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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Bullshit (151 comments)

Oh.. fuck me. Refreshed twice and the threading changed completely. With the same AC posting nonsense and threading weirdness, this has been the second least fun article in a long time. Bah!

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Bullshit (151 comments)

What just happened Slashdot? After responding positively to someone slamming the anti-science crowd - with a simple +1 - the post seems to have gathered a couple of responses that should have gone to the AC clown. It's a small matter, and I'll say "fuck beta" (hey, never been able to follow a thread in it). But just to set the record straight, I'm with the "It works" crowd.

I can't find it now, but one poster made the point that we should ignore the anti-science crowd. My only fear is that these people vote - or worse, are in public office and able to set the agenda for education, research, etc. I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think it's to wilfully deny that there is a large mass of people with incredibly dodgy ideas.

I should shut up now. Thinking about it only makes me sad.

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Bullshit (151 comments)

Damn! Where are mod points when you need 'em. +1

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

ferrisoxide.com Re: Cosmic Unicorns are more believable! (151 comments)

Dude, relax. The Electric Universe trolls have been around Slashdot for at least a decade now. In fact, after a huge apk-esque copypasta burst in the early 2000's, they kind of faded away.

In fact, seeing an Electric Universe troll now is like spotting a baiji. Just marvel, make note of it, and move on.

Thanks man. I'm breathing a bit easier now.

This is my first sighting of one in the wild. The closest I've ever come was in my uni days, hearing someone cite Erich von Däniken in a debate on evolution.

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

ferrisoxide.com Re: Cosmic Unicorns are more believable! (151 comments)

Heh. Belief and Unicrons. That'll add to the discussion meaningfully !

When did slashdot become populated with loud, uneducated Americans instead of 'nerds' who actually know at least a thing or two?

I couldn't figure out if this was trolling or just someone on acid. Maybe a troll on acid. Whatever the case, that's some crazy shit.

But yeah, been getting more worried about this trend towards hokum in Slashdot. Not sure if it's just a different crowd, or the world is just getting madder. If it keeps up, I'm out.

2 days ago
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Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

ferrisoxide.com Re: Hypocrites, liars and communists. (441 comments)

I'm glad at least one person caught that. I don't write these things for my health, you know.

All good. Love your sig BTW. This might sound weird, but that's put me in a good mood - nice way to start the day.

about two weeks ago
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Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

ferrisoxide.com Re: Hypocrites, liars and communists. (441 comments)

10 years ago there were no Tesla on the road, now there are a few 1000. N*1000/0 = infinitely more Tesla

I'm amazed that nobody here has picked you up on this (indeterminately more Teslas, not infinite) - or maybe the Slashdot crowd are insensate to mathematical trolling.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ferrisoxide.com Re:In the name of Allah ! (1350 comments)

Hehe.. Or even to be blatantly ignorant of what has actually occurred in the last 20 years. That's bliss.

It's curious that we forget that the last great act of systematic terrorism and genocide on European soil was by Christian Serbs against Bosnian Muslims. Arguably this was an ethnic dispute, not a religious one. But still, it would be easy to use this to paint Christians as blood thirsty murderers, if that was your particular beef.

History is what you make it, I guess.

about three weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ferrisoxide.com Re:In the name of Allah ! (1350 comments)

Sometimes. The inclusion of the Old Testament in the Christian canon is curious, if it's true that the teachings of Jesus effectively say "You can forget all that old shit".

There is certainly hostility and violence brought down on gays and lesbians in Christian countries, with the Old Testament used as justification for these acts. See http://www.gaychristian101.com...

It's unfair to suggest that all Christians are like this, because it's patently not true. But similarly no Muslims I know are out there advocating violence on the basis of their religious texts (or arguing for slavery or any of the other "old school" tenets that are common to both the Biblical, Talmudic or Islamic texts). Most people of faith, in my experience, seem to be decent and caring folks. It's the dickheads with guns that give all religions a bad name.

about three weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

ferrisoxide.com Re:islam (1350 comments)

Ninian Smart's book "The Religious Experience of Mankind" makes the case for Maxism to be considered a "religion". In his comparative study of the world's religions Smart applied a set of criteria against belief systems to in order to categorise them as the basis of religious experience, to wit Marxism - and the way it is commonly experience - falls generally into Smart's definition of religion.

Ritual: Forms and orders of ceremonies (private and/or public) (often regarded as revealed)

Narrative and Mythic: stories (often regarded as revealed) that work on several levels. Sometimes narratives fit together into a fairly complete and systematic interpretation of the universe and human's place in it.

Experiential and emotional: dread, guilt, awe, mystery, devotion, liberation, ecstasy, inner peace, bliss (private)

Social and Institutional: belief system is shared and attitudes practiced by a group. Often rules for identifying community membership and participation (public)

Ethical and legal: Rules about human behavior (often regarded as revealed from supernatural realm)

Doctrinal and philosophical: systematic formulation of religious teachings in an intellectually coherent form

Material: ordinary objects or places that symbolize or manifest the sacred or supernatural



At the time of reading this (about 20 years ago) I was surprised to find Marxism included in a study that looked at Christianity, Hinduism, etc. But I remember it making sense at the time. Maybe if I went back and read the book I'd be less convinced.

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

ferrisoxide.com Re:Encapsulation (303 comments)

I like what you did there. Person made a error but you didn't make him / her look like a fool. Wish I had mod points I could spend here.

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

ferrisoxide.com Re:The limits of Dijkstra (303 comments)

Not always AC. Some people have actually read Dijkstra, consider him an extremely important contributor to computer science and yet have the capacity to not agree 100% with everything he said. Case in point, his comments about object oriented programming paint him as a man of his times:

"I don't think object-oriented programming is a structuring paradigm that meets my standards of elegance" (http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/transcriptions/EWD12xx/EWD1284.html)

Let's not forget that Dijkstra was primarily an academic. His search for purity is admirable, but if we all followed his criteria for elegant solutions we'd never get any work done.

Whatever the case, it's the 'X considered harmful' pattern that really diminishes his work. People thrash out blog posts along these lines - including the author of the original article - as if by association their work takes on more authority. The world doesn't need any more of these academic puff pieces.

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

ferrisoxide.com Re:The limits of Dijkstra (303 comments)

I think we're in total agreement here. I did read the article - and others on the same site - and know only the quote was from Dijkstra. My beef is that adherents of Dijkstra's teachings tout this nonsense all the time, but I guess it's not surprising considering Dijkstra was primarily an academic (though a thoroughly brilliant one).

I was going to go off on a huge rant about this, but I think you've summed it up. Thanks.

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

ferrisoxide.com Re:Toaster DRM (303 comments)

You insensitive clod. I bought one of these recently, in an effort to reflow the solder on my failing Mac Book Pro. Now all I have is a dead laptop and a toaster that smells of Apple.

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

ferrisoxide.com The limits of Dijkstra (303 comments)

I think what this article highlights is that not everything Dijkstra said was gold. Nor does slavishly following his missives make you a better programmer.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Scratch (121 comments)

Upvote. My kids (10 and 14) have managed to make amazing things in what to me looks like a complete toy. Plenty of books and articles, but best of all is the community around it - kids sharing and expanding each other ideas. Teaches the basics (variables, loops, etc) - but best of all lets them find success early.

about a month ago
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Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Everyone hates Ruby (291 comments)

I'd agree here. As someone who started his career in Smalltalk, and then had to give it up for the lack of programming jobs available (10 years of my life becoming an expert in Delphi I'll never get back) Ruby wasn't so much "cool" as "beautiful". It felt like a coming home - an expressive, easy to read language where the answer to "how do I do X?" is "What's the most obvious way." A language predicated on programmer joy is a pretty sweet thing.

I think the Ruby world can be divided into two camps. There's the "we are nice, because Matz is nice" crowd that were dominant in the early days. When I was a newb I found the community very helpful, very welcoming. Then we got the "DHH is a prick, so we are pricks" bunch. I don't think they were ever in the majority, but they were loud and obnoxious and fit the mould of "hipsters". I don't think this is particular to Ruby though. Every community has its wankers, every community has its good citizens.

I still love Ruby for what it is, and am thankful I've been able to carve out a reasonably well-paying career based on it.

about 2 months ago
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Android Botnet Evolves, Could Pose Threat To Corporate Networks

ferrisoxide.com Evolved? (54 comments)

Can we just for once stop using terms like "evolved" as if this thing has any kind of ability to mutate outside of the agency of people - intelligent designers if you will - actually making changes to the code.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

ferrisoxide.com Re:Hard to beat MIT's Scratch. Free and graphical. (107 comments)

http://scratch.mit.edu/

Absolutely. And with the code sharing in Scratch 2.0 it also teaches concepts like community code, forking, etc.

Plus there are integrations with Arduino and the like for more comprehensive coding exercises.

about 2 months ago
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Australian Gov't Tries To Force Telcos To Store User Metadata For 2 Years

ferrisoxide.com Re:So, in other words... (58 comments)

Well our leader was up before the Judge twice, once for groping a girl from behind and once for theft of a traffic sign, so he resembles a criminal exported from the UK in some ways.

More to the point, he *is* from the UK. He was born there, studied there and - though it's been quietly forgotten about - may not be entitled to hold office unless he has given up his dual citizenship.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  about 4 months ago

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) writes "South Australia has hit its target of 33% renewable energy by 2020 6 years earlier than expected, delivering clean power to the state through investment in wind, solar and geothermal energy — mothballing one coal-fired power station in the process.

Not resting on their laurels though, the SA government has now announced a new "stretch" target of 50% by 2025.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill declared that despite initial upfront costs to renewable energy generators such as wind farms, the 50 per cent target will not add one extra dollar to energy prices."
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Security theatre reaches new heights as passenger removed from flight for doodle

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  about 4 months ago

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) writes "Oliver Buckworth, a passenger on Tiger Airlines flight bound for the Gold Coast (Australia) claims he was removed from the flight when other passengers saw satirical sketches in his note book and informed airline staff.

"The irony is I was writing a sentence about the absurdity of the fearmongering when we live in such a happy country of ice-cream and beaches and fluffy things," he said.

"My concern is what it looked like to the rest of the people on the plane. I did tell them as I was leaving, 'I'm not a criminal. This man simply took something out of context that I was writing in my book. Just so you know and this whole fear thing isn't instilled even further.' ""
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Sherlock Holmes finally in the public domain in the US

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  about a year ago

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) writes "As reported on the Australian ABC news website, film-makers in the US are finally free to work on Sherlock Holmes stories without paying a licencing free to the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle after a ruling by Judge Ruben Castillo.

A quirk of US copyright law kept 10 stories out of the public domain, on the basis that these stories where continuously developed. In his ruling Judge Castillo opined that only the "story elements" in the short stories published after 1923 were protected and that everything else in the Holmes canon was "free for public use" — including the characters of Holmes and Watson.

Holmes scholar Leslie Klinger, who challenged the estate, celebrated the ruling.

"Sherlock Holmes belongs to the world," Mr Klinger said in a statement posted on his Free Sherlock website.

IANAL, but the ruling of Judge Castillo that "adopting Conan Doyle's position would be to extend impermissibly the copyright of certain character elements of Holmes and Watson beyond their statutory period," is surely going to have implications across US copyright law. Mark Twain must be twisting and writhing in his grave."
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Kids more capable of understanding science than given credit for

ferrisoxide.com ferrisoxide.com writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ferrisoxide.com writes "Physics and chemistry are the bane of many a high school student, but what if we're pitching the ideas to them too late? Can eight-year-olds absorb atomic theory? A former high-school physics teacher has asked that question in a bold experiment at a Brisbane primary school. And he says it shows young minds are much more advanced than we think."
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