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Comment: Can Free Software restore our privacy? (Score 3, Interesting) 480

by exa (#46347639) Attached to: Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Dear RMS,

Many users have fallen victim to spying software such as facebook, and have willingly or unwittingly surrendered their privacy rights to corporations which sell their information.

Can Free Software salvage this situation and make the Internet a more private, a more free place for the common user? And what must we do about it?

Regards,

Comment: Re:Yet again pushing quantity over quality (Score 1) 356

by exa (#39136535) Attached to: Academics Not Productive Enough? Sack 'em

I think people like you should advocate building a "quality review" mechanism.

Most of the papers published in even top engineering/science journals are completely worthless I think. So the number of publications must not be a pressing concern. And the number of citations isn't so reliable either.

We need to have a much better evaluation system of merits. I've thought about a solution for some time, but of course nobody's going to listen to me.

Comment: Re:Does It Clean Your Asshole? (Score 2) 167

by exa (#39135741) Attached to: Gates Foundation Makes Progress On Reinvented Toilets

Dude, you have a funny way of putting this hygiene problem so I'll answer :) This happens to be a problem that I've thought about sporadically!

In our country, Turkey, we use both toilet paper and water to clean our assholes. Because traditionally, in the ala turca toilet they used water. So we ended up adding a small water pipe to the ala franca closet.

But I have never seen a Japanese toilet. Is it possible that they use a water jet, and then a robotic asshole cleaning wipe with nanotech disinfectants, a laser to kill germs, and then a warm air jet which dries the said area, with complimentary cream on demand?

Comment: Re:Wait, what? Copenhagen is nonsense? (Score 1) 373

by exa (#38108286) Attached to: Study Says Quantum Wavefunction Is a Real Physical Object

I'm not sure you are following me at all.

1. Have you presented any argument whatsoever that MWI is logically unfalsifiable? Where is that argument?

2. I am actually quite knowledgeable about Bayesian statistics. The mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics does NOT include any interpretation, that's why it's called interpretation in the first place. That you conflate Bayesianism with interpretations of QM is curious, as if Bayesianism supports any particular interpretation of QM, it does not do that! Bayesian vs. Frequentist debate applies to every application of probability theory. However, you seem to be, ignorantly, thinking that the epistemological interpretation in Bayesian statistics means that the probabilities in QM do not have an ontological character. This is wrong on so many levels. First, probabilities in QM are not identical to the wave function. You obtain the probability density function only after finding the square of the magnitude of the wave function right (by multiplying it with its conjugate)?. So, your statement is obviously meaningless, you are just another dualist talking about this religiously. Let me ask you: since you believe that , you also believe that there are non-physical things in the world, right? For Copenhagen and equally banal Von Neumann interpretations boil down to the claim that there are magical, inexplicable, non-physical "things" or "events" in the universe, along with what we consider to be real and physical (observations).

3. And have I said that this study supports MWI, or that MWI is my preferred interpretation? I did not. However, I do think that the notion of decoherence is much more scientifically plausible, as it does not contain vague, and unexplained pseudo-mechanisms like wave function collapse. The way I see it, "wave function collapse" is an inadequate attempt at explaining a real phenomenon, and it posits too much therefore it fails Occam's razor. It seems to be a behavioral description of a class of events actually, without revealing a consistent theory of "how", and that is quite suspicious in itself, however, yes, I anticipate that there would also be things that are incorrectly predicted by "wave function collapse". I do not find the rest of the Copenhagen interpretation problematic.

4. The issue of which interpretation is correct is the key to a GUT, therefore it has scientific significance. Good luck with starting from Copenhagen interpretation and obtaining a GUT! There are several plausible interpretations such as consistent histories, one of them could be true, but not Copenhagen or Von Neumann, which are fundamentally mysticist, it really is just medieval solipsism. Mystical stuff, especially solipsism, isn't physics. According to your celebrated Heisenberg, the particles aren't real but their appearance is real. This is just glorified stupidity, sorry.

5. I am equally suspicious about the everett interpretation of quantum computation, that quantum computers we construct harness the computational power of parallel universes. I suspect that as we build larger quantum computers we ought to be able to measure how much of this is true. Thus, perhaps this issue will be clarified during quantum computing experiments.

6. You also don't seem to understand that the reality of the wave function would not "destroy" Copenhagen interpretation, it would just change it slightly. Both observations and wave functions can be real in an interpretation. That subject is a lot more complex than you seem to think it is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics#Comparison

Philosophers of physics held many conferences on the subject, with apparently no real resolution, so if you just insist on this mysticist, semi-scientific interpretation go for it in your isolated space, but please stop preaching it to your students, and stick with math and experiments!

Comment: Re:Wait, what? Copenhagen is nonsense? (Score 1) 373

by exa (#38105690) Attached to: Study Says Quantum Wavefunction Is a Real Physical Object

I guess you are trying to pursue an argument from authority. The only authority I respect is knowledge and intellect, and I don't think you have demonstrated much of either (by making an argument from authority most notably!).

Copenhagen interpretation is not favored much among physicists despite your claims. Maybe 50 years ago.

Copenhagen interpretation posits a hitherto unexplained event: "wave collapse", and even implies that this event is inexplicable, that it rests beyond the domain of physics. Thus, this is just a metaphysical farce. Bohr and Heisenberg probably were simpletons per philosophy, they must have held dualist views or they would not put forward this nonsense. Their interpretation is invalid scientifically prima facie, metaphysical statements can never be scientific.

As for your knowledge of philosophy of science, I don't think you know much either. Falsification is not necessarily required. Verification is sufficient to pursue a theory (induction). Falsifiable cases are icing on the cake in my opinion, and controlled experiments as such are very valuable in practice. Has testable predictions of any kind come from MWI meta-theory? I think it'd be fantastic to have it, but I don't think that this meta-theory, which seems roughly at the level of an interpretation or mathematical theory yet, is not logically unfalsifiable. How did you reach that conclusion, one wonders. And I don't think you've followed the recent publications on MWI either. It has far more credibility among physicists than you think.

On the other hand, if MWI is true (And I did not say it is, but it *can* be true unlike Copenhagen or the ultra-stupid Von Neumann interpretation which makes the dualism in Copenhagen explicit, again Von Neumann was a great mathematician and engineer, but unfortunately he was a frakking moron when it came to philosophy). Then, the wave function of the multiverse would be real, if *this* is true, and then, I think, this would mean that the world-line branches in the Everett multiverse would *not* be disjoint. In other words, perhaps this implies that the observations are not quite real, which would have strange consequences in interpretations.

Anyway, I am not an expert on the subject, but I happen to know the philosophical aspects quite well. You are welcome to offer a proof that MWI meta-theory is fundamentally unverifiable. So far, you have merely asserted such a thing with no citation, no argument, nothing at all. Is this how you conduct all your arguments? They are non-sequitor or very weak.

But yes, you would be a hero among the stupid dualists for defending such a mysticist interpretation, and since most people are idiots who believe in dualism, I think you would even find a fair audience! But to convince an actual philosopher, you have to do better than appealing to the idiocy of the masses.

Before you answer you might want to read this FAQ:
http://www.hedweb.com/manworld.htm
http://www.hedweb.com/manworld.htm#detect

Logically, if there is one thought experiment test of the theory, then, it is also possible to design a more feasible test. At least this seems to show that the theory is not logically untestable. I don't think an AI should be needed, Deutsch is probably flying too high there.

I sometimes like smartasses, but not always. Now, did you actually have an argument, or were you just regurgitating stuff you heard from your dim-witted friends at the faculty?

Comment: Re:Sensible (Score 4, Interesting) 373

by exa (#38101668) Attached to: Study Says Quantum Wavefunction Is a Real Physical Object

There have been several scientifically plausible interpretations. One thinks of MWI for instance.

It's just that some rather big names have unwittingly advocated superstitious, and completely nonsensical interpretations, the most famous of which are Copenhagen interpretation, Von Neumann Interpretation, and Penrose's assorted BS.

Comment: I've asked RMS about Android (Score 2) 247

by exa (#35554406) Attached to: RMS On Header Files and Derivative Works

He kindly told me that he thought about it, and this is not a case of violation.
However, he did not tell me anything about header files, so I suppose
we must assume he still thinks the same on this since 2003.

From what I gather in his 2003 e-mail, I believe their lawyer must have
thought of the "fair use" exceptions in copyright law, and indeed
simply quoting a few typedefs would fall under fair use (since it is not a
substantial portion). On the other hand, I have a hard time believing
that this goes for anything in "header files", in general. I think you
would have to ask him about the opinion of the FSF on header files,
and interface definitions in general in any language. Note that he did
not mention "function declarations". Read what he says carefully:

> Someone recently made the claim that including a header file always
> makes a derivative work.
>
> That's not the FSF's view. Our view is that just using structure
> definitions, typedefs, enumeration constants, macros with simple
> bodies, etc., is NOT enough to make a derivative work. It would take
> a substantial amount of code (coming from inline functions or macros
> with substantial bodies) to do that.

He explicitly says that for there to be a derivative work, it would take
a substantial amount of code. So, you can't just take a substantial
portion of a GPL'd program's (either an application of a library) *interface*
and release it under an arbitrary license. That is simply not permitted by the license.

I think there are trolls from some companies here that are trying to make it seem as
if you can use GPL'd libraries in any proprietary program. I am beginning to
suspect they already do that in other ways.

Best,

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn

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