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Comment Gray versus grey (Score 1) 59

In 1988, X11R2 arrived with the addition of three colors, including the identical shades "gray" and "grey." According to Austin-based developer Alex Sexton, discussing the colors at a JavaScript Conference last year, programmers at Hewlett-Packard couldn't remember the proper spelling (which was originally with an 'a'). Including two names, it was thought, would prevent errors.

I looked into this once, and found that one is a UK convention and the the other a US convention (gray).

Comment It *is* a science, but a hard one (Score 1) 289

Economics is a science, or at least would be if done right.

Science is about predicting, modeling, and understanding the real world. Economics is the real world.

The "problem" is that it's a messy science with lot of variables, including human behavior. It's also difficult to get something close to controlled studies, as each situation is a different combo of factors. But this is also true of cosmology where we can't reboot the universe to try different things: we have to observe just the one we got.

Just because it's a difficult science does NOT make it a non-science. Nobody said science has to be easy to be science.

Comment Re:Article also misses a major point (Score 2) 252

...based on a deterministic view of the universe - one without quantum mechanics. This viewpoint is false.

A deterministic model may be a sufficient emulation even if not a perfect emulation.

After all, a lot of people take drugs, caffeine, alcohol, get smashed in the head in football or a swimming accident, get diabetes, and still are usually more or less themselves. The brain is designed to handle a degree of "noise" and damage, and this could very well include the "noise" of an imperfect model of itself. How much is "good enough", we don't yet know.

Comment IPython Notebook (Score 1) 310

I don't have a clear picture of what your organization will be doing, but your comment about "managing that data (=measurements + reports)" made me wonder if you will want to use the IPython notebook.

When people work to analyze measurements (make plots, etc. and make decisions) and then write new code, if they do so step by step in an IPython Notebook, and then other scientists can peer-review the notebooks, this might be even more useful to you than version control. It would give you a history of how the analysis was done and why the reports were made the way they were.

In my job, I do some analysis and work in databases, and I seriously want to start using IPython Notebook as my SQL client, and save my notebooks for later review. It would document the queries I ran and the results I got, so later I could find the queries again to re-run them, and see how they worked out before re-running them.

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.