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Comment: Re:Not so sure about the language... (Score 1) 216

by SomeKDEUser (#46368005) Attached to: Wolfram Language Demo Impresses

Within the bounds of what is in the library, with horrible syntax and little structure.
Because you do not have structure available, you cannot have large programmes. This in turn means you are stuck with what Stephen Finds Interesting(TM). This has left me very much unimpressed: when I look at a language demo, I care about how elegantly, tersely and legibly you can express and structure notions. This is terse, but not elegant or legible. Also, expressing anything not already there seems really daunting.

1/10 would not care to use.

Comment: Re:Peanuts (Score 1) 263

by SomeKDEUser (#45413133) Attached to: Physicists Plan to Build a Bigger LHC

Dude, this would work if people were any good with numbers. Basically, if you have a competition, the best liar who low-balls their estimate gets the job. And then due to the sunk-cost fallacy, manages it to completion.

As it is, a honest estimation will only lead to your project never being funded, no matter how worthwhile it may be. And frankly, seeing the benefits of funding fundamental research, that would be immensely more costly for society in lost opportunity than whatever cost overrun. So the socially responsible thing to do is to lie about the costs.

Alternatively, you could teach people and their representatives to understand numbers and not freak out when they hear ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. 'Cause absolute values mean nothing. Fat chance.

Comment: Re:Dallas? (Score 5, Informative) 263

by SomeKDEUser (#45413059) Attached to: Physicists Plan to Build a Bigger LHC

This is true, but no so simple: in a straight line, you gain energy with the distance. When going round, you lose energy to stay in the loop as a function of the radius (the infinite radius case brings you back to the straight line). Thus, each time you want more energy, your collider ring needs to have considerably larger radius (following a third power law). At some point (basically the point after this proposal) you have to loop around the solar system :)

Comment: Re:Pentobarbital (Score 5, Informative) 1160

No. Europe's position is a longstanding one. And as the EU is a larger market than the US, an EU law forbidding a drug company to help with capital punishment carries weight.

The link with the spying thing is that US companies may be faced with the choice of picking either one or the other market, if privacy directives from the EU come into force. And this is terrifying for US companies, because, again, the EU market is larger.

Comment: Re:Modeling (Score 1) 124

by SomeKDEUser (#45186573) Attached to: Debunking the Lorentz System As a Framework For Human Emotions

Look, you can do cool research with terrible code. Sure. I am not questioning that. But then don't publish about your code, publish about your research! It is my fault for not being clear about the context: I mean that papers in numerical methods should be rejected/rejectable on the grounds that the implementation sucks.

And in many fields where computers/algorithms are involved, this is an issue. The guy who does a good job by making a clean and fast implementation of the theoretical "state-of-the-art" algorithm (proving in passing that the original authors _never_ actually implemented it in a way which worked on anything else than their benchmark -- if that) can't publish because it is fucking not "novel". Yes, yes it is: this is the first time that this thing you though existed, that you claim existed did, in fact, exist. And the version that works is in fact different than the one that was published.

Comment: Re:Let's not be too angry (Score 0) 124

by SomeKDEUser (#45180741) Attached to: Debunking the Lorentz System As a Framework For Human Emotions

Now, I know what you mean about the American vs the European models, but weather prediction is improving all the time, if slowly (amusingly, the European models _are_ better than the American ones). Also, medicine is not a science. biology is, and its main problems is too many bloody doctors messing things up.

As for macroeconomics... Well, if your model is not built on political belief (markets are efficient! self-correcting! wages adjust! government investment can only be wasted!) you can actually make predictions and guide your policies. People actually thinking/using models are just not listened to...

Comment: Re:Modeling (Score 1) 124

by SomeKDEUser (#45180685) Attached to: Debunking the Lorentz System As a Framework For Human Emotions

Funny, this is the expression I use for certain grants...

Sad fact: because the code is not demanded by the journals (and worse, the reviewers) many times, the results published are simply not reproducible. Not even by the guy who ran the code. Typically because under pressure from whoever is above them, researcher will produce shitty MATLAB code (you can always tell a numerics paper is shitty when it obviously uses MATLAB and small problems) which happened to yield the "right" result. Heck, most of them don't understand what a source repository is...

If you review papers, it is your duty to reject marginal stuff if it is not implemented in a code which can solve "real" problems (millions of unknown, non-linear, complex geometry).

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

by SomeKDEUser (#44679743) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

You don't really want to live in a meritocracy. You say you don't find many partners in law firms who are women, and this is because they dislike the rat race. Is that not exactly the reason you want more women hired, even quotaed into partner positions? They dislike the rat race, and them being in a position to kill it is probably good for everyone, then.

Unless you approve of the rat race, something about how it fosters "meritocracy". But I can tell you for sure the following: highly successful people are talented, hardworking, lucky, and good at backstabbing. Only two of those attributes are objectively good (and frankly hardworking is only good in combination with talented), one is noise, and the last is downright negative. Rat races enhance the value of the two latter, and make everyone's life miserable.

You just made the argument for women quotas. Also, for promotions at random.

As for the overrepresentation of women in elementary education, you are right of course, we should bemoan it. Precisely because it is a (doubly sad) indication that as a society we undervalue education.

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

by SomeKDEUser (#44678419) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

despite the indefensible rant of the guy you are replying to, I have to defend his point somewhat. Biases which reflect reality, say women are better communicators mean that for the recruiter of a communicator, the optimal strategy would be to interview only women, thus maximising his odds of getting a match.

But this assumes that he has only time for a small number of interviews/cannot interview all candidates. It also assumes that there is one salient characteristic people ought to be recruited for. In reality, the reasons for which one person is hired are complex and multidimensional, and in general, it is not possible to determine the gender of the most likely match (or age, so you should interview an unbiased selection of candidates [1]) . Unless you are looking for candidates to the GDR women's Olympic swimming team.

In which case you are looking for a guy.

[1] if you know that you are biased, you should interview a selection which counters these biases.

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

by SomeKDEUser (#44678341) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

The internet is great that way. It dispels your belief about the fact that the average human is enlightened... OP's rant was terrifying. Also, as a guy/gal how can you desire all-male/all-female work environment. These are inevitably unbalanced and unhealthy -- although I have a bias there, I think women-dominated work environments are bad for women, and men-dominated ones are also bad for women.

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 2, Insightful) 608

by SomeKDEUser (#44678283) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

You realise that there are all those quotas in the South because it is pretty amazingly racist, right? Whenever I travel there, I fell like I'm in a clichéd rendering of "Gone With The Wind" -- minus the class.

Quotas are a terrible idea, except that they are the only way to break the old-boy cliques... Of course, after 1-2 generation you have to remove them.

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

by SomeKDEUser (#44678207) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

Large disequilibrium in male-to-female employment in various fields is a cause for worry in general. It means that your field is not very welcoming of difference. It also means that the outcome of your field (say in IT the satisfaction of the users, or in science the amount of knowledge produced, or in management in corporation the long-term productivity) is likely sub-obtimal, because you are not making the bast use of the available resources (men and women do think differently, and each modes of thinking is best for different kind of problems).

For the rest, your post is basically a sexist rant. There are biological factors and sociological ones. One would expect gender imbalance in a number of fields. But such an enormous one, unique to the US/Western world (in south-east Asia, working with computers is considered a woman's job) is clearly due to cultural bias. Which means that we are getting worse software because of that, and this in turn represents untold costs to the whole economy and general well-being of everyone.

So yes, gender equality is a big thing. It is perhaps the single largest open opportunity for increasing productivity (in any affected field) which does not involve significant advances in knowledge.

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

by SomeKDEUser (#44678107) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

Actually, there are only two possible outcomes for all of us: all humans in the far future are descended from you or none. Most likely none. This is obviously true if you think about it: your lines will come extinct, eventually, or be everyone. The alternative is two separate species...

Your ideas and creations, however, will have impact to the end of time. Turing as a memeplex is extremely successful, and him not reproducing is irrelevant: in the long run, it's the same for all of us.

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