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New Newbie
Hi Everyone-
I dont work in IT but stumbled acrossed your site while drinking coffee and browsing the web. You seem like a diverse and somewhat over-opinionated group of people. I should fit right in. I am a developmental biologist from Michigan. Looking forward to meeting everyone.
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New Welcome.
I'm a traffic systems engineer from the UK.


Peter
[link|http://www.ubuntulinux.org|Ubuntu Linux]
[link|http://www.kuro5hin.org|There is no K5 Cabal]
[link|http://guildenstern.dyndns.org|Home]
Use P2P for legitimate purposes!
New Michigan? On the convoy route?
Inside joke. I'm sure you'll pick up on it quickly enough.

So what exactly were you browing around when you stumbled across this place? We keep asking newbies but they never seem to fess up to anything other than needing AS/400 help.


Oh, and "Welcome".
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Re: Michigan? On the convoy route?
Was browsing Wikipedia, got caught up clicking links and ended up viewing a posting from your site. So here I am. I confess, I'm not much interested in computer programming- dont have the mind for that kind of abstract thinking. But you seem to be an interesting bunch, so what the hey.
Convoy route??
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New He's referring to BeeP bash
A member of this group has a party every 4th of July weekend.
Lives in NJ.
People from around the country (and next time, planet) show up for it.
A convoy passes through your state.
New Re: He's referring to BeeP bash
Well then, honk as you pass by and I'll wave.
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New That's a curious thing to say
How do you figure abstract thinking has much to do with computer programming? I'd venture a guess that 90% of the programming done today is more a trade than art or science, much less abstract theory.

Maybe the people writing programming languages are doing abstract thinking, but for the great bulk of us using the programming languages, it's just using the tools to solve a problem. Granted, some use the tools better than others.

Don't read this as a criticism, I'm just genuinely surprised to hear someone describe what I do so differently from how I see it.
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Re: That's a curious thing to say
No offense taken. I guess I was thinking of the people writing the programs. You guys work with things that arent tangible- you cant hold or touch it. To me, that's abstract.
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New Probably means that we don't do actual (real) work. :-)
New That's sad Drook
99% of what I do is sit here and think.
I think about what I'm trying to accomplish.
I think about the "grunt" way of doing it.
Then I think how to extract out the common cases.
Then I think how to table drive.
Then I think how to keep the tables out of the code.
Then I think of how the end user will modify the tables.
Then I think how the code will interpret the tables.

I'll determine what new ways I'm about to code, as compared to any code I've done in the past, and I'll whip up small test cases to make sure it will behave the way I think it should.

Then I'll think about the exceptions, and determine what I consider errors in the tables that drive the code, and any boundary conditions that I will "correct" in the code.

And then finally, I'll code.

And that coding time is far less than the previous steps.

I agree with Bionerd.
New I said 90% didn't I?
Do you really think you are the typical programmer? By that I mean people making their living primarily writing code. Do you think what you do is really representative of most of them?
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New It is representative of most of the good ones
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New Woudln't that depend on the job?
I'm sure I've mentioned before that most of what my department does is create a new form, process the input, put the results in a database, and write reports against the data. We're just automating the paperwork.

The only place performance tends to be an issue is in reporting. There, a bad query can mean the difference between two minutes to run and 2 hours to run. But even then, we "solve" the problem by installing another slave DB server and run all reports against that. It doesn't require interactive response times, and doesn't affect performance of the master DB server.

We're still early on the exponential curve, but we're still able to double our reporting capacity by throwing hardware at it for less than the cost of an entry-level programmer. We could double again twice before paying for a real DBA.

Given that, what is our company's justification for hiring people who are really good, and paying what they're worth? (Note the sound of heads bumping against the glass ceiling of what "we" are willing to pay for programmers.)
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Not that often
I'd guess that in development you wind up doing a lot of repetitive work as you literally translate forms over. I'd guess that someone good would have found ways to cut out steps so that adding more pages would go faster.

Speaking of cutting out steps, good people would find ways to eliminate steps for the users, spotting more opportunities for automation. Or they might come up with useful little tools to make people's lives easier. You'd be amazed what good a creative developer can do for an organization by solving problems that they hadn't known that they had.

Conversely a bad developer creates work for everyone else around. I'm sure that you've encountered the breed.

And a second concern with reporting is what fields mean. Typically people wind up with these complex sets of fields, and complex reports against them, but the data in the database doesn't really mean what people think they do, and the reports aren't quite what people think they are. When people act on these reports, there is a risk that they don't think about there.

And a third question. How confident are you that all of your queries actually say what you think that they say? A small mistake in a query might not just make it take 2 hours instead of 2 minutes. It might make you do an extra outer join, doubling multiplying the numbers by a random factor. Have you thought about how to detect this, and would you notice?

But you're right. With how some organizations work, they make it hard for quality people to make a difference. At some point good developers have to choose to be in an environment that enables them to perform to snuff.

Cheers,
Ben
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New Getting a little uppity there, aren't you?
You'd be amazed what good a creative developer can do for an organization by solving problems that they hadn't known that they had.
What do you think, you're a business analyst now? Get back to impementing the request that's been handed down to you and let the people who understand (the) business worry about what the users need.
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New See what I said about "some organizations"
I'm lucky enough to work in one that doesn't get in my way.

Here's how it works out.

From time to time I need a break from what I'm doing. So I take one. In those breaks I'm likely to talk to other people. Sometimes they are doing something that I know could be done better.

If I feel like it and I think that I could improve their lives in under an hour, sometimes I'll just do it. Good for morale, leaves me feeling happy, and the extra energy it leaves me generally makes up for the time spent. If I'm not feeling quite that inspired, or it is bigger, I'll tell them, "You know, it would be easier if we just had a tool to do X. It would take me about Y effort to do. I'd suggest talking to Z, tell them my estimate, and have them prioritize that project and get it in the queue."

I don't do this that often, but often enough that it makes a difference. Sometimes a big one.

Cheers,
Ben
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New tiger teams, had the fortune to work on one once
given the resposability set to do A then as long as A was covered we could screw around with B,C to Z. A never got boring, a lot of pieces of the org got helped by our "submarine projects" and no one ever questioned what we were up to. Unfortunately most orgs dont recognise the value such teams ad and as soon as a merkin borg politikal CFO was merged into the company he quickly fscked the idea.
regards,
daemon
I love her dearly, far beyond any creature I've ever known, and I can prove it, for never once in almost seventy years of married life have I taken her by the throat. Mind you, it's been a near thing once or twice.
George Macdonald Frasier
Clearwater highschool marching band [link|http://www.chstornadoband.org/|http://www.chstornadoband.org/]
New Same thing where I work.
Regards,

-scott anderson

"Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
New That's actually my "non-break" job
I'm responsible to discover where IS/IT can make people's jobs easier before the people themselves figure it out. Not quite Management By Walking Around, but close--more Watching People Work.
New Programming is working with abstractions.
Even simple programming. People who can't handle abstractions not only can't program, they're incapable of understanding a directory structure, and you'd be shocked how many people that is. Those who can handle abstractions just don't realize what it is they're doing because they're just doing it.
[link|http://www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New Okay, at that level I see what you mean
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Excuse me
Just have to do this.

"How do you figure abstract thinking has much to do with computer programming?"

SLAP



"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"   --Mark Twain

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."   --Albert Einstein

"This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses."   --George W. Bush
New Since my explanation in the thread didn't clear this up ...
I suspect most of the people making a living as programmers today could be described as "digital carpenters." That's not a criticism. Good carpenters deserve the high salarys they get. They produce some beautiful work that most of us could never imagine doing. But they're not usually inventing anything new.

Take someone making one-off furniture. Each one is different from the rest. Some pieces can go for tens of thousands of dallars. Some are even considered art. But in the end, you can be fairly unoriginal but highly skilled with the tools of the trade and still make very good money.

You (Todd) are working someplace creating new things. You are (I believe) the exception. Why is it an insult to suggest that other people with a similar job description aren't doing anything really creative or abstract?
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Because creative \\= abstract
Or should I have used the "!" token to mean not instead? Wouldn't want to offend the Common Use Computer Language ghods.
--\n-------------------------------------------------------------------\n* Jack Troughton                            jake at consultron.ca *\n* [link|http://consultron.ca|http://consultron.ca]                   [link|irc://irc.ecomstation.ca|irc://irc.ecomstation.ca] *\n* Kingston Ontario Canada               [link|news://news.consultron.ca|news://news.consultron.ca] *\n-------------------------------------------------------------------
New Programmers, eh?
They're a funny lot, programmers.

Personally, I wouldn't trust a programmer with hardware as far as I could comfortably spit a live, wriggling rhino.


Peter
[link|http://www.ubuntulinux.org|Ubuntu Linux]
[link|http://www.kuro5hin.org|There is no K5 Cabal]
[link|http://guildenstern.dyndns.org|Home]
Use P2P for legitimate purposes!
New Where's my soldering iron?
I can fix those cable thingies easy!
New Which cable, the power or the ribbon?
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New All of 'em at once.
Shorting them together helps speed up the processing.
New Quit before the magic smoke comes out though. Can be tricky.
New Networking engineering requires a good sense of smell.
New ICLRPD (new thread)
Created as new thread #193348 titled [link|/forums/render/content/show?contentid=193348|ICLRPD]
New Hey! That's my specialty!
However I specialize in electric welding. Leaving the power switch on is always amusing.

Cheers,
Ben
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New Have you ever blown an inch-wide hole out of a power supply?
New Have you ever shorted across the 220 supply with an ohmeter?
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Nope.
Closest I came was screwing up the contacts between the old-style AT case powerswitches - killed power to the entire stripmall I was in, and blew a huge chunk out of the power supply.
"Here at Ortillery Command we have at our disposal hundred megawatt laser beams, mach 20 titanium rods and guided thermonuclear bombs. Some people say we think that we're God. We're not God. We just borrowed his 'SMITE' button for our fire control system."
New I helped blow out half of downtown Palm Springs once
Marine band was playing. We plugged too much of the sound system into one circuit. Oops.

The 220 I shorted was while trying to troubleshoot a dryer that wasn't working. Was testing from the supply to the thermostat and accidentally touched both hot ends of the supply with one probe. The probe was cut in half, leaving about a half-inch of the tip welded to the leads.
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Funniest one here . . .
. . Trudy, a sometimes assistant back in the 486 days, was accustomed to seeing me finish assembly of PCs while they were running - so did the same on one. While putting mounting screws into a floppy drive she didn't notice the screwdriver passed very close to the contacts of the on-off switch.

KAPOW!! Blew a big notch in the screwdriver, the motherboard fried, the main chip on the video card exploded into fragments, the cpu chip burst and the monitor billowed smoke. Only the disk drives and memory survived.

Now this stuff was expensive back then, but I think the expression on Trudy's face was worth every penny as was future use of the phrase "It's been Trudyized".
[link|http://www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New Do we know Trudy under another name?
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New No.
Rose is extremely cautious around hardware, and while she can work with it she rarely does.
[link|http://www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New I'm no programmer either
Hobbyist, yes. Programmer no.

I'm in procurement
If you push something hard enough, it will fall over. Fudd's First Law of Opposition

[link|mailto:bepatient@aol.com|BePatient]
New Weren't you working on changing that state of affairs?
New Was thinking about it.
Career change has taken away all my spare time.
If you push something hard enough, it will fall over. Fudd's First Law of Opposition

[link|mailto:bepatient@aol.com|BePatient]
New Don't you need abstract thinking in biology?
--


- I was involuntarily self-promoted into management.

[link|http://kerneltrap.org/node/4484|Richard Stallman]

New Re: Don't you need abstract thinking in biology?
Of course, but not to the degree that you need it for programming or say, physics. Bio is more hands-on.
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New So, can you tell us about your typical time at work?
The way broomberg told us about his in the thread above?

I always thought that scientists are paid to think all day, even more so than programmers.
--


- I was involuntarily self-promoted into management.

[link|http://kerneltrap.org/node/4484|Richard Stallman]

New I thought...
...bioscience was all shite and yoghurt.

:-P


Peter
[link|http://www.ubuntulinux.org|Ubuntu Linux]
[link|http://www.kuro5hin.org|There is no K5 Cabal]
[link|http://guildenstern.dyndns.org|Home]
Use P2P for legitimate purposes!
New Don't forget the biscuits
[link|http://www.soylent-green.com/|Soylent Green Biscuit Company]
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Do you really want to hear about this?
Most research in the field these days focuses on embryonic development at the cellular level. Simply put, I specialize in how environmental factors impact embyrogenisis. Currently I'm working on a project related to tetragenesis in mouse embryos after exposure to testosterone of unfamiliar males. Spend my days staging embryos and preparing slides. Grunt work.
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

New Suggestion
Forget the lab setting. Go hang out at frat parties. You'll learn all you need to know about exposure to testosterone of unfamiliar males.
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New Been there, done that
I'm more selective about my testosterone exposure these days.
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

New I don't imagine she got where she is...
without some experience observing that class of subject.
~~~)-Steven----

"I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country..."

General George S. Patton
New Welcome

developmental biologist

Hmmm.

Familier with this sight: [link|http://www.sdbonline.org|http://www.sdbonline.org] ?
New Re: Welcome
Yes, developmental biologist. You know, eggs, sperm, mitosis, meiosis, embryogenisis. Cynical fellow, arent you?
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New He has past cause...
An ex-member was very fond of creating lots of accounts, trying to get people to believe they were real, and then having them argue with each other.

This got old. Fast. Particularly the bit where the alter-egos persecuted the original.

But you're obviously not him. Too verbally adept.

Welcome. It'll be nice to have someone around who knows more biology than I do. (Mine is all by osmosis. My wife has a PhD in biology - she studied flower development.)

Pointers to neat developments in biology go into Science, complaints about what this administration is doing to NIH go into Politics, discussions about Creationism are avoided but can go into religion, various hobbies and interests can go in appropriate places.

If you haven't done it, I recommend going into Edit Preferences and chooding to see new posts only, and only forums with new posts. Then take forums that you're not interested in, look at the "mark forum read" link, edit the timestamp into the distant future and submit that.

That way you'll only see the forums/posts that you want to see.

Cheers,
Ben
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New No I'm not him...I'm a her
And thanks for the pointers to maneuver around the board. Very helpful.
-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New Cool, there is a slight imbalance in these parts..
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New Men are parasites ;-)
Or so goes my theory of how we came to have two distinct sexes.

I've never seen anyone else put this forward. I've also never had anyone tell me that this theory was obviously stupid. So here it is for your amusement.

Evolutionary textbooks talk about sexual reproduction and the speed with which it lets a population adapt to changed circumstances. Which is all find and dandy, but doesn't explain why we are not all hermaphrodites like the earthworms are. After all hermaphrodites get all of the benefits of sexual reproduction and also manage to reproduce twice as fast for the same effort (assuming that one parent bears the bulk of childrearing responsibilities, which is certainly true for many species).

So here's my theory about why we're not all hermaphrodites.

Consider a population of hermaphrodites. To this population add a small number of cheaters that we'll call males. These cheaters have sex, but don't get pregnant, and then have sex with someone else. In effect they are parasites on the main hermaphroditic population who trick their victims into having kids and deny them half their reproductive future.

I believe that c. elegans looks like this.

Now suppose that these parasites become very efficient. Then hermaphrodites have to choose between two strategies. The first is to try to be hermaphrodites, try to avoid males and find another hermaphrodite. The other is to just give up, breed with a male, and not waste energy competing with the males. The second strategy we'll call female.

If the female strategy beats out the hermaphroditic strategy, then we'll wind up with a truly sexual population, where everyone is half as well off as they were under the old hermaphroditic strategy, and the main population has become dependent on the male parasites. (This would be far from the only case where parasitism evolved into symbiosis - and probably wouldn't be the only case where one side of the symbiosis is worse off than they were before they got "helped".)

So, what do you think?

Cheers,
Ben "the parasite" Tilly
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New Re: Men are parasites ;-)
I think you have too much time on your hands!
Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode-earthworms are annelids. Both have to mate to reproduce, although sometimes you will find parthenogenesis occuring in earthworms, but this is not the norm.
To consider your theory, you first have to explain why C.elgens still has males and hermaphrodites in their population. Why do they choose to expend more energy to "find" other hermaphrodite instead of giving up and surrendering to the males? What's in it for them?

Interesting that you define males and females as being in a symbiotic relationship- By definition, symbiosis usually occurs between 2 different species, but I get your point.

I've met a few parasitic men. My ex, for one.


-"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

"The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
New Why expend more energy? To get more kids.
If a hermaphroditic C. elegans meets another hermaphrodite, both get pregnant and both have kids. It's a 2 for 1 deal! If it meets a male, only one gets pregnant, which is not nearly as good.

Evolutionarily, kids are generally worth some effort.

Conversely a male is only half as well off as a hermaphrodite per encounter. The stable strategy in a mix of hermaphrodites and males is going to be the mix where males average two impregnations for every one that a hermaphrodite gets. What that mix will be depends on a lot of specifics.

A harder question is what the trade-off is between being hermaphroditic and being female. If maintaining the male option takes you very little work and sometimes gives you an extra kid, then there is no reason not to be a hermaphrodite. This would definitely be the case if (as with c. elegans) the evolutionarily stable strategy leaves far less than half the population pure males. But if it takes a lot of energy to maintain the male role and try for those kids in addition to the ones you get as a female, then a straight female strategy could beat the hermaphroditic one.

To figure out when that would happen you'd need to carry out fairly detailed studies to determine what the evolutionarily stable strategy should be. I'll bet that for c. elegans the female strategy loses.

