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Comment: Re:This will finally kill capitalism. (Score 1) 496

by un_om_de_cal (#37524380) Attached to: Robot Workforce Threatens Education-Intensive Jobs

Socialism will up against the wall before capitalism because its workers will be more expensive and hence, obsoleted first.

Socialism is not about workers. According to the definition in Wikipedia: "Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are commonly owned and controlled cooperatively; or a political philosophy advocating such a system.". Applied 19th century and early 20th century industrial society, this may have meant empowering the large masses of workers. Applying socialism to a world where robots do most jobs would just mean that everyone gets to share the robots and the results of their labor. People could fill their time educating themselves and doing philosophy, science and creating art.

Comment: Re:It depends on the math involved (Score 1) 185

by un_om_de_cal (#36091012) Attached to: Ugly Truth of Space Junk

Actually, it depends on the energy and, for low energy objects, on how high the lowest point in their trajectory is.

By energy, the objects can be classified into:

1) Objects with lower energy than the Earth's gravity well. In ideal conditions, these objects would orbit our planet forever in an elliptic trajectory. In reality, all of these will fall out of orbit because of friction (since there is no perfect vacuum). The time to fall out of orbit depends on the how far away from the Earth is the lowest point of their elliptic orbit. The closer their elliptic orbit gets to Earth, the quicker they will lose energy because of friction with the atmosphere.

2) Objects with high enough energy to escape Earth's gravity well. These head out into space.

Comment: Re:kind of like the police (Score 1) 869

by un_om_de_cal (#36009318) Attached to: The Internet's New Alternate Reality

"the existence of god is about as likely as the existence of the tooth fairy"

It depends on how you define "god". The likelihood of existence is different for:

1) An intelligent creator of our known universe. (Equivalent to our known universe being a simulated reality)
2) An intelligent creator of our known universe, attempting to communicate with us.
3) The intelligent creator as described by the various holy books, with all the details.
4) A being outside our known universe, replacing teeth children hide under pillows with money.

Comment: Re:When they're right, they're right (Score 1) 386

by un_om_de_cal (#31787808) Attached to: The Economist Weighs In For Shorter Copyright Terms

Yes, we've had and we still have widespread non-commercial sharing of software and music, but it was never legal.

By making non-commercial sharing legal, all content creators trying to sell their work will be in a competition with companies specialized in providing free and easy access to non-commercial content, which will now be 100% legal. I don't think the content creators will be able to do more than ask for donations.

Comment: Re:When they're right, they're right (Score 2, Interesting) 386

by un_om_de_cal (#31786902) Attached to: The Economist Weighs In For Shorter Copyright Terms

The pirate party i s abit more extreme than that : * Authorization of non-commercial sharing * 5 years of commercial exclusivity * +5 years if derivative non-commercial work is authorized * +10 years if derivative commercial work is authorized (but you still want to get credit) I am fine with this position.

What about works where almost all use is non-commercial?

For example, what should professional musicians do, only record advertisements?

Or computer games - I can't imagine a business model that would work for them if non-commercial sharing was allowed.


Organized Online, Students Storm Gov't. Buildings In Moldova 199

Posted by timothy
from the no-emoticon-for-what-I-feel dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Reacting to allegedly fraudulent election procedures, students are storming the presidency and parliament of the small eastern European country of Moldova. It is reported that they used Twitter to organize. Currently twitter and blogs are being used to spread word of what is happening since all national news websites have been blocked. If the 1989 Romanian revolution was the first to be televised, is this the first to be led by twitter and social networks?" Jamie points out this interesting presentation (from March 2008) by Ethan Zuckerman about the realities of online activism, including how governments try to constrain it.

Comment: Re:Don't forget the asteroids. (Score 1) 361

by un_om_de_cal (#27358555) Attached to: The Underappreciated Risks of Severe Space Weather

The power outage you experienced lasted less than 2 days. That's not enough to exhaust supplies in supermarkets.

The scenario presented in TFA talks about a power outage that would take months to be repaired. And would happen everywhere at the same time. It's a very different situation. For example, I wonder - is there enough equipment to transport drinking water for everybody?

Comment: Re:A Republic... if you can keep it. FAIL! (Score 1) 685

by un_om_de_cal (#27354155) Attached to: California May Reduce Carbon Emissions By Banning Black Cars

As it happens, I enjoy driving fast ( I do own a small car, mostly for performance reason). It gives me pleasure to do so and I get to my destination sooner. I will gladly pick up the tab for the extra gas, which ought to include a carbon-tax that properly gauges the true cost to the environment. Why people insist on forbidding me from taking part in a simple pleasure on my own dime is entirely beyond me.

Because the extra pollution you make affects everybody else. I know the extra carbon _you_ are responsible for is an insignificant amount on a global scale, but if many people think like you, it becomes a problem. It's similar to the issue of smoking in public places, but on a global scale.

Comment: Re:Students should still think carefully about CS (Score 2, Informative) 328

by un_om_de_cal (#27232151) Attached to: Computer Science Major Is Cool Again
Considering where the world economy is currently headed, I wouldn't worry that much about outsourcing. China's economy is most likely going to rise relative to the US economy. So engineers in China will keep getting more expensive, and engineers in America will keep getting cheaper.

Comment: Re:Languages (Score 1) 371

by un_om_de_cal (#27021495) Attached to: Hope For Multi-Language Programming?

If you had a task that had serious text processing, surely you would use C++ over Haskell or Lisp. On the other hand, if you needed to do AI, you would use Forth instead of Pascal. Graphics means using a well supported library, so Perl/Tk is the better choice than Java/Swing.

Hint to slashdot mods: all the examples are reversed.


Comet Lulin Closest To Earth Tonight 60

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-out-your-telescopes dept.
William Robinson writes "Comet Lulin, formally known as C/2007 N3, which is on a visit to the inner solar system, will make its closest approach to earth tonight, about 38 million miles away. To the naked eye, the comet looks like a fuzzy patch of hazy light in the southeastern sky near Saturn, at the tip of Leo the Lion's hind leg. After this brief visit, Lulin will be heading back out to its kin in the Oort Cloud."

Comment: Re:Life without borders (Score 1) 493

by un_om_de_cal (#26759617) Attached to: IBM Offers to Send Laid-Off Staff to Other Countries

I don't recognize national borders. I'm trying to live my life without considering them. Perhaps this union guy from IBM should try to live his life the same way.

You're part of a lucky few. For most people in the world it is hard even to pay a short visit to the USA, because we need a visa that isn't easy to get.

Comment: Re:Then you'll repudiate your claim? (Score 1) 1067

by un_om_de_cal (#26429841) Attached to: In the next 12 months, the Middle East will be ...

Let's just use regular logical reasoning here on slashdot. In this case, you may agree that my belief in a creator of the universe isn't that silly, and does no harm to anyone.

Note that this started when you wrote:

Also, it's not fair to compare this belief that an intelligent being created our universe (which can be neither proved nor disproved) to the belief that someone's dog is that creator (which can be easily disproved).

Am I to understand that you now wish to retract this claim, and agree that belief that an intelligent being created our universe is no more or less reasonable than the belief that someone's dog is that creator?

Because that's what your plea to stick to "regular logical reasoning" amounts to. Either the dog gets to claim supernatural powers just like the intelligent creator does, or neither of them do. Granting such powers to one and not the other just begs the question.

No, you're not following it.

Statement: It's not fair to compare this belief that an intelligent being created our universe (which can be neither proved nor disproved) to the belief that someone's dog is that creator (which can be easily disproved).

Proof that someone's dog is the creator of the universe (using regular logical reasoning), as posted by AC:

Creation implies causation, right?

Causation implies unidirectional time-dependence, right?

Unidirectional time-dependence implies, in turn, that there can be no reverse causation.

Causation also precludes (negatively implies) dependence, right?

Earth is a subset of this universe, right?

If I manage to prove that the Creator claimed-to-be, is dependant on a subset of this universe, I have managed to prove dependence and therefore have precluded creation, right?

Proof that the universe wasn't created by an intelligent being (using regular logical reasoning): no such proof exists.

Therefore, under regular logical reasoning, the statement holds.

So, unless you (or anyone) can disprove the intelligent creator hypothesis, it remains as reasonable as any other hypothesis that was neither proven, nor disproved. Like, for instance, string theory.

Sorry for the late reply.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter