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Why It's Bad That Smartphones Have Banished Boredom

misanthrope101 Not everyone is playing Angry Birds (351 comments)

You can also *read books* on your phone. Right now I'm reading Proust. So there is quite a bit of angsty introspection going on in my life right now. So just because someone is looking at their phone non-stop doesn't mean they're playing a game, or tweeting, or whatever. And if you're shallow, don't blame it on the phone, or the internet, or connectivity. Just spend less time with Angry Birds and more time with Thoreau.

about 2 years ago
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Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End

misanthrope101 Re:The real plan (346 comments)

To be fair, automobiles would be a money loser if government hadn't built roads and made the other subsidies necessary to make autos a tenable technology.

more than 3 years ago
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In Praise of Procrastination

misanthrope101 Re:No time for this right now (118 comments)

And don't forget the number of times that there are no penalties to avoid at all, because it turns out that the activity was unnecessary.

Yeah, I'm looking at you, work. The number of times it turns out that someone else has already done something, often even before I'm assigned a task, well, it pays to procrastinate.

Yeah, procrastination is actually my form of triage. If the deadline is months away, in the interim it may go away altogether, or at the very least the specifics and deliverables will change. Any work I do right now is generally a waste of effort, aside from looking like a Good Boy to the boss. And truthfully that does get figured in. Part of assessing the importance of a project is gauging the boss's enthusiasm. If we're talking about a metric that will make the boss look good, I prioritize it and go above and beyond. Making the boss look good is generally more important than the actual job. The downside is that the boss just assumes you can do all these shiny happy things and that the job just gets done, I suppose by magic elves.

more than 3 years ago
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Researchers Find a 'Liberal Gene'

misanthrope101 Re:And an absence predisposes you to conservativis (841 comments)

The reason that I'm going to call bullshit on this is that empirically "lefties" tend to become "righties" through age or experience. A liberal is just a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.

My experience is just the opposite. I was a libertarian through my 20's, when I (like most immature guys) thought I was John Galt and Zarathustra all rolled into one. And I *have* been mugged, as have many lefties. We're just aware of the seemingly obvious fact that voting Republican won't prevent you from getting mugged again. Like the myth that Republicans are better at national security, this is just so much self-congratulatory BS on the part of right-wingers.

more than 3 years ago
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Researchers Find a 'Liberal Gene'

misanthrope101 funny caricature, but... (841 comments)

"The father slowly smiled and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

I just hope she pays attention to her new party. They actually support quite a few wealth-redistribution programs, such as social security, farm subsidies, medicare, the Retiree Drug Subsidy, etc. Compared to the Libertarians, the Republicans are basically socialists.

more than 3 years ago
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Researchers Find a 'Liberal Gene'

misanthrope101 'liberal gene' anything like an 'empathy gene'? (841 comments)

I have to wonder if the 'liberal gene' isn't also something along the lines of a 'empathy gene.' I don't mean this purely in the virtuous sense. Empathy can be paralyzing and, if taken to extremes, make for some pretty bad law. The caricatures of the effete liberal too afraid to hurt someone's creativity or wound someone's feelings are all tied to an excess of empathy. Conservatives seem to think that people who are bad off just deserved it. Well, unless it's *them,* in which case the liberals killed their inner John Galt.

more than 3 years ago
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Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

misanthrope101 Re:Tea Party (305 comments)

and it will be curious to see if they can survive their own success.

Sort of. If/when Republicans take majorities again, and/or the White House, the Tea Party will fade away. Sky-high spending will still be the norm, but the evil socialist Democrats won't be the ones doing it. If/when the Democratic Party win another election, the Tea Party phenom will be back, blaming the liberals for everything and crying "throw the bums out!" These people aren't pro-anything. They're anti-Obama, anti-Pelosi, or anti-anyone who is to the left of Rush Limbaugh. They aren't even for small government, because they generally don't favor cutting off social security, medicare, farm subsidies, and other eminently socialist parasite handouts. Granted, they don't want taxes collected to pay for these programs, but that's a given.

more than 3 years ago
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Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

misanthrope101 Re:Yes and no. (305 comments)

His election was essentially a flash mob, with just as much staying power.

I somehow doubt all that many were swayed by Obama's use of social media. Probably about as many as were swayed by Clinton's sax playing on a talk show. Obama could have called it "the internets" and I would still have voted for him over anyone who would choose Palin for anything. Do I wish he were better? Of course. But I'll probably vote for him again, because I can't see that Palin or Huckabee or Gingrich could be good for my country.

more than 3 years ago
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A Video Guide To Akihabara

misanthrope101 what's wrong with both? (121 comments)

Well, if you don't go in *both* the tourist trap duty-free shops *and* the backalley places where you can barely turn around, you haven't really gone to Akihabara. I was stationed near there for a few years, and loved it, just for the coolness factor. I liked the little warren of components and tool shops, but I also liked the high-end stores with $40,000 (in Yen equivalent) speakers. I thought it was cool to see the bleeding edge stuff. I remember reading about a new 50" LCD TV on a blog somewhere, and seeing it that evening for sale in Akihabara, for $25K. I still have that accursed Bic Camera tune stuck in my head, since there was one of those 10 minutes from my house. I do miss Tokyo, and I hope to get a job there again one day. My only disappointment with Akihabara was that there is almost no Linux representation there. There were a few Linux books in the big stores (in Japanese, naturally), and even Latex books, but mostly it's a Windows-only ad-space. I never even saw Linux or BSD cds for sale.

more than 3 years ago
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Emulation Arrives On the PS3

misanthrope101 Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (169 comments)

the scope of the current generation just allows for so much more in a game and my sense of nostalgia is not strong enough to persuade me to turn back

Meh. I can't play the modern games, because the 3D moving thing gives me a headache. But I love retro games like Robotron, Joust, Centipede, etc. No, I wouldn't buy a console just for those, but I bought my daughter a PS3 and I'd like to be able to play all those arcade classics they've released over the years for the PS1 and PS2. My daughter has Assassin's Creed II, which looks awesome, but it's not my cup of tea. I get a headache even watching for more than 10 minutes, and anyhoo I don't really like the storyline games. So the lack of old games essentially means that I'm stuck with Tekken and... that's about it. I'm not claiming that retrogrouches represent a significant market, but we do exist.

more than 3 years ago
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Wikileaks To Publish Remaining Afghan Documents

misanthrope101 Re:save lives by exposing military tactics.... (711 comments)

Julian Assange is acting a spy really, getting stolen documents about operations and publishing them.

Whoa, it's not like he outed Valerie Plame or something.

about 4 years ago
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Just One Out of 16 Hybrids Pays Back In Gas Savings

misanthrope101 Re:That's how the market is supposed to work. (762 comments)

...it has a special cargo area to haul your smug around! It has never been about saving money, but about the very American idea of expressing your personal values through your choice of vehicle.

I don't drive a hybrid, just a beater diesel. However, I don't feel any guilt for moderate self-congratulation for using less gasoline. The BP fiasco is traceable, at least in part, to our dependence on gasoline. If you use less gasoline, there is less need to drill a mile under the ocean, and thus less probability of catastrophes like this happening. Also, and this is the biggie for me, Islamic fundamentalist terrorists get their money from oil. If you use less gas, they get less money. That's a good thing. At no point have I ever thought I was saving the world by using less gas. But I do believe that using less gas is a good thing. Call that smug if you want, but don't kid yourself into thinking that the amount of gasoline you use has no effect beyond the money you gave up for it.

about 4 years ago
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Genetically Modified Canola Spreads To Wild Plants

misanthrope101 Re:unintentionally? (414 comments)

I'd say Monsanto should win - stealing their seeds is wrong. But if his fields had been naturally pollinated, why should he be responsible for Monsanto's inability to contain their pollen?

What puzzles me is that Monsanto can sue people for "infringing" on their rights, but no one is prosecuting them for trespassing on other people's property. If I let my dog diddle in your yard, aren't I legally responsible for that? What is Monsanto's pollen doing in someone else's fields? Why are Monsanto's plants having illegal hot plant sex with someone else's plants?

about 4 years ago
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Genetically Modified Canola Spreads To Wild Plants

misanthrope101 Re:In fact (414 comments)

A completely unregulated, free market tends towards consolidation of power into large companies and ultimately monopoly. This maximizes corruption every bit as effectively as a strong, centralized government.

Which is why I'm no longer a libertarian. Power corrupts. Libertarians seem to read this as "government power corrupts," which isn't the same thing. I've had consistent problems finding libertarians upset over the actions of Monsanto, Blackwater, etc. Basically no problem exists unless the government is doing it, and their only solution is to say "less government." That someone could do bad stuff for profit isn't even on the radar.

about 4 years ago
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Women Dropping Out of IT

misanthrope101 I call BS (706 comments)

Women are too smart for careers in computers. Most intelligent women take a close look at the unrepentantly fucked-up culture that surrounds computing careers, and run like hell.

But women work in nursing and teaching, both of which are renowned for their screwed-up cultures. Nurses are known for "eating their young." Politics and bullying abounds. Passive-aggressive is still aggressive. I work for nurses and I'm related to teachers, and I can tell you that these female-dominated fields have cultures just as malignant as anything in IT. I know *female* nurses who, when you ask why they hate nursing, say "women!" Don't think it's all milk and honey elsewhere.

more than 4 years ago
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Ninth Suicide At iPhone Factory

misanthrope101 New Balance (539 comments)

"Asics, Adidas and New Balance are manufactured in the same horrible places.

New Balance makes shoes in the USA. Not ALL of their shoes, but some of them.

more than 4 years ago
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Hunting Disease Origins By Whole-Genome Sequencing

misanthrope101 Re:Can of Worms? (124 comments)

Frankly, there are plenty of corporations out there that would happily toss babies into a wood chipper if there was any profit in it.

And for every one of those corporations, 10 million conservatives and libertarians who would take to the web to explain in great detail why them doing so was moral, beneficial to us all, and would only be opposed by statist, collectivist fools who would rush us headlong to the Soviet model. In the libertarian world, if it's profitable then it's moral. In the conservative one, the same formula applies, except for drugs and sex.

more than 4 years ago
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Gas Wants To Kill the Wind

misanthrope101 speaking of boondoggles, where's my car? (479 comments)

I'd only call it mildly successful when it can run at least 50% without government subsidies. and fully successful when it is >99%

Considering how much we spend on building and maintenance of roads, not to mention military intervention to protect cheap oil, can we consider automobiles viable yet? What a boondoggle that's been!

more than 4 years ago
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Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic

misanthrope101 Re:Yawn right back at ya (807 comments)

You're missing the point that the IPCC's data was just one of the sources. There have been thousands of studies, papers, etc, and the entire field of AGW does not hinge on the IPCC. All science, and all human activity for that matter, will have bad data points. The ~97% of climatologists who accept AGW did not do so solely because the IPCC said so. The field is huge, with dozens of organizations and universities, thousands of scientists, etc. Aside from that, exactly what percentage of the IPCC's data is suspect? Or are you assuming that we have to ignore everything they ever published or concluded, based on a couple of errors? Is that the plan?

Medical science has been wrong before. No question. Does that mean we reject all medicine, until we have absolute certitude? Science does not offer theological certitude. The finding and correcting of error is PART of science. I'm very accustomed to conservative attempts to use any and all errors in science to discredit evolution, stem cell research, medical marijuana, the HPV vaccine, and AGW. I'm also very familiar with conservative attempts to portray themselves as the defenders of "real" science, independent thought, etc, meaning only that they have implicit trust in anyone in any field who rejects AGW, evolution, the efficacy of sex ed, etc. I will continue to get my info on AGW from climatologists, not from right-wing pundits like Glen Beck or whoever.

more than 4 years ago
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Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic

misanthrope101 Yawn right back at ya (807 comments)

This is simple, IPCC was married with politics, like much of the entire debate. Everyone back to the lab, the field, the research. Stop pandering to politicians and environmentalists, and come up with some science!

Unfortunately, the science has been done, by climatologists. However, they said a bunch of stuff that some of us didn't want to hear, which by definition makes it controversial, so we pretend that the science is still murky. Throwing out Gore's movie or the entire IPCC doesn't change the bare fact that about 97 out of a hundred climatologists will tell you that humans are exacerbating global warming.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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misanthrope101 misanthrope101 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

misanthrope101 writes "What are the current uses of evolutionary theory? Meaning, what scientific or technological fields use ideas taken from evolutionary theory, such as descent with modification, mutation/selection, and so on? The most obvious would be antiobiotic research, and I've read of genetic algorithms in computer science, but I'd guess there are more applications. I'm not asking for anyone to write me a dissertaion (and this isn't for a school project anyway) but I can't seem to find a good summary of the different fields to which evolutionary theory is relevant."

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