this rate he will have 'finished' those by the end of next week and lets everyone else deal with the fallout. I wonder whether he then grows bored...
  9. U.S. Politics: It's Torture

    Why asking when you already know the answer? It would be insanity to claim that history would ever repeat under the exact same circumstances. But you can't deny that we live in a time where populism is on the rise and the trust in the flexibility of democracies is on an all-time low. The factors are the same. And Trump is in a very good position to erode the American democracy, even though unlike Hitler I am less scared of him as of his advisors. Comparing him to Louis or Napoleon would be laughable for this exact reason. Those two monarchs were extremely cunning, Trump most certainly is not. I would actually rather compare Putin to Napoleon, though I do that mostly in regards to having an ambitious and scarily competent workoholic in charge. And as I said, in the best case they are just a bunch of corrupt leeches. The most powerful con-artists imaginable.
  10. U.S. Politics: It's Torture

    The problem is: Teaching their wrongdoings is one thing. Teaching the circumstances which enabled them to rise to power is another. And this is the crucial point. I might be biased because I'm a history student/teacher. So there is a definite bias about the people I'm surrounded with. But I also think that it is a part of our German history, the fact that we are constantly working through it and have a high emphasize on Hitler's rise in history classes. With all these factors, nearly everyone I know is terrified by Trump, the ideas he's promoting and the rhetoric he uses. This is not Godwin's Law, this is history. There is country devided after an economic recession and political change having been halted by the deadlock the democratically elected parties created for themselves, leaving people disillusioned with the people working within the democratic system. Then comes a demagogue who claims to oppose the system and yet works with the conservative. Who uses a rhetoric of hatred and fear that sides with the working class, paints an 'acceptable' enemy that needs to be defeated and offers seemingly simple, clearly populist solutions to make his country 'great again' by feeling superior again. He is hostile to the other parties, free speech and factual evidence, an advocate for economic protectionism, military rearmament and careless threats, he is ridiculed for being a political moron and not being taken seriously at all. And yet the disillusioned masses are craving for change, no matter how destructive it may be. So he gets elected. And from day one starts to shut down government institutions and replaces important positions with his own incompetent and corrupt lackeys. Of course this doesn't mean that Trump is the next Hitler. It could just mean that he and his Council of Supreme Evil are just clever tricksters, a thoroughly rotten and corrupt bunch that is going to leech off the US for the next few years and then dash off laughing their asses off, leaving the country in ruins and the people hopefully a little wiser. That's my most optimistic take on things right now. The pessimist take however...
  11. Haskell, is it worth learning?

    Okay, never worked with Mongodb, but good luck with Spring. I worked with that in a recent project and found it far, far more difficult than anything Haskell-related. And good luck finding a decent tutorial that actually works with what you have in mind (even though I have to admit that having to work on an existing website with no knowledge and barely any help at all might have shaped my opinion there).
  12. Haskell, is it worth learning?

    Even if nothing else, you learn an entirely different approach to programming and that is certainly always helpful to keep yourself from getting too attached to a single programming style. I myself had to learn Haskell during my first semester and found it a lot of fun, even going so far as to incorporate the language in my bachelor thesis.
  13. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    That really depends on the political leanings of the person you are speaking with. This wholesome gobbling up of Erdogan's propaganda seems to be mostly confined to immigrant Turkish with lacking integration (so those who have few native friends and collegues and seek comfort by keeping among other Turkish). It seems that Erdogan gets quite alot of support among Turkish outside the country by building up some kind of Turkish identity and contrasting it with the culture they actually live in. With that in mind, living in Berlin I have quite a lot of Turkish acquintances. Most of them are young, well integrated and pursue academic careers. And pretty much all of them were horrified by the things happening in Turkey, one acquintance even got an uncle of hers arrested (a military officer who is now threatened with execution). They also explained to me that there is a rift between the first generation of migrants and the second one. Those who arrived in Germany and have still strong ties to Turkey (and rely on Erdogan-controlled newspapers) seem to be more likely followers of Erdogan while those raised in Germany are often baffled about the excuses they make when it comes to his politics. Then again, my Turkish acquintances are only academics, so keep that in mind...
  14. The final! France - Portugal

    Well, Ronaldo did his best to stay on the pitch regardless of being able to play or not, so there is that. I guess it is a fair win. I couldn't stomach the smug face of Ronaldo if they had won with him, but I can live with his teary face after they proved they don't need to rely only on him after all.
  15. The final! France - Portugal

    Yeah, wrong phrasing on my part. I didn't mean nasty in terms of malicious intend, more nasty in terms of "ouch, that really hurt". Anyway, what the fuck is going on with all those moths pestering the stadion? Better grab a couple of Swiss shirts to divert their attention.