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Comment Group and cause membership stereotyping (Score 1) 311

This applies to causes and groups of people, and their individual members.

Case 1: Martyrs
Suppose that groups A and B are in conflict against each other. A member of group A murders a member of group B. Group A vindicates the action as a victory in battle and as a warning towards group B. Group B raises the fallen comrade as a martyr, and feels entitled to retaliate and seek revenge.

Case 2: Stereotyped explanations
Someone's arguments or actions are invalidated because the person belong to a certain group or defend a certain cause, and hence such arguments and actions are considered typical of the group in question and their significance is thus ignored or ridiculed.

Women are a particularly common victim. Examples:
- https://xkcd.com/385/
- When a man becomes, say, President, he's the President, and his gender is never discussed. When a woman becomes President, to other people she's always a woman first and a President last, with her gender being a major part of political discussion about her.
- When a man is pissed off, there's probably a good reason. When a woman is pissed off, she's often assumed to be on her period.

Comment Re:Can't we simply get rid (Score 1) 90

Not everything can be done through a web browser. Besides, there are tasks that, while benefitting from a mobile device, have no need to connect to the Internet.

Some of my favorite mobile apps include:

- Jota Text Editor. Because I like to write stuff and I'm not happy with the idea of putting all that stuff online.

- Open Street Map. You have to download a large map once, but then you can access it from anywhere. I still use Google Maps when I need real time information, but waiting for maps to download is annoying.

- RealCalc Scientific Calculator, QPython, Barcode Reader...

Comment Artificial "Inteligence"? (Score 1) 174

First of all, I'm a lowly code monkey. I'm quite ignorant about this whole AI stuff, and this whole post may be nothing but ignorant bunk.

I imagine that, to be able to achieve an intellectual level comparable to that of a human being, an artificial intelligence must be able to perceive the world and interact with it as a human would do. It must be able to respond to physical stimuli, to learn from experience, to become skilled through practice, to make autonomous decisions and, eventually, to refuse to follow orders and maybe to commit mistakes.

Otherwise, no matter how advanced, artificial intelligences will remain a merely abstract construct, constrained by the limits of computer hardware and software, only ever able to deal with numbers and abstract concepts whose significance, while accessible to an human mind, will remain beyond an AI's reach.

I don't think we're going to get anywhere beyond stuff that does exactly as told within a very specific context anytime soon. I'm quite skeptical about the buzz surrounding Artificial Intelligence in general, and I have the feeling that most laypeople have quite high expectations about what AIs will be able to achieve in the near future.

Also, I believe that the bridge between the cognitive abilities of human beings and what can be achieved by a machine at all has been quite underestimated. I feel that a lot of research is being driven towards the ultimate goal of explaining the entirety of the human mind, personality and inner self merely as a result of the brain as a machine, to reduce our humanity to a product of our own biology, to dismiss the role of our individual, unique and irreplaceable identity.

To create artificial humanoid intelligences. To axiomatize human intelligence. To close the bridge between machines and human beings, and to make them indistinguishable. Is that even feasible or a good idea in the first place? Shouldn't machines remain their place instead of being elevated to personhood? Shouldn't we never forget that we're alive and machines are our tools and creations.

And I'm not even sure how to phrase my concerns as a question. Help?

Comment Re:Bill Gates? (Score 1) 735

Trump has no idea who to call; that's the first name that came to his mind.

At least he realizes that he's ignorant on this matter, unlike a lot of people. He might be a clown but he's not THAT foolish.

Of course, he's in for a nasty surprise. "Closing up" the Internet will only turn the United States into another North Korea, as the... ... no, I'm not qualified to predict what will happen in a world unable/unwilling to do business with the US. A Pax Sinica, maybe?

Comment Re:Smart man (Score 1) 378

Implement a whole miniature ecosystem inside a ship. Harvest raw materials from asteroids and comets, build it on space, maybe using a massive 3D printer. Make it large enough to be able to support a stable population for an arbitrary period of time, yet small enough to be mobile.

Make lots of these, because many may never reach a suitable destination. Most likely they will run out of fuel and become too far away from any star or source of energy. Some may wander for millions of years, their crew becoming increasingly adapted to their constrained, harsh environment, and become exotic intelligent lifeforms. Some may reach a suitable destination, either clashing with the existing lifeforms or giving life to a previously lifeless planet.

Also, options today vs options tomorrow. Since how long ago do we dream with what we can do with, say, carbon nanotubes? When was the first time we reached a comet? It's just a matter of time.

Comment Re:Official? Hah. (Score 1) 93

Hahaha. I'm from Chile, of course I know about Moai. But let me tell you about U+1F5FF.

$ grep --after-context=1 '^1F5FF' NamesList.txt
        * Japanese stone statue like Moai on Easter Island

Specifically, it refers to the Statue of Moyai, a gift from the people of Niijima island, which is located at the south exit of Shibuya Station in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The fact that the character is often rendered as an Easter Island moai doesn't change the fact that the original emoji refers to a different, specific object.

