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Comment Re:The proof would disprove itself (Score 1) 397

I agree. My problem is the term "computer simulation". We are making assumptions right away about what the words computer and simulation mean in this context. If a simulation is defined as something that has a set of "pre-programmed" reactions to stimulus then by virtue of the laws of physics governing our universe I would say that we are quite obviously living in a "simulation". The use of "computer" in this context is simply laughable, but it may imply (by the authors) that there is a processing outcome that the simulation owners are looking for, and the further implication that there are "owners" or "programmers". That would beg the question "What is outside of the simulation?" If it was a simulation and there was something outside of it, it seems very unlikely that we could ever detect whatever that is (to your point).

It seems much more likely that the set of rules responsible for our universe came into existence randomly and were such that our universe could and does exist. And that there exists many other universes with not quite the same rules and which would be unrecognizable (and undetectable) to us. And further that many would come into existence and collapse immediately because the parameters were not quite right to support existence.

This view is more in line with our observations of the evolution and iterative and ongoing changes in the universe we know. I believe you can make inferences about the larger whole from the behavior of the component parts.

"God does not play dice." I'm afraid that God does not exist, but the dice are real (my own immortal existence notwithstanding).

Comment This happened to my friend (he's now a Vet) (Score 3, Informative) 181

This happened to my buddy. He got in a car accident or something. This was shortly after he graduated from high school, and his father had just died. He ended up on pain meds, ended up getting addicted after a couple of months. When his prescription ran out, he called up our mutual friend who was in to drugs and got more. This went on for about 18 months before he decided he wanted to become a veterinarian, somehow his friends and family weaned him off pills, and after two years was accepted in to vet school. Through no small miracle he made it through grad school and graduated, he's now pretty successful.
I grew up in a pretty rich suburb, we had time to help him and his family through the addiction, and he had a strong goal to strive for. Many people don't have the opportunities or strong safety net that he did.

Comment Re:This is the problem with corporate income tax. (Score 1) 447

The trouble with your suggestion is that sales taxes hit the poor far more than the rich. It's like an income tax where we say that we'll tax your first $20k at 40% but we'll drop it from there - great for revenue but shitty for equality. The goal of corporate tax is to prevent people screwing the system.

The reason is that you only need to pay sales tax on consumption, not on investments. This means that if I don't need to consume yet, then I can reinvest all my dividends and gain compounding on the whole amount. If we have company tax then I can't - the profit is taxed immediately rather than when it is consumed.

The other thing is that by taxing consumption, you're strongly encouraging me to consume in countries with lower sales tax. For example I can legally go on holiday and spend up big before returning to my more modest lifestyle. Encouraging your citizens to spend up big overseas does not help with balancing a company's books.

I personally agree with you about not taxing profit. However rather than taxing consumption I think we should tax assets. This makes it awkward for people with valuable assets that are not (yet?) generating revenue, and also encourages people to try and hide assets they own, but overall I think it works better.

Comment Re:NO ONE is anywhere close (Score 1) 87

I was crossing the street in mountain view on... monday I want to say... The driver had to take over manual control doing a right turn on to central expressway from castro st/moffett blvd. The car decided that it was time to pull on to the highway. There was a car in front of it waiting to turn right as well. It's kind of a weird intersection though, as there's a double set of train tracks right next to central expressway, which you cross, then come to a stop again, then turn right at a light. Add to the fact that it's a major public transit junction with the caltrain + VTA light rail stations (Two different train stations) at the same intersection means there's a lot of pedestrians to look out for. There's probably 10 such intersections in the country.

Comment Re:Open source projects are some of the worst. (Score 1) 299

"You may be joking, but the reality is that open source projects often have some of the worst management around"

I find that hard to believe. I mean, just because open source programmers are overrepresented by the socially maladjusted loners with chips on their shoulders demographic, you think that translates to bad management?

Comment Three (Score 1) 158

USA (and some Europe) friends: Facebook
South America & Asia: WhatsApp

Work: Slack

I used to use Google chat (gmail chat? google messenger?) But over time everything's moved to FB/WhatsApp. I think WhatsApp is the superior chat app these days, especially on a cell phone. Although I like that Signal (what WhatsApp builds on top of) doesn't require SMS to verify your account.

Comment Re:Why 12.04? (Score 2) 88

12.04 was the first widely used version of Ubuntu in the mainstream. It also ironed out a bunch of the weirdness from it's predecessors and the versions after it (13.x and especially 14.04) are basically the same on the server side so there was very little reason to upgrade from 12.04 and then after that 16.04 has all it's systemd weirdness that people are actively trying to avoid until 14.04 goes EOL at which point enterprise folks might start doing preliminary testing on it.
If 12.04 weren't going EOL, I'm sure many, many people would happily continue spinning it up and using it; it's perhaps the most well publicly documented version of linux, 14.04 being close behind.

Comment Good for marketing, terrible for everyone else (Score 4, Interesting) 183

It's no surprise that chatty marketing types, who are promoting their companies as cool places to work, show off their open office plan marketing areas.
After three remodels at my last office, we finally decided on (nearly) floor to ceiling cubicle walls. It was quieter than a library, it was glorious to work there, sound was trapped really well. Moving to an open office plan in another group on the other side of the floor, I got stuck next to some very chatty employees, my productivity plummeted to about 15% of what it was before.
I think open office plans are great for marketing types, maybe some of the sales people, even management, but for engineers it's really truly awful. Most of the engineers at my new company have bought noise canceling headphones at $300 a pop. I get more done at home by a country mile.

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The absence of labels [in ECL] is probably a good thing. -- T. Cheatham