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Comment Re:see power point can cost you your job (Score 1) 194

Some nodes are too abstract for practical mission planning use, as I have said splitting abstract and practical elements into separate graphs for theorizing and planning would be better.

I do not think its best use is to illustrate the simple point. I would expect that colonels are able to believe their general when he says "the situation is complicated", rather than demanding evidence like wisecracking schoolchildren.

Note how a different kind of arrow is used to show delayed effect. That kind of detail is pointless for a 10-second snapshot.

Comment Re:see power point can cost you your job (Score 3, Interesting) 194

I do not understand this whole thing. The slide touted in your link as the epitome of what is wrong with PowerPoint slides (what does a complicated diagram have to do with presentations?) looks very useful. It illustrates many relationships between the many elements involved, and illustrates how ANSF, for example, has no effect on the economy or infrastructure or vice versa.

Admittedly there is too much information in it, it should be split in 2 for showing institution interactions and concepts, and strength of relation should be shown by line thickness.

I routinely deal with very similar charts for biochemistry and intracellular signaling. They are a godsend for those times when you get lost and forget which element does what, and with complicated systems I get lost every 5 minutes.

Comment Re:So tell me ... (Score 1) 105

There's a difference between being paid to express your opinion, and being paid to adopt an opinion and then express it. It's called a conflict of interest.

It would be pretty nice if reviewers had to disclose those, now that I think of it. Having a note saying "CoI: I was paid by the developer to write a positive review." under a pile of baloney (and knowing that there is legislation ensuring that you can trust that note) would change things quite a bit. It would probably make review magazines/sites more expensive as well, but I'd gladly pay more for at least slightly more honest journalism.

Comment Re:Please explain more about the harm. (Score 1) 508

If you measure everything with money, you are correct.

Turkish scientific and cultural output went up almost immeasurably from the 19th century to the 20th, as well as the quality of life for everyone except maybe the royal family. Your little truism is absolutely orthogonal to the matter; the fallacy you warn against has not occurred.

Comment Re:Please explain more about the harm. (Score 2, Interesting) 508

Could you explain more about the harm? Overall, Turkey seems to be doing very, very well.

Parent is a quaint breed of reactionary and has no clue what he is talking about. Firstly the switch was not just script, before there was an "Ottoman" language which was very heavily influenced by Arabic (in terms of vocabulary and phrase grammar) which rendered any government writing barely comprehensible to the average peasant. For Turkish itself as it is spoken now and as it was spoken before the Arabic influence (there are plenty of Turkish-speaking peoples who were never part of the Empire), Arabic script is not appropriate at all- groups of phonemes are mapped to the same character and some groups of characters are mapped to only one Turkish phoneme. This is partly because Arabic and Turkish have significantly different phonetic structure.

The switch got rid of the writing system and a lot of the vocabulary, such that it is feasible for the average high-school educated Turk to pick up the constitution and make some sense of what it says. (Complexity of legalese aside)

The historical record did not go anywhere. Any Turkish undergrad history program worth its salt will have an Ottoman class in the 2nd and 3rd years, which allows students to become perfectly proficient in it. The Turkish historical community is reliable enough to produce translations of important documents without any major political bias. Ottoman courses for interested laypersons are ubiquitous, cheap and often free.

The only two drawbacks were basically overcoming the friction from a clueless populace which wanted a sultanate to continue, and the aforementioned extra courses that undergrads have to take now. I tried learning quite a few writing systems out of personal curiosity, and I'd say the Turkish writing system is almost perfect (by the way, there is an objective definition of that), with a few minor exceptions (foreign loanwords and some nuances in stress can be tricky).

Comment Re:Hemp eh? (Score 1) 120

hemp is illegal for monetary reasons, its use as a recreational drug was leveraged to make banning it all the more palpable to the American people.

I think it is illegal because the cannabis you can smoke looks similar to the one used for fiber, which makes it harder to spot marijuana fields from the air because now you have to check each one more closely, as well as having to constantly inspect the (presumably) vast industrial fields to make sure they aren't hiding some drug plants in their fiber crop.

Comment Re:Knowability (Score 1) 426

PEEK at a certain address and it tells you the current hour.

You are complaining that now you don't have to hunt for the address through your notes, and instead can simply call something like System.getCurrentHour()? Or does it bother you that the same command works on hundreds of different systems?

Oh wait, you are complaining because you wasted time perfecting a task which should have been left to the software anyway, and now that software is doing it, your efforts have been rendered irrelevant.

Comment Re:History doesn't repeat itself (Score 1) 426

Learning how to use older/simpler machines is an excellent way to learn about a number of fundamental concepts. Modern computing, for all its advances, still operates off the same fundamental principles as it did fifty years ago; it's simply become orders of magnitude more complex.

I don't understand. Soldiers don't train with halberds, swords and crossbows. Officers don't train with cavalry formations, trebuchets and castle. Engineers don't start off recreating Stephenson's Rocket or the Wright Flier. Cooks don't start off rubbing wood to start a bonfire and roast mammoth meat. Architects do not stick to cathedrals until they "get their chops".

In fact, science is about the only profession that does anything remotely similar for training, and even then, if old experiments are recreated, the setup has as many non-crucial elements replaced with modern equivalents as possible. We didn't bother using 19th century batteries for the Ohm's Law experiment, because it didn't matter where the current came from. We didn't bother sucking up chemicals with our mouth through pasteur pipettes for cholesterol extraction when we had automatic pipetters. We didn't bother using Bunsen burners instead of hot plates for chemistry.

Low level programming for ICs and the like aside, I don't see what about high level programming is so difficult to teach with, say, Eclipse. Possibly linking up the libraries can seem confusing at first, since a default project has a bunch of them already (and generated code for the GUI) but it's not like it won't let you start basic command line app projects.

This class would definitely teach much history, but just because you love reminiscing about back in the day doesn't mean you should inflict it on everyone. Not only does it make the student's job unnecessarily difficult, but it also takes away the motivation that comes from going home, and being able to immediately apply the thing you learned in class on your computer.

Comment Re:Horn? (Score 1) 531

Well, to be sure when you are biking on an empty road, the vroom vroom coming from behind can be a literal lifesaver. Even if you do have a rear view mirror, its visibility is not perfect and you don't stare into it every moment.

Though then again drivers in that situation should honk to alert the cyclist in the first place.

Comment Re:Complication for mars missions? (Score 1) 138

Bacteria do not just mutate into unrecognizable species over night. It took E. coli more than 20 years to accumulate just 100 point mutations, in a genome megabases long, and that is in an exceptionally favorable laboratory environment.

It would take many centuries for any bacteria from the 70s Mars landings to produce even one protein that wouldn't align with our databases. It would take hundreds of thousands of years, and a lot of luck, for a whole species to develop which is not trivial to phylogenetically trace back to Earth.

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