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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

Evil Pete Re:But what IS the point they're making? (342 comments)

This is why I regard the basic principle of natural selection as almost a logical tautology. It is so essentially true that it can't even be described as a scientific theory, almost a logical law like 1 + 1 = 2 (strictly speaking that is a definition, but I'm sure you understand).

about a month ago
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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

Evil Pete Re:no problem (342 comments)

Yeah, I don't see any aurochs around these days. The thing is there are not many large vertebrate species compared to something like beetles. So losing hundreds of vertebrate species is a big deal.

about a month ago
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How Predictable Is Evolution?

Evil Pete Re: Bah (209 comments)

This article itself points out that they look the same, it is the genetics that is different. On other worlds there would be strange solutions to niches but there would also be some oddly similar species as well. If you look back at the history of mammals, forgetting the understandable fascination with dinos, you will see that there have been many different kinds of mammals but certain forms are roughly similar: herbivores, large (very large) grazers, carnivores, tree dwelling. Not always but quite often there are similarities. On an alien world given similar situations then some similar forms are likely to evolve. However, sometimes a new environment may arise that creates new opportunities, if they are unique to a particular world then the creatures may not resemble anything we are familiar with. For example, the evolution of grasses and flowering plants. Some things would be universal: vision using light (IR to UV approximately), two eyes, smell sense, nervous system, some kind of brain though it may be more distributed, herbivores vs carnivores, etc. Life being Life however, there is always the opportunity for surprises.

about 3 months ago
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Survey Finds Nearly 50% In US Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories

Evil Pete Re:Regulators DO suppress natural cures. (395 comments)

No. I think he is correct. The only real conspiracy theory with big pharma is that they are companies and only want to make money. They aren't in it for altruistic reasons. Natural cures are irrelevant to them unless they can extract and patent any active component. The US FDA also has a government mandated conspiracy to forbid people to peddle 'cures' if they haven't been fully tested whatever their actual merits. This isn't rocket science. Did you actually read what he/she said?

about 5 months ago
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Survey Finds Nearly 50% In US Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories

Evil Pete Re:Other 50% are uninformed (395 comments)

Aspirin [wikipedia.org] a man made synthetic compound mimicking the pain relieving properties of willow bark?

Willow bark does not relieve pain. It has anti-inflammatory properties just as aspirin does, but not pain relief. The addition of the acetyl group artificially produced the pain relief effects.

about 5 months ago
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Dorian Nakamoto Officially Denies That He Created Bitcoin

Evil Pete It was invented by the NSA ... (102 comments)

Come on, you know it makes more sense. Bwahahaha!

about 5 months ago
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Jim Weirich, Creator of Rake, Has Passed Away

Evil Pete Re:Time to ban Anonymous Coward? (109 comments)

Although I am tempted to agree with you I cannot. There are some topics where insider information is invaluable but identifiable posts would likely cause repercussions for the poster. We still need that. Anonymous Cowards on this topic are just that, cowards, but I don't see how we can get rid of them without getting rid of the more useful aspects of that role.

BTW, "OFF TOPIC" ... which fuckwit moderated that?

about 6 months ago
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New Slashdot Beta Sucks

Evil Pete Meh. (3 comments)

I was getting kind of bored with the old looking slashdot. Been using it for what ... crap, has it been 15 years? IT people should like new environments, as long as they are functional and don't remove options. I welcome the new beta, though being beta I will constructively criticise it. If it is a dead dog then I will reluctantly go back to Classic. But let's see what happens.

about 7 months ago
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The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer

Evil Pete Re:Dreaming of code? (533 comments)

Dan Ariely. He talked about this at one point. What people want is not what management thinks.

about 7 months ago
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Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

Evil Pete Re:Free market.. (383 comments)

I think slashdot must be one of the few places where Poe's Law does not apply, or as much. Funny, but accurate.

about 7 months ago
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Fedora 21 Linux Will Be Nameless

Evil Pete Re:no name? (128 comments)

The distro that can be named by Man

Is not the Fedora 21 distro.

