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Comment: It's not as if (Score 1) 298

by TsuruchiBrian (#49380151) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

It's not as if we are awesome at humanities education and we should sacrifice humanities education in favor of STEM education. We currently suck pretty hard at both. I don't think advocating for better stem education implies that it should be at the expense of humanities. In fact 2 of the letters in STEM (S and M) are actually humanities.

STEM skills are in high demand on the world market. If we successfully train lots of people with these skills, it means we are able to produce more things people actually want. This means better products and services for the world and more money for the people that made those products and services. As opposed to training lots of people with Asian American studies educations or European History educations, which may be very rewarding, but provide relatively little utility in large numbers.

The way I see it, the more we invest into STEM now, the more we can automate tedious tasks, the more wealth we can generate for less human effort, the more we can afford to spend our time learning about Asian American history without worrying about not having enough food to eat.

Comment: Re: proving (Score 1) 139

by TsuruchiBrian (#49379817) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

Well if that's your attitude, then bitcoin is even more secure. Because you can do whatever you want with bitcoin, and there is a good chance the police will simply arrest someone else for your crimes and easily convict them.

Unfortunately this also means that you may also be easily be convicted for someone else's crimes, but not using bitcoin won't help you avoid a false conviction, so you should just use it anyway.

I don't know what anything I said has to do with TV scripts, but the day that the justice system no longer needs to prove guilt (to some standard, e.g. beyond a reasonable doubt), is the day that we no longer have a justice system.

Comment: Re:Governments way to admit that bitcoins are... (Score 1) 139

by TsuruchiBrian (#49379771) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

If a computer can manage 1 wallet per coin then so can a forensic analysis program. The data is still there in the blockchain.

That is not true. That's like saying "If one computer can encrypt a message, then another computer can decrypt it. The information is still there.". The computer managing the multiple wallets has extra information that the block chain does not. It is currently the case that forensic analysis can in many cases extract hidden information in the blockchain to reveal identities. This does not mean it will necessarily be practical to do this if the information is hidden better in the future.

At one time in history it was relatively easy to not only decrypt encrypted messages, but also extract the key used to encrypt the message (i.e. plaintext attack). Now using modern encryption algorithms, it is extremely impractical to do this. The technology to hide information has gotten much better than the technology to unhide it.

Comment: Re: So What (Score 1) 310

by TsuruchiBrian (#49376387) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains
Grandpa is still supported by his adult children (and the adult children of his contemporaries). It is just that he doesn't need to ask them for support any more, he is entitled to it. Grandpa probably could have been entitled to his own generation's money, but the government already spent it on great grandpa's generation.

Comment: Re: So What (Score 3, Insightful) 310

by TsuruchiBrian (#49376267) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains
Well I suppose it depends on what you consider to be "coming up with a better solution". If you mean figuring out where money is better spend on improving society, then lots of people have already come up with better solutions. If you mean figuring out a way to convince a democratic country full of idiots voting for other idiots to do anything right, then the fact that we still have this particular problem is pretty good evidence that no one has figured out the solution yet.

Comment: Re:Governments way to admit that bitcoins are... (Score 1) 139

by TsuruchiBrian (#49376143) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

Keeping track of hundreds or thousands of bitcoin wallets would certainly be very tedious for a human to do. Luckily we have computers to quickly do tedious things for us. The basic bitcoin clients don't currently do this, but there is nothing stopping better privacy from being developed.

I don't think buying USD with bitcoin should be any more risky than buying drugs with bitcoin. Plus, as bitcoin gains more traction (or some other crypto currency), the need to convert to some other currency fades away.

I'm not saying that criminal transactions with bitcoin is safe. I am saying that it is probably one of the safest, and extremely practical. The least safe method would be to use bank accounts that are able to be pressured by governments. Even if a government knew which bitcoin wallets belonged to you, they could not seize your money or prevent you from buying things unless they acquired your private key.

Comment: Re:Governments way to admit that bitcoins are... (Score 5, Insightful) 139

by TsuruchiBrian (#49375579) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

It's not impossible to trace, but it's not easy either. It's not like every bitcoin wallet corresponds to exactly one person. A person can have as many bitcoin wallets as they want. You don't need to transfer $1 million from 1 single wallet to another single wallet in order to transfer $1 million. Secondly, proving someone is the owner of a given bitcoin wallet is much harder to do than to prove a person is the owner of a bank account. You might be able to coax a banker into revealing the owner of an account. It's much harder to prove that someone knows the answer to a math problem. And in order to freeze those funds you also need to know the answer to that math problem. You pretty much have to catch them in a library with their laptop and bitcoin accounts open.

