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Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 437

Because girls aren't interested in a bum who collects social benefits and doesn't work. This incentive will never change.

It really depends on what you mean by "work". I've had a relationship go down the drain, largely because of work that took too much of my time and energy. At some point I decided I'm not going to let work ruin my life again. I now pursue my own thing in art and science -- with a journal article and a conference talk coming up, I guess I'm doing something right. The girls don't seem to mind all the fun and interesting projects I'm doing instead of a soul-crushing day job.

Personal stuff aside, a discussion such as this should get its definitions right. Most people are doing all kinds of interesting and useful things all the time, but outside of a defined "work" -- think open source software, for example. Or raising children. It's more or less arbitrary which part of this great human thing goes under the "work" umbrella, which I define by getting paid for it. Traditional economic theories only seem to care about things that involve money, ignoring the big picture altogether. This is exemplified in the following bit of the article.

  1. Shorten working hours, bringing supply down to meet demand, and improving the quality of life by providing more leisure time.
  2. Invent—or import—new things for people to buy that will improve their quality of life.

To me, having to choose between these seems rather silly. My general idea of life is to get more leisure time, in order to do/invent fun things for me and others to enjoy. "Work" with its schedules and bureaucracies just isn't very compatible with my creative wants. Besides, I'd expect real communists to ditch this idea of money/buying/selling for good.

Comment Re:Wireless is like Cable? (Score 1) 409

So you're saying wireless isn't as fast as wired and is like cable. Thanks for being honest Verizon. Now let's stop pushing this wireless crap down peoples throats and roll out some more fiber.

Agreed. Here in Finland, the cradle of cellular data, people generally opt for cell dongles for their stationary home computers, rather than wired options. It makes sense the way it's priced, but then they complain when their streaming video starts buffering... buffering.... buffering. Obviously, cell data is one of those things that's nice to have in a pinch, but you shouldn't rely on it for your bulk usage.

Comment Re:When will VideoCards peak? (Score 1) 88

But in these times, you can't have anything different. Even with LCD monitors, there's more choice lately but you can't get a monitor that's 16/10 and high refresh, or 16/10 and big, or all three at once. (nor even a 27" 1080p at 144Hz)

It's silly that the HD video/movie craze forced computer users to the same widescreen format, as if computers were all about watching movies. I recently got a couple of 1280x1024s for next to nothing, as my math exhibitions work best in near-square formats. OTOH, 16:9 is nice for a stage backdrop projection.

Comment Re:When will VideoCards peak? (Score 1) 88

And for all this time, I have been hoping for a split, where the display card is decoupled from the acceleration card, and talking with an open bus standard.

I'm not sure if this is economically feasible, but it sure is a nice idea. A lot of my GPU usage is spent on rendering and computing, not just direct display, and I hate the idea of paying extra for components I never use. OTOH, every mechanical connector comes with a lot of overhead, not to mention potential for wear and damage. The first integrated circuits were conceived to avoid solder/connector issues, not so much miniaturization.

And I also like to see a return to analog video output. No pixels - that's the property of the software and not the rendering medium. Higher quality analog can display higher fidelity.

It's a somewhat interesting idea, especially considering the audio analogy (pun intended) -- pixels would be just samples of the underlying "real" picture. The problem is finding a real, working, decent analog display; even CRTs have their phosphors arranged in pixels, and they come with a bunch of problems of their own.

However, if you want to continue with the audio analogy, it's much better to keep the digital pixel format for as long as possible. A modern analog display should have its own converter, much like the current displays with their electronics. Maybe you can consider DP/DVI/HDMI as the portable interface between accelerators and displays.

As a mathematical graphic artist, though, I'd like to see a vector display. Let me define the coordinates of points to an arbitrary precision, but don't give me any of that ugly analog blur (unless I ask for it, as a special effect).

Comment Re:48 frames per scond would help (Score 1) 301

I wish more film makers would use 48 frames per second. When I saw the Hobbit in the IMAX I was awestruck. I felt like I was watching a stage production. The fast pace action of modern CGI is just too blurry at old school rates. (And forget the haters who panned it. That's just the tired refrain that always comes out against anything new.)

If the anti-CGI crowd were really about realism, then they should embrace higher framerates in their live-shot movies. The insistence on flickery 24 FPS just proves that it's not actually realism they want, it's basically a certain kind of visual effect in itself.

OTOH, the art of cinema grew out of early animation experiments, and it could be argued that realism is just one stage/genre in its development. Real artists are always interested in new ways of expressing their ideas, rather than churning out photorealistic copies of kitchen-sink drama. I'm sure guys like Bunuel or Dali would have loved to have modern CGI tech at their disposal.

Comment Re:Irrational fear of numbers again (Score 1) 1126

You presume that everyone will spend the income responsibly. I can assure you right now that not everyone will. What do you do with the guy who blows his entire check on drugs and alcohol and still ends up on the street?

In Finnish BI talks, the idea is to pare down social care programs so they only target real problems. Currently, everyone who applies for unemployment benefits, for example, needs to go through some pretty humiliating and needless bureaucracy.

Comment Re:please just go all the way to the C++ mode (Score 1) 523

/* I wonder why the plainest possible comment format is not mentioned. After all, you only need the start and end markers because C does not care about line breaks. If you're going to pretend that line breaks have any significance in comments, with those cute asterisks in the beginnings of lines, then you might as well use the linebreak-sensitive C++ comment style. */

# Or *gasp* switch to a language where line breaks matter in the actual
# code too, so you can avoid typing and reading all that line noise.

Comment Re:"Just not affordable"? WRONG! (Score 1) 100

While you mention volunteering, I'd take a major step further: Join your local amateur theatre!

There's a high demand for "geeky" people in theatre, for things like light and sound tech. Most people only think of the acting bit, and consequently there's an oversupply of the acting type. But there's a lot of interesting and important work behind the scenes, and you get to experience the entire production from the inside. More artistic background work includes things like poster graphics, set design and music/sound design.

The light and audio setups in most amateur theaters are relatively small and simple, and anyone can learn them to a basic extent, but it helps if you have a more systemic understanding to begin with. However, it usually happens in a small, tightly knit group that everyone does a bit of everything, and you might end up in a completely different role.


Comment Re:epicycles (Score 1) 387

The failures of epicycles were a lack of mathematical elegance, a lack of generalization and as a result a lack of insight.

I'd say that as pure mathematical tools, epicycles have certain elegance; they were basically Fourier series way before their time. However, as solutions to physics problems, they were brute-force approaches without any scientific creativity.

I used to see this all the time in my math and physics studies. There were always those who would just bash through pages and pages of math, arriving at the correct solution without any new insights. Then there were those who tried to minimize the math part, by turning the problems upside down and looking at various angles, or possibly geometric solutions to numerical problems. Needless to say, I appreciate the latter group much more. Personally, I want to minimize the amount of math due to the potential for errors, besides the insight bit. This also applies to minimizing accumulated errors and optimizing for speed/memory in programs. I'm also more interested in understanding the situation/problem than just getting results. OTOH, the former group should be praised for their sheer math abilities and the perseverence to tackle bigger challenges.

Comment Re:Other motivations (Score 3, Interesting) 164

We might need a "reset", where ASIC is no longer viable, but I'm not sure that would still be possible.

Many if not most altcoins started because they wanted to avoid the ASIC path, by choosing more elaborate hash functions. Of course, it's always possible to design ASICs for these too, even if they end up looking like special versions of GPUs. Besides hash functions, many altcoins have other interesting features that might end up in Bitcoin some day.

However, it's easier to start using the altcoins themselves than hard fork Bitcoin. With cryptocurrencies and automated exchanges, there's less need for everyone to stick with the same coin.

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