Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Why animals can't be given human rights. (Score 1) 132 132

Personhood is fairly well defined in most, if not all, jurisdictions and it pretty much explicitly excludes anyone who isn't a member of H. sapiens.

The problem is that there's no definition for what is a member of Homo Sapiens. Was your mother? Her mother? Her mother? When exactly did that change? Back when you and the chimp has the same great-great-N-greatgrandmother?

I have around 5% Neanderthal genes. Yet chimpanzees are 98% similar to humans. Who's the human?

Sure, we can come up with a definition of human. But how do we make it so it includes people with an extra chromosome, people who due to genetic differences cannot reproduce with others, or our own descendants down the line?

Comment Re:My sympathy (Score 1) 40 40

It's called a "DNR" - Do Not Resuscitate. The EMTs will ask if you signed one as soon as they see you stretched out on the floor.

But see, i dowant to be resuscitated in ways that will not cripple me or make my final days unbearable. Defibrillator? Bring it on. Adrenaline? Jab it in.
CPR? No thanks.

Comment Re:My sympathy (Score 1) 40 40

I hope you take comfort from the fact he truly made a vast difference to the lives of people in a way that most people can only dream about.

Four out of five elderly people given CPR end up dying within days. Many of them with prolonged and intense suffering due to CPR prolonging the inevitable.
And in some cases CPR is given when it's not warranted, breaking ribs, collapsing lungs or otherwise causing serious and sometimes fatal damage.

It's a useful tool for saving lives when not used indiscriminately. But that's how we use it. If I keel over, please don't resuscitate unless there is at least a 50% chance of long-term success, and less than a 50% chance of causing long-term damage. It's just a life.

Comment Re:Off Topic Editorial Complaint (Score 1) 586 586

Personally, I think that we, the users of slashdot, should purchase it. I would gladly donate some money for it, and I think a lot of other users would do the same.

There is precedence. The WELL was bought by users, and is still operational.

What's Rob Malda doing these days? Any spare time?

Comment Re:Yeah, be a man! (Score 1) 586 586

Oh yes there would be a very public trial. Why do you need a closed trial when all the classified evidence has already been published by the accused and is in public domain?

You don't need to, but they'd want to. Else, a trial would mean losing even more face and credibility. There is no way in hell that The Man would allow that.

Comment Re:The argument is "leaky" at best too (Score 1) 194 194

I think you are confusing "fittest" in the "physical fitness" sense and not the specific meaning that has been ascribed to that term when discussing evolution.

No, i'm not. The problem isn't the word stem "fit", but the qualifier "-est". There is no evolutionary reward for being fittest; nature only tends to weed out those least fit. Which rewards both the fittest and those slightly less fit as long as they're fit enough. The fittest may not be the winners - everyone fit enough have a fair chance at the game, and sometimes the fittest lose to those just fit.

The tally of the score after the fact is what we call evolution; evolution itself causes no changes, of course.

Comment Re:No Compromises (Score 2) 150 150

I use NFC for just one thing - powering on a bluetooth speaker. (For some reason, i can't use NFC to power it off.)

There really aren't any NFC capable stores anywhere, and the only one I know of requires you to show a physical ID, which defeats the purpose, as it's less hassle using a card.
For anything else, bluetooth proximity detection works fine.. No need to use the NFC tag in my car when the phone and car pair up automatically. No need to use it for the TV, as i have to use a remote anyhow.

My wish list for mobile phones include:

Dual-radio (both GSM family and CDMA family).
2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi.
Ability to turn off high-pass and low-pass filters.
Standard USB charging.
Transparent VoIP, i.e. not have to fiddle with other apps.
A distance from mic to speaker that matches the distance between mouth and ear.
Fits in a standard shirt pocket, without tearing it or falling out.
Transparent aluminum (also known as sapphire) screen.
True IPA that is readable at all angles and doesn't show patterning at close range.
Dual storage cards; one for backup.
As many hardware buttons as practical.
An option to have NO CAMERA, so I can use it in places where cameras are not allowed.

Comment Re:Not the best summary... (Score 1) 194 194

Oh Adolf, welcome back, we thought you were dead.

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.
You are very ignorant. Nazism sought to control who got to live and who didn't. That's called eugenics, which I find despicable.

Taking away the ability to control who lives is not eugenics. If anything, it's the opposite.
Right now, parents in the rich world will vaccinate our child, without also ensuring that a poor child gets vaccinated.

There are an awful lot of mini-Hitlers around who will jump at a chance to give their sub-tribe an advantage. Whether it's by killing the children of others or by increasing the survival rate of your own more than of others, the result is the same.
I happen to abhor that.

Comment Re:The argument is "leaky" at best too (Score 1) 194 194

Exactly, this is something many people seem to get confused by. survival of the fittest really means just that, the organism with the right mix of traits will win.

No, that's a common misconception.
The driving force is that the less fit will lose more often. This may sound like it's a different way of phrasing the same thing, but it isn't.

Say you have three variants of a species: one that can run 4 mph, one that can run 6 mph, and one that can run 8 mph. And a predator that can run 5 mph.
Evolution doesn't reward the fittest - it increases the risk of the least fit. Given a few generations, the first variant will dwindle, while the two other variants will intermingle and be just as successful.

Even worse, a predator may arrive that can run 10 mph or throw atl-atls. In which case the fittest doesn't survive, and the species might go extinct. One day something else may move in to fill the niche, but that's not a certainty.

What doesn't disadvantage an individual to a statistically significant degree isn't evolved away, even if it isn't the "fittest". Which is why men still have nipples, and we all have tailbones.
And being the fittest doesn't imply survival. It's not very useful against a direct meteor hit. Being less fit and somewhere else may be more beneficial.

So the saying really shouldn't be "Survival of the fittest", but "Higher death risk for the most unfit" doesn't roll as nicely off the tongue.

Comment Re:Not the best summary... (Score 1) 194 194

Maybe in war-torn countries in Africa, but in the United States, influenza kills thousands every year.

Why is this a problem? As long as the death toll isn't large enough to be a significant cause of a dwindling population, what's the long-term harm?

We all have survival instincts, but death isn't something to fear. Everyone will die. If a small percentage die sooner rather than later, there's no harm to humanity, which easily compensates due to the high human reproduction rate. A risk of dying before old age adds spice to life, and prompts the individual to put more meaning into it here and now.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson