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Comment It is true (Score 2) 313

However, like everything, if a technology comes along to supplant it, in this case, the cost of greener alternatives is lower than coal, it'll simply dwindle and fade over time, with absolutely no need for liberals trying to regulate the crap out of it.

This flawed argument ignores the incontrovertible fact that allowing coal to continue to provide energy on equal terms with other energy supplies rather than pressuring the market to switch to less environmentally damaging sources of energy would do real and substantial harm to us all. The bottom line is: the less energy produced from burning coal and supplied instead from less polluting resources, the better off the world is.

So in fact, there is a need for it to have the crap regulated out of it in a context where it can be replaced with (considerably) less polluting energy sources, which is exactly where we are today.

Comment Re:(sigh) You people still think you're engineers (Score 1) 653

Instead of identifying himself as an engineer, he should have said, "You are dicks." They clearly would not have been able to argue that.

Response probably would have been somewhat along the lines of "You are fined $500 for falsely representing yourself as an anatomist."

Comment Re:Fluid type manipulation with unions (Score 1) 405

Granted, you're not making it worse in any way by representing it with a union.

More to the point, you can't make it better by avoiding using a union. Because it's optimum as is.

The right tool for the right job.

pretty much the essence of obscure legacy cruft.

The job is the job. I have no problem using the right tool for the job.

Comment Re:structs and fundamental OO (Score 1) 405

You are just reinventing machine language where data, instructions, and address pointers can be mixed willy-nilly.

Because machine language varies hugely, and c varies little or none, when working on one platform and then another, c is a convenient low-level way to get as many advantages of working close to the metal (obvious ones are speed and executable size) as possible.

Higher-level languages merely try to introduce discipline and consistency to such practices.

Yes, they do. And in the process, they often cause the resulting product to suffer in speed and/or execution size (and the source code in clarity.) When "mere" means "the product is less good", I translate it as "not mere."

There are reasons to go one way or another. It's not as simple as "HLL's are always better." Sometimes even machine language is the best place to go, embedded controllers with limited storage and small tasks that must be accomplished efficiently, for instance.

Comment Impartial journalism? (Score 1) 179

impartial journalism is entirely possible.

It's certainly possible, but if you can actually show me an instance of it, I'd be quite surprised. I don't recall seeing such a thing. Ever.

There's selection bias, where the story that is told is not the only story, and/or leaves out pertinent details that variously pollute the information transfer to the information consumer. This occurs at the publisher, editorial, reporter and information source levels.

There are errors in collecting information, which can be characterized as "impartial but wrong" which entirely undermines the value of "impartial."

There's the social underpinning, such as the assumptions by the platform from publisher down to reporter buy into memes like the drug war, human trafficking, mommyism, military adventurism, etc. as right and proper undertakings and tell stories in the context of the presumptive matrix that results from those memes.

There's ad-pumping, where the advertising pays more money in when more eyes are attracted, which creates a loop based on popularity rather than accuracy.

There's comment "moderation", where "I disagree / am offended / am trolling" can strongly affect visibility of information -- depending on the site, that can come from privileged (and usually wholly unqualified) individuals, as here on slashdot, or from the crowd, as on reddit.

It all adds up to an extremely formidable gauntlet that information has to run in order to get from wherever it arises over to the consideration of the consumer.

And, not that it's part of the problem of actually achieving impartial journalism, but were you to completely get past every aspect of that somehow, then you still have to find an impartial audience or all that work is for nothing.

IOW, if you manage to present the facts, all the facts, nothing but the facts, and your audience cries "fake news" or drags prejudice, superstition, confirmation bias, or anything from a very long list of similar cognitive failure modes into it, well, there you go. You might as well have written an SF novel.

Comment Just an overview (Score 1) 179

If there's anything I've learned about journalism in the last 41 years, it's that everyone puts their own slant on it.

o Publishers - slant, selection bias
o Advertisers - selection bias on source and slant by rewarding max eyeballs
o Editors - slant, selection bias for stories
o Reporters - slant, selection bias for sources
o Information sources - slant, winners get to write history
o Reader's choice of media - slant, selection bias
 
...it's not like it's showing any signs of getting better, either.

Comment It WOULD be wise, but it's not. (Score 2) 501

It is very wise to anticipate the need and establish and test it before it must become a mainstream standard.

But they're not doing that. This is a means-tested, graduated scale welfare mechanism.

This is not UBI, it doesn't even vaguely resemble UBI, and as a test of UBI, it's worthless, because its results are completely unrelated. To any degree the results are used to make any decisions at all about actual UBI, the decisions will be nonsensical. Garbage in, garbage out.

Comment yeah, no (Score 1) 501

If it's my taxes being used to conduct this experiment, it damned well IS my business.

Not in a republic, it's not. If it's anyone's business, it's that of your representative. You know, the one you had/have a fractional millionth of an effect in selecting, and essentially none in influencing — that power has been purchased by the corporations.

Comment Sex Robots (Score 2) 501

I don't know how much an anatomically functional interactive sexbot will cost, but it will likely be way cheaper than alimony and child support, and it won't get headaches. If it has a "mute" button and can make sandwiches, that is even better.

True story:

My SO, Deb, and I were laying about in bed one lazy afternoon; she seemed to be dozing lightly.

Me: "Hey, baby?"
Her: "Mmmm?"

Me: "When {unspoken:sex} robots come out, can we get a French maid?"
She: "Sure."
 
...a few seconds pass...

She: "We'll call him 'Pierre.'"

I made a photo-toon of this

Comment Re:Fluid type manipulation with unions (Score 1) 405

Unions aren't the least bit obscure: they do very specific things, and just as you tell them to. It's a matter of skill. Not obscurity.

For instance, in my 6809 emulation, with a register that is sometimes independent 8-bit and sometimes single 16-bit (the 8-bit A and B registers become the 16-bit D register, depending on the instruction in play), a union is just the thing. It does exactly what is needed, when needed, and not otherwise.

Comment Writing, technical and otherwise (Score 1) 388

Wow, you wrote that entire rant over a single letter. That's pathetic.

Language is an art, like painting. Technical language is an art where miscommunication leads to real world problems, and where evidence of lack of expertise leads to well justified lack of confidence up front.

With language, as with painting, you can paint like a master, or you can finger-paint like an addled child.

Which do you think will carry you further in life and in your career? Which do you think will result in more actual pathos?

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