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Comment: Symbolic logic... (Score 1) 241

by eyepeepackets (#47487067) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

would be better than math if one is looking for a bridge from language to programming. Absent symbolic logic, math -- especially algebra -- is a good introduction to the concept of computer programming because of its logic component (application of the algebraic hierarchy is a simple logic system.)

For kids, Lewis Carroll's symbolic logic is both fun and useful.

Comment: I wear a watch, so obviously (Score 1) 381

by aussersterne (#47440291) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

I am interested in watches.

Whether or not a smart watch is worth it is an open question. If they can provide me something that I think I need with it, then sure. I've outlined a list in comments on previous stories, for quasi-trolls that were about to lash into me for being so general.

But I wear an automatic mechanical beater right now—specifically because it's virtually indestructible, represents only a minor investment (and thus financial risk), and requires no maintenance, attention, or battery-swapping. It's accurate to about 2 minutes per year, which means that about once a year I tune the time on it.

Most of the stuff that smartwatches are currently being said to do I either don't care about (fitness tracking, health monitoring) or currently use a smartphone for with far less hassle (bigger screen, more natural UI) so it'll be a stretch. But I'm open.

Comment: Re:The Future's So Bright (Score 1) 415

by jafac (#47411795) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

The only bad programmers I've ever encountered, are programmers that are inconsiderate.
Those who do not consider that the purpose of a computing language is to communicate with other developers, not just the computer. That's really the main common-factor I've found among "bad programmers". It's a skill, that can be learned, but it's an emotional skill. Some people can be very intelligent, brilliant even, and still not want to learn that one crucial skill.

Comment: Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (Score 1) 385

WE don't lack the will.

We lack the power.

The ones with the power lack the will (or desire) - because their power depends on control of generation of energy through resources they control; namely fossil fuels. They're not going to give up that power while they have it. Not voluntarily.

Comment: Um, this is how it's supposed to work. (Score 3) 109

Journals aren't arbiters of Truth (capital T), they're just what they say they are: JOURNALS of the ongoing work of science.

Someone records that they have done X in a journal. Because said journal is available to other scientists, other scientists get to try to make use of the same notes/information/processes. If they are able to do so, they journal it as well. Get enough mentions in enough journals that something works, and we can begin to presume that it does.

If only one mention in one journal is ever made, then it is just another record in another journal of another thing that one scientist (or group of scientists) claim to have done.

Peer review is just to keep journals from expanding to the point that there is too much for anyone to keep track of or read. It is emphatically NOT the place at which the factuality or truthfulness of notes/information/processes are established once and for all. That happens AFTER publication as other scientists get ahold of things and put them through their paces.

Seriously, this is all exactly as it is supposed to work. I have no idea why there is such hoopla about this. There is nothing to see here. One group journaled something, other groups couldn't replicate it, they no doubt will reference this failure in future articles, and "what happened" is recorded out in the open for all of science, thereby expanding our pool of knowledge, both about what consistently works in many situations and of what someone claims has worked once in one situation but appears either not to work in the general case or requires more understanding and research.

Again, there is nothing to see here. Let's move on.

Comment: Re:The question to me seems to be... (Score 1) 148

by SteveWoz (#47357639) Attached to: Lawrence Lessig Answers Your Questions About His Mayday PAC (Video)

End goal: change the constitution. We need a start. It's easy to see how hard this will be and to give up early, but some of us feel the imperative to fight for it. We can change things. The vast will of the masses (corporation political donations are not equivalent to the free speech we enjoy as individuals) needs to be strategically gathered. Critical mass could take decades, as with things like gay marriage.

Comment: Regardless of the accuracy of the numbers, (Score 1) 190

by aussersterne (#47352519) Attached to: NASA Launching Satellite To Track Carbon

this would seem to be moot to me. Humans have only been here for the briefest of very *recent* moments, but we do have a particular interest in keeping earth habitable for *human* life.

Assuming your numbers are correct, it still doesn't do us any good to say that gosh, a few million years ago there was a lot more carbon dioxide, if for the purposes of *human* life a particular (and lower) level is necessary.

The goal is for us, not for the earth itself, to survive.

Comment: Re:I see a problem here... (Score 1) 380

by jafac (#47338037) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

The reason why it's so cheap:
We all pay a shitload of taxes to fund wars to conquer lands where we're extracting the stuff.
We don't pay for destroyed habitats, and climate change (yet) from waste, spills, and other pollution. (basically, we're borrowing from the future generations who will suffer directly from these problems).

When compared, as an energy source, with something like solar pv, factoring these hidden costs in, gasoline is astronomically expensive.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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