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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

si3n4 Why do we need women in tech so bad? (479 comments)

we need a meritocracy - to have that all people need a chance to perform. If we have a culture and a practice of driving half the population away from a field we make both the group and the field poorer. So the idea that we have to have some specific number of women in tech may be faulty but the idea that we should examine how we do things and insure qualified and talented women get a chance to contribute seems pretty sensible. Having some kind of quantifiable target to insure actual effort is made is not unreasonable unless the target itself is. Pushing to get 20% candidates (didn't say hires) doesn't seem wildly off the wall. This is the last step in a chain of education and training that may all need examination but the creation of role models changes cultural expectations.

about a week ago
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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

si3n4 Re:It is simple (755 comments)

"Science doesn't disprove God so much as start by assuming God doesn't exist, and operate within the boundaries of what we can actually demonstrate" Really a great statement - I can't remember the book now but it started by pointing out science is fundamentally about predicting and controlling the future by knowing how to manipulate the physical world. For some people there is a hunger to understand the meaning of reality or the source of existence. That is not what science searches for or teaches. And in the end religion isn't any better at answering these questions - if God created the universe who created God - what does it mean for anything to exist. For the human mind at least it really is "elephants all the way down" (sorry obscure reference alert)

about three weeks ago
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EPA Makes Most Wood Stoves Illegal

si3n4 blue skies in China (1143 comments)

we could learn from the Chinese regulation of fine particulate :>)

about a year ago
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Voyager 1 Finds Unexpected Wrinkles At the Edge Of the Solar System

si3n4 Re:XKCD (164 comments)

V'Ger or V GER

about a year and a half ago
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Are There Any Real Inventors Left?

si3n4 Todays inventions are not todays products (417 comments)

Author is confused because he focuses only the ideas in commercial production. How long were lasers or LEDs or transistors or any number of fundamental inventions in existence before they made large commercial entrances that popular culture recognized? He needs to go into the labs and see how many fundamentally new items have been created in the last 10 years that are now in the world of development (and yes invention ) that reduces them to practice and economic accessibility and then tell us the cupboard is bare. Some guy whining about the shallowness of popular acclaim with a shallow assessment of the world.

about 2 years ago
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Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

si3n4 it might be another option but not the smart one (689 comments)

the smart one is to use the fact so many people want to come here to draw on the brain pool of the world and keep the country in a strong technical position that keeps us rich and keeps it such a nice place to be - see how that feedback loop works ? We should make it possible for the talented to stay.

about 2 years ago
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Critic Cites Revenge of the Sith As "Generation's Greatest Work of Art"

si3n4 And her the most insightful art critic (376 comments)

Jesus how much more tedious can 'this generation' get - by which I think I mean mine (maybe - how old is this chic)

more than 2 years ago
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Free Online Education Unwelcome In Minnesota

si3n4 Thanks Minnesota for the publicity (240 comments)

Never heard of these guys , now your stupid action has brought them to my attention.

more than 2 years ago
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Brain Scan Can Detect Autism In Infants

si3n4 this is "insightful" Re:Not early enough. (166 comments)

Downs is not autistic . I am not completely opposed to this point of view but an insightful person would recognize the slippery slope here. In some cultures being female is a 'defect' and children are aborted. I think we shouldn't walk that easily into arbitrary determinations of worth ...

more than 2 years ago
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Appropriations Bill Threatens Future Space Science Missions

si3n4 Illudium Q-36 (233 comments)

from Wikipedia "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" (sometimes pronounced "Illudium Pu-36") what a stupe I was as a child - just getting the Illudium joke now ....

more than 3 years ago
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Gut Bacteria Exert Mind Control

si3n4 Re:Was this unexpected? (221 comments)

not unexpected but unexplored I think. The impact of our digestive zoo seems more revealed each day - impacts on creating and suppressing disease , impact on the amount of nutrients we can get from the foods we eat , now perhaps contributions to our mental functioning. Maybe this got over hyped a little but I think the work is still interesting.

more than 3 years ago
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Cisco Accused of Orchestrating Engineer's Arrest

si3n4 Re:I don't understand how this is 'orchestrating' (160 comments)

Mod this guy up - whatever the truth of the case it seems like 10 months should be enough time to provide the evidence. Always hate to see the Canadians fall short - who's going to be our positive role model..

more than 3 years ago
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The Dying DVR Box and Woz Wisdom

si3n4 so I RTFA and it's interesting but incomplete (207 comments)

this is a lovely idea but surely isn't a complete vision of an education - part of the reason there are standard classes with standard exercises is that there are skills you need to have and background knowledge you need acquire to do the kind of cool stuff he envisions. You can't stand on the shoulders of giants if you don't climb up there and that is a lot of stuff to learn. Which doesn't mean that adding projects like this that drive a student to creatively exercise knowledge along the way wouldn't enrich and build on that understanding - just that you sort of do have to know what is already known to get to the point you can can add something new.

more than 3 years ago
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How Cyborg Tech Could Link the Minds of the World

si3n4 Obligatory Matrix reference (219 comments)

or the obligatory Star Trek Next Generation reference(s) - someone got a book out of this ?

more than 3 years ago
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The Logical Leap: Induction In Physics

si3n4 Re:Am I missing something? (630 comments)

Please mod this guy up. The best statement in this string about the fundamental error in the topic as presented . Anyone who feels they have come to understand the TRUTH about the world is welcome to it but that's not what science is about at it's core. It's about the creation of an outcome I desire by understanding "how" to create it. It's about finding the mathematical relationships between aspects of the reality we perceive - directly or through our tools. How we come to identify which mathematics might apply , envisioning models that build from our " "first-level" generalizations which are directly, perceptually obvious" , is an interesting topic but it never relates to discovering truth in the sense philosopher's seek.

about 4 years ago
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Hypersonic Radio Black-Out Problem Solved

si3n4 Re:The shuttle doesn't (currently) black out (88 comments)

thanks for the comment - I realize this quickly devolved into a discussion about what was or wasn't said in the article but it is interesting that the shape of the vehicle can create a hole in this plasma and thus provide another solution to the issue . Maybe it's not always possible to design the object involved to create this hole and the plasma antenna is a useful alternative, but in any case it was interesting to me to know this other 'solution' exists....

about 4 years ago

Submissions

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New Scientist story - isotope bochemistry

si3n4 si3n4 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

si3n4 (540106) writes "Bonds for the heavier isotopes of a chemical are often stronger than for the more abundant form . New Scientist has a story on belief that isotopic substitutions in biologic compounds might toughen them against free radicals (or later in story radiation) providing life extension . http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026841.800-would-eating-heavy-atoms-lengthen-our-lives.html"

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