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Comment: Re:Servers are for applications... (Score 0) 273

by jedidiah (#46780885) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board what you're basically saying is to just f*ck all of the applications that ultimately depend on the OS that's the "bedrock" of everything.

You're kind of attitude is why a CAB gets put in place to begin with. ANY change should be done only after consideration to it's impact. Trashing production because you can't be bothered to examine things or let someone else examine things is why these beaurocracies gets created.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1448

by hey! (#46772927) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

It's not a "re-examination". It's a butchering.

You say that like it's necessarily a bad thing.

We've got to stop acting as if the Founding Fathers were like Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Constitution chiseled on a couple of stone tablets. They were brilliant, enlightened men for their day, but the Constitution is not a document of divine inerrancy.

The US Constitution is the COBOL of constitutions. Yes, it was a tremendous intellectual innovation for its time. Yes, it is still being used successfully today. But nobody *today* would write a constitution that way, *even if their intent was exactly the same* as the founders.

For one thing it's full of confusingly pointless ("To promote the Progress of Science") and hoplessly vague ("securing for *limited times*") phraseology that leaves courts wondering exactly what the framers meant, or whether they were just pointlessly editorializing ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State").

It's also helplessly out of date. The Constitution was drafted before the existence of mass media and advertising; before photography even. It was the appearance of photography in newspapers that woke people up to the idea that they might have privacy rights that were being threatened. A Constitution written in 1900 would almost certainly have clauses explicitly recognizing a right to individual privacy and empowering the government to protect that right. A Constitution written in 2000 would almost certainly have clauses restricting the government from violating individual privacy.

And then there is slavery, an outright *evil* which is enshrined in the founder's version of the Constitution. That alone should disqualify any claim they may have had to superhuman morality.

So if we take it as given that the US Constitution is not divinely ordained, it's not necessarily a bad thing that the current generation should choose to butcher what the founders established. Would you re-institute slavery? Allow *states* to deprive citizens of liberty and property without due process? Eliminate direct election of senators?

So it's perfectly reasonable to butcher anything in the Constitution when you're proposing an *amendment* to the Constitution. That's the whole point. We should think for ourselves. In doing so, we're actually carrying on the work the framers themselves were doing. Every generation should learn from its predecessors, but think for itself.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1448

by jedidiah (#46769347) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

> Yeah, there's even another gun-rights organization

Except the NRA really isn't a "gun rights" organization. It's original charter was to encourage the development of marksmanship skills. Basically, they wanted to make sure that people could effectively use the kinds of weapons one might find in the Army or Marines.

You can't really do that if you can't own a rifle.

That whole "well regulated militia" thing can't happen if people at large aren't ever allowed to practice.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1448

by jedidiah (#46769127) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

The problem with the "lets guess what a psycho will do" game is that it really never ends. We live in a very technologically sophisticated and open society. The means to do stupid or evil things are all around us. It's not just guns. It's our entire modern society. If you think otherwise you're just kidding yourself.

Or you have no imagination whatsoever.

If you try to ban anything that anyone could abuse, then everything will unravel because psychos and terrorists will adapt even if you can't.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 2) 1448

by jedidiah (#46768991) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

> I don't know why you think you can determine what long dead people intended based on grammatically ambiguous language with very little context

People wrote stuff down. None of this is a mystery. You simply can't get away with re-writing history because someone already wrote it down when it wasn't even history yet.

That's the problem with a literate society. You can't just make up nonsense and pretend it's reality. Any one is free to dig up primary sources (or even secondary sources) and demonstrate just how much of a corrupt piece of shit you are.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1448

by jedidiah (#46768757) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment


If you want to butcher it then there is a well established procedure for that. Just use it. Good luck with that.

Weak transparent lies just undermine law and order and democracy. Redefining terms to suit your political agenda should be rightfully placed next to the worst political abuses anyone can summon.

Although in truth you are just trying to pretend that a severe and pervasive economic issue is instead a matter of simply interfering with personal property rights.

Comment: Re:Hypocrisy abounds (Score 1) 763

by hey! (#46765817) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

What's so hilarious is that to most of the commenters here, the Koch Brothers exemplify the absolute evil in the system whilst (and simultaneously) George Soros is merely 'doing the right thing' and 'helping people speak truth to power'.

So in other words, what somebody says is less important than who says it.

Comment: Re:Tyrant: The computer game (Score 1) 763

by hey! (#46765803) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

While sorta fun, those games are not simulations. All you revealed was the program(mer)'s built-in biases and assumptions, rather than any insight about what happens in reality.

That's true of social science research as well. The difference is that social science research has to pass peer review, and stand up to contrary reearch in the literature.

Comment: Re:Certifications and experience are more importan (Score 3, Interesting) 286

by jedidiah (#46747455) Attached to: Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

Having managed myself to generate counter-factual results with such industry certifications, I have zero faith in them. A University may not be your idea of a suitably custom crafted trade school but it does imply a bit more depth than cramming for some multiple guess exam.

Comment: Re:I have a degree in computer science. (Score 1) 727

by hey! (#46743175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Sinews (aka "tendons") are bundles of fibrous collagen bound together with an organic glue of proteins and polysaccharides. Sinews can be pounded to extract those collagen fibers, and then those fibers can be spun into cordage of any desired length.

The process is exactly the same as spinning short wool fibers into skeins of yarn, or transforming cotton bolls into cotton thread. The fibers are bundled together and twisted so they lock together and the axis of the resulting cord cuts across the axis of orientation of the fiber, producing a very strong thread. As the fibers are locked together into a thread, you continually add more bundles of fiber to the loose end. You finish by tying off the end of the thread you've created, or twisting the thread into a multi-strand rope.

Collagen fiber from sinew is an excellent cordage material, but less available in large quantities than plant fibers. For that reason you don't see sinew ropes. Although such a thing would be physically possible, sinew is a costly material so it is only used in specialized, low volume applications like fishing line and bowstrings.

Primitive people are every bit as smart as engineers who design microchips or airplanes; they just express that ingenuity through materials they can harvest and process themselves.

Comment: Re:I have a degree in computer science. (Score 1) 727

by hey! (#46740091) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Well, my first choice would be to use surplus and scavenged materials, like polyester or silk. In the long run as these materials become more difficult to find, I'd go for hemp or flax. Just about any fiber can be spun into a workable cordage. Shredded animal sinew yields extremely strong cordage.

Comment: Re:I have a degree in computer science. (Score 1) 727

by hey! (#46739663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

You can always concoct a situation in a scenario where your skills aren't important.

You're a farmer? Seems like your skills would be useful but wait -- what if the neighboring tribe burns all your crops and steals your seeds?

You're an emergency room physician? How will that help you when bandits club you to death in your sleep?

Comment: Re:I have a degree in computer science. (Score 1) 727

by hey! (#46739605) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

go into "crazy-land" a bit. I'm not saying the historian necessarily has the best answer, but someone who actually has first-hand knowledge and experience with draft animals in large numbers would undoubtedly have a huge amount of insight over a random CS nerd who has never seen a horse.

Agreed, but your hypothetical persons with first-hand knowledge of managing large numbers of draft animals is likely to be in short supply *in the stipulated scenario*.

Seriously -- there's a reason we make jokes about mathematicians or physicists saying, "Assume a spherical cow...." The real world is messy, and unless you already have access to a person who knows almost enough to run the draft army already who can feed you good data to solve the problem in the abstract, I'm not sure your scenario is realistic.

My point is *about* the limitations of simplistic models. In the simplistic model, a computer science major can do computer science -- and nothing else. In the simplistic model you can obtain precisely what you need, which is either a two hundred year-old soldier or a historian who specializes in the logistics of pre-mechanized armies. But chances are *in our scenario* people with precisely such skills will be hard to find as unicorns, and people with CS degrees will be common as muck. So, do you look for a historian, or someone with a degree in a somewhat math-y field who happens to have a little of both common sense and imagination?

This is actually a situation which is less exotic than you might think. When you hire an employee, it's often the case that you've got a round hole to fill and a bin full of square pegs. None of the candidates are exactly what you're looking for, so you have to imagine how the candidates you *do* have might adapt.

I just think real-world scenarios are often quite messy, and until you accumulate enough data to construct an accurate model, your algorithmic solutions are likely to have serious flaws.

Right. And this is different from the pre-apocalyptic use of whatever your academic specialization is, how? You get out of school and you have to apply your ivory tower training in idealized problems to messy real-world problems. Does that mean that the ivory tower training is useless, and that the time would have been better spent just getting real world experience? Of course not.

When my dad had a heart attack, my oldest brother was going into his senior year as civil engineering student. He quit school and got a job selling restaurant and food service equipment. He did very well at it, probably made more money than he would have as a civil engineer. That was mainly his people skills, but his engineering training made him the go-to guy for large projects. You might not think there is such a thing as a large restaurant supply project, but it turns out that if you're opening a new theme park and you've got to figure out how to feed a couple million visitors a year, it's very useful to have an engineer who understands food service.

That's the hallmark of a good engineer. A good engineer doesn't just apply his skills, he finds ways of making his skills applicable.

Umm, you're doing it wrong, if you're waiting to sort until you get the bags in your house. I don't have a computer science degree, but my sorting begins as I put items in my CART.

Please, give me some credit for not being stupid. Anyhow, you're just making my point.

This does not require a CS degree

Never said it did.

Comment: Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (Score -1, Flamebait) 244

by jedidiah (#46737079) Attached to: PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

I dunno. At one time I had access to the internal EA version of reality on this subject and at that time, console gaming was clearly the dominant force in the industry. I can't really see how that situation would have actually improved in favor of the PC since then. Although I don't have an insider's veiw any more.

I think this article is just a bunch of hogwash and people trying to keep up appearances and pretend that the Titanic really isn't sinking when it is.

The entire PC platform as a consumer product is in danger. It may stick around indefinitely as a business machine but I think the "must be DOS compatible" mentality for home computing is coming to an end.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun