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Comment: Getting a CS degree after a liberal arts degree (Score 1) 391

by Ellen Spertus (#47920847) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I teach in a unique graduate program for students who developed an interest in CS after completing a bachelor's degree in another field, usually in the liberal arts or social sciences. For their thesis, students can combine their old field (if it still interests them) with CS. Our grads have been doing great in the market, although it's probably more because of their graduate CS degree than their undergraduate degree. One built upon her English degree to become a tech writer, but most become software engineers.

Comment: Re:Welcome to government science (Score 1) 348

by mellon (#47876785) Attached to: When Scientists Give Up

Free market capitalism gives us Viagra. Which is a dramatic way of saying that it encourages short-term thinking, because human beings have a well-documented cognitive bias toward near-term results, and tend to heavily discount the benefit of long-term results. And so we get cattle ranchers abusing antibiotics even though in the long run many people will die as a result of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria this practice breeds. And we get pharma companies developing Viagra analogues instead of antibiotics.

I say this not for your benefit, since you are not interested in being contradicted, but because it's possible that someone else reading your diatribe might believe you if nobody points out the problem with what you've said.

Comment: Re:Welcome to government science (Score 4, Insightful) 348

by mellon (#47873581) Attached to: When Scientists Give Up

No, actually the government was very dynamic at one time and got a lot of really impressive research done. Then people like you who think "government bad" started to complain about taxes and regulation, and over the course of the past 40 years or so, you've managed to suck a lot of life out of the government. It's the whole Gordon Gecko philosophy: greed is good. No, actually, it isn't. What's good is working together.

Comment: Re:Yeah, because that's a good idea. (Score 1) 167

by mellon (#47838897) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification

Yes, all plants produce chemicals that repel or kill pests. Some of them are deadly neurotoxins. Some do not exist in any foods. Caffeine is actually a good insect killer, but you wouldn't want caffeine in your corn, would you?

Your arguments about glyphosate sound great, but don't actually contradict what I said.

I don't work for free, but patents are a huge detriment to my work. They are simply the wrong way to pay for research: they slow down research, increase uncertainty for people who are actually doing productive work, and most of the cash they throw off goes to lawyers rather than to people who are actually doing the work. Of course people (even lawyers!) have to eat, but farmers have to eat too. Monsanto's practices have put many farmers out of business (more in India than here in the U.S.).

Comment: Re:Motherfuckers (Score 5, Interesting) 167

by mellon (#47834235) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification

I recommend that you try cold brew with a medium roast of good-quality arabica beans. Not *$$: go to your local co-op and get some good shade-grown beans. I've had good success doing a 12-hour cold brew: you take about a cup and a half of course ground coffee and add it to two quarts of water (I use a two-quart mason jar) and put it in the fridge overnight. After it's sat twelve hours, filter it through paper into another container. This is kind of an annoying process, and there are devices that you can get to simplify it, but I would start off just using a regular filter so that you can try it.

The coffee this produces is much mellower than the equivalent coffee brewed hot. If you want it hot, it's okay to heat it: the reason you don't re-heat hot coffee is that the transition from hot to cold causes chemical changes that wreck the flavor, but the transition from cold to hot doesn't have this effect.

Comment: Re:Yeah, because that's a good idea. (Score 2) 167

by mellon (#47834143) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification

The problem with Monsanto modifying the genes of plants is that:

  • they make plants that produce chemicals to kill pests, with possibly unknown health effects (although at this point these effects have been studied pretty thoroughly)
  • they make plants that are resistant to herbicides, which promotes the use of these herbicides, which promotes the development of superweeds
  • they patent everything and engage in licensing schemes that are really harmful to small farmers.

In my mind, the last item is the one that I care most about, although the superweeds are a close second. Also, as kruach aum says, you appear to be pretty ignorant about how this all works, so your opinion as to what's safe or unsafe or a good idea is not well-informed, and hence not something anybody needs to pay much attention to. I say this not to put you down, but rather to encourage you to become better informed: to actually try to understand the science rather than just making a simplistic mental model of it and then conjecturing on the basis of that model. That way of thinking is extremely damaging to our culture at present, and you really should stop doing it.

Comment: Re: Her work (Score 4, Insightful) 1262

Again you are completely missing the point she was making and the point of this slashdot article. The point she was making is that women in the games she's reviewing are uniformly depicted in these sexualized death poses and sexualized death scenes, and men are not depicted that way. That is gender stereotyping. And the point of TFA is that whether you agree with her about this or not, it's not a reason to threaten her and her parents with torture and death.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.