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Comment: Re:Maybe because normal humans can't code (Score 1) 554

by bluefoxlucid (#47425579) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

What? This is bullshit, dude. Programming isn't a layer on top the physical world of spatial relationships; it's a layer on top the physical world of discrete, numeric algorithms.

In the real world, you have analogue power levels--voltage, current. Then, we build digital circuitry, such that being about 2.8-3.8V from ground state is "3.3V" or "ON", and being below that is "OFF"; being above that is "HALT, CATCH FIRE". This is a purely numerical behavior: the variations in the real world do not apply to digital circuitry.

On top of that, you build a set of operational codes to manipulate states, i.e. assembly. You also build programming languages such as C, Python, and so on, which turn complex algorithms into a static analysis tree, optimize the tree, and then convert that into optimal procedural operational codes.

The best we have for programming is object orientation, which takes a lot of procedural stuff for repeated modules away; but then you need to build the procedural framework to use those objects, as well as the discrete procedural behavior of the object. You're reducing complex procedural code down to a limited interface so that you can write other complex procedural code to handle that, thus reducing the amount of complex procedural shit you have to think about interacting with other complex procedural shit.

You can't program a computer by putting a ball on top a stick. Computers need programming in terms of what is absolutely understood and non-ambiguous.

Comment: Re:Maybe because normal humans can't code (Score 1) 554

by bluefoxlucid (#47423447) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Okay seriously, some people are retarded. They can't manipulate numbers because their brains are broken. Low-functioning sociopaths can't understand social interactions, and don't connect the pattern behavior together to fake it; high-functioning sociopaths recognize it as an academic subject, and fake it.

How is it hard to believe that some--perhaps many--tasks require an uncanny ability to do a certain thing, which nobody has? Maybe any idiot can learn to make a shitty program in Visual Basic; but, for the vast majority of people, no investment of time and effort is going to make them John Carmack. Similarly, some investment of time will teach you to sculpt; no investment of time will make you Michelangelo. Your creative writing courses won't make you Brandon Sanderson, Stephen R. Donaldson, or J.K. Rowling; the best you can hope for is being the next no-talent hack like Tolkien.

Comment: Re:Wrong initiative, enough of space. (Score 1) 77

by bluefoxlucid (#47414715) Attached to: Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

The market is what makes engineers and scientists. NASA created some market niches earlier than they would have existed, and it did create a few on its own. The least likely is satellites. The DOD created the friggin' Internet.

Also who ever decided to become an engineer because of the moon launches? This is pop culture: every kid wanted to be an ASTRONAUT, and their idea of an astronaut was a fat man in a white suit with a hose and a fish bowl on his head, playing in outer space! Nobody looked at that and went, "Wow, I want to design a new super armatron to manipulate heavy materials via shuttle so I can repair a space research lab's solar panels!" They might have seen something like that on TV and decided they wanted to blast the thrusters and throw shit around with the giant machine arm, but that's about it.

People have this uncanny ability to rewrite history. Look at the Lebanon war, where people said the fighting "came out of nowhere", and "would be over in a few days." It kept being "almost over" for almost 20 years, with some people in hotels in the next country over, waiting because they were sure that THIS week would be the week the war ends. What does history say? It says everyone could see the rising tensions (no they couldn't) and the breakdown of the economy (that had been happening for decades), and people started to flee the country because they knew the fighting would start (they fled the country immediately *after* it started), and holed up for a long and protracted war (which nobody actually believed--they thought this was just a big, three-to-five-day skirmish). People who lived through this shit and wrote it in their diaries immediately, a week or two after the war, talked like all these deformations of history were what actually happened--even though their own diary said absolutely the opposite.

Put away the romantics and come back to earth. Reality's down here.

Comment: Maybe because normal humans can't code (Score 5, Insightful) 554

by bluefoxlucid (#47414597) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Seriously, does everyone think programming is a spatial relationships problem or something?

Let's put this on the table right now: Normal humans can build houses. Oh, you might not have any construction knowledge, and you'll build a horrendous little shitheap that falls over when the wind blows, but that's not the point. I can put construction knowledge in your head and, in a few months, you'll be able to properly select foundation for a site, properly frame a house, and properly build out the sheathing and siding and insulation and walls. You won't be a master craftsman, but you'll be able to do it right.

Humans are good with spatial things. Humans can look at a two-by-four and understand what a two-by-four is. The engineering concepts behind building a workable shed are a little different, but easily transferred. Given a little time and guidance, a human can learn to relate building materials spatially, measuring and cutting and nailing or screwing or gluing as needed, planning and building a proper structure.

Humans are terrible at numbers and algorithms.

Humans are so terrible at numbers and algorithms that they become *extremely* proficient at math if you teach them with a soroban--a machine that converts numerical problems into spatial procedures--and can't be taught algorithms without visual diagrams of trees and boxes and other shit to show sorting and transformation algorithms. Have you ever looked at textbooks or Wikipedia pages for stuff like PKI, red-black trees, or AES encryption? There's pictures of the simplest shit! Why? Because HUMANS CAN'T PROCESS ALGORITHMS!

The easiest process for a human programmer implementing an algorithm like a quick sort is to associate variables with objects in the visual diagram, associate their state changes with the movements in the visual diagram, and write code that carries out the analogous behavior. By comparison, BUBBLE SORT IS FUCKING HARD TO IMPLEMENT when your only guidance is: "iterate through each list element. Compare each element to the previous. If the previous element is larger, swap them." You actually have to think about how to do the comparison (greater than, less than? Wait, which am I comparing to which?), and how to swap them--usually with a temporary variable, although "A ^= B; B ^= A; A ^= B;" works. Most people visualize some kind of diagram while trying to understand the algorithm.

The real world requires interaction with space, mainly to avoid hungry tigers, kill tasty deer, and avoid driving your car into trees like you're fucking drunk. It doesn't involve shift accumulator left and XOR with memory at address $FC. It doesn't involve explicit semaphore locking and deadlocks if you fail to unlock the semaphore in a loop with multiple function calls and thread branching during the loop. It requires things you can put your fist through if they don't work right, and then continue with successfully.

We can't all be rocket surgeons.

Comment: Wrong initiative, enough of space. (Score 0) 77

by bluefoxlucid (#47414327) Attached to: Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

What has NASA ever gotten us? I always see huge lists like more comfortable chairs (memory foam) and shoes, but industry would have invented those anyway. Satellites? Legit; nobody sane was ever going to build space launch shit on private money. Other than that, piles and piles of junk, and some history.

Skip NASA. Move their funding over to something like a National Institute of Health, and take up researching new medical treatments and drugs. Release all that shit to the public. If you're into social democracy, issue a $1 tax per prescription filled or treatment carried out to give the government revenue; if not, release them to the public domain so we can have new $4 generics.

We need to take that kind of thing out of the hands of Pfeizer. The US got it wrong: we don't need public healthcare; we need public health research. Let the private sector handle healthcare; we can revisit the issue when our healthcare system isn't a weedy mess of overpriced, ineffective bullshit. I do support regulations to force hospitals to provide free clinical care, with staffed clinician hours based on their size, and distribution based on the saturation of healthcare facilities in their area (i.e. more hospitals, wider spread of clinics); but the immediate economic issues of healthcare aren't "how do patients pay for cancer treatment?", but rather "how do we get the best, least expensive cancer treatment to the people?"

Comment: Re:Tower "Dumps" does not contain location! (Score 2) 60

I think it's more a matter of that the phone was in a particular cell than that the call was made.

I would like to see cell-tracking technology whereby a phone never reports its ID when idle and pinging tower. I'd like to see the tower push three bloom filters on ping, one of all predicted to be in the cell, one of all predicted to be in the area (surrounding cells), and one of all in the system.

For a flat assumption of 10^12 phone numbers CC-AAA-RRR-XXXX including country codes, assume nearly 100% of all numbers are being dialed at the exact same time. You can gain a 1% probability of error on if a number is being dialed in about 116GB. In any situation of over 50% saturation, you'd invert: list what numbers aren't being dialed, hence the size of the worldwide packet is 58GB. That's the theoretical bound in an insane situation. (Besides, you can only dial half the phones in the world at once...)

In reality, we don't have 100 country codes, and not all countries have 10 digit phone numbers. In America, there are only really 800 possible area codes, 269 in service in the USA, and 26 in Canada. Not all areas saturate the exchange; most exchanges aren't saturated. The number of phone numbers world-wide isn't 142 times the size of the number of people.

So let's assume 10 billion numbers instead, not all of which are cell phones. You're looking at 580MB for the packet to express near 50% saturation of numbers being dialed *right now* for the whole world. That's much better.

Phones ring for approximately 10 seconds. They're answered or taken to voice mail by then. In addition, most phones aren't being dialed at any given time. If we assume 1 in 7000 cell phones is currently ringing, the worldwide packet is 174kB for a 1% margin of error.

So let's call the regional a 10 million phone coverage area, and the local a 1 million phone coverage area. Assuming 1 in 7000 phones is currently ringing, the packet sizes are 174kB worldwide, 178 bytes regional, and 17.8 bytes local, for a 1% margin of error. That is: you have a 1 in 100 chance of the phone deciding it's probably in the bloom filter when it's not. If we double the sizes here, then the false positive rate is 0.01%, or 1 in 10,000--almost never.

We can further reduce these by scaling them dynamically, and by delaying the ring if you're out of known area. I'll use the double-size numbers for a 0.01% false positive chance.

Let's say somebody calls your phone. The cell system predicts, based on prior data (i.e. you're usually in this city, your home address on file is here, whatever), that you're in the 1 million person coverage area contained by some cells. In Baltimore City, we have 660,000 people; 1 million coverage is bigger than my city. So the system adds you only to the 35.6 byte local dialing filter for a 1 second cycle.

If your phone fails to respond to the tower, the system leaves your number in the 36 byte local dialing filter. It begins including it in the regional dialing area. The regional dialing area excludes any phone dialed for less than 1 second, any phone found in a local dialing area, or any phone included in the local dialing area filter. More than 95% of phones should be excluded: there's better than a 95% chance that you're currently in your local area. The filter is about 89 bytes on average, assuming 1 in 7000 phones in the 5,000,000 phone region is ringing.

The worldwide filter is different. If in 1 more second you don't answer, the cell system adds you to the bloom list for the whole world. Assuming a 95% chance of someone being in the region if not in the local area, that's 95% of 5%, or 0.25%. Assuming 10 billion phones, the worldwide list of numbers currently being dialed is 9 bytes.

For a 1 in 10,000 false positive rate, you'd have to push 134 bytes of dialing filters. If you're outside of your normal region, there's a 2 second delay. We can further step this with a 100 million phone region to net whole countries in the last list, but we'd introduce a 3 second delay for people who are outside their country.

In this system, no phone would tell the tower its identity until it wanted service. Of course, most phones are sucking down data, so this is all pointless; but, if you shut data off and are on straight receiving calls, your phone doesn't actually tell the towers where you are--it doesn't identify itself. The towers say, "Here is a bloom filter of phone numbers. If your number hits the bloom filter, it's 99.99% likely you're being dialed right now." If you're in any of the three filters, you ping the tower and tell it you're ready to answer, and in this cell.

You're ready to receive calls, and yet the tower doesn't know where you are unless someone calls you.

Comment: Re:OR (Score 1) 577

by bluefoxlucid (#47398991) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Your long winded tirade didn't say anything about why 100 hours is required to learn how to drive

The current 60 hours is a median statistic for how many driving hours are required to develop adequate skill at driving. 100 hours is longer, and develops further skill. My "long-winded tirade" explained that, AS PER SCIENCE, PARTICULARLY NEUROSCIENCE, the brain has a physical structure that stores and refines these skills until they take little to no energy to access. Once you've done it a while, your brain automatically recalls those skills without your conscious effort and without the expenditure of much energy at all; new, complex situations draw up similar situations and adjust them with minimal additional energy.

