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Comment: Re:They solved the frame problem? (Score 2) 242

by alba7 (#40420281) Attached to: Strong AI and the Imminent Revolution In Robotics

Well, the fascinating thing about human "anxiety" is that it scales. If you replace the time bomb with an ordinary cup of coffee then humans will be anxious about spilling the coffee. If, instead, you set up a scenario of certain death (think of movies like "Crank" or "Die Hard") then humans will think about crazy uses for the time bomb. This situational awareness is incredibly hard to reproduce algorithmically.

Comment: Re:Why is this even an issue? (Score 1) 314

Blame? really? Last time I checked, people have a free choice as to what field they want to work/study in. If women choose not to do CS then its entirely their choice. No one is to blame.

Spoken like the ignorant white middle class male you most likely are. Last time you checked? That would be never, you're not paying any fucking attention.

I've heard the same thing at the office from various women, you aren't going to attract quality workers to a field by overselling it or forcing them into it.

What? You did hear from various women that they would have liked to pick CS but were driven off by sexism? Wow.

Cause me experience is different. No feminist would ever admit that studying political sciences, philosophy, or gender studies was not her one and only wish. It's always the other women who made the wrong choice (under force), but never themselves.

Comment: Re:Functional languages - whats the point? (Score 2) 93

by alba7 (#40358407) Attached to: Erlang and OpenFlow Together At Last

Of course there is nothing really stopping you from writing functional code in any language. It's just that notationally, functional languages make it much easier. In the same way, you could write object oriented code in any language, but the verbosity would negate it's usefulness.

By definition, functional languages require complex, structured return types. Typically implementations use nested lists (where items are referenced by position) or nested hashes (where items are referenced by name). It's not hard to implement these data structures in simple languages like C, but as you said, the verbosity would negate it's usefulness.

But anyway, the problems with functional ideoms only start at this point. To take a made-up example in Perl syntax:

sub foo($) {
return $_[0] == 1
? { key => +1, value => bar() }
: { key => -1, value => baz() };

What is the return type of foo? Without looking at the implementation of bar and baz you cannot tell. Functional languages make it very hard to separate interface and implementation. It takes a lot of support by the run-time systems and development tools to make up for it.

Comment: Re:Not smart Enough? (Score 1) 1276

by alba7 (#39251539) Attached to: Scientists Say People Aren't Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish
How old are the people that trust Fox News more than anything else?
How old are the people that vote for candidates because they claim to be born again?
How old are the people that believe that earth was created 6000 years ago?

Looking things up on Wikipedia is a tremendous improvement.
Or in other words: there is really not much the Baby Boomers can be proud of.

Comment: Re:So says the religious guy. (Score 1) 1237

by alba7 (#39122543) Attached to: Santorum Calls Democrats 'Anti-Science'

Being an atheist requires the same amount of faith as being a Christian, Muslim, etc.

  • Christian: I we follow the rules stated in the Bible then we will be saved in afterlife.
  • Muslim: If we follow the rules stated in Koran then we will have a paradisiac afterlife.
  • Atheist: Come on guys, your rules make no sense.

You must be really braindead to think that rejecting rules is the same as imposing rules.

Comment: Re:So says the religious guy. (Score 1) 1237

by alba7 (#39122483) Attached to: Santorum Calls Democrats 'Anti-Science'

In a sense, no amount of Scotland yard's science can catch Moriarity, only Holmes' science.

Your analogy is subtly flawed. Catching Moriarity would be equivalent to overpowering God. That's Voodoo or Satanism, but not science.

Also, the purely theoretical question "Is there some evil genius calling himself Moriarity" is just that: purely theoretical.

The real issue is whether some specific, observable crime was caused by this evil genius, or not.

Comment: Re:Math is hard (Score 1) 472

by alba7 (#38363872) Attached to: New Study Concludes Math Gender Gap Is Cultural, Not Biological
Searching exotic places for exceptional behavior to prove that a rule is not a rule (since you found an exception) is not very convincing. Where are all these nerdy girls, whose existence refutes our prejudices? Why are there almost no female programmers involved in open source projects?

Comment: Re:Don't underestimate the energy of small asteroi (Score 5, Informative) 183

by alba7 (#36572160) Attached to: Asteroid To Pass Near Earth On Monday

Quoting the fine article: "But there's no chance that the asteroid will hit Earth on this approach, and almost no risk at its next close approach, in 2022. If the asteroid did strike, it would probably explode in the upper atmosphere — a fine spectacle, but harmless."

Comment: Western Europe is crowded, fragmented (Score 1, Interesting) 695

by alba7 (#35650314) Attached to: Europe Plans To Ban Petrol Cars From Cities By 2050

and too far in the north.
In other words, a rather bad place to live and do agriculture.
But then this permanent disadvantage has become our strength.
We have to do things right, because we don't have the space for "badlands".
We have to do things efficient, because we don't have resources to waste.
And while cultural diversity makes trade difficult, it also serves as a constant reminder that there is more than one way to do it.

In the long run the economy flourishes when it has to overcome challenges.
European cars are superior because fuel is expensive.
American cars are crap, because GM has no ambition.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James