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Comment: Re:Either way (Score 1) 139

by Peter Trepan (#39643823) Attached to: Statistical Analysis Raises Civil War Death Count By 20%
And there will always be those who do. My mother wrote a book on the civil war, and in the course of her research she found a diary of a Union soldier who quartered his soldiers on the farm of a guy who told them his theory about how the war existed to protect the interests of a wealthy few at the expense of ordinary people.

Comment: Re:Again... (Score 1) 816

Gold has no more intrinsic value than the dollar. It's not expensive because we need it to survive or because it's a raw material for lots of products, but because everyone has agreed to assign it value, just like the dollar. If it has an advantage over the dollar, it's that you can't print more of it. But if anything that makes it a worse yardstick of the value of other things, because even without the downturn its value will tend to increase as the ratio of people to gold increases, making the relative price of everything else appear to go down.

Comment: Re:The Bill (Score 1) 1108

(d) Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught. (e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion

In a region where the majority does not believe in evolution, it seems like this bill would help, not harm, the teaching of evolution in the classroom.

Comment: Re:Discourage (Score 1) 107

by Peter Trepan (#37910026) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Learning Dart Development?
I have a bachelor's degree in art. I worked first as a graphic designer, then a web designer, then a web developer with increasingly complex responsibilities. It took me about ten years to get from print design to proper web development, but it's possible.

I second a previous poster's recommendation that you (the OP) learn ASP.NET. In my area, there are whole recruitment companies that do nothing but place ASP.NET developers, and demand for them outpaces supply. Microsoft has created a very successful ecosystem for creating new developers, and you should definitely get on that train.

More reluctantly, I suggest you consider working for a "sweatshop" software consultancy at some point. The harder it is for a shop to attract experienced talent, the more likely it is that they'll gamble on inexperienced talent. Also, since their business model is based on hours billed, they're more likely to throw you into something that's outside your experience, trusting that if you go far wrong it can always be cleaned up by the handful of senior developers they have on hand, and they'll still get paid.

Comment: Re:Global Oligarchy? (Score 1) 572

by Peter Trepan (#37820630) Attached to: The 147 Corporations Controlling Most of the Global Economy
Credit unions. Co-ops. Employee-owned corporations. Social institutions that ensure value is traded between people who actually produce goods and services personally. Maybe the best instances of this are yet to be invented.

In any case, it seems like a good idea to try out some solutions besides trying to get a government to regulate on our behalf when that government is assumed to be compromised.

Comment: Wait, you've got them all wrong. (Score 1) 1073

by Peter Trepan (#34780190) Attached to: The Continued Censorship of Huckleberry Finn

There's no N-word connection here. Fox News is merely pointing out that Obama is, by birth, a member of a frightening and poorly understood culture* with a historical reason to bear a grudge against the typical Fox viewer*, and that as a member of that culture, he might use his office to empower his people* at the typical Fox viewer's expense.

* [wink, wink]

Comment: Concur. (Score 3, Informative) 319

by Peter Trepan (#34776800) Attached to: Journal Article On Precognition Sparks Outrage

It's a compelling model that addresses a lot of tricky questions very neatly.

For instance, if you combine this with many-worlds theory, you can eliminate the paradox of free will - that is, when I make a decision, what internal process prompted me to make that decision? And what prompted that? And so on.

If you think of the universe as a static object that at every instant in time (or "the fourth dimension," if you prefer) branches off into multiple possible realities, then you can think of yourself as having made every possible decision, but being able to remember only one, because the state of your brain in this particular branch of the decision tree is only consistent with one past.

It works the same way as the anthropic principle. Why is the universe perfect for supporting life? Because if it wasn't, you wouldn't have asked. Why did I make that particular decision? Because you're thinking about the decision from the perspective of a universe in which that particular decision was made. This also explains why consciousness appears to have a special place in quantum collapse. It's really an illusion, and there is no "collapse" - you have just chosen a particular viewpoint that is only consistent with one specific observation.

Problem is, this hypothesis may be nondisprovable.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.

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