Search found 1798 matches

by btilly
Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:13 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: worst bugs ever (or your most hated)
Replies: 196
Views: 22371

Re: worst bugs ever (or your most hated)

At work I now have a Windows machine where if Notepad makes a file on my Desktop, Notepad can see the file but it doesn't show up on my Desktop and Outlook can't find it.

I made the same file in another folder and it worked fine.
by btilly
Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:56 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 10016
Views: 2033201

Re: Coding: Fleeting Thoughts

You, sir, name? wrote:Coding does strange things to your ego. It really sends mixed signals. It's like, you're a genius for finding the bug, but an idiot for creating it in the first place.

That is one reason to maintain someone else's code. No more mixed signals! :D
by btilly
Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:57 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Are People Getting More Intelligent?
Replies: 45
Views: 5672

Re: Are People Getting More Intelligent?

If I had to give a wild guess I'd point out that research indicates that people in good cardiovascular health have better short-term memory. (This is due to the better blood supply to the brain.) So decreases in general cardiovascular health are likely to be bad for IQ. In short, being a couch pota...
by btilly
Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I have questions. Not homework.
Replies: 18
Views: 2284

Re: I have questions. Not homework.

The L and D (levo and dextro) refer to how exactly the molecules are arranged in space. You're right, there are no differences in bonding. The simple answer is that the enzymes that make alanine have a structure such that the stuff it makes is all arranged one way. It's this enzyme in particular , ...
by btilly
Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:34 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

Yes, I pay for a lot of things I don't want (eg Iraq), however even so I get what I do want at a lower cost than would otherwise be feasible. You failed to actually cite anything. What exactly do you get cheaper via a centrally planned government than a free market? (other than water/power in an ur...
by btilly
Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:01 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

Ixtellor, I mostly agree on efficiency arguments of certain monopolies. The flaw in your reasoning is the lowest cost solution is not the only factor in a free market (otherwise BMW & Mercedes would be out of business). You have to consider other economic values. Problems with government grante...
by btilly
Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Store refuses to customize cake (Adolf Hitler Campbell)
Replies: 112
Views: 10740

Re: Grocery store refuses to customize kid's cake

i was under the impression that it would be legal to deny business on the basis of race. In USA at least. Not that such stores would last long. My first reaction to your impression is that you are wrong. The 1964 Civil Rights Act banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or n...
by btilly
Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:37 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bailout and blame: Views on capitalism and misinformation.
Replies: 41
Views: 5426

Re: Bailout and blame: Views on capitalism and misinformation.

The OP's argument is based on the assumption that the banks that lent irresponsibility going bankrupt is a bad outcome. In capitalism and libertarian views, those banks should go out of business and that is a very good outcome. That was the view of the US government in 1929. Not long after the enti...
by btilly
Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:25 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Concerning Torture & Does Torture Work?
Replies: 49
Views: 6247

Re: Concerning Torture & Does Torture Work?

What do you do now that you have a broken subject and have verified what the experts said about torture all along? As I have already said, If it doesn't work it should be illegal; the good not being equal or greater from the bad. And it hasn't be verified by the experts. You only hear what the news...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:44 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8
Replies: 109
Views: 8720

Re: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8

UPDATE: http://www.sacbee.com/topstories/v-print/story/1540108.html I wonder just how useful these amicus briefs will be. I'm not well-versed on the legal studies sphere, so I'm not sure just how significant these acts are. They matter to the extent that their arguments impress the judges. Some cou...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:38 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The greatest enemy of capitalism
Replies: 56
Views: 6518

Re: The greatest enemy of capitalism

Please, never suggest that Alexander Hamilton was the creator of capitalism. I would, however, agree that he did more than any other man in history to stack the deck in the United States system in favor of regulation and central control. I think a stronger case can be made for Franklin D. Roosevelt...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:56 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

Stop acting like you can justifiably use that patronizing tone in Serious Business. Do it again in this thread and you're out. -Az Hey, look. Nobody is telling you to go into the utility business. If you think your efforts and resources are more profitable elsewhere, take them elsewhere. Also histo...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:36 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Concerning Torture & Does Torture Work?
Replies: 49
Views: 6247

Re: Concerning Torture & Does Torture Work?

