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Comment Re:Don't contact aliens. Don't. (Score 1) 184

Aliens that find us will probably be so much more advanced than we are, they'll put us in their zoo, or they'll eat us. There should be a law against contacting intelligent alien life forms.

No. No they wouldn't.

If aliens had the technology to make the interstellar trek to us in any reasonable time frame, then they have moved well beyond the want or need for imprisoning and/or consuming random life they encounter. It's also unlikely that they would want or need Earth for resources, as they would have the technology to easily gather what they need from any number of uninhabited worlds throughout the galaxy. Not only that, but it's also likely that they have moved beyond inconveniences like mortality.

At best, an advanced alien species capable of interstellar travel would find us to be a curiosity. With their technology, wiping out humans, and indeed all life on Earth, would be trivial. They wouldn't need an army or death star like weapon. All they'd need to do is find a nice asteroid an aim it at Earth. Or if they wanted subtle they could engineer a super virus/nano-death-machines and surreptitiously drop it over a major population center.

Or maybe they would just sit back and wait for us to destroy ourselves, since we seem pretty hellbent on doing that. If your practically immortal, then waiting a hundred or a thousand years for a barely conscious species to self-destruct really isn't that big of a deal, and may even provide some level of entertainment.

In short, there really isn't any reason for an advanced alien race to be hostile towards us, intentionally or otherwise.

Comment Re:Because it was written in Seastar or C++ (Score 1) 341

...C isn't a bad language to do *anything* in. It's just a language that requires you to be competent, or better, and to address it through the lens of that competence in order to get enough out of it to make the result and the effort expended worth the candle.

This statement says nothing. You can replace C with anything. Programmer competency far outweighs language choice, and a competent programmer will choose the appropriate tools to get the job done well.

C's key inherent characteristics are portability,

Hardly. Yeah, hypothetically if you stick 100% to ANSI standards then the code should hypothetically be portable, but pretty much every C/C++ code I've ever worked with/built/etc. is not 100% ANSI compliant. Macros galore permeate cross-platform C/C++ code. It is an exceptionally rare occurrence when I can take a pure C code written on Linux, bring it over to Windows, and compile and run it successfully without modifications. Meanwhile, I can take a python script I wrote on OS X and run it on Windows, Linux, etc. without issue.

There's a big difference between something that can be MADE portable and something that IS portable.

leanness and close-to-the-metal speed.

Good qualities to be sure. But most applications don't require "close to the metal" speeds for anything but key components. Use the appropriate tools for the job. Yes, hypothetically you can write entire web applications in C/C++, but it certainly isn't the smartest way to go about it.

It doesn't hold your hand.

No language "holds your hand". Some languages attempt to reduce some common types of programming errors (built-in garbage collection, exceptions, etc.). But no language is going to make an incompetent programmer competent. You can just as easily shoot yourself in the foot with Python or Java, but in some cases it might be a little harder to pull the trigger.

It's a language for experienced, skilled programmers when we're talking about creating actual products that are expected to perform in the wild.

Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean it's practical. If I'm staffing up a major web development effort, I'm not going to hire someone who claims they're going to do the whole thing in C. Similarly, if I need to develop a fluid dynamic model to run on super computers I'm not going to hire someone who says they're going to do it all in Python.

Comment Re:A Clear Sign That AGW Is A Lie (Score 1, Interesting) 737

When you have to file lawsuits to silence your opposition, that's the clearest possible sign that you are not a scientist, and what you're doing is nothing CLOSE to being a "science".

They're not "silencing the opposition". Learn to read. They're going after companies with a long history of funding bullshit at the behest of whatever companies stand to lose money because science shows that they're pissing in the pool.

This kind of crap has been happening for DECADES. It happens anytime researchers demonstrates that some company or group of companies are doing damage. Said companies then go out and higher various firms to start pumping out the bullshit so they can keep polluting/slave/labor/whatever is stuffing their pockets. They did this with leaded gasoline, asbestos, acid rain, etc. This is neither the first nor the last time something like this will happen. AGW is just the flavor of the month.

Comment Re:Science! (Score 2) 737

So, you opposed the RICO investigation (1999-2006) of the so-called "science" which said that cigarettes are safe?

Yes. The way to counter speech that you disagree with, is not censorship, but MORE SPEECH. It is especially effective if you can back up your speech with data.

Well if you are just talking about speech, then sure. But this isn't about speech. This is about organized attempts at burying scientific fact under piles of FUD so that certain companies can continue to profit while causing harm.

This isn't anything new. There is a very long history of companies doing this. Leaded gasoline, CFCs, smoking, acid rain. I've seen this movie many times. AGW just happens to be the latest target, and you can be certain that it won't be the last.

Comment Re:Programmed behaviour is programmed behaviour. (Score 4, Insightful) 451

Computers follow rules. Humans (a.k.a every other asshole on the road) do not.

This is a no win situation. If you program a car to drive safely and follow rules, then it won't be safe on roads because of all the assholes who don't. If you program the car to behave more like an asshole ( a human driver), then it won't be safe since there's a good chance it will make the wrong call. If you program the car to just account for assholes but still drive safely, then it will basically choke in situations like a four way stop in southern California where every other asshole will just muscle or roll their way through the stop.

The long pole in the tent isn't developing an AI capable of driving. It's developing an AI that can deal with assholes.

Comment Re:So it's not unlimited, then... (Score 4, Insightful) 346

I'm starting to get tired of this mentality from service providers that, just because someone is using their services in ways they didn't expect, they're somehow 'abusing' the service. If you advertise the service as unlimited, it should be unlimited. You shouldn't care that I'm using it to torrent or do whatever.

If you can't provide a truly unlimited service, don't advertise it

I believe that these "unlimited plans" were making the assumption that people aren't assholes. That's a terrible assumption to make.

Most user's aren't going to run torrents on their phones. In fact, I'm almost certain that type of use case wasn't even considered when they decided on the "unlimited plan" idea. They were probably only looking at the "average" use case with some deviation boundaries. But then along comes the spider that is Joe/Jane Torrent, who blows all usage estimation out of the water and screws over everyone else in an area by using his/her phone as an internet hub.

Companies should know better by now. Offer an "unlimited" anything and there will always be some part of the population who will use it in ways that will demonstrate just how stupid that idea was.

Comment Re:So now we have a new paradox... (Score 3, Insightful) 172

You don't understand the concept and made ASSumptions based on a generalized analogy that isn't even wholly correct, then proclaim that he's an idiot.

Are you running for office?

Regardless, how about a different analogy that might might make this more clear.

You have an egg. You drop it. The egg hits the floor. It vanishes. Do you still have an egg? Nope.

You have an egg. You drop it. The egg splatters on the floor. Do you still have an egg? Yep.

The former is how black holes were thought to work. The problem is that if black holes really worked that way it would cause some rather odd things to occur. We haven't observed these really odd things, which implies that black holes don't operate that way.

The latter is how they operate according to the new work. The egg may not be in the same form, but it didn't "vanish". You didn't "lose" anything. It's just in a different form. Sure, it may not be anything more than a mess on your floor. It may not be useful for anything other than a Fido snack. But it doesn't change the fact that the egg is still there.

Comment Re:We already have a great tool (Score 1) 127

Plants... they consume CO2, which seems to be the big issue in climate change.

How about projects to plant more plants in cities globally? Like forcing coal-powered power plants to surround their plant with plants? Plan to plant more plants in your plants.


That will jack shit because you and others like you have absolutely no concept of scale. If you completely covered every square meter of earth the densest fast growing trees, you wouldn't even come close to counteracting a single year's worth of carbon emissions. And I don't mean just the land. I mean even square meter of surface area. We're burning through the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of years worth of ancient global forests, grasslands, etc. every year. No amount of greenery is going to counteract that.

Worse, it doesn't even fix the problem even IF it were possible to plant enough. It just kicks the can down the road. Any plants or trees you plant eventually die. When they die, the decompose releasing methane, CO2, and a host of other carbon based compounds. The carbon doesn't just magically vanish. It goes right back into the global carbon cycle.

And that's the problem with these so-called geoengineering "solutions". They're not solutions. They're hacks. Even if they could work on a global scale they treat the symptoms, and not the problems. Worse, it's likely any such hacks will cause other issues.

Sorry, but we're long passed the point of possibly fixing the problem. And geohacking so we can keep taking hits of the fossil fuel crack pipe is dangerous as well as stupid. We need to come up with plans for adaptation, reduction in fossil fuel usage, and sustainability.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre