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Comment: Re: You mean (Score 1) 458

by Mastodon (#45936051) Attached to: Why We Think There's a Multiverse, Not Just Our Universe

Given that a Rational Number is a fraction of a Natural Int and Non Zero Int, isn't there basically an infinite set of Rational numbers between each Natural?

The word you want to look up is "denumerable" = "can be placed in one to one correspondence with the natural numbers,"

In any finite interval there are a finite number of integers and a denumerable infinity of rationals. Taken as a whole the infinite sets of integers and rationals are both denumerable, so in this sense they are equal.

Comment: Re:Changing clinical practice for copyright? (Score 1) 116

by Mastodon (#38548290) Attached to: Copyright Claim Sets Back Cognitive Impairment Testing

The idea that the Sweet 16 could infringe because it contains "orienation" and "memory recall" items similar to the MMSE is absurd; questions about orientation and immediate/delayed recall are standard with or without the MMSE.

You are correct. It's absurd and therefore likely not the real problem.

Recall that copyright protects the expression of an idea, not a concept or process. The claim seems to be that the Sweet 16 infringes, not the original 30 point MMSE, but the MMSE-2 BV (Brief Version) which appears to be a 16 point scale. I have not been able to locate the text of the MMSE-2 BV without paying, which I am not inclined to do, and I have no idea whether it appeared before or after the Sweet 16.

The general outlines of the Sweet 16 are in a journal article and the actual protocol is floating around the net. Like the original MMSE (and therefore probably the MMSE-2 BV) it asks the patient to remember the words "apple", "table" and "penny". It is possible that the text of the Sweet 16 is close enough to the text of the MMSE-2 BV to raise copyright issues.

I have no idea why the Sweet 16 people chose to mimic the MMSE so closely. It may have been to make an academic point, which is that a subset of the MMSE is as valid as the full scale. Dr. Newman has pointed out that academics are interested in the MMSE because there are many years of academic work using it. This should be a lesson for academics about using copyrighted scales.

None of this should bother clinicians. You can still examine patients without using a printed form. It's the text that's subject to copyright, not the process.

Comment: Re:Sweet 16 vs MMSE (Score 1) 116

by Mastodon (#38543134) Attached to: Copyright Claim Sets Back Cognitive Impairment Testing

However, regardless of the status of the whole collection of the test, as I understand it, it seems the complaint is arising over a claim of copyright on those few key items and their specific content.

Yes. Was it really necessary for the Sweet 16 to use the same 3 words to remember (apple/table/penny) as the MMSE?

Comment: Re:Not a big loss (Score 1) 116

by Mastodon (#38541954) Attached to: Copyright Claim Sets Back Cognitive Impairment Testing

But this is a general issue. The Sweet 16 was an attempt to move on, halted by PAR. I'm surprised that PAR hasn't already sued the MOCA authors given that the MOCA includes recall and orientation, like the Sweet 16. Even if it survives, the MOCA is not perfect- it has laudably generous licensing terms for copying, but no provision for derivative works. In 80 years, the heirs of the MOCA authors might well start suing researchers who use a trails test, clock draw and animal recognition in a new test.

I am a neurologist. We were having people draw clocks (and publishing the results) long before the MOCA was thought of.

And how can you possibly copyright "What day is today?"

Comment: Re:Something not quite right (Score 1) 933

by Mastodon (#38066714) Attached to: NYPD Dismantling Occupy Wall Street Encampment

Err....color me ignorant, but I had no idea that anyone was compelled to REPORT crimes to the police.

Some of us (teachers, health care workers) are "mandated reporters." By law we must report even the suspicion of child abuse. Ordinary citizens do not have the same duty. The details of who has to report what and to whom will vary from state to state.

Bug

Do Car Safety Problems Come From Outer Space? 437

Posted by timothy
from the we-know-that-oranges-do dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "As electronic devices are made to perform more and more functions on smaller circuit chips, the systems become more sensitive and vulnerable to corruption from single event upsets. This is especially true of Toyota, which has led the auto industry in its widespread inclusion of electronic controls in the manufacture of their various car models. 'These circuit families store not just data, but their basic function electrically,' says Lloyd W. Massengill, director of engineering at the Vanderbilt Institute for Space and Defense Electronics at Vanderbilt University. 'In the unfortunate event of a particle flipping just the right bit, a circuit configured to carry out a benign action may be reprogrammed to carry out some unintended action.' Denise Chow writes in Live Science that some scientists are pointing to cosmic ray radiation as a plausible mechanism behind the sudden, unexplained acceleration reported to have occurred with the late model Toyotas."

Comment: Re:the warrant states a crime (Score 1) 1079

by Mastodon (#27577273) Attached to: College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

its unfortunate that cops think that judges are too stupid to follow a logical line of reasoning without dressing it up. But what do you expect when judges are elected and only people with strictly average IQ's can get hired as police.

Judges in Massachusetts are appointed. I don't know if that makes them smarter.

Comment: Re:This is a crap study and Title is WRONG (Score 1) 238

by Mastodon (#25520725) Attached to: Half of American Doctors Often Prescribe Placebos

Unless you believe there is something going on in the brain that is not subject to the laws of physics, it is hard to make sense of that distinction.

Physicians make this distinction all the time. If you abstract only to the useful limit, as opposed to ad infinitum, as you have done, then the concept is easy to grasp.

I thought I had grasped it 30 years ago in medical school. Then I learned more about the nervous system.

This is not infinitely abstract at all. In the useful limit, you don't send a fibromyalgia patient to an orthopedist, but you don't send her to a psychiatrist either.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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