Search found 3113 matches

by Eebster the Great
Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:27 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1969
Views: 438462

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

OK, I get the noun vs. verb thing. Though, at the end of the day, the new use is hardly surprising.
by Eebster the Great
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:29 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1969
Views: 438462

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

"transitioning" It somehow escaped corporate meetings and infected the general public. Just use "changing" or "switching" or even "in transition to" for crying out loud. These days, I mostly hear that term for people in a gender transition, MTF or FTM. The te...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

It is not the case that a larger universe is more likely to develop a brain, because the issue is not just size, but entropy. A very large universe that is at thermal equilibrium will not produce brains in any way except by spontaneous fluctuations, because it's in equilibrium already, so nothing el...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

I mean that a large universe which develops into a vacuum with a surprise brain in the middle is still more likely than a large universe with such low entropy that not only do you get a brain, but also planets and stars and stuff. Because the former is far higher entropy.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans
Replies: 28
Views: 546

Re: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans

a single bite could be quite serious if it's from a real dog, not a house rat. and dogs have additionally four nasty claws whith which they can bother you while you try to get a hold on their neck. i don't think it's as clear as that. we don't have any natural weapon which could pierce a wolf's ski...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:10 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans
Replies: 28
Views: 546

Re: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans

a single bite could be quite serious if it's from a real dog, not a house rat. and dogs have additionally four nasty claws whith which they can bother you while you try to get a hold on their neck. i don't think it's as clear as that. we don't have any natural weapon which could pierce a wolf's ski...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

The universe in this model is infinite, not a single point. But due to inflation, a region that was once extremely small (though not literally a single point) is now larger than the entire observable universe. This inflationary event may be the low entropy event we are discussing. In any case, the i...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:47 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

That doesn't resolve the problem, as big universes are still more likely to develop one or more Boltzmann brains than the types of brains we consider. Even if the total population of brains over the course of history is 10^10^10, the Boltzmann brains will still outnumber them.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:45 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science fleeting thoughts
Replies: 122
Views: 21770

Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Thesh wrote:That would also say that 1 is the only unit in the natural numbers, which is probably more applicable.

The natural numbers don't form a ring. In the ring of integers, there are two units, 1 and -1.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:44 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans
Replies: 28
Views: 546

Re: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans

Even in a no-holds-barred grudge match, I'm fairly confident five adult humans would defeat three adult wolves. Assuming the humans are reasonably fit, anyway. There is this trope out there that humans are somehow uniquely weak animals, and it is simply inaccurate. We are much larger than wolves. Ev...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:49 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Tub explained it much better than I could. The important caveat is that the brain doesn't have to just appear on its own immediately after the rare event; it could be a much later consequence of it. And we know for sure that real brains are a consequence of the real universe we have, so in order to ...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science fleeting thoughts
Replies: 122
Views: 21770

Re: Science fleeting thoughts

My abstract algebra course taught me that a "unit" in a ring is an element with a multiplicative inverse, so by transitivity of definitions, all real numbers are units except 0.
by Eebster the Great
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Most of them. The thing is, brains tend to be significantly smaller than the entire universe. Ultimately, this is an argument about entropy, and a low entropy universe is much, much less probable than a low entropy brain no matter how it is arranged . Consider that in reality, your extremely improb...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:28 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?
Replies: 17
Views: 820

Re: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?

The Infinity Gauntlet killed half of all people, which is not much like BSE. It's more like what it is--a rare disease. You are hundreds of times more likely to get regular Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease than Mad Cow. I get that, in the context of the media about the disease, it seems very scary. And eve...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 50
Views: 3038

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Most of them. The thing is, brains tend to be significantly smaller than the entire universe. Ultimately, this is an argument about entropy, and a low entropy universe is much, much less probable than a low entropy brain no matter how it is arranged . Consider that in reality, your extremely improba...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?
Replies: 17
Views: 820

Re: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?

Why was Mad Cow such a big player in the news, anyway? It is an extraordinarily rare disease. I guess because it’s scary, incurable, known to transmit to people via food, known to have entered the human food supply, and it’s likely that at least few hundred people contracted it. But there are hundr...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:58 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?
Replies: 17
Views: 820

Re: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?

Why was Mad Cow such a big player in the news, anyway? It is an extraordinarily rare disease.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:16 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?
Replies: 17
Views: 820

Re: To completely prevent any form of Mad Cow Disease?

There is also a small but nonzero probability of prions arising spontaneously on a cow without infection, for instance due to a de novo mutation. Any real solution must focus on making the probability of infection lower, not making it zero.
by Eebster the Great
Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:44 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Banach-Tarski
Replies: 1
Views: 528

Re: Banach-Tarski

UDLR is equal to no rotation at all, because up and down cancel and left and right cancel. But rotations in three dimensions are not commutative, so ULDR is not equal to UDLR. I don't know what part of the video you're referring to, so I can't really answer the question.
by Eebster the Great
Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2073: "Kilogram"
Replies: 97
Views: 5131

Re: 2073: "Kilogram"

Fine. Configuration space can be infinite-dimensional, but spacetime is still four-dimensional at all observed scales. Maybe I'm using the wrong vocabulary, but I don't think the claim that we are not living in a Hilbert space is particularly controversial.
by Eebster the Great
Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2073: "Kilogram"
Replies: 97
Views: 5131

Re: 2073: "Kilogram"

Phase space can be infinite-dimensional, but each particle still has just three degrees of translational freedom. We don't "live in" an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2073: "Kilogram"
Replies: 97
Views: 5131

Re: 2073: "Kilogram"

