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Comment Where is the full article? (Score 4, Insightful) 504

Blah blah Slashdot + read article blah blah.

But really, the summary is pretty much the article. There's no actual content.

All they discuss is the loose intention. No examples, discussion of how that intention was tested or even challenges in design.

This is barely a sidebar article in a checkout-lane magazine.

What is this, a weakly veiled invitation to discuss sexist issues de jeur? I'm cool with that, I just don't appreciate the tactic - this article is mega-weak.

Alright - I'll give you a better one:

Question: How many angry feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Answer: That's NOT funny.


Comment Newsflash: Subjects willing to take tests are... (Score 3, Interesting) 182

Newsflash: Folks willing to be interviewed on being 'geeky' tend to be gregarious and be quite optimistic about their own potential. Shy/anti-social 'geeks' not measured.

Everyone's got a mixed bag of ignorance and hangups - and folks who self-label as 'geeky' in public are folks who project a willingness to focus and specialize on a small range of subjects that they admire. Many others are going to be shy or antisocial, or unwilling to put up with a 'geeky' label.

BREAKING NEWS: DJs and Rap Artists also found to be frequently narcisistic! 'Fronting' found to be a very helpful form of marketing, and method of promoting causes in a comedic and exaggerated manner.

FURTHER BREAKING NEWS: 'Profesional'-style wrestlers and independent entertainment wrestling groups also found to be overwhelmingly narcissistic, in a fascinating dual dynamic! When in 'face' mode, these entertainers will be narcissistic in a friendly way, and in 'heel' mode, they will be narcissistic in an overly flamboyant and violent way. These modes can change at seemingly random patterns, but usually near the start/beginning of a season.

OMG BREAKING NEWS GUYS: Actors and many others found to be narcissistic! In a similar dynamic to 'entertainment' wrestling, this same form of narcissism seems to be almost everywhere, in most professions with a public facing component. The dynamic of trying to gather a crowd with comedy and drama seems to be steeped with various kinds of narcissism, and reactions to self-overestimation.

It's almost as if people overestimate their own potential in order to motivate themselves to try difficult things, even if it means failure, because they might learn something or motivate others in the process!

We must stop this plague of overestimation before it grows too large! The only logical conclusion to this process will be everyone jumping off buildings because they believe they can fly. Yes. Geeks must not believe in themselves, or our world is doomed!

In other news, journalists frequently post articles they know has misleading information, or false or incomplete versions on of the science they're reporting on, because it builds drama and readership. Oh no - the narcissism is spreading!

Comment It's a container. (Score 2) 98

The internet is a container for any kind of content. It can hold anything. Saying that people using it can be lazy means nothing.

It's like the whole argument about games and art. Games can contain anything. They have music, creative artistic images, moving digital sculptures, all mixed with varying degrees of audience participation. Whole TV shows and movies are occasionally enclosed in game content. They can be anything, and are made into new things all the time.

The internet is that, and more - it's the combination of whatever anyone chooses to share over certain protocols, and even the protocols can change. It can and likely will become almost anything. Are people using it frequently lazy and ineffective at some tasks? Yes - and people everywhere using virtually all tools are also frequently lazy and ineffective.

Did anyone expect the internet to somehow make people especially efficient or effective at every task? Just because someone reads newspapers, that won't make them any better at journalism - same with internet and activism. More opportunities to learn, but it's not a school, and even specialized schools don't have the greatest correlation in reliably measurable improvement.

The only thing you should expect is that using the internet will likely make some folks better at using the internet. Until the internet changes. Everything else is just bonus.

Comment Does there need to be a "reason" ahead of time? (Score 1) 207

Scope and scale are funny things. You can only see so small before it gets REALLY hard to see, even using large chains of tools. Same with really big. Same with really slow or fast. But even from what we can observe - our reality has had a LOT of chances to get the roll of the dice to work out - and we happen to live at one level of scope in this universe that allows intelligent life to hang on, in one spot.

