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


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re: So which one is it? (Score 1) 168

Observing at small scales is not a passive activity. You have to inject energy into the system (and have it reflect back) to make an observation. That injection of energy alters the system. So the universe does know when you are actively looking at it. Think of looking as not just looking with eyes passively but also shining a high energy flashlight in the direction of looking.

Comment Re: sTEM (Score 1) 219

I find computer science to be highly empirical and experimental. Does the program I just wrote meet the specification and solve the problem it is intended to solve? The hypothesis is yes. Unit testing and testing for corner cases is the empirical evidence that the specification and requirements are met. Debugging is the process of refining the hypothesis (statement of the program) based on empirical results.

You've been hired to fix a very elusive bug in a mission critical but complex low level system. Form your hypothesis based on the data available and test your correction to see I you were right. If bug still exists then refine hypothesis.

Computer Science gives you the reasoning tools necessary to empirically investigate computational systems. I teach computer science classes and I tell my students to experiment with different statements in python to see what happens. Learning how to program within a new language requires experimentation with combinations of expressions to develop the right mental model for the semantics and execution of the language.

If you can't see the science in computer science it's because you are stuck thinking that science applies only to the investigation of the physical world. Science applies whenever we try to tame the unknown and make it known. It is the process of refinement of our mental models. Every student engages in scientific exploration when they try to learn a new programming language. Each new discovery in relationship and properties of abstract systems is still a scientific discovery. For example, the discovery of unit propegation as a means of speeding up SAT solvers. It is a refinement of our mental models and integrating the theory into a coded sat solvers is empirical proof that the theoretical performance boost is indeed correct.

Comment Re: Excellent (Score 1) 153

You didn't choose your aesthetics, you chose to act in accordance with your aesthetics. Huge difference. It is the aesthetics (desires, preferences and sense of beauty and pleasure) that determine our wills. We do not have free will in altering our preferences and perception of beauty and pleasure. For a gay, straight, or bisexuals man to be willful in their choosing, they would have to be able to alter their aesthetics. Doesn't happen volitionally.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 1) 288

Did you read the part of the linked to article that says that a similar request was refused and the court agreed that these records are not releasable though a FOIA request back in 2013? Yea, didn't think so...

And that proves there's nothing to hide because...?

It is standard practice for bureaucratic offices to deny requests which are not made through proper means. Citing that the request was made through improper means does not entail that there is something to hide, merely that the bureaucrats are either lazy or just not prone to sharing information unless required to by law.

The belief that "there is something to hide" is not supported by the events and is a projection of a mind prone to paranoia. That's not to say that there isn't something to hide, but merely that inferring such from the events is not a sound inference.

Comment Re:Why work together? (Score 1) 95

I use NONE of these tools as a web developer.

Unless your education was complete crap, you still learned what you were supposed to learn which was a skill with certain KINDS of tools, allowing you to move on and use better tools than what they used in your classes. At worst you learned what not to do and what tools not to use, which is still very valuable knowledge.

Comment Re:for all the critics I have the following... (Score 1) 755

Hell it doesn't even have to be "sharing" so much as reciprocity and symbiosis. It's not like you were born fully formed with the knowledge you now have. Your parents were not the only ones that supported your existence, after all who supported theirs?

If someone really doesn't want to give in return, there is always the option of leaving...

We live in a system and the system has to be looked at as a whole. The give and the take. Investing in the well being off others pays dividends in your improved quality of life.

Comment Re: 4/5 in favor (Score 3, Insightful) 755

Why would things be different under the proposed system? We don't have slaves now, and those jobs get done. They typically have higher pay to compensate for the undesirable aspects of the job or risk associated with them. Someone is choosing to do those jobs instead of other more desirable jobs.

In one scenario you have a choice between Y+0 compensation for job J_Y and X+0 compensation for J_X, Lets assume that J_X is the more undesirable job. The proposed scenario is that you would have a choice between Y+B and X+B, where B is a minimum stipend to cover the cost of existence in society. At worst, Y is going to be commensurate with B. The relevant metric is going to be the ratio (X-Y)/B. In the worst case scenario that boils down to X/B - 1. If the difference in pay for the undesirable job was high, then (X-Y)/B is high and you would still choose to do the undesirable job for its higher compensation. If (X-Y)/B was small then the difference between X and Y is small and if you're smart you would be working the more desirable job for slightly less pay.

