Search found 240 matches

by Turtlewing
Fri May 18, 2012 9:16 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Betting Paradox
Replies: 23
Views: 6396

Re: Betting Paradox

The expected value function given in the OP is misleading because it only calculates the expected value of one round. In the iterated game the expected value quickly goes to "you'll loose everything" (remember a single loss at any point means you are bankrupt). When deciding how many round...
by Turtlewing
Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:52 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Artificial Gas Giant Surface
Replies: 22
Views: 6983

Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

It might matter when in the human's life-span you started the acclimation. I'd expect children by virtue of being smaller, and still developing physically could adapt more reddily than an adult.
by Turtlewing
Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Quality control/improvement - for governments
Replies: 25
Views: 3928

Re: Quality control/improvement - for governments

The problem with a quality control system for government is that it's turtles all the way up (ultimately whatever system you put in place is itself subject to the same basic problem of power and corruption going to well together). The idea behind a bicameral legislature (get two bodies with differin...
by Turtlewing
Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:09 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Something to laugh about
Replies: 9
Views: 2841

Re: Something to laugh about

It could be worse, at least it wasn't:

Code: Select all

while (true)
print ("all in");
readLine();
end
by Turtlewing
Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:06 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Analyzing Social Media Data Pertaining to Bitcoin
Replies: 5
Views: 2373

Re: Analyzing Social Media Data Pertaining to Bitcoin

http://xkcd.com/592/

Read the hover text. It should apply here.
by Turtlewing
Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:17 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Ambiguous cases and Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics
Replies: 50
Views: 38529

Re: Ambiguous cases and Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics

I'm pretty strongly in the "calculate the odds" camp. I would expect the robot to determine that shooting the driver has a higher (near 100%) chance of injuring a human, than failing to prevent the drunk driver from driving. The robot may however determine it can safely disable the vehicle...
by Turtlewing
Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Space Rocks
Replies: 8
Views: 3888

Re: Space Rocks

It's worth noting that the answers and the linked simulator are assuming a natural meteoroid. If the alien is delivered in something designed to safely deliver an alien it will be very different. For one thing, a heat-shielded drop capsule will suffer less loss of mass as it goes through the atmosph...
by Turtlewing
Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:55 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Being your own mother
Replies: 15
Views: 5790

Re: Being your own mother

Well, like most time travel thought experiments: If you aren't too attached to causality than I don't see a problem (shit just happens). If you want too keep causality you might need to go "many worlds interpretation", and figure that there are two universes who swap women, each woman's DN...
by Turtlewing
Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:38 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Taxes and Spending, decoupled
Replies: 40
Views: 5974

Re: Taxes and Spending, decoupled

Tax revenue comes into the government. Full stop. That money disappears. No longer exists. Is wholly removed from the economy. Government spending puts money into the economy. Full stop. That money comes into existence. Is spontaneously created. While that is one way to look at it, I suspect you'll...
by Turtlewing
Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Should having a child be a right.?
Replies: 447
Views: 52489

Re: Should having a child be a right.?

I don't really see how this is (mainly) a bodily autonomy issue: The thing is, you can't enforce the ban without violating bodily autonomy. Lets have a look at what having a child involves. Two parties that aren't sterilized Above two partners having unprotected sex Carrying the pregnant to term. A...
by Turtlewing
Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Wait, can free will exist?
Replies: 247
Views: 20695

Re: Thought-Expermient that (dis)proves Free Will?

Sounds like the halting problem http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halting_problem . It turns out that in order to perfectly simulate a system you need a simulator that is at least as complex as that system. This means that the simulator can't ever be a proper subset of the system it simulates as it woul...
by Turtlewing
Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:59 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Odd design decisions?
Replies: 55
Views: 7344

Re: Odd design decisions?

Iterator syntax in Lua is hard to wrap your head around, especially if you realize that it looks superficially like the iterator mechanism in Python while it works totally different. I found Lua iterators made a lot of sense (they's just a function that returns the next thing every time you call it...
by Turtlewing
Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:53 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Starting out with Fractals (direction needed)
Replies: 15
Views: 3529

Re: Starting out with Fractals (direction needed)

It might be worth noting that typical renderings of the Mandelbrot set color code the points that aren't in the set based on how many iterations it took to place them outside the set.

The pretty pictures are typically a zoomed in and cropped view of an edge of the set so you can see all the colors.
by Turtlewing
Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:11 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Counting with Fingers
Replies: 11
Views: 3245

Re: Counting with Fingers

Pint of pedantry: you really need to specify a starting point or else I can count arbitrarily high with only 1 unique finger position by choosing an arbitrarily high integer as my starting point. [edit] You probably should come up with a firm statment about the number of degrees of freedom per finge...
by Turtlewing
Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Wait, can free will exist?
Replies: 247
Views: 20695

Re: Thought-Expermient that (dis)proves Free Will?

Now let us say that our beloved Randall Munroe has just now built a computer which does just that, and it shows him that after x seconds, he will raise his right hand. Randall, now having seen that the raising of his right hand is a logical, causally founded consequence, decides to mess with the co...
by Turtlewing
Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:50 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Thinking Fallacy
Replies: 29
Views: 4392

Re: Thinking Fallacy

Hello, and welcome to the wonderful world of cognitive biases and logical fallacies. Before we get started, let me share a secret with you: humans are not rational. I mean, some part of our brain IS rational, but most of it just acts on patterns evolved by natural selection. We are simply not desig...
by Turtlewing
Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:36 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Destructive power of starships
Replies: 60
Views: 15550

Re: Destructive power of starships

you mean like how the captain always reverses the polarity on things? being an electrical engineer, that part always bugs me *twitch* *shudder* *spasm* To be fair they spend a lot of time standing on the wrong side of consoles looking at thing upside down. I'd imagine it's pretty easy to plug thing...
by Turtlewing
Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:19 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Coastline paradox
Replies: 5
Views: 2402

Re: Coastline paradox

It's been a while since I studied this but, what you're descibing is the "fractal dimension" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_dimension of an object. I usually think of it as a "crinkly-ness factor". But really it's a measure of to what extent it makes sense to talk about len...
by Turtlewing
Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 34582

Re: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

Personally I'm excited because if it turns out neutrinos can travel faster than light this could be as big a deal for physics as the two light beam experiment to measure the luminiferous aether was. While I understand that skepticism is important for the scientific process, and even if this is true ...
by Turtlewing
Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:45 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why does the brain fabricate blurred vision?
Replies: 19
Views: 2611

Re: Why does the brain fabricate blurred vision?

The brain has to put together information from a lot of different sources, and one of the main ways that it can make predictions about the world is by comparing these signals to find patterns. For example, each rod and cone in each eye sends a signal towards the brain. If we just look at each indiv...
by Turtlewing
Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:59 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: WINDOWS: Let's say I have a *bunch* of files in one folder
Replies: 20
Views: 2689

Re: WINDOWS: Let's say I have a *bunch* of files in one fold

Hard drives are evil (but then, so are computers). Storage media should be just that, media , not the whole damn read/write mechanism and control/interface electronics. Who's bright idea was that, anyway? How many points of failure do you want? Can you take out the frequently undamaged media and re...
by Turtlewing
Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:49 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Clever Code Puzzle
Replies: 17
Views: 2368

Re: Clever Code Puzzle

You could probably get it to relyably access i, if i were deffined differently (pointers would do the trick), but that would probably ruin the obfuscation. forgive the syntax, it's been forever since I did anything with C so I probably borked a de-reference or something at least once, but something ...
by Turtlewing
Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:56 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speck of Dust
Replies: 92
Views: 9728

Re: Speck of Dust

humans are really good at optimizing , relative to other things like evolution by natural selection. Really? Because from where I'm sitting, it looks like evolution has managed to do most things more efficiently than our attempts at the same. It has had about a million times to do so. Besides, I'm ...
by Turtlewing
Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:59 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: What's the Big Deal with Alienware®?
Replies: 23
Views: 8787

Re: What's the Big Deal with Alienware®?

Alienware PCs do have unique cases. The majority of the "benefits" of those cases are cosmetic, but you can't get those cases except as part of a new alienware pc or used from a previous owner of an alienware pc. Other then that, the only reason to buy Alienware over building your own PC i...
by Turtlewing
Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:21 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hypothetically would you fight god to save your soulmate?
Replies: 92
Views: 10121

Re: Hypothetically would you fight god to save your soulmate

"What contract? You think that a poor translation of the written record of some of my son's disciples puts you in a position to bargain with me? Haahahahahahahahaahaa... oh... oh dear...... wow. "I AM the Law." It worked in Dogma. Personally given anything resembling the opportunity ...
by Turtlewing
Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:06 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Monty Hall Problem [solution discussion]
Replies: 68
Views: 24137

Re: Monty Hall Problem [solution discussion]

I like to think of it in the context of http://xkcd.com/525/ If the odds of winning if I switch are 50-50, than I loose nothing by switching, if the odds of winning if I switch are 2/3 than I am better off switching. Thus the optimal strategy is to switch because in the worst case it is as good a ch...
by Turtlewing
Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:28 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Digital Time Capsul
Replies: 28
Views: 4233

Re: Digital Time Capsul

I'm surprised that no one has suggested the obvious variation on the OP's original idea: instead of sending the key on a trip to <object 1/2x light years away> why not just send the encrypted data on the long journey, then keep they key in your safe deposit box. You can trivially decode the data as ...
by Turtlewing
Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:57 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Animal Rights?
Replies: 283
Views: 29775

Re: Animal Rights?

