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Comment: Absolutely (Score 2) 408

by Will Steinhelm (#39967247) Attached to: Positive Bias Could Erode Public Trust In Science
I work in optics and computer vision, and investigate research papers on a regular basis. In the majority of the papers I read the methods proposed either only work for the specific example in the paper (some don't even do that), or only work under such "ideal" circumstances that they barely work under lab conditions, much less real world cases. There are a few gems, but you can tell that much of what is published is just written so someone gets that degree or that quota to reach tenure. Prior to working at this job, my trust in published research was much higher. Now my tendency is to treat it all as garbage until it proves itself otherwise.

Comment: Big Ideas are there; he just doesn't see them (Score 1) 368

by Will Steinhelm (#37105836) Attached to: The Post-Idea World
If the author thinks that a big idea looks like "Marx or a Nietzsche," he's going to be waiting a while. The definition of a "big idea" is that it is novel and game-changing, but based on the examples he gives in the article it appears that what the author is really lamenting is that the world no longer sees the philosophies that excited him in his formative years as new and exciting. I'm not arguing for or against the validity of the examples he gives, but rather that they have matured and are by no means on the front lines of new ideas. Maybe he's just getting old.

Comment: Let's list some truths that science can't answer: (Score 1) 536

by Will Steinhelm (#34921302) Attached to: Cosmological Constant Not Fine Tuned For Life
1) Science deals only with the natural world. Science can't prove there is or isn't anything beyond the natural world 2) Metaphysical truths such as "The external world is real" vs. "we're all just a consciousness in a vacuum" 3) Ethics "Theft is wrong" 4) Aesthetics 5) The unproven assumptions of science itself: eg. assertion of constancy of speed of light in a vacuum... you have to assume it to espouse the theory 6) Mathematical postulates and axioms 7) Your implication that "Only scientifically proven answers are worthwhile" can't even be proven scientifically...

Comment: Dangerous sign here! (Score 1) 997

by Will Steinhelm (#34874068) Attached to: Are 10-11 Hour Programming Days Feasible?
How many hours per week are you going to work to try and find a technical answer to a business problem? I've been in a startup or two in my time, and I must say that you can't create enough features to make up for a bad business plan! There are hard questions that need answers here: 1) Why is your software not selling with the features the business plan originally called for? Is the software too expensive for the target market? Does the software solve a problem the target market doesn't really have? 2) Do you have more reliable knowledge of the target market with the new feature set than you did with the original? Or, are you shooting in the dark? 3) Do you have a list of customers who will be interested in the software once a new set of features are created? 4) If you think the software is valuable, are there other business-related reasons why it's not selling? Bad licensing? Unattractive terms? My experience is that bloating software no one is buying with features just creates bloated software that no one is buying. There is something more fundamental that is wrong here.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

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