Search found 210 matches

by Incompetent
Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:46 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Precedence of a^b^c
Replies: 15
Views: 3832

Re: Precedence of a^b^c

I forgot arithmetic existed! When you're working with groups you go right to left, but exponentiation is not associative, so you can't form a group under it. Bloody pure mathematics poisoning my mind! Maths notation is still blighted by poor decisions made by our predecessors. For instance, most la...
by Incompetent
Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:50 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9379396

Re: Screechings of the Great Unwashed (Pander to the Borg)

(Also, am no longer a driver. Had to stop as I got really bad road rage all the time after moving from the welsh valleys to Reading. No I just suffer commuter rage) I wonder if road rage is a recognised medical condition? As in, someone asks you to drive somewhere and you show them a sick note from...
by Incompetent
Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9379396

Re: Screechings of the Great Unwashed (Pander to the Borg)

"The Netherlands" is quite a sinister-sounding name for such a harmless country. (Yes yes, I know the Dutch have done bad things in their colonial past, but as countries go the modern Netherlands is one of the nicer ones.)
by Incompetent
Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Strong AI and simulations
Replies: 11
Views: 3353

Re: Strong AI and simulations

If we are in a simulation, it must be a very good one, dramatically better than anything we can make. So whoever built the simulation is probably closer to having a strong AI than we are, they might already even have one. They probably already have protocols for dealing strong AI's, and if they don...
by Incompetent
Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Strong AI and simulations
Replies: 11
Views: 3353

Re: Strong AI and simulations

The assumption that a strong AI could get out of the box is wrong. Even if it gains something like an internet connection there's a long way to go before it can push on with its evil master plan. All it needs is to persuade people to do what it wants. Given an AI that's smarter than every human on ...
by Incompetent
Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Strong AI and simulations
Replies: 11
Views: 3353

Strong AI and simulations

I've heard singularity types say two things, assuming nothing halts the march of technology: 1. We're probably living in a simulation. 2. Sooner or later we'll build a strong AI, and a strong AI can't be kept in a box (unless the box is hermetically sealed, but why would anyone make such a box?) Bot...
by Incompetent
Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:32 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: A Realization
Replies: 23
Views: 4481

Re: A Realization

On topic - yes, we are radiating all sorts of electromagnetic energy into space. Some of the signals are going to travel quite far - most of them won't. There are numerous factors here - attenuation from the atmosphere, directivity of antennas, and the noise floor. Yes, SETI(or alien SETI) is searc...
by Incompetent
Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:10 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9379396

Re: Screechings of the Great Unwashed (Pander to the Borg)

Wikipedia seem to indicate that the king was indeed basically the same then. However, the piece which eventually became the queen wasn't actually called the queen; instead it was called things which translate to something more like counselor. Additionally, it was a significantly weaker piece then, ...
by Incompetent
Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:23 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9379396

Re: Screechings of the Great Unwashed (Pander to the Borg)

Given the culture that spawned it, chess (or at least the English names for the pieces) has an interesting take on gender roles. The king is basically your stereotypical damsel in distress, weak but must be protected at all costs, and locked away in (behind) a tower 'for his own safety' for much of ...
by Incompetent
Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:14 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Proof that there are at least 5 regular polyhedra?
Replies: 11
Views: 3213

Re: Proof that there are at least 5 regular polyhedra?

A fancier approach to regular polyhedra is to classify the Coxeter groups of rank 3 (there are 3 of them) and show these admit faithful representations in R^3 in which the generators act as reflections. You can reconstruct the polyhedra by taking a suitably chosen point on the unit sphere and using ...
by Incompetent
Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Systems of propulsion on motorways
Replies: 36
Views: 4276

Systems of propulsion on motorways

On a busy motorway, you have a stream of vehicles all moving in the same direction. The individual drivers' freedom is limited: they can't stop except in an emergency (and then only by going off to one side), can only adjust their speed within a narrow range, and can only enter or leave the motorway...
by Incompetent
Mon May 30, 2011 9:22 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: An inspiring mathematician
Replies: 20
Views: 4078

Re: An inspiring mathematician

Peter Cameron: see his website and blog for inspiration.
by Incompetent
Sun May 22, 2011 1:20 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9379396

Re: Screechings of the Great Unwashed (Pander to the Borg)

I don't understand temperature. Isn't temperature just the average kinetic energy of a system? Why is it not then measured in Joules? Nope. Temperature is the 'thermal potential', like voltage is electrical potential. It's basically defined by the fact that there's a net flow of energy from 'hot' t...
by Incompetent
Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:06 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Julian Assange is NOT on first name terms with Anonymous
Replies: 29
Views: 4967

Re: Julian Assange is NOT on first name terms with Anonymous

Somehow, I doubt many members of Anonymous would refer to him as "Mr. Assange".
by Incompetent
Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russia and breakaway states
Replies: 10
Views: 3548

Re: Russia and breakaway states

There are three breakaway states that are not internationally recognised, but have secured de facto independence in large part due to Russian support: South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria. Transnistria is somewhat different from the other two. Transnistria is basically populated by self-identif...
by Incompetent
Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:53 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: The radical idea that women are people
Replies: 3259
Views: 310914

Re: The radical idea that women are people

We still relate math to real world/physical applications, especially as far as learning it and teaching it go. Can you think of times textiles and such came up in examples or word problems in math classes? Quilting for example, could be an interesting way to practice geometry, crochet would be inte...
by Incompetent
Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:08 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russia and breakaway states
Replies: 10
Views: 3548

Re: Russia and breakaway states

In return Russia gets instability on its borders Why do you assume this is bad? Weak neighbors = no weaknesses. And the worst kind of neighbor is one who is stable and scared enough to ally with your biggest enemy, aka the United States. Just like we freaked out when the Russians planted nukes in C...
by Incompetent
Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:30 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What would a US sovereign debt crisis be like?
Replies: 66
Views: 10795

Re: What would a US sovereign debt crisis be like?

The US isn't like other countries in this regard, because its currency is the main reserve currency in the world. Pretty much everyone is banking on US stability. Moreover, countries like China are actively buying up dollars to keep the dollar strong, and this effectively amounts to a cheap loan to ...
by Incompetent
Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:05 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russia and breakaway states
Replies: 10
Views: 3548

Russia and breakaway states

There are three breakaway states that are not internationally recognised, but have secured de facto independence in large part due to Russian support: South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria. What I don't understand is: why are these places such a big deal for Russia? I mean, we're talking about pr...
by Incompetent
Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:21 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: The radical idea that women are people
Replies: 3259
Views: 310914

Re: The radical idea that women are people

So, Has the traditionally feminine art of making cloth and clothes had an impact on the currently considered masculine, field of mathematics? Do the two fields interact in other ways? Or are we just missing out on mathematically ideal pants because we keep them separate for no good reason? http://e...
by Incompetent
Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:34 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Science Fiction: Body Parts
Replies: 89
Views: 9193

Re: Science Fiction: Body Parts

BoomFrog wrote:Maybe you could have your poop smell vaguely of fresh chocolate bread? :twisted:


After a while you'd associate the smell of fresh chocolate bread with pooping. Not good.
by Incompetent
Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Science Fiction: Body Parts
Replies: 89
Views: 9193

Re: Science Fiction: Body Parts

A second body on remote control (with a strong enough connection that I'd have the same sophistication and speed of senses/action as with the original). Think of the possibilities!
by Incompetent
Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:29 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Polynesia and such in our modern society?
Replies: 26
Views: 3664

Re: Polynesia and such in our modern society?

I mean, you realize that right now, there are people living in the world in the same way their ancestors lived a thousand years ago, right? There are, but there are very few of them - I don't know the numbers, but I'd be surprised if there are more than a few hundred thousand people left who haven'...
by Incompetent
Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:30 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Polynesia and such in our modern society?
Replies: 26
Views: 3664

Re: Polynesia and such in our modern society?

They don't 'still' exist: most of them only recently got their independence back, having been colonised by Europeans. What they 'achieved' is their right to self-determination. You're right though that some of these places are so small, remote and lacking in natural resources that they will never be...
by Incompetent
Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:13 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Why understanding is good, and why reality is real
Replies: 27
Views: 3304

Re: Why understanding is good, and why reality is real

He took the most unexpected attack route I could imagine, by asking, why should we understand the universe around us? Well, it's not so surprising. Some people think knowledge in and of itself is good and something to strive for; others, only if it is useful and worth the effort of obtaining it in ...
by Incompetent
Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:15 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: You can solve any rubik's cube in 20 moves.
Replies: 27
Views: 5099

Re: You can solve any rubik's cube in 20 moves.

I'm more interested in the advances (if any) in computational group theory behind this. Working out 'God's number' for the Rubik's cube is just one instance of the following: Suppose you have a group presentation, and you are told the group is finite (let's say you even know its order, exponent, wha...
by Incompetent
Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:07 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Show us your articles! Or what's your Erdos number?
Replies: 187
Views: 278862

Re: Show us your articles! Or what's your Erdos number?

Woo! First paper! http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WH2-50R0F0G-3&_user=10&_coverDate=08%2F07%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=d13...
by Incompetent
Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:18 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Delusions
Replies: 27
Views: 3440

Re: Delusions

Is a delusion a delusion if you know it is a delusion? note, I meant this is more as a mental health diagnosis thing than philosophical thing but of course feel free to discuss both. I've heard this called 'cognitive dissonance': when someone holds two or more mutually contradictory beliefs (and so...
by Incompetent
Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:51 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: what would you choose as your super power?
Replies: 636
Views: 74883

Re: what would you choose as your super power?

Glmclain wrote:I want to be able to make people orgasm just by concentrating on them hard enough.

Those long seminars will be much less boring this way.


Er, wouldn't that be a kind of rape? It'd certainly be fun with a willing partner, though, and would also make for an interesting form of self-defence.
by Incompetent
Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:39 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0773: "University Website"
Replies: 177
Views: 40468

Re: "University Website" discussion (#773)

So true. I think most university websites are done by the marketing department, who are thinking in terms of 'brand' and 'image' rather than a functional source of information. It's as if they think most visitors to the site are just randomly shopping for universities and will pick one to apply to/g...
by Incompetent
Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:23 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: The radical idea that women are people
Replies: 3259
Views: 310914

Re: The radical idea that women are people

I seem to recall hearing that under English law at least, if you knowingly and voluntarily get intoxicated, then you're still fully punishable for any potentially criminal activity when intoxicated, even if you can no longer give consent for others to do things with you. If it's bad to take advantag...
by Incompetent
Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:00 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: How do we know you have a face unless you post it?
Replies: 20910
Views: 3082172

Re: Postify your facerity

saxmaniac1987 wrote:I graduated!


Same here!

Image

Awkward expression is partly due to wisdom tooth problems :?
by Incompetent
Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:43 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Germany & Japan as the 'Axis'
Replies: 20
Views: 2498

Re: Germany & Japan as the 'Axis'

If the Germans were hellbent on eugenics and racial purity etc... would they have been ok with sharing the world with Japanese people? Was there ever a plan or discussion between them on what the world should look like after the war? Neither Germany nor Japan had the resources or the ambition to ta...
by Incompetent
Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:05 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Fifa World Cup 2010
Replies: 600
Views: 52736

Re: Fifa World Cup 2010

My main concern is that Müller will miss the semifinals. Even though Netherlands is my team, I want to see Germany in the final. I think Germany can cope without him - they have a lot of good players. Then again, so do Spain. Should be a good match - hopefully not as one-sided as Germany's last two...
by Incompetent
Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:45 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Fifa World Cup 2010
Replies: 600
Views: 52736

Re: Fifa World Cup 2010

Great game by Germany. Otamendi was giving them so much space it was ridiculous. I don't want to jynx anything by saying the final will be Netherlands vs Germany, but I'll pray to the football gods that it happens. REVENGE FOR 1974! Well played the men in black, and it's always good to see the Argi...
by Incompetent
Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)
Replies: 13429
Views: 1772925

Re: Today I Learned

You, sir, name? wrote:There was a mind-blow cascade about my username in some thread a while back o_O. I didn't think it was that sneaky a username. I wanted to register as "username", but someone already had, so I signed up with something homophonic.


It's not sneaky, it's fried gold!
by Incompetent
Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:32 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Fifa World Cup 2010
Replies: 600
Views: 52736

Re: Fifa World Cup 2010

What worries me is that the Dutch had two very clear chances to score (Kuyt I'm looking at you!) and they couldn't convert them to goals. Any other team would have blasted that ball into the net, but they kept passing it. Stop whining, your team just beat Brazil! As a neutral I'd say the Dutch are ...
by Incompetent
Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:24 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: What would you do if time travel was real?
Replies: 246
Views: 33469

Re: What would you do if time travel was real?

Go back and pester my younger self to do more stuff during the school holidays and generally try to cheer him up. I'd probably have listened if it were me saying it. Failing that I could at least teach my younger self some maths, which would save time overall. Also, +1 on Lumpy's idea. If the future...
by Incompetent
Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:04 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9379396

Re: Fleeting/Random/Thoughts (Random like the plague)

FT: Cabbage is underrated, misunderstood and underused. Brussel sprouts, on the other hand, are just as evil as the rumors suggest. Also, does all non-English wikipedias suck, or is it just the Swedish version that's edited by complete nincompoops? I find German wikipedia useful when there's some g...
by Incompetent
Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:36 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Hating on the statisticians
Replies: 72
Views: 10322

Re: Hating on the statisticians

Mathematicians dislike statisticians because statisticians don't mind putting the square peg on top of the round hole and then bashing it in with a hammer. Statisticians dislike mathematicians because mathematicians whine to the teacher when the statisticians bash the square peg into the round hole...

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