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Comment: Re: The white in your eyes (Score 1) 219

by Prune (#48851433) Attached to: Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

The most important part of a job is being able to do the job.

First of all, I didn't say fitting in is the most important part, but that it's one of the most important ones. Capisce? Second, nothing is in isolation. What you do affects other people in the company and (in the case of a small-to-medium business) the company itself, and not only through your fulfillment of the stated specs of the job. What autists and aspies fail to realize is that there are many things which are implied and not written in the spec, and that is very efficient because they're automatically known to normal people. In any case, most geeks don't suffer nearly that level of social retardation. My ability to write exemplary C++ isn't impaired by being a good citizen of the social context of my work environment.

Comment: Re:Memory (Score 4, Interesting) 79

by Prune (#48846259) Attached to: Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimer's
Memories are, indeed, tagged with an importance value — the value is represented in the brain as a feeling/emotion. This modulates the strength of the long term encoding of the memory. But unimportant memories don't get "cycled out" as you say. Memories are not stored independently of each other and room for new ones recovered by some mechanism that frees up storage space. Forgetting is caused by a combination of interference from the storage of new memories and decay (two processes proposed independently but with evidence for both). This very much makes sense when considering that memories are stored through synaptic plasticity in the same neural network, which, upon triggering by the right stimulus for recall, recreates an activation pattern in other parts of the brain, including the consciously accessible image-making ones (one proposal for how the latter is accomplished, with some neurological evidence for it, is ).

Comment: Mod parent down (Score 3, Interesting) 358

by Prune (#48840641) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

the boy/girl divide is fake. There's only one human mind and it's gender neutral in principle.

Why is it so hard for some people to realize that sexual dimorphism affects the physiology of the brain just as much as that of the rest of the body? There is a well established body of research documenting these differences in the brain, which are particularly pronounced in certain areas, such as the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. And since mind is what the brain does, there is every reason to conclude that biology is the primary determinant of many of the psychological differences that politically correct ideologues with a social engineering agenda — see parent post — ascribe to rearing and culture.

Comment: Re:I no longer think this is an issue (Score 1) 258

by Prune (#48799995) Attached to: AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines
Way to miss the point. It's not about defending itself, but about overzealous goal-orientation, maximizing the use of all available resources, potentially to disastrous results to anything else sharing available resources (such as biological life). Building in safety constraints is not realistic when one begins considering general, recursively self-improving AI. Once a general AI is much smarter than a collection of humans, AI would be designing the next generation of AI, not humans, and then maintenance of any initial constraints through the generations would be out of our hands, and subject to inevitable drift and/or degradation. Even the standard text by Russell and Norvig acknowledges in the most recent edition the so called "friendly AI" arguments. The solution proposed by people like Kurzweil is that we'll more or less integrate with the machines, becoming superintelligent ourselves, and there might not even be stand-alone AI agents. The approach I prefer is imbuing any advanced general AI with technology substituting for embodied consciousness and human-like emotions (check the wiki article on embodied consciousness, as well as the research of the famous neurologist Damasio), and making the AI love us, which it cannot do unless it can understand us (an AI that is not human-like is actually far more dangerous — the opposite of what you suggest). If our well-being is integrated as well into the AI's fundamental cognitive processes as it is into our own (take somatic marker hypothesis and extend it to a system beyond just inside the brain), then this would make for a much more robust over generations mechanism than any formal constraints we try to build into the design specs.

Comment: Error in TFA (Score 5, Informative) 110

by Prune (#48799647) Attached to: Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains
From the article: "tumours cannot form in nerve cells". This, of course, is BS that was discredited a couple of years ago: Perhaps we should have a Slashdot discussion on lazy scientists failing to keep up with developments in their own field. If you write without bothering to read, you end up with... well, something like Slashdot...

Comment: Mod parent down (Score 1) 1350

by Prune (#48757683) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ
The New Testament supersedes the Old, so the post is invalid. This applies to most branches of Christianity. The parent poster is either trolling or ignorant of that which he is criticizing (my guess: copy-pasting random collection from teh intrawebs). The various interpretations are all aligned with this. Catholics, for example, interpret the Law of Moses (the Old Law) as a preparation for the Gospel, and as such no longer binding; the New Law (the Law of Gospel) is a perfection of it, delivered through faith in JC. Disclaimer: I'm an agnostic atheist (as in, no god with 85% confidence).

Comment: Re: Nah... (Score 1) 278

by Prune (#48724553) Attached to: Vinyl's Revival Is Now a Phenomenon On Both Sides of the Atlantic
They exceed it in a limited frequency range, as I pointed out. I'm pretty sure you measured at say 1 kHz and "done deal", instead of sampling the full 20-20k range and noting how especially at the higher end SNR degrades. You also completely ignored my point that 90 dB is not the right target, as the ear does 120.

Comment: Re:Damnit, I knew this would happen. ok... (Score 1) 278

by Prune (#48724485) Attached to: Vinyl's Revival Is Now a Phenomenon On Both Sides of the Atlantic
Let's be more specific about the notion of "sound the same". I don't know what it means to you, but I take it literally: that it is impossible to distinguish for any human in a set of blind tests, let's say ITU-standard ABC/hidden reference form, between these amplifiers or whatever other DUT we have (let us suppose that we can agree on a reasonable sample size of trained listeners, and a reasonably long time limit — I would push for several hours, split over a few experiments.) The 120 dB provides an upper bound to the noise and distortion, a guarantee that any reproduction equipment that meets that distortion spec will cause no possibly detectable change in the sound. I don't suggest that my bound is tight. However, you have failed to present an argument for a significantly tighter bound. You might argue against my basing of my argument on listening in ideal conditions, but such can be approached to varying degree in practice, and so I'm discussing the limiting cases, not the typical ones.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.