Search found 7321 matches

by Zamfir
Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:33 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What's it like/what does it take to be a professor?
Replies: 23
Views: 2043

Re: What's it like/what does it take to be a professor?

OK Solt, perhaps I was too quick using the Dutch meaning of university. In my experience universities and their attitudes towards teaching are rather similar across the world, including the US, but the differences might be bigger than I thought. Here, universities teach around 15% of the students, m...
by Zamfir
Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:52 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "Better than X":discourse on Aristocratic government/society
Replies: 16
Views: 1754

Re: "Better than X":discourse on Aristocratic government/society

Libertine, I think you should make a distiction between an aristocracy and an absolute king or emperor. These are definitely two different creatures, and many periods of history they were the two opposite poles between which politics took place. Basically, in an aristocracy the power is ditributed o...
by Zamfir
Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:41 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What's it like/what does it take to be a professor?
Replies: 23
Views: 2043

Re: What's it like/what does it take to be a professor?

But Solt, who is going to teach the rest? You seem to think that the only professors worth considering are world-renowned experts at top institutions, and that the only students are those who do not need teaching. That's like claiming that cars do not need passenger seats or luggage space, because t...
by Zamfir
Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:41 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What's it like/what does it take to be a professor?
Replies: 23
Views: 2043

Re: What's it like/what does it take to be a professor?

If you are sure you would like university teaching, but are (rightly) worried about the roulette-like world of tenure track, you might consider looking at some applied field. Material science for example is pretty interesting, or aerodynamics, or something electrical. You still have all the math and...
by Zamfir
Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Forbidding short-term speculation
Replies: 26
Views: 3436

Re: Forbidding short-term speculation

IV, I think you are underestimating the importance of liquidity. Think about it this way: why would a company go through all the hassle of issuing shares? If you own a company, and you want to expand, you could get a loan. Simple, as long you pay the interest you are fine. Or you could take a long-t...
by Zamfir
Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is a programming language actually a language?
Replies: 43
Views: 3885

Re: Is a programming language actually a language?

Outchanter, you mention functional languages as a programming language that are not entirely made of imperatives. I would say that relationships in functional languages are perhaps not literally imperatives, but in the end they will be converted to imperatives in a straightforward manner. If Vladimi...
by Zamfir
Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:36 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Refinement to the Metric System
Replies: 24
Views: 2572

Re: Refinement to the Metric System

What I ike about the continental European system ( million, milliarde,billion, billiarde) as opposed to the Anglo system of (million, billion,trillion) is that a. The bi, tri, quadri, pent have simple meaning: a billion is 1 000 000 ^2 , a trillion is to the power 3. In the Anglo system a trillion i...
by Zamfir
Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Market research - Geek bar
Replies: 62
Views: 5279

Re: Market research - Geek bar

I don't live in Waterloo, but I have been head of a small student union in a city with mainly engineering students, and this was very close to the geek bar you are describing. Our main attractions were a bar and member-cooked food, and we had a lot of things mentioned here: wii's, boardgames, a blac...
by Zamfir
Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:08 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: 'Acoustic Lensing'
Replies: 15
Views: 2359

Re: 'Acoustic Lensing'

United States Patent 5546360 Abstract: This invention is a composite acoustic lens that can be steered internally through electrical control. It can collect and direct acoustic energy from a plane wave to focus it on a transducer. It can also take the nearly omnidirectional output from a standard a...
by Zamfir
Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:14 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Space Exploration Poll
Replies: 13
Views: 1732

Re: Space Exploration Poll

I'll play. I voted "moon base within 100 years" and "never" for the others, basically because I do not see much difference between "more than 100" and never, because I can't look that far in the future... My ideas: The moon, mars and most of nearby outer space appear to...
by Zamfir
Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:13 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Lowest number with some number of factors
Replies: 11
Views: 2925

Re: Lowest number with some number of factors

Please ignore the stuff I wrote earlier :) I was writing down my unfinished thoughts, but it turned out to be a dead-end road. I guess I shouldn't pollute a forum with them. crzftx, sure, that works great for 10 factors, but for say a 1000 factors or more, you need something more structured than &qu...
by Zamfir
Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:53 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Lowest number with some number of factors
Replies: 11
Views: 2925

Re: Lowest number with some number of factors

You mean you actually made a code? I'd like to see it, I made the scheme on a train withou a computer to implement it.
by Zamfir
Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 129 college presidents draft letter challenging drinking age
Replies: 39
Views: 3622