My views are basically this:

Everything has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But since it would be really inconvenient to not be able to eat for moral reasons, I'll fall back on the age old tradition of selectively ignoring the rights that I find sufficiently inconvenient.
by Turtlewing
Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:40 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Card Matching Game
Replies: 10
Views: 2390

Re: Card Matching Game

Since the woman is stated as telling the exact order she will turn over cards and is unable to deviate, she will have to have a strategy that would by brute force iterate over all possible configurations of cards (no other strategy can be guaranteed to solve all cases). The man then simply ...
by Turtlewing
Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:59 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...
Replies: 34
Views: 3360

Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

If I understand the OP correctly the question can be rephrased as: "Is it possible to create a perfect simulation of a system without fully understanding that system?" Which I would be inclined to say is probably technically possible (by accident), but since you'd never be able to know tha...
by Turtlewing
Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:20 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: LUA: The way to go? + Difference scripting/programming
Replies: 5
Views: 1437

Re: LUA: The way to go? + Difference scripting/programming

Lua is a nice language (my favorite when the project doesn't have a bias towards some other languages feature set). I can't think of any reason why it would be a bad language to learn on. Moving from Lua to C/C++ will be harder than going the other way, but that's mostly just because C++ give you le...
by Turtlewing
Fri May 06, 2011 8:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I'm doing science, and I need test subjects.
Replies: 79
Views: 7975

Re: I'm doing science, and I need test subjects.

You're either male or female, aren't you? Sit down. That depends quite a bit on your definitions, and how you intend to use the data. There are several strong unambiguous definitions of "male" and "female" but it's not hugely uncommon for different definitions to classify one pe...
by Turtlewing
Tue May 03, 2011 6:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I'm doing science, and I need test subjects.
Replies: 79
Views: 7975

Re: I'm doing science, and I need test subjects.

Screw fruit guys, any part of a plant is a vegetable, including the fruit. Am I the only one who said carrot? I didn't put together the username thing at all. I chose "carrot" but my thought process was "orange! Crap that a fruit, Tomatoe! wait same problem. Carrot, right? yeah c...
by Turtlewing
Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:25 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: A methodical counter-proof to Cinderella
Replies: 22
Views: 3148

Re: A methodical counter-proof to Cinderella

Perhaps the shoe was damaged when it fell off (she was running in glass heals seems like a probable consequence of such an action). If that were the case the girl with feet that are the right size and has glass shards embedded in one of them is probably the one the glass shoe belongs to.
by Turtlewing
Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Okapi, excellent genes and evolution.
Replies: 24
Views: 2479

Re: Okapi, excellent genes and evolution.

So ok, you can come up with a bunch of convoluted scenarios that cause cataclysmic events in the population of a species. Good job. Did you even bother to read the OP? Yes, the OP is asking why a bottleneck event is damaging to a species. There are two reasons for this: 1. (the one I've been pointi...
by Turtlewing
Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Okapi, excellent genes and evolution.
Replies: 24
Views: 2479

Re: Okapi, excellent genes and evolution.

Think about how an entire species dwindles and how that affects the nature of the surviving population. The environment, disease, new competition and lack of easy food are all reasons for decreasing populations. And loss of home by increasing human footprint. all these things push a common focus, a...
by Turtlewing
Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Okapi, excellent genes and evolution.
Replies: 24
Views: 2479

Re: Okapi, excellent genes and evolution.

Think about how an entire species dwindles and how that affects the nature of the surviving population. The environment, disease, new competition and lack of easy food are all reasons for decreasing populations. And loss of home by increasing human footprint. all these things push a common focus, a...
by Turtlewing
Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:38 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: The surprise exam paradox
Replies: 217
Views: 59450

Re: The surprise exam paradox

Also, "P -> not P" is not a contradiction. "P and not P" is. "P -> not P" is logically equivalent to simply "not P". OK fair enough, but: P -> Not P P reduces to: P and not P (because P is true, but P being true implies that P is false). The contradiction is ...
by Turtlewing
Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A novel approach to Artificial Life
Replies: 16
Views: 1646

Re: A novel approach to Artificial Life

So. One guy says he has created a fully functional AI and no one questions it? Why did I not file that letter to the news paper saying I'd invented a "teleporter"... I'm guessing this AI goes as far as the claims that come from the likes of Will Wright and Peter Molyneux. It helps that 1:...
by Turtlewing
Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:32 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Breaking Earth's gravity well
Replies: 30
Views: 3508

Re: Breaking Earth's gravity well

Also the speed of light in a vacume "c" isn't a universal constant. Oh? He meant in classical mechanics it is not. Yeah, though that's not as true as I made it sound either. If I recall classical mechanics did have a fixed speed of light (or at least was not incompatible with the idea), b...

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