Search found 3616 matches

by elasto
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:21 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8214
Views: 650956

Re: Trump presidency

Though in light of current news, is it possible that Putin is trying to foment division in the American populace? It isn't just possible, it happened and continues to happen. Well before the Trump era, the Russians set up hundreds of Facebook/Instagram etc. groups on every wing of the spectrum from...
by elasto
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:53 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15021
Views: 2427943

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

The problem with that logic in general is that some prohibited but non-enhancing drugs can be used to mask the presence of others that are enhancing. And the problem with ignoring accidental contamination is that athletes could deliberately obtain contaminated products and dose alongside them, knowi...
by elasto
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:37 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2094: "Short Selling"
Replies: 44
Views: 1990

Re: 2094: "Short Selling"

The point is that Tesla should be going bankrupt. The short sellers are absolutely correct: fundamentally Tesla is completely screwed. Is it? It made $311m in profit last quarter and is sitting on $3b in cash reserves, up $731m. It reports a 20% profit margin on the Model 3's. Musk is a true pionee...
by elasto
Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8214
Views: 650956

Re: Trump presidency

It'll be satire but, yes, one has to be intolerant of intolerance up to (but not beyond) it becoming counter-productive. Trump has shown one can be pretty damn intolerant indeed and still win though, which is depressing - his supporters taking him seriously but not literally and his opponents v.v. a...
by elasto
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Teachers being trained to kill kids
Replies: 108
Views: 5175

Re: Teachers being trained to kill kids

The rarity goes both ways, no? Mass shootings are rare, but apparently so are bad outcomes from having armed teachers. I'm not so sure. I'm pretty sure I read that, in decades gone by, prior to school shootings by pupils being a 'thing' there was a rash of incidents of teacher shootings. By rearmin...
by elasto
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:06 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Teachers being trained to kill kids
Replies: 108
Views: 5175

Re: Teachers being trained to kill kids

Yes, they are rare, but no one's worries are affected by statistics. Statistics might convince people not to act on their worries, but they don't take away the worry itself. But the issue here is that people are acting on their worries - specifically by arming teachers in schools. Sardia is quite r...
by elasto
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: quarkcosh1's miscellaneous science posts
Replies: 73
Views: 5234

Re: quarkcosh1's miscellaneous science posts

quarkcosh1: For an example of why you can't just work backwards from the answer, take a look at this numberphile video where it demonstrates you can generate any integer using just four 4's and standard arithmetical operators. As Eebster says, the only hope of generating any insight is to start with...
by elasto
Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:43 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: I'm creating a Populous 3 style game engine
Replies: 0
Views: 644

I'm creating a Populous 3 style game engine

(Not sure whether this is better suited to Coding or Gaming, but as I'm mainly looking for people to help out, I think here makes better sense for now.) I'm working on a spherical deformable world à la Populous 3; The engine is pretty much done, so now I'm looking to turn it from a tech demo into an...
by elasto
Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:10 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Teachers being trained to kill kids
Replies: 108
Views: 5175

Re: Teachers being trained to kill kids

Yeah. The answer to poor training isn't no training it's better training.

To be fair, it's more tricky for the issue of whether/how to train teachers, since deescalation is almost certainly not an option there. More investment in mental health might stop things getting to that stage though.
by elasto
Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans
Replies: 45
Views: 2430

Re: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans

Honestly, to me I feel like it would come down principally to the mental state of each rather than the physical attributes; If the human could successfully project confidence and dominance he would probably intimidate all but the hungriest of wolves into not attacking, but if he projected fear and w...
by elasto
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 52
Views: 4254

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

That's why I claim life is special. It didn't take a bomb to create our entire civilisation including aircraft, runways, and a TSA enforcing a 100ml limit on liquids, 'all' it took was a relatively small (but still highly unlikely) amount of randomness producing a self-replicating molecule, and the ...
by elasto
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: AI discussion from The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 124
Views: 36382

Re: AI discussion from The Darker Side of the News

why? if i work at a burger joint, as a university professor, or neuro surgeon, my children don't get anything either after i stop working, for whatever reason. To be fair, in a service or manufacturing role, your contribution to society ends the moment you stop working. With a creative production, ...
by elasto
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 63
Views: 4144

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

As I stated, there are ways to defend yourself without harming someone, such as running away. Not always. In this case David is trapped in a bedroom being beaten with a weapon. The question is why would Tom try to harm David to begin with? What does Tom gain from that violence? From his point of vi...
by elasto
Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:08 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 63
Views: 4144

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

First off, what kind of society could exist where violence (or the threat of it) was not an ongoing necessity? One where there is nothing to be gained from violence. But there's always something to be gained from violence - for example violence exercised in self-defence. The only way that could not...
by elasto
Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 63
Views: 4144

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

All other political philosophies that I know of say that violence is a feature of a sub-optimal society and that there is a way for perpetual peace to exist. Violence may be necessary to establish a perfect society, but that violence is always temporary (e.g. Marx said it was okay to revolt in orde...
by elasto
Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:02 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: sick realization: you have negative dollars
Replies: 174
Views: 40074

Re: sick realization: you have negative dollars

This is the true flaw in the system - the inherent bias of human beings That's just a different way of saying the same thing: Any system that doesn't take into account the deep flaws of human beings is itself deeply flawed. I mean, theoretically the best possible system is a wise and benevolent dic...
by elasto
Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:14 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15021
Views: 2427943

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

This is why no one takes scientists seriously; their taxonomy has been proven wrong time and again, and they just keep going like it's no big deal. ...says the person typing on a device invented by scientists I'm sure your jibe was meant to be light-hearted, but while science isn't perfect it's a h...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1258
Views: 195571

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

According to the BBC the numbers don't really add up: Can Theresa May get her deal through the Commons? That's what I think will ultimately lead to another referendum or election. Because, as Zamfir says, it's not like the EU is just going to start again. They are going to have their own problems ge...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:49 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1258
Views: 195571

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Well, Ireland reuniting would involve ripping up the GFA. Depends what you mean by 'ripping up' I suppose. Arguably, if the Northern Irish willingly unite with Southern Ireland then it's actually an improvement over the current arrangement: If in a generation or two the fallout from a hard-Brexit c...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1258
Views: 195571

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

And I don't agree with the turkey/triffle metaphor, because going hard-turkey would be worse than the half-way point. It would definitely mean ripping up the Good Friday Agreement and going back to the Troubles. Personally I don't think it would lead to that. I do think it would lead to the break-u...
by elasto
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1258
Views: 195571

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Looks like there's going to be a vote of no confidence, and most likely May will win it, and be untouchable for a year. You think? I agree that's what the pundits are saying, but personally I am doubtful the hardliners would submit the names if they didn't think they'd win the vote; I think they'd ...
by elasto
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:49 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nash Equilibrium in American politics
Replies: 120
Views: 21586

Re: Nash Equilibrium in American politics

Fptp systems force a lot of that flattening into the stage before elections. Main parties have to offer a fairly complete program that has a shot at getting majority support, and they have to build the required compromises inside their internal coalition. The truth is though that most of the time p...
by elasto
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:14 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nash Equilibrium in American politics
Replies: 120
Views: 21586

Re: Nash Equilibrium in American politics

"Moderate" as in the arithmetic mean between the most radical progressives and those lunatic reactionaries is fine... but that's basically what the Democrats are. The actual left wing of the populace don't have any party representing them; the closest we have are the moderates, the Democr...
by elasto
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:40 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nash Equilibrium in American politics
Replies: 120
Views: 21586

Re: Nash Equilibrium in American politics

The UK is weird, and while, yes, we technically do have fairly vibrant third parties some pretty horrid anomalies get thrown up. In 2015, for example, the Tories and Labour got around 2/3rds of the vote but ended up with 7/8ths of the seats. The SNP got 5% of the vote and ended up with 1/12th of the...
by elasto
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:46 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding for Kids
Replies: 8
Views: 2449

Re: Coding for Kids

badaza wrote:I'm not such a fan of Scratch: it's too free-form for me. I prefer something like Tynker where I have clear objectives that get progressively more complex.

That site looks great!

Thanks for pointing it out :)
by elasto
Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:18 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethics of Research
Replies: 76
Views: 6923

Re: Ethics of Research

In addition, share with whom ? The general public? If the researchers were funded privately, in general no, since that might lead to less private funding in future, but there might be a public interest argument for leaking research outcomes in individual instances. But whether public or private, the...
by elasto
Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: avoiding coding "representation errors"
Replies: 20
Views: 9144

Re: avoiding coding "representation errors"

Obviously you're just trying to give a simple example here, but surely you wouldn't be constructing it that way. Off the top of my head, and assuming we are going for a really simple use-case here, wouldn't a better approach be something like: var rawUserInput = GetUserInput(); var cleanUserInput = ...
by elasto
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:58 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: avoiding coding "representation errors"
Replies: 20
Views: 9144

Re: avoiding coding "representation errors"

hungarian notation seems to be the right answer. as joel spolsky points out (https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2005/05/11/making-wrong-code-look-wrong/) the original intended usage of hungarian notation is exactly to solve this problem, NOT to prefix variables with their type just for the sake of doin...
by elasto
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8214
Views: 650956

Re: Trump presidency

Sure, but did he actually act on that quote while in power? I think what someone does trumps what they say. Quite. If you heard this speech, would you think it came from a right-winger or a flaming pinko commie? ...it means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom bu...
by elasto
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 52
Views: 4254

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

You snuck in a claim here, implying that earth has the lowest entropy of the planets in the solar system, because there's life on it. As far as I can see, our ability to lower entropy is much more localized than planet scale, and I see no reason to believe that earth's entropy is significantly lowe...
by elasto
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:57 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 52
Views: 4254

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Life is an entirely natural and deterministic mechanism that results in local entropy lowering over time, sometimes precipitously. That's essentially the most interesting thing about it, alongside the whole consciousness thing. There's nothing special about life with regards to entropy. There are p...
by elasto
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:51 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 52
Views: 4254

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Some pages said that evolution allowed life and complexity to evolve without a spontaneous apparition, but it seems evolution in our universe would require a massive entropy fluctuation, which means the argument is flawed. The second law of thermodynamics only describes the evolution of systems ove...
by elasto
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:18 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8214
Views: 650956

Re: Trump presidency

As I recall, electoral reform was talked about more than just in passing by the Labour Party in the UK prior to the 1997 election (by which time the Labour party had been out of power for 18 years). Labour won that election by a landslide and the issue of electoral reform quietly got shelved - presu...
by elasto
Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:32 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8214
Views: 650956

Re: Trump presidency

My impression as an outsider was that, in Obama's early years, he sought to do things on a bipartisan basis as much as possible, so that the legislation would be as good as possible and the country benefit as much as possible. The Republicans correctly realised that cooperating with that process wou...
by elasto
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8214
Views: 650956

Re: Trump presidency

All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others.

To be fair though, the US craps on all the downtrodden within its borders, immigrant or native.
by elasto
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15021
Views: 2427943

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

but attention seeking is basically essential to the medium. Good art that noone gets to see is of little value at the end of the day I disagree with this quite strongly. Unpublished and unpublicised art can nevertheless have a profound impact on the artist themselves. I think you are taking what I ...
by elasto
Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6485
Views: 996181

Re: Police misbehavior thread

this doesn't always work. I almost missed a bill because I tried the call back method. Can you explain further? All my important bills I have set to Direct Debit. (Obviously that sets one up for the reverse problem: Where a legitimate company overbills you by mistake; But you should always be able ...
by elasto
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6485
Views: 996181

Re: Police misbehavior thread

One thing it would be so valuable to teach people to avoid these kinds of scams is to always call the person back. Not on the number they give but from Googling. So if they claim they are from the power company then Google the power company's number and go call it. If it's a legitimate issue then wh...
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15021
Views: 2427943

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Before the impressionist movement, you simply could not find anyone who would take a couple of terrible paint blotches seriously. The history of art is actually a long story, mostly of elitism. Art has always been, primarily, a biological honest signaling process for mating. Ok, that's a bit of an ...
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:43 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15021
Views: 2427943

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Scratching "pedo" into someone's front door and throwing rocks at their windows would fit that description. It may need refining. Not as much as you might think. If it's done consensually then it could be great art, causing people to think more deeply about how society should be acting to...

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