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Comment Re:yeah right (Score 1) 67

That's a different issue. There's a discussion about whether there is such a thing as "interpreted languages" and "compiled languages", and in the strictest sense, the answer is no, because some normally-compiled languages can be run in an interpreter, and most normally-interpreted languages can be compiled; but there is also a philosophical debate that allows an imprecise use of the terms. Java is what I'd consider a "compiled language" because of its architectural design -- I don't care that the target architecture is rarely seen in hardware form. The limitation this leaves you with is execution speed, which was a genuine concern in the early days of Java, but that's not a feature of the language per se.

Python is a scripting language. It's almost fully dynamic, in that you can (if you want) rewrite class definitions during execution time based on user input. This is, on my philosophical level, an architectural feature of an interpreted language, and any compiled version of Python is going to have to include a compiler and/or interpreter to deal with these quibbles at run-time.

My point, in short, is that these architectural features aimed at the interpreted environment are a source of potential errors, and that they don't compile well; therefore Python is not a good candidate for use in compiled code. Python is was specifically designed for running in an interpreter. Why would you want to use it anywhere else?

Comment Re:yeah right (Score 1) 67

Python is a useful language for prototyping things, or trying out some new algorithm.
It allows me to test these things out without worrying about all kinds of details like I would if I were programming in C.
Of course if I want performance for whatever it is I'm doing, then yes, I'll rewrite in C eventually.

And yet you don't need to be able to dynamically rewrite entire class definitions in order to do most of the useful stuff that Python lets you do quickly. And if you do use a lot of the stuff that makes Python Python, it will be a tough job to rewrite into C at a later date. As such, I personally feel that Python is a double-edged sword, and I would like the core of it without the ultra-dynamic, self-modifying stuff that (for my purposes) only serves as a source of potential errors.

Comment Re:yeah right (Score 1) 67

You can compile Python into C. I had a Python script to roll a pair of dice one million times that took 123 seconds. Compiled Python to C, it took four seconds.

Great. However, all of Python's weaknesses exist to support its use as an interpreted language. There are things I really love about Python (eg list comprehensions look almost mathematical, and are designed for readability), but just compiling it doesn't get round the limitations of the language architecture.

Comment Re:Two arrests in Denmark for Murder Time (TM) (Score 4, Interesting) 244

What's not valid about your analogy is that peer-to-peer video sharing can be perfectly legal, whereas murder never is. What Popcorn Time needs is a tracker dedicated to fully legal videos -- Max Fleischer out-of-copyright cartoons, the Blender Foundation animations, how-tos on video production etc. P2P has legitimate non-infringing uses, and there should be people focusing on doing that. Consider the amount of genuinely free stuff on PirateBay etc. It's not a notable proportion of the P2P traffic, but it still would be enough to merit its own tracker.

Comment Re: They just don't want to get sued (Score 1) 264

No, you are. Lots of white folks who are not Muslims have blown shit up. That's my point. Saying that white folk who blow shit up don't typically shout "Aue Iesu" before they do it doesn't make them any less white folk who blow shit up, so no, "virtually" or not, you can't pin it all on Muslims, and it remains irrelevant.

Comment Re:Cue the Kneejerk (Score 1) 244

I'm not sure how I feel about this research...and that's pretty much why I'm all for this. We don't understand enough to be able to say whether or not this should be happening, and this is the best way we know how to move forward.

Your argument, then, is that the precautionary principle is never justified? That action should be considered right and safe until proven otherwise?

Comment Re:Consciousness (Score 1) 244

What has being an atheist to do with knowing if an artificial grown brain is conscious?

Not much, but it's a matter of his motivation for the question. It's quite standard to assume that anyone against embryonic research is religious and only building an argument that justifies existing bias. But there are non-religious people that find it kind of icky, and see the lines as being very blurry, like the GP. And myself.

Comment Re: Shocking (Score 1) 244

His point is that when there is a direct threat, people are generally willing to take extreme action. That's not necessarily justification for making a decision to do something potentially objectionable on a non-immenent, calculated future threat. For example: if I was sure that killing 30% of the world's population would prevent a famine and global war in 2096 that would itself kill 50% of the world's population, would it be OK for me to start culling people in every major city in the world?

Comment Re:Not just for coding (Score 1) 61

What self-important atheists do that? Do you consider me one?

Yes, I do. Why? Because you interrupted a thread discussing a very soecific topic on education -- educational technology and adaptive learning - in order to preach (yes, preach) about how bad religion is. That's self-importance: "what I have to say is so important, it doesn't matter that it's off-topic. Listen to me!" If there is a debate to be had about the effect of religion on the content of school lessons (and there is), then have that debate elsewhere -- here we are discussing teaching methodologies. In this discussion there is no need to make enemies out of people based on ideologies that are completely orthogonal to the debate.

Because I don't just accept flat religious assertions and actually try to take power away from religion so it'll do less damage?

Your approach is counterproductive. If you want scientific enquiry properly taught at school level, you will need the support of the numerous parents who are religious. By presenting the teaching of science as being in opposition to religious power, you militate against your own goal. You are doing exactly what I said before: you are taking people who are merely ignorant of science and telling them to be anti-science. And the longer you do this, the higher your moral ground.

Or so it seems. In reality, it's just your horse.

Comment Re: They just don't want to get sued (Score 1) 264

0. I did write 'virtually'.

I know. Your "virtually all" is a mere handful of isolated incidents among a very small total. "Virtually all" feels like gross overstatement to me.

1. Um, care to cite any recent attacks planned our executed by Christians for anything related to religion?

I was talking about terrorist attacks carried out by nominally Christian attackers -- I didn't specify whether they were carried out in the name of Christianity or not. I don't think that part's relevant.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981