Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment suffice it to say (Score 1) 795

Science is a methodology bent on correcting itself; Anything you like can go in the front of the process.. a hunch, an observation, a bit of math, some statistics suggesting a previously unknown pattern, etc. The process, done correctly anyways, will whittle away at it until the truth remains. As NDT suggested, science is not a noun, but a verb.

Comment Re:Beyond what humans can do (Score 2, Insightful) 708

Do you really have so little concept as to the scale of human damage? A single average-sized car puts out 4.75 metric TONS of carbon every year (and about 2-3 years worth during its construction and a little bit more during its destruction.) At last check there were more cars in the use being operated than there are drivers... and that's just one country... whilst this amount is being dwarfed by carbon emissions tied up in industrial agriculture (local/natural agriculture trends toward carbon neutral to negative, but can only sustain modest populations the likes of which we haven't seen on earth for over a century.) The fact that YOUR individual contribution to the damage done is a drop in the bucket does nothing to deny the fact that you are not the only person on earth... it's a tiny place in the grand scheme of things and we've overrun the place and are spending carbon, water, and oxygen like there's no tomorrow... which is no longer a mathematically implausible scenario as a result. The world's WORST extinction level event was also a climate change one, and we've reach the same levels at 40000x the speed... if life couldn't cope at that snail's pace (~1000000 years of constant hawaii-style volcanic carbon farting, killing off some 95% of all life) why do you think it (or we) will fare any better doing the equivalent of flying this jet into a brick wall?

Comment re: 'unreliability' (Score 4, Interesting) 189

then again, a joke update written about something as obscure as jumping spiders by a coworker some years ago was found and removed within HOURS of its posting. Wikipedia still, due to the competitive nature of its maintenance, beats out well established entities such as encyclopædia brittanica, et cetera.

Comment A shift in economic metrics (Score 5, Interesting) 509

At some point, I don't see the world being able to avoid a paradigm shift in how we measure careers, labor, etc... we have invested in and achieved so much in terms of automation, ai, etc, and yet we refuse to distribute the high efficiency benefits of these things to the very masses who brought them about and are being displaced by them. If it takes less labor, per person, to make the world work, then it truly should take less labor, period... not the same (or, as things have been going lately) more labor by the few still employed while those at the top of the economic food chain rake in the entire difference just for themselves. In the end, our current path is resource wasteful in a time when we can't afford it, and all for the actual benefit of very few people. It's an untenable and unsustainable practice that's going to have to change, and I don't see us regressing to old technologies just to reestablish old careers when we already have (and simply aren't properly dispersing) much better.

Comment Re:DGW Dinsaurogenic Global Warming - crisis of ti (Score 1) 389

Sigh; and the permian was similar (in fact, was the source of much of the fossil fuels we use now.) And yet, a far milder jolt on their climate wiped up 95% of all life the likes of which the world took ages to recover from. The nature of any given climate is of academic interest; the problem is in how fast it changes... and it's happening a lot faster now (we've done in just 200 years what took a million then) than during the world's worst known extinction level event.

Comment Re:Apparently dedication = autism (Score 1) 608

Actually, yeah... I'm not sure if there's a STRONG link to being on the spectrum (not my area of experience, though I might even find myself on some mild end of it myself), BUT, these kind of things do require a very unusual amount of dedication to learning a thing... most good developers I know have been hacking away since they were between 5 and 10 years old, dedicating their entire lives to it. That is not normal, as defined by numerical analysis of the larger population. The part I have difficulty with, in this statement, is that it is the result of culture, rather than an emergent pattern centered around the depth of education it takes to be a genuinely good developer. Still, I would support a movement to introduce algorithmic (problem solving) thinking classes (as expressed through programming or perhaps interactive models (lego mindstorm or equivalent stuff)) much earlier in schooling...

Comment I'm for caution first (Score 0) 226

Just as with new processed food products, or mining techniques, etc, this sort of thing has potentially huge and life-threatening consequences. Google (and similar) should have to do the legwork to PROVE the safety of a product rather than maimed or widow(er)ed individuals having to do the legwork to PROVE a product is NOT safe.

Comment probably so... (Score 1) 712

Pay should reflect the good a person has done... a tech CEO could potentially have invented something that has changed the face of the world for the better, and I am happy for them to have benefitted from that (this applies less or potentially not at all to later CEOs who simply take the position as given them by money-only boards of directors and/or shareholders.) Bankers, though... it's a real stretch of the imagination to see them has having done anything other than a modest good at their broadest, and thus should incur only modest pay to match that.

Slashdot Top Deals

Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated. -- R. Drabek