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Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 392

Whether we like it or not, it comes to chains of trust.

Yes, exactly.

There are some social systems out there that clearly work better than others, e.g. Science.

The $69 (x 10 to the 12) question is: can you come up with social structures in other realms (e.g. politics, public policy) that work as well as science.

Comment Re:detecting fallacies = detecting bs (Score 1) 392

Outside of rigidly defined formal logic like math or restructuring into syllogism, there are no formal fallacies.

Yup, that's pretty much it.

The Two Gatekeepers:

If you look around at the way we actually evaluate information, I think you can see that we use multiple stages; there are at least two levels of engagement with two different standards of evidence: the quick look and the close focus. A rule of thumb like "trust the experts" is excellent in the early stages, but the logical fallacies become important in the later stages.

Comment Re:An obviously bad move (Score 1) 225

I was reading a piece by a mozilla dev where he seemed to be arguing that he didn't see what the problem was, because a lot of stuff like firebug is broken already, and all people have to do is find an equivalent extension in the chromium extensions...

It wasn't clear to me why one wouldn't just switch to chrome, rather than continue with mozilla jerking their user-base around (this is the third big one, by my count, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm missing a few).

Even worse than all this though is that it all seems like a symbolic surrender: mozilla is giving up on firefox and forking chrome instead.

Comment Re:Without even reading the $500 billion plan... (Score 1) 401

Okay, but the magnitude of the problem we're up against is so hue that anything you can think of that might make a dent in it is going to have associated numbers that make it look completely crazy.

If the numbers don't sound insane, then it can't work.

(Myself, I like the idea of parking nuclear submarines around Antarctica, and using them to power pumping stations to spray seawater in the interior. But I haven't crunched the numbers on that, I'm sure they look deranged as well.)

Comment Re:Nuclear: too dangerous, too expensive (Score 1) 88

Nuclear is the cheapest even fully capitalized if run at capacity and efficiently, but nuclear has trouble scaling costs and generation to demand too; it basically has to be run at full capacity all the time to be effective.

Which would mean we have a choice between "renewables" combined with very dirty coal or somewhat-cleaner-but-still-dirty methane; or going with an all nuclear strategy which would give us large quantities of zero-emissions energy.

But that must, of course, be wrong. It violates the prime directive.

Comment Um...Javascript. (Score 1) 312

If you want to get started with programming, you should probably learn javascript. You have something that can run it already where you can make changes and see visible results. And your biggest problem isn't going to be finding tutorials, but picking ones you want to start with out of the ten thousand available ones.

I don't actually like Javascript, but the people telling you to do something else really have to do more than just wave their hands.

Comment Re:Web apps have become more dynamic (Score 1) 85

Okay, I must confess that this is the first I've heard about SSL not being SSL any more, but I have a humble suggestion: let's drop this horseshit, no matter how Logical the rationale is, and continue to call SSL SSL.

You'd think we'd learn something from stuff like the URL/URI "switch" that never happened.

For that matter you'd think we'd learn something period, from something, anything, but perhaps I'm showing my age.

Comment Re:Actual study (Score 1) 212

And the slashdot summary of this research is terrible (you will be suprised to hear):

Our personality may be shaped by how our brain works, but in fact the shape of our brain can itself provide surprising clues about how we behave ...

If your read about the study, what they've got is a correlation between brain features and Big5 personality features, they don't even hint in the direction of biological determinism ("our personality may be shaped").

But don't be surprised if they start adding brain scans to job interviews ("hm... doesn't look agreeable enough.").

Comment Re:It depends... (Score 1) 343

A friend of mine once released some code with a hash named "%global". Labeling it clearly didn't stop purists from complaining about it.

But yeah, I know, global state exists because there's a real world that exists, and the code is supposed to have something to do with it.

My point is that no programming discipline is complete until it re-invents global variables under some other name-- but it has to be called something different to get it by the censors.

Comment Re:Wow, another paid-for article (Score 2) 343

This site used to be a respite, A place for techies to go to get away from those evil advertisers.

Look, what makes you guys think this lukewarm whining is even going to register on the slashdot editors? They've been listening to programmer's bitcing and moaning for decades, you're going to have to amp it up if you even want to begin competing.

(You think you've got it bad now? You have no idea what kind of stupid shit Commander Taco could come up with.)

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