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by skeptical scientist
Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:22 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Catholic church possibly becoming less intolerant
Replies: 70
Views: 10588

Re: Catholic church possibly becoming less intolerant

I have to say the title of this threat is flat out trollish. How about, "Catholic church possibly becoming more tolerant"? I don't think that's fair. I did choose the title to convey a certain opinion about the organization (and said as much in my initial post), but I think my view that t...
by skeptical scientist
Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:37 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Catholic church possibly becoming less intolerant
Replies: 70
Views: 10588

Catholic church possibly becoming less intolerant

Vatican signals more tolerance toward gays and remarriage. A final document will be issued by the synod next week. Though the gathering is unlikely to change church doctrine, its conversation will set — and potentially change — both the tone and the practice of the faith in parishes around the worl...
by skeptical scientist
Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:49 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Is it possible for a math obsession to be unhealthy
Replies: 54
Views: 10367

Re: Is it possible for a math obsession to be unhealthy

Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish wrote:What do you think? Is it possible for a math obsession to be unhealthy?

No.
by skeptical scientist
Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1399: "Chaos"
Replies: 41
Views: 10436

1399: "Chaos"

Image
Although the oral exam for the doctorate was just 'can you do that weird laugh?'

Can you believe that movie is over 2 decades old?
by skeptical scientist
Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:49 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0105: "Cannibalism"
Replies: 41
Views: 8911

Re: What-if 0105: "Cannibalism"

I wanted to write the odds of predicting a perfect bracket--in the form of 1/[number]--here, but I guess a 2-gigabyte mouseover text would be a bit of a pain. He couldn't just have written 1/2^(7.2 billion) and saved the 2 gigs? (Actually it would be 2.7 gigs with commas, and good luck reading a 2....
by skeptical scientist
Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:44 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: To use “else” or separate “if”s when each has a return?
Replies: 17
Views: 6066

Re: To use “else” or separate “if”s when each has a return?

I like to set a variable to the return value. Look, well, I hate you. Bonus annoyance with that sample, the ERRCODE value is misleading since it's never used. But you don't know that unless you read the whole function. The advantage of initializing to ERRCODE is if you somehow reach the final "...
by skeptical scientist
Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:43 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Project Euler
Replies: 411
Views: 140092

Re: Project Euler

Got bored, starting doing Project Euler in HARD MODE: Use a different programming language per problem. https://github.com/mcandre/euler-hard-mode That doesn't actually seem like hard mode to me; you'd spend too much time learning just enough of a new language in order to solve an easy PE problem e...
by skeptical scientist
Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1301: "File Extensions"
Replies: 102
Views: 18756

Re: 1301: "File Extensions"

Kit. wrote:
skeptical scientist wrote:so the truth-values of the resulting self-referential statements are still well defined.

My experience with Logicat tells me that they aren't.

In your experience, was logicat speaking in the language of Peano arithmetic? No? Well, then your experience is not relevant to the statement you quoted.
by skeptical scientist
Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1301: "File Extensions"
Replies: 102
Views: 18756

Re: 1301: "File Extensions"

However, a method of matching such self-referential statements with logically equivalent non self-referential ones is used to prove Gödel's Incompleteness theorems. However, this is only possible in restricted languages which cannot have a truth predicate , so the truth-values of the resulting self...
by skeptical scientist
Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:56 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 335927

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Jorpho wrote:Anyway, have any of you folks actually read the fic named "Worm" that is lauded so enthusiastically?

I was scared off by a warning not to start Worm unless I had several days free to devote to nothing but reading. :P
by skeptical scientist
Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:02 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Computability: how is this function computable?
Replies: 15
Views: 8355

Re: Computability: how is this function computable?

Assuming that we are talking of a random irrational number that we don't know any property of, is the function that computes k computable? No, it isn't. And if so, how is it different from the halt problem? It's just as hard as the halting problem, because given a program, you can define a (computa...
by skeptical scientist
Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:46 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"
Replies: 41
Views: 14601

Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

Isn't the whole thing assuming that 100% of the volume of a soda / soft drink is water? Yes, but given the margins for error in all of the other estimates, the difference between 96% and 100% is negligible. There is a group of creatures that includes Tyrannosaurs, Stegosaurs, Brachiosaurs, Pachycep...
by skeptical scientist
Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:37 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 335927

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Did anyone else here catch the reference to Kirby–Paris?
by skeptical scientist
Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:40 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Quine Relay: a circular quine in 50 languages
Replies: 5
Views: 5365

Re: Quine Relay: a circular quine in 50 languages

I thought this was so cool it deserved its own thread: [url=http://pastebin.com/3694KjJf]this is the first iteration. That is some extreme quote escaping. I'm not sure how the creator did it, but I know how I would make a multiquine. The basic idea of a simple quine is something like this python qu...
by skeptical scientist
Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:13 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1190: "Time"
Replies: 104601
Views: 28798714

Re: 1190: "Time"

mscha wrote:welcome back to the OTT!

Thanks. What did I miss?
Here's the rest of series j

Ah, I was guessing 09 instead of 9.
by skeptical scientist
Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1190: "Time"
Replies: 104601
Views: 28798714

Re: 1190: "Time"

There's a series j: http://imgs.xkcd.com/store_news/store_gd_j10.png j10: http://imgs.xkcd.com/store_news/store_gd_j10.png j11: http://imgs.xkcd.com/store_news/store_gd_j11.png j12: http://imgs.xkcd.com/store_news/store_gd_j12.png j13: http://imgs.xkcd.com/store_news/store_gd_j13.png j14: http://img...
by skeptical scientist
Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:53 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1301: "File Extensions"
Replies: 102
Views: 18756

Re: 1301: "File Extensions"

I want to skip right over untrustworthy statements in .tex documents and straight to latex malware. :twisted:
by skeptical scientist
Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:58 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"
Replies: 41
Views: 14601

Re: What-If 0074: "Soda Planet"

almost all of it has been drunk by at least one dinosaur. I'm skeptical. While Randall doesn't say it explicitly, he seems to assume that a water molecule is effectively indestructible. But we know that's not true, and 65 million years is a long time. I mean, there's all sorts of chemical reactions...
by skeptical scientist
Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:39 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9724
Views: 1506215

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

For high-level work I'm a big fan of Haskell. In Haskell, top-down programming is simply most efficient: when you have a specific problem to solve, you start by writing down the final function's name and type declaration, and then you'd generally see what other functions you need to solve that prob...
by skeptical scientist
Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:37 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9724
Views: 1506215

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

I'm assuming __builtin_parity(n) is the number of 1s in the binary representation of n, mod 2? I'm not sure if this is helpful, but one way to think of it is the following: for each fixed i, you have a collection of 16 vectors in F 2 65536 (the nth vector has given by sbox[x]&(1 << (n-1)), and a...
by skeptical scientist
Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:02 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

I work for a hospital. The registered patient or the patient's legal guardian is always ultimate payer, always the one with ultimate responsibility for the debt. The hospital would not, I think, even be able to list the city as a payer; the cops couldn't authorize that (has to be done by the board/...
by skeptical scientist
Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:11 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9724
Views: 1506215

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

anyway, calling something times_half, that is never *0.5, and not even always 0.5*, is not exactly nice. There's another macro for that: #define times_half (0.5)* #define half_times *(0.5) Obviously. * * * UPPER_CAMEL_CASE enum cases { UPPER_CAMEL_CASE, allCapsWithUnderscores, lower_camel_case, Low...
by skeptical scientist
Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:05 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: continuing loop until input (python)
Replies: 21
Views: 43394

Re: continuing loop until input (python)

One simple, hacky way to do this (but which may be sufficient depending on what you want this for) is to take advantage of a particular input that the python interpreter is always watching for: try: while 1: # do loop stuff except KeyboardInterrupt: # do post-loop stuff But yeah, the threading way i...
by skeptical scientist
Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:01 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Dogma in Math
Replies: 98
Views: 9711

Re: Dogma in Math

Some words that will hopefully trigger a penny-drop regarding the "empty product" idea (at least, they did for me, when I was learning this stuff)... That is exactly what I was going to say. One thing I will add: it should be the case that if you take the product of one collection of numb...
by skeptical scientist
Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:43 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Southern Methodist University student solves rape
Replies: 240
Views: 19754

Re: Southern Methodist University student solves rape

At the beginning of this school year, SMU students noticed a large number of alleged sexual assaults on campus, but is the blame being placed in the right place? Of course the perpetrators are the ones responsible for the crimes, but to solve the problem they can’t be the only ones taking blame. Th...
by skeptical scientist
Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:42 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9724
Views: 1506215

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

That is so horrible that my preferred compiler won't even compile it. What compiler? I can't think offhand of a language that uses C++-style comments that should reject it... Any compiler worth its salt should say: Warning: /* in comment. The internal compiler at my company instead says: Error: /* ...
by skeptical scientist
Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:23 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9724
Views: 1506215

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

jovialbard wrote:Anyone else ever do this, or is it just me?

Code: Select all

/*
some code
/*/
some alternative code for quick and dirty testing
//*/


Now add a single / in front of the first line and parse it again.

That is so horrible that my preferred compiler won't even compile it.
by skeptical scientist
Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:03 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Southern Methodist University student solves rape
Replies: 240
Views: 19754

Re: Southern Methodist University student solves rape

What an appallingly bad article. On so many levels. I would be surprised and dismayed if it does not lead to the author getting kicked off of the newspaper. FYI, this is the Sarah Lawrence "research study" that the article failed to cite. The problems in the article are too many to list, s...
by skeptical scientist
Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:15 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

That's good news. I'm very glad to hear that they're reasonable about that. On the other hand, I'm a bit unwilling to declare the Seattle PD reasonable given that, well, excessive force is even worse than that. Fair point. I was specifically referring to their attitude in regard to marijuana. I am ...
by skeptical scientist
Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:51 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Some police chief somewhere thinks they have reasonable suspicion to track you down and investigate you if you disagree with them about the War on Drugs. I'd like to not give too much weight to an anecdote about one guy on Facebook, but does anyone think this isn't representative of law enforcement...
by skeptical scientist
Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:47 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion
Replies: 98
Views: 12303

Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Also, not that it's in any way required for the argument, but since birth control is vastly cheaper than pregnancy and subsequent medical care for the child, it's usually cheaper to buy a plan that covers birth control than one that doesn't, so the argument isn't even 'I'm being forced to pay for s...
by skeptical scientist
Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion
Replies: 98
Views: 12303

Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

it seems perfectly reasonable to require employers to provide health insurance to their employees Why? I mainly meant it doesn't seem to me to have any first-amendment issues. It is often more expensive and difficult to get health insurance if it's not through your employer. One way of trying to ad...
by skeptical scientist
Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion
Replies: 98
Views: 12303

Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Where do you draw the line? ⋅ Some religions prohibit virtually all medical care (e.g. Christian Science). Does requiring employers to provide health insurance violate their freedom of religion? ⋅ Some religions prohibit blood transfusions (e.g. Jehovah's Witness). Does requiring...
by skeptical scientist
Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:14 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

When the autospy is released it will be sickenly interesting to see how many of the rounds would have killed him. It's already been released. A total of eight rounds were fired, according to a statement put out Thursday by Santa Rosa Police Lt. Paul Henry, whose department is investigating the deat...
by skeptical scientist
Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:13 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

bentheimmigrant wrote:Blaming the kid for owning a perfectly legal toy is wrong.

It was not a perfectly legal toy. It is likely that the "friend" who gave Andy Lopez the rifle also committed a crime.
by skeptical scientist
Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:13 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

I don't have a citation, so could very well be wrong. But, in any situation I can think of where an officer should shoot is one in which it would be risky just to injure. Police can't shoot you because you are fleeing, if they have a reason to shoot, the reason should be that you are a legitimate t...
by skeptical scientist
Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:05 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Side by side comparison of Andy Lopez' gun and an actual assault rifle: http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/24/34/50/5360153/3/628x471.jpg (by the way, that article also relates another incident which gives additional justification to the idea that the cop was overly aggressive, although it's thin on detai...
by skeptical scientist
Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:21 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 5319
Views: 710648

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Well, obviously there was an intent to hit the target. But the number of rounds expended is fairly obvious evidence that there was also an intent to kill. At a range where 7 of his 8 bullets hit the teenager, he knew by the third round that the kid was going down. To keep firing after the third rou...
by skeptical scientist
Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: When to treat what? (Gender issues, etc.)
Replies: 10
Views: 6557

Re: When to treat what? (Gender issues, etc.)

If the state can afford to give prisoners every form of genuine treatment under the sun, then they should, albeit only after first attending to the needs of its free citizens equivalently, to avoid obvious unfairness and moral hazard. No, our first priority should not be attending to the needs of o...
by skeptical scientist
Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:09 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9724
Views: 1506215

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

Whenever I see code that looks like try: # do stuff return 0 except: # do other stuff return 1 part of me wants to append finally: return 2 * * * Is it wrong that I wrote my first set of real unit tests the other day, whilst completing a pre-interview programming screen? Is it wrong that the first t...

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