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Comment Re:It's how you define the 'utility function' (Score 1) 609

Excellent point. Regardless of "weight of scientific evidence," people are still going to have values, and those values are going to differ. Today, many freeways have a speed limit of 70MPH. I bet if you lowered it to 60, you'd save a couple hundred or thousand deaths each year. Lowering it to 50 or 40 would reduce the deaths even more.

But at some point, we have to establish a baseline for how many annual traffic deaths we find "acceptable" as a society. You're left with either a law based on sheer evidence ("No driving, because driving results in deaths"), or a law based on popular opinion ("People are satisfied with the death rate of a 70MPH freeway system, so that's the speed limit"). The former would be absurd, and we already have the latter.

Comment Re:Not senile, just falling for old philosophy (Score 3, Interesting) 951

The interesting thing to me is that this is just religion given techy words so it sounds more "rational" or "thought-provoking." Both a simulation and a creation would require a creator - some greater being outside of what we consider reality. In fact, when it comes down to it, do you really lose anything by calling the Christian (or Muslim or Jewish or whatever you like) theology a description of a computer simulation?

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 2) 424

Just more Cheez-wiz American cinema. Lucas ruined the first three movies when made the last three.

Oh for pete's sake, Lucas didn't ruin anything. Star Wars until the sellout to Disney was his. His fucking vision.

Well, no. His vision was a green-skinned Han Solo with gills and other crazy characters/ideas that brighter minds, fortunately, talked him out of. A New Hope is what happens when you based your movie on established storytelling techniques (hero's journey) and have a capable and outspoken editing staff. The Phantom Menace is what happens when you leave Lucas to "his vision."

Comment Re:Rather late (Score 2) 313

Nope, I use high quality VBR MP3 for my music because a) it sounds great, b) it's supported on everything and c) it takes a lot less storage space. FLAC is for idiots who think they have superhuman hearing.

I use FLAC to rip my CDs losslessly, so if they ever break, get lost, or degrade, I'll be able to re-burn them with no loss of data. I won't pretend I can hear the difference, but I'd rather not take the chance if I have to reuse/transcode the files in the future.

Comment Re:Average SD article containing TM unclear ABR in (Score 1) 293

My university gave me the equivalent of 2 years of credits (officially starting me as a junior) for the 6 AP tests I passed. But my BS still took 4 years.

What kind of college only requires three classes per year? My understanding (as someone who has received college credit for AP tests and subsequently graduated) is that a single AP test takes the place of a single class - usually three or four credit hours. You were a junior with only 24 credit hours to your name?

Comment Re:Interview ending question (Score 4, Interesting) 692

"Do you have any weaknesses?" "Yes, I hate stupid interview questions"

I think I actually found a decent answer to this question. "I value stability so much that it sometimes acts against my best interests. For example, if I hadn't been laid off from my last job, I would've preferred to stay there as long as possible, even if it meant not looking for better jobs. The stability of an existing salaried position was too attractive to voluntarily let go."

Paraphrased, "Yeah, my weakness is that if you hire me, I'd like to work here until I die." Hey, I got the job.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 2) 216

Right. Because none of us know that movies like totally aren't real and shit.

I don't think the Romans cared about the "realness" of the games; that is, they didn't watch the gladiators because they personally wanted those people dead. If you're far enough removed emotionally from the participants (which the Romans certainly were), being at the Colosseum for them was like being at the movies for us.

Comment Re:Horse, meet water (Score 2) 381

Shareholders have purchased a part in a company because they support its vision and actions. The people that "own" the government, on the other hand, have no choice in being taxed, and half of them are always going to be against what the government decides to do.

I guarantee you that if a company went against the wishes of half its shareholders, you'd hear about it.

Comment Just show me the finished game. (Score 1) 116

a major focus is going to be on making sure that each alien race is as fully-realized as possible, and that the interactions with the other aliens are realistic: talking to one alien race will be different than talking to another, and the choices you make in the game will have side effects and the computer players will remember them — and treat you differently because of them.

In concept this sounds great. In practice, it's probably just going to be a series of sliders that influences how likely a race is to trade with or attack you.

Claims like this are almost always underwhelming in the final product. Heck, I challenge anyone to name ONE game that has a decent, realistic morality system. If we can't even get Good/Bad right, what odds does this game have?

Comment Re:iGoogle (Score 1) 50

With iGoogle shutting down in November as well, it's getting overlooked by all this talk of Google Reader. I've been using iGoogle since '04, and it coming to an abrupt end is unfortunate.

That said, it looks like Netvibes will import your iGoogle settings directly and supports the same interface. I'm going to sign up and try it out.

I switched to Netvibes as soon as I heard iGoogle was shutting down. It's doing the job perfectly, and I've never looked back.

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The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. - Frank Zappa