Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Nothing New (Score 1) 330

I suspect the argument you'd get back is that the potential to commit mass mayhem is much higher now, which justifies giving governments the power to put anybody under a microscope whenever they like. ... As far as it goes, it's a good argument.

No, it is not a good argument. You are talking about placing constraints on every innocent individuals' behavior—with non-compliance punishable by loss of property, loss of freedom, and ultimately loss of life depending on how much the individual resists this violation of their natural rights—on the basis of something no more palpable than a generic, unsubstantiated fear of what someone might do. No amount of "potential to commit mass mayhem" could possibly justify that kind of response.

Comment Re:Warranted, maybe? (Score 1) 465

If the data being fed in is accurate, I don't see how we can treat that bias as anything other than a rational response.

The real problem isn't that the tool is making an data-driven (even if "biased") assessment regarding the tendencies of a subgroup within the population, but rather that the tendencies of the group are being used to make decisions about how to treat individuals. That is the essence of stereotyping, whether it's done by a human or by a machine. Stereotyping is wrong because it disregards individual choices and personal responsibility; morality aside, it's also a poor guide since the variation within a given group tends to be much larger than the variation between groups. Knowing that one group tends to be better at math than another, for example, is a poor predictor of how two specific individuals selected from those respective groups will compare.

The solution to stereotyping is "getting to know the individual". To counter it in AIs we need to give them more information to work with—much more. When an AI is able to take into account the subject's entire life history and render an informed opinion about that particular individual, and not just generalize about the groups they belong to, then we can say that the algorithm has a chance of being just and fair. Until then we need to be careful about how we apply them.

Comment Re:Pretend to do no evil (Score 1) 56

Curious Kid: So, this means that you ... pay all your taxes to fund all the social programs that you advocate for?

First, no court has yet found that they do not pay all of "their" taxes—they pay what is legally required, just like everyone else. Second, if Google actually wants to take care of the poor it would be more effective to just support the appropriate programs directly, and not outsource that responsibility to the government. Taxes are not primarily a way to help the poor; they are a way to (inefficiently) force others to contribute to social programs and subsidies you approve of against their will. Only a small fraction of the money taken in taxes actually makes it to someone in need.

Comment Re:3 types of thinkers (Score 1) 337

I like attributes and logic (expressions) in a tubular form to both more easily identify visual patterns...

This text resulted in a very strange mental image, until I suddenly realized that you meant "tabular", as opposed to arranging your attributes and logic in the shape of a tube. Still, perhaps the cylindrical mental model of coding might have some merit...?

Comment Re:Translation to Partially Valid English (Score 1) 337

"char* example;" becomes "define a character array called example"

Except that isn't correct: The code is defining a pointer to zero or more characters, not a character array. To define a character array you need to allocate space to store some characters, as in "char example[N]". The pointer version should be read as "define a character pointer called example". (Or "char pointer", "pointer to char", etc.—the main point being that "example" is a pointer, not an array.)

Comment Re:forensics (Score 2) 186

Your solution sounds complicated, and depends on specific storage mediums. Fortunately, there is a simpler alternative. This happens to be one of the things that blockchains are particularly good for. Whenever you create an official document, just sign it and upload the detached signature to the Bitcoin blockchain. In the event of a dispute over the historicity of the document you can point to the matching entry on the blockchain to prove that the document existed at that point in time. The proof-of-work algorithm and corresponding computation time expended by Bitcoin miners ensures that transactions older than a few hours are nearly impossible to tamper with.

Comment Let's retort. (Score -1, Flamebait) 287

Toxic work cultures are at least equally the fault of women. Let's look at motivations:

Men want to get laid, and/or want to dominate women. This is done for reasons of personal satisfaction and/or pecking order (though it is unlikely to result in a work benefit, e.g. promotion) and/or unhealthy obsession with demeaning women. Men like workplace dating because it's easy - "delivered pussy" is the term.

Women want to lure men in to having sex with them. This is done for reasons of pecking order (and in this case it could result in economic benefit due to promotion) and/or a feeling of belonging somewhere and/or economic reasons and/or a desire (healthy or unhealthy) for attention. Women like workplace dating mostly because it allows them to almost entirely transcend class differences, which would be hard to do in their social circle outside work.

Somehow, you think this is all men's fault because they have 'power'. This is false on multiple levels. The women have to buy into this. All superiors aren't men. All women aren't innocent of wrongdoing. The #1 cause of sexual harassment complaints is jilted women. The men in question may or may not have been predators, but the sexual harassment claims prima facie look identical.

So are you just willfully blind in regards to female culpability?

Comment Re:Is this additional income tax? (Score 1) 486

The percentage of tax you pay is not all that relevant... What matters is what you get in exchange.

The system is involuntary, so what what you get is irrelevant. Someone else decides that, not you, which means it's all to their benefit, not yours. Perhaps you would have chosen to pay for those things, perhaps not. Either way, those in power cannot take any credit for providing goods and services of their own choosing, payed for with stolen funds. If you would have chosen to purchase those same goods and services freely then forcing you to do so adds no value; if not, they have only made you worse off by making you pay for something you didn't want, or couldn't afford.

Comment Re:Future proof (Score 5, Insightful) 486

Or mandating a $15 minimum wage without studying it first and then seeing it decrease earnings of those it was designed to help, at least according to one recent study (more research over time is still needed to say for sure). There's a much longer list for someone crankier than me to make.

It's well meaning but it's almost universally poorly thought out in terms of unintended consequences.

Bullshit. I was part of the effort to raise the minimum wage in Seattle to $15. The effort was studied and argued ad nauseam. We looked at all the data. Study after study shows that paying people a living wage is not only feasible, but improves the economy. It may be shocking to learn, but putting money into the hands of people who'll actually spend it in the community boosts the economy. Your spending is my income, my spending is your income. You get paid more, then you spend more. Then I make more and pay you back. That's how economies work.

(What hurts an economy? A few rich assholes sucking up all the money for themselves and then sending that money out of the economy to their Swiss bank accounts.)

This recent study came out contradicting previous results. It stated that increasing the minimum wage hurts workers. Turns out the new study wasn't peer reviewed. Another shocker. One problem of many is that the new study excluded minimum wage employers with multiple locations. Why? No good reason. If a restaurant was successful and opened a second location, it wasn't included in the study. No surprise that increasing the minimum wage looks bad if you methodically cut out the successful businesses.

Like this income tax idea, which will perversely drive out the people who pay the most in property taxes and push them into driving into work from the suburbs. And Seattle already has miserable traffic.

Everyone wants to live close to downtown. Part of that is precisely because of the miserable traffic. We've got the hottest housing market in the nation. If a few people leave over the income tax, there's 10 times the number of people who'd love to buy their homes, move in, and pay that income tax. Our housing market will be completely fine with this tax change.

But, again, while the economic sun is shining the city has the leeway to try these grand but foolish experiments. Unfortunately, at some point the tech boom here will end and there will be a nasty bill to pay for it.

Yeah, sure. The internet is just a fad. It'll end soon. Keep telling yourself that.

Comment Re:$250K is the definition of the evil 1% (Score 1) 486

If you can afford a 2000+ sqft home, you are rich.

Bullshit. Middle class people can afford 2000+ sqft homes throughout the US. That doesn't make them rich.

If you can afford to buy a decaf latte grande every day, you are rich.

Again, bullshit. A latte is $3. It's not fucking Patrón. Middle class and poor folk buy lattes every single day. It doesn't make them rich.

Slashdot Top Deals

Bus error -- driver executed.