Search found 2538 matches

by orthogon
Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

Yes, ethics is "just" applied applied applied physics, but its abbreviations form a useful system on their own. It is this that I point to in justifying treating ethical "oughts" as different from practical "oughts". Yes, ultimately it's all physics, [...] You and Pfho...
by orthogon
Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"
Replies: 53
Views: 3202

Re: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"

It strikes me as odd that there are so many negative reviews. It implies quite a few people have paid money to see it. I reckon I could review it accurately based on the trailer alone. I mean, the movie isn't going to be better than the trailer, which puts an upper bound of zero stars on my rating....
by orthogon
Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163891

Re: Trump presidency

First thought here really has nothing to do with the content but how its delivered. It's concerning they went into such detail as to how he delivered this ("Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement"). There can't have been THAT many pe...
by orthogon
Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:39 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"
Replies: 53
Views: 3202

Re: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"

The big difference here seems to be that, outside of people who love LEGO's, most people probably have some experience with LEGO's and think they're a rather neat idea, Outside of the "legos (plural) / lego (uncountable)" argument (or more strict "Lego™ (brand)" usage) , can I j...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

They can be good for many things, without having been made for anything. I don't see how they could be good for anything when they could not be used for anything, as there was no one to use them. I would still consider the hammer at the back of the shelf in the hardware store good for hitting nails...
by orthogon
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163891

Re: Trump presidency

I'm strongly in favour of a revising chamber made up of experts that isn't directly elected. The House of Lords isn't quite it, but it's not bad. But that's not the topic. Anyway, I came here to say that I can't keep up with events in Washington, but every time I see the former press guy's name, I r...
by orthogon
Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

It's implicit in the structure of the universe that a thing like a hammer is possible. We then discover those possibilities and give them purpose. You make me wonder whether this "purpose" vs "good-for" distinction is related to the difference between invention and discovery. In...
by orthogon
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1864: "City Nicknames"
Replies: 42
Views: 2854

Re: 1864: "City Nicknames"

Oh, and: Who else here actually knows more of "We Built This City" than the chorus? There's a bit in there with a fake radio announcer who says he's coming from "the city by the bay, the city that rocks, the city that never sleeps!" just to further muddy the question of what cit...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1868: "Eclipse Flights"
Replies: 31
Views: 2193

Re: 1868: "Eclipse Flights"

Hmm ... Air Force 1 ... I wonder...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

Defining "purpose" so narrowly that no part of any organism has any purpose seems to remove most of the usefulness of having the word in the first place. Indeed. Been following this sub-thread and had to jump in to say you seem to be asking: What is the purpose of the word "purpose&q...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

Why is the rubbing necessary? What does that do? Provide opportunities for electrons to jump? Both of the objects are insulators, so charge cannot simply flow from hair to balloon etc. through a small contact area. In order to transfer a lot of charge, a lot of molecules of object A need to be brou...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:17 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

Why is the rubbing necessary? What does that do?
by orthogon
Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

Upon the lap of a person who is really uncomfortable around cats is probably the most likely place for a cat to be unilaterally happy to sit. This does not preclude the 'helpful' use of claws to both withstand and cause the movement of said lap. I read once, many years ago, that humans narrow their...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

You may as well ask a cat to be happy inside a vacuum cleaner. Asking a cat to be happy seems like a futile exercise anyway. They're far too aloof to deign to be actually happy about something. If pushed, they might admit to having, on occasion, been not entirely displeased with the state of things...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

Solra Bizna wrote:"Why are some things one color, and other things another color?"

Let's not go there...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"
Replies: 78
Views: 5043

Re: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"

All you 'detectors' out there seem to be missing the part of the quote that says... ...nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes . So if you were to detect it, it would not be Russell...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

We do have a good answer for the hair/balloon/lightning thing ... it's called the tribolectric effect. What's wrong with that? Too empirical? Beware ontic dumping; If you answer "Why does static charge build up when rubbing a ballon on hair?" with "because of the tribolectric effect&...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1867: "Physics Confession"
Replies: 182
Views: 9182

Re: 1867: "Physics Confession"

rhomboidal wrote:If we don't fully understand how lightning works, I'm cool with Wrath of Thor to fill the gaps.

The god of the spark-gaps?
by orthogon
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"
Replies: 78
Views: 5043

Re: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"

gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, if the thing you're looking for (teapot or keys) could move under its own power ...

They can, damn it! I swear they can!
by orthogon
Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"
Replies: 78
Views: 5043

Re: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"

I made the teapot move at a zero rate as compared to the observer. I'm lazy, so shoot me. I'm going to have to shoot you. By doing this, you threw away a whole dimension. To find my keys, I don't need to rig up an array of cameras all over my flat and have them all take a simultaneous photo. I can ...
by orthogon
Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"
Replies: 78
Views: 5043

Re: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"

For the space geeks: might we at some point be able to disprove the existence of Russell's teapot? Might we eventually have enough instruments in orbit to scour the alleged region of space exhaustively and with sufficient resolution? What if we knew the orbital radius more accurately than stated in ...
by orthogon
Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:05 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163891

Re: Trump presidency

because optics are the means (lenses and suchlike) or phenomena (refraction etc) by which things are seen, not the image itself of those things Yeah, that's the idea. The perception of actions can be iffy even if the actions themselves are legitimate. By using "optics", they're refraining...
by orthogon
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163891

Re: Trump presidency

As with "telling foreign powers state secrets", being able to doesn't mean that it'll look good... (Like "double(/ing) down", it seems that "the optics" is the current phrase I should use, come to prominence during the Trump/Clinton campaign and being used by everyone ...
by orthogon
Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:32 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"
Replies: 78
Views: 5043

Re: 1866: "Russell's Teapot"

Cueball is trying to settle the teapot argument by actually launching a teapot into space... but how would doing this settle the argument? The comic is funny, but logically it's not changing anything. I wonder what "Cueball" thought this mission would proof... Russell's Teapot is a hypoth...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:26 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1865: "Wifi vs Cellular"
Replies: 33
Views: 3289

Re: 1865: "Wifi vs Cellular"

I lolled when this finally loaded, having been on the point of switching off WiFi. Presumably the problem is contention. Cellular operators have their own segregated frequency bands; cell sites are in planned positions and use planned transmit powers; contention for access amongst a given operator's...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:24 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1864: "City Nicknames"
Replies: 42
Views: 2854

Re: 1864: "City Nicknames"

widdershins. One of my favourite words ... I'm also very fond of "oblong" , ... Half of the time I figure oblong is a type of tea. The other half I try and remember what it is a collective noun for. I was startled awake by an oblong of ... Tea merchants? Haberdashers? Graphic Novel Inkers...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1864: "City Nicknames"
Replies: 42
Views: 2854

Re: 1864: "City Nicknames"

widdershins. One of my favourite words, which I'd heinously forgotten. Thank you for reminding me! I only wish enough people knew it to allow to use it in normal conversation. I'm also very fond of "oblong", which I use to mean "rectangular, but with a high aspect ratio" (simila...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1864: "City Nicknames"
Replies: 42
Views: 2854

Re: 1864: "City Nicknames"

Reminds me of a joke, whose author and origin I forget:

"Ah, Cambridge. The city of dreaming spires."
"Actually, that's Oxford. Cambridge is the city of perspiring dreams."

(Full disclosure: I'm a Cantabrigian).
by orthogon
Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1863: "Screenshots"
Replies: 47
Views: 3093

Re: 1863: "Screenshots"

It's not what you're attenuated to. It is fewer and less arcane steps than all of that nonsense with your image editor, which you've been trained into by bad design and time. It is objectively, inherently, fundamentally more convenient. The file system, though, is a pretty rubbish way of doing lots...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1861: "Quantum"
Replies: 69
Views: 3897

Re: 1861: "Quantum"

Anyway, sliced bread was introduced in 1928. Joseph Fourier did his stuff over a century earlier. So if anything, sliced bread was the best thing since Fourier Transforms.
by orthogon
Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1861: "Quantum"
Replies: 69
Views: 3897

Re: 1861: "Quantum"

Next you'll tell us you don't know what PEBCAK, BOFH, SCUBA, IANAL, and LASER mean either :twisted: Interestingly, laser is kind of the opposite of common bugbears like "PIN number" or "PAT testing" in that if you expand the acronym in context, there's something missing, because...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1861: "Quantum"
Replies: 69
Views: 3897

Re: 1861: "Quantum"

pscottdv wrote: "My mistake was going into cosmology for the money."

The salaries are astronomical.
by orthogon
Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:43 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1860: "Communicating"
Replies: 60
Views: 4562

Re: 1860: "Communicating"

The egg is saying that when he uses a word, it means what he wants it to mean, but the listener is hearing "when I hear a word, it means what I want it to mean". I'm not sure whether this is irony or not, but it's amusing. [slightly re-punctuated] This, but also: isn't there a problem of ...
by orthogon
Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:20 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163891

Re: Trump presidency

On a side note: just remember that Trump asked for all the names, addresses, and the (last four) social security numbers of every voter in the previous election . An aside on that aside: I'd missed that he wanted the names and addresses, and was wondering what the last four digits of the social sec...
by orthogon
Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"
Replies: 44
Views: 3024

Re: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

I don't even know how to intone the words. Is "on-base" a verb? Is it a noun like "home base" in base-ball? What does it mean to "slug"? It is trickier to parse than "the gostak distims the doshes", but I'll have a go. We have: Mike Trout's on-base plus slugg...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 2857
Views: 325678

Re: The Darker Side of the News

Even if the insulation is intrinsically totally unlike guncotton, if there's an air-gap (or the backing material is frangible to sufficient heat effects) then the problem can be the structural one of having created a near-perfect chimney effect between floors - if there's no firestop layer keyed in...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:22 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 2857
Views: 325678

Re: The Darker Side of the News

In updates on Grenfell Tower , the bad news is that the "rush around the country frantically replacing all that flammable cladding with the non-flammable kind we should have used in the first place" doesn't include replacing the flammable insulation behind the cladding ... and the good ne...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1849: "Decades"
Replies: 89
Views: 6655

Re: 1849: "Decades"

Yeah, I guess it's unfair to expect people to be familiar with limitations from outside their field, but still, the idea of bandwidth being limited is surely something that online games developers have always had to contend with. These limitation they had were always artificial, namely the price th...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1857: Emoji Movie
Replies: 48
Views: 4512

Re: 1857: Emoji Movie

Ümläüt. :shock: :shock: :shock: you know, when you write something like this, we Germans start to warp our tongues trying to pronounce it? A few peripherally related observations: 1. I have a colleague who will not accept, despite all evidence to the contrary, that "umlaut" can cromulentl...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1857: Emoji Movie
Replies: 48
Views: 4512

Re: 1857: Emoji Movie

Curious, since German has no subjunctive. Also, "Meine Lieblingsgruppe is Motörhead." "Dein Lieblingssänger ist Yusuf Islam.". Really? I thought it had two , but as she never followed through on the threat, I never found out. She also taught French, which I'm pretty certain has ...

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