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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:I am SO conflicted... (Score 1) 417

by cishuman (#43717235) Attached to: The Bronies Get Their Own Charity
Speaking as a "brony", I think that it's not really about "living life according to the principles put forth by My Little Pony". It's a fandom, not a religion. I enjoy the show, and I also enjoy some fanfiction, and, yes, I like the overall message of the show (I don't have any toys, however - they just don't interest me). But that does not mean that I'm going to tattoo a cutie mark on my leg or go through life asking myself what Rainbow Dash would do (Applejack is clearly the best pony, in any case :-) ). Also, and it depresses me that this needs to be said, I am not sexually attracted to fictional (or non-fictional, for that matter) equines. I mean, I am also a trekkie: everything that I wrote about My Little Pony is also true for the case of Star Trek (except Enterprise, because that was an abomination). I don't really see any substantial difference between my appreciation of MLP and my appreciation of Star Trek, and it puzzles me that one of these two is apparently Internet controversial and the other isn't.

Comment: Re:Why should I stop? (Score 1) 206

by cishuman (#39565607) Attached to: Rybka Solves the King's Gambit Chess Opening

The reason why Tic-Tac-Toe is uninteresting is not because it is solved, but because the solution is something that a human being can easily memorise and play.

Chess is not like that. No complete solution has been found yet; but most importantly, chances are that a hypothetical solution would be far too complicated for a human being to memorise in full. Human players, when playing against other human players, will always have to rely on heuristics and inspired intuition. And that's what makes the game interesting, even though a computer could easily wipe the floor with most humans.

I am a pretty bad player, really; but personally, I find that the theory of openings is one of the most interesting aspects of chess. It's cool and complicated and full of subtleties. And I *like* being able to improve my play by poring over theoretical analyses.

What if a computer can easily beat me? Any chessmaster can do just the same, but that does not mean that I cannot have fun playing against people at my level.

Comment: Why should I stop? (Score 3, Interesting) 206

by cishuman (#39558141) Attached to: Rybka Solves the King's Gambit Chess Opening

Yeah, computers are better at chess than humans. And cars are better at marathons than humans.

If the development of automobiles did not take away the interest of running, what reason is there to assume that the development of chess programs will eventually take away the interest of chess playing?

Comment: Re:You know a country is leading ... (Score 2) 362

by cishuman (#35649262) Attached to: China To Overtake US In Science In Two Years

# Best research papers are published in the local language, and not in a foreign language ...
# Scientists do not have to learn a foreign language to do research and read papers.

So, by your reckoning, Classical Rome was the leading country in medical and philosophical research until the 1700s, at least?

The Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica were not written in English, you know...

Comment: Re:The elephant in the room (Score 1) 570

by cishuman (#35569730) Attached to: A Look At the World's Dwindling Food Supply

Does not follow.

Isolated animal (and human!) island population tend to stabilize at a sustainable level and stay so for a long period of time - there have been some well-known exceptions, of course, but most such situations do *not* end in Malthusian disasters.

I see no reason why the same could not happen to Earth as a whole, once we have filled it to capacity (and we are not that close, actually, especially if one considers the range of possible habitats that technology is opening us - what's the population density of the Gobi Desert, at the moment?)

Comment: Abiogenesis != Evolution (Score 1) 1251

by cishuman (#35532426) Attached to: Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

At the moment, the scientific community does not know how biological life originated. There are a number of competing hypotheses, but evidence is not conclusive for any of them.

But this has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution, natural selection or speciation, which have been repeatedly observed in laboratory and explain neatly the relevant evidence.

Comment: Re:big loss (Score 1) 1251

by cishuman (#35532136) Attached to: Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

Young earth creationism, or any other theory which denies natural selection, evolution or speciation, is very much debunked; however, other forms of creationism are not so.

For example, consider the typical Catholic position of "God created the universe, and both biological life and intelligent life are part of His plan. But the creation myth in the Genesis is an allegory, and the immediate causes of speciation are better investigated through the scientific method".

I see nothing wrong with this statement (I agree with it, actually, but that's neither here nor there), except that it is unfalsifiable and has nothing whatsoever to do with science: it's a theological position, not a scientific one, and hence it is better kept in theological courses and journals: discussing it in a biology course would make about as much sense as discussing polymerase in Theology 101.

Comment: What about perpetual motion researchers? (Score 1) 1251

by cishuman (#35531672) Attached to: Texas Bill Outlaws Discrimination Against Creationists In Academia

I went to the MIT with the building plans for my awesome, magnet-based perpetual motion machine, and all I asked for in exchange was a tenure position and a nomination for the Nobel prize (it works like the Emmy Awards, right?).

But they just laughed, told me some mathematical mumbo-jumbo about "conservation of energy" and "Noether's Theorem" and suggested to stop bothering people unless I know what I am talking about.

That's discrimination too. I am suing!

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson