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Everything posted by Rudmer

  1. I am a CS major who was completely uninterested in the field until I took a programming class in high school, and I can't help but agree with this. However, I will say that if I had to learn Scheme as my first programming language, rather than something like Python or Java, I would have been much less likely to pursue CS any further. Back to the broader subject of this thread: does it really matter if there is a lack of a certain gender in any given field? I can understand how being the only female in a class could be uncomfortable, but if you enjoy the subject matter then it shouldn't be such a big deal. And from my observations, at least, there is hardly a chauvinistic bias in CS -- things like coursework grading, idea and work attribution, and inclusion in discussions and collaboration is pretty much even across sexes. If anything, female CS majors are given a bit more attention and respect, because they're such a rarity. It may be different in other "male-dominated" fields, but CS and IT (at least in my experience) are about as sexism-free as they come.
  2. I saw the end -- basically, Bats was shitting his pants. But that's not action, that's buildup. At least show the first lunge or something, you know?
  3. Well, that was thoroughly unsatisfying. I was hoping for some actual Bane vs Bats action. I still have my fingers crossed that the movie imitates the comics, and has Bane break Bats' back. Hopefully any future trailers will be more exciting and inspiring.
  4. Last time I checked, "homosexuality" was not an entity capable of rational, conceptual thinking, and thus is unable to value anything. Homosexual people, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of valuing life just as much as anyone else. If your definition of "valuing life" necessitates the desire to procreate, then I know many straight people who would not fall into your definition, either. Ayn Rand was most likely one --she lived a long, full life and never had children. The desire to procreate has absolutely nothing to do with having one's life as a standard of value. EDIT: I see Dante beat me to the punch, and you responded. Props.
  5. (This was originally posted by me on my tumblr, here.) “An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.” - Cobb, Inception I want to found a startup. Pretty simple idea, right? I wish. This thought, which began as a mere twinkling of a research idea over a year ago, has been a large blip on my radar all semester and has started consuming every precious cycle of my brain’s free processing time in the past two months. So in just over a year I have gone from thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if…?” to considering transforming the entire charted course of my life. Like a lot of people, I grew up with certain ingrained ideas about the proper and responsible path through life. Do well in high school. Go to college. Get a degree. Get married. Find a good job. Exceed expectations at said job, climbing the ladder while saving for retirement. Buy a house. Probably (definitely, if you ask my mother) have some kids along the way, and raise them right. Retire, possibly a few years earlier than the standard 65 years old, and buy an RV in which to tour the continent. This paradigm has a lot going for it. It is stable, methodical, low risk if you set your mind to it, proven effective, and approved by wise elders everywhere as the “American Dream.” Above all, it’s fairly comfortable. But the standard paradigm also has some downsides. I’m lucky enough to be engaged to the love of my life, and I plan to spend the rest of it with her. I’m a good student, mostly because I love learning. But the rest of it just seems so … stale. A nine-to-five job with a technology company or defense contractor? Frugality, saving, and some conservative investment? A mortgage in suburbia? All of it is palatable enough, but hardly gourmet fare. Last summer, I interned for a large defense company. I was attracted to them because of the good pay, but also because they make some pretty cool stuff — radios, radars, and missiles, oh my! While the glamor mostly held up once I actually started working, a whole new facet of the business was revealed to me in short order. There was of course the office politics and bureaucratic nightmares that come with any large company. But much worse than that, coding for them was BORING. Highly detailed specifications written and approved by non-coders and non-users. Standardized interfaces. Work orders. Design reviews. Code reviews. Nightly, weekly, and production builds. Meetings for meetings for meetings. Basically, it was everything from a software engineering class, but more institutionalized. Bleh. I want to create. I want to find a big problem and fix it, or have a big idea and design, implement, and refine it. There was some of that at my “day job” last summer — I had a big hand in designing the user interface for some new windows — but it was mostly drowned in the muck and drudgery. I want to be my own boss. I want to come into work at noon in shorts and a t-shirt and code my brains out until three o’clock in the morning. I want to build something users love, and make it even better by rapidly releasing new features based on their feedback. Though it is not unlikely that I will fail, I at least want a shot at solving the “money problem” early on in my life, so that I can do what I want for the rest of it instead of just doing what I have to. I want to work on something new, innovative, unique, and full of potential. I want to found a startup.
  6. Rudmer


    The scenario I'm envisioning is basically this: You, your lover, and a Predator are in a sewer. The Predator has a . . . whatever extremely deadly weapon Predators use . . . and is going to kill on of you because, well, he's a Predator and therefore one of you has to die. There is no reasoning with him because he's a Predator. You can't take the weapon from him because he's a Predator (and even if you could, he'd still kill one of you with his bare hands). You can't run, because he's a Predator. And that's as far as I'll go with that. You've constructed a "lifeboat scenario" which anyone is highly unlikely to encounter. Why am I in the desert/sewer with a terrorist/Predator? Why don't I have a gun/Predator-weapon myself? Why is the terrorist/Predator only going to kill one of us, but not necessarily the other? Ethics are not for the fantastical situation, nor the highly unlikely one. The proper function of ethics is to direct one's action in pursuit of one's values in the context of reality.
  7. Rudmer


    I have to say, I think that there's a small but not inconsequential false dichotomy here. Taking the bullet or not are not, realistically, my only options. Would I take a bullet for the one I love? Absolutely. Would I do anything I could to make sure it wouldn't come to that, up to and including killing the other dude first? Even more absolutely. Anyone doing the former but not the latter has, by their actions, shown that they do not value their loved one as much as they claim to, which makes the act of taking the bullet self-sacrificial.
  8. I think this is a great short. The repetitive structure is a great way to advance the narrative, and the ending definitely tugs at the heart strings a bit. Bravo.
  9. I purchased and read this yesterday, and it's actually not too shabby. As Superman, the character is just as fantastic and has the exact same sense of life as the traditional Superman character. I actually like that they changed Clark Kent from a gargantuan doofball to a more normal (if moderately depressed) guy. Seeing him first come out as Superman had a lot more affect that way -- it's like Superman is who he truly is, that when he's wearing the cape he's free and that the Clark Kent persona is the mask he has to wear. BTW, it's worth noting that they are not recreating Superman (like they did to Wonder Woman recently), only re-imagining him for this series. He will continue to be the big doof we all know in the rest of the DC Universe. And now you all know that I'm a comicbook geek.
  10. You're in the wrong place if you expect "non-judgmental" responses. Not judging means not using ones mind, which is (if anything is) the "cardinal sin" of Objectivism. As Ayn Rand said: Source: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/moral_judgment.html
  11. I would agree with you, if this thread was his first or second or tenth. But he has been doing this for weeks now, and has been told multiple times by experienced members and moderators to knock it off, and yet he continues. Smells like a troll to me.
  12. And he won't. Someone, in every thread, always tries to get him to think for himself, to reason without being spoon-fed the correct, obvious answer. He absolutely refuses to do so. Your average three-year-old does more thinking than JacobGalt appears to be doing -- at least three-year-olds are constantly asking "why" and inventing new ways to get into mischief. With JacobGalt, it's always the same mischief: ask an inane question in the title, write one or two sentences that do little to explain or expound, and then sit back and wait for the answers (many of them rather annoyed, many of them trying to nudge him along like yours) to start rolling in. Mods: is there a way for me to programmatically filter this guy without checking the author of the thread? I'm sick of clicking on his threads because the titles sound interesting, and then being treated to such inanity. (Edited for grammar.)
  13. In this thread: a lazy troll asks everyone to do his thinking (and his homework) for him. Again.
  14. I've been trying to get my hands on this book for a few weeks, and hadn't even thought to look for a (free!) ebook version. Thanks!
  15. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal is the obvious recommendation. Enjoy.
  16. I'm hardly as seasoned as many others on here, but that sounds to be on the right path to me. Basically, what it boils down to is the axiom "existence exists." Any discussion or argument of anything implicitly acknowledges that fact, even if it is explicitly denying it. Welcome to the forum, btw.
  17. Welcome to the forums! I'm more of a lurker than a talker myself, but it's always nice to see new faces ... as long as they aren't trolls, which we get from time to time. Dr. Peikoff is currently, in my opinion, the most salient authority on Objectivism. However, he is fallible like the rest of us, so don't be surprised if you disagree with him occasionally (as I do, on minor things), or even frequently. Just be sure that you are thinking whatever the issue through fully and thoroughly. Then make your judgment and do not be afraid to voice it, just back it up with your reasoning. Once again, welcome. (Edited for grammar.)
  18. Having grown up receiving military health care (my dad was an Air Force pilot until a few years ago), I can attest that it is neither efficient nor quality. You think that the civilian system is bogged down by bureaucracy? Add several levels of government laws, regulations, and inept pencil pushers to the mix and imagine the nightmare. I once thought that I had fractured my lower leg -- it took ten hours of pain at the base clinic to procure an x-ray (this is a clinic, not an emergency room, so they were not overwhelmed), and the doctor there was positive that my tibia was fractured. We went to Children's Hospital to get it treated, and the doctor there took one look at the x-ray and said, "Your doctor's an idiot. That's not a fracture, that's a growth plate. Your leg is just very badly bruised." I was walking again in under 72 hours. However, I am not opposed to the government providing health care for its soldiers, in principle. I believe that falls very nicely under the government's task of maintaining a military fit to protect from foreign threats -- it is VERY important for the military to have accurate, up-to-date medical records on hand for its soldiers, and to control what types of treatments they are receiving. Neither of these would be plausible without in-house health care.
  19. I am still considering your larger argument, but I thought I'd interject here. "Normally" (whatever that means), military bases are guarded exclusively by the base's security personnel -- commissioned officers and enlisted men, normally called military police (MP) or security police (SP), who specialize in base defense and law enforcement within the base. However, since 9/11 the vast majority of these personnel have been deployed to the Middle East to perform those and other duties there, so the military has had to resort to hiring "rent-a-cops" such as Pinkerton contractors to fill positions such as checking ID's at base entrance gates.
  20. Like you said, these idiots aren't worth your time. They're trolls, pure and simple. They're not looking for, or open to, rational persuasion or discourse -- they're there to mock and incite. Don't give them the satisfaction.
  21. As a computer science student, I am inclined to think of logic in very formal terms -- meaning as a system for evaluating the validity of formal arguments. "Does the conclusion necessarily follow from the premises?" is pretty much the only thing that logic is geared towards. I've heard it said that logic is a tool for ensuring correct conclusions when given true premises. However, logic in that strictest sense does you no good when one or more of your premises are false ("garbage in, garbage out," as we CS people like to say). Also, it does not help when you have incomplete information -- which is almost always in everyday life. Which is where I think rationality comes in. Rationality, unlike logic, seems to have a goal in mind when arriving at conclusions. Whereas one would use strictly logic to determine the validity of a statement like "All A's are B's, and some B's are C's, therefore some A's are necessarily C's" (invalid, by the way), reason/rationality would be used for something more along the lines of "My goal is X, my information is {A, B, C}, I am Y percent confident in the truthfulness of my information, therefore the best thing for me to do is Z." Logic is definitely a component of rationality, but I don't think they are interchangeable. However, it should be noted that most people don't have a very strict definition of logic and rationality, and so they often conflate the two.
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