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Comment Re:Undue Credit to Kurzweil (Score 1) 598

I agree, there seems very little merit in this argument, whether this is from Kurzweil or someone else. Suppose someone with intelligence x can build something else with the intelligence f(x). First, the argument seems to assume that f is increasing. This is reasonable, although I think this is hardly a golden rule. Success doesn't seem to be perfectly correlated with intelligence. Next, in order for intelligence explosion to occur we must know f is an unbounded function. I see no reason to believe that. Quite the opposite, the intuition and observation suggests that f is rather asymptotic. Perhaps it even stabilizes at a certain level. In order to do great science one only has to be smart enough, and then one has to also be hard-working, stubborn, lucky, persistent, passionate, and a hundred other different things that have nothing to do with intelligence.

Comment Re:Okay, enough already (Score 0, Flamebait) 484

Certainly not; you seem to miss the point of moderation entirely. According to Wikipedia, moderation is "is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes", and according to the dictionary, to moderate is to "reduce the excessiveness of" and "make less violent". Now, if you mod an obviously on-topic post as off-topic just because you don't agree with it, or mark a score 1 post as overrated, or capriciously mark something as a flamebait, then you are not reducing the extremes. You are expressing your personal opinion in the most extreme manner possible, by abusing the power of the mod system to swipe the post you dislike with off the radar and push it into oblivion, without the poster having a chance to respond. If you want to express an opinion, post a response. As a moderator, you should act responsibly and respect the implicit social code.

Comment Re:Will they run Linux? (Score 1) 272

Can you genuinely run a "complete development environment" or play any mainstream "strategy game" on an ARM computer, or do you have to run special versions targeted for a mobile distribution? Because if the latter, my point is still valid. Even if your APIs are all the same, the fact that the device is slower means you have to rewrite your applications, anyway, because the thing that took 1 microsecond now takes 10 milliseconds, and the fancy vector graphics that's there somewhere now uses up too much CPU. And if you have to write a dedicated distribution, then in reality it's a different OS. And you can do the same on a Windows Mobile or any other mobile OS; there is nothing fundamentally stopping you from targeting a larger screen and implementing a mobile replacement for Eclipse or Visual Studio. In fact, with the .NET Compact Framework releases closely following the regular .NET, you can probably recompile many existing .NET applications with minor changes to avoid the occasional API calls that aren't supported on the mobile platform. I think it's great to be able to run Linux or Windows XP on such devices, I'm just skeptical whether this would really make a difference for me as a user. As long as your code is written in a high-level language and uses standard APIs, it will probably take you a comparable amount of effort to customize and recompile your app for the regular OS vs. the "Mobile" version of it.

Comment Re:Will they run Linux? (Score 1) 272 well as the newest versions of Windows Mobile, which means you can have, among many others, things like Web and email access, basic word processing, spreadsheets, presentation kits, remote desktop client, SSH client, and believe it or not, even a (reduced, obviously) version of SQL server. Realistically, Windows Mobile gives you 99.9% of what you need for daily usage on the go, and anything that a slow device like this can get you. Even if someone ported Windows XP/Vista to ARM, you wouldn't really get anything more than that... most other apps would be just too slow to run. So I don't believe Microsoft wil lever do that. And I think the same will be the case for Linux on ARM. It won't really be the same system you run on the desktop (not in any practical sense), even if it's loosely based on (much of) the same source... you could just as well call it Linux Mobile. I personally think it's a good thing. I like the fact that my Windows Mobile devices boots in under a second. If my high-end, 64-bit, memory-loaded, 7200rpm laptop comes back from hibernation within almost a minute, I wonder how long it would take for an ARM device to unhibernate or boot into Windows 7.

Comment Re:It's still inconvenient? (Score 1) 235

...and about Korea, Vietnam, and other places "liberated" by the communist army, there is only one version of history, defined by the sad reality you can verify yourself: as of 2009, the North Korea, a communist-"liberated" society, is about the poorest and most backwards place on Earth, a living tragi-farce, and Vietnam and other "liberated" communist countries are not that much better off, whereas South Korea, where the communist cancer hasn't spread from long enough to inflict much damage, is now a rich and modern society, a wonderful place to live, and with uncensored, high-speed Internet connectivity that U.S. and E.U. countries can only dream of. As for the details: perhaps you should check out the War Memorial in Seoul sometime or meet the survivors who escaped from North Korea (many of them live in Seoul). Surely, innocent people have tragically died on both sides, and surely, each side may have used its share of dirty tricks, but there's no question which side was fighting for the right cause: the answer lies in front of you, crisp and clear.

Comment Re:It's still inconvenient? (Score 4, Interesting) 235

See, the issue lies not in knowing that certain events have taken place, but in being able to reflect on them, question them, interpret and speak freely about them. Chinese government, through its aggressive propaganda, created the situation where everything is linked this way or another to national pride. Even from your response it is sort of evident that you are being defensive, as if the reflection on the past events were to insult or otherwise discredit the entire Chinese nation. And this is precisely the issue. Many intelligent Chinese I had met seem completely unable to separate discussion of history and infamous past events from the matter of national pride. One person I tried to speak to about Tibet denied it fiercely to the point she almost cried. This sort of reaction is hardly normal. Questioning the actions of the Chinese government and bringing up the infamous events in history is treated by some as a personal attack at a deep emotional level. Surely, many Americans are also like that; the difference is that those Americans choose to be like that despite the fact they live in a free society, whereas for people who were born in China this may not be a matter of choice. If you think anyone here is trying to blame or discredit the Chinese, you are deeply confused; everyone here is rather sympathetic with your fellow citizens. The question is whether the Chinese raised in the communist propaganda can handle the criticism of their own government without taking it at the personal level and getting all emotional and defensive.

Comment Re:It's still inconvenient? (Score 3, Insightful) 235

What exactly is your point? I believe in what you wrote, but I don't see how that has anything to do with what I wrote, or with the topic of this thread in general. I think you're trying to be sarcastic; unfortunately, I'm not getting the point. The fact that the U.S. government has its share of attacks on free speech certainly doesn't mean that we're not allowed to criticize the Tiananmen massacre.

Comment Re:It's still inconvenient? (Score 1) 235 then I'm curious, is anyone aware of any policy at their school/workplace that would specifically forbid putting content that isn't politically neutral on your personal website (even with a disclaimer). I've run a couple of Google searches, and haven't come across anything specific. If there is a policy, what does it say? If it forbids posting political opinions, for example, does it prevent you from posting factual information that doesn't constitute an opinion?

Comment Re:It's still inconvenient? (Score 5, Interesting) 235

...but that won't prevent Chinese students living abroad from getting the point. I personally know a number of very smart Chinese Ph.D. students who honestly believe that everything the Chinese government does is right and has always been right because they have been told so back home, and political correctness in U.S. prevents people from going anywhere near such subjects at school or in the workplace.

Comment Re:It's still inconvenient? (Score 5, Interesting) 235

I wonder how feasible it would be for the Internet crowd to "make" June 4 the unofficial day of the free speech, by means of posting some small banner or a short comment on thousands of websites on that day, to the extent that it would get media coverage, and then repeating it every year on the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. I guess one could do that one one's personal blog, I don't know about a personal page at a university or other such places since it would probably violate some regulations. Surely, someone who's a lawyer could advise... obviously, Chinese citizens wouldn't notice, but the rest of the world might, including those who came from China to study and may be oblivious of the fact that the rest of the world considers Chinese government's policies and actions morally questionable.

Comment Re:It's quite common (Score 1) 253

I wasn't advocating being a marketroid; I was pointing out that people naturally become marketroids, and instead of talking about ethics, we need to design the system to be marketroid-tolerant (where by "-tolerant", i mean as in Byzantine fault-tolerant). The monkey model you pointed to is consistent with what I said. As we grow to the top of the tree, we become manipulative, and more likely to look down on others whether it is justifiable or not. So the system inevitably manipulates us to become more of a marketroid ourselves, whether we like it or not. Is there some way marketroids can be manipulated? Surely, by telling them they are being immoral is not going to help. They view themselves as victims of the evil system, trying to follow the implicit principles of becoming successful. We humans have an amazing ability to justify our own mistakes and our flaws, and portray them as beautiful, noble, righteous, or find ways to push the blame onto others.

Comment Re:It's quite common (Score 1) 253

You're right, except it's not what science "is", but what science "should be", and in practice your postulate is infeasible. Science is very much like selling carrot at a vegetable market, you are rewarded for being aggressive, not for being honest. There have been various social systems based on the assumption that people are inherently good and honest, and for all I know, they all failed miserably. The most successful theories are based on assumption that people are selfish, manipulative bastards. We need a system, in which being a selfish, manipulative bastard can benefit the others. For example, what if paper submissions, proposals, and paper reviews were never anonymous, but instead publicly available for scrutiny? I don't know if that would help, but intuition tells me that extreme transparency could go a long way making us all more fair and honest.

Comment Re:Of course they're not all honest (Score 5, Insightful) 253

Moreover, you rarely become a professor at a major university or some other distinguished position only on the basis of being talented; it is much more important that you are skilled at writing and inter-personal politics, manipulative both in terms of being able to sell your research and in terms of luring grad students, junior researchers and funding agencies to work for you or to pay you. Unfortunately, the same manipulative skills you need to acquire to become successful make you potentially more capable of cheating. I don't mean to insult anyone here by implying that it will actually make you more likely to cheat; only that it's easier for you to cheat because you are skilled at manipulating others (this being said, arguably the line between skilled manipulation and outright cheating is not as crisp and well-defined as one might hope). Indeed, sometimes cheating happens unwillingly; I have witnessed it on multiple occasions, when a famous professor would write a pile of an outright bullshit in a paper; not intentionally, but because his bullshitting skills and confidence were orders of magnitude above his raw technical competence.

Comment Re:Supply? Demand? (Score 1) 84

I'm not sure those who build data centers are making their decisions solely based on the cost of operation. Economy says that in many applications, data centers are basically redundant since their only purpose is to relay data back and forth; often it would be much cheaper to implement a peer-to-peer solution that for the most part keeps the data out. Still, data center owners are eager to pay the cost just to lay their dirty hands on the wealth of information they can dig into. I'm not sure changing cost of operation could change these greedy policies. We will see more and more data centers being built no matter what. I see a future with millions of data centers, standing there like giant honey pots designed to lure, trap, and enslave the naive and trusting, and suck their innocent blood through targeted advertising, exploiting our every weakness and dirty secret.

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Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato