Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Enforcing pot laws is big business (Score 2) 482

by Sique (#48633803) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot
So you are advocating getting rid of caffeine and sugar, of glutamine and perfume, of acetylsalicylic acid, sodium carbonate and all those little substances that help us to overcome some unpleasant moments. No more tea, no more pepper, no more chili for us, because this is just getting us high!

Comment: The issue was raised before. (Score 2) 678

by Sique (#48615883) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates
Not so long ago we had a discussion about the Third Industrial Revolution, and how it differs from the other two. And there, exactly the same issue was raised. Both industrial revolutions before were able to increase the productivity of the single worker. The first one, with the mechanic loom and the steam engine, increased the output of the factories and the farms, setting people free to do more sophisticated work that was already present, but not enough skilled people were there to take all the research, engineering and construction jobs, that were open before or opening because the First Industrial Revolution needed them. The Second Industrial Revolution, with trains, motor powered ships, cars and airplanes allowed to increase the amount of goods transferred and lowered the prices for trade, because now transportation after production was cheap too, and we got globalization and international division of labor. Ever larger plants could now produce more products which then could be delivered everywhere, resources could now be shipped from everywhere, still increasing productivity and setting people free who were until then occupied with necessary, but rather unproductive jobs.

But with the information revolution, the Third Industrial Revolution, the productivity increase didn't happen, or where it happened, it was only gradual. You can't mine iron much faster with more information at hand, crop yields don't increase with more information at hand. Travel times aren't reduced since several decades, and where they are indeed reduced, it's far away from what happened in the 19th and early 20th century. From a productivity point of view, the information revolution is a disappointment. Jobs get slashed, but there is no increase in the creation of actual wealth or value.

Comment: Re:Interesting, but ... (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by Sique (#48607753) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak
"Culture" is just a big cover we put over very different things. A physician and a physicist will have a big problem to read each other's scientific papers -- mostly they won't even know what the paper is about. And imagine someone from Switzerland and from Brasil try to talk to each other about their favorite outdoor activity during January, even if they find a language they both are fluent in!

Language is much more than just a communications protocol. Language has connotations, language is malleable by its speakers, language contains concepts of the world, language is even a tool to make a difference between insiders and outsiders. We will never be able to speak one common language. No physicist will ever be able to learn about all the terms a physician needs in his daily work, and most Brazilians will never learn anything about skiing in a certain valley of the Alps. Every generation comes up with new words for old facts just because the parents should not understand everything their children are talking about.

Each language has a big body of texts encoded in this language, which are unique to this language, and most of it was never translated into any other language (you don't believe it? How much of french TV programming was ever translated into English for instance?). The idea that most of the world's knowledge is available in English is completely misguided. It's just most of the knowledge you have that is available in English. But you are no benchmark of what knowledge is. If we switch to only one single language for everyone, all the text in all the other languages will be lost forever. How minuscule the english knowledge about non-english events is, can be easily demonstrated by asking you, how much you know about the events of the Summer of 1989 in Hungary. Nevertheless this is very important for the understanding of today's world, because the talks between Hungary's minister of Foreign Affairs Gyula Horn and his Austrian counterpart Alois Mock during the Pan-European Picnic lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. There are hundreds of news paper articles and reports available in Hungarian and German, in Czech and in Romanian, there are scientific papers about the events in those languages, but how much are available in English? In the U.S. there is still the opinion prevalent that Ronald Reagan's speech at the Berlin Wall in 1988 had something to do with it. (Fun fact: It hasn't.)

Comment: Re:Move to a gated community (Score 4, Insightful) 604

by Sique (#48603873) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents
Making traffic flow better will bring more traffic, even if you use false analogies. Every trip has an associated cost, and if you lower the cost for each trip by better flowing traffic, more trips will become affordable, and yes, making traffic flow better will generate more traffic that was non-existant before because of being too expensive.

Comment: Re:It's about who's doing the coercion (Score 1) 266

by Sique (#48595937) Attached to: Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine
Libertarians believe everyone has all the time of the world to do all the work of thousands of people all on his own everytime something is to decide. Somehow doing research and finding out things costs nothing in a libertarian world. No wonder they come up with such a fantastic economic value of a fully free, non regulated market.

Comment: Re:Hiding evidence (Score 1) 192

by Sique (#48563411) Attached to: Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

But in our modern networked world, it is now possible to do things outside the country you are in. I can now gamble in Macau over the Internet from the comfort of my living room. Physical location is no longer adequate to determine jurisdiction. It hasn't happened yet, but eventually some hacker is going to mess up some hospital's ICU computers in another country and kill someone. This issue needs to be resolved somehow by the International community in a manner which is consistent and reciprocal without being destructive.

The way to handle that is easy: Send a request for administrative assistance to Ireland, and then an irish judge will decide if Microsoft Ireland has to comply.

Comment: Re:Yeesh (Score 4, Interesting) 584

by Sique (#48521653) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?
He doesn't provide any evidence at all, just presents the current situation as some kind of natural state, which I doubt because I don't experience it as natural, but as a result of generations of propaganda. You might not notice this particular propaganda, because you grew up within without it ever being called so, but I do. I see U.S. movies, and I see movies produced in Europe, and sometimes I see movies produced in Asia. Only the U.S. movies have this strong accent on girls being princesses, on boys being rock musicians, and only in U.S. movies you will find the father "talking the talk" to his son about those mysterious women, and the mother warning the daughter about the boys only wanting sex. Only in U.S. movies I see those strong and unquestioned clichés how to be a man and how to be a woman. To me, they are a typical part of the U.S. culture. There is no evidence whatsoever that the dichotomy between boys and girls in topics to pursuit as a student is in some way a natural one, which cannot and will never be changed. I've seen the topics to pursuit change when the cultural environment changed. And this is more than "anecdotical" evidence, as it affects hundred of thousands of students. We actually had an experiment, and the experiment showed that within a few years, between 1989 and 1994, the ratio of males to females changed completely from a 50/50 ratio to a 50/1 ratio.

Even if you call the situation before a non-natural one, there is not a single reason to consider the situation afterwards in any way more natural.

Comment: Re:Yeesh (Score 5, Interesting) 584

by Sique (#48520967) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?
I've grown up in an environment with not so much focus on "girlish" and "boyish" toys, and -- ta da! -- we didn't have this extreme separation of genders. Still today, when I see especially U.S. TV series aimed at children and adolescents, I often have an urge to switch off the TV because the settings seem to be so completely off reality and so loaden with cliché. There are some dogmata deeply ingrained in the plots, which are never questioned, and which play their own role as if they were real objects. Adolescent girls dream of marriage and boys want sex. It's a recurring theme everywhere in U.S. TV and so totally off anything I experienced myself. But I've yet to see the plot where this dogma is actually challenged. Maths and computers are a boy thing. In East Germany, computer science was a topic which had about 50/50 students. After 1989, the female student numbers fell dramatically. But at the mid level of the universities, all those women which started their academical career before 1989, still were present.

So contrary to you, I strongly believe based on the evidence around me, that the U.S. way of predetermining the roles of girls and boys in life in the U.S. culture and especially in toys and stories aimed at children plays a very important role in the roles they actually play in their later life. And it could be different, but in the current environment, where the actual buyers of those toys and story books are already predetermined by their own childhood, there is no business case in challenging the settings. Getting girls interested in being princesses works because the parents (and other grown up relatives) of the girls have the final say what they want their daughters to be interested in, and when they will agree that their daughter is so cute.

I've seen my own daughter playing with toy cars and toy trains as a very little child, because that were the toys her older brother played with. But then a family with two girls of her age moved into the neighborhood, and they had all the pink toys and castles and white play horses, and my daughter played with them and gradually wanted their own princess dolls and horses (she even started a collection of them), but this was several years ago, and now my daughter is in junior highschool. She chosed Robotics as her voluntary topic, she saved money to buy herself a PS4, and she's playing Second Son all the time - turning into a computer nerd like her father and much more than her older brother.

The absent ones are always at fault.

Working...