Search found 3606 matches

by elasto
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 49
Views: 3011

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

That's why I claim life is special. It didn't take a bomb to create our entire civilisation including aircraft, runways, and a TSA enforcing a 100ml limit on liquids, 'all' it took was a relatively small (but still highly unlikely) amount of randomness producing a self-replicating molecule, and the ...
by elasto
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: AI discussion from The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 124
Views: 33278

Re: AI discussion from The Darker Side of the News

why? if i work at a burger joint, as a university professor, or neuro surgeon, my children don't get anything either after i stop working, for whatever reason. To be fair, in a service or manufacturing role, your contribution to society ends the moment you stop working. With a creative production, ...
by elasto
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 56
Views: 1871

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

As I stated, there are ways to defend yourself without harming someone, such as running away. Not always. In this case David is trapped in a bedroom being beaten with a weapon. The question is why would Tom try to harm David to begin with? What does Tom gain from that violence? From his point of vi...
by elasto
Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:08 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 56
Views: 1871

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

First off, what kind of society could exist where violence (or the threat of it) was not an ongoing necessity? One where there is nothing to be gained from violence. But there's always something to be gained from violence - for example violence exercised in self-defence. The only way that could not...
by elasto
Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 56
Views: 1871

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

All other political philosophies that I know of say that violence is a feature of a sub-optimal society and that there is a way for perpetual peace to exist. Violence may be necessary to establish a perfect society, but that violence is always temporary (e.g. Marx said it was okay to revolt in orde...
by elasto
Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:02 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: sick realization: you have negative dollars
Replies: 164
Views: 34480

Re: sick realization: you have negative dollars

This is the true flaw in the system - the inherent bias of human beings That's just a different way of saying the same thing: Any system that doesn't take into account the deep flaws of human beings is itself deeply flawed. I mean, theoretically the best possible system is a wise and benevolent dic...
by elasto
Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:14 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14993
Views: 2385069

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

This is why no one takes scientists seriously; their taxonomy has been proven wrong time and again, and they just keep going like it's no big deal. ...says the person typing on a device invented by scientists I'm sure your jibe was meant to be light-hearted, but while science isn't perfect it's a h...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1234
Views: 186686

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

According to the BBC the numbers don't really add up: Can Theresa May get her deal through the Commons? That's what I think will ultimately lead to another referendum or election. Because, as Zamfir says, it's not like the EU is just going to start again. They are going to have their own problems ge...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:49 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1234
Views: 186686

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

Well, Ireland reuniting would involve ripping up the GFA. Depends what you mean by 'ripping up' I suppose. Arguably, if the Northern Irish willingly unite with Southern Ireland then it's actually an improvement over the current arrangement: If in a generation or two the fallout from a hard-Brexit c...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1234
Views: 186686

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

And I don't agree with the turkey/triffle metaphor, because going hard-turkey would be worse than the half-way point. It would definitely mean ripping up the Good Friday Agreement and going back to the Troubles. Personally I don't think it would lead to that. I do think it would lead to the break-u...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1234
Views: 186686

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

Looks like there's going to be a vote of no confidence, and most likely May will win it, and be untouchable for a year. You think? I agree that's what the pundits are saying, but personally I am doubtful the hardliners would submit the names if they didn't think they'd win the vote; I think they'd ...
by elasto
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:49 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nash Equilibrium in American politics
Replies: 120
Views: 18417

Re: Nash Equilibrium in American politics

Fptp systems force a lot of that flattening into the stage before elections. Main parties have to offer a fairly complete program that has a shot at getting majority support, and they have to build the required compromises inside their internal coalition. The truth is though that most of the time p...
by elasto
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:14 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nash Equilibrium in American politics
Replies: 120
Views: 18417

Re: Nash Equilibrium in American politics

"Moderate" as in the arithmetic mean between the most radical progressives and those lunatic reactionaries is fine... but that's basically what the Democrats are. The actual left wing of the populace don't have any party representing them; the closest we have are the moderates, the Democr...
by elasto
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:40 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nash Equilibrium in American politics
Replies: 120
Views: 18417

Re: Nash Equilibrium in American politics

The UK is weird, and while, yes, we technically do have fairly vibrant third parties some pretty horrid anomalies get thrown up. In 2015, for example, the Tories and Labour got around 2/3rds of the vote but ended up with 7/8ths of the seats. The SNP got 5% of the vote and ended up with 1/12th of the...
by elasto
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:46 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding for Kids
Replies: 8
Views: 2046

Re: Coding for Kids

badaza wrote:I'm not such a fan of Scratch: it's too free-form for me. I prefer something like Tynker where I have clear objectives that get progressively more complex.

That site looks great!

Thanks for pointing it out :)
by elasto
Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:18 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of Research
Replies: 76
Views: 5209

Re: Ethics of Research

In addition, share with whom ? The general public? If the researchers were funded privately, in general no, since that might lead to less private funding in future, but there might be a public interest argument for leaking research outcomes in individual instances. But whether public or private, the...
by elasto
Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: avoiding coding "representation errors"
Replies: 20
Views: 7643

Re: avoiding coding "representation errors"

Obviously you're just trying to give a simple example here, but surely you wouldn't be constructing it that way. Off the top of my head, and assuming we are going for a really simple use-case here, wouldn't a better approach be something like: var rawUserInput = GetUserInput(); var cleanUserInput = ...
by elasto
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:58 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: avoiding coding "representation errors"
Replies: 20
Views: 7643

Re: avoiding coding "representation errors"

hungarian notation seems to be the right answer. as joel spolsky points out (https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2005/05/11/making-wrong-code-look-wrong/) the original intended usage of hungarian notation is exactly to solve this problem, NOT to prefix variables with their type just for the sake of doin...
by elasto
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

Sure, but did he actually act on that quote while in power? I think what someone does trumps what they say. Quite. If you heard this speech, would you think it came from a right-winger or a flaming pinko commie? ...it means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom bu...
by elasto
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 49
Views: 3011

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

You snuck in a claim here, implying that earth has the lowest entropy of the planets in the solar system, because there's life on it. As far as I can see, our ability to lower entropy is much more localized than planet scale, and I see no reason to believe that earth's entropy is significantly lowe...
by elasto
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:57 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 49
Views: 3011

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Life is an entirely natural and deterministic mechanism that results in local entropy lowering over time, sometimes precipitously. That's essentially the most interesting thing about it, alongside the whole consciousness thing. There's nothing special about life with regards to entropy. There are p...
by elasto
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:51 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 49
Views: 3011

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Some pages said that evolution allowed life and complexity to evolve without a spontaneous apparition, but it seems evolution in our universe would require a massive entropy fluctuation, which means the argument is flawed. The second law of thermodynamics only describes the evolution of systems ove...
by elasto
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:18 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

As I recall, electoral reform was talked about more than just in passing by the Labour Party in the UK prior to the 1997 election (by which time the Labour party had been out of power for 18 years). Labour won that election by a landslide and the issue of electoral reform quietly got shelved - presu...
by elasto
Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:32 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

My impression as an outsider was that, in Obama's early years, he sought to do things on a bipartisan basis as much as possible, so that the legislation would be as good as possible and the country benefit as much as possible. The Republicans correctly realised that cooperating with that process wou...
by elasto
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others.

To be fair though, the US craps on all the downtrodden within its borders, immigrant or native.
by elasto
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14993
Views: 2385069

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

but attention seeking is basically essential to the medium. Good art that noone gets to see is of little value at the end of the day I disagree with this quite strongly. Unpublished and unpublicised art can nevertheless have a profound impact on the artist themselves. I think you are taking what I ...
by elasto
Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6473
Views: 971350

Re: Police misbehavior thread

this doesn't always work. I almost missed a bill because I tried the call back method. Can you explain further? All my important bills I have set to Direct Debit. (Obviously that sets one up for the reverse problem: Where a legitimate company overbills you by mistake; But you should always be able ...
by elasto
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6473
Views: 971350

Re: Police misbehavior thread

One thing it would be so valuable to teach people to avoid these kinds of scams is to always call the person back. Not on the number they give but from Googling. So if they claim they are from the power company then Google the power company's number and go call it. If it's a legitimate issue then wh...
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14993
Views: 2385069

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Before the impressionist movement, you simply could not find anyone who would take a couple of terrible paint blotches seriously. The history of art is actually a long story, mostly of elitism. Art has always been, primarily, a biological honest signaling process for mating. Ok, that's a bit of an ...
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:43 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14993
Views: 2385069

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Scratching "pedo" into someone's front door and throwing rocks at their windows would fit that description. It may need refining. Not as much as you might think. If it's done consensually then it could be great art, causing people to think more deeply about how society should be acting to...
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:35 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14993
Views: 2385069

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

The core issue is I don't think there's any clean way to define 'art' at all. Art is basically anything that is engineered to make people think and feel, and the better the art, the more people it will cause to think and feel, and the more deeply they will do so. But obviously that's a totally subje...
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:52 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14993
Views: 2385069

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Oh please. There is no way the art house missed the shredder in the frame. Why do you say that? The shredder had been inactive inside the frame for years on the off-chance the owner ever tried to sell it. Even if they recognised it as such, unless they were pre-warned they'd have no reason to expec...
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

Sable: As I saw it, the question that was asked was: Why it is that the Swiss hate Serbs when, say, I never heard of the English hating them especially. Did Serbs do something to Swiss nationals in particular? Or, to put it another way: Why is it the Swiss hate Serbs but not other groups that have c...
by elasto
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:31 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

Exactly. This hearing was not a court of law. It was a job interview. The standard of evidence was not 'beyond reasonable doubt'. It was 'is this the best candidate for the position?' If Kavanaugh gets approved for the job, it says less about him and everything about the priorities of the hiring com...
by elasto
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:56 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

Politicians showing open disdain for the media and for judges, and calling into question the veracity of the electoral process itself etc. certainly undermines the core pillars of liberal democracy. It's fortunate that you have so many checks and balances to ensure the peaceful transfer of power. Po...
by elasto
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Class vs class
Replies: 69
Views: 4580

Re: Class vs class

Your adblock won't work forever, and you can't control the ads they do see. Agreed. Nor can I control all the other myriad ways people will try to manipulate them - from their peers to the media to everyone else. Rather than try to wrap them in cotton wool, therefore, I don't try to insulate them f...
by elasto
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Class vs class
Replies: 69
Views: 4580

Re: Class vs class

All the algorithms are coded the same way. Whether you like a Facebook Trump post or a racist Instagram photo. They'll pair them with other related posts that you'll like. Other extremists posts. My daughters don't like the posts of strangers. Promiscuity is not a good thing in either case. Friends...
by elasto
Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:53 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Class vs class
Replies: 69
Views: 4580

Re: Class vs class

Social media companies make their money by selling your personal information, in one way or another, after making it more valuable by aggregating it. It matters little what face is put on this espionage ring In which case why ask if Facebook owns it? Why would it be better if Google or Microsoft ow...
by elasto
Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Class vs class
Replies: 69
Views: 4580

Re: Class vs class

Yeah, but what they do use... is it owned by Facebook? How does that matter particularly? Facebook is bad because people pool into echo chambers forwarding clickbait to each other. Twitter is bad for much the same reason, except with more anger and trolling. So far as I can tell, Instagram is much ...
by elasto
Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:14 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7965
Views: 608748

Re: Trump presidency

I was confused about the line that mentioned heterosexual partners also not being allowed. So the change is now, "you must be married to your partner else you can't get a Visa"? Yeah. So while heterosexual couples have the choice of turning down the post, getting married or living apart, ...

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