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Comment The kids are alright (Score 3, Funny) 31

Young people today are impressive. When I was a senior in college, I was turning milk bottles into bongs.

They were sweet bongs, though.

When I got to grad school, that all changed because I was suddenly surrounded by people smarter than me and I had to actually work. But those first seven years of college were a lot of fun.

Comment And it'll be a shitshow because of course it is (Score 2) 109

Sneak preview of the API:

crypto_really_encode(plaintext, algorithm); // Simplest
crypto_really_encode(plaintext, mode, algorithm); // Next arg goes in the middle
crypto_really_encode(block_size, plaintext, algorithm, mode); // Switch it up yo lol

...where AES will somehow be a valid value for both mode and algorithm (which will silently override to "NULL" if plaintext starts with a zero or the letter "p").

Comment Re:Bullshit isn't the same as "lie". (Score 1) 299

Well, you are ignoring polysemy here; yes "bullshit" can refer to tall tales like your drinking fifty gallons of beer. However there are other senses of the word, including topics of serious inquiry in the field of epistemics.

I refer you to Professor H.G. Frankfurt's seminal work, On Bullshit (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-691-12294-6.) for more information.

Comment Re:Great. Why not six years ago? (Score 3, Insightful) 95

This problem ain't just on Trump and Republicans.

Now it is. They control all three branches of government and could stop warrantless searches tomorrow if they so decided.

And Trump is the very last person who will relinquish the kind of power that warrantless searches give him.

Comment Re:Bullshit isn't the same as "lie". (Score 1) 299

I find that Socratic debate usually convinces the other person that you are attacking them and their stated belief fairly quickly even if actually just honestly wanting more information.

Well, you're in good company on that one. As I recall Socrates ruffled his share of feathers.

That said, I'm talking about satisfying yourself. Convincing others necessarily involves making allowances for their muddy thinking.

Comment Bug report (Score 4, Informative) 26

This was buried at the very end of the story:

During a second, unofficial demonstration of the HorseFly for UPS on Monday, some sort of interference – possibly from the broadcast reporters’ cameras - caused an issue with the drone’s compass. The drone aborted its launch, tried to land on top of the UPS truck, fell to the side and was nearly crushed by the still-closing lid of the vehicle.

“We’ve never seen it before,” said Burns, of the glitch.

Comment Re:Trump on Sweden (Score 1) 371

Except I have seen no data from the Swedish government, which publishes extremely comprehensive crime data (something we would do well to copy), to support the Syrian crime wave story. I've gone through Brottsförebyggande rådet data and it's just not there.

What I have seen is a lot of sloppy correlation and overprojection of statistical noise. For example Sweden amended its legal definition of "sexual assault" to be much, much broader, generating a spate of spurious stories about a Swedish rape epidemic.

Comment Re:Bullshit isn't the same as "lie". (Score 1) 299

Again, you're confusing "lying" with "bullshitting". Lying is about establishing belief in a false version of the world, which is best done, as you point out, by omission. That's because lying depends on peoples' regard for the facts; it exploits that. Being caught in a false assertion destroys a lie's effectiveness, so a smart liar sticks to the facts.

Bullshitting is about inculcating the desired feelings and attitudes in the audience. While a bullshitter doesn't hesitate to use facts when they suit his purpose, he doesn't hesitate to make shit up either, because it doesn't matter if he's caught. It doesn't even matter if he asserts two inconsistent things in the course of a single sentence.

Why?

Because bullshitting doesn't aim to establish belief in propositions; propositions are completely disposable. Once it has done its job, a piece of bullshit (unlike a lie) is a nullity. You can show that it is false, but the bullshitter's adherents won't perceive that as inconsistent; not as long as the bullshitter is conveying the same attitude.

That's why fact checking a bullshitter is a waste of time, once you've established that's what he is. It doesn't matter if you prove something he said was wrong, unless you do it in a way that changes his audience's feelings.

Comment Screen brightness should match paper (Score 1) 86

> Setup your work area to have even lighting.

Specially, the room lighting and the monitor brightness should be related so that the screen appears roughly as bright as a piece of paper held next to the monitor. The white areas of the monitor should appear white, like the paper, not like staring at a lightbulb in an otherwise dark room.

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