Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

You're all right

Arker Re:You are wrong! (25 comments)

I am not sure I understand the mathematical reference, but what I mean is this:

At some point a very long time ago the first dna-based living organism came into being, and we can to a reasonable degree say what happened after that, how one thing led to another until we have the dizzying array of living organisms on the planet, from the simple to the most complex, all descended from that.

But how it came to be in the first place? A different question. Not by evolution - evolution works on a population with alleles, there was no such population, no alleles, before the first life. So by definition, whatever gave rise to it, it was not evolution.

Some people think it arose spontaneously from the soup, abiogenesis. Some people think it came from somewhere else, on a meteor perhaps, panspermia. No one has proven abiogenesis to be possible, and panspermia really just pushes the question back a level, as in, ok wise guy, so it came on a meteor to earth, but how did it start back wherever it came from? There really is very little evidence to go on. The fossil record that shows the development of species, sometimes in great detail, simply has nothing to say about how the first microbe came to be. It's a mystery.

The other gentleman accused me of the 'God of the Gaps' fallacy for mentioning it, but I am not saying that the gap proves G_d. I am only saying there is no contradiction or conflict. G_d can create in whatever way he wants to, whether by crafting physical laws that *do* allow abiogenesis under just the right conditions, or by literally reaching out and making the DNA helix when he is ready to do so. I just see our role as seeking to understand how he has done it, rather than demanding that he must have done it as we wish to believe it was done.

about three weeks ago
top

You're all right

Arker Re:You are wrong! (25 comments)

"And that sounds like a God of the Gaps argument to me." I went to wikipedia to make sure I was interpreting that correctly and I dont think it fits at all.

about three weeks ago
top

You're all right

Arker Re:You are wrong! (25 comments)

"I think that's another reason why evolution is scary to many theists. If evolution is correct, and our minds can evolve,"

Biological evolution doesnt actually have much to do with cultural evolution, aside from presumably enabling it in some way.

"it implies that religion and the belief in God may just be another step in the evolution of our minds, which we may one day move on."

Religion anticipates that notion however, with most if not all religions having a concept of a better future, when we will understand more than we do now.

"The belief in God becomes just a biological process instead of something divine and spiritual."

If G_d designed the biological process from the ground up and caused it to exist in the first place, that hardly sounds like 'just a biological process' to me.

about three weeks ago
top

You're all right

Arker Re:You are wrong! (25 comments)

There is literally tons of fossil evidence to support it actually. The evolution of Equids, for example, Horses and Asses and Ponies and Zebras and their many extinct relatives are pretty thoroughly mapped out for the last ~60million years with fossils, and it's very informative. You should check it out.

"In your example, divergent populations B and C are still fertile with each other. "

Not forever. Speciation is a funny concept to really grasp though. It reminds me of quantum physics. We as humans like and need to have clear conceptual lines, so we draw them. We draw this line called species, and we test the line by attempting to breed, and that is pretty much pass/fail, most of the time, and the definition works well enough for us, most of the time. But it's not a perfect reflection of existential reality, you see. There are Horses and Asses and Mules and Jennies. There is the Great Pyrenees and the Chihuaha; the Liger... it could grow to a very long list without being exhaustive.

But the aspect that is like quantum physics - you cannot tell exactly when it happens. Because it will only happen if the populations are separated, yet you cannot test whether it has happened or not until they are reunited.

People today typically credit Charles Darwin with 'evolution' but in fact evolution in some form or another has been talked about since biblical times. Everyone in biology already believe in evolution, but there were varied ideas as to what caused it to happen. Lamarck's was the best accepted at the time, and of course quite off-track as to the main mechanism, but the point needs to be understood that evolution did not come from Darwin, he received it from prior centuries and even millenia.

What brought some better sense into this debate which hitherto had concerned philosophers and bishops and the like, was the intrusion of someone who worked, and specifically with domesticated plants. He was a monk named Mendel, and he did some very interesting work with peas. And when Darwin read Mendel, a lightbulb went off in his head, but he was still missing the final piece of the puzzle.

And then he sailed around the south pacific. Islands, each with their own little species, isolated from those on other islands. And it finally clicked. Mendels genetics allowed traits to be inherited. A small founder population on an island at the beginning, followed by selection for different traits on different islands, produced a dizzying number of species, many closely and obviously related. And that was the *mechanism* for evolution - genetics and selection.

"A great example is the artificial construct of race in humanity. Groups that diverged based on isolation and adapted based on climate, yet any fertile male and any fertile female can still produce offspring."

Sure we can, but we are a species that has existed for only ~250k years, and it was only ~70k years ago that the ancestors of all non-africans left africa. We're an infant species and on top of that there have been very few cases where any population was totally isolated from others for very long, so it's not at all surprising we have no subraces. We're not birds, our generations take much longer, and we tend to adapt quickly via culture before selection at a physical level can really do its worst, so we evolved more slowly even long before we invented things like e.g. modern medicine.

about three weeks ago
top

CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

Arker Re:Sounds great... (195 comments)

Yes, California is insane and has many insane laws.

