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Linus Chews Up Kernel Maintainer For Introducing Userspace Bug

ElrondHubbard Re:Arsehole (1051 comments)

"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty." Job 5:17

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Mathematical Fiction?

ElrondHubbard Suggestions (278 comments)

The story "Division by Zero" by Ted Chiang. Can be found in the collection Stories of Your Life and Others (they're all great stories, actually).

The story "Luminous" by Greg Egan, from the collection of the same title. What happens when mathematicians discover that: (a) there is a flaw in the structure of mathematical truth; and (b) that mathematical truth can be altered by performing calculations around the flaw.

Someone has already collected a bunch of mathematical fiction here.

about 2 years ago

Conservatives' Trust In Science Has Fallen Dramatically Since Mid-1970s

ElrondHubbard Low openness to experience (1128 comments)

The difference between establishment, Eisenhower-style conservatism and today's variety, dominated by the South, is that conservatives of the Southern stripe tend to score much lower on openness to experience. This way of thinking tends to feel that it already knows what it needs to know, and that anyone who comes along proclaiming that, say, we need to put a price on carbon actually has some other agenda, like taking away your freedom because of how eeevil and librul they are. Since the fundamental tenet of science is empiricism (i.e. being committed to accepting what experience is telling you about reality, no matter how unintuitive), it's small wonder that science comes to be viewed with suspicion.

more than 2 years ago

Canada First Nation To Pull Out of Kyoto Accord

ElrondHubbard Re:Good, hair shirts won't save us (561 comments)

tl;dr version - emissions will go down when it's cheaper to produce green energy than to burn coal, and not one moment before.

Two words: Carbon tax. Oh, did I say the dreaded "T" word? Please beat me senseless now, Mr. Norquist.

more than 2 years ago

The Myth of Renewable Energy

ElrondHubbard Re:Renewable or infinite? (835 comments)

As I see it, the downside in moving to renewable energy (as we inevitably must and will do) is less to the environment and more to people's expectations. Our expectations about technology and the kind of society we can have were formed in a historically brief period of energy abundance, in the form of hundreds of millions of years of stored sunlight that comes down to us as an enormous, but finite, pool of highly energy-dense fossil fuel. In effect, we've been living off (in fact, spending profligately) our inheritance. When we switch to renewable sources, we will have to go back to living on an energy *income* instead. Cornucopians, or anyone who expects technology to make up the difference, are not reckoning with the fact that most of the benefits of technology are actually the benefits of energy. Technology is simply how we put the energy to use to achieve results that we like. There will be no technological singularity in a low-energy environment. A more realistic view of our future comes from the permaculture movement, who are a lot closer to dealing with reality in this respect. Get ready for less energy, lowered expectations, economic contraction, and a return to self-reliance for most.

more than 2 years ago

The Myth of Renewable Energy

ElrondHubbard Re:Renewable or infinite? (835 comments)

On the contrary, I would argue that the problem with nuclear power is that, as is becoming increasingly clear, people's fears about it are *justified*. The current installed base of nuclear tech represents an enormous and unsolved long-term problem to produce what are, on a historical scale, very short-lived benefits. We should not be creating any additional problems for our posterity to deal with.

more than 2 years ago

Dutch Psychologist Faked Data In At Least 30 Scientific Papers

ElrondHubbard Re:Published in Science (254 comments)

Thank God I never cited him. Whew! Close call.

more than 2 years ago

Climate Change Driving War?

ElrondHubbard Climate Wars (178 comments)

Gwynne Dyer has written a book that is an excellent starting point for this issue: Climate Wars. He is a journalist and military historian who spent a year or two interviewing military planners who see exactly this issue on the horizon. Check out his website for a three-part radio series based on the book, for those who might not want to invest the time to read the entire book.

more than 2 years ago

Critic Pans Apple's New Campus As a Retrograde Cocoon

ElrondHubbard Re:Obsessive Analysis (332 comments)

Downtown cores suck. It's called a concrete jungle for a reason.

Downtown cores suck because they're designed that way, by people who hate them because they've never experienced anything better. Older, highly dense city cores in Europe, on the other hand, don't suck -- because thought was put into their design. Read James Howard Kunstler to find out more.

about 3 years ago

Mideast Turmoil and the Push For Clean Energy

ElrondHubbard Lack of capital (314 comments)

"2012 will be a rich year for equity capitalizations, giving energy entrepreneurs the capital they need to build infrastructure." Sounds great, but it's wrong. The financial system is sick and corrupt and the capital he's talking about is largely an illusion. The major financial institutions (Citibank, JPMorgan, etc.) only present a facade of solvency because mark-to-market rules have been suspended, so they have been allowed to hold toxic assets on their books at the values their models predict (the models that were proved devastatingly wrong in the collapse of 2008) instead of what they could actually fetch in the market. If it were ever brought in contact with reality, the world financial system would die instantly. Instead it's basically being strung along by the U.S. federal government (i.e., taxpayers) in the hope that this was a one-time thing and at some point, something like solvency will return.

The fact is we are in a deflation right now, with debt-based capital disappearing from the system at a prodigious rate, while the U.S. Federal Reserve is using quantitative easing (i.e. manufacturing more debt on its own balance sheet) to hold the process back and try to restore growth. The financial system is sick just when we desperately need capital to start rebuilding our energy infrastructure. I would refer anyone to The Automatic Earth if they want to learn more about the energy and finance predicament that we're in.

more than 3 years ago

The CIA's Amazing RC Animals From the 70s

ElrondHubbard Re:And of course... (113 comments)

Those of us who are a certain age and were geeky enough to read Danny Dunn books know exactly where the CIA got this idea.

(Luckily Danny was able to destroy Professor Bullfinch's notes so the CIA wouldn't be able to replicate the much better dragonfly he'd invented, so they had to fall back on tiny, impractical gasoline engines instead.)

Boo, you got there first! If I couldn't post first about DD, I wish I had some moderator points so I could upvote. Just hearing the name Danny Dunn makes me feel like I'm ten years old again, curled up at Riverside Library. Ah, memories...

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Publishes Afghan War Secrets

ElrondHubbard Re:US abuse (966 comments)

Yes, but the U.S. is the first country in the history of balance-of-power politics to think that the failure of its main enemy (the USSR) entitles it to something like control of the entire world, forever. That was the goal of the Project for a New American Century that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice tried to enact for eight years, at a price that may yet cost the U.S. its pre-eminent position. And yet neoconservatives like William Kristol continue to promote this as though it were a good idea and facts recognized by the 'reality-based community' simply don't matter.

more than 4 years ago

Superheroes vs. the Westboro Baptist Church

ElrondHubbard Phelps links for the morbidly curious (631 comments)

Link #1:

"Phelps does not believe what he is doing. This is a scam." If you believe this guy (and he makes some telling observations), Phelps is in the business of pushing people's buttons so he can sue them for violating his rights. That's his and his family's living.

Link #2:

Addicted to Hate: The Fred Phelps Story is an exposé written by Jon Bell for the Topeka Capital-Journal that was suppressed by the paper because they were too chickenshit to take on Phelps. Bell sued the paper to either publish it or, if they refused, let him have the rights to his work, but he got neither. Instead, the full text was entered in the court record so it is now a public document that anyone can read whether Phelps likes it or not. So it's kinda long, but if you want a portrait of what a twisted gruesome mofo Phelps really is, here's your chance. I pity his children -- they never really had a chance.

more than 4 years ago

Bethesda Releases Daggerfall For Free

ElrondHubbard Rest well this night -- (80 comments)

"-- for tomorrow, you sail for the kingdom... of Daggerfall." Many, many enjoyable hours I spent playing this game when I could (should) have been working on my thesis. Chief complaint: The repetitive dungeons, stitched together seemingly near-randomly from prefabbed bits and pieces that were repeated endlessly. Still, a great game.

more than 5 years ago

Early Review Calls New Indiana Jones Film Dreadful

ElrondHubbard Re:This singular review on aintitcool needs to die (643 comments)

Don't buy the media echo-chamber effect, especially when the thing being echoed is a fanboy "review" off AICN. Almost everyone who reads /. already knows if they are going to see the new Indy Jones movie or not (I am), so why bother?

But then again, my favourite Matrix movie was the second one, so what do I know... For what it's worth, Ebert agrees with me.

more than 6 years ago



Terry Pratchett diagnosed with Alzheimer's

ElrondHubbard ElrondHubbard writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ElrondHubbard (13672) writes "Bad news for Discworld fans (and everyone else): Associated Press reports that Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels and others, has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease. "I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but ... it seems to me unfair to withhold the news," according to an online post by Pratchett, but "Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)"."


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