Short Straw Villain

I believe they want you to give in.

How much attention does anyone really pay to the stained glass?

"We're sending you to the third quarter of 1996, right on the money."

My head is a machine that tries to estimate the likelihood that a given noun is true, based on principles of consistency and causality with respect to the rest of what my head is aware of. Funny, strictly speaking, the probabilities will always lie between 0 and 1, exclusive, since we can never be certain of anything. In practice however, most things lie so extremely to one side that it is not really worth describing the acceptable exceptions because they are just too outlandish to bother with. When doubting such large portions of the established observations we are left with little guidance to establish alternative explanations and consequently weak and dispensable alternatives. Why are consistency and causality assumed to be valid principles on which to base such important matters? Because the alternatives are of no use. Yes, good old proof by contradiction. It's not really that though, if there were good evidence that assuming the universe was inconsistent, or that causality does not hold, and the understanding of that evidence, or even that assumption, led to fruitful predictions, then those principles would be adopted immediately. There seem to be only three categories in which all things must fall... deterministic, probabilistic, and completely random.

But I will try to find a way to not fit in any of those categories, though it doesn't seem very promising.

I think I'm in love with EVE, from WALL•E. She's smart, strong, fast, playful, cute sounding, she takes care of WALLE•E, she seems to be attracted to his quirky/naive/playful, (and sometimes clumsy), behavior, and she solved his rubik's cube! She sort of seems like a free spirit. It's strange, those aren't really things I look for in a girl (though maybe it's because this is a joke?). Directive?

I've thought some about how artificial intelligence will eventually outperform us greatly, and I'm one of those people who suspect that it will happen sooner than we think (though I still wouldn't really say when with any confidence). But I can't decide what the consequences will be. Even physics will lose much of it's traditional pizzaz if artificial intelligence were to begin making physics discoveries beyond a human's capabilities, which seems quite possible.

While trying to fall asleep last night, I began thinking about the internet, and I realized, we have accumulated so much information, that our older methods of organizing it are stretched to their limits, or long dead. For instance, if you printed a book with everything available on the internet, there would be no good way to organize the table of contents, or the index, or a glossary.

Is it rude to tell a girl working in retail that she is really beautiful (while she's at work)? If so, would it be rude to ask her that question?
There must be a difference between continuous and infinitely divisible? Or maybe not. I cannot yet tell.
I don't think I've ever been rejected out right, at least not by a girl. I have by a job, though I think maybe only one. This isn't a testament to my abilities, but more a testament to my caution, lack of action, and inexperience.
Rhythm, then melody, then lyrics (Paul Simon's method).
You've fallen out of love with yourself. Take one small step outside of yourself and you find you're not the only one.
Falling upward.

Osborne effect
The fucking horses mouth, like Mr. Ed.
Graduate schooling:
Quantum computing with Mathematica:

I've got this book, with potentially more than tens, or even hundreds of billions of pages. And it's got an index that can near-instantly take me to thousands of pages relevant to any subject matter it covers. Unless you get real obscure you are likely to find something pertinent to your research.

There's always a villain, so we should probably draw straws.

I think we are finding that, although the methods of science are well suited to solve many problems, it is not suitable for all problems. As an example, science is very good at solving problems generated by curiosity, and problems involving the validity of information; in some sense, validating information is itself the scientific process. But human happiness is, oddly enough, not dependent so much on the validity of information, nor the satisfaction of curiosity. I'm not sure I know, but human happiness is probably dependent on more naturally evolved human needs and desires, which would certainly include the obvious things, like food, shelter, safety, and social interaction, but probably involve more subtle and complicated needs, like specific social and sexual needs, both of which are EXTREMELY complicated; take it from someone who has a basic understanding of gyroscopes, microwave ovens, and modern computers, all the way from the atomic to the human systems of measurement. You start off assuming a gyroscope is one of the simplest devices possible; a spinning mass, how much simpler could it get? But to see it intuitively takes time, and human social behavior is obviously

"My head is swimming, could you feed me my next line? I'm new at pretending."

Specioprin Hydrochloride

Ha ha haha! Floccinaucinihilipilification is a word!

This article is excellent. This line:
The most destructive form of grading by far is that which is done “on a curve,” such that the number of top grades is artificially limited:  no matter how well all the students do, not all of them can get an A.  Apart from the intrinsic unfairness of this arrangement, its practical effect is to teach students that others are potential obstacles to their own success.  The kind of collaboration that can help all students to learn more effectively doesn’t stand a chance in such an environment.

Reminds me of something my dad has reiterated occasionally, that in college, he didn't help other people in physics class because it couldn't possibly help him; there were only so many As, Bs, and Cs available, so improving your classmates' comprehension was like sabotaging yourself. I've found that discussing these things, even if I am way ahead of my classmates, helps me out just as much as it helps them out. It's sort of a 'rich get richer' scenario. This also reminds me of 3rd grade, when Tiffany Ryan asked for an answer on some quiz or test we were taking, and I gave it to her, and Ms. Phipps caught us, and took us both into the hall and scolded us. The ONLY reason I gave Tiffany answers was because I felt BAD for her. I was very embarrassed.
This bit is great too:
Moreover, elementary and middle schools that haven’t changed their practices often cite the local high school as the reason they must get students used to getting grades regardless of their damaging effects -- just as high schools point the finger at colleges.

In 8th grade I had an english teacher, Mrs. Wilson, who told us that when we got to high school, all of our papers would have to be written in cursive, otherwise the teachers would not accept them. As it turns out, if they weren't typed they almost certainly weren't accepted, but typing is a lot easier than writing cursive (at least to me), so it wasn't a big deal. I don't recall ever really writing in cursive in high school.

I think that this is a clear indication that voters need to be more well-informed by the people organizing the vote. I think in a large number of these ballots, the voter should have returned the ballot in exchange for a new one. I think that is a perfectly reasonable request. The ballot should be immediately and visibly destroyed, and a new ballot should be issued. Most of the ballots shown seem to be mistakes in choice (that is, they marked something unintentionally and didn't know it might invalidate their vote. Probably the people who signed it didn't know that would invalidate their vote too, an argument for more transparent presentation to voters of what makes their vote invalid).

The heat anticipator, and how to set it.

In Back to the Future 3, Marty accidentally breaks the fuel line in the DeLorean, and he and Emmett spend some time (and the rest of the movie), finding alternative methods of getting the vehicle up to 88 mph. Emmett explains that there isn't any gas in 1885, but there are TWO DeLoreans in 1885: the one Doc was in that got struck by lightening in 1955, and the one Marty took from 1955 (which was really the 1885 one that sat in a cave for 70 years). So they SHOULD have syphoned the gas out of the original DeLorean, but that wouldn't have been much of a movie I guess. Oops.

Don't look into it, but I'm a respected internal medicine doctor with many surviving patients.

My favorite complexity class (right now) is NC (Nick's class). It is the class of problems were are solvable in polylogarithmic time by a parallel processor machine with a polynomial number of processors. Which sort of just means it is the class of problems that are actually solvable.

I don't want to survive; I want to live.

Isn't 'easy' a very notation dependent notion? Should Turing-completeness be considered a generalized notation, providing a method of analysis that is independent of notation?

"Superladies? They're always trying to tell you their secret identity... think it'll strengthen the relationship or something like that. I say, 'Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that.' I mean, you tell me you're, uh... S-Super, Mega, Ultra Lightning Babe, that's alright with me. I'm good... I'm good."

Against the wall.

AH HA! Chad Orzel explained in this video, about 43 minutes in, the difference between the Everett many worlds hypothesis and the multiverse hypothesis; both of which I abhor. The essential difference is that the many worlds hypothesis is meant to explain the collapse of the wave function into a single definite state while the multiverse is meant to explain the apparent arbitrariness of certain fundamental constants. Full disclosure: I very strongly dislike both of these ideas—neither of them offer up useful predictions, neither one is foreseeably falsifiable, neither one has real evidence beyond suggestions we interpret by our mathematics, and both postulate a much greater fundamental complexity to the universe than the alternative hypotheses (e.g., even the null hypothesis). As a result for my dislike of these ideas, I may have in the past lumped them together, though I think I have understood these differences for a long time. Ultimately I consider both to be fantastical suggestions and may have lumped them in with other fantastical science, since I consider it all to be a waste efforts. But let me more specifically attack the multiverse hypothesis now.
What strikes me as most unsatisfactory about the multiverse hypothesis, or more so it's motivation, is the assumption that the physical constants are fundamentally independent of one another, and everything else. The fact that we do not currently understand the fundamental physical constants is no reason to believe that they are not all the result of an overarching single law/rule/behavior/aspect of the universe, it is simply evidence that we don't know exactly what we are talking about yet. Quite likely we will never know to the exactness I refer to; Richard Feynman, when asked if he was looking for "the ultimate laws of the universe" replied, "no, I am not...", and went on to say it might be that there is some simple underlying rule, or it might be that the rules seem to go on forever and there is no end and no clear foundation. I agree, either path may be true, but neither one implies (the first in fact denies) the idea that we should have a large number of independent fundamental parameters. Even assuming there is a single fundamental parameter, I would argue that the ultimate goal of physics would be to not only find the single parameter, but also to explain it's reason for being so! (Admittedly I am holding my field to much higher standards than ANYONE should ever expect ANYTHING to EVER reach, but 'they' told me to aim for the stars, right?) I think I might be ranting here now, and that I should probably take a break, regroup... maybe try to return to the topic at hand.

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