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Comment: Re:BS (Score 1) 174

by hairyfeet (#47978975) Attached to: CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

Then we will get to see evolution in action as the stupid ones who raided the hospital to "rescue" their dying relatives from "bad white medicine" as the witch doctors called it, refuse to give up ritual washing of the bleeding sore covered dead, and generally refuse to listen to anything said by an outsider dies out and those smart enough to listen will survive.

I'm sorry but I have a real hard time feeling sympathy for those that act pants on head retarded and get themselves killed. Hell how many here know how this latest outbreak came about? Everybody from local governments to the Red Cross has been saying to the local population since the mid 1980s "Whatever you do DO NOT EAT BUSH MEAT,ESPECIALLY MONKEYS!!" so what did they find when they went looking for patient zero? A woman who has made a meal of bush meat, specifically monkey, and cut herself while chopping up monkey meat....I'm sorry but if you are THAT fucking stupid, that 30 years of warnings still don't work? Well maybe its time for some good old fashioned Darwinism to weed out the brainless so they can stop pissing in the gene pool.

I know it sounds heartless and cruel but to use a famed car analogy if I stick up 40 signs that say "If you step in front of trucks you will be maimed or killed" show you a video titled" Why stepping in front of trucks is bad" followed by handing you a pamphlet entitled "just say no to stepping in front of trucks" only to have you throw it in the trash, hand your friend a camera and go "Hi my name is Steve-o and this is stepping in front of trucks" and get yourself turned into a mangled mess of broken bones and screams why EXACTLY should I feel sorry for you? After all I did all i could to warn you of the danger, but if you simply refuse to listen what else can you do but let Darwin thin the herd?

Comment: That totally won't work. (Score 1) 325

by tlambert (#47978389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Motivation notwithstanding, I would also suggest that you consider consulting.

That totally won't work.

Consulting requires selling, and they've already demonstrated an inability to sell the one product that they're intimately familiar with, and that it's currently their *only* job to sell right now, which is themselves to an employer.

If you can't sell yourself to an employer, how much harder is it going to be to sell your services into the much smaller services market, if you are incapable of selling in the first place?

Comment: Re:How is that supposed to work? (Score 1) 90

by thesandtiger (#47978031) Attached to: The Site That Teaches You To Code Well Enough To Get a Job

Because there's no value in overengineering things that are easy to replace and where the consequences of failure are trivial. Further, most people only need the features of their phones to be "OK" rather than "GREAT" and would rather carry one device rather than 10.

For some things - such as clothing or furniture, or items where there have literally been no earth shattering developments in the last 100 years (like, I dunno, silverware), it's okay to overengineer because doing so is actually efficient. I have a coat and a pair of boots that have lasted me 20+ years, some silverware that's maybe 200 years old, and the average of most of the "important" furniture in my home is over 75 years.

But my phone? I'm not a professional photographer. I'm not even an amateur photographer. I just want pictures I took of people and things and events I found worth photographing that are "good enough." I'm not doing professional video editing, so I just want a video cam that's good enough I can take footage of my dogs doing goofy stuff that I can send to my family. If I'm in a place where I'm watching movies or TV on my phone, it means I'm traveling and therefore unlikely to give much of a shit if the screen doesn't have perfect color fidelity or whatever because, well, there's a bunch of shit going on around me anyway. Ditto for music - why would I aim for some kind of audiophile's wet dream when likely the only time I'll be using my phone for music is when I'm out and about in situations where music quality isn't terribly relevant? Etc. and so on.

It's not that we don't value quality - I think we DO value quality very, very much - it's just that we can recognize that it's kind of stupid to waste time and money and effort on overengineering things that will be hopelessly outclassed in a few scant years.

Buy quality where it matters, buy cheap and replaceable where it doesn't.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 325

by langelgjm (#47977263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

OT, but do you see consulting firms hire social scientists? It's a career path I'd never really considered until another recent PhD from my program told me he was applying to such positions.

In my case, my work is not exclusively quantitative, but does involve some statistics, and I've published work that uses regression. I'd be applying after finishing a postdoc at a top law school.

Comment: Why did you get a PhD? (Score 3, Interesting) 325

by langelgjm (#47975773) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

I'm in a totally different field, but I just finished a PhD, and I'm currently in a two-year postdoc.

Why did you get a PhD? You said you already worked as a software developer before, so it's not like you went straight through school because you didn't know what else to do. You also said your thesis was on a technical topic without practical application, so it doesn't sound like you were aiming for a non-academic job.

What kind of job did you want when you started? An academic job, then changed your mind? If so, you will have to be very intentional about selling yourself to employers. Frame the PhD as giving you experience in how to do research. It's going to be the rare employer who actually cares about what you did specifically.

It sounds like you are just firing off online job applications. Have you networked? Does anyone from your department know folks in industry? Did you apply for postdoctoral positions, research fellowships, etc.? If you are just looking at standard development positions, you are probably going to be rejected as being overqualified.

Comment: Re:DAESH, not ISIL (Score 2) 418

by hey! (#47975589) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

Would you be happy that people associate linux with terrorism ?

Well, I started with Linux by downloading Debian 0.93 by modem onto floppies (because the copyright situation for 386BSD was unclear at the time). I think this was the first official Debian release with dpkg and it was awesome!

So I remember when Linux started to get media attention very well. What people associated Linux with was Communism. My reaction at the time was that people who did that were hysterical idiots, and history has proved me right.

As for Islam, it's not going away. It can't be "defeated", any more than Christianity or atheism can be "defeated". These things will live on no matter what kind or unkind things people say about them. Those who insist on making Islam into the boogeyman are hysterics condemning themselves to permanent worry about what's hiding under their bed.

Comment: Re:DAESH, not ISIL (Score 1) 418

by hey! (#47975391) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

Well, before we candebate a question like "Is ISIL Muslim?" you have to specify what you mean by the question.

The important thing is not to ask a question like that in one context and then use the answer in a different context. For example if you ask someone in a white supremacist "Aryan Nations" church "who is a true Christian?" you can't automatically attribute those same ideas to Quakers. Likewise you can't attribute the answer of a Salafist group like ISIL to the question "Who is a true Muslim?" to your sober, industrious, and peaceful Hanafi Muslim neighbors. Both groups see the other as apostates.

A historian or anthropologist would certainly consider ISIL an "Islamic movement", just as they'd consider the KKK a "Christian movement". And while your local ultra-liberal Sufi imam or Episcopalian minister would disagree strongly, nobody is actually wrong here. They're just using the words in different senses.

Comment: Re:So in the future ... (Score 1) 144

by Rei (#47974841) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

Really, shipping bulk raw materials is equivalent to shipping finished goods, in your world? Finished goods are usually predominantly waste space, are full of packaging, have to be handled gingerly, and need to be distributed to individuals in different locations. Raw materials are packed together as densely as possible, little to no packaging, can be thrown around, and go straight to just a couple manufacturers. And when import taxes come into play, it's even more extreme, since those are generally based on the price of what you're importing.

Comment: Re: So in the future ... (Score 1) 144

by Rei (#47974671) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

You know, I was just thinking, wouldn't it be possible to make a rapid 3d *moulder*, for those bulk parts that you don't require as much precision on (aka, chair)? Picture a stretchable half-mould surface, on a large bed (maybe 50x100cm for a home edition, larger for a workshop) with a grid of little pistons on it that can change it's shape (nothing too high res, maybe one every square centimeter). Picture a second half-mould positioned just opposite, such that the two elements can close off off a 3d space. Such a system could virtually instantly form whatever shape you want, spray the inside with release agent, pipe in a thermoplastic or thermoset resin or wax (for lost wax casting) or confectionary or whatnot, let it set / cure it, and then open up. The pistons could then reshape to ready for whatever shape you want next. If such a moulder would you mess with the two halves individually after they've formed their shapes, you could use it as a composite layup, too. Disposable liners for the mould could be used if sticking / damaging the adjustable mould surface would be a problem.

Wouldn't that be getting awfully close to the potential that mass manufacture currently has? Casting as many times as you want and only having to wait for the product to set? Sure, you'd be limited to relatively simple geometries, but if you need anything more complex, that's what regular 3d printing is for. Hollow shapes could be handled in a two-stage process, first printing out the inner, releasing it, securing it in place, respraying both it and the mould with release agent, then printing out the desired part. I'd think a well-designed moulder could handle that without human intervention.

Hmm, come to think of it, it might even be possible to make a direct metal casting moulder. I know there are high temperature flexible fabrics that can withstand the temperature of most molten metals (various ceramic fiber ones), although I'm not sure whether there are any with sufficient flex for such a role. Oh, hey, carbon fiber and graphite felt are used as a flexible insulating material , that'd probably do the trick.

Comment: Re:Hipsters are passe ... (Score 1) 243

by tlambert (#47974577) Attached to: Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Wait, I thought hipsters were the guys who liked the new things?

They liked the new things that coincided with their generation hitting their prime.

So, they'll like something any day now, then? We've kind of been waiting for them to hit their prime for a while now. I feel like Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, I've been waiting so long for their generation to hit their prime...

Comment: Re:Right... (Score 1) 454

Actually the book was from 1988, and uses a huge set of research.

Also, rote memorization was the research topic as such because it seeks to push your brain's memory functions directly, rather than train techniques. That's why research showing improvement has gone on to discover subjects which improved had developed memory systems, not made their brains stronger by flexing them repeatedly.

Finally, let's excerpt from your paper:

Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: 10-session group training for memory (verbal episodic memory; n=711), or reasoning (ability to solve problems that follow a serial pattern; n=705), or speed of processing (visual search and identification; n=712); or a no-contact control group (n=704). For the 3 treatment groups, 4-session booster training was offered to a 60% random sample 11 months later.

So far, so good.

Memory training focused on verbal episodic memory. Participants were taught mnemonic strategies for remembering word lists and sequences of items, text material, and main ideas and details of stories. Participants received instruction in a strategy or mnemonic rule, exercises, individual and group feedback on performance, and a practice test. For example, participants were instructed how to organize word lists into meaningful categories and to form visual images and mental associations to recall words and texts. The exercises involved laboratory like memory tasks (eg, recalling a list of nouns, recalling a paragraph), as well as memory tasks related to cognitive activities of everyday life (eg, recalling a shopping list, recalling the details of a prescription label).

The memory training participants were taught new techniques. This is skill, not brute force. If you did push-ups exactly the same way, you'd get bigger muscles; but this is teaching people to do those push-ups by moving their hands to a correct position which requires less effort and more efficiently lifts the body.

Reasoning training focused on the ability to solve problems that follow a serial pattern. Such problems involve identifying the pattern in a letter or number series or understanding the pattern in an everyday activity such as prescription drug dosing or travel schedules. Participants were taught strategies to identify a pattern and were given an opportunity to practice the strategies in both individual and group exercises. The exercises involved abstract reasoning tasks (eg, letter series) as well as reasoning problems related to activities of daily living.

Reasoning training was based on teaching techniques to analyze and approach problems. Again, technique. This is like learning about Kepner-Tregoe problem analysis.

Speed-of-processing training focused on visual search skills and the ability to identify and locate visual information quickly in a divided-attention format. Participants practiced increasingly complex speed tasks on a computer. Task difficulty was manipulated by decreasing the duration of the stimuli, adding either visual or auditory distraction, increasing the number of tasks to be performed concurrently, or presenting targets over a wider spatial expanse. Difficulty was increased each time a participant achieved criterion performance on a particular task.

K. Anders Ericsson explains something called the "OK Plateau". Most people learn initially by cognitive effort, and then internalize that into autonomous task: it moves from activating the prefrontal cortex to activating the basal ganglia. At a point, people subconsciously decide they're doing good enough, and cease improving.

Ericsson outlines three strategies experts use. Deliberate focus brings the task into cognitive recognition; goal-oriented behavior demands improvement; and immediate feedback points out current performance so the experts can analyze and adjust for their shortcomings.

Having trained myself in speed-reading, I can relate to the speed-of-processing study. I've had to deliberately focus on the RSVP, analyzing my own cognitive process. Initially, my mind would mill over words, return back to words I'd read, and stop focusing on what I was reading. This can be done between words in free time to rebuild and reanalyze, but not for extended blocks of 1-2 seconds when RSVPing at 450-800 words per minute. My mind also tends to wander to other related thoughts--which I had to stop.

By increasing speed, the researchers demanded additional focus. By adding distractions, the researchers demanded improved filtering of distractions specifically (rather than just internal thought). These changes largely demand the subject improve focus, accept a certain error rate, and employ strategies to maximize recognition of the most information in the least time. When multiple cognitive tasks are present, the subject must recognize the recognizable information so as to attend to it first, and move to the less-recognizable once the delay in processing won't cost so much (diminishing returns); when multiple, time-sensitive tasks are presented, rapid prioritization becomes important.

This particular part of the research provided an environment in which direct focus was enforced, goals were obviated, and immediate feedback was provided. Pattern behavior would obviously develop from such a strict environment, up to physiological limits.

None of that research says the brain bench pressed a bunch of information and became stronger and tougher. It suggests skill development, or at least suggests the strong possibility of skill development. My above discourse about cognitive processing skills is an implied likelihood not addressed by the paper; while the paper itself specifies the teaching of specific, researcher-selected mnemonics and problem-solving skills, rather than the exercise of basic mental faculties.

Nothing in there suggests the brain is a muscle and benefits from exercise. Much of that directly references technique, while the remainder supplies a situation where technique could easily develop and would be useful. I would bet money that tasks requiring similar cognitive effort and load on the same mental faculties, yet wholly unaided by any technique which could improve any of the things tested, would show zero improvement after the experiment.

The Tao doesn't take sides; it gives birth to both wins and losses. The Guru doesn't take sides; she welcomes both hackers and lusers.