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Comment Getting an education today is hard (Score 5, Interesting) 289

All my life I've learned with "pirated" material: throughout school, my teachers copied all kinds of materials regardless of whether or not it was copyrighted - including my primary school teachers hand-copying entire pages of grammar or math books and giving away dittoed copies, photocopies of of all kinds... whatever was necessary to learn. Learning was considered "fair use" when I was young. Nobody in their right mind thought twice before copying something for education purposes.

Then when I started dabbling in computers, I started "pirating" software all by myself. I knew what I was doing was illegal, yet it didn't feel wrong. I learned C with an illegal copy of Turbo C. I learned CAD with an illegal copy of AutoCAD. I learned everything I know with an illegal copy of something.

Sure I shafted Borland, AutoDesk and all the others, but then I bet they made a whole lot of money afterwards, when I and all the others like me hit the job market and started using their products professionally - on seats paid by the companies I worked for to the tune of many thousands more than a single user seat.

I don't know how I would have gotten an education without pirated material. I don't know how kids today get an education if their teachers should fear jail when they use pirated material. What a sorry state society is in...

Comment Re:C'mon, Slashdot (Score 1) 311

This is rather interesting I'd say: considering that BG has vowed to give away 95% of his wealth to charities, and already does give away a shitload of money every year, I find it interesting that his net worth should increase rather than decrease.

Me, when I give money to a charity, I find myself poorer afterward. Not him. That seems like a nerdy enough phenomenon to be worth mentioning.

Comment Re:To put it in perspective (Score 1) 393

Your comparison to writing code doesn't apply, at all.

There are approaches to making this sort of brain. One option is scanning an existing brain and coping the data into the digital brain. That gives you a mental-clone of the brain-donor. The other way is to start with the equivalent of a blank-slate fetal brain and allow it to develop and self-wire. Then you raise and teach it exactly like an infant.

Both approaches completely avoid the issue that we have essentially zero understanding of intelligent consciousness, and that we don't have the faintest clue how to program for it.

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Comment Re:And who's brain will it model? (Score 4, Funny) 393

The last thing we need is some sentient silicon running around like a pestilent child lobbing nukes between hemispheres for fun.

If scientists persist in trying to play God with projects like this, they are going to unleash the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:
War, Famine, Death, and Petulance.

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Comment Re:The opposite might also be true (Score 1) 482

I say that as someone who actually agrees with you that their use of "denialist" is ad hominem and thus an anti-scientific tactic.

My point was actually affirming the validity of ad hominem as a basis to decline to waste one's time fruitlessly engaging an argument as if it were reasonable and rational. If you go back and read my previous post more carefully you'll find it would be laughably foolish for anyone to argue I was wrong :)

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