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Comment the bigger picture (Score 2) 438

i'm w/ the good doctor,
but also my thinking is that we should raise our heads out of our shapely buttocks for a moment
and think about spreading life of any form, not only human, to the rest of the galaxy.
i'm a good science boy and have no doubt that there is life out there,
but so far there's no signs of anyone except us.
we're on the cusp of wiping ourselves out in one way or another,
and when we do it's by no means certain that this planet will ever again attain space-faring capability
before it gets eaten by the sun. given this, i think we have a huge moral imperative to send out
large numbers of cheap life-bearing probes into the galaxy. little infectious bombs.
primary producers wired to chill out until there's a reliable energy source, and then mutate like crazy.

Comment Re:Unfortunate (Score 1) 507

you mean we tend to summarize the nature of a nation by its political structure rather than its economic ?
i think that's true. probably because the vast majority of nations have all been capitalist since forever.
in the case of actual totalitarianism tho it isn't really a valid distinction: the whole point is that it's a total system. eg for all practical purposes the government dictates the speed of light.

Comment Re:Unfortunate (Score 4, Informative) 507

it's weird that with so many years of perspective people still refer to Soviet Russia as a communist system.
the primary political aspect of soviet russia was totalitarianism, not communism.
Stalin murdered 20 million russians, not counting deaths during the war.
he used enforced wide-scale mass-starvation as a weapon, for example.
that kind of terror is not a feature of communism, that's a feature of totalitarianism.
ditto china, ditto nazi germany.

for further reading, check out "Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million" by Martin Amis, or "The Origins of Totalitarianism" by Hannah Arendt.

Comment Re:Misleading name (Score 1) 186

thanks for the conceptualizations around large numbers.
for another example, one way to visualize 10^300 is that if you take a sphere the size of the universe (sphere of radius 14 billion light years) and then fill it with grains of sand, and then replace each of those grains of sand with an entire universe filled with grains of sand, and then replace each of those grains of sand with yet another universe of sand, you have about 10^300. by my estimate. this came up because i was pissed off at string theorists claiming that there are 10^500 different sets of laws of physics, which is just an absurd number to bring into a discussion about reality.

Comment Re:it's all about the straw man (Score 1) 52

i guess i don't understand why this robot behaves so bizarrely [with the simpler algorithm] when there are no shortage of videos of robot arms catching tennis-balls and such.

as an undergrad i wrote a very simple reach-planning algorithm for a robot arm with N joints which seems like it would outperform the simpler of these algorithms.

i must be missing something.

Comment Re:Why is this being made public? (Score 1) 231

> He's possibly insane, however he's doesn't appear to have hallucinations,
> which would mean that there is at least SOME truth to what he's saying

what ??

that holds zero water, amigo.

re "evidence", sure. by that criteria there's evidence that jesus rose from the dead, and that xenu brought thetans to earth, too.

Comment Re:Why give it the time? (Score 1) 231

+1.
we should not give the manifesto of a failure of humanity the time of day.
this is obvious.
w/r/t the folks trying to decode locations and messages in the document, i can only presume that they're acting with the idea that perhaps Nutzo has accomplices or has already planted bombs in those locations or etc, and are working to prevent further killing. if there's evidence in that direction, then great. but if not then it seems like maybe another case of us technically-minded folks getting obsessed with solving a technical problem without pausing to consider whether it's good work to be doing in the bigger picture.

Comment Re:I ditched my iPad for Android (Score 1) 524

i'm not sure i understand the theory here; files seem like a good thing.

i agree that relieving the user of the burdens of file-management as much as possible is good,
but i think our OSs need to preserve the concept that they need to support 'documents' of unanticipated types
which multiple unanticipated apps can work with. .. which sounds like files to me.

or are you suggesting that we still have a filesystem, it's just not on the device ?

or perhaps another clarifying question is: how does the "camera roll" in iOS differ from a file system
that only supports a particular set of filetypes ?

fwiw,
i develop in my free time for iOS, but the only thing i use my iPad for is development and occasional browsing.

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