Search found 3731 matches

by elasto
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:50 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: What do Average Mathmaticians Do?
Replies: 16
Views: 1072

Re: What do Average Mathmaticians Do?

If you're genuinely interested there are some pretty approachable channels on youtube where people talk through math proofs in something approaching layman's terms, and you can get a reasonable insight into the day to day ways they approach tasks - Numberphile and Mathologer spring to mind. As a ran...
by elasto
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:20 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 40
Views: 2024

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

... are you trying to claim that guided processes (e.g., human thought) are more efficient than random ones (natural selection)? Yes. Seems pretty obvious to me. Apparently not to everyone. It's obvious to everyone. Yes. It's completely obvious to everyone. The disagreement is (a) whether competiti...
by elasto
Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:08 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 62
Views: 3009

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

I think it’s important to distinguish between voters and those they vote for when talking about this. There is still today a contingent of politically left-leaning people who are anti-vaxers and homeopaths and generally all in for a wide variety of woo, but to my knowledge that has never been part ...
by elasto
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:56 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 62
Views: 3009

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

What part of what I said there isn't true? If what you said was true (that policies are correlated because they come from first principles and not from partisanship) then it wouldn't be the case that the left in the UK believe in (A and B) but not (C and D), but the left in the US believe in (A and ...
by elasto
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:46 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 62
Views: 3009

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

[Double-Post]
by elasto
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:10 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 62
Views: 3009

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

So an anti-establishment political movement had people who were anti-medical establishment and this was all because of partisanship? I don't think you put much thought into this, which would be my experience with centrists. Where did I say that hippies held their views because of partisanship..? It...
by elasto
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:34 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Julian assange arrested
Replies: 20
Views: 721

Re: Julian assange arrested

Since when are criminal charges subjected to a statute of limitations? Some weird Swedish thing? Does the US not have a statute of limitations? In general it's to do with the accused's right to a fair trial: If the crime was committed too long a time ago, the accused may reasonably have no recollec...
by elasto
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:29 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 62
Views: 3009

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

What's this referring to? eg. To distrust medicine, or to give it its archaic name, “western medicine”, was once the preserve of the hippy left. In the early days of the anti-vax movement, at the turn of this century, those who distrusted vaccinations spanned the political spectrum. Only in the pas...
by elasto
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:49 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 62
Views: 3009

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

Believing in bodily autonomy could lead you to be pro-choice and anti-pollution. If people are principled and consistent in their ethics then you would expect a lot of views across a wide variety of areas to go together. Pollution =/= climate change. You can be anti-pollution but believe anthropoge...
by elasto
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:44 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 62
Views: 3009

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

That's fair, but his gun control position is influenced by the presence of gun makers in his state. Which isn't inherently a problem unless your party goes from frowning on guns to hating them. Voters shouldn't be monolithic. Parties shouldn't be monolithic. Politicians shouldn't be monolithic. It'...
by elasto
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:12 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Class vs class
Replies: 81
Views: 13190

Re: Class vs class

The key to "classy" is grace under adversity - that is, eschewing being a raging lout when provoked. This also extends to grace absent adversity - that is, eschewing being a dick when the opportunity to be a dick presents itself. In other words, class is taking the high road when it is ei...
by elasto
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:08 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 40
Views: 2024

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

Careful with what is meant by "group". I don't mean "the individuals in the set" [...] Society isn't the set of people in it, but the rules, norms, and mores of the people that make it up. If something benefits people individually and collectively, now and into the future, that'...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 40
Views: 2024

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

Vaccinations help the individual (keeping them from disease) and help the other (perhaps unvaccinated) individuals in the group (preventing them from being exposed to disease). However, it harms the group in the sense that, without evolutionary pressure to be robust, subsequent individuals will ten...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:09 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 40
Views: 2024

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

"To benefit the group, you harm the individual. To benefit the individual, you harm the group." Can you explain further since this doesn't make much sense to me. It seems perfectly possible for individuals to gain and noone to lose. And if all individuals gain, surely they do as a group t...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:32 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 40
Views: 2024

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

You can go and plunge into the games people play against each other. Sometimes people help each other. So do animals. They're really just helping themselves, or their genes [...] You can try to chase down this thing called cooperation, and in case after case it turns out to be the same thing: just ...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4481
Views: 663481

Re: The Darker Side of the News

Character is more about why a person does what they do, than about the actual thing that they do. You don't shouldn't want a politician who will just do what you want, because you don't know enough to know what you want. Well I agree, but that isn't the wind blowing these days. Rather, as Gove ...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:52 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4481
Views: 663481

Re: The Darker Side of the News

The quote is in response to a video about how Trump demonstrably lied about his overriding security clearance denials. As long as he does what they want, it doesn't matter. Same with judges like kavanaugh and so forth. The thing is, character is only useful in so much as it's a predictor of future ...
by elasto
Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:45 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4481
Views: 663481

Re: The Darker Side of the News

In one IT department I used to work in we were shifting from one in-house IT system to another due to a merger. My best friend at the time was totally against the transition and decided to hand in his notice. The department let him serve out his time but arguably they shouldn't have. He spent the en...
by elasto
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:30 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest
Replies: 37
Views: 2066

Re: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest

I actually can't think of a single case of a new version of a product that is worse but cheaper. This is especially true in the specific case I was thinking of, which is software that moves to a subscription model. I agree. I can list quite a few examples of software I have now only because it move...
by elasto
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:48 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest
Replies: 37
Views: 2066

Re: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest

Providing a new product that's worse than the old product isn't an example of a pointless job, merely a job executed poorly. What if providing a worse product is part of a deliberate business strategy? Typically a product won't be both strictly worse than the product it replaces and more expensive....
by elasto
Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:51 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest
Replies: 37
Views: 2066

Re: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest

Providing a new product that's worse than the old product isn't an example of a pointless job, merely a job executed poorly.

Any job on or off this list can be executed poorly; That isn't the criteria for being on the list.
by elasto
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:05 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest
Replies: 37
Views: 2066

Re: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest

Yeah. Receptionists and admin assistants don't belong on that list; Just like specialisation plus trade produces huge net positives economically, so too with the everyday tasks keeping an organisation ticking over. 'People opening doors' is more dubious, but if they double up as security, helping pe...
by elasto
Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:15 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest
Replies: 37
Views: 2066

Re: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest

Having said that, in many modern corporations, middle-management has a target and a personal financial incentive to reduce departmental budgets year-on-year, but I could easily imagine that many do not. Where there is no pressure from above to reduce budgets basically come-what-may, I can easily ima...
by elasto
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:23 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest
Replies: 37
Views: 2066

Re: Being Rich is Against Anyone's Rational Self Interest

Causation...correlation. It would be interesting to see what the contributing factor is for "people who are unhappy tend to become rich as a way to offset this". There is also the issue of why or how somebody became rich. Doing so as a side effect of doing something else (like inventing s...
by elasto
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Unsurprisingly, all eight indicative votes were rejected - after all, all MPs can agree on is that they disagree. To expect MPs to resolve in a single session something the government with all its resources and arm-twisting couldn't resolve in two years is pretty harsh. The important thing is there...
by elasto
Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:33 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

I saw an ITV News thing recently (last night?) saying that Parliament (650 MPs elected by Da Pipple) had voted to take control of the process off the Government (a dozen gits chosen by some party leader) ... and that the Government has not yet decided whether to tell MPs how to vote on the matter. ...
by elasto
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:09 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Ok, now this made me chuckle: Email from 8 hours ago : 'The Government has responded to your petition: "We cannot and will not revoke Article 50"' Email from 2 hours ago : 'Parliament has responded to your petition: "We will debate revoking Article 50"' In some ways it's a schizo...
by elasto
Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:43 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Just got an email back from the government about the petition (as I'm sure everyone here did who signed). In it they totally ignore the fact that parliament only agreed this to be an advisory referendum (so it was government overreach to commit to it), and they totally ignore the fact that public op...
by elasto
Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Yeah, but if you don't let "the people" decide, what are you left with?

What? Democratically elected representatives carefully consulting with experts should be deciding stuff? Outrageous.
by elasto
Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8486
Views: 774469

Re: Trump presidency

I think Russia may want to damage or destroy the United States. We've interfered with Crimea. Trump has done damage to NATO (or was it the UN?). Putin may be using internal strife as a weapon to make anyone who could get in his way tear themselves apart. Trump has been ludicrously divisive. So has ...
by elasto
Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:49 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

I have a feeling that before too long it won't be up to her. Parliament is going to take full control and May will be sidelined. (Yes, she might get sacked, but I'm not sure any of her key challengers want that right now; Seems like the job is as much of a poisoned chalice as when Cameron resigned; ...
by elasto
Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:31 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6807
Views: 1072159

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Judaism also had forgiveness of debts every 7 years, and something even more special every 49 (the freeing of all slaves too maybe?)
by elasto
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:59 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6807
Views: 1072159

Re: Police misbehavior thread

I mean, I agree -- but that's not what police are intended to do. Police are intended to enforce the law, and you enforce the law by punishing people. Again, police sometimes have *arrest quotas*. They're *supposed* to be ruining people's lives. That's their function. That's their function in the U...
by elasto
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Police misbehavior thread
Replies: 6807
Views: 1072159

Re: Police misbehavior thread

No, it is not. The function of the police is to enforce the law. To do that, they have the power to arrest. But having a power doesn't mean it's their purpose to use it. What do you think enforcing the law means? How do you enforce the law? Can you give me an example of enforcing the law that doesn...
by elasto
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:24 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

I'm going on the march tomorrow, if anyone wishes to join me (and at least, like, 47 others), PM me. You get to score 10 points on the 'meet-a-mod' scoreboard we have at the xkcd office. I live too far away and have young kids, but I'll be there in spirit. Good for you though, much props! The petit...
by elasto
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:21 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

You have to laugh: How does the EU see it? EU leaders were reportedly unconvinced by Theresa May's assurance that she could convince the UK Parliament to back her withdrawal deal. Mrs May made her case for a delay in a 90-minute presentation to her European counterparts and then left the room and th...
by elasto
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:12 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

How does the process of putting forward bills work anyhow, does anyone know?

I imagine revoking A50 has to be via primary legislation, so does that mean only the government can propose it, or would a Labour front-bench or random backbencher motion count?
by elasto
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Touché... My youngest is like that sometimes. I'll ask her what she wants for dinner, and she says she doesn't know. So I'll go through, like, 20 choices and she'll refuse all of them. I tell her that unless she chooses something, I'll be the one deciding, and maybe she'll end up with something she ...
by elasto
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:37 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1390
Views: 224404

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

The rising prospect of a no-deal Brexit does focus the minds, that's true.

But the politicians voted that a no-deal Brexit couldn't happen, so it's all fine! Nothing to see here!!

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