Search found 598 matches

by douglasm
Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:11 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Monty Hall-ish Problem
Replies: 4
Views: 2709

Re: Monty Hall-ish Problem

Insufficient information - how does the dealer decide how many and which cards to reveal?

In the Monty Hall problem, the host is required by the rules to always reveal 1 non-prize door, and that information is a necessary part of the solution.
by douglasm
Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:57 am UTC
Forum: Site/Forum issues
Topic: New registration doesn't work
Replies: 1
Views: 2954

New registration doesn't work

A friend tried to sign up for these forums and kept getting an error about an external service not working, or something like that. It said to try again later, but I don't think it's a short term issue - I checked the members list, and new members go from consistently several per day to suddenly non...
by douglasm
Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:25 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

They're facing a tactic that hasn't been used in centuries and is a blatant violation of one of the most important and universally respected international wizarding laws. Harry might conceivably have planned for it, but probably no one else, and any plan Harry might have distributed for this conting...
by douglasm
Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:28 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

On another note, I was pleasantly surprised by the development with the goblins. All the setup had pointed to them joining the bad guys in exchange for some rather major bribes, but it seems they intelligently figured out the true better deal - Harry Potter has given them what he has because he beli...
by douglasm
Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:43 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Is it just me, or are "mobs of muggles" not really all that imposing of an obstacle? Even if you postulate doors to arbitrary numbers of them appearing at arbitrary locations, so...what's the issue? Light up the doorway. Everyone exiting ends up on fire, and has a finite time until they c...
by douglasm
Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:29 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Three princesses
Replies: 446
Views: 189354

Re: Three princesses

he asked one question that who is the king.??? the girl who always speaks true will give the right answer... the girl who always lie will obiviously give wrong answer..... nd the third one automaticly recognise.... so simple...... You don't get answers from all three girls. You pick just one girl, ...
by douglasm
Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:14 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Well, that was interesting. Voldemort must have been quite amused when he heard Harry describe the supposed current status of the Goblet of Fire, particularly the bit about it being too dangerous to use or research. That explains his confidence about Meldh's downfall better. Too bad he couldn...
by douglasm
Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:05 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Two gold nugget puzzle
Replies: 17
Views: 3977

Re: Two gold nugget puzzle

16 I'll pair the nuggets say 1 with 9, 2 with 10, etc. Weigh the pairs, that's 8 comparisons. For each comparison, place the heavy on the left, but keep track of the pairs through the next steps because the second heaviest may be in the group on the right. If it is, it is paired with the he...
by douglasm
Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:48 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

If I'm reading the implications right, the thing Harry realized and discarded was the foundations of a ritual for sacrificing a star to give one person immortality. New wild guess: that knowledge is Harry's trap. The knowledge is fake, Harry implanted it in himself and then erased the memory of doin...
by douglasm
Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:26 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Heh, Voldemort is such a great character in the latest chapter. I love his reasons for what he says, and how stating those reasons out loud should just make the effect even stronger. It seems he's expecting Meldh to - somehow - eventually lose and get captured, with Harry breaking free, and with...
by douglasm
Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:43 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Historical evolution of fire classifications?
Replies: 7
Views: 2375

Re: Historical evolution of fire classifications?

Neil_Boekend wrote:Luckily nobody is insane enough to produce 900kg of FOOF.

I imagine the logistical difficulties of how to make that much of it without triggering a disastrous reaction by accident at some point might be an even bigger obstacle than the required level of insanity.
by douglasm
Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:02 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

I'm perhaps being dense. When Meldh was in the Harrybrainscape, is it clear what he was referring to when he exclaimed "you realised this and discarded it?!" I think that was intentionally vague. Presumably it was some fantastically effective avenue to power, with a difficult to understan...
by douglasm
Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:57 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Interesting. Harry's controlled, but aware of the control. And Meldh is disconcerted by this awareness. My judgment of Meldh as someone competing out of his intellectual weight class is reinforced here. He's not stupid, but he's not up to Harry's level. How he got into the Tower was ...
by douglasm
Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:55 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

He does seem pleased by the Vow, what I'm suggesting is that he doesn't understand the Vow's full implications, particularly in light of Harry's knowledge of prophecy and muggle-like reasoning about the distant and galactic future and Harry's role, and will push up against it with something he doesn...
by douglasm
Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:07 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

I'm guessing the next chapter will include something like this: Harry: You are meddling with things you do not understand, Meldh, and doing so for your own ambition and greed. That poses a risk to the world, which I cannot allow. *evict* Meldh: WTF? The chapter makes a point of noting that even Meld...
by douglasm
Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:30 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Escape the Frictionless Circle
Replies: 156
Views: 30348

Re: Escape the Frictionless Circle

Znirk wrote:
Magnanimous wrote:Start swinging the gold block around you, like someone warming up for a hammer throw. Keep swinging. More swinging. More angular velocity.

How?

As described, it simply doesn't work. The attempt at swinging results in your feet sliding ineffectually on the ground without giving you any spin at all.
by douglasm
Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:19 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: My write-up of the "Blue Eyes" solution (SPOILER A
Replies: 1368
Views: 390739

Re: My write-up of the "Blue Eyes" solution (SPOILER A

There is no penalty for guessing wrong because there is no guessing in the first place. The problem does not state that people that correctly state their eye color leave, but that people that know their eye color leave. Incidentally, the problem also does not state that people want to leave. Or that...
by douglasm
Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:23 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Replies: 1035
Views: 343026

Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

If you're wondering how being in the mirror allows the things that happened in that battle to happen, let me know when you figure it out because the best explanation I have so far is "because Harry wanted them to and this is his wish-fulfillent world". (Perhaps the "wish" "...
by douglasm
Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:37 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Blue Eyes with Superrationality
Replies: 48
Views: 8972

Re: Blue Eyes with Superrationality

Suppose you have numbers X and Y for how many blue and brown-eyed people a given person on the island sees. You give me an algorithm for determining what this person's eye color is and when he figures it out and leaves. Skip explaining the logic behind your algorithm and just give me the algorithm. ...
by douglasm
Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:41 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Blue Eyes with Superrationality
Replies: 48
Views: 8972

Re: Blue Eyes with Superrationality

You are on an island with all the same rules but a different number of people. You see 73 people with blue eyes and 74 with brown. Everyone there is superrational, and this fact is common knowledge. What color are your eyes, and when and how do you figure this out? Superrationality has already been ...
by douglasm
Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:39 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Economics and Computer Science Double Major Career Plans
Replies: 3
Views: 5383

Re: Economics and Computer Science Double Major Career Plans

That combination of majors suggests a career in financial software development to me. Banking or investment management programs, for example. My brother worked at a hedge fund company for a while, helping build software to automatically apply carefully chosen stock investment strategies.
by douglasm
Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:03 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Factorally growing data storage
Replies: 3
Views: 2300

Re: Factorally growing data storage

The storage capacity of the stack of cards depends on the fact that each card is uniquely distinguishable from all the other cards. The information content added by a new card is actually capped by how many distinguishable cards you can make, and for any possible scheme of producing such distinct ca...
by douglasm
Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:10 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: So I made a code generator...
Replies: 1
Views: 3130

So I made a code generator...

Would there be any interest in me releasing it to the public? I will be rather embarrassed if something like it happens to already exist, but I did try searching and couldn't find anything. It's for Java, and is related to Hibernate ORM. For what it does, let me start by explaining the problems that...
by douglasm
Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:19 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Escape the Frictionless Circle
Replies: 156
Views: 30348

Re: Escape the Frictionless Circle

When I sit on a swing, i can put myself in motion by moving my legs forwards and backwards to shift my center of mass, without pushing myself off the ground. Would this help in any way here? When you do that, you're not actually shifting your center of mass. What you're really doing is shifting the...
by douglasm
Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2861
Views: 566885

Re: Please explain why info can't be sent faster than light

You do get potential causality violations once you allow for FTL travel. This may help: https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/i7hjd/could_someone_explain_how_ftl_violates_causality/ The explanations there don't get into enough depth on why their hypothetical scenario works the way it does, I...
by douglasm
Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:21 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: How badly does this supertechnology break thermodynamics?
Replies: 15
Views: 7148

Re: How badly does this supertechnology break thermodynamics

I can't quite tell if you're meaning that using the machine to solve logic problems is easier than using it to break thermodynamics because generating answers to useful logic problems is a priori much easier than inducing useful thermodynamic effects, or that the fact that the stopping condition is...
by douglasm
Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:42 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Very Stupid Javascript Question
Replies: 18
Views: 4942

Re: Very Stupid Javascript Question

Archgeek wrote:Needless to say, that'll get logged or just plain ommitted in production.

Assuming you remember to do that before submitting it. Forgetting to remove debugging code is a common cause of publicly visible programming goofs.
by douglasm
Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:59 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: How badly does this supertechnology break thermodynamics?
Replies: 15
Views: 7148

Re: How badly does this supertechnology break thermodynamics

Using the formula on this page , I found that the entropy change in a mole of hydrogen gas going from 19C to 20C was roughly ~10 22 , or 2 66 . (i.e. I understood that there are 10 22 times as many ways to arrange 1M of hydrogen at 20C than at 19C) That seems unreasonably low, since it means you co...
by douglasm
Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:12 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Esoteric programming languages for an esoteric mind?
Replies: 77
Views: 13847

Re: Esoteric programming languages for an esoteric mind?

If I understand correctly, a big part of your problem is confusion over the basic concepts of object oriented programming, and I don't think anyone's really tried to clear those up for you yet. So, here goes a highly conceptual overview of how object oriented programming works. Some of this explanat...
by douglasm
Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:11 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: How badly does this supertechnology break thermodynamics?
Replies: 15
Views: 7148

Re: How badly does this supertechnology break thermodynamics

I don't think I entirely understand how this device forces arbitrary unlikely outcomes to happen (sure, if you get an unlikely message, then an unlikely outcome is guarantee to happen, but you only get that unlikely message if that outcome was already going to happen) The program logic works as fol...
by douglasm
Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: CO2 from the air processed into liquid hydrocarbons
Replies: 29
Views: 4137

Re: CO2 from the air processed into liquid hydrocarbons

To be clear, I know it's an energy carrier, like the synthesized hydrocarbons we're discussing here. I was just under the understanding that thanks to using atmospheric oxygen, it was more like hydrocarbons and less like batteries in terms of energy density to the kilogram. Hydrogen has an extremel...
by douglasm
Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:43 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy
Replies: 162
Views: 20055

Re: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy

Well, after losing 6 times in a row I guess I'll propose a deal where I pay them another $600 if they tell me how they did it, and, um, probably I'd play another 4 times if they swear it happened by chance (I'd lie to them and tell them I'd stop playing, with chances that they tell me the secret fo...
by douglasm
Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:16 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy
Replies: 162
Views: 20055

Re: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy

Okay, let's go with this: Some random guy on the street has a previously written paper that makes a prediction. Either I'll say the word "Head", or I'll say the word "Tails". He hands to me the paper. Now, he tells me that if I pay him $100, and I say the word that is NOT in the...
by douglasm
Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:42 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy
Replies: 162
Views: 20055

Re: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy

My problem with people saying it couldn't have happened by chance in the real world, is that they're applying different standards than they're applying in the original puzzle , and that those standards lead to 2 out of 8001 person being killed, including yourself, 70% of the time, instead of everyo...
by douglasm
Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:21 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy
Replies: 162
Views: 20055

Re: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy

In the same way, either the 8000 flips happened by chance, or they didn't, and if they happened by chance, it's irrational to try to find a different explanation That would be true if and only if you actually know that they happened by chance. The whole point of this entire discussion is that, in a...
by douglasm
Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:53 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Please help me on a design decision on immutability
Replies: 10
Views: 4236

Re: Please help me on a design decision on immutability

In general, immutable objects are much less likely to introduce bugs due to carelessness. Bugs can be costly, in the bug's actual effect, programmer time to fix, and customer perception of your product, and that cost is inherently unpredictable and all too likely to be high. The primary benefit of m...
by douglasm
Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:26 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: An annoying "riddle" I wanted to share
Replies: 12
Views: 6305

Re: An annoying "riddle" I wanted to share

Spoiler:
I believe this is the sort of riddle known as a 169 around here.
by douglasm
Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:13 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy
Replies: 162
Views: 20055

Re: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy

The Gambler's fallacy is that, thinking that if you go long enough a win MUST HAVE happened, just because it was very likely to begin with. That's not the Gambler's Fallacy. The Gambler's Fallacy is "I lost 10 times, I must be due for a win". It's a prediction that a future event will be ...
by douglasm
Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:04 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy
Replies: 162
Views: 20055

Re: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy

...That's missing the point. No one in this thread is saying "after X losses, the next must be a win". What we're saying is "after X losses, we're pretty sure the game is rigged".
by douglasm
Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:28 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy
Replies: 162
Views: 20055

Re: Anti-Gambler's Fallacy

Okay, this is the part that I don't get... Suppose you have a prior that gives you: 99.9...three trillion 9s after the dot...9% Confidence that the coin is 70-30 before the experiment starts (i.e. you have done a lot more experiments... prior) ...Good luck coming up with a scenario that justifies s...

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