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Comment: Re:News? (Score 1) 404

by ultranova (#49626453) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

About a third of the population is simply incapable of abstract reasoning. If you think otherwise, I invite you to come to my house, and I will give you a free dinner while you explain "vectors" to my 15 year old daughter.

"15 year old" and "daughter" are abstract concepts. It's not possible to use English, or any language for that matter, without capability for abstract reasoning. So if your daughter can talk, she can reason; whether she wants to is another matter.

Most people simply have no use whatsoever for abstract math, so they won't put in the effort needed to become good or even passable at it. That's all there is to it.

Comment: Re:Seems he has more of a clue (Score 1) 700

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#49615655) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

True enough- IF you can prove it was a murder and not an accident.
 
Can you prove intent with global climate change? If you ignore the utterly non-scientific process of "scientific consensus", do you even have enough data left to prove the murder weapon?
 
And in the long run, does it matter? We're still left with the decision to either adapt or die; we're far too late for any mitigation attempt to work. Blame the culprit is a waste of time in this case.

Comment: Re:Not just ineffective (EEO bullshit) (Score 1) 536

by Just Some Guy (#49615235) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

No fool like an old fool. But I am sure Sanjiv from Punjab is thankful for the push to outsource the job you were worried about.

That process works better for fungible young talent who might be plenty gifted but have no experience to set themselves apart from the pack. The best defense against seeing your job outsourced is becoming so good at it that you don't have much competition. The second best defense is becoming friends with the greybeards who are positioned to argue against the manager who wants to rightsize your job.

Comment: Re:Not Actually $3500 (Score 1) 311

by ultranova (#49614035) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

You don't even know what it's being used for, so how can you call it a waste?

It's being used for providing cloud gaming - or somehing similar - services. nVidia GRID is specialized enough technology to pinpoint it, and furthermore, every user gets two SSDs. And waste or not, hosting a personal data center is pretty atypical.

Comment: Re:Looks like the prophet's gunmen (Score 4, Insightful) 1054

by ultranova (#49611899) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Well, when all you have to convince people that they should work for you is promises of eternal bliss after death without any kind of proof, you can't really expect nobel prize material to flock to you...

But that's not all fanatics have. It's just local flavoring. What their message is is the same as always before: "All your problems are caused by group X. Join me and take your revenge!"

Such memetic viruses don't strike at stupidity but at lack of self-awareness and -control - in other words, immaturity - and consequently, being smart - even Nobel-smart - doesn't help protect against them. In fact, should the infection take hold, all that intelligence will simply be used to construct elaborate rationalizations of the fanaticism's guise which make it even more virulent.

Fanaticism is a memetic disease. If you have lots of angry young people, you get outbreaks, just like with flu. And sooner or later one of these outbreaks mutates into a form that can cause an epidemic, or perhaps even a pandemic. In the 30's, we got fascism which eventually mutated into nazism; in the middle of the century we got small outbreaks of red terrorism, but thankfully general prosperity made the population too resistant for transmission to continue except in much-diluted form; and right now we're seeing an epidemic which is parasiting on Islam. Islam itself isn't the problem, it simply provides a new outer form - like robes for a ringwraith - for the same force that was behind Hitler and has now returned for round n+1. But the heart of this darkness is the same as it has always been.

The question is: what to do about all this? Is this some kind of inevitable function of human biology or merely an artifact from our cultural past? Would it be possible to rid the world of suhc maladjusted memes once and for all, or perhaps develop memes that work as antidotes - for example, surely knowing all this helps notice when someone's trying to pull the trick on you? As noted above, greater general prosperity would help a lot, but is not foolproof, is already being worked on, and perhaps most importantly, current iteration of the fanaticism pandemic seems to be evolving to get around it - bin Laden came from a very privileged background, and many people who have lived their entire lives in the West have gone to join Isis.

Comment: Re:Seems he has more of a clue (Score 1) 700

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#49611365) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

Species that are unable to adapt have been going extinct without mankind's help for 9/10ths of the planet's history. For the remaining 1/10th, we've been a major motivator of evolution, that's true- Dodos and wooly mammoths and the like. But we are also to the point with GMO research that we can be a major cause of increased adaptation- we can speed up evolution, and likely will, because beef is tasty (among many other species that are directly useful to us, such as bees). Speaking of that last, just saw a report on OPB about a pair of beekeepers with a unique solution to colony collapse disorder- they're breeding stronger queen bees that can live through Oregon winters.

If mankind wants to survive, food needs to be our top priority. Luckily, as I mentioned someplace above I think, food production is also an answer to excess atmospheric carbon. Especially if we keep locking our own carbon up in airtight containers buried in concrete when we die.

Comment: Re:Remeber (Score 1) 121

Of course, he was writing to kings, most of whom had an interest in keeping their country runnning for mutiple generations.

Except they didn't. Kings of old didn't give a shit about what happened to their countries after they died. Why would they had? They were divinely appointed to their office, so whatever happened as a result of said appointment wasn't really their problem. Peasant's starving because the king sold all of nation's wheat to fund a war waged for his ego? God's will.

And of course this is still the case with the modern aristocrats. Shut down the only factory in a city and kicked all the workers to the roadside? No problem, the Invisible Hand will sort the worthy from the undeserving. A homeless guy asks for money? Hell no, he's suffering penance for his sins - if he had some marketable skills or connections he'd be sleeping in a mansion. Roads crumbling from lack of repair? Invisible Hand must be getting ready to release a flying car. The planet getting warmer? No worries, the Invisible Hand will surely save such devoted servants! And figure out some way to kick that homeless man some more in the process for being economically worthless.

There comes a point of no return, when the damage already inflicted makes it impossible to rise funds to stop more from occurring. The question is, can this pathological secularized religion be removed from power before the damn cult dooms the entire country, and possibly whole West?

Money is the root of all wealth.

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