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Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 405

In other words, "the universe is a simulation" is an unevidenced assertion, much like the multiverse. Yes, there may be some extrapolations of the underlying math that might point in such a direction, but at the moment, it's simply a cool-sounding idea with absolutely no experimental evidence at all. Of course, I feel the same way about string theory, though one thing string theory has produced is some pretty useful mathematical tools, so even when a theory is wrong or indemonstrable, it can still be of some use.

The evidence for the multiverse is the math and the theory that implies a multiverse, these theory have been tested and will continued to be tested in ways designed to break them. What's lacking is a way to test the multiverse hypothesis in a way that separates it from other hypothesis. But that's not a fundamental issue with the concept, just the current state of our science.

The evidence for living in a simulation is... the existence of extremely primitive computers. There's no evidence that computers could be powerful enough to simulate reality, nor are there characteristics of the universe that imply a simulation. There's no real reason to think we're living in a simulation other than it's a fun idea.

Worse than that the theory is unfalsifiable, for any test I construct to see if we are in a simulation you can simply reply that the simulation was designed to take that into account. Even if we prove the laws of physics don't allow a computer that could simulate the universe... well you could simply reply that our universe was simulated with different laws of physics.

Comment Re:Pair Programming (Score 1) 231

Not sure "pair programming" qualifies as something every programmer should know. Though perhaps every programmer should know that a few programmers are rather fanatical about it.

Knowing it doesn't mean you need to practise it.

The list is basically a giant list of suggestions and perspectives, not every one is applicable to every situation, but knowing the list means you have a much better chance of knowing the ones that are applicable to your situation.

Comment Re:Cost (Score 4, Insightful) 266

These days I avoid flying if I can. I'd rather drive 10 hours then put up with lines in security, getting molested by the TSA, sitting in a tiny seat in a tin can with a dozen screaming babies and sneezing people...

But, those small seats are why some people can afford to fly. I'd like larger seats, sure - but I'd rather see that solved by the airlines instead of the government sticking their nose into the market yet again.

Imagine this:

Enjoy our spacious, comfortable seats on your flight with a full two feet of leg room. With no children under thirteen, you can be assured that your flight will be completed in peace. We still serve complimentary drinks and snacks and offer free pillows, so you'll be refreshed when you land. Why suffer? Fly NottaCrap Airline for only $100 more. Enjoy the experience. (tm)

They'd have people stampeding to get tickets.

If you're presented with two options for a flight, and one ticket costs $20 less, then you're probably going to buy that ticket.

However, if you got to actually sit in both seats first, and realized that one seat was a little bigger and more comfortable, you might be willing to spend the extra $20.

The problem is that even if you really care about the size and comfort of your airplane seat it's really tough to judge it when you buy the ticket, so the airline has a strong incentive to reduce the price of the ticket by shrinking the seat and using cheaper materials.

I think it's quite possible that consumers never wanted the trade-off of smaller seats for cheaper prices, and if we could have properly evaluated seats at the time of purchase they would have gotten bigger instead.

If the market forces governing airplane seats are broken then it's exactly the kind of scenario where government should step in and regulate.

Comment Re:Trump says (Score 1) 171

Misleading investors with information you know to be false is a bad thing because it causes them to make investments based on your lies, if those emails show that Tillerson knew he was lying it could be a very bad thing.

Agreed. It also occurs to me that your sentence could be valid in so many more ways.

Misleading _voters_ with information you know to be false is a bad thing because it causes them to make investments based on your lies, if _records_ show that _the president_ knew he was lying it could be a very bad thing.

Then again, I suppose there is no penalty for lying your arse off in record and breathtaking ways to get elected, and then keeping it up when your in power.

There should be though. There should be. The impeachment criteria literally mean whatever the congress thinks it means. In no other job in the world would his behavior be acceptable, but it is okay for the president? Really?

All politicians lie to some extent, Trump is unusually egregious but they all try to mislead.

Ultimately it's the responsibility of voters to hold politicians to account for their honesty. Trump was an exceptionally dishonest candidate, any voter who voted for him either accepted his lies as part of the bargain, wasn't paying the slightest attention to the campaign, or was a complete idiot.

Comment Re:Trump says (Score 1) 171

> Misleading investors with information you know to be false

Can you prove that he knows it to be false?

You might be able to prove that it is false. Or you might be able to prove that you know it's false. But how do you prove that he knows it's false?

Possibly by looking at the emails in his secret account.

Comment Re:Trump says (Score 5, Informative) 171

Moron.... private company != Government

I can create all the email account I want for my company ... the Government has no constitutional power to complain.

The witch hunt to file some sort of criminal complaint because I dare to talk about climate change or deny climate change.. is simply that.

The problem isn't that he used a secret email address.

The problem is that he used that secret email address to hide communications.

Those communications were allegedly about a scheme to mislead the public (and investors) about the state of climate science.

Misleading investors with information you know to be false is a bad thing because it causes them to make investments based on your lies, if those emails show that Tillerson knew he was lying it could be a very bad thing.

Comment Re:percentages (Score 3, Interesting) 279

Finally a study that shows percentages.The politicals have have claimed that climate change is either 100% man-made or 100% natural, depending upon which side of the argument they were on. Reasonable people knew that it had to be a bit of both, but there never seemed to be any studies that showed what the percentages of each it was.

Globally almost 100% man-made is accurate because natural climate variations simply aren't that fast enough to be a big contributor.

However, local climates are more variable, particularly the Arctic, so percentages come into play. From the article it sounds like previous research simply didn't have enough data to make useful percentage estimates.

Comment Re:Living language (Score 1) 208

the election of a man who is extremely reluctant to criticize actual racists (the KKK, anti-Semites, etc)

Fake news got you down, learn the real news!

a) Stop abusing the term "fake news" to discredit mainstream media stories you disagree with.

b) Not only was I completely aware of the stuff you're referencing, I was actually talking about it.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/03/...

Trump nearly immediately denounced David Duke. The only reason it was nearly, and not just immediately is because he didn't even realize who was being spoken about. The environment was apparently noisy and he didn't hear what the interviewer asked. So, no Trump didn't fail to criticize anyone.

It strains credibility to claim that Trump didn't heard the original question clearly because he actually said the name "David Duke" in his answer. But, even if he were somehow confused about the question on Sunday it still took him till Thursday to disavow Duke, and when he did it was a very dismissive denial, far less hostile than his criticisms of virtually anyone else. Many actual racists saw that and thought "he's disavowing because he has to, but his heard isn't in it", and I can't disagree with them.

So yes, when I say he is "extremely reluctant to criticize actual racists" that is what I'm talking about it.

Comment Re:An easy fix (Score 1) 469

Won't that just push more people onto the side streets?

More than Waze already does?

Well yeah, tolls work by reducing traffic, where do you think that traffic goes?

Besides, it might even be more regressive as a lot of working poor do have jobs that require a lot of driving to get to them.

If they can't afford to get to work, their employers will have to pay more if they want their toilets cleaned and their grass cut.

Meaning that fewer employers will actually employ them, so fewer jobs will be available and the jobs that are available will be less profitable due the toll costs.

Comment Re:An easy fix (Score 1) 469

When a freeway is congested, good old-fashioned Supply & Demand says it's because the price is below market equilibrium. That's easy to fix, and as a bonus it provides a revenue source to pay for freeways that's less regressive than the sales tax.

Won't that just push more people onto the side streets? Besides, it might even be more regressive as a lot of working poor do have jobs that require a lot of driving to get to them.

Comment Re:Public roads? (Score 1) 469

Are the roads paid for by public taxes? They're public roads. I used to do this all the time with the old paper maps. Looks like a road stoppage? Find a parallel city or state road. Follow the speed limits and other rules of the road and you're legally allowed to drive on them.

Want a gated community with private roads? Pay to live in one.

There are legitimate reasons not to want high volumes of traffic cutting through neighbourhoods. That's why many new subdivisions are unnavigable, so people can't use them as short-cuts.

I don't like the idea of an app expediting the tragedy of the commons.

Comment Re:Wrong focus. (Score 1) 244

In general, people who look at child pornography are people who have a sexual interest in children. And if you're trying to find people who are sexually abusing children then finding people with a sexual interest in children is a great way to start.

By the same argument, anyone who looks at porn involving adults is a potential rapist.

Nope, because two adults can have a consensual sexual relationship.

Comment Re:Wrong focus. (Score 0) 244

Actually, it seems that they are wrong. First, most child abuse obviously does not end up on film. That part they are completely ignoring. Second, even if they are not saying it loudly, there are statements by law-enforcement in different countries that there is no "industry" behind child abuse, it is mostly amateur stuff and it is mostly traded without money involved. Incidentally, follow-the-money is something law-enforcement is very, very good at, so if this really was mostly commercial, they would long since have stopped the whole thing with ease.

That might be a big reason why they do go after the downloaders.

In general, people who look at child pornography are people who have a sexual interest in children. And if you're trying to find people who are sexually abusing children then finding people with a sexual interest in children is a great way to start.

Obviously that's not the only motive, or they wouldn't charge people just for downloading. But I doubt they'd be very interested in the downloaders if they didn't have a huge overlap with abusers.

Comment Re:This is actually not difficult, just blame Trum (Score 1) 295

This despite the fact that it makes people who are otherwise legitimate, respectable public figures seem like raving lunatics. They seem like lunatics because this is their mindless reaction to anything they think they can associate with Trump, including things (like the Yemen raid) which were planned and prepared during the Obama administration.

It's more complicated than that:

1) The President gets final approval on the execution, he's supposed to be the one asking hard questions and making sure the operation is a good idea, not just in planning but when it's time to execute. By all accounts Trump didn't do this, his position was apparently to greenlight whatever the military wanted to do.

2) The President can be held accountable by voters in a way that generals cannot, that's why civilian oversight of the military is so important, so the public can constrain the military. Trump is throwing blame for the death of the soldier on the generals, by claiming that he's not accountable for the actions of the military it's a lot harder to hold the military to account.

For example. I just saw an article how SXSW is now facing a public backlash over an immigration-related clause in this contracts for performers. People are just skewering them, calling for boycotts, etc. They are lamenting how SXSW is part of the immigration problem and awful their support for Trump's immigration policies is. The clause has been there for four years.

Here is some more from the Wikipedia article on Deportation and removal from the United States:

There's always incidents of overreaction, but the clause is of concern now in a way it wasn't before.

In the 105 years between 1892 and 1997, the United States deported 2.1 million people.[2]

Between 1997 and 2001, during the Presidency of Bill Clinton, about 870,000 people were deported from the United States.[3]

Between 2001 and 2008, during the Presidency of George W. Bush, about 2 million people were deported from the United States.

Between 2009 and 2016, during the Presidency of Barack Obama, about 3.2 million people were deported from the United States.[4]

As you read that, remember that during one of his State of the Union Addresses Clinton specifically called for greater enforcement of immigration laws, and got a bipartisan standing ovation at that comment.

Also, just a couple of years ago immigrant rights groups were calling Obama "deporter-in-chief". I wonder why that was. I seem to recall Bush being branded a racist immigrant hater and immigrants came out in droves to vote for Obama.

I don't really recall much of that criticism of Bush, but Obama never claimed to be in support of open borders.

Obama's two things were to instruct border control to prioritize criminals and to offer a path to citizenship for certain classes long-standing illegal immigrants. Trump has basically told border control they can deport whomever they want, so you're seeing people who have been law-abiding members of their communities for decades now being deported.

The that's part of the reason why the SXSW clause is of more concern now, because being an otherwise law-abiding undocumented resident is no longer a good defence against deportation.

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