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Comment: Re:"No idea how... the brain works" (Score 1) 208 208

we may have some ideas about how the brain works — at an electro-chemical level — it has been well studying and documented. a good text would be by neurologist — john eccles:

as for treating a simulation of the brain as having the same qualities as a real functioning brain is to fear getting wet from a simulation of a rainstorm. there are scientists which would disagree that human consciousness is actually simulable in this way:

one of the worst mistakes in cognitive science.. is to suppose that in
the sense in which computers are used to process information, brains
also process information. (john searle, cognitive scientist, 1990)*

* Is the Brain a Digital Computer?

Comment: Re:Macbook Pro (Score 1) 558 558

2009 MacBook Pro 13" 2.26Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo; 4Gb RAM, NVidia GeForce 9400m 256Mb.
1Tb 2.5" Internal Hard Disk Drive which resides where the DVD-R used to reside.

Peripherals: External Scarlett 6i6 USB Audio/MIDI Interface; and 19" HP LCD Monitor;
7Port power USB Hub; CM Storm w Cherry MX Blue keyswitches & Apple Magic Mouse.

This notebook has been a tank day in and day out for over 6 years.
It has been dropped and dented; the internal SATA bus died, and I installed a primary drive in the optical drive bay, and that is
running solid. It has running OSX 10.6 - 10.10; back in the day it also ran powerPC apps on OSX 10.6. I use a lot of software.
XCODE and iOS Development; Music and MIDI Software; Adobe CS Photoshop and Illustrator.. and VNC and Remote Desktops
for IT Support; still use Terminal and GCC. running hundreds of Apps over the years, games, emulators and custom software.

It contains my whole digital life: migrated from TRS80 > Mac512 > Mac IIcx; Quadra 700; PowerBook 520;
PowerBook 5200; Bondi iMac; iBook; iMac G5 > and finally 2009 MacBook Pro — and it is the most solid
reliable machine ever. I love it!!

2cents from Toronto Island
john p

Comment: chess (Score 1) 315 315

play chess with them — it strips away all the semantic crap that will change from language to language, and gets it right down to developing the sort of critical thinking that is required to think logically and consistently in programming.

just chess.
that's all.

john p

Comment: Ze drem vil finali kum tru (Score 4, Funny) 626 626

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has
been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European
communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that
English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a
five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c".
Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the
hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up
konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the
troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like
"fotograf" 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be
expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are
possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters,
which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil
agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is
disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing
"th" by z" and "w" by " v".

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords
kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer
kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be
no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand
ech ozer.

Den, Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

Comment: Chess (Score 1) 215 215

the changing semantics of languages and APIs will change — best way to teach the sort of mental discipline is to abstract it to the level of chess —

then using something like SDLTRS to run an old version of TRS80 or Apple II Basic, and have them solve simple problems (like Towers of Hannoi, generating Prime Numbers, Loop and Display their name 1000x on the screen).

keep it simple.


Comment: Perception of Colour before a Light or Dark Bkgrnd (Score 1) 420 420

GOETHE explained this through the effect of turbidity on the perception of colour.

Light shining through a darker medium yields yellow; whereas an illuminated turbid medium before a dark background yields blue.

Check out: Light Darkness and Colours @time: 23:30 on youtube:

Comment: Bicycles (Score 3, Insightful) 481 481

Infrastructure for Bikes costs a lot less to construct than infrastructure for cars.

Instead of designing infrastructure that assumes cars — design for bicycles — then there is no more oil crisis, people live longer and happier.

I commuted in a car every day for over 7 years — and going 113km x 2 = 226km day — and three hours a day wasted sitting stuck in traffic.
Sold the car, bought a bike and moved in to town — ten years later — still one of the best decisions of ever made.

A 10 year cyclist in from Toronto.

Bicycles are the key to a sustainable future.

Comment: Coils and Relays (Score 1) 175 175

start simple — stroking a nail with a magnet to magnetize it; coiling a wires; then show them a relay.. it works by the principle they themselves have done by coiling wire. then build the four basic logic gates: AND, OR, NAND, NOR.. that will already take a long time. have them write-up the truth tables by toggling switches and getting the results.

then play chess with them — this will better prepare them than anything to thing clearly and logically independent of language semantics which will soon be obsolete.


The early bird who catches the worm works for someone who comes in late and owns the worm farm. -- Travis McGee