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Comments

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Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:I don't get it. (541 comments)

If the genetic sequence "ACGTTGTA" is correlated with a differential ability to do some cognitive task and the genetic sequence "GATACCA" is associated with the ability to grow good long hair, and the two sequences are linked (a mathematical/statistical term in this usage), then it is possible to use hair as a visible predictor of the cognitive task ("playing thrash metal", for example). Correlation may not be causation, but it can be an indicator variable.

about two weeks ago
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Online Tool Flagged Ebola Outbreak Before Formal WHO Announcement

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Half story (35 comments)

As a mathematician working on data mining where we still see lots of false positives, and with the proliferation of easy tools for fools to do data mining, I wonder how long till we see panics starting days or weeks before the government is willing to announce problems. Imagine New Orleans trying to evacuate itself while the NOAA folks think that the weather that is coming is going to be a standard low level rain event. Imagine then if it turns out that NOAA was right to be calm, FEMA was right to sleep through it, but hundreds of thousands of Wx-refugees are now sitting on freeways trying to find gas. The movie Contagion was a good preview.

about two weeks ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:thank you for spending my money on shit (184 comments)

fuck the 1% and their war shit.. and fuck religion fanatics too...

Another dreamer wishing in one hand and shitting in the other, I wonder which hand fills up first.

about a month ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

FreedomFirstThenPeac The real timing question (184 comments)

What does a physically limited human in a helmet in the cockpit bring to the battle that a physically remote human in a helmet cannot do? Is the extra "situation awareness" brought about by the kinesthetic sense and the millisecond lag caused by speed-of-signal issues worth the extra cost of making an expensive toy for pilots over making a slightly less expensive toy for armchair warriors? Do we really expect the on-site human to be able to whip that $600K helmet off, squint Dirty Harry style and squeeze of a few thousand well placed rounds into a target that cannot be seen without the enhancements of that helmet? When I was AF, I'd have raised these issues and probably been told what I was told then, the remote sensing and control technology just is not up to the task.

"Prove it" says I, and I would invoke the post WWI demonstration bombing that got Billy Mitchell in trouble.

about a month ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

FreedomFirstThenPeac Minnesota - Land of 10,000 Lakes (377 comments)

I am a member of two planning commissions in Minnesota and I find it very ironic that here in the Land of 10,000 lakes (or, in the spring, one really big lake), we are having to block ethanol plants and agricultural irrigation because of ground water and deep water concerns. Similarly we are finding that the ground water we do have is slowly being destroyed by run-in from fields covered with chemicals. It does make me an outlier in the Republican party (social liberal wing thereof) when I pose these "tragedies of the commons" arguments to the died-in-the-wool free-market libertarian types. I can show them the specific assumptions in their models that cause them to FAIL (mode critical) and as a mathematician I am often surprised that they do not see how those failures force an external, non-free market solution. But I soldier on.

about a month ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (550 comments)

I went with both eyes good for distance vision because I wanted to be able to see well if I fell off my sailboat and lost my glasses (since they would be off-the-shelf sunglasses or reading glasses). I have been quite happy with the results and represent a sample size of 1. On the other hand, I DO need reading glasses, but they are cheap enough that my house looks like an explosion in a glasses factory.

about a month ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Seems like old times (752 comments)

When I was teaching at the Air Force Institute of Technology, on the topic of the the math behind IFF systems, I used this example (Vincennes incident) as an example of how human factors enter into battlefield decisions in a way that can nullify the best planned algorithms. Now I am using those examples in the hospital decision making environment.

FWIW, the example problem I presented was of an airplane heading towards a base, flying with no IFF transponder, flying low and erratically. The question was whether it was a damaged friendly (no IFF, no radio) and returning to base or an enemy spoofing to look like a damaged friendly. The Army troops were unanimous, "Shoot it down; sort it out on the ground". The flyboys were not so sanguine.

about a month ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

FreedomFirstThenPeac Wrong question ... (285 comments)

The first thing you have to ask is whether a computer that passes the test has some rights that other machines don't. The test we are looking for is one that, if a program passes the test then legal protections would intervene if you wanted to shut it off and scramble the memory. Any other test is just semantics and tomfoolery, like arguing over what color is the sky. Without the actionable component (a blue sky means I don't need my umbrella to get across the parking lot to my car) the question of "best test for AI ..." is a form of mental self-abuse, without the happy ending.

about a month and a half ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:It's already going on... (353 comments)

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The incentive is NOT to make the most money. It is to charge just enough that there is very little room for a competitor to slip in a lower premium for the same protections. Thus, if you are deemed to be an expected cost is $1K/year driver then your premium should be about $1.1K a year to leave them some protection against the high-side risks (protection they usually get through re-insurance, but that's another concept and we don't want to overload the wet-ware circuits). Conversely, if you are deemed to be an expected cost is $10K/year driver then your premium should be $11K a year and I bet they just hope someone else comes along and offers you a better deal.

But "increasing the total sum they get from premiums" is not even a first order approximation of the TWTWW (the way the world works).

about a month and a half ago
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The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Rich? Ok. For the good of the society: Never. (228 comments)

The underground and grey economies are showing that the rich are the only ones who NEED what they get, the rest of us are just droning on ...

about 1 month ago
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The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Don't mention the tree-planting thing! (228 comments)

I guarantee that if more than some (insert your guess here)% of the economy went into barter then the IRS would start enforcing EXISTING laws that make barter transactions taxable as income. So, calling brownies money (as barter) does not make them untaxable, just (currently) untaxed. As for non-profits getting a special tax break, why not (1) eliminate all corporate taxes, (2) remove free speech from corporations and unions, (3) tax wealth more (level that entitlement cliff), (4) tax consumption more (carbon tax, anyone?), (5) tax income less (but progressively).

This list is not supportable by either party, which makes me think it could be the best set of trade-offs ever. The only improvement would be if estates of everyone who died were taxed at a rate that paid off their (proportional) share of the national debt that they let get run up on their watch (without regard to which party incurred it). Might make those 20-somethings think a little bit about how much debt they wanted their cohort to put on the books.

about 1 month ago
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Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists and Climate Change

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Weather is NOT climate (567 comments)

As a practicing mathematician and statistician I really don't think the publicly available data is suitable for any weekend warriors to do their own analyses. The data that is available, I fear, will have been "cleaned" to ensure consistency with local dogma rather than to ensure suitability for analysis.

about 2 months ago
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Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re: I can stop any time!!! (710 comments)

Nice and concise, the US was lucky in WW2 in that we did not exit with ravaged infrastructure. jellomizer wrote a nice summary.

about 2 months ago
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China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US

FreedomFirstThenPeac Exactly as we might predict (274 comments)

This is pretty consistent with economic models that claim we are all competing for the same jobs, with the attendant sloppy back and forth to equilibrium.

about 2 months ago
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China Builds Artificial Islands In South China Sea

FreedomFirstThenPeac Global warming impact? (192 comments)

Do you think they think they can build 'em up faster than rising oceans can swamp them? And how hard is pouring tons of sand on coral on the coral? Where is the outrage!

about 2 months ago
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Malware Posing As Official Google Play Store Evades Most Security Checks

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Umm.. (100 comments)

"You can make a Slashdot signature quote seem authoritative by attributing it to a famous person" - Sun Tzu

Citation? My references attribute this to Buddha.

about 2 months ago
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Malware Posing As Official Google Play Store Evades Most Security Checks

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Umm.. (100 comments)

Mine this set and I'll bet you find ONE (1) real statement and 10 that use that statement (directly or indirectly).

about 2 months ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

FreedomFirstThenPeac Why bother? WHY BOTHER? (686 comments)

Well, so you can convert those pagan heathens to the proper admiration and worshiping of His Noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, of course.

about 2 months ago
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The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

FreedomFirstThenPeac It's all about the genetics (222 comments)

The genetic algorithm (GA) has proven (3B years of testing) to be incredibly powerful, able to solve problems that are not even on the table at the beginning of the run. As soon as we create a system that can evolve using GA, and that can replicate itself physically, we need to worry. Even with human interventions, computer viruses are annoying, wait till someone successfully writes in a good GA and it finds its way into a manufacturing system.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

FreedomFirstThenPeac Re:Working in the SCIF (310 comments)

Actually, the most unusual location was in the undressing room at a strip club, which happened to be where the computer was sitting. My buddies waiting on the floor while I disappeared into said undressing room were unimpressed with my excuse for going there. "Yeah, right!" was the general response when I told them.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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

FreedomFirstThenPeac FreedomFirstThenPeac writes  |  about a year and a half 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  |  about 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."
Link to Original Source

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