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Comment Re:TRS-80 Basic (Score 3, Interesting) 78

That's actually how I learnt to code as a child, using MSX-BASIC. I'm now 40 and still using MSX computers (real hardware, though the emulators are useful for development).

If you're interesting in learning to code for these things (they're Z80-based, like the TRS-80), I'm writing a course about coding with the MSX-C compiler. 26 chapters released so far:

Comment Re:Won't someone think of hurting the children?? (Score 4, Insightful) 261

In the same universe where we don't just pat them on the head and say "isn't that sweet" when they do other illegal things that they should know are wrong.

You're an idiot, there's no other way to explain your way of thinking.

A 14-year boy is still a boy. He's still learning how to behave, making mistakes and learning from them. He sent a naked photo of himself to a girl. SO FUCKING WHAT? Talk to the parents and let them explain to him why that's not acceptable. It's their responsibility to raise the child and educate him to be able to function in society.

You're arguing that it's acceptable to have laws that give children who make mistakes a criminal record. No, these laws are not acceptable, and they're a sign of how idiotic and shortsighted our society is becoming. People like you are the problem.

Comment Re:Artifacts (Score 1) 129

This changed over time, to where they tinkered with dropping the quest entirely and making it an ultra rare end boss drop (Burning Crusade), a steadier but more grindy quest (Lich King, Cataclysm) to the model they have now, where basically everyone and their brother who does enough raids (even on the lowest possible difficulty) will eventually earn the artifact.

Exactly. This is probably the biggest factor in making me leave WoW. It used to be that you used whatever gear you could get your hands on (as a holy paladin my toon used to wear some cloth items to increase spell power). There was more diversity, and you could very well estimate the skill and accomplishments of someone by looking at his gear. Then they introduced the token system, and after a little while everybody was wearing the same gear.

I played since vanilla all the way through MoP. I got an invite for the WoD beta and logged in once, but didn't bother after that.

Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 1) 203

You only need to know how individual neurons work in order to produce artificial ones, and a process to replace existing ones with artificial ones. You certainly don't need to understand how the mind works in order to gradually transfer consciousness from a biological brain to an artificial one.

You're basically right, though practically... in order to transfer the program on a computer while it's running, when it has not been built with the ability to transfer, (no copy command!) you'd need to know (as a bare minimum,) the physical structure of the computer, or brain in this case. You'd need to make a neuron-by-neuron copy, since one of the ways in which the brain is unlike a conventional, digital electronic computer,...


Your assumption is not correct, and the rest of your post, being based in an incorrect assumption, is also wrong. The brain doesn't need to "have been built" with the ability to transfer or copy itself, and we don't need a perfect, "neuron-by-neuron" copy. Brain cells die and are born every day by the thousands and we do just fine.

We don't need to know and understand the whole physical structure of the brain, and we certainly don't need to understand the mind. We only need to understand and be able to replicate the components the brain is made of: neurons. If you can replicate a neuron, and manage to develop a process to replace existing ones (granted, with all their axons and connections), then you can gradually completely replace a natural brain with an artificial one, without impact to the mind it supports.

Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 1) 203

I agree with you to an extent -- consciousness is processing sensory information and stored memories -- but what is unconsciousness? It's more than being "off"/dead, but it's less than being conscious. I'd love to be able to sleep only when I wanted (and always when I wanted, for that matter), but we don't really know much about what sleep is, and yet most living creatures spend a significant amount of time doing it.

I don't know the processes of the conscious/unconscious mind. I could try and guess, but without a background in neurology that would be pointless.

In any case, that doesn't matter for the purpose of gradually replacing a natural brain with an artificial one.

Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 1) 203

He wasn't talking about awareness or sentience, those are what you are talking about. He was talking about consciousness (the experiencing of existence/environment). For instance; an AI built on current cpus etc could potentially be aware or even sentient but it could never be conscious,

You're confusing terms. Awareness implies consciousness. I guess you meant something different. Can you please explain again?

... it could never actually experience existence such as the color blue, because there is nothing in a cpu designed to produce physical consciousness.

There is nothing in you with the purpose of generating consciousness either. It just emerges from the interaction of billions of neurons.

Perhaps once the physical components and required conditions for consciousness are fully known and verified we could create a system where a digital mind is connected to the consciousness device and a feedback loop created to simulate us. But until then no.

I disagree. And your proposed solution (single-step mind transfer to an external device) will mean death for the original mind anyway.

Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 2) 203

Obviously science has not progressed far enough to know how to model the human brain in a computer, or else we would probably be doing it already. So I guess I concede that we can't transfer the human brain yet, but I never said we could. But it is silly to believe we won't figure this out eventually. I would be surprised if it takes us 50 years.

I was only responding to the idea that if you transfer your brain to another medium, the old you dies. This is potentially true, but very unlikely. People can lose large portions of their brain without dying, and if those portions were replaced with synthetic computing devices I don't think anyone would think the old them has died.

That "replaced bit-by-bit" shit doesn't even fly at car auctions. There's no chance in hell close-minded idiots like me would accept a fully-replaced human as the original.


Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 2) 203

Which part of the brain holds your conscious self?
There is no scientific explanation for the phenomenon of consciousness - no theory about how it arises, not even a definition of what qualifies.

Consciousness is an emergent property of having a bunch of neurons together. Get enough neurons interacting and processing sensory data, and you get consciousness.

You cannot transfer consciousness without know what it is and how it works.

Bullshit. You only need to know how individual neurons work in order to produce artificial ones, and a process to replace existing ones with artificial ones. You certainly don't need to understand how the mind works in order to gradually transfer consciousness from a biological brain to an artificial one.

Comment Re:"Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt... (Score 2) 274

I completely agree. I'm fluent in four languages: Spanish, Catalan, English and Japanese, the first two native, plus I can understand (but not speak) Italian, Portuguese and French because they aren't that different from Spanish and Catalan.

I can see how at least in my case, learning how some constructs work in one language has helped me understand things about another.

It's also true that the language used to express yourself in a given situation affects the way you think about it, because of what you can and can't express, and the limits each language imposes on how you can communicate.

Often, when I talk to my bi/trilingual friends we find ourselves changing languages mid-sentence and speaking in a mix of them, not because we don't know how to say something in English or Japanese, but because sometimes it's either easier or more accurate to use one language over the other.

Porsche: there simply is no substitute. -- Risky Business