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Comment: Re: Science, bitches, that's *how* it works! (Score 4, Informative) 172

by nine-times (#48635473) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

Newtonian physics looks kind of logical. It's completely wrong...

No, it's not completely wrong. It's a model that approximates what happens within an acceptable degree of precision for many, many circumstances. We have another model that adds to it and modifies it, and that model is used for situations where that precision is not sufficient. It's not clear that science is capable of providing certainty of "right" or "wrong" beyond determining whether a model approximates what happens within an acceptable degree of precision.

Comment: Re:Hardware Security (Score 2) 80

Even the phone company used to do it wrong.

Before I left for college in '85, we had a second phone line (which basically became my line). When I went away, my parents got it disconnected. When I came home the first summer I didn't know it was disconnected. I connected my phone back to the jack and sure enough, had a dialtone.

I made calls for several weeks until my friends kept complaining that my number didn't work, said it was disconnected. I called Ma Bell and found out it was disconnected!

The line from our house to the pole-mounted junction box was still there but the pair for "my" line got repurposed for an additional line in the neighborhood and nobody ever thought to remove the extra jumper.

Comment: Re: Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 5, Insightful) 559

by JWW (#48633603) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

My stance in AGW is that you can bitch all you want about climate change, but if you're not willing to build a bunch of nuclear power plants and shut down a bunch of coal plants, then yes you ARE arguing global warming to advance a political agenda and nothing more.

If you don't back real solutions that can yield real results then I am going to call bullshit on your advocacy.

Comment: Re:Hope they win this case. (Score 3, Informative) 443

by swb (#48632557) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I kind of doubt it. States enjoy sovereign immunity thanks to the 11th Amendment and generally can't be sued by other states.

Without this, you would have all manner of lawsuits about neighboring states tax laws, liquor and cigarette control regimes, abortion, etc. Bigger states could dominate smaller states via sheer resources.

Comment: Arrest increase because they're looking for it? (Score 5, Interesting) 443

by swb (#48632505) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

Chappell, NE is a don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it town of 929 on I-80 between North Platte, NE and Cheyenne, Wyoming. A 400% increase in felony drug arrests sounds like a lot, but how many felony drug arrests could there ever have been in a town of 929? Did we go from 1 to 4?

I also wonder how many shitkicker rural sheriffs in neighboring states went on full batshit alert once Colorado legalized it and began pulling over every car they could with out of state license plates coming from Colorado, knowing that they would hit paydirt on at least some of them? You can pretty easily create your own crisis if you start looking for it.

To be fair to the sheriffs, I don't doubt there is some increased amount of pot leaving Colorado -- it's a tourist destination even without pot and it wouldn't surprise me at all if people who go there for other reasons (like skiing or other outdoor activities) decide to bring some home.

It also wouldn't surprise me if some people went there specifically to bring some home, although from what I've been told the retail pricing isn't all that competitive on a dollar basis with black market pot and the economics of driving cross-country to pick up a couple of ounces of weed don't seem to lend themselves to a lot of people deciding to make that trip.

I don't think you can factor in any kind of organized criminal enterprises into these complaints -- that was a "problem" *before* it was legalized. Bitching about it now because you're frothed up about pot legalization and seeing it everywhere you look just seems paranoid.

Comment: Re:Debt is not the cause of wage stagnation (Score 1) 653

by toddestan (#48631079) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Can't repay them? The US debt as a percent of GDP isn't even the highest it has ever been. It was higher right after WWII. The way to reduce the debt is simple - either raise taxes or reduce spending or both. We merely lack to political will to do this at the present. The notion that we have debts that "cannot" be repaid is nonsense. As for individuals there is copious data showing that individuals and households have been paying down debt levels significantly since 2008. Companies have balance sheets that are historically very strong with large amounts of cash and relatively low debt levels overall.

Actually, we cannot pay off our debts. Most of the money in circulation is created by the banks creating loans. These loans have to be paid back, with interest. We owe more money to the banks than actually exists. Or in other words, if everyone tried to pay back their loans, we'd end up in a situation where the banks would literally have all the money, yet the loans would still not be paid off.

The only way the system keeps on running is that new debt is constantly created to pay off the old debt. Well that, and the money the fed creates out of thin air.

Comment: Re:Core business? (Score 3, Interesting) 216

by swb (#48630185) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

I thnk their core business WAS the web directory but that seemed to become irrelevent and less useful once Google came around. Their age and size has allowed them a certain amount of inertia with users who simply don't know or care for anything better.

I think there's some value in a high-quality curated web directory. Given what Wikipedia accomplishes with volunteers and no advertising, I would think that Yahoo could have come up with some way to basically pay people to browse the web and curate a directory given the money they have to spend.

Google search is better in some regards and use cases but in some ways, if it isn't on the first page of results it probably won't be useful, especially if you don't know what to search for or are looking for a class of information or type of web site.

But they seemed to have given up on that in favor of "web services" which they probably can't ever compete with. Their technology isn't competitive, they don't have any media clout and nothing unique to offer.

Comment: Re:Not a Real Question (Score 1) 279

by nine-times (#48628153) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

Still, when talking about a "Liberal Arts education," you're talking about a generalized and broad education in a variety of topics, including subjects related to math and science. That's what the term means. No, that doesn't mean that you will study literally every subject, but it's not claiming to be about any particular subject. STEM, meanwhile, seems to be trying to claim to be a valid classification of a particular type of study, distinct from that kind of "broad, well rounded education."

If you say you want to get a Liberal Arts degree, you're telling me, "I'm not going to college for job training in a specific career. I'm going for a general education." If you say you want to get a BS in CompSci, you're basically telling me, "I'm going to college to get training for a career in software development," or something along those lines. Already that's kind of vague, because there are a number of different career paths that involve computer science, and computer science is already a fairly broad field. But if you tell me, "I want a STEM degree," you're telling me, "I have no idea why I'm going to school. I guess I want an education in sciencey stuff that will focus in on a particular field for career training, but I don't actually have any understanding of what field I want to study."

I'm struggling to come up with a good analogy, but it's like if you said, "I really want to travel!" and I asked, "Are you just interested in travelling generally and seeing the world? Or is there a particular place that you want to go?" and you respond, "No, there's a very specific place that I want to go."

So then I ask, "Where's that?" and you say, "Europe or Asia."

Now, I point out, "You're not narrowing it down very much there, you know."

And you respond, "Well you weren't narrowing it down much either, when you asked me if I wanted to see the world!"

And you're not wrong, but it's also a bit of a silly argument now, since the point of talking about "the world" was to be broad and cover everything. Liberal Arts covers everything. I guess that STEM is supposed to be "everything, minus that faggy art stuff, and stuff that makes you think about things."

Comment: Re:What if there is a third party? (Score 1) 130

That was one of my thoughts, as well. I think I understand the concept, and it seems like an interesting and possibly useful approach. However, it doesn't seem like it will necessarily give us causal links in a very certain way, since many real-life situations have many factors with complex relationships. Like: Z causes X and Y, but perhaps it always causes X and only makes Y more likely. Or: A, B, and C all independently increase the chances of E, but only when an unknown factor D is present.

So I'd guess that this isn't going to be anything like a magic bullet, but I don't know that the people who came up with it expected it to be. It might just be another useful tool for analysis.

Comment: Re:been there, done that (Score 1) 279

by nine-times (#48626663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

Teaching jobs and various educational administrative jobs, marketing jobs, customer service jobs (not all of which include fries) and office worker jobs. Lawyers and associated jobs (paralegal). Sales jobs. Political positions.

I think the point here is there are loads and loads of jobs out there that don't require specific technical knowledge, or even many that make use a of broad education. The idea that there are no good jobs aside from technical/engineering jobs is pretty senseless and dumb.

But again, you miss the point entirely. If you were correct, it would be appropriate to use the line from The Big Lebowski, "You're not wrong. You're just an asshole." But you happen to be wrong too.

The larger issue here is that even if a certain education would lead you exclusively into the service industry, it would not excuse you being insufferably condescending about the prospects of having a job in the service industry. That's if a liberal arts degree were to make you unsuitable for any career other than food service, which I don't accept other than for the sake of argument.

Maybe if you had gotten a real education instead of merely vocational training, you'd be capable of understanding the distinctions being made. As it is, I encourage you to go back to being a code monkey and let the adults talk.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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