Search found 4668 matches

by Pfhorrest
Tue May 17, 2011 5:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0899: "Number Line"
Replies: 355
Views: 76384

Re: 899: "Number Line"

infinity - 1 Wut? If you multiply something by 10 it will have 1 less decimal place than the original number, hence infinity -1. Infinity is not an ordinal number, so you cannot actually do arithmetic with it to begin with. An infinity in arithmetic is tantamount to a division by zero, which is an ...
by Pfhorrest
Tue May 17, 2011 3:33 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0850: "World According To Americans"
Replies: 712
Views: 162745

Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

Maintaining a lower class does nothing for companies. In fact, it is a fact that companies try to lower the price of their products as much as possible, and avoid screwing their customers over, because then they wouldn't have any more customers and no sustainable source of income. Having a larger c...
by Pfhorrest
Tue May 17, 2011 3:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0899: "Number Line"
Replies: 355
Views: 76384

Re: 899: "Number Line"

if all of you think of prime numbers, just hearing prime, then what's a prime minister? A minister which is not divisible by any other minister besides itself and The One. Ergo only mutants, supers, or Matrix programs with a specific degree of invulnerability AND the requisite political credentials...
by Pfhorrest
Mon May 16, 2011 6:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0899: "Number Line"
Replies: 355
Views: 76384

Re: 899: "Number Line"

Oh dear, Randall has reignited the .9999... = 1 debacle. Protip: they're exactly equal. I find the easier way of making this obvious to people is to rephrase the question: Is 0.000...[infinitely-many-zeroes]...0001 = 0? People tend to buy that it is more intuitively than that 0.99... = 1: every tim...
by Pfhorrest
Fri May 13, 2011 9:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0898: "Chain of Command"
Replies: 4
Views: 1908

Re: 0898: "Chain of Command"

They didn't tell you about the small round hole they installed in the engineer's head after he installed the red button. Not a small round hole, a small oblong object: Report to Leader Questionable Surgical Procedures And if that wasn't enough, the vile bipeds removed his sensory organs in order to...
by Pfhorrest
Thu May 12, 2011 1:44 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0897: "Elevator Inspection"
Replies: 72
Views: 13447

Re: 0897: "Elevator Inspection"

I once met someone whose real birth name was Indiana Jones. Poor kid. I know a couple who are unmarried but planning on it eventually. The man's last name is Jones. They recently got a dog, and asked me for name suggestions. I suggested Indiana, "so you can name your first son after the dog.&q...
by Pfhorrest
Wed May 11, 2011 5:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0850: "World According To Americans"
Replies: 712
Views: 162745

Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

collegestudent22 wrote:You do X, Y, and Z for me, or your country falls into economic destruction? Sounds like control to me.

In that case, your employer controls you.
by Pfhorrest
Wed May 11, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0895: "Teaching Physics"
Replies: 111
Views: 20651

Re: 0895: "Teaching Physics"

... Simple < Accurate < Predictive < Fruitful ... Wait, is 'Fruitful' part of the equation at all? As I understood it, scientists want more predictive science that helps us understand our universe better. That we get nice things like computers and space travel out of it is simply a fringe benefit. ...
by Pfhorrest
Sat May 07, 2011 7:41 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0767: "Temper"
Replies: 159
Views: 41130

Re: 0767: "Temper"

I never questioned the validity of formal logic; I questioned the certainty you can assign to any premises you want to derive proofs from. I suppose I should also have qualified my statements that I was discussing only a posteriori premises; things you hold to describe a mind-independent external wo...
by Pfhorrest
Sat May 07, 2011 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

As a consequence of this definition of equivalency, you cannot truly reconstruct a single, discrete object to be fully identical to the original object it was modeled after without fully reconstructing the entire universe around it. I.E. making certain that all information that comes to it will com...
by Pfhorrest
Sat May 07, 2011 5:41 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0767: "Temper"
Replies: 159
Views: 41130

Re: 0767: "Temper"

Doesn't "Who are you to question my wanting to eat chocolate ice cream? I need a REASON for that?" sound a lot like "BECAUSE IT'S TRUE! It just is, ok!? How can you question that!?" ? I can't just eat it cause I want to and there's nothing wrong with it? Shouldn't the burden be ...
by Pfhorrest
Sat May 07, 2011 4:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

As to whether or not the idea of non-physical objects is intelligible, remember that all I was ever doing here was addressing the argument of whether or not a hypothetical non-physical object could be reproduced as a physical one. This assumes the existence of non-physical objects. Whether or not n...
by Pfhorrest
Fri May 06, 2011 11:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0767: "Temper"
Replies: 159
Views: 41130

Re: 0767: "Temper"

You are right that you can never find certainty in any of the three cases. The difference between them is how do you deal with that uncertainty. In all three cases, the problem arises when someone begins a dialogue, either with another person or just internal within themselves, questioning some prop...
by Pfhorrest
Fri May 06, 2011 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

It does not matter how perfectly I build and implement the solar cell (the non-physical mind), how perfectly I wire it into my home's (the physical mind) power grid (the link between the physical and non-physical mind), and how perfectly I orient it to take advantage of solar rays (the link between...
by Pfhorrest
Fri May 06, 2011 9:12 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

2.) Non-physical entities, such as souls, in order to transmit and receive useful information to and from our physical components, must have something like a 1 to 1 relationship to the physical world (there must be definable rules by which they communicate with the physical components of our being)...
by Pfhorrest
Fri May 06, 2011 3:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

To describe what something is, you must and only must describe what it does. To say what it looks like is to say what patterns of light it reflects or emits; likewise what it sounds like and media vibrations; what it tastes or smells like and chemicals; etc. In all cases, any description of somethi...
by Pfhorrest
Thu May 05, 2011 7:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

One of my favorite discussions in a cognitive psychology ended in a CS student drawing this conclusion: while we know it is possible to replace all of the processes a computer out puts with a bunch of monks with abacuses, it is uncertain weather or not we can replace the human brain, with a bunch o...
by Pfhorrest
Thu May 05, 2011 5:57 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

On the subject of what exactly a spirit or soul is, what effect they may have on human vs soulless automatons, and subsequently whether or not a fully human-like mind could ever be instantiated in an artificial machine: To describe what something is, you must and only must describe what it does. To ...
by Pfhorrest
Wed May 04, 2011 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0894: "Progeny"
Replies: 97
Views: 17210

Re: 0894: Progeny

(some) humans are still better than IBM watson at jeopardy, because they achieve approximately the same results with just a fraction of: - maintenance and assembling costs You sure about this one? It took something like two decades and uncountable tons of various carbon fuels to assemble the human ...
by Pfhorrest
Mon May 02, 2011 7:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0893: "65 Years"
Replies: 221
Views: 77074

Re: 0893: "65 Years"

1.) As I suggested in my airplane/wind tunnel metaphor, there are going to be kinks that can not be worked out in advance, no matter how much preparation you put in. Once we have all of the technologies necessary to create sustainable biodomes, or whatever other method of implementation we choose, ...
by Pfhorrest
Mon May 02, 2011 6:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0893: "65 Years"
Replies: 221
Views: 77074

Re: 0893: "65 Years"

My solution for resolving the economic debate between "we should focus our resources on improving life down here on the ground" and "we should focus our resources on making sure than life can spread elsewhere" is this: Part 1: Trim down the space programs per se to robotic explor...
by Pfhorrest
Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0603: "Idiocracy"
Replies: 573
Views: 113801

Re: 0603: "Idiocracy"

I am surprised, looking back over this old discussion, to see nerdiness associated with anti-liberalism specifically, i.e painting them as conservatives. In my experience the jocks are usually the more conservative types who would rag on liberals specifically. Nerds seem more often libertarians than...
by Pfhorrest
Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0892: "Null Hypothesis"
Replies: 58
Views: 31938

Re: 0892: "Null Hypothesis"

I think people are missing the logical paradox portion of the punch line. That is, you have a big study trying to disprove the null hypothesis, so they have a null hypothesis along the lines that that rejecting the null hypothesis is meaningful and, according to the strip, that null hypothesis was ...
by Pfhorrest
Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0891: "Movie Ages"
Replies: 158
Views: 34926

Re: 891: Movie Ages

We used to do this with "What actor is James Bond?" My uncle swears Sean Connery. In my mind Pierce Brosnan is still "the new bond", and Connery is "the old Bond". I'm young enough not to have realized there were older Bonds, and old enough not to notice or care that t...
by Pfhorrest
Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0870: "Advertising"
Replies: 168
Views: 26249

Re: 0870: "Advertising"

Let me rephrase in terms that hanley might like better. In order to at least break even on spending $X advertising to V viewers, the advertiser has to make R revenue per viewer such that R ≥ X/V. Let N be the number of viewers other than yourself (presuming yourself to be a viewer of the ad in quest...
by Pfhorrest
Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0891: "Movie Ages"
Replies: 158
Views: 34926

Re: 891: Movie Ages

Depressing? Announcing the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Edition DVD's! What's really going to be depressing is when we get to The Future in another four years and we still don't have our damn hoverboards, flying cars, and Mr. Fusion. On the plus side, it looks like a Pepsi isn't really going...
by Pfhorrest
Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0890: "Etymology"
Replies: 170
Views: 26108

Re: 0890: Etymology

Sometimes specialists will overload units as a shorthand. For example, in special relativity, all velocities are unitless fractions of the speed of light. It is not unbelievable to think that in space pilots' jargon a "parsec" is BOTH a unit of distance (with the actual word being transla...
by Pfhorrest
Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0850: "World According To Americans"
Replies: 712
Views: 162745

Re: 0850: "World According To Americans"

"Continent" is a physical division, not a sociocultural one. If that's the case, there are only four. Americas, Eurafrisa, Australia, and Antartica. (And possibly Greenland, too, if you consider it large enough to be one.) And dividing by tectonic plates gives you all sorts of nonsense. (...
by Pfhorrest
Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0888: "Heaven"
Replies: 131
Views: 32263

Re: 0888: Heaven

Tetris is neither heaven nor hell. Tetris is life. You play, and you can do well or poorly, but you can never win ; the best you can ever do is not have lost yet , and the longer you manage to hold on, the more crap it throws at you faster and faster, and the harder it gets to play it well and keep ...
by Pfhorrest
Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:50 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0881: "Probability"
Replies: 326
Views: 100314

Re: 0881: "Probability"

Interesting partial trope inversion in this thread. Lots of "My [loved one] died of [disease]! Not cool. Not funny. But a good comic."
by Pfhorrest
Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0882: "Significant"
Replies: 166
Views: 79889

Re: 0882: "Significant"

So is the joke that the scientists, egged on by the annoying people, tested (all?) 20 flavors of jelly bean to conclusively show "no, there really isn't any link", but then made a typo with their inequality sign on one, and together with the number of other tests run that one (false, due t...
by Pfhorrest
Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:54 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0879: "Lamp"
Replies: 151
Views: 33215

Re: 0879: "Lamp"

TepidCoder wrote:Is it just me or did anyone else feel disappointed or unfulfilled with this comic.

That's what she said.
by Pfhorrest
Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:53 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0875: "2009 Called"
Replies: 111
Views: 50771

Re: 0875: "2009 Called"

Hello, this is the Future talking. To anybody who may read that message: DO NOT BUY THE LAWNMOWER. It is very important that's you don't buy the lawnmower when it arrives. Do not trust the cuckmandoo. He will tell you that you need the lawnmower, but he is lying. The lawnmower will NOT grant you an...
by Pfhorrest
Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:26 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0875: "2009 Called"
Replies: 111
Views: 50771

Re: 0875: "2009 Called"

There's a lot of theories of when theworld will end but only one of them is correct. I don't know which one but one of them is correct. No, it's entirely possible that no extant theory has correctly predicted when the world will end. Doesn't mean the world won't end, just means nobody's guessed whe...
by Pfhorrest
Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0868: "Nolan Chart"
Replies: 120
Views: 175112

Re: 0868: "Nolan Chart"

Since it sounds like this definition of monopoly was specially crafted just to make "noncoercive monopoly" a contradiction in its terms, I'd like to ask for a citation on who actually uses this definition and why anyone should use the word as they do instead of its more straightforward sen...
by Pfhorrest
Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:31 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0868: "Nolan Chart"
Replies: 120
Views: 175112

Re: 0868: "Nolan Chart"

Disagreed. A restriction to act in any way is a restriction. You're conflating positive rights(the right to something, such as the oft-vaunted rights to education and healthcare) with negative rights(the right from something, such as aggression). We can extend the concepts further into positive lib...
by Pfhorrest
Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:50 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0868: "Nolan Chart"
Replies: 120
Views: 175112

Re: 0868: "Nolan Chart"

"Freedom from" is freedom just as much as "freedom to" Disagreed. A restriction to act in any way is a restriction. Literally agreed of course, that's tautological; but the point is that the freedom of one lies in the restriction of another. We have freedom over ourselves only t...
by Pfhorrest
Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:49 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0868: "Nolan Chart"
Replies: 120
Views: 175112

Re: 0868: "Nolan Chart"

The foundation of the free market system is not non-aggression. The foundation of the free market system is ability to trade. Whether or not aggression is allowed to be traded doesn't change the fact that we can use game theory to understand what will happen in those markets. If you wish to define ...
by Pfhorrest
Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0868: "Nolan Chart"
Replies: 120
Views: 175112

Re: 0868: "Nolan Chart"

It is maybe a utopian dream of mine that a small group of experts, like scientists as you say, should research the costs and benefits of any policy before putting one into place, instead of just listening to whoever shouts loudest in the public. That's not quite what I meant. The private non-profit...
by Pfhorrest
Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:05 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0693: "Children's Fantasy"
Replies: 139
Views: 32778

Re: 0693: "Children's Fantasy"

I had planned a story scenario in which Magical World is actually a more or less modern counterpart to our world. Magic has replaced technology. Scientific method exists but major science does not. It's pre-Rennaisance tech, and enviroment is more or less a VERY cleaned up classical world mroe than...

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