The only places where B would have a negative impact on jobs is when X/B-1 is negative. Its better compensation for doing nothing. Since B is so small anyway, any job where X/B-1 is negative is essentially exploitation. You shouldn't be working that job anyway as it doesn't sustain your existence.

Comment Re:Stuff (Score 2) 128

Why is all the stuff broke? Why does all the stuff have holes in it? Why isn't there any stuff that isn't broke? ARM processors from now on. All this stuff is broke.

To a computer there is no difference between "good instructions" and "bad instructions". Any ability to update or improve existing code is also a vector for getting infected by malicious code. You can either allow updates and risk infection, or you can hard code the firmware and disallow updates, but then you're stuck with whatever the firmware is at the outset.

It's not broke. It's just upgradable. Unless you have solid protocols to control who can upgrade and what upgrades are applied, you are at risk of getting a malicious "upgrade". Even with good protocols, an attacker can mimic the appearance of an authorized upgrader and fake the certification of the upgrade to get a malicious payload installed.

Nature is riddled with this kind of phenomenon. Undesirable mate X tries to present itself as desirable mate Y to inject its dna into the replicator.

Comment Re:Say Good By to the Rainforests .... (Score 1) 851

Atheism vs. Religion creeps its way into everything, eh? I am neither religious, nor atheist, nor would I label myself agnostic. I think if we look below the surface of the mantra "atheism is a lack of belief" we will find that there is still an ardent position at play. I've always found it curious how a lack of belief about something could still lead to an intense/defensible position. There is some personal identity wrapped up with the self-label of being a particular theist sect or atheist. The philosophic position of Atheism is a corollary to a general epistemic disposition: Do not believe in the existence of something without significant evidence for its existence. I don't know what the proper label is for someone whose belief system is such. Perhaps we should just call it part of being rational.

There is something going on when a person points to Atheism and Atheist, over simply being rational. Why fixate on the particular sub-domain. Why fixate on the conflict specifically with those who are religious? If we honestly take the time to examine ourselves we will find that we are not rational in many of our existential beliefs. So fixating on the demand to be rational about religion but not broadening our scrutiny to other domains is indicative of something more than just a "lack of belief in theism". The narrowed focus onto the specific topic of theism is putting a chip on one's shoulder. It's a line drawn in the sand and saying anyone that crosses this line is going to get at least my scorn.

To me this is where the "atheist" (subscriber to atheism) becomes religious (defensive) about their belief in the rightness of their lack of belief in a deity.

Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 1) 203

Exactly this!

That thought came to my mind a while ago. Eventually, our whole brain replace itself but we never cease to be, well, ourselves. Even though it's a generally accepted concept in /. community that our mind is our brain (and not our soul or anything religion related), it's mind blowing to think that I'm still myself even if our brain replace itself every 7 years (or 10 depending on the research). Or is my being is slowly disappearing to be replaced by perfect copy of myself and the memory of my past is actually the remain of my old self?

It's a complex but very fun concept to play with, but it's also quite terrifying sometime.

So you are not a static object. You are an evolving pattern. Is there really much to make a big deal about?

Comment Re:Suicide mission (Score 1) 1097

History IS a shared mythos. Unless you're an archaeologist and cross referencing all the primary sources to get your own accurate picture of what happened in history, you're trusting someone else who claims to know what happened. It is in essence a mythology that everyone is "educated" into believing that it actually happened. And even as an archealogist/historian, you are interpreting the evidence with confirmation bias through the history you were taught to believe in.

Giving Johnny an F because he didn't parrot the history text book on an exam or paper is no different than giving Johnny an F in bible class for getting his bible stories wrong.

History is Mythology. It's the same kind of faith applied to a difference in grandeur in the objects being believed in.

Comment Re:Google: Select jurors who understand stats. (Score 1) 349

People apparently stay at work so long that they need a dedicated toothbrush.

That or they just like to brush after every meal, trust their fellow bathroom users not to scrub the toilets with their brush, and can afford to keep duplicates of their hygiene utilities at the place they spend around half their waking hours. ... Neurotic I tell you, they're all neurotic.

Slashdot Top Deals

Happiness is a positive cash flow.