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Comment: Re:Should we? (Score 1) 254

by HangingChad (#48014995) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

I will never understand the quasi-religious fervor some people have about space.

If we, as a species, don't get off the earth, and fairly soon in terms of our evolutionary history, we're going to die. That's a fact. If it's not a gamma ray burst, a meteor or comet fragment the size of Texas, or a wandering neutron star, something is going to come along and kill everything on this planet, including us.

What I will never understand is short-sighted people who only care if the planet lasts long enough for them to get theirs and piss on future generations.

Comment: I love Obj-C. I've used it since 1989. (Score 1) 310

by jcr (#48008177) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

But as I've said many times since then, I'll switch when something better comes along. That time has come. Swift is a major improvement over Obj-C, and it was developed to meet Apple's internal needs, by engineers who know Obj-C inside out.

It's kind of a kick being a beginner again. Swift takes some getting used to, but I expect it to give me as much of a productivity improvement over Obj-C as Obj-C gave me over C++.


Comment: Re:Someone explain please (Score 4, Insightful) 210

by jcr (#47991163) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

What is it with governments and wanting to spy on every citizen, just because the technology might allow for it?

As Robert Heinlein pointed out, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who seek to control others, and those who have no such desire. Governments are comprised of the assholes in the first category, and mass surveillance is all about power.


Comment: Re:That's not what she's saying (Score 4, Insightful) 356

by HangingChad (#47984565) Attached to: Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

just that they never collapse further than the state that gravity can overcome the speed of light.

It sounds like a new term like "black star" rather than "black hole" might be in order. Because the stars at the center of our universe are orbiting around something really heavy that doesn't emit any visible light.

If I'm reading this right there's something really big and heavy there, we just can't see it.

Comment: Re:In lost the will to live ... (Score 1) 794

by Pfhorrest (#47970747) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Why should you even care about your own personal survival and comfort? Obviously most people do, but that's a far cry from should.

Even if God exists, why should you do what he commands? Even if the answer is back to "because he will punish you if you don't", why should I avoid punishment? That is, come back to the first question up there: why should I care about my own personal survival and comfort?

Most people do care about their own personal survival and comfort, sure. But then a lot of people just do have empathy for others too. Then again, a lot of people do get sadistic pleasure from hurting others too —sometimes the same people as have empathy for others too, just in different circumstances. And a lot of people probably would obey the commands of something they considered God, if not just to avoid punishment, then just because a lot of people just do obey supposed authorities, whether they should or not. (Look at the Stanford Prison Experiment. Or the Nazis who were "just following orders").

Asking what people do do isn't going to tell us anything about what they should do, and when you start asking what people should do and why, "God says so" doesn't really add much to the conversation. Maybe we'd better take a few steps back and start asked what exactly "should" even means, and how the heck we're supposed to assess the truth or falsity of "should" propositions in the first place.

Comment: Re:In lost the will to live ... (Score 1) 794

by Pfhorrest (#47970693) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

I lost it as soon as he got to "by definition" and making room for God. As soon as you get into arguing about things from definitions you're doing analytic philosophy and if you're just saying "by definition" without offering support for why that is the right definition, you're probably doing it wrong.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.