Search found 247 matches

by FiddleMath
Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:13 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Neal Stephenson - Anathem
Replies: 80
Views: 23747

Re: Neal Stephenson - Anathem

Given that, I am about to make real and interesting decisions about the direction of my career, the discussion around page 414 regarding personal narrative made me sit and think for quite some time and reexamine my motivations.

Reading the collected Sandman shortly afterwards only amplified this.
by FiddleMath
Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:54 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Good programming music
Replies: 93
Views: 14768

Re: Good programming music

I can't focus to music with lyrics, but it helps me to have a rhythm in my head. I'll listen to orchestral music, some bluegrass, and some postrock. Explosions in the Sky works really well for me.
by FiddleMath
Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:28 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Majoring in Comp Sci: Do I have a shot at this?
Replies: 42
Views: 8427

Re: Majoring in Comp Sci: Do I have a shot at this?

On the same topic, suppose it'll work out for someone with a liberal arts background starting in college algebra and working up? How important is a strong background in math/science going in? Stuff from the geometry/trig/calculus progression matters only occasionally to programmers - infrequently e...
by FiddleMath
Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:30 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 'Faceless' people showing up at events in London.
Replies: 17
Views: 2726

Re: 'Faceless' people showing up at events in London.

I hoped maybe it was a protest against England's abuse of CCTV. Oh well.
by FiddleMath
Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:30 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: postmodernism: yea or nay
Replies: 51
Views: 7851

Re: postmodernism: yea or nay

2 cents... or maybe more like 10! I encountered post-modernism in first year (university) anthropology [...] In context though (as I eventually understood), they were also trying to teach a bunch of ignorant rednecks (australian freshers) not to think of culture in terms of better/worse, primitive/...
by FiddleMath
Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:33 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Recharge non-rechargeable batteries... orlly?
Replies: 7
Views: 1855

Re: Recharge non-rechargeable batteries... orlly?

Sure. My parents had something like this when I was growing up - so they've been around for some time. You can't recharge them very many times, and they never last as long after the first use, and I'm sure they require more energy input than normal rechargeable batteries, but... yes.
by FiddleMath
Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:32 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Senator John Cornyn's "Big John" ad
Replies: 18
Views: 2393

Re: Senator John Cornyn's "Big John" ad

That's a wonderfully-produced, nicely-balanced satire. He's getting votes through clever self-deprecation. It's really quite clever!

... sigh.
by FiddleMath
Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:02 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What will threading look like in 20 years?
Replies: 53
Views: 18811

Re: What will threading look like in 20 years?

Stream programming is another interesting approach, currently under research. The basic idea is that your high-level conception of your code is one of data flows - data comes in, data is transformed by a possibly-stateful stream processor, and data leaves. Input may have multiple sources and output...
by FiddleMath
Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:08 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: The Problem with xkcd
Replies: 28
Views: 4836

Re: The Problem with xkcd

I wouldn't call this my social group - physical presence makes a huge difference, for one thing - but it is still nice to know that there's people with whom I could easily relate. It's not nearly as satisfying as physically being in a crowd of such folk, but there's still some effect there.
by FiddleMath
Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:15 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: The Problem with xkcd
Replies: 28
Views: 4836

Re: The Problem with xkcd

To be honest I don't think I have much of a problem at all, I think I'm more just looking for validation of what I feel. Does anyone else have this sort of issue? If xkcd represents the way you are, does it and should it effect the way you read it or the way you see yourself? XKCD is the pattern re...
by FiddleMath
Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:36 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Oklahoma Declares Sovereignty
Replies: 70
Views: 5595

Re: Oklahoma Declares Sovereignty

Cooley wrote:Let's hope ideals>monies

I was happy about this news until I saw that sentiment written so plainly. Oh well. :(
by FiddleMath
Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:58 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nihilism/Existentialism - the Philosophical Loop
Replies: 54
Views: 6749

Re: Nihilism/Existentialism - the Philosophical Loop

In response to the axiomatic buildup - if you want to do things in a precise, rational manner, you have to be very careful about how you define your terms. What does it mean for there to be a reason? I agree, actually; I was leaving out a ton of detail, some of which I may not have thought all the ...
by FiddleMath
Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:35 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Nihilism/Existentialism - the Philosophical Loop
Replies: 54
Views: 6749

Re: Nihilism/Existentialism - the Philosophical Loop

I'm totally familiar with this sentiment, as are at least a few others around here: ⋅  What is it that keeps us going? ⋅  Coping ⋅  Existential angst I'm convinced that you can't entirely reason your way out of this sort of loop, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone ...
by FiddleMath
Wed May 07, 2008 3:28 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Funniest/Most Annoying Code Comments
Replies: 662
Views: 135697

Re: Funniest/Most Annoying Code Comments

In ocaml, comments go in (* star parentheses *). (* So many babies. 400 BABIES. *) let make_baby_ps_proc parent_proc child_node = let new_proc = fresh_ps_proc (Some parent_proc) child_node.fn_id in child_node.fn_procs <- new_proc :: child_node.fn_procs; child_node.fn_p_count <- 1 + child_node.fn_p_c...
by FiddleMath
Tue May 06, 2008 8:50 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Secular rituals?
Replies: 43
Views: 7082

Re: Secular rituals?

Not exactly the same thing, but every time I've had something even close to a religious experience, it was at a concert. I'd like to echo and emphasize this sentiment. Playing in orchestra concerts have been my most numinous experiences, by far. In fact, a "religion" of music seems pretty...
by FiddleMath
Mon May 05, 2008 12:44 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is it that keeps us going?
Replies: 40
Views: 6092

Re: What is it that keeps us going?

Callahan's Law: Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased - thus do we refute entropy. If I have to rationalize it, I keep going because it looks like I only get to die once, and then I don't get to do other stuff. It seems rather suboptimal to end life earlier than necessary. Really, though, ...
by FiddleMath
Sat May 03, 2008 9:29 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What is Existentialism?
Replies: 73
Views: 9836

Re: What is Existentialism?

kinoftheflames wrote:I don't want to be another drone in society.

Isn't self-imposed originality as absurd as self-imposed conformity?

kinoftheflames wrote:I won't accept that I have to live a life preordained by our sociological structure.

If you're a hermit in the woods, you live a life preordained by your ecological surroundings.

;)
by FiddleMath
Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:11 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Collaborative programing project
Replies: 15
Views: 2347

Re: Collaborative programing project

Your best bet, if you're willing to cede some authorial control, is to come up with a game skeleton, and then get other people to actually fiddle with the game space. Like a MOO, I suppose, or how Nethack got a lot of its features. Something like a wiki game-world, see, but in code. I suspect that C...
by FiddleMath
Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:53 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ethical Question On Hacking
Replies: 27
Views: 3205

Re: Ethical Question On Hacking

At the expense of pedantry: some get annoyed when you say that a "hacker" forces access into a system; they'd rather you use the term "cracker" instead. There's already a "hacker culture", and very little of it has to do with infringing on other people's property. Just ...
by FiddleMath
Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:06 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Nails and String [solutions]
Replies: 24
Views: 5342

Re: Nails and String [solutions]

@FiddleMath: I suspect "days" is an exaggeration. Ok, ok, fine. A few roughly-hour long sessions, spanning several days, while I was relaxing at home and eating cookies. I was trying to prove that that particular solution worked. It was rather tantalizing, see, so I kept at it. Still, tha...
by FiddleMath
Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Nails and String [solutions]
Replies: 24
Views: 5342

Re: Nails and String [solutions]

Token: Awesome! I stared at that for a few days without ever thinking of changing the construction to make the proof simpler. That's very clean. :D
antonfire: Also awesome, with the edit.
Cheers all around!
by FiddleMath
Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:44 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Nails and String [solutions]
Replies: 24
Views: 5342

Re: Nails and String [solutions]

I've got essentially Antonfire's solution for the s n+1,k+1 general case: the loop collapses when k+1 nails are pulled, and none of the four individual elements independently collapse when any k nails are pulled. But how do you show that, say, s n,k (n+1)s n,k+1 -1 doesn't collapse when k nails are ...
by FiddleMath
Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:28 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Nails and String [solutions]
Replies: 24
Views: 5342

Nails and String [solutions]

I feel pretty certain that the later parts will take some space to explain, so I'll go ahead and put up this thread. Also, if anyone knows any "math" that looks like this, let me know. I suspect these structures are too pretty to not already be canonized either in algebra or topology, but ...
by FiddleMath
Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:22 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Nails and String
Replies: 11
Views: 5963

Nails and String

This is a picture frame. The ends of a string are connected to two corners of the frame, so that the frame can be hung on the flat, featureless wall in front of you. The string is not to be cut, unwound, or in any way disconnected from itself or the picture frame. I am a mildly sadistic and compulsi...
by FiddleMath
Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:47 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Burning of books?
Replies: 88
Views: 9212

Re: Burning of books?

If anyone is ever serious enough about burning a particular book that they might destroy a significant fraction of that book, then something in that book is worth saving and understanding, even if only to understand their impulse. Then again, it's absurd to worry about a single book that hasn't had ...
by FiddleMath
Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:13 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Memes
Replies: 51
Views: 4213

Re: Memes

So: Simplest concievable (redundancy!) meme go! Possibly, The Game. For those who haven't seen it: Rule 1: You are playing The Game. Rule 2: Whenever you think about The Game, you lose. Rule 3: Loss must be announced. For what it's worth, I just lost twenty dollars and my self respect. The Game is ...
by FiddleMath
Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0376: "Bug"
Replies: 97
Views: 34065

Re: 'Bug' discussion

Ooof. You know, if you leave puns like that just laying around where anyone can read them, then you're responsible for the damage.
by FiddleMath
Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Thinking Too Much (Trademarked)
Replies: 65
Views: 5532

Re: Thinking Too Much (Trademarked)

I'm 23, and in grad school; almost always busy and actually pretty happy. I constantly overthunk when I was between about 10 and 20, and still find myself doing so occasionally. I always fretted about being a social misfit. (I was.) I freaked out about societal ills, and the state of the world, and ...
by FiddleMath
Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:49 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0312: "With Apologies to Robert Frost"
Replies: 65
Views: 22171

Re: "With Apologies to Robert Frost" Discussion

Apologies for unearthing buried threads, but a friend of mine wrote the following. He's doing research in programming languages, you see... Two paths diverged in a CFG, and sorry I could not follow both and be one analysis, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it iterated a tr...
by FiddleMath
Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:48 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0345: "1337: Part 5"
Replies: 136
Views: 31186

Re: "1337: Part 5" Discussion

XKCD wins the internet. Would you like to play again? (Y/N)

The baby boomers may have had some awesome music, and had it actually marketed at them, but they didn't have webcomics. All in all, I don't think we're doing too badly.
by FiddleMath
Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:34 am UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: CONSOLE WARS!!!
Replies: 119
Views: 16459

Re: CONSOLE WARS!!!

Dibley wrote:Nintendo all the way. I haven't done anything with the wii, but these are the people that brought you SNES and N64! I learned to read off those things! Well, the players guides, at least (seriously).


Heh; I honed my reading skills largely on players guides and manuals for the NES.
by FiddleMath
Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Idea thread
Replies: 13
Views: 2506

Re: Idea thread

From my To-Do-Eventually list: ⋅  Taboo card server/web interface (AJAX, user accounts, game client. Card prefetching. Tracks card difficulty, player skill, and recently-used cards, and picks cards from the deck based on this information.) ⋅  Linux window manager with keyboard mo...
by FiddleMath
Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:16 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Python.... is it really as useless as people have told me?
Replies: 20
Views: 5426

Re: Python.... is it really as useless as people have told me?

Python is one of my favorite languages. Certainly, it's not right for every application; but again, no language is. I generally use Python for automating tasks atop other programs, building test harnesses, data processing (so long as it's not too time-intensive), and prototyping programs. Python mak...
by FiddleMath
Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:12 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Funniest/Most Annoying Code Comments
Replies: 662
Views: 135697

Re: Funniest/Most Annoying Code Comments

I just found this line of Python in an subversion diff, and I'm trying to figure out what it was and if I should commit it or not:

Code: Select all

        faults.append((testCase.number, f)) #Hax.

I'm thinking, probably not.
by FiddleMath
Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:02 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Anesthesiology Math
Replies: 16
Views: 3431

Re: Anesthesiology Math

Anesthesiology... Well, you need to get comfortable with modular arithmetic. Get comfortable with solving some basic Diophantine equations, and then learn about the Euler totient function and the Legendre symbol. Yes, I'd say those are the basics of number theory. *rimshot, followed by uncomfortable...
by FiddleMath
Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Non-falsifiable opinions
Replies: 79
Views: 5856

Re: Non-falsifiable opinions

I'm a skeptic. I hold all of my beliefs with some shred of doubt, and I have sought out evidence against them. On the other hand, really seeking that evidence takes time, and I've got a lot of other things to do. As BVD said, I think you're going to find more skeptics here than elsewhere. Practicall...
by FiddleMath
Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Coping
Replies: 59
Views: 9328

Re: Coping

I underwent the same issues you're talking about, from about the time that I was 13 to the time that I was about 16 or 17. During that time, I thought pretty hard about it. Now, I think I've got some decent answers. I wrote down what I've worked out, here , largely so I'd stop worrying about it. It'...
by FiddleMath
Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:48 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Running out of things to code
Replies: 56
Views: 14797

Re: Running out of things to code

So, Al Zimmerman' Programming Contests might work, if you're really stuck for something to work on. These are projects that you can basically put as much effort into as you like, you have a guaranteed ending date for the project, beyond which there's no pressure to mess with it other than personal i...
by FiddleMath
Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:31 am UTC
Forum: Site/Forum issues
Topic: The XKCD Bibliography
Replies: 8
Views: 1867

The XKCD Bibliography

I think it'd be actually quite helpful if the xkcd fora maintained a "source materials" thread, subforum, or wiki. In the computer threads, there's generally a "how should I learn how to program?" about once a month. (And there seems to have arisen a general consensus about how t...
by FiddleMath
Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:43 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: House of omgwhyamIturningmybook Leaves.
Replies: 239
Views: 58275

I got bored, and stopped. I get the idea, I just don't particularly want to experience it. *shrug* But at the time, I was already lost in (for me) mind-bogglingly abstract spaces of mathematics.

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