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by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:16 pm UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: D&D 4th Edition [and other..oh, who are we kidding. 4th Ed!]
Replies: 777
Views: 49800

Belial wrote:Saga was awful. I need to go snatch up one of the old star wars corebooks before they all disappear.

I haven't looked at Bo9S yet.

Okay, then you won't like 4e. Saga was a revolution for us mechanical junkies, though. Its rules are cross-pollinating into nearly everyone's houserules.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Calculus and discreate measures of distance
Replies: 21
Views: 2899

True, and all of them will be a terminating decimal.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:13 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Another geometry question...
Replies: 11
Views: 2373

Oh damns, you're right. I missed that. >_< Okay, alter the progression to:

x0x1 = (x0x3 from previous construction)
x0x2 = x0x1 * sqrt(2)
x0x3 = x0x1 + x0x2
x0x4 = x0x3 * sqrt(2)
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:11 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Neat or am I an idiot?
Replies: 13
Views: 2697

This is because of the way squares work. Starting from 3x3, I can increase it to 3x4 (that's a +3) and then to 4x4 (that's a +4). So each time, the difference between x^2 and (x+1)^2 is going to be 2x+1. Your diagram is strangely wrong, of course (4+4+2 != 9, 9+9+2 != 16, etc.) but I think you almos...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:52 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Circumference of a Circle
Replies: 19
Views: 3455

You can measure the arclength with an integral. Having been away from calc3 for a bit, I can't give more details than that.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Calculus and discreate measures of distance
Replies: 21
Views: 2899

Also, by pi I mean its actual definition: the ratio between a circle's circumference and its diameter. And there is your problem. There is no such thing as a circle outside of Maths. That's... halfway the point, and halfway lies. Yes, perfect circles do not exist in the real world. But *actual* cir...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Another geometry question...
Replies: 11
Views: 2373

Lessee... OA is 1. OB is sqrt(2). OC is 2*sqrt(2). OD is the hypotenuse of triangle OCD, so it's equal to 2*sqrt(2)*sqrt(2), or 4. OE is OD+OC, or 4+2*sqrt(2). OF is easier to figure if we just pay attention to DE, which is just CD, which is OC. So DF is OC*sqrt(2), or 4. We've taken the previous OC...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:09 pm UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: D&D 4th Edition [and other..oh, who are we kidding. 4th Ed!]
Replies: 777
Views: 49800

I'm... confused. You guys *don't* like Saga and Bo9S?

That's some of the best shit WotC has ever put out.

Geez, that's like hating Iron Heroes or something.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0303: "Compiling"
Replies: 136
Views: 38047

Invisible Queen wrote:Maybe the program is that which the program performs too.

...Okay, I'm not very good at this. >_>

You mean the universe is a quine?
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:06 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Browser features
Replies: 28
Views: 3902

I really enjoy a feature that Avant has, where you can move the menubar into the title bar. You usually have *tons* of extra space up there on the right side.

Combine that with an auto-hiding address bar and mouse gestures, and I think you've just maximized window space.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Calculus and discreate measures of distance
Replies: 21
Views: 2899

Real numbers don't actually exist. Pi has a finite number of digits in this universe. And yet we still talk about pi being transcendental. Why? Because math only models the universe. We use different models with different explanatory power all the time. The point isn't that the model is wrong somet...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:00 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Ball of light (not ball lightning)
Replies: 24
Views: 3223

Yeah, I knew how the decay thing worked. but the point is that when it finishes it would release all the orbiting energy because it doesnt have super strong gravity any more... Nod, but the only reason it doesn't have gravity anymore is because it already released all of its energy into your face ....
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:51 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Stupid NP problems
Replies: 38
Views: 8089

You guys are forgetting the most basic tool of all in the mathematician's drawer: reduce to a previously solved problem. ^_^ With the no-repeats condition, this is obviously isomorphic to the TSP. You're just trying to find a maximal path rather than a minimal one. Treat each song as a node. Set the...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Ball of light (not ball lightning)
Replies: 24
Views: 3223

Better (well, probably not really better) idea: Get a (small) black hole, and shine a torch in so that the photons will orbit, then wait until the black hole fully decays (thats still the current theory, that they eventually die right....?), or chuck in a blob of antimatter of equal mass. Only prob...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Calculus and discreate measures of distance
Replies: 21
Views: 2899

Real numbers don't actually exist. Pi has a finite number of digits in this universe. And yet we still talk about pi being transcendental. Why? Because math only models the universe. We use different models with different explanatory power all the time. The point isn't that the model is wrong someti...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:01 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Immortality
Replies: 79
Views: 7484

actually, based on the storage mechanisms of the mind, it IS quantum physics, but hey. personally, i have some strange beliefs when it comes to the mind and the soul. i for one dont think the brain, in long term memory, actually stores long term memories. i think it stores the LOCATION of said memo...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:42 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Most useful languages
Replies: 26
Views: 4198

Depending on your dialect, Lisp's Foreign Function Interface lets you do just that. You can also call Lisp code from within the foreign code, wee!
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:39 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Using a tesseract to create "free energy"?
Replies: 7
Views: 2163

Your example is basically equivalent to saying, "What if I attached some weights to a belt that drove an engine, but reversed gravity along the other side so that it turned forever?" The reason is that you are assuming that transitioning from one cube to another changes the direction of gr...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:34 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Alien lifeforms without Darwin
Replies: 38
Views: 3785

Not true; evolution includes mutations, which can form new genes and alleles. A change from zero to a non-zero quantity (or the reverse) is certainly a change in the allele distribution. could epigenetics come into play here? say, if you have an organism capable of perfect replication (no underlyin...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:29 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Simple geometry question
Replies: 17
Views: 6043

Ooh, this *is* interesting. It's similar in nature to things like the space-filling curve , in that it exhibits a certain property at every finite step and then breaks it in the limit. Basically, yeah, the reason it works is because of the limit. At every finite step the traversed length is x+y. At ...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:26 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: C++ Help
Replies: 24
Views: 3321

Okay, then that's definitely a bit weird, but not anti-OO or anything. It's just a strange wrapper on some perfectly ordinary OO syntax.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:14 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: C++ Help
Replies: 24
Views: 3321

And, a.length is so much more nicer than len(a), especially for an "OO" language. I see absolutely no reason why this should be true. If len() is a generic function that fires off different behavior based on the type of the argument, then it's a perfectly cromulent OO function. Functions ...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:41 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Alien lifeforms without Darwin
Replies: 38
Views: 3785

Conscious selection is also known as artificial selection. We practice it every day with our pets and our food animals. It operates on the same principles as anything else, it's just that *we* set the fitness criterion (such as, "maximally delicious") rather than having it just be, "s...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Immortality
Replies: 79
Views: 7484

In the first example, where I gradually separate your neurons from each other, are you still you when they're completely separated? You didn't respond to that one, so I'm curious. All your neurons are still alive, mind you, just in separate tanks but still communicating via radio waves. Assuming tha...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:42 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Alternatives to the dreaded goto
Replies: 114
Views: 16000

Interjecting comment here: Lisp has goto available if you want to use it. It has to be there, after all - all the basic iteration constructs are just macros on goto. However, you shouldn't ever have to use it in actual code. Lisp provides named blocks, lambdas, and the wonderful unwind-protect to ha...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:18 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: What does this code do? -- a game
Replies: 52
Views: 7825

(defun mystery-function (a b n) (append (flatten (mapa-b (lambda (y) (mapa-b (lambda (x) (mapa-b '+ (+ x (* b y)) (+ x (* y b) (1- n)))) 0 (- b n))) 0 (1- b)) t) &...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:01 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0303: "Compiling"
Replies: 136
Views: 38047

Hehe, same with me and Lisp. Incremental compilation ftw! I catch my mistakes as I make them rather than hunting them after laying down a huge chunk of code, and everything is always compiled at all times.
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:57 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Physics Laws
Replies: 44
Views: 5065

So would yours. ^_^

Considering we'd all have perfect knowledge, though, I doubt it would be a problem.
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:56 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Immortality
Replies: 79
Views: 7484

Assuming our current tech rates continue, 1000 years is *far* too conservative an estimate. 100 years would be extremely conservative. Exponential growth is surprisingly fast! Of course, we can't actually keep up exponential growth for any period of time. As such, I have no idea when we'll achieve t...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:19 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Physics Laws
Replies: 44
Views: 5065

Ah, damn. I was all set to choose the Halting problem before you showed up, zenten. Though I'd choose it to be in O(2^-x) time. That's right, baby, the more data you feed it, the faster it answers!
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:02 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Alien lifeforms without Darwin
Replies: 38
Views: 3785

Re: Alien lifeforms without Darwin

Ok, an idea came up on SB. Imagine that there is a planet with totally alien lifeforms. These lifeforms reproduce, and are not immortal. Could they alter over time through some mechanism besides evolution? If so, what might it be? Evolution is a name given to a very general process. Biologists stud...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0207: "What xkcd Means"
Replies: 482
Views: 54701

Wallet in back right, change and car keys in left front, phone and housekeys and misc items in right front.

These are verifiable constants in my life.
by Xanthir
Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:21 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Other kinds of math
Replies: 17
Views: 2982

Check out the book Negative Math. It mixes the history of the 'heretical' ideas in math (like negative numbers! O_o) with nice exposition showing you how math would change if you altered certain rules (like making -1*-1=-1).
by Xanthir
Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Proving something by proving its unprovable.
Replies: 25
Views: 5318

Further I wonder if systems thick with contradiction could be used to model the irrational behavior of humans, and if I could simulate this in a computer. Humans do not think axiomatically, because most systems in the real world are not easy enough to axiomatize for this to be useful. Humans are qu...
by Xanthir
Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0303: "Compiling"
Replies: 136
Views: 38047

Re: "Compiling" Discussion

I highly recommend you read this paper: http://www.acm.org/classics/sep95/ , it's an awesome paper. I read an interesting solution to that. Get some code for a compiler. We'll call it Source A, and it encodes compiler A. Find two different compilers for it on the net. We'll call them compilers B an...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:06 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Déjà vu
Replies: 20
Views: 3022

Interesting. I followed the "messed-up timing" model, where it was just a matter of the brain putting the wrong timestamp on the info. Then, when it compared the timestamp to more recent data, it thought that the previous one *actually* came from before. But the simple electrical anomaly s...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The usage of "minute" as a unit of distance?
Replies: 28
Views: 7375

I suppose they're assuming the minute (in the nautical sense) is based on the longitudinal lines. As you get further from the equator, the longitudinal lines get closer, and thus the minute would be a shorter distance. I have no experience with this in reality, and so don't know whether it is true.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:18 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Memorable pages
Replies: 11
Views: 2063

All numbers are interesting. This is science fact. More seriously, the density of numbers which are interesting for more than just "the first non-interesting number" is pretty high within the range of pages that you're likely to see in a book. As well, confirmation bias is a likely culprit...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0297: "Lisp Cycles"
Replies: 86
Views: 21553

Excuse me for not reading the whole thread, it's very hard for me to catch up as I read slow. :( Where do you get LISP interpreters/IDEs/compliers/tutorials? I mean, I've heard of it but can't find it... :/ If you're playing with Lisp on Linux, I highly recommend running Emacs Slime with SBCL. All ...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:31 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0297: "Lisp Cycles"
Replies: 86
Views: 21553

It may have something to do with the assignments they gave us. The only one I remember is that they told us 0 = x (not a typo, the number is being defined as a function that retruns x). Not that it matters, but that syntax looks suspiciously like ML and not Scheme. Its certainly not a Lisp language...

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