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Comment: Health is cheaper, less painful. (Score 2) 402

The reason for the diets, supplements and exercise aren't to extend life, but to enhance life's quality.

You can be 75 and a cripple, in pain and bankrupted by health care costs or...

You can be be 75, run marathons, be fairly pain free and pay relatively little for health care.

I know people in both situations. To some degree, it's your choice.

Comment: Complacent or more realistic priorities? (Score 1) 271

When you're in your 20s, you feel like you have time to play with fun stuff like code.

When you're in your late 50s, and the cancer has come and gone, and your parents have died, and getting up and moving is a daily exercise in pain, and your wife has started having strokes and you're both in fear of the next one, and your cat/dog of 20 years is going to die of old age soon and so are you, probably in the next 20-30 years, believe you me, new software falls WAY down the list of important things to think about. Try mortality. Try meaning. Try the poignancy of life.

Code can be fun, sure, but it's not *important* at all.

Comment: Re:Business (Score 5, Insightful) 271

Yeah, here's the thing about being complacent.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Software isn't always better because it's new. Procedures either. I'm not about to have anybody use Ruby, just because some 20-something new hire things it's cool. And while I like Agile, I know that it works only because the team meets every day, forces them to track real progress vs estimates, measures what's happening in real time and basically keeps their eye on the ball. Stuff I was doing about a decade before the word, "agile" existed.

So, color me unimpressed by Powershell, Agile, objective C, json and Azure. These technologies are neat and sometimes useful, but ONLY if they solve a problem and/or IMPROVE something - a test many new technologies fail, pathetically (e.g. 100 lines of powershell to do what one line of "NET USE xxxx" does).

Comment: Re:Assuming we find a hydrocarbon energy substitut (Score 1) 323

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47946143) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

No. Coal is not going away. Oil isn't going away. Natural gas isn't going away. There's never been an issue with the total quantity of hydrocarbons. What we're running out of are hydrocarbons that are:

1) Inexpensive enough to run an interdependent web of supply chains utterly dependent on *cheap* transportation fuel.

2) Have a high enough net energy return to justify both their production AND enough left over to run an industrial scale civilization of the current size.

Capitalism dictates that you go for the resource that gives you the most bang for the buck first in order to maximize profit. We've done that. It's downhill from here. I suggest you google "oil" and "EROEI" to get the figures.

The fact that population growth isn't local doesn't invalidate anything. If African countries can manage resource diversion to their population, they will. Your lack of control and/or responsibility also changes nothing. This looks unlikely today due to the military power imbalance. After 20 to 50 years of Chinese occupation and development, however, I wouldn't make that bet at all.

Comment: Assuming we find a hydrocarbon energy substitute (Score 5, Insightful) 323

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47939483) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

One that's as cheap, energy dense and as easy to handle at room temperature as oil, coal, natural gas and so on.

If we *don't* do this, then I'm fairly sure that after we hit 11 billion by 2100, we'll be lucky to hit 50 million by 2200. Fewer, if we try and solve our resource problems by throwing nukes at one another, which sounds likely.

Like all species, we simply consume resources until the population crashes. What we've been so far with technology is "lucky." There's always been another *cheap* and *easy* resource to exploit. Short of a breakthrough in battery technology and thorium reactors (or fusion) that's not going to happen again.

Comment: Re:Racism is still alive! (Score 1) 221

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47931569) Attached to: Obama Presses Leaders To Speed Ebola Response

WHY is the Chinese. We're being out-competed. The Chinese are providing technology to a number of African countries in exchange for resources (e.g. Coltan in Congo. Oil from Nigeria) and they're not insisting on human rights or democracy to provide it. Right now, the USA has the closest thing to an Ebola cure, which means that the Chinese are at a disadvantage.

This won't last, of course, and may result in a significant worldwide plague. Whether this is an unforeseen consequence of a planned feature is left as an exercise for the reader.

Comment: Liberal arts degrees are not all equal (Score 1) 391

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47919347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I design and implement automated testing systems, including specialized APIs and the VMWare-based virtualization environments designed to support them.

As part of getting a BA in psychology back in the day, you had to have several statistics courses, industrial psychology, human factors, ergonomics and it was strongly suggested that you become familiar with symbolic logic. Neurophysiology, particularly neuronal functioning, was popular too. Had psychology research funding not dried up after Reagan was elected, I might still be in a lab somewhere.

Fate had other plans. Unable to find honest work, I took up the software trade instead. That was 34 years ago.

I use my psychology degree every day.

Comment: Undercover cop issue a non argument. (Score 3, Insightful) 142

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47854621) Attached to: Private Police Intelligence Network Shares Data and Targets Cash

The issue is random confiscation (aka. "theft") by local police. I don't have any problem with confiscation as long as a crime was committed and the defendant proven guilty. What isn't tolerable in any way, shape, or form is confiscation of my property because some dimwitted, local yokel cop *thought* about drugs while looking at my car.

Comment: Re:Defund (Score 0) 142

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47854371) Attached to: Private Police Intelligence Network Shares Data and Targets Cash

That ship has sailed. The transnational, transgenerational wealthy have decided that their little experiment in democracy hasn't worked out for them. You can expect continuing regression to the mean of governments for the foreseeable future. Explicit slavery in your lifetime is a pretty good bet.

Comment: Time to exchange data on the American cops... (Score 4, Insightful) 142

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47854267) Attached to: Private Police Intelligence Network Shares Data and Targets Cash

...who do this sort of "civil forfeiture." Badge numbers, names, pictures, locations, perhaps home addresses and phones.

I'm sure they won't mind, just as they won't mind a "civil" lawsuit or two aimed in their direction. After all, fair's fair, eh?

Comment: Re:False premise (Score 1) 546

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47820963) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Well, thank goodness I stuck it out and got that BA in psychology.

Seriously, no joke. That's my degree. These days, I design and code automated testing systems for seismic visualization and analysis software and the control systems for my virtual machine cloud that runs that system.

But I do a lot of that in vb.net and vb-form code (plus some healthy dollops of powershell), so that means I'm not a real programmer. Fortunately, nobody knows that so they pay me just as if I used curly braces. :)

Comment: Founding fathers would approve filming... (Score 2) 643

by gestalt_n_pepper (#47768713) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Separation of powers happened because the founding fathers understood that no single concentrated power could be trusted. Universal surveillance of all government officials would simply be an extension of this principal.

The founding fathers would approve filming government at ALL levels, from congress to notary. Multiple cameras (in the case of cops, dash-cam and chest-cam), streaming to web, with read-only access and multiple, physically separated backups.

There is no *technical* reason this can't be done, and frankly, it's a good idea. Think how much crap congress and K-Street wouldn't have gotten away with, had this been in place.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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