Search found 23 matches

by dockaon
Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Opting-out of social services?
Replies: 78
Views: 17116

Re: Opting-out of social services?

Here's what happens: Nothing. The entitlement programs are wildly popular. They're called the third rail of American politics for a reason. One of the main sources of opposition to the ACA was that it moved money out of Medicare. Even with Republicans controlling all the branches of government in 20...
by dockaon
Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:45 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?
Replies: 340
Views: 35886

Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Here's what I don't understand. If the executive branch decides what services and personnel are essential, why are they shutting down things that Democrats like (eg. social programs) and keeping open things that Republicans like (eg. military)? Why can't Obama say "We're going to stop funding ...
by dockaon
Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:57 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Quantitative analysis of the temperature near a time portal
Replies: 7
Views: 1945

Re: Quantitative analysis of the temperature near a time por

Energy is conserved locally, not globally. The universe isn't keeping track of the total amount of energy in the universe and keeping that the same, each individual interaction keeps the energy constant. There is no issue with energy flowing through a "time portal" unless the physics of th...
by dockaon
Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:57 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?
Replies: 340
Views: 35886

Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

The debt, the ACA, food stamps are all irrelevant. The basic issue is the Republicans are trying to use the debt ceiling as leverage to enact a sweeping list of conservative legislative goals that they could never otherwise achieve. The debt-ceiling package, set for a House vote by week's end, could...
by dockaon
Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Dark matter & black holes
Replies: 34
Views: 10039

Re: Dark matter & black holes

If DM interacts with itself only through gravity, it will not collapse easily. Particles would fall toward the center of mass, pass through it and then fly away, oscillating around it. You need something akin to friction to slow them down close to the centre and accumulate mass. Gravitational waves...
by dockaon
Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How will society handle robots and AI?
Replies: 290
Views: 59916

Re: How will society handle robots and AI?

Relevant TL:DR; Assuming real markets approximate classical economics, widespread permanent unemployment due to automation is impossible. In any case, analysis of the evidence shows that blaming current unemployment on automation is downright bizarre. When AI and automation is intelligent enough to...
by dockaon
Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Modern Monetary Theory
Replies: 147
Views: 51717

Re: Modern Monetary Theory

Resources are scarce. They are always scarce. We can redistribute them: we can grow more oats if we grow less wheat or less corn. We can even increase productivity: We can increase the production of oats by using fertilizers and better farming methods. But resources are always scarce. Your model ca...
by dockaon
Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Nuclear Physics in the US- Dead?
Replies: 15
Views: 4392

Re: Nuclear Physics in the US- Dead?

It's not dead, but it's definitely not the hottest field in academia. At this point most of the experimental work is concentrated at the Thomas Jefferson National Lab. On the other hand nuclear physics and applications like medical imaging, radiation detection and health physics have reasonably good...
by dockaon
Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:28 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547184

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Thanks. But again, going back to the first questions and the first argument I made on this subject: Why ask me to trust an estimation (this "less than perfect age of trees") over an actual record someone wrote? If you can go back and show me where the Hebrews got their dates wrong, where ...
by dockaon
Thu May 31, 2012 6:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: good physics texts?
Replies: 9
Views: 3607

Re: good physics texts?

This is probably getting to the heart of my frustration with physics. I can never tell whether a book/physicist is talking about the mathematical model, or reality, or if physicists don't even distinguish the two. If we were talking about mechanics purely as a mathematical exercise I wouldn't have ...
by dockaon
Thu May 03, 2012 4:41 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Getting into coding with a PhD in math
Replies: 20
Views: 9391

Re: Getting into coding with a PhD in math

I have a fairly similar background to you Math/Physics undergrad and PhD from U of Chicago, except mine is in physics. I left academia right after my PhD and I'm currently in a job which fits into your "half-coder" classification. I do operations research for a government consulting firm. ...
by dockaon
Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:46 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Quality control/improvement - for governments
Replies: 25
Views: 4206

Re: Quality control/improvement - for governments

First off most parts of government do have quality control/improvement processes in place. In my day job I work as a contracter on improvements in the Defense Department's logistics system. So as long as there are clearly defined goals the government can do that just as well as any other established...
by dockaon
Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Anti-matter = repulsive gravity?
Replies: 49
Views: 11495

Re: Anti-matter = repulsive gravity?

The main problem I see with this is most of the conventional mass (non-dark matter) in the universe isn't the mass of the fundamental particles but rather nuclear binding energy. The quarks that make up a proton or neutron are ~1% of the mass of the proton or neutron. The rest of the mass comes from...
by dockaon
Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:03 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: The Mathematical Relevance of Lord of the Rings
Replies: 4
Views: 1310

Re: The Mathematical Relevance of Lord of the Rings

For modeling the various battles the classic work is by F.W. Lanchester who uses simple differential equations to describe battles. The end result is that "ancient" warfare where battles consist of many one-on-one duels has a linear scaling of combat power (i.e. a force twice as big is twi...
by dockaon
Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: PhD Uncertainty
Replies: 22
Views: 13528

Re: PhD Uncertainty

I was responding to this: The idea that you should study something for your PhD and then change fields afterwards is stupid. But I suppose it calls for the clarification of 'changing *sub*-fields'. I'm certainly not saying people get a PhD in History and seek out post-docs in a Genetics lab, but th...
by dockaon
Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:53 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: PhD Uncertainty
Replies: 22
Views: 13528

Re: PhD Uncertainty

Don't do your graduate work in a subfield just because it's easy to do. You have to excel to get a job doing research in physics. You're going to spending countless hours working on your thesis and to have a decent shot a job, you have to go above and beyond that to impress people and stand out from...
by dockaon
Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:10 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Who should have the right to vote?
Replies: 175
Views: 49260

Re: Who should have the right to vote?

If we are going to ban anyone from voting it should be the politically well-informed. 1) Human beings are incredibly good at rationalizing away information that contradicts our beliefs. So good in fact, that studies have indicated that contradictory information more often than not increases the stre...
by dockaon
Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Are oil companies evil?
Replies: 3
Views: 1574

Re: Are oil companies evil?

I guess I should weigh in having worked as a scienetist for an oilfield services company. First off, the stereotype of the people who work for an oil company is generally incorrect. The oil companies that are hiring scientists are typically massive multinational corporations with a very diverse work...
by dockaon
Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:28 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 39980

Re: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

Ahh, I didn't realize that this experiment was using two different kinds of detectors, one kind at CERN (a Beam Current Transformer, something like this) and a different kind at LNGS in Italy, using bricks of photographic emulsion films (picture here). I was assuming that at least one of the two, a...
by dockaon
Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 39980

Re: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

This article: Less technical article: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111005/full/news.2011.575.html seems to be saying that a change in the cross section of the neutrinos, a change in their probability of detection, I guess, might give the appearance of a shift in time forwards. However, I can't q...
by dockaon
Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 39980

Re: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

I don't quite follow. My understanding is that CERN records the shape of the beam pulse (not a square wave, but that's okay, the point is that they measure what it looks like), and then turn that beam into neutrinos via smashing, and the resulting neutrino beam pulse is then measured at OPERA to ha...
by dockaon
Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 39980

Re: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

As a former experimental particle physicist, if I was to bet where the systematic error is I would say the measurement of the beam structure at CERN. For a couple of reasons: 1) Maintaining stability of the bunch shape over 3 years at the level they're requiring (60 nanoseconds out of 10.5 microseco...
by dockaon
Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:55 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A whimsical thought about Neutron Stars...and Quark Stars
Replies: 12
Views: 4740

Re: A whimsical thought about Neutron Stars...and Quark Star

With quark stars if you removed the matter, it would remain at approximately the same density. Quark star matter is held together by the strong force and not gravity which results in a very different equation of state. A piece of quark star matter doesn't feel the strong force from the entire quark ...

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