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Comment: Re:Reminds me of The Wonderful Burt Wonderstone (Score 4, Insightful) 89

by jd (#47413427) Attached to: The Billionaire Mathematician

Humans nearly died out entirely from hunger and thirst, it was visionaries that led them out of a dying region of Africa into Asia, by a route that appeared to defy reason to any non-visionary of the time.

Pre-humans nearly had their brains the size of a grapefruit and wired backwards. It was visionaries who developed fire, 2.5 million years ago, providing the much-needed nutrition that allowed us to avoid the same fate as every other lineage of hominid.

Visionaries allowed the Norse to split quartz in a way that permitted them to track the sun even in cloudy skies and well into twilight, giving them greater access to the seas, trade and food than any other society of that time.

Visionaries developed cities to handle the logistics of the brewing and baking industries, again counter to any "obvious" logic that farming and hunting were how you got food.

Visionaries are the reason you can post stuff on the Internet, and why persecuted minorities around the world can have a voice and education.

So don't tell a visionary that he is defying your common sense. His work may have implications for society that you cannot imagine simply because he has the imagination and you don't. That does not mean that it will have such an implication or that he does have that extra imagination. It simply means that visionaries have a track record of saving people from starvation.

What about normal people? Those are usually the ones who manufacture conditions suitable for mass starvation. They're the ones who create nothing but buy the rights to sue to oblivion those who do. They're the ones who have allowed security holes to develop in critical infrastructure, like nuclear power stations, and then place said infrastructure on the public Internet where anybody can play with it. They're the ones who deny Global Warming and have endangered all life on this planet.

At this point in history, we'd be better off if the normal people were rounded up, put on some nowhere continent, and left to rot at their own hands. This would also solve much of the operpopulation crisis, as they're also the ones that breed morons like rabbits. If they choose to become civilized, they're free to do so. That would be helpful, in fact. But as long as they remain normal (read: proto-human), their fate is their lookout but they've no business making it everyone else's fate too.

Comment: Re:I got a Vietnam Era gedunk medal ... (Score 1) 192

by Hognoxious (#47409149) Attached to: An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

Here we have A.K. "Skid" Marc (the somnolent stoplight running lardass) failing even to do a link properly. And doing it as AC, for shame.

Now here's how to do it properly:

"So rather than being needlessly wordy, treasure trove is the etymologically complete phrase, misconstrued over time [by stupid fat idiots] as a noun-noun compound rather than a noun followed by an adjective. "

Earth

Mapping a Monster Volcano 105

Posted by timothy
from the shhh-it's-sleeping dept.
bmahersciwriter (2955569) writes In one of the biggest-ever seismology deployments at an active volcano, researchers are peppering Mount St Helens in Washington state with equipment to study the intricate system of chambers and pipes that fed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. This month, they plan to set off 24 explosions — each equivalent to a magnitude-2 earthquake — around around the slumbering beast in an effort to map the its interior with unprecedented depth and clarity.

Comment: Popularity != Quality (Score 1) 192

by jd (#47390533) Attached to: IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

There should have been modifiers for typical bugs per kloc and security holes per kloc.

Also, there are many more layers to the industry. Scientific computing? Avionics? Publishing?

The subdivisions between languages are also a bit... strange. Java/Oak isn't truly uniform, whatever anyone claims. C and C++ have standards that aren't always backwards-compatible - if you ignore such changes, why bother listing C# or D as distinct? Lump the lot, together with B and BCPL under a single header.

My guess is that accurate representation of languages isn't possible (when does a dialect become a distinct language?) but that if it was, none of the so-called "big three" languages would be in the top 10. Computer languages are as bad as natural languages when it comes to classifiers.

Last, but by no means least, people rarely directly code any more. They code within engines, usually using some weird fringe language nobody has ever heard of that turns out to be Lua or Visual Basic with the keywords words renamed for the theme. Real programmers (as opposed to integer or complex programmers) tend to be in the minority, have become rarer after Qualcomm outlawed them, and are mostly in mourning for Freshmeat. But as a lot are Goths anyway, it's hard to tell.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

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