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Comment: That's a pretty silly statement (Score 1) 140

by Sycraft-fu (#47789321) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

In computer technology, there is ALWAYS something new next year. Yes, there'll be a 14nm shrink next year (or maybe later this year)... but then just a year away will be a technology update, a new core design that is more capable, and of course they'll have more experience on the 14nm process and it'll be better... however only like a year after that 10nm will be online and that'll be more efficient.

And so on and so forth.

With computers, you buy what you need when you need it. Playing the "Oh something better is coming," game is stupid because it is always happening, generally very quickly.

So if you want a 6 or 8 core system, this is what to buy (it's cheaper than their Xeon setups). Will there be a better ones later? For sure. However sitting in neutral waiting for "the next big thing" is silly. Get a system, keep it as long as it is useful, get a new one when you need a new one.

Also hating on this for being enthusiast is silly. Ya it is expensive. So don't get it if you don't need it. However for what it does, it isn't bad. Maybe you need that kind of power. Maybe you need more. Not long ago we had a faculty member purchase workstation with 2x 12 core CPUs. These things cost about $2600 PER CPU, never mind the other hardware to support it. System was over $10,000. However, for the simulations he was doing, it was worth it. I'd never buy that for home, my workloads are much lighter, but I'm not going to hate on him needing it.

Same shit here. Do most users need this? No. Heck most users don't need a quad core. But there are uses for it.

Comment: As wikipedia likes to say (Score 1) 140

by Sycraft-fu (#47789283) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

(citation needed)

I have never seen RAM as cheap as it is now. When you can buy a 16GB ECC DIMM for less than $200, it is rather wonderful. Our researchers that use big amounts of memory are extremely happy with how much memory they can stuff in desktops and servers for a reasonably price.

Now I'll admit, I don't have a chart of RAM prices, so I suppose I could be wrong, but then I've worked in IT for the last, oh, 20ish years on a continuous basis and spec'ing and buying hardware is a fairly common part of my job.

So please, show me some evidence from two years ago when RAM was half its current price. Right now I see a 16GB 1600MHz 2R ECC DIMM as running about $170, and a 4x4GB 1600MHz unbuffered set running about $150. So please show me some proof that two years ago I could get those for about $70-90 each.

Comment: How is that surprising? (Score 1) 140

by Sycraft-fu (#47789263) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

Have you looked at RAM prices? 32GB of DDR3 RAM is about $300-400 for a 4x8GB set, depending on speed and company. So $600-800 for 64GB. Ok well how about server memory, since you can get servers with 6TB of RAM if you like (really, check HP or Dell). For a 16GB DIMM, which is the largest you can get before the price per GB skyrockets, it is about $160-200. fo $640-800 for 64GB.

So hmmm, looks like DDR4 is right in what other ram costs, plus a bit of a premium since it is brand new tech. What a shock! Who would have every thought it would cost about what RAM costs!

Get off it. Also it is stupid to act like everyone would need to buy the max amount of RAM. That the system SUPPORTS 64GB doesn't mean you have to BUY 64GB. It means that if you need that much, you can have it. If you need less, get less. Most desktops sold today support 32GB in the form of 4 sticks of 8GB DDR3 RAM. Most systems ship with only 4-8GB of RAM, in 1 or 2 sticks. There is nothing stopping you from using less.

You see this even more on the server market. We like Dell R720XDs at work. They support 768GB of RAM. However 0 out of 5 that we have purchased have that much RAM. It is exceedingly expensive, since it needs 32GB DIMMS. However it also means that getting 384GB is much cheaper, since it has the ability to do that on 16GB DIMMS. That said, we have only one system that needs that much RAM. The rest? Between 128-256GB. The rest of the slots sit empty, ready to be filled as our needs grow. Two of the 128GB servers will probably be getting more memory soon.

So seriously, get off it. DDR4 really isn't much more expensive than DDR3, much less than I thought, and memory is cheaper than ever. All these boards mean is if you need a lot of RAM, you can have it.

Comment: Because people can twist religion as they like (Score 1) 235

The thing is, religious texts say a lot of shit, particularly the major religions which often have a whole lot of text including not just their "official" book but all kinds of other documents that have some measure of authority in their belief system for various reasons. Also because the documents are old, and composed of various collected stories of various authorships, there are generally plenty of contradictions, things that have been shown to be untrue, and so on.

So what really happens is people choose to believe the parts they like, and ignore or reinterpret the rest. They follow the parts they wish and find justifications for not following the others. This happens all the time in all religions. Generally, religious ideology is an excuse, a justification, for a behaviour, not the case. People don't read a holy text and say "Oh, well I have to follow this to the letter!" Rather they have something they want to do and they find a way to make their belief system justify it.

You can see it with things like the "prosperity gospel" Christians and so on. Any even somewhat literal reading of Jesus's teachings shows the guy was the ultimate hippy. All about helping the poor, against material wealth, etc, etc. However, they find a way to justify their views in the bible.

Or the crazy things Orthodox Jews go through to supposedly obey arbitrary restrictions in the torah, while then skirting around them. Like they believe that the prohibition on making fire on the sabbath applies to electricity. However then there are things like ovens with timers greater than 24 hours, so you can have it come on automatically on the sabbath and that's ok. Oh Shabbos Goys, non-Jewish individuals you can hire to do things for you that you are not allowed to do on the sabbath.

Same shit with any of the variants of Islam. What the Koran says isn't really relevant. They'll find a way to make it justify what they want to believe. They can find a way to twist it to allow things that are specifically forbidden, or to ignore things that are required, or whatever.

Comment: Re:Seems good to me. (Score 4, Insightful) 146

by Prien715 (#47781333) Attached to: The American Workday, By Profession

I see unions like judges -- as a foundation of a democratic society.

They can both be corrupted by money, be involved in organized crime, but can also make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands by Doing Their Job (TM). Removing judges causes anarchy (the problem they were designed to fix) and removing unions concentrates wealth in the hands of a few non-working people (the problem they were designed to fix). If we look around, union membership is at an all-time low and we have wage stagnation. Coincidence? In countries with higher union participation, you also see benefits like mandatory paid vacation, wage growth, and single payer healthcare.

People can argue whether or not union Foo is good or bad (just as we can with a given judge), but unions themselves are a necessary tool in combating the abuse of people by those in corporate governance through elections.

Comment: Something many forget (Score 1) 800

by Sycraft-fu (#47778199) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Is that when you buy US Treasuries, you don't actually get anything. They don't send you a magic stone with powers to call in a debt. What happens is there's an entry made in a computer database, a computer that is in the US.

What this means is that the US ultimately has control over the repayment. Now both legally and practically the US is obligated to repay their securities per the agreed upon terms. However, that goes out the window in the case of a war. US law allows the freezing/seizing of assets, and other countries would have no problem with the idea.

So a situation could arise where the US simply declares China's holdings to be invalid and null. So long as the other bond holders are ok with this, and the (US) courts see it as legal, then China suddenly loses over a trillion dollars in investments. They can't just run off and sell them or something, they have nothing to sell. This would tank the renminbi and really screw China over. It actually could have a positive impact on the US, particularly if the other bond holders saw this as a positive (because the US owes less) and trusted that it wouldn't happen to them.

A country selling treasury notes isn't like taking out a loan with a loan shark. It works really different. US securities are:

1) Denominated in US dollars, and thus only worth something if the dollar is.

2) Payable on defined schedules, with no ability to "call in" the loan early.

3) Nothing more than promises to pay from the US government, and thus only valid if the government decides they will pay.

Comment: Re:Beyond what humans can do (Score 1) 494

by swillden (#47770815) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Global warming exists. Anyone who denies that is also a moron. But it's certainly not manmade.

I don't get the focus on whether or not the warming is anthropogenic. Should we ignore all problems that we didn't make?

Supposing that the warming isn't primarily anthropogenic, there's still plenty of reason to believe that the greenhouse gases we're adding are making it worse, and in fact we can even make some reasonable estimates of how much worse they're making it.

At the end of the day, you'd really better hope that you're wrong about our ability to modify the climate. Because the current climate of Earth is not typical. In fact, there isn't really a "typical" climate for the planet. Ice core histories show us that it swings between much hotter than it is, and much, much colder (by "colder", think "equatorial oceans frozen 30 feet deep for millenia"). Both extremes will be unpleasant for us, and I say "will", not "would", because it's gonna happen. When? We have no idea. We know that climate changes can happen very rapidly (couple of decades), even without an obvious precipitating event (big meteor, supervolcano eruption, etc.), and that they come at apparently-random intervals.

So if we want this planet to be nice for us long-term, we'd better learn to engineer our climate. Or get even better at adapting our local environment. Or both.

Comment: Re:Damage or Change? (Score 1) 494

by swillden (#47770731) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Climate has always changed, the concept of "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it.

You mean, the same way as asteroids of various sizes have impacted into the Earth throughout the history of the planet, and "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it?

Yes, I agree.

