Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:I don't recall such interest in gerrymandering (Score 1) 413

And disproportionate anger substituted for cogent argumentation is lack of thinking entirely. Such aggressive reactions usually indicate desperate frustration that reality doesn't conform to a politically convenient narrative. In other words, you absolutely hate that I'm right.

Comment Unintentional Gerrymandering (Score 3, Interesting) 413

Meanwhile, some other academics tried something similar and came up with a different result, which they describe as "unintentional gerrymandering". Essentially, Democrats dominate in urban areas and Republicans in rural areas, in a way that ends up inefficiently concentrating Democratic votes.


Comment Re:I don't recall such interest in gerrymandering (Score 4, Insightful) 413

Well, quite frankly, there wasn't any. When Republicans win, the media and academia dutifully explain to us how the election was bought and paid for, surely also the result of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. Oh, yeah gerrymandering too. The election was stolen! Our democracy is crumbling! Peter Jennings once even told us that a Republican win was the result of voters throwing a "temper tantrum".

When Democrats win, they get a misty tear in their eye as they are overcome with pride that the will of the people has prevailed, democracy has been saved, and their party now has a clear mandate.

Morons, all of them.

Comment Re: That's the part that "counts" (groan) (Score 1) 443

I agree. With the current state of the technology, sending a rocket into space is still fraught with this kind of risk whether it's privately managed or managed by NASA. One shouldn't be any more or less "nervous" either way.

Private space companies do offer much cheaper launches due to their ability to realize cost efficiencies that we'd be fools to expect from government agencies, and we'll see how their safety and reliability track records compare in the long run.

Comment Re:Communication (Score 1) 770

Because climatologists have never thought of looking at climate history

My post didn't claim otherwise.

It's as if you have no fucking idea what climatologists base their theories on, and yet have decided they are wrong.

Not once in my post did I claim that climatologists base their theories on anything other than historical data, or that those observations are wrong. I do assert that many predictive projections have not come to fruition, and that AGW critics use these instances to their rhetorical advantage. I also claim that the inaccuracy of projections has nothing to do with the motives or competence of the scientists involved, and everything to do with the fact that predictions about the future are inherently hit or miss.

The ignorance and arrogance in your poster is awe-inspiring

Your atrocious grammar is awe-inspiring.

Comment Communication (Score 1) 770

It's my thought that the climate science establishment can address the communication problem that the article mentions by spending less time and energy on the predictive, and more on the descriptive.

Most criticism of the AGW consensus points to predictive graphs and narratives that turned out to be wrong in some way, making it easy to call into question the credibility of climate scientists in general. Indeed, climate science seems to have problems in this area- because predicting the future is REALLY HARD, and in fact next to impossible. Scrambling to explain why predictions turned out to be wrong after the fact does nothing but harm to the general public acceptance of climate science consensus.

Instead, they should stick to unimpeachable analysis of historical observations and measurements, which is a far stronger platform on which to present the AGW science to the general public. Statements about the future can usefully be kept general and unspecific.

Comment Re:Tyranny of the majority (Score 1) 530

Correct. It's frustrating that so many people believe and perpetuate the flawed notion that democratic elections and/or referendum legitimize any and all actions of government.

We currently have a Supreme Court justice who invoked Oliver Wendell Holmes in her confirmation hearings and recently lamented that the majority decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District would lead to "heightened constitutional scrutiny" in other cases. Yes, the horror of constitutional scrutiny.

Not to mention President Obama who told a bunch of Ohio State graduates to pay no attention to people who warn about government tyranny- "You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted." You got that? As long as we have democracy, then no problem. Trust us.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to "trust" that the State and/or political majorities will not violate my rights. Indeed, the NSA is bluntly demonstrating that they cannot be trusted. History has also plainly demonstrated that unrestrained State power leads to corruption at best and human atrocity at worst.

We need to understand the extreme importance of written, respected, and enforced limits on State power. Democracy alone is not enough to save us. Unfortunately those limits become inconvenient for those who seek to wield power in pursuit of their own preconceived social outcomes or personal benefit.

Comment Simple solution? (Score 1) 267

Why don't we amend patent laws such that a condition of being granted a patent is to have an implementing product on the market within a certain period of time (say, 6 months or a year). If the patent holder fails to come through, the patent is then voided. Same rule applies for patents transferred or sold to others.

Comment Re: How are we going to pay for it though? (Score 1) 291

Nobody's suggesting putting business people in charge of SS funds, but keep in mind that millions of Americans earn modest interest on their own retirement investments outside of SS. The interest point is moot anyway. Wouldn't you rather have you SS payroll dollars kept in the fund even if they generated 0% interest, than have to PAY interest out of your income tax so the government could restore the money they borrowed from it?

Comment Re:How are we going to pay for it though? (Score 2) 291

That is not true. Getting rid of Social Security obligations would indeed affect the Federal budget because the Social Security Administration holds over $2.5 trillion in government securities. This is because, by law, Social Security is required to buy government securities with surpus funds. The money raised from the securities purchases becomes part of the general fund, where it is immedialy spent by Congress. So, instead of your surplus payroll tax dollars remaining in the Social Security fund where they could bear interest on the open market, they are now completely spent and the interest must be paid for out of your Federal income tax.

Comment Re:The third option (Score 1) 536

I agree with the above. Most developers turn exception handling into a god awful mess. In our shop, we have rules with regard to Java return values and exceptions:
  1. A method should do one thing, and be named for exactly what it does or returns.
  2. If the method is unable to successfully perform the one thing it's supposed to do, it must throw an exception.
  3. Returning null is not an acceptable course for error situations within a method. Null values indicate non-existence of the return data the caller is seeking, not an error.
  4. It is the caller's responsibility to determine whether it can safely continue if a method cannot complete its task successfully. If not, it must throw the exception upward, as it then cannot complete its own task successfully. This includes the entire program itself.
  5. For methods that return a Collection, a null value should generally never be returned. The caller is seeking a Collection of something, so it's either empty or it's not.

Nothing profound here, but putting these together and articulating them has helped our staff to write better, more reliable code.

Slashdot Top Deals

"No matter where you go, there you are..." -- Buckaroo Banzai