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Comment New = better? (Score 1) 170

I think the new could be viewed as better than the old. Not doing anything is not evil and would therefore qualify for the old but not the new. it would have been more clear perhaps if they had said: be (or do) good. The problem with that is that would only say what was wanted when compare to the old, since good is not just the oppeosite of evil.

I think any cynical reading was clearly not intentional (you need to be quite strange to tell people that you intend to be more evil in the future) but they should have seen it coming.

Comment Re:Math (Score 1) 284

I never said anything about the police. Alot of the highly rated posts are saying that the 3 dead writers is because of Islam. My post is saying that a country the size of Bangladesh would experience something like this with a not extremly low probability, no matter the religion or anything else for that matter. Heck, my own country, Denmark, would just need 1 dead writer and it would be much more unexpected, because the country is so much smaller and I do not think that anyone would comment on one writer having died.

Comment Math (Score 1) 284

I do not think 3 writters is enough to draw any conclusion about the security of Bangladesh. They got 156 million people and 20 writters have died this year out of the 7.125 billion people. That means that 0.5 writters should have died in expecation in Bangladesh. 6 times the expected number does not seem unreasonable.

To be more precise: If we assume that 0.5 is the real expectation for Bangladesh and each writer dies with equal probability in a given year and are independent (i.e. that one writer dies does not say anything about the probability that another dies), we can given an upper bound on the probability that 3 have died in a year using Chernoff bounds. It says that the probability that 3 writers have died while the mean is only 0.5 is a bit more than 5%.
Note though that this is an upper bound on the real probability and hence only gives a quite rough estimate. If we assume that it is accurate, we see that if all countries were the sized of Bangladesh (i.e there are 45 countries), then every year more than two countries should have 3 dead writers in expectation (or Bangladesh should have it once every 20 years if it happens only according to chance).

Note that this is not taking into account the relatively arbitrary choice of time for this article (it is more likely that at some point in a year a country is far from the expecation, simply because there are so many points in time in a year), choice of objective (there are many equally important properties to dead writers this year and it is therefore more likely that some of them are far from the expecation) and that it is in the news (more unusual things are in the news, i.e. it is not news that another country did not have 6 times to many dead writers).

Comment Optimal outcome (Score 2) 65

I think this is the optimal outcome for the scientists. They can show: 1) We have done something (i.e. the poker bot is not too far from the best human players so our time has not been wasted). 2) There is more to be done (i.e. give us more money to look at this).

Also, I do think it is a quite impressive outcome.

Comment Re:Not many devices (Score 3, Interesting) 56

Well, that was one of the more unexpected "you mama" joke: Your mama is so fat that she shows up in a post mentioning only your room!

I want to note that just in case someone thinks so: You can not roll two 6-sided die and add them together and get a 12-sided dice - first of all you cant roll 1 and you roll 7 way too often. What you can do is have two rolls of a 6-sided die. Say you first roll x and then y. If y is even you rolled x otherwise you rolled 6+x. This gives you precisely 12 different equally likely outcomes.

Comment Re:Black and White (Score 1) 177

So a pedestrian is walking on the sidewalk 10m from your car. Do you slow down? If not, how will you avoid hitting him if he suddenly decides to sprint and jump infront of your car? If you do slow down, people will never use the autodrive feature.

You could write it under the assumption that everybody else was trying to make you fail (basically it would become a zero-sum game) but it is fairly clear that it is far too restrictive in any real sense.

Comment Re:People (Score 2) 216

While I agree that stopping terrorists are important, there are things worse than that. Removing our freedoms (like here: freedom of religion) seemes to me to be one of them. It is reasonable to prevent people from aiding violent extremists of any kind, but there is little link between that and islam. I.e. there are over 1bn muslims. How many muslim terrorist have we seen the last 50 years? If it is not more than 100,000 (which seems magnitudes too large), that is still less than 0.01% which is basically just a rounding error.

Comment Obg. Douglas Adams quote (Score 2) 186

“After a fairly shaky start to the day, Arthur's mind was beginning to reassemble itself from the shell-shocked fragments the previous day had left him with.
He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
The way it functioned was very interesting. When the Drink button was pressed it made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centers of the subject's brain to see what was likely to go down well. However, no one knew quite why it did this because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.”

Comment Plague, inc. (Score 1) 475

Good news: after running extensive realistic experiments using the well known disease simulator plague, inc. I can conclude that the probaility that ebola will successfully annihilate humanity is quite low (because it didnt spread first and then ramped up the mortality which seemes to be one of the only really winning strategies)! The bad news is that now might be a good idea to move to Greenland since it could still destroy everything else :(

Comment Re:meh (Score 2) 164

I think your point count against you. /. is fairly large. It would be reasonable to apply the same standards as for a large business. Hence, you should standardize your communication. In this case that means English and metric. It is ok that you use it amongst yourself but it would be nice of you to try to keep it only amongst yourself :) The standard custom in Europe is more or less that if someone wouldnt understand otherwise, you speak English (at least for the larger places I have worked). Similarly, it would be nice if you wrote in metric if people wouldn't understand otherwise (which I think it can be assumed that some wont on a page as big as /.).

I personally do not mind yards and feet too much but I dislike miles since it depends on the country.

Comment Re:Solution (Score 1) 167

The question isnt how much you bet against his bet but how much you are willing to pay him to play a given game with a fixed value for the outcomes (i.e winning losing and tieing). Note this is different from a bet in exactly the way you mention with the 3rd player, except that you pay your oppeont and not someone else - i.e you lost your payment even if you tie.

If you win 75% and him the rest and you get 1 for win 0 for tie and 1 for lose, you get 1 with 75% chance and lose 1 with 25% chance (0.5 on average) and should then be willing to give him upto 0.5 before playing the game because you then come up even (equvialently the game is fair/even if you get 0.5 for winning (1 minus the 0.5 you paid upfront), -0.5 for tieing and -1.5 for losing). Similarly if you pay him 0.5 and you win 1 with 50% chance and tie and get 0 with the remaning you are still even.

Game theory theories are math theories and not physics theories. Building on some given assumptions (i.e. what we measure is what you are willing to pay upfront) the theories are correct (if we look away from posible errors in the proofs - that said this is von Neumanns normal form games we are looking at right now and the proofs are correct under the assumptions used).

Comment Re:Solution (Score 1) 167

Not really :) The idea is that you subtract his winnings from yours (in the game you get the same for winning as he get) and not divide them. And both 1/2-1/3 and !/3-1/6 is equal to 1/6. Note that you do not replay if you both get the same but the game is instead a draw (this is not explicitly mentioned as far as I can see, but it is what is meant). Replaying the game makes it somewhat more complicated (which is why he must mean draw in case of ties - he seems to want an analytical solution you can do by hand). An exact solution in case of replaying on ties can be found by modeling the game as a stochastic game ala. Everett (you need to define what happens if you keep on replaying infinitely many times though) and then solve it fast using some algorithm in Kristoffer Arnsfelt Hansen, Michal Koucký, Niels Lauritzen, Peter Bro Miltersen, Elias P. Tsigaridas: Exact Algorithms for Solving Stochastic Games. I am currently writing a paper on an alternate, simpler way of solving such games, but it is not done yet :(

Dinosaurs aren't extinct. They've just learned to hide in the trees.