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Comment Re:Free will is an important part of the experimen (Score 1) 202

So, by way of experiment, we're going to put two naïve naked people, wired for curiosity, into a lush garden, tell them to eat anything except for one thing, and when they (predictably) eat the verboten thing, jump out from behind a bush and yell "gotcha!". Then let them be cursed with painful childbirth and early death. And not just them, the perpetrators . . . but also the countless generations of progeny they've been ordered to put forth (miraculously, since they have only themselves as a breeding population . . . oh, except for those unexplained people in Nodland to the East) until the experimenter gets tired of it all and wipes the program . . .

This sounds less like an experiment, and more like a soap opera written by the Marquis de Sade and directed by Alan Funt.

As for what an SDLC instructor would tell 'god'? Probably, "Do module testing instead of trying to debug the whole system."

Comment Re:God's son had to die to pay the ransom (Score 1) 202

Of course, I'm being entirely tongue-in-cheek and pointing out that as a design function, the nipples on men don't serve the same function as on women, even though all the same structures (e.g. from an OOP perspective, the object's methods) are still in place. Hormone therapy can cause men to lactate because of this, but there's no known condition in nature that would cause men to naturally lactate.

I could continue the flippancy with a reference to overload methods, but I think I'm already getting a bit obscure.

Comment Re:"powerful Darwinian forces" (Score 1) 202

The apt response can be found in the Wikipedia article for Natural Selection :

As opposed to artificial selection, in which humans favor specific traits, in natural selection the environment acts as a sieve through which only certain variations can pass.

The environment, in this case, is the realm in which Malware attempts to propagate, and the increasing effectiveness of the predators (Anti-virus, Firewalls, IDS/IPS, &c) which can curtail that propagation. The need for a random mutation capability is overstated in your response. In Darwinian selection, that is merely the proposed mechanism of phenotypic change. The same is accomplished here by a diverse body of malware authors adding their own flavor to the individual bits of code. This is still an environment of natural selection. The environment itself provides the selection pressure, rather than conscious arbitration on the part of humans, as to what variants are successful.

For your assertion that this is artificial selection to be true, humans would have to be making a conscious choice as to which kinds of malware is allowed to propagate in order to strengthen certain traits. That is to say, Symantec makes a conscious decision like "We're going to make our AV not eradicate foobar.A because we like the traits it has, and we want to see more malware like that." Clearly, that is not what is happening.

Comment Re:God's son had to die to pay the ransom (Score 1) 202

So 'god' is the original engineer, and 'the serpent' is the original malware hacker, and the apple is the original trojan. Suggesting that 'god' did not follow secure coding practices, and as far as anyone can tell, did not do a requirements review. (Nipples on men? A clear case of including an object without ever calling its methods.)

Comment Re:Computers can't model macroeconomics (Score 1) 184

Absolute accuracy would require this, you're right. To accurately map the whole universe, you'd need a 1:1 scale model, accurate to the Planck length, which somehow knows both the velocity AND position of everything despite Heisenberg. Good luck getting the "snapshot" to set the baseline. Better luck preventing your "measurement" of the universe in the initial snapshot from altering it by observation a la Schrödinger. And of course, best of luck finding somewhere to put it. =)

Comment Re:Computers can't model macroeconomics (Score 2, Insightful) 184

There's a difference between mapping rules in a general fashion, and applying them to actual situations. Invariably, reality always has elements that differ from the model, and thereby make it inaccurate. This is why reductionism doesn't generally map back accurately to the big picture. Understanding a component is different from understanding how the component integrates into the whole, and how other components within the whole interact with, and alter, the component.

Human behavior is very nearly impossible to accurately model at the individual level. You hear "I never would have expected him to do that" when people speak about their next door neighbors who go on homicidal rampages. Husbands or wives are shocked when the spouse that they've lived with for years or decades has an affair, buys a sports car, or has a second cup of coffee after dinner. Even crowd dynamics can be altered by incredibly subtle, and unpredictable, circumstances. (Someone in a crowded line says "He's got hairy wrists", someone else hears "He's a terrorist", and soon 8 are trampled to death in the ensuing panic.)

Then, add people deliberately gaming the system into the equation. (i.e. someone else wants to steer the crowd in a different direction than your model would normally predict, perhaps even using your model to predict the best way to disrupt it.)

Raw computing power just can't compensate for all the variables. At some point of hyper-precision, they become recursive anyway, and Gödel gets to have posthumous a laugh at your expense.

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