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Comment: Re: Just let me do brain surgery! (Score 1) 198

by radtea (#47519359) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

Of course brain surgeons don't "just do" brain surgery .... in any surgery, there's a ton of pre-operative work, investigation, preparation, paperwork, practice, etc

Most of which is not done by the surgeon. I've worked a lot with surgeons, and can assure you they are used to having other people do almost everything but surgery for them.

Surgeons are the equivalent of the "master programmer" team, which is a now mostly-obsolete team structure where there is one (or a very small number) of expert coders surrounded by a larger group of admin/build/whatever types who make sure the master programmer has nothing to do but code. It works on certain problems, but unlike surgery, the scope of what we expect software developers to do has grown far beyond what one person can handle in almost all interesting cases (I say this as a team of one who does everything from firmware to UI, but it is on a very narrowly defined embedded application that I've worked extremely hard to keep more-or-less within scope for a single very senior person.)

Comment: Re:Advanced? (Score 1) 49

by radtea (#47519267) Attached to: Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

Try to imagine an alternate history where we emerged from the industrial revolution with effective, sustainable fusion and solar power without ever polluting the planet.

First off, what we can or cannot imagine has absolutely nothing to do with what is or is not real, so it isn't clear why you're bringing this up. Three hundred years of knowing what is real through publicly testing ideas by systematic observation, controlled experiment and Bayesian inference had demonstrated that the pre-scientific "method" of "imagining what might be the case and then reasoning from it" is a hiding to nowhere, knowledge-wise.

That said, as it happens I can imagine such an alternative history. One simple way of doing it is to have an intelligent species that evolved somewhat more quickly than we did on a planet formed in very short order after the supernova that birthed it exploded. Such a planet would have a good deal more 235U in the mix, making light-water moderated natural uranium nuclear reactors possible (of the kind that existed on Earth in at least one location 2 billion years ago).

An intelligent species on such a planet would likely never go down the hydro-carbon-fuels path, but would be all-nuclear, all-the-time from a very early stage of technological development (one presumes that in such an environment they would be evolved for somewhat higher radiation-tolerance than most terrestrial species.) As such, no hydrocarbon pollution would be evident.

Now, to be clear, I am not saying any of this is true. Merely that I can imagine it. There are quite possibly any number of subtle issues that make such a scenario impossible, and the failure of philosophy (knowing by imaging) tells us that we will be very hard-pressed to find them. But you asked for an imagining, and there one is.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 422

by cold fjord (#47513533) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Great, you want to judge both sides impartially by international law, let's judge them by international law.

If you want to go that way you should be prepared for the possibility that international law won't be on your side. (Which I'm not sure you are.)

Are the Settlements Illegal?

Eshkol went ahead to create the settlement anyway, and therefore set the conditions which began the Movement for Greater Israel and Israel's settlement enterprise.

"Movement for Greater Israel"? They kind of shot that to hell when they returned Sinai to Egypt, didn't they? (How much land was that compared to the territory of Israel proper?)

2. Killing non-combatants

From the Goldstone Report:

The "Goldsone Report"?

Goldstone: You Cannot Undo a Slander

Richard Goldstone, the formerly respected South African jurist who disgraced himself by lending his name to a sinister and libelous U.N. report condemning Israel for war crimes, has now issued a very public retraction. “If I had known then what I know now,” he wrote in the Washington Post, “the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.” New information has persuaded him, he said, “that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy” by Israel. ......

For the better part of four years, Israel suffered more than 10,000 missile attacks against its civilians from Gaza. When it finally used military force to stop the attacks, Israel, in the words of British colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, “did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.”

All of this was not just knowable when Goldstone signed on as front man for the U.N. lynch mob, it was known. The Goldstone Report was intended, and has since been employed, to stigmatize any Israeli self-defense as a war crime.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 8

by smitty_one_each (#47513319) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while

If Christ is the meaning of life then why do you cherry pick only some of his words and deeds when describing things you consider virtuous? Shouldn't you take him in his entirety?

What makes you think I don't?

While I will continue to point out that Marx's communist ideals have essentially never even come close to being realized for any population over a few hundred anywhere at any time, your continued insistence on confusing communism and socialism is quite simply silly.

Trumped by your desperate attempts to differentiate them by, like, an order of magnitude. National Socialist German Workers Party. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Own it.

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.