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Comment Sounds like a management problem... (Score 1) 683

That type of coding is a result of management encouraging speed and something that "just works" over maintainability. It could be argued that he "could" be faster and have less bugs if coded more conventionally but not without extra education on his part (violating the speed objective).

The only argument you can likely make (unless his code just doesn't work) is the maintainability one. If management doesn't go for it then they actively don't care about maintainability as much and as offensive as that might be to you as an engineer it is their choice to go down that route.

Overtime your style will win out if it truly is the superior choice for their needs. The parts that you coded versus his should be easier to refactor, debug and have less general issues overall. If this is not the case then your assumption that your style of code is better than his may be wrong (at least in terms of the company's needs).

Comment Re:doesn't matter (Score 1) 1152

Oddly enough I have a different view. The Bible's purpose could be less specific and more general. Meaning that it was never intended to "empower" a specific individual with ultimate truth. It wasn't it's intention to get "you" into heaven as much as get "us" as in "all of us" into heaven.

As a thought experiment lets imagine an alternate parallel universe where the Bible never existed. It's my belief that our world where the Bible exists would be superior to one where it did not. Based on the concept that it provided a strong moral foundation and it provided a strong basis for a well ordered universe (factors critical for long term social and scientific success).

The atheistic argument that these things are inherently true, is missing the point. We get there quicker with the Bible than without. Taking into account how quickly Christianity spread, its' overall impact and it's core message. I think as religions go it did the "best" at penetrating our social conscience and steering us towards these goals (but that is my opinion based on my own observations and experiences).

Given that, the concept of God being omnipotent is not really relevant to how literal the bible is or isn't. It's as literal as God needed it to be to get us exactly here. We now toe the line between atheistic and theistic and both are rational choices despite what either side may tell you. Giving each of us an actual choice.

Comment Unlike hallucinations, delusions are always patho (Score 2) 862

Why not? Is it not delusional to believe in a fairytale? Just because that fairytale has a huge church makes it not delusional any more?

The difference between a cult and a religion is simply the number of followers.

Is it "delusional" to "believe" that their is life on other planets? Is it "delusional" to believe that the "Higgs Boson" exists at some energy level? Believing in something that hasn't been proven isn't delusional. The difference in opinion you are having here is that you believe there is enough evidence to declare "no God exists" others believe that their is enough evidence to declare "God exists" and still others believe something in between.

[b]A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. Unlike hallucinations, delusions are always pathological (the result of an illness or illness process). As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information[b/]

Note the second and third sentence, so, yes it is wrong to consider them delusional. Note also that you and them would likely disagree on what is considered strong evidence for or against.

Comment Re:Theocracies (Score 1) 862

"certainly a literal interpretation of the Bible is incompatible", never declare something impossible simply because you can't imagine a valid explanation (my own totalitarian statement of the fallacy of totalitarian statements *grin* ). At least one of the lessons from evolution that we can take away is that even the improbable is possible given enough time.

I often find myself arguing on the other side of this where a "biblical literalist" flat out declares that the universe absolutely can not be 13.7 billion years old. This thinking makes practically the same mistake that thinking that there is no way the universe could have been created in 7 days does. Both of these statements make an inherent assumption that "time" is the same for the author of the genesis account as it is the reader. Normally this is a perfectly valid assumption but in an account that covers the creation of the universe to the nearly present, a valid time frame of reference really needs to be established. It doesn't make any sense to set that time frame of reference to reader, or the created as its a frame of reference that wouldn't have been around at the creation of the universe.

Does there exist two time frames of reference such that 13.7 billions years can pass for one while only 7 days can pass for the other. I imagine that this is possible (though note I can't necessarily prove it) so I think it would be remiss to declare that is "literally" isn't possible for the universe to be both 13.7 billion years old and 7 days at the same time.

I remember reading a book by a physics professor that postulated that if you set the time frame of reference for the biblical account to that of the CBR that it paralleled our empirical understanding of when things happened fairly well. Wish I could remember the name of it.

Comment Re:Wat (Score 1) 666

I am pretty sure his hipster comment was a dig at the article submitter "InfernoApple" and their completely unnecessary and overly dramatic mowing comment. I mean sure, while my backyard grass is a little annoying using a semi-automatic rifle to cut it seems a bit excessively wasteful in bullets. Those kooky hipsters always using the wrong tool for the job. Unless of course you have a walled garden and an semi-auto rifle is all you have to "mow" with. Wait a minute I am now starting to understand InfernoApple's comment a little better now....

Submission + - Kurzweil responds to Allen's Pessimism (

Vesuvias writes: Looks like Ray Kurzweil has sent in a rebuttal to Paul Allen's call for rational skepticism in regards to the progress of AI. It's what you might expect, Kurzweil is optimistic as ever and defends his premise point by point. Optimist, Pessimist, or Realist, its an interesting read no matter your personal ist-ism.

Comment Re:Look at how we take care of our planet. (Score 1) 904

I have trouble understanding your point of view. It seems anti-human and that can't possibly be true, so I can only assume that I am misunderstanding you in some way. There must be some communication mishap. I am trying to empathize but I simply don't understand. There is something you haven't communicated or something that must be inferred that will make this make sense I am sure. Is this simply a concern for dividing a set of limited resources among too many people?

We the only species in the known universe that has any ability to get off world. Not to brandy about the old cliche but if a planet killing asteroid comes barreling towards us from places unknown, the "Planet" won't do a damm thing about it. Only humans have a shot of stopping it and only if we pull together.

Hatred of our fellow man didn't put us at the top of the evolutionary chain. Banding together and sharing the burden of survival as a group did.

Comment Re:Developer Ethical Dilemma? (Score 1) 384

I really meant no offense by that. I was pre-answering a question about the moral ambiguity of the activity I was describing. I didn't want to get into a larger argument as to why the activity would be considered wrong. Past experience suggested to me that moral debates always break down into philosophical and religious debates which I thought I would simply head off by simply saying the developer in question was atheist. You are correct that I was more accurately describing nihilistic behavior than atheistic. Oddly enough you at least understood what I "meant" though now I see why you would take insult, and I honestly intended none. I did accidentally express an internal belief that an atheist has more freedom to be more morally ambiguous and remain at least partially philosophically consistent than a Christian, Jew, Muslim or Buhadist.

Comment Developer Ethical Dilemma? (Score 2) 384

So I write code for Diablo 3. I find, while looking at the source code, an exploit. I give this information to my wife/child/best friend who then uses it to gain an advantage in gaining real cash. I don't fix it. I still do my job, I still fix every bug Q&A finds, I still give great input into the hard technical decisions. I just don't fix this one exploit I found. Even if I am caught the best they could claim is incompetence.

Evil, possibly, but I am a developer and an atheist. I offset my personal moral compass by knowing that they are underpaying me for my brilliance and contribution. The CTO has a yacht and a Ferrari for goodness sake.

The risk/reward relationship between getting fired and doing something unethical but monetarily beneficial will be more skewed toward unethical behavior because of this decision. They are now dealing with money and all the security concerns that come with it, whether they like it or admit it or not.

Comment Its not WebGL vs No WebGL, its WebGL vs Flash (Score 1) 503

I agree. Plus the fundamental issue here is not a choice between WebGL and no 3D browser support because drivers are insecure and unstable. Its really a choice between WebGL and 3D browser plugins. People want 3D in their browser Microsoft saying no will not change this. They will simply get it through any number of 3rd party plugins as opposed to an open standard like WebGL. This is actually great news for Flash and Unity. It's bad news if you didn't want another proprietary 3rd party company setting the standard.

Comment Who is the Observer in the 6 day creation account? (Score 1) 570

...she refuses to believe any science that proves that the earth is more than ~6000 years old. When I explained to her that simply refusing that fact throws out almost our entire understanding of the universe around us...

Be careful absolute language, we still don't know everything. Perhaps you both are right? There exists, at least theoretically, an observer state where relativistically speaking the earth/universe would have taken only 6 days to create, correct? What took 13 Billion years for us could have only taken 6 days for the observer.

We would then have to account for how that account got written in a book that clearly exists in a relativistic state where the universe takes ~13 billion years to create. Bible says the account was supposedly given to man (moses) directly by God. It's probably more interesting to try and account for how God who must be moving at damn near the speed of light was able to even communicate with a man in any discernible way.

Comment Do Beowulf Clusters of Humans make God plausible? (Score 1) 118

I have always been most curious on what impact direct machine brain interfaces would have on Human communication. If we can communicate thought, feeling, and memory at the speed of light where is the barrier between you and I? Where do I stop and you begin? Would the direct connection of billions of humans to one another form a self aware super intelligence?

There are times where I feel this may be our only chance at survival as a race. If we don't unify to the point where each one of us sees that harming another human is the same as harming ourselves then as technology advances a single misguided human may be able to do enough harm to destroy the entire species.

This then seems to have weird parallels to religious teachings, the golden rule comes to mind. Selflessness versus Selfishness; a common theme across a lot of religions.

But if we could form the equivalent of a God-like intelligence. Does that make the idea of God at least more plausible? If God is plausible and religions have been "training" us morally for a day when clustering was technologically possible, that would be rather... interesting.

Admittedly this is a bit more optimistic and pro-religious than is customary for slashdot but these are MY random bits of waxing imaginative dammit....

Comment Re:Intelligent Design tag? (Score 1) 206

It's imho an illogical assumption that the universe needed an intelligent creator, but that the intelligent creator didn't need one himself. If you say the creator created himself, then I can also the universe created itself.

Maybe but I think your limiting your imagination here in your thought experiment. String theory postulates that there could be as many 10^500 other distinctive universes (branes?) out there beyond ours. The physical rules in those universes maybe even more friendly to the emergence of intelligent life than ours. Perhaps an intelligent creator originated in one of those universes. Though our constants seem to be rather uniquely and curiously tuned to support life here in this universe anyway.

I think intelligence is an emerging trait. A system that I set up to evolve could come up with something that is more intelligent than me in the end. The rules are usually simple, they imply no limits that tell the system not to evolve beyond the intelligence of the creator.

So coming back to what I said first, the universe itself could be rather dumb and generated all the intelligence that we see, but assuming there was an intelligent creator leads to even more contradictions than assuming there was none.

An intelligent creator may seem less likely in your opinion but I don't think it has more contradictions inherently. Remember in the end we all extrapolating from ONE POINT of data when we talk about intelligence. Life as far as we can prove only evolved on this planet. High order self aware intelligence as far as we know has only evolved in us. It is exceedingly difficult to say what exactly the odds are for such things.

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