Halt! Who goes there?

This is a discussion on Halt! Who goes there? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; There is no doubt that the government is a mess when it comes to the digital age. The unfortunate fact ...

  1. #61
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    There is no doubt that the government is a mess when it comes to the digital age. The unfortunate fact is, most people haven't adopted it as much as we'd like to believe. The average person in the digital age wants things to work right out of the box exactly as described on the box and in the commercials. Anything more complicated than that is too complicated... knowing this, it's no surpirse that this is what you see in the judicial system. The truth is, the three branches of government in the US (and the goverments in every other country, for that matter) have to start getting more digitally competent. This is why people predict this digital dark age... so few people know or even care how their electronics work and it's affecting us negatively.
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  2. #62
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Sometimes terribly. There's a recent study over here that claims over 75&#37; of the students that last year benefited from an Education Ministry program that gave free laptops with broadband access to students between the 8th and 12th grade, used the computers mainly for Messenger chat and movie downloads.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  3. #63
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Pardon the expletives, I'm quoting

    People don't wanna know that ........, they're keepin' it real. Real dumb.
    There is no financial incentive anymore for people to learn complex tasks. A kid that can program a computer still has to work at McDonalds, if McDonalds is hiring that is. When I was a kid engineers and scientists were paid enormous sums of money, today its football stars and any slut that can carry a tune. Its no wonder they don't focus on math and science. Hell, Im a senior engineer and I cant even afford a house, i have to rent, its rediculous. So whats my motivation if I barely live better than someone working at McDonalds only with more stress and responsibility? Kids see whats going on, they hear about it and read it on the internet, whats their motivation to spend their childhood locked in a room learnign to program only to end up in a dead end economy?
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  4. #64
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Abachler, if there was going to be a moment I had to applaud you, this is it.

    We are deviating from the theme, but this is GD anyways. You are painfully correct. Recently I was "accused" of belong to the Generation X. An early comer to it, but it's really not my fault I was born a soon of the baby boomers. However it reminded me of the generational problem and how it is nothing but a reflection of the society as described by the the mass broadcasters, not as we actually are. We are mold into it. So much in fact, that both "Baby Boomer" and "Generation X" are terms that were applied even before the fact, not as the result of an historical appreciation of a past generation. Much like we already have names for our sons (Generation Now, iGeneration, Generation Z...).

    What distinguishes this generation however is not only the fact they were born already sons of the WWW, but also the fact they are educated by the mass media into the notion of success as a direct consequence of their ability to become famous. How exactly can I tell my daughter that studying is the key to success when she sees exactly the opposite. When post graduates work as you say at McDonalds and serving on coffee shops, while every halfbrain with a cute face goes to become successful, famous, and announced as a wonderful person in every public channel, because they happen to know how to sing, act or juggle a ball?

    I once read that the level of deterioration of a society was directly proportional to that society ability to provide mass entertainment. I wonder...
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #65
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    I didn't know they had baby-boomers in Portugal. Pardon my ignorance, but Portugal's influence in WW2 doesn't really make it into the US history books. I'm sure you played a part, but I couldn't name a single WW2 event that mentions your country. In fact, given my limited knowledge on the subject... unless you are from USA, Canada, England, France, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Italy, or Japan... I think I could say the same for any other country.

    I should pick up a history book sometime.

    EDIT: Actually, thinking about it, I suppose we did learn about Salazar in Portugal and Franco in Spain... but really I don't know much beyond the fact that they were there and did bad things... eventually they went away... somehow...

    I dunno, but I am trying to think of what would constitute the baby-boom in Portugal or a similar country like Spain or Italy... I'm sure you had people fighting, but the history books out here tend to focus more on the citizens than the soldiers of your nations. I guess I never really though about a baby-boom out there.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 05-08-2008 at 03:26 PM.
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    >> There is no financial incentive anymore for people to learn complex tasks.
    That's not what I see.

    I'm a senior programmer who can't afford a house and has to rent, and I have family/friends who work at McDonalds (or the equivalent). There is a huge difference between the two.

    And the kids I know have the same attitude now as they did twenty years ago. Some want to be lazy and do what comes easiest, others want to work hard and have a good life, some are ambitious and want a great life, others have issues and just want to get by.

    And entertainers and athletes are a tiny portion of society, just as the people who think fifteen minutes of fame define them are a tiny portion of society. I don't doubt that that portion is larger than it was in the past, but is it really so high that it defines the generation? Of course not.

  7. #67
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    It's part of the reason the estate tax would be nice. You don't need millions upon millions of dollars stuck in particular families, no matter what they do. Wealth in my opinion has always been a function of the reach in your influence opposed to the responsibility you need to demonstrate for your purchases and financial decisions.

    I can't wait for Paris to inherit the Hilton fortune so that we can all watch it evaporate with mirth. She'll spend it all on the most stupid things.

  8. #68
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen View Post
    I can't wait for Paris to inherit the Hilton fortune so that we can all watch it evaporate with mirth. She'll spend it all on the most stupid things.
    They aren't getting the fortune, he's donating 98&#37; of his wealth to charity in his will... you didn't know about this?

    As for the hotels and other assets... I think it's supposed to go to a series of management and the heiresses are only supposed to get a small percentage of ownership. I wouldn't quote myself on that second part, though.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 05-08-2008 at 03:33 PM.
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  9. #69
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Nope, but it affirms my belief in money.

  10. #70
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    I didn't know they had baby-boomers in Portugal. Pardon my ignorance, but Portugal's influence in WW2 doesn't really make it into the US history books.
    Because we had none. We were under a near-fascist dictatorship since 33. However Salazar decided to remain neutral while secretly providing support to the allies. Our presence in the war was limited to this.

    Nevertheless, regardless of their activity, most countries in Europe experienced their own small or big baby booms (pdf) after WWII, which is only understandable since it affected every single country in Europe on way or another. Naturally, it didn't have the same impact on every country. However, the baby boom generation is better described not as the consequence of a real event, but more importantly, as an attitude and mindset. Something that was shared across the western countries and transpired even to the few remaining dictatorships. Salazar was a strong ally of USA and was particularly pleased with the family values that were a big part of what the Baby Boom generation was identified as in US and a big part of the values he and his main ally, the church, defended.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 05-08-2008 at 03:50 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  11. #71
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Yep, most countries in europe experienced baby booms after WW2, thast why Europeans look surprisingly American (ducks).
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  12. #72
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It's thankfully greatly slowing down. The influence of the American culture in Europe was never so strong as it was during the 70s, 80s and 90s. 30 years of assimilation of the good... and the bad. In my opinion, because Europe was lacking a cultural and social identity and because American culture was certainly very appealing and it was actively exporting it.

    The social movements and the civil rights movements of the 50s and 60s in the US had a strong echo in Europe. If not matched with similar attitudes, they certainly meet the sympathy of the young generation that was, much like in America, probably influenced by these. The events of May 68 (although initially politically motivated, and only later social in nature) in Paris were almost certainly an echo of the prior unrest in US.

    During the next 3 decades, US actively and successfully exported their culture, whereas many European nations now being ran by the swinging sixties generation actively assimilated it. It doesn't go without saying that it was a very culturally rich period in US history if my opinion matters, which certainly helped. Pop culture, the modernization of the movies industry, Disco, Underground, Alternative, all movements that started around this period and that affected all forms of art and expression and that were readily assimilated.

    The 60s had a strong impact in European society. During this decade and the decade prior to that, Europe saw its African colonies gain their independence. For countries like UK, France, Spain and Portugal, this was a mental blow regardless of the pro-independence movements in the country. Some sort of identity crisis took place that facilitated the later assimilation.

    However during the late 80s and 90s, some of the American culture started to rear its ugly head. Political and social events in Europe also started to contribute for Europeans to look inside. The end of the Cold War, the fall of the Soviet Union, the birth of the European Union, and with it a renewed sense of identity couple with the success of European business and industry, all contributed to a detachment and sometimes even critic approach to the American culture.

    Today, Europe and USA are still very tightly connected. But there is a clear perception of what is "European" from what is not. US is loosing its political, cultural and economic dominance, that characterized the Post-War and Cold War periods. The society in general, political decisions and even culture, get increasingly criticized by European opinion-makers and the media in general. There's also an offspring feeling of "we are better than them" as the extreme poverty in US cities is shown, or the crime rates are constantly compared, or school shootings and teen behavior is exposed.

    All in all this is bullocks. But its no different than the kind of education that most Americans enjoyed during the 60s throughout the 90s. "The Greatest Country in the World", "God Bless America" and other self-identifying mantras.

    Naturally, recent events since 9/11 furthered this willingness to dissociate from US. It is becoming politically correct to criticize the US foreign policies and to actively promote an European view of the world. Stay tuned.


    EDIT: The whole post is mostly my own opinion, and nothing more than that, based on readings, observations and my own thoughts on the issue feed by the media in general, the politics in particular and talks with friends.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 05-09-2008 at 06:03 AM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  13. #73
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    There is no room for cultural dominence in today's society... at least as far as trends are concerned. Since the growth of the World Wide Web, American pop culture, Asian pop culture, and pop European culture have become one and the same. If some new trend spawns in LA, a guy in Albania will have heard about it the same day I have. Perhaps sooner if I'm asleep and the LA resident posted their trend late at night. It's just the way it works... the internet has influenced a global economy and a global culture. Whether or not that's for the better is you own to decide.
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  14. #74
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    There is no room for cultural dominence in today's society... at least as far as trends are concerned. Since the growth of the World Wide Web, American pop culture, Asian pop culture, and pop European culture have become one and the same. If some new trend spawns in LA, a guy in Albania will have heard about it the same day I have. Perhaps sooner if I'm asleep and the LA resident posted their trend late at night. It's just the way it works... the internet has influenced a global economy and a global culture. Whether or not that's for the better is you own to decide.
    You may not have noticed what is going on in other countries. Traditions are extremely important in countries, which have some cultural values. I simply can't believe anyone can be that ignorant to say there's no room for culture or that globalization has simply wiped away cultural values. In Estonia, culture dominates. Globalization is considered a sickness here that threatens to make people care less about culture.

    For example, in Estonia, we have national Song Festivals held since 1869, once in every five years. Last time it was held was in 2004, and 34 000 singers and dancers (1&#37; of Estonian population) performed there, wearing national clothes and singing national songs, and the audience consisted of 200 000 people (15% of Estonian population) and hundreds of thousands of people watched it from the television. If you still think there is no room for cultural domination, then... I don't know what to say. And I am quite sure every country, except USA, has traditions like this one.
    "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

  15. #75
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    yes, the interweb, the great uniter of man, ein reich, ein volk, ein fur&#246;r. (no i didnt mean der F&#252;hrer)
    Last edited by abachler; 05-09-2008 at 08:41 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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