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Comment: The factors, condensed (Score 5, Insightful) 445

by PostPhil (#48129687) Attached to: Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

This can really be condensed to only three, since some are redundant if you know the underlying cause. It's not like a research study is needed if you know people with successful marriages. The factors they chose that have an impact really only reflect the relevance of the following factors:

1. Taking marriage seriously. Eloping or skipping a honeymoon says "I don't want to invest much in this." Even those with moderate income can have a modest wedding and inexpensive honeymoon instead of going all out. Any indicator of not taking the marriage seriously is a negative, no matter what form it takes.

2. Genuinely valuing the other person for who they are. Hence, this means to not be a gold-digger or care more about looks. Also, dating longer is just an indicator that "finding the right person" is the attitude the person is taking, which means they want the person as a person to be a good match. By contrast, looks and money can be identified immediately, so it doesn't require a long time to get engaged. Desperation is also not a good reason for marriage, and desperation doesn't need a long time to get engaged.

3. Having a deterrent for divorce. Rich people, church-goers, and people with lots of people at their wedding have a lot of people to pressure you to stay together because you lead *public lives*. You don't get a private divorce, you get public embarrassment. Rich people have an additional deterrent in that it's a lot of money to lose if your ex-spouse wants to take you to the cleaners.

Comment: Re:Why just guns? (Score 1) 264

by PostPhil (#47875791) Attached to: Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

For varying degrees of "works":

1. Gun supporters argue that gun control laws are mistakenly focusing on the tool, not the motive (where motives are tied to actual causes). It's all a moot point if someone isn't trying to commit murder. If someone *is* intent on committing murder, then if they succeed with a knife instead, then gun control had no effect on saving innocent lives. Innocent lives were still taken due to the fact that the issue is the motive, not the tool. All you've succeeding in doing is disarm a law-abiding *citizenry* while retaining a heavily armed government (which isn't affected by such laws).

2. Reduction in the use of guns and subsequent increase in the use of knives doesn't mean that criminals can't get guns or that *no* guns are used overall, it merely means that there are cases where they saw no need for it in order to commit the murder. If the situation really warranted a gun, then they'd still just get a gun through illegal channels.

3. It's always shaky ground to compare gun crimes between countries, because again the point of gun supporters is to focus on the cause of the motives for crime instead of focusing on the tool. For example, European countries bordered with other European countries is a different problem than being bordered to Mexico (which in turn is chained to South American black markets). Much of gang violence and inner city violence and poverty is tied to the socioeconomic effects of the illegal drug trade. If a European country doesn't treat drug use as a crime (rather than a public health issue), or if recreational drugs are legal, then they have no 21st-century-Prohibition black market like the U.S. The U.S. teaches about Prohibition of the early 20th century, but not the lessons. Cultural goals also differ. You have to ask just how much you're willing to give up in order to have a perfectly safe world.

4. Statistics and damn lies, etc. One set shows guns up, crime up. Another says guns down, crime down. But yet others say guns up, crime *down*. Still others say guns down, crime *up*. So the question is this: does that mean the debate is at an impasse? The answer is NO. Guns are logically demonstrated as *not* the primary cause. How does this logic work? Like this: If the claim being refuted is "more guns equals more murder, less guns equals less murder", then it is *not* required to show that guns improve the situation *everywhere* you go. It is only required to show *one* instance that exists that refutes the claim. Those situations exist, therefore that means that the primary cause or causes are *not* guns. Other causes are the real causes. Perhaps guns are enablers as secondary causes, but in practice nothing anyone cares about will be solved by band-aids: the primary causes must be addressed first.

Comment: Re:whoosh! (Score 1) 315

by PostPhil (#47566083) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

No. I don't know why so many "geeks/nerds" are confused about this. There's no grey area here. "Calculators" (e.g. adding machines) existed before the modern digital computer, so it's not about mere *calculation*, it's about whether or not (given enough time and memory) the language can calculate ANYTHING that can be calculated. It must be TURING COMPLETE (i.e. one means of universal computation amongst others such as Lambda Calculus).

It's not about mere basic arithmetic, it's about whether or not symbolic computation is possible. The litmus test is whether or not you can write a simulation of a universal Turing Machine within the computer language. If so, then it's a computer *programming* language. If not, then it's some other language such as a markup or *cough* stylesheet language.

Yes, computer languages can eventually be promoted to computer *programming* languages with additions to the language. For example, SQL used to only be a query language that is now a programming language due to recursive queries and a language for stored procedures (SQL/PSM) officially added to the spec.

Then programming languages are further divided into general purpose vs domain specific, etc. Simply, that theoretically equivalent computational power is not the same as equivalent practical power.

In the CSS3 calculator example, it's just a hack that uses the experimental calc() function of CSS3 for simple arithmetic and some hard-coded (finite) elements to manipulate. If you actually try out the "calculator", you'll notice it's not even a fully functioning calculator, much less possessing the computational power of a real programming language. If that's not clear enough, then let me put it this way: can you write a potentially infinite loop (i.e. indeterminate number of iterations at the beginning) in CSS?

Comment: Typical bad summary (Score 5, Informative) 355

The summary makes it sound like volcanoes are the explanation for greenhouse gases, which is completely false. It doesn't say that at all. Actually, it's the opposite.

RTFA and you learn (as quoted from the .PDF supplied by the article): "According to a new Berkely Earth study released today, the average temperature of Earth's land has risen by 1.5 C over the past 250 years. The good match between the new temperature record and historical carbon dioxide records suggests that the most straightforward explanation for this warming is human greenhouse gas emissions." (Emphasis mine.)

The .PDF article explains that human CO2 contribution, volcanic activity, and ocean activity (e.g. Gulf Stream and El Nino) are the biggest contributors that are needed to match the graph of temperatures over time. But volcanoes follow the drops in temperature on the graph, not the rises in temperature. Contributions from solar activity exist but were determined to be negligible. They explain that CO2 doesn't prove to be responsible for the warming, but is by far the best contender. As stated by the scientific director, "To be considered seriously, any alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as does carbon dioxide." So denialists can't simply supply "common sense" alternatives: the alternatives must match the data at least as well (or better) than CO2.

Comment: Re:No longer vocalizations (Score 5, Insightful) 173

by PostPhil (#41143607) Attached to: Man With World's Deepest Voice Can Hit Infrasonic Notes
People claiming that they can make "a sound every 2.5 seconds" don't get it. It's is not the same as a single continuous waveform oscillating at 0.189 Hz. There is a big difference between a continuous waveform at that frequency versus some joe blow making a click at 3 kHz for 250 ms duration every 2.5 seconds. No, it is not a set of pulses.

Comment: NO (Score 1) 550

by PostPhil (#41103129) Attached to: Should Developers Be Sued For Security Holes?
No, developers should NOT be sued. I'm quite frankly tired of hearing this drivel. COMPANIES or their UPPER MANAGEMENT should be sued (depending on the type of company) because THEY are the ones truly responsible and accountable. "They get paid the big bucks for a reason." Unless the person is a very crappy developer, most devs I know actually WANT quality control and the time required to write software properly. It's almost always management that tells them no, that "time to market" with something that vaguely resembles a product is most important, no matter how angry at the result the customers will be. Until the people with the actual power to change company decisions are held accountable for their decisions, nothing changes. So why are we wasting time persecuting the people with little power and who actually agrees with us?

Comment: Re:Checkmate. (Score 2) 374

by PostPhil (#41033913) Attached to: Kasparov Arrested By Russian Police
Let's put aside for a moment the issue of whether or not Russia's problems is the fault of the U.S. government. But when it comes to saying the U.S. government or rather U.S. politicians are just as bad, we need to look no further than to RTFA. Kasparov mentions,

A spokesman for the Obama administration called the sentence [for Pussy Riot] "disproportionate," as if the length of the prison term were the only problem with open repression of political speech.

Comment: Re:Not "Going out of Business," Persay... (Score 1) 142

by PostPhil (#41033855) Attached to: Trouble At OnLive
The Latin phrase "per se" means "in itself" or "through itself". It's not "persay". Also, don't use it when you actually mean to say "exactly". "Per se" is used when you want to say that something is intrinsically true about an object. If you mean to say that something "isn't exactly true", then simply say that instead.

Comment: Re:The NYSE shouldn't reverse trades. (Score 1) 223

by PostPhil (#40993141) Attached to: Knight Trading Losses Attributed To Old, Dormant Software

Yes, it's true that if a "too big to fail" company fails, bad things happen and people get mad. But let's look at it another way. In a market driven economy, the economy is strong when the market is strong. The market is driven by the consumer being able to choose the supplier of products and services. So, if the consumer is mad because of a poor performing company, the consumer can choose to leave and support a better, stronger company.

If a market driven economy no longer forces companies to live with the consequences of their decisions, opting to bail them out so no one gets mad, then their is no incentive for any company to be a good company because it isn't required stay in business. The actual good companies then see that their extra effort is a waste of time, an in order to compete, they also must become a company with similarly bad products and services.

Saving "too big to fail" companies only keeps people from being mad for the short term. But once the entire market is in trouble, they'll still lose and will be even madder later. There's a moral to the story for our society that goes beyond the stock market: FOCUSING WORRIES ON FAILURE IS A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. DO INSTEAD WHAT YOU KNOW IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.

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