×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Electrical Grid Hum Used To Time Locate Any Digital Recording

FiloEleven Re:O_o (168 comments)

Resist the futile!

about 2 years ago
top

No More "Asperger's Syndrome"

FiloEleven Re:Damn... (602 comments)

Bah. That should read, "I don't intend to imply that there is necessarily NO underlying physical cause;"

Yes, we have a preview button. Yes, I usually pay attention to it. This is why.

about 2 years ago
top

No More "Asperger's Syndrome"

FiloEleven Re:Damn... (602 comments)

I read your exchange below, and I'm still not sure that I understand what you are getting at with this comment. I can say that I don't intend to imply that there is necessarily underlying physical cause; I'm only stating (and incidentally at that) that the symptoms for mental diseases are behavioral whereas the symptoms for physical diseases are, well, physical: manifesting in the internal operations of the body rather than what we generally consider to be voluntary action. I do believe that certain mental diseases (like BPD) are often rooted in experience: when people are pushed past their breaking point, especially in early childhood, something happens to their interpretation of the way the world works. On some level, everything comes back to the physical, but the mental life is a useful abstraction.

I agree that a lack of physical causes should not be automatically assumed, and there is good evidence for things like clinical depression in some people being the result of an underlying physical/electrochemical imbalance. This however is not related to the point of my comment, and while I can appreciate a note of caution as an addendum I don't understand the tone you have taken. My point can be taken for physical diseases as well, though it's harder not to abstract "red itchy spots that just appeared yesterday" as something apart from an individual than it is to view in the same way something like "disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence)," especially if the latter has been ongoing for years.

about 2 years ago
top

No More "Asperger's Syndrome"

FiloEleven Re:Damn... (602 comments)

Personally, I think we should do the opposite of what you're suggesting: abandon the word "disease" for all mental differences. Stop trying to draw artificial distinctions. Stop trying to pigeonhole. Approach each one - and each person - as an individual.

When you do that, you lose most of the advantages of Western medicine--and Eastern medicine, for that matter.

A mental disease is essentially a behavior pattern. Of course each person is an individual, but certain behavior patterns routinely present themselves, and by classifying them together we gain the power of abstraction: what heals or reduces the impact of a behavior pattern (disease) for one person might work for some others; what works for twenty or a hundred people will likely work for many more. Without being able to separately classify some behavior patterns apart from the individual who exhibits them, we're stuck with a lot more trial and error. I question if it's even possible for someone to treat people who have mental diseases without, through simple process of observation, finding himself classifying behavior and responding accordingly.

Here is an illustration of how classifying mental diseases can be helpful. I dated a girl who told me she suffered from depression. And that appeared evident to me as well. She also did other things too, though. I found that when we were on good terms, I was her favorite person in the world. But if I did one thing that she didn't like, something as simple as already having plans with friends when she wanted to get together, or a comment that she took the wrong way, I was instantly on her shitlist and would remain there for a day or two. There was no in-between. She felt this way about everybody. She was very manipulative, and she'd frequently fly into hysterical rages where she couldn't be reasoned with and the only "solution" was to ignore her for a day or two.

After I broke up with her, I stumbled across a description of Borderline Personality Disorder, and it described her behavior perfectly. I told her as much, and she looked it up and agreed. She went to do a depression study, part of which involved getting an analysis of conditions, and sure enough they told her she had both depression and BPD. Since she now knows what her behavior is classified as, she also has found strategies to help her cope with it. I've spoken with her a few times since then, and I can tell that there is a difference in her, and it's a pretty drastic change for having begun only a year ago.

Without the classification, she would have lived the rest of her life being as miserable and unable to connect with other people as she had been up until then. Once the classification is there, you can call it a disease or a disorder or a condition or whatever you like, it allows us to say "We've seen this before, and here are some things to try that helped other people." The term "disease" has connotations that perhaps it shouldn't, and I don't care much about semantics so I'm not attached to any word in particular, but refusing to classify things is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

about 2 years ago
top

Climate Treaty Negotiators Are Taking the Wrong Approach, Say Game Theorists

FiloEleven The summary is rather incomplete. (227 comments)

You can't just take a paragraph at random from the article and throw it up onto the screen. I mean, you can, but it's not useful. Having read the article it's an interesting experiment, but the summary gives me no information about the other important piece: when the number of chips to avert disaster is set at 150 and known, the players cooperate; while when that number is unknown except for "between 100 and 200" everybody skimps on contributions and loses 15 euros plus whatever they contributed.

On the other hand, the summary could just be missing the last sentence, "And that's how I became the prince of Fresh Air."

more than 2 years ago
top

Mike Storey and His Plate Reverb (Video)

FiloEleven Re:This isn't studio ambiance (163 comments)

The tone is the tone, however it is created, and the tone should always serve the song. I often find myself turning to my acoustic guitar for inspiration because there is something about the instant, expressive playability of acoustic instruments that, for me at least, engenders the best kind of creativity. Still, the goal should be to find and use whatever serves the song. I have more electronic compositions than acoustic, and the good ones are just as good.

Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek, for example, gains its power from her raw versatile voice singing atop a chorus that is electronically generated by a harmonizer, making for a highly artificial sound-bed that nonetheless retains the expressiveness she puts into her vocalizing. You wouldn't get the same kind of intimate power through an unaided a capella performance, nor would it be present if she were backed by an orchestra or by acoustic instruments. On the flipside, a piece like Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians is just boring as all get-out when it's composed electronically--everything is metered out and tightly controlled and sterile. When it's performed as written, by eighteen (or thereabouts) people banging on or blowing into things, it has an incredible sonic depth to it. (Here is a link, but be warned that it is an hour long and highly unconventional piece of music.)

There is a tendency to compare music with the visual arts which is often unhelpful, but there are undeniable parallels. I think the appropriate one here is that good visual art is good visual art regardless of whether the artist used oil, acrylic, pencil, watercolor, collage, or some mix of them. The final result is what is important.

more than 2 years ago
top

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

FiloEleven Re:squeaky wheels (707 comments)

Was that sarcasm or irony? I always get the two confused.

more than 2 years ago
top

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

FiloEleven Re:squeaky wheels (707 comments)

If you're from another country, or an American who slept during civics class (seems like many did)...

You may realize this, given your statement about the power of the president versus state governors, but a lot of us weren't sleeping through civics class. Lots of us didn't even have a civics class, only a "Social Studies" curriculum in which the reasons for having an electoral college were mentioned briefly, almost as an aside.

I personally believe this is by design, but I'm a conspiracy nut.

more than 2 years ago
top

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

FiloEleven Re:squeaky wheels (707 comments)

What's needed is to reform the voting system so third party votes are meaningful.

...which will never, ever happen as long as the two major parties maintain control, because it's not in their best interest.

Kind of a nice catch-22 they have set up, isn't it?

more than 2 years ago
top

Massachusetts May Soon Change How the Nation Dies

FiloEleven Re:Question: (439 comments)

Dammit! I had successfully stayed away from Bash for quite a while. Now I lost two hours thanks to your link.

In other news, I also just lost the game.

more than 2 years ago
top

A Proposal To Fix the Full-Screen X11 Window Mess

FiloEleven It's stories like these... (358 comments)

...that make me realize I may not really belong here.

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Mathematical Fiction?

FiloEleven Re:Ready Player One (278 comments)

I think Stephenson takes an eternal and unjust beating about his endings. His books end when the major conflicts are in a position to be resolved by a thinking reader. There's no "and they lived happily ever after," but there is always a sense that all of the key pieces are in the right place and the outcome is decided in that the people we want to come out on top will come out on top. Chess is a very apt metaphor, in my mind: when he stops writing, you know that the Bad Guys are outmaneuvered and trapped in a corner. Does he really need, considering that he tends to be free with his words as it is, to write another thirty pages in order to gift-wrap a final outcome that is already easily imagined by an engaged reader?

Don't get me wrong; I appreciate books that have those kinds of endings. But Stephenson is more concerned with the interesting conflicts, the multiple disparate threads that weave and tangle with each other. When the massive knot becomes a loose collection of simply-twisted loops, he loses interest. I don't find that to be a fatal flaw at all, and I respect that he wants to devote all of his energy to the engaging events leading up to the point where a resolution is inevitable instead of spending a lot of time on the resolution itself.

Take The Diamond Age, for instance, the ending of which a sibling comment laments. (Spoilers follow.) We end with Nell essentially leading an army of girls who are ready to take on the status quo, and with the decentralized Seed in a position to overtake the top-down economics of the Feed. The implication is that these two things, both on their own and taken together, are forces that can and will reshape the world they inhabit. To me, in a way, it's like politics: as soon as you start to get into the details of the resolution, you're going to alienate people who think it should have taken a different path.

more than 2 years ago
top

iPad Mini Could Retail For $250, Delete iPad 2

FiloEleven Looking forward to a new iMac (211 comments)

MacRumors also thinks it highly likely that a new iMac will be unveiled at the same time. I hope so, because my 2007 MacBook Pro is getting long in the tooth, and while it serves most of my mobile computing needs it just can't keep up with my music recording software of choice. I'm confident that the curent-gen iMacs will, and if a new model is released, I'll be able to snag the newly-outdated one at a healthy discount.

I like the hardware and the OS, and I don't mind paying a bit of a premium for it. I also don't need the cutting-edge, and since my "mobile" setup already involves an audio box that requires power and a desk to sit on, I don't mind the sacrifice of full mobility. Here's hoping.

more than 2 years ago
top

Pennsylvania Fracking Law Opens Up Drilling On College Campuses

FiloEleven Re:Done right, fracking is harmless (208 comments)

You seem to know what you're talking about. I'm just an armchair muckraker, so I'll defer to your numbers. I'm curious to hear your response to this question: why is it that places like Marcellus are only being drilled now? If we've had the technology to do it for so long, why didn't we start drilling there during the Reagan push for energy independence, for example?

The argument from the anti-shale-drilling folks, the ones I tend to be more sympathetic towards, is that there have been new developments "that unlocks gas that was previously not considered recoverable". I pulled that from a rebuttal to the rebuttal of Gasland by the film's creators. A lengthier quote from the same document reads,

On Chesapeake Energy's Hydraulic Fracturing "fact" site, this contradiction is evident: "Hydraulic
fracturing, commonly referred to as fracing, is a proven technological advancement which allows
natural gas producers to safely recover natural gas from deep shale formations. This discovery has
the potential to.... [emphasis added].” Later in the same passage we get the same refrain: "Hydraulic
fracturing has been used by the oil and gas industry since the 1940s..."

Since you seem to have substantially more knowledge of the industry than I do, I'd like to hear your take on that. The whole document is an interesting read, and one that seems pretty convincing to me, but again, I am very much a layman when it comes to this stuff. In any case, I appreciate your previous informed responses. I suspect that I will remain biased against shale drilling, but I do my damnedest to remain open to new information.

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Best Book Or Game To Introduce Kids To Programming?

FiloEleven Re:Robo Rally (246 comments)

I came here to suggest exactly the same game.

In addition to tracking the order of execution, the game requires you to be aware of your environment: there are board elements such as conveyor belts that always execute just after each player instruction, and failing to take them into account will make the rest of your instruction set (five instructions per turn) detrimental or even suicidal.

As far as programming goes, it's a very simplistic model. Keep in mind though that just because your nephew likes math does not mean he will like programming. I think Robo Rally is a good way to see if he's interested in the dynamic aspect of creating a system that does what you want before giving him a more substantial primer on programming. Plus, it's just a damn fun game in its own right, even for a bunch of 30-somethings!

more than 2 years ago
top

Pennsylvania Fracking Law Opens Up Drilling On College Campuses

FiloEleven Re:Done right, fracking is harmless (208 comments)

Some more concrete data from WP:
The first use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947 but the modern fracking technique, called horizontal slickwater fracking, that made the extraction of shale gas economical was first used in 1998 in the Barnett Shale in Texas.

more than 2 years ago
top

Pennsylvania Fracking Law Opens Up Drilling On College Campuses

FiloEleven Re:Done right, fracking is harmless (208 comments)

Oil drilling is not gas drilling. Modern fracking for gas in particular uses much higher pressures than oil drilling and even older gas drilling operations. It's not the slantwise drilling itself that is the issue; it's the high-pressure fracking in that kind of well structure (and also possibly in the kind of geological formations that are gas-bearing) that is new and unstudied.

more than 2 years ago
top

Pennsylvania Fracking Law Opens Up Drilling On College Campuses

FiloEleven Re:Done right, fracking is harmless (208 comments)

Fracking with modern techniques is what is of concern here, in addition to the fact that it's being done on the east coast, an area more densely populated than where fracking has traditionally been done.

The modern techniques are not a safer, more efficient version of older techniques. Modern techniques involve drilling down and then snaking sideways to get at the gas. This has only been going on in populated areas since 2006, which isn't a whole lot of time to study effects. And since it's being done around a lot more people, we've seen a large amount of complaints about air quality, water quality, and increased levels of sickness. Some of that is bound to be the equivalent of headaches from an unpowered cell tower, but some of that is also bound to be genuine.

There is significantly more than "a shred of hard evidence" that fracking poses dangers to people living near wells. Anyone who tells you otherwise is being deceptive:

[P]roponents of hydraulic fracturing have erroneously reported in the press and other media that the recent University of Texas Study ("Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development") found that hydraulic fracturing caused no environmental contamination,[17][18] when in fact the study found that all steps in the process except the actual injection of the fluid (which proponents artificially separated from the rest of the process and designated "hydraulic fracturing") have resulted in environmental contamination.

That text is from this Wikipedia article all about the environmental impact of fracking in the US. Much of the data from that article comes from the UT study, and is most damning since the industry (and its shills) looked at the one positive bit and said, "See?! That piece there is really what fracking is! That's harmless! Ignore all of the setup and finishing steps...that's not fracking, so fracking is harmless!" If the evidence in that paper for the fluid injection stage is deemed reliable by the industry, so too should be the evidence against the other stages; if it were not so, we'd have heard them specifically attacking that evidence instead of remaining silent about it and relying on misdirection to keep it out of the spotlight.

As for fracking being "our golden chance for energy independence": it is an entirely stupid notion. What better way to not have to rely on fuels from other countries than to...dig up and use all of our reserves?

more than 2 years ago
top

Supreme Court To Decide If Monsanto GMO Patents Are Valid

FiloEleven Re:Why is the Obama administration objecting ? (308 comments)

This man is extremely dangerous not only for America, but for the entire world. Obama might not be any good, but Romney will destroy the American dream, and several other countries along with it.

This is why American politics is in such a sorry state.

I watched the Stewart / O'Reilly debate yesterday, and, surprisingly, came out of it with a bit more respect for BillO than I had before. They both made some bullshit claims, and some good things to say, though Stewart was by far the more compelling of the two despite being frequently childish (as I expected, just as I expected BillO to be frequently churlish). In Stewart's closing remarks, he said that the biggest problem in American politics is that the people backing both teams are so caught up in this idea that if The Other Guy gets in, it's going to be the end of the world. It's not.

Personally, I don't go in for either of the major parties, and I think both of them are going to foster the slow decline of America. I don't know if that can in practice be helped any, but this incredible polarization, the idea that the opposition is not only to be disagreed with but reviled as the worst possible humans who will destroy everything, is extremely unhelpful and flat-out wrong. Until we can return to a civilized discourse, where policy can be expressed as better and worse instead of better and Oh My God What Are These So-Called People Thinking, there is no way to really hash out anything that is going to work as best it can.

I'm not absolving myself from guilt in the matter, either--as a person who is dissatisfied with the whole system I've definitely fallen prey to the urge to claim that we're on a brink of some kind, and more than that I've fallen prey to believing it. Yet I can't help but wonder if airing those concerns is at all helpful: in essence, you are not only preaching to the choir but alienating every thinking individual who might respond better to a more reasoned analysis of the situation.

I don't have all or any of the answers, but demonizing the opposition isn't going to do anything except for strengthening their belief that you are also to be demonized instead of engaged with.

more than 2 years ago
top

Felix Baumgartner Prepares for Supersonic Skydive Attempt in New Mexico

FiloEleven "Intentionally?" (77 comments)

Has this been done before unintentionally?

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

top

Body of Bigfoot Reportedly Found

FiloEleven FiloEleven writes  |  more than 6 years ago

FiloEleven (602040) writes "Two Bigfoot hunters from Georgia (US) claim to have found a dead specimen. They are set to present DNA and photographic evidence today in California. From the article:

"It was very frightening at first," said Rick Dyer, 31, a former corrections officer who — coincidentally — runs a business that offers Bigfoot tours. "And it got even more frightening when you saw the others." Indeed, Mr. Dyer said he and his partner, Matthew Whitton, saw three more of the beasts nearby as they dragged the body of said creature out of the woods. Moreover, Mr. Dyer says he has video clips and photographs to prove it.

The linked article contains a photo of the carcass in a large cooler. Is this another hoax or the first solid evidence of this elusive cryptid's existence?"

Journals

FiloEleven has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?