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Comment Lawyers (Score 2) 465

The children either want to avoid full probate because of the expense or need to get a new attorney familiar with whatever the affidavit of small estate alternative process is for their jurisdiction.

Sometimes, I just don't understand the Lawyer outlook of the world. If everything is working smoothly between family members, there ought to be no reason whatsoever to involve lawyers, courts, and extra expenses. Yes, there will always be some people who need a legal mediator... but there will always be people who don't need the extra expense and headache.

The idea that the world runs because lawyers exist, and that we must therefore thank them for making life difficult, is perverse and detrimental to society. Sometimes, in order to be helpful, the profession just needs to get out of the way.

Comment Value (Score 2) 253

[L]eveling is something that takes dozens if not over 100 hours in many cases and people have put serious time and effort into that, and we don't want to diminish that.

I don't know anybody who values 100s of hours of their time at $60. They might not want to diminish that effort, but they have a poor way of showing it. If I played WoW, I'd be insulted.

Comment Tide Locked (Score 1) 330

Yes, but it's not always the same half. :-P

The moon is tide-locked to the Earth, not to the sun. The so-called "dark side of the moon" gets just as much sunlight, but it never faces us. Moon based solar collection will have most of the problems that Earth based collection has... and a whole host of new problems.

Comment Re:I think I've seen this plan (Score 1) 330


First, I'm not sure what to think about the climate change political debate (which has so thoroughly obscured good science through funding bias - in both directions - and social pressure as to make actual scientific discussion practically impossible). So I'm only going to parrot for a bit.

It is all about heat, both change AND absolute. The planet is a complex system that deals with fluctuating carbon quite nicely. But those subsystems only operate well at particular temperatures. As the absolute temperature increases, less carbon gets sequestered, and green house gasses that are already sequestered get released. Thus, absolute heat drives a change in heat.

Or at least, the very loud theories say this. IANAC

Comment Re:Pretty sure the USAF knew (Score 1) 166

Agent Orange damage can be permanent, and debilitating (at least, as it was used in Vietnam). If some of those planes lasted until 2010, and if the residue in question is at all dangerous, then it's not outrageous to imagine ongoing diagnosis.

In fact, military preparation for decommissioning / dismantling might dramatically increase the risk of airborne particulates containing the substance. (For instance: asbestos is generally quite safe until you stir it up doing remodeling, etc.) It's still a dose that pales in comparison to what happened during the war, but it would be the highest dose encountered from those planes in decades.

Comment Re:Perfect Software (Score 1) 664

I can't conceive of a toolchain or stack is going to tell me that I miscalculated a total because I left out a variable.

But can you conceive of an IDE that displays expressions in a clear and understandable way? Compare the following:

To the following pasted into Desmos:
$\frac{x^{a\cdot \frac{c}{30}}-2^{bx}}{5a}$

(Note that Desmos doesn't do copy/paste particularly well, but it does make it really easy to enter formulas from the keyboard.)

Which is easier to read? The mess of parenthesis, or the formula? Which one are you more likely to make a mistake, and leave out a variable? And that's really low hanging fruit. While I agree that we aren't going to get away from text programming, that doesn't mean that all of our real-time coding tools need to be austere and display everything on straight uniform lines. We're stuck in a very old paradigm, compared to the things we're creating.

Comment Perfect Software (Score 1) 664

Anyone who thinks all software has bugs has never written "Hello World" in assembly.

Perfect, trivial software is clearly possible. Perfect software that's slightly more complex is also clearly possible. We haven't yet accepted that perfect software is possible, but we should demand it (for moderately expensive software, or where bugs will cost you money, for instance). A reasonably intelligent programmer writing a modestly complex program should be able to do so perfectly. That he can't, (because his tools don't help him do so) is infuriating.

Yes, almost all software has bugs. We are way too comfortable with the idea. Software doesn't need to have bugs. We just don't have toolchains and development stacks that encourage perfect software. It's as if engineers decided to only use modeling clay for buildings, because nobody sells steel, and it's too cumbersome to smelt their own.

The profession really is no better off for accepting this sorry state.

Comment Voting (Score 1) 560

I vote, but it's easy to see why people don't.

Because of our voting system (first-past-the-post), we've devolved into a two-party system (see Duverger's Law). Because the two big parties cannot be challenged (without an unbelievable amount of outrage), they rarely field candidates that are good for the voters, only candidates that are good for the parties. Why vote when none of the candidates represent you, or will do the things you wish to see happen?

Unfortunately, the idea that voting is useless only occurs to those of us who have two brain cells to rub together. I'd be fine with only a few voters, if they were the more intelligent population. I can draw an analogy to jury duty. Those who are smart enough to get out of it, shouldn't. Those who are smart enough to see how the voting system is broken, should vote. It may be disheartening, but we're not going to right this ship any other way.

(Which won't correct the vote rigging, but that's another topic.)

Comment Re:We're the best country in the world!!! Woo!! (Score 1) 357

Yes. I do.

There are a few important differences, though. (1) I'm not trying to get elected to public office. (2) I'm not trying to exert political pressure while in office. (3) I'm not trying to sell ad space. (4) I'm not trying to be the voice of authority. Go look this stuff up. Make up your own mind. Just don't blindly follow the media narrative. They're biased, either toward the Democrats or Republicans... and neither of those biases give a fair reporting of the movement.

But ultimately, I'm a guy on the internet. Don't take my word at face value, any more than the word of MrBigInThePants.

Comment Self Submission (Score 1) 128

The moderators and other tools prevent useless stuff from rising to the top.


(Sorry, couldn't help myself)

And regardless of your motives, the fact that you both wrote and submitted the article can open you up to accusations of self-aggrandizement, of which the Slashthink is very very suspicious.

If this is a warning about what others might think, meant as a courtesy, then it's not well worded. If it's a request not to self-submit, then it's a worthless statement. Slashdot is about conversation. If the topic is worthy of conversation among nerds, geeks, techies, etc, then somebody needs to submit it. It doesn't do any good to tell people that they ought to be bashful.

I, for one, welcome your submission.

Comment Re:We're the best country in the world!!! Woo!! (Score 3, Informative) 357

And what some fringe elements say at small meetings? How is that even relevant?!

Because those relatively small gatherings are where all the media cameras and microphones are. The larger movement has not, and cannot be heard nationally.

You have NOT heard the "Tea Party" movement, because you'd really have to go looking for it. You HAVE heard the constant barrage of media coverage on a particular corner of it, especially the Tea Party Express*, which is generally frowned upon by the other groups.

*(I think I've got the right group here. No slander intended if I've got the wrong one. What is called "The Tea Party" is not... it's just one of many, many organizations nationally. It's not even a good representation of the other groups.)

I am commenting on their actual representatives which are voting and passing laws not on the joe-shmoes voting them...

Again, showing that you only think you know what's going on. There are no Tea Party candidates. There never were. There is no "Tea Party" organization. There is nobody declaring which candidates may, or may not self-describe themselves as Tea Party candidates. A bunch of Republicans decided that they could ride the momentum to out-maneuver the establishment. Some of them are quite crazy, and need to be mocked. They show up to one rally, somewhere on Tax Day, put on a pretty face, and call them selves a "Tea Party Candidate". That's the whole of it.

I'll say it again. You're repeating lies. They're not your lies, so you need not feel any shame. The tea party movement started as a grass-roots movement, from the ground up. Ever since its inception, different political factions have been trying to define it or co-opt it from the outside, to some success. But at its core, there is no authoritative leader. Even "Tea Party Caucus" is a bit of a misnomer.

So, what defines "the tea party movement"? Principally: being willing to say out loud that the government is wasting our money; that our current fiscal path is unsustainable; that we can, and ought to have a balanced budget; that we can do much more with less if we cut graft, waste, and well, stealing, theft, kickbacks, cronyism, foxes watching hen houses, and the systemic deficiencies encouraging them (sometimes obvious, sometimes not).

In the words of John Green (to my nearest recollection) "If you think you might be a nerdfighter, you probably are." The same is doubly true of tea party advocates (or tea party anythings), especially as there aren't any de-facto Green brothers at the center of the nebulous thing. If there were congressmen being called the "Anonymous Caucus", you wouldn't blame Anonymous for everything they do, would you? That would be ludicrous. The tea party movement is even less organized than Anonymous. Consider that for a moment.

So, when you refer to the evil-doers in congress, please stop calling them the tea party. At best, you could refer to them as the Tea Party Caucus. The aren't just a self selected group, but a self-proclaimed group. They have chosen to define themselves in terms of the movement (and most of them do so badly). It is disingenuous, and more than a little insulting to define the movement in terms of them. Voters elected them. There were no "Tea Party" primaries, or nominations, or official nods, or unofficial nods. There is no process of keeping bad candidates from claiming the designation. Individual groups may have rallied behind them, but that is meaningless for the movement as a whole. They are congressmen, self described as tea party candidates. Nothing more.

Comment Re:We're the best country in the world!!! Woo!! (Score 3, Insightful) 357

The tea party is not and never will be the answer to the problems of the US due to their rabid irrational policies, their inability to relate cause and effect and their complete disdain for analysis, science and research. (those last two are related) Not to mention their bat shit crazy candidates.

No, the "Tea party" (there is no such thing) is not and will probably never be the answer to problems in the US because the media has focused on a very, very small, loud, and moronic corner of the movement in an uncoordinated smear campaign. Your vitriol is warranted, but only against the small target that the media has set you on. You've been duped.

What's worse is that the weak-brained have been told that the tea party movement is a good home for them. They are flocking to this "ideal environment" in droves, strangling an otherwise important political movement.

As for the Republican party, they've tried to co-opt the thing, to varying degrees of success. Most "tea-party" candidates are nothing of the sort. They just fly someone else's banner in order to get elected.

At the meetings that I've seen (from the edges), there was always an honest call for bi-partisanship, welcoming everyone from all political stripes. That's largely gone now that the Democrats, Republicans, and media have all taken the position that "the tea party" is a Republican thing. There are still people who hold out hope that it can operate in a bi-partisan (or non-partisan) fashion.

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