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Comment Re:"Science" (Score 1, Informative) 256

the authors found that the particular bacterial population that thrives in the high-fat regime persists in the gut even once the mice have returned to normal weight and normal metabolic function after a dieting cycle. This leaves them more susceptible to weight gain

Because this is why people get fat. From eating fat. In other news, eating sugar causes diabetes.

The research is to do with why dieting is rarely successful, not why people get fat.

Essentially: Eat badly, get fat, diet, lose weight, get the munchies all over again because your tummy is still hungry for fat.

Comment Re:Even as a Tesla critic, absolutely yes they are (Score 1) 198

Yes, I'm not saying that *every* car must be autopilot. But just like herd-immunity it'll be better for all of us when we vaccinate the roads against the plague of undependable human agency.

Speaking of choice, nobody "chooses" to save themselves in the event of a crash. They just react.

Sure, this doesn't mean people don't delude themselves into thinking they're the exception, until of course they are *really* called upon to act on reflex. And if something unthinkable happens they get to have all the fun of living with the consequences of those reflexes and how they might have done things differently.

Robots are faster at reacting than flesh. It's just a fact, and it's only a matter of programming to make those reactions not just faster, but so much better than human it won't even be worth comparing anymore. But this still doesn't mean you won't be able to take your roadster out for a spin on Sundays.

Comment Re:Even as a Tesla critic, absolutely yes they are (Score 1) 198

You shouldn't be afraid. Just pragmatically aware that the abstraction you're sitting in is leaky.

And so is the alternate abstraction in which software decides if I live or die. There is no risk free choice on offer at present.

There is no risk-free choice and there never will be. But one will eventually prove itself to be less riskier than the other, and continually improvable, and the mindset to accept that will take far longer to propagate than any provably better autopilot software, even if the cars being auto-piloted do-away with the liquid explosive part.

Comment Re:Even as a Tesla critic, absolutely yes they are (Score 1) 198

You're sitting in half a ton of steel, glass, and liquid explosive, as is everyone around you, and you're all navigating a concrete obstacle course with varying degrees of concentration at speeds you're not evolved to cope with.

OMG I should be afraid! Yet the reality is so much less scary...

You shouldn't be afraid. Just pragmatically aware that the abstraction you're sitting in is leaky.

Comment Re:Even as a Tesla critic, absolutely yes they are (Score 1) 198

Driving is dangerous,

Is it? I drive a fair bit, and sure it's more risky than lying on your couch, but not by much. I think the word 'danger' gets over-exaggerated these days considering how safe just about everything is relative to even 50 years ago.

You're sitting in half a ton of steel, glass, and liquid explosive, as is everyone around you, and you're all navigating a concrete obstacle course with varying degrees of concentration at speeds you're not evolved to cope with.

I guess 50 years of cleverly abstracting this reality away with safety features has worked.

Comment Re:Four hard problems in programming: (Score 1) 497

Or, as old Fortran programmers would put it, insisting that the first item in a list have an index of 0.

There's a real-world problem that helped this logic make sense for me.

When I was learning to drive I was told that a good rule for keeping a safe-distance from the car in front, regardless of speed, is 2 seconds. To count those seconds you would watch the car in front pass a sign-post or other reference point, and count until you reach that reference yourself. Over time you get a feel for the right safe distance at any speed.

But when I counted I would start at "1" and not "0", meaning I was slowly training myself to have only a 1 second break between myself and whoever was in front of me. How many stop-watches have I ever used start counting from 00:01:00? Precisely one. I mean zero.

Anyway, long before I figured out how stupid I was, I had heard from others that they thought the same rule was 3 seconds, not 2. Presumably they were taught by driving-instructor who understood that people are always off-by-one when they measure time.

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