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Comment: Re:He was much more than that (Score 5, Informative) 96 96

by Daetrin (#49890965) Attached to: Actor Christopher Lee Has Died at 93
For those who don't want to follow the link:

Sir Christopher Lee:

He was Dracula
He was a Bond Villain.
He was Sherlock _and_ Mycroft Holmes.
He was Death.
He was Lucifer.
He was Count Dooku.
He was Saruman.
He was Lord Summerisle.
He recorded a heavy metal concept album about Charlemagne.
He hunted Nazis during WWII.
He was part of a secret agent unit called The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
When told be Peter Jackson to imagine how a man being stabbed in the back sounds, he told him he didn't have to imagine it.
He's fluent in English, Italian, French, German, and Spanish; "moderately proficient" in Swedish, Russian, and Greek; and "conversational" in Mandarin.Chinese.

Now, let's see Check Norris top that.

Comment: A little ironic (Score 1) 176 176

by Daetrin (#49844245) Attached to: Yahoo Killing Maps, Pipes & More
Since Google has started disabling the old version of Maps i have seen people suggest Yahoo Maps as a good choice to move to for those who thing the new Google Maps is too slow and painful. That probably wouldn't add enough new users for them to justify keeping it, but it's still a little sad for anyone who just recently decided that Yahoo was the right place to move to for maps.

(I didn't go that route myself because i dislike having the entire browser window covered with the map, so i'm thinking of moving to Bing instead.)

Comment: Re:Mental health workers? (Score 1) 385 385

by Daetrin (#49832127) Attached to: Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerization?
Funny that you said my examples from the industrial revolution were irrelevant, but when i then named (somewhat theoretical) examples from the information revolution you suddenly _really_ want to talk about the smithing thing.

More importantly, you're changing the goalposts. Your original claim was:

"I could go on... the fears of everyone losing their jobs to robots are ill founded. They're actually going to save us from having to do jobs we hate. Name a job a computer does that you'd actually want to do? There aren't any."

I disagreed with that last point, and i think i've proven it rather well. Many jobs have been eliminated, mostly by the industrial revolution so far but some by the information revolution, and even more are going to be eliminated despite the fact that there are people would like to do them, at least as they originally existed.

At no point did i argue that those jobs _shouldn't_ have been replaced, so your arguments above are invalid.

Yes, i'm moderately lucky as a programmer, but i'm not completely safe, and i have plenty of friends and acquaintances in jobs that are even more at risk.

People are going to lose jobs that they like or that they at least can tolerate. Some of them are going to get stuck with jobs they don't like as much, and some of them are going to be unable to find new employment at all. Your dismissal of their circumstances, saying "nobody wanted to do those jobs anyway" is either arrogant or ignorant, but in either case it's certainly cruel. People want a job they enjoy more than they want a job they don't, and they want a job they don't enjoy more than they want to be homeless and starving.

You say people should do the things they enjoy as a hobby. That's a great theory. However people ought to have work they find meaningful as well. A hobby shouldn't have to be a way to de-stress from a job you hate. And having hobbies is difficult if you're working multiple minimum-wage jobs just to support yourself and possibly a family as well, or if you're literally starving because you can't get a job.

"As our society gets richer, we'll have even more wealth so you can have your hobby."

If you're saying there should be a guaranteed minimum income or some other system to allow everyone to enjoy the prosperity that automation creates, i agree with you 100%. But that's not what's happening. We are becoming (on average) individually more productive, but we're neither getting to work less hours for the same pay nor getting paid fairly for the increased production. Instead we work the same (or more) hours while most of the benefits go to those who are already rich.


Comment: Re:Mental health workers? (Score 1) 385 385

by Daetrin (#49830701) Attached to: Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerization?
I don't _know_ what jobs are being taken away that people would want to do because they haven't been taken away yet. My argument was based on the fact that people said the same kind of thing about jobs eliminated by mechanical automation, that they were crappy jobs that people wouldn't want to do, and i don't think it's entirely unreasonable to think that the path of automating mental labor may by similar to the path of automating physical labor.

However if you want me to guess. Lawyers. The lower levels are already starting to get hit by automation and it's only going to get worse. Librarians, especially research librarians. Booksellers. Medical billers. Web developers. In fact there's probably a lot of very basic programming/IT work that could be more automated than it currently is. I could do some research and find some more examples, but i think that's enough to prove the point.

