Search found 86 matches

by Lemminkainen
Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:49 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math in Moscow
Replies: 29
Views: 6829

Re: Math in Moscow

dean.menezes wrote:In Soviet Russia, math does you!


I actually joked for a while with friends that I would probably have trouble adjusting to the fact that there, theorem proves you. In all seriousness, though, I'm wondering if anybody who's been there has something to say.
by Lemminkainen
Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:05 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math in Moscow
Replies: 29
Views: 6829

Math in Moscow

Has anybody on here participated in this study abroad program? One of my professors is encouraging me to go during the fall semester. He tells me that it will be an excellent experience for my mathematical development at this stage in my life. I'm currently a freshman at Rice University, and by the ...
by Lemminkainen
Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:56 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is there any point to our existance?
Replies: 112
Views: 15756

Re: Is there any point to our existance?

To answer the original question:

no, there is no point to our existence. Should this upset us? Absolutely not.
by Lemminkainen
Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:20 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Stupid mistakes on Tests.
Replies: 51
Views: 5982

Re: Stupid mistakes on Tests.

A current professor of mine has a policy which he states simply as: "No credit will be given for incorrect answers." Needless to say, this can be quite agonizing. I believe that my whole class laughed on hearing me shout "FUCK!" upon realizing that I had lost a letter grade becau...
by Lemminkainen
Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:45 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Awesome Teacher Quotes
Replies: 1764
Views: 401143

Re: Awesome Teacher Quotes

One math professor on being asked for some assistance on a homework assignment:

"The homework is there for your exercise, not for mine."
by Lemminkainen
Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:00 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Academic competion
Replies: 25
Views: 3785

Re: Academic competion

Just wondering who else here plays or has played quizbowl or quizbowl-related competitions, as well as people who combine quizbowl and beekeeping. I see what you did thar with your bees-meme reference, person whose initials suggest that he is Douglas Graebner (of course, I could be completely wrong...
by Lemminkainen
Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:57 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Mathematical Platonism vs. Mathematical Formalism
Replies: 43
Views: 11722

Re: Mathematical Platonism vs. Mathematical Formalism

BlackSails wrote: there are true things we cannot prove - that doesnt make them any less true


Care to give an example that's not assumed as an axiom in a mathematical system?
by Lemminkainen
Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:09 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Mathematical Platonism vs. Mathematical Formalism
Replies: 43
Views: 11722

Mathematical Platonism vs. Mathematical Formalism

So, ladies, gentlemen, and people who don't firmly fall into predefined gender categories, after reading Neal Stephenson's Anathem , I feel compelled to discuss the issue titling the thread with some other intelligent people. So, do you take the Platonist perspective (in brief, that mathematical obj...
by Lemminkainen
Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0701: "Science Valentine"
Replies: 133
Views: 37356

Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Did anyone else find it odd that the graph shows values for "feelings for you" BEFORE they first met?
by Lemminkainen
Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:30 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: AP Lang: Taking the test without the class
Replies: 25
Views: 4054

Re: AP Lang: Taking the test without the class

It depends on who you are as a student. Are you a good writer? Do you have a knack for understanding rhetoric and literary devices? The AP Language exam tests these sorts of things, particularly along the lines of argumentation (both understanding the writer's argumentation and being able to make a...
by Lemminkainen
Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:05 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Becoming a Mathematician?
Replies: 17
Views: 4676

Becoming a Mathematician?

I'm currently a freshman at Rice University, and I originally entered planning to study physics. In high school, I took differential equations at a local university. The instructor for ODE, a mathematics graduate student, encouraged all of us to at least try out more proof-based or abstract math cou...
by Lemminkainen
Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:35 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: School makes me hate math
Replies: 54
Views: 8743

Re: School makes me hate math

This depends a good deal on what the "Math" is. I mostly enjoyed Calc BC, Diffy Q was a blast, and Multivariable is awesome. That said, I HATED LIN ALG. I don't mind the applied linear algebra, I think that's pretty neat, and I know that has oodles of applications. But proving that the mo...
by Lemminkainen
Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:26 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: When environmentalists legitmize plunder
Replies: 14
Views: 3825

Re: When environmentalists legitmize plunder

I would respectfully disagree with the commentary on the green revolution being useless. An end to famine in the imminent future allows societies to industrialize. In industrialization, the marginal value of having more children to serve as extra laborers drops, meaning that there is less incentive ...
by Lemminkainen
Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:53 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Flawed Narrators
Replies: 48
Views: 10477

Re: Flawed Narrators

Interestingly, I believe that I have encountered somewhat deceptive 3rd-person narration in at least one novel. The narrator of Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera," while we cannot be certain is lying, definitely intentionally misleads the reader on the personal attributes of at least ...
by Lemminkainen
Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Was the world a better place back then?
Replies: 32
Views: 5186

Re: Was the world a better place back then?

I think that consistent technological progress and the massive expansion of wealth in places like India, China, and Latin American in the last five years or so have probably made the 2000s the best time ever in terms of prosperity for the majority of the world's population.
by Lemminkainen
Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:18 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is the highest reasonable salary?
Replies: 55
Views: 6299

Re: What is the highest reasonable salary?

Salaries usually tend to be a reflection of what a person's labor is worth to somebody or something else, for the simple reason that corporations or individuals won't pay somebody more than the value they believe they will get in return. High salaries simply reflect high value to society. Celebritie...
by Lemminkainen
Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:28 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Existence of the Patriarchy
Replies: 202
Views: 49712

Re: Existence of the Patriarchy

Just a note re female doctors. There are indeed more female doctors entering the field now than men (in USA anyway). Part of this is due to increased access to education and resources. However, there is an interesting coincidence that I think is worth mentioning. Men are reporting (again, USA) that...
by Lemminkainen
Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:49 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Utility of Religion
Replies: 301
Views: 35141

Re: Utility of Religion

I think that evaluation of the utility of religion requires that we examine the relationship between religious belief and well-being in societies. According to Wikipedia, the countries highest in one metric of development, HDI, almost all present low or declining levels of religiosity-- Iceland, Swe...
by Lemminkainen
Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Judaism and Intellectualism
Replies: 52
Views: 20445

Re: Judaism and Intellectualism

I believe that the reasons why the culturally Jewish tend to be as intelligent as they are (and they are-- the IQ of the average American Askenazi Jew is about 115 points) are probably history-based cultural factors. Part of it has to do with literacy-- because everyone is required to read for relig...
by Lemminkainen
Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:22 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Philosophy of Religion [Philosophy]
Replies: 132
Views: 13053

Re: Philosophy of Religion

I think that the ontological argument for existence is weak. It hinges on several fallacies. The first is that it requires "existence" to be a perfection-- a false premise. The other is that it assumes that because we conceive of a being with certain traits, and one of those traits is exis...
by Lemminkainen
Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:50 pm UTC
Forum: Movies and TV Shows
Topic: Riddick
Replies: 18
Views: 3095

Re: Riddick

I really enjoyed Pitch Black. It had this intense, simple, really hard, tight storyline, and every moment was filled with genuine terror. Chronicles, while entertaining with its overblown violence, is a far worse film, with its sprawling, messy, loosely-connected plot.
by Lemminkainen
Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:32 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Capitalism and Poverty
Replies: 112
Views: 9665

Re: Capitalism and Poverty

On the subject of "low -utility jobs" - are trades such as carpenter, plumber, electrician, auto mechanic, HVAC technician, etc, considered "low utility" ? Landscaping, construction, the list goes on and on.. these are all jobs with high utility and low cost of entry. If capital...
by Lemminkainen
Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:19 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Capitalism and Poverty
Replies: 112
Views: 9665

Re: Capitalism and Poverty

I should clarify - I was asking if capitalism gives people a moral justification for hating and blaming the poor. That's what I meant to ask. Not at all. According to modern economics, poor people are poor because they aren't able to produce high-value goods or services. Frequently, this is through...
by Lemminkainen
Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:12 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Capitalism and Poverty
Replies: 112
Views: 9665

Re: Capitalism and Poverty

MarshyMarsh, I would hardly consider it fair to hold the wealthy entirely accountable for the current crisis. Who fueled the housing bubble by continuing to expand and purchase houses on debt? Who rang up massive amounts of internal debt through credit card use? Who voted politicians who have pursue...
by Lemminkainen
Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:50 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Capitalism and Poverty
Replies: 112
Views: 9665

Re: Capitalism and Poverty

mrandrewv, you neglect to realize that in the majority of transactions, Nordic socialist democracies are capitalist. Many of them (like Denmark) provide less regulation and more economic freedoms to their citizens than the United States does. Taxation is a little higher, but the role of government i...
by Lemminkainen
Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:22 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Capitalism and Poverty
Replies: 112
Views: 9665

Re: Capitalism and Poverty

The thing is, in rural areas in many countries, parents cannot afford to send their children to school because they need the extra income that the children could earn from working. A sweatshop worker, while still poor, still will make a considerably higher income than his or her peer in the countrys...
by Lemminkainen
Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:55 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Capitalism and Poverty
Replies: 112
Views: 9665

Re: Capitalism and Poverty

The problem with using anecdotal evidence about poor people is that hard-working poor people are ashamed, and afraid of being lumped in with the lazy poor people, so they hide it as well as they can. In other words, the hard-working poor exist much more significantly than you think - you just don't...
by Lemminkainen
Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:27 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Capitalism and Poverty
Replies: 112
Views: 9665

Re: Capitalism and Poverty

I don't really think that demonization of poverty is really all that common in most capitalist countries. Consider how archetypical capitalist country the United States has a number of government-supported schemes to feed poor people (food stamps), treat their illnesses (Medicaid), and help them fin...
by Lemminkainen
Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:31 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The least racist country?
Replies: 107
Views: 16513

Re: The least racist country?

The United States-- name any other non-African country where somebody of African descent has been elected president. You're joking right? Belize for one, any number of other Caribbean states for some more. Hell, name any other large or significant country with a head of state who's a member of a ra...
by Lemminkainen
Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:26 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The components of a World War
Replies: 57
Views: 6839

Re: The components of a World War

The resulting starvation and death should kill most of the population with the remainder reduced to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. You have now effectively ended civilization in Africa. But... why? Wars have to have beginnings. If you can explain why China might want to slaughter every man, woman and...
by Lemminkainen
Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The components of a World War
Replies: 57
Views: 6839

Re: The components of a World War

Dream: is Africa tribal and lawless or is it stable enough to organise itself into a united body to attempt to take on world powers? It is stable enough. It has governments and militaries and money. They manage to have lots of long term, destructive wars. It is lawless, as people go around hacking ...
by Lemminkainen
Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:23 am UTC
Forum: Comics/Graphic Novels
Topic: Why is Rorschach so likeable?
Replies: 91
Views: 52000

Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Both HJ and Captain Metropolis had somewhat far-right reputations, but Metropolis was the one who voiced support for Hitler.
by Lemminkainen
Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:21 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The components of a World War
Replies: 57
Views: 6839

Re: The components of a World War

I think that a more valid definition for "World WAr" would be any sort of conflict which extends worldwide and causes some sort of massive paradigm shift. For example, the First World War effectively spelled doom for Imperialism (though it took a few years before the empires fell apart en...
by Lemminkainen
Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The components of a World War
Replies: 57
Views: 6839

Re: The components of a World War

Together, the first and second world war ended European dominance of the world. A dominance that had lasted for 2 millenia. A laughable claim. Do the words Golden Horde, Mughal Empire or Han China mean anything to you? *nod*. European "dominance" of the world would probably stretch back t...
by Lemminkainen
Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:15 am UTC
Forum: Comics/Graphic Novels
Topic: Why is Rorschach so likeable?
Replies: 91
Views: 52000

Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

I don't think that Rorschach is supposed to be good. It's his twisted qualities-- his warped worldview, his over-matter-of-fact, clipped speech, and his tendency toward extreme, awful violence that make him entertaining to pay attention to.
by Lemminkainen
Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:40 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Jorge Luis Borges
Replies: 18
Views: 3314

Re: Jorge Luis Borges

To do: write a critical piece on Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote as if it was written by somebody other than Borges.
by Lemminkainen
Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:35 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion
Replies: 2000
Views: 186166

Re: What is a Religion of peace or an anti-knowledge Religion?

Therefore, Adam eating the apple was an event ordained by God, but by no means forced... if that makes sense. I create something, knowing it will fail. When it does, I claim it isn't my fault, reasoning that I didn't force my creation to fail, I just set things in motion knowing it would. How does ...
by Lemminkainen
Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:04 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Jorge Luis Borges
Replies: 18
Views: 3314

Re: Jorge Luis Borges

I just had my first taste of a large dose of Borges this week when I started reading Ficciones , (containing Labyrthinhs and second part whose name I don't recall at the moment) though I had read The Library of Babel and Los Dos Reyes y los Dos Laberintos before. He is amazing. Though stylistically,...
by Lemminkainen
Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:42 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion
Replies: 2000
Views: 186166

Re: What is a Religion of peace or an anti-knowledge Religion?

Most AD-era interpretation is sophistry created by self-delusive intelligent people who wanted to reconcile their status as thinking people with their following of a faith whose roots are in the tradition of bronze-age barbarians. It isn't just intellectually disagreeing and reinterpreting it, thou...
by Lemminkainen
Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:46 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion
Replies: 2000
Views: 186166

Re: What is a Religion of peace or an anti-knowledge Religion?

For example, Lemminkainen just characterized all of Christianity by a gross over-simplification of the first book, which doesn't take into account years of scholarship and different established interpretations (not the least of which being that Genesis is a metaphor). It would be perfectly valid (t...

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