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Comment: Re: Not news (Score 1) 249

Guys like him fantasize about living in a sci-fi film so bad (Blade Runner, Foundation series, Martian Chronicles, whatever) that they will the poetically tragic destruction of life on Earth, so long as it better motivates us to become spacemen. The first might happen, the second won't, but they do like to imagine.

Comment: Re:No Democratic groups were targeted (Score 1) 465

by dcollins (#47260311) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

'At least, I think those bars are showing percentages."

Can you not read the label on the y-axis? It says, "APPEARANCES ON THE WATCH LIST".

And anyway, the 3rd bar (the next one higher than Tea Party groups) is for "Acorn Successors", ACORN being the group that many Republicans blame for electing Obama in the first place. So your arguments seem to be in a shambles.

Comment: Horseshit (Score 5, Insightful) 125

by dcollins (#47239299) Attached to: MIT Researchers Can Take Your Pulse, Right Through the Walls

"The research could be used for health-tracking apps, baby monitors, and for the military and law enforcement."

Yeah, lead with the health-tracking and baby monitors, which actually benefits the subject, such that the subject would happily allow a monitor right next to them, and thus "through the walls" monitoring will never, ever get used.

Bury the bit about using it shoot people who break a drug law, or a resister of some foreign tyranny, in a way that they never have a chance to see it coming, which is how this will actually get used.

Ugh.

Comment: Re:Human nature (Score 1) 222

by dcollins (#47183781) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

"humans are not all good guys looking out for societies interests, but their own."

Let me flip this a bit. Most humans are empathetic and actually do look out for those in their community around them (society, if you wish to call it that). But a small number are indeed sociopaths who look out only for themselves. From a game-theory perspective, the more Utopian a society becomes (i.e., trusting of others), the more advantage and profit there is to being a scam-artist sociopath. So there is a hard-core selection for a small number of these people. In fact, it does seem likely that our institutions and governments are more often run by sociopaths than otherwise. Being willing to step on another man's neck is fairly rare but does have its rewards, unfortunately.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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