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Comment Re:growing pains toward a better future, maybe? (Score 1) 870

Isn't this a moving goalpost? Having a TV used to be a luxury. Now barely anyone can live without one. Even having meat regularly is something my parents couldn't count on.

In Star Trek times, people will be taking for granted various things like:
- Being able to live with a view, far away from the city, yet be able to get to work in the time it takes to materialize.
- Having realistic virtual discussions with long passed luminaries.
- Cancer taken care of by automatic scan-and-remove.
- No toilet in your house. Poop removed by teleportation. Also a huge benefit in childbirth.

And someone will have to build the machines to do all these things. Or machines that build machines to do these things.

Comment Already been done... (Score 1) 870

McDonald's actually have already done this. At my local Macs, there's a number of machines that will let you do exactly that. As an added benefit there's a special queue for people who use the machine which is much faster than the old school queue.

Consider also that hourly minimum wage (well, it isn't legally mandated) is around 20 CHF here.

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 1) 235

I presume you have to pay more than one salary to get an average coverage of one. Suppose a cop works a standard 40 hour week. Well, a week has 168 hours, so you need four people. Then you've got pensions, and depending on local laws various other contributions as well. On the plus side, you can rely on existing infrastructure, so the marginal cost of training, equipment, and paperwork is probably watered down in some larger pot.

It doesn't sound totally crazy.

Comment Re:Mischaracterization of problem (Score 2) 231

There's an assumption that repetition will help recollection. I don't think it's entirely wrong, though of course you can overdo it.

The reason why you need recollection is so you can see the patterns.

Suppose someone tells you "multiply any integer by 5, and the last digit is always a 5 or a 0". How are you going to get a sense of whether that's true if you don't have at least few results to hand? Now, this isn't rigorous proof, but it is mathematical intuition. Any number of mathematical observations will start with something like that. "I tried to find x^3+y^3 = z^3, but I couldn't. Is that a law?". "All the solutions to this particular function seem to have real part 1/2. Is that a rule?"

If every investigation had to start at the ground, it would take people a long time to find anything interesting. It's good to have a few results cached, and it appears that to cache them you have to go a bit of grinding. It's not even that much grinding these days before you can throw it over on a calculator or other device.

Submission + - Bitcoin's Mt. Gox Shuts Down, Loses $409,200,000 Dollars (forbes.com)

satuon writes: Mt. Gox’s shutdown is circulating like wildfire. Its repercussions are being felt throughout the world. Mt. Gox was the most public and well-known brand that represented Bitcoin’s exchange market. The company’s shutdown is rumored to be caused by a “hack” or “security breach” that resulted in a loss up to 744,000 BTC or $409,200,000 Dollars. (Based on the approximate value just hours ago from Coindesk.com) This is truly an unfortunate event that has caused the international community to shake its trust in Bitcoin as evidenced by the massive price drop. This is par the course, when a pillar in the community falls in such a funeral pyre. The best parallel would be the Bear Stearns’ failure during the 2008 global financial crisis. Hopefully, Bitcoin won’t follow in the financial system’s footsteps post-Bear Stearns.

Comment Re:I find this strange (Score 2) 397

When I studied EE, you'd learn about circuit and filters and such. You're taught about how lithographic processes work, and how quantum theory works. But it's not the everyday work of most EEs. You'd also be expected to do a lot of software type stuff. For instance, a lot of VLSI design is done in what is essentially a programming language. Unsurprisingly, this meant that EE folks could transition into software relatively easily.

At the moment there's a lot of hype about software, and not so much about hardware. Perhaps the EEs are simply moving to where demand is.

Pure speculation though.

Comment Re:But seriously speaking ... (Score 4, Insightful) 465

A buddy of mine wrote an essay in his international relations class about how airplanes could be used to take down the towers, a couple of weeks before it happened.

But obviously those kinds of thoughts would be going through the head of someone who was doing a module on terrorism at the time. Just like it was going through the heads of the guys who actually did it.

Same thing with "precognition" of relatives dying. The thought crosses everyone's mind at some point. Now and again, it coincides with reality.

Comment Re:Not the algorithm we need (Score 1) 183

"That may be a different issue: the Dunning-Kruger effect [wikipedia.org]. Unless social grace can be considered an "expertise", which is an interesting philosophical notion."

I think it is. Among all the people I know, the really smart ones tend to be the humble ones. You almost have to drag it out of one of them that he got a top (they rank you numerically) degree at Oxford and a robotics phd from Cambridge. One of those guy's who'd be able to teach you a new concept after the two of you had just read the same few pages. Once the cat is out of the bag though, he gets the dual benefit of being super smart as well as being seen as a humble guy.

I reckon people who really are intelligent will follow this strategy. Because sooner or later, if you work with someone, you are going to ask them about their background. If you're credentialed, people will find out, and they will know that you were confident they would be impressed.

Less smart/credentialed people will need to rely on how people generally think:
1) In polite conversation, it's wrong to shoot down someone you've just met. So the idea that you're smart needs to at least be entertained even without the creds.
2) Social proof/bluffing. Someone going around claiming how smart they are has probably been told so by a lot of people, otherwise they'd be humble. So maybe other people have done the hard work, and the assessor can rely on that. Right? :-)

Anyway, rambling on a bit, I tend to take note when someone claims they are good at something. Particularly if they claim high intelligence. Unfortunately of late I've been right. Or Dunning and Krueger have been.

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