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Comment: Re:funny (Score 1) 567

How many biologists understand the nature of randomness though? When it comes to metaphysical stuff, the biologists are punting the difficult bit into the term 'random' and ascribing this 'random' thingamajig the properties that fundies ascribe to their God. Then things such as mind, consciousness and intelligence have yet to be turned into sufficiently concretely defined concepts to answer questions like 'is evolution directed in an intelligent way' let alone how and if human intelligence and consciousness arise from brain activity, or emerge in other ways. We really know less than we think, and many untestable hypothetical foundations are elavated to the position of unquestionable dogma by the phenomena of 'near universal acceptance by experts'.

That climate change is happening is beyond doubt, but the case that humanly produced CO2 emissions are the primary cause, and that massively reducing our CO2 emissions will fix the issue is not beyond doubt. Funding for projects which subject these ideas to scrutiny is harder to get than funding for projects which assume the CO2 caused warming and then show results consistent with it. The diagram correlating CO2 with global temperature as inferred from ice cores, famously used by Gore in his 'inconvenient truth' has been claimed by some to put the causative relationship the wrong way round (suggesting that instead rising temperatures cause the oceans to release stored CO2, hence the increase in CO2). Some have advanced the notion that solar activity is the cause, with evidence. But global warming has become so politicised that proper scientific debate is stifled, for example by the need to adhere to CO2 caused warming theories in order to get funding for your project.

Your point of 'Never underestimate the power of a person to disagree if agreeing means that they will need to alter their worldview.' is just as valid for the wide acceptance of the CO2-warming relationship. The great political momentum attached to this worldview is hard to argue against, even on scientific grounds, since those who don't wish to change can keep pointing to the mass who believe CO2 causes global warming.

Caveat: I'm not an expert in this area, but find how politicised it is to be worrying.

Comment: Wayland is the wrong place for remote transparency (Score 1) 179

by John Allsup (#47055863) Attached to: Wayland 1.5 Released

The most common use case today is local applications. This must be optimised for. Have a separate server and protocol to network transparency for the classes of applications that network transparency is useful for (simple GUIs, text editors and suchlike, rather than nonlinear video editors and 3D games). Likewise with audio, there is a need for a simple high performance backend for some applications, and network friendliness for others. In both cases there should be two layers, a fast light low level backend and a network transparent application layer for applications that want to use it.

Comment: Science has (at least) two meanings (Score 1) 517

The word science has an interesting etymology. One branch follows modern sciences such as physics, but classically pre the formation of the modern philosophy of science, the word also meant a reliable body of knowledge and discourse about it. Rigorous discourse should be fine, but a word other than science is needed, and a clear philosophy underlying said discourse. Much of the way our reality works is beyond what science can touch, since so much only happens once, or involves more variables than can be controlled in an experiment. I tend to explore these things through mathematical thought experiments, modelling what a human experimenter could see, and thus tend to be aware of 'aliasing issues' where too few observations allow false 'truths' to be inferred without contradiction. Proper scientists, as my last word, try their utmost to blow their results to kingdom come, and only accept what remains. Ask these 'holistic science' people two things: what are the limitations of their scientific methods, and what steps have they taken to try and disprove their claims. Unless, as we see in our physics textbooks, one can say 'this has survived every experimental test we've thrown at it', then a claim can't be said to be scientific in my book. (This means I throw much of biology and medicine outside what I consider scientific, but I am happy as a hardliner when it comes to what is scientific, and I am happy that there are other reliable bodies of knowledge that work differently.)

Comment: More evidence that you can't trust promises... (Score 1) 107

by John Allsup (#46575801) Attached to: Ouya Dropping 'Free-to-Play' Requirement

My recent experience with the Mac App store (if a newer version won't work on your hardware, you're SOL and can't get older versions that do work) has burned me enough not to trust a model where I don't take delivery of a physical copy with the means to activate it without the intervention of third parties. I run the windoze that comes on my laptop until I decide on a HDD upgrade, then run Debian or UbuntuStudio. I'm beginning the painful process of weaning myself off ShinyJuicyAppleses.

With this console again it just goes to show that business needs trump claims and promises to consumers. You get what you pay for, and anything else is a bonus that lasts as long as it lasts. Mr Caveat X. Emptor is very much alive and kicking.

Comment: Next they'll discover... (Score 1) 107

by John Allsup (#46541413) Attached to: Flies That Do Calculus With Their Wings

that humans do signal processing with their brains, and that such processing involves complex analysis. One day they'll learn that those squiggly symbols in maths books actually mean something. It's an embarrassment to science that these insect chasers are called scientists rather than sciensecoolhuhwowists. End rant of an old school fundamentalist.

Comment: Programming Old School (Score 4, Insightful) 306

by John Allsup (#46514353) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

Programming was done and dusted as a discipline in the sixties, got creative in the seventies and has been taking the piss ever since. New programmers need to stop learning tricks and learn to write good programs that work on minimal resources and work under strain and with no guessing games involved, just like the Space Shuttle people did, and learnt the beauty of purity that Lisp showed, the beauty of simplicity that Forth showed, and redevelop the lost art of programming. Modern day computing is ugly. [ Here ends the rant of an old school fundamentalist ;-) ]

+ - I can prove P strictly contains NP, the Riemann Hypothesis is an Illusion and...->

Submitted by John Allsup
John Allsup (987) writes "Psychiatry is a dangerous medical cult, and has been from the start. I am slightly less confident of the latter, but am still pretty damned certain. See my wiki, esp. SoundMind and note that this is slashdot user 987 speaking here: I've been with you guys faithfully since before you had user accounts."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Just proves the anticensorship case. (Score 3, Insightful) 205

by John Allsup (#46396269) Attached to: Child Porn Arrest For Cameron Aide Who Helped Plan UK Net Filters

A perfect child-porn filter that only filters child porn would be wonderful, but that is fairy magic.
In reality we cannot trust those who wish to filter our internet, and this is why.
There is no substitute for proper discipline and compassion in upbringing.
Being forced to learn to fight crudely at school to protect myself (and fight my own battles) has caused me crippling psychiatric issues in adulthood.
Being forced to porn act to make daddy money (this did NOT happen to me) is an even worse evil.
Children need to grow, learn and play, and be free from influences such as sexuality and violence, but must be taught proper discipline about both so that as they reach maturity these things are no longer a fascination and do not cause the grown up child to turn to unhealthy sex and violence as a crutch. Society needs fixing.

Comment: I realised this when doing my PhD in 2002. (Score 1) 189

by John Allsup (#46284941) Attached to: A Mathematical Proof Too Long To Check

I was trying to classify the normal subgroups of PSL(n,q) where n,q may be nonstandard elements of a nonstandard model of arithmetic. I pointed out that if Ariah Lev's work formalised correctly, then a few steps would yield the result I wanted, but that this was beyond checking. Once the PhD was done, I did further investigation, and scribbled a thought in a moment of insight, and left it to tidy itself up. I believe I put an entry on either or, but forget which, and am hunting it down. If not, John's Antibang Theory That Really Works and its notion of True Computability vs Turing equivalent non-True forms will see the light of day in a readable format, but if you want to know how my mind really thinks, this is a clue as to my mind's native language. It's quasi-English pseudo-maths that I then filter for correctness before communicating.

I can't find it, but there are a great many thoughts I had to dump out to reclaim brainspace. As a free software believer, and a free-thinking believer, I treat my programs and thoughts like a mother treats her children, caringly and lovingly and I don't send them out into the world ill-equipped to face rigorous challenge.

Comment: Love Education, Do Not Love The Education System. (Score 1) 149

by John Allsup (#46253651) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

I've managed to fit my post into the subject, so here I'll paste my Open Letter to Wacom instead. Enjoy, and please don't moderate off-topic since the Comment Subject is the entire post and is on topic, but I've got to put something meaningful here to get through the filter.


(hint: copy and paste into a fixed width editor and reformat to taste, taking care to make my signature look like John.)

An Open Letter to Wacom,

Re: Drivers that don't drive properly, and are welded shut so as to be unfixable for whoever has the misfortune to need to use them.

Dear Wacom,

When I plug my Bamboo into my Linux laptops, it works perfectly every time. It does not, however, work at all properly on my mac, and isn't moving the mouse at all on this Windows 7 64bit laptop despite it having worked in the past, no new drivers having been installed, and Windows 7 saying the driver was successfully installed.

Please investigate how the Free Software community was able to write a working driver, hit your driver developers over the head with a clue-stick or other relevant therapy, and consider having open source (BSD licensed or weaker) Windows drivers---from which open source and Free Software drivers can be developed, maintained and debugged independently---written from scratch following advice of the Free Software community (but not copying code itself) and released under a BSD-style open source without restrictions license.

Since I cannot trust Wacom products to work on my Mac, nor on my Windows laptops, and my £200 Corel Painter software doesn't have a Linux version, I cannot justify the cost of an Intuos Pro no matter how much I love the idea if digital painting, and the philosophy of what was Fractal Design's Painter.

That I cannot trust Corel Painter to try to kick it's twice-a-day crash habit, means I can't trust it either.

Krita is a nice idea, but is at least a year or so from being production ready, and Gimp is not really a digital painting product, but a General Image Manipulation Program, so that is no substitute either.

You can put part of the blame on Microsoft for the driver issue for having such a stupid USB driver model, but you are the fools for actually trying to code to said broken model.

Yours wondering-when-Ableton-Suite-and-Reaper-and-all-my-VSTs-will-be-available-on-Linux-and-I-can-ditch-Windows-compeletly-ly,

_J_oo hh nn
J oo hh nn
J ----------- .

John Allsup.

15th February, 2014 (Hangover-after-Valentines-and-too-many-glasses-of-wine-Day Day) [hic!]

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.