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Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

LionKimbro MMF2 (73 comments)

Normally, I'd recommend Scratch, but in this case, I recommend: MMF2, by François Lionet and Yves Lamoureux. They really get it, and your son will learn a ton about programming, without deviating from working on games themselves.

2 hours ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

LionKimbro Our Galaxy May Be Teeming with Networking Signals (305 comments)

I don't know that there ISN'T a von Neumann probe in our solar system. How would we know? The solar system is huge. The probe could be tiny. Again, how would we know? Have we tried communicating with it? Would it try to communicate with us? Or would it report to a nearby star, first, and await instructions delivered after centuries?

I've heard that the radio emissions from Earth are actually really, really weak, and distribute radially. Nobody can hear us out there.

The entire galaxy could be teeming with life, that's communicating point-to-point. Why waste energy in radial communication, when you can just draw a straight line from star to star?

Sometimes, I think, all we need to do, is point a big powerful laser at a nearby star, and request boot-procedure handshaking instructions, from the nearby access point, and then just wait for the signal that inevitably responds, with instructions on how to maintain the communications link.

6 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

LionKimbro Motorcycle (195 comments)

Must it be a car? How about a motorcycle? HUGE modding community; Long history. Also, helmets like the Skully AR-1.

about a month ago
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How To End Online Harassment

LionKimbro Re:Gendered Bigotry Against Men (834 comments)

I DID read the article. YOU didn't read my valid points. Here is the appropriate bit:

You have been taught that it is normal and acceptable. You have been taught that you are tough, that you don't feel, or that you can "handle their feelings." You have been told that because the bigotry isn't violently expressed, that it doesn't matter, or it can't be labeled and responded to. You have been taught that you are professional, that you are competent, that you can handle yourself. That you are a MAN, so bigotry against you as a man should just roll off your back. You have been taught that OTHER MEN are the problem, and to not take it personally.

So far, all I'm getting is crickets from you, about these "valid points."

One of the myriad ways that our society says, "Them's the shakes, what can you do," is to just get silent and stupid and say, "Yeah... You have a valid point." BUT NOTHING HAPPENS.

about a month ago
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How To End Online Harassment

LionKimbro Gendered Bigotry Against Men (834 comments)

The article said this, in large letters:

"Gendered bigotry against women is widely considered to be "in bounds" by Internet commenters (whether they openly acknowledge it or not)."

Why add the phrase "against women?" It's clear from the inclusion of "against women" that the writer doesn't give a shit about gendered bigotry against men.

In my day to day reading of Facebook, I see EVER SINGLE DAY, gendered bigotry against men. I hate it. I hate seeing it. I DEFINITELY don't want boys exposed to this, and I think the only reasonable response for self-respecting men is to hate seeing it as well.

You have been taught that it is normal and acceptable. You have been taught that you are tough, that you don't feel, or that you can "handle their feelings." You have been told that because the bigotry isn't violently expressed, that it doesn't matter, or it can't be labeled and responded to. You have been taught that you are professional, that you are competent, that you can handle yourself. That you are a MAN, so bigotry against you as a man should just roll off your back. You have been taught that OTHER MEN are the problem, and to not take it personally.

Well, FUCK. THAT.

I don't want to be in relationships any longer, where it is considered acceptable to demean men. When one party in a relationship is allowed to constantly criticize and complain about the other party, but not the other way around, in a relationship that was supposed to uphold ideals like equality, respect, and love -- that everything falls apart. I don't want to live in a society that refuses to help men in times of struggle and need, because it holds men in contempt. The entire social apparatus converges in the attack on the character of the other party.

Men, our society gives you FOUR options:
1. You can go ballistic and on the offensive.
2. You can "hold it in," and silently die inside.
3. You can flee.
4. You can turn on other men, and play "Men are evil. But I am not THAT GUY."

Let me tell you about #4: It works great, until YOU are the guy who is breaking down, until YOU are the guy who needs help, from a wife that physically attacks you, until YOU are the guy who is homeless, until YOU are the one who is falsely accused of rape or assault or harassment. And if not YOU, then a friend of yours, or your son.

I want YOU to complain and step up and shove back, when people tell you that you must take shit, just because you're a man, or that men as a group must take shit, just because they are men. When you see gendered bigotry against men, I want you to refuse it, toss it back, say something. Don't just "hold it in," and don't go on the offensive either. Don't run away, and don't deflect onto other men. Rather, stand your ground, and say: NO.

If you see statistics that are lies about men, or insinuating against men -- including pay/wage gap or "1 in 4" that are not true. If you see contempt for men as a class expressed. If you see mothers favored over fathers. If you see violence against men considered "OK." (I'm not talking about video games.) If you see anything implying that it is okay for women to trick a man into paying child support, or tricking a man into being a parent. If you see anything suggesting that paternity fraud is OK. If you see eye rolls expressed about men or the value of mens' feelings. ESPECIALLY the eye rolls, and ESPECIALLY men's feelings. If you see "man up" or "be a gentlemen" used to control men. If you see anything making light of people attacking men physically (non-consensually). When you see ANY OF THESE BEHAVIORS, you tell people that it is UNACCEPTABLE.

about a month ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

LionKimbro Re:I don't know if misogeny is entirely a lie (1262 comments)

Nope. It's the "Therefore you are a bigot" part that's hurtful, that ends conversation, and starts the fight, the battle.

about 4 months ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

LionKimbro Re: Her work (1262 comments)

You're bullying, Mellon. It's like this:

A. Tell me something you love.

Maybe you love the Bible. Maybe you love science. Maybe you love The Last Unicorn, by Peter Beagle.

B. Find something in it that you could make an unseemly story about.

If you love the Bible, get the story about the guy who had sex with his daughters.

If you love science, get the story about alpha silverbacks and how they dominate the society.

If you love The Last Unicorn, get the story about the red bull pushing unicorns into the sea.

C. Now accuse the fuck out of a person.

"If you love the Bible, then you define incest as life-defining, and you're not typical. You need to redefine your life, right now."

"If you think science is true, than you believe that controlling women is the Natural Order. You need to rethink the merits of science, and redefine your life, right now."

"If you get your rocks off watching the Red Bull dominate unicorns, you're not typical. You need to redefine your life, right now."

Forcing YOUR interpretations onto others is psychic/emotional violence, and it's also the behavior of a bully.

It's too bad that some teenage boy somewhere has rushed into Anita's damsel-in-distress gambit, but gamers everywhere and gamer culture are NOT the problem. Attack that kid, DON'T attack gamers as a culture -- which is what she's been doing.

Have you seen ye olde XKCD, where if a boy does poorly in math, it's "Damn, you suck at math," but if a girl does poorly in math, its "Damn, girls suck at math?" Well, the same here, but in reverse, and then further, socially embraced: When women are acidic towards men, it's "Damn, you're an aggressive individual." But when some teenage boy is acidic towards women, it's "Damn, gamer culture is to blame, and we need to re-engineer the thoughts and feelings of gamers everywhere, using social bullying."

about 4 months ago
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Study: Earthlings Not Ready For Alien Encounters, Yet

LionKimbro Re:next 50 to 100 years? (453 comments)

FUTHERMORE. The size of the universe is unknown. Furthermore: By present estimates, the universe is near uniformly "flat." That means, you go to the edge of the visible universe on one side, and you do *not* wrap around "the other side." Rather, there's more universe past what we can see. If the universe were infinite in all directions, it'd be completely consistent with known measurements. If the universe is infinite in all directions, we can absolutely count on there being intelligent life way, way out there.

about 7 months ago
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An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

LionKimbro Technology & Humanity (264 comments)

Snippet of a recent conversation:

Friend: "...and people are even 3D printing houses!"

Me: (skeptical look)

Friend: "It'll work!"

Me: "I have no doubts that the technology will function just fine. But in this case, it's not the technology that's the problem. We could have cheap housing all over the place, presently, and solve a million housing problems. But the problem isn't the technology."

Friend: "Well what else would it be?"

I explained about Seattle City's law that you can only have 8 people living in a housing unit, regardless of the size, and that this is on the liberal end of things, as far as most cities go.

I explained about zoning, and restriction, and neighbors.

I explained that if you could snap your fingers and make floating or underground housing, for absolutely free, either above or below the city of Seattle, people would rage with anger and complain of crime, undesirables, unsightlys, and plummeting housing values.

The middle class stores most of its wealth in its houses, and so everybody has a gigantic freak-out if anything happens to cause housing prices to go down. We hold as a society the notion that a house is an investment vehicle, and will do anything in our collective power to make sure that housing prices go up, up, up, faster than the rate of inflation. We'll talk about "quality" and "community" and "clean neighborhoods," whatever it takes, to make sure that the next generation spends more on our houses than the generation that came before.

What use is a 3-D printer that can print houses with ease?

What use are robots that can programmatically generate great housing in a for-loop?

I mean, besides becoming "the enemy of all humankind" and having all federal, state, and local laws applied against you with every bit of scrutiny that can be mustered?

