Search found 3017 matches

by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10913

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

I never encounter that "the reason being is" construction, and I really don't see why anyone would use it when they could just leave the "is" out and have something grammatically correct and shorter. E.g. "Unlike most people around here, Alice goes shopping every single day...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:19 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: News in brief
Replies: 318
Views: 88199

Re: News in brief

When we had a referendum for alternative vote (which appears to be the same thing as ranked voting), people complained it was too complicated. I genuinely couldn't see what was complicated about putting the numbers 1-5 next to candidates in the order of preference. Sure, it's more complicated than ...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:25 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8442
Views: 746170

Re: Trump presidency

That would of course assume we had the capacity to take those liberties with said species. If they were to come say tomorrow with technology that casually gets around the limitations we still struggle to understand in our own scientific understanding odds would be they'd be asking how humans taste ...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:17 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: News in brief
Replies: 318
Views: 88199

Re: News in brief

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/maine-is-trying-out-a-new-way-to-run-elections-but-will-it-survive-the-night/ Turns out that white room voting ideas like ranked voting decreases turnout, doesn't stop negative campaigning and favors educated whites. I couldn't find the words "educated"...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:56 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15114
Views: 2530682

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

The Republic Formerly Known as Macedonia is to be renamed Republic of North Macedonia. Istanbul, not Constantinople, long time ago, was Contantinople... Don't you mean "the republic formerly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"? At one point didn't the trope-namer change hi...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10913

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

Indeed. In my experience, it's more a spoken thing than something you see in writing, and may well be a peculiarly British affliction. It's the kind of pompous verbosity that people come out with to try to sound formal and educated, but has the reverse effect when they get it wrong. I get the impres...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:32 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8442
Views: 746170

Re: Trump presidency

The new 'head' of the OSTP has a degree in -- I believe it's 'Political Science'? Yeah. Not "Political Science" as in the eponymous Randy Newman song, I hope... ETA: just going over the lyrics of that song in my head, I realise to my horror that every single line could be a Trump tweet or...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10913

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

I like that in this comic, the phrase "just saying" is followed by an actual statement. Although it makes me a bit meta-sad that this makes me happy, sort of like when I see "as far as" and there actually is an "is concerned" or at least "goes" at the end of ...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10913

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

RogueCynic wrote:... and Ringo's part in this scheme is?

Well, no conspiracy theory is complete without a dollop of antisemitism, so ...

(Did I just Godwin the thread?)
by orthogon
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10913

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

The caste system is very rigid. There is one diesel engine, a black train known just as “Diesel,” who struggles to prove that he’s as useful as the steam trains. Less useful than Diesel are the female passenger coaches named Annie and Clarabel, who are awarded to Thomas as prizes after he helps wit...
by orthogon
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:06 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8442
Views: 746170

Re: Trump presidency

Tyndmyr wrote:[... ] they have massive breeches
Spoiler:
Image

Carry on...
by orthogon
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2002: "LeBron James and Stephen Curry"
Replies: 43
Views: 7505

Re: 2002: "LeBron James and Stephen Curry"

Ok, it's going to take me a while to work out what this is all about, but are people's social security numbers in the public domain?
by orthogon
Thu May 31, 2018 11:56 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2000: "xkcd Phone 2000"
Replies: 27
Views: 7722

Re: 2000: "xkcd Phone 2000"

cephalopod9 wrote:
pkcommando wrote:I have to admit, I would enjoy the coin purse squeeze feature.
same. Has that been done?

I don't know ... it looks a bit like a sideways* ... er ... violin plot.

* No, I'm not going there.
by orthogon
Tue May 29, 2018 11:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1999: "Selection Effect"
Replies: 11
Views: 4278

Re: 1999: "Selection Effect"

We shouldn't be too hard on Ponytail. She herself was an unwitting participant in a study on the effectiveness of ethics committees. It's not her fault she was assigned to the placebo committee.
by orthogon
Fri May 25, 2018 5:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1997: "Business Update"
Replies: 21
Views: 5135

Re: 1997: Business Update

Jorpho wrote:
jpers36 wrote:Uhhh ... Is this thing on? Wasn't expecting to start a new thread a 1:52 in the afternoon Eastern.
Perhaps the delay in postings as of late are indicative of something big being planned for the big 2K.

It must be big then: there's about 17 weeks to go...
by orthogon
Tue May 22, 2018 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Judea Pearl's Critism of Machine Learning
Replies: 17
Views: 7547

Re: Judea Pearl's Critism of Machine Learning

We reason about causality... Yes, we certainly think we do. But what is "reason" anyway? That's the underlying question. The story we tell ourselves is that we "figure something out", but how? Which neuron had the idea? The neurons are most certainly not "reasoning", a...
by orthogon
Tue May 22, 2018 1:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Judea Pearl's Critism of Machine Learning
Replies: 17
Views: 7547

Re: Judea Pearl's Critism of Machine Learning

Is curve fitting really distinct from causal reasoning? I would argue that it is not; it's just several layers deeper. On one hand, "X causes Y" can be rephrased as "the idea that X causes Y is positively associated with good results in problems that involve X and Y". Now it's j...
by orthogon
Tue May 22, 2018 9:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1996: "Morning News"
Replies: 20
Views: 4449

Re: 1996: "Morning News"

Sir,

If ee cummings can do it, so can I (letter, 21st May).

orthogon, London.
by orthogon
Mon May 21, 2018 10:36 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6749
Views: 1052117

Re: Police misbehavior thread

So in effect he didn't get to not serve some of the time that he might otherwise have not had to serve, as it were. Wut. Also, no, that's not a justification to the arrest. No, absolutely not. Doesn't sound like they had grounds to arrest him. But the parole situation magnified the effect of the un...
by orthogon
Mon May 21, 2018 10:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6749
Views: 1052117

Re: Police misbehavior thread

If he was on probation, presumably that means he was released before the end of a prison term to which he was sentenced for a previous real offence? So in effect he didn't get to not serve some of the time that he might otherwise have not had to serve, as it were. Sure, it sucks, but he didn't stric...
by orthogon
Mon May 21, 2018 9:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1996: "Morning News"
Replies: 20
Views: 4449

Re: 1996: "Morning News"

Twitter reactions in the story versus a couple pages of Letters to the Editor, usually written by the same group of busybodies and nutjobs. Not seeing the worseness. Sir: I respectfully disagree with your correspondent pkcommando. Letters to the Editor are hand-picked from thousands of candidates: ...
by orthogon
Sat May 19, 2018 10:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1995: "MC Hammer Age"
Replies: 29
Views: 6038

Re: 1995: MC Hammer Age

"MC Hammer Age" - I guess that's the total elapsed Hammertime, right?
by orthogon
Tue May 15, 2018 6:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1967: "Violin Plots"
Replies: 36
Views: 10059

Re: 1967: "Violin Plots"

Make a farting sound?!? Doesn't embouchure come from some foreign word for "puckering up for a kiss" in one of those romantic languages where they take an hour for lunch, drink wine and nibble on tartes aux cerises by the river? Any idea whether a dent in one of the joints spoils the note...
by orthogon
Tue May 15, 2018 4:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1967: "Violin Plots"
Replies: 36
Views: 10059

Re: 1967: "Violin Plots"

Pfhorrest wrote:Razz = raspberry = see discussion above

Wow, thanks, and what a strange bit of synchronicity. I thought it represented sticking your tongue out; I didn't realise it also involved making the noise. Not sure whether I need to reconsider my use of it or not now...
by orthogon
Tue May 15, 2018 12:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1967: "Violin Plots"
Replies: 36
Views: 10059

Re: 1967: "Violin Plots"

As a saxophonist, I sympathise. In our case, it's the non-hilarious similarity between the word "sax" and the word "sex", that somebody, somewhere in the world discovers every five seconds [[citation needed]] . Sound like you ought to promote academic outreach in an attempt to i...
by orthogon
Tue May 15, 2018 10:27 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1967: "Violin Plots"
Replies: 36
Views: 10059

Re: 1967: "Violin Plots"

Trombone, you say? I've heard about you . The Merry Wives of Windsor seem very nice. I am not familiar with their song, The Fellow Who Played the Trombone . I am also unfamiliar with such reverence for trombonists. We are usually portrayed as clownish, or in the case of the movie Brassed Off , lite...
by orthogon
Sat May 12, 2018 1:22 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8442
Views: 746170

Re: Trump presidency

People tend to get confused about 4x4s, though, and think that they're somehow magically better at cornering. I guess the differentials give you extra weight close to the ground, which ought to help a bit... That "if you can read this..." notice is a bit odd. Was it photoshopped on, or di...
by orthogon
Fri May 11, 2018 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1971: "Personal Data"
Replies: 82
Views: 14456

Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

...you don't actually own the thing you have, if you own it on borrowed money (using it as collateral). Jose Sorry, that is not correct. The Lender does not own the asset. The Borrower owns it. Then Lender will have some lien against it, and may foreclose and take ownership in event of default, but...
by orthogon
Thu May 10, 2018 6:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"
Replies: 30
Views: 5057

Re: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"

Similarly, I believe that sub and super are cognates, as if, until those Roman engineers came along, people didn't need to bother too much whether something was above or below something else. The Germanic tribes, by contrast, apparently wanted to know what (or who) was on top. Except, "over&qu...
by orthogon
Thu May 10, 2018 12:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"
Replies: 30
Views: 5057

Re: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"

Also, xeno- also can mean "guest" or "host". Which doesn't help. It's like those languages that don't distinguish pairs like lend / borrow or rent / let , which makes the words almost autoantonyms. The distinction is often overlooked in careless speech, too, which suggests that ...
by orthogon
Thu May 10, 2018 11:48 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8442
Views: 746170

Re: Trump presidency

I'm wondering whether the UK will (despite current overtones) cosy up to the Trump madness or move even closer back to the EU in staying in the Deal-supporting club. Wasn't it May who said "No deal is better than a bad deal"? Different context, but similar to Trump's apparent position on ...
by orthogon
Thu May 10, 2018 7:26 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1971: "Personal Data"
Replies: 82
Views: 14456

Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

The important difference is that under the third scheme there cannot be such a thing as an interest-only loan or usual property rent, where you pay and pay and pay and pay forever without end, because infinity is not a number and so cannot be a price. Does k have to be realistic, though? Otherwise ...
by orthogon
Wed May 09, 2018 4:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"
Replies: 30
Views: 5057

Re: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"

(a small instance of buggy spelling: there is only one "Y" in "ENTOMOLOGY") Alternatively, there's no "N" in etymology . It's hard to believe Randall did this by mistake, after devoting at least one whole comic to those particular confusables. And there's a potential j...
by orthogon
Mon May 07, 2018 1:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1989: "IMHO"
Replies: 111
Views: 19256

Re: 1989: "IMHO"

GIF should be pronounced like Gift, the closest word in the English language to how it is spelled. "Gin" and "gift" are equally close to "gif." Soft gee is if anything the standard before an i, and when I encounter names that start Gi-, I usually first assume the G wil...
by orthogon
Sun May 06, 2018 8:39 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15114
Views: 2530682

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

Most importantly, airplane dont dump their waste. The first two I figured on, but this last kind of surprises me to hear, given that when you flush an airplane toilet it feels like you get about 50% of the way to reliving the explosive-decompression scene from Total Recall. Do they just take advant...
by orthogon
Sun May 06, 2018 8:10 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 27856

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

Of course, that's more for people who go there in their own car (not truck), and not for people trying to use light rail to buy a twenty-foot extension ladder. You still gotta get the truck back. So you drive the truck back to the store, and then take {your car | light rail | the bus | shoes} to ge...
by orthogon
Sat May 05, 2018 7:49 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 27856

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

You don't have to go to the US to find retail centers based on the assumption that people get there by vehicle - the Metrocentre in Gateshead has the A1 running alongside, other major roads along the other sides, and no real pedestrian access - getting from the main shopping center to the other nea...
by orthogon
Fri May 04, 2018 11:51 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1980: "Turkish Delight"
Replies: 95
Views: 19519

Re: 1980: "Turkish Delight"

YellowYeti wrote:Camra has been fairly successful in getting decent beers into most pubs, [...] but the focus has tended to be on cask/keg beers, rather than bottled.


Cask and keg beers are very different animals, and Camra do not promote the latter or consider it to be Real Ale.
by orthogon
Fri May 04, 2018 8:24 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: libertarianism, socialism and other wonderful but clearly off-topic matters
Replies: 98
Views: 7343

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

I dont have any dogecoin to offer you, but if I did... hey why doesn't this forum have a dogecoin tipping thing? 1. Posters' cooperative: anyone can do the split, and we vote on whether we agree. 2. Benevolent dictatorship: power is concentrated in the hands of a few mods who act always fairly and ...
by orthogon
Thu May 03, 2018 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1980: "Turkish Delight"
Replies: 95
Views: 19519

Re: 1980: "Turkish Delight"

I'm a fan of real ale myself, but on a hot day, a bland tasteless lager served ice-cold comes closest to providing pure unadulterated refreshment than anything else.

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