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Comment: Re:translating for the athiests. (Score 1) 135

by swillden (#47416459) Attached to: Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

It amazes me that this needs to be pointed out. Using a deity's name in a secular and preferably angry context is one of the fundaments of swearing, by deus.

And one that is generally frowned upon by religious people. The names are essentially anti-religious, not religious, in nature.

Comment: Re:translating for the athiests. (Score 1) 135

by swillden (#47416141) Attached to: Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

other particles we find similar to it could be given normal names like UHE particles, or super high energy rays but that doesnt secure grant funding in the theocratic Mormon state of Utah.

If the state of Utah is theocratic and makes funding decisions based on particle names, choosing blasphemous ones is not the path to big research bucks. Mormons take the prohibition against taking the name of deity in vain pretty seriously.

Comment: Re:Not new (Score 1) 246

by swillden (#47412789) Attached to: US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

Most companies want degrees OR equivalent work experience.

Most, maybe. But there are a substantial number that do demand a degree, and the non-degreed will always have at least a small handicap, because given two otherwise equivalent candidates, the one with the degree is likely to get the job, and after 10 years or so the extra four years of experience aren't going to mean as much as the formal education.

In addition, if at some point in your career you want to move into another career track the degree may well become even more important -- though the choice of major may become much less important.

Comment: Re:It's already going on... (Score 1) 339

by swillden (#47411479) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies
They do comply with OBDII. Some of the bits are different, obviously. I have an OBDII scanner I use regularly with my LEAF. It extends the spec to allow reporting on some EV-only parameters, such as the state of each of the hundreds of cells in the battery, but it also reports lots of the same data reported by an ICE.

Comment: Re:It's already going on... (Score 1) 339

by swillden (#47409015) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

...ever put in that car insurance fob into your auto's computer port? (e.g. Progressive's Snapshot, where they treat it as a cute little device that aggressively records everything your car is doing when you drive.

Very interesting... thanks for the link, I just signed up. I did find it interesting that my 2004 Durango is compatible with their device, but my 2013 LEAF is not.

Comment: Re:Github Followers (Score 3, Insightful) 274

by swillden (#47408033) Attached to: The World's Best Living Programmers

Being a good programmer is orthogonal with being a good manager

I strongly disagree, assuming by "manager" we mean "team leader" rather than "HR manager".

Being an outstanding lone wolf programmer is of value, but significant projects are almost never single-person efforts. Real top programmers also have to be able to lead people.

Comment: Re:OMG, not my tooth brushing!!! (Score 2) 149

by swillden (#47407959) Attached to: Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

... If somebody learns every detail of the motions I make when I brush my teeth...

While your comment sounds like over-the-top sarcasm, keep in mind the time when you go to the dentist and your dental insurance company refuses to pay their portion of the bill because you have not been brushing your teeth properly....

There are two sides to that. How would you like an option to buy dental insurance that is dramatically cheaper, but which you can only get if you allow your brushing habits to be monitored and corrected? I think there's value in allowing people who choose to manage their risks well to be able to benefit from the reduced costs. For such a policy it would be important that you find out that your brushing is substandard before you go to the dentist, though, not after. It shouldn't be a surprise.

We do need to draw a line that prevents preferential treatment based on characteristics which are not within the control of the individual, including past behaviors, but I see no problem and lots of advantages in enabling the use of pricing to encourage behavior that reduces costs.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 5, Insightful) 513

by swillden (#47404989) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

The final end result of mass mechanized production is that the available workers will far outnumber the available jobs

That assumption is not borne out by history. If it were true, we should already have arrived at that point long ago, since it used to be that 95-98% of human labor was dedicated to agriculture, and the number is more like 2% today. How is it that anyone has work to do? We dramatically expanded some jobs and invented lots of new ones, many of which would be utterly baffling or even ludicrous to farmers of a few centuries ago. What will people do in the future to add value? If I knew that, I could undoubtedly make several fortunes. But what I do know is that they'll do something. Perhaps the economy will mostly be service-based, driven by peoples' desire to be served by people rather than machines. Perhaps much of it will be highly-specialized, custom-tailored creative manufacturing, producing one-off, hand-made items. Maybe a lot of it will be creative or artistic, a world of painters, storytellers, etc. Maybe it will mostly be about designing and rushing to market the next mass-produced faddish gewgaw (this seems very likely to me). Some of it will definitely be around the design, care and feeding of the robots, even if much of that work becomes robot-assisted.

What I do know is that as long as there are people there will be something person A wants from person B and vice versa, and with that basis for trade there will be an economy, and something akin to jobs.

this is the problem that communism was intended to solve.

That's revisionist history, ludicrously so. Marx never foresaw anything of the sort. He believed firmly in the labor theory of value, and as such all economic power derived from human labor, not from mechanical power. Communism was about combating the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few people who owned the means of production, at the expense of the masses who provided the labor (and hence the real value).

His view was misguided in many ways, not least in that it almost completely ignores the value of intellectual work; the guy who figures out the right way to apply labor to raw materials is fantastically more effective than the one who does it the wrong way, and in fact this applies at all levels of the chain, up to and including the allocation of capital. Communism is inherently horrible at effectively allocating resources since it lacks the price signals that bundle cost and relative value and communicate them in a way that enables efficient allocation of resources to maximize what people collectively perceive as good, which is why communist economies always fail, and will always fail, even in the presence of automated systems that produce and distribute all of the essentials of life to everyone equally, even if said essentials include what we'd call luxuries. Those essentials will become the baseline expectation, much like oxygen, and economic competition will be around something else.

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.