Search found 398 matches

by JoshuaZ
Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:33 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2016 US Presidential Election
Replies: 8482
Views: 550536

Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Back on topic... I think Joe Biden will be the Dem nominee. He will announce his run in September and get Obama's backing which will be big. Obama is a lot more popular than Hillary and the email/foundation stuff is not looking good. On the Republican side I am hoping for Rand. His numbers are low ...
by JoshuaZ
Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:25 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2016 US Presidential Election
Replies: 8482
Views: 550536

Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:And yet, still ahead in the polls.


How likely do you think he is to get the nomination? Can you make a probability estimate?
by JoshuaZ
Sun May 31, 2015 11:46 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2016 US Presidential Election
Replies: 8482
Views: 550536

Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

I don't know why people are saying O'Malley is doomed. Obama was a virtual unknown before that election, and he trounced Hillary. Obama gave a major speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. Even at his lowest he was polling at an order of magnitude higher than O'Malley is and Hillary was at her hi...
by JoshuaZ
Thu May 28, 2015 8:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2016 US Presidential Election
Replies: 8482
Views: 550536

Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

You do realize that the gop bench is really strong, right? It is. Even if the debate caps raise to twelve, you could fill the stage with governors and senators and have a substantive debate about proven records and issues. What remains to be seen is whether the GOP base wants to put twelve governor...
by JoshuaZ
Tue May 26, 2015 10:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2016 US Presidential Election
Replies: 8482
Views: 550536

Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

It is great news for Clinton, because she'll be able to contrast her position with ACTUAL socialism. Bernie Sanders is a fine guy, but there's absolutely to path to him winning the Electoral College and he knows that better than anyone. It won't be long before Republicans accuse Clinton of recruiti...
by JoshuaZ
Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:43 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 323735

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

And the next chapter is up. Hilarious and insightful.
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:58 pm UTC
Forum: XKCD Meetups
Topic: [US] Cambervillains (Boston Area)
Replies: 3400
Views: 493047

Re: Cambervillain Indecipherable Meetup Thread (Boston Area)

The Boston Wikipedians are organizing Wikipedia Takes Boston which seems like the sort of thing some of us might be interested in taking part in. The project is essentially a contest to see who can gather the best copyleft/open/etc. photos of landmarks in and around the Cambridge area. The primary g...
by JoshuaZ
Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:39 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: What is your favorite proof?
Replies: 41
Views: 3231

Re: What is y'all's favorite proof?

In terms of beautiful ideas, I'd go for Godel's first incompleteness theorem. The actual proof has quite a lot of trudgery, but the underlying idea is amazing. This is half-two reason half-two of my favorite proofs is the proof of the Haltign theorem. Much prettier and essentially encapsulates the ...
by JoshuaZ
Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:13 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: SETI Stellar engineering/ mega scale engineering
Replies: 67
Views: 3709

Re: SETI Stellar engineering/ mega scale engineering

we have such a bias for assuming sentient, extrasolar life requires transmission of information by electromagnetic radiation on a celestial level. what if a exoplanet's surface were mostly water, with all of it's landmass at sea level? Sure we have such a bias. But there's a simple reason for it: t...
by JoshuaZ
Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:49 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: What is your favorite proof?
Replies: 41
Views: 3231

Re: What is y'all's favorite proof?

In terms of beautiful ideas, I'd go for Godel's first incompleteness theorem. The actual proof has quite a lot of trudgery, but the underlying idea is amazing. This is one reason one of my favorite proofs is the proof of the Haltign theorem. Much prettier and essentially encapsulates the first inco...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: XKCD Meetups
Topic: [US] Cambervillains (Boston Area)
Replies: 3400
Views: 493047

Re: Cambervillain Indecipherable Meetup Thread (Boston Area)

A bit late notice but the Boston Skeptics Society is having tonight an MST3King of "El Chupacrabra" at Tommy Doyle's in Harvard Square. Only detail is that TD's is a bar so may be an issue for the under 18 people. But other than that, looks like fun and I'm planning on being there.
by JoshuaZ
Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:16 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0730: "Circuit Diagram"
Replies: 254
Views: 80771

Re: "Circuit Diagram" Discussion

Does anyone know what the symbol with the circle and the squiggly line represents? That's not an aspect of a circuit diagram that I recognize and I can't find anything that looks like that in a quick Google search. There are at least two of them in the diagram, one next to the "omit this if you...
by JoshuaZ
Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0719: "Brain Worms"
Replies: 140
Views: 21047

Re: "Brain Worms" Discussion

The other reason this works very well is that there really are some very strange parasites out there. Toxoplasma for example is a very common parasite in humans and there's evidence that it actually does alter our behavior. See here. A very cool but very weird other example is Wolbachia which infect...
by JoshuaZ
Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:21 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Number Theory, fermats last theorem-ey
Replies: 9
Views: 1252

Re: Number Theory, fermats last theorem-ey

Okay, this is a really esoteric question and I have no idea who would have the solution. Let f(a,b) be the number of integral solutions to x^a + y^a - z^a = b Fermats Last Theorem states that f(a,0) is 0, ie there are no integer solutions to x^n + y^n - z^n = 0. But my question is, is there a limit...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Trials should not be publicly known until they resolve
Replies: 15
Views: 1694

Re: Trials should not be publicly known until they resolve

I kind of like England, where you can sue someone back if they make a false accusation against you that defames your character. Of course, the absence of such lawsuits are the price we pay for the first amendment. Still worth it, say I. I have to say that even if the media does jump on cases and co...
by JoshuaZ
Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 463256

Re: Religion: The Deuce

I also agree in that ultimately, it has very little bearing on the Christian faith. But another interesting point: There's a difference between saying that everything is 6,000 years old and that everything has been around for 6,000 years (which again, I'm skeptical of in the first place). Just as G...
by JoshuaZ
Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Trials should not be publicly known until they resolve
Replies: 15
Views: 1694

Re: Trials should not be publicly known until they resolve

This is done in a few countries. In Great Britain there are restrictions about what can be reported while trials are sub judice but most countries don't do this. Sub judice restrictions are a really bad idea. Media coverage allows people to keep careful track of what is going on and to provide infor...
by JoshuaZ
Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0599: "Apocalypse"
Replies: 158
Views: 47375

Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

A lot of the people who've explained their number, though, they're actually claiming " went to school with" or "was an extra on a film with". Neither of those count - and, technically, nor do any academic papers which aren't in the field of mathematics. Partially correct. For Ba...
by JoshuaZ
Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0599: "Apocalypse"
Replies: 158
Views: 47375

Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

Query: Given that an Erdős number of one means direct collaboration and an undefined Erdős number indicates that you are probably not a mathematician, whilst a zero means you are Paul Erdős, what does an Erdős number of -1 mean? Conceptually speaking? Actually many mathematicians don't have finite ...
by JoshuaZ
Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0599: "Apocalypse"
Replies: 158
Views: 47375

Re: "Apocalypse" Discussion

...I'll be honest, I don't get this. Time for some google research! Paul Erdos was a very prolific mathematician who collaborated with a lot of other mathematicians. So there arose a notion of an "Erdos number." Erdos has Erdos number 0. Someone who collaborates with Erdos has Erdos numbe...
by JoshuaZ
Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0593: "Voynich Manuscript"
Replies: 110
Views: 23142

Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Then in a freak accident he gets trapped in the time vortex chamber and is trans located into the past, replaced by a confused looking farmer. The final scene is our obsessed man on his knees in a muddy field of manure screaming "Noooooooooo" at the sky as he realizes that he is the time ...
by JoshuaZ
Sun May 24, 2009 4:24 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: I may be Legend (possible cancer cure)
Replies: 27
Views: 1916

Re: I may be Legend

Wouldn't destroying the cancerous cells in people who are worst along with the disease weaken them to the point of death? Or am I just an idiot? Both? I'm not sure, but I believe that chemotherapy destroys cancerous cells along with normal cells, but the normal cells come back quicker. Not exactly....
by JoshuaZ
Sun May 24, 2009 3:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0587: "Crime Scene"
Replies: 100
Views: 12933

Re: "Crime Scene" Discussion

ComputerAnalysis wrote:You don't usually consider zero. It just defined that way to support the recursive definition.


To fit the standard recursion it actually helps to make 0 the 0th Fibonacci number. Also, if one wants the Binet formula to be valid for all x then one wants F_0=0.
by JoshuaZ
Fri May 15, 2009 11:34 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy
Replies: 127
Views: 5806

Re: Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy

So where do we draw the line between suboptimal religious behavior that we allow and at what point do we override it? Do we only give it credence when the religion is popular and powerful? We draw the line when a child is going to DIE without intervention. So only definite death? Is there a probabi...
by JoshuaZ
Fri May 15, 2009 9:58 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Waaaaaar Criminaaal!
Replies: 30
Views: 2436

Re: Waaaaaar Criminaaal!

That being said, I believe as US Citizens they would be protected by the "Fair comment" defense in this instance. Fair Comment hasn't been that important an issue in the United States for 40 or so years. Back in 1964, the Supreme Court made the free speech protection against libel claims ...
by JoshuaZ
Fri May 15, 2009 9:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy
Replies: 127
Views: 5806

Re: Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy

I have very mixed feelings about this. We would let an adult refuse treatment so why is this substantially different? One can say that we don't trust children to make medical decisions. But they way we normally handle that is to let the parents decide. In this case, the parents agreed with the boy. ...
by JoshuaZ
Fri May 08, 2009 6:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Free cars for poor fuel road rage
Replies: 46
Views: 1818

Re: Free cars for poor fuel road rage

So we have a government program which is helping get people cars which are being supplied a charity, not the government itself, and it doesn't cost the government anything when the reduction in welfare is taken into account. Can someone explain to me what the problem is?
by JoshuaZ
Thu May 07, 2009 2:07 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 463256

Re: Religion: The Deuce

This is just a brief summary of the differences between the strands. There are many others as well. The Bible has been heavily edited throughout. In that regard, there's nothing particularly exceptional about the sections in question. I can't argue with you on the strands you mention :) But I will ...
by JoshuaZ
Wed May 06, 2009 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 463256

Re: The religious becoming a minority

I'm speaking from a strictly American standpoint (specifically northeastern) here, but I have been noticing a change in religion's role in society. My generation (teenagers to those in their early thirties) are becoming increasingly atheistic and agnostic. This is the sort of thing that's good to t...
by JoshuaZ
Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:38 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Dogs are aggressive if they are trained badly
Replies: 42
Views: 1984

Re: Dogs are aggressive if they are trained badly

As someone whose family has a pit bull let me just say "well, duh." To use just that one example pit bulls can be some of the most kind and loving animals if they are raised by caring, loving people. Our dog seems to have troubleunderstanding that cats don't want to play with her (this may...
by JoshuaZ
Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:47 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Sean Hannity volunteers to be waterboarded
Replies: 75
Views: 5311

Re: Sean Hannity volunteers to be waterboarded

I'm pretty sure Christopher Hitchens already did this, and I'm pretty sure he's not a Fox News pundit, and I pretty sure Hannity's response will be that waterboarding is "really effective". Yes. Hitchens did volunteer for it. And after the experience he changed his position and decided th...
by JoshuaZ
Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Christians on TV are nutjobs
Replies: 96
Views: 4234

Re: Christians on TV are nutjobs

Yes, Christians on TV are nutjobs. One doesn't need to look at the fictional characters. One just needs to look at the self-proclaimed Christians on TV. Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and Benny Hinn for example. Seriously, have you ever watched these guys? They are probably doing far more damage than an...
by JoshuaZ
Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:45 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Che Movie Bombs
Replies: 42
Views: 2008

Re: Che Movie Bombs

I agree. But terrorism seems unique in the fact that it rejects reason and reasonability. It doesn't try and achieve objectives through logic. (Perhaps because it knows its objectives arn't rational.) It skips all diplomacy and jumps the gun. So, for example, the end of WWII would not be terrorism ...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:35 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Che Movie Bombs
Replies: 42
Views: 2008

Re: Che Movie Bombs

I thought it was simple--Using fear to acheive political goals. Its a denial of reason and logic. Instead, it ops to use violence and fear as the movitating factor in changing the system. I guess that it could be applied to any violent behaviour ever, but... I dunno. Yes, that's precisely the sort ...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Judaism and Intellectualism
Replies: 52
Views: 18823

Re: Judaism and Intellectualism

Ok, trying to drag this back to being on topic, the argument that Jewish intellectual success is primarily cultural has so far in this discussion rested on personal anecdotes. It is therefore useful to note that the differences discussed here have been observed by others. For example, this article w...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:19 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Che Movie Bombs
Replies: 42
Views: 2008

Re: Che Movie Bombs

Did anybody else actually read the link? I felt as if the movie were being evaluated by somebody at The National Review. A movie can be a critical success and a commercial failure -- mentioning that most positive reviews neglect the painful opening box office doesn't actually say much. But of cours...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:44 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Che Movie Bombs
Replies: 42
Views: 2008

Re: Che Movie Bombs

What is the definition of "terrorism," then? Violence used by someone you don't like? Terrorism is really hard to define. The UN listed at one point over 40 different definitions that had been used. One common definition is non-uniformed armed actors deliberately targeting civilians for p...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:32 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Judaism and Intellectualism
Replies: 52
Views: 18823

Re: Judaism and Intellectualism

Seeing the subject shift from Jews in Scientific exploration into a bitch session about the things people like/don't like about ultra orthodox Judaism is very disappointing :( Every religion's got it's extremists. Most of the people in said religion think they're nut jobs. I highly doubt anybody po...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:06 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Bush DOJ dropped prosecution to gain Congresswoman's support
Replies: 7
Views: 711

Re: Bush DOJ dropped prosecution to gain Congresswoman's support

Yeah. This whole thing is amazing. Note for example that The TPM piece on this scandal mentions incidentally that the position in question had almost gone to Alcee Hastings but didn't because Hastings had earlier been removed "from a federal judgeship over bribery allegations." So Harman o...
by JoshuaZ
Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:34 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Anti-gay organization is called 2M4M. (hilarious).
Replies: 53
Views: 5881

Re: Anti-gay organization is called 2M4M. (hilarious).

That's not the point of legal marriage. I hate to jump on you, but learn before you post. Legal marriage is intended to create a stable long-term relationship, because it is hard to dissolve. Over 1800 benefits are provided to married couples at the federal level, and the most oft-quoted of those -...

Go to advanced search