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Comment Not watching Star Trek (Score 1) 320

At RPI (a geek school), whenever Star Trek was on they put it up on the big TV in the student union.
If you pass through the first floor of the union between classes and see a hundred people all looking at the TV, that's what you expect to see.
They weren't watching Star Trek.

I still remember those demon horns curling into the sky and thinking WTF is this?
For a while the fear was that we'd build something so complex that we couldn't maintain it for long enough to use it.
still get a chill thinking about that day

Comment Job security in a small contract house (Score 1) 729

Testing software on a Sunday and posting on /. while I wait on the testbed...

It's because when there's work to do somebody needs to do it.
If we're flexible, then we get to be those people.

Anyhow my employer's policy is--If you're willing to give +40, you're asked to do it when things are busy.
Some folks that *will* not work more than 40. Those folks aren't asked to.
As long as you say what you will do and do what you say, nobody here has a problem with it.
Enough of us are willing so that when things are slack he doesn't have to lay people off.
OBTW--someone who works for no money is called a slave. We get paid for every hour we put in.

When things got really bad in our industry around 2008, we took pay cuts (boss cut his pay to zero first--really zero, not bogus boss zero with stock options).

In 20 years of working for this company we have never had to let someone go due to lack of available work.

BTW, if you know ControlLogix programming, give me a shout. It's pretty busy 'round here!

Comment Not Deuterium but Tritium (Score 1) 186

Rather than "heavy" hydrogen, (one neutron) you'd do better with two of them (heavy, heavy...)
Less velocity (lower temperature) is required to overcome the EM force and get close enough for the strong force to take over.
Of course, acquiring it is more problematic than the regular "heavy" stuff. But once you're producing a good flux of neutrons you could shield with water then refine and extract the fuel.

Ref the 1991 publication by Knopfler et. al., wherein the hypothesis is presented.

Comment Re: This is called Kaya Kalpa in yoga (Score 4, Interesting) 155

It took about 5 minutes for me, but had to be *total* dakness. So dark I couldn't tell if my eyes were open or shut. This was in a lab where we were doin nuclear emission spectroscopy (just gas discharge tubes). Any outside light would pollute the results, so the lab was really dark until we turned on the juice.
During that period I could see as clearly as i'm seeing this screen flowing sheets of glowing pastel paint sliding down a wall that wasn't there.
Not true hallucinations of course--by definition if you know it's not real it's not a hallucination. Phosphenes I think they were called.

Anyhow, very beautiful and unusual. I don't think my lab partners saw anything--at least they didn't say they did. Or they were afraid people would think they were nuts.

Later i blacked out my dorm room & reproduced the effect. And learned it's really hard to produce absolute darkness. Tinfoil is *full* of tiny holes! And black paint is not as opaque as it seems.

Comment A well-respected physician explained it this way: (Score 2) 257

Psychology is today where Medicine was 200 years ago.
There's nothing inherently wrong with treating behavioral maladies, and such treatment could eventually be classified as medicine.
It's just not there yet.

(He also didn't have a very high opinion of chiropractors...)

Comment Well, this explains a lot! (Score 1) 237

Ignorance is perceived as "deviant" rather than normal?
That is the most absurd concept I've come across in a long time, but it explains a *LOT*.

Look, knowing what you don't know is pretty fscking precious.
I love my ignorance. It's how I learn something! I'm at my boss's house fixing his network because I missed something when setting it up.
Before I left to go here he told me 'Well, you'll learn something when you're done'.
And I did and it works now!

Now you tell me that the "norm" (and the Cliff, too apparently) is to deny your own ignorance? How do you learn anything? How else do you try to integrate all the things you know and throw out the stuff that's obviously wrong?
Apparently critical thought is dead except for those that actually have to get things done!

Go in a factory where parts need to come off of the line and be correct and saleable--and if you screw something up people can lose fingers, eyes, or lives. Managers can BS people, but debating against reality is pretty ineffective! Trades & Techs--the ones that have stuck around for a while, at least--are pretty damned happy when they know they don't know something--there's not much other way to find where to look in order to get the machines running and running safely!

I guess Lovecraft was right all along:

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

Comment What you're looking for is "Privateers" (Score 1) 238

Not Mercenaries--we have those; just call them "private contractors" e.g. Blackwater.
Just draw up a list of "enemies" and authorize anyone who asks to attack them.

Only difference now is you don't have to be on a ship to attack a foreign power--you don't even have to leave your house!
You keep the booty as compensation for your risk & expense.

There's certainly precedent for it.

Comment Why are you (not she) posting this question? (Score 3, Insightful) 250

That's not rhetorical. She isn't posting this; you are, and there's a reason.

You've already established that your wife doesn't want a 'job' in IT.
Go listen to her and find out what she wants. If she wants your help, help her.

"...it's relatively easier to find a job in IT than starting a new career..."
comes off a "IT folks and my wife can handle jobs, not careers".

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Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce