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Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 4, Insightful) 436

by ultranova (#48940807) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

I'd like to know who first got the public all excited about the terminator gene. It's obviously a self-regulating problem; if the terminator gene somehow crosses over into another population, those plants don't breed and they don't carry the gene forward.

Scenario: terminatored corn is widely succesful and replaces regular corn. Something bad happens to stop Monsanto from delivering more seends. What will the farmers plant? They can't use seeds from terminatored corn since they're infertile, and they can't plant regular corn seeds since they no longer have any. Mass starvation follows.

Planned obsolescence in vital systems is a really bad idea.

Comment: Re:I rather be a paranoid than be totally un-prepa (Score 4, Interesting) 103

by ultranova (#48929655) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

But it's all up to you guys. What I am telling you is what I, and many millions of older generation of Chinese had gone through --- we do not trust the authority, we do not trust anyone but ourselves

And neither did the people who did the killing in China. The idea, inherited from Lenin, was to have a small vanguard of professional revolutionaries guarding the masses - in your terminology, "sheeples" - under absolute authority of the Party. Mao and Stalin then took this idea to its logical conclusion.

What I'm saying is that calling people "sheeples" is inherently anti-democratic. You can't trust sheeples, after all. Also, no society can survive unless the majority of its members stay put most of the time, which seems to be the going definition of "sheeple". And so you can at most let them play at ruling themselves when nothing's at stake - but as soon as there's trouble on the horizon, it's time for the shepherds to take control. Which they did in China, and are trying to do in the US. The results speak for themselves.

It's a fine example of how cultural memes perpetuate themselves, even when it'd be better they didn't. Much as you might hate the Chinese government, you still carry its - for a lack of better word - spirit with you. And there's no easy way to get rid of it.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 1) 236

by ultranova (#48923813) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

Nicely done. That kind of self-loathing crap is always irritating to come across.

I never once said anything about myself. You may wish to examine your biases, the errors in interpretation they cause and whether these errors make you significantly less effective at achieving whatever goals you have.

Comment: No. (Score 5, Insightful) 227

by eldavojohn (#48923389) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

To be fair to Zuckerberg and Facebook, the company must obey the law of any country in which it operates.

No. He came out in support of a universal maxim and then went back to his board who showed him X dollars of income they get by operating in Turkey. Just like the revenue lost when Google left mainland China. Instead of sacrificing that revenue to some other social network in Turkey run by cowards, he became a coward himself in the name of money. It is an affront to the deaths and memory of the Charlie Hebdo editors. His refusal could have worked as leverage for social change in Turkey but now it will not.

So no, your statement isn't fair to Zuckerberg and his company and the platinum backscratcher he gets to keep with "TURKEY" inscribed on it. Fuck that greedy bastard and his petty meaningless lip service.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 5, Insightful) 236

by ultranova (#48920775) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

First, us humans prefer killing each other to science. This is a proven fact.

Really? How did the arrangements for that experience go? Subject gets to choose between a test tube or a bound assistant and a (hopefully fake) knife?

Second, humanity did not go from Horses to Nukes, a very very small percent of the population did it, those geniuses have everyone else standing on their coat-tails.

A small part of the population did experiments on uranium, while the rest mined that uranium, enriched it, built the roads that carried it from the mine to the lab, etc. Accusing a tailor of riding on the coattails he made is rather absurd.

The next leap will be by a very small group that is significantly more enlightened than the rest of the 99.95% of the population. If those people are benevolent, then everyone enjoys the fruits. If they are not....... Well, things can go very differently.

The invention to trigger the next leap will be by some group that is supported by others, allowing them to focus on something besides where their next meal will come from. After it has been made, it will be turned into something actually usable by other people, manufactured by yet others, distributed by yet other people along communication and transfer infrastructure built by, you guessed it, other people...

Heroic fantasies are just that: fantasies.

WE do not glorify learning, but instead glorify morons that can carry a ball, or can sing a tune. And we Vilify in society those that do love learning and are very smart.

People respect people who can provide something useful, be it entertainment, a focus for a cultural bonding event, or a cure for cancer. If you aren't respected as much as you think you deserve, it's usually because you aren't doing anything to earn it. Merely being smart and learned is no more worthy of respect than being richr; it's what you're doing with it that earns - or doesn't - the respect.

Honestly Humanity is a joke, almost a cancer. And if an advanced civilization stumbled across us, they would probably wipe us out to make the rest of the universe safer. We as a species love to hate others, we love murder, war, and control. WE thrive on hating those that are different or think or worship different.

Humans, in general, love thinking they're better than someone else, since that's easier than self-improvement. Sometimes that manifests as merely dismissing the entire species as "riding on the coattails" of a special few ubermenschen, and sometimes the delusion reaches the point of wanting to get rid of some specific group of perceived parasites. Either way, it's bullshit.

Comment: Re: This doesn't sound... sound (Score 2) 327

by ultranova (#48917669) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Unless they intend to get forgiveness... or default. I am not sure that Greece is "too big to fail" where they can do that.

It is. EU is not a nation, it's a collection of nations, and "European identity" is weak at best. Anti-EU movements are already growing, and won't have any trouble taking power if it starts to look like EU is a threat to the nations people actually identity with.

Comment: Re: Honestly... (Score 5, Insightful) 327

by ultranova (#48916863) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

This certainly explains the observed tendency of economies to collapse randomly no matter how they're run.

However, unlike in game economies, decisions in real economies affect people in addition to economy. Even if austerity actually was a cure to euro's problems, it cannot continue without destroying EU itself. People aren't going to tolerate endless misery just to boost some number, no matter how necessary politicians (who don't share the misery) deem it.

Either EU gets euro to work without austerity, or it has to abandon it. Demanding sacrifices from the common people who's reward is having less say in their own local affairs is quickly discrediting the entire union.

Comment: Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (Score 1) 209

by ultranova (#48915671) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

I see people who act like mindless robots when it comes to politics,

"Act like mindless robots" is a bit vague. Can you detail what it entails and how you've studied it?

You did actually study the reasoning behind political behaviour and not just conclude that because your candidate lost, people must be idiots?

fail to understand mathematics, believe in magical sky daddies for which there is no evidence,

People typically hold metaphysical positions based on personal subjective experience and channel these through whatever cultural imagery is available. Obnoxious as the result can be, the strawman of "magical sky fairy" has nothing to do with it.

and do all sorts of other tremendously illogical and irrational things despite the education we attempt to give them; that makes me conclude that most people are hopeless.

Illogical, such as jumping to conclusions the evidence does not warrant? Given the rather obviously non-sequiter nature of ("There exist education that isn't working, therefore no education can") I can only assume you're holding it for irrational reasons, such as egomania.

Trying to psychoanalyze other people over the Internet just makes you look like an idiot in my eyes. It isn't even relevant to the conversation.

...This one's so obvious I'm not even going to bother.

+ - Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A turnover in the Greek government resulted from recent snap elections placing SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) in power — just shy of an outright majority by two seats. Atheist and youngest Prime Minister in Greek history since 1865 Alexis Tsipras has been appointed the new prime minister and begun taking immediate drastic steps against the recent austerity laws put in place by prior administrations. One such step has been to appoint Valve's economist Yanis Varoufakis to position of Finance Minister of Greece. For the past three years Varoufakis has been working at Steam to analyze and improve the Steam Market but now has the opportunity to improve one of the most troubled economies in the world."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (Score 1) 209

by ultranova (#48914457) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

There were plenty of kids who knew how to write "10 PRINT FART; 20 GOTO 10" or who typed in listings from magazines, and I agree that programming at that level is probably accessible to most people - but you can't equate that level of programming with modern software development.

But you also can't equate being able to read and write these comments - or baking instructions, street signs, or whatever - with writing "War and Peace", "The Lord of the Rings" or $your_favourite_book. "Modern software development" has very little to do with being able to quickly piece together a script to, say, unzipping all the archives in a directory to subdirectories named after themselves, or parsing a file, or customizing a web page with Greasemonkey, or whatever.

Any interface that isn't Turing complete is going to lead users wasting their time doing the same mechanical thing over and over and over again. And any that is, is programming by definition.

Comment: Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (Score 1) 209

by ultranova (#48914315) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

Coding is a job description, and an increasingly blue collar one like plumber or electrician at that.

Programming large systems is a job description. Ability to make small scripts and macros is an utility skill. Everyone needs to know how to unclog a toilet or change a lightbulb without frying themselves, even if they aren't electricians.

This whole push by giant corporations to get into schools (!) is simply a means for them to reduce future worker salaries and ensure a steady supply of bright young idiots all fresh'n'ready to be abused and burned out.

As opposed to being useless and thus unemployable. Let's face it: the kids are screwed.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 2, Informative) 462

It will eventually get to the point where you're not actually buying the game,

Eventually? You haven't ever bought a game, merely a license to use it. Ubisoft seems hell-bent on demonstrating why, exactly speaking, this is a bad thing. I honestly can't tell if the whole company is doing some kind of performance art or executing a serious business strategy at this point.

But it's okay. We're due for another video game crash. Let bullshit burn.

Comment: Re:That's a nice democracy you have there... (Score 4, Insightful) 392

Now, boy, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way.

Which is a trap. The only way to defeat evil is to force it to reveal its true face. Intelligence agencies would very much love to have everyone pretend having their mail opened and read is okay; it's when people refuse to go along with the lie when the ugly truth comes out.

And it will only get uglier from here.

Comment: Rumor: Fox Is Planning an X-Files Revival (Score 1) 476

by eldavojohn (#48904215) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?
In the news recently are rumors that Carter, Anderson and Duchovny will reunite for new X-Files episodes. Fox has sorta confirmed this.

I own all the DVDs, a couple years ago I rewatched them. I may come off as a rabid fan at times but the background music was atrociously horrid. Also the story arc plot became overly convoluted and impossible to explain at times. That said, one of the most convoluted characters (Krycek) was my favorite. Aside from several minor valid criticisms like that, I really think it's a great platform for modern storytelling.

I do have to ask myself, at times, if there is some level of insane conspiracy theory today that we owe at least in part to those people watching X-Files when younger. I have to admit that the 9/11 inside job truthers movement claims could have been ripped from the pages of an X-Files script.

My biggest concern, of course, is whether or not it could still be fresh. With recent high quality additions to television canon, we'd have to be prepared for Chris Carter coming back at us with a 90's angle when episodes like Home really aren't as shocking anymore. The bar has been raised (thankfully).

Right now, The X-Files is going to occupy a contextual place in television history like The Twilight Zone. A revival could very well tarnish that. On the other hand, I've never felt like I really received closure on the whole story arc ...

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire