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Comment Re:Elitism (Score 5, Informative) 688

If I started coding today I think I would go about it roughly thusly:

1) google "Game coding tutorial HTML5" or similar,
2) Find the code listings, run them, modify them a little to see what happens but eventually be annoyed that I don't really know what the magic incantations in javascript etc mean
3) Google "javascript introduction" and spend some time just writing "Hello world" apps and such, trying to learn basic javascript, until I got bored with that.
4) Return to the game code, be absolutely gratified by discovering I indeed understand a little more of the magic incantations, do a bit more targeted modifications of the code to see if I can actually predict the outcomes at all....until I got bored with what I could do with my current level of understanding and return to the course in basic javascript to learn more (repeat from 3, basically). At some point you may know so much general javascript that you can continue learning more about javascript itself by looking directly at the game code and realize how it must work.

As long as you find some little "loop" like that where you actually have fun all the time while learning, chances are good you will end up knowing quite a lot about how to program.

Comment Re:Elitism (Score 2) 688

But what if it leads to few of the College trained developers you hire being able to code their way out of a wet paper bag precisely because before they enrolled they had already been coding as a hobby for years, an interest that was initially sparked by an online javascript course?

Comment Re:Elitism (Score 1) 688

If by "people look down on it" you are suggesting veteran programmers look down on beginner courses because beginner courses have been around for ages, I would care to disagree. I am fairly sure many veteran programmers indeed began their careers with just such beginner courses, way back when, which corroborates your assertion that such courses have been around for ages but gives no insight into why anyone would look down on such courses...which leads me to guess that maybe you mean that it is the _hype_ that is being looked down on? In that case, sure, hype can look a bit laughable to a veteran who has perhaps seen the object in question being hyped several times before. On the other hand, perhaps for a few veteran coders it was some hype that once helped them to find their way to a beginner course that set them on their path to become veterans. So even the hype can have a purpose and should not be looked down on, in my opinion.

But perhaps you didn't at all mean "veteran programmers" by "people" ? On the other hand, I don't see how junior programmers would have enough experience to look down on the material they are still learning from, and the general public (assuming they know even less about programming than the junior programmer) would consequently have even less experience to draw on when looking down on the material.

So perhaps you meant "intermediary programmers"? In that case I must agree I have sometimes seen tendencies of some intermediary programmers who are overly eager to distinguish themselves from junior programmers to look down on material suited for the juniors, but it is an approach that rarely lasts for very long, and I would frankly advice against such advocacy as a way to establish one's experience as a coder as it is fairly transparent.

Comment Re:Not just one number (Score 1) 266

So on this island no-body can ever have a week off from hunting pigs or their other duties?

What if the pig hunter produced some extra pigs along with saving up extra shells so that the other two could still buy pig during the week off?

And if the pig hunter can have a week off, does that imply the economy at large also isn't screwed?

Comment Re:Don't live in places without water, stupid. (Score 5, Insightful) 421

If your premise is that you need less people I think statistics indicate that helping people in need would be your best bet (in addition to sounding, as you put it, less bad). As I understand the general mechanism, people tend to compensate for uncertainty regarding the survival of their offspring by having more children. With access to for example better medication, the argument goes, parents can afford to have fewer babies.

Comment Re:Life Adapts (Score 1) 745

You are certainly right. The reality is of course just that if they are very far away, they would have to travel either very fast or for a very long time to get here.

If they started 1 billion years ago they could have travelled at 0.1c and still reached us from a very faraway place (to the tune of 0.1 billion light years away).

Could some life have started and reached spacefaring capabilities somewhere in the general vicinity of us (less than 0.1 billion light years away) in the last billion years? Seems entirely possible to me.

Comment Re:Almost as if someone had designed it.... (Score 1) 745

The argument for intelligent design is based on the concept of irreducible complexity. A scientist and an intelligent designist could agree on some thing, say the general evolutionary history of the horse, but the distinction comes when the intelligent designist finds some thing to be irreducably complex such that the consitituent parts could not have evolved by themselves (that is, only God could have made it because Darwinism wouldn't suffice. Not a watertight conclusion of course but it is the one intelligent designer theory goes with). The scientist will then go on to investigate how come the complexity under question is not impossible to reduce after all and if the intelligent designist is also a scientist they will help out in this endavour, but if they think they have just found proof for their religious belief that some irreducible complexity _must_ exist somewhere they may be unwilling to test their faith as thoroughly.

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