Search found 1093 matches

by tomandlu
Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:12 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 6110

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

A world with 100% unemployment is likewise antithetical to economics as we currently know it. If we can't adapt to the current problem, adapting to the hypothetical future problem will be no more possible, as predicting the distant future is a nightmare in addition to this. I would say that they ar...
by tomandlu
Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:15 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 6110

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

A world with 100% unemployment is likewise antithetical to economics as we currently know it. If we can't adapt to the current problem, adapting to the hypothetical future problem will be no more possible, as predicting the distant future is a nightmare in addition to this. I would say that they ar...
by tomandlu
Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:16 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 6110

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

Look, current economic policy is inadequate at dealing with present problems. Can it handle the tragedy of the commons issue that is global warming? I'm gonna go with no. It can't handle the tragedy of the commons because its tenets are diametrically opposed to it. GDP growth as pretty much the sol...
by tomandlu
Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 6110

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

People have been finding ways to do the same work with less labour for thousands of years, and they always find something else to do with their time. Exactly what causes unemployment is a puzzle to me, and something I feel economists don't give enough attention to The basic assumption, as I underst...
by tomandlu
Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: List of All Laws of Nature
Replies: 199
Views: 41811

Re: List of All Laws of Nature

I could write several rants on how I think economists should chose there axioms, re-evaluate based on data, structure their arguments, et cetra, but honestly the biggest problem seems to economic, in that bad economics is so well incentivized. You could, or you could say "stop trying to preten...
by tomandlu
Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:18 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 6110

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

Economic policy is basically worthless at predicting and pre-emptively fixing problems in the distant future. "Policy" may be the wrong word - perhaps "thinking" would be better. Bottom line, economics really needs to start looking at models that support a sustainable, post-grow...
by tomandlu
Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:15 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: xkcd sightings in your hometown (and other places)
Replies: 384
Views: 113723

Re: "Thing Explainer" And "What If?" In The UK

Loved it. One thing - the back mentions the T-Rex question, and there's a big-ass T-Rex on the cover, but afaict the question isn't included inside.
by tomandlu
Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:01 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?
Replies: 20
Views: 6110

Re: Is there a "counter culture" to AI/CS progress?

IMHO, a few fringe groups aside, anyone who considers the question in depth will conclude that the problem is one of economic policy rather than technology.
by tomandlu
Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:48 am UTC
Forum: Your art and links
Topic: The Widow's Tale - A new short story
Replies: 0
Views: 9858

The Widow's Tale - A new short story

I finished a short story over the weekend - a sort of fairy tale I suppose. If you're interested, there's a pdf at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8B1lf5NIBtYYjRTWldZc1NZWVE/view?usp=sharing , and here are the first few paragraphs: The Widow’s Tale “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom al...
by tomandlu
Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:32 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: List of All Laws of Nature
Replies: 199
Views: 41811

Re: List of All Laws of Nature

I would count "Is the thing the law states empirically true at the relevant scales?" as an applicability issue; as which scales are relevant is subjective. With basically every law has a form "this thing, when a,b, and c under conditions x,y,z". The laws factuality would need to...
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: List of All Laws of Nature
Replies: 199
Views: 41811

Re: List of All Laws of Nature

⋅  Factuality: Is the thing the law states empirically true? If it's only frequently true or close to true how useful is it as an approximation? A good list IMHO, but I'd be tempted to restate the above as "Is the thing the law states empirically true at the relevant scales?" Al...
by tomandlu
Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Tonic Water
Replies: 17
Views: 5977

Tonic Water

Should I keep an open tonic in the fridge or at room temperature? Instinct and my fumbling science says the former, but my taste buds say the latter (and doesn't warm water, all else being equal, carry less oxygen usually?) Still, there's that weird thing with warm things freezing colder than cold t...
by tomandlu
Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Bad Science
Replies: 3
Views: 2316

Re: Bad Science

I think I'm missing something, because the science is definitely not the most bad thing about that article. I mean, the attempt at a stinger at the end is a pretty absurdly romanticized notion of a postapocalyptic world that has somehow been projected onto the concept of climate change, so that's b...
by tomandlu
Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:38 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Bad Science
Replies: 3
Views: 2316

Bad Science

I thought it might be fun to have a thread for particularly glaring examples of bad science in the main stream media. Here's my initial contribution (why the Guardian got the film editor to write this tosh is anyone's guess): http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/03/animals-photobomb-hor...
by tomandlu
Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LIGO Gravity Waves: Questions and Answers
Replies: 49
Views: 8781

Re: LIGO Gravity Waves; how did they determine distance

All gravity is a curving of spacetime. Gravity waves transmit energy though, whereas the earth doesn't lose any energy when it sends out its GM/r^2 at you. So, if we go with the (outdated?) rubber-sheet analogy, normally, mass just distorts the sheet statically, but gravity waves are moving ripples...
by tomandlu
Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LIGO Gravity Waves: Questions and Answers
Replies: 49
Views: 8781

Re: LIGO Gravity Waves; how did they determine distance

My (embarrasing) question - what makes gravity waves special? If this is a wave in the medium (space-time?) that transmits gravity, then isn't all gravity a wave in this medium?
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:30 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 7463

Re: The Argument from Contingency

doogly wrote:No, I'm dismissing the dribblings of christians who puff up their piety with the pretense of philosophy. One need not spend a year of philosophy gargling such errors.


I think Pascal must have run over doogly's dog...
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 7463

Re: The Argument from Contingency

most of first year of the class is spent on the philosophy of religion. How horribly boring. It really does all seem to amount to simple special pleading. "Necessary." Scoff. Wait until I tell you about Descartes ;) That aside, the whole thing is much more formal than I expected - a sort ...
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 7463

Re: The Argument from Contingency

Reading the description of that argument you linked I think the creation of this argument went something like this: "When we do the old 'Something must be at the beginning of the chain=>God' argument others point out that the "what caused it" argument applies to God too." "...
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:56 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 7463

Re: The Argument from Contingency

As you said even if something "necessary" is necessary there is no reason to label that a God. Philosophical arguments for God's existence are used by two kinds of people: apologists who want to reassure their flock that they are more intelligent and reasonable than all those evil atheist...
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 7463

Re: The Argument from Contingency

Reading the description of that argument you linked I think the creation of this argument went something like this: "When we do the old 'Something must be at the beginning of the chain=>God' argument others point out that the "what caused it" argument applies to God too." "...
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:41 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Ignorant Magic - story idea
Replies: 18
Views: 7935

Re: Ignorant Magic - story idea

The question we are dealing with is, ultimately, of how it can be sensible for magic to be insoluble to rationality yet soluble to at least one achievable irrational method. Unless Magic has some sort of will of its own, I do not see how it can at the same time be predictable enough for a mage to g...
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:32 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 7463

The Argument from Contingency

My son, who is now studying philosophy, explained the argument from contingency to me. Now, I don't find it a very convincing proof of the existence of God, except for very loose definitions of God, but at the same time, the basic principle seems sound - things are either necessary (they always exis...
by tomandlu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:15 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Ignorant Magic - story idea
Replies: 18
Views: 7935

Re: Ignorant Magic - story idea

I'm left thinking about the mechanism for such a story and universe. Although you obviously wouldn't have to reveal this right away (or at all), you could always take the fairly straightforward route of supposing that "magic" is some sort of universal field which "reads" the ven...
by tomandlu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:11 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Ignorant Magic - story idea
Replies: 18
Views: 7935

Re: Ignorant Magic - story idea

Having a "magic can do anything, so don't think about limits" attitude that is so absolute as to preclude the mindset that there is Order in the universe would seem to require a mind so devoid of Order as to be unable to maintain consistent focus on any goal that would involve detailed pl...
by tomandlu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What's up with avocados?
Replies: 22
Views: 4064

Re: What's up with avocados?

There is a thread concerning chocolate and raptors lurking around somewhere. The main problem is that the prey has to withstand a much higher concentration of toxin than the predator. Alternatively, they could keep it in a pouch attached to their belt, but clever raptors could discard the pouch bef...
by tomandlu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:35 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What's up with avocados?
Replies: 22
Views: 4064

Re: What's up with avocados?

Avocados are toxic to birds, and therefore evil. It's also toxic to a lot of other animals, including cats & dogs. The pit & skin are more toxic than the flesh. It's interesting how many toxic foods humans are able to tolerate. Indeed, we find many of them pleasant in small doses. You'd sti...
by tomandlu
Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:29 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Ignorant Magic - story idea
Replies: 18
Views: 7935

Ignorant Magic - story idea

How does this sound? Magic is real and always has been - a fundamental universal force. However, it has quantum*-like behaviour, in that it hides from any scientific inspection or analysis or consideration. Basically, if you know any true science, then magic is never going to work for you. Essential...
by tomandlu
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:51 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Big Magical Numbers
Replies: 12
Views: 8551

Re: Big Magical Numbers

Perhaps by "across all bases" you mean "across all units"? Indeed I do - and apologies, gmalivuk - I should have said something like "independent of any units of measurement" or something. Brain fart. The math constants are interesting but too small, but the particle r...
by tomandlu
Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:18 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Big Magical Numbers
Replies: 12
Views: 8551

Big Magical Numbers

This isn't really a FS question, but it's for FS, so...

Are there any nice big (preferably integer) numbers as magical as Pi? I.E. constant across all bases? (so I guess it would be a proportion)
by tomandlu
Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:30 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: My joke...
Replies: 8
Views: 3776

Re: My joke...

Kewangji wrote:Will you find ran and runs as separate entries in a thesaurus?


That's not really the point - a thesaurus is a dictionary of synonyms; a lexicon isn't. In a thesaurus, 'ran' and 'dash' would appear together; they would not in a lexicon.
by tomandlu
Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:52 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: My joke...
Replies: 8
Views: 3776

Re: My joke...

Synonym lexicon works fine. Are you sure? Wikipedia doesn't agree. if anything, it's (almost) the opposite of a thesaurus, since a lexicon treats multiple forms (run, ran, runs) as a single unit - a lexeme apparently... In linguistics, a lexicon is a language's inventory of lexemes. A lexeme is a u...
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:01 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2904
Views: 675561

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

A related (ish) question - if we assume that the universe will eventually reach a state of maximum entropy, how does a black hole ever stop being a black hole and become part of the general noise? Black holes can form and evaporate many times before the heat death of the universe. Thanks - hadn't r...
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:12 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2904
Views: 675561

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

A related (ish) question - if we assume that the universe will eventually reach a state of maximum entropy, how does a black hole ever stop being a black hole and become part of the general noise?
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:09 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: My joke...
Replies: 8
Views: 3776

Re: My joke...

teelo wrote:Image


:)

If it helps, my alt-text would be "oddly enough, there are no decent synonyms for 'thesaurus'.

BTW does anyone know if there's any connection between the two types of 'saurus'?
by tomandlu
Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:04 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: My joke...
Replies: 8
Views: 3776

My joke...

Image
by tomandlu
Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:00 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Ethics question
Replies: 17
Views: 2954

Re: Ethics question

The organ scenario brings in a bunch of other elements. It's fairly implausible that a policy of killing people for their organs wouldn't have any harmful side effects. So, it doesn't really function as a disproof of the utilitarian viewpoint, it merely illustrates that one must also count the indi...
by tomandlu
Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:43 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Ethics question
Replies: 17
Views: 2954

Re: Ethics question

But the whole point of hypothetical ethics questions is that you have to take them at face value. Unless you're Captain Kirk. Yes and taking them at face value will lead to different conclusions that in real life situations that are not nearly so bounded. I'm not sure what you mean. Yes, in real li...
by tomandlu
Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:58 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Ethics question
Replies: 17
Views: 2954

Re: Ethics question

Well, the classic one against which this breaks is the organ scenario - would it be permissible to kill a healthy innocent person because his or her organs could save multiple lives? If your answer is 'No' (which is most people's response), then we've established that numbers alone cannot be the on...
by tomandlu
Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:30 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Ethics question
Replies: 17
Views: 2954

Re: Ethics question

If I manage to reduce the death toll by pushing a lever, then, well, that's rather a good thing now, ain't it? Well, the classic one against which this breaks is the organ scenario - would it be permissible to kill a healthy innocent person because his or her organs could save multiple lives? If yo...

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