You "study the humanities" not so that you learn some kind of scientific truth about the human being. You study the humanities so that you aren't naive, and waste the investment everybody's put into you.

about 8 months ago
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Distracted Driving: All Lip Service With No Legit Solution

LionKimbro Motorcycles (184 comments)

Drive a motorcycle. You'll either be driving, or you'll be dead. I promise you won't be texting (for very long)!

about 8 months ago
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Monogamy May Have Evolved To Prevent Infanticide

LionKimbro Re:Oh Please (256 comments)

I think that it is "Evolutionary Psychology" that is the religion -- not science.

If you said, "Evolutionary Psychology is ritualized Nuttery, like Economics," then I would be in complete agreement with you.

about a year ago
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Why Everyone Gets It Wrong About BYOD

LionKimbro BYO(Body) (377 comments)

I can see an argument that a person's device is effectively part of their brain or their body.
I own it, I control it.
Also. Both my device and my body can catch a virus.

Perhaps the problem with BYOD is sick days.

about a year and a half ago
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9th Grade Science Experiment: Garden Cress Won't Germinate Near Routers

LionKimbro No Repro, No Conclusion (327 comments)

A bunch of anti-vax types on my FB page were posting articles about how schoolchildren showed that plants that were grown with microwave water didn't grow, with side-by-side illustrations.

Snopes debunked it by repeating the experiment.

Until I see confirmations of the experiment, I am highly skeptical.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Features Belong In a 'Smartwatch'?

LionKimbro Capacity to Find Cell Phone (322 comments)

One of the biggest advantage of a watch, is that it is practically ALWAYS on your body.

So it should have a virtual button somewhere, to ** ring your cell phone ** for you, so that you can find it.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Programming / IT Jobs For Older, Retrained Workers?

LionKimbro Re:Object Oriented programming may be too much (215 comments)

I've been a professional programmer for ~15 years now; What you've said here strikes me as fairly odd.

Object Oriented Programming is nothing mystical. "Associate methods with your data structures by type." There's half of it. "Now inherit the methods in subtypes." There's the other half of it. We could talk about interfaces and polymorphism as well; It doesn't take long: "You can plug a lot of different things into the wall to get electricity, if we share the interface to the wall plug." People have been talking about that in different ways, for at least a thousand years.

Technical thought is broad and deep. Back in the early 80s, people were talking about "Structured Programming," (within the "procedural" world,) and they really hammered in the concepts of encapsulation and cohesion -- much before the popularity of OOP (itself derived from Alan Kay's ideas) in the 1990's. If there are deep ideas in Object Oriented programming, the deep ideas are ideas that share across technical domains of all kinds.

So I don't think "Object Orientated Programming" is any kind of real barrier.

about 2 years ago
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Is Technology Eroding Employment?

LionKimbro Re:Human beings are not special... (544 comments)

What robots cannot be programmed to do, is answer the question of: "How do we want to live?"

You have assumed that humans have a specific purpose: propagating genes and having kids.

I don't see it that way. Yes, we have a sex drive, but there is no such encoding in the mind that says: "Your purpose is to breed."

I wake up in the morning; I have a million more desires than "just breed." Some of these desires include: I want to live in an enlightened society. I want clean air and water and plants and life. I want a society where people genuinely like one another and grow and learn and develop. More ambitiously, I'd like people to be able to live longer lives. I'd like people with self-discipline and care. I'd like people who want to do what is right, and feel confident that they can do it. Also sex: I want a world that is much more sexual.

But all together, this is a bit more than just, "just breed." We have hearts. In particular, YOU have a heart. You might be depressed in your outlook, but the fact remains. You have a heart.

You've said: "Human beings are not special." I don't see the point of your statement; What does it matter if human beings are special or not? I care more about the kind of life and world that you are wanting to make.

If you're disappointed with how things are going, that disappointment requires a sense that things could be some other way -- the "appointment" that has not been made.

about 2 years ago
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Kickstarted Oculus Rift VR Headset Shipping In March/April

LionKimbro Re:1280*800 7" (93 comments)

They use lenses and software to expand the field of view to more than 110 degrees diagonal.

about 2 years ago
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How Do We Program Moral Machines?

LionKimbro No; Program laws into machines; Not morals. (604 comments)

The proper sequence should be:

Humans reason (with their morals) --> Humans write laws/code --> The laws/code go into the machines --> The machines execute the instructions.

Laws are not a substitute for morals; they are the output from our moral reasoning.

about 2 years ago

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