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Comment: Re:Idea (Score 1) 244

by TuringTest (#48539917) Attached to: Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

I said "Not if you choose to be one of the people who doesn't work and lives from the basic rent"... or also if you can't choose and are forced into it. Life is long and you never know what tomorrow brings.

With a basic income, you have a choice that you didn't have before. This is what those extra taxes are buying you (in addition to reducing competence because other people will choose not to apply to the remaining jobs). Being universal, you also benefit from them.

Comment: Re:Idea (Score 1) 244

by TuringTest (#48539893) Attached to: Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

Because I have to pay taxes to support them?

Not if you choose to be one of the people who doesn't work and lives from the basic rent.

...making us less competitive internationally. Which causes more jobs to be outsourced...

Do you realize that those arguments wouldn't apply if the rent was truly universal? I.e. if *all* people could apply for them, not just people from a single country, all workers in the world would face the same increases in costs, thus not making any difference in their competitiveness.

...or just vanish due to being economically unproductive.

Again you're assuming 1) that such thing would happen and 2) that it's a bad thing. Why?

Comment: Re: Effort dilution (Score 1) 254

by TuringTest (#48538081) Attached to: Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

By converted, you mean "wrapped", right? Banks sinply don't throw away well tested code that runs core business logic merely to update the language, they build interfaces around them and keep then running. Surely new systems are built in new languages (mostly Java) and old systems will be ultimately shut down, but it doesn't make sense for the parts where requirements remain the same, and the principles of banking have been the same for centuries.

And high performance scientific code is often easier to write in Fortran than C. When you add that to the knowledge an already swt-up environments in academy, there's still a relevant community trusting their libraries for their computing needs.

Comment: Re: Cult (Score 1) 488

by TuringTest (#48504875) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

Maybe it's time to give up the open source movement? Our leaders are getting old and the new generation does not understand our need for freedom and in some cases they dont have enough coding skills.

The day open source is forgotten and core sharing depends merely on developer's goodwill, without clear reuse licenses, we will face all the Unix wars all over again.

There are clear signs of that already happening in the mobile OS area, where big corps are busy using patents to invalidate the benefits that their FLOSS code base provide.

The advantage of open source is that it allows developers to advance the industry fast through collaboration on common infrastructure while competing on quality and features, rather than competing on who owns the largest amount of intellectual property. Next generation developers would be wise to learn that lesson from history or they will have to re-learn it from experience.

Comment: Re:TIt-for-tat fallacy (Score 1) 213

Unchallenged presence is not a measure of success if it's unsustainable. Our current widespread presence is dependent upon a huge dependency of non-renewable resources.

The real test of success is when a species is integrated in its environment with a relationship that relies solely on renewable resources, so that their presence in that environment may run indefinitely. We are nowhere near that point yet.

Nature is full of periods where a process runs wild and fills their environment, only to be instantly wiped out when the resources required to maintain the process are exhausted. Those processes or species do not count as "successful" in terms of evolution if they become ultimately extinct.

Comment: Re:Idea (Score 1) 244

by TuringTest (#48477475) Attached to: Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

I've known too many people who were content doing absolutely nothing.

You say that as if it was a bad thing. How does it affect you negatively?

Making people work for their wages makes sense.

That's not a given, in particular if the work they would be forced to do is not productive but "show off", as you suggest. Do you mind to elaborate that idea and justify it, to explain what it makes sense to you?

Comment: Re:Idea (Score 3, Interesting) 244

by TuringTest (#48473319) Attached to: Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

Demand for workers can shrink but the supply will not and wages will bottom out and as they do so will demand for goods, effectively creating a catch-22.

That's why a universal basic income is such a beautiful concept. It would remove from the equation human survival as an individual incentive - thus reducing the supply of workers when the work offers are not attractive enough, solving that particular problem.

If everyone had their basic survival guaranteed through an unconditional minimum wage, the work market would be driven by individual initiatives to create pretty things and to improve from that basic status by pursuing luxury.

The main fear against the UBI is that those incentives would not attract enough workers to support the needs of mankind as a whole, but I don't see evidence that this would be the case - the drive to be creative and improve your personal status are pretty strong ones.

Comment: Re:Balance taxes? (Score 1) 299

by TuringTest (#48289919) Attached to: It's Time To Revive Hypercard

And there are much better ways to teach programming. For a very long time there has been a movement to bring programming to the masses, as if, somehow, everyone would be able to write beautiful, intricate code to solve their most complex problems.

You probably already know how to program, and I think that's why you seem to miss the point entirely. ;-) "Programming for the masses" is like basic literacy/alphabetization, not like formal training in High Literature: its goal is not to solve complex problems with programming tools, just like the point of literacy is not that all people will be able to write poetry. It's that they can manage the very basic, trivial tasks on their own, without having to hire a scribe (for reading and writing) or developer (for programming) to do simple tasks like basic accounting, sending letters, or in the case of programming, building simple automation tasks - like setting an alarm or opening your garage's door when the right circumstances happen. Note how there is no universal system nowadays that the general public could use to create those two trivial examples.

That niche is mostly served nowadays with apps for phones and tablets, which the end user can discover and use on their own from the app store to solve most common needs; but the developer is not totally removed from the equation yet, as even for really simple needs, the user is restricted to the subset of interactions that developers have created in advance, and the user can't build their own on top of them.

Writing programs requires clear, linear thought. It requires thinking in terms of structures and systems.

That's true of most current programming environments, but it's not an inherent property of what we call "programming" if understood in a general sense (that of creating new automated behaviours), specially when we restrict it to the basic tasks I'm talking about. Programming by example, case-based reasoning, procedural inference, constraint-based layouts... or even dexlarative markup languages are tools that allow creating some kinds of automations without using a procedural language nor learning an exact syntax.

The field of End-user Development studies those tools in a scientific context, and has some achievements in their history. Many of these tools are limited in scope (they apply to special situations) and are not general-purpose tools; but some of these, like the spreadsheet and Hypercard, are Turing machines at their core and can ultimately be used for any programming task.

The essence of EUD tools is not defined in terms of linear thought but in terms of semantics and inference of meaning - i.e. being able to make sense of the system as presented and use it to solve your current problems. All humans are good at sense-making, provided the tools are tailored to cover their needs and knowledge background. I've learned some research on semiotics applied to Human-computer interaction, and it shows how to study and build such tools. That is not the approach that is taught in common comp-sci curricula, though.

There are plenty of graphical programming languages that reduce the need for precise syntax, but they only REDUCE it, not eliminate it, and they still require procedural thinking which, ultimately, presents an insurmountable difficulty for many people.

True again, but again not an insurmountable problem. Information workers have managed to use Excel as a shared database with abstract datatypes and Outlook as a workflow management and collaborative creation tool, and as structured personal storage, all without learning how to create a single function definition. That's a Good Thing, though it would be better if they could use similar tools created specifically for those purposes.

Sure, everyone should be given basic skills in writing, and perhaps in drawing or painting as a child, and so perhaps everyone should be given basic skills in programming, but beyond that, why?

Who says there needs to be anything beyond that? The main problem for end users is that their essential needs are still not covered with current programing platforms, as basic programming skills are not enough to build even the most basic automation. The knowledge required to build anything practical like a simple app or Web page is still too much; the learning curve is just too steep. That's where a tool like Hypercard, with its hands-on approach and simple conceptual model, would help.

I have not yet begun to byte!