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Comment: Re:"Edge" (Score 1) 128 128

Then that is a fail right there. They wanted to change the name from IE because of its bad reputation but if they still want people to relate back to the icon it's not going to get them very far.

They only want people who are at least slightly tech-savvy to think it's a totally new browser. They want stupid people who don't know anything to think it's the same old browser they're already familiar with. Changing the name while keeping the icon seems like a good way to accomplish these goals.

Comment: Re:Austerity fails again (Score 2) 448 448

You'll need to do some googling, I can't teach a full econ class here. But the TL;DR version is that every country that tried austerity has recovered more slowly than every country that didn't. That and the entire justification for austerity was in that one spreadsheet that turned out to have a glaring error.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 448 448

Oh, and as for leaving the EU: you may end up unpleasantly surprised. There's only one treaty that governed Greece's accession to the EU and Eurozone, not too. You can't be "half in violation" of a treaty and kicked out of "half of it". If you start printing your own parallel currency, you're in violation of the treaty, and you're out of both the EU and the Eurozone.

Now, of course, Brussels could legislate a new mutually agreed upon exception for you. But do you really think they want to?

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 3, Insightful) 448 448

I'm not from Macedonia, although I know people there. Both of your sides need to read up on your history. Macedon was located between the traditional Greek city-states and the Thracian tribes (and others like the Illyrians), and had a culture and language closer to that of the Greeks but with strong Thracian and Illyrian influence (for example, they used both Greek, Thracian, and Illyrian names). The ancient Macedonians sought recognition as "Greek" from their southern neighbors, as Greece was the heart of wealth and culture; by contrast, the ancient Greeks debated heavily among themselves whether Macedonians were actually Greeks or not and many were not willing to accept them. The issue was only settled they were conquered by Philip (obviously not wanting to say that they had been conquered by barbarians ;) ) The Macedonian leaders' habits of adopting the cultures of the countries that they conquered made it a relatively moot point anyway. Macedon was near present day Thessalonica. The country of Macedonia's claim to the history of Philip and Alexander is pretty weak; they did not extend their empire particularly far up the Vardar / Axios (at the time, Illyria), and where they did they stayed near the river. However, future rulers of Macedonia did. By the time of the Roman conquest, what was Macedonia had become modern Macedonia plus modern Albania and the northern half of Greece. This become the Roman province of Macedonia, which existed for hundreds of years. Classical Greece remained its own separate entity under Roman control, Achaia.

Let's repeat: Modern Macedonia was the center of the Roman province of Macedonia for hundreds of years. Yes, they have a right to the name.

During the Byzantine times, a series of waves of Slavic invaders (the most powerful being a later wave, the Bulgars) moved into the area, overrunning not just today's Macedonia, but the entire interior of Greece. Their control of these areas lasted hundreds of years and they interbred with the local populations. Greek speakers retained control of the coasts, and eventually re-expanded back into the interior; the populations there were subsequently re-Helenized.

The area that is modern day Macedonia was subsequently traded off between one empire and the next all the way up to the modern period. Greece, after gaining its independence from the Ottomans (again, initially only in the southern portion of of what is modern Greece - the part that was traditional, pre-Macedonian-era Greece), progressively took over Ottoman lands to the north and northeast in the 1800s, expanding into the area formerly occupied by the city-state of Macedon, and even the areas once occupied by the Thracians. These areas were steadily Helenized, especially in the 1920s with the influx of large numbers of Anatolian Greek refugees - 270 thousand in Thessaloniki alone.

The basic summary of it is: there are no ancient Macedonians anymore, and nobody has a "pure" claim on the name. But both sides have ancient Macedonian "breeding". Neither speak the ancient Macedonian language (even the ancient Macedonians stopped speaking their language by the 3th century BC), although Greek is certainly closer. Both Greek Macedonia and the Republic of Macedonia are located in the heart of areas called Macedonia for centuries - Greek Macedonia being the heart of the original Macedonian empire, and the Republic of Macedonia being the heart of the later kingdom and the Roman province of Macedonia. So yes, you have every right to criticize the Republic of Macedonia's cooption of Alexander and Philip. But you're in the wrong when you try to act like they have no claim to the name.

Comment: Austerity fails again (Score 4, Insightful) 448 448

It doesn't help that Greece was forced into an austerity plan in their last bailout. Essentially that kicked off a death spiral. Austerity has already been well discredited (see here, here, and here. Original paper here) yet it keeps being foisted off on citizens everywhere.

I'm not suggesting that Greece should spend money like a drunken sailor on leave, but following a faith based economic theory even after it has been disproven (even to the satisfaction of the writers of the original paper) is not the answer.

Comment: Re:I hope for an agreement (Score 1) 448 448

Should each state in the US have its own currency? Yes, less (fewer) currencies often are a good thing. A powerful shared currency provides all sorts of benefits versus a bunch of little weak currencies. But the devil is in the implementation details. 49 of 50 US states (Vermont is the exception) have laws banning the running of deficits, and states can't issue debt in the same manner as the federal government. This exposes state budgets to a lot more risk to flucuations in their economies, but this is partly compensated for by federal spending on services that states don't have to pay for. Europe did not set up anything like this, and it's paying the price for it.

Hopefully this will provide the impetus for the sort of fiscal integration system necessary to avoid these problems in the future. No, they're not going to agree to just pass off most national services to Brussels. But they could create an equivalent, such as an EU-wide "insurance system" to countries that provides temporary payouts to countries experiencing downturns, so that they don't have to suffer great pain during brief recessions due to an inability to run a short-term deficit. Longer term fundamental issues of changing economic strength would however have to be dealt with as the aid slowly tapers off.

(The EU could also really use an insurance system against the economic consequences of major trade decisions, such as embargos, so that countries like Russia can't play them against each other by retaliating hard against certain states more than others)

Comment: Re:Computers cannot create real Art (Score 1) 30 30

Since comptuers can only understand what they know, and not infer on new understandings, they cannot, and never will be able to, create real art.

So, when a computer can infer on new understandings, they will be able to create art? Your tone makes it seem impossible, but your premise outlines conditions under which they can do it. All we need is an inference engine.

Comment: Re:both will produce "literature"? (Score 1) 30 30

I can only seem "dry wit" comedy improving. Many of the jokes would be something like an allusion. It's a common phrase for someone to say a quote from Shakespeare as a joke, or to refer to the deeper meaning without spending time explaining. Often it's humorous as one is making fun of the trivial nature assigned to a deep thought. Someone trying to pick between a green and orange squishy drink, saying "to be or not to be" as if the selection was a life-and death manner would be funny (or at least an attempt to be so). That's subtle, and requires a contextual awareness and knowledge of the sum of human production (and associated likelihood that the audience would understand the reference). A similar reference to "Clouds" by Aristophanes would probably be funnier if the audience got it, but has a near-zero chance of having the joke understood.

That level of understanding of humor and audience is going to hold back good creativity.

Comment: Re:Good for greece (Score 4, Interesting) 448 448

Europe appears to be prepared to maintain the current minimal level of bank support going until the 20th (yep, these bank runs are happening even with the banks still receiving some support, just not as much as they were before). On the 20th Greece will miss a payment that will give then the grounds to withdraw the remainder of the support propping up the banks - any banks still around then will probably collapse immediately (assumedly being nationalized). If Greece doesn't resort to printing currency (whether they call it an "IOU" or not) before then, they will have to at that point.

Greece has a press in Athens to print 20 euro notes and has recently started talking about using it to make up their Euro shortfall. They're seriously playing with fire here, as that would be counterfeiting if they're not authorized to do so. There's talk about launching lawsuits to try to get the courts to grant them the right to print more euros. But how far they're willing to play that risky game if they don't get any sort of authorization... well, only time will tell. If Greece prints counterfeit euros, there's really no limit to how extreme this thing could escalate - Europe would be forced to wall off trade with Greece and even potentially travel restrictions to avoid them getting into circulation. The calm, measured response on Greece's part would just be to introduce a parallel drachma currency rather than printing euros, but Syriza isn't exactly famous for calm, measured responses. And nobody has a drachma press - it takes longer to set up a press for mass production of a new currency than one might think. Really, where this all could lead is hard to speculate....

Comment: Re:Still misunderstands the Turing Test (Score 2) 30 30

Let's assume that the Turing Test is a good test for AI. It's debatable, but let's accept the premise. We don't have good AI yet, so what is the point in testing what we have against a test for good AI?

The same reason we tested inferior chess programs against grand masters. So we could learn the weaknesses, and improve upon them. So testing an AI improves the AI, like testing a chess program lead to improvements in the chess program.

When I was at school, we didn't set the high jump at olympic champion levels.

When I was at school, the pool was olympic length, and the high jump could be set at olympic heights, as well as lower ones. So you do what you can, and compare your failure to the desired levels. It's not just the pass-fail as given. But it lets you compare your failure to the ideal.

Like lasting longer in chess against a grand master, or fooling more people in a Turing test (or lasting longer in the question sequence until the tester correctly identifies the AI).

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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