The chances of them actually enforcing that one? Pretty damn low. First they would have to catch you, of course. And even if they do you'll be fine if you can afford a lawyer through appeals.

about three weeks ago
top

Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

Arker Re:this is why... (329 comments)

Yeah, you know you can link anything you want to /bin/sh at any time, right?

No need to switch OS when a single command will do what you want.

about three weeks ago
top

You're all right

Arker Re:You are wrong! (25 comments)

*Species diverge by evolving in isolation over a long period of time.

Woops.

about three weeks ago
top

You're all right

Arker Re:You are wrong! (25 comments)

And you are simply imposing inaccurate definitions then complaining that the evidence doesnt fit them. Sure enough, it doesnt. Your definition is wrong.

It's quite correct that you never see an animal give birth to another animal of a different species. It's quite incorrect of you to presume that such a thing is needed, expected, consistent with evolution however. It's none of those things. It's nonsense.

Species diverge by diverging in isolation over a long period of time. Let's call our common ancestor A. Population A is then separated into two populations to do not interbreed, B and C. Each evolves on their own path forward. Eventually, and this can take millions of years, the accumulated differences in the allele proportions in the two populations will result in B and C no longer being capable of interbreeding, but at no point will generation x of either B or C not be capable of breeding with generation x+1.

There's no magic here, just normal well understood mechanisms that we observe every day.

about three weeks ago
top

You're all right

Arker Re:You are wrong! (25 comments)

"So, you seem to be espousing Evolution here, amIright? I'm still trying to work out the shift from inorganic to organic chemistry. In particular: why does it take less faith to subscribe to Evolution than any other of the alternatives (without bothering to espouse any one of them)."

1. The shift from organic to inorganic chemistry is actually not part of evolution. Evolution concerns what happens AFTER that. Origin of life is a different subject.

2. It's easy to 'subscribe' to evolution, it requires no faith, because we can observe the process and its results easily and naturally.

I have another dear friend that thought he was anti-evolution and when I actually got to talking with him about it it turned out he had a completely inaccurate definition of evolution, and aside from the vocabulary problem he actually agreed with me completely!

Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. Evolution is defined as 'change in the frequency of alleles in a population over time.' Every breeder of livestock is intimately familiar with it, even if they do not realize what it is.

about three weeks ago
top

Little historical help out there

Arker Re:Words, don't they have meanings? (12 comments)

"Would that mean that he opposed the beloved Federalist Papers that the tea party clings so dearly to? If he was opposed to the Federalist Papers, then that wouldn't seem to make him much of a supporter of "republicanism" as we know it today, would it?"

Not exactly.

The Anti-federalists of that time were defenders of the Articles instead, while the Federalists were advocates of replacing it with the Constitution, and relative to their opponents they were the centralizers.

The lines of battle have shifted over time, as the centralizers have long since given up even pretending to stay inside the lines of the Constitution, todays federalist is arguing a fallback position that, with the Constitution a fait accompli, we should demand the assurances that were given in its favor to induce its adoption be kept, at the least.

about a month ago
top

2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

Arker They should have said "potentially illegal" (269 comments)

These laws, even in the states where they are current on the books and have not been specifically struck down, are nonetheless most likely unconstitutional and void anyway.

At most they should have said 'potentially illegal' - branding it as flat-out 'illegal' is an unsupported assertion that is almost certainly incorrect.

about a month ago
top

KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Arker Re:WTF? (184 comments)

That's some pretty funny stuff, and I know there is similar insanity in Windows and OSX as well. Stupid error messages was an old topic long before the first IBM or Apple PC was ever sold. The funny thing is I seem to avoid 99% of them these days, on any OS, simply by using a command line or a canonical file manager. So pointing out that KDE's graphical shell sucks gets a big meh out of me. They all suck.

about a month ago
top

KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Arker Re:WTF? (184 comments)

"Sounds more like Windows to me. And that actually, may be a good thing. Seriously, Windows got a lock on the desktop because people liked it, and by people, I mean everyday joe blow secretary or the executive that can't even type his own emails or use a spreadsheet, in short the greater pool or end users."

No. Just no. That is flat out incorrect. Windows got a lock on the desktop because you bought it with every computer whether you used it or not, and joe blow secretary or the old-school executive did not *PREFER* it to other options, s/he did not typically understand there was any alternative. And because MS has always been willing to use their position today to acquire or destroy any company that might get in their way tomorrow, of course.

"I once read a great take on organization. If you have more than ten of something, you probably need another level for ease of use, be it files in a folder, icons in a start menu, etc. I took the time to redesign my start menu in windows, and boy I and anyone else could find right where any program was, quickly."

Arent you glad that the system *allows* you to do this manually, instead of insisting on hiding all the details and just giving you an unchangeable 'view' that enables only the most commonly used options rather than confuse you?

about a month ago
top

KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Arker WTF? (184 comments)

"KDE Software is often criticized for being too complicated for an average user to use. "

By whom? Since when?

"Try setting up Kmail and you would know what I mean. "

Havent used it lately but I dont remember it being much different from more common GUI email apps. What are you getting at?

"The KDE developers are aware of it and now they are working on making KDE UI simpler. "

Thinking of GNOME, which was once somewhat useful and useable before the developers started talking like this, a shiver runs down my spine.

"KDE usability team lead Thomas Pfeiffer Thomas prefers a layered feature exposure so that users can enjoy certain advanced features at a later stage after they get accustomed to the basic functionality of the application. He quotes the earlier (pre-Plasma era) vision of KDE 4 â€" "Anything that makes Linux interesting for technical users (shells, compilation, drivers, minute user settings) will be available; not as the default way of doing things, but at the user's discretion."

Ugh. *Minute user settings* are actually very important to many non-technical users. This does sound like GNOME, unfortunately.

about a month ago
top

Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

Arker Re:And there's the reason why... (226 comments)

No, I wont.

As sites, one by one, go insane, I quit going to them.

The nice thing is, the internet is still very useful without them.

If you are tired of facebook bling and mindrot, if you are looking for the informative web that we used to have, you have only to open your eyes. Turn off ecmascript, and when you hit an address that refuses to return a web-page, just hit your back button and go somewhere else.

It's a good thing in a way. I used to have to spend some time reading to figure out that a site was worthless. Now I just notice that it isnt actually a webpage right off and save some time.

about a month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

Arker Re:Business (275 comments)

"Umm... JSON is a pretty significant force behind modern Web design."

Exactly why it needs to be nuked from orbit.

"Umm...Objective-C is the ONLY [good] way (besides Swift, which you'd hate even more) to write software for iOS devices, and the best language for programming Macs."

Neither of which is a good reason to use it, but it's actually a great language despite the failed attempt to defend it - it was the one thing on his list that did not fit.

"However, some folks still wear mullets and pine for the trash-80..."

And some of us use computers for practical reasons, rather than as fashion accessories.

about a month ago
top

Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

Arker Re:Are you even aware of SystemD works? (385 comments)

"With systemd, setup/startup/stop/teardown responsibilities are concentrated with PID1 and it's helpers.
Before, you'd have the same concept spread into a dozen of different systems, each only doing part of that functionnality."

Which is exactly how it should be.

PID1 only needs a small subset of those capabilities to do its job. And because it is PID1, because everything after has to rely on it, it's essential that it be well behaved and stable. Therefore it is essential that it have only the required set of capabilities and absolutely nothing else should be added or linked to it.

Other things can and should be done by other systems, not concatenated together and poured into PID1 where an error can bring the house down.

about a month ago
top

Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

Arker Re:Simple set of pipelined utilties! (385 comments)

"My data are important to me. I shouldn't need to buy a server to prevent my data from being corrupted."

But you do nonetheless. My current machine was bought for one reason - price - and lacks it. When I've built my own systems in the past I have always used it. Scoping out parts to build a new one, I see the price of sane memory has only gotten further out of line than I remember. :(

This is one aspect of a market where the buyer does not understand the product well enough to make intelligent choices. If computer buyers understood the technology, at least 70% of them would insist on ECC, and as a result economy of scale would have eliminated the price premium long ago. Instead, manufacturers continue to skimp a few pennies on the RAM by default, creating an economy of scale advantage in the other direction, which only reënforces the bad allocation and ensures it continues.

Instead of ECC memory they should call it 'sanity-checking memory.' Maybe then people would understand what it is enough to realize they want it. But since no one in particular stands to make a windfall by doing it, no one promotes it.

about a month ago
top

Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

Arker Re:This is why I no longer use Linux (385 comments)

Very often being 'professional' means being willing to do shoddy work in order to conform with a business plan and go home every day at 5 with a paycheck. The amateurs are the ones that sometimes love their craft and insist on doing it right.

about a month ago

Submissions

top

Federal Court Rejects NDAA - Issues Injunction

Arker Arker writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Arker (91948) writes "A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction late Wednesday to block provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of knowingly or unknowingly supporting terrorism.

The Obama administration had argued, inter alia, that the plaintiffs, including whistleblower and transparency advocate Daniel Ellsberg and Icelandic Member of Parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir lacked standing, but Judge Katherine Forrest didnt buy it.

Given recent statements from the administration, it seems safe to say this will be the start of a long court battle."

Link to Original Source
top

New Asus ships with malware included

Arker Arker writes  |  about 6 years ago

Arker (91948) writes "Computer Sweden reports that Asus Japan is warning customers that the new Eee Box B202 contains a virus. How the virus got there, and how widespread the problem is, they are not saying.

Very little more in the article text, the malware is apparently found at d:\Recycled.exe and Asus Japan will not confirm whether or not affected units have been shipped outside Japan."

Link to Original Source

Journals

Arker has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?