Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Nope. Doesn't work like that. (Score 2) 315

If the average IQ is 100 (and it is, by definition), that means for everyone with a 160 IQ, there has to be someone with a 40 IQ, or two people with 70 IQ, or four with 80...

There is an incredible number of stupid, uneducated idiots in this world, right around you.

IQ curve is a normalized bell curve. Equal on both sides, reaching into infinity on both sides.
BUT... There is neither infinite IQ nor 0 intelligence. Neither of those would be a living human being.
So right there, the curve itself is a broken representation. If taken in such a simplistic "or two people with 70 IQ, or four with 80" way.

Back in reality, those numbers actually mean something.
Anything in the 71 - 84 range is considered "Borderline Intellectual Functioning".
These are people with difficulties learning to read, write, do math or solve complex problems.
People who don't get "When is a door not a door? When it's ajar." jokes.
70 and below is Mental Retardation.
At 50 - 70 range - reading, writing and basic math is an accomplishment, while communicating is a difficulty.

Do you REALLY see many people like that around you? Cause those are only about 2% of population.
And nobody is including their opinions in pols as they are incapable of understanding such complex questions or formulating meaningful answers.

Meanwhile, that curve represents ALL HUMANS. Including kids and babies. And senile old people.
So, a lot of those low IQ numbers are actually AGAIN people unable to understand or answer such questions.

At the same time, that right part of the curve are actual people too. 100+ IQ, and going up to 160 and more...
Major difference being that THOSE people really ARE intellectually functional.
Some of them MAY lack education or they may have prejudices and biases preventing them in reaching accurate or logical conclusions - but IQ is there.
Present and accountable.

And then there is a part where those IQ numbers actually have a +/- error built in due to the nature of the test.
And when the test favors those with higher IQ, who can breeze through the test faster, scoring more points, making less errors... guess which group gets penalized the most from pondering about the solution a bit longer?
Hint: It ain't the IQ 85 and below crowd. They hit their ceiling early on. Never get to the point where seconds mean additional IQ points.

Again, curve is a broken representation.
In reality, it is a lot flatter in the middle and steeper on the left side.
Cause while those standard deviations are rather arbitrary (representation of a measuring tool - not the measured value) - there IS a real cut off line below which it is obvious that people have problems with intellectual functioning.

Your view is distorted by the fact that you are probably standing a bit low (indicating higher IQ) on the right side of the curve, looking up-curve at all those people below you and going "OMG! There are SO MANY of them."
So you don't see that in actuality, most of those people are actually on your side of the curve. Closer to you, than to those below IQ 85.

Education on the other hand... that's a different matter.
And so are biases and prejudices and simply faulty information and reasoning.
No one is immune to that. Just remember Linus Pauling, his double Nobels and his ideas about vitamin C.
Or any person still believing in the dude in the sky, working in mysterious ways while murdering babies in Africa.
Those people can't be all below average. There are simply too many of them for that. And the curve is broken.

Comment Re:Show us the data (Score 1) 397

Right but that's the problem - you're talking about how much it costs them when you die, but how much it costs them is not a measure of how much it costs society as a whole. A $300,000 payout to your widow does not mean you were only worth $300,000 if you were also personally responsible for another $500,000 of income for your company (and hence contribution to GDP).

So how much you impact on a health insurance company's profits, is not directly relevant to how much your life was worth overall - it is only a fraction of total costs. When you pay for life insurance, you're not paying to insure against the cost of your death to society as a whole, only to cover your cost to your surviving relatives to make sure they can still afford to live, and even that isn't necessarily directly related to how much you were actually worth to them, but is instead a function of how much you were willing to pay for life insurance in the first place. If you took two people earning the exact same salary doing the exact same job, and one paid half of what the other did in life insurance contributions such that one's family only gets a $150,000 payout, whilst the other gets a $300,000 payout then it doesn't make sense to argue that those are valuations on those people's lives- why is one worth half what the other is when their contribution to both society as a whole, and to their families via their identical incomes was identical?

So AmiMoJo is right when he says it's difficult to figure out how much a human life is worth. It goes beyond simple direct contribution to GDP and that's where the real complexity lies - if a scientist isn't earning much, and isn't selling much directly but is churning out important papers on nano-materials that create a billion dollars in additional industrial productivity then it's easy to see how their relative low wage, low life insurance payout doesn't remotely reflect their actual value.

You can't measure worth of human life objectively in terms of only life insurance costs.

Open Source

Matthew Garrett Forks the Linux Kernel 681

jones_supa writes: Just like Sarah Sharp, Linux developer Matthew Garrett has gotten fed up with the unprofessional development culture surrounding the kernel. "I remember having to deal with interminable arguments over the naming of an interface because Linus has an undying hatred of BSD securelevel, or having my name forever associated with the deepthroating of Microsoft because Linus couldn't be bothered asking questions about the reasoning behind a design before trashing it," Garrett writes. He has chosen to go his own way, and has forked the Linux kernel and added patches that implement a BSD-style securelevel interface. Over time it is expected to pick up some of the power management code that Garrett is working on, and we shall see where it goes from there.

Comment Re:Obvious ruling (Score 4, Interesting) 202

"It's the smaller US companies that are probably going to take the brunt of this - the one that don't currently have any servers in the EU."

Actually I'm not sure that that's the case. If a company operates only in the US (e.g. is headquartered there, only makes money there, only has staff there), but an EU citizen gives them their data, then the EU citizen is effectively accepting that their data will be held under the US' weaker data protection regime.

The problem here is that Google, Facebook et. al have set up European subsidiaries for tax dodging purposes and so EU citizens are interacting with EU subsidiaries who are held to EU data protection standards. Those subsidiaries cannot make the decision for users to send their data to weaker data protection regimes - only the users themselves can opt to do that.


Disproving the Mythical Man-Month With DevOps 281

StewBeans writes: The Mythical Man-Month is a 40-year old theory on software development that many believe still holds true today. It states: "A project that requires five team members to work for five months cannot be completed by a twenty-five person team in one month." Basically, adding manpower to a development project counterintuitively lowers productivity because it increases complexity. Citing the 2015 State of DevOps Report, Anders Wallgren from Electric Cloud says that microservices architecture is proving this decades-old theory wrong, but that there is still some hesitation among IT decision makers. He points out three rookie mistakes to avoid for IT organizations just starting to dip their toes into agile methodologies.

Comment Re:And you call the Americans anti-science (Score 1) 325

It's not even that, if this crop gives a real edge to a business then other farmers are going to have to use it too, and then we end up with a monoculture whereby we lack the diversity in our crop system and any disease impacting Monsanto's variant will rapidly spread and wipe out the crop. It could be years before they can get another variant that's resistant to the newly adapted disease in widespread production to satisfy global demand and so we're stuck without this important staple crop as you suggest.

But I'm not sure about the wiseness of insect killing crops in the first place. Insects exist for a reason, and it's unlikely they can make this target only invasive species across the globe, as what's invasive in one place, will be native in others. Killing off a key part of the ecosystem is an insanely bad idea, because it wont take long before it filters through to the parts of the ecosystem that actually matter to us (just as with bees and CCD).

Comment Re:Please ... (Score 1, Funny) 233

Well I was intrigued by the $15,000 annual average salary figure for the year, because yes, that's a shit salary in the US, but we all know these things are relative.

From what I could find in terms of statistics in Mexico on this, $15,000 is almost double the average annual income for Mexico as a whole, so they surely aren't be that poor relative to the rest of their country.

Are they poor compared to countries with some of the highest personal average incomes in the world? Yeah, sure. But if this spaceport is even partly responsible for making this area twice as wealthy as the average across their country as a whole then I don't really see what the complaint is the much higher levels of income in this area compared to the rest of the country imply that something is definitely going better for them than elsewhere in Mexico.

Comment Convenient + clean (Score 1) 568

It's a resealable glass of clean water that you can buy anywhere and carry in your pocket.

Saying "it makes no sense whatsoever to buy bottled water... For people who live in first-world countries with proper sanitation and water treatment"...
It is like saying the same thing about cloth handkerchiefs vs. paper tissues or paper towels vs. cloth towels.

With proper sanitation - why not just wash your ass and use a cloth towel afterwards instead of toilet paper?
You can take it with you everywhere, in a small plastic box.
And if a toilet has no bidet attachment, just use that bottled water to wash your ass.

I'm only half joking here. It is all perfectly doable. Have done it on camping and such.
Apart from carrying a towel with me. No, I don't hitchhike.
But doing all that to avoid toilet paper or paper tissues would be rather inconvenient on a regular basis.
Same as having MY dedicated 20$ aluminum-whatever-alloy water bottle I'd keep forgetting, losing or lugging around when I don't need or don't want to be lugging it around (i.e. when I need my hands or pockets free or busy with something else).

I've refilled my store-bought water bottle with local tap water IF it was good (where I live it really isn't) but then I'd just dump the bottle in the trash when I don't need it anymore.
Convenience. Of use and disposal. Plus a guaranteed clean source of drinkable water.
Available at every news stand kiosk.


Inside the Spaceflight of 'The Martian' 121

benonemusic writes: Science writer Michael Greshko partnered with a team of scientists and engineers to explore the spacecraft and mission plans in The Martian (novel and movie), down to the rescue plan itself. Incorporating the help of Andy Weir, the novel's author, he comes up with a calendar of events for The Martian, explores the hazards of going back to save Mark Watney, and explains how a real world interplanetary spacecraft would pull off a rescue maneuver.