Yep. In the long run, the climate will change no matter what we do... unless we learn to actively manage it. Similarly, we will get hit by a catastrophically-destructive meteor, unless we develop the technology need to identify and deflect dangerous asteroids. It's worth noting that while without our intervention the climate may stay as it is for thousands of years, it may also change in decades. The ice core records tell us that the planet is capable of warming or cooling as much as 7C in as little as 20-30 years, even without any obvious catastrophic event, and even faster given a supervolcano eruption, or a big meteor. It WILL happen.

IMO, while it certainly makes sense to take reasonable steps to limit greenhouse gas production, we really need to focus on investing heavily in climate research, with an eventual goal of learning not only to understand but to manage our planet's climate. Actually, we should also invest a little in more strategies to cope with unpleasant climate. I say "more" strategies, because we already have a lot of them. The regions of Earth in which humans can survive comfortably without technological assistance are really small. The "natural" human carrying capacity of most of the places people live is basically zero, but we're very good at modifying our environment to adapt it to our needs. When the planet warms substantially, no doubt we'll have to apply more of those skills, so we should be thinking about which ones and how to improve our capabilities.

Comment: Pretty much (Score 1) 494

by Sycraft-fu (#47770653) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

If you tell me that the Earth is going to change for the worse, and there's nothing we can do to stop it, then my response is we shouldn't try. We should instead work on how to survive the change. No reason to waste resources trying to stop something that can't be, spend them on dealing with it instead.

Likewise if you tell me Earth is doomed, and there's nothing we can do to stop it, then my response is that we should just not worry about the future at all, and enjoy what time we have left because there isn't anything else to do.

However if you tell me that we are creating a problem, but we can fix that problem by changing what we are doing, then I'm interested in hearing what you propose we do, what it would cost, how it would mitigate the problem, etc, etc.

If a problem is solvable then it makes sense to talk about what it would take to solve it. If a problem is just something we can't do anything about then we shouldn't worry about trying.

Comment: Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (Score 1) 518

by swillden (#47770487) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

I really appreciate the scientific method and I agree it's a major milestone but it's not our most important discovery, that would be rule of law. Without rule of law there can be no civilization and without civilization there wouldn't be much science going on.

I'd argue that the rule of law is a result of applying the scientific method to social structure and governance.

The scientific method really consists of making conjectures and analyzing them critically. Some of the criticism comes from experimentation and analysis, but most conjectures never reach that point because simple thought can identify reasons they should be discarded. This process is closely related to (but vastly more powerful than) the mutation and selection process of evolution. At bottom, both are about creating and testing ideas, and selecting the ones that are objectively better (for the relevant definition of "better"). The scientific method does the selection through a tradition of criticism, natural evolution does it via replication (favoring the gene that replicates itself better).

How does this apply to the rule of law? Three ways. First of all, applying the same principle of progress to social structure, trying new methods and keeping those which work well while discarding those which don't, will lead to rule of law because it clearly is a superior social structure "technology". Second, without the rule of law, you really can't apply the scientific method to social structures, because there is no defined structure beyond the whim of the ruler(s). You have to fix the rules firmly so you can see what the outcomes are, and you can observe how to vary them. So any attempt to apply scientific reasoning to governance demands rule of law.

Third, and most important, the tradition of criticism inherent in and necessary to scientific progress inevitably leads people to criticize their government and to demand, among other things, the ability to understand the rules by which they're governed. I don't believe it's possible for any society with a significant number of scientific thinkers with any sort of influence to remain governed by fiat.

I think history bolsters my argument, too, simply based on the sequence of events. The Enlightenment was all about scientific reasoning and learning how to apply it to nearly all areas of human endeavor, not just science, and the Enlightenment came before the spread of the rule of law, not after.

Oh, actually I think there's a fourth reason scientific thinking creates the rule of law. It's even deeper, and is probably the truly fundamental reason, though it's a harder argument to make. That is that moral values are scientifically determined (even if we don't realize it), and the rule of law is morally right. It would take me a few pages to detail how and why I think that moral rightness is a real, determinable thing, derivable from the laws of nature, and not merely an artifact of culture, so I won't bother. Note that I'm not arguing that correct morality is easy to derive. It's not, any more than it was easy to derive General Relativity by conjecturing about observations of reality. But it can be derived, and in the same method: by conjecturing moral positions and then criticizing them, both logically and experimentally, discarding positions that lead to undesirable outcomes.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 601

by swillden (#47769257) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

That's a problem. But it's a smaller problem than the one we live with now, which is that there are so many obscure laws that if anyone in a position of authority has it in for you they can find something to nail you for. The rule of law matters.

And just-world-hypothesis believing assholes just go on without thinking they must've deserved it.

What an idiot. You kan't reed.

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