As I said, we have these mandatory hours and waits in Australia, they haven't helped one bit as new drivers do their hours quickly and sit around or just fabricate them.

"It won't work because people won't do it."

This is the same argument as "eating healthy doesn't help because people won't eat healthy," or "Laws against murder don't help because people still kill people".

I gave you the solution. Don't tell me it's not a solution because people will cheat. It works. Vaccinations work, too; but if you forge documents saying your kid is vaccinated, well... don't bitch at me when he gets smallpox.

Like most people, you're basing your opinion on bad ideas.

I'm basing my opinions on the current scientific state-of-the-art. It's the same thing brain surgeons and top-level researchers and all that kind of brass use.

You dont have a low reaction time, like most bad drivers you've convinced yourself that you have a low reaction time when you really do not

"I don't like this, so I'm going to pretend it's not a thing, and claim that as fact."

You can bring all the statistics you want on how people react TO NEW STIMULUS, but we already know that you can beat those times if you practice for several hours. In sports, consistent reaction times of nearly 150mS are common, and trained athletes hit close to 100mS when they get lucky.

My reactions don't rely on me consciously acknowledging what's in front of me. I've done this so much, so my brain bypasses all those slow processes that make your basic reaction time so fucking long, and just kicks in the correct action. When an obstacle moves in front of me, I judge how it's moving and take appropriate action. For anything I can't get a good pattern for immediately, I'm on the brakes before I realize shit's in my way. For mainly-stationary objects that come into my driving path, I'm in the next lane if there's nothing next to me.

The reaction's as quick as the one you have when you prick your finger while sewing, or knick yourself shaving--you know, that immediate removal of the sharp object so you don't shove a needle a half inch into your finger, or peel your face like a potato.

I actually understand that when I'm tired, it's dark or I'm distracted my reaction time will not be as good as it could be

Do you also understand that you can drive just as well mildly drunk as you can on 2-4 hours of sleep? Because most people miss that. Lack of sleep will quickly degrade your reflexes.

Comment: Re:OR (Score 1) 577

by bluefoxlucid (#47378687) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Uh, attaching fees is a funding strategy. You know, like how it costs $120 every 2 years for vehicle registration? That's a funding strategy. My strategy exchanges time for money--it delays driver's licensing by a small amount of time in which a licensed driver would incur costs equal to the costs of additional training. That makes it zero-cost.

Better traffic engineering will fix problems. Better driver's education will fix a lot. Did you know in Germany you have traffic signs at borders of zones, but not within? Germans have lane control laws. Germans have all kinds of shit that requires drivers to be alert; Americans have signs everywhere, and antilock brakes. Guess who has better drivers?

I want some import from Germany. The zipper traffic law needs to be a thing: all merge lanes should alternate right-of-way at the end of the merge, not this bullshit where we try to race to the front and fight people for their spot in traffic. But I don't want their full system here (it'd be expensive to change over), and I don't want $6000 of driver's ed before licensing.

If people were trained to identify hazards and consider road conditions as part of their conditioning for driving, they would identify other cars near and in the intersection, as well as pedestrians both in the road and on the sidewalk. They would consider the possible and likely actions these individuals may take. Instead of trying to beat the light and ramming the car in front of them--who stops--they would consider the hazard of ramming the car in front of them. It's an independent hazard: a pedestrian might appear out of nowhere and jump in front of that car, causing it to immediately stop in reaction.

Comment: Re:Would be different (Score 2, Informative) 185

by bluefoxlucid (#47377337) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

The conservative talk radio stuff was yammering about that when it happened. G. Gordon Liddy was praising one of the victims, a man who had predicted hijacked airplanes hitting the World Trade center and insisted on either leaving or training for evacuation without the aid of useless first-responders. This is a man who got all of his people out of Tower 2, then went back in to find anyone else that might be in there. The damn thing collapsed with him in it.

Then, conservative politicians pop up talking about how nobody ever thought of that shit.

So, conservative talk show host praises conservative office manager for predicting 9/11 as the most likely form of terrorist attack in 1995. Conservative politicians scream that nobody ever thought of that form of terrorist attack before. Face palms all around.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler