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Comment: Re: RAND PAUL REVOLUTION (Score 1) 495

The failure mode of democracy is group A voting to tax group B. Once 51% discovers they can vote to raise taxes on some 49% group without taxing themselves, everything starts falling apart. OTOH "everyone votes on how everyone is taxed "is a sustainable system.

So even if most people agree that people on the poverty line shouldn't be taxed as much as really rich people as a percentage of income, that's somehow a failure of democracy?

Besides, everyone is treated the same in that the laws apply uniforml and blindly based on only how much income you have (modulo wirednesses like capital gains which few people understand and never make it on to party policies anyway).

Comment: Re:hexadecimal floating point numbers? (Score 3, Insightful) 70

by serviscope_minor (#49828323) Attached to: Perl 5.22 Released

The use of hex floats is to be able to write out floats efficiently and with guaranteed full accuracy to a text file. You can use decimal but you need a LOT of digits in order to do so, making the files rather bloaty. The reason Perl now supports them I suspect is because they're now supported in a bunch of other languages such as C++, so if you want to be able to mutually exchange data, you need hex floats in perl too.

Pesonally, I like them. A lot of data one generates in numerics isn't exactly human readable, but is generated as text for easy parsing with the original language and other tools. For example if your algorithm generates a log of checkpoints you can restart interrupted computations (great for splitting work into smaller chunks for a cluster), for example. To do that properly, you need to be able to save the state without loss.

That's just one of many examples.

It's curious that people (not you) have been guffawing over how stupid Perl is for doing this. It's funny that a supposedly hackish community has a significant cadre who brags about their anti-intellectualism as much as any self-respecting highschooler.

Comment: Re:You don't stop terrorists by patting people dow (Score 1) 316

Yeah I heard the Chris Roberts story. It sounded like a bit of a tall story and there's not been that much by the way of corroboration. I was wondering if there was anything more concrete.

As to assumptions... ask more questions.

Do you relly mean that?

Like I said, one cannot communicate without making assumptions. Even to follow your instruction I have to assume you're speaking English and actually mnean what you say. I then have to assume answers are in good faith. But not assume you ever mean what you say. That leads to infinite loops.

Comment: Re:You don't stop terrorists by patting people dow (Score 1) 316

My idea is superior to what we have now. That's all.

Fair enough. I think it's more expensive though, especially the ID thing would require a Big Government Project (tm).

1. The point is to track people and give the TSA some real control over who is even allowed to buy a ticket.

The problem with that is that the TSA seem to be wildly incompetent in all things. It would pretty much require that the TSA is burned to the ground and rebuilt.

3. Yes it did happen. He pushed the throttle forward on one of the engines three times during the flight. Very slightly. Not enough that the pilot even noticed. Just enough to test it

I don't remember seeing anything except his own claims about this. Link?

actually would prefer these systems be airgapped. Ask me next time instead

You specified "upgrading computer security". If you meant air-gap, you should have said it.

of making an ass out of yourself and assuming. ;)

I'm now not going to assume that you haven't suddenly switched to another language which looks like English and where what you wrote means "I'm very silly for saying silly things about assumptions".

And to that I wholeheartedly agree.

Which is a pointed way of saying it's impossible to communicate without making assumptions.

Comment: Re:You don't stop terrorists by patting people dow (Score 1) 316

All good ideas. I'm sute implementing them would have stopped precisely zero out of zero terrorist attacks on US planes that actually succeeded since 2001.

So, since security is lax (like we didn't know already) and there haven't been any successful terrorist attacks on planes in the US since 2001, what precisely would your methods achieve?

If the answer is saving lives then I contend there are better methods to save lives. Your methods sound expensive. Terrorism isn't a significant threat. If you spend the money on road safety you'll likely save a lot more lives.

Anyway point by point:

1. Require a special ID to use commercial airplanes. The ID would require that you are on a list and they know who you are... transport on the system is not a right. If you're a suspicious person then the system might just say "take a bus". By all means open the system up to due process so if you think you're on a ban list then you can fight that in court. The system might also flag certain people out for more security when they show up at the security gate. So you'd still get to be on the plane but you personally would be going through extra security because the system doesn't trust you.

Except no one was in any doubt who the 9/11 terrorists were. They all used their real names because why not? They had no prior terrorist activity and didn't exactly care about their future reputation becoming tarnished.

2. Give flight attendants and pilots some defense training. That includes possibly giving them weapons. I have no problem for example with the pilot having a gun. If he can fly the plane into a mountain then he can be have a machine gun for all I care.

He can't though, not in the US. The US has already required two people to be in the cockpit for years precisely to stop this kind of thing.

3. Upgrade the computer security on those planes. You shouldn't be able to control the auto pilot through the entertainment network accessed by wifi. That was fucking pathetic.

OK firstly that never actually happened as far as anyone can tell. Secondly having better security is equivalent to a highschool teacher telling you he always makes sure he has the best brand of condoms when dealing with pupils (with apologies to XKCD). The solution is an airgap, of course, not upgraded computer security.

Comment: Re:What about the cost for enrichment waste? (Score 2) 152

by serviscope_minor (#49821207) Attached to: Cool Tool: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator

Maybe they will learn something and be informed about the topic instead of thinking of it as magic perfected in 1970.

Does anyone actually think that? As far as I know pro-nuclear people lament that the excess of irrational fear led all development to stop completely in the 70s. Given that it was originally initially developed at the time as computers, that's the nuclear equivalent of using a PDP-11 today.

We could be a lot further on if people weren't so bad at judging risks.

Comment: Re:Even More Thrust (Score 2) 252

by serviscope_minor (#49820387) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

Of course this means that you need to have a fuel source but it's likely to be far more efficient than current rocket fuel plus there it no need for it to be something explosive like hydrogen

I'm assuming we're referring to space propulsion not launch since the former requires very high thrustand so the efficient techniques don't generally work. Given that, Hydrogen isn't explosive: it requires oxygen for that and there's none of that in space. A tank full of liquid hydrogen in space is pretty inert as these things go.

Comment: Re: RAND PAUL REVOLUTION (Score 1) 495

Same percentage of income would work just as well to ensure everyone has some skin in the game.

Why do you consider the same percentage of income to be fair? I don't, for reasons I've outlined above. I'm not sure I get your "some skin in the game" comment? What precisely do you mean---what effect are you trying to achieve with that/

Also, the bum living under the bridge likely has a net work between $0-10, making him wealthier than a huge portion of America, who is in net debt. Sobering thought.

I think it's a considerable stretch to say that someone with literally nothing, no regular food, no regular shelter is wealthier than someone with a house, clothes, TV, food etc and debt. Possibly technically true, but at this point you're just playnig semantics.

Comment: Re:I hate Uber but... (Score 1) 225

And where's your evidence that these people who have high end robotics and AI skills in the apropriate research areas actually exist?

Because my actual job is in computer vision and I've spent time in the government sector, academia and industry?

I'm going to make one final attempt. Many academics graduate perhaps one or two PhD students per year. Sure not all are great, but there are about as many students graduating per year as there are academics in the system. there's your pool right there.

if you insist on URLs then here is one:

there's your pool right there.

I like how you flat out ignored the bit about people with science PhDs going into banking.

But no, I'm not going to write my posts like a wikipedia article and cite every last nugget when you're clearly out to pick holes. I'm in the area, and I know the area. I'm not well versed with third party sources which tell me what I already know (why would I be).

You can either choose to believe me or you can choose to dismiss my own personal anecdotes as "not evidence" if you like. Makes no odds to me.

Comment: Re: RAND PAUL REVOLUTION (Score 1) 495

We are collectively a democracy. I'm content with any taxing/sending level agreed on by the democracy, as long as everyone pays. Everyone must have skin in the game - no "robbing individual Peters to pay collective Paul".

Well, you've just set up a system where you're only happy with $0 tax. Some people simply don't have the money to pay. If you expect some bum living under a bridge (and you did literally specify that everyone---with emphasis---must pay) then wonder how you think said bum might pay.

You confuse income with wealth, I think. No amount of income redistribution will achieve wealth redistribution. No matter how much water you pour from my bucking into your colander, you'll still be dry.

Income distribution does redistribute wealth, or it reduces the accumulation of wealth for richer people and effectively gives to poorer people by providing public services and utilities (such as roads) they they could never afford alone. Infrastructure is genreally made by taking income (if you prefer) from richer people and making it into wealth which is shared by many everyone.

Comment: Re:I hate Uber but... (Score 2) 225

Both CMU and Uber want 40 people with these skills, there are only (at least according to Uber's hiring practices) 40 people available. That's 80 jobs, and 40 people. In what way is that not a skills shortage?

In your completely hypothetical world, you're right.

However the real world isn't your world. The pool of vision and robotics people is much larger than these 40 people. It also includes people with the knowldge and skills who left after a PhD and went into banking because the money is much better than engineering. If other places want those people so bad, they can bump up their salaries or other job perks to match what the banking industry matches.

So then who can CMU hire to replace the people that Uber hired?

Oh gee, I dunno, how about the legion of people who finish PhDs or postdocs and don't currently get academic jobs. Or possibly raising salaries to compete with banking.

Like I said, there's a cheap skills shortage not a skills shortage.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.