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Comment Re:I like functions... (Score 3, Insightful) 127

Yes, it means your functions aren't allowed to have side effects (i.e., all parameters are passed by value and the only result is the value returned to the caller).

Personally, I like it because it's a good way to manage complexity -- kind of like the encapsulation of object-oriented programming, except applied to the verbs instead of the nouns.

Comment Re:What's changed? (Score 3, Interesting) 138

The problem is that social media reduces us to the way we present ourselves. While that certainly is part of who we are, it's not the whole story.

One of the most popular maxims of ancient Greek philosophers was "know thyself", and the reason they considered it important is that it turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds. You think you know yourself, but chances people who spend a lot of time in close physical proximity to you understand you in ways you don't.

But online your identity is mediated by how you present yourself. This is not only inevitably somewhat dishonest (in ways that may be more obvious to others than to yourself), even when you are trying to be honest you at best are presenting who you think you are.

Comment Re:"The science is settled" (Score 1) 52

Some of the science is settled, certainly. Methane is a greenhouse gas; nobody expects that to change. Atmospheric methane decays primarily through a long, well-documented chain of reactions starting with oxidation by the hydroxyl radical; the carbon in the CH4 eventually ends up in a CO2 molecule. This is nothing new, and nobody expects it to change.

The precise dynamics by which CH4 interacts with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere is far from settled science, and nobody should be particularly surprised that there are things about the process we don't know. Not knowing some things about a process doesn't mean we can't know other things about that process.

But some people obviously do believe it means that. They do not distinguish between not knowing everything and knowing nothing. Implicitly requiring scientists to know everything before you consider science credible makes everything a matter of opinion, and all opinions more or less equally valid, at least as far is evidence is concerned. And it's easy to see the attraction: if everything is a matter of opinion you can believe whatever you find comforting. Why not believe Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs? After all scientists don't know everything, which means science is never "settled".

But of course settling questions with evidence is what science is all about. True, there is no science so settled it cannot be attacked; but there *is* science sufficiently settled that claims to the contrary require extraordinary evidence.

Comment Re:Cox has low customer satisfaction? (Score 1) 69

Yeah, I know why they're hated as a cable TV company, but the ISP side of Comcast has always been pretty decent in my experience, and I don't know anyone who has anything bad to say about that side of them. Sure, the data caps is an ongoing concern, but they haven't implemented anything evil on that side, beyond introducing the concept to begin with.

Comment Re:Libreoffice is a thing (Score 1) 198

git is a tiny fraction of what's needed to replace OneDrive - unsurprising given it's a source code version control/management system. If you were to start from scratch creating a OneDrive alternative, you'd probably start with Apache, not git. Add versioning and more advanced permissions to Apache's WebDAV implementation, a web interface to the same directory (preferably linked to something capable of at least viewing Word etc documents online), and client tools to sync with Apache, and you're pretty close to being there.

Comment Re:I believe it (Score 1) 66

I've been saying this for years: the reason that the same stupid security holes keep popping up is that they keep showing up in the tutorials that people use to learn new systems and languages.

The cognitive burden of learning a new system is rough on most people, so it's tempting to make things easy on them. In fact you might have higher satisfaction from students if you do. It certainly makes them feel like they're learning more for less effort if they can make something happen that looks right. But you should never, ever model a bad practice for beginners, even if you have the intent of going back and explaining to them that they shouldn't do it that way. It's better to say, "OK, you don't understand this particular bit, but don't worry I'll come back to it later."

Comment Re:No brainer (Score 3, Insightful) 157

The other thing which bugs me is the white washing of old news articles how often that trick gets pulled, I might personally remember an event but find the contemporary records are missing that happens a lot especially in Politics when a past stance becomes embarrassing and then you get told black was white...

This is the single most important reason there could ever be!

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