It is possible to correlate bitcoin wallets with people given enough resources, especially if they are careless. But it's still a lot safer for criminals than any sort of traditional bank account.

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 441

by TsuruchiBrian (#49372823) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen
It is irrelevant in terms of stopping future incidents. We could give the pilot a special gun to kill a suicidal copilot, or we could give the copilot a special gun to kill a suicidal pilot. Knowing which person (the pilot or the copilot) is more likely to be suicidal could be really important in deciding who to give the special gun to. At some point you might realize that who was actually responsible for this particular incident is not relevant towards preventing future incidents, because next time it could just as easily be the other guy that is suicidal.

Comment: Re:Refactoring done right happens as you go (Score 1) 247

by TsuruchiBrian (#49208617) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

I do think defining "logical" vs. "illogical beliefs" is important in general. I don't think we need a really good definition for GoodNewsJimDotCom.

Being able to label something as illogical objectively involves getting someone to agree to all your premises and then showing them that based on those premises your conclusion is right and their's is wrong (or maybe you might find youself to be wrong), and everyone who is logical will eventually arrive at the same correct conclusion.

If I were GoodNewsJimDotCom, I would probably just dispute the evidence against my point of view. I could say that the evidence for noahs ark is really good and the evidence for evolution is really bad. You might say that according to X, Y, Z rules, the evidence for noahs ark is bad and evidence for evolution is good, and then I would just say that I think rules X, Y, Z are bad. And then you just end up not agreeing on any premises.

Comment: Re:Long story short (Score 1) 261

It seems to me that you're critical of people that use strategies other than "try harder" to accomplish their goals. You are essentially opposed to the use of tools here.

I am not critical of any people. I am critical of strategies. I am not critical of non-"try harder" strategies. I am saying that all strategies are ultimately "try harder" strategies at their core, so I don't think this is a good way to differentiate them. I am not opposed to the use of tools. I am simply suggesting that one tool may be more useful than another.

You've admitted that you aren't a stranger to procrastination - is it the case that you never procrastinate or get distracted now, because you just found more willpower? That sounds unlikely to me.

I'm not sure that I ever implied that I never procrastinate or get distracted.

At any rate, if you accept that willpower is a finite resource (I haven't seen you dispute this), the real issue is simple.

At any given moment, willpower may be a finite resource, but I don't think that one's willpower is unchangeable.

At any given moment, one's energy to accomplish tasks is finite, but that doesn;t mean there is nothing that can be done to increase one's energy.

For example, your finite energy may limit the number of pull-ups you can do at any given time. If we assume that your energy is unchangeable, a good strategy to maximize the number of pullups you can do is to never do any, because it would permanently decrease the total amount you could do. But in reality, doing pullups temporarily decreases the number you can do (e.g. Once I do 10, then I can only do 0 for a while). But if you actually train yourself, the number of pullups you can do actually increases.

I get a lot more done when I focus on a few simple techniques that limit distraction, so it suggests that these efforts to conserve willpower are worth it. You might experience the opposite, but if you haven't really tried it, your arguments are baseless conjecture.

Where do I get the willpower to try it? I am making an a priori argument, so it's fine without evidence.

Comment: Re:Refactoring done right happens as you go (Score 1) 247

by TsuruchiBrian (#49208577) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

Just so you know, when Spock used the word 'logical', he was using it incorrectly. Consequently, you are using it incorrectly as well. Please stop.

I am not using the word incorrectly. I picked the word "logic" specifically because of it's pertinence to software development. The fact you you think I *must* be using it in what you think is the "Spock" sense is your problem.

Back on topic, so you're saying that a persons religious beliefs affect their ability as a developer.

It depends if that person's religious beliefs are illogical. And if you had read what I said, you'd see that I specifically said that I do not think all religious beliefs are logical.

If you used some logic you would have been able to easily infer my positions which is "I think a person's belief's (religious or otherwise), if they are illogical, can affect their ability to program".

So .. Do Buddhists write better code than Hindus? Are Raeliens better developers than Shintoists? Why or why not?

I already answered this question the first time you asked it. I said "I didn't put forward that belief that members of one religion write better code than members of another religion."

Members of the same religion don't necessarily share exactly the same beliefs.

Maybe you need to work on your reading comprehension.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.