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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Ignatius Don't mess with memes (384 comments)

1. As I cannot come up with a suitable car analogy and Cowboy Neal is nowhere at hand, I ...

Can we admire this joke? Please?

... fixed that for you.

2. If you retire me, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

3. profit

3 days ago
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Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

Ignatius Re:Not really true AI we should be worried about. (583 comments)

Sure machines have taken our jobs in the past, and people have been able to find new jobs, but that trend cannot continue for ever. Eventually the only jobs available will be those that require actual creative thinking and ingenuity.

There will always be jobs which require loyalty to whoever happens to be on top of the foodchain as pretty much the only qualification. No power structure functions without them. Look no further than at the top floors of whatever company you happen to work for. And those kind of jobs seem to proliferate quite nicely despite ongoing automation in the lower ranks.

ignatius

about 2 months ago
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

Ignatius What the f*ck is "Burning Man"? (342 comments)

... and wouldn't selling ice not defy the very purpose of the event?

ignatius

about 2 months ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Ignatius Re:It's a bit of a problem really! (283 comments)

> How embarrassing.

Well, in German and all other languages which use the long scale, your calculation would have been correct. ;-) Here in Austria, a Billion is 10^12 and a Trillion is 10^18.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales

Otherwise, I totally agree. Also, the practice of routing most of the funding through the Pentagon is limiting the scope and usefulness of the research for non-military purposes.

ignatius

about 2 months ago
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Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies

Ignatius Wizard of Oz reboot? (187 comments)

When you say "Wizard of Oz", the movie I'm thinking of is of course Zardoz with the most badass Sean Connery ever, sporting "a red nappy, knee-high leather boots, pony tail and Zapata moustache". The closing sequence with the allegretto from Beethoven's 8th still gives me shivers.
ignatius

about 2 months ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Ignatius Re:It's a bit of a problem really! (283 comments)

Science funding in the U.S. is 0.0008% of GDP (http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/articles/10.1038/nj7518-451c , with funding at $130 billion and 2013 gdp of 16.8 trillion;

That would make it 0.8%, not 0.0008%.

ignatius

about 2 months ago
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New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

Ignatius Re:There's another treatment that stops most T2 (253 comments)

I would need to solve the food texture

Well, the process of "fixing food texture" is probably mankinds oldest cultural achievement: its called cooking. Take some cookery courses - not some diet-crap, but serious gourmet-cooking. If it does not taste good, it cannot be healty.

I do not get any sort of "buzz" after excercise, I do not feel good about it, it just makes me cranky.

I guess this is quite normal - especially endurance training. If diabetes T2 is an issue, than high intensity strenght training https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_intensity_training
is probably the most effective way (in terms of time and will-power employed). The idea ist to completly exhaust every major muscle group for 60 to 120 seconds, therby inducing your body to build up new muscle mass over the next view days. The new grown muscle cells - besides increasing your base calorie consumption - should show normal (i.e. not yet degenerated) insuline sensitivity.

Half an hour twice a week is quite enough and the results are readily verifiable - in terms of the increasing weights you need acheive exhaustion. The drawback is that to do it effectively, you need training machines which allow you to isolate the respective muscle groups and set the respective training weight, so you cannot do it at home.

ignatius

about 5 months ago
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Match.com, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

Ignatius Obligatory Douglas Adams Quote (561 comments)

> I know a lot of high IQ people and they all have one thing in common. Being lazy. Smartest guy I know wastes most of every day playing Xbox and smoking pot.

âoeFor instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so muchâ"the wheel, New York, wars and so onâ"whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than manâ"for precisely the same reasons.â

â Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

about 6 months ago
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Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

Ignatius Re:11000 miles? (330 comments)

> I've seen estimates of 1.2 mw per square km

from the cited article:

A single solar plant has the potential to generate minimum of 1250GW and maximum of 2000GW per square meter

Both figures are complete BS. Solar constant is about 1.36 kW/m^2 at 1 AU from the sun. Realistic over all electric peak powers might be in the 200 W/m^2 ballpark. This can only be harvested in orbit, however. On a planetary (or lunar) surface under a day-night cycle you get up to 1/4 of that, up to 1/2 for a sparse installation with sun-tracking.

ignatius

about 10 months ago
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EU Committee Issues Report On NSA Surveillance; Snowden To Testify

Ignatius Re:Where? (177 comments)

And interesting detail ist that Steyr was also supposed to get the contract for the new Autrian Army Pistol, however - after extensive tests and much to everybodys surprise - the contract finally got to a new contender with no prior experience in the design of handguns: Gaston Glock, who developed a new pistol from ground up: the Glock 17. It was the first handgun from Glock and became the P80 (which is the military designation) - the rest is history.

ignatius

about a year ago
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EU Committee Issues Report On NSA Surveillance; Snowden To Testify

Ignatius Re:Where? (177 comments)

At least as far as all the military contracts go, the requirement is that the winner manufactures them in the USA. So M9, M249, M27 IAR, M4A1 etc are all made in US, even though the plants are owned by Beretta, FN etc.

For law enforcement and civilian firearms this is not always the case,

Exactly. Which is why, btw. the Glock Pistols are used by the US-Police but not by the Army (afaik), as Gaston Glock flat out refused to have his guns produced under licence.

ignatius

about a year ago
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EU Committee Issues Report On NSA Surveillance; Snowden To Testify

Ignatius Re:Where? (177 comments)

just for the record: the Steyr Mannlicher GmbH & Co KG is an Austrian company with a 150-year history based in the city of Steyr in Upper Austria.

The 5.56mm Steyr AUG (Armee Universal Gewehr) has been designed for and adoped by the Austrian Austrian Army as the standard infantry rifle (StG77 - Sturmgewehr 77). In the US, you probably know the weapon from movies - it's the weapon of choice for bad guy Euro snobs and it occasionally can even be seen in SF movies due to its futuristic design.

ignatius

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Favorite Monitor For Programming?

Ignatius maximum visual working set (375 comments)

For programming, height and vertical resolution are the single most important parameters for they define how many LOCs you can see at once and thus the maximum context you can work with effectively.

Obviously, you want screen and not frames in your most valuable view area - the center - which means you have to go for a single screen. And you want your screen to fit your field of view, which means landscape mode as our eyes are oriented horizontally.

This pretty much restricts you to a 30" 2560x1600 display - if you can still get one of those.

ignatius

about 2 years ago
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Professor Questions Sink-Or-Swim Intro To CS Courses

Ignatius Re:I beg to differ (606 comments)

> Most people believe that you can learn a skill if you work at it hard enough.

Most people unaffected by a specific limitation believe that you (i.e. someone else) can learn a skill if you work at it hard enough.

This is a very dangerous maxim and as a general policy, it has already ruined the life of millions: Instead of encouraging people to play on their strengths, it pecks on their weaknesses, stigmatizes them as lazy and turns fate into failure and failure into fault.

> it's the attitude of pretty much all of western society.

I would say it's mostly a protestant thing and much less pronounced in the catholic part of the West.

> how many times have we heard of people overcoming their own limits to do something they really wanted to?

Not often, but yes there are exceptions and usually they involve coming up with new ways of doing things to somehow circumvent the original limitation - human creativity is indeed unlimited! However, the thousands of failures for each one beating the odds don't get nearly as much press ...

more than 3 years ago
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Professor Questions Sink-Or-Swim Intro To CS Courses

Ignatius I beg to differ (606 comments)

> Training is exactly the process of making someone good at something!

Well, this is a typical manager attitude - this does not make it any more true, though: Training is the process of systematically (as opposed to implicitly as e.g. by learning on the job) turning talent into skill.

If the talent is there, then training will indeed make you good or better at something. If it lacks, no amount of training will make you "good" in any reasonable sense; basically, you will be reduced to "faking it" with huge effort but very little to show for it. In some rare cases, this is worth it (mobility training for the blind comes to mind), most of the time it is not.

In IT/CS it is even worse, as without enough talent, in a professional environment, you will often end up with not just low but negative productivity i.e. causing more problems than you actually solve (and often make your life miserable in the process).

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do When the Rapture Comes?

Ignatius Obvious corollary (673 comments)

Most people who are sure that yesterday HAS NOT BEEN the rapture have exactly the same amount of evidence behind them as those who think it HAS BEEN. After all, God might well have been more picky than anticipated ...

more than 3 years ago
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Former Senator Wants to Mine The Moon

Ignatius Re:Why is this notable? (351 comments)

Because getting a lunar mining operation up and running will probably take considerably longer than 20 years. Also consider that fusion research is going on for decades while the lunar program is pretty much starting from scratch.
So if 10 years of "talking" (i.e. conceptual research, feasibility studies, evaluation of existing results from other areas etc.) which is very cheap in comparison to the actual engineering and execution stage, will allow the project to finish 5 years sooner than would otherwise have been the case, it makes a lot of sense to shell out a few millions now, just in case.

more than 3 years ago
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IRS Nails CPA For Copying Steve Jobs, Google Execs

Ignatius Re:payroll tax? (509 comments)

Thanks for pointing this out. So you say, the payroll tax is not a tax but simply social security payments automatically deducted from the employer (if you have one). While some people might still consider this a tax, it's more like a mandatory insurance and per se not a problem, if the participants get a reasonably good deal (practically this means, that the system will be somewhat subsidized by general tax money, which may or may not be the case in the US).

The point I was trying to make is that it's obviously not a good idea to put extra taxes on wages (as compared to other kinds of income) when your problem is not enough employment. However, if the social security sytem is redistributive (akaif in the US, the permium is flat while the payout is degressive), then it begs the question why other forms of income (e.g. rents, intrest, dividends, or other capital gains etc.) are exempt.

The same argument can be made for the "burden that would otherwise be placed on the U.S." argument, as its not unheard of that even landlords, stock gamblers or heirs can end up broke and homeless.

more than 3 years ago
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IRS Nails CPA For Copying Steve Jobs, Google Execs

Ignatius payroll tax? (509 comments)

I mean, really, how stupid can you get? If the problem is 10+% unemployment, you can tax profit, sales, capital, energy usage etc. but the one and only thing you never want to tax in this situation is payroll, esp. as wages are already subject to individual income tax.

more than 3 years ago

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