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Comment: Re:Does not matter (Score 1) 209

by martijn hoekstra (#47072817) Attached to: The World's Worst Planes: Aircraft Designs That Failed

One of my FAVE failures: McDonnell XF-85 Goblin

What WERE they thinking?

They were probably thinking it would be awesome to deploy a swarm of small fighter planes by dropping them from a bomber. In which they were absolutely right, it hardly gets any more awesome than that. Unfortunately, it also doesn't get much more impractical than that, which was apparently casually brushed aside to satisfy the rule of cool. Unfortunately, reason set in before it was taken in production.

Comment: Re:Wish I could read it in always-on editor mode (Score 1) 372

by martijn hoekstra (#45229133) Attached to: Wikipedia's Participation Problem
"show me every page in wikitext mode" is a setting that virtually nobody would want though. I know I wouldn't want that. If that seriously would be your preference, you might be the only one. Always on visual editor (that doesn't suck and loads fast). Now that would be awsome.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 372

by martijn hoekstra (#45225537) Attached to: Wikipedia's Participation Problem

Nope. They have started a slow burn of all articles not up to their dogmatic community standards. Witness the thousands of pages of pagan-related material that a couple editors took upon themselves to remove, and then lock the discussion pages so nobody could comment on it while doing so.

Wow, really? It is incredibly bad for a discussion page to be locked. Could you give a couple of examples? Heck, even one example would be great. If this is realy true, it should be fixed immediately.

Comment: Its the convenience, stupid (Score 1) 443

by martijn hoekstra (#44550445) Attached to: Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated
I'm not much of a tv watcher myself, but the show I do tend to watch, Dr. Who, is free to air where I live. Without commercials too. I don't think I've ever watched it on live tv, I always pirate it purely for convenience. As long as the most convenient thing is pirating, I will continue doing so. For music on the other hand, the most convenient thing is generally spotify, so I pay the reasonable price for a subscription. The things not on spotify I pirate. Afaik Netflix is not yet available here in the Netherlands (it wasn't the last time I checked, about a year back), but if it were and there was a subscription that fit my consumer pattern, I wouldn't mind paying something for it either. Digital on demand media is getting there. Its just a matter of time. The traditional media will either adapt to the demands of a new generation of consumers, or die out and be replaced by those who do understand how to deliver what I want.

Comment: Re:Definitely (Score 1) 385

If someone can't understand "a=F/m" (or "acceleration=force/mass"), do you really think they have any idea what "acceleration is inversely proportional to mass" means?

Yes. But that's not really to the point. The point is, that equations break the flow of prose, and don't work well in explaining things, other than in a purely mathematical context. If you are not speaking about mathematics (and nobody other than mathematicians really do, and the OP is rather math related, but is not about the math of the uncertainty principle but its applications) it's best to keep equations out of it. This is obviously a rule of thumb and there are bound to be exceptions where using an equation is actually beneficial to the global understanding of the issue, but these cases are rare, and far in between. For the OP for example, I agree that not using equations was probably