Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Matlab (Score 1) 147

by arth1 (#49516449) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

And there was much bitching about how everything was so indirect and hard to figure out exactly what was going on. Of course, this was before there were good debuggers and direct compilers.

I think the point was that one should know exactly what was going on before it was run, and being able to follow the low-level flow by looking at the source without "and then, magic occurs" moments.

Simula and Ada were arguably much better languages for understanding exactly what was going on, being as unforgiving as leather clad mistresses, but "C with classes" won out because it was so similar to C. C++ is great, but it does give the programmers enough rope to hang themselves with, while obscuring what's really going on behind the scenes.

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 565

You're statement that the death penalty "will have no effect on whether a murder will happen or not" is flawed when your only example is the person who committed murder despite the death penalty.

What part of "Almost all murders happen either in affect, or in a situation where the perpetrator thinks he can get away with it" did you fail to understand? Those two types of murders is not impacted by whether there's a death penalty or not.

A couple of less common murder types are also not affected:
- Those who seek martyrdom. Actually, I think many of those would prefer there being a death penalty.
- Those who seek to go out in a blaze of glory, i.e. never be tried and sentenced.

So what murders, exactly, are affected? Who are those who will kill if there's a life sentence, but not if there's a death penalty? Statistics don't show lessened murder rates for states with capital punishment, so who are those people?

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 4, Informative) 565

How many prison sentences have been reversed after the last appeal was over ?

Quite a few. Like when new exculpatory evidence comes to light, like someone else confessing, or recanting the testimony that led to the conviction, or new or improved technologies can determine innocence.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, from 1973 until today, 152 people have been exonerated after being sentenced to death. Unfortunately, many of them were executed before being exonerated.
Without the death sentence, many more innocents would be alive.

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 4, Insightful) 565

There is no logical difference between execution and murder versus imprisonment and kidnapping.

Except that one of them is irreversible.
A -> B vs A -> B, X? B-> A

By your comprehension of logic, there is no logical difference between my beating you and my beating you to death either.

Comment: Re:An alternative to the death penalty (Score 1) 565

*[Yes, I do appreciate that 'murder' implies an unlawful taking of human life.]

And I appreciate that you used appreciate correctly in the lesser known meaning of the word.

Anyhow, there is a case for capital punishment inflating the death toll even when not counting the capital punishment itself. If you face a likely death penalty, there is no incentive for you to not kill others. Killing others, like witnesses, can then be rationalized by it reducing the risk of getting caught, and thus die.
I have a strong suspicion that many mafia murders were done for that exact reason.

Comment: Re: Stupid (Score 1) 565

That in mind. How the fuck does an America come up with all these execution methods, that don't involve just shooting them in the back of the head? If it doesn't kill them straight away, you just use a bigger round. It can't be that expensive. One gun, which you may already have, and a round of ammo.

I think that the death penalty should be personally executed by the governor of the state that allows it, under a law that makes it murder subject to capital punishment if he or she ever executes an innocent. Since the governor has the authority to pardon a death penalty, he or she cannot claim coercion.
Would Charlie Baker pull the trigger on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? Possibly.
But would Greg Abbott pull the trigger on hundreds of people in Texas, knowing that 4 out of 100 people sentenced to death are statistically innocent? Very doubtful.

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 5, Insightful) 565

However, execution lets the convicted person off the hook the easy way compared to a lifetime of incarceration.

That's irrelevant, as the justice system is not to be a method for taking revenge, but to make society a better place to live in, with less crime.

The death sentence is flawed for other reasons. Almost all murders happen either in affect, or in a situation where the perpetrator thinks he can get away with it. In either case, having the death penalty will have no effect on whether a murder will happen or not. And it might lead to more murders, because if there's a death penalty in place, the perpetrator has nothing to lose by killing witnesses, cops, or anyone else who might get them arrested, now or in the future. The rational decision for them is to do anything not to get caught, including more murders.

Also, the costs of a death row inmate by far exceeds the costs of a long term imprisonment. (This is particularly true in the states that allow prison slave labor - which has a high correlation to the states that allow capital punishment). The many rounds of appeals that a death sentence automatically trigger cost a heck of a lot more than the room and board.

Then there are the cases of people who have been wrongly executed. One case is one too many. And a peer-reviewed study shows that as many as 4% of people convicted to die are likely innocent.
Unless there's a way to bring people back to life again, that in itself should be enough to put a stop to it.
But the unwashed masses want panem et circenses, and revenge, not justice. So the show goes on. And innocent people die.

Comment: Re: Idiotic (Score 0) 565

Too strong sentences can indeed lead to more criminals on the loose, as well as more murders. If you've already killed once, there's then no incentive to stop killing. If the cops are after you, you increase your chance of survival by shooting them. If a witness sees you, you might as well kill the witness too.

And then there's a lessened risk of being turned in. Take family situations, for example. Few are willing to turn in a relative if it means life without parole or a death sentence for the relative. That means losing the relative forever.

Too harsh sentencing and especially harsh minimum sentencing because the foam-at-the-mouth public wants revenge, not justice, is particularly a problem with rape sentencing. There, the perpetrator quite often is a family member or loved one. Who goes free because the sentencing is so harsh that the victims won't turn them in.

Yet there are proponents for the death sentence not only for murder, but for rape. Which is truly stupid - that means that a rapist will increase his chances of survival by killing the only witness - the victim.

Comment: Re:A dollar in design... (Score 1) 147

by arth1 (#49498483) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

There is nothing wrong with outsourcing it. You just need to make sure you have good quality control.

Which drives costs up, often quite radically.

When you build something for your own company, the goal is to get as good quality as feasible within time and budget constraints. Next year's salary depends on it.

When you build something as a bidding contractor for the government, the goal is to reduce your costs by as much as you can get away with and exceeding the budget with as much as you can get away with.
It doesn't matter if what you deliver is utter crud as long as you can get away with it. Politicians ensure that next year, you will be able to bid again, and if your bid is the lowest, get the contract. At which point you hire the cheapest unskilled labor and subcontractors that can do the job and no more. Quality, shmality.

Comment: Re:Fuck ups require more work (Score 2) 147

by arth1 (#49498435) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

Rather the opposite. WIth the "libtards" truly in charge, there would be no outsourcing and subcontracting, and NASA would hire people to build things themselves.

The republicans are the ones that demand outsourcing and paperwork that often equals half the total costs. Because heavens forbid if a government agency did something that private companies could do. That is considered anticompetitive theft by the right. Which is why NASA can't do much themselves anymore, and get less bang for the buck.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose

Working...