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Comment Re:Mr. Betteridge says... (Score 1) 767

Well said. You made your point well. I'm going to be more long winded. LOL

My counter would be, but almost anyone can cook.

To the extent that programming correlates to following well known recipes like cooking then anyone can do it.

Programming is such a nebulous word. Is a graphic artist who knows enough web technology to express graphics via CSS, Javascript, Photoshop, etc. a programmer?

Lots of accounts who use Excel can write some fairly sophisticated macros. Are they programming?

Personally I think the article asks the wrong question. The more germane question would be, 'Has the word "programming" become so muddled that it is time to expand the vernacular and come up with canonical classifications of programming?" To that I would answer yes.

In the field of genomics there are "bioinformatic programmers", usually part biologist and part programmer. They don't write application programs per se as much as they write custom analysis of data using scientific algorithms. they are scientists who write code. And, oh, btw, they also have to package that analysis in a program. The application takes a back seat to the analysis.

What is programming? The lack of clarity in definition is very similar situation to the words "software engineer" and "software developer".

Comment What objective? (Score 1) 1154

What is the objective of wider adoption?

"You have to be careful if you are not sure where you are going because you might not get there."
-Yogi Berra

Every since I could dual-boot I have always used both Windows and Linux. Now using both Windows and Linux is much easier with VMs.

Tools are tools and I use Linux and Windows where they most benefit me. To that end I've never used Apple because there is nothing compelling for me on Apple. There have been only two applications I'm aware of on Apple that might convince me to run the Apple OS:
1. Pro Tools
2. Final Cut

Adoption of Linux desktop is lacking a clear objective. I use Linux when it benefits me and Windows the same. Running both is trivial for those who are tech savvy. If you are not tech savvy you probably don't need Linux. Given the advent of smart phones and touch pads then the real question is not the future adoption of Linux Desktop but the future of the desktop in general.

Comment Re:alarmist and overgeneralized? yes. but also tru (Score 1) 1034

I like your perspective. I wonder if you would care to comment on the female technological craze:

Business is booming -- for the sex toy industry. It seems that erotic accessories are poised to become some of the world’s most popular gadgets, right up there with smartphones. The Daily Mail reported that UK sales of sex toys are projected to soar above £250 million this year (approximately 403 million dollars). And as of May 2011, consumers were spending an estimated $500 million a year on these products in North America, according to Scientific American.

Are vibrators becoming too much of a good thing for women? It might help explain why both men and women in this country are content to stay in their respective
corners and not come out swinging. Your take on women having no partners struck me as rather odd, as if women were helpless. They most certainly are not. On the other hand, if Steely Dan is satisfying them then that is more believable to my way of thinking.

The other thing to consider is that historicial marriage was based upon men subjugating women. That's not the case today but courtship rules have not kept up with the times. I'm just pointing out a systemic deficiency that both men and women are up against. In the words of Zoey to Captain Reynolds on Firefly, "Are you enjoying your own like bio-slave?" is no longer an option.

Comment Re:You can't blame games and porn (Score 1) 1034

Well met. You should also factor in lifespan into your paradigm. Getting married at 16 was the norm until very recently in man's history precisely because that age represented the best years for reproduction for lifespans of 30 years. Today? Who gets married at 16? Till death do you part means 70 years of marriage? It is expected that everyone is socially awkward when they are young when people traditionally looked for opposed to midlife these days.

Comment Re:That is what annoys me most about things like t (Score 1) 1034

Well said and well met.

Technology is redefining norms. The problem with psychologists today is that comparative behavior requires comparing past and present and not starting with an assumption that norms of behavior are in flux.

If norms and social values are changing rapidly then what? There are some behaviorists out their who recognize this is the case. For example, the cell phone is making a huge impact on speech. Research is being done on language o help us better understand how to use cell phones appropriately. This type of attitude is not being conducted with respect to video games.

As technology gets adapted there are bound to be miss-steps in integrating technology into the human experience, obviously. The problem with modern psychology is the same problem with conservatives in general. That is both groups typically start with the assumption that the only "good" norm is a past, understood and proven "norm" and taking risks, making changes to achieve some new state of human experience is never a consideration. In that world then video games can only be destructive because video games did not exist in the past and these folk fit the facts to their negative bias. While evolution may take millions of years environment changes do not and anyone who is up on the cognitive sciences is well aware of the roll that environment plays in child development. The technology cat is already out of the bag and modern psychologists need to get with the cognitive science program and help us figure out what to do about it productively rather than focus on wholesale condemnation of that which they despise and do not yet understand. Video games will be with us as long as technology is. Get over it. Psychologists would be better served helping companies like Blizzard produce a healthier environment.

Comment Re:Well, if they're going to generalize, I am too (Score 1) 1034

"Their lives are certainly likely to be more interesting, and their odds of landing a partner increases."

A good send up, I say. My compliments. This sentence strikes me as rather interesting. I might rewrite it as:

"There lives are certainly likely to be more interesting from someone who doesn't game's perspective and their odds of landing a partner outside of gaming increases thusly."

I read somewhere that more women now play WoW than men, although the demographics are out of sync I think.

The key here is "interesting". I think psychologists and the world at large tend lump games like WoW into the same mindless bucket as watching TV or porn when in fact the complexity of the game-play, the interesting factor, is really one's choice. The mythology in a game like WoW represents thousands of names and places to get to know. The maps are rich. The PVE encounters are in the hundreds. Your toon can be as mindless as you like to as complex as you need. I like complex where I'm constantly tweaking macros and remapping the keyboard. I also use a lot of plugins. I also "tank" which requires far more sophistication than the other roles unless one is in a guild or doing PvP. Speaking of PvP, the other thing psychologists dismiss with online gaming is that "guilds" are key to holding people for the long run. Guilds typically use "Vent", a group chat, and viola people are talking to each other.

Only time will tell if video gaming becomes a norm such that those who do not game are deemed less interesting. As long as technology keeps trending the way it is I know where I'd put my money.

Comment The Language Instinct (Score 1) 318

If you are not an expert but would like more understanding on this topic, then I'd recommend Steven Pinker's, The Language Instinct.

One of his books discusses a series of experiments where babies were shown to be able to understand all phonemes but by the age of six-months only the phonemes of the parent's language are available. They did experiments with both adults and babies.

Also, Pinker talks about a group of people with no history that linguists have posited to once exist based upon common roots in modern languages that trace back to a period in history and then stop. Kind of a missing language link of people if you will. Not sure how that fits in here.

Comment Re:Raiding (Score 1) 175

You all seem to be missing Greg's point. Greg was claiming that "We've got a lot of players into raiding now."

Maybe what I should have countered with was "prove it".

Link the RAID achievements vs. the number of level 80s and show us that level 80s who play on average 10 hours a week have lots of raid achievements.

"You can "know the fights" by looking them up on or youtube. Or tankspot. Or bosskillers. Or a half dozen other sites."

"I want to raid but I'm not sure how," or "It's too hard." "

Your statement is directly at odds with Greg's.

Here's how hard it is for me to use video.

1.) As tank I've had to use ALL of the sites you've listed to "know how." No one site works.
2.) Many of the videos are out of date.
3.) Videos are for a class you are not playing. Good luck trying to tank a fight as a warrior when the video is paladin.
4.) Videos have characters far better geared.
5.) Most of the videos have the UI so tweaked and custom rigged it makes them difficult to understand and they require watching repeated times.

So I disagree with him saying that users don't feel the "know how is hard". It is hard, especially for tanks.

And I'm still surprised at how many players do not have Deadly Boss Mod set.

If a player has to spend 30 minutes to an hour scouring the web to "know how", maybe it has been two months since that raid, then this directly contradicts Greg's statement that "I want to raid but I'm not sure how," or "It's too hard."

Why do you think the tank ratio is so low? Because it's too hard.

