Search found 422 matches

by lorb
Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: List of All Laws of Nature
Replies: 199
Views: 21619

Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Isn't one of the problems with trying to classify things like economics as a science that it's subject to feedback? People who understand economics will make different choices than those who do not, so you then need another layer to account for the impact of those choices, and so on, elephants all ...
by lorb
Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:10 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 32941

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

That is, "easier to get a gun than a book" should be read as "easier to enter a (criminal) violent path of life than to get (higher) education" which is certainly true for a number of neighbourhoods. Or expressed more accurate: there are neighbourhoods where this is true for a h...
by lorb
Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:20 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: List of All Laws of Nature
Replies: 199
Views: 21619

Re: List of All Laws of Nature

As for economic laws: The law of decreasing marginal utility has a terrible factuality score compared to real sciences, but it has at least a solid correlation and awesome applicability. How would that be? I don't see how it has a lower factuality score then for example the pythagorean theorem. Bot...
by lorb
Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.
Replies: 186
Views: 32941

Re: Obama says it's easier to get a gun than a book.

While the whole discussion on gun-advocacy and gun-research and what kind of gun legislation can or can't prevent gun-related deaths and crimes is very interesting I think the quote from the original topic is best looked at from a less "taking it literally" point of view. That is, "ea...
by lorb
Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:13 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: IDEs and the death of the command line interface
Replies: 25
Views: 7074

Re: IDEs and the death of the command line interface

commodorejohn wrote:
adanedhel728 wrote:I'm planning on learning Vim in the near future. I don't know if I'll like it more than the GUI text editors, but it's worth trying it out, especially since a lot of code veterans love it.

[...] (tabbed GUI text editor x) [...]


vim can do tabs. vim -p
by lorb
Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:38 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Big Magical Numbers
Replies: 12
Views: 4973

Re: Big Magical Numbers

tomandlu wrote:The math constants are interesting but too small


graham's number is a not-small number
by lorb
Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: is Chicago ever the "front" of the planet?
Replies: 30
Views: 4899

Re: is Chicago ever the "front" of the planet?

If you want to "smack" somebody, what good does it do to have the ground racing past at 30km/s? I've already explained that I understand the idea of smacking something with Earth's orbital speed as the idea that you'd completely stop something and have Earth run into it at full speed. Whi...
by lorb
Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching
Replies: 90
Views: 8476

Re: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching

I don't like the term myself, GSK are not the only pharma company and most have much less chequered history. Tarring a whole group with the same brush is a pet peeve of mine. Still there is a reason why this exists: Wikipedias list of largest pharmaceutical settlements I am not saying all pharmaceu...
by lorb
Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching
Replies: 90
Views: 8476

Re: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching

In the current regime that is actually impossible to know. Nobody really knows how much unpublished data there is that would prove that drugs that are currently in use lack efficacy.
by lorb
Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:06 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: is Chicago ever the "front" of the planet?
Replies: 30
Views: 4899

Re: is Chicago ever the "front" of the planet?

I would like help with the following questions: is there a specific line around the planet charting the Earth's actual rotation, and if so, does that line have a name that would make images of it easier to find on Google? I am not aware of a special name for that line but it is accurately described...
by lorb
Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching
Replies: 90
Views: 8476

Re: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching

Absolutely. Yet the way the system works there is so much incentive to get a significant result that things like outcome switching have become a widespread problem. And that is because there are many contexts in which a result that is not null is (at least perceived to be) much more useful. Also if ...
by lorb
Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching
Replies: 90
Views: 8476

Re: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching

While I totally agree that a null result is valuable information, science does not happen in an academic vacuum. Try to think about it from an economic perspective for example. In most cases a positive result has a far better likelihood to lead to some way to make money from it. In the eyes of the p...
by lorb
Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:54 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching
Replies: 90
Views: 8476

Re: Problems in medical research:Tracking outcome switching

The fact that clinical trials are lengthy and expensive puts a great deal of pressure on the project to at least provide SOME kind of useful data. A null result is useful. I could write a lengthy post, but I think that is the main point. As long as null results are not considered as equally valid a...
by lorb
Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:26 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: "Miracles" of science idea for a XKCD panel
Replies: 6
Views: 2048

Re: "Miracles" of science idea for a XKCD panel

This article is relevant to the topic: http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html

It explains how GPS would be totally broken if we did not know about general and special relativity.
by lorb
Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:39 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: How many pencils and how many jars I have?
Replies: 7
Views: 2162

Re: How many pencils and how many jars I have?

