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Comment: Re:Theory vs Empericism (Score 4, Insightful) 249

by RazorSharp (#49073093) Attached to: Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

The phrase that makes me roll my eyes is "survival of the fittest." That's not what natural selection is. It's a gradual increase in variation with the death of the unfit. An organism doesn't have to be "the fittest," it just has to find an unoccupied niche. Thus the various "strategies" different organisms will take for survival -- be it cooperation, selfishness, or some combination of the two -- will vary depending on the organism.

Ants are pretty cooperative. Big cats are pretty selfish and territorial. But wild/feral horses are an interesting combination of the two. They have herds of mares with a few stallions. The stallions attack any other stallion that comes near and once a young stallion grows to a certain age they banish it from the herd. The stallions act pretty selfishly while the mares act rather cooperatively (however, they have a hierarchy so there's some selfishness involved, too).

I think the problem is trying to theorize a formula for understanding the behavior of organisms, or a most successful behavior, in general. There's just way too much diversity in nature for something like game theory to cover all its ground. Perhaps it works when you pigeon-hole it into capitalist economics, but I don't think it's a very comprehensive theory for explaining how animals do or ought to act.

Comment: Re:it isn't the best thing for your health, but... (Score 1) 365

by RazorSharp (#49056353) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

The reason alcohol is so terrible is because we stigmatize it. There are so many kids who binge drink because it's the cool thing to do once they get ahold of some booze or once they get into college. I hate movies like Animal House because so many kids buy into this idea that binge drinking is the way to enjoy alcohol.

The drinking and driving issue that you pointed out. . . I think self-driving cars/expanded public transportation is the solution. Another major problem is that you can get a DUI for drinking two beers, which for most people doesn't equate to being impaired. That creates an attitude of, "two beers or ten beers, same risk so fuck it, I'll have another beer before hitting the road."

Binge drinking ought to be stigmatized, not drinking. Personally, I enjoy drinking alcohol. I do not enjoy getting drunk.

Comment: Re:This was done so Republicans can criticize it.. (Score 1) 316

by RazorSharp (#48840725) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

If you had read the actual article you'd know that several congressmen on both sides of the aisle are working to end the practice. I find it hard not to be cynical about many things that go on in the government but it's important to realize that sometimes the government (or, more specifically, people in the government who have the power to enact change) does things right, sometimes they change things for the better. This is one of those cases.

Does more need to be done? Absolutely. But Holder did what he could and now people like Grassly and Leahy are doing what they can to abolish this horrible practice. Personally, I'd like a Constitutional amendment that protects civilian property from arbitrary asset forfeiture by law enforcement, but that's not just going to pop up out of nowhere. Positive steps in the right direction make me optimistic.

Comment: Re:Remember Final Cut Pro X? (Score 1) 598

by RazorSharp (#48739881) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

as Apple is want to do

wont to do

Regarding the Final Cut issue -- it probably just wasn't worth it for Apple to keep up with producing a $1,000 piece of software when it was far from being an industry standard. "Desktop-class" is the key phase there. It was popular with indie films but that doesn't make it a cash cow for Apple. FCP X is suitable for the type of amateurs/indies Apple is targeting.

I don't think that Adobe is the type of company Apple should be emulating. The price of commodity software will always approach zero and Apple seems to be ahead of the game here. This is why they focus on selling hardware. It's just a matter of time before something like Gimp makes Photoshop worthless and some video editing software will render Premier worthless, too. This is probably why Lightworks is pretty much free now and the company rakes in their cash with the hardware associated with it.

There was a time when nobody believed that OpenOffice would supplant MS Office yet today very few home users pay for MS Office. Everyone I know who has MS Office has it because their employer paid for it. This wasn't true five years ago. Adobe's business plan is quickly becoming anachronistic and their whole cloud service thing won't keep them afloat in the future. Gimp has quite a bit of maturing to do to be a full-fledged Photoshop replacement but the foundation is there. I think it's smart of Apple to concentrate their software development in areas that will help them sell hardware than actually worry about selling software.

Comment: Re:Enforcing pot laws is big business (Score 1) 484

by RazorSharp (#48638163) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

empties jails and prisons of otherwise law abiding citizens that were only merely in possession or smoking a small amount of herb

Perhaps if you were in the prison business you'd make some significant campaign contributions to prevent this from happening. Or if you were part of a police union or prison guard union.

It's not a matter of how much money is being brought in by legalization or prohibition -- it's a matter of who benefits from that money.

Comment: Re:Only in America... (Score 3, Interesting) 71

by RazorSharp (#48567631) Attached to: Apple DRM Lawsuit Loses Last Plaintiff, but Judge Rules Against Dismissal

You seem to be the one who needs to do a bit more reading on this case. The law firm created this suit because they wanted a huge payday from Apple -- so they used friends/family members who had iPods as their plaintiffs so they could create this class action lawsuit. Only problem is that their "plaintiffs" had the wrong iPods for their claims.

This law firm is just attempting to extort money from Apple. It's what they do -- create class action lawsuits so they can demand large fees as part of the settlement. Oftentimes the companies that are the target of these types of suits settle out of court because it's cheaper to be extorted than to defend themselves against the lawsuit. It's no different than those scummy lawyers who advertise on TV saying, "Do you have such and such problem? Did you buy such and such between these dates? If so, you could be entitled to serious compensation!" The truth of the matter is, if they win, you'll get minor compensation (which you probably don't deserve in the first place) and the lawyers will walk away with millions.

People tend to view corporation as villains so we tend to automatically side with the lawyers in these cases -- "serves them right" or something along those lines -- but frivolous lawsuits by scummy lawyers hurt everyone. Just look at the healthcare industry where costs continuously escalate year after year. Absurd class action suits like this one and patent troll suits hurt the tech industry, which hurts people who use technology.

Comment: Re:Ballmer should have picked up a clipboard (Score 1) 84

by RazorSharp (#48401849) Attached to: Billionaire Donors Lavish Millions On Crowdfunding Project

While I enjoy much of Malcolm Gladwell's writing, I was able to answer the question presented in the subtitle without giving it much thought.

A non-stop full-court press gives weak basketball teams a chance against far stronger teams. Why have so few adopted it?

Because it requires a lot more endurance to pull off a full court press. You've got to get your entire team dedicated to jogging like a track team on their own time. Then they still have to learn to shoot, rebound, etc.

You can also out-strategize the press, as John Belein demonstrated a couple years back when Michigan absolutely crushed VCU in the NCAA tournament. The press is like the basketball equivalent of the triple option game that Georgia Tech and Air Force run. It's good when you're the only team running it and it throws opponents off-guard, but if people are ready for it they'll destroy it.

I love discussing sports strategy, but how is this relevant?

Comment: Re:Sweet! (Score 2) 716

by RazorSharp (#48329575) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

I'd start looking at Charliemopps (1157495) if I were you--just check some of Charlie's responses on this thread and see if you agree.

He seems to not think that making death threats is serious business.

I'm pretty sure it was Anonymous Coward. That guy says all sorts of crazy shit. Way to deflect attention away from yourself, but I'm on to you.

Comment: Re:Why at a place of learning? (Score 1) 1007

by RazorSharp (#48247589) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

Interesting, I did not say Science proved, I said Religion did not.

I thought you were implicitly saying that one did what you said the other did not. I still think that's what you meant and this post is backpedalling.

Science does not require belief.

The whole point of my syllogism was to demonstrate that science does require belief.

Belief is acceptance of something that is not provable.

This is not what my dictionary says, but even if it did, I don't think it invalidates my syllogism. Nothing is provable, which is why knowledge is defined as justified true belief rather than "what can be proved" or something of that sort.

The closest science has to belief is to "postulate", in other words, "If we assume this is true, then...".

If you assume something is true then you believe it.

Religious is under no such requirement and can make statements about things with no more rational thought that "we say so"

Scientists are under no such requirements if they don't care about being taken seriously. A biochemist with a Ph.D tried to sell me a Kangan water machine and gave me some elaborate scientific mumbo jumbo about its benefits. Is it a problem that bogus, irrational religions are so popular? I think so. But I also think that it's a problem that my girlfriend thinks that vitamins can cure ailments because some doctor is quoted on the bottle or that organic foods are better for her because science.

It's not science or religion that is bad and pitting the two against each other is a false dichotomy that distracts people from the real problem: poor logic. Poor logic begets poor science, poor logic begets poor religion.

Comment: Re:Why at a place of learning? (Score 1) 1007

by RazorSharp (#48243549) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

1) Knowledge is justified true belief

2) Science is a method of obtaining knowledge by means of empirical observation.

> Science must involve belief.

Also, it tends to be poor form in science to use the word 'prove.' A scientific experiment may show strong evidence for something but one can never be positive beyond any doubt that all the controls were properly accounted for and the experiment actually demonstrated the hypothesis it was based upon. So it might be better stated that "science does not prove."

I'm not trying to excuse the whole creationism thing, I just found your post to contain some sloppy logic. If you resort to unsound/fallacious logic to criticize the creationists your argument is no better than the ones they espouse.

Comment: Re:This Yeti/Area-51/LochNess story just won't die (Score 2) 200

by RazorSharp (#48186427) Attached to: The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut

Your thought process here is completely backwards. NASA's goal with the space missions was to get people into space and back to earth. This was not easy and required extremely capable individuals to carry out this mission. Had NASA wanted to ensure that both men and women were sent into space in the name of equality they would have had to delay the mission for several decades. This was because of the social conditions in the United States and you can harp on how terrible that was all you want, but that was a reality that had to be dealt with at the time. In the 50s you had a woman here or there who stood out at something or the other, but I sincerely doubt they could have found one who both met all the qualifications required of the program and also wanted to participate. This was only thirty years after women had acquired the right to vote. There weren't many (any) female military trained pilots who were also accomplished engineers and were in near perfect physical condition. Not even Jerrie Cobb. It's not because women lacked the potential, it's because society was not yet structured in such a way that they could realize that potential.

You can call 1950s American society sexist and you'd be right. Of course, no one would care and there's nothing controversial about that statement. Calling NASA sexist for existing in the 1950s is just dumb.

Comment: Re:All about perception (Score 2) 200

by RazorSharp (#48186111) Attached to: The Woman Who Should Have Been the First Female Astronaut

You're being pedantic. The statement "men can run faster than women" has implicit meanings which you are ignoring -- namely that the best male runners will always outperform the best female runners. This is demonstrated empirically every four years with the summer olympics.

I agree with some of the sentiments of your original post -- there's a huge variation in the human population and we should be careful to be aware of this so we don't presume in favor of the average (lefties know how that feels); but I think we also have a tendency to go in the opposite direction in the name of equality and use outliers to represent the whole when they clearly do not.

Comment: Re:"LEDs contribute to saving the Earth's resource (Score 1) 243

by RazorSharp (#48083519) Attached to: 2014 Nobel Prize In Physics Awarded To the Inventors of the Blue LED

The key part of the phrase which is so often overlooked in "laws/effects/rules" such as this is "tends to." I think that LEDs replacing CFLs is one of those cases that would clearly be an exception to this rule. I'm not going to light up my house like a Christmas tree because LEDs have some efficiency gains over CFLs.

The argument that an increase in lighting efficiency would increase the demand for lighting just doesn't make sense in a society where no one is deprived of lighting because it's outside of their means. The efficiency gains of using LEDs aren't so great that my electric bill is going to significantly drop -- but they are great enough that total electricity consumption throughout the country will (which would mean less coal burned).

From the article you linked:

This argument is usually presented as a reason not to impose environmental policies, or to increase fuel efficiency (e.g. if cars are more efficient, it will simply lead to more driving).[7][8] Several points have been raised against this argument. First, in the context of a mature market such as for oil in developed countries, the direct rebound effect is usually small, and so increased fuel efficiency usually reduces resource use, other conditions remaining constant.[6][9][10] Second, even if increased efficiency does not reduce the total amount of fuel used, there remain other benefits associated with improved efficiency.

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.