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Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 2) 107

by DrJimbo (#47570815) Attached to: More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

I understand the mathematics involved in Fourier analysis, but that is the mathematics -- is the electron ACTUALLY doing that, or was that simply a mathematical/logical proof that correlates highly with what we see?

ISTM your question is meaningless. The best we have to offer on what the electron is ACTUALLY doing is with mathematics that correlates highly with what we see. I don't know what it means for there to be an actuality beyond that.

Even your question/remarks on the "correct conceptual framework" seems to miss the mark. The best we have there is the simplest mathematics that correlates highly with what we see.

All of this mathematical physics has its root in formulas that were derived based on data collected in labs, ..

Actually, a very big part of the theory is predicting new and unexpected results that have not been seen in the lab yet. Another big part is when the same mathematics can describe different phenomenon that were previously thought to be unrelated. Lee Smolin provides an excellent description of how this all works in his book The Trouble with Physics. I highly recommend it.

Comment: Re:Probable cause (Score 5, Informative) 223

by DrJimbo (#47417371) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

After Ghandi got control of India he ordered _many_ killings in the future 'Pakistan' and 'Bangladesh'. Non violence is for when you don't have the power.

You mean when he personally visited the riot-prone areas to stop the massacres:

Gandhi suggested an agreement which required the Congress and Muslim League to cooperate and attain independence under a provisional government, thereafter, the question of partition could be resolved by a plebiscite in the districts with a Muslim majority. When Jinnah called for Direct Action, on 16 August 1946, Gandhi was infuriated and personally visited the most riot-prone areas to stop the massacres. He made strong efforts to unite the Indian Hindus, Muslims, and Christians and struggled for the emancipation of the "untouchables" in Hindu society.

Read the reasons given for his assassination:

Godse felt that it was Gandhi's fast (announced in the second week of January) which had forced the cabinet to reverse it's earlier recent decision not to give the cash balance of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan on 13 January 1948.

[...] He also felt that Gandhi had not protested against these atrocities being suffered in Pakistan and instead resorted to fasts.

[...] In Godse's own words during his final deposition in the court during the trial, " was not so much the Gandhian Ahimsa teachings that were opposed to by me and my group, but Gandhiji, while advocating his views, always showed or evinced a bias for Muslims, prejudicial and detrimental to the Hindu Community and its interests.

If Gandhi had been ordering murders in addition to his fasts and prayers and actions to stop them, I would imagine this would have been added to the list of reasons given for his assassination.

Comment: Re:Sue them for all they're worth (Score 3, Informative) 495

by DrJimbo (#47357083) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains

Lawsuits should be flying in all directions.

Are you suggesting they sue the court? Good luck with that. ISTM the fundamental problem is that the US courts have become the corporations bitches. Who are you going to sue and where are you going to sue them?

The book Econned explains how people with a far right economic agenda have been stacking the US courts for years. The result is what you see, basically a feudal systems where corporations are treated like lords and everyone else is a serf.

Comment: Re:bad logic (Score 1) 263

by DrJimbo (#47285503) Attached to: The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand Software

... computers most definitely can project themselves into the physical world. To the extent this is true, software should be considered as patentable as any other complex items which physically exist.

That argument is obvious nonsense. The problem is that the same software can run on lots of different hardware. Are you suggesting someone would need a separate patent for each possible hardware the software could run on? I don't think so. You want one patent to cover all possible hardware implementions. That is clearly patenting an idea, not a device/implementation.

[...] when encryption algorithms first came out, [...] they should have been eligible, since they took a non-trivial amount of effort to develop and had a number of practical uses.

Those are not good reasons for granting patents. A lot of effort goes into making many useful things but the effort and the usefulness do not make those things patent-eligible.

Comment: Re:I'm really missing Groklaw (Score 1) 220

by DrJimbo (#47273481) Attached to: US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

For example, in the fine article you linked to, Gene Quinn says:

Software can be described by reference to a series of physical actions operating through gates. This type of micro level description of what happens is going to be required, [...]

This is BS. Software that can run on different architectures cannot be described in terms of the physical hardware the software runs on. At best the patent that resulted would only be valid on the specific hardware that was described. I grant you, Microsoft (IIRC) did argue this nonsense successfully in a courtroom once but just because they were able to buffalo some lawyers and judges, that doesn't make it true.

Comment: Re:Sentient machines exist (Score 1) 339

by DrJimbo (#47115931) Attached to: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

From the article you linked to:

[...] "the Chinese Room argument has probably been the most widely discussed philosophical argument in cognitive science to appear in the past 25 years".

Most of the discussion consists of attempts to refute it. "The overwhelming majority," notes BBS editor Stevan Harnad, "still think that the Chinese Room Argument is dead wrong."

[...] The Chinese room argument is primarily an argument in the philosophy of mind, and both major computer scientists and artificial intelligence researchers consider it irrelevant to their fields.

Even if it were not so controversial, Searle's argument does even come close to proving the creation of sentient machines is impossible. We do not yet know if it is possible or not. The GP makes a good argument that it might be possible but certainly doesn't prove it. As many others have said before, the Chinese room argument is not pertinent to the discussion of what is possible with AI.

Comment: Re:But that's not all Snowden did... (Score 5, Informative) 348

by DrJimbo (#47101855) Attached to: Why Snowden Did Right

But doing a massive document dump that included things the NSA is *supposed* to do [...]

This was a lie when it was said about Chelsea Manning and it is a lie when it is said about Edward Snowden. Neither one of them did a "massive document dump" although they both had the opportunity. Instead, they did the responsible thing and disclosed what they found to news organizations to let the news organizations decide what was safe to publish and what wasn't.

If the only way you can support your world-view is with outright lies, perhaps you need to reconsider your world-view. Of course, those who most need to reconsider almost never do.


by DrJimbo (#47029117) Attached to: Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

You could get statistics by scrapping this page list of British police officers killed in the line of duty. I think it is roughly 71/248 or about 30%. I would not be surprised if the GP was correct and the percentage of British police officers killed by guns is greater than the percentage of US police officers. This could be due to the fact that British police don't have guns.

But the percentages are terribly misleading if you don't look at the absolute numbers or per capita numbers. In the US, 500 people per year are killed by the police while in Britain only 30 people total have been killed by the police (up until 2005). Since Britain has 1/5th the population of the US, the total (over all years) per capita number of people killed in Britain by police is less than 1/3rd of the per capita killed in the US every year.

Over 100 US police officers are killed in the line of duty each year while according to the page linked to above, the number of British police officers killed in the line of duty is 2 per year (this century). So on a per capita basis ten times as many US police officers get killed on duty than British police officers. If, as the GP states, roughly 30% of US police deaths on duty are due to firearms then it is 10 times more likely for a person in the US to gun down a police officer than someone in Britain.

Whatever the exact numbers are, it is clear that the amount of police related gun violence in Britain is drastically lower than police related gun violence in the US on a per capita basis.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp