[ELI5] In a simplified way what is the big problem with fusion reactors today that scientists are trying to solve? by CoolAppz in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

Have you ever tried to force two magnets repelling each other together? The harder you push, the more they resist and try to slip passed each other?

Fusion is like that, but with protons. If you can manage to smash the little buggers together, they give off a lot of energy, but it is really hard to make them do that. We are able to, but thus far, it is either an uncontrolled reaction (i.e., a bomb), or it takes more energy to smash them together than you get out of it.

Parents disagree that the Bible talks about how stoning, genocide, rape etc are acceptable. I give them proof and suddenly it doesn't count because they are 3000 year old views. by WatchingPaintWet in atheism

[–]kouhoutek -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Parents aren't in the business of debating their children. Children often manufacture "proof" of all sorts of things, why they should be able to stay out late or why their parents should get them a car. They don't engage, they dismiss, otherwise, children will argue endlessly.

Your parents may or may not believe as you say, but probably they just don't feel like arguing about it. Nor are they obligated to.

ELI5: Why do older Americans, especially those who are retired, seem to like driving bigger cars like Cadillacs or Continentals? I'm assuming they weren't driving them when they were younger. What takes place? by [deleted] in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

  • they can afford them now
  • they were more of a status symbol in the past, and likely to still appeal to older people
  • they are comfortable
  • they are easy to get in and out of
  • they are easy to drive, powerful enough so you don't have to worry about downshifting, but heavy enough you don't have to worry about rapid acceleration or top end speed

ELI5: Why are real number data types such as float and double called "floating-point"? by subhrooooo in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

There are two ways to hand decimals, fixed point and floating point.

Fixed point means there are always the same number of decimal places, no matter how large the number. Financial calculations are often done with 2 (or 3 or 4) fixed point digits.

Floating point means there are always the same number of significant digits in the number, and magnitude is adjusted. If you have 6 floating point digits, that means 1.23456, 1234.56, and 0.000123456 are valid numbers, and internally they are stored as something 1234.56 = 1.23456 x 103 = 123456E3, only usually in binary. The advantage in representing numbers this way is you retain relative accuracy whether your number is large or small.

I just quit a job, my parents are blaming it on my atheism by 1brokenmonkey in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My recommendation is to stop arguing. I don't think they are trying to convert you, so much as assuming you are already converted and just confused and discouraged and taking things out on God. They likely believe this is a genuine opportunity to for you to improve your walk with the Lord, and it doing so he will reveal his plan for you which will lead to a great new job. They think they are helping, and the more you push back, the more help you must need.

So just read the book. I actually like C.S. Lewis, I think of him as the loyal opposition. His apologetics are fairly sophisticated (so far as apologetics go), and seeing through them is a useful exercise. If your parents believe you are thinking things over than outright rejecting them, they will probably cut you some slack.

Focus on the Family is now a Church, according to the IRS. What the fuck. Why aren't we taking advantage all these religious handouts? by InLoveWithTexasShape in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 2 points3 points  (0 children)

We can and we do.

Churches are one of many types non-profit organizations as defined by the IRS, and have almost no tax benefits that are not available to any other non-profit. The threshold for creating a non-profit is very low, it has to provide some sort of nebulous public good. Religion is defined as one kind of public good, but so is education. The FFRF is one such organization. There is really no advantage to being a phony church when you can get almost the exact same thing honestly.

The primary difference between the two is in how the law is applied. Religious organization are typically presumed to qualify as non-profits and are less likely to be investigated. It sounds like Focus on the Family was investigated and their lawyers are trying to establish religious grounds to affirm their non-profit status.

For the sake of healthy debate. Do we need religion in the world? by igarg28 in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Any system of government that affords adequate human rights will allow people to choose to be religious.

Not exactly the same thing, but a world that bans religions, in my opinion, is far scarier than one that does not.

Humanism by Koreyrobin in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There is a very big crossover between humanists and atheists, but you can be one without being the other. I like to call humanism (and secularism, materialism and rationalism) atheist-adjacent.

Humanists and atheists are often impacted the same way on a given issue, so while this isn't a strictly humanist forum, it will come up quite a lot.

How many openly atheist politicians are there in America? by Lightfiend in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 1 point2 points  (0 children)

On the federal level, only a handful are openly atheist. Barney Frank and Pete Stark are probably the highest profile atheist congressmen, but they both retired a few years ago. Jared Huffman of California identifies as a humanist, I do not know if he has explicitly said he is an atheist.

ELI5: Why do people regret negative decisions from the past more than being happy about positive ones? by purtnit in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

For any given decision, the bad choice is likely to do more harm than the good choice does good. There are few good decision that can improve your life as much as a bad decision can wreck it.

For example, if I am a little drunk at a bar, I can decide to risk it and drive home or take a taxi. The bad decision could kill someone, injure me, or land me in jail. The good one simply keeps the status quo.

Good choices are more about small, incremental improvements. A single decision to work out instead of watching TV won't change much but making the choice several dozen times over the course of a year might.

ELI5 Why does weed have a stronger effect when burned or heated than when eaten directly? by oz_caution in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

When you inhale a drug, it is being absorbed directly into your bloodstream, giving it an immediate effect. Eating it requires it to be absorbed through your stomach, which can take a long time, and some of the drug might be broken down by digestion.

ELI5: Why are clothes with reflector stripes really bright in the dark when in contact with weak light sources, while they just appear grey in daylight? by CounterproductiveBaa in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

A bright day might literally be a million times brighter than dusk.

Your eye is really good at adapting to different levels of light, so while the reflector is the same brightness, you don't notice it because everything around is brighter.

ELI5 What causes a speech impedement such as a lisp, and is it possible to learn to speak without it? by CameForTheFreeCookie in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

When making the s sound, your teeth are supposed to be closed or nearly closed. If your tongue is a little too large for your jaw, it can be hard to keep your teeth together, resulting in a th rather than an s.

This can be corrected through speech therapy, where you essentially practice putting your tongue in the right place. Sometimes it can be corrected with surgery, but that will usually only be done if the small jaw is causing other problems.

ELI5: How is Jeff Bezos so rich when Amazon turns little profit? by PorkMuncher in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

Because Amazon makes a lot of money.

Most of that money gets invested in growth, so they make even more money next year. Which they invest in growth. To make more money. From growth.

For most of its history, Amazon has made no profit and focused on rapid growth. One year they would make $10B and spend $11B so the next year they would make $12B and spend $14B. Not making a profit or making a small profit, in this case, it almost a technicality, they are a wealthy company showing lots of year to year growth.

Eli5: why are some house numbers missing? by Tinferbrains in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

In most of the US, house numbers go up by 100 every block.

They are spread out for aesthetics, and so that new addresses can be added in between if new buildings are added (e.g., a house is torn down and is replaced with a duplex).

In older US cities and in many other parts of the world, numbering starts where the street starts, and goes up by 2 on each side. You wind up with addresses like 618-A or 618 1/2 that way.

ELI5 Can you explain why men are so much creepier/ignorant on dating sites than women are, or why it seems like it in most related text log snaps on the internet? by LNate93 in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek [score hidden]  (0 children)

In general, men are expected to be the ones to initiate contact. Writing that first message hard, and an attempt to be unique and interesting can go horribly awry. It also means the creepy, socially awkward and abusive men become clickbait fodder while the creepy, socially awkward, abusive women scare people away with their profiles.

Also, in many cases, the creep is about the man making inappropriate sexual comments or sending inappropriate photos. In general, this is going to be a bigger turn off if the man does that than if the woman does.

ELI5: Why is the assets split when getting divorced by NoUsername1337 in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That's not even close to how it works.

Typically you keep any assets you had before the marriage, only assets acquired during the marriage are spilt. In addition, if one spouse forgoes their career to keep a house and raise children, they can be compensated for that.

But if you have a $1M in the bank, get married, then get divorced a month later, you can expect to keep that $1M.

People's minds get messed up from Bible Prophecy by fivehundredpoundpeep in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I learned it when I was in high school. It is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about how religion is used to control the masses.

People's minds get messed up from Bible Prophecy by fivehundredpoundpeep in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Chimney Sweeper

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!' "
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved: so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black.

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

--William Blake, The Songs of Innocence

My friend believes she sees angels. I want help asking questions by BlissInMyReality in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The fact she is willing to admit she see them means either her believe in them is very strong, or she is messing with you.

Assuming the former, there is almost nothing you will be able to do to convince her otherwise. Either she will condescend to the poor, poor person who lacks her spiritual attunement, or she will see it as an attack on her faith.

Maybe your friend is suffering from mental illness, or maybe it is just a delusion she has nurtured because it gets her attention. Either way, I don't think there is much you can do for her.

Seeking advice on how to handle a proselytizer situation by notinadayswork in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Strange men walk up to children in the park to talk to them without their parent's permission? That's about 90% of the way to an Amber alert, I think this one pretty much writes itself.

People's minds get messed up from Bible Prophecy by fivehundredpoundpeep in atheism

[–]kouhoutek 2 points3 points  (0 children)

In a lot of ways, it is more insidious than all that.

End of the world prophesy is a way to make people do things with worrying about the consequences. Harold Camping got people to give away their life savings because they "knew" they wouldn't be needing it.

Slightly darker, it plays into revolutionary fantasy. If your life sucks, it can be hard to make it better. What is easy is to blame society for your lot in life, then dream of some earth-shattering event that will turn the existing order upside down. You had the special wisdom and insight to know what was going on, so naturally, you are going to wind up on top, while watching those who held you back suffer.

ELI5: How do global rules of war work? How does one enforce the rules while at war with another country? What would stop an opposing power from breaking these rules? by lostinthebarrens in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The rules of war are enforced by international pressure. If you break them, other countries you would be considered justified in using diplomatic, economic, and military pressure against them.

This can be a complicated matter, and is there is no automatic procedure that will try and punish a country that violates the rules of war. For example, Syria is using chemical weapons, a clear violation, but Russia supports Syria and China opposes military intervention on general principles, so they are questioning the accuracy of the reports to make the violation less clear.

ELI5: What's the actual risk of getting pregnant compared to the advertised effectiveness rate of the contraception method? by nevad21 in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It is the chance that a sexually active, healthy, fertile couple will become pregnant using that method correctly over the course of an entire year. Out of 100 such couples, 8 will be pregnant by year's end.

ELI5: why do you pay taxes when you're dining in when it costs more (bag/silverware/lids/etc) for to go orders? by _mikedotcom in explainlikeimfive

[–]kouhoutek 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Because it doesn't cost more.

When you dine in, you are essentially renting a space to eat. The business has to pay there own rent, heat, light, and clean that space, and pay the salary of someone to refill your drinks every five minutes. That costs more than a few napkins.