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Comment: Re:But its cooler here... (Score 3, Insightful) 552

by ClickOnThis (#47458793) Attached to: The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

He does parody stuff, illustrating the logical failings of those who oppose his view

Rush has plenty of, uh, "logical failings" of his own. See below.

All you got to do is go back and read his books and listen to him for a few hours to know that he hasn't changed all that much....

Right, let's talk about his books.

In one, he tells people to stop worrying about the ozone layer because "the Sun makes ozone." A half-truth: yes, the Sun does make ozone, but it can't make it fast enough to overcome the destruction of ozone by CFCs.

Another similar fallacy: he says there are more trees in the USA now than when the first settlers arrived, so stop worrying about trees. I don't know, maybe that's true, but he ignores the fact that we are cutting these trees down at a much higher rate than the settlers ever did. Forestry management is about ensuring rates of growth are higher than rates of depletion, not how many trees you have at any moment.

I agree that Rush hasn't changed all that much. And he's still wrong.

Comment: Re: Really now (Score 4, Insightful) 145

Many of the fields of study we now use as the backbone of the modern era started out as mere intellectual curiosities, and often stayed that way for centuries until practical applications were invented. Scientists started seriously studying electricity in the 1600s, but we found few practical uses for it until the late 19th century. The scientists studying theoretical physics and astronomy today are no different than the likes of Michael Faraday, who never created useful inventions from his research in electricity.

This in spades.

One of my favorite Michael Faraday stories (of which there are variants) is a visit to his lab by Prime Minister Robert Peel, during which Peel asked "what use is electricity?" Faraday replied "what use is a new-born baby?"

Comment: Re:now you lose even more money on bc (Score 1) 72

I think we agree (mostly.)

Note that I was referring to "a fluid economy with lots of buyers and sellers to encourage fairness." I didn't mean that liquidity leads to fairness, rather that fairness can flourish only in an environment of liquidity, i.e., one with numerous players who aspire to fairness, but who are motivated to pursue it by the presence of their fellow players.

To put it another way, even the noblest among us can be corrupted, but it's harder to succumb to such corruption when others are watching and keeping us honest.

Comment: Re:now you lose even more money on bc (Score 1) 72

Your post is insightful and deserves modding up. However, I respectfully disagree with you and AC on whether Bitcoins have value. I claim they do.

IANAE, but it's my understanding that the intrinsic value of money is determined by what a buyer and a seller agree it's worth as payment for something, in a fluid economy with lots of buyers and sellers to encourage fairness. The Bitcoin network provides an infrastructure for transactions in such an economy. But without Bitcoins, you can't participate in it. So, I would say Bitcoins do have value, and they have that value because of the existence of the Bitcoin network. But to say that the network itself has the value in question is to overload the definition of value. At the risk of misusing terms of economics (again, IANAE) I'd say the network has utility (because it offers satisfaction in the use of Bitcoins) but not value.

Comment: Re:R... (Score 1) 143

C is most certainly a low-level programming language. There's a reason people call it "portable assembly language".

"Portable assembly language" is an oxymoron. And I have never heard anyone use that phrase to describe C.

Of course, as with almost all programming languages, people build useful abstractions in C to bridge the gap somewhat. But that doesn't make C itself a high-level language, any more so than does the use of functions and macros to increase the expressive power of an assembly language.

Never mind building abstractions. The C language itself is a significant abstraction from the machine level. Only a small handful of operators and constructs in C have a close analogue to assembler statements (e.g., accumulation, shift and bitwise logical operators.) Therefore I maintain that it is not a low-level language.

Comment: Re:R... (Score 1) 143

[...] as opposed to C which is a low-level programming language.

Assembler is a low-level programming language.

Machine language is a low-level programming language.

C is not a low-level programming language, although you can do low-level programming with it.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.