Re: 129 college presidents draft letter challenging drinking age

Some random remarks from Europe. Here in the Netherlands, beer and wine are legal from 16 year on, stronger stuff from 18. This is enforced, but not too strict and most people are easy about it. Driving age is 18, and as far as I can tell a licence is harder to obtain than in the States. Underage dr...
by Zamfir
Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Long term political character assasination
Replies: 8
Views: 1454

Re: Long term political character assasination

Yeah, true democrats should vote for McCain and let him take the brunt.
by Zamfir
Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Lowest number with some number of factors
Replies: 11
Views: 2925

Re: Lowest number with some number of factors

I was recently puzzling with the same question. My approach at the moment: start off with g_0=1 , with f_0=1 factors. Multiply this with the prime number that gives you extra factors at the lowest 'cost' in increased g , that is: c^1=\frac{g_1 - g_0}{f_1 - f_0} should be as low as possible. In the f...
by Zamfir
Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Hackable Implants?
Replies: 18
Views: 1998

Re: Hackable Implants?

I'd love to see future murder mysteries where the victim micht have been killed by a hacked pacemaker: Poirot: This suggest the killer was an electrical engineer... That narrows down the possibilities. Hastings: Yes, I think we can rule out that a woman did it. Poirot: Not so fast, mon ami. Les femm...
by Zamfir
Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:37 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Future of humanity
Replies: 4
Views: 900

Re: Future of humanity

You die. I die. We all die. Perhaps there wil be new people. They will die.
by Zamfir
Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Help Looking For Study
Replies: 4
Views: 1058

Re: Help Looking For Study

I think that's much too broad, there muct be thousands of them... Have you tried Google Scholar?

On another note, Crookedtimber.org is a blog where at least some of the posters are academics specialized in online sociological stuff. You could look in their archives for interesting stuff.
by Zamfir
Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:27 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: A remarkable fact (the finiteness of pi)
Replies: 19
Views: 2581

Re: A remarkable fact (the finiteness of pi)

Martian, that's roughly what I figured. But the fact that a symmetric shape can have a fixed CG even when it extends to infinity suggests that there might be other, unsymmetric shapes too, as long as there is infinite mass on both sides. I was thinking something along the lines of \frac{1}{x} , but ...
by Zamfir
Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:12 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: A remarkable fact (the finiteness of pi)
Replies: 19
Views: 2581

Re: A remarkable fact (the finiteness of pi)

Nathaniel, if you look at a finite part of the object, from 1 to a, then the centre of mass lies at (1+ ln(a)) , give or take some constants, so for a long but finite horn, the centre of mass would lie actually much closer to the thick end then to thin end, as ln(a) goes to i...
by Zamfir
Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:48 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Project Euler
Replies: 411
Views: 149678

Re: Project Euler

I've seen a few of those J entries in project Euler, but there seems to be absolutely no point to the language except for making one-liners for Project Euler. Am I missing something, or those PE entries not representative?
by Zamfir
Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:02 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: A remarkable fact (the finiteness of pi)
Replies: 19
Views: 2581

Re: A remarkable fact (the finiteness of pi)

Martian invader, your right about the center of mass. If you make a horn from 1 to a, a goes to infinity, then the moment-of-inertia is proportianol to ln(a), while the volume stays bounded, something like \pi-1/a . So if you divide them, the centre of 'mass' (volume really) goes to infinity if a do...
by Zamfir
Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Invisibilty "Cloaks"
Replies: 14
Views: 1428

Re: Invisibilty "Cloaks"

It's good to have a real expert. What is it that you want to use these materials for ? Or are they at the moment just 'exercises' to learn how to manipulate light?
by Zamfir
Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:15 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Recommended reading for science newbie, please?
Replies: 29
Views: 2972

Re: Recommended reading for science newbie, please?

A bit of meta-advice, which other people might not all agree on. I would start by books written by journalists or other relatively amateurs (if they have good reviews), and stay away from popular books written by scientists, especially new and hypey ones. Scientists have the tendency to focus on new...
by Zamfir
Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Invisibilty "Cloaks"
Replies: 14
Views: 1428

Re: Invisibilty "Cloaks"

Perhaps I am mistaken here, but it was my impression that no-one is planning to use these 'materials' for invisibility, they just use this rather theoretical possibility to get media attention. Which is not per se a bad thing. The real application seem to lie in advanced optics, like sensors, but al...
by Zamfir
Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:36 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Weather Control?
Replies: 6
Views: 923

Re: Weather Control?

Build a house. That's not entirely a joke. It shows that if you have enough power and materials comapred to the amount of air, you can control the weather good enough without worrying about chaos. On the other hand, we already spend something like 15 or 20% of the economy on construction, and a simi...
by Zamfir
Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:27 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Two Votes?
Replies: 52
Views: 5091

Re: Two Votes?

The way it seems to me, the problem here is not the voting system, but the winner-takes-all system with the focus on actual persons ( be it the president, senator or whatever). In such a system, large parties will always be dominant, no matter how you change the system. Here in the Netherlands, as i...
by Zamfir
Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:11 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Drag equation
Replies: 4
Views: 998

Re: Drag equasion

I don't think there exists a closed-form equation for your problem. This is usually one of the first problems in classes on the numerical (i.e. with computers) solution of differential equations. If you are unfamiliar with numerical integration, it's rather easy for this example. If you just know ho...
by Zamfir
Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: 21 Hockey Pucks
Replies: 7
Views: 1533

Re: 21 Hockey Pucks

Velifer, normal people line them up in seven rows of three.
by Zamfir
Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nationalism
Replies: 28
Views: 4348

Re: Nationalism

But what if one syndicate where to decide to loot some other, smaller syndicate, with the goal to distribute the loot fairly amongst its members? More in general what is the difference between a single collective looking out for its own interests, and a nation state? If I understand your idea, your ...
by Zamfir
Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:42 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Russia Supports Ossetian, Abkhaz Independence
Replies: 19
Views: 1623

Re: Russia Supports Ossetian, Abkhaz Independence

Lumpy, I think you're right. The number of wounded in South Oseetia never rose to more than 150 or 200, and that makes 60 death much more realistic than 1500.

Usually, the number of wounded is much more realistic, as it is hard to fake 1000's of wounded people in a hospital
by Zamfir
Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:08 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What the heck is that?
Replies: 19
Views: 2569

Re: What the heck is that?

The copyright of the foto is DigitalGlobe, and their (active) satellite would be QuickBird http://www.digitalglobe.com/index.php/85/QuickBird . EDIT: I rechecked the image, and this time I got a different copyright message, from 'TerraMetrics' That means it's from the Landsat 7 satellite landsat has...
by Zamfir
Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:31 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Simulated Sonic Boom?
Replies: 12
Views: 1685

Re: Simulated Sonic Boom?

Anpheus, your stroy is true in the sense that hitting water at high speeds is different then at low speeds, but it has nothing to do with some special property of water that is different for fast impacts. ( there are actually materials that do behave different for different impacts) It's just that f...
by Zamfir
Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:30 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nationalism
Replies: 28
Views: 4348

Re: Nationalism

A_A, I am not that sure about the details of the early USA, but are those people's militias not exactly the internal groups needed? It is not that hard to imagine how a particularly large and unified community would start to use its militia to bother its neighbours.
by Zamfir
Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nationalism
Replies: 28
Views: 4348

Re: Nationalism

Nationalism is not the same as centralism, far from it. It is more the idea that a state should coincide with a nation, where a nation is 'a people', a group that differs from others nations in ethnicity, language and culture, and of course often combined with the idea that someones nation is better...
by Zamfir
Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Canned laughter
Replies: 13
Views: 2484

Re: Canned laughter

Also, do not underestimate the effect of canned laughter, even if it irritates you! Even if you are fully aware that it is artificial, it still makes it easier for you to find things funny, and especially to laugh yourself. Try watching a silent comedy ( Mr Bean) without the sound, and then with sou...
by Zamfir
Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite Perpetual Motion Machines
Replies: 105
Views: 11017

Re: Favorite Propetual Motion Machines

Skeptic, you are right, I already posted a correction a few posts above. I was mistaken in thinking that you guys were talking about the 'shadow effect', where light from F1 directly away from F2 will hit F1 after reflection.
by Zamfir
Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Simulated Sonic Boom?
Replies: 12
Views: 1685

Re: Simulated Sonic Boom?

i know that a sonic boom occurs when an object, lets say an airplane, moves fast enough to produce a wall of air in front of it made of the repeated constructive interference of its own sound waves, then proceeds to move faster than sound through that wall of compressed air. is that all right? I've...
by Zamfir
Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:32 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite Perpetual Motion Machines
Replies: 105
Views: 11017

Re: Favorite Propetual Motion Machines

seraph, I completely misunderstood a critical part of your explanation, which is why I thought it wouldn't work. For others who might miss the same thing, I'll write it down. The lines of the light coming from the objects do not pass through the centers of the objects (foci of the ellipses)....
by Zamfir
Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite Perpetual Motion Machines
Replies: 105
Views: 11017

Re: Favorite Propetual Motion Machines

Seraph and skeptic, are you guys sure the 'magnification' theory for the mirror problem is correct? As I see it, your explanaton is a mechanism how not fully 100% of the radiation from F1 ends up in F2, but instead 100%-x . But I would say x would be proportional to the diameter of the objects, and ...

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