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Comment: Re:Are we calling this one Gamma? (Score 1) 91

by ultranova (#49148017) Attached to: Xeroxed Gene May Have Paved the Way For Large Human Brain

Oh, I thought someone just took a shit on my Slashdot today.

Today? Opening threads in new tabs/windows has been broken for a while now - the comment area is clipped to half of screen size, with a huge useless margin on the right.

So... It's going to stay that way, huh?

My guess is it's going to get worse. Someone has decided Beta is a matter of principle/authority/whatever for them, and is slowly sabotaging the real Slashdot to smoke out the users before it'll go down.

I guess the lesson here is to never build community around a centralized resource, like a server, especially one owned by a company. I wonder if a forum or an imageboard could be implemented in a P2P fashion?

Comment: Re:Pinky and the Brain (Score 1) 91

by ultranova (#49147855) Attached to: Xeroxed Gene May Have Paved the Way For Large Human Brain

The size of the brain is much less important than the brain to body mass ratio. Several animals have larger brains than humans (elephants being one), but they all have large bodies as well:

No, not really. What sets a human and elephant apart is not how smart an individual human is compared to an individual elephant, but the ability to communicate. Human language is Turing complete, art is basically communication for the sake of communication, and our perhaps most popular form of entertainment is making up stories and sharing them. That's the draw of this very website, and even now I'm using it to serialize a particular neural network - an idea - which you then can deserialize at your leisure.

Almost all human beings who have ever lived are part of a single millenia-old, planet-spanning superorganism we call "culture". It doesn't matter how much gray matter an elephant might be lugging around, it can't even begin to compare to the ~ 100 billion kg total for human species, even with all the issues with coordinating that mass.

And we're getting better at that coordination, too.

Comment: Re:cost analysis (Score 1) 87

by ultranova (#49124637) Attached to: Can Tracking Employees Improve Business?

The more enlightened employers also consider morale and mental health, not just as HR tokens, but as actual productivity tools

Most employers aren't enlightened, any more than most absolute monarchs of old were. Any relationship where one party wields power over the other is always going to become a black comedy. But that's okay; the lesson will be repeated as many times as humanity needs to have it pounded home.

Comment: Re:Do no evil... (Score 1) 285

by ultranova (#49120431) Attached to: Google Knocks Explicit Adult Content On Blogger From Public View

Google has ignored that line the minute they became a publicly traded company.

Which rises some interesting questions about the true nature of the stock market.

Every decision they make is how to benefit their stockholders.

No, because making censorship more socially acceptable through its omnipresence hurts stockholders too. What Google is maximizing is the value of holding Google stock: even if a decision hurts everyone, it's okay as long as it hurts stockholders less than non-stockholders.

Perhaps the ongoing collapse of our economic system is a blessing in disguise, freeing us from servitude to what's apparently a monster factory. Time will tell, I suppose.

Comment: Re:Sensational headline (Score 1) 147

by ultranova (#49116783) Attached to: Looking Up Symptoms Online? These Companies Are Tracking You

If a syphilis-infection, for example, increases one's danger of bankruptcy, his credit score should reflect that.

If syphilis increases one's danger of bankruptcy, then creditors can earn higher profits by having your credit scores reflect your syphilis status. But why should those potential profits trump your privacy?

Comment: Re:Universal developer rule... (Score 3, Insightful) 81

Build on a flood plain, make millions of dollars today, and let the tax payers pick up the bill after a catastrophic 100-year flood years later. Rinse, rebuild and repeat.

Seeing how those tax payers have spent 100 years eating cheap food from that fertile flood plain, and the bill only amounts to a tiny fraction of their direct savings - much less the increased economic opportunities inherent in a more populous nation - it works out quite nicely to everyone. Until, that is, someone starts making noices about taxes being stealing, the city remains a ruin, and everyone starves.

Comment: Re: Feminism HURTS families (Score 1) 126

by ultranova (#49113459) Attached to: Inside the Business of Online Reputation Spin

Other than the "ownership" hyperbole, you're right, regardless of the posterior plumbing of the douchebag.

The whole point of slapping - or other low-intensity violence - is to show the victim's very body is perpetrator's possession, to do with as they please. Please explain how describing this as ownership is hyperbolical?

Except the numbers show that, obviously, people do just that. And when a stronger target DOES hit back, the attacker takes more hurt than gives.

Half of population are below median intelligence. Bullies are no exception.

I used to agree with this just as vehemently as you seem to. When the bullies started coming up without a Y-chromosome, though, I'm sexist enough to content myself with discrediting them.

I'm sorry to hear that. Let's hope you get better soon.

Comment: Re: Feminism HURTS families (Score 1) 126

by ultranova (#49111805) Attached to: Inside the Business of Online Reputation Spin

A man who slaps around a woman is statistically much more likely to be punished in court, pilloried by the media, and basically served up to the metaphorical stake. A woman who permanently disfigures a man is fodder for a bunch of washed up old women on a TV talk show.

Just out of curiosity, what talk shows have so many women who disfigured a man and got away with it that you can make meaningful statistics about such appearances?

Also, while "slapping someone around" is not as serious as a fisthfight as far as medical consequences go, the implications are actually far nastier. It's not a fight between equals, it's some douchebag asserting their power - their ownership - over someone else. Because you don't slap someone who might punch back, precisely because it does nothing but anger the target, but only someone who you think is incapable of fighting back either physically or even legally. People engaging in such bullying absolutely should be made examples of, and deserve no one's sympathy when they are. Goddamn overgrown schoolyard bullies.

Comment: Re:Greek Myths (Score 1) 253

The problem is that there aren't any truly capitalist states, nor has one ever existed.

Then how do you know that

A truly capitalist state would be vastly more harmonious and progressive than most any other kind of state, the misery and repression begin when capitalism begins to slip into fascist corporatism.


If 20th century taught us anything, it's that ideologies that promise Earthly paradise in return for absolute obedience are extremely suspect.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 253

There's one problem it won't fix: the Greek debts to EU are not going to shift to the a currency just because Greece does. The debts to the rest of the EU will remain in Euros, and if the Greek "new Drachma" devalues massively compared to the Euro, the relative loan repayments in new Drachma will go up correspondingly.

And the reason a financially independent Greece would keep paying Euro loans is...?

Frankly, Euro was doomed from the beginning. As long as national currencies could float relative to each other deficits and surpluses balanced automatically through such adjustment. Euro scrapped this mechanism with replacing it with another, so now weakest EU nation goes bankrupt, then the next weakest, then the next, etc. Ultimately, they all serve as permanently indentured servants to the final victor (almost certainly Germany). Except of course they'll simply break away, returning their national currencies and declaring their Euro debt null and void.

Comment: Re:But CNN Said... (Score 1) 265

by ultranova (#49104453) Attached to: The Robots That Will Put Coders Out of Work

So what happens when we design an economy that doesn't need money?

Who's we? People with money aren't going to give up their power over other people. And those other people aren't going to give up their chance to become the oppressors themselves, even if the chance is purely hypothetical; American elections are proof enough of that.

Human evil is one problem technology can't overcome.

Comment: Re:What kind of counterfeits are they worried abou (Score 1) 207

by ultranova (#49101039) Attached to: Wired On 3-D Printers As Fraud Enablers

The part being copied would have to be something that is unavailable otherwise and/or very costly to be worth the time/effort to counterfeit it with a 3D printer.

Spare parts and specialty tools. I constantly find myself needing some weirdly shaped piece of plastic that's impossible to find anywhere.

Jewelry? Too much scrutiny applied there, too.

You do realize some people wear jewelry as ornamentation, and thus don't care if it has the right density of defects visible only when viewed with an electron microscope?

Comment: Re:It was a movie--duh (Score 1) 132

by ultranova (#49099711) Attached to: Why Hollywood Fudged the Relativity-Based Wormhole Scenes In Interstellar

If you are truly so ignorant to believe that the US moon landing is fake explain why we have been able to bounce lasers off specific spots on the moon since the late 60s.

Because Moon is a giant disco ball covered in space dust. The mirrored surface shines through in some places.

Comment: Re:Dilbert Complete (Score 1) 265

by ultranova (#49099687) Attached to: The Robots That Will Put Coders Out of Work

You are trying to replace humans, not Vulcans. Kirk ran the missions better than Spock because he could identify better with illogical and petty aliens.

Kirk ran the missions better because the writers were flattering the audience. In reality a rational machine will simply learn how humans actually react, not how they should react according to logic/economics/whatever.

Computer Science is merely the post-Turing decline in formal systems theory.