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The Science of Solitary Confinement

doctor woot Re:isn't it used on violent prisoners? (326 comments)

So you're just suggesting once someone gets put in solitary, they're kept there until they die, without ever seeing another human ever again? The fuck kind of person are you?

about 2 months ago
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The Science of Solitary Confinement

doctor woot Re:isn't it used on violent prisoners? (326 comments)

Hyperbole? What hyperbole? You show me how solitary confinement reduces harm to both bystanders and inmates better than other, less barbaric methods of rehabilitation and I'll consider not viewing such methods and the people who advocate them with disgust.

about 2 months ago
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The Science of Solitary Confinement

doctor woot Re:isn't it used on violent prisoners? (326 comments)

Yeah, I like making sweeping generalizations about tens of thousands of people that I've never met to justify horrific and inhumane treatment too.

Oh wait no I don't because I'm not a piece of shit.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Educating Kids About Older Technologies?

doctor woot Re:Is this for real? (208 comments)

Since when does somebody have to justify their premise to ask for advice?

This isn't asking for advice, this is forwarding an argument (" I think not being aware of the science behind such yesteryear technologies (or their histories) is not right.") without giving any reason as to why. You would think something posted alongside articles on current events including international politics and advances in science, engineering and medicine, on a site with "News for nerds, stuff that matters" as the tagline would be a bit more substantial.

To say it's worthwhile to teach kids about old technology is to presuppose that they'll even benefit from such effort in any way (preferably at least somewhat proportionate to the amount of time they're made to invest) but if your kid wants to become a dancer, a musician, a novelist, a racing driver, a sculptor, a composer, etc. etc. there are far better ways to allow them to explore their own creativity than forcing them to sit in front of a bench with wires and batteries.

Had the author of this article (paragraph) put any effort into procuring supporting details beyond "I think" I might have felt differently. But given the laziness with which the subject was approached, I find little reason to regard this question as anything more than a waste of time.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Educating Kids About Older Technologies?

doctor woot Is this for real? (208 comments)

I feel it would be most beneficial to encourage kids to explore old technologies and perhaps even try simple simulations at home or school. So, what websites or videos or other sources of information would you reach out to that teaches the basics of say, telegraphy? Or, signalling in railways? Etc. etc."

Seriously? That's it? Just "I think" without even an attempt at justifying that statement? What difference would it make in a kid's life to learn about older technology?

It's already hard enough to get kids interested in education, and adults pushing their ideas of what's important onto young students with no regards as to the relevance the "education" bears to the kids' lives is why. If I ever have kids I'm leaving it up to them to decide what they find interesting, and will do whatever I can to educate them on it, even if it means I have to learn a bit about it myself. I certainly wouldn't force my kids to learn about something as arbitrary as older technology.

about 3 months ago
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Celebrating Dungeons & Dragons' 40th Anniversary

doctor woot Re:Tried playing this game (218 comments)

That's a shame, computers are largely limited to what the coder who wrote a piece of software came up with, which, if you're imaginative and have played a tabletop RPG, you'll find ends up missing an awful lot. That's why tabletop RPGs find a wide audience to this day, they give you the flexibility to do what you want even when what you want to do isn't covered by the rules explicitly. In the majority of computer RPGs out there, if what you want to do isn't covered by the rules, tough shit. Either mod it (which does little to sidestep the issue of complexity) or hope someone else does.

Besides, any half-decent roleplaying group will assist you in learning the rules and getting a hang of things. After just a few hours you stop getting confused by stat sheets and the like.

about 3 months ago
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What Makes a Genius?

doctor woot Re:Working hard (190 comments)

I'm not claiming to be a genius, but one thing I noticed early on when deciding to take on STEM is that unlike art (which I had pursued previously), where an understanding of the history, techniques that were developed, and cultural perception of art were very helpful in developing a more acute understanding of the art in question, studying these things wasn't necessary, whereas in science and math the rigor is (usually) completely necessary.

When you talk to aspiring young scientists, generally you hear a fondness for lasers, space travel, disease research, etc, but almost none for finding the derivative of a function or the like. Because people see the space lasers as the carrot and the intense math as the stick, they tend to get pretty exhausted after a fair amount of work. But in my experience, developing an appreciation for the math itself led me to view science as more of an art form than merely labor. I suspect fostering a greater appreciation of math and logic in children, as well as diminishing the cultural perception of math as a difficult and troubling affair would lead to an easier time for students who can both accept and appreciate the level of math they commit to.

about 3 months ago
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Interview: Ask Bruce Sterling What You Will

doctor woot Re:Parallels ... (60 comments)

Better yet, I'd like to know how modern day has differed from what they were expecting in the 80's.

about 4 months ago
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Excite Kids To Code By Focusing Less On Coding

doctor woot Re:Since when... (207 comments)

Programming was never "boring" to the "right" kids because those kids were creative and had the ability to imagine the possibilities provided by computers and the motivation to see them through. But with the outright failure of the American (and possibly elsewhere) educational system, it's not absurd to suggest that maybe we ought to foster this sort of creativity and innovative behavior in more people through different approaches to educating children. As it stands, academic subjects are taught as horrible distortions of their actual selves and not at all accurate representations of what the subjects are actually like. For example, my "computer science" classes in high school involved typing up code in HTML and learning how to send emails. If I hadn't known any better I would've dropped computers altogether. Same goes for math, physical science, etc.

