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Submission + - The rise of American authoritarianism (

LittlePud writes: Long article, but worth a read. It provides academic research-backed analysis on Donald Trump's rise in the US presidential race and shows that his success is a bigger phenomenon than him.

Comment There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. (Score 1) 139

This is useless without more information/data.

Old people are more likely to lose their sense of smell.
Old people are more likely to die within 5 years.
Therefore, people who lose their sense of smell are more likely to die within 5 years.

This is the whole "ice cream causes drownings" all over again.

Comment Hell no (Score 1) 381

I wear a self-winding mechanical watch precisely BECAUSE it's not "smart". It tells the time (in 3 time zones, on a 24-hour basis) and displays the date. The date function isn't even "smart" in that I have to manually advance the date at the end of months that have less than 31 days.

The best part is that I LIKE IT that way.

Comment Re:Car analogy? (Score 2) 142

We're trying to make smaller and smaller cars out of silicon, because then we can fit more cars onto parking lots. The number of cars we can fit onto a parking lot has been doubling approximately every 18 months for the past half-century, but we appear to be approaching some hard physical limits for the actual size of cars. In addition to the limits imposed by the size of the cars themselves (below a certain size, cars start interacting at a quantum level with the other cars around them), there are also challenges inherent in manufacturing cars at such a tiny scale. There is some new car-making technology on the horizon that may resolve these issues by using higher-frequency car-making lasers in our car foundries. But top researchers still have technical hurdles to pass before they can manufacture cars that are smaller than 7nm.

Easier car analogy: you can only shrink the car so much before the limiting factor is not the size of your cars, but how precisely (and how thin) you can paint the parking lines.

Comment I don't understand this whole "terrorism" thing... (Score 1) 539


Why do we keep inventing and enforcing new "terrorism" laws when (AFAIK) every terrorism offence could simply be classified as "traditional" common-law crime and just prosecuted as such? Examples: conspiracy, murder, arson (includes bombing), kidnapping, forcible confinement (hostage taking), extortion (blackmail), piracy (hijacking), treason/sedition/espionage, etc.

Comment Libertarianism... (Score 2) 727

Disclaimer: I classify myself as a libertarian and I'm an engineer by training so take this with a (very large) grain of salt. Maybe engineers tend to be libertarian because when you apply a systems analysis approach to what is wrong with government/the system/the world it just turns out that the rational common sense "solutions" all end up falling under the libertarian umbrella. How probable (or improbable) can it be that so many (supposedly/hopefully) smart and rational people can all be wrong?

Comment I did the exact opposite (Score 1) 520

I have a (B.Eng) degree in software engineering. I started out in the R&D startup world in 2003, doing the usual CS/SE things like QA, maintenance programming, and finally ending up in requirements analysis/system design. In 2007 I decided that I didn't want to spend my life working for stock options that aren't worth the paper they're printed on and went for a career change into IT. With zero helpdesk experience I interviewed for a senior Linux sysadmin position in the IT outsourcing branch of at a major (Fortune500) telco -- got a job offer the same day. Fast forward 5 years later I'm still with the same company but I'm now a sales engineer supporting salespeople that sell the same IT services I used to run. The kicker -- I make double the money that I did doing R&D. I'd say that if you know your shit and can get shit done, then it doesn't matter if you're trying to do CS with IT experience (or vice versa). Good employers will even consider it an asset to have experience from "the other side of the fence". IMHO IT knowledge will make you a better programmer, and CS knowledge will make you a better sysadmin. You'd be surprised how many PHP/Java web developers don't understand the support consequences of their sloppy code -- they only see as far as QA. A PHP injection flaw on a web page that gets 10M+ views/day will generate a LOT of phone calls.

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