In none of those cases do i expect the entire job market to disappear (certainly not immediately at least) but more and more there will be a few experts at the head of a bunch of automation that's happening behind the scene. In fact in most of those cases that process has been going on for awhile, but the growth in the amount of work that needs to be done has, to some degree, kept pace with the increased productivity that automation has allowed. But as the rate at which automation is developed increases that equation could easily change, in which case people with mediocre skills will find themselves squeezed out as competition for the remaining jobs increases.

I work as a programmer, and i'm a pretty mediocre one. However i do like my job, and for the moment it's okay to be average. There's enough work in the industry that even average people are needed. Yes it would be awesome if i were smart enough to become a star programmer who could have his pick of the really cool jobs, but intelligence and skill operates on a bell curve, and the reality is that most of us are going to be clustered around the middle. It would be great to be John Carmack, but i'm okay with being Code Monkey #37.

The stuff i do isn't particularly easy to automate, at least not yet, but if a bunch of the simpler stuff gets automated there will be more programmers competing for the the remaining jobs, and it's possible that i will get pushed out by people more skilled than me. If you wish you can argue that if can't compete i don't deserve the job, but you can't say that i don't _want_ to do the job.

I think it's fair to presume that there are a lot of average lawyers and librarians and web developers and people in other at-risk occupations who feel the same way.

Comment: Re:Mental health workers? (Score 1) 385 385

by Daetrin (#49815561) Attached to: Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerization?

"Name a job a computer does that you'd actually want to do? There aren't any."

Speaking abstractly, i know a lot of people in the SCA, so i could probably name a dozen of them if i spent some time thinking about it. Smithing comes to mind immediately as a job that a lot of people would like to do if they could actually make a reasonable living at it. There are a few people who actually do make a living at it, but it requires a lot of skill (and thus a lot of time to learn) and there's not a huge demand for it. I also know a lot of people who knit or spin or weave as a hobby. Those all used to be valid jobs, but making a living off of any of those skills these days is now _very_ difficult.

As someone mentioned above all these jobs went through a similar pattern. Originally they were highly skilled jobs and people who could do them well were highly regarded. Then mechanization (and later computerization) made these jobs easier until any line worker could carry them out. And then the need for a line worker was eliminated in 99.99% of the cases. Sure, towards the end of that process no one wanted to be the person who welded bolt #128 to component A7, or the person who ran the mechanical loom, both of whom worked 8+ hours days doing repetitive tasks for a minimum wage (or an even more minimal wage before the idea of a minimum was created.) However that just means that being a cog in a process that's already been mostly mechanized isn't an enviable position. It doesn't mean that people didn't like doing the original job before it started getting replaced by machines.

(So just to double-check my assumption: Farmer/gardener, smith, carpenter, bowyer, fletcher, knitter, spinner, weaver, paper-maker, illuminater, glass blower, tanner, potter, and that's more than a dozen so i'll stop now. Admittedly there are a lot of people who still farm and/or garden, but the ones who try to do it professionally are under huge pressure from mechanization and computerization, and the number has declined precipitously from where it used to be.)

Comment: Slashdotness (Score 5, Funny) 155 155

by Daetrin (#49782929) Attached to: Heat Wave Kills More Than 1,100 In India
Minus: You failed to use an obscure unit of measurement. I propose Congresses. This heat wave has killed 2.056 Congresses of people.

Plus: You used a decimal comma instead of a decimal point, allowing people to respond saying that you're adhering to a regionally specific custom that differs from their own regionally specific custom, and therefore are clearly doing it wrong.

Overall i rate your slashdotness at 77.3%, by means of an obscure personal rating system which i can't describe succinctly but will argue about endlessly if anyone disagrees with my conclusion.

Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950 950

"I am slightly confused as well, though. As a self-defined feminist dater, I'd assume you are somewhat left-leaning, and I swear I have never met (Note that word, I don't care about philosophers or authors, those are XX age relics) a Westerner who was left-leaning and had ANYTHING good to say about military."

I'm sorry to have damaged your stark black and white view of the world. But what's really going to bake your noodle is that i have multiple left-leaning friends who used to be or currently are in the military. One of them is even a female feminist! WHOA!

Not that this should really surprise you. There was a big deal awhile about about whether or not gays and lesbians could openly be in the military. Although certainly not all gays and lesbians are left-leaning, did you really thing every single gay and lesbian soldier was a conservative?

"Why don't they join the army then? As always, girly mentality - it's so cool, but I don't wanna cuz iffy."

Oh right, because every single guy who enjoys action movies signs up for the military. No civilians ever go to see movies like that. As mentioned above, some of them do. But most girls, like most guys, don't feel the need to actually participate in military action in order to enjoy a good fight in the cinemas. Is that a failing of human nature? Perhaps. But it's far from unique to the females of the species.

"You have her, you're happy - great, gl, keep on truckin'! Not my business tho."

If you didn't want to hear about my sex life then why did you not so subtly bring the subject up? (And i'm still not sure why you think that not having sex is such a big insult. In the past i have gone for years without having sex at times. I wasn't ashamed to admit it either then or now.) I was honestly confused as to why you want to stereotype an entire group of people, and i proposed two possible, although not definitive reasons.

You say you definitely have sex with people. That's great, good for you! I don't see any reason not to believe you, even though i obviously disagree with you on some issues. See? That wasn't hard!

But you are opting for the second option, while declaring that you don't wear a tinfoil hat. You're already admitted surprise that people who disagree with you don't all subscribe to some kind of monolithic groupthink, yet still maintain that all the guys who are dating feminists aren't getting any sex, to the extent that you're nonchalantly calling me a liar to my (virtual) face. I'll just leave that here and let everyone else decide what to think about that kind of... extreme viewpoint.

Comment: Re:Math (Score 2) 236 236

by Daetrin (#49752857) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone
I think you may be placing too much faith in the human race. Yes some humans would undoubtedly survive anything but the worst asteroid strike. However if 90-99% of the human race was wiped out and the environment was (even more) wrecked, then i would not be surprised if humans died off within a couple centuries after that. Which would (reasonably) still be chalked up as part of the same extinction event by any theoretical future paleontologist-equivalents.

Comment: Re:At one of the poles? (Score 1) 496 496

by Daetrin (#49739993) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers
Well that's close to the right answer. It can be the north pole, or any point one mile north of a line of latitude that is 1/[integer] miles in circumference, all of which are (very) near the south pole. Meaning that you would walk a mile south, circle the planet (at that line of latitude) exactly [integer] times, and then return one mile north to your starting point.

Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 2) 950 950

Actually my girlfriend doesn't read slashdot. She's got a lot of geeky hobbies but she's not a programmer or a technology professional and most of the content here doesn't appeal to her. So she doesn't see any of what i write here and what i'm saying has zero affect on how much sex i do or not get.

From what i understand the reason i actually get "hump-hump action" is because A: the first time my girlfriend saw me she thought i looked attractive (looks certainly aren't everything, but they are something) B: when she got the chance to interact with me i seemed to be a geeky person, and C: when she tried to talk to me about our shared geeky interests i responded in a friendly fashion and treated her like a human being. Oh yeah, and the little matter of D: she actually likes sex too.

But i suppose it's always possible she's lying to me about that. Maybe she's following all my online accounts in secret and only rewards me with sex when i say nice things about women? I guess i have no way to prove otherwise. But hey, treating both halves of the human race like human beings makes me feel good, and if it also gets me sex then that's just a win-win. So i wouldn't complain about her "nefarious" plan even if it was true.

However the fact that you think people like me only say good things about women in order to get into their pants would seem to say a lot about your own worldview. Would that be because you're not getting sex yourself and therefore no one else is either? Or do you just think that those of us dating feminists aren't getting sex and we're all lying about it because we're part of a massive conspiracy?

As for the TV show/movie thing, i'm confused, you don't think people in the military are valuable human beings? Most reasonable people i know think that it's unfortunate when you can't solve matter peacefully, but that fighting to protect someone else is honorable. To quote Heinlein, one of my favorite authors "The most noble fate a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war's desolation." Most of the women i know would actually like to see a bit more of women being soldiers and, when necessary, sacrificing themselves so that others might live.

The most prominent examples in the movies right now are Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers. Teams of heroes fighting bad guys, each consisting of a bunch of men and one woman. So women (or at least a lot of the women i know) already feel a little excluded, and then when they go to stores they can't find any merchandise featuring the female characters to buy. So if you consider yourself to be a manly man and you don't like all those guys being kick-ass soldiers, then who's buying all the tickets and giving those studios billions of dollars? And who exactly is it that's being undervalued when the people who make the merchandise refuse to put female characters on most of it?

Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 3, Insightful) 950 950

It's "funny". Almost all guys who try to hit on girls get rejected, either right off the bat or after a brief period of dating when things don't work out. This happens especially often when people are first starting out and don't have a lot of experience. (Yes, there are the exceptions who spend their entire lives happily married to their first high school sweetheart, but they are very rare.) And yet not all of them end up deciding that women in general are horrible.

Some guys get rejected and blame it on fate or chance or some other random factor and try again. In essence they accept that some people just aren't right for each other.

And some guys get rejected and blame it on themselves, then they either mope for awhile, or try to improve themselves, then try again. (This is the category i fall into, it's probably not as healthy as the first option, but it seems far preferable to...)

But some of them get rejected and blame the women. Maybe they were unlucky and were hitting on/involved with a bad apple, or maybe they're just projecting the personal problems in their own life on others. I don't know. I'm also not sure if they actually give up at that point, or continue on in the "sure knowledge" that the women they're hitting on are actually horrible feminazi golddiggers. Because hey, having sex with a horrible feminazi goldigger is still better than masturbation, right? (Reality not usually being black and white, it's probably a bit of both.)

(And of course these aren't strict categories. Individuals may have have a tendency towards one of the categories but have a different response in a particular situation, or drift into another category over time. The switch from "blaming oneself" to "blaming the womens" seems to be a particularly popular one unfortunately.)

I can say as a male that i've never felt under-valued or discriminated against, either in society or in the workplace. And certainly not every individual woman has valued me as much as i would like her to, but then there have also been at least one or two who valued me more than i really wanted them to. And despite the mismatches i have persevered and have had what i consider to be a reasonable number of relationships in my life, a couple short-term but mostly long-term.

All of the women i've dated have been feminists to a greater or lesser degree. They've also all been generally good people (one or two of them were more interested in quick lay and then moving on to another conquest than anything long term, which made me a bit sad at the time, but that doesn't make them bad people.) None of them seemed to disrespect me or under-value me, and none of them were looking for a "walking wallet" to bilk. Obviously most of the relationships didn't work out in the long run, but it was never because they wanted more money or that they didn't respect me.

Most of the women i know as friends or coworkers also seem like equally good people. I've never actually encountered anyone who was clearly looking for a "walking wallet", but perhaps as someone making slightly above the average middle-class income who doesn't tend to flash what money i do have i'm just not attracting the attention of such people. I've certainly heard of some specific women who may fit that bill, but they seem relatively rare. Likewise "feminazis" who actually hate men seem to be a lot rarer on the ground than the critics of feminism would have you believe.

So the common thread i see is that men who see difficulties in dating as being due to chance or their own personal failings generally end up finding a woman who's worth being with, possibly after a number of false starts, but eventually. While men who blame women for the problems they encounter only seem able to attract women who want something other than a positive emotional relationship.

The women i know, the ones who in my experience seem like decent human being and seem to make up the majority of the female population, usually seem to be pretty good at sensing when a guy doesn't actually respect them, and they tend to run screaming. (Well, not literally. Most of them are afraid to respond in a strongly negative fashion because they're worried that the guy will flip out, but they'll still try to extract themselves from the situation.)

So it seems pretty clear that if your initial assumption is that most women are money-grubbing jerks who don't respect you the women you meet are going to pick up on that, and the only ones who will still be interested in dating you will be... money-grubbing jerks who don't respect you. (And for the people who do approach women like that, perhaps the women who rejected you aren't actually "feminazis who hate all men", maybe they're just feminists who dislike people who act like you in particular.)

Which puts you in the situation of either dating undesirable people or retreating to video games and porn. (As opposed to dating desirable people and enjoying video games and porn with them.)

The solution is theoretically very simple, though obviously a lot of people in that situation find the first step of actually accepting that women are people who are pretty much the same as men and worthy of the same respect to be a very difficult one. If they can manage it however, things will get better.

And for those who haven't fallen into the trap yet, remember that the problem may not be you, but it probably isn't them either. And if you want to try an improve your odds do it by improving yourself, not by adopting a false facade to try and manipulate people. If you get in shape because you want to feel better about yourself that will show through. If you only get in shape because you think a six-pack will attract girls that will show through as well, and the girls you attract will probably be as shallow as your motives.

(And as an aside, if men are so under-valued why are movies and TV, and the merchandise associated with them, targeted at men so frequently? Do we have more money then the women? (In which case we're certainly not under-valued.) Or are we being catered to despite not having more money? (In which case we're actually being over-valued.))

The way to make a small fortune in the commodities market is to start with a large fortune.