However the underlying constants unfold though - it doesn't have to be convenient at every level - just at any particular level. Tweak the rules around, and what we'd count as atoms could be intelligent for billions of years. Tweak it again, and you could have intelligent planetoids with lifespans of hours. Tweak it some more, and it might take a trillion "universes" of stuff to combine to make an intelligent life, in a web where they pop out constantly. It's only anthropically important to us, because we were lucky enough to get intelligence, and don't know how it could work otherwise.

Now I've got to re-watch some Rick and Morty episodes.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Cool - but could we also ban... (Score 1) 305

Direct-to-doctor marketing? Doctors shouldn't have 'reward' programs for recommending certain brands over others. Then again, the profit motive itself pretty much makes a mockery of the practice of medicine in general. I just don't think the promotion of "awareness" of profitable drugs that this system provides doctors is worth the corruption and fleecing involved.

Ryan Fenton

Comment 12 episodes? Isn't that half a season? (Score 1) 83

MST3k typically had 24 episodes a season, and part of the shtick of the series was that it was a relatively cheap production with a small crew licensing movies that cost almost nothing to show.

I get that we're motivating folks to gather together later in their career than before, and 'competing' with other opportunities they have - but if you're going to start up the engine, seems a bit of a shame to pre-plan to shut production down after 12 episodes.

Heck, given the nature of the series, you should really be mixing crowdfunding sources a little. Yes, the Kickstarter is important - but you should connect your stretchgoals to Patreon income also, and permit a couple extra options.

1) After the "pre-funded" Kickstarter episodes, let Patreon income build up funds for future episodes - while still keeping a nice mid-season break and even cast shifts as needed for quality of life.

2) Let the show grow as you go - keep your megacheap ethos/comedy style - but if you find a nice line of comedy, you want to do a special on, let it get a sub-fund and decide how it can fit into the schedule. 100,000 patreon fans contributing 1-10 bucks can get you more than enough when you've already got the set and many other things. That, and likely chances to get secondary income streams.

3) You know you're VERY likely not going to get a really good deal with a cable channel. Don't let the shiny prize of a commercial-pushing income source let you shortchange your audience on things like DRM. Do it for you too - make a show you'd like to make first, compromise where it matters least as you can, and the audience can do more than the promises of any executive. Let us circulate the '.mkv's.

4) Stay cheap, the audience will help. Don't do silly things like commission CGI movies of fantastical comedy scenes as part of your budget. Ask the audience to help, and we will make the stupidest, most hilarious things for you. Use that - USE IT!

Ryan Fenton

Comment Forcing philosophy through example... (Score 3, Insightful) 197

"Government doesn't work - it CAN'T WORK!"

"What about all those countries where it mostly does and, um, all of human history, eh?"

"Oh really? Sheesh! Listen - I'll just do a little governing here, and governing there - and BAM - doesn't work anymore. See - governing ruins everything!"

"Doesn't that just mean YOU ruin everything?"

"Wait - wait - I'll prove it some more. Give me more time and I'll REALLY prove it!"

Comment Important distinction: Obervable vs watching... (Score 4, Interesting) 168

The important thing about being 'observed' is if it has an effect on something else - such as the photons from the laser used to record it.

What is most certainly does NOT mean is that it does anything because a human consciousness is watching the process. A robot or mote of dust could have been 'observing' it (and in effect WAS), and the same effect would happen.

That's what I strongly dislike about the terminology around 'observer' effects. It makes people evoke touchy-feely human awareness stuff, when it's really just referencing microscale interaction events. What matters is that if events occur which COULD matter outside the system, like photons bouncing against the atom, then that's an 'ovservable' event in the context.

In the microscopic landscape of these experiments, we're a distant afterthought - a bacterium would be almost too big to sensibly consider - and trillions of bacteria would barely be observable to us. In other words, it's really not about US, to any sensible interpretation. Psuedoscience is all about us - keep that in mind when you see the sales pitches, as they'll be using the bad interpretation all the time they can.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Won't quite yet... (Score 1) 374

It worked OK on a spare laptop I tried it with way back in the semi-public beta - figured out how to disable the most egregious annoyances to just act like the Windows 7 upgrade I actually want. I'll likely add a block on an external firewall where the hosts file no longer blocks for known MS data collection (spy) servers. I expect Microsoft to act evil wherever it can - nice to see them less suicidal-evil compared to Windows 8.

Didn't apply the update to any other systems though - found too many missing drivers still from lazy/defunct manufacturers, including my Edimax Wireless AC USB I use on two of my systems If it comes down to the wire, I'll just get a new wireless USB for the applicable systems - but I really just want to wait for a better user library of replacement DLLs to bypass the usual MS bullshit while still offering the Windows 7 functionality I care about.

Hopefully someone will make a nice open-source replacement for Windows Update, that will offer to schedule updates entirely for all users, rather than force updates or demand enterprise-level purchases.

Ryan Fenton

Comment In the land of ironic framing, signal from noise? (Score 2) 44

Have you ever watched parliament? For as long as I've ever seen it (occasionally through the years on streams), the ratio of deeply ironic statements to sincere ones would make it almost impossible to interpret systematically. Even judging the number of 'harumphs' after a statement, or forced group laughs wouldn't give you a clear clue in that audience.

It's like trying to judge violence in a group of young apes who do nothing but posture all day, only accidentally actually hitting eachother. It's all a strange mix of false outrage, forced laughter, crude imitation, lies, and accusation of lies. Things get done in a way, but not without a mountain of pagentry and indirection.

If you want signal from noise in that scenario, you're better off looking at finances, rather than speeches.

Ryan Fenton

Comment One thing that always bothers me... (Score 3, Interesting) 269

Isn't the job of the nerves in the brain supposed to be to communicate?

Shouldn't we just have to play the role of a nerve, and just 'ask' the brain nerve to tell us its contents, and those of its close neighbors?

I mean,there's parasites that do this to an extent, such as toxoplasma gondii, seems odd that we haven't created an interface to work with nerves and just get them to communicate to us, as nerves logically have to do, in order to act like minds.

Even if the process is slow, we should be able to do it at lots of locations simultaneously, so long as it's non-destructive communications. Sure, we'd be reinforcing connections by doing the queries, but so long as it was even-handed, it would be *nothing* compared to acts like dreaming or most of regular life.

Worst case, even if we couldn't recreate a living landscape of a mind completely right away, we could at least save the long-term memories, and have something better than the complete destruction of being that happens with death now.

Even if it would be embarrassing by conventional standards, I'd actually like the idea of my complete memory set continuing after I'd dead, rather than the feeble methods we currently use to leave something of ourselves. Add a query system to it, could be very odd, but really neat too - real life information ghosts.

Far better than nothing, for my preferences at least.

Ryan Fenton

Comment There's some big philosophical differences. (Score 4, Insightful) 247

Evil, outside of special pleading for a particular belief system, is usually framed in terms of actively choosing the harm of others (even if it is masked in deniability). There's some very important meaning in 'don't be evil' that I always liked. Even if some evil is deemed unavoidable by sheer weight of circumstances in life, the general policy should still be to avoid it if at all doable, by any philosophy I'd respect..

"Do the right thing", however, is utterly subjective. Genocide can be seen as the right thing, by a great many, many belief systems, as could complete elimination of all other belief systems. Complete stagnation lies down most 'pure' roads. Utter evil, the complete willingness to harm others at a whim, is constantly 'justified' in the name of most ideals taken in isolation.

I suppose that's a problem with business groups though - the more people involved, the more push to 'optimize' towards some ideal that gets so important, that 'evil' is no longer a limitation. All groups do evil, because there are people involved, but most businesses seem to become blind to their own evil as they grow, until they specialize in mostly doing that evil. Well, until those outside the group start reacting to their actions, then they seem to asymptotically bounce against, and push out the ethical line.

Fortunately, the end result isn't so horrible, by most standards, basically ever measurable aspect of culture has reliably improved over time, from freedom, to intelligence scales, to health and others - but it's just interesting how groups specialize and play such strange roles.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Re:I find this mostly true, some mixed causation.. (Score 0) 86

>>Definitely seemed a physical thing rather than a physical one.

Meant phyical rather than a mental one. I must reiterate - I am rather sleepy today - still can't get a nap going, and am now in that stage of the day where it's better to wait for night at this point. Thus, slashdot.

Ryan Fenton

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