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Messages - Conservationist

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Interzone / Re: IT & CS: dead-end careers
« on: April 24, 2012, 08:17:16 PM »
Can, but rarely do.

Interzone / How to save wildlife
« on: April 24, 2012, 08:16:04 PM »
How to save wildlife:

Before Polynesian settlers arrived here hundreds of years ago in their outrigger canoes, Hawaii had more than 120 species of birds — and no mammals to eat them. Land birds flourished in the absence of land predators, and seabirds flew in from all over the world to nest undisturbed on the ground.

All of that changed with the arrival of humans — and the dogs, cats, rats and mongooses that came with them. Hawaii became the extinction capital of the world; all but a few species of land birds disappeared or diminished to tiny numbers, and many seabirds avoided extinction only by flying to other islands.

But here on this wild, windswept point just 30 miles from Waikiki’s crowded beaches, the first predator-proof fence in the United States, built last year by Xcluder, a New Zealand company, is helping to restore the land to a pristine state and proving a boon for scientists and bird-watchers.


“The fence is doing its job,” said Eric VanderWerf, a biologist who, with his wife, Lindsay C. Young, is studying populations of albatrosses and shearwaters on a grant from the Packard Foundation. “The cats and mongooses were killing 15 percent of the chicks every year, and now they’re all gone.”


Isolated it.
Keep us out.
Let it manage itself.


Interzone / Re: The Potential of Video Games
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:36:43 PM »

Interzone / Am I going to hell for laughing at this?
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:35:21 PM »
Why were so many prominent modernist writers and philosophers attracted to fascist or authoritarian regimes in the first half of the twentieth century? A list of those who were not—Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Thomas Mann, and Robert Musil—pales in comparison to a list of those who were—Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Knut Hamsun, Paul de Man, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Filippo Marinetti, Martin Heidegger, Robert Brasillach, and a host of others. Add to the latter the name of Gertrude Stein, one of the most avant-garde of modernist writers in the English language, who was also—it turns out—a committed supporter of Philippe Pétain, head of state of the pro-Nazi collaborationist Vichy regime in France during the Second World War.

Gertrude Stein, a Vichy supporter?  For most people, including those filling the rooms of several recent major museum exhibits on Stein, this news might come as a surprise. A Jewish-American experimental writer, friend of Picasso and muse to Hemingway, Gertrude Stein seems to embody high modernism in its most creative and progressive form. Her patronage of modernism’s giants—Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse—made her a radical in her day. Her playful and innovative writing seems to anticipate much of postmodern thought. Her open, unapologetic, same-sex partnership with Alice B. Toklas belongs more to the liberal world of 2012 than to 1912. And yet throughout her life Stein hewed to the political right, even signing up to be a propagandist for an authoritarian, Nazi-dominated political regime.


Artists like order, too.

Interzone / Re: Racial discontent
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:34:47 PM »
The technical problem for Zimmerman is Trayvon was not attacking with a pistol, just unarmed brawling.

Hence the importance of the stand-your-ground rule. Also, if there's no way to escape some states are lenient on firearm use. Hail Texas!

Interzone / Re: Radical Individualism.
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:33:11 PM »
Learning this saved the latter half of my youth... don't join the herd. The first rule of herd club is to deny being in herd club.

Interzone / Re: Complaints
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:32:44 PM »
Even if you really believe it, you should be able to recognize that effective people are capable of addressing criticisms even when they suspect ulterior motives on the part of their critics. Aren't you and Conservationist both always repeating that line about paying attention to ideas, and not the individuals who issue them? This is the way you lead and build consensus - not by falling back on passive aggressive prophecies of doom.

No, that's not a mark of a higher individual. It's the mark of an idiot. People of your nature temporarily outnumber him; why would he waste time addressing your repetitive arguments? Do it once, then move on. Move on to say something important instead.

Interzone / Re: Pro-tard viewpoints
« on: April 24, 2012, 10:40:46 AM »
(... because people don't like morons?).  

Interzone / Subterfuge
« on: April 24, 2012, 10:39:28 AM »
I reckon it should be necessary for people to be led through epistemic skepticism and nihilism/existentialism before they can post on these boards, seriously.

Perhaps we should insist that this entire board is a study group for a course named Epistemological Stochasticism: Underground Metal and the Blurring of Moral Certainty.

Interzone / Re: IT & CS: dead-end careers
« on: April 23, 2012, 09:48:51 PM »
Depth of general knowledge, breadth of surface knowledge. You will at some point want to specialize e.g. get very good at a particular toolset. Unless all you want is an above-average cube job.

Interzone / Sea change
« on: April 23, 2012, 09:47:46 PM »
Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen obtained a surprising 18% of the vote in the first-round of France’s presidential election Sunday night. But who will those votes go to in the second round?

Having secured nearly one in five votes cast in the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday, far right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen has the potential to swing what is likely to be a close second round on May 6.

But for the moment, Marine Le Pen is not asking her supporters to choose between incumbent centre-right President Nicolas Sarkozy or Socialist challenger François Hollande. Instead, she is basking in the glory of her surprisingly strong showing – more than 18% of the vote – and touting her party’s central message: that the two main parties interchangeably represent the “elite”, while she is the one true alternative to the status-quo in French politics.

“Tonight is historic,” Le Pen gushed to her supporters gathered in the 15th district of Paris on Sunday. “We are the only opposition to the ultra-liberal, libertarian left-wing.”


Never thought I'd see this in my lifetime.

She makes a good dichotomy: those who want a culture, versus the elites who want a market.

It's not an anti-capitalist message, but it clearly calls for some limits. People will like it, since even socialism-haters fear the idiocies possible under the "free market."

And we all want the tribe to return.

Interzone / Pro-tard viewpoints
« on: April 23, 2012, 08:30:10 PM »
The government called tonight, and said that we're subject to a media tax if we don't provide a balanced viewpoint, which means the other side gets a point of view.

Hence this thread.

I'll kick it off:

It is every high school girl's dream to be asked to the prom by a handsome young man.

The parents of Amber House, however, never thought their daughter would see that dream come true because she has Down Syndrome.

But thanks to one, sweet 16-year-old guy, Amber, 18, from Houston, Texas, was able to go to the prom like all the other high school teenagers last Thursday.


Nary a 'chipper in sight.

Interzone / Funding science
« on: April 23, 2012, 07:17:15 PM »
"The New York Review of Books has an article penned by Steven Weinberg lamenting the future of physics, cosmology and this era of 'big science' in which we find ourselves. A quote from Goldhaber sums up the problem nicely, 'The first to disintegrate a nucleus was Rutherford, and there is a picture of him holding the apparatus in his lap. I then always remember the later picture when one of the famous cyclotrons was built at Berkeley, and all of the people were sitting in the lap of the cyclotron.' The article is lengthy with a history of big physics projects (most painfully perhaps the SSC) but Weinberg's message ultimately comes across as pessimism laced with fatalism — easily understandable given his experiences with government funding. Unfortunately he notes, 'Big science has the special problem that it can't easily be scaled down. It does no good to build an accelerator tunnel that only goes halfway around the circle.' Apparently this article mirrors his talk given in January at the American Astronomical Society. If not our government, will anyone fund these immense projects or will physics slowly grind to a halt due to fiscal constraints?"


It's unbelievable to me that government does not want to fund big science. Then again, we're spending all our money on pensions, welfare, diversity programs and bureaucracy. Even in the military -- a huge portion of their budget is diversity, compliance, labor, etc. oriented.

Interzone / IT & CS: dead-end careers
« on: April 23, 2012, 07:15:42 PM »
"Many programmers find that their employability starts to decline at about age 35. Employers dismiss them as either lacking in up-to-date technical skills — such as the latest programming-language fad — or 'not suitable for entry level.' In other words, either underqualified or overqualified. That doesn’t leave much, does it? Statistics show that most software developers are out of the field by age 40. Employers have admitted this in unguarded moments. Craig Barrett, a former chief executive officer of Intel Corp., famously remarked that 'the half-life of an engineer, software or hardware, is only a few years,' while Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has blurted out that young programmers are superior."


Just like college has been devalued, there are now infinite code monkeys. Since the coding itself has been so radically standardized, thanks mostly to platform standardization, it's no longer a space for genius. In fact, it's where the blockhead clerks of yesterday have gone to practice.

This is why every IT person is scrambling for the exit to management...

Interzone / Re: Paranoia theories, not conspiracy theories
« on: April 23, 2012, 07:14:21 PM »
The Pentagon is revamping its spy operations to focus on high-priority targets like Iran and China in a reorganization that reflects a shift away from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan that have dominated America’s security landscape for the past decade.

Under the plan approved last week by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, case officers from the new Defense Clandestine Service would work more closely with counterparts from the Central Intelligence Agency at a time when the military and spy agency are increasingly focused on similar threats.


CIA, NSA, NSD, and now DCS. And FBI and HS.

Wonder what they all do?

They're watching Iran, China (and Russia) for military concerns.

This leaves the NSA monitoring domestically -- this is a good thing, since we're awash in spies and people who hate us.

But it leads me to ask: wouldn't it be easier to be ethnically, religiously and culturally homogenous? So we could stop spying on ourselves and lessen the paranoia?

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