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Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

William Baric Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (205 comments)

I was there in the 80's. One of the first program I wrote with the school computers was a light cycle kind of game (actually, my inspiration was Snafu for the Intellivision). And you know what? Out of all student in my school, you'd had to hit ME with your stone, because I was the only one who made something more than tic-tac-toe.

As for anyone being able to program... I'll take running as an analogy : although almost everyone can run a 4 km race, it just takes interest and a bit of training, very few people could do an Ironman, even with years of training.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

William Baric Re:Discussion is outdated (484 comments)

You're right and that's pretty much why computer programs are now so ridiculously buggy and require bug fix releases every two weeks. But then again, as long as customers still buy without complaining, why bother with quality? Worse, a lot of people now think a bug fix release every two weeks is a sign of quality!

3 days ago
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Rust Programming Language Reaches 1.0 Alpha

William Baric Re:Safety? (161 comments)

Ada doesn't normally allow that error either. There are things like "unchecked_conversion" which allows the programmer to break language safety, but they are always explicit.

about two weeks ago
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Rust Programming Language Reaches 1.0 Alpha

William Baric Re:Safety? (161 comments)

For example, and maybe I'm wrong, the language doesn't force the programmer to declare variables outside of the code (in fact it looks like the language allows the declaration of a variable anywhere in the code) and it doesn't force the programmer to specify the type of a variable when declaring it (a quote from the documentation : "Variables can be type annotated when declared. However, in most cases, the compiler will be able to infer the type of the variable from the context, heavily reducing the annotation burden"). That kind of thing is an open door for sloppy programming.

What irks me the most is the "heavily reducing the annotation burden". For me, that should never be a goal with a language whose objective is safety.

about two weeks ago
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In Paris, Terrorists Kill 2 More, Take At Least 7 Hostages

William Baric Re:Bar fucking barians ... (490 comments)

According to most (credible) sources, Aisha was married when she was 6 or 7. And she was 9 when Muhammad raped her.

about three weeks ago
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Drunk Drivers in California May Get Mandated Interlock Devices

William Baric Re:How about mandatory felony sentences instead? (420 comments)

I agree a felony conviction shouldn't be taken lightly, but getting drunk shouldn't be taken lightly either. If you CHOOSE to get drunk, you should suffer the consequences of your action. So for me a felony conviction is appropriate.

about a month ago
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Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

William Baric Re:The human eye is proof God exists (187 comments)

You don't make any sense. I don't claim anything, I just follow the definition of the word "psychosis".

about a month ago
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Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

William Baric Re:The human eye is proof God exists (187 comments)

Whether believing in a god is a sign of psychosis or not depends on why you believe.

If you believe because you want to be part of your cultural group or because you find it useful (either from a social point of view or a personal one), I agree it has nothing to do with psychosis. But if you truly feel there is a god, then obviously your sense of reality is wrong and this is what psychosis is about.

about a month ago
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The Slow Death of Voice Mail

William Baric Schizophrenic? (237 comments)

People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail?

Like... they hear voices when they listen to voice mails?

about a month ago
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De-escalating the Android Patent War

William Baric Re:I'm starting to think it's this simple... (63 comments)

For me, one of the solution would be to ask for the detail of all the work and expenses which lead to the creation of an idea when submitting it for a patent. If the patent is just about an idea someone had while eating lunch at a restaurant and only required only a few days of work to put it on paper, sorry, but no patent.

Also, the value of the patent should be directly proportionate to the cost of developing the idea behind it. Patents should not be a lottery, they should only reward work.

about a month ago
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New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

William Baric Re:Displacing five times as much water... (116 comments)

You could at least read the Wikipedia page you're linking :

for an object floating on a liquid surface (like a boat) or floating submerged in a liquid (like a submarine in water or dirigible in air) the weight of the displaced liquid equals the weight of the object.

about a month and a half ago
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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

William Baric Re:But but but (330 comments)

Since California is near an ocean, there is a technological fix for that. Only problem is it would cost a lot of money : roughly between 22 to 44 billion dollars (between 579$ to 1157$ per person living in California).

about a month and a half ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

William Baric Re:Why does this need a sequel? (299 comments)

Actually, I think Deckard being a replicant makes the movie a lot more interesting.

Basically, the movie start with a dark world and a typical "human:good / machines:bad" point of view. Then, we realize it's more complicated than that and our minds begins to open up. When at the end of the movie we realize that Deckard may also be a replicant, it's the final step toward opening up our minds. It forces us to think back at the movie and view characters beyond stereotypes. It makes the plot more intricate. More importantly, it leaves us with a strong feeling that there's more than meet the eyes.

Of course, I understand not everyone like intricate plots, I understand not everyone like to stir up their preconceived ideas, I understand some people prefer simple pop corn movies, but that's certainly not my case!

Anyway, beyond my personal taste with movies, I believe you are irrational. It is Ridley Scott's movie. No he did not write the script, but a script is just a tool used by the director. Once the script is written, the writer is out of the loop. The end result is at the mercy of the director who can do whatever he wants with the script. There are plenty examples of writers who were pissed because of directors creating a completely different movies than what they envisioned with their scripts.

You said it is widely believed Scott made that comment to stir up controversy? No it's not. Not only it is not "widely believed", but it certainly was not to stir up controversy, it was on the contrary to end discussions among fans and clear up things.

Firstly, let's be honest, it's not a "controversy" at all. I mean if Scott would have said that Deckard was human, like most people I wouldn't care much. I do think the story has more depth with Deckard being a replicant, but it's not like it will change my life or anything. I like to think about ambiguous ideas, it's a fun game, but when the author decide to clear up things, I believe it's completely ridiculous to contradict him.

Secondly, I remember an interview with Ford stating he had an argument with Scott saying it would be better for Deckard to be human so spectators could identify themselves with the character. From what I gathered, Scott wasn't sure about Deckard when shooting, he tried to leave his options open, it's only when making the cut he decided it would be better to make Deckard a replicant. So the idea that it was just to "stir up controversy" is simply ridiculous.

Anyway, my question was not about your "arguments" nor the movie. Deckard is a replicant, we now know it, end of story. My question is about you. I'm simply curious as to why it is so important for you for Deckard to be human. Why you are willing to even deny what the author of the movie is saying. Even if you prefer more stereotypical stories and so don't like the implication of Deckard being a replicant, it's just a movie! So why the passion? I just don't get it!

about a month and a half ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

William Baric Re:Why does this need a sequel? (299 comments)

You didn't answer my question.

about a month and a half ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

William Baric Re:Why does this need a sequel? (299 comments)

Why does it hurt you so bad that Deckard is replicant? He's a replicant! Not only some details of the movie makes more sense with Deckard being a replicant, but Ridley Scott said so. It's his movie, so the fact is there's nothing to discuss! Why do you, emotionally, refuse this simple fact? You act like someone deeply religious who can't face the fact that his guru is just a scammer. Why?

about a month and a half ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

William Baric Re:The thought process (417 comments)

In order to understand how a Python program operates, you need to go deep enough to see it as deterministic (i.e. the source code). The same is true if you want to understand what thinking is. As long as you don't see thinking as a deterministic process, then you don't understand it.

about a month and a half ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

William Baric Re:AI is not just a look-up program. (417 comments)

You're not using the same definition as I am. You seem to limit "thought process" to conscious thoughts. I'm not. Not only I include things like intuition, but I include all elements creating my thoughts, starting with the state my neurons (or with whatever is the source of my thoughts), in this "process".

about a month and a half ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

William Baric Re:AI is not just a look-up program. (417 comments)

I am not aware of how I think. I have absolutely no clue about what creates my thoughts and how those thoughts are created. Even when I choose to think about something, the fact is I don't know why I made this choice. I just did. Worse, I have also absolutely no way to evaluate the correctness of the process which create my thought nor its limitations.

I have thoughts, I have feelings (even if I don't know what a feeling is exactly), but it's obvious I'm not self-aware and I don't have free will.

about a month and a half ago

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