Comment Raiding (Score 2, Interesting) 175

"Greg Street: We've got a lot of players into raiding now. I don't encounter too many players these days who say, "I want to raid but I'm not sure how," or "It's too hard." "

Seriously? You can't even get into an Ice Crown raid unless your gear score is 5K and most people are going to want you to already know the fights.

If by "raiding" he means the Dungeon Tool, he's probably right there, but other than that forget it.

It is nigh impossible to reasonably PUG a raid.

Comment Obligatory Howard Reference (Score 1) 105

Howard's Mom, 'Howard, I'm going to the store. Which peas should I get to go with the brisket!"

Howard, "Not NOW Mom! I'm BUSY!"

Howard's, Mom, "Just what's so IMPORTANT Mr. Smarty Pants that you have to spend all day playing video games in your room. Should you be in school?"

Howard, "I'm NOT in School Ma!, I work at the University, and for your information I'm not playing games, I conducting very delicate research on the latest robotic technology. Now will you PLEASE leave me alone!"

Comment Bolivia (Score 1) 688

Bolivia is one of the poorest country in the worlds with a recent history of mineral and oil resources, politics, and how little of the money provides economic wealth to the people of Bolivia. Instead Bolivia has children under the age of 11 going into mines because of their size.

Bassey is from Nigeria. Both Bolivia, whose radical government hosted the conference, and Nigeria are poor countries that have suffered from the curse of having carbon resources extracted by Western multinationals at the cost of terrible environmental destruction and social dislocation. At Cochabamba, Bolivia's President Evo Morales, said the profit-driven extraction of resources had to end if the world was to avoid catastrophic climate change. For that to happen, the private ownership of resources had to end -- and capitalism with it. This is a hard path for carbon-resource-dependent Third World countries like Bolivia and Nigeria, but is far easier for a rich, developed country like Australia. And the best way to manage the transition away from environmentally destructive mining is for the industry to be in public hands.

Comment Re: Classic Issue (Score 1) 236

Well said.

"All in all it may be best not even to worry about things like video games as we can be certain that the run away cause of all crime comes back to drugs. Get rid of drugs and 90% or more of all crime will vanish."

While I'd choose a different oversimplification, historically poverty has a higher correlation to crime than does drugs, still your intuition is dead on. This is identical in spirit to Amdhal's law of optimization where optimizing 90% of only 1% of a performance problem is still only optimizing 0.9%, not 90%. Which can be more simply stated as "make the common case fast."

Expanding on your discussion then, today when a person has allergies or medical dispensations of a drastic order they wear bracelets proclaiming said characteristic to aid medical treatment. Should people who are known to have bad reactions to "blank" be encouraged or required to publicly proclaim them? We have decided this is the case with convicted pedophiles, and yet not other criminal tendencies? Pedophilia is considered some kind of uncurable, genetic-like defect but other criminal behavior is not? Why not? Like you say, Society has not handled this well. We have moved beyond the moral notion that "if you do the crime, you do the time" to a new notion that "if you do a crime behavior, forever that behavior." Is that really right and desired, I wonder?

The question facing us in the information age is do we have the courage to learn to use personal information? Such as to undergo gene testing and the like, mistakes and all, so as to help ourselves and others act accordingly? What if gene and other testing uncovers someone has never acted on a tendency, but fits some pedophile-like tendency profile? The medical industry is working towards requiring everyone to succumb to gene testing at birth to better afford efficacy in treatment with drugs, radiation therapy, etc. I believe someday soon the science will be able to tell if someone will have an addiction to certain drugs using genetics. Wouldn't we be better served as a society to let people know apriori if they will likely have adverse reactions to drugs or other environments? At some point a bracelet listing drug reactions would be impractical.

One can definitely see both sides of the power argument: efficacy vs. abuse of information.

Power always cuts both ways and can be used for better or naught. Do we have the courage to learn to use the information we now, or will soon, have? Or do we just continue to deny? We have the "courage" to make weapons of mass destruction...but how 'bout the courage to use mass personal information of efficacy?

Interesting debate, and I'd second your sentiment that "Society has not responded well to this type of situation."

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