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Comment By design? (Score 1) 112

just belonging to a politically marginalized group can translate to poorer access.

That's not terribly suspicious. First and foremost, the internet exists to serve the privileged. From those who had/have the time to make it, to those who use its existence to better their own situation in life. Who's worrying about - let's say - it's impact on the education of the young? Clearly not very many people, since ordered, graduated, high-quality writng and tools to access it with are certainly not a substantial part of what's here (apart from, for example, -some- college professors to put -some- of their materials onlilne). It's largely dedicated to insubstantial entertainment for the masses (like the old mass media), as well as specialist forums for the already-educated.

There once existed an FM pioneer who complained "look what you've done to my child!" That early complaint has developed into a perennial pattern seen all across implementations of technology. While it's new and fun, people like Alan Kay and Seymour Papert have big, substantial dreams for it. And then the promise is dissipated, diluted to serve the same old mundanities. We had a chance to keep that from happening, but once again we're stumbling into the same old mental pitfalls that made the 20th century possible.

Comment Re:median vs average (Score 1) 622

You can do a little better if you buy a good used car. You can't do much better, though, and there is an element of luck

In my experience, you can do A LOT better if you buy a good used car ... which you know how to vet ... and learn how to repair and maintain it.
Lots of us have made it through a working lifetime without ever buying a shiney new car, saved A LOT on depreciation, and saved A LOT doing our own repairs whenever possible.
An easy downgrade from Great Expectations and dedicated following-of-fashion is to get a car with several years left on the drivetrain warranty. By the time that warranty expires, you've saved enough to rinse and repeat. The rest of the money you save can be wisely invested in making your own microbrew ... to help you chuckle when you drive by the dealership.

Comment Chile's the problem (Score 1) 231

The problem Chile's facing is a problem with their infrastructure, not a problem with solar. If they've over-invested and overdeveloped in solar, that's also not a problem with solar. The article repeatedly points this out.

Yes, the old distribution model that began 120 years ago is simply not suited to renewables. The answer is to reform the antique distribution system. The transition from the old model will not be without problems, but clearly investment in wiser, smarter distribution trumps investment in too much production. The power produced where storage has not yet been created needs to be shipped to where it IS needed. And that would be: anywhere where fossil fuels are being used.

Comment Wow, just wow. Congratulations Slashdot. (Score 0, Flamebait) 117

I actually read many (not all) of the comments on this topic, and - unusual even for Slashdot - there was NOTHING of value. This topic will appear at Hacker News, and it will contain at least 50% intelligent and thoughtful remarks.

Dropping in on a technical Slashdot thread these days is like visiting a religious convention of snot-throwers being hosted by Youtube. As a result, I (and I'm sure many others) read very little of what all of you zealots have to say. If that's your desire, congratulations. Enjoy your porn pit.

Comment Bird brain (Score 1) 117

A minah bird or a parrot may learn to repeat hundreds of human speech patterns which it has learned by listening.

Does the bird understand any of the individual words? Does it understand the meaning of the words as group? Can it rearrange the words into new coherent speech? Is the bird intelligent?

Once researchers decide to agree on a definition of what AI is, only then can we decide if that goal is reached by a particular project. Until then its just turtles all the way down.

Comment Seriously ... (Score 1) 264

As an experienced user of Mac and Linux, I have to say that, unless you are more interested in technical aspects of music, rather than smooth and accomplished production - actually getting stuff out the door - Garageband is a FAR FAR better choice.

Linux audio is fraught with peril and surprises. The available software is adequate, but not very polished, and usually lacking in endless features you'd find invaluable in production. Nothing ruins the flow of creativity and artistry more than endless limitations and technical problems. The big companies have invested heavily in software for the major platforms, and you'll never get close to the endless options they offer, whether its MIDI or audio or mixing or effects, or sample libraries.

I like the idea of open source a lot, but its 'products' lack focus and versatility in many areas. Music is the best example I know of.

Comment Memory safety ??? (Score 1) 158

It's possible that, as a side effect, memories may be removed that are valuable. Suppose you've 'forgotten' many things ... exactly how can you verify that without trying to access all of them? How would you go about systematically checking them?

I've never heard of any test or method that can detect lost information ... let alone the quantity, clarity, intensity involved. Clearly some parts of our educations fade naturally, possibly due to limited or no accesses. But we have experience and specific details that are very valuable. There is no quantitive measure of loss.

Comment Sad posters ... (Score 1) 277

Sad but not unexpected to see posters slathering on ad hominem attacks rather than addressing the issues. The subtext of most of the messages here today is unmistakable: the nerve of these savages.

I majored in science at university. I read most of the technical books I was supposed to read. I quit religion as soon as I could get away from it. I can clearly see the progress for humanity fostered by reason, empiricism, and applied technology. But.

When I look at what has been done to this world in the previous century-and-a-half, I accept my share of responsibility for what we've done to this incredible, and only, spaceship we have. Here in the US, from the genocides to the atom-bomb to the water in Flint, it's a cornucopia of disasters. We all know the list. And yet, when someone suggests that we step away from the course we've taken, and seriously consider engaging with some traditional notions of sane, caring, thoughtful stewardship, some of us choose to stomp our feet and demand that the Luddites be pushed aside, that their ideas are laughable, that their "feelings" are just manipulation.

Gentlemen (I assert that most of you are), your exhibition of foot-stomping here today reminds me of Sagan attacking Velikovsky. Not of his apology for attempting to crush another POV without regard for its merits.

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