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Comment: He is linking homeopathy to astrology (Score 5, Insightful) 297

by abies (#49126845) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

"Ninety per cent of pregnant French women use homeopathy. Astrology is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart."

At first, I have failed to see the common ground between homeopathy and astrology - these two sentences sounded completely unrelated. But they are actually related - it says
"90% of French women are gullible enough to fall for homeopathy. This means that most of them are stupid enough to also believe astrology crap, so market is ripe"

Comment: Re: Gamma burst (Score 1) 201

by abies (#49125987) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

This is not that obvious.
If hypernova expode 5 LY away from us and points gamma ray burst at us, we boil away.
If 'normal' nova expodes 10000LY away from us, then we we hardly notice that.

Between nova, supernova and hypernova and 5, 600 and 10000LY there is a lot of difference. I was hoping for some more exact data about Betelgeuse in particular...

Comment: Re:disclosure (Score 4, Insightful) 437

by abies (#49104433) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests

Sometimes it is 'later' enough to influence entire generation of people in doing wrong or useless things. For example salt in food
One wrong study done in 70ties and entire generation of people were scared from using salt. Bluff was called 20 years later but it took _another_ 20 years to officially admit 70ties findings were completely wrong - and I suppose another 20 years are needed before 'salt if white death' people will finally die out.
I think similar thing (other direction) happened with tabacco.

Climate is complicated enough that it is not really an 'objective reality'. Given all the possibilities of handpicking data points and applying arbitrary correction factors, you can manipulate data in subtle ways, rather than blatantly fake it. And as it is complicated enough that normal people cannot really doublecheck data, we are left to believe the 'consensus'.

Comment: Re:Consume fiction (Score 1) 289

I had same social issues - having to learn how people emotions work by reasoning and hard trial and error. Spending concious effort on 'how I would feel about what I'm saying if I'm on the other side' game with each sentence I'm speaking. Learning to play that game in first place after observing people are showing unexplained emotional distress after something I said.
Said that, I don't think it is autism or asperger. It IS part of asperger, but I think you need multiple other issues to be classified so - repetitive behaviours, _lack of interest in fiction_, atypical speech patterns, motoric issues, sleep issues etc.

As somebody already mentioned in comments, spectrum goes like that
with assholes too often diagnosed or self-diagnosed to be further down the spectrum, because either them or their peers do not care.

Fortunately, I was growing up in times and country where people who were not following strict ethical code of politically correct expectations were not medicated or sent for counseling. Or being suspended on terrorist charges.

Comment: Eve Online in real world (Score 2) 148

by abies (#49020901) Attached to: Alleged Bitcoin Scam Leaves Millions Missing

I think that everybody who wants to play with bitcoins should first play a year or two of Eve Online. This can teach a lot about dangers of unregulated virtual currency at fraction of cost. From that point on you will approach all financial transactions with question "HOW they want to scam me?" rather than "Is there a chance it might be not as good as they promise? Naaah, somebody would say something if it is a scam."

Comment: To interpret Swift rank properly (Score 1) 192

by abies (#48987355) Attached to: JavaScript, PHP Top Most Popular Languages, With Apple's Swift Rising Fast

From the chart they have presented:
- Swift is less popular on github that Emacs Lisp and Lua and considerably less popular than VimL
- Swift is about same popular on stack overflow as Assembly, ColdFusion, Dephi and Powershell

Too bad they don't provide raw numbers. Currently Swift is ranked at '75' while Javascript is ranked as '100'. What it really means that there are 1,161,994 repositories marked as javascript, and 17,413 repositories maked as Swift. Pascal, which has '50' in that axis has 4348 projects.

Comment: Ship of Theseus (Score 2) 135

by abies (#48903511) Attached to: DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update

Minecraft is written in java. How many usable DirectX bindings do you know for java?
Of course, they can as well rewrite Minecraft from the scratch in C++ or C# and port it to DirectX at same time. And maybe change the name. And gameplay. And developer team. And make it runnable only on Windows.
At this point, discussion stops to be technical and starts to be philosophical - if they rewrite every single part of it, is it still same game?

Comment: Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (Score 1) 145

by abies (#48874923) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Could Move

Not kill. Try to reduce population in 100 year horizon. Stop society which is dependent on population growth to maintain itself.

People are saying 'with such and such technologies and reducing useless consumption, Earth can sustain n (10,15,50) billions of people'. Sure. But what for? I don't think that we should test limits of Earth. There is no reason to have 10 billion people, even if we can. We should ask ourselfs, what is the minimal amount of population which gives enough stability, protection from plagues and other disasters and can produce enough science output to go forward to next stage evolution/colonization/whatever.

I think that 1-2 billions of people on well balanced world can produce a lot more science output than 10 billions fully driven by requirements of sustenance.

We need to colonize universe - we cannot keep all eggs in single basket. Direct colonization by sending billions of people on starships is just not going to happen - energy costs are too high. For me, hard AI, mind upload and heavy bioengineering (growing modified organizms and bodies tailored for target environment) is only remotely possible way of achieving it (2 of these are probably enough). But to achieve that, you need a lot of research and very stable base for hundreds of years. It will NOT solve population problem, it will not solve resource issue. Earth as a civiliasation center is going to die. I think that we should aim for having it running for tens of thousands of years with smaller population (but big enough to expand scientifically), rather than burning out in few hundred years with all the efforts in meantime spent on maintaing that population.

Obviously, realist in me knows that it will never happen. It would require world-wide totalitarian government with no revolution of 'populists' and if such government appears, it will spend effort in preserving and strengthening itself rather than any external goals.

Comment: Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (Score 1) 145

by abies (#48874293) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Could Move

10 bilions is number which they are forecasting assuming current mode of development/civilisation - which is scenario a). Main limiting factor of population growth here is education/freedom of women in developed world. It doesn't matter if birth control is working - it is important if women are allowed to use it and if they actually care. If your only role in life is childbearing, you might not even consider that.

My stab at 15 billions (which is of course random number, just want to make it bigger than 10 billion) is that if we go into fully green/sustainable model at reduced consumption, sacrificing development/science and giving priority to 'life' and humanity, is that IMHO, we will degrade culture wise in these aspects. Focus will move to critical things - farming, _basic_ healthcare, environment protection, while sacrificing things like people mobility, global communication, freedom, etc. I expect that closed, smaller communities will then start perceiving role and rights of women bit differently. We will go from 35-year old single ladies with birth-control jumping parties in big cities back to big Mormon-like families, with women being responsible for the house and child bearing. At the same time, reasonable basic healthcare and hugely improved farming will allow population growth higher than it was possible back in earlier ages.

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose