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Comment: Re:jessh (Score 1) 373

by superwiz (#48916627) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms
Except that this

There is a snowstorm and the officials leave the city running. Possible severe damage to infrastructure, possible death toll, cleanup is significantly more complicated and takes far longer. Officials are berated for their carelessness.

is not the case. Giulliani to deal with 2-3 feet of snow in 1 night ('95 or '96) and the city was back to normal within a few days. Effective didn't require national guard or anything. The city managed it. Effective leaders are effective.

Comment: Re:Symptom of thinking vocabulary is the key (Score 1) 242

by superwiz (#48761157) Attached to: Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay
OO is a nuisance. If C just added direct access to the return value space instead pushing the whole return value on stack, OO would have been an esoteric footnote in some theoretical comp sci book. Instead, you get a paradigm which mixes data and code in one name space and completely takes attention away from the duality between data and functions. Oh, and without yield, no one would have heard of Python. You'd just here the gripes about whitespace being overly restrictive from everyone who wants braces. yield is what makes Python elegant. Metaclasses (ie, post-creation templates) and descriptors (ie, pre-creation templates) are actually somewhat cludgy. You understand that you can do everything in Python without ever having to worry about creating a single queue simply because of yield, do you not? Do you really not see how that simplifies code?Breadth-first tree traversal via simple recursion? Show me what other language will let you do that.

Comment: Re:C++ (Score 2) 242

by superwiz (#48756525) Attached to: Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay
Nah, C++ itself is the problem. Linus got it right. Instead of standardizing name mangling and RTTI, the language went in the direction of accomodating everyone who didn't think to use auto_ptr when returning containers from functions. The whole reason for virtual functions is to get around huge case statements resolving discriminated unions. But without standard discriminators for these discriminated unions (and relying on points into virtual table instead) these cannot be persisted or sent over the network. So you end up with people still using multiple enumeration schemes which cannot be even logged in a consistent way. Mess, mess, mess!

Comment: Re:Symptom of thinking vocabulary is the key (Score 1) 242

by superwiz (#48756367) Attached to: Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay
I don't remember the full list of programming languages that I use or have used at some point (yeah, like you remember that Expect script that you wrote 15 years ago), but I can promise you that Mathematica is, in fact, different. It lets you mix the compile-time and run-time constructs (and treat them pretty much the same). The only think that is even close to being as revolutionary as Mathematica is Python's "yield" keyword (which allows functions to not only be a substitute for a stack abstraction, but also for a queue abstraction).

Comment: same as non-artificial intelligence (Score 1) 574

by superwiz (#48507889) Attached to: Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity
It will act in accordance with the goals set for it. Same human beings can be caring fathers and deadly soldiers depending on the context in which they apply their intelligence. Intelligence is a capability. It is a key which opens many doors. What it will do will depend largely on what it is tasked to do by those who are setting goals for it. Once it becomes ubiquitous, there may be some nihilists who'd use it to entertain their end-of-the-world-screw-it-all-to-hell fancy.

All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it. -- Richard P. Feynman