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Comment: Re:What Neil Gaiman said about GoT future (Score 1) 173

The problem is, NG's only partially right. Yes, it's also unreasonable to expect the author to dedicate every waking moment for years - perhaps even decades - of his life to finishing the work on schedule, much less a schedule that exists only on reader's minds. But it's also unreasonable to start releasing a series, start dragging your feet halfway through, and act surprised when the readers treat that as a betrayal. It is; the "to be continued" on the first book is why publishers and readers both tolerated the plot being unfinished and helped drive sales for the next book.

The author is not the reader's bitch, but neither does he get to make a deal, pocket the payoff, fail to deliver his end of the bargain and then act like people vilifying him for that are treating him as one. They aren't, they're treating him as a fraud.

Gaiman simply wants the best of both worlds for the author: the ability to start selling a long work before it's finished, and the freedom to bail out anytime without getting any flak. That's unreasonable, and not going to happen, because at the end of the day, the readers aren't author's bitches, either.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 417

by ultranova (#48946113) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

I'm so thankful I live in states that either don't do inspections, or no sniff tests at least.

But if you did, you wouldn't have to beg for identity reinforcement on online forums. You could protest with your friends against the yoke of oppression at the stairs of the state capitol rather than hope someone provides you with an opponent here.

One can be a rebel without a cause but not without an authority to rebel against.

Life's too short not to enjoy it to the max.

There is something very sad about ending a trolling attempt on Slashdot with such a sentence, especially on Friday night.

Comment: Re:Humans ask the questions. (Score 1) 94

by ultranova (#48945895) Attached to: Cutting Through Data Science Hype

Optimizing business processes like JIT supply chains is a branch of math called "operations research" (logistics if you are american).

Or "garbage in, garbage out" if you've seen the results of mathematically optimized processes encountering physical reality. But hey, someone earned a bonus for implementing them, and its not their fault someone got the flu, a storm delayed a ship, a roadwork delayed a truck which thus arrived just after lunch hour began, the warehouse door got stuck so they had to use another, another company was delivering goods at the same time so ours had to wait in line, the new part didn't fit, half the workforce was "optimized" away so the rest hate your guts and now have a work ethic to match, etc. etc.

Comment: Re:The crime happened to an Indian in India. (Score 1) 233

by ultranova (#48945789) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

This should be obvious, but for some reason, many people are always fixated on interpreting #3 (by far the most common scenario) as #2.

The "some reason" being that if someone goes to jail, the problem is solved - after all, they caught the bad guy, right? He's safely locked away or buried, unable to harm anyone again, and even more importantly, the injustice of an innocent person being victimized was just a temporary glitch that was promptly fixed - dreadful business, but now it's all behind us.

But if person A accuses person B of something horrible - such as a rape - then one of them must be a horrible person. If neither goes to jail, then justice has failed to be served. Occasional failures are inevitable with mere mortals, but no one likes - nor should like - them. The problem is, people don't always deal with such discomfort very well - there's no shortage of glitches in the current unfinished state of the world.

Comment: Re:Shame on them (Score 1) 179

by ultranova (#48945535) Attached to: Mathematicians Uncomfortable With Ties To NSA, But Not Pulling Back

To fail to recognize WWII was a holy war, is to fail to see what is happening now.

To the Nazis it certainly was. And it became that way for everyone towards the end. The entire 1900s were a time of religious warfare between fanatical supporters of various nations and ideologies.

Any ancient Athenian would instantly recognize, say, the American Eagle as the local equivalent of Athena. Which is fine, people need group identities to cooperate effectively, and these group identities will inevitably end up having recognizable personalities. But we'd gain more control over the outcome if we'd acknowledge that nations, ideologies, and anything else that can command people's loyalty is functionally a god and thus follows mythological, rather than rational, patterns.

Currently people aren't really aware of these high-level structures, which is why trying to control or even predict the outcome of various situations is a bit like decompiling a highly optimized program. And often the result ends up simply repeating typical religious patterns, for example with current efforts in Europe to placate the angry god Invisible Hand with public sacrifices - or "austerity", as the clerical cast ("economists") like to call it - to get back economical prosperity. And of course, communists on the other side of the ideological divide insisted that their god should bring forth a paradise on Earth, if only doctrinal purity was maintained. Evidence mattered little, until people finally lost their faith, at which point the Soviet Union fell pretty much overnight.

A god is a superorganism typical for humanity, the equivalent of anthill or beehive, thus every war is a holy war - a clash between rival deities - no matter what its nominal cause. Every member of a particular society has its image in their mind, suggesting courses of action compatible with said society, which then serve to reinforce them in anyone witnessing these actions. All too often that image has been quite beastly, but with greater awareness of these mechanisms, one can exert conscious control over the image - take actions which project the image one wants, hopefully starting a chain reaction that perpetuates the updated image through the entire society. It's about time we take human destiny into human hands under conscious control, rather than leave it to luck and instincts that have outlived their usefulness.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 4, Insightful) 492

by ultranova (#48940807) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

I'd like to know who first got the public all excited about the terminator gene. It's obviously a self-regulating problem; if the terminator gene somehow crosses over into another population, those plants don't breed and they don't carry the gene forward.

Scenario: terminatored corn is widely succesful and replaces regular corn. Something bad happens to stop Monsanto from delivering more seends. What will the farmers plant? They can't use seeds from terminatored corn since they're infertile, and they can't plant regular corn seeds since they no longer have any. Mass starvation follows.

Planned obsolescence in vital systems is a really bad idea.

Comment: Re:track record (Score 5, Funny) 291

by saider (#48934667) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

An airplane flying over the Atlantic lost one of its four engines, and the pilot came on to reassure the passengers. “Nothing to fear,” he said, “we’ll just be half an hour late arriving in New York.” A while later, another engine was lost. “Nothing to fear,” said the pilot again, “we’ll be an hour late now but we’re still safe.” Later, a third engine went out, and the pilot informed the passengers that arrival time would now be two hours late. One of the passengers turned to his seatmate and said, “If that last engine goes, we’ll be up here forever!”

Comment: Re:I rather be a paranoid than be totally un-prepa (Score 4, Interesting) 103

by ultranova (#48929655) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

But it's all up to you guys. What I am telling you is what I, and many millions of older generation of Chinese had gone through --- we do not trust the authority, we do not trust anyone but ourselves

And neither did the people who did the killing in China. The idea, inherited from Lenin, was to have a small vanguard of professional revolutionaries guarding the masses - in your terminology, "sheeples" - under absolute authority of the Party. Mao and Stalin then took this idea to its logical conclusion.

What I'm saying is that calling people "sheeples" is inherently anti-democratic. You can't trust sheeples, after all. Also, no society can survive unless the majority of its members stay put most of the time, which seems to be the going definition of "sheeple". And so you can at most let them play at ruling themselves when nothing's at stake - but as soon as there's trouble on the horizon, it's time for the shepherds to take control. Which they did in China, and are trying to do in the US. The results speak for themselves.

It's a fine example of how cultural memes perpetuate themselves, even when it'd be better they didn't. Much as you might hate the Chinese government, you still carry its - for a lack of better word - spirit with you. And there's no easy way to get rid of it.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 1) 236

by ultranova (#48923813) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

Nicely done. That kind of self-loathing crap is always irritating to come across.

I never once said anything about myself. You may wish to examine your biases, the errors in interpretation they cause and whether these errors make you significantly less effective at achieving whatever goals you have.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 5, Insightful) 236

by ultranova (#48920775) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

First, us humans prefer killing each other to science. This is a proven fact.

Really? How did the arrangements for that experience go? Subject gets to choose between a test tube or a bound assistant and a (hopefully fake) knife?

Second, humanity did not go from Horses to Nukes, a very very small percent of the population did it, those geniuses have everyone else standing on their coat-tails.

A small part of the population did experiments on uranium, while the rest mined that uranium, enriched it, built the roads that carried it from the mine to the lab, etc. Accusing a tailor of riding on the coattails he made is rather absurd.

The next leap will be by a very small group that is significantly more enlightened than the rest of the 99.95% of the population. If those people are benevolent, then everyone enjoys the fruits. If they are not....... Well, things can go very differently.

The invention to trigger the next leap will be by some group that is supported by others, allowing them to focus on something besides where their next meal will come from. After it has been made, it will be turned into something actually usable by other people, manufactured by yet others, distributed by yet other people along communication and transfer infrastructure built by, you guessed it, other people...

Heroic fantasies are just that: fantasies.

WE do not glorify learning, but instead glorify morons that can carry a ball, or can sing a tune. And we Vilify in society those that do love learning and are very smart.

People respect people who can provide something useful, be it entertainment, a focus for a cultural bonding event, or a cure for cancer. If you aren't respected as much as you think you deserve, it's usually because you aren't doing anything to earn it. Merely being smart and learned is no more worthy of respect than being richr; it's what you're doing with it that earns - or doesn't - the respect.

Honestly Humanity is a joke, almost a cancer. And if an advanced civilization stumbled across us, they would probably wipe us out to make the rest of the universe safer. We as a species love to hate others, we love murder, war, and control. WE thrive on hating those that are different or think or worship different.

Humans, in general, love thinking they're better than someone else, since that's easier than self-improvement. Sometimes that manifests as merely dismissing the entire species as "riding on the coattails" of a special few ubermenschen, and sometimes the delusion reaches the point of wanting to get rid of some specific group of perceived parasites. Either way, it's bullshit.

Comment: Re: This doesn't sound... sound (Score 2) 327

by ultranova (#48917669) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Unless they intend to get forgiveness... or default. I am not sure that Greece is "too big to fail" where they can do that.

It is. EU is not a nation, it's a collection of nations, and "European identity" is weak at best. Anti-EU movements are already growing, and won't have any trouble taking power if it starts to look like EU is a threat to the nations people actually identity with.

Comment: Re: Honestly... (Score 5, Insightful) 327

by ultranova (#48916863) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

This certainly explains the observed tendency of economies to collapse randomly no matter how they're run.

However, unlike in game economies, decisions in real economies affect people in addition to economy. Even if austerity actually was a cure to euro's problems, it cannot continue without destroying EU itself. People aren't going to tolerate endless misery just to boost some number, no matter how necessary politicians (who don't share the misery) deem it.

Either EU gets euro to work without austerity, or it has to abandon it. Demanding sacrifices from the common people who's reward is having less say in their own local affairs is quickly discrediting the entire union.

Happiness is a positive cash flow.

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