1277: "Ayn Random"

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1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kaelin » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:08 am UTC

Image

Alt text: "In a cavern deep below the Earth, Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ann Druyan, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, and Duran Duran meet togther in the Secret Council of /(b[plurandy]+b ?){2}/i."

Somehow potshots at Ayn Rand (and her adherents) never get old.

added link to comic - Angua

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:09 am UTC

Some puns are just intrinsically better than others.

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1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby firestar27 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:09 am UTC

Image

Alt-text: "In a cavern deep below the Earth, Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ann Druyan, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, and Duran Duran meet together in the secret council of /(b[plurandy] + b ?){2}/i"

I do particularly like this one, but I don't quite understand the code in the alt-text. Anyone want to explain it to me?

Also, I never thought I'd be the first to make a thread for a comic! :)

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby chridd » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:23 am UTC

It looks like the comic's title text is missing some backslashes. /(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i would make a lot more sense.
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Grapevine grapevine.

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:38 am UTC

Whatever you say, Rand-all.
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Re: Grapevine grapevine.

Postby ManaUser » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:44 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Whatever you say, Rand-all.

He's just mad because he wasn't invited.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby azule » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:50 am UTC

chridd wrote:It looks like the comic's title text is missing some backslashes. /(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i would make a lot more sense.
Agreed. But, what does it match that is of interest? I guess it matches all those listed in the cavern.

If it really was "b" and not "\b" would that match anything? Probably not. Oh, Randall, you need a coding mustard detector.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ucim » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:00 am UTC

... aynd to think I always thought the best random number was 42

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Antior » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:12 am UTC

I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.

Anyway, can someone explain in simple terms who Ayn Rand was, what she did, and why it's funny to make fun of her?

Wikipedia isn't very enlightening to me on this subject, but I did find out she was apparently a big influence in America, ignored by academics, and way less known in Europe.
She wrote some books and started a movement. She seems to have had rightist views without the Republican crazy extremist Christian stuff, so way closer to European Right (liberalism). Which doesn't sound that bad to me.

Is that about right? So why is it funny?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby bugstomper » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:24 am UTC

Antior wrote:I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.

It's @WHATIFNUMBERS of course.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:33 am UTC

Some numbers are intrinsically better. pi is much more useful than six-hundred-and-seventy-three.

And how many "noble" cultures were biased against and didn't even USE the highly-valuable zero? And hardly any of those even created a random-number generator, "fair" or otherwise.

This comic is just a blatantly unfunny potshot at a fundamental truth.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Blutkoete » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:35 am UTC

Antior wrote:I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.


The Rand-all algorithm returns for any given input every possible random number, all at once.

Rand_all(x) = |R for all x e |R.

Very powerful and very useless.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Story » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:45 am UTC

Antior wrote:I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.

Anyway, can someone explain in simple terms who Ayn Rand was, what she did, and why it's funny to make fun of her?

Wikipedia isn't very enlightening to me on this subject, but I did find out she was apparently a big influence in America, ignored by academics, and way less known in Europe.
She wrote some books and started a movement. She seems to have had rightist views without the Republican crazy extremist Christian stuff, so way closer to European Right (liberalism). Which doesn't sound that bad to me.

Is that about right? So why is it funny?


It's not that she was a big influence. She is a big influence in America. She's required reading among right wing conservatives. In fact, a movie adaption of Atlas Shrugged recently came out.

It's funny to make fun of her because her views are pretty much insane.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby NotAllThere » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:59 am UTC

Antior wrote:I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.

Anyway, can someone explain in simple terms who Ayn Rand was, what she did, and why it's funny to make fun of her?

Wikipedia isn't very enlightening to me on this subject, but I did find out she was apparently a big influence in America, ignored by academics, and way less known in Europe.
She wrote some books and started a movement. She seems to have had rightist views without the Republican crazy extremist Christian stuff, so way closer to European Right (liberalism). Which doesn't sound that bad to me.

Is that about right? So why is it funny?

Don't know really. Maybe something to do with this: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/intri ... alues.html

There are, in essence, three schools of thought on the nature of the good: the intrinsic, the subjective, and the objective. The intrinsic theory holds that the good is inherent in certain things or actions as such, regardless of their context and consequences, regardless of any benefit or injury they may cause to the actors and subjects involved. It is a theory that divorces the concept of “good” from beneficiaries, and the concept of “value” from valuer and purpose—claiming that the good is good in, by, and of itself.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:06 am UTC

Story wrote:It's funny to make fun of her because her views are pretty much insane.

And because the views of her detractors are pretty much insane.

(Isn't it funny how often absolute statements tend to be less than true?)

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby PM 2Ring » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:08 am UTC

Coincidenatally, Ayn Rand has been mentioned in the last few pages of
In other news... (humorous news items, etc).
Or maybe it's not a coincidence and Randall's been looking at forum threads... or at least talking to certain forum users. :)

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Postby Eternal Density » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:13 am UTC

The views of humans are pretty much insane.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:45 am UTC

Kaelin wrote:"In a cavern deep below the Earth, Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ann Druyan, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, and Duran Duran meet togther in the Secret Council of /(b[plurandy]+b ?){2}/i."

If this is supposed to be the end of Art Fern's Tea Time Movie, you left out Sally the Dancing Wombat.

To address Antior's question: Ayn Rand was a leading proponent of the theory that all men are not created equal, so that makes it okay to subjugate most of them.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ziltoid » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:57 am UTC

Some numbers are intrinsically better. pi is much more useful than six-hundred-and-seventy-three.

And how many "noble" cultures were biased against and didn't even USE the highly-valuable zero? And hardly any of those even created a random-number generator, "fair" or otherwise.

This comic is just a blatantly unfunny potshot at a fundamental truth.


This isn't true!

Suppose we could rank numbers by some well defined "interestingness".
Well, we sort all numbers by this rank: now since there is an ordering, there must be a 'least' least
interesting number.
But that's actually quite interesting! So that number's interesting... and thus our set is empty.

Ta-da!

Also, a Rand-ell number generator would clearly just return Chaitin's constant and be done with it...

Google "Bennett: on Random and Hard to Describe Numbers" for further reading (:
Last edited by ziltoid on Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:03 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kain » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:00 am UTC

The way her views get expressed (at least in the parts of the US I have been in) can be summarized as somewhere between "look after yourself, and don't worry about anyone else" and "screw the poor/non-creatives! They are holding us better people back!"
Among other things, she had a very fatalistic attitude (that if you were successful, it was because you were intrinsically better, not because of any chance, or help from other people, or what have you). This was taken to a bit of an extreme with her views on Native Americans (who she felt deserved to be conquered, because such conquering was possible).
Basically, to leftists like myself (or even more generally, those that use empathy as a value judgement), a number of her view tend to be seen as very harsh, not to mention a bit naive (Rand saw the state as holding back 'great people,' but did not consider how those great people would manage even basic logistics in an anarchic society she professed would be better).
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby blowfishhootie » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:32 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:Some numbers are intrinsically better. pi is much more useful than six-hundred-and-seventy-three.


Pi is not more useful than 673 if you need to count 673 (or more) of something. Whether a number is "more useful" than another depends entirely on the purpose the number is being used for, and there is no substance at all that can back up a claim that one number is "intrinsically better" than any other. This is a stupid argument.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby stickler » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:46 am UTC

This reminds me of the whole Dual_EC_DRBG thing, with 'claiming to be fair'. But I don't know enough about cypto to fully understand the comic.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby chridd » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:55 am UTC

azule wrote:
chridd wrote:It looks like the comic's title text is missing some backslashes. /(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i would make a lot more sense.
Agreed. But, what does it match that is of interest? I guess it matches all those listed in the cavern.
Exactly. The corrected version matches two words, containing only the letters p, l, u, r, a, n, d, y. (This is assuming Perl-style regular expressions.)

If it really was "b" and not "\b" would that match anything? Probably not. Oh, Randall, you need a coding mustard detector.
It would require the name begin and end in b. So, Baynb Brandb, Bpaulb Bryanb, Brandb Bpaulb, Bannb Bdruyanb, Bpaulb Bruddb, Balanb Baldab, and Bduranb Bduranb.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby speising » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:18 am UTC

does anyone else miss it, when there's no link to the comic in the OP?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:20 am UTC

I just finished playing Bioshock yesterday. Get out of my head, Rand!

ucim wrote:... aynd to think I always thought the best random number was 42

Jose
2Chosen by die roll. Guaranteed to be random.


Is that 16?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby patzer » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:20 am UTC

firestar27 wrote:Also, I never thought I'd be the first to make a thread for a comic! :)


...you're not.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:42 am UTC

speising wrote:does anyone else miss it, when there's no link to the comic in the OP?

I do.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby PsiSquared » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:46 am UTC

ucim wrote:... aynd to think I always thought the best random number was 42


16?

EDIT: Urgh! Ninja'd.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:54 am UTC

ucim wrote:... aynd to think I always thought the best random number was 42

Me2



1 Big.
2 Not a footnote number. Or, I didn't mean it to be, but I guess it is now. Just think "too" in your head.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:05 am UTC

Antior wrote:Anyway, can someone explain in simple terms who Ayn Rand was, what she did, and why it's funny to make fun of her?


She has been latched onto by the right for believing that anyone who is wealthy is wealthy because they worked hard to create wealth and deserve to be wealthy, and anyone who is poor is poor because they are lazy and deserve to be poor. What I believe this comic is alluding to is the idea that income is distributed fairly randomly, with luck being the main determining factor of whether or not you will be wealthy, not merit.

This is usually all based on microeconomic theory, which says that in a free market, where everyone is perfectly well informed and perfectly rational, all goods and services will cost exactly what they are worth, and all workers will be paid exactly what they are worth. The other assumption is that your worth as a person is determined entirely by your economic output, because capitalism.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Tnarg » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:26 am UTC

"Biased toward certain numbers"

http://xkcd.com/221/

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby orthogon » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:47 am UTC

Tnarg wrote:"Biased toward certain numbers"

http://xkcd.com/221/

That sure ayn' random!
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby StClair » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:12 am UTC

For me, Objectivism has always fallen down at the stage of "first, find a perfectly rational and objective human being" - an entity which exists only in the same realm as the ideal gas, the frictionless surface, the perfect black body, etc etc. Which is, of course, pretty much exactly what this comic is taking a poke at.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby YellowYeti » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:48 am UTC

StClair wrote:For me, Objectivism has always fallen down at the stage of "first, find a perfectly rational and objective human being" - an entity which exists only in the same realm as the ideal gas, the frictionless surface, the perfect black body, etc etc. Which is, of course, pretty much exactly what this comic is taking a poke at.


All the world is irrational, save thee and me.. and even thou art a little irrational

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:55 am UTC

Thesh wrote:This is usually all based on microeconomic theory, which says that in a free market, where everyone is perfectly well informed and perfectly rational

It has always made me wonder why people studying physics generally don't need to believe in spherical horses in vacuum, while people studying microeconomics generally do.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby KarenRei » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:57 am UTC

StClair wrote:For me, Objectivism has always fallen down at the stage of "first, find a perfectly rational and objective human being" - an entity which exists only in the same realm as the ideal gas, the frictionless surface, the perfect black body, etc etc. Which is, of course, pretty much exactly what this comic is taking a poke at.


I don't get how any geek could be a Randian. I mean, isn't the Prisoners' Dilemma / elementary game theory known by pretty much every geek in existence? Everyone acting in their own rational self interest will indeed head towards a *local* minimum, but that can be far from a *global* minimum, even if it is quite easy, when the problem is analyzed as a whole, to determine how to get to the global minimum.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:09 am UTC

KarenRei wrote:I don't get how any geek could be a Randian. I mean, isn't the Prisoners' Dilemma / elementary game theory known by pretty much every geek in existence? Everyone acting in their own rational self interest will indeed head towards a *local* minimum, but that can be far from a *global* minimum, even if it is quite easy, when the problem is analyzed as a whole, to determine how to get to the global minimum.

On the other hand, doesn't the existence of the Prisoners' Dilemma make the world a better place? I.e., a "global minimum" for a gang of criminals is not necessarily the true global minimum.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Beatrice The Golden » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:31 am UTC

Kit. wrote:On the other hand, doesn't the existence of the Prisoners' Dilemma make the world a better place? I.e., a "global minimum" for a gang of criminals is not necessarily the true global minimum.


And there is one more thing - global minimum, in this case, is achievable only in theory, while it's much easier to achieve local one. In fact, in some cases it's very easy.
Humans view problems differently depending on whether or not they are guaranteed to be solvable

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby zantrua » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:52 am UTC

The prisoner's dilemma is the dumbest thing to ever be imagined by pseudo-intellectuals. It ignores all real influences, sets up a hypothetical scenario which is baseless, manipulates the variables to come to a predetermined conclusion, and then pretends that it has deep meaning in reality.

Fun fact: snitches get shot. No one likes a rat.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:56 am UTC

Obligatory

Image

Anyway, shouldn't that really be BHG, not WHG?

ETA:
1) 42 isn't 16, it's

Code: Select all

 as_numeric(stupid Facebooky "here is where I was" application)


2) The world's most random number is 17. This is a well-established fact1

1: for certain definitions of "fact"
Last edited by cellocgw on Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:01 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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