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Comment Oh the tales you'll tell... (Score 1) 410

You can't not have culture, and honestly I would much rather live in Silicon Valley than in London. London is just as expensive as SV, and I guess if you're easily impressed by stuff just because it's man made and old, then that counts as 'culture'? London has two symphonies, which I guess is pretty nice, but also SF has one too and one is plenty.

What I really think is that Jimmy is just talking shit and probably couldn't really explain what he means when he says 'culture', beyond the usual american garbage about 'oh, Europe has so much culture'. This is just an American Abroad's incredibly insightful (and not at all obsequious) little musings about how *amazing* European 'Culture' (old property) is. I hope he gets licked by a Chav.

Comment Re:The good thing is (Score 2) 50

The mantra that our liberties have been going away gradually is often repeated but not at all, or in any way, true.

If you want to talk about domestic spying, how about:

Plus, I guess you are only talking about white people, because the liberties of every other kind of people are very obviously less eroded than they were in the recent past. I think things like being allowed to marry a white person, or being allowed to buy a house is a pretty important liberty that some groups were denied, by the government, and now the government doesn't deny them those liberties. So that's a pretty big win for liberty.

Blah blah blah, right do not come from governments, blah blah blah. The government can't 'create' rights, I guess, but it sure as hell is the only thing between you and the army of goons that would swoop in and deprive you of your life and property. I'm sure you think that you don't need the government to protect you, right? I mean you could just join together with your neighbors and protect yourselves without the government. But guess what? The 'government' is just all of us joining together to protect ourselves, that's literally all it is. So you can whine about the faceless 'them' coming along and stealing all 'yer liberty', but it's just a bunch talk-show-talking-point agitation propoganda bullshit that has been spoon fed to you and you are just puking back out onto the world without bothering to think about it critically.

Humans long ago decided it was better to band together, because the alternative is to get robbed, murdered, or exploited by whatever gangsters happen to show up and defeat us in detail. We've developed fairly sophisticated ways of getting the good parts of government (protection, contracts, regulated externalized costs) without the bad parts (explicit oligarchy, autocracy, large scale warfare for the personal enrichment of leaders).

Comment Hmmmmm... (Score 2) 433

So the Nazi's were a large, bureaucratic organization, and despite that it seems like our 'winning strategy' was to kill large numbers of lower level people, and smaller numbers of higher ranking people, and yet it seems to have worked in the end? The claims made by this paper seem very silly.

Comment Re:Perhaps a Dyson Sphere? (Score 1) 142

I doubt it because we would be deluged with holidaying spherians every long weekend. Earth beaches are the best. Also the construction process would have generated a lot of debris. Seriously, it is too close not to be noticed as such. If they were humans there would be trillions of them in there. Even if it was a ringworld sort of thing with a collapsed civilisation, there would be ships coming past and making radio noise, exhaust, etc.

Why do you think you have any idea what we would see or not see?

Imagine you were living with circa 1800 AD technology, and were looking for evidence of another civilization with circa 2014 technology. Keep in mind that this 200 year difference is nothing compared to the difference between modern technology and the technology of a race capable of building a Dyson sphere.

Perhaps you would use a rudimentary telescope to look out to sea. You would rule out any ships, since the weird objects you see don't have sails. If those giant things were ships, the sails would have to be miles across! So of course they are just some other phenomena, but they can't be ships.

Seeing a highway, you would know, obviously, that the things you saw weren't vehicles. Where are the horses? Plus, they are going far too fast. Besides, it couldn't be a road because there aren't any seams, and any road would have to be built from cobble stones. Clearly these are some other phenomena.

Besides, how could cities that far apart communicate effectively without Semaphore Towers? The lack of Semaphore Towers proves there is no way those big things on the horizon are cities. An envelope calculation shows that civilizations of that huge of a size would have to have at least 45000 semaphore towers between them just to negotiate the marriage of members of the royal families!

Plus, if you have a Dyson Sphere, why would you need to send any ships anywhere? To trade? Trade what? Communicate? Why would you use a ship to communicate? If you did send ships, why would they go through our solar system?

Comment Because it's the best way.. (Score 2) 876

For the same reason we still write text-based stories, send text-based emails, text based text messages, etc etc.

There isn't a way to express tree structures directly, without jumping back and forth, so we have settled on (or evolved to) a standard way to linearize such structures, which is called grammar.

There's no advantage to any other representation, but rather there is a huge disadvantage to other representations because our brains have spent the last million or so years evolving to be adept at manipulating language in this way.

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.