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## Comment Re:Heads-up Texas Holdem (Score 1)163

Not so long ago, people assumed that a world class Go playing computer would also take years to create, and all of of a sudden there was AlphaGo beating them.

People in the nineties assumed that a world class Go playing computer would take years to create. They were correct.

## Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1)384

To be normal you have to be the average on ALL MEASUREABLE TRAITS.

And no human being has ever been that.

Another extraordinary claim from you (I'm hardly surprised at this point, to tell the truth) which will require extraordinary evidence. Go ahead and prove it by capturing every single measurable trait of every single individual on earth (The cartesian product of that dataset probably numbers more than the number of atoms on earth).

Anyway, normal is defined as 'within two standard deviations of the mean'. Any single individual that falls in that rather large area of the bell curve on all measurable traits would counter your assertion. Provide a list of traits you consider measurable and I'll gladly find you a single example of an individual who is within two standard deviations of the mean on all the traits.

Like I said before, take a statistics class. Then you'd learn that 95% of measurements in a normal distribution fall within two standard deviations of the median. Pick a list of traits and statistically you'd find at least one individual that is within that 95% on all the traits. Look up the derivation of the 68-95-99 rule of thumb.

Stats say that a huge majority of the population falls within the normal for all measured traits (not 'some', not 'a few', but 'all'). It's not statistically possible to have a trait with a normal distribution that exempts some other trait with a normal distribution. Look it up snowflake.

## Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1)384

>Enough of your virtue signalling, make up your mind - is there or is there not a normal as far as the human brain goes? You've now in this thread asserted both that there is a normal and that there isn't a normal.

No I fucking well did nothing of the kind.

You said

There is no normal.

and then you said

I admire exceptional people. I have no admiration for normal people.

You can't have outliers (exceptional people) without having a normal. If everyone is an outlier, then that *is* the normal.

I stated that all human brains are uniquely programmed, for which I provided proof: they are neural networks and it's mathematical fact that it's impossible for two neural networks to have identical programming, it can never happen.

Wrong again. The probabilities are low, but not zero.

I then said that even if there WAS an actually useful or sensible concept of normal to apply to humans - it makes no sense to do so since it's absolutely useless information. If "normal" is not better - which you now claim to believe -

I made *no* claim - you incorrectly inferred my position just because I giggled over your clumsy handling of statistics ("There is no normal" - it is *still* cracking me up. I've half a mind to forward links to your original post to my friends (including the gay one who has a degree in stats)). You incorrectly inferred that I must be someone who (amongst other things) hates gays... Short answer: those gay friends of mine (whose wedding I attended last year) will find that inference of yours surprising to say the least. So will the other gay couple who came over for lunch with my wife and I this past weekend.

Just because I pointed out that there is such a thing as normal, and it is well-defined, and it is well-understood by everyone, does not mean that I am homophobic.

You ranted about somesuch, but only because you consider anyone who corrects your usage of statistics to be homophobic.

Take a stats class (I used to teach it at university level). Learn what "normal" means, or continue amusing those of us who know what normal means. Most high-school graduates know the correct definition of 'normal' without ever having taken a stats class either.

## Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1)384

>ou are making the argument that one particular mental characteristic does not follow a normal distribution - please provide the numbers.

And which one would that be ? I made no such claim. If you read one, it's your own failed comprehension.

You did not claim "There is no normal"? Cause that's the only thing that caused me uncontrollable giggles...

## Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1)384

>All evidence suggests that human characteristics (including characteristics of the brain) follow a normal distribution. Yet you fail to cite a single piece of it... how odd.

Because it's so commonly accepted I thought you'd be able to perform even a simple google search. Besides, you are the one asserting the claim, so *you* provide the evidence.

Physical characteristics of the brain - sure, but the programming of the neural net, personality, implementation... hell no -

Sorry, wrong again - personality characteristics also follow a normal distribution. Mental characteristics follow a normal distribution. You are making the argument that one particular mental characteristic does not follow a normal distribution - please provide the numbers.

what you're claiming is prohibited by the laws of mathematics. Two brains can no more be identically programmed than four and four can make nine.

>

But the result of that programming - including gender identity - certainly *do* fall within a normal distribution. The transgender folk may be on the edges of the bell curve, but "normal" is well-defined as the middle bulk of that curve, hence there actually is a normal.

"Well, we don't really know how the brain works, so each brain must be unique" That's a nice strawman you got there... shame if anything were to happen to it. Like me pointing out that my argument was we DO know how brains work

That's news to the science and medical world. You should start preparing for your nobel prize now.

- and things that work like that CAN ONLY BE UNIQUE and that this is a mathematical fact, and giving you an abundance of evidence from different fields that neural network programming must be unique.

>As a lifelong atheist I've laughed at "evidence" of god that goes "Well, if you can't explain it, then my explanation must be correct" Wow two strawmen in a row. Let me hit you over the head again. I never said "it's true because we don't understand it" - I said "we don't know how it works BECAUSE no two works the same".

Wrong yet again. We do not understand how the brain works so we can only measure the output (rate of occurrence of certain characteristics). All measurements thus far taken show that human brains exhibit characteristics that fall into a normal distribution. There is no characteristic as yet measured that does not adhere to a fairly normal distribution.

It's not an argument FROM ignorance, the ignorance is the EFFECT not the cause. The cause is "it's a neural network and the programming of neural networks is an emergent phenomenon" - the EFFECT of that cause is "no two are ever the same".

But lets look beyond this silly argument for a moment - at the fact that even if you were CORRECT you'd still be a fucking idiot. Because it is utterly meaningless. Lets, for the sake of argument, accept your ridiculous notion of "normal". You've given absolutely NO evidence or even an argument why "normal" should equal "good" let alone "better".

I didn't say that normal is good or better. I said that your assertion of There is no normal is unscientific bullshit at worst, laughably comical at best.

Why is "normal" special. So we accept the idea of "normal" - it makes no difference. Not "normal" is not a bad thing, it isn't evil, it isn't lesser. It's just different. And different is not indicative of bad. And it sure as hell doesn't justify "lesser rights".

I never said nor implied that either. I said that normal, as both a scientific concept and a lay concept, exists as far as human brains are concerned. It's the middle majority of the bell curve.

I do not participate in such ridiculous notions - I admire exceptional people. I have no admiration for "normal" people. More than any single person, it was Turing who defeated Hitler - because he was in no sense normal. He had a rare (and not "normal") sexual orientation and a rare and not normal intellect. He was exceptional - and worthy of admiration. Normal is an insult.

Enough of your virtue signalling, make up your mind - is there or is there not a normal as far as the human brain goes? You've now in this thread asserted both that there is a normal and that there isn't a normal.

## Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1)384

All evidence suggests that human characteristics (including characteristics of the brain) follow a normal distribution.

As you are the one claiming that this is not true (for a single particular characteristic), you should be providing evidence that it is not true. All the current evidence says that brain characteristics follow a normal distribution, which is counter to your claim.

That's an extraordinary claim that you are making. You should be providing more evidence than "Well, we don't really know how the brain works, so each brain must be unique"

As a lifelong atheist I've laughed at "evidence" of god that goes "Well, if you can't explain it, then my explanation must be correct". This is exactly what you are doing, hence my reason for laughing out loud (yes, I actually did!). We don't want your explanations, we want the raw data from your studies.

## Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1)384

Because "normal" people do not experience a lifetime if othering, exclusion and denial that often ends in death... and unlike trans people do not, in fact, exist. There is no such thing as normal.

hehehehehe

Oh, wait, you're serious? Let me laugh harder...

HAHAHAHAHAHA

*wipes tear.

You're too much, you really are - "normal" is commonly accepted in both lay and scientific terms to be the middle bulk of the bell curve. Anything two standard deviations to either side is not normal. Trans people are, in fact, 3 standard deviations away from the median.

Making the specious claim that everyone is unique is an affliction of very young, and very naive, social butterflies. Your need to feel unique does not, in any way, make you unique.

## Comment Re:conflicting theories? (Score 3, Interesting)63

but a lot is going on in the classroom -- there is so much to look at inside it and out the window.

This is a little worrying, since we are told that a rich classroom environment stimulates the young mind. It almost sounds as if we should go back to the drab, austere, classrooms of past decades. That way the children will have few distractions and will be better able to pay attention to their teacher.

We've always known that distractions are the enemy of learning. The problem is that the most vocal proponents of any idea are themselves vacuous and unable to focus, hence they suggest stupid things like distracting environments and (being the most vocal) manage to get their way.

I recall a study that found that a touch of OCD contributed immensely to problem solving skills. This is because having just enough OCD to turn things over and over in your head (for days, if need be) allows the person to view all facets of a problem. Being easily distracted means that only superficial thought is put into a problem.

Solitude is necessary for depth when thinking.

## Comment Re:liar (Score 3, Insightful)562

How could you possibly interpret his statement like that? He supported the exposure of corruption when it was exposing corruption *with an even hand*. Once the exposure was applied only to one side of a partisan contest, it became insupportable.

Why bother making such ridiculous strawman statements? It's obviously not what the OP thinks. I doubt it's even what you think. It won't convince more than a handful of readers. What was the point?

Wait, what? If you don't expose all corruption then don't expose any? All this hand-waving about even-handedness is just an end-run around the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that WL had any evidence of corruption on Trumps part.

Besides, the media didn't treat the elections with an even hand, so why do you expect anyone else to?

## Comment Re:liar (Score 4, Insightful)562

My thoughts exactly. I once supported Wikileaks seeing it as a potentially powerful weapon against the high and mighty; Bankers, corrupt politicians, lobbyists, police states... But for some reason Wikileaks decided to target almost exclusively the United States, now even helping a political liability like Trump into power, playing into the hands of countries like Russia and China - enemies of freedoms and human rights.

Fuck Wikileaks and Assange.

So, you supported the exposure of corruption all the way until it exposed something you did not like?

## Comment Re:So what. (Score 2)316

Yes, I'll pay for a movie in one of the common streaming services for \$10-\$20 per movie.

It's clearly a generational thing. Many older individuals can't seem to understand that dvds are inconvenient.

It's a cost/benefit analysis.

You can either watch something once for \$10-\$20, or you can buy the DVD for \$5 and watch it as many times as you want, lend it out to friends, swap the entire collection in the classifieds with someone who has a different collection, put it on repeat for kids (if it is a kids movie - they often watch the same movie multiple times)...

Paying \$10-\$20 for a once off use vs paying \$5 for unlimited, repeated use. Whether we are talking about movies or coffee-brewing is irrelevant, what matters is whether the savings from the \$5 repeated use justify the inconvenience.

To many (non-lazy) people, the advantages of disks far outweigh the inconveniences of disks. After all, getting up from your couch and walking three feet to your player is fairly convenient to most people.

## Comment Re:Infrastructure vs Independence (Score 1)467

So what you're saying is that transportation and energy use policies should be based upon a pretty infrequent set of scenarios. With that logic, why not build thirty lane highways to wine country, or fuck it, have a helicopter standing by?

No, what he is saying is that if you can only provide 50% coverage of the use-cases (average) you can pretty much expect that people will choose the cheaper 100% use-case coverage.

Seriously, why is this so hard for you to understand? You've basically spent the entire thread ranting that 95% use-case coverage is good enough for individuals.

Jumping 95% across a chasm is no good to an individual - you need to make it all the way or don't even attempt. Having 95% of the population able to jump a chasm is acceptable to the population. Having a single individual able to make it 95% across isn't acceptable to the individual.

## Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1)467

Everything I'm seeing in the way of urbanization, population density and commute statistics suggests that EVs would work in the large majority of scenarios in North America and Europe.

Some things are atomic. For example, I can't drive my car if only a large majority of it is functioning; for some things, satisfying 95% of the use cases still leaves that thing 100% useless.

With transportation (as a collective, not as an individual), a population can get by 100% with a cheap gasoline-only car, but only (say) 95% with an EV. With transportation for an individual, satisfying 95% of the uses cases means that the individual would prefer to simply by an equivalent car that can do the remaining 5% as well as the EV's 95% - i.e. a gasoline-only car.

Most people with an EV either have a second car or don't travel to places they can't buy a ticket to (bus/train/plane). Those people who prefer to own only a single car and often travel outside of mass-transit would prefer to get the ICE-car that satisfies 100% of their uses-cases for a car rather than an EV that satisfies 95% of their use-cases for a car.

Yes, there are outliers, and certainly there are scenarios that Americans regularly partake in which will push past EV limits, but to base an entire transportation strategy on scenarios that are either infrequent or in a very sharp minority seems utterly illogical to me.

It would seem illogical to you because you are not being logical. You are unreasonably assuming that people would take the more expensive option that does not meet all the use-cases that the cheaper option does.

Simply put, most people do not drive hundreds of miles in a single driving session per day, most people live in urban areas where average commute times are below 30 minutes and distances are in fact below 20 miles one way. It sounds to me like the majority of North Americans could drive EVs with little significant impact on day to day driving habits.

Maybe, but it is not their day-to-day transport needs that drives their purchase, it's that remote 5% of their transport needs that drive their purchase. For the population, 95% good enough is, well, good enough. For an individual, 95% good enough is going to lose to the cheaper option that is 100% good enough.

## Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Dealing with gaslighting colleague3

An anonymous reader writes: What's the best unofficial way to deal with a gaslighting colleague? For those not familiar, I mean the definition from this link:

Gaslighting occurs at the workplace in the form of bullies unscheduling things you’ve scheduled, misplacing files and other items that you are working on and co-workers micro-managing you and being particularly critical of what you do and keeping it under their surveillance. They are watching you too much, implying or blatantly saying that you are doing things wrong when, in fact, you are not. As you can see, this is a competitive maneuver, a way of making you look bad so that they look good;

In addition to above, I'd add Poring over every source-code commit, and then criticising it even if the criticism is contradictory to what he previously said.

Raising things through the official channels is out of the question, as is confronting the colleague in question directly as he is considered something of a superstar engineer who has been in the company for decades and has much more influence than any ordinary engineer.

So, what do slashdotters recommend (other than leaving or escalating via the official channels)?

## Comment Re:Accounting isn't what you think it is (Score 1)370

Seriously? Quite a bit actually.

Then why don't you give at least one specific example.

Should \$FOO go as OPEX in \$BAR or CAPEX with a depreciation in \$BAZ?

As hard as it is to believe, while a lot of the basic bookkeeping decisions are very rigidly structured, questions like the above are very much a matter of preference - it's possible for both paths to give the same basic fiscal result but for one path to be advantageous in one environment but not in another

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