Search found 3548 matches

by elasto
Tue May 14, 2013 1:28 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Gravitational mass of an electron?
Replies: 35
Views: 11214

Re: Gravitational mass of an electron?

I'm shocked it hasn't been brought up yet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E%C3%B6tv%C3%B6s_experiment 9+ sig figs, for the equivalency of inertial/gravitational mass Good link, but people have already acknowledged it's been demonstrated to a high degree of accuracy for neutrons and proton-electron pa...
by elasto
Sun May 12, 2013 1:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6331
Views: 922642

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Thesh wrote:I wish someone would have copied the video off of their phone before it was confiscated.

This will be less of an issue in 5-10 years when Google Glass is commonplace and all smartphone videos upload to the cloud by default.
by elasto
Sun May 12, 2013 9:13 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Is Who wants to be a millionaire just a game of luck?
Replies: 21
Views: 6622

Re: Is Who wants to be a millionaire just a game of luck?

So basically, it's more a less a game of chance, but more than half the people on the show will lose, so it's not very fair. That show is making tons of money off of people. Screw the maths, how are they making money off the contestants? Because they make it with ad revenue... In the UK at least, i...
by elasto
Sun May 12, 2013 5:50 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Senate Bill to Collect Taxes On the Internet
Replies: 26
Views: 6049

Re: Senate Bill to Collect Taxes On the Internet

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:How would they deal with orders from companies outside the US and orders where the billing and shipping addresses are in different jurisdictions?

Europe has successfully dealt with these issues for years. It's not rocket science.
by elasto
Wed May 08, 2013 4:26 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Is there a general symbol for inequalities?
Replies: 14
Views: 3046

Re: Is there a general symbol for inequalities?

How about =?
by elasto
Tue May 07, 2013 6:49 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Mean value!!!
Replies: 12
Views: 2890

Re: Mean value!!!

To me 'expected result' implies median and 'expected value' implies mean, if I'm trying to parse layman's terms into mathematical ones. But, in any case, 'one sixth dead' seems to be invoking common parlance in a nonsensical fashion. I'd interpret that in the same fashion as calling someone 'half de...
by elasto
Tue May 07, 2013 2:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1185: "Ineffective Sorts"
Replies: 180
Views: 54681

Re: 1185: "Ineffective Sorts"

Why generate a random list of the same length? Feels like cheating!

Generate a random list of random length, then check if it's sorted, and then check if it matches a randomly shuffled version of the input.

Much better!
by elasto
Mon May 06, 2013 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26118

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

I dunno. It's not like other species can't leave the planet as well. Presumably by developing brains... No, by being carried off as spores. All mutations 'carry information'; they're changing the information that's there. That's not a change in information, that's a change in data. The reason a bra...
by elasto
Mon May 06, 2013 5:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26118

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

The ability of highly proliferated and heterogenous species to remain in the face of massive global change is impressive and speaks to their adaptability, but it doesn't mean they're the 'top of the dogpile'. I'm impressed with the arthopod bauplan, I mean, Beetles, good job, but I'll take brains o...
by elasto
Mon May 06, 2013 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26118

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

Yeah. Complexity is a surprisingly complex concept. Also, complexity in and of itself is no particular advantage evolution-wise. While the human brain is the most complex organ in the known universe, humans are not really the dominant lifeform on earth. For every human who has ever lived, about 10 1...
by elasto
Mon May 06, 2013 1:21 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26118

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

That link contains a couple of paragraphs very pertinent to this thread and worth emphasising: About 70 million years ago, some lucky mishap in the process of cell division led to a triplication of the Solanum genome. The two spare copies of each gene were free to change through mutation. Many were ...
by elasto
Mon May 06, 2013 1:45 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can light go on forever?
Replies: 71
Views: 17532

Re: Can light go on forever?

So, going back to this quote: A bit OT, but can we say such a light exists? By its very definition, it's reacting with nothing and is unobserved. Will the universe be any different with or without this light? Edit to add, and if, in some way, its existence does affect the universe, then surely it mu...
by elasto
Sun May 05, 2013 9:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can light go on forever?
Replies: 71
Views: 17532

Re: Can light go on forever?

Since the light interacts with the rest of the universe - we can observe it as long as we don't block its path. (Can we?) But we can't observe it except by blocking its path. Well... QM is weird. The Elitzur–Vaidman bomb tester shows we can ask 'what if?' questions without actually having an intera...
by elasto
Sat May 04, 2013 3:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?
Replies: 201
Views: 26118

Re: Evolution question - how does complexity arise?

I must admit, I'm struggling with the title question: How does complexity not arise? Given that mutations happen more or less at random, and some mutations are bound to make an organism more complex (for a given definition of 'complex' - eg. a doubling of the green gene followed by turning it to red...
by elasto
Sat May 04, 2013 1:44 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Guantanamo Hunger Strike
Replies: 50
Views: 8527

Re: Guantanamo Hunger Strike

Where would they go? They can't go into the US, they don't have passports, and I assume the President doesn't have the power to issue those. And in many cases their home countries don't want them either. But, really, for those that have been held for a decade plus without enough evidence being gathe...
by elasto
Wed May 01, 2013 5:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Entanglement question
Replies: 14
Views: 2455

Re: Quantum Entanglement question

Yeah. For 'hidden variables' read 'the universe is deterministic'. For 'no hidden variables' read 'the universe is actually truly random'. (Sort of, anyhow.) The combined state is resolved indivisibly, not via some sort of shared 'hidden variable' or 'ftl message'. The universe really 'hasn't decide...
by elasto
Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:30 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Syria may have crossed the chemical weapon 'red line'
Replies: 30
Views: 4807

Re: Syria may have crossed the chemical weapon 'red line'

I disagree, we should help and then stay for the long haul. Syria is strategically placed and would make a good ally with regard to Iran and Israel. You're only saying we should get out since our last adventures are all military in nature. Once we get past using our military as our primary diplomat...
by elasto
Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1202: "Girls and Boys"
Replies: 138
Views: 36979

Re: 1202: "Girls and Boys"

Is love an -ism?
by elasto
Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:22 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: NK - nuclear questions
Replies: 79
Views: 19208

Re: NK - nuclear questions

Yeah. Going out in a blaze of glory seems unlikely compared to negotiating permanent house arrest in a luxury resort somewhere in China in return for handing over the keys to the nukes. This isn't some religious fundamentalist we're talking about here.
by elasto
Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:05 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0936: "Password Strength"
Replies: 893
Views: 284942

Re: 0936: "Password Strength"

The point is having high entropy in an easy-to-remember form. Eight random alphanumeric characters will have the same entropy as Randall's method, but will typically be far harder to remember. A hash of a password, on the other hand, adds no security on top of the original password, assuming (as we...
by elasto
Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:39 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Modern Monetary Theory
Replies: 147
Views: 51589

Re: Modern Monetary Theory

Aside from all the other problems, another issue you seem to be conveniently forgetting is the effect on the foreign exchange rate. Unless your country is already totally self-sufficient (which would actually be a pretty inefficient state of affairs for most countries), all that extra currency in ci...
by elasto
Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:36 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Modern Monetary Theory
Replies: 147
Views: 51589

Re: Modern Monetary Theory

So, you've defined smart bakers as those who want to work more. Realistically, if the demand increases, that pushes the supply/demand curve higher. It may be most efficient to raise prices and keep sales the same. This involves the baker not working more, and is often popular. Some people may take ...
by elasto
Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:45 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 169828

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

The value comes from other people valuing it, and thus accepting it as payment. Exactly. Nothing intrinsic. Somebody pulled a nothing out of thin air and is getting people to want this nothing... badly! Unlike real money, nobody has to value it. With real money, at least the government has to value...
by elasto
Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:20 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Modern Monetary Theory
Replies: 147
Views: 51589

Re: Modern Monetary Theory

I don't know anyone that seriously argues businesses and countries should never run a deficit. Maybe there are some wingnuts in US politics but thankfully most of the world sees that for the nonsense it is. Any time you can borrow/create money and use it to create more wealth than you borrowed+inter...
by elasto
Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:16 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Modern Monetary Theory
Replies: 147
Views: 51589

Re: Modern Monetary Theory

Here's the thing, Tynd. All that borrowing to meet an existential threat in WWII? You claim it's worth it, and I agree, but the way you characterize it seems to suggest that there were, and possibly still are, a lot of bad side effects of borrowing all that money. It's just that those bad side effe...
by elasto
Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:59 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Blowing up the Earth more efficiently
Replies: 41
Views: 8710

Re: Blowing up the Earth more efficiently

Is it possible to estimate within an order of magnitude or two of how long it would take for such a black hole to consume the earth? Feels a bit like the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique of Kill Bill fame: You're dead already - you just don't know it for a few thousand/million/billion years...
by elasto
Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:35 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?
Replies: 326
Views: 169828

Re: Bitcoin : Where can it fail ?

It makes me assume that this is what the world's biggest botnets are doing when not carrying out DDoS's. Certainly if I had millions of computers under my control I'd be using them to create Bitcoins which I then funnelled anonymously to my central account. People need to stop using Bitcoins! When y...
by elasto
Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:47 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: NK - nuclear questions
Replies: 79
Views: 19208

Re: NK - nuclear questions

Obviously it's relative. They invade about once a century vs, say, the US, who have a proud and public policy of interventionism and seem to invade a country about once a decade ^^ Tibet (there was a brief war with India over it) Korea Vietnam (that was probably our fault) Xinjiang (arguably their ...
by elasto
Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:56 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: VA AG fights to keep Anti-Sodomy Law
Replies: 66
Views: 6305

Re: VA AG fights to keep Anti-Sodomy Law

See also: politician's estimates of their constituents are often much more conservative than their actual constituents , on both sides. I find that study really hard to believe. It suggests that politicians are going off gut instinct rather than hard polling numbers. They should be able to quote ex...
by elasto
Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:03 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: NK - nuclear questions
Replies: 79
Views: 19208

Re: NK - nuclear questions

Obviously it's relative. They invade about once a century vs, say, the US, who have a proud and public policy of interventionism and seem to invade a country about once a decade ^^
by elasto
Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:32 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: NK - nuclear questions
Replies: 79
Views: 19208

Re: NK - nuclear questions

China has long had a proud and well-entrenched position of non-interventionism in foreign countries. If they occupy NK it will only be if NK publically appeal for them to do so - and that seems unlikely given NK's extreme insularity and paranoia. That is probably the only way the NK situation could ...
by elasto
Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:18 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: VA AG fights to keep Anti-Sodomy Law
Replies: 66
Views: 6305

Re: VA AG fights to keep Anti-Sodomy Law

It seems this Politician has sealed his political fate with this PR maneuver. Maybe. The crazy thing is I seriously doubt he'd take this stance without the polling numbers being on his side. I'm cynical enough to believe that no politician seeking election does so without all such decisions being c...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: VA AG fights to keep Anti-Sodomy Law
Replies: 66
Views: 6305

Re: VA AG fights to keep Anti-Sodomy Law

The Republicans: All about small government until it comes to your sex life...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:47 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: NK - nuclear questions
Replies: 79
Views: 19208

Re: NK - nuclear questions

China doesn't need more cheap labor (they've had a one-child policy for decades for a reason) and they don't need the land (have you seen how big China is?) so they'd have no interest in occupying NK. NK collapsing would be a PITA for them due to the millions of refugees flooding the border, but the...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:06 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Some Guy Freaks Out [formerly "Existential Dread"]
Replies: 132
Views: 29218

Re: Some Guy Freaks Out [formerly "Existential Dread"]

First, remember that the point of the singularity is that predictions are impossible once we go beyond it - that's why it's defined the way it is (as having parallels to a black hole). The future could be heaven or it could be hell depending on if/how well we can guide the process. So, yes, anyone w...
by elasto
Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:37 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Cyprus Bailout: Wealth Tax, Bank Runs on the Horizon
Replies: 111
Views: 11019

Re: Cypress Bailout: ponies Tax, Bank diarrhea on the Horizo

I suppose. But let's be clear: The banks don't have this money. They have not stolen it. The Cypriot government don't have this money. They have not stolen it either. The 'stealing', if it happened, was when these banks loaned these people's money out unwisely - and those people taking out the loans...
by elasto
Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:24 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Cyprus Bailout: Wealth Tax, Bank Runs on the Horizon
Replies: 111
Views: 11019

Re: Cypress Bailout: ponies Tax, Bank diarrhea on the Horizo

The original deal of 6-10% from everyone doesn't look so bad now, does it. The numbers go way up when it's only a small percentage of investors covering everyone. Also, it's a bit disingenuous to use the word 'steal'. Remember, in both the original deal and this new one, cash is being swapped for sh...
by elasto
Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:03 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Cyprus Bailout: Wealth Tax, Bank Runs on the Horizon
Replies: 111
Views: 11019

Re: Cypress Bailout: ponies Tax, Bank Runs on the Horizon

Why would you be able to sue the government? Remember that the government's actions are the only thing preventing you from losing all your money. Putting your savings in the bank is an investment like any other. It doesn't always feel like it but it is. As with all investments, under extreme circums...
by elasto
Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:16 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Proposal for defraying R&D costs of new drugs
Replies: 54
Views: 12962

Re: Proposal for defraying R&D costs of new drugs

Oh, I fully admit that the system has problems. But the problems aren't really an issue of customer intentions. They really do want medical care to improve their life. Isn't that true of every purchase though? I want the next house/car/computer I buy to improve my life too. In the UK the answer is ...
by elasto
Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:05 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Cyprus Bailout: Wealth Tax, Bank Runs on the Horizon
Replies: 111
Views: 11019

Re: Cyprus Bailout: Wealth Tax, Bank Runs on the Horizon

the government should have a methodology in place for, at the very least, the emigrants and such to be able to survive. if the only money you have is in a bank in Cyprus, and you cannot get to any of it, how much leeway do you think your landlord and the grocer are going to give you in Germany? Why...

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