Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Time to commit... (Score 1) 289

...a crime lasting less than one second---it legally won't exist. (Note: this is not at all true.) (It's based on a short New Zealand film I saw decades back in which a man is released because it turned out that when a relevant law were changed there were a gap between the new and old laws' domains, and his offence was in the gap. He and a mate went on to hijack a bus and charge people extra to take them exactly where they went, which proceeds they wanted to use to start a mushroom farm.)

Comment Possible, but... (Score 1) 541

...given the long history (centuries' worth) of bad science done in the service of confirming racialist biases, that 'race' seems to be defined so variably (an "Encyclopædia Britannica" c.1914 in my student house's library defined, I believe twenty of them), and given that wherever humans go we are our own worst Malthusian enemies (so there is no paradaisical grove where Eloi could devolve in comfort), I think rough equality were the best initial assumption, and that variations from this, apart from small, isolated, subgroups, merit scepticism as extraordinary claims. And it is exactly the right sort of élitism to say that I trust a bunch of population geneticists more than a science writer.

Of course there have been and will be attacks on this book done out of sheer 'political correctness' by those whose prejudices it rankles---but there have been similarly headless defences of it by those whose biases it pleasantly tickles. Some of these population geneticists might some be writing in fear of having their funding cut, but the better-known and -trusted the scientist, the lower the chance of it. some of them might in fact be depending on biassed [sic] summaries of the book, as Wade claims, but he uses this and the charge of political motivation as a way of dodging the actual issues raised. (In addition, a researcher might only read the sections of the book in which their [sic] work were cited and then weigh in fairly on the particular issues so involved.)

Comment Re:The perfect apple! (Score 2) 81

Very insightful, using that term in the usual sense of 'I was going to say that, damn your eyes.'

I would point out as well that regardless of how good home printers get, commercial centres such as supermarkets will always be able to afford better, or at least more full-featured, ones---it's quite possible that few households will need the ability to print high-quality aluminium things (e.g., jaw-bones or derailleurs) on a regular basis.

My local photo shop still does better than any colour printer we could well afford can do. (It looks like a photo shop---I can tell by some of the sales-people and customers, and having see quite a few shops in my time.)

Comment Re:If I... (Score 1) 1255

Yes, roughly one-half the population will make worse-than-average decisions...more, I think, because I think the distribution is skewed toward worse, markets being smarter than people.

> If it really bothers you that much to pay that small social security amount each
> month, then stop whining and get a raise. That's the entrepreneurial spirit, or whatever.
Brilliant...except that you forget that the sort of man who tells the poor to have more entrepreneurial spirit is a member of the Elect, and as such must already have it in spades---if he's not wealthy already, it's because the communists above him at work and in the Evil Gummint have it in for decent people like him. (Decent people, not like the folks to whom he gives advice.)

(Masculine pronouns used above because 0.) I like women a lot, generally, and 1.) it usually [though not always] is a man bloviating so [a reason to like women a lot].)

Comment Re:Crime?! (Score 1) 1255

No, they were too weak to form gangs...but my mother knew in her neighbourhood there were a lot of old women in attic apartments with barely enough food to get by, and sometimes not quite enough. There was enormous suffering, it was only when middle-class people also started to fear winding up the same way and had the political power to make their opinions matter that things changed---they changed because the system weren't working and people wanted Social Security or something like it---F.D.R.'s proposals were actually much less radical than some others gaining currency at the time. The welfare state was not dropped on us by hook-nosed Space Masons.

Comment Re:Nothing would change (Score 1) 1255 The D. of E. does very little---as opposed to the equivalents in countries that regularly kick our figurative academic arse. (E.g.: the same lesson is taught on the same day in Martinique as in Paris, and you do not send your kid to private school---though, admittedly, there is jockeying-around for the best private schools.)

One picture is worth 128K words.