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Comment Re:Racism v. Bias v. Intelligence (Score 1) 445

intelligence is hereditary

Can you enlighten us with the specific genes pertaining to intelligence then please?

I ask you the same question. We know height is hereditary, eye color is hereditary, etc... What is so special about intelligence that it doesn't have a genetic component.

I'd say it is special: Attempts to define intelligence are hopelessly insufficient, and even if we could, it's clearly not a one dimensional measurement that can be attributes to specific and discrete genes like physical attributes - Brains are an evolutionary process on top of a genetically based evolutionary process (more than simple phenotypes)

I think "intelligence" is too broad and too vague to ever attribute to specific genetic components. Perhaps more fundamental abilities can though, capacity for mental work that does not indicate any kind of intelligence but supports it's potential.

How much is nature vs nurture is up for debate but it's pretty well assumed that it's a combination of both and as far as this article goes, it really doesn't matter whether it is nature vs nurture that gives the kid the edge

I think it does matter - toss out the genetic component because it's pointless debate for this purpose, smart parents increase the chances of their child being smart (in at least some significant portion) due to "nurture" - but nurture of that level doesn't have to come from the parent alone (eg schools). So it's not purely "hereditary" by any interpretation of the word...

It doesn't just have to be schools either, some kids just have interests that lead them to become strong in certain areas regardless of their background.

Comment Re: Not everyone becomes scientists... but (Score 1) 300

Yes, maybe there needs to be less emphasis on the code... however being given a simple problem and then using a language with simple enough syntax to find out both how to solve it and how to learn the language seems to me the most natural way. Maybe i'm being a bit old fashioned about this but i think the process of building a working example gives that tangibility to the logic and critical thinking, it's a nice doorway into that world, to much abstraction too soon will just loose everyone i think... perhaps i'm generalising my own learning tendencies though.

I suppose the danger is that teachers/curriculum will focus too much on syntax and teaching the skill of how to code rote... rather considering it simply a tool to understand the logic being explored.

I have non-IT coworkers that literally have no idea how to proceed when faced with a new problem or new piece of software. Even worse, they expect to dump these responsibilities on others because they "never took a course in this". They expect everyone else to fix it for them instead of taking any initiative or responsibility themselves. That's a huge problem.

Yeah i hate this, some people (whatever age and experience) can just pick up a new piece of software and figure out how to use it... others need to be taught specific instructions regardless of how much experience they have in using software... they seem incapable of generalising concepts they have learned to understand new things, i've learned not to waste my time with these people because their insatiable appetite for being lazy and expectation of specific instructions will just deplete your energy, you become their API to all GUIs they are exposed to.

Comment Not everyone becomes scientists... but (Score 5, Insightful) 300

it's good to teach kids science...

Not everyone should or should want to become "programming literate", but it's not supposed to be like learning how to read and write. There is more to learning to code than coding itself. There is plenty of science at school that people never use in their adult life, but it's useful to have some understanding of how the world works, how others work, and each subject bring a new way of thinking - a different way of thinking is brought with coding and that's useful to everyone.

Comment Here's a reason: No Oil ? (Score 1) 535

there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota or Hyundai.

Apple don't already have a large business invested in Oil, it's far easier to focus on pouring development on a new product rather than diverting development into a competing product at no clear and direct benefit to the business.

Tesla isn't an entirely fair example with all their injected cash, but they are the only really successfully electric car company - and they were born fresh without an oil backed business.

Comment Re:(Yet) (Score 1) 74

The annoying thing with a figure of eight (the standard climbing knot for attaching a rope to a harness) is that it can be quite hard to untie after falling on it.

Try going one turn beyond the figure-of-8 to the "figure-of-9" (there are other names). This has the strength of the fig-8, it's harder to jam after heavy loading, and it's pretty easy to tie safely (failure modes include the fig-10 and the fig-8, both perfectly fine knots.

Interesting, thanks!

Comment Re:(Yet) (Score 1) 74

Arguably, an incorrectly tied bowline isn't a bowline

You mean without a stopper? Yes I don't consider a bowline complete without it, and the climbing related deaths i have heard of are all due to a lack of or poorly tied stopper

With a bowline I tie a generous stopper with enough end to thread back through the bottom of my harness making the possibility of the end slipping through the stopper very low. I guess with a figure of eight you still have a pretty safe self tightening knot without a stopper - or even half a figure of eight, so maybe that's why people still consider the bowline unsafe by comparison.

I guess that sounds pretty dumb but i have seen plenty of people climb with an accidentally incorrectly tied figure of eight cos they don't check their knot... it just happens that you have some redundancy with that knot.

Comment (Yet) (Score 1) 74

Whilst it's interesting, most knot use is probably more interested in the opposite case of how much force is necessary to untie a knot, or how much force a knotted rope can withstand, or which knot configurations are comparable in strength.

I use knots for rock climbing a combination of strength + ease to untie + safety are important to me. The annoying thing with a figure of eight (the standard climbing knot for attaching a rope to a harness) is that it can be quite hard to untie after falling on it. If you do any sports climbing - and push your limit, you will do lots of falling, so i use bowline.

The issue with a bowline is it can be unsafe if not tied correctly and with some extra redundancy, even then some people still consider it too dangerous given it's bad history of climbing related deaths. Safety and over tightening might seem inevitable but i'm interested if it's possible to find a better knot with both of these properties with a more scientific method - perhaps this is a good start toward those kind of useful discoveries.