Search found 212 matches

by SunAvatar
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1886: Typing Notifications
Replies: 18
Views: 4666

1886: Typing Notifications

Image

(Title text: "Over the years I've decided I'd rather have them on than not, but I'm glad there aren't 'has opened a blank note to compose a reply to you' notifications.")

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I've done this.
by SunAvatar
Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1850: "Air Force Museum"
Replies: 14
Views: 4862

1850: "Air Force Museum"

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/air_force_museum.png Title text: "I had fun visiting the museum at Dover Air Force Base, unless they don't have a museum, in which case I've never been to Delaware in my life." Writing this from the Early Twenty-First Century Workplace Museum, where we get to ...
by SunAvatar
Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1553: "Public Key"
Replies: 19
Views: 7487

Re: 1553: "Public Key"

Oh yeah, I did say that, didn't I.

Good point.
by SunAvatar
Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1553: "Public Key"
Replies: 19
Views: 7487

Re: 1553: "Public Key"

Signatures are often hidden by default - either by the mail client or by the recipient's own wetware - so using the for content is a bit optimistic... The signature I'm talking about doesn't really have anything to do with a 'signature' in the sense of a human-readable statement at the end of the e...
by SunAvatar
Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:39 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1553: "Public Key"
Replies: 19
Views: 7487

Re: 1553: "Public Key"

Why have I sent two PGP signed messages in the multi-year lifespan of my email address and key identity? I'm pretty sure that's on you. I sign every outgoing email I send. Admittedly this is partially a one-man awareness campaign on my part---I look forward to the occasions when someone asks "...
by SunAvatar
Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:41 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: 10% x5 != 50%?
Replies: 17
Views: 4731

Re: 10% x5 != 50%?

There's a term for that ... basically, probability gets a little imprecise when infinities are involved, and you can technically draw a distinction between "probability zero but technically possible" vs "actually impossible". Like, "I flip a coin an infinite number of times...
by SunAvatar
Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:37 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Polynomial regression with a complexity prior
Replies: 9
Views: 2841

Re: Polynomial regression with a complexity prior

I'm not quite sure I'm following some of the maths there. Can I just check? Sure! The point I may not have made explicit enough is that I'm describing a general procedure first, and *then* describing how it applies (or fails to apply) to polynomials in particular. So this prior is over all function...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:16 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Polynomial regression with a complexity prior
Replies: 9
Views: 2841

Re: Polynomial regression with a complexity prior

I've just realized a problem with trying to work entirely from theory. In theory, if you want to do everything from first principles, you can work as follows: ⋅ Start with a space of functions F together with a prior probability measure π. ⋅ Take some probability density function...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:28 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Polynomial regression with a complexity prior
Replies: 9
Views: 2841

Re: Polynomial regression with a complexity prior

I've just realized something: if I prefer a lower-degree polynomial, I probably oughtn't to also prefer a lower number of nonzero coefficients within a polynomial, because that criterion amounts to privileging the standard parameterization. (Actually, I think the really right thing to do would be to...
by SunAvatar
Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:46 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Polynomial regression with a complexity prior
Replies: 9
Views: 2841

Polynomial regression with a complexity prior

Hey, I have absolutely no formal training in statistics, though I know a bit more about probability and information theory. My interest here is more from an academic than a practical standpoint. Suppose I have some data in the form of points of ℝ², and i want to fit a polynomial to these points. And...
by SunAvatar
Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:43 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Random bitstream! (000zerozero000000zero)
Replies: 1947
Views: 237358

Re: Random bitstream! (000zerozero000000zero)

0
by SunAvatar
Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?
Replies: 22
Views: 7876

Re: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?

There is a mountain of evidence for this. The most obvious being that every living thing has the same genetic code. The same amino acids are used. I remember reading somewhere that this is only almost true: a few species of microörganism have been discovered that have variant genetic codes . These ...
by SunAvatar
Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:25 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Do the ends justify the means?
Replies: 74
Views: 13792

Re: Do the ends justify the means?

I don't know why you're treating this like I'm part of some grand leading-question conspiracy to convince you that it's OK to shove people in front of trains.... etc. Sorry, I don't actually think you're doing that, at least not deliberately. I just think it's all the question is really useful for ...
by SunAvatar
Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:35 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Infinity paradox? Help
Replies: 54
Views: 9573

Re: Infinity paradox? Help

In addition to the above objections, even if you create some self-consistent system of arbiteroftruth-integers, some of which have infinitely many digits, I can still say "consider the set of all arbiteroftruth-integers with finitely many digits" and once again have an infinite set, all of...
by SunAvatar
Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:21 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Do the ends justify the means?
Replies: 74
Views: 13792

Re: Do the ends justify the means?

TheGrammarBolshevik, I understand what you're saying. I really do. I've said it myself before, when I'm using an extreme case to put some concept or another into sharp relief and someone gets on my case because it's "unrealistic." You are saying it doesn't matter if the scenario is unreali...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:26 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Distance on a sphere
Replies: 14
Views: 4427

Re: Distance on a sphere

My first thought was, "What does OP mean by distance? Does he mean chordal distance or great circle distance?" (Chordal distance is the length of a straight line segment through the interior of the sphere; great circle distance is the length of the shorter of the two great circle arcs pass...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:00 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Infinity paradox? Help
Replies: 54
Views: 9573

Re: Infinity paradox? Help

Perhaps I should phrase it this way: Given the way I've ordered the set, the number of elements in the set cannot exceed the values that are allowed to exist within the set, because each element of the set is a value corresponding to exactly how many elements are included up to that point. So if th...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:44 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Do the ends justify the means?
Replies: 74
Views: 13792

Re: Do the ends justify the means?

Re. the "push the fat guy in front of the train" thought experiment: If you present the situation in a vacuum, I'll interpret it in a vacuum. That is, I'll assume you're postulating that 1. I know the train's five passengers will die if I do nothing; 2. I know this guy is heavy enough to s...
by SunAvatar
Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:22 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Pi in fraction form
Replies: 17
Views: 5369

Re: Pi in fraction form

I realise that there's no way to ask this question without it seeming really stupid, but I'll give it a go anyway... is there some intrinsic quality of a circle that dictates that Pi must be an irrational number or is it just 'bad luck'? It's not a stupid question at all. There is proof that π is i...
by SunAvatar
Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:30 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?
Replies: 22
Views: 7876

Re: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?

Interactive Civilian, what do you make of the 2004 Nature article by a Yale mathematician (PDF) suggesting that the MRCA of all or nearly all living humans ought to be about 3,000 years old? Particularly since ethnic "purity" is a lot less common than most people believe---we nearly all ha...
by SunAvatar
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?
Replies: 22
Views: 7876

Most recent common ancestor between strangers?

It's common knowledge that "we're all related if you go back far enough," but it's less commonly known exactly how far back is far enough. I'm guessing it's not actually that far. Obviously the degree will vary from place to place, based on cultural norms, rate of immigration/emigration, e...
by SunAvatar
Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:25 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Time Without Change
Replies: 69
Views: 8515

Re: Time Without Change

It's pretty obvious that the block-universe concept can model "everything stays really still for a while" as distinct from "no time passes." The question is whether the block-universe concept is correct in making this distinction, i.e. whether the universe is really a block in th...
by SunAvatar
Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:08 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Resolution of Russell's and Cantor's paradoxes
Replies: 64
Views: 10743

Re: Resolution of Russell's and Cantor's paradoxes

Maybe if you say "logical fallacy" ten or eleven more times, one will appear.

There is no fallacy, man.
by SunAvatar
Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:23 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Time Without Change
Replies: 69
Views: 8515

Re: Time Without Change

To answer the OP: I agree, it looks like "time" is emergent from the structure of the universe, not something fundamental. The idea "Suddenly the whole universe reverts to its state 2000 years ago" is confused, sort of like "Suddenly everything in the universe moves 50 meter...
by SunAvatar
Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:52 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Resolution of Russell's and Cantor's paradoxes
Replies: 64
Views: 10743

Re: Resolution of Russell's and Cantor's paradoxes

Dear DanTeplitskiy, I have not reread your paper. Please don't assume, because I am not impressed, that I haven't understood. Every time someone tries to critique your work, you call it a misunderstanding and inject into your paper a little blurb that says "You might think X, but that's not tru...
by SunAvatar
Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:23 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Resolution of Russell's and Cantor's paradoxes
Replies: 64
Views: 10743

Re: Resolution of Russell's and Cantor's paradoxes

I skimmed the rest but read 12-14 a bit more closely. It seems like you have a solution in search of a problem. I'm not sure where you got the idea that mathematicians are confused by the Russell class, and are working on resolving this contradiction, but they really aren't. Your analysis of { x : x...
by SunAvatar
Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:43 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Random bitstream! (000zerozero000000zero)
Replies: 1947
Views: 237358

Re: Random bitstream! (000zerozero000000zero)

1
by SunAvatar
Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:34 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Is there an intuitive appeal for multiplication of integers?
Replies: 22
Views: 3779

Re: Is there an intuitive appeal for multiplication of integ

Good suggestions for appeals to intuition here. I'm tempted to suggest an appeal to associativity/commutativity/distributivity as well (you can prove that the product of negatives is positive), but I know from experience how well that usually goes. Try this: Call the first number "how many hats...
by SunAvatar
Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:21 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

I sold the 20 bitcoins to offset the cost of new computer toys that I impulse-bought earlier the same day. Dollars have the advantage of being currently accepted at BJ's Wholesale. I was considering selling more, to recover my initial expenses, but I really don't feel safe selling more than that rig...
by SunAvatar
Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:00 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

Bump to point out that earlier today I sold 20 bitcoins for 9.2 US dollars apiece. The price has fallen a bit since then, and is now hovering around 8.7. Keep up with the charts at Mt Gox . In the time between buying in and now, I've read at least dozens of different explanations of why only an idio...
by SunAvatar
Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:30 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

Everyone should ignore my earlier post---I sold off a large stash of bitcoins only to see the exchange rate spike up to 1.9 or so, then settle down around 1.5 - 1.6. New plan: always follow the opposite of my impulse.
by SunAvatar
Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:48 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

Well it would have been profitable for them if they'd started accepting them a few weeks ago, since the Mt Gox exchange just reached an all time high of 1.199 bitcoins to the dollar. (Actually just wanted to drop into the thread to report that, not to actually rebut what you're saying.) Anyone who s...
by SunAvatar
Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:56 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: |i|
Replies: 34
Views: 5792

Re: |i|

I often catch myself calling |a+bi| the "absolute value" of a+bi, and I don't think I've ever been misunderstood by saying that (though I have been corrected, which implies that the listener knew exactly what I meant). It's a bad habit, but not seriously so. I sometimes suspect we should j...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

Okay, but the idea of the Bitcoin protocol is to be the bottom line, the equivalent of metal coins in the past or fancy paper today. There's no reason Visa can't issue BTC credit cards at usurious interest rates just like they do with USD now. There's no reason banks can't offer escrow services for ...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

What insurance does the FDIC offer if money is stolen from your wallet?
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:56 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

The only thing broadcast in a transaction is a digitally signed expenditure. "Sniffing" won't get you any information that isn't already quite public. Though there's no obvious way of tracing a bitcoin address back to a machine, I suppose you could always hack the machine of a known holder...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

What research did you do? You clearly didn't do enough to realize that bitcoins aren't stored in your wallet, but only the credentials required to spend them, as has been mentioned several times in this thread. The record of which addresses hold which bitcoins is entirely stored in the blockchain. h...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:29 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

What would you have to do to get, say, a steady $100/month profit by generating and selling bitcoins? In the long run, you'd probably have to treat it like a full-time job. Market forces will drive difficulty to the point where it is just marginally profitable. In order to make any serious money yo...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:08 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

I am currently buying a substantial number of bitcoins at significantly more than my own cost of generation. I'm pretty confident they will remain stable increase in value for the next year or two, less so about their long range stability. I'll reconsider if things haven't improved in a year. In the...
by SunAvatar
Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:56 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 178059

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

I started paying attention to Bitcoin a few weeks ago, and started mining shortly thereafter. (I'd wanted a new video card anyway---this was just an excuse to buy the best one. Maybe it'll pay for itself!) I'm really becoming interested in seeing the project succeed, because it would just be so usef...

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