America is a country where the normal serving size for beer is neither one glass nor one bottle, but rather the pack of bottles in which they are sold. Drinking six to twelve bottles or tins at once is quite common among enthusiasts. No real American would drink twelve tins at once, or even a singl...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:33 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2073: "Kilogram"
Replies: 97
Views: 5131

Re: 2073: "Kilogram"

We refer to the base unit of mass as the kg rather than the g due to a historical accident. The original base unit of mass was called the "grave," with 1 grave = 1000 gravat and 1 bar = 1000 grave. The theory as to why in the redefinition in 1795, the "gravat" rather than the &qu...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:04 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2073: "Kilogram"
Replies: 97
Views: 5131

Re: 2073: "Kilogram"

Of course a weight standard is easier to get than a watt balance, but that weight standard will still be all you need. It's just that somewhere down the chain, that standard has been compared against either a watt balance or a prototype. The NIST claims that at first, the error in realization will a...
by Eebster the Great
Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:50 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2073: "Kilogram"
Replies: 97
Views: 5131

Re: 2073: "Kilogram"

If the physical constants are not really constant but vary with time or position, then in the new system, the definitions of the units will vary instead. That's certainly possible, but experiments have made it abundantly clear that this variation must be far less significant than the variation in th...
by Eebster the Great
Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:43 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Proprioceptive string microscopy
Replies: 10
Views: 816

Re: Proprioceptive string microscopy

What if you just had two electrified wire meshes separated by a short gap of air. When the outer mesh presses against a surface, the two meshes contact and complete a circuit. It's very imprecise, but it is also very simple. As with proprioception, this can only detect the amount of deflection (in t...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:20 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science fleeting thoughts
Replies: 122
Views: 21770

Re: Science fleeting thoughts

If you are getting mass from the density of carbon and length, it's still a different dimension and depends on a physical constant (the density of carbon). At that point you might as well define it directly in terms of the mass of a carbon atom. Or the Planck constant. Using physical constants to de...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:38 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science fleeting thoughts
Replies: 122
Views: 21770

Re: Science fleeting thoughts

The candela is still dumb though, because the "physical constant" it is defined by is actually not defined, and is an arbitrary function mapping frequency to intensity in typical human perception, for some arbitrary "typical human." I mean sure, the "luminous efficiency cons...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:52 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]
Replies: 338
Views: 135832

Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

I distinguish "thought" and sometimes "broad" and then lump the others together (rot = pot = odd = god, vowel-wise). "Broad" can be pronounced like "odd" or like "thought," or something in-between, depending on when you ask.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Proprioceptive string microscopy
Replies: 10
Views: 816

Re: Proprioceptive string microscopy

A body analogy would be laying across a mattress and finding a lump in it. You can build up a picture of the outside world based on the internal displacement of your body when pressed against it, although, the human body isn't very good for this purpose since it didn't have very many joints. OK, bu...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:46 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Proprioceptive string microscopy
Replies: 10
Views: 816

Re: Proprioceptive string microscopy

Detecting the roughness of a surface by touching it isn't proprioception, that's touch. Proprioception is a sense that uses nerves in muscles, tendons, and joints to determine the relative orientation of your head, body, and all your limbs and digits. Pretty much by definition, you can't use proprio...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"
Replies: 532
Views: 90006

Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

That is all true and interesting, but to be clear with respect to the comic itself, those variations still are both small and almost 180 degrees out of synch with the current observed warming. Just in case anyone discovers this thread in the future and spins your post as supporting the denialist pos...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:42 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"
Replies: 532
Views: 90006

Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Heat pumps are also an option, and they use much less energy than direct heating for the same reason refrigeration takes less energy. Generally you are able to move more than 2 units of heat for every 1 unit of energy, whether supplied by gas or electricity (but usually it's electric). Again, the do...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2070: "Trig Identities"
Replies: 18
Views: 2187

Re: 2070: "Trig Identities"

The superscript notation for iterated functions makes a lot of sense to me. f 2 (x) = f(f(x)). f generates a (typically infinite) cyclic group under composition, so f n in functional notation corresponds to f n in multiplicative notation in that group. It also extends to derivatives and antiderivati...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is the universe a black hole? No
Replies: 26
Views: 4338

Re: Is the universe a black hole? No

To be fair, the Schwarzschild metric doesn't apply to real black holes either, but it applies pretty well to most normal stars.
by Eebster the Great
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science fleeting thoughts
Replies: 122
Views: 21770

Re: Science fleeting thoughts

You've really spent a lot of time on this.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:07 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: How to find confidence interval for vector-valued function?
Replies: 5
Views: 1294

Re: How to find confidence interval for vector-valued function?

No, x is still a scalar, so he is looking for an interval of real numbers (multiplied by some physical unit). Or at least a distribution over R if it isn't unimodal and so doesn't lend itself to a CI. It seems like you should just be able to get separate distributions for each observation and then m...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Asimov's 3 laws
Replies: 17
Views: 3072

Re: Asimov's 3 laws

The laws weren't very good for all kinds of reasons, but there were at least a few sensible precautions built in. Yes, robots had to follow orders, but they didn't have to treat all orders equally. If I own a robot, I can give it whatever priorities I want, including not listening to other peoples' ...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:15 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1969
Views: 438462

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Maybe he meant to say "rating of speed," because your speed is rated on a scale from 1 to 10 along with accuracy and level of difficulty. "rate of speed" refers to the motion of motor vehicles in every instance I've heard it used, including this one. No, it's definitely referrin...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:53 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1969
Views: 438462

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Many of the radio lawyers advertise no fees unless you win. Typically they settle though, so it doesn't mean they are necessarily representing justice here. They profit by settling large numbers of cases and taking commissions on each.

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