  Even if we don't convince all too many kids to pursue academic careers, with a stronger social understanding and appreciation of the sciences we might just end up with, at the very least, slightly lessened pressure on scientists who are starving for research grants.

about 5 months ago
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Fearing Government Surveillance, US Journalists Are Self-Censoring

doctor woot [DISPLAY OF GRATITUDE] (376 comments)

Man, this is some [GOOD NEWS]. I hope congress quits [WORKING TOO HARD FOR THEIR OWN GOOD], pulls their [HARD WORK AND COURAGE] out of their own [LOVE FOR THEIR COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE] and finally [TAKES THAT PAID VACATION THEY ALL WELL DESERVE].

about 5 months ago
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Crowdsourcing the Discovery of New Antibiotics

doctor woot Re:If only we had a practical method of funding (73 comments)

Historically, that has a flaw as well.

That's the point of the joke. But you're right, expecting fairness of politicians is silly and unproductive.

about 5 months ago
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Crowdsourcing the Discovery of New Antibiotics

doctor woot Re:Mathematical model (73 comments)

It seems you've missed the point of the joke (which implies that we ought to have a government that actually takes care of things which are vital to society), but thank you for displaying your resplendent knowledge of game theory.

about 5 months ago
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Crowdsourcing the Discovery of New Antibiotics

doctor woot If only we had a practical method of funding (73 comments)

If, for instance, the traditional method of giving the financial burden of medical research to pharmaceutical companies, in exchange for patents which allow them to recoup their losses, is too costly to the public, in terms of both availability of existing treatment (companies have to make their money back somehow) and development of new treatments (since medical researchers have to take care not to infringe on the patents of others, even if it means skipping out on a potential cure for, say, cancer) then possibly, we could try an entirely new approach. Say, asking from the general public a portion of their wages in exchange for an investment into such research. We could even make it compulsory; after all, the benefits of advanced and available medical care benefit the whole of society, as opposed to say, an investment in a company like General Motors, which would do little to secure the welfare of the general population.

Maybe we ought to form an organization dedicated to ensuring the well being of the public. Could work.

about 5 months ago
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Google X Display Boss: Smartphones, Tablets, Apps Are "Mind-Numbing"

doctor woot Re:Thanks for the Google ad. (157 comments)

Google glass is perfectly fine. But if her case is that consumer electronics get boring quickly, there's not much separating Google Glass from what's on the market currently.

about 6 months ago
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Google X Display Boss: Smartphones, Tablets, Apps Are "Mind-Numbing"

doctor woot Thanks for the Google ad. (157 comments)

I'm sure glad, as a nerd, that Ms. Jepsen took the time to inform me there are projects in the works that I can get really excited about without actually telling me what they are, just after making condescending remarks aimed at consumer electronics and just before extolling the genius of Google's new cell phone that holds itself up to your face. Because I am a nerd these things really appeal to me. Thank you Ms. Jepsen and Mr. Woodward, you guys are really nerds like me.

about 6 months ago
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Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor

doctor woot Re:I know the editors have to eat.. (214 comments)

Look, I am an EE, this is not the same thing as the Pi.

Oh yeah, well I'm head of marketing, and I say whatever mouth breathing basement dwellers think is cool, well then that's what this thing is!

about 7 months ago
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Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor

doctor woot That's a misleading title if I've ever seen one. (214 comments)

The most likely use cases today aren't hobbyist applications but industrial uses, Anders said. "The BeagleBone is a very small, low-power device, and it's targeted for some very specific applications for hobbying. You know, developing small proof-of-concept designs," Anders said. "Our initial offer for the MinnowBoard is actually more targeted toward industrial automation, industrial controls. What you'll find is a lot of manufacturers, companies creating products, if they want to create an x86 design, they have to buy a third-party reference platform which is closed. They have to buy large software support packages, support contracts, and they generally don't get the right to use the existing design as it is. They have to buy additional licenses and things to create the product."

In other words, this is aimed at a completely different market than the ones looking for a raspberry pi or a beaglebone. From Rpi's own FAQ: "We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming." David Anders says it may reach price point similar to the Rpi or Beaglebone in the near future, but there's no promises. I know this sounds like nitpicking, but framing the discussion improperly with a misleading title is something Slashdot desperately needs to stop.

about 7 months ago
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Intel's Wine-Powered Microprocessor

doctor woot Re:wine? (126 comments)

(Only an idiot would say that a processor was "Powered by ")

In other words it's something one should expect to find on Slashdot.

about 7 months ago
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Ferrari's New Car Tech Idea: Make Car Go Really Fast

doctor woot Re:202 mph (226 comments)

Whoa, man, I'm not giving anybody two mil to ride the hobby horse. You can try raising that money yourself or get content with your hand as a loyal lifetime partner.

about 7 months ago

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