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Comment: Re:I agree, 100% (Score 1) 336

by Prien715 (#47970145) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

You have no idea about Shaw do you? If you put together a bunch of Stephen Colbert quotes, it's clear that Colbert loves totalitarianism as well.

Shaw was advocated for such revolutionary ideas as equal rights for women and was against eugenics. "Shaw often used satiric irony to mock those who took eugenics to inhumane extremes and commentators have sometimes failed to take this into account" I guess you are one of those idiots?

Comment: For Orbital Mechanics and Astrophyiscs (Score 1) 233

by Prien715 (#47940801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

Check out Kerbal Space Program. You can build rockets, send them into orbit, land on the moon, and learn about concepts like apoapsis, retrograde burns, orbital transfers, and learn astrophysics -- plus it's simple enough I've seen multiple dads who have a blast playing with their kids. It runs on Linux/Mac/Windows and has a good free demo.
...but does it really teach orbital mechanics? Oblig XKCD says yes;)

Comment: Depends on your definition of "terrorist" (Score 1) 182

by Prien715 (#47939115) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

Before "terrorism", there was communism. Before communism, there were anarchists who assassinated an American president.

The FBI once called Martin Luther King Jr. "the most dangerous man in America" (and given death threats). Sartre wrote about suicide bombing as terrorism in the 40's (and thought it was going out of style! page 80).

Tyrants in the US government have always used name calling in the name of "national security" to justify whatever inhumanities they wish to commit. "Terrorism" is not new; its use as a boogey man to scare the citizenry into the creation of a surveillance state is.

Comment: Re:Cue the Bozos (Score 2) 951

by Prien715 (#47929447) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Cue the bozos, who, due to Slashdot hivemind, are now required to post "So, exactly like the USA!"

Would you like your unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound with or without lube? Or maybe your textbooks without without evolution?

There are some very ignorant people in this country -- as anyone who's visited a WalMart (at least in the south...but that's why I've lived the majority of my life) can attest. You should be glad you don't have to deal with them.

Comment: I have both (Score 4, Insightful) 391

by Prien715 (#47919579) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I graduated in 2003 and I have both a BA (philosophy) and a BS (CS;)).

My experience is that spending a generous portion of my time writing made me both a better writer of prose -- and of code. To be counterfactual, is it really possible to express an idea in code that one cannot express in one's native language? Don't just think of yourself -- think of the many coders who come after you. I've noticed a trend toward offering "workshops" (which is, of course, a place where one does no work) or short classes on topics like "dynamic communication" or "how to write good documentation". The idea itself seems Quixotic -- could you teach an English major to be a competent C coder in a few mere hours of instruction? Why do we expect the reverse?

Despite having been coding before I "done gone to college", I think there's a special clarity one gets by being able to express the same idea in different ways and choosing the simplest -- whether that language is Lisp or English.

Comment: More Forks! (Score 4, Insightful) 280

by Prien715 (#47855925) Attached to: Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Yes, more fragmentation in the Linux community will make things even more usable for your average user! He should write a custom package manager for servers and another for clients, because we don't have enough of those. Let's fork the kernel too -- or at least make a completely different fork of GLIBC so we'll need to recompile every package we want to install from source -- as God intended. The year of the Linux Desktop is here!

Comment: Re:Seems good to me. (Score 4, Insightful) 146

by Prien715 (#47781333) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

I see unions like judges -- as a foundation of a democratic society.

They can both be corrupted by money, be involved in organized crime, but can also make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands by Doing Their Job (TM). Removing judges causes anarchy (the problem they were designed to fix) and removing unions concentrates wealth in the hands of a few non-working people (the problem they were designed to fix). If we look around, union membership is at an all-time low and we have wage stagnation. Coincidence? In countries with higher union participation, you also see benefits like mandatory paid vacation, wage growth, and single payer healthcare.

People can argue whether or not union Foo is good or bad (just as we can with a given judge), but unions themselves are a necessary tool in combating the abuse of people by those in corporate governance through elections.

Comment: Re:Federal vs. local decision (Re:I like...) (Score 1) 643

by Prien715 (#47768353) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

I am not talking about oppression of individuals here — nor have I invoked the names you are invoking

The idea behind the police cameras is to prevent police brutality -- and I'm assuming you have no idea who wrote the 10th Amendment (the only thing you cited?) Is it to far afield to invoke the author's prejudices when dealing with the amendment?

I'm sorry if I don't put drinking age and speeding in the same category as "enslavement" viz. tyranny -- but I don't think you do either.

Comment: Re:Federal vs. local decision (Re:I like...) (Score 4, Insightful) 643

by Prien715 (#47767883) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

The federal government has acted as a check on the tyranny of state governments -- who traditionally disenfranchised minorities through institutions like slavery, Jim Crow Laws, separate inferior education, and police brutality -- which is precisely the case here.

Yet again, we trot out the state rights libertarians adrift of any irony that they in fact they thought black folk were property -- and owned them. I'm not saying Madison and Jefferson weren't brilliant -- but you shouldn't ask them about oppression for the same reason we don't ask Michael Vick about animal rights.

Comment: Re:Fleeing abusive companies? (Score 3, Interesting) 257

by Prien715 (#47733059) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

And you know what? We've got "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" who will fight you tooth-and-nail to defend that, in spite of their own interests.

This. Further, there's the tortured logic of libertarian theology where taxing those who can pay is immoral, and that as a moral people, we must not victimized these poor, poor, wealthy people.

The wealthy and powerful, on the other hand, have no problem voting their own interests as well as hiring pied pipers to convince the masses to vote against their own interests through propaganda. There's a reason why nominal wages haven't risen significantly in over thirty years while the stock market has: someone is making money and it ain't us.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 4, Informative) 548

Do you understand the benefits of a union?

Classically speaking, unions existed to drive up benefits through threat of strikes or walkouts. In the 20's and 30's, unions were responsible for the 40 hours workweek, Saturdays off, and a living wage -- by preventing things like random firings and unpaid work (see 80 hour work weeks in the game industry).

To be clear, if individuals were better at negotiating wages, we'd see a rise in salary in the field, but according to statistics this is quite simply not the case. "Ah, but salary went up from 80K to over 100K you say", to which I agree, but if you adjust for inflation, you'll see that that $80K in 2004 is equivalent to $100K in 2014 (26.1%). In the same period, the tech heavy Nasdaq grew 143%. While some of this can be attributed to there being more people employed in the field, I doubt there 2.5x more CS graduates than there were ten years ago.

So while pay is still decent, there's still no rise in salary despite what many consider an obvious shortage in the field. If more CS majors studied those useless fields like "history", we'd have a union and there wouldn't be a bunch of indentured servants known as H1Bs driving wages down (by artificially inflating the labor pool with people who can't quit).

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins