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Comment Unbelievable USA-only perspective (Score 0) 171

If you would extend your informations to those small and unimportant areas of the world that do not belong to the USA, you would find the example of Gronngen, in Holland. From the sixties a very large gasdeposit was exploited In the seventies and eighties small earthquakes occurred in that province, which was peculiar, because there are almost no earthquakes in Holland. But both frequency and strength kept increasing.

To cut a long story of greed and denial short: gas exploitation is now cut back and some damages will be paid.

But what really bugs me is that nobody seems to be aware of this plain and important example of correlation between eqrthquakes and gas/oil exploitation.



Comment will the internet still exist in 20 years? (Score -1) 155

If you ask me, there will be no internet any more in 20 years, except as a curio or for very backward infrastructures. The transfer of information will have found new ways, that we cannot even imagine at this moment and the need for knowlegdge will have changed accordingly.

Assuming of course that there will be no ecological meltdown or AI singularity.


Comment weird. same thing happened in the Netherlands (Score 0) 208

Heeh... two weeks ago we had almost the same situation in Leiden, the Netherlands, where a marketing bureau placed a camera in the train station... (in dutch, I am afraid)

Copycat at work?


Comment Pascal was a teaching language (Score 0) 492

It seems that most people have forgotten that one of the goals of Pascal was the teaching of programming and algoritms. As far as I am concerned, it did a good job, although later I learnt C and preferred it as a tool. And now I am old and lazy and just use a combination of Bash and awk for quick and dirty stuff and PHP for more complicated things.


Comment Re:C++ is C (Score 1) 641

I was and still am a pretty accomplished C prorammer, and can find my way in assembly. Then C++ came along and everybody seemed to jump on that bandwagon. I couldn't and many of my collegues either. When you have progressed to far along the procedural path, it seems to be impossible to wrap your head around the object oriented paradigma. That is why I also never got into Java.


Comment catch 22 (Score 1) 272

If we fall back to the technological level of the middle ages, kickstarting a new 20th-century like civilization is impossible. To create such a civilization, you need energy. Almost all resources like coal and oil have depleted to the point that you need a very complex society to win them. But to exploit sun or wind energy on a sufficient scale, you also need the resources of a large technology pyramid.

Again, if you want to keep individuals to try and recreate our technology, you need a society with a certain level of sophistication so that you can afford people that do not directly work for food prodution.

Catch 22.

Finally, if you want to cut all possible corners in research and production, you need a very strong central governement that keeps the focus on those developments. That will not be possible without a fascistoid state.

Perhaps we should take care to avoid bringing our civilization down.


Comment We already have this. It is called "Unix" (Score 2) 268

As some other people already remarked, on the face of it this looks like the venerable Unix approach of small tools in a script. My point is that the real world outside, that you are trying to capture in a programming language, can be very complicated. For some domains, e.g. logic or arithmetics, the language can be pretty complicated too - see APL, LISP or Prolog.

But in thirty years of programming (computational linguistiscs), I have found that Unix scripts, awk and plain C covered pretty much 90% of (my) programming needs. If and when necessary I tacked on a larger database system. Of course I tried the new (well, in the nineties they were new) OO systems, but I rapidly got lost in a jungle of libraries and methods and even more documentation. Compare that to the almost ascetic (and aesthetic) clarity of the Unix environment.

Yes, I feel that Unix still has a lot of mileage in it and intentionally or not, this item and the reactions on it, confirm me in this view


2 pints = 1 Cavort