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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

surd1618 Re:instant disqualification (637 comments)

print sorted(set(range(2,n+1)).difference(set((p * f) for p in range(2,int(n**0.5) + 2) for f in range(2,(n/p)+1)))) Now do this in VB.

Parent didn't say, "This is beautiful. Do this." Parent said (paraphrasing) Python is powerful. This is a good example of that. It's dense and it's awful, but (nested) list comprehensions are nothing if not powerful.

And its not going to make one iota of difference what language you learned those fundamentals on in high school when you get to university.

If it's not going make a difference, then why use a language that only works on one platform, rather than an open one, like Python or Ruby?

5 days ago
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New Collaborative Project Wants to Systematize Complex Problem Solving Online

surd1618 recursion issue (42 comments)

In simple words: decomposing the main issue into subsequent small-ones and providing solutions to the sub-issues, the result taking form of a node tree.

The entire community is going to get stuck on one of those unsolvable graph theory problems.

about a week ago
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Scientists Discover Compound In Baby Diapers Can Enlarge Brain Cells

surd1618 Re:If you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin. (75 comments)

Nonsense, malarkey, and hocus pocus. That's 5 links to articles, all of which make assertions that are not tested or are too vague to be easily testable.

"Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them.

Which chemicals? This statement could be true for some, and patently false for others. Ditto for all the stuff you said about the liver. (IANAD but I've taken biochem, so, come at me if you like)
That Dr. Hyman article is BS.... I can't believe how hard that fucking vaccine myth is to stamp out. THE RESEARCH WAS FRAUDULENT! (and abusive!)
Concerning autism and vitamin D, correlation and causation....
If I seem shrill about this, well, my brother is autistic, and I am extremely BS-averse.

"That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

-Christopher Hitchens

about a week ago
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FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

surd1618 That class-action-suit is a sham (217 comments)

$45 MILLION dollars for annoying phone calls

That's the kind of lawsuit that causes the lobbyists to ride to Washington.

about two weeks ago
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Lawrence Krauss On Scientists As Celebrities: Good For Science?

surd1618 my 2 cents (227 comments)

Scientists who become recognizable have a chance and perhaps even a responsibility, which they have often exploited, to promote science literacy...

I just want to say, that I don't think there's any responsibility implied here. Generally, someone can be as clever as they like, and not do anything for anyone else, and it's not their problem. There's maybe no reason not to, perhaps since they would be promoting the way they make a living; maybe I just don't like the way this was phrased.

about two weeks ago
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Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?

surd1618 nice try (331 comments)

You just want my bandwidth. sneaky sneaky...

about two weeks ago
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How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

surd1618 Re:Start with Venus... (319 comments)

Well, lets test that in Venus. But it doesn't matter what we do to the atmosphere, it will be unstable, so long as the planet doesn't rotate. And that's something we can never fix (with the amount of energy needed, it'd make more sense to push Mars into the Asteroid belt to "absorb" all the asteroids there to become more Earthlike in size, then move Mars to a more friendly (closer to the sun) orbit. As much as that'd take, it's still be less energy than spinning Venus to Earth days.

I don't know. I am suspicious of a few things here. Maybe you have a source? I don't see how making a planet spin takes less energy then pushing it into different orbits. Maybe if you want to push Mars around in a very very slow way, this is true, but it would take a looooooong time. Also, any amount of collisions that added substantially to the volume of Mars, would create oceans of molten lava. If we let Mars accrue enough of the asteroids to gain gravity, it would take a long long time to cool off I think...? (It would also build up a lot of carbon dioxide in the process, which is actually a good thing for terraforming purposes, but it would translate into a still longer superhot period).

Again, not sure.

about three weeks ago
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Text Editor Created In Minecraft

surd1618 weight-lifting (114 comments)

Another really important question is just how much of the world's creative potential is devoted to creating meta-inventions on top of rulesets intended for something else entirely rather than, say, bringing about world peace, curing cancer, feeding the hungry, or just plain moving out of your mom's basement. Not that I am entirely without sin in this regard myself, but it is a sad commentary on the state of the world (virtual or not) that we appear to live in when solving vast and pointless artificial problems in a virtual reality is more appealing than tackling the real and serious problems that surround us.

Personally, I find that energy devoted to task is nothing like units expended i.e. not at all a zero-sum game. For myself, I can spend a long time working on tough math problems, and indeed feel very exhausted, but then when I turn to something else, like say cleaning up the kitchen, I do very well, in fact I do a better job then I would if I had not been working hard at something else for a while. Also, developing a tolerance to working on something tough translates well into doing (possibly more important) tough things later.

This could just be me.

about three weeks ago
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What Isn't There an App For?

surd1618 Re:Society has been dumbed down (421 comments)

GPS apps allow trips that were impossible before. E.G. I used GPS to navigate a truck out of downtown SF at night, from an apartment building to the freeway to Mountain View, including tons of construction sites, alone. I don't live in SF and I had basically no idea of where I was. I could have memorized the directions and learned a bunch of stuff about SF, which would have been a waste of time (since I don't live near); instead I got to have an interesting conversation about email security on the way. This is, for me, a perfect example of the utility of abstraction that apps allow.

about three weeks ago
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US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

surd1618 Re:Why not as civilians? (223 comments)

Also, what about the mindset of a weapon-wielder? I for one am shy of guns. I don't even like to see them, much less maintain some proficiencies. If I were a higher-up in the military, I would want my technical staff to at least be able to imagine very very vividly what the grunts were going through. I wouldn't want some kind of gun-shy pacifist making decisions that could have a bearing on the outcome.

There could be caveats to this principle, though, like creating a training environment that somehow prevented my drone pilots from exhibiting PTSD, or some variant of Ender's Game.

about three weeks ago
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Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

surd1618 Re:*sips pabst* (351 comments)

To be fair: LOTR and The Hobbit are the best movie-adaptions of Tolkien to date.

I like Ralph Bakshi's cartoon. When I was a kid, I thought it was super-duper cool. He conveyed the feeling of ancient and powerful magic, and retained a feeling of naivete regarding the power of the ring and the involvement of Sauron. The world is much more magical if you are introduced to the ring as a curiousity, and then read LOTR and see how much deeper the world gets.

Jackson messed up some stuff pretty seriously. I hated the first new "Hobbit" movie. I didn't see the other two. I refuse.

about a month ago
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An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

surd1618 Re:Barely scratches the surface (190 comments)

It would be cheaper to buy coffee machines at the thrift store and toss the entire machine out once a week. Not that that makes any sense.

about a month ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

surd1618 consider the view of Iain Banks here (391 comments)

I don't recall which book, but in one of the Culture novels, it was stated that swarms that grew exponentially in all directions were always eradicated by other races. It was viewed as a problem that arose from time to time. This is supposing that there are hard limits to all technology, and that many races reach those limits. On the other hand, it seems clear in that world that the Minds are the most advanced known creatures, so machines do win out.

Of course top-down constructed machines, built by other machines, are going to win out. I take that as a given just based on the fact that we can build calculators.

about a month ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

surd1618 Re:bah (177 comments)

I was setting economics aside, because I thought that the parent was too.

about a month ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

surd1618 Re:bah (177 comments)

This was absurdly hard to research, because I only needed some specific seemingly simple facts.
It takes an adult about 1 mg of THC to feel subjectively 'high', and even if hash is only 20% THC (it can be upwards of 60%), and even at only 20% delivery efficiency, that's only 25 mg of hash. That would be a very small amount of cocaine.
I *could not* find specific gravity of THC or cocaine. I looked on pubchem and elsewhere
Based on Google images, a kilo of cocaine looks a little bigger than a kilo of hash to me. If cocaine was not ~10 more valuable by weight, then I'm pretty sure that it would not make a difference which one you were smuggling in terms of physics.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

surd1618 Re:it can be air filled (200 comments)

They can die in storm or turbulence-related accidents, making the whole mission much more dramatic and Hollywood-worthy.

about a month ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

surd1618 bah (177 comments)

It bears responsibility for helping turn the '80s into the "Cocaine Decade" in the U.S. because it became much more difficult to import the the heavy and bulky drug marijuana into the U.S. through Florida...

BS... THC is more psychoactive, by weight, than cocaine. By this logic, why didn't hash win out, or for that matter, heroin, or synthetic opiates active in the lower microgram range? People love coke, simple as that.

about a month ago
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No More Foamy Beer, Thanks To Magnets

surd1618 Re:It's rotten barley water (130 comments)

Actually, you have to begin sprouting it in order to make malt, so the grain needs to be relatively fresh.

about a month and a half ago

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