I don't actually know much about the effectiveness of torture, but if I were to interrogate someone my questions would be divided in two. Half would be "control" questions with known answers randomly dispersed throughout the interrogation, with the other half being the "actual" ...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:27 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0530: "I'm An Idiot"
Replies: 123
Views: 34309

Re: "I'm An Idiot" Discussion

I'm the kind of person who might lock myself out again. It makes me want to learning to pick locks. But that's illegal, isn't it? >: Knowing how to do it is legal in the USA. Here is what you need to know and if making your own lockpicks is too scary you can buy lockpicks online . But learning to p...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:47 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Store refuses to customize cake (Adolf Hitler Campbell)
Replies: 112
Views: 10740

Re: Grocery store refuses to customize kid's cake

So it's okay to discriminate against people for political beliefs? Yes, of course. Why wouldn't it be? It's their cake store, they should be allowed to do what they want with it. There's no right to cake. There's a right* to be treated equally with respect to the provision of goods and services, th...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:22 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

First of all, let's point out a reasonable solution to the problem, one that's employed in fact by many governments. That is the idea of regulated private enterprise. For example, PG&E supplies my electricity, and I have no problem with that. I'm not asking to buy it directly from the governmen...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:04 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Kids names?
Replies: 216
Views: 16970

Re: Kids names?

Wouldn't Valentina be more appropriate for a girl? Or is Valentine one of those strange gender-neutral names? Comparing http://www.babynameshub.com/baby-names-girls/Valentina.html with http://www.babynameshub.com/baby-names-girls/Valentine.html I'm going with the theory that Valentina is more appro...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:41 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

First of all, let's point out a reasonable solution to the problem, one that's employed in fact by many governments. That is the idea of regulated private enterprise. For example, PG&E supplies my electricity, and I have no problem with that. I'm not asking to buy it directly from the governmen...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:58 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

Anyways, as I say, these are complex issues about which there are many legitimate disagreements. As long as you accept the basic principle that there can be things that legitimately are best done by organizations like the government, I am happy. Most people believe that. Even the craziest of libert...
by btilly
Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:44 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

It's not as though public sewage is incredibly necessary. People can pay a company to plant and periodically empty a septic tank; people who don't choose to do so will quickly become disease-ridden and shunned, which works better than government enforcement anyway. Hold on a sec. Are you advocating...
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:01 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I have questions. Not homework.
Replies: 18
Views: 2284

Re: I have questions. Not homework.

Thanks for the answers! I'll post something someone else got and let you see math (it does use around your given number of planets), but that's going to have to be later in the week. I don't have the book personally. Other questions: A question of there being so few fossils found for 1.5 billion ye...
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

I'm not suggesting that specific individuals pay. I'm suggesting that society pays, which of course means that general individuals will pay their part. This eventually comes down to what others, ordinarily, would be unwilling to pay for, as they'd see it as foolish to put funds into things. Should ...
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:46 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Kids names?
Replies: 216
Views: 16970

Re: Kids names?

Fat Tony wrote:Heh, should've stuck with Samwise.
Why'd you decide against it, anyways?

I was afraid that it could make him a target for teasing.
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bailout and blame: Views on capitalism and misinformation.
Replies: 41
Views: 5426

Re: Bailout and blame: Views on capitalism and misinformation.

Many of the risks taken were major. However there was a huge incentive problem. Sure, you might individually realize that the toxic loans you are packaging up aren't likely to be worth what you're getting for them as a bond. But playing along makes you lots of money. Worse yet, taking a stand again...
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:12 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)
Replies: 77
Views: 9690

Re: Public Goods and Natural Monopolies (Belief in?)

A historical note. The Victorian era was far more laissez faire than the current world is. Yet even they, after many preventable deaths (including Queen Victoria's husband), concluded that public health was a worthwhile endeavor. The result? Most major plagues were brought under control before they ...
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:33 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Reason for expulsion?
Replies: 55
Views: 6508

Re: Reason for expulsion?

technically you did do something wrong, I hope you understand that it's good to impart wisdom but not when it is obvious the other person is going to misuse the information; even with your friends Was it obvious that the other person is going to misuse the information? It wouldn't be obvious to me!...
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:25 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Kids names?
Replies: 216
Views: 16970

Re: Kids names?

I actually have children. They were named Samuel Estep and Claire Eleanor. In both cases the middle name is a family name. Samuel is because I convinced my wife that Samwise was not a good choice. (If you think you know where Samwise came from, you probably have it right.) Claire is a name we both l...
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:55 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Pavlov's foreplay
Replies: 41
Views: 5006

Re: Pavlov's foreplay

Spuddly wrote:I am very skeptical. I will let you know how the experiment goes. Personally, I think it'll be inconclusive.

Who wants to start the betting pool on how quickly Spuddly's attempts to achieve sexual nirvana turn into sexual abstinence?
by btilly
Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:15 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Perl vs. Python vs. Ruby
Replies: 10
Views: 3328

Re: Perl vs. Python vs. Ruby

I've been hacking together some random Perl stuff, and it's pretty easy... Not sure how much I enjoy using the language yet, but it's not bad. I'll be sure to try the others shortly though once I get a better feel for Perl. If you have questions on Perl, a good site to ask questions on is http://ww...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8
Replies: 109
Views: 8720

Re: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8

Your positions puzzle me. You have little difficulty in understanding that religious people care about what word is used. But you don't understand that anyone who is not religious would care. Why is it that you can understand that words matter to one group but you can't understand that they are imp...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:24 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Geometrically hard, algebraically easy problems
Replies: 23
Views: 2924

Re: Geometrically hard, algebraically easy problems

Doubtful; for example, Descartes (who was, after all, the "father" of analytic geometry) did work on the tangent line problem, which is certainly pretty difficult in the general case geometrically. The tangent line problem is today counted as part of Calculus, not Euclidean Geometry. It c...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:20 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: Why are Microsoft evil?
Replies: 180
Views: 45489

Re: Why are Microsoft evil?

Many years ago I decided that Microsoft was evil based on their business practices. I haven't paid enough attention to see whether they have changed, but even if they have they have so much stuff to their discredit that it will take a long time to work off. Besides, the quality of their products is ...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:22 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bailout and blame: Views on capitalism and misinformation.
Replies: 41
Views: 5426

Re: Bailout and blame: Views on capitalism and misinformation.

We've known for a long time the fact that free markets cannot reliably provide public goods . What this financial crisis should teach us is that the stability of our financial system is a public good. And therefore it can't be provided by the free market. After the Great Depression a number of measu...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Perl vs. Python vs. Ruby
Replies: 10
Views: 3328

Re: Perl vs. Python vs. Ruby

My summary of the strengths of each. Perl: Perl has CPAN. I can't stress how big an advantage it is to have such a large library of available modules, many of which are of very high quality. But it is a highly idiosyncratic language that has kind of aggregated over time. People tend to love it or ha...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Pavlov's foreplay
Replies: 41
Views: 5006

Re: Pavlov's foreplay

Sorry to disappoint you, but the fact that women take longer to get aroused is physiological, not psychological. Furthermore women are responsive to body language. If you're thinking of her as a lab rat she will be likely to respond poorly, no matter how you try to hide it. Now from what you are say...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:13 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Geometrically hard, algebraically easy problems
Replies: 23
Views: 2924

Re: Geometrically hard, algebraically easy problems

I believe that the first fact of Euclidean geometry to be first discovered algebraically was the discovery by Gauss that the 17-gon is constructible with ruler and compass. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructible_polygon for more.
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8
Replies: 109
Views: 8720

Re: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8

You seem not to see the difference between what the government calls something and what you, your family, and everyone else calls something. I could see you not wanting to call your marriage a civil union, or wanting the people around you to call it marriage, but I just can't sympathize with the po...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:13 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8
Replies: 109
Views: 8720

Re: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8

In our culture, the secular definition of marriage is marriage as defined by the government. If you get the government out of the business of marrying people, what would the secular institution of marriage be? I'm mystified by these statements. I'm not aware of the government going to any great len...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:25 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Are People Getting More Intelligent?
Replies: 45
Views: 5672

Re: Are People Getting More Intelligent?

With so many references to the Flynn effect I think it worthwhile to note that in many industrialized countries the Flynn effect seems to have stopped and reversed slightly since the 90s. Again, nobody knows why. If I had to give a wild guess I'd point out that research indicates that people in good...
by btilly
Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:18 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8
Replies: 109
Views: 8720

Re: Atty. General Asks CA SC To Throw Out Prop 8

In our culture, the secular definition of marriage is marriage as defined by the government. If you get the government out of the business of marrying people, what would the secular institution of marriage be? Yes, there are other possible secular models of marriage. For instance we could return to ...

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