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Comment Re:Nut Job Movements (Score 4, Interesting) 168

This assertion itself illustrates the the disconnect in culture and assumptions.

You are arguing from the typical, venerable, valid-in-post-enlightenment-culture dynamic in which ideas propogate on their own merit. In such an environment, the adaptive strategy for dealing with bad ideas is to ignore them and let them die on their own lack of merit, or "burn out" as you put it. This has been known to work as long as the immunity mechanisms against bad ideas are intact, and are capable of dealing with the particular strain of ideological pathogen.

This strategy is not effective against ideologies not in that set, such as ones that spread themselves by the sword or by intimidation or in populations that believe ideas for reasons disconnected from the merit of the idea itself. The fact that said ideologies are bad or invalid or incompatible with civilization as we know it is not directly relevant to whether they will catch on or not. Such ideologies have spread themselves very effectively and they don't care that they are regression or that they are harmful. Effective disease agents dont care that they make the host organism sick, they are effective by definition if they propogate themselves, and just ignoring the symptoms and counting on typical immune mechanisms to make them go away doesn't always work.

Westerners think that ignoring ideas or debunking them is going to always work, but those techniques only work in certain contexts and against certain threats. Ghandi's techniques were only effective because he was operating against the British Empire and pushing their buttons, for example.

The West is not able to fight back bad ideas because, sometimes in an attempt to stop low level autoimmune problems, she has ingested massive doses of immune-suppression; immune mechanisms such as the nuclear family, shared but diverse Christian heritage, societal structures are weakened, made obsolete by technology, or dismantled, and ideological infections thought to be conquered are breaking back out in the unprepared populace, and getting some rest and drinking some fluids until it burns out may not work.

Comment Re: Except (Score 1) 81

I am a different poster from gp. I was only responding to the preposterous statement that a digital back or a separate digital camera could replace Polaroid-type proofs. There is no real replacement. I personally shoot 4x5 and 6x7/6x9 and am quite upset about losing instant proofs. I am developing a scheme involving lightproof black plastic bag, xray film or RC paper, monobath developer, and a field changing-bag, but not looking forward to it.

Comment Re: Except (Score 1) 81

Spoken like a true non-photographer.

  Polaroid proofs allow a final check of everything, because they sit exactly where the "real" film does. Everything from exposure, including if you shutter is running slow or not opening, to composition, including hard to spot objects that intrude into the image, or bellows that might sag into the light path in the camera, or the aperture you forgot to stop down, or the shiny spot on the model's forehead that will ruin the shot but only appears at the specific angle of the camera lens...there is no substitute for Polaroid proofs, and there won't be until full-size digital sensors are impossibly cheap, and even then, they will not be as convenent as something that requires no batteries and gives an instant original that you can write notes on.

"I don't understand it, so it must be worthless"

Comment Re:why stockpiling? (Score 1, Interesting) 292

They are probably waiting for the price to go up. There are wells all over the Midwest that have been prepped for drilling but not drilled, or drilled but not fracked, or fracked but are being held idle, because the economics of their existence was calculated on $80+/barrel oil. The companies are letting them sit hoping the price goes up so they can make more. It's easy to project how long this is worth doing given a certain amount of volatility in the price and the fact that demand will always be there, in fact, the current glut of NG in North America means applications are being converted to run NG, possibly boosting the coming price upswing.

Comment Re:Squaring up photos of pages (Score 1) 122

If you scan the pages in batches consistently, the crop and rotate parameters will be the same for all the pages in a batch. Then you just have to tweak the parameters once per batch. If you use a tripod and don't bump the camera, the batches can be big.

I wrote a script to do this exact thing. You put the crop, rotate, etc. parameters into a text file which you can save along with the batch of images. It also supports multicropping each image so that you can use it to build indexes of negative and slide pages, which is why I really wrote it. I can take pictures of dozens of Printfile pages of slides or negatives and auto-crop out the individual images to build an index of low-res images for browsing. I also use it for batch - scanning photo prints at full resolution and just trim the edges off,fix slight rotating etc.

The IM crop command basically does all the work. It is a very powerful program.

Comment LaTeX (Score 1) 227

I use LaTeX reports on a webserver instead of a paper lab notebook. One, I can't lose it. Two, paper is filthy and I work in a cleanroom. In the lab I am never far from a computer with putty or RDP.
Plaintext means I can grep years worth of reports to query what is effectively my cyborg memory. I use hyperref to create pdf hyperlinks, images are no problem. Provenance concerns are handled by my build script which commits everything to a git repository multiple times per day. If I want to scribble stuff without publishing it I just comment it out. The documents are available on the webserver for anyone to see.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 480

Interestingly, when I was going to UTD, wearing shorts in their little amateur hour cleanroom was a serious safety violation; of all the dozen or so commercial cleanrooms I have been in since then, shorts were allowed with no problem. Some of them even have low-crotch clean suits so you can wear full-length skirts. ...they remind me of those wing suits.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 480

I worked at DMOS5 from 08 to '12, having contact with DFAB, DMOS6 and RFAB. On the fab side, jeans are normal up to the branch management level, easily, and business casual is normal even for VPs. I first started there I went out and bought BC clothes just in case but after I realized I would be out dressing my hypervisor went back to jeans and a button down. It's a big company though.

Comment Re:"an act of social provocation"? (Score 1) 367

Selling and possessing chunks of aluminum (aluminium) is legal.

Selling/possessing chunks of aluminum in a certain shape will land you time in a FPMITA prison.

They have made an economical mini mill economical that makes the chunk of aluminum. In America, we believe that it's only illegal if you get caught, and so these folks fancy themselves as finding a great hack.

Comment A step in the right direction (Score 5, Interesting) 109

Laws should be tracked, with dependencies, by an apt-like system. Anyone should be able to query what is illegal, without a lawyer. Automated systems can flag unfairness, conflicting laws, and obsolescence.

Lawyers and judges' jobs would be reduced to addressing bugs.

The whole lot should be committed to a git repository (git-blame anyone?). New laws should take the form of pull requests.

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