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Comment: Cargo-Cult Sociology (Score 4, Insightful) 221

by Hentai (#47375969) Attached to: IeSF Wants International Game Tournaments Segregated By Sex [Updated]

"I don't know why it's important for physical sports to have gender segregation, but they do it and people recognize them as legitimate! If we segregate by gender, maybe that's what will make people recognize us as legitimate!"

Just like in programming, this line of thinking clearly translates down to "I have no idea what I'm doing, and I have no idea what the consequences of these choices are, but I'm just going to bang at things until something works or everything breaks."

(Spoiler alert: usually, everything breaks.)

Comment: Re:When you can't innovate... (Score 1) 140

Burning the bridges the trolls live under? Patent reform? Thorough review of ALL patents to see if they make sense? Force Microsoft to disclose ALL patents they feel might be infringed?

All of this would require a MASSIVE amount of lobbying to accomplish, and therefore a MASSIVE amount of money.

How do you currently get massive amounts of money?

Therefore, what incentive do people who currently have massive amount of money have, to make the changes you propose?

Comment: Re:And hippies will protest it (Score 2) 396

by Hentai (#47246867) Attached to: "Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

No, becasue the only food they can afford is salt laden fatty food.
Remember most pore people work full time jobs and still are at the poverty line. So no time, and not money, and limited education.

And massively high cortisol stress levels, which - when combined with the food desert - will muck up people's metabolism in short order.

Comment: Re:Yeah, but.... (Score 1) 1198

by Hentai (#47212607) Attached to: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

> But the real problem is this, and this is what most people don't get: Many nerds do not step in and stop their fellow nerds if they are creating a hostile environment, or otherwise make it clear to the few that certain behaviours are unacceptable, and most nerds are oblivious to what women and other minorities face in the community from the actions of the few.

Because when we do, we're accused (by that woman) of "White Knighting". And sometimes legitimately - there's a LOT of false signalling going on when the stakes are this high (and when reproduction AND pack dynamics are involved, the stakes are ALWAYS high).

There's a LOT of misogynistic jerks out there. But there's also a LOT of role-confusion and conflicting signals about what we're supposed to do about it.

The tumbler Social Justice Warriors have some damn good, highly valid points - but they're expressing them in pretty toxic and unhelpful ways.

The MRA movement also has a few damn good, highly valid points - but they're expressing them in pretty toxic and unhelpful ways.

And the narcissistic sociopaths stand in the middle, egging both sides on, because chaos is fun, and tears are delicious.

And each time one side presents a toxic, unhelpful argument, it makes the other side that less capable of presenting their side in non-toxic and helpful ways - because coalition politics are buried pretty deeply inside our monkey-brains.

Comment: Re:Not a programmer's problem, a managerial one (Score 1) 183

by Hentai (#46836149) Attached to: The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

Scenario: You're writing firmware for a "smart" chargeable battery. Multiple cellphone manufacturers will use your company's batteries. Also, you can reasonably expect that several non-cellphone uses will arise. The battery has a high energy density, and therefore a nonzero chance of fire / explosion if improperly charged. Shortcuts were taken in hardware safety because "we can just make the software not allow those situations". Some of those situations are difficult-to-impossible to disallow without compromising some of the battery's key marketing features. You know there will be edge cases where someone will do something plausible, but not-technically-correct, with your battery - and you know that in a few of those edge cases, they will get a face full of hot intercalated lithium. Your boss has misrepresented your capability to find solutions to impossible problems, so now you're on the spot.

Who do you "call personally" in that scenario? Each of the five million or so end users? Or each of the cellphone and RC quad copter manufacturers on your boss's boss's marketing VP's supply-chain list?

Comment: Re:What computer science? There is no CS here. (Score 1) 183

by Hentai (#46828541) Attached to: The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

You know what's funny? I've fought THAT battle, too. I used to twitch every time I had to call what I did "Computer Science", or talk about "paradigms", or "cloud-based solutions", or whatever.

At a certain point, I just gave up. People will call things whatever they want to call them, and I do not have the political power to enforce accurate terminology. So I either get with the program, or get constantly corrected by PHBs.

And apparently, even when I DO get with the program, I STILL get corrected - but by pedantic programmers, instead.

Comment: Re:Not a programmer's problem, a managerial one (Score 3, Insightful) 183

by Hentai (#46810217) Attached to: The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

To a computer programmer, ethics is dead code, and I mean that in a good way. It takes effort to do wrong, and money to add the ethically problematic features -- and the only person who makes that happen is your boss.

Not necessarily - imagine software that controls a physical device, which has safety concerns. There's a simple and elegant check that can be performed that catches 90% of the dangerous use-cases, or there's a really hideously complex set of layered checks that will catch 99% of them. You have two days to ship or you're fired. Which do you include?

Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.

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