Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom - A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at 88% off. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:I hate euphemisms.... (Score 1) 129

The flood of visa and illegal labor into the US isn't helping. Americans used to do the lawnscaping work in the town/state I used to live in, but they were eventually replaced by illegals.

It'd be nice if some politicians were willing to trade a crackdown on visas/illegals in exchange for worker benefits (more stability and so on).

Funny how the same ecconomics seem to be playing out even in those places without "illegals". Perhaps the illegals are not the root cause of the problem?

Comment Re:No more Haze in Grand Canyon (Score 1) 200

Market forces created slavery, because freedom is an externality that markets do not value.

Slavery was the default option for human labor long before there was anything like market forces or even money.

To be fair "market forces" is a term that can encompass every economic exchange - under any political or economic system. Like "natural selection", it is part of any system. When Ug and Fug were deciding if they should steal the meat from Mug or barter for it some other way - "market forces" were in action.

Comment Re:If the *.AA think it's bad (Score 3, Informative) 134

But how is the poor, poor metallica going to survive then? I mean god, they have to do concerts now! Won't someone please think of the poor metallica!

Hey Anonymous Coward, my brother is an author.

When someone steals an e-book of his work, how does he put bread on the table?

Should he "do" book-reading concerts?

Comment Re:Oh those BAD BAD Whites!! (Score 1) 299

along with other invasive species introduced by Westerners

I just want to state for the record that I have never been within 1000 nautical miles of New Zealand. Don't blame this on me too. I have enough White Guilt baggage to contend with as it is.

On a more serious note, it seems that this plan does not take into consideration the most basic principle of natural selection: survival of the fittest (or in other words, the genes of those that are able to produce the most offspring will start to dominate in a population). This plan on the other hand wants to introduce just a small number of individuals in the population in the hopes that their genes will spread to the whole population, while at the same time the very same genes are responsible for the carriers eventually having less offspring than non-carriers (even if it is not in the first generation). Well, I assume they know more about biology than I do...

Yeah, but evolutions doesn't "know" about later generational effects - it only works on the basis of the following generation - to first approximation. Yes, having helpful grandparents might increase your breeding effectiveness by a few percentage over your neighbours, but there is a HUGE advantage to having all of your kids being able to mate with the scare resource of the available females compared to having only half of your children being able to mate with the scare resource of available females. The fraction of modified mice in each generation should increase by quite a bit.

If the odds of finding a mate and having kids is the same for modified (MM) and unmodified (UM) male mice, and they are competing for the same number of unmodified (UF) female mice, for a stable population, the chances of breeding have to be about equal to the inverse of the average number of males in the average litter (AL), so that (for the unmodified case) the population each generation is about the same. Some mice get eaten or stepped on before having kids.

In the first generation (UM)1 = (UF)1 and (MM)1 is however many are introduced, and the total (TM) male mice population would be (TM)1 = (MM)1+(UM)1. The fraction of modified mice is (FMM)1= (MM)1 / (TM)1, the fraction of unmodified males is (FUM)1 = (UM)1 / (TM)1.

Since the odds of living until having kids and the average litter size cancel each other out, in the second generation the number of unmodified females would be found by multiplying the number of females by the fraction of unmodified males in the previous geneation: (UF)2 = (UF)1 x (FUM)1, similarly the number of unmodified males would be found by multiplying the number of unmodifed males by the fraction of unmodified males in the previous geneation: (UM)2 = (UF)1 x (FUM)1. The number of modified males would be found by multiplying the number of females by the fraction of modified males in the previous geneation and then multiplying that by two since all of their kids are male compared to half of the kids of unmodified males being boys: (MM)2 = 2(UF)1 x (FMM)1

In the second generation the number of unmodified males and unmodified females is equal, and less then it was in the previous generation by a factor of (FMM)1. Since for the modified males, all of their kids are males they get he fraction of modified males in the second generation is
(FMM)2 = (MM)2 / (TM)2
                            = (MM)2 / [(MM)2 + (UM)2]
                            = [2(UF)1 x (FMM)1] / [2(UF)1 x (FMM)1 + (UF)1 x (FUM)1]
                              = 2(FMM)1 / 2(FMM)1 + (FUM)1]

This happens each genration, the fraction of modifed males increase each breeding cycle. For generation n we have

(FMM)(n+1) = 2(FMM)n / 2(FMM)n + (FUM)n]

In any generation, if the number of modified males is only a small fraction of the total, their fraction of the total grows by a factor of almost two each generation (when FMM FUM). If FMM is about the same size as FUM (the modified males make up about half of all males) then the next generation would be about 2/3 modified males. If FMM is ten times as big as FUM (thus FMM = 10/11 = 0.909090... and FUM = 1/11 - 0.101010...), then the next generation would be 20/21 modified males (= 0.95238...).

Even with a small number of introduced, their fraction of the total would soon grow to being a maority due to the factor of two.

Of course this assumes that there is good mixing of the population each generation, with more realistic spread of mice, the pockets of modified mice would tend to spread out as they looked for females to mate with, since where the modified mice are dominant there are few females. Regions with a majority of unmodified mice would quickly change to majority modified.

Comment Re:How can this possibly work? (Score 1) 299

Nicely explained. Results of similations with various numbers of modified and unmodified males would be interesting. My intuition is that except for situations with a small number of modified males and some bad luck for those starting males, that they would always dominate unless there are isolated groups. I can't see how the unmodifed ones would ever go extinct until all the females are gone, and and can't see how the unmodifed ones would ever increase their fraction of the population - but simulations would give some wieght to those intuitions.

Comment Re:This will likely... (Score 1) 299

Beneficial mutations don't just happen because they'd be convenient for a species. That's definitely not how evolution works.

The chances of a mutation like that appearing in a dying population are much, much lower than the chances of such a mutation appearing when the population is thriving, because the dying population has far fewer reproductive events in which any mutations could occur. Nothing about their environment is changing - it's the same old New Zealand landscape - so there's nothing to induce a greater rate of mutation as the population dwindles.

But just to reiterate: beneficial mutations don't just happen because they'd be convenient for a species, and that's definitely not how evolution works.

Stop being reasonable!

And informative!

Just stop!

Comment Re:Good luck... (Score 1) 299

Except that they won't. A vey modest percentage of fertile male, resistant for any of a number of reasons to the modified genes, will pretty quickly experience a genetic advantage and replace the sterile males.

But they are not sterile males - they are males who produce no female offspring. "Resistance" in any lucky males would have no advantage - their kids would be a 50/50 mix of male and female - just like a "normal" mouse.

I suppose that there could be a mutation in the female line so that they cannot breed with the modified males. It seems unlikely that this would become widespread enough if introduced at only rare random spots to make any difference.

Comment Re:Trump derangement, you have it (Score 1) 626

How the fuck do you or anyone else know that the people in question are okay?

You look at them, you interview them, and you use common sense. You interview the family of these girls - If her dad is a dentist fleeing terror then you put a tick in the "not dangerous" box: .


For God's sake, where did all this American cowardice come from? You're the strongest nation in the world. Read your Statue of "Liberty" and prove it.

And frankly, all this talk of 'safety' when it comes to suffering people is infuriating. If Trump truly wanted to make Americans "safe" he'd be pushing deep and meaningful gun control. He'd be supporting initiatives to reduce pollution and improve workplace safety in places like coal mines. He'd be pushing for clean drinking water in places like Flint, and working to improve highway safety. He'd beef up the FDA and inspect the food chain. He'd provide support to battered women and children.

...and much more.

Those are the things that make you unsafe - Not bogey-man refugee terrorists.

He demonstrates leadership in none of these things - Which proves he's not interested in keeping Americans 'safe' - He's just interested in keeping people like you scared.

Comment Re:Trump derangement, you have it (Score 1) 626

If people from all these countries are so safe that these companies consider it worth risking American lives for them

The people are safe - The countries aren't.

Why do you think families are desperate to leave Syria? Because it isn't safe. Doesn't mean the people who want to leave are unsafe.

That's why you want to hire smart people from Syria, not open an office in Syria.

Comment Re: Welcome to the future of capitalism (Score 1) 726

Actually, it is very common for employers to break labor laws. I have a lot of poor friends who are regularly shat on by employers. The employers figure the employees are too desperate or disorganized to sue, and most of the time, they are right.

This one is good. OK, not "good" really.

" March 7, 2016

You may think you have a terrible boss, and you may be right. But you know what? Your boss isn’t the worst boss ever.

Unless your boss has pooped in your lunchbox...."

Slashdot Top Deals

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller