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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

FreedomFirstThenPeac Why apartheid "worked", why the Shah "worked", ... (474 comments)

Why apartheid "worked", why the Shah "worked", why Christianity "worked".

It is really too bad when science comes down on the side of the iron fist, but the studies show over and over that justice requires peace, and peace requires trust, and diversity reduces the social capital necessary to assure trust.

On the other hand, who wants to live under ISIL or similar diversity busting regimes? But one of the first prerequisites for a peaceful society appears to be a shared culture first, at least with respect to how people treat each other. It would be nice if we could use clothing to mark culture, so that when I see someone wearing a hoodie I could KNOW that indicated a peace-monger, but it just is not so, any more than someone wearing a sash with a swastika is identifying themselves as a keeper of the word of gawd.

The question has to be, how to get social capital higher and the science appears to suggest homogeneity. I don't like that answer, any more than I liked it when simulations showed "tit-for-tat" was the preferred strategy in cooperative games. I don't like that I cannot just flap my arms and fly either, but at some level all of these findings are our realities.

yesterday
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Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Your Past (111 comments)

Go away.

Come back if/when you grow up.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Jargon (111 comments)

It does to people who view the world through a specific jargon. I would prefer to read good cosmology with math to help my understanding, but that market is pretty small compared to simplistic "analogies" that feed and nurture the the public discourse. For an example, run down the virtual particle discussions until you finally get to the one (and it was deep when I found it) that explains that the classical virtual particles as used to explain Hawking radiation are not the virtual particles of the foundational theory, so a lot of effort gets expended trying to explain amateur "what ifs" that are founded on this simplistic analogy. Trust me, I sometime try to express my semi-naive questions knowing that what I really need to do is run down the equations and see if my question is a function of the popularizing analogies, or is it truly answerable (and needing said answer) in the mathematics.?

So, yes, popular jargon sells more books, why oh why are you surprised?

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

FreedomFirstThenPeac Left-Right dichotomy vs Compass (111 comments)

As a statistician, I am seriously annoyed with the usual Left-Right dichotomy we see in most press articles. While I like the Political Compass I am a bit nervous of their clustering algorithm, and the questions they use to feed the analytics. Even more interesting is Johathan Haidt who has achieved some TEDTalk fame describing a five-dimensional feature space (though he does try to reduce to two clusters - liberals and conservatives). So I pose a two part question, (1) do you think the public discourse is hampered by the popular press always reducing politicians and voters to "liberals" and "conservatives"? And if you are concerned, (2) what can we do to push back against such simplifications, especially here on Slashdot?

about a week ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

FreedomFirstThenPeac My personal 7 foot particle (161 comments)

Collides particles we call "pool balls" because they are so large.

about three weeks ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:I Told My Wife (161 comments)

You must be experiencing Lorentz-contractions, and if you aren't careful she will experience contractions too!

about three weeks ago
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NSA Director Says Agency Shares Most, But Not All, Bugs It Finds

FreedomFirstThenPeac Tactically, this makes sense (170 comments)

Bugs are for the most part bad ... and NSA is probably quite happy keeping us all on a path we feel is safe. If they left the bugs in, they would face a combinatorially expanding complexity of problems to solve.

about three weeks ago
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It's Official: HTML5 Is a W3C Standard

FreedomFirstThenPeac Clean browser (125 comments)

Meanwhile, I am toying with creating a pre-browser or embedded filter that removes all tags beyond what Slashdot permits, then feeds that reduced set to the display functions. I am sick and tired of trying to throttle back wacko behavior one fekking feature at a time. Or does such already exist (for Firefox or Chrome?)

about three weeks ago
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A Smart Electric Bike: Taking the Copenhagen Wheel Out For a Spin

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:too expensive (136 comments)

Sheeze. I bet you thought that electric typewriters were for lazy bums too!

about three weeks ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

FreedomFirstThenPeac The Math is against us (728 comments)

The sorts of analyses that can be conducted using game-theoretic formulations can be used to see what happens when a population is unable to defend itself because it swears off retribution in kind. The numbers are pretty dismal, without strong cooperation by the good people there is a sort of inevitability that the nice go extinct. Until the mid 1800's outlier antisocial behavior ran a high risk of being met by termination, which might not be a deterrent, but it sure reduces recividism. Once we became too civil to retaliate in kind (or stronger) we run the risk of losing to the trolls.

The ability to be anonymous just makes it harder to stop trolls, and any strong efforts to prevent anonymity are met by claims that the internet needs to support anonymity if it is to deliver freedom in the lands of tyranny.

All of this is fodder for great movies (where the bad guys are pursued by the good) but only if the bad guys hit equally evil players will they find meaningful retribution. If the trolls were to accidentally cost the Russian mafie some serious coin, they might find a knock at their door that would be much worse than having the FBI come a-knocking. (This is the plot of one of my tech-fi stories).

about a month and a half ago
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No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

FreedomFirstThenPeac As proven before ... (276 comments)

A good part of how you get a Nobel is similar to how you get an Oscar. Someone works very hard to publicize your work to a voting committee. They vote.

So a Nobel prize, like an Oscar, is a function of two strong independent variables.

Computing coefficients is left as an exercise to the interested student.

about a month and a half ago
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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:"will present results Oct. 17 (315 comments)

Multi-stage heat to electricity systems can help minimize the local heat effect, though to the extent the earth is a closed system, if we are adding heat it might be like sticking burning candles into an oven.

Solution? MASERs tuned to frequencies that the atmosphere is transparent to, to pump excess heat out into space. I envision roof-top masers as the final stage of a buildings HVAC system (replacing the current simple heat exchangers). We could mandate that all AC units over a certain size must use same, just don't fly over them. Did Clarke get patent credit for his suggestion that satellites would be useful in telecommunications?

about a month and a half ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:the solution: (651 comments)

Early in the technology cycles of fax and copiers, totalitarian governments tried to regulate or ban them. Fascists gotta be fascists.

about 2 months ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Update to Godwin's law? (575 comments)

Any sort of securista ploy to invade private property like this that starts with "think of the children" should be automatically subject to Reductio ad Hitlerum.

If I weren't at war with the Islamofascists, I'd change my sig block to this bit of brilliance!

about 2 months ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

FreedomFirstThenPeac On the other hand (942 comments)

Maybe having to learn odd measures is a good introduction to units analysis and the need to pay attention. As a discipline not a set of facts. Just sayin', there may be more going on here than just imperialistic rhetoric.

about 2 months ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Folks need to see 'The Day After' (342 comments)

Yes, The Day After is a very good movie as it embedded some very real conversations we used to have while sitting alert (Minuteman I (Mod) in 1970's).

I also watch "United 93" the way Israelis visit Masada and vow, "Masada shall not fall again!". Not for the heroics at the end, but for the many presentations of people struggling to understand what was going on. A fight we all are waging all the time, nowadays.

about 2 months ago
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New MRI Studies Show SSRIs Bring Rapid Changes to Brain Function

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:mostly clarity (138 comments)

A call to arms for the anhedonists of the World!!!!

... oh, why bother?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

FreedomFirstThenPeac I might try freezing their OS (334 comments)

Bootable, non-writable CD, schedule computer to shut off every night at 2AM, forcing a daily reboot from said hardened safe CD OS. Leave one or two copies outside the computer where you can tell them to look if they phone and say they had to throw out the one they had been using.

about 2 months ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:they will defeat themselves (981 comments)

Yeah, a lack of (internal) opposition has really helped the N Koreans, the Somalies and a few others, do freemen owe freedom and protections to societies and tribes who's oppressed are unable or unwilling to fight back? That is what we should decide first, then the rest is just strategy and tactics. But modern democratic institutions just do not do that discussion well in the presence of radical pacifists and war-hawks, who tend to see the world in black and white (sort of like the old TRS-80s did, due to its similarly limited capacity).

about 2 months ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

FreedomFirstThenPeac Only in America (600 comments)

Only in the USofA is gun ownership specifically guaranteed because it is in our charter that the people need to be able to overthrow their government. All the rest of this discussion is just chaff.

The statistics presented are part of the PRICE of that guarantee, and it is a fair use to use those statistics to ask if that protection (against the government) is worth the price, and given the way governments tend to evolve, one can ask if the USofA is really immune to the sort of evolution the Constitution was trying to protect against. And it is fair to ask whether the guns we are allowed to own are capable of protecting us against drones, black helicopters and the NSA.

But I must say that if I were confronted with a government that suddenly decided that atheists were amoral gits who deserved beheading (to mix metaphors), then at least I would be able to take one or two with me.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Back the Future in Nuclear Armageddon

FreedomFirstThenPeac FreedomFirstThenPeac writes  |  about 2 months ago

FreedomFirstThenPeac (1235064) writes "As a former Cold Warrior (both launch officer side and staff analytical mathematician side) I now appreciate more than ever the bitterness I saw in former WW2 warriors when they would see a Japanese car. One even commented that he was pretty unhappy that he had served in submarines to beat the Japanese, only to see their products rolling down the streets. Now I see that the President who was elected partially on a "no new nukes" plank is presiding over a major ramping up of US nuclear power.

This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for “a nuclear-free world” and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy.

Mind you, Mutual Assured Destruction is a dangerous path, and one we managed to negotiate only because we were lucky (and we were) and because we were careful (and we were). As a strategy, it only works with rational people (e.g., world powers with lots to lose) who might have irrational expectations that they will win in the long run, the rapid fall of imperialist Russia was helpful (I have seen blackboard talks on this as a mathematical result in game theory). This speed minimized the time we spent in the high-risk regions while transiting from MAD to where we were in the 1990's, but the political world has changed, and this President is finding it hard to toe a pedagogical line in the face of neo-realpolitiks.

Refs:

"
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Can't sleep? Maybe it not just those powerdrinks!

FreedomFirstThenPeac FreedomFirstThenPeac writes  |  about 2 years ago

FreedomFirstThenPeac (1235064) writes "SciAm reported that late night video, especially the "I'll just read my tablet so sweetie can sleep" variety, might be to blame for sleeplessness. It re-programs your circadian rhythms through your primary EM coding interface (eyeballs). So now I'll be wearing blue-suppressing sunglasses to bed, think that'll get noticed?

Refs:
  1. The first ref is the SciAm article Bright Screens Could Delay Bedtime
  2. The second is a what's what list of great references from the literature f.lux sleep research site
"
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Detecting depression from your internet mechanics

FreedomFirstThenPeac FreedomFirstThenPeac writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FreedomFirstThenPeac (1235064) writes "Apparently we could diagnose you as depressed if the mechanics of your internet use fit certain patterns. By using a cleverly embedded questionnaire that classifies the subject as depressed, and by using existing net usage data collection to collect features (variables), researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology were able to correctly predict the diagnoses of the questionnaire using the net usage data. I wonder if this could be a new Firefox plug-in, designed to help parents detect depression in their adolescents by tracking the mechanics (not the sites) and automatically emailing them if their ward is showing increasing signs of depression."
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