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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

luis_a_espinal Re:Great news (268 comments)

Ask "average Joe on the street" what he thinks about evolution.

Exactly. Relying on average Joe to determine a piece of knowledge on very complex shit (or wisdom) is pretty stupid no matter how we cut it.

4 days ago
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Accused Ottawa Cyberbully Facing 181 Charges Apologizes

luis_a_espinal Re:Right. (140 comments)

So... let's say he's a sociopath.

That means the problem would be one of mental health.

There, fixed that for you (since we are starting from a hypothetical.)

4 days ago
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John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

luis_a_espinal Re: Talk is cheap. (266 comments)

It just seems hypocritical to let you kids watch the 'Simpson's' with 'Itchy and Scratchy', then claim FPS are too violent.

Not to mention the Simpson's Halloween special - characters turned inside out. I'm sure the scene is someone in the youtubeez. And there are plenty of "shooting" games that do not involve blowing shit up. A quick visit to GameStop would show the options. Or jeez, man, Angry Birds.

Asking for a non-violent FPS option as if there weren't any is just an exercise in drama.

about a week ago
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John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

luis_a_espinal Re: Talk is cheap. (266 comments)

You obviosly watched too many beheading videos as a kid!

You and the likes of you are a good reason NOT to expose young children to violence!

Hyperbole and histrionics are not really good (read "intelligent") choices to make your point on the subject. Just sayin'

about a week ago
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John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

luis_a_espinal Re: Talk is cheap. (266 comments)

I've got an idea for him, an FPS that has no violence that is suitable for kids as well as adults.

Angry Birds.

about a week ago
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John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

luis_a_espinal Re:Please retire... (266 comments)

I was never a fan of the push towards realism in doom 3 on mars

Mod parent up. I was (still am) a big fan of the old Doom/Doom 2/Quake/Heretic type of games .I was seriously put off by (IMO) the excessive interactive dialog that I had to do with Doom 3 just to get going. I didn't buy Doom 3 to have a dialog with the characters, or to listen to them telling me the back story. I bought it to shoot demons and blew shit up. Almost every other game I've tried since then, I've felt them to be overly verbose and "immersive" in Hollywood crap.

It was like dealing with the FPS game version of Microsoft Bob!!!

If I wanted to be immersed, I would simply GTFO and talk to people or something else IRL.

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

luis_a_espinal Re:Whatever happened to scientific discussions the (762 comments)

People believe what they want to believe. Humans are fallible and will act in their self-interest.

True, but non sequitur to the nature of scientific debate (true scientific debate, not just "debate").

The question are:

(1) Is science and are scientists responsible for "explaining" themselves and their discoveries?

A) Yes they are responsible for explaining, and B) yes, they do explain themselves. But just because a explanation for a complex thing exists, that does not mean the explanation can be made to simple enough to reach a large untrained audience. Try creating an explanation to Wiles's proof for Fermat's Last Theorem that can reach anyone without any exposition to Algebraic Number Theory.

(2) Is the scientific community responsible for calling out charlatans that pose to use the scientific method, but don't?

Of course.

(3) Are scientific discoveries constantly open for debate?

Most of the time, of course. Just because something is discovered, that does not mean we know the mechanisms that make such a discovery a part of reality. Like, when we discovered that Archaea was a branch of life completely different from Bacteria (and not just a form a Bacteria). Then we have to debate, why are they different, how they came to exist, are they even closely related or separated from each other in a similar degree to which each of them is related or separated from from Eukaryota? Do they have a common ancestor (very likely) or they arose independently and their commonalities are just the result of lateral gene transfer?

Think a simpler question: what is electricity? We more or less have an idea of what it is, but for a very long time after its discovery we didn't quite know.

So, for as long as new discoveries and observations are made that cannot be taken into account from predictions made out of existing theories and discoveries, everything is up to debate by a) qualified people using b) the scientific method in c) a manner that is correct.

And does it make sense to have proper channels for inquiry and discussion, or can anyone jump in?

Of course. The scientific community must have channels to discuss the nature of, say, HIV, by qualified individuals (virologists, health specialists) using methods and observations that are reproducible by other qualified people.

OTH, the scientific community must not have a channel for someone like me (who has no fucking clue how to conduct virology studies) to come and say that HIV doesn't exist and that it is just a flu can be cured by eating peyote while looking at the stars from Stonehenge.

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

luis_a_espinal Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (762 comments)

Most non-scientists are not in a position to evaluate the claims of any given scientist.

I'm pretty sure that was the argument the Church had against releasing full, translated copies of its data, a.k.a. the contents of the Christian Bible.

That this is true with regards to the Church, this in no way invalidates the original observation. You are trying to invalidate the observation and general position by applying a "guilt-by-association" label with respect to abuses by medieval religious institutions.

This argument doesn't pass the sniff test. It is the job of a "scientist" to present claim and data that supports said claim in such a way that it may be consumed by anyone and still stand on its own, only then is there "consensus."

Really? How the hell can a theoretical physicist present claims on some complex shit related to, I don't know, string theory so that it can be consumed by anyone? We can water down things to the point of becoming edutainment, but that becomes *that*, edutaiment, not the presentation of a claim with its supporting data.

Can't wait to see Mathematicians making Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem in a manner consumable by the general public!

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

luis_a_espinal Whatever happened to scientific discussions then? (762 comments)

True as that may be, people who are absolutely nuts tend to use the perpetual openness of science as an excuse to inject irrelevant, arbitrary insanity into discussions of fact.

You seem to be missing the point of TFA. Science doesn't need you to discuss it - it stands on it's own.

If this were true, we wouldn't have multiple physics/cosmological theories trying to explain observed phenomena or expected attributes on the nature of time and space.

If you have to discuss/debate it you have moved well out of the realm of science and into politics.

Kinda like the time when physicists were divided between those who theorized the Universe to be eternal and immutable vs those who thought of it as having a dynamic nature (expanding/shrinking with a creation starting point)?

Science not only relies on explanations of observations already taken. It also relies on PREDICTIONS (and the theories that proposed them) that are thought to be logical/inevitable based on what is has already been observed. Further experiments take place until these theories are debunked, reaffirmed or revisited. The process by which this takes place is strongly based on debate.

Even mathematical proofs are open to debate. You submit your proof. Peers attack it. If they find a chink in the armor, they send it back to you, and you now have to prove that the error is not fundamental, that your original proof can still be revisited and salvaged.

All politics are discussions. Not all discussions are politics - or are you not familiar with scientific discussions? If discussions have no place in science, then we pretty much close the door in the creation and presentation of scientific theories (which are just discussions and proposals which only become facts when experiments corroborate their predictions.) There is no exception to that and frankly it's disgusting you claim affinity for scientific knowledge and understanding and can't grasp such a basic concept.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

luis_a_espinal Re:Powershell (725 comments)

Two reasons:

1. POSIX environments have already been done on Windows, and they universally suck. SFU/Interix is shit. Cygwin is shit. MKS Toolkit is shit. MinGW/MSYS, which does a better job than any of them, is mostly shit. Even UnxUtils, which is just binaries modified for use with the actual Windows cmd shell are mostly shit. There are so many fundamental differences of philosophy that make working with a Windows system as though it were a POSIX system fundamentally untenable. You're stuck with mostly just munging text files in a binary world.

2. Powershell is what .NET developers think Windows administrators want in a shell. That's why you're allowed to do stuff like import .NET assemblies and use essentially unmodified C# code, but there's still no native SFTP client or server.

Powershell is about 90% of what an administrator actually wants in a shell, and it's actually not that bad. Compared to cmd.exe or VBscript it's balls out fantastic. However, an administrator shouldn't need to learn about .NET objects to be able to write a script, and they shouldn't feel like there's such a fundamental separation between what the shell can do with .NET piping and what executable programs can do. There's a very real encouragement to make everything in Powershell written in and with Powershell exclusively. Like no calling of a binary to do something unless you have no other choice. The shell and the community philosophy very much discourage that... for no real reason other than it's more difficult to get a .NET object out of a binary file and manipulate it with arbitrary .NET methods. I've seen people re-implement a command line zip program with [System.IO.Compression] instead of just using 7z.exe. Why? Just so they can use .NET objects that they never do anything with.

Honestly I really love Powershell, but I wish the philosophy were geared more around getting shit done than getting shit done with .NET.

Powershell can get anything done for automating things on Windows, but I sure wish they had done a better job defining the syntax and the cmlets. Seriously, that is some convoluted, dirty shit going on right there. So bad that at times I've considered IronPython a better, more modular alternative (in some circumstances obviously.)

OTH, I do like Powershell's ability to integrate with .NET. That really helps automating certain things when developing, delivering and customizing complex turn-key solutions in Windows. At least that has been my experience, and quite naturally YMMV.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

luis_a_espinal Re:Powershell (725 comments)

And bash having it is precisely why powershell has it. They wanted to capture every bash user as instantly friendly for neo-dos, and stole as many nix commands as they could. I haven't actually tried, but I have this suspicion that a fair number of bash scripts would just work in powershell.

Oh my god, this post hurts to read. Powershell scripting is nothing like Unix shell scripting in general (and Bash scripting in particular). Completely different beasts, syntactically and semantically. It's like suggesting PL/SQL scripts would work when executed by a Python interpreter.

about two weeks ago
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Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By Its Own Restoration Team

luis_a_espinal Here Comes Straw Man! (246 comments)

Your mistake is that it doesn't take "an entire country/culture" to destroy the pyramids, just like destroying the Buddhas of Bamiyan didn't take the concerted effort of every Muslim in Afghanistan.

Your mistake is to fail and reading comprehension and/or have a willingness to bring a strawman to the table.

It would have been MY mistake to assume it must take an entire culture to destroy valuable archaeological sites. But I didn't so fuck you very much.

If we rub a few neurons together till they spark and apply the most basic rules of reading comprehension, we see that my reply was specific to this statement :

Egyptian Muslims have already called for the destruction of the pyramids and the sphinx

That is an ambiguously quantified, poorly worded, if not ignorant and malicious statement. A more appropriate statements of the fact would have included something like "Some Egyptians Muslims" or "Extremist Egyptian Muslims" or "Egyptian Religious Radicals". Those provide a more accurate dimension to the problem as opposed to something that can (and will be passed by idiots) as a blanket generalization.

If I see some White dude with Nazi tats screaming vitriol against minorities, I'm not going to say "White People call for race war". I would quantify and qualify the individual or individuals appropriately so as to not open the door to idiots looking to push the "guilt by association" button. This same rule applies to anyone and anywhere regardless of ethnic/cultural/religious background.

I never stated that it must take an entire culture to destroy the pyramids. What I said had nothing to do with such a claim.

It was not my mistake to make. It was your mistake to attribute that on me. But hey, don't let me get in the way to build strawmen for whatever silly and/or twisted reasons that rock your boat.

about two weeks ago
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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

luis_a_espinal Re:Support our scientists ! (203 comments)

In elementary school, my kids did an independent science fair project every year. They learned to do graphical programming in Scratch. The school had several teams that competed in robotic competitions.

FYI that's not a normal public school.

The problem with public education in the US is that it tends to be locally funded, so you get whatever your neighbors are willing to pay for.

Capable of paying for. That is a more accurate statement.

about two weeks ago
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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

luis_a_espinal Not a Public Education Issue (203 comments)

In elementary school, my kids did an independent science fair project every year. They learned to do graphical programming in Scratch. The school had several teams that competed in robotic competitions.

FYI that's not a normal public school.

It is if you are middle class. And it is not just a public school issue. It is also an income issue. My girl will have a greater chance of success given that

  1. I can afford pouring her with educational activities,
  2. and that I can afford having one of us parents stay at home to help her with homework,
  3. and that I can afford keeping her busy with extra curricular activities,
  4. and that both of us are college educated

compared to another kid of the same age and talent potential whose parents

  1. cannot afford pouring her with the same amount of educational activities
  2. cannot afford for one of them to stay home for them,
  3. will inevitably spend more idle time because of that

Neither situation implies guarantee success for my girl nor failure for the hypothetical kid in the comparison. But the conditions and disparities are real, and amount and accrue to tilt the odds one way. No amount of public education the way it is funded nowadays can change that.

We know how to teach. We simply allow a system that permits the existence of school districts better funded than others.

The problem people are discussing here is not about the school system per say, but the system that funds public education which is a) highly local, and b) relies heavily on real state taxes. If there were true state and federal level public education funding systems and/or if we were to diversify local public education funding away from real state taxes, you would see a change.

You can have a great brain surgeon or a world class oncologist, but he will not do his magic if you pay him crap, you only give him a Neolithic stone dagger and a bag of aspirins to do his work, and you measure his performance under such conditions. It is not a problem with his professional potential, but the system that funds him and deploys him.

This is very obvious. So why do we examine public education on a different light? It is not our public education system that is doing this or that. It is the system that funds it, and our culture's ethos regarding the role of state and federal government that are a) vital to our society and b) whose support systems are fundamentally broken.

Either we get Fed/big government involved, or we get local governments to find more equitative (cue morons screaming "socialism!"), more diversified sources of funding away from things that are purely a function of economic brackets/classes (real state taxes.)

We do not want big government involved, but at the same time, we do not do shit to properly fund public education across all income brackets and neighborhoods? How the hell does that make sense? How the hell does this become a fault of our public education system?

about two weeks ago
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UCLA, CIsco & More Launch Consortium To Replace TCP/IP

luis_a_espinal Re:Great idea at the concept stage. (253 comments)

These 'things' add up. I have no need for a expresso machine that is internet-contected, but I'm sure some marketing boy can sell it to my significant other. And I'm sure it will use most of it's packets to send data back to the marketing boy.

Unless we have hundreds of appliances, or more continuously pinging each other (or dozens sending each other barrage of critical data in an uber-QoS menage-a-trois) those will not add up to require "modern internet speeds".

about two weeks ago
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UCLA, CIsco & More Launch Consortium To Replace TCP/IP

luis_a_espinal Re:Great idea at the concept stage. (253 comments)

This. There's likely trillions of dollars invested in IPv4 that is going to be around for decades. Consider the Internet like highways and train track widths - we're stuck with it for a very long time.

Three words for you: Long term thinking. Replacement of TCP/IP will happen, just not now or in the near future. Tech companies/consortia and academia are simply paving the way. Thank God that not everyone subscribe to the notion of doing something only if it is bound to a near-term execution plan.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Harness E. Coli To Produce Propane

luis_a_espinal "Well, Actually" Syndrome (82 comments)

An intestinal bacteria, you say.

I will have to claim prior art. My family has been manufacturing methane the same way for generations.

If you knew the slightest thing about chemistry you'd know that Propane and Methane are not the same gas.

Nothing kills an embarrassingly obvious joke more than a TBU (true-but-useless) tidbit.

Here, read this to celebrate your technically correct moment of glory :) http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2011/Feb-17.html

about two weeks ago
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Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

luis_a_espinal Re:Shades of 2167 (152 comments)

"What it does, is that it helps an organization guarantee that its constituent parts know what activities to do under what circumstances and tasks in a business lifecycle." That claim is unsupportable, since it ignores the role of tacit knowledge; it ignores all the things that the process manual doesn't say; and it ignores all the ways in which the process manual overstructures the work.

That is why I said this (re-quoting myself in bold/underline below):

"What it does, is that it helps

I guess the following I'm going to say was supposed to be implicit, I will have to be explicit. Only in slashdot.

Of course it ignores tacit knowledge and all the things that the process manual doesn't say. It has to, because attempting to do is impossible in the general case. A process is not supposed to be all encompassing and inclusive. It is supposed to operate at a meta level, to provide structure around activities. It is supposed to be more strategic than tactical. Very few things in a process would cut down to the bare metal of day-to-day operations.

When a process, formal or informal becomes more tactical than strategic, that is when it falls into the realm of micromanaging. Once you have micromanaging in place, then you cannot use such a process to improve things because of all the other dysfunctional social/political forces that cause the process to become micromanaging in the first place.

Again, a capability model is not concerned if your process is geared towards continuous improvement or micromanaging. It is only concerned with the degree in which a) you have one, and b) that you follow it.

If you have a process that is functional, and your organization is functional, and that it follows said process, IT WILL HELP said organization with its improvements.

I should not have to spell that out. It should be self-evident. It should also be self-evident that if any of these pre-conditions are met, then all bets are off (and that such a situation is not a capability model's concern.)

As James C. Scott points out in /Seeing Like a State/, this is exactly the reason why work-to-rule campaigns can be as effective (that is, more disruptive) than a strike.

Yes, you are describing a dysfunctional situation, a combination of a dysfunctional organization, system or set of players and a a dysfunctional process open to abuse. None of that is a capability model's concern, nor are inevitable consequences of having a process.

about two weeks ago
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Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

luis_a_espinal Re:Shades of 2167 (152 comments)

not the specs per say

Per se.

As a person whose first language is not English, I thank you for your gratuitous lecture.

Do try not to write things you've only heard spoken.

Oh uhmmm, m'kay?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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American girl, 8, is target of ultra-Orthodox Jews

luis_a_espinal luis_a_espinal writes  |  more than 2 years ago

luis_a_espinal (1810296) writes "Attacks by ultra-Orthodox Jews who have spit on and yelled at an 8-year-old American girl walking to school in their Israeli neighborhood has prompted thousands of people to protest, many who see this as a struggle of the very nature of the Israeli state. Coverage of this is absent in several news venues (in particular CNN). Equally absent is the voice of protests by US politicians and the 700-club crowd at the sight of an 8-year old American girl being spat upon by adult men. It begs the question why US politicians and US Christian groups have been absent in raising voices of protest. It also puts into question the future of Israel. Is gender segregation to be the norm as the demographic make up of Israel changes over time?"
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