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Comment: Re:Dubious because facts (Score 1) 182

by Epell (#48628887) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

I think you are underestimating North Korean regime.
It is a bit old fashioned politics but Kim Jong Un is playing by the books when it comes to the old Asian political advise.

The whole country relies on the control of the people. If people thinks the country can be toppled, it will be. The government has pretty tight control on the communication with outside world, so they have that covered (although I hear that South Korea Drama, music, etc. circulates in the black market in DPRK these days).
If they don't know what is on the outside, the next thing to make sure is to not make the government be seen as weak. This is especially true at times like these with rather recent power change - From Kim Jong Il to his son.
It is a smart move for Jong Un to execute any possible dissenters or somebody who could gather enough support to overthrow his rule, potentially his uncle. Even if the uncle has no desire to overthrow the government, it is probably a good idea to make him a scapegoat and discourage any other who may think of such plan (ruthless, I know, but such thing is common in Chinese/Korean royal history).

As for some Americans being sent to work camp, it is to show to its people (and outside missionaries) that communication with outside will be strictly forbidden. DPRK is showing (not telling) that if you get caught, there will be severe consequences. There is no doubt secret Christian missionaries to North Korea has taken a step back for now until strong anti-missionary policy calms down a bit.

As for missile tests, hostile interaction with neighbors, it is probably used as a propaganda to its own people, occasional reminder of the military strength - to control the people, either through fear or through nationalistic pride.

Kim Jong Un is not a person who has been stuck in his country with no clue how world operates. I do not think he or his staffs are stupid people. They do things to accomplish their goal: maintain power. I believe all their stunts are calculated moves to keep his people in line. Sometimes they piss off neighbors and U.S., but they never do too much to actually escalate things to war. They can get away with that because well, they don't care if Japan publicly denounce them, at all.

Comment: Isn't that the whole point? (Score 1) 688

by Epell (#48618931) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

I'm sure I'm not understanding something here.
Isn't the whole point of technology (including A.I.), "let's find a easier way to do it so we can spend time doing something else"?
Autonomous cars will drive truck and taxi drivers out of work so that the excess workforce can be put to use somewhere else.
We just have to find another way to use the manpower, preferably in science and technology so we can do even less work in the future.

What is the problem?

Comment: Historically (Score 1) 314

by Epell (#40153559) Attached to: What Would a Post-Email World Look Like?
Historically, one mode of data transmission has been replaced by another more faster mean.
Only reason traditional mail service held out so long is because it could transmit relatively large amount of data until the coming of email
(you couldn't exactly write a paragraph on a telegram)

Considering how email can send large amount of data at near instant speed, I don't think email will go away.

Comment: Hardy Weinberg equilibrium (Score 3, Informative) 374

by Epell (#39851351) Attached to: Is Humanity Still Evolving?
Anybody who studied introductory biology/genetics class knows that for a population to NOT evolve: 1. Mating must be completely random. 2. There must be no selection. 3. There must be no mutation. 4. There must be no migration. 5. Population size must be pseudo-infinitely large. Selection may be arguably weaker (the article argues otherwise) and population size may be big enough, but mating is obviously not random and mutation and migration still happens. Thus, humanity is evolving.

Comment: Re:So near, yet so far... (Score 5, Insightful) 40

by Epell (#39693119) Attached to: Microryza Brings Crowd-Funding To Scientific Research
It has a lot to do with intellectual right policy in many research institution.
The researchers don't really own their findings themselves. If the finding is lucrative, the university/institution takes a huge chunk of the money.
If microryza forces the ownership to be shared with the funding sources/share all findings with public, then they have to sit through a whole lots of legal meetings for each institution they ever get involved with. Nobody wants that.

Believe me, researchers will share their findings when time is right.
Each publication is one extra line on their CV afterall.

Comment: Some insight. (Score 1) 279

by Epell (#39605951) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice For Budding Scientist?
Some fields are more likely to be fraudulent.
You can't really fake physics (at least I think), so I think you'll be fine on that aspect.

Although getting tenure job IS difficult.
My department (biological sciences) just went through a faculty candidate search this year.
We have two positions open and each position received 200+ application. So expect very high competition.
These people were all highly qualified good scientists, each has done 1-2 postdoc, etc.

That personally got me discouraged and I'm trying to go to MD/PhD to have some back up plan.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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