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3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

Improv Re:Easily done: (331 comments)

Would it bother you if your argument, however much it seems to make sense from a "story" point of view, flies in the face of actual data on levels of gun violence versus levels of gun ownership/legality?

about 2 months ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

Improv Wrongheaded pandering to statistically marginals (389 comments)

University efforts are best spent taking those who are ready and capable and stuffing their heads full of new ideas. There are people who are not ready or capable, but trying to find ways to slip them in and hoping they reinvent themselves in time to take advantage of the opportunity (if that's even possible) would be neglecting those who are ready - many of them would end up in remedial classes or just taking the easiest things possible to survive. Maybe they should wait a year and wander Europe, or otherwise take some time to get their life together first.

I was one of the C-B students who did all the gifted classes in high school but never had the grades. When I went to University, the first two years I loved the freedom and the content of the classes but was as lazy as I had been in high school on the grades. It was only later that I started taking things seriously. The first two years might as well have been wasted, plus I chose a university well below par for my abilities (wasn't even nearly the best one I got into). I think I turned out pretty well looking back 18 years later, but statistically, I was probably bad betting odds. Universities should focus on people who are actually ready to learn, rather than figuring out ways to churn out more people who are likely to drop out. Slashdot, in turn, should stop pandering to people who never learned to focus who drop out of university and console themselves by extolling the virtues of being an autodidact, of not knowing how to dress or clean themselves and paint themselves as "natural" or "different" or "fighting the system", and similar.

about 2 months ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Improv Arguing against a strawman (937 comments)

Author is arguing against a strawman (or at least a minority view) form of atheism which claims to be above value judgements. Of course one brings value judgements to the table, with philosophy. People've been doing that for a very, very long time. So what?

Author also seems to not understand Star Trek that well - while they're a planet of hat, more-or-less, Vulcans were known to live by a philosophy, and presumably like all systems of logic, the Vulcan one sits ultimately on a philosophical foundation, not some bs "a priori" claims that the author wants to warn us against.

about 3 months ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Improv Re: Mecial Cannabis companies (275 comments)

The "hidden expectation" is that they had a deal meant for normal consumers, not one company swooping in and buying the whole lot. Seems fine to me.

about 3 months ago
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Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down As Sole Astronaut Quits

Improv Re:She probably wants kids (186 comments)

Not every female wants kids ever. Nor every male. Sometimes personal reasons can mean "I want something different out of life", or "I am tired of the PR", or any other number of things.

about 4 months ago
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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Improv Re:Don't ask me (225 comments)

If by physicists you mean to include some fringe folk like Tegmark, then sure.

about 4 months ago
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The CIA Does Las Vegas

Improv It's better to hear people you might disagree with (124 comments)

Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community. It's not like the community that attends such conferences is unanimous in their views; it's not *all* technolibertarians. If you look at other presentations by such bodies at past conferences, you see that they're often quite good.

about 5 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

Improv Re:What a crap of title... (450 comments)

Thankless means that few people in broad society adequately respect the need for or the practices of police officers. They're underappreciated.

Police don't usually have the time, when people pull a gun on them, to carefully consider every possible option. If they can pick the least bad option, great, but if the situation is that someone pulls a gun on an on-duty cop (meaning pulls it out and begins to point it at them), I'd be very reluctant to second-guess them if the policeman shoots that person.

about 7 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

Improv Re:What a crap of title... (450 comments)

Police do a necessary and often thankless job at high risk to themselves. If a policeman needs to arrest you, it's best not to make them feel unsafe.

about 7 months ago
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A Look at Smart Gun Technology

Improv Re:Flawed reasoning (765 comments)

Always? If someone did manage to grab your gun and aims it at you, I think you'd prefer your gun to fail at that point.

about 7 months ago
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Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked

Improv What does it matter? (557 comments)

Without consent of the Ukrainian government, such a vote would not mean anything more than, say, if my neighbourhood in Brooklyn voted to secede. The current Russian occupation of Crimea is not valid.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

Improv Doesn't always work all that well... (274 comments)

I'm 35. I recently left a startup where most of the people there were about 10 years earlier. The difference is a bit more than age for me - I spent most of the 10 years I had on them working for a University, but the combination of age and differences in interests were very rough - I didn't feel that I fit in, I didn't hang out with them after work, I didn't want the same things out of life, and so on. It can be rough.

about 7 months ago
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Nature Publisher Requires Authors To Waive "Moral Rights" To Works

Improv Best solution (82 comments)

A bit of contract law that would:
1) Mark these rights as unwaivable
2) Mark as unenforcable or nonactionable any part of any contract that would bar or establish consequences for asserting these rights

about 9 months ago
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Could Earth's Infrared Emissions Be a New Renewable Energy Source?

Improv Cue the bad sci-fi movies... (78 comments)

It'd be amazing if there were a hollywood blockbuster that theorises that doing this will make the Earth run out of rotational energy and fall into the Sun.

about 9 months ago
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GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

Improv Brain damaged project (134 comments)

I like how they place an emphasis on it being small, but they require you to link the whole damned thing into your app. And of c ourse that doesn't help you write correct software, because you won't figure out if you really need -lm unless you also test your app on a more correct libc.

Lightweight and correct indeed.

about 9 months ago
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GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

Improv Re:Either gnu libc is hideously slow and bloated.. (134 comments)

Steps to a useless comment:
1) Speculate on the features of something
2) Note that that speculated feature set doesn't include something you want
3) Criticise based on your speculation

about 9 months ago
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Flash Is Dead; Long Live OpenFL!

Improv Re:Native Targets? (166 comments)

My point is that with modern VMs and JITs and partial nativisation and other systems/PL technologies, you no longer should care whether something "runs native", and that that's a distinction that is so blurred anyhow that it barely makes sense to talk about it. It may have once been important and simple, but nowadays it is neither.

about 9 months ago

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Hi there

Improv Improv writes  |  more than 6 years ago

There's no designated place for a self-description, so this'll do.
My name is Pat Gunn (on the net I'm often known as Improv, after the old Lotus spreadsheet for NeXTStep) and I'm a Unix geek.

IRL, You might know me from Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), or possibly before that in Brecksville, Ohio or Dallas, Texas.
Online, you might've seen me on Wikipedia (as Pgunn/Improv), the Mozilla project, NoWonder, the XFree86 project, PernAngband, Usenet, PerlMonks, or dozens of other places. I also play DOFUS, Kingdom of Loathing, Urban Dad, and a few other online games.

My politics are liberal-socialist, my interests broad, my job interests academic, my cats cute, and my eating habits practically vegetarian.

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Old Timer

Improv Improv writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Apparently, having a userid of 2467 makes me an old-timer in Slashdot-land. Hmm.

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