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Comment Re:So, take the opportunity. (Score 1) 339

Is your animosity coming from having to work with the language in a bad situation or are you simply prejudice?

COBOL is not for everything nor for everyone, but it does what it does well.

Few languages make the programmer describe the required input and output in so much detail before coding, which may be why it is well suited to financial systems.

Comment Re: Fortran (Score 1) 629

Not encountered as a first language perhaps, but that is just incidental to your experience and has little to do with age. It is true that before home computers were widely available, one's first exposure to a computer language was likely to be from college, university or work, and there was a fair chance that that language would be Fortran.

I think you are correct about the ZX-81 and the VIC-20, those machines were somewhat restricted in what they could do. Nevertheless, the C-64 had at least Abacus Fortran and ABSoft had it for the Amiga. Microsoft and Watcom had Fortran for DOS.

Now, Windows based PCs.. that's just for gaming ;) Just kidding - there is a multitude of them, including GNU Gfortran.

Sadly, unlike the VIC-20, ZX-81, C-64s of the time, PCs sold today to not even boot into an environment with a programming language, but that can be fixed by installing Linux or BSD.

Comment Re:Linux is sadly becoming irrelevant. (Score 2) 109

I don't want to give too much credence to your 90% statement as statistics are 97% made up. I mostly use BSD, but Linux comes across as quite usable from the desktop; much more than Windows where they keep changing everything around with every version. The first thing I have to do when opening the Control Pannel is type what I want in the search field.

But what is impressive in your statement is that you actually can do this stuff from the command line. You see, computers are all about automation, and that means the ability to re-use your work. You can put it in a script so you don't have to type it again and share it with the world. Mouse clicks are forever wasted.

Comment Re:Lights on vs someone being home (Score 1) 288

"But evolution doesn't care about groups. It only cares about genes."

Evolution doesn't care about anything. The survival of the group increases the survival chances of the individual in that group, ergo the successful transmission of his or her genes.

"Because the plants have a use for them."

You seem to have adopted a very simplified, perhaps comfortable view of nature. Drugs as a protection mechanism is not very effective. Poison for instance, would be a lot more "productive".

Comment Re:Lights on vs someone being home (Score 2) 288

"It if was actually productive, evolution probably would have made it available to us without drugs."

Evolution works if the traits is required for survival, allowing for breeding in the said environment. At a bacteria level, productivity helps beat the competition.
With social animals like humans it is a bit more complex. Diversity helps the survival of the group, so even the least productive members have a chance as long as they play their cards well and get laid.

In a wider sense, your logic is somewhat self defeating. Some drugs are made available to us via the evolution of plants, so why do they exist at all?

Comment Re:"We're" loosing it? (Score 1) 444

You may want to put more thought into this; there is a multitude of instances where a relationship with a corporation is not 100% voluntary, starting with air and water pollution (treated as externalities), GMOs and control of seeds, takeover of the very government institutions which you talk about, traditionally via lobbyist and now by direct occupation, privatization of the penal system, ISP's selling of your private data...

You may not care about some of all of them, but you cannot speak for me nor others.

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