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Comment: Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 1) 191

by epine (#48641759) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

Determinism = fail

With entanglement, we have an FTL coupling that can't be used to convey classical information.

Why can't we have a similarly knackered stripe of determinism, one which can't be used to shatter the illusion of free will? This would be a kind of determinism where even if you sort of know it's there, it makes no damn difference to your interpretation of local space.

Think big, grasshopper, think big.

Comment: Re: "tl;dr" doesn't make you look smarter. (Score 2) 191

by pla (#48635893) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated
We've personally dealt with long-time academics who have no real world experience. They'll spew theoretical crap all day long, and those of us who have worked in industry see it for what it is: crap.

In CompSci, I would tend to agree with you; and the humanities do count as complete bullshit, so nothing for them to really get objectively "wrong". :)

But in Quantum Physics? In that domain, the academics overlap 100% with "industry". Sure, you could argue that virtually the entirety of the semiconductor industry depends on quantum physics, but IMO, that field evolved incrementally from the "Cat's whisker" (which may as well have worked by magic for all its users understood about it), not from any sort of first-principles breakthrough as verification of the theory.

Comment: "tl;dr" doesn't make you look smarter. (Score 5, Insightful) 191

by pla (#48634769) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated
Wow, loving all the ACs calling this obvious, who clearly didn't even make it to the abstract! "Such wave-particle duality relations (WPDRs) are often thought to be conceptually inequivalent to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, although this has been debated."

Clearly, all you armchair physicists need to set those ivory-tower morons straight!

Comment: Re:Dry Counties? (Score 1) 463

by pla (#48633071) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot
What they have been telling me is that since Colorado legalized pot, they have seen a huge increase in people bringing pot into the state. That is the difference from a dry to wet county.

I wouldn't really call that a "difference" - The exact same thing happens in "dry" counties/town. Maybe somewhere in the deep, dark South you can find a town or two that really believe in all that "dry" bullshit, but in practice, prohibitions against alcohol work just as well as prohibitions against pot - ie, not at all.

they all agree that if you're caught with it, they can't just let you go.

I realize you said that as a paraphrased quote, not a personal stance, but... Of course they can! Did you ever get pulled over for speeding or an expired inspection, and the cop let you off with a warning?

Ironically enough, the idea of "police discretion" applies all the way up the food chain - Colorado can "get away" with its legalization precisely because the federal government has decided that, for now at least, it will turn a blind eye to marijuana use in states that legalize it.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: the sociology of accidents (Score 1) 174

by epine (#48619309) Attached to: Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

The only "accidental" discovery in science is the discovery one could have stretched out over a great many more research grants if one had better anticipated the scientific windfall.

Of course, we do tend to refer to the outcome of bad planning as "an accident" concerning our hominid prime directive, so perhaps there's no help for language after all.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 658

by epine (#48618993) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

You do realize that a narrative of this type can be fashioned around the prevailing conditions of all human societies at all points in human history?

America is an especially big and complex society, so one needs a correspondingly large and complex boogie man (though nevertheless, reductive to the core).

In the gospel of the one true fracture, defining yourself as against something only serves to throw more fuel on the fire. In reality, complex systems have hundreds or thousands of fault lines, and it's not always the case that the largest fault line is hovering around the supercritical state. Unless we all agree to obsess about it. Then the story self propels.

The slow march of AI is going to spin our a thousand fault lines. Get yours today!

Comment: Re:The interne cables are tapped... (Score 1) 159

by epine (#48605869) Attached to: How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

Next it's not that hard to develop mathematical techniques to analyze text and language in posts ...

Budget projects much? "Doable" and "easy" are not the same words. I'm guessing one person out of a hundred in the general population could take a reasonable stab at developing such an algorithm, and only one person out of a thousand could be considered a natural talent.

The first 20% of the work gets you to sqrt(sqrt(7e9)) as your mean perplexity, which is simultaneously impressive and yet not terribly actionable. And then the difficulty curve shoots off into the exponential regime.

Comment: Re: Why does this need a sequel? (Score 1) 298

by Samantha Wright (#48593013) Attached to: Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

...Not having any particular stake in this argument, are we quite sure that's Tyrell's intended meaning, something so mundane? I think Tyrell is more taking about stuff like this:

I have seen things you people wouldn't believe Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears in rain. Time to die

...i.e., Roy's greatness and accomplishment as a person. At that point, Tyrell wants to sooth Roy and make him accept his place by calling him amazing. Simply saying "well, that's the cost of bein' so darn strong" conflicts with his next line: "And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."

Comment: pristine records for a prissy nation (Score 1) 134

by epine (#48585677) Attached to: Facebook Offers Solution To End Drunken Posts

My impression is the regret in taking these drunken pictures happens years after the fact, when the drunken college scene has been left behind, and the poster now has a family and a 9-to-5 job and they want to distance themselves from that past.

It shocks me how rarely the cultural underpinnings are made overt in these scenarios. What you depict might actually be the case in America, but I suspect it will be different in France, where when a search pulls up no college revelry whatsoever, cultured individuals might begin to seriously doubt your breeding and character.

Whether posting photos of regular drunkenness counts as bad judgement has a circular basis case. If you get yourself photographed draping and drooling over some chick who looks none too impressed with the group grope, there might be some legitimate flags raised. Multiple binge-ups during school session might also raise eyebrows, even in France. It sure won't accentuate that embarrassing C- you received in Economics 101 because of the "family crisis".

Daryl Hannah's distal indecency. In America, s/irony/context/g.

(I had forgotten that this clip also contains some good geek humour, though slightly dated and with just a hint of cheese.)

Comment: Re:Is it more difficult? (Score 1) 241

by pla (#48585555) Attached to: Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?
It's like IT has become superficial and vacuous, and the decisions are being made by idiots who don't know which parts of technology add value to the business/support core business activities and are necessary.

Given that IT itself doesn't typically get to decide what services the company expects it to provide, I'd say you've pretty much nailed it with that quote - IT (at least the externally-visible aspects of it) has become superficial and vacuous, with the decisions made by idiots who can't tell "shiny" from "useful". You just need to clarify who makes those decisions.

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton