Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Nice troll (Score 1) 508

by justaguy516 (#48679505) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Except that these are two separate problems. One is how to grow the economy. The second is how to distribute the outcome of the growth. The problem with your position is that you have already given up on the second; you are reconciled to the fact that the 0.1% is going to get the lion's share of the outcome of the economy.

You can hold off on immigration; but eventually robots will take over and do most of our jobs for us. If we still stick to the current capitalist model of society (and robots count as somebody's property/capital), and do not find a way to distribute the output of our robotic friends equitably (without requiring each and everybody in society to do meaningless jobs just to participate in the economy), we are all in trouble.

Comment: Re:Hitting 36 years old (Score 1) 508

by justaguy516 (#48679463) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

I am 44 years old. Working in software for more than 20 years; a rather specialized sub-field of software. Completed 20 years in the business. About 10 years back, when I started looking around and saw that all the folks 10 years older than me were either completely clueless about what to do or had shifted to management, I made a conscious shift. I started specializing in maintenance work; old, 10-12 year old products. The smart young ones don't want to do maintenance work; it is un-glamourous, doesn't give them skills to put on linkedin. I love it; especially solving bugs from the field which are non-obvious. Its like detective work......and requires in-depth domain and product knowledge. So far, I have kept my head down, and out of sight. My customer's appreciate it (especially the field guys, who have their own customer's to face) when I come up with answers for them, and I am not competing with every 25 year old speaking knowledgeably about SMAC and Cassandra and stuff.

Comment: Re:C had no real successor (Score 1) 641

by justaguy516 (#48555505) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

C++ is like a Swiss Army penknife gone mad. The one with three blades, corkscrew and screwdriver was a useful enhancement over a plain knife ; though a plain knife is sufficient for most of what you need. But now the penknife has 1000 blades ranging from fish gutting to bear fighting, a built in arc welder, all the tools needed to strip the engine of a Maserati PLUS a built in grill and oven. Its crazy.

Comment: Re:H1-B debate? (Score 1) 398

by justaguy516 (#48548101) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

What you can do is to have a bottom on the cost per H1B to the employer. Let us say, you fix an amount Y. If the company pays the visa holder less than Y, they pay the rest as tax to the govt. If they pay more than Y, then they are not taxed. Y has to be the market clearing rate; i..e the rate at which all H1B visas available are taken.

Comment: Re:writer doesn't get jeopardy, or much of anythin (Score 1) 455

Nope. A purely empirical observer wouldn't be able to tell you that 'as far as mommy knows, the chocolate is still in the drawer and that is why she is surprised'. The empirical observer would be able to predict that mommy giggles but wouldn't know __why__ she is giggling. The little boy can, because he can model mommy's state of mind. That is the fundamental difference.

Comment: Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (Score 1) 455

Computer programs have no idea that what they are tracking is 'time' and how that "time" is different from any other relation (for example, distance) between entities , because they cannot infer causality between events.

Computer programs track a number which changes based on an abstract rule that the programmer programmed into it and based on the absolute value of that number, they do things. You could write a program where this number is replaced by the distance from a fixed point and send the computer on a random walk and the outcome would be very very different, for the same basic rules.

Time is not a sequence of numbers. If I show you a picture of a car down the street and then a picture of the same car in front of you, you will immediately place them in a 'time' order because you infer causality between the two of them......the car is in front of you right now __because__ it was down the street some __time ago__ and it is no longer there because it is here __now__. You think a program scheduler can create a relationship like this spontaneously?

Comment: Re:writer doesn't get jeopardy, or much of anythin (Score 2) 455

But all of it doesn't even matter.

The professor of philosophy is actually wrong. We don't understand what time is any better then clocks do. We are complicated, ad infinitum refined "clocks" for mindless, insentient set of genes who aren't even aware of us. Even the notions "aware" and "sentient" are themselves misleading.

No, this is wrong. The professor is right; we do understand time and computers do not. In fact, we are capable of an understanding of time in a way which is impossible to communicate to computers or even any other forms consciousnesses. We understand time because we have an inherent sense of causality built into us, and time is the name we have given to the way we relate causal events. In fact, we are so good with time that we can construct dynamic experiments in our mind, using our own mind as a model and track the state of the modelled mind in time.

Consider the following experiment. A little child watches his mother put a bar of chocolate in the fridge. Little later daddy sneaks in and eats the chocolate. The little boy giggles; why? Because he knows that as far as mommy is concerned the chocolate is still there in the fridge and she will be surprised when she looks for it. How does he know? Because he constructed a simulation in his head of his mommy's mind, fed it a sequence of stimuli and observed its evolution over time. This is a level of manipulation of time (causality) which is completely out of reach of the most powerful computer.

Comment: Re:I bet Amazon would love to hire more women. (Score 1) 496

by justaguy516 (#48432567) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

"Amazon" may not care, but "Amazon" doesn't make hiring decisions either. Individuals in Amazon do and they are as subject to societal prejudices as anybody. Not that I know anything about how women are treated in the Seattle tech industry, but this anthropomorphizing of large organizations is pretty silly.

"Laugh while you can, monkey-boy." -- Dr. Emilio Lizardo