Puzzles and riddles have their own section: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewforum.php?f=3
by lorb
Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1637: "Salt Mine"
Replies: 57
Views: 9166

Re: 1637: "Salt Mine"

Please explain? I don't get this one at all
by lorb
Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:33 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Counting tetris arrangements
Replies: 2
Views: 1407

Re: Counting tetris arrangements

How is "stable under gravity" defined? I doubt this will be stable if you shift the block horizontally to align with the squares, but if it were a perfect block perfectly aligned, it would.
by lorb
Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:26 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Game-tree complexity of Connect Four
Replies: 7
Views: 2951

Re: Game-tree complexity of Connect Four

The principle behind that thought still applies though, but in reverse. There will be columns that can't be played because it would be an immediate win. Winning ends the game and thus the branch of the game tree, so the column can never go higher.
by lorb
Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:59 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Greatest Mathematician of all time?
Replies: 65
Views: 15409

Re: Greatest Mathematician of all time?

although they don't have as much real and published material to their names.
by lorb
Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1605: "DNA"
Replies: 68
Views: 12875

1605: "DNA"

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/dna.png Title Text: "Researchers just found the gene responsible for mistakenly thinking we've found the gene for specific things. It's the region between the start and the end of every chromosome, plus a few segments in our mitochondria." Actually the source o...
by lorb
Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Fighting for the greater good
Replies: 25
Views: 8451

Re: Fighting for the greater good

What do you mean exactly when you say it needs to be "consistent"?
A) It needs to apply the same for every (human) being? If yes, why?
or
B) It needs to be free of contradiction?
or
C) something else?
by lorb
Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:28 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Fighting for the greater good
Replies: 25
Views: 8451

Re: Fighting for the greater good

As with most questions like this there is a need to be very specific definitions of "harm" & "population" to put forward answers - these are highly vague concepts and will drive different answers, some of which have already been hinted at. I would like to emphasize this very...
by lorb
Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:36 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Maximum efficiency when doing work over a distance
Replies: 57
Views: 15392

Re: Maximum efficiency when doing work over a distance

Maybe the question can be better answered from an engineering perspective than from a purely (abstract) scientific one. If there is some job to do, and the required energy is available at a distance, what is the most efficient available way to get that energy there. For example how would you get the...
by lorb
Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:37 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: The Total Number of Humans Ever (religious "pseudo-science")
Replies: 13
Views: 7105

Re: The Total Number of Humans Ever

Well, if I assume that the growth is purely exponential, and I set the current population is roughly 7.2 billion (at t=4361), and N 0 =8, then I get k=0.00473, more or less. But this gives me a population of only 4701 in 1000 BC (surely much too low) and a population of over 2.6 billion in 1800 and...
by lorb
Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:33 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Superpower gives control over water - can they fly?
Replies: 42
Views: 9351

Re: Superpower gives control over water - can they fly?

does she have to move all the molecules? couldn't she fly by shooting tiny amounts of water out of the body, downwards, at a very high velocity? Based on the principle that rocket engines work with. Maybe take a cup of tea along for refuelling.
by lorb
Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1572: "xkcd Survey"
Replies: 363
Views: 92710

Re: 1572: "xkcd Survey"

The correct answer is 42.
by lorb
Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:04 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1572: "xkcd Survey"
Replies: 363
Views: 92710

Re: 1572: "xkcd Survey"

The (Check all that apply) should have a "none" option to distinguish people for which none of the options apply from people who don't want to answer that particular question.
by lorb
Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Prove that 25+8*(n!)) is not square
Replies: 10
Views: 3099

Re: Prove that 25+8*(n!)) is not square

if n>=25 then 25+8*(n!) is always divisible by 25. So if it is a perfect square it has to be the square of a number divisible by 5.
(For n<25 we already know there are no squares by previous poster)
by lorb
Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:25 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1931
Views: 358934

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Echo244 wrote:Aye, especially when the usage of "refute" to mean "strongly deny without any evidence or usually even an argument" robs you of a single word you can use to mean "refute (original meaning)".


But you still have "disprove" and/or "rebut"?
by lorb
Sat May 09, 2015 12:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1520: Degree-Off
Replies: 110
Views: 23168

Re: 1520: Degree-Off

Did you ever visit a philosophy course on logic?
It is actually a lot more about how to properly connect what you call "Art" to what you call "Law".
by lorb
Wed May 06, 2015 10:11 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Greatest Mathematician of all time?
Replies: 65
Views: 15409

Re: Greatest Mathematician of all time?

Greatest by work actually achieved/done or by talent/potential?
I nominate Galois as the greatest Mathematician measured by talent.
Would you even know Gauss or Euler had they been shot at the age of 20?
by lorb
Mon May 04, 2015 9:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1520: Degree-Off
Replies: 110
Views: 23168

Re: 1520: Degree-Off

I'm not sure who replaced Famine. Uh. Global warming maybe? That's mostly predictions of future bad stuff, at this point. We should probably wait until it actually causes more bad stuff than tornados before calling it apocalyptic. Whatever. I guess we're still accepting resumes for the black rider'...
by lorb
Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:59 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Finding astronomical distances in a geocentric system
Replies: 13
Views: 6645

Re: Finding astronomical distances in a geocentric system

The ancient greeks had pretty good knowledge about the size of earth, the size and distance of the moon, and some idea of the size and distance of the sun. Just google how they did it. I think their methods for calculating that don't change in a geocentric system. As far as I know, they figured out...
by lorb
Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:36 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Finding astronomical distances in a geocentric system
Replies: 13
Views: 6645

Re: Finding astronomical distances in a geocentric system

The ancient greeks had pretty good knowledge about the size of earth, the size and distance of the moon, and some idea of the size and distance of the sun. Just google how they did it. I think their methods for calculating that don't change in a geocentric system.
by lorb
Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:35 am UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Connect Laptop to old(ish) hi-fi
Replies: 1
Views: 3820

Connect Laptop to old(ish) hi-fi

I recently got an old hi-fi and I would love to feed the music from my Laptop into it. The only cable input it has is on the back of it's cassette back and it offers "phono" and "DAT". I understand that "phono input" is for turntables and accepts a weaker and differentl...
by lorb
Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1498: "Terry Pratchett"
Replies: 43
Views: 10524

1498: "Terry Pratchett"

Terry Pratchett

Image

Title: “Thank you for teaching us how big our world is by sharing so many of your own.”

"AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER."
by lorb
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:59 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Statistics question.
Replies: 9
Views: 2058

Re: Statistics question.

Oh, did not check the formula provided. It is indeed possible to calculate a prediction interval with the t distribution from a sample assuming the population is normal . Your prediction interval is the sample mean plus/minus t*s*sqrt(1+1/n) where t is the relevant percentile from the t distribution...
by lorb
Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:25 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Statistics question.
Replies: 9
Views: 2058

Re: Statistics question.

You can still use the t-distrubtion, as long as the rocks are normally distributed . Be aware that that is a big assumption to make. Always consider where your data comes from. Rocks for example are usually not normally distributed. (There are a lot more tiny pebble stones than big boulders.) At le...
by lorb
Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:25 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Statistics question.
Replies: 9
Views: 2058

Re: Statistics question.

That's not even possible unless you make same assumption about (or know) the distribution of the rocks weights. What you can do is calculate a confidence interval that tells you that your sample had a 95% chance to originate from a population with the mean within that interval. Be aware though that ...
by lorb
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:51 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can every debt be paid off?
Replies: 54
Views: 15792

Re: Can every debt be paid off?

The difficulty of paying off all debt is that you would need to somehow take dollars from people who are legitimately ahead of the game, holding more dollars than debt. The bank-created dollars exist to pay off the bank-created debt, but some people are in debt while others are in the black. Yes, t...

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