Comment Re:Because 2016 elections... (Score 4, Insightful) 326

A presidential candidate's demonstrated incompetence in a leadership position is "stuff that matters". So is major corporate executive's, since it helps dispell the lingering idea that leaders get paid more than underlings because they're worth more, rather than just more powerful. The remains of the myth of the divinely appointed kings are hindering our democracies by making the decision-making positions extremely attractive to psychopaths, narcissists and people with other mental issues, and need to die.

One - incompetence has NEVER stopped anyone getting elected.
Nobody cares about incompetence. Neither the people at the voting booth NOR the people in the party pushing that person for office.
People care about "Is he/she like me?". Can they identify with the candidate and his/her ideas or in other words - do they LIKE the candidate.
It's a popularity contest.

Just a while ago US had an incompetent lunatic with a history of substance abuse problem who believes he talks to god, with god giving him instructions on how to run the country - running the country and starting decades long wars.
Remember that time when an undiagnosed Alzheimer's patient ran a country, with plans to "win" a nuclear war with USSR by using "lazors"?
Remember that airhead from Alaska being and actual presidential candidate?
Remember that other guy being "a robot" and "not cool" to be president?
Remember that certain senator from Kansas being "too old"?

It's a popularity contest. People vote for whom they like more based on their public image.
Hint: A sex scandal does not mean someone is incompetent at their job - except in politics.
People don't care about competence. If they did, there'd be a test and an "experience in office" requirement for political positions.
You know... something to show that a politician actually knows how government works.
Imagine THAT crazy thing - politicians with actual governing GRADES and stats.

Instead, elections are about the ability to pretend to be everything to everyone.
Which is what's "making the decision-making positions extremely attractive to psychopaths, narcissists and people with other mental issues" - not a myth of divine kings.

Thus, elections being a popularity contest...
"Jobs fucked Fiorina" is irrelevant historical information (over a decade old) which, were elections about competence, would actually indicate more that she was a high stakes player who once lost to Divine Steve.
But it's not.
It's a cheap, "dirty laundry" attempt at painting old news as relevant in order to affect someone's popularity by labeling them as "totally tricked" and "outsmarted" instead of what they are - incompetent at running a company.

Which might actually mean that she has great chances - in politics.
After all... People loved that other MBA who kept ruining businesses he ran. Maybe she should get herself a baseball team?


GitHub's Next Move: Turn Everybody Into a Programmer 145

mattydread23 writes: This interview with GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath and product VP Kakul Srivastava explains a little more what GitHub is planning for the future — and how the company is trying to live up to its $2 billion valuation. Basically, if every developer in the world uses and loves GitHub, the next logical step is to turn more people into developers. "Even today, Wanstrath says, there are journalists and scientists who are using GitHub to find, build, and share data-driven applications that assist with research or interactive projects. The goal, then, is to gradually make it a lot easier for anybody to get started on the platform. As more and more people get educated as programmers from an early age, Wanstrath wants GitHub to be the service of choice for the next generation to really get their feet wet."

Yelp For People To Launch In November 447 writes: Caitlin Dewey reports in the Washington Post that 'Peeple' — basically Yelp, but for humans will launch in November. Subtitled "character is destiny," Peeple is an upcoming app that promises to "revolutionize the way we're seen in the world through our relationships" by allowing you to assign reviews of one to five stars to everyone you know: your exes, your co-workers, the old guy who lives next door. You can't opt out — once someone puts your name in the Peeple system, it's there unless you violate the site's terms of service. And you can't delete bad or biased reviews — that would defeat the whole purpose. "People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions," says co-founder Julia Cordray. "Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?"

According to Caitlin, one does not have to stretch far to imagine the distress and anxiety that such a system will cause even a slightly self-conscious person; it's not merely the anxiety of being harassed or maligned on the platform — but of being watched and judged, at all times, by an objectifying gaze to which you did not consent. "If you're one of the people who miss bullying kids in high school, then Peeple is definitely going to be the app for you!," says Mike Morrison. "I'm really looking forward to being able to air all of my personal grievances, all from the safety of my phone. Thanks to the app, I'll be able to potentially ruin someone's life, without all the emotional stress that would occur if I actually try to fix the problem face-to-face."

Comment Re:Admiral Ackbar (Score 2) 43

Yeah, it may well be. I'm intrigued to know what's in this for Google. Are Android phones still being artificially inflated in price by Microsoft's frivolous patent shakedowns against all Android manufacturers?

The whole reason Google retaliated was because of that idiocy, and if Google is ceasing it's retaliation to halt Microsoft's counter-retaliation then Microsoft has won, and Google has lost hard. Anyone know if Microsoft is giving up on the billions it rakes in from those Android shakedowns? If it isn't then it's hard to see how this is anything other than a humiliating defeat for Google.

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.