Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 664 664

"perversely"? Really?

Are you calling their conscience kicking in a bad thing? What you call 'coping' I call 'being morally numbed by life threatening situations'.

War is a bitch. If people are shooting at you, a lot of morality goes out the door (and a large part of the population won't blame you for that). Clearly, these drone pilots do not have such an excuse.

Comment: Re:Not All Fats are Equal (Score 1) 244 244

Quote from a better article than TFA:
"Prof. Magnusson and colleagues reached their findings using 2-month-old male mice, which were randomized to be fed either a high-fat diet (42% fat, 43% carbohydrate), a high-sugar diet (12% fat, 70% carbohydrate - mainly from sugars) or normal chow."
( )

Note that both could also be called low-protein (less than 18%) and that the second could be called low-fat.
But "Low-Fat, Low-Protein Diet Can Lead To Cognitive Decline" doesn't quite ring the bell that has been rung a thousand times before. A bell that sounds familiar, safe and doesn't cause cognitive dissonance.

Comment: Re:Can they compile from source? (Score 1) 143 143

Wow, the most popular attacks of 2013 were pretty much all about exploiting the quirks of C.

Not trying to start a fight here, but the attacks I'm seeing would not be possible in Java (for instance). I'm also not implying that an OS should be written in Java (obviously). I was and am interested to what extent such underhanded code can be written in 'modern' higher-level languages. I found this when Googling:

Comment: Re:albeit costing three times as much (Score 1) 126 126

5.5 years ago, I bought an Intel i7 860 and accompanying mid-range motherboard for 350 EUR. That means I've paid ~65 EUR/year, ~5 EUR/month for that combination, which is _still_ serving me ridiculously well (so much so that I really really really need to convince myself that I want to upgrade it -- it's far from necessary, but it 'feels' like it is time).

Taking into account that I work from home, for me it is pretty simple: I just can't be bothered to skimp by going AMD and shave off maybe 3 EUR/month on what is hands down the most important device in my life.

Comment: Re:females operate on emotion, not logic (Score 1) 446 446

Huh? An irrational goal is irrational by definition because it's defined as an irrational one.

Which was not under contention. The chasing of an irrational goal is rational, whether or not the goal is irrational. Which was what that was about.

Now that I disagree with. Goals are the result of emotion which is pretty much the epitome of irrationality.

Don't be silly. You haven't even tried to read or in the slightest address the argumentation for my claim (which you are disagreeing with).

Which is exactly what I meant by 'ignoring my points'.

"I disagree with this. This is my opinion." is not an acceptable reply to a set of arguments. You can't just pretend they were never presented. You can't just ignore them.

Well, technically you can, but it makes for a terrible, terrible discussion. If your next reply doesn't show you making an effort, I am done here.

Comment: Re:your UID is too high to call it favorite (Score 1) 246 246

your UID is too high for it to 'always have been your favorite place'

That doesn't make any sense. I obviously didn't mean 'since the inception of /.', but rather 'since I discovered Slashdot'. The latter was many years before I made an account here, btw.

I think you should have tried harder and made some funny 'get off my lawn'-joke instead of childishly waving your UID-dick.

+ - Journalist fools media into publishing chocolate weight loss story->

dinfinity writes: "“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. [...] It was discussed on television news shows. [...] My colleagues and I recruited actual human subjects in Germany. We ran an actual clinical trial, with subjects randomly assigned to different diet regimes. And the statistically significant benefits of chocolate that we reported are based on the actual data. It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:negativity (Score 3, Insightful) 246 246

guys, can we cut down the negativity?


Slashdot has been one of the bastions of the internet where rock-hard unemotional honesty and rationality are valued and made salient (through the moderations system and its community). This has always made it my favorite place on the internet by far: getting away from cat pictures, stupid 12-things-that-lists, regurgitated shallow clickbait news reports, endlessly shortsighted comments and stupid fucking polls.

Lately, Slashdot has been sinking. It is still my favorite place, with so much of the internet having devolved into the crap I just mentioned, but the vocal and unabridged resistance against the sinking is imho our only hope for Slashdot not going to shit completely.

So no, we can't cut down the negativity. We must increase it.

Fuck beta.
Fuck stupid headlines.
Fuck clickbait and flamebait articles.
Fuck Slashvertisements.
And fuck polls.

Comment: Re:females operate on emotion, not logic (Score 1) 446 446

Rationally chasing an irrational goal is not rational behaviour.

You can't just say nuh-uh and be done with it. Especially after I've already shown that what you just wrote is incorrect by definition. We could do the "but I don't define it that way"-dance, but that will lead us nowhere worth being.

But you cannot claim the goals are *rational* either.

I never did. Quite the opposite in fact. No goals are inherently rational or irrational. They can only be rational or irrational relative to some other or higher goal (if your ultimate goal is to die of starvation next week, it is irrational to have a goal of eating a healthy dinner every day for the coming week). Considering I said that I think there is no ultimate goal and there cannot be one, it necessarily means that there is ultimately nothing to which any goal can be relative to. And thus no goal can absolutely be rational or irrational.

Nope, I think it's silly. If you can't be yourself around your peers, you could find new peers.

Your opinion is irrelevant. Your arguments may be relevant. In any case, you ignored my points on this topic and I will do so for yours (and I'm being generous here in using the plural and calling them 'points') until you properly address mine.

Comment: Re:females operate on emotion, not logic (Score 1) 446 446

"Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value." (wikipedia)

The thing is: there is no point in the universe. It doesn't exist for a reason, it just exists. There is no rational underlying basis for doing anything at all.

I'm not being nihilist.

You are.

If the goal is not rational, then the actions are only marginally rational at best. If, for example I was driven to spend the rest of my life wandering round dressed as a giant chicken, well, it would a stretch to call the endavour logical.

If that was your goal, then yes, working towards that would be rational.

From wikipedia:
"Determining optimality for rational behavior requires a quantifiable formulation of the problem, and making several key assumptions. When the goal or problem involves making a decision, rationality factors in how much information is available (e.g. complete or incomplete knowledge). Collectively, the formulation and background assumptions are the model within which rationality applies. Illustrating the relativity of rationality: if one accepts a model in which benefitting oneself is optimal, then rationality is equated with behavior that is self-interested to the point of being selfish; whereas if one accepts a model in which benefiting the group is optimal, then purely selfish behavior is deemed irrational. It is thus meaningless to assert rationality without also specifying the background model assumptions describing how the problem is framed and formulated."

Given that there is (by your own admittance) no basis to call one goal more valid than another, a goal in itself cannot be irrational unless it conflicts with other goals pursued simultaneously.

Finally: I take it that you agree on the original point that caring about whether you are seen as weak by your peers can be (and often is) rational, given your silence on the topic.

Comment: Re:females operate on emotion, not logic (Score 1) 446 446

Well, that's pretty much escalating it to a point where all discussion becomes useless. I say that is pretty weak.

I'm going to do two things here:
1. I am going to respond to the ontopic part of your attack.
2. I am going to go offtopic, see your weak nihilism and raise you strong nihilism.

Rational means: 'making the optimal decision to further your goals.' The only thing I needed to prove was that there could be reasoning behind not wanting to be seen as weak. I went a little further and stated that there often is reasoning behind not wanting to be seen as weak. I repeat: rational conclusions are not universal; they depend on your goals. What is rational for one, may not be rational for another.

I agree, there is no goal in the universe. I'd state it even stronger: there can ultimately be no ultimate goal of the universe (this particular universe may have an ultimate goal if it is nested in another universe, but that is sort of cheating with the word universe). The word goal is dependent on time and on a ranking of configurations of the universe. Coming closer to your goal means that the configuration of universe has changed in such a way that it is more likely that the set of configurations that define your goal will occur. Attaining your goal means being in the set of configurations that define that goal.

If all configurations exist 'simultaneously' (i.e., time is just another dimension), then the whole notion of 'moving to another configuration' is nonsensical. There can be no goal if there is no passing time.

Even if the universe is really only in one state at a time, there is no absolute reason to value one configuration over another. Reasons can emerge within the universe, but not outside of it. I.e.: all species have a basis to rank certain configurations above others (the dinosaurs might have certain preferences concerning asteroids), but without this emergent value system, there needs to be an inherent value system that defines which configurations of the universe are more desirable than others. The universe doesn't work that way: it has no concept of values. It is as you said: it just exists; it just happens. There are configurations that are statistically more likely and in that sense one could argue that the universe 'favors' those, but that is a far cry from our intuition of a 'goal' (heat death doesn't seem that interesting).

Finally: if there happened to be an ultimate goal, what would we do after attaining it? Suppose the ultimate goal of the universe is pushing a big red button in some crevice on Mars and we manage to push it. Then what?
In more technical terms: the set of configurations that would define an ultimate goal is necessarily relatively small and ranked above all other configurations. The only option when reaching it would be to 'roam' indefinitely in that limited set of configurations (although admittedly, it can still be an infinite set).

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.