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Comment: Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (Score 1) 111

Phillip K Dick wrote the novel by using the I Ching to randomly create plot points. The I Ching features pre-eminently in the novel.

I'm not sure how well that will translate to the big screen.

Certainly the whole "The Axis Won WW2!" thing will translate over easily, but the book really isn't about that.

Comment: Re:Inconceivable! (Score 1) 119

by ShakaUVM (#47541775) Attached to: AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

>So they've found that encouraging students to take CS courses based on their skin color or genitals is less effective than encouraging students who have an interest or aptitude for the subject? Gee, I never would have guessed that result.

Yes, this is well known.

What traditionally happens is that teachers are very concerned with their pass rate, so they filter kids out of their class that they think won't pass the AP test.

I worked for a College Board program for four years designed to address this problem, as a lot of the people getting filtered out might very well pass anyway, and therefore be denied an opportunity for an advanced class and college credits for no other reason than the teacher's ego.

So they stopped talking about pass rates entirely, and heavily discourage teachers from using the term, instead quantifying teacher success based on *numbers of students who pass* instead. So even if little Timmy only has a 50% chance to pass, it would still encourage the teacher to let him try, since the expected value of letting Timmy stay in the class is better than if the teacher filtered him out.

Unfortunately, the fucking article perpetuates the old model of thinking, which is to emphasize the pass rate over the actual number of kids passing the AP test, and demonstrating that they have a freshman in college-ish level of understanding of the subject.

Comment: Meh (Score 3, Insightful) 89

by ShakaUVM (#47537333) Attached to: How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO

Anyone who knows anything about compression knows that universal lossless compression is impossible to always do, because if such an algorithm existed, you could run it repeatedly on a data source until you were down to a single bit. And uncompresing a single bit that could be literally anything is problematic.

I sort of wish they'd picked some other sort of woo.

Comment: Re:Not news (Score 1) 318

>>Hallam said it best: there has never been a time when humanity has successfully and peacefully coexisted with nature.

Out of the 2,000 or so species listed on the Endangered Species Act written 40 years ago, exactly three have gone extinct. And they were already endangered to begin with.

Seems like we're doing reasonably well here in America.

Comment: Re:String theory is not science (Score 1) 147

by ShakaUVM (#47504573) Attached to: Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

>You know what's not a science but uses a lot of math? Economics, which is 3 parts ideology and 1 part math.

It sounds to me like you're running on three parts ideology and one part math.

Economics is actually very much a science! They make empirical studies of the world, and test them to see if they hold up.

Math is very much not a science.

Comment: Re:String theory is not science (Score 1) 147

by ShakaUVM (#47498675) Attached to: Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

>Maths is a science

Um, no. There's a reason why you get a BA in Math, not a BS.

Math is an exemplar of a priori thinking. You can literally do math in your head by just picking some starting axioms and deriving from there, with no reference to the outside world.

Science is an exemplar of a posteriori thinking. You make empirical observations about the world, generate hypotheses, and see if the evidence matches the model.

Comment: Re:I wanted to write about this place (Score 1) 424

by ShakaUVM (#47470159) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

>... Replace with cheap bland French beer? I know they have not-so-great beer, and if not, definitely some cheap staple table wine. So change the complement to suit the location. He didnt literally mean it had to be bud light.

Actually, Budweiser is appallingly popular in France. I saw teens everywhere drinking it.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 382

by ShakaUVM (#47461101) Attached to: White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

>The idea that liberty and capitalism was what made America great is a giant lie. The US was just another Imperialist power like the European nations before it.

America was a very half-hearted Imperialist power, that just got into the game in the Philippines because all the cool kids were doing it. (Seriously - read some of the primary sources of the time in regards to McKinley and Funston.) America was much better about not keeping other countries after we conquer them than pretty much anyone else in the world.

Is Cuba an American state?

Iraq?

Germany?

You think Germany would have given back any of the other countries it overran?

No?

So you're wrong.

> It rose to power not because of voluntary mutually beneficial trade between free thinking people. It rose to power because it conquered, killed, stole, and was victorious in wars.

All countries, at some level, are founded on the right of conquest. What made the Aztecs have any more right to the land than the Spanish?

America's *strength* though, really was based on being an economic powerhouse of industry and trade. Look at the GDP of America in WWII and compare it with the USSR (whom it sounds like you would just love to pieces).

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 382

by ShakaUVM (#47460959) Attached to: White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

> This is what the interstate commerce clause is meant for: use federal power to force States to stop anti-business practices that hurt businesses and people when States attempt to destroy competition by preventing businesses and people from engaging in interstate commerce.

What?! No. Clearly you haven't been paying attention. "Interstate Commerce" means that if I grow wheat in my back yard and eat it, *that* is interstate commerce.

See? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...

I don't know what kind of crazy English language you are speaking there, buddy.

Comment: Re:Don't sweep it under the rug as collateral dama (Score 1) 157

>What we need is a revision that turns incorrect automated takedown notices into a contempt charge. That is exactly what it is., a failure to show the care and seriousness due to the DMCA process.

They considered this, but Goodlatte and other representatives in the pockets of industry explicitly rejected it because it might have a cooling effect on takedowns. :p

Comment: Re:Efficiency (Score 1) 133

> Electrically-powered synthesis of methane from H2O and CO2 already exists, and the process of forming longer hydrocarbons from methane do, too.

Yep. I think we ought to focus more of our research dollars on making this cheaper.

If we start having more solar/wind than we know what to do with, using excess capacity to build up hydrocarbons is theoretically a great way to store the energy that would play nicely with our existing infrastructure, and would suck carbon out out of the atmosphere (though it'd get cycled back out) rather than from the earth's crust.

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