And once you'd passed through an evolutionary bottleneck forcing a species into separate genders, I suspect that re-evolving hermaphroditism could be fairly hard. Which would suggest that you might find species that are purely sexual who'd be better off as hermaphrodites, but you'll not find hermaphroditic species who are better off being sexual.

Cheers,
Ben
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New A couple of reasons.
  • Separate sexes remove the possibility of self fertilization which is likely to be highly degenerative in more complex creatures. This may be the primary reason.

  • Particularly in humans, a division of labor is necessary because the female is burdened with a child not for just a couple of days or weeks but for years. It'd probably be pretty inconvenient for you and your wife both to be pregnant at the same time, wouldn't it? Some other species also take advantage of partnership and division duties.
  • [link|http://www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
    New Second point is pretty much pure circular reasoning, AFAICS.
    Da Gryge pontificates:
    Particularly in humans, a division of labor is necessary because the female is burdened with a child not for just a couple of days or weeks but for years. [Emphasis added - CRC]
    Uh... But it is "the female" that is burdened with child-rearing for years precisely because that labour is not equitably divided between both parents!

    Cute language-murder trick there -- calling that lack of a division of labour a "division of labor", using the fact that women are unfairly burdened as a justification that it is somehow "fair" that women are more burdened than men.

    Not something I would have expected from you, though, Andrew.


       [link|mailto:MyUserId@MyISP.CountryCode|Christian R. Conrad]
    (I live in Finland, and my e-mail in-box is at the Saunalahti company.)
    Your lies are of Microsoftian Scale and boring to boot. Your 'depression' may be the closest you ever come to recognizing truth: you have no 'inferiority complex', you are inferior - and something inside you recognizes this. - [link|http://z.iwethey.org/forums/render/content/show?contentid=71575|Ashton Brown]
    New We are not talking 'fair' here, we're talking 'survival'.
    Neither nature nor evolution is "fair".

    The female is not one bit more burdened by the male not having children than she would be if he also got pregnant - only then she wouldn't have an unencumbered partner for support. This still holds true today with an economic emphasis - being a single mom is a lot harder.

    Unfortunately, if the species is to continue, somebody gets the job of bearing and feeding the brats.
    [link|http://www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
    New Nature is not PC
    If we're meant to have an equitable division of labour, then why is it that only women are naturally capable of feeding infants? (And why are only women sure that kids are really hers?)

    Evolution proceeds on the basis of life or death issues. A horribly unfair division of labour where there are lots of kids is (evolutionarily) far preferable to a completely equitable division with 1 kid per couple.

    Humans are not as extreme as, say, cats. There dad shows up, the sex really sucks, and mom is stranded with the kittens. That's par for the course for most mammals.

    By contrast in humans there is at least a considerable amount of tension about how much work dads are going to do, and dads do wind up doing a significant amount of work. (Though less, in general, than moms do.)

    Cheers,
    Ben
    I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
    New Let me address those reasons for strict sexuality
    I thought about both of those reasons. And I'm not satisfied with either.

    First of all, self-fertilization. It shouldn't be hard to avoid making self-fertilization an option, while still maintaining the option of being a hermaphrodite.

    But even so, self-fertilization isn't bad for the reasons that most people think. True, were one of us to self-fertilize, the baby would be likely to have a horrible disease and die. But the problem of self-fertilization resembles inbreeding. As I recall, a population with routine inbreeding is supposed to settle on a steady state with the exact same number of people dying due to genetic disorders as a population with little inbreeding. The genes that would be so lethal for us get bred out of the population. The really bad stuff happens when you take a population without much inbreeding and then inbreed.

    Certainly inbreeding is common among great apes. They live in small bands and most matings being within the band, with occasional matings between bands. In fact homo sapiens is believed to have followed a similar pattern for most of its history.

    However the more subtle trap is the need to keep genetic diversity up. There is [link|http://www.skyaid.org/Skyaid Org/Medical/scent_of_a_man.htm|evidence] that humans have a mechanism to allow us to select mates whose immune system differs from our own. This gives our offspring good odds of having immune systems that can respond to a wide variety of challenges.

    So there is a benefit to avoiding self-fertilization. But I'm dubious that you need to cut the pregnancy rate in 2 to do it.

    Now the two parent issue. It is true that humans play a delicate dance around childcare issues. Babies do better with 2 parents. From dad's point of view it is often passable for someone else to raise your kids, but you certainly don't want to raise someone else's. Moms would like to have kids with the best dads possible, but also would really like to have help with childcare (which means convincing someone that this is their kid). And in this set of incentives I've stated the roots of a whole series of conflicting desires and drives in humans.

    Similar games are played in many other species, particularly among birds.

    However most species of mammals limit parenting to the mother. When you go back to reptiles, amphibians and various kinds of fish, most species have little to no active childcare at all. Yet they mostly use sexual reproduction. I don't see the need to have dual parents as a possible cause for this. (And you can't say, "They evolved it because it would be needed later" - evolution always addresses current issues, not possible ones down the road.)

    So I see "avoiding self-fertilization" as dubious but not completely implausible. But I see the need for 2 parents in childcare as being an untenable explanation.

    Cheers,
    Ben
    I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
    New well if I were a hermaphrodyte I would never leave the house
    but seriously, it wouldnt work because there would still need to be a symbiotic relationship of some sort for late term and 20 days or so after birth when the pregnant parent is not as mobile and is more vunerable. There would have to be a division of work with something. Prior to late term and 20 days after labor a female is as capable in a hunter gatherer society of doing just that. The current design of slot/tab with chemical urgings to continue on seems to be working well.
    regards,
    daemon
    I love her dearly, far beyond any creature I've ever known, and I can prove it, for never once in almost seventy years of married life have I taken her by the throat. Mind you, it's been a near thing once or twice.
    George Macdonald Frasier
    Clearwater highschool marching band [link|http://www.chstornadoband.org/|http://www.chstornadoband.org/]
    New Don't confuse "hermaphroditic" with "flexible"...
    Regards,

    -scott anderson

    "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
    New It works for nematodes
    And just try to get a bull sea lion to do anything other than sleep or breed.

    My point being that specifics of how things work for homo sapiens don't necessarily apply to the animal kingdom as a whole.

    Cheers,
    Ben
    I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
    Expand Edited by ben_tilly Feb. 7, 2005, 08:17:54 PM EST
    New Y'all take all the mystery out of procreation
    Where's DRL when you need him to lively up a discussion on the difference in the sexes? :-)
    New Out drinking? Reading Jung? Casting a horoscope?
    I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
    New OT: Where TH is Ross anyway?
    bcnu,
    Mikem

    Eine Leute. Eine Welt. Ein F\ufffdhrer.
    (Just trying to be accepted in the New America)
    New Re: OT: Where TH is Ross anyway?
    [link|/forums/render/content/show?contentid=184215|Read all about it]
    -YendorMike

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    - Benjamin Franklin, 1759 Historical Review of Pennsylvania
    New Ah. Thanks. Missed that.
    bcnu,
    Mikem

    Eine Leute. Eine Welt. Ein F\ufffdhrer.
    (Just trying to be accepted in the New America)
    New Atlanta, IIRC. ... Oh, you mean. Well, he ran away. :-(
    New I agree
    Ross would definitely add another dimension to this convo. I hope he comes back soon.

    Brenda
    Nightowl >8#



    "The people of the world having once been deceived, suspect deceit in truth itself." -- Hitopadesa 600?-1100? AD, Sanskrit Fable From Panchatantr
    New dont have to try, they fight real well (bull sealions)
    I think what we should be looking at is hominids in general and humans in particular. There has been many methods of running a herd of humans, most depend on the geographical complexity of the are they live in.
    regards,
    daemon
    I love her dearly, far beyond any creature I've ever known, and I can prove it, for never once in almost seventy years of married life have I taken her by the throat. Mind you, it's been a near thing once or twice.
    George Macdonald Frasier
    Clearwater highschool marching band [link|http://www.chstornadoband.org/|http://www.chstornadoband.org/]
    New Exactly
    -"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

    "The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
    New Re: He has past cause...
    An ex-member was very fond of creating lots of accounts, trying to get people to believe they were real, and then having them argue with each other.


    This got old. Fast. Particularly the bit where the alter-egos persecuted the original.


    But you're obviously not him. Too verbally adept.


    And that is a huge relief, too. :)

    Welcome, Bionerd, I'm Owl. I'm also a female. ;)

    Brenda



    "The people of the world having once been deceived, suspect deceit in truth itself." -- Hitopadesa 600?-1100? AD, Sanskrit Fable From Panchatantr
    New Hoy
    Michigan here as well. Software developer, natch.

    Ann Arbor?

    And Welcome to the opinion fest. :-) Seems like we discuss non-computer stuff here more lately.
    Regards,

    -scott anderson

    "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
    New Ann Arbor- Heck , no!
    East Lansing. MSU. Go Spartans!
    But I enjoy a trip to Zimmermans every now and again.
    -"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

    "The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
    New My sister went there for a few years.
    Then her clarinet teacher moved to Iowa, and my sister followed.

    I didn't realize they did anything with biology in Lansing that didn't have to do with bovine center of mass and lateral application of force... ;-)

    I'm over near Rochester.
    Regards,

    -scott anderson

    "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
    New Cow Tipping-
    Funny. Never heard that one before ;-)
    -"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

    "The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
    New Moo U
    My parents were Spartans.

    I recall dad relating story getting razzed on job interview about Moo U. Figuring he wasn't going to get the job he replied - at least we only milked the cows. We didn't date them.



    "Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"   --Mark Twain

    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."   --Albert Einstein

    "This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses."   --George W. Bush
    New Use Debian
    and you won't get on PWhysall's bad side.
    lincoln
    "Windows XP has so many holes in its security that any reasonable user will conclude it was designed by the same German officer who created the prison compound in "Hogan's Heroes." - Andy Ihnatko, Chicago Sun-Times
    [link|mailto:bconnors@ev1.net|contact me]
    New welcome, another expert to opine with :-)
    I love her dearly, far beyond any creature I've ever known, and I can prove it, for never once in almost seventy years of married life have I taken her by the throat. Mind you, it's been a near thing once or twice.
    George Macdonald Frasier
    Clearwater highschool marching band [link|http://www.chstornadoband.org/|http://www.chstornadoband.org/]
    New With a handle like "bionerd"...
    ...you need to start by taking [link|http://z.iwethey.org/forums/render/content/show?contentid=190769|the test].

    But you're welcome here regardless of your score ;)


    The Sig:
    "Despite the seemingly endless necessity for doing
    so, it's actually not possible to reverse-engineer intended invariants
    from staring at thousands of lines of code (not in C, and not in
    Python code either)."

    Tim Peters on python-dev
    New My score
    Overall, you scored as follows:

    16% scored higher (more nerdy), and
    84% scored lower (less nerdy).

    What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

    High-Level Nerd. You are definitely MIT material, apply now!!!.

    --That's what I was afraid of.
    -"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

    "The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
    New Meh, amateur...
    ;-)
    Regards,

    -scott anderson

    "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
    New Wait until you know me better before calling me an amateur
    I might surprise you
    -"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."

    "The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
    New Amateur. Raw, rank, unadulterated.
    [link|/forums/render/content/show?contentid=190887|Post #190887]
    Regards,

    -scott anderson

    "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
    New Nerd God
    Not sure if I should offer congrats or condolences!
    -"I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers."
    New Yes.
    Regards,

    -scott anderson

    "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
    New Your Overlord speaks:
    <ignore>HAHAHAHA!
    </ignore>

    BTW, Welcome to IWETHEY.

    When you discover what it means... you'll know why.
    --
    [link|mailto:greg@gregfolkert.net|greg],
    [link|http://www.iwethey.org/ed_curry|REMEMBER ED CURRY!] @ iwethey

    [link|http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=134485&cid=11233230|"Microsoft Security" is an even better oxymoron than "Miltary Intelligence"]
    No matter how much Microsoft supporters whine about how Linux and other operating systems have just as many bugs as their operating systems do, the bottom line is that the serious, gut-wrenching problems happen on Windows, not on Linux, not on Mac OS. -- [link|http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1622086,00.asp|source]
    Expand Edited by folkert Feb. 6, 2005, 05:32:56 PM EST
    New welcome to the party
    Have fun,
    Carl Forde
    New Welcome from another non-IT
    Should your interest be piqued re the origins of this place - the twiki points out that originally we coalesced around (often iconoclastic) discussions at an early decently-threaded forum at InfoWorld. As that place became more Ad-oriented and dishonest and made some hideous errors in *New* forum software as Y2K reared its head - we moved to another locale.

    Finally Our Admin et al crafted this venue, at last able to incorporate all the good forum ideas floating about in various brain pans.. including the Birth of the LRPD [an immaculate conception, as would be envied even by cohorts of elegans, were such hybrids afflicted with 3 brains like homo-sap].

    As an amateur (possessed of one of the CP/M computers of the early '80s, then DOS, etc.) my initial forays to IWorld were ~ about IT stuff, but I was more impressed with visible intelligence displayed in other matters, by a few regulars there. Long time ago, in this short-attention span era: >10 years! for some.

    We've had a long term theoretical physicist guy (currently on snit leave) and my background is in 'experimental' ie particle accelerators and the like. Bio? well.. part of that included delivering heavy-ion beams to humanoids. (And finding out about MDs..) Of course, you can't Do Science without math and logic - so most everyone here has experience with the basic tools of transforming the primordial slime into today's theo-political slime, etc. (Then too, 'IT' is as much art as it is science..)
    No easy categorizing, methinks.

    Welcome abored aboard; there are few Rulez (mainly.. no headings with Awful Anglo-Saxon words :-0 -- except in the Flame Forum. Within the post, well - WTF). There are no Proctors here; we presume adulthood [except in the one case already mentioned].


    Cheers,
    Ashton


    Edit - ty[po
    Expand Edited by Ashton Feb. 7, 2005, 03:59:47 AM EST
    New Welcome!
    Just what we need here.. another nerd!

    You'll fit, I wot!
    jb4
    shrub\ufffdbish (Am., from shrub + rubbish, after the derisive name for America's 43 president; 2003) n. 1. a form of nonsensical political doubletalk wherein the speaker attempts to defend the indefensible by lying, obfuscation, or otherwise misstating the facts; GIBBERISH. 2. any of a collection of utterances from America's putative 43rd president. cf. BULLSHIT

         Newbie - (bionerd) - (94)
             Welcome. - (pwhysall)
             Michigan? On the convoy route? - (drewk) - (48)
                 Re: Michigan? On the convoy route? - (bionerd) - (47)
                     He's referring to BeeP bash - (broomberg) - (1)
                         Re: He's referring to BeeP bash - (bionerd)
                     That's a curious thing to say - (drewk) - (17)
                         Re: That's a curious thing to say - (bionerd)
                         Probably means that we don't do actual (real) work. :-) -NT - (ChrisR)
                         That's sad Drook - (broomberg) - (9)
                             I said 90% didn't I? - (drewk) - (8)
                                 It is representative of most of the good ones -NT - (ben_tilly) - (7)
                                     Woudln't that depend on the job? - (drewk) - (6)
                                         Not that often - (ben_tilly) - (5)
                                             Getting a little uppity there, aren't you? - (drewk) - (4)
                                                 See what I said about "some organizations" - (ben_tilly) - (3)
                                                     tiger teams, had the fortune to work on one once - (daemon)
                                                     Same thing where I work. -NT - (admin)
                                                     That's actually my "non-break" job - (FuManChu)
                         Programming is working with abstractions. - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
                             Okay, at that level I see what you mean -NT - (drewk)
                         Excuse me - (tuberculosis) - (2)
                             Since my explanation in the thread didn't clear this up ... - (drewk) - (1)
                                 Because creative \\= abstract - (jake123)
                     Programmers, eh? - (pwhysall) - (14)
                         Where's my soldering iron? - (ChrisR) - (13)
                             Which cable, the power or the ribbon? -NT - (drewk) - (12)
                                 All of 'em at once. - (ChrisR) - (11)
                                     Quit before the magic smoke comes out though. Can be tricky. -NT - (Another Scott) - (2)
                                         Networking engineering requires a good sense of smell. -NT - (ChrisR) - (1)
                                             ICLRPD (new thread) - (FuManChu)
                                     Hey! That's my specialty! - (ben_tilly) - (7)
                                         Have you ever blown an inch-wide hole out of a power supply? -NT - (inthane-chan) - (6)
                                             Have you ever shorted across the 220 supply with an ohmeter? -NT - (drewk) - (5)
                                                 Nope. - (inthane-chan) - (4)
                                                     I helped blow out half of downtown Palm Springs once - (drewk) - (3)
                                                         Funniest one here . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                                                             Do we know Trudy under another name? -NT - (ben_tilly) - (1)
                                                                 No. - (Andrew Grygus)
                     I'm no programmer either - (bepatient) - (2)
                         Weren't you working on changing that state of affairs? -NT - (FuManChu) - (1)
                             Was thinking about it. - (bepatient)
                     Don't you need abstract thinking in biology? -NT - (Arkadiy) - (8)
                         Re: Don't you need abstract thinking in biology? - (bionerd) - (7)
                             So, can you tell us about your typical time at work? - (Arkadiy) - (6)
                                 I thought... - (pwhysall) - (1)
                                     Don't forget the biscuits - (drewk)
                                 Do you really want to hear about this? - (bionerd) - (3)
                                     Suggestion - (drewk) - (2)
                                         Been there, done that - (bionerd)
                                         I don't imagine she got where she is... - (Steven A S)
             Welcome - (broomberg) - (25)
                 Re: Welcome - (bionerd) - (24)
                     He has past cause... - (ben_tilly) - (23)
                         No I'm not him...I'm a her - (bionerd) - (21)
                             Cool, there is a slight imbalance in these parts.. -NT - (ben_tilly)
                             Men are parasites ;-) - (ben_tilly) - (19)
                                 Re: Men are parasites ;-) - (bionerd) - (18)
                                     Why expend more energy? To get more kids. - (ben_tilly) - (17)
                                         A couple of reasons. - (Andrew Grygus) - (15)
                                             Second point is pretty much pure circular reasoning, AFAICS. - (CRConrad) - (2)
                                                 We are not talking 'fair' here, we're talking 'survival'. - (Andrew Grygus)
                                                 Nature is not PC - (ben_tilly)
                                             Let me address those reasons for strict sexuality - (ben_tilly) - (11)
                                                 well if I were a hermaphrodyte I would never leave the house - (daemon) - (10)
                                                     Don't confuse "hermaphroditic" with "flexible"... -NT - (admin)
                                                     It works for nematodes - (ben_tilly) - (8)
                                                         Y'all take all the mystery out of procreation - (ChrisR) - (6)
                                                             Out drinking? Reading Jung? Casting a horoscope? -NT - (ben_tilly)
                                                             OT: Where TH is Ross anyway? -NT - (mmoffitt) - (3)
                                                                 Re: OT: Where TH is Ross anyway? - (Yendor) - (1)
                                                                     Ah. Thanks. Missed that. -NT - (mmoffitt)
                                                                 Atlanta, IIRC. ... Oh, you mean. Well, he ran away. :-( -NT - (Another Scott)
                                                             I agree - (Nightowl)
                                                         dont have to try, they fight real well (bull sealions) - (daemon)
                                         Exactly -NT - (bionerd)
                         Re: He has past cause... - (Nightowl)
             Hoy - (admin) - (4)
                 Ann Arbor- Heck , no! - (bionerd) - (3)
                     My sister went there for a few years. - (admin) - (1)
                         Cow Tipping- - (bionerd)
                     Moo U - (tuberculosis)
             Use Debian - (lincoln)
             welcome, another expert to opine with :-) -NT - (daemon)
             With a handle like "bionerd"... - (FuManChu) - (7)
                 My score - (bionerd) - (6)
                     Meh, amateur... - (admin) - (4)
                         Wait until you know me better before calling me an amateur - (bionerd) - (3)
                             Amateur. Raw, rank, unadulterated. - (admin) - (2)
                                 Nerd God - (bionerd) - (1)
                                     Yes. -NT - (admin)
                     Your Overlord speaks: - (folkert)
             welcome to the party -NT - (cforde)
             Welcome from another non-IT - (Ashton)
             Welcome! - (jb4)

    Tracers work both ways.
    234 ms