-- with apologies to Lao Tzu.

about 7 months ago
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Researchers: Global Risk of Supervolcano Eruption Greater Than Previously Though

Evil Pete Chances ... (325 comments)

... of it happening in the next few hundred years: very slim. Prospects of stopping it if it was going to happen: zero. Though I wouldn't recommend underground nuclear tests at Yellowstone.

about 8 months ago
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Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles

Evil Pete Re:Bias against men (209 comments)

It used to be that feminists also were concerned with "male liberation" as well. I see none of that now. And there are indeed a selection of strange extremist types that tend to poison the well. If you want to see some of the disturbing ideas out there just google "piv feminism". These people are so far from the goals of feminism that it should be regarded as deviant. But it isn't. I've experienced a little bit of it myself, but I tend to regard people who have this attitude as a waste of space, so not worth thinking about. But it can bite in situations that matter ... but then that is people, people are not always reasonable or rational.

about 8 months ago
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Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

Evil Pete Re:This should be good! (611 comments)

Don't forget it is easy for idiots to ask questions that the smartest person cannot answer. He will have to be careful of such tactics.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?

Evil Pete Re:Reasons for:SciFi list (796 comments)

Nice SF list. Such a list could go on and on and on. Here are some I would recommend, just at random. I'll probably miss quite a few that I really like.

  • Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, this book just defies words
  • Chthon, the novel that was edged out by Ender's Game, had a big effect on me.
  • Cryptonomicon
  • In the Ocean of Night
  • Dune
  • Songs of Earth and Power, fantasy by Greg Bear
  • The War of the Worlds

Agree with Consider Phlebas. I just gave up on the list there are too many even before you get to non SF stuff.

about 8 months ago
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The Startling Array of Hacking Tools In NSA's Armory

Evil Pete Ladies and Gentlement ... (215 comments)

... we are fucked!

All hail the New World Order and our masters at NSA. I was not a true believer in the NSA NWO but then I watched the 30c3 vid mentioned in the summary. Holy crap. No wonder Charlie Stross gave up on his next novel. I am now beyond horrified and simply in awe of our new Overlords.

about 8 months ago
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Not All Bugs Are Random

Evil Pete Re:Bounds test? (165 comments)

I actually read the article. You know what it is? It is a simplified tutorial on white box testing for people who don't know, that is, amateur programmers. Yeah, that would have once been new and interesting to me, when I was learning to program. Not when I was doing it for a living though. Bad title and summary.

about 8 months ago
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Researchers Claim Facebook Is 'Dead and Buried' To Many Young Users

Evil Pete No Surprise (457 comments)

Teenagers want and need to find a place of their own, to form their own subculture. A new technology comes along, they jump on board because they are highly adaptable, their parents less, often much less, so. But after five years the teenagers are getting out of their teens and those entering the teens once again need to find their own space. Therefore, there can be no permanent place for teens unless it puts off older people joining or staying. Anyway, someone needs to beta test the new communications paradigms.

about 8 months ago
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Australian Dept. Store Chain's Website Crashes and Can't Get Back Up

Evil Pete Re:Teams from IBM (156 comments)

Probably fresh from their success with the Queensland Health system.

about 8 months ago
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Antarctic Climate Research Expedition Trapped In Sea Ice

Evil Pete Re:First Pole! (209 comments)

Frist Ploe!

Non-canonical. No karma for you!

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Malthus Revisited

Evil Pete Evil Pete writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Evil Pete (73279) writes "Thomas Robert Malthus' essay on population is very well known. However, what is less known is that in 1803 Malthus wrote a new edition which was dramatically larger including new and more subtle ideas. Because this later edition was much larger publishers tended to publish the short 1798 edition instead. When they did publish the 1803 edition they often removed large sections of the book. Here is a fascinating radio talk that looks at Malthus anew taking into account the neglected editions. I found the result astonishing."
Link to Original Source

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