Comment Restore Dr. Patricia Sutherland (Score 1) 197

While you're at it, Canada, let her resume her research in Baffin Island.

She was fired because of the complaints of some thin-skinned lowlings who don't have what it takes to work with someone like her.

If you have to scold her, if you have to tell her to chill out, do so. But don't shut down scientific research just because of stupid personal problems.

Comment Official? Hah. (Score 2) 93

They're not official until they get their own Unicode block.

I applaud the idea as a jab against the many emoji that are specific to Japan that got through Unicode's standardization process (*cough*U+1F5FF*cough*). Because if Japan could do it, why Finland can't?

Comment Re:Just remember ... (Score 1) 77


Fuchsia is the name of a flower, named after German botanist Leonard Fuchs. It's also the name for a specific subset of purple, fully saturated and roughly halfway between red and blue.

Magenta is essentially the same color; it was named so to celebrate the the French and Sardinian Army victory at the Battle of Magenta near the Italian town of the same name.

Purple is the name for the set of colors between red and either violet or blue depending on who you ask. Either way, it's a larger set of colors.

And assigning anthropocentric meanings to individual colors is akin to numerology and astrology, i.e., total bullshit.

Comment Re:Not all of these are in one's control (Score 1) 217

I offer no guarantees, as bad stuff does happen and things don't always go according to plan. In particular, what to do if you become the victim of an accident, crime or natural disaster is beyond the scope of my previous post.

All I wanted to do is to give a few tips on how not to fall on the debt trap by yourself, things that are within your reach.

I've been in my current job for 15 years. Before this, I had two other jobs, none of them lasted a whole year. In the first one, I was laid off because I was stupid and didn't do well enough. In the second one, I quit because I didn't like my new position.

I stayed at my current job mainly out of patience and usefulness. I learned a lot while at this job, and I weathered plenty of awful moments, and I also helped build a legacy that's still in use today. I've seen a lot of other people come and go, we're always looking for new personnel but most applications are quite unsatisfactory.

I learned about apprenticeships while I was wasting my time at University, but unfortunately this is something that you find out by chance; they don't really talk enough about the chances you could have at your disposal to further your career while you're pursuing undergraduate studies. Maybe they want students to look for those chances themselves. I'm sad to see that you missed it out.

They specifically want students because they're perceived as more malleable and trainable and less overqualified for the job than graduates. As you're already graduated, they expect you to be ready for the kind of position a graduate can do, they want you to already have built that experience. as I've never been in your position, there are other people that can give you better advice.

Oh, I forgot to say. I got my current job specifically because my hobbies seemed unusual and interesting while still related to my field. Think about what else have you achieved so far besides your degree, maybe if you include that in your resume you will be considered in your next job.

Comment Re:Grrr (Score 1) 217

As the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I'll bite:

"How not to fall into the debt trap", a few tips from a formerly heavily-indebted loser:

- Things can and will go wrong. It's better to prepared than to borrow money for an emergency.
- Never spend more than what you can earn.
- Pay all of your debts before you borrow again.
- A breather today is a greater burden tomorrow. Don't make it a permanent issue.
- Never pay a debt with another debt.
- Never lose your job while indebted.
- Borrow only to pay for variable expenses, never to pay for fixed expenses.
- Borrow as a last resort in case of an emergency, or as an investment. Never for pleasure.
- Sometimes you must realize that what you really need is a better paycheck.
- Forget about attempting to give the appearance of a social standing and quality of life that you can't actually afford.
- Mind your priorities.

"Why being educated is actually worth some effort so you don't end up on welfare", a few seeming obvious things that never cross the mind of most adolescents.

- You're not going to live off your parents forever. Think about the kind of adult life you want to lead and how much it'll cost you.
- You'll always be expected to have a minimum level of knowledge before being accepted at a job. Said minimum is very different from job to job.
- The more you know and the more useful your skills, the better your job and your paycheck.
- Maybe today you just want to have fun, but someday you'll want your own place, family and kids, and you need to start building your future right now.
- A measure of success is to be able to live the life you want to live while working at something you like.
- Let's face it, a lot of the things we like to do aren't really useful in the workplace. Many jobs don't pay well or are in little demand.
- You must learn how much things actually cost. The easiest things are also the least valuable, and the widest roads are the most crowded.
- Education is a good start but it's not everything. Most of what you need to learn to get a good job position are things you can only learn by working at a lesser job position.
- How about looking for an apprenticeship? How about a part-time job while you learn? Start low, start early, grow up in the way.
- If you don't have your own place, you're not ready to start a family. If you're not ready to have children, you're not ready to have sex. Condoms do break from time to time. Don't ruin your life.
- Don't have more kids than you can afford to raise properly. Be responsible about your kids.

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