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Comment Re:Very Probably Wrong (Score 1) 262

The point was to show that it was foolish to say "the fact that we can imagine it now means that it's probably going to happen."

As for superconductors and NLP, things haven't exactly improved. You've been able to buy superconductor levitation kits for ages -- they're obviously not related to the technology you'd need for flying cars and hoverboards. The Lexus hoverboard used the same tech you've seen in countless kits for years, requiring a specially designed floor just to make the illusion convincing. On superconductivity, what do you think has been a major change? How has that impacted our lives? Does it bring us any closer to our imagined technologies?

As for NLP, parsers aren't any more sophisticated now than they were in the 80's. Accuracy seems to have stayed steady. The only noticeable change was the elimination of a training step -- though at a pretty high cost, moving that step from the local device on to some remote system with more data and computing resources. Still, accuracy hasn't improved. To compare it to a "Star Trek" style computer is a bit silly. We're nowhere close to that -- and that's with a technology we understand! Given the astonishing lack of progress over the past 20 years, I'd say it supports my earlier assertion that progress has slowed.

Technology is still improving rapidly, it's just really hard to know which direction it is going in.

What makes you think that? You mentioned maglev trains earlier. This is a technology that hasn't changed in any significant way since the early 20th century. We've been building practical systems since the 1960's -- and demonstrating them far earlier.

When we look at the first half of 20th century, we saw amazing technological developments, motorcars, airplanes, ubiquitous electrical service, telephones, television, transistors, and physics completely turned on its head. Can we really say we've made as much progress in the second half? Most of the big changes happened before 1980, and those were just further refinement of earlier technology. The most radical shift in the last 20 years was the increasing importance of the internet.

This belief in unstoppable technological progress hasn't come without it's failures. One of the most dramatic was biotech, the human genome project promised us everything from the elimination of disease to designer babies. Despite billions in public and private investment, none of the benefits materialized. You could blame faulty assumptions, but the fact of the matter is that life hasn't changed as a result of this massive investment.

We believed that the human genome project would produce remarkable results. We've seen such dramatic change in the last century, how could we be anything but optimistic? The reality, unfortunately, is different. You'd have called me a fool if I'd suggested, back in the mid-90's, that the HGP wasn't going to lead us to a grand utopia. Your reasoning, of course, would have been the same. "Look at all the progress we've made! Surely, it hasn't slowed, but continues to accelerate. If we can imagine it now, it will happen."

It's a fantasy. It's fun, like sci-fi is fun. The danger comes when we mistake it for reality.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple, really. (Score 1) 694

Why bother?

Do you think Bat Boy is really leading secret missions in Afghanistan or do you dismiss those claims out-of-hand as the source is obviously not credible?

The question, however, is why you would link to known kooks and tabloids as though they supported your groundless claims? What's next? WND? Weekly World News? The Onion?

The simple fact remains: There is no cover-up. For a conspiracy to exist to hide some information, it is necessary that there be something to actually hide!

If you believe they're trying and failing to hide something, what is it? Can you name that thing?

Obviously not. It doesn't exist. The facts don't fit your twisted narrative.

Comment Re:Very Probably Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 262

The 20th century was an amazing time. What makes you think we'll continue to progress at such an alarming rate? More directly, what makes you think this particular avenue, which has made so little progress, will enjoy the same rapid advancements we've seen in other areas?

What you're expressing is your deeply held faith in continued technological progress. You believe that progress is accelerating and that there is no upper bound. How would you defend those beliefs?

the fact that we can imagine it now means that it's probably going to happen.

I just watched the Back to the Future movies. It was fun to see what someone from 1989 thought our world would look like today. The 80's were filled with the same kind of technological optimism you've expressed here, and I'll bet a lot of people thought it was both an exciting and perfectly plausible vision of the future. The reality, of course, is that we're no closer to flying cars, hover boards, or re-hydrated pizza than we were 26 years ago. A hard-truth is that those things may never happen. If we were to snatch the screen-writers out-of-time, they'd be surprised that the world has changed so little.

Just because we can imagine it, doesn't mean it's going to happen. It certainly doesn't make something more plausible.

Will we be able to download our brain in such time...

The attraction to the belief that brain uploading is just around the corner essentially identical to the attraction to a belief in the afterlife. You're seeking a kind of technological salvation either from the world and/or your own mortality. It's very religious. I'm guessing you're a follower of the holy profit Ray Kurzweil (peace be upon him). He's been promising you a video game after life for a long time now. Are we any closer to the fulfillment of that prophecy now than we were 20 years ago? What makes you think the connectivist approach is correct?

Comment Re:A better society has more ridiculous complaints (Score 2) 765

There are at least two serious flaws in your reasoning. 1) Just because someone else has it worse, does not mean that things are okay for another. 2) Calling attention to one problem does not imply that it is the only, or even the worst, problem.

A guy with a headache isn't unjustified in complaining about the pain just because someone else is dying from lung cancer. A guy dying of lung cancer is equally justified in complaining about a headache.

If you still don't see the absurdity, consider that your reasoning can be applied to dismiss any complaint, no matter how horrifying. Just taking your example: "I get hit with rocks trying to go to school" would you reply: "You should be grateful. Other kids have to dogde bullets on their way to school. They've got real problems."

Comment Re: What the fuck (Score 1, Interesting) 765

It's not about a file extension, it's about people self-censoring out of fear of a backlash. Of you can't see how dangerous this is then think again. This is way more insidious than some overt dictatorship but it's just as destructive to people's (nearly always men's) lives and should be opposed.

That's how culture works. You face social consequences for violating norms. Things have been like this since time immemorial. There are lots of legal things you wouldn't dream of doing because they violate social norms. You already self-censor "out of fear of a backlash". This isn't some new dangerous thing, it's the way the world has always worked.

If you don't like some norm or value, you've got to change the culture. If you don't like a particular change, however, you're in a much more difficult position. Social change is not easy to undo. Once it happens, you're pretty much stuck with it. You'll find plenty of modern examples, but few (if any) successes.

Let's look at a recent example. It wasn't very long ago that homosexuality was so taboo that it was considered a crime. Now, it's almost completely accepted. Those who still hang on to old norms and values are seen as hateful or backward. We vilify people like Kim Davis, who cling to old beliefs that the rest of society has long abandoned. What would you the odds are of people like her rolling society back to a time when it was okay to be anti-gay? I can't even imagine where they'd begin.

I suspect they either think themselves a 'silent majority, oppressed by a tyrannical enemy' or as some sort of 'band of heroes, fighting for what's right in a world gone mad'. How else would they keep up morale? The reality, of course, is that they've simply been left behind. People realized that the mysterious others they once feared were really just regular folks. It won't be easy to turn them back in to monsters.

We're seeing changes now, no different than the many other changes that came before. Misogyny is just the new homophobia/racism/antisemitism/whatever. You can fight against it, but you'll find that outside Slashdot (and a few other tiny corners of the internet) that the tide has already turned. You're on the more difficult side. I've often called this "the losing side of history", for obvious reasons.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple, really. (Score 1) 694

And you dodge the fact that Grayson is in the games Thank You dev files since Feb 2013

I didn't think it was relevant, as he's in a giant list of people that at least one of the many people involved in development presumably knows in the rather small (as far as people go) games industry. You're making quite a few assumptions here.

Of course, even if we accept the claim that they did know each other (which isn't unreasonable) it does not in any way support "the claims that she slept for favorable coverage".

You also keep diverting back to REVIEW when I keep saying FAVORABLE COVERAGE.

Which, is ridiculous. The best you can manage is a single mention in a list of standouts in a giant list of games by an obscure freelance writer three months before they had any sort of romantic relationship. It's just foolish.

the claims that she slept for favorable coverage

are completely false. There is absolutely no evidence to support this.

The other side twisted it for reviews so they could shoot it down fast, when, in fact, nobody has ever made that claim from the beginning.

In the post I replied to:

this whole "gamergate" thing is indeed about a developer fucking a reporter in order to get better reviews and that being unethical.

This is obviously false. It's just as false when you replace "review" with "favorable coverage".

It's pretty clear that Quinn didn't exchange sex for reviews (as none were given) or for "favorable coverage". After Grayson and Quinn became involved in a romantic relationship, Grayson wrote absolutely nothing about her or her game, and virtually nothing before hand (see above). It's false on it's face. Anyone can see that. I suspect that you know it's total nonsense. Why continue to promote an obvious lie? It completely undermines your credibility.

On GG itself: Why is this obviously false narrative the best example you have of corruption in games journalism? You have but one completely fictional example of the thing you're claiming the movement is intended to address. What can anyone conclude but that this oft-cited mission for GG is completely untrue and that they have a completely different agenda?

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.