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Comment: Re:Federal vs. local decision (Re:I like...) (Score 1) 581

by Actually, I do RTFA (#47776683) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

I am worried about the yet another illustration of how the Federal government's control reaches into the crooks and nannies it was never supposed to reach.

But that's just an appeal to authority. I will grant, for the sake of argument, that it is working around the intent of the 10th amendment. I just don't see why I should care. I mean, the 10th amendment made sense when slavery was an sometimes (someplaces) thing; when it took forever to cross a state boundary, and the idea of traversing three states in the course of commuting would be a fanciful idea.

On a second point, I'd further content that cameras on cops are a rights issue - and are fully under the purview of the feds under Amendment 14

Comment: Re:People like you... (Score 1) 581

by dywolf (#47773339) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

1) it's not a given that officer discretion is gone. the same argument was said about dash cams in squad cars, but was just as invalid there. It's up to department policy. Very few departments I know of would even contemplate removing officer discretion, let alone actually do it.

2) No more so than dash cams, or the millions of cameras in peoples pockets already, uploading tons of background to youtube. Public spaces and all that. Plus, it's not terribly difficult to write laws or policies regarding handling of actual privacy data. There's many laws already on the books, it's not an unknown new preoblem, but rather a previously encountered and solved one.

3) No. Absolutely not. Pure absurdity and stupidity.

4) You just cited the "technicality myth". Even more invalid than the slippery slope. It basically only exists on TV. (Myth #6 on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... ). It rarely happens in real life. But when it does, what you call a "technicality" is when the state somehonw violated your (or specifically the defenedant's) rights in its pursuit of justice. When rights only matter for "law abiding citizens", but can be tosed out the window for anyone accused of a crime...that's not law, that's a charade. You should be happy that in enforcing the law is willing to make its own job harder and more difficult, and even toss it's own victories, in the name of protecting your rights should you be accused.

5) That's the whole point. In the cities where this has been done, YES INTERACTIONS CHANGED. Specifically, accusations of brutality or misconduct decreased to tremendously. Wearing the camera protects BOTH THE OFFICER AND THE CITIZEN. An impartial observer to the complete interaction is in everyones' interests: the cop's, the citizen's, and society's in general. Cops have a job to do. That job entails making decisions on a daily basis in regards to enforcing law and interacting with everyday citizens. If you dont have the gumptions or confidence to do that and face potential review at a later date, maybe you shouldnt enter that sort of occupation. Course, that applies to every job.

Traffic cameras, police car dash cams, and officer worn cams have all been tremendous success stories in terms of providing an impartial official record of what actually happened. When actual video exists of an entire encounter, rather than relying on notoriously unreliable "eyewitnesses" or hoping some passerby caught it on camera, it becomes clear exactly what happened. Also, we can once again turn to other countries, as this isn't a new thing being encountered for the time ever. It's been common in Europe and UK for close to 10 years now. Also tremendously successful over there.

http://www.theguardian.com/wor...
http://online.wsj.com/articles...

Comment: Re:I like... (Score 1) 581

by dywolf (#47773155) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

I think that's why he phrased it that way.
That is, he phrased in way that casts it as "protecting the officer".

Really, the debate shouldn't be that charged, as in actually it's really to protect BOTH the officer and the detained citizen, just like dash cams in squad cars. It's an impartial observer just recording the interaction. It's a good idea.

Comment: Re:central storage or n^x security guard costs / s (Score 1) 134

by dywolf (#47773097) Attached to: New NRC Rule Supports Indefinite Storage of Nuclear Waste

there are so many energy storage mechanisms under study and developement it's not even funny.
hydro-pumping, compressed air, etc.

Plus it's not really a given that storage will even be needed. A well designed smart grid could adapt to load and switch capacity in and out.
A truly global smart grid, the ultimate goal, wouldn't even see any variance as the variance would be so small in comparison to the overall capacity.

Comment: Re:Two dimensional? (Score 1) 48

by jc42 (#47771883) Attached to: Scientists Craft Seamless 2D Semiconductor Junctions

... We live in a 3 dimensional world any solid objects existing in this world has 3 dimensions>

Or, as some physicists like to argue, we actually live in an 11-dimensional space, but in 8 of them, the universe is only one particle or so thick, so we can usually get away with pretending that we're living in a 3-dimensional world.

(And that's ignoring the time dimension of it all. Lessee; how many of those are there? ;-)

Comment: Re:Beyond what humans can do (Score 1) 467

by swillden (#47770815) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Global warming exists. Anyone who denies that is also a moron. But it's certainly not manmade.

