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Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 216

100 cases and 1 death don't give us a 1% fatality rate... we have to make sure those 100 people recover.

100 cases and 1 death don't give us a 1% fatality rate, because we have to take into account the people who got sick and didn't seek medical attention.

Anyway, where do you get those numbers? I thought the latest word was that it might not be any more fatal or infectious than normal. And since nobody has told me what the original fear of high mortality was based on (unless it was the 12 dead out of 312 confirmed cases in Mexico, a terrible statistic to base a mortality estimate on) I'm not inclined to buy into it.

Comment What's the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 216

What's the point of closing schools if the virus isn't virulent enough to burn itself out? If it's about as severe and durable as the garden-variety flu strains that circulate everywhere anyway, then it will continue to circulate in Mexico indefinitely, and wherever else it establishes itself. We can't exterminate it any more than we can exterminate other moderate strains of flu.

So when we reopen the schools, borders, or whatever else people are screaming for, the swine flu will be there waiting... waiting to make us cough and hack and stay home from work... waiting to kill children, the weak, the elderly... waiting... just like the regular garden-variety flu that we get every year.

(I'm not a biologist, I'm just baiting a real biologist to correct or clarify anything I got wrong. Please and TIA.)

Comment Whippersrnappers unaware of old-school techniques? (Score 1) 731

Hell, we seem to be obsessed by them. We romanticize them. We justify using crappy obsolete technology by the fact that it caters to old-school techniques. We seem to think that if it weren't for the old-school techniques, there wouldn't be any opportunity to improve our software using hard work and ingenuity.

"Our software sucks because we use Python, which doesn't offer any scope for hard work and ingenuity. Man, if we wrote in assembler or Perl, we could rock out with some wicked cool code and give our software the hard, nasty edge we need to kick ass!"

No, no, the opportunities for hard work and ingenuity are sitting right in front of us while we daydream about how awesome we would be if the world hadn't gone all soft and candy-assed on us.

Comment Re:Opt-in actually makes more business sense. (Score 1) 162

What you said:

In our geographical market most of the households do in fact reply to junk mail and so forth.

What your GP said:

I've run opt-in marketing campaigns, and have converted multiple employers from opt-out to opt-in. Before the switch, every mailout would result in an inbox full of complaints and threats.

Connection?

Mike Tyson thought she wanted it, too. Keep your unsolicited junk out of my slot.

Comment Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (Score 3, Insightful) 448

But I'm also glad that I didn't have a stake in it - It had to be an unsettling investment for those who did. It's got to feel good to have participated, but it was obviously a gamble from the beginning. Watchmen is definitely aimed at a niche market.

On the contrary, it was probably a pretty predictable quantity compared to other movies. Not that any new release is predictable, but this one wasn't anything like 300 or Sin City where they were hoping to pull in people who knew nothing about the source material, or like Persepolis where it was unknown whether the enthusiasm for the books would last through the release of the movie (and where there was probably a lot of doubt that fans of the books would even bother to see the movie.) It was a so-so movie based on a popular and prestigious graphic novel. They knew the size of the niche. They knew that the readership of the graphic novel would contain more movie fans than the general population, and, having test-screened the movie, they knew it wouldn't break out to a broader audience or inspire massive rewatching.

Assuming that the broadcast and rental rights were sold before the film screened, the DVD sales are probably the riskiest part -- how many people want to see it again? Will fans of the graphic novel want to buy a movie that failed to do the source material justice (inevitably and maybe blamelessly, but still)?

Comment Re:It's a Zen thing (Score 1) 508

That's the perfect state for when there's a clear path ahead. The conscious mind has a role in creative problem-solving, but sometimes it doesn't know when to get out of the way and let your instincts handle the trivial problems in the marvellously efficient way they have.

Comment Re:My happy coding place? (Score 1) 508

You can churn out quite a bit of good code but one error and your night is gone.

Funny, this was my experience with alcohol also. It was wonderfully disinhibiting, and I wrote a lot of pretty decent code without obsessing over fine points of style like I normally would. However, after three or four I was absolutely helpless at fixing anything I had screwed up except minor typos. I couldn't even get my C++ code to compile unless the compiler reported an error at exactly the right line number, because I literally could not read the template error messages from g++ (and believe it or not, I normally can.) Eventually I figured out just to give up and go to bed (or keep coding without compiling) at the first sign of trouble. And eventually I realized drinking and coding late into the night was not the right way to deal with that crappy job, and eventually I quit and got a new one.

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