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Comment Re:When everything you do (Score 1) 538

Presumably because it violates the sacred Unix doctrine of "a program should do one thing, and do it well". Personally I've thought that doctrine has been out of date for some time now, having set up and configured one or two Linux e-mail servers (I just want a fucking MS Exchange equivalent where I can install one thing and have SMTP, POP3, IMAP, Webmail, etc.)

Comment Re:How to advocate for desktop dev in a phone worl (Score 1) 510

I'm also a cross-platform kind of guy, but I find myself on Windows machines most of the time. Microsoft actually did the right thing with Windows 10, walking back some of the 8.x "touch-only, tablet-only" craziness. It's not Windows 7, but in my mind it's a good compromise between the two worlds.

You can't just ignore the fundamental problems of Windows 10. It's endless telemetry, shoving ads in your face, basically turning the OS into software-as-a-service. This for me is a total dealbreaker, no matter what they've done with the UI.

As an aside, I *hate* the Windows 10 UI. The new control panel is extremely bland looking, and the icons tend to be tiny, composed of black-on-white or white-on-$background_color. Compared to the colourful Windows 7 icons they are horrible.

Comment The "gleeful adoption" of Windows 10? (Score 3, Interesting) 510

Who the hell has "gleefully adopted" Windows 10 apart from MS fanbois? It's so appalling I'm literally thinking of quitting .NET development rather than eventually being forced to use it.

And no, its UI isn't even good. It's shitty monochrome icons and minimalistic 2d bullshit. Windows 7 and Mint Cinnamon look a lot nicer.

Comment Re:It's not sabotage (Score 1) 86

Yeah, I don't know that I 100% agree with that breakdown, but I do think it's something like that.

For one thing, I think "flow" is a little crammed in there. I think there's reason to connect the idea of "flow" (as I understand it) to a sense of contentment, but it's probably not really about achieving the state of flow itself. At least in my thinking, I'd sooner say that regularly achieving a state of flow implies that you're good at something that you derive some pleasure and satisfaction from, and it may be the pleasure and satisfaction that is providing the psychological benefits rather than the state of flow itself. I could be wrong-- maybe he's done some studies that show my thinking is backward, but it feels like it's artificially shoe-horned in there. I do think that some form of engagement is extremely important to a healthy mental state, so I wouldn't argue with him too strenuously about it.

Similarly, I think using the word "meaning" may be conflating a couple of different things that I would tend to separate. I think that there's a kind of happiness that comes from "doing what you're supposed to" or "living the life you think you should", but not necessarily because it's extremely meaningful in the sense most people would use the word "meaning". Instead, I think a big component is something like "an absence of extreme cognitive dissonance" paired with "not hating yourself". What I intend to point out here is that "meaning" might imply things like, "saving poor starving children in the 3rd world", but many people would skip over ideas like, "I think I spent my day in an appropriate way, and I have no conflicted feelings about that." You could call both of them "meaning", but the latter is not what most people would think of.

I guess my point here is just that I think there may be quite a lot of subtly different positive emotions and beneficial psychological states of being that we don't necessarily think of when we say the word "happiness". Seligman has chosen a few, and you could argue that the others can be somehow grouped in with the few that he's chosen. If it provides a workable theory that improves psychological treatment, I'm all in favor of that. Still, my sense is that he hasn't quite hit the bullseye.

For various reasons, I would tend to favor a model that at least contained separate ideas for pleasure, joy, satisfaction, alignment (that feeling of "I am unconflicted about the appropriateness of my actions"), and meaning. I'd be open to an alternate breakdown, but positive emotions, flow, and meaningfulness don't seem to capture the range of what I experience.

Comment Re:It's not sabotage (Score 4, Insightful) 86

Yes, my immediate thought when reading this:

Specifically, people were more likely to engage in mood-increasing activities (e.g., play sports) when they felt bad, and to engage in useful but mood-decreasing activities (e.g., housework) when they felt good.

is that it makes perfect sense if you think of happiness not as "something that must be maximized at every moment," but a resource that needs to be rationed or even grown when it's in short supply, but can be expended more freely when it's available. People engage in mood-expending activities when they have extra "mood" to expend.

However, I still think that this misses my point a bit when it says, "They may explain how humans overcome the allure of short-term gains in happiness to maximize long-term welfare." The implication there, it seems to me, is that maximizing hedonism is still the end-goal, but that it's a simple trade-off between short-term happiness and long-term. I don't want to take much time in arguing the point right now, but I suspect it's not that simple. After a lot of thought, I've ended up thinking of the emotion "happiness" as more of a expression of something deeper that we don't quite have a word for, and that deeper thing is what we're all really after.

To keep things simpler, I might instead say it this way: There are different kinds of happiness. One is simple pleasure-seeking and hedonism, another is a more deep-souled immediate sense of "joy" that goes beyond normal pleasure, and yet another is something more like a longer lasting "overall contentment and satisfaction". So anyway, what I suspect this research is really showing is that... well... Imagine you're playing a RPG, and the goal is to build a magic sword that lets you save the kingdom. You have a stamina bar, and when it runs out, you can't do very much. You can't run, you can't fight, you can't craft. The point of the game isn't to keep the stamina bar full, or even to keep it as high as possible as much as possible. It's just a means to an end.

So I would argue that what we normally call "happiness" as an immediate emotional state is like that stamina bar. When your mood is low, you're not very functional, so we find ways to boost it by pleasure seeking. When it's high, we make use of it. But what you're after is not maximizing that immediate emotional state of "happiness". That's just what you do when you don't have enough. I believe our willingness to expend that resource is not necessarily a sign that we are engaging in long-term planning to maximize happiness, but instead a sign that there is some other larger thing, the equivalent of "building a magic sword and saving the kingdom", that we are willing to expend that resource to gain.

I think I have an idea of what that thing is, but it's hard to describe succinctly in a Slashdot post.

Comment It's not sabotage (Score 4, Insightful) 86

It's a bit silly to say that people are sabotaging their own good mood. I think it instead suggests an alternate viewpoint: What we call "happiness" is not simply an end-goal, but also a resource. When we lack it, we conserve it and try to generate more. When we have enough, we expend the resource to accomplish other goals.

This in turn suggests some other ideas that some of us may have already suspected. Hedonists may be extremely unhappy people. Various behaviors that can be described as "addiction to pleasure-seeking" may be a response to suffering some kind of happiness deficiency. Depression may make people unproductive. People who are a mess may benefit from receiving some kind of help, rather than piling on various kinds of punishments.

Comment Re:A sign of things to come. (Score 5, Insightful) 400

I think this is simple a smart move. You don't really have Linux admins saying, "Man, I wish I had Powershell!" as much as you have Windows admins saying, "I spent all this time making Powershell scripts. I wish I could run the same scripts on Linux." They're servicing their own users, and providing extra value in learning to use Microsoft technology.

This is the sort of thing that I used to think Microsoft was stupid for not doing.

Comment Re:That's an easy one. (Score 1) 124

There are just way too many of them

And some of them are fake. There are a lot of ads and malware that mimic a security alert in some way, which only trains users to ignore them faster.

Also, not only do users not know how to evaluate the risk, they don't know how to fix the problem. If an alert pops up and says, "You may have a virus", the user can't tell if that's a scam, a false alarm, or a real problem. Regardless of whether it's real, false, or fraudulent, they don't have any idea what to do about it.

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