Search found 191 matches

by quantropy
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:24 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Crossing Divides - A Social Platform
Replies: 57
Views: 2433

Re: Crossing Divides - A Social Platform

So, perhaps the "Crossing Divides" platform should be listen-only, with curated presenters from all sides making their points. Since no responses are permitted, there is less incentive for presenters to aim at triggering an emotional response. I really don't like the provider/customer mod...
by quantropy
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:21 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Crossing Divides - A Social Platform
Replies: 57
Views: 2433

Re: Crossing Divides - A Social Platform

A couple of thoughts: 1: Putting forward a good argument is hard work . Using existing social media platforms as a model gives in too much to the desire for instant gratification. But getting people to make the effort to put forward their arguments as if they are really trying to convince someone is...
by quantropy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is Wealth?
Replies: 10
Views: 1355

Re: What is Wealth?

There are two questions here, firstly why do we put so much emphasis on the accumulation of stuff, and secondly why are we busy all of the time rather than living the life of leisure that we ought to. If your society is based on a military hierarchy then it's fairly inevitable that you will be busy ...
by quantropy
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:03 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: No Longer a potential proof of P != NP
Replies: 3
Views: 1244

Re: Potential proof of P != NP

Some years ago I went to this talk , where the idea was that an NMR spectrometer could implement a NAND gate, and so was in a sense a universal computer. The NMR machine was connected to a computer but we were supposed to believe that the computer, which was full of logic gates, wasn't doing any of ...
by quantropy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Tabs vs Spaces
Replies: 209
Views: 109053

Re: Tabs vs Spaces

Computer programmers who use spaces as part of their coding earn $15,370 (£12,000) more per year than those who use tabs, a survey of developers has revealed.

Programmers who use spaces 'paid more'
by quantropy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:46 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 6536

Re: Superconducting CPU?

So and etc. is like having 'and and' in a sentence.
by quantropy
Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:54 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Telescope amplification with laser medium?
Replies: 18
Views: 2664

Re: Telescope amplification with laser medium?

I skimmed the Sci Am article and didn't see anything about how lasers violate the laws of physics. Can you expand on what exactly they do that is so impossible? When Charles Townes worked on using stimulated emission to provide a source of microwaves he was told in no uncertain terms that he was wa...
by quantropy
Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Telescope amplification with laser medium?
Replies: 18
Views: 2664

Re: Telescope amplification with laser medium?

Eebster the Great wrote:Wat

You can find more in the books How the Laser happened and How the Hippies saved physics
by quantropy
Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Telescope amplification with laser medium?
Replies: 18
Views: 2664

Re: Telescope amplification with laser medium?

I think that the main problem with your idea is that lasers are forbidden by the laws of quantum theory. Yes, Einstein proposed the theory of stimulated emission in 1917, but everyone knows that Einstein was wrong about quantum theory, and by the 1940's it was known that such a thing was not allowed...
by quantropy
Wed May 31, 2017 6:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 6536

Re: Superconducting CPU?

You're proposing a heater where the user cannot change the heat. At least throw in some fancy smartphone temperature control to justify the markup. Well, maybe it could be marketed as a super-duper way to control your heating, but as others have pointed out there are then security issues. Possibly ...
by quantropy
Wed May 31, 2017 11:00 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 6536

Re: Superconducting CPU?

And you'd have to keep it expensive, else your free electricity scheme turns into people junking your "heaters" for their juicy GPU innards. Plus, you need to connect to the user's WiFi, so you're not losing everything you're making in cellular data bills. Easiest way to do that is to ask...
by quantropy
Tue May 30, 2017 11:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 6536

Re: Superconducting CPU?

I wonder sometimes whether nVidia or the like might make a bunch of last year's GPU's into a computer and sell it as a heater. My idea would be no interface for the owner, rather it just connects to the internet and takes part in a distributed computing project when it's turned on.
by quantropy
Sat May 27, 2017 6:25 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 6536

Re: Superconducting CPU?

The question was inspired by me wondering: my computer has an 800W power supply. Suppose I make it "compute" hard enough to draw all 800W. Is it putting out exactly 800W of heat? Yes. Any energy fed into the computer as electricity is emitted as heat. It doesn't 'use up' any in doing the ...
by quantropy
Fri May 26, 2017 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 6536

Re: Superconducting CPU?

According to Landauer's principle computers have to dissipate a certain amount of energy when they 'forget' a bit of information. This is a very small amount of energy, about 2.7e-21 Joules per bit at room temperature. At superconducting temperatures it would be considerably less, but I think that t...
by quantropy
Tue May 23, 2017 11:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Consequences of climate change
Replies: 23
Views: 4270

Re: Consequences of climate change

I'm a bit late to the party I know, but I thought I'd give some observations on why there is still so much disagreement about climate change, when the science is getting more and more certain: A: Climate is not weather. It's hard to predict weather more than a week or so in advance, due to nonlinear...
by quantropy
Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:35 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 9859

Re: An essay against competition

fight and compete Conjunctions are such dangerous words. Does the and here means that competition is something sufficiently different from fighting that it needs to be mentioned separately? (I remember an old joke where someone was described as being famous throughout the civilised world and in Ame...
by quantropy
Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:21 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1116
Views: 111701

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Having a re-run has the problem that if it reverses the result, there will be calls for another re-run to see if it reverses the result again, and so on ad infinitum. I think that if Theresa May, (who supported Remain), wanted to stay in the EU she would call a general election, making it clear that...
by quantropy
Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:28 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 9859

Re: An essay against competition

For example, the words "fairness" and "cooperation" are generally taken to be positive things. I think of them as negative things I see this as the controversial idea that you are putting forward, and so this should really be titled An essay against cooperation . I can just abou...
by quantropy
Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 9859

Re: An essay against competition

If Bob wants to be a billionaire and have someone else scrub his toilet and bring him a margarita You are not arguing against competition . You are arguing against trading . The benefits of trading are argued for in many books on economics, but you don't seem to have anything to counter those argum...
by quantropy
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Light in a fog
Replies: 14
Views: 1956

Re: Light in a fog

That cube adjoins 6 other cubes, each of which are pumping 1/6 of their wattage into it. So you're right about the factor of two, at least. I was assuming the cube represented the whole of the fog. In essence light enters going in one direction, but in the fog there are 6 directions it can go in, s...
by quantropy
Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:51 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Light in a fog
Replies: 14
Views: 1956

Re: Light in a fog

66 Watts Imagine the fog is the form of a cube, with one face lit up by the sun. The light goes into that face, bounces around inside the fog until it's totally confused, and then exits one of the faces of the fog. That implies that the brightness of a face is 1/6 of the brightness of sunlight, and ...
by quantropy
Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:53 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Real one way glass
Replies: 27
Views: 4293

Re: Real one way glass

If I understand the physics correctly, there is no such thing as one way glass? Is this true though? After all in electronics you have diodes, and as far as I can see the same physics applies. It's true that diodes don't work at thermal energies, preventing the building of a Maxwell's demon device,...
by quantropy
Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How to calculate energy in humans?
Replies: 22
Views: 3282

Re: How to calculate energy in humans?

It seems reasonable that a typical spell would use 1 Planck energy. Maybe the mage didn't realise quite how much this was. It seems even more reasonable that a typical spell would use 1 plank. Well wood has an energy density of a few planck energies per cubic meter, so if it's a large enough plank ...
by quantropy
Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How to calculate energy in humans?
Replies: 22
Views: 3282

Re: How to calculate energy in humans?

It seems reasonable that a typical spell would use 1 Planck energy. Maybe the mage didn't realise quite how much this was.
by quantropy
Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:54 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: 301 redirects, name.com and nginx
Replies: 0
Views: 4840

301 redirects, name.com and nginx

I've registered a domain with name.com, and use their domain redirection to do a 301 redirect to a domain hosted by a different company. However, within the last few weeks this seems to have stopped working, in that only the bare domain is redirected, if anything follows it then a 404 is generated. ...
by quantropy
Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:23 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1116
Views: 111701

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Angela Merkel suggests she is willing to compromise on free movement Angela Merkel has for the first time signalled that she is willing to compromise on the issue of freedom of movement in the wake of Britain’s Brexit vote. In comments seen as a significant shift, the German Chancellor suggested th...
by quantropy
Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:14 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Pay to Win - a game theory problem
Replies: 21
Views: 4444

Re: Pay to Win - a game theory problem

In experiments where people have to split money between them, there tends to be a strong feeling that it should be split evenly. A player would prefer both getting nothing to what is seen as an unfair split. I've a feeling that an even split of the final amount is probably the only workable solution...
by quantropy
Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1716: "Time Travel Thesis"
Replies: 119
Views: 13921

Re: 1716: "Time Travel Thesis"

I don't think there's enough in the brief dialogue to demonstrate that. Nor does she. By the end of panel 2 she doesn't know how the conversation is likely to turn out. She is doubtful, but is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, presumably for the reasons that orthogon gives. But the rest...
by quantropy
Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:47 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Logic Puzzles - Admittedly, not naturally equipped to solve them...
Replies: 17
Views: 6765

Re: Logic Puzzles - Admittedly, not naturally equipped to solve them...

I play very “morally”. By this I mean that my style of play tends to be solid, reliable in contrast to creative and risky. I.e., I rely heavily on a logical playstyle! I can't help thinking that you don't so much lack logical thinking as experience some unease with the idea that logical puzzles are...
by quantropy
Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:11 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1116
Views: 111701

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, Cameron to resign by October]

I voted for Remain, but the more I think about it, the more understandable the Leave vote becomes. 1: Immigration. The thing that no one seems to be considering is that England is a small densely populated country. It's also considerably richer than many of the countries which are joining the EU. So...
by quantropy
Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:59 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1116
Views: 111701

Re: British EU referendum in June

Soupspoon wrote:UK To Vote To Remain In The EU: 1/2
UK To Vote To Leave The EU: 13/8

Assuming these odds mean what I think they mean, that implies a probability of leaving of between 1/3 and 8/21 - so the bookies seem to think remain is significantly more likely.
by quantropy
Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:39 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Society pays tab for personal liberty
Replies: 70
Views: 10343

Re: Society pays tab for personal liberty

Maybe some activities should be forbidden as too risky, but the question is 'Who gets to decide?'. And on what criteria - risk per activity, risk per hour or what. It's too easy to use risk as an excuse for forbidding activities which are seen as socially unacceptable, while allowing more risky acti...
by quantropy
Thu May 05, 2016 1:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is a reasonable return on capital
Replies: 39
Views: 10297

Re: What is a reasonable return on capital

I have to admit that the idea of a typical return on capital which long term investors such as pension funds tend to achieve, doesn't seem realistic, as pension fund returns do seem to be all over the place. So it seems that the best I can do is to look at the long term average returns on equities. ...
by quantropy
Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:39 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Supermyths: Myths About Debunking Myths
Replies: 30
Views: 5859

Re: Supermyths: Myths About Debunking Myths

I think the moral is that things are generally not as simple as they seem, and digging deeper shows that there is usually a little bit of truth in what is considered to be a myth. But then you can dig deeper again. e.g. Flat Earth 1:Before Columbus people thought the earth was flat 2: No, that's a m...
by quantropy
Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:18 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is a reasonable return on capital
Replies: 39
Views: 10297

Re: What is a reasonable return on capital

The imprecision here is "reasonable". I guess I'm thinking of someone who is starting to invest for their retirement. They want to be able to plan for an income in retirement related to what they earn in work, and so need to have an idea of what return to expect. They're considering long ...
by quantropy
Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:32 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is a reasonable return on capital
Replies: 39
Views: 10297

Re: What is a reasonable return on capital

It's important to understand why the market typically outperforms bonds. The stock market is a proxy for "turning dirt into goods". But remember that there are corporate bonds as well as government bonds. Dirt2Goods corp needs capital to do business, and there are a number of ways it can ...
by quantropy
Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:14 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is a reasonable return on capital
Replies: 39
Views: 10297

Re: What is a reasonable return on capital

After learning that stuff, I kind of lost my will to play the stock market anymore. Doesn't feel safe at all. Not safe in the short term maybe, but in the longer term any ups and downs should average out, and typically stock market outperforms other investments such as bonds. When I say typically t...
by quantropy
Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:16 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 5336

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

Isn't that the role of advertising? Get people to want what we actually produce. But mass production and advertising make the disconnect worse, as you end up with people wanting stuff, but not being able to get work to earn money to buy it. The businesses could easily produce the extra stuff, peopl...
by quantropy
Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:24 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 5336

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

The problem with this model is that it requires continual growth and consumption - otherwise, you end up with one guy owning all the robots, everyone else unemployed and with no access to the produced goods. Meanwhile, the robot-owner is on the one hand berating all the lazy layabouts and on the ot...
by quantropy
Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:19 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 5336

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

People have been finding ways to do the same work with less labour for thousands of years, and they always find something else to do with their time. Exactly what causes unemployment is a puzzle to me, and something I feel economists don't give enough attention to. It seems to me, though, that the p...

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