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Comment What we need is the code analog to 3D printing (Score 1) 187

We need an algorithm that can generate good one-time use codes, that can be coded in Excel or other trivial environments and that does not include a backdoor. Once such a simple algorithm is distributed, then we can roll-our-own coded messages, in a massive civil disobedience movement. If such an algorithm already exists, we need to put it on bumper stickers, carve it into bank walls, spread it in flyers in coffee shops and stand back to see what the unintended consequences are.

Comment Been there, done that. (Score 1) 143

Yeah, when I was in AF ROTC at Mich St Univ in 1969-1973 we were told to carry our ROTC uniforms to class in paper bags so we would not be jumped. The protesters did firebomb the Army ROTC building (1970). I went on to a career in the military bombing babies and holding cities hostage. Eventually I single handedly raped an entire civilization (retroactively, without my consent or knowledge) and established a male patriarchy.

Comment A former military analyst (Score 1) 258

In a previous life I worked on the SIOP and helped evaluate various (mostly counterforce) strategies. I highly recommend the books, Prisoners Dilemma (Poundstone) and Command and Control (Schlosser, don't get sidetracked by the Damascus incident story). If you have not read these sources, even if you worked on strategy and tactics at SAC (like I did), even if you taught Strategic and Tactical Sciences at the Air Force Institute of Technology (like I did), you are probably not as informed as you should be on these topics. I certainly was not then, but with maturation comes some ability to see the past for what it was.

Comment Republican/Libertarian activists (Score 1) 1291

As an activist working within the GOP I use this idea as part of an overall philosophical and pragmatic solution to the failure of free markets to deal with boundary layer conditions (which I invoke because I am a mathematician who has studied the equations, one of my posters in my office is of the Keynesian mathematical model). When I use it, I am talking with the people who see failures in current policy as being the result of wishful "unicorn" beliefs among the wishful thinkers whose belief in a goal outweighs their understanding of people, markets and freedom (see "Heaven on Earth").

The pragmatic argument I use is that a reasonable minimum salary, properly implemented, can allow us to shut off all the "death by a thousand cuts" that modern victimhood-rewarding strategies use to buy votes using the taxpayers' own money.

Comment Re:Israel hasn't vowed to "wipe Iran off the map" (Score 1) 441

To understand how Israel is using their nuclear threat one has to understand the theories behind deterrence and mutual assured destruction, concepts that I used to teach at AFIT, and which few knee-jerk pacifists can get their heads around. "Math class is tough" says the Barbie doll.

That said, I did also ask the students to consider whether the key assumptions of the models are met in the Middle East, for the most part they were met when talking about the governments, but not so much with NGOs (like ISIS).

Submission + - Droning for sharks

FreedomFirstThenPeac writes: Apparently Orange County (specifically, Seal Beach area) has found that drones are useful for finding hazards at the beach, the story has a nice drone-shot overhead of a small shark (scale is hard to tell). They also report that it is easy to spot rip tides. The question of the day, how long till someone links imaging processing software with the guidance system so they can get the drones to hover over, and follow along, as sharks patrol off shore? Just another day at the beach, see the shoal of nerds schooling along with their drone controls? They are the ones who are missing all the swimsuit-enhanced normals in the area.

Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 1) 203

The problem with with asking if an animal is "sentient" is that any test rigorous enough to rule out some species will, if applied fairly, also rule out 90% of humans, and I do not just mean the young and the enfeebled. Ultimately, however, we do not need to know sentience or consciousness (be careful), what we need first is "is this entity entitled to protection under the law?

Comment Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof (Score 1) 444

Particle physics has a dogma (e.g, nothing with rest-mass NE 0 can travel at or above the speed of light) that makes a claim of faster-thjan-light neutrinos a claim that requires extraordinary proof, so any claim to have discovered faster-than-light neutrinos results in immediate scrutiny. Biomedicine and social science have much looser dogma, dogma that is often very much polluted by people whose world views are often much more driven by wishful thinking (unicorns for EVERYONE!), than by tested science. So I agree with the posters who claim that the problem is not throughout science, being more a problem at the left end of the scientific spectrum (a spectrum described XKCD).

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania