Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Yes, it does. (Score 1) 608

by Non-Huffable Kitten (#24632105) Attached to: Do Subatomic Particles Have Free Will?

That's what distinguishes determinism from my definition of free will, namely: "not determinism".

Fixed that for you :)

It's a bad choice of identifier for this definition though, since the words are already in use.

That "you" would be able to predict someones actions in a deterministic universe is a really misleading intuition pump. As has been mentioned by another poster, that's wildly impossible for several physical reasons. Some abstruse godlike entity would be able to simulate our actions - that hardly makes them less free.

Math

+ - Open Source Mathematical Software

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The American Mathematical society has an opinion piece about open source software vs propietary software used in mathematics. From the article : "Increasingly, proprietary software and the algorithms used are an essential part of mathematical proofs. To quote J. Neubüser, 'with this situation two of the most basic rules of conduct in mathematics are violated: In mathematics information is passed on free of charge and everything is laid open for checking.'""
Software

+ - Algorithm Rates Trustworthiness of Wikipedia Pages

Submitted by paleshadows
paleshadows (1127459) writes "Researchers at UCSC developed a tool that measures the trustworthiness of each wikipedia page. Roughly speaking, the algorithm analyzes the entire 7-year user-editing-history and utilzes the longevity of the content to learn which contributors are the most reliable: If your contribution lasts, you gain "reputation", whereas if it's edited out, your reputation falls. The trustworthiness of a newly inserted text is a function of the reputation of all its authors, a heuristic that turned out to be successful in identifying poor content. The interested reader can take a look at this demo (random page with white/orange background marking trusted/untrusted text, respectively; note "random page" link at the left for more demo pages), this presentation (pdf), and this paper (pdf)."
Biotech

+ - The Myth, the Math, the Sex-> 3

Submitted by
gollum123
gollum123 writes "A nice article in the NYtimes talks about how statistical data which has been repeatedly given out about why men are more promiscuous than women, cannot be logically consistent with math ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/weekinreview/12k olata.html?em&ex=1187150400&en=a1f8d851ad6790a6&ei =5087%0A ). One survey, recently reported by the federal government, concluded that men had a median of seven female sex partners. Women had a median of four male sex partners. Another study, by British researchers, stated that men had 12.7 heterosexual partners in their lifetimes and women had 6.5. but mathematicians contend that the conclusion that men have substantially more sex partners than women is not and cannot be true for purely logical reasons. The number of partners must be about the same,not different by a factor of 2. Sex survey researchers say they know that this is correct. Men and women in a population must have roughly equal numbers of partners. So, when men report many more than women, what is going on and what is to be believed? The most likely explanation for such a result according to the math people by far, is that the numbers cannot be trusted. The problem is that when such data are published, with no asterisk next to them saying they can't be true, they just "reinforce the stereotypes of promiscuous males and chaste females"."
Link to Original Source

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

Working...