Search found 436 matches

by lgw
Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:13 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0080: "Pile of Viruses"
Replies: 95
Views: 23598

Re: What-If 0080: "Pile of Viruses"

You were offended by my calling you a fucking moron, and I was offended by your claim that the teacher "went crying to the admins" in a gross overreaction to what looked to her very much like an implicit death threat. Your post wasn't magically nicer or more civil just because you didn't ...
by lgw
Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:20 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1974120

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

I learned my first assembler language (IBM 360/370) before I knew C existed. I've occasionally been annoyed by C's lack of overflow handling, but I guess Ritchie & co decided that it was too hard to do it portably, and that if anyone really needed it they could revert to assembler. :) I guess i...
by lgw
Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:00 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum fluctuations during inflation
Replies: 9
Views: 3761

Re: Quantum fluctuations during inflation

300k years sounds like quite a lot of time, to me, relative to the size (at the time) of these density variations. If gravity - light pressure gave a net billionth of a g acceleration to atoms in the less dense areas, that would be more than enough.
by lgw
Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum fluctuations during inflation
Replies: 9
Views: 3761

Re: Quantum fluctuations during inflation

I'll take a stab at this - at least it will give Doogly more text to correct. :lol: The universe very early on was nearly perfectly uniform, but because of quantum fluctuations some small variation in energy density had to exist. Inflation blew this up to every-so-slighty denser and less-dense pocke...
by lgw
Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Using inductive charging as an internet connection.
Replies: 6
Views: 2525

Re: Using inductive charging as an internet connection.

Or the desk could have an actual Ethernet cable, if practicality trumped cool factor.
by lgw
Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What is the smallest object that has gravity?
Replies: 65
Views: 19051

Re: What is the smallest object that has gravity?

PM 2Ring wrote:Pity you can't make the spheres out of hassium (41 g/cm³) or meitnerium (37.4 g/cm³). :)


It would have to be one heck of a fast experiment. But I was surprised the half-life of hassium is so long at multiple seconds - maybe there really is an island of stability up there somewhere.
by lgw
Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:42 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Must time flow in the direction where the universe expands?
Replies: 20
Views: 4024

Re: Must time flow in the direction where the universe expan

Local anentropic processes happen all over. We often call it "life". Eggs "unscramble" every day - we call that process "a chicken". Imagine a time reversed chicken. No, wait, whatever you do don't imagine a time-reversed chicken, nasty. It's the flow of energy into or ...
by lgw
Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0078: "T-Rex Calories"
Replies: 54
Views: 14171

Re: What-If # 0078 T-Rex Calories

Bah, use the standard unit - the Firkin-Fahrenheit. All proper standard units start with an "F", of course (but not the converse: the fuckton remains non-standard; stuffy overly-proper standards committee!).
by lgw
Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1315: "Questions for God"
Replies: 120
Views: 22506

Re: 1315: "Questions for God"

Spinoza wrote about God
His ideas were fairly odd
He wrote that God is everything,
and everything is God (how odd!)

In Babylon 5, JMS
took this a bit further, I guess
We evolved, he suggests, for the universe
to perceive itself - but the best
we do is deceive ourselves - what a mess!
by lgw
Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1314: "Photos"
Replies: 194
Views: 35659

Re: 1314: "Photos"

Again Randall draws a great comic that perfectly encapsulates my thoughts or experiences, and then ruins it by putting in a sophomoric swear word. Please, a little more maturity. You know what? Fuck you. I could have perhaps sympathized if you'd just left that comment about this current comic, but ...
by lgw
Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Must time flow in the direction where the universe expands?
Replies: 20
Views: 4024

Must time flow in the direction where the universe expands?

We live in an expanding universe, with a big bang in our past, and an unknown future. I believe that's necessarily true (well, given a universe that could be said to be expanding or contracting in the first place), because we would always assign the label "past" to the direction in which t...
by lgw
Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:32 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?
Replies: 98
Views: 15618

Re: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?

Nobody believes that space is bounded, and the fact that you say both small and closed suggests to me that you're not using "closed" the same way as a topologist or cosmologist. Hmm, perhaps "compact" is a better word? Not sure. What I mean to say is that "all points in spa...
by lgw
Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:23 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: About the CMBR being uniform temperature
Replies: 6
Views: 2288

Re: About the CMBR being uniform temperature

Thanks Tass and andyisagod, that actually makes some sense now.
by lgw
Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:04 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?
Replies: 98
Views: 15618

Re: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?

Yeah, well time *is* different. There's only one timelike dimension, and it has at least one endpoint, compared to three spacelike dimensions with no endpoints. Of course time is going to be different. Well, those are all sort of open questions. Is space bounded, infinite, or cyclic? Probably not t...
by lgw
Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: About the CMBR being uniform temperature
Replies: 6
Views: 2288

Re: About the CMBR being uniform temperature

Ah, so what you're saying is that we're sampling the same temperature everywhere (at the time of emission), precisely because opaqueness is temperature-based, so any difference in observed temperature must be from redshift? And the only way the light reaching us isn't from a uniform distance (and th...
by lgw
Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:59 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?
Replies: 98
Views: 15618

Re: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?

gmalivuk wrote:That may be true of location, but less so of time. ...


Now you're just perceiving a 4-dimensional universe as 3 ... sneaky mod bringing the thread back on topic.
by lgw
Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:58 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: About the CMBR being uniform temperature
Replies: 6
Views: 2288

Re: About the CMBR being uniform temperature

Less time to redshift? That doesn't make sense to me. AFAIK, the patches of red/blushift we see in the CMBR after normalizing for the Earth's motion represent the expansion/contraction of large areas of slightly-more-dense and slightly-less-dense regions of the universe, results of the sound waves t...
by lgw
Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?
Replies: 98
Views: 15618

Re: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?

The Copernican Principle: here is not special, now is not special, or "be skeptical of any theory which requires us to be alive as just the right place or time to get the observed results" to say the same with more words.
by lgw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?
Replies: 98
Views: 15618

Re: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?

For some reason, belief in c seems pretty common (at least in discussions I've had), but it seems to violate the Copernican Principle to assume that. There is good reason not to believe c, but it would only violate the Copernican Principle if there was also a distinct boundary, which I'm pretty sur...
by lgw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: About the CMBR being uniform temperature
Replies: 6
Views: 2288

About the CMBR being uniform temperature

One of the early surprises from the study of the cosmic microwave background radiation was how uniform the temperature was (once adjusted for red/blueshift). More uniform than the universe would have had time to equalize, leading to theories about inflation that have been a big part of new work in t...
by lgw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:35 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?
Replies: 98
Views: 15618

Re: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?

Well, group possible universe sizes into these categories: ⋅ Smaller than the visible universe (and closed) - this will be evident in the CMBR, eventually, if true ⋅ Exactly the size of the visible universe ⋅ Just a bit bigger than the visible universe ⋅ Much ...
by lgw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:56 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Temporary storage for a reentrant function
Replies: 7
Views: 3577

Re: Temporary storage for a reentrant function

In general, "lock free" algorithms are great at bug generation, and poor at improving performance, unless you have a measured problem with lock contention. Most OSs have fast locking where, assuming you get the lock, do only a single CAS and a couple other instructions, while doing anythin...
by lgw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?
Replies: 98
Views: 15618

Re: Why do we perceive a 4-dimensional universe as 3?

For the single-electron idea, it's worth noting that the universe is likely* quite a bit bigger than the visible universe. Hey, we may just find ourselves in a "matter" neighborhood, one of a great many matter and anti-matter neighborhoods each a very tiny hundred-trillion times the size o...
by lgw
Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:44 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hype your ripe snipes 'n' gripes
Replies: 28619
Views: 3479197

Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

I must be the only one who thinks Steam used to be great, and has gone downhill every year? Once the Steam client was lightweight and Just Worked. Now it's "patching 100MB" over my slow DSL every freaking time I want to play a Steam game , no I don't care about the stupid Steam client, jus...
by lgw
Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:35 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Size limits of a hollow planet.
Replies: 11
Views: 3293

Re: Size limits of a hollow planet.

Again, what counts as "hollow"? Let's say we're aiming for surface gravity about like Mars - that would retain an atmosphere for a little while. ⋅ An iron ball roughly 1600 kilometers in radius would have a similar gravity to Mars. ⋅ A radius of 2000 km and a ~40% thick...
by lgw
Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:13 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1974120

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

My commit process regularly fails 4 hours into the 6-hour process. 1 hour? Lucky! :wink:
by lgw
Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Size limits of a hollow planet.
Replies: 11
Views: 3293

Re: Size limits of a hollow planet.

How thick can it be before it's no longer hollow? That's really the question. Long before you get to one g, the iron will make its way to the center , likely as a liquid. Under enough pressure it will be solid again, but you need a planet more or less the size of the Earth to manage that. Iron is a...
by lgw
Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:56 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: 80 column line limits
Replies: 15
Views: 13394

Re: 80 column line limits

I've worked in a language that had to fit in 80 columns because punchcards. Fuck punchcards. The "80-column mind" is not a good thing: my greenbar paper is 132 columns wide , and I should get to use all of my page when printing code for review before submitting it to the compile queue over...
by lgw
Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Mark McCutcheon's Final Theory of Everything
Replies: 154
Views: 31204

Re: Wrong on the Internet: The Final Theory

If never being retrograde were sufficient, on the other hand, then nothing could orbit Earth, because Earth goes around the Sun at 30km/s, and nothing goes around Earth that fast. What you're probably thinking of is the fact that the Moon's orbit is always concave toward the Sun, which is indeed un...
by lgw
Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: To use “else” or separate “if”s when each has a return?
Replies: 17
Views: 7513

Re: To use “else” or separate “if”s when each has a return?

I prefer the second example in general: it seems to age better, it's cleaner to comment, and I in general try to keep code in the body of any conditional block as simple as I can. (As an aside, I loathe code that's afraid to return from the middle of a function, and obfuscates to avoid that.) If see...
by lgw
Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1309: "Infinite Scrolling"
Replies: 54
Views: 19592

Re: 1309: "Infinite Scrolling"

To me, both paging and infinite scrolling miss the point. Just have a freaking traditional scroll bar. No, you don't need to send all the content to the client just to draw that control on the screen, just send the first "page" and the total size. Even if the page doesn't keep track of whe...
by lgw
Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Mark McCutcheon's Final Theory of Everything
Replies: 154
Views: 31204

Re: Wrong on the Internet: The Final Theory

I'm trying to visualize the orbital motion between two bodies in space, such as the moon orbiting the earth relative to the sun... Normally we visualize it as the earth being completely stationary as the moon moves around it, but I feel like the axis of rotation shouldn't quite be at the center of ...
by lgw
Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:24 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Bugs popping up only under optimization
Replies: 25
Views: 8257

Re: Bugs popping up only under optimization

I've seen two somewhat common ways that bugs pop up only under optimization. The first I've only seen in C++, and isn't really about optimization, but about debug vs retail builds. The standard libraries (for the compilers I've seen) do lots of error checking in debug mode that is gone in a retail b...
by lgw
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:34 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0076: "Reading Every Book"
Replies: 54
Views: 16735

Re: What-If 0076: "Reading Every Book"

Ha, 8 for me "USMC Manual - Marine Commander's Tactical Handbook". I've never been in the military, but I read a lot of "field manual" style books when researching for some RPG I was writing. ETA: I love Asimov's writing, but he was a notorious letch (and proud of it! :) ) With 4...
by lgw
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:10 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 9979
Views: 1974120

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

Yeah I know separating the code into functions is the way forward. It's a hard and slow process though, and 1600 lines is just daunting. It's not like that's the only messy part of the code either. I hate to break it to you, but that's standard fare for legacy code, especially Java for some reason....
by lgw
Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:13 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?
Replies: 38
Views: 18905

Re: You can't delete just Google+ anymore?

I hate to plug a commercial product, but I do feel the need to point out that Outlook.com is a perfectly respectable and usable webmail service these days, without any associated social networking. Without opinion on the relative evils of various corporations, I found it quite practical to separate ...
by lgw
Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:05 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Rule 34 for conspiracy theories?
Replies: 10
Views: 14664

Re: Rule 34 for conspiracy theories?

I delight in occasionally re-reading the Illuminatus trilogy (literary train-wreck that it is), because it exists mostly to mock conspiracy theories, and also to be a sort of therapy for those addicted to them. While it's harder to see those elements now if you weren't of age in the 60s, almost ever...
by lgw
Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:49 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Opting-out of social services?
Replies: 78
Views: 18330

Re: Opting-out of social services?

@sardia I would think the answer is that we want old people to have some security in their old age. What if their investments don't pan out? What if they can't or don't make investments? Do we let them starve? Plus I would think it ties in to the old notion of retirement. Personally, I'm not sure I...
by lgw
Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Energy equivlence for time of travel: Newton and Einstein
Replies: 20
Views: 4952

Re: Energy equivlence for time of travel: Newton and Einstei

There is nothing special about different amounts of acceleration. Any constant acceleration creates an event horizon opposite the direction you're accelerating, beyond which no light emitted after you start accelerating will ever reach you while you continue accelerating. That distance is about 1 l...
by lgw
Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:16 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Energy equivlence for time of travel: Newton and Einstein
Replies: 20
Views: 4952

Re: Energy equivlence for time of travel: Newton and Einstei

... One interesting result here is that if you start far enough away from a light source and undergo this type of constant four acceleration away from the source it is possible that if the starting distance is large enough and you are accelerating fast enough the light will never catch up to you, e...

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