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Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 347

by Mr. Slippery (#46810453) Attached to: Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad

How can you tell if the logic is "faultless" if you don't start with the sort of rigorous and objective definitions that you have in math?

There is nothing objective about mathematics. Trace a mathematical proposition down, and it rest on axioms and definitions -- social and linguistic conventions. Those conventions have historically proven to have pragmatic value, but the question of what's pragmatically valuable is a subjective one; you cannot objectively demonstrate the value of going to the moon, or building a bridge, or even developing a new life-saving medical treatment.

The idea that math is some pure realm of eternal verities is Platonic bullshit.

Comment: Re:not an axe (Score 1) 212

by Mr. Slippery (#46809811) Attached to: Reinventing the Axe

What if you have a rock band, and replace the members one by one, but then the original members re-unite to play their classic tunes, but then both bands go on tour together?

I was delighted to learn that my hometown has a real-life example of the Ship of Theseus conundrum: the USS Constellation.

"Identity" is nothing but a social and mental convention.

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 347

by Mr. Slippery (#46809683) Attached to: Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad

Which of those would be useful to Google or another company that writes a lot of software?

If you're writing software, you ought to be writing technical documentation. I think English majors would have some useful skills there. I greatly appreciated having tech writers around to clean up my muddied prose (and also to worry about what should be boldface, what should be italic, and the like.)

Comment: Re:Animal cruelty? (Score 1) 199

The difference is we have a choice when the weather gets too hot and humid or too cold as to whether we want to be out or not. The horses don't. They are at the whim of their owners.

While there is a group of NYC officers whose job it is to check on the horses when the weather gets hot, and have the power to order the owners to take the horses to the stables, that is still different than humans being able to walk into an air conditioned building whenever they fell like it.

Comment: Re:No answer will be given (Score 2, Insightful) 299

My guy? Who said Obama is my guy? I am only pointing out that people who are up in arms about what he is doing were, for the most part, completely silent when Bush did it.

Pick anything you like: executive privilege, spying on U.S. citizens, signing statements, the list goes on. Everything that he is doing, and the right is complaining about, are the exact same things Bush was doing and the right kept gloating about how well he was doing.

We cannot have it both ways. If you're going to complain about how one person is doing something, you have to do it about the other. If you're not going to complain when your guy does it, you can't complain when someone else's guy does it.

Comment: Re:No answer will be given (Score 0) 299

History dictates that Obama will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense

So he'll be like George Bush? After all, the previous administration used every trick in the book to prevent the public from knowing what the White House was doing such as claiming he needed "unbiased" information which is why he refused to turn over the visitor logs when meeting with oil executives on U.S. energy policy, or claimed that by not opening emails they weren't "read" and so the contents didn't have to be turned over to investigators, the public or even backed up for historical purposes.

And let's not forget Bush (and Vice-President Cheney) avoided every single Congressional request to testify on the failings of his administration to prevent the 9/11 attacks, including refusing to hand over every document requested by the 9/11 Commission except for one page, heavily redacted, which had the title, 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack the U.S.".

So if you're saying Obama will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense, we can safely assume he is following the example of his predecessor

Comment: These drones aren't big enough or armed (Score 1) 49

by smooth wombat (#46806085) Attached to: Drones On Demand

I want a drone that I can call in when the person at the head of the line sits through an entire red light without making a right turn when it is safe to do so, thus holding everyone up and costing us money by idling. The drone has to be able to lift the heaviest, non-commercial vehicles.

Conversely, I want a drone armed with Hellfire missiles to take out the asshats who drive during inclement weather without their headlights on, weave in and out of traffic just to get one car ahead and the ones who blatantly run red lights when the opposing traffic has the green light.

Oh, and the same goes for bicyclists who believe the rules of the road don't apply to them (i.e. running red lights, driving against traffic and cutting in front of people).

Comment: Re:Big Whoop. (Score 1) 87

by PopeRatzo (#46802839) Attached to: SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades.

Well, it's theoretically less expensive, but not yet. If you extrapolate out 50 missions, you start seeing SpaceX making an actual profit instead of a projected profit based on a fee stream.

My problem is that the entire thing still relies on government. If there is value in a "private" space industry, it hasn't been found yet.

Further, none of the profits ever materialize if you look at the external costs of the federal government already having done the hard work. Unless you believe SpaceX started with a clean sheet of paper and didn't make use of the past half-century of government space programs.

At best, you can say that there's a place for government and private industry to work together on the really big things like space travel. Without the government over-spending, there's good reason to believe we'd never have seen any space program at all. Or, convince me that without the initial public investment, any private company would have done the basic research required to send the first satellite into space.

To do nothing is to be nothing.