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Submission + - If I Had A Hammer

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Tom Friedman begins his latest op-ed in the NYT with an anecdote about Dutch chess grandmaster Jan Hein Donner who when asked how he’d prepare for a chess match against a computer like IBM.’s Deep Blue replied: “I would bring a hammer.” Donner isn’t alone in fantasizing that he’d like to smash some recent advances in software and automation like self-driving cars, robotic factories and artificially intelligent reservationists says Friedman because they are "not only replacing blue-collar jobs at a faster rate, but now also white-collar skills, even grandmasters!" In the First Machine Age (The Industrial Revolution) each successive invention delivered more and more power but they all required humans to make decisions about them. Therefore, the inventions of this era actually made human control and labor “more valuable and important.” Labor and machines were complementary. Friedman says that we are now entering the "Second Machine Age" where we are beginning to automate cognitive tasks because in many cases today artificially intelligent machines can make better decisions than humans. "We’re having the automation and the job destruction," says MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson. "We’re not having the creation at the same pace. There’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to find these new jobs. It may be that machines are better than that." Put all the recent advances together says Friedman, and you can see that our generation will have more power to improve (or destroy) the world than any before, relying on fewer people and more technology. "But it also means that we need to rethink deeply our social contracts, because labor is so important to a person’s identity and dignity and to societal stability." "We’ve got a lot of rethinking to do," concludes Friedman, "because we’re not only in a recession-induced employment slump. We’re in technological hurricane reshaping the workplace."
Data Storage

ZFS Hits an Important Milestone, Version 0.6.1 Released 99

sfcrazy writes "ZFS on Linux has reached what Brian Behlendorf calls an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release. Version 0.6.1 not only brings the usual bug fixes but also introduces a new property called 'snapdev.' Brian explains, 'The snapdev property was introduced to control the visibility of zvol snapshot devices and may be set to either visible or hidden. When set to hidden, which is the default, zvol snapshot devices will not be created under /dev/. To gain access to these devices the property must be set to visible. This behavior is analogous to the existing snapdir property.'"

Comment Re:Cheap labor trained with tax dollars (Score 2) 265

I can't tell if you're trolling or not. I have never held a job where I wasn't doing some kind of programming, and I only was a programmer by job title for about a year and a half. Most of the time I was writing code in C, fortran, and scripting languages to help me with the automatable or problem solving parts of various jobs.

The fact that I grew up peeking and poking the hell out of my early commodore and apple computers certainly helped. I think the paradigm of desktop computer went away from that because in the 80s and 90s the bulk of the workforce had never used a computer and so it became the glorified typewriter, reinforced by the way you worked with the MS and apple machines (ie, no longer was the user interface also the programming interface).

But any of the people (none of whom were programmers) I spent years working with that were doing simulation on Sun and SGI machines quickly learned at the very least c-shell scripting along with grep/sed/awk and then perl so that they could do more of their job and less of the data reduction tasks. There should always be protocol for the area to which you refer, but I'm talking about something else entirely.

The point is that the usefulness of knowing how to program goes far beyond the commercial and corporate software development worlds.

Comment Re:Cheap labor trained with tax dollars (Score 3, Insightful) 265

I think the biggest change is that people in many fields will be using programming as a tool in their non-programming job. This is already the case, but it is largely informal. Computers as a job tool for everyone are going to move far beyond the office suite, and kids who don't know how to program are going to be less able to compete and contribute in general.

Comment Re:PC Load letter (Score 1) 113

Unsatisfying blurb on fosters site. A regolith dome over a inflatable original structure. It makes good sense, but the hype should be more about the fact that its a manned moon base. For some reason it reminds me of all the press gherry got for using "aerospace manufacturing techniques" for the skin on the Bilbao Guggenheim and then again for the Disney center. Architecture sucks.

Comment Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (Score 1) 690

On the other hand genetics do effect the brain. My layman's thinking is that genetics effect all of our organs, bones, sinew, muscle, etc. why would the brain be any different. So: would it not be fair to say that there may be a possibility for the brain to correlate in myriad ways to myriad genetic bits? To try to use aspects of that as a reason behind law or social policy institutionally is the trouble in my mind. But to try to understand complexities of brain and behavior can still be a rewarding pursuit.

I am a math educator and do notice some difference between boys an girls, but also that there are girls who have a typical "boy" attitude and vice versa. I believe that any categorization would have to be very fine grained to be any help to "bin" and that girl vs boy would not be right. But that if one was able to have 5 categories in math based on increased understanding of learning styles, some would be weighted towards gender.

So there is a science to education and having a complex field summarized in a sentence does not make the article a troll.

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