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Comment: Re:Philosophical thought experiment (Score 1) 580

by Riktov (#41284789) Attached to: Rick Falkvinge On Child Porn and Freedom Of the Press

This view that viewing something somehow metaphysically harms or otherwise affects the subject of the image is outright absurd.

Suppose that we decide to base punishment, or any action for that matter, on such "harm-at-a-distance". Keep in mind that we're not basing punishment on the ascertainable *effect* that the pornography has had on on the subject, we are basing it on a completely separate act in a completely context: the act of someone viewing the image, which the subject may not have any knowledge of.

And what if we later find out that the subject has been dead for years? What happened, then? Did the viewing of the image cause harm to a dead person? The person's soul? Or do we, on the other hand, determine that because the person was dead, it turns out no "harm waves" were "emitted" by the viewing waves? So the harm waves actually know whether the subject is alive or dead, happy or sad, offended or unconcerned?

Comment: Programming for fun? Lisp and Smalltalk (Score 2) 530

by Riktov (#39911597) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Language Should a Former Coder Dig Into?

You say you want to "code for personal reasons", which I take to mean because you find programming enjoyable and want to write programs for fun.

Then I would absolutely recommend Lisp and Smalltalk. For Lisp, you can get started with Lisp In A Box and Peter Siebels' "Practical Common Lisp". For Smalltalk, try Squeak accompanied by Squeak by Example. It's all free.

No, you are probably not going to get a job writing in either of these languages, but learning them may indeed help you get a job, as they are both conceptually deep, and their influences are broader than many realize: JavaScript borrows heavily from Lisp, and Ruby and Objective C from Smalltalk. Even Python and Perl have some Lisp concepts in them. In fact it seems that every new dynamic language to come out in the last twenty years owes something to these two languages. They are like the Greek and Latin of programming languages.

Comment: Re:Lighten up (Score 1) 85

by Riktov (#38381104) Attached to: Japanese Use Wild Monkeys To Track Radiation

Mid-forties; nowhere near old age.

In my comment I was just making the point that I am one of those poor people - ZOMG, I could die any day from an earthquake or radiation poisoning!!! - that the parent poster thinks people should not make jokes in front of.

More radioactive rabid robot monkey jokes, please.

Comment: Lighten up (Score 3, Insightful) 85

by Riktov (#38380814) Attached to: Japanese Use Wild Monkeys To Track Radiation

Bah. I live in Japan, was born here, and will probably die here; hopefully from old age, perhaps from radiation or from earthquakes, who knows?

But hey, monkeys are funny. They are also fascinating.

And I love stupid Planet of the Apes jokes. Even stupid Godzilla and radiation jokes don't bother me. They probably don't bother the researchers either, and they sure as hell don't bother the monkeys. After all, they're monkeys! And get your stinking paws off me you damned dirty apes!

Comment: GamePro has certainly served me well for 22 years! (Score 1) 91

by Riktov (#38223174) Attached to: GamePro Shutting Down After 22 Years

Though I haven't even read the magazine once in the past two decades, I have a beach/bath towel with the GamePro logo on it, which I received as a giveaway at the June 1989 Consumer Electronics Show, which would make it right when the mag started. I was doing graphic design/advertising at my first job then, and there might be an ad I worked on in the very first issue.

The towel is still in excellent condition - not a tear and little wear. I'll be sure to use it after this evening's shower.

Comment: Re:Lisp is a fascinating language with honored his (Score 1) 354

by Riktov (#37840582) Attached to: John McCarthy, Discoverer of Lisp, Has Passed Away

A lot of the advanced features you see in popular "cool, cutting-edge" languages like Python, Ruby, JavaScript, etc. - stuff like closures, functions as first-class objects, lambdas, filter/map/reduce, continuations - were pioneered by Lisp. If you know Lisp, and you look at such languages, it's obvious that the creators also knew Lisp, and when they needed their language to do something that it couldn't otherwise do, they adapted something from Lisp. Interestingly, many such features were not, or could not be, or have been only with great difficulty, adapted to older languages like C/C++.
It's taken fifty years for these modern languages to catch up to Lisp.

The same thing to a lesser degree can be said about Smalltalk. Lisp and Smalltalk's influence is not so much in being used directly to create applications, but in creating other languages.

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf

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