I don't get the focus on whether or not the warming is anthropogenic. Should we ignore all problems that we didn't make?

Supposing that the warming isn't primarily anthropogenic, there's still plenty of reason to believe that the greenhouse gases we're adding are making it worse, and in fact we can even make some reasonable estimates of how much worse they're making it.

At the end of the day, you'd really better hope that you're wrong about our ability to modify the climate. Because the current climate of Earth is not typical. In fact, there isn't really a "typical" climate for the planet. Ice core histories show us that it swings between much hotter than it is, and much, much colder (by "colder", think "equatorial oceans frozen 30 feet deep for millenia"). Both extremes will be unpleasant for us, and I say "will", not "would", because it's gonna happen. When? We have no idea. We know that climate changes can happen very rapidly (couple of decades), even without an obvious precipitating event (big meteor, supervolcano eruption, etc.), and that they come at apparently-random intervals.

So if we want this planet to be nice for us long-term, we'd better learn to engineer our climate. Or get even better at adapting our local environment. Or both.

Comment: Re:Damage or Change? (Score 1) 467

by swillden (#47770731) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Climate has always changed, the concept of "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it.

You mean, the same way as asteroids of various sizes have impacted into the Earth throughout the history of the planet, and "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it?

Yes, I agree.

Yep. In the long run, the climate will change no matter what we do... unless we learn to actively manage it. Similarly, we will get hit by a catastrophically-destructive meteor, unless we develop the technology need to identify and deflect dangerous asteroids. It's worth noting that while without our intervention the climate may stay as it is for thousands of years, it may also change in decades. The ice core records tell us that the planet is capable of warming or cooling as much as 7C in as little as 20-30 years, even without any obvious catastrophic event, and even faster given a supervolcano eruption, or a big meteor. It WILL happen.

IMO, while it certainly makes sense to take reasonable steps to limit greenhouse gas production, we really need to focus on investing heavily in climate research, with an eventual goal of learning not only to understand but to manage our planet's climate. Actually, we should also invest a little in more strategies to cope with unpleasant climate. I say "more" strategies, because we already have a lot of them. The regions of Earth in which humans can survive comfortably without technological assistance are really small. The "natural" human carrying capacity of most of the places people live is basically zero, but we're very good at modifying our environment to adapt it to our needs. When the planet warms substantially, no doubt we'll have to apply more of those skills, so we should be thinking about which ones and how to improve our capabilities.

Comment: Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (Score 1) 505

by swillden (#47770487) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

I really appreciate the scientific method and I agree it's a major milestone but it's not our most important discovery, that would be rule of law. Without rule of law there can be no civilization and without civilization there wouldn't be much science going on.

I'd argue that the rule of law is a result of applying the scientific method to social structure and governance.

The scientific method really consists of making conjectures and analyzing them critically. Some of the criticism comes from experimentation and analysis, but most conjectures never reach that point because simple thought can identify reasons they should be discarded. This process is closely related to (but vastly more powerful than) the mutation and selection process of evolution. At bottom, both are about creating and testing ideas, and selecting the ones that are objectively better (for the relevant definition of "better"). The scientific method does the selection through a tradition of criticism, natural evolution does it via replication (favoring the gene that replicates itself better).

How does this apply to the rule of law? Three ways. First of all, applying the same principle of progress to social structure, trying new methods and keeping those which work well while discarding those which don't, will lead to rule of law because it clearly is a superior social structure "technology". Second, without the rule of law, you really can't apply the scientific method to social structures, because there is no defined structure beyond the whim of the ruler(s). You have to fix the rules firmly so you can see what the outcomes are, and you can observe how to vary them. So any attempt to apply scientific reasoning to governance demands rule of law.

Third, and most important, the tradition of criticism inherent in and necessary to scientific progress inevitably leads people to criticize their government and to demand, among other things, the ability to understand the rules by which they're governed. I don't believe it's possible for any society with a significant number of scientific thinkers with any sort of influence to remain governed by fiat.

I think history bolsters my argument, too, simply based on the sequence of events. The Enlightenment was all about scientific reasoning and learning how to apply it to nearly all areas of human endeavor, not just science, and the Enlightenment came before the spread of the rule of law, not after.

Oh, actually I think there's a fourth reason scientific thinking creates the rule of law. It's even deeper, and is probably the truly fundamental reason, though it's a harder argument to make. That is that moral values are scientifically determined (even if we don't realize it), and the rule of law is morally right. It would take me a few pages to detail how and why I think that moral rightness is a real, determinable thing, derivable from the laws of nature, and not merely an artifact of culture, so I won't bother. Note that I'm not arguing that correct morality is easy to derive. It's not, any more than it was easy to derive General Relativity by conjecturing about observations of reality. But it can be derived, and in the same method: by conjecturing moral positions and then criticizing them, both logically and experimentally, discarding positions that lead to undesirable outcomes.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 504

by Actually, I do RTFA (#47770457) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

I could as easily pick apart your arguments. I find it hard to imagine never using code that is shared with other projects for example. Why re-invent the wheel? Are you declaring code re-use dead? What about the system libraries? Do you hack those without notice too?

You could move the goalposts like that. I explicitly didn't respond because that is trying to derail the conversation.

But what the hell. You've stopped actually responding to the points I make.

So, I would contend that code reuse is helped, not hampered, by compiler-verified interfaces. I would contend that your "code reuse" is so stifling that it is literally inferior to copy-and-pasting... at least with copy-and-pasted code you can improve the module you copied without worrying that it breaks things.

And what happened to unit testing where you should easily enough shake out cases where people called a function they shouldn't have?

Why do you want to re-invent the wheel. Now, unit testing is good, but using unit testing to re implement (imperfectly) interfaces is, well, crazy.

I have argued that the programmer who just takes the IDE's word for it will eventually end up in deep trouble.

No, you've argued that programmers are perfect, that the comments will always be accurate, functions you call will never change, and the comments always need to be read for every getter and setter. And that's just to reject my examples.

And I categorically reject any of the above.

You seem to be arguing that duck typing is bad because shoddy practices rule.

Since the only example you have been able to give as to why duck-typing has any benefit, is as a patch to shoddy use of interfaces, this seems a remarkably dumb statement. I contend that duck-typing hurts the ability of the computer to detect errors, and your only response is that some people didn't properly use interfaces in legacy code. Not that interfaces are somehow a bad way to program. But a shoddy programmer may not have used them.

Well, fuck that. A paradigm that gives up useful features to paper-over shitty work, or allows code reuse between kinda existent modules via unspecified hack code that works 95% of the time is bad. Heck, any code that would need to be papered over like you suggest probably shouldn't be trusted. Duck typing is bad, it encourages bad practices and bad coding, and allows bad programmers to continue programming with silent errors as opposed to either fixing their shit or quitting their job and flipping burgers.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 581

by Actually, I do RTFA (#47769997) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Cops have the authority and discretion to issue verbal or written warnings instead of citations for moving violations, so video recording won't change that.

And indeed, sometimes the requirement. For instance, in a state that shall remain nameless, the state patrol on drunk driving duty is supposed to pull over people who cannot stay between the lines. They don't bother citing the people who spilled soda in their lap, or were distracted, etc. It's not what their job is. But they do give a formal warning. That way, when their patrol is over, their sergeant can see they weren't asleep, or at a strip club.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 504

by Actually, I do RTFA (#47769779) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

you just called whatever the IDE autopopulated with, apparently without bothering to check what it was. Or at least that's what you said may happen.

Right, because you thought that the function was a different one because you misremembered the name. Or because you would assume a function like "getCurrentHealth()" would return the health of a character, and not, I don't know, concatenate two Strings randomly. Especially if that's what similar, or identically named, functions do throughout a library.

But, yeah, it may happen.

And oral lore is really "consulting with collegues" Which totally happens in real situations. If I ask someone, for example, how to get an arctan value outside the -pi/2 to pi/2 range, them explaining quickly how to use atan2f is more valuable than telling me a function name and "GTFO;RTFM".

Bottom line, I'm advocating for computers doing the work instead of comments (which may be unread, or out of date, or literally written after the code that referred to them). I posit many, many, reasons why having a computer check for errors instead of a human being. Your only response is that "Dude, but then I cannot hack two systems together using magic glue that happens to work, and enforces on everyone a requirement of never even optimizing their code, because any change could break my system. And could be avoided if I followed best practices."

When every advantage you suggest can be done in a superior way without using duck typing, I'm blown away. You have argued that perfect programmers don't need the fuckin' IDE, they can check their own work. Well, perfect programmers don't need the fuckin' comments either, they can read the entire code and know what happens.

I can only assume you're trolling, because while I've heard people defend duck-typing before, I've never heard such a malformed argument.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 581

by swillden (#47769257) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

That's a problem. But it's a smaller problem than the one we live with now, which is that there are so many obscure laws that if anyone in a position of authority has it in for you they can find something to nail you for. The rule of law matters.

And just-world-hypothesis believing assholes just go on without thinking they must've deserved it.

What an idiot. You kan't reed.

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