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Comment Re:Hurricane count (Score 5, Insightful) 288

This is silly. Climate is a huge chaotic system. The FIRST thing you learn about a chaotic system is that if you reduce the energy fed into it, you simplify it and can even calm it down to periodic states. Past a threshold (long passed for climate) you get chaotic flow, which is well understood.

If you increase the energy in the system, it is not mysterious at all what happens. You increase the range and unpredictability of the chaos.

In that light, it is not automatically 'increase the number' of hurricanes, that's merely the most likely outcome. What's really happening is you're increasing the whole range of possible behavior. You're increasing the insanity of the system. Four hurricanes? Try six all on top of each other, then nothing for months, then bam, the largest hurricane in recorded history, completely impossible to cope with. It becomes impossible to make ANY prediction, even to the extent of 'what a hurricane can be'.

This is inherent in the math of chaos and totally inescapable. By its very nature, you will never get 'a nice linear increase in number of hurricanes', instead you get a widening of the possibility space to include stuff that was not possible at all in the 1800s. The amount of energy in the system wouldn't support it, but that's changed.

Comment Re:People can be leeches (Score 1) 803

Yeah, this is Notch. Looks like he already struggled with making personal connections with people, and this didn't help. My brother ain't Notch rich but is much the same way: kind of challenging even for another nerd, appreciates getting to be friends/brothers like a human, but does awkward things like punitive tipping that's either 'zilch' or '$50 bill' like some feudal lord.

Must be kind of like being a giant robot wanting to befriend humans. It's either 'nerd SMASH!' or 'here, let me effortlessly do for you what you're stressing horribly about because to me it's literally no big deal'. That's very distancing and you gotta work hard to not be distorted by a reality like that.

Maybe nobody is willing to work hard to be a normal person to Notch. I volunteer! :D

'cos I'm Slashdot User #580. ha HA! I bet Notch isn't a three-digit slashdotter. And clearly that is the only important thing in life, right? So we can be friends, and I'll try not to condescend too much to Notch :)

Comment Re: I fucking hope so (Score 1) 109

But that IS the market. That IS capitalism. It's not some external, malign force: that's what the market is.

If you want it to actually be good, you're talking about some form of direction, oversight or regulation to stop obviously stupid or broken things from happening.

That's not a market anymore. The market is the thing that stampedes towards the stupid because everybody's doing it. See 'stock market'.

Maybe you just don't like capitalism as much as you thought you did! :)

Comment Re: Good News (Score 4, Insightful) 184

Have you tested this conclusion?

If it turns out that advertisers can test this—for instance, on Facebook, let's say—and discovered that it's not true: that there's a measurable advantage to obnoxiousness in that you're outnumbered by the people who shrug off the obnoxiousness yet retain the payload then you're mistaken.

I think they've already tested this, and we're seeing the outcome. Results are in: short of legislating better behavior, being abusive gets you enough local gains that it becomes a required strategy, impossible to compete against without adopting the same strategy.

It would be nice if the 'I boycott youuuu!' reaction made any sort of difference, but clearly it does not.

Comment Re:Ignorance? (Score 3, Insightful) 236

Given that climate is Chaos in action, it might well be.

The interesting thing is that we can know certain things, such as if the climate warms a few degrees, the energy fed into the system increases. Since it's a chaotic system, what it does is get even more chaotic and start coughing up crazier 'outlier' events, things we've not seen before. You get nutty stuff like snow in June and it's just because the total behavior of the system got more chaotic and more unpredictable.

Predictably unpredictable, if you follow me. :)

So we can predict with high confidence a sharply increasing quotient of WTFness in the already chaotic weather. To get it to behave more predictably, we'd have to cool the whole system down a couple degrees.

Comment True target market (Score 2) 259

Maybe it's the indie small business dev in me but I saw this and had one question:

How much do you have to pay Amazon to be the one product in a given market segment that they do a Dash Button for?

That's where the real money is, and precisely what Wal-Mart has been up to for all these years.

If Huggies wants to kick Pampers off the Dash button so that everybody out there will randomly change products without thinking too much about it, they simply have to outbid Pampers. And whether the product has glass shards (actually crystallized sodium methylparaben, a preservative) has nothing to do with it.

That's what the Dash Button is. Other companies bid to be the one represented on it, very likely losing money in order to have a little 'brand awareness' token stuck in people's actual houses, and Amazon gets paid from both ends.

Not MY Dash Button ;) http://ep.yimg.com/ay/stylinon...

Comment Re:how about none? (Score 2) 250

Because your ability to deal with a predictable outside world has value and affects your own ability to be consistent and reliable in turn.

The only time you want to play the market lottery with literally everything in life is if you figure your resources are (and always will be) superior to any possible thing that will happen to you. For most people, that's not the case.

Comment Re:Just call a taxi... (Score 2) 250

Elastic is an understatement. In any given city, Uber can literally go away at the push of a button should the company get control of local transportation and want to teach the town a lesson. They can dump into a market or vanish away into the night as quickly as the flip of a bit.

And will, whenever such a point 'needs to be made'. These are not nice people, nor are their defenders.

Comment Re:If only... (Score 2) 250

And bridges serve as a daily reminder of what gravity DOES, but we're not clamoring to have them all removed, are we?

Bit less ideology and a bit more practicality, please? We stabilize that stuff for a reason.

Potholes are a daily reminder of what road wear DOES, and that's surely legitimate too, but it is a worthwhile convenience to have those repaired lest cheap and expensive cars alike lose an axle. And no one car's presented with the bill. That would be silly...

Comment Re:Don't make it part of the fare (Score 1) 250

One problem with this whole perspective is, you're placing a huge discretion burden on the actual taxi passengers, for the benefit of the company alone.

People make their plans for doing a thing based on their estimation of what it's gonna cost, how dangerous it is, how practical it seems. The stability of this estimation has huge social value, and these 'old fashioned' institutions being 'disrupted' have typically been through all this years or even centuries ago (for instance, stuff that dates back to before the USA was a thing) and arrived at social expectations everyone's pretty used to.

I recently saw some friends on a sound engineer forum talking about traveling on business. They were going to San Francisco, I think? We sometimes have committments that MUST be honored, agree to do things where it's not an option to randomly fail to show up. Another guy mentioned AirBNB, another 'disruptive' thing. But it didn't get treated like a real suggestion by this group of professionals, because they knew how tough it could be to book a hotel room in the area, and they mentioned that AirBNB would let the room-renter cancel on something like TWO DAYS notice. Ever try to get a backup room for a major show, or convention, on two days notice? Hell, I've worked conventions where all three con hotels sell out the FIRST MORNING rooms are available.

You are suggesting removing the existing 'old' infrastructure where you can plan for things, to replace it with a host of 'disruptive' systems where everything is just-in-time and tied to demand, for the benefit of companies like Uber. And I typically see an associated willingness to have all the old stuff literally destroyed so that all there is, is the JIT surge priced stuff.

I don't mean to assume unseriousness, but have you NEVER had to book a room or a trip months ahead of time knowing the gig you're doing is going to be a madhouse swamped with people? D:

Comment Re:Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score 0) 381

Resistance to high-fat? That's weird. High fat is basically keto, I would ask if there's resistance to high fat-and-carbs-and-salt-and-sugar, which is basically the American formula processed food uses.

I've found fat makes little difference and it's sugar that flips the switch between 'it's energy food' and 'get fat on it'. I also liked Robert Lustig's talks on the subject, which are mindblowingly technical and hard to follow if you're not a chemist or biologist.

Resistance to high fat is easy, just don't take in any sugars or carbs ;)

Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.