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Comment: Re:Your vote is wasted unless you vote 3rd party (Score 1) 607

by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (#49730475) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

That's an interesting definition of the word "waste" - choosing no effect over a small effect.

Maybe you're suggesting that *everyone* do that? In that case, the effect of your vote is dwarfed by the massive effort you'll need to invest to get *everyone* to vote third-party.

What I'm saying is: be realistic; it's not so simple. Simply voting third-party is a waste, by any practical definition of the word. The effect is more negligible by an order of magnitude than an R/D vote. If you want to make a change, come up with a better idea and push that. Your position basically amounts to taking your ball and going home, while ignoring the millions of other people still playing.

Want to make a real difference? Primaries. A ton of people are going to vote R/D, and you have almost no power to change that. But you can change what R and D stand for. The differences between primary candidates can be immense - far more than the difference between "Generic R" and "Generic D".

Comment: Re:Verifiable and Anonymous (Score 1) 258

Actually, as far as I can tell, the only problem is securing the endpoint, and that's a simple fix. Rather than opening the floodgates and letting *all* devices access online voting portals, we could set aside public spaces on election day for online voting. Private booths could be provided to avoid prying eyes.

Comment: Re:Huge red flag about the survey (Score 4, Insightful) 428

by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (#49426891) Attached to: Stack Overflow 2015 Developer Survey Reveals Coder Stats

If I need to know about executeFoo() in SomeLibrary, I can:

  • Google "SomeLibrary executeFoo"
  • Go to, and navigate through Support->Documents->API->executeFoo
  • Thumb through a dead-tree SomeLibrary book until reaching executeFoo

I've tried all three, and vastly prefer the simple Google search. Not only will be in the first 3 results (assuming their documentation doesn't suck), but there's a good chance you'll find a StackOverflow thread that not only explains executeFoo, but also covers the caveats and options better than the documentation.

Code samples tend to be more elegant than my own code. Many questions have multiple samples by multiple authors refined by multiple editors over multiple years. In comparison, I find API documentation often turns stale, or the samples are too simple to cover the cases I'm interested in. I don't "spend my life copy-pasting" - code samples tend to be useless for any real-life task. But I do get to see a gallery of how other people have solved similar problems.

Comment: Re:Enjoy Your New Internet Taxes (Score 2) 157

Damn right I'll be outraged. This type of astroturfing hurts both sides of the argument by preventing an actual exchange of ideas. It's FUD designed to reduce the credibility of any claims, making it harder for an uninformed person to become informed.

Comment: Re:Enjoy Your New Internet Taxes (Score 3, Insightful) 157

I was recently reading a very interesting article about paid Russian trolls. They'll go to all the small-town Russian blogs and post the same types of rants. But they don't just post pro-gov't rants. They've got this whole cast of characters and script where one person makes a seemingly-well-reasoned pro-gov't argument, while the anti-gov't "villain" will respond with something ridiculous or completely off-point.

It's not enough to make your side seem strong, you also have to make your opponents look foolish.

So when I see a seemingly-well-reasoned-but-wrong "government regulation is bad" argument followed by a "higher taxes and more expensive ISPs are good" argument - both by Anonymous Cowards - I think Soviet Russia. You guys are the worst kind of scum.

Comment: Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220

by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (#49401973) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

Exactly. I rated myself an expert because that is how people see me. I'd wager that most "Averages" would actually be considered "Experts" by my clients, not because they're in the upper echelon of all developers, but because even Average development skills puts you far in the upper echelon of society.

Now, if I were rating myself against my peers, I'd say Average or Advanced. But I don't think anyone would honestly rate themselves Expert against their peers in "programming". I've known "Java" experts and "Machine Learning" experts and "Computer Science" experts, but "programming" is such a broad term, I don't think I'd apply the Expert label to anyone I know.

Comment: Re:There is some truth to it (Score 1) 320

by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (#49139195) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

Yes, the link includes studies showing a correlation with something that could conceivably cause weird behaviour (sleep cycles), but haven't actually found a correlation with the weird behaviour.

So either there's no "lunar effect", or whatever effect there is results in a nonexistent/negligible increase in hospital/police activity.

Comment: Re:There is some truth to it (Score 4, Informative) 320

by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (#49127665) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

Ask any police officer or health care provider how people act during the full moon. They will almost always tell you that they are busier and people are crazier around that time of the month - consistently - although they can't quite explain why.

Confirmation bias. I've heard the same thing from nurses, but the fact is, no correlation has been found.

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.