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Comment: Re:Best idea is not to hide. (Score 1) 221

Have you seen "World War Z"?? These zombies were wicked, nothing like these lame stumbling death we've seen before. They're fast, ferocious and spread like wildfire. In hand-to-hand combat, you become zombie in seconds. One of those can definitely spread an infection. I think "World War Z" has real zombies, in the other movies I think the zombies are ill or something.

Comment: Re:Climate change phobia (Score 1) 340

We're actually ignoring it at the moment. There was a report created in 2008 that created a plan to cope with an expected maximum of 0.65 to 1.3 meter rise in 2100 and 2-4 meter rise of sea level in 2200. Deniers got in, screamed their harts out that this was unsubstantiated and that it would never rise that high, and the plan would anyway be too expensive. So there was no action. No doubt we'll revisit this soon, but we did lose a decade for prep work.

Comment: Re:Let it happen (Score 1) 340

It seems you read a bit too much Taleb. When working with systems that exhibit finite variance, the mean certainly exists and is subject to the Central Limit Theorem, making all these nice Gaussian theories apply. Earth temperature definitely exhibits finite variance (ever seen a summer of 2,000 degrees?).

Here's a quick test to figure out if a system is exhibiting finite variance: take a sample of cases, and systematically leave one out and compute the mean and variance. Do they fluctuate like mad, then you have an 'long-tailed' system. Do they not, then you have a normal system. Many statistics of the physical wealth exhibit this. Take for instance 'average weight of the population'. If you have a sample of 1000 people and you leave out that one guy that weighs 600 pounds, the mean weight will not change dramatically. However, people's wealth works differently: take a sample of a 1000 people including a billionaire, him being in or out of the sample completely determines the mean. BTW, I took this example from one of Taleb's books.

There's a bit more to this as there is a region of these 'symmetric-alpha-stable' systems where there is no variance but still a stable mean before you get to a distribution as extreme as the Cauchy distribution, but in general, we have no evidence that earth temperature is even as dramatically fluctuating as the weight profile of the American population. Long-tailed statistics don't seem to apply here.

Comment: Re:Actually, we've already stopped... (Score 2, Insightful) 340

by NoOneInParticular (#49152917) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.
You're right, temperatures have not gone up. The ten warmest years since 1901 are not all in the last two decades, and the last 38 years have not all been above the 20th century average. It's all a hoax, North-East America is experiencing harsh winters so there can be no global warming.

Comment: Re:Darwin never suggested "survival of the fittest (Score 1) 249

by NoOneInParticular (#49074447) Attached to: Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

Traditionally, 'most fit' is measured in the units of fecundity, the expected number of offspring that reach reproductive age. So, 'survival of the fittest' actually means 'survival of the ones that get most offspring'. Although it has been argued, by Karl Popper no less, that this is a tautology in its own right, some relatively recent research has shown that in pre-biotic life, this is not necessarily true. You might get something best characterized as 'survival of the first', i.e., if you're first in the game, you can out-wit better adapted individuals by sheer numbers. Although a new breed can produce more offspring, once this game is iterated, the advantage disappears after a few generations, and the status-quo is maintained.

So, essentially, nothing really trivial or tautological about 'survival of the fittest'. And going back to the article itself, it might be that the paper actually shows some circumstance in which survival of the fittest is untrue.

Comment: Re:Forced benevolence is not freedom (Score 1) 551

But of course, in reality, Greenplum nor Netezza would have developed commercial offerings on GPL based software. They would have chosen some other starting point, or, if no such point existed, would have built from scratch. So there would not have been any giving back.

Comment: Re:Oh yeah, that's a great idea... (Score 1) 690

by NoOneInParticular (#49019783) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

Right now, Angela Merkel has a problem, because she guaranteed the German public that all the money that they lent to Greece would be eventually paid back.

Angela Merkel has a problem because she deceived the German public in order to save the German Landesbanken that owned most of the Greek debt. Instead of letting the banks go bankrupt, and thereby creating a political problem (these banks are state owned, and run by politicians), she created enough time for the banks to offload the debt to the EU public at large. In the German case: profits go to politicians, losses are socialized. Pretty Soviet.

Comment: Re:One important use left for Pascal (Score 1) 492

by NoOneInParticular (#48907159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

struct TRTPHeader {
unsigned Version : 2;
unsigned Padding : 1;
unsigned Extension : 1;
unsigned CSRC_Count : 4;
...
unsigned Data : 8;
};

And now I can say packet.Version = 2. I can also see that 'padding' is not at the byte boundary, so that's probably a bug. So why is the Pascal version better?

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