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Comment Re:This has nothing to do with "skills gap". (Score 1) 152

Sure the first computers were 'simple' but they were only used on "simple" problems such as calculating artillery tables. The complexity we can handle at any point in computer history is bound by the physical limits of our hardware and our knowledge of maths. There is only one way for software to reduce complexity and that is the discovery of new maths. For instance an analytical solution to the Navier-Stokes equations would revolutionise computer modelling, in fact it would make it simple enough for a human to calculate it by hand.

Comment Re:Logic Says It Should Be Legal (Score 1) 391

If you give the FDA more money, they will spend it on things like enforcing rules against importation of epi-pens rather than going through the backlog of generics. They will then claim they need more money to go through the backlog of generics. Basically the last thing a government agency will spend money on are the things people want, because not doing those things is the best way for it to get additional funding. (This is a generalization of the famous Washington Monument strategy)

Comment Re: And the other end of the deal? (Score 1) 292

Do you realize that the US women took home more medals in this olympics than the men?

Sure. Katie Ledecki got gold for swimming 800m about 15s slower than Connor Jaeger did for swimming 800m on the way to 1500m for mere silver. Still think there isn't something inherently different about women, or was Ledecki just sandbagging the way to the world record?

Submission + - How the new season of "Halt and Catch Fire" recreated 1986 (

harrymcc writes: The third season of AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire," a drama about the tech industry in the 1980s, debuted this week. The new episodes are set in San Francisco and Silicon Valley in 1986, and are rich with carefully-researched plot points, dialog, and sets full of vintage technology (including a startup equipped with real Commodore 64s and a recreated IBM mainframe). I visited the soundstage in Atlanta where the producers have recreated Northern California in the 80s, and spoke with the show's creators and stars about the loving attention they devote to getting things right.

Comment Puritans. (Score 1) 399

Anti-vax, anti-gmo, and anti-promiscuity, are all driven by the same moral imperative of "bodily purity". If you are the kind of person who puts a high value on purity (a puritan) then you are likely to subscribe to one or more of those views. People on the left are drawn to anti-gmo because it fits in with the environmental movement, people on the right are drawn to anti-promiscuity because of its religious links. Anti-vax tend to be from the left because it fits the "big pharma" narrative but the politics is not as clear cut as the other two forms of puritanical nonsense since anti-vax and some religious beliefs go together like ham and cheese..

Comment Re:Duh! (Score 1) 399

Excellent post, may I add that Science is not an axiomatic system, the closest thing to an axiom in science are the fundamental forces and space-time. We can describe their behaviour in exquisite detail but have no idea why these things exists or what they are, you just have to accept they exist and are part of the universe.

That's what happens when you follow the "why" questions all the way to the bottom (reductionism), you end up at a point where you just have to accept some things exist on face value because nobody has a clue as to why they exist. Finding such a rare and valuable clue will not help with the philosophical problem for the same reason "finding god" won't help, it will just push the "why" question one level deeper.

Comment Re:Emotion vs Logic (Score 1) 399

I like the comparison to a neural net. Experience is the accumulated summary of events we have processed over time, we don't remember the entire event we remember tiny snapshots that leave us with an impression. The snapshots we remember are those things that triggered a release of adrenaline (I read it and my blood boiled) or endomorphs (I heard the news and was so happy I could cry). None of this means our impressions are wrong, it just means they are not as reliable as we would like to think.

As for FB, one of the greatest benefits of modern social media is that politicians are now finding it extremely difficult to get away with telling different groups different stories in different locations. For example they cannot tell farmers they are anti-fracking and tell miners they are pro-fracking, these groups are now easily able to compare notes and spot the sycophantic contradictions before someone is elected.

Comment Re:Hurray! (Score 1) 27

Never nice to see another conspiratorial daydream posted on slashdot, but it's not unexpected these days. There's nothing new about these laws, in fact most of the planet have been bound to them for decades by international treaties, refusing to cooperate with NGOs working on international anti-trafficking efforts would attract unwanted scrutiny from dozens of different governments.

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