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Comment Re:GRIDS! (Score 4, Insightful) 190

Any theories as to why Slashdot attracts so many garbage people? And to be clear, by "garbage people", I mean seriously shitty, messed-up human beings.

You misspelled "troll" but I'll float a theory as to why they're attracted to Slashdot: (1) anonymity; (2) minimal consequences for posting offensive material, especially as AC; and (3) an easily-provoked audience whose responses feed their egos.

Comment I'm pleased... (Score 3, Funny) 183

I'm pleased that Slashdot has posted this story because, I'm uh, I'm the author of this study! ... yeah, that's it ... and, and uh, I invented the machine that scanned the subjects' brains! ... and I invented a way to control their brains so that the study supported my hypothesis! ... yeah, that's the ticket ... and they paid me so they could lie even more!!! And then I sent them all to Slashdot to post comments on this thread! Yeah, that's it...

Comment Re:Slashdot Is Full of Idiots Now (Score 1) 352

Isn't skepticism the very vital essence of science?

Yes, but there is an enormous difference between skepticism and denialism.

Skeptics form the "loyal opposition" in the field of science. They seek to uncover flaws and errors in the results of other studies, with the aim of improving science. Just like the scientists they challenge in good faith, they are prepared to accept that they may be wrong.

Denialists seek to destroy science, not improve it. They follow a pattern of rejection of any scientific result that disagrees with their world-view, no matter what the cost to logic and reality. And they never accept that they may be wrong. In short, denialists are not scientists.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 561

I was talking to my officemate a couple of months ago about relational databases (she was doing a course on them). I prefer to think about things in a quite mathematical way, and I was trying t ooffer some insight in that direction. Turns out she apparently used to be decent at maths but dropped it after being told repeatedly in school words t othe effects of "maths isn't for girls".

This, in spades.

The thing we should be concerned about is not whether there are "enough" women in computing, it's why the percentage of them is falling. If it's simply because women in general aren't into computing as a career, then fine. But if it's because the culture is hostile to them, then let's do something about that, m'kay?

Your friend who was told math is not for girls apprently was not schooled in Iceland.

Comment Re:fallacy (Score 2) 175

Did they access to the 1996 data when they developed the model?

Well of course they did. How else could they test the 1996 predictions the model made from the 1995 (and earlier) data?

You build models by using prior data to adjust the model's parameters to "predict" new data, until the accuracy of the prediction is optimal.

You seem to imply that they cheated somehow. Generally, scientists are honest, with the exception of a small minority who are discovered by their peers and vilified.

Comment Re:Personal quantum computers for what? (Score 1) 86

Do you ever wonder what the world will look like when everyone has their own personal [insert any revolutionary technology created over the past several hundred years]?

Sure, the human race has wondered this on many occasions. And we're still here. Let's hope it stays that way.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 1) 281

Is it even legal to use this in any developed country? Any sort of problem (a delay in the mechanism, failure or bystanders) and you got a terrorism charge.

Good question. IANAL, but my guess would be that the manufacturers are at fault if the mechanism fails and injures unintended victims.

As far as a would-be thief's injuries are concerned, a quick google search suggests that a booby-trap may be legal as long as it is not lethal.


That being said, there may be a liability problem for someone who uses such a device. A would-be thief may be able to sue, depending on the circumstances and local laws. A jurisdiction that follows the doctrine of contributory negligence will not allow a thief to sue, because they were at fault for their injury. A jurisdiction that follows the doctrine of comparative fault would allow the courts to decide to what extent the thief's actions contributed to their injury, and reduce any award accordingly.

Comment Re:having more money (Score 3, Interesting) 126

Many studies have indicated that people are happier when they feel well-off compared to others as opposed to being well-off in an absolute sense.


It's a bit distressing to learn that we get a kick from schadenfreude, but there it is.

Comment Re:Election of 1968 (Score 1) 331

Nixon committed treason in the literal sense of the word

I come to bury Nixon, not to praise him.

That being said, while you may think he committed treason in the literal sense, he did not in the legal sense.

Treason is defined in the US Constitution as aiding or giving comfort to an enemy at a time of war declared by Congress. Congress did not declare war officially on Vietnam. In fact, Congress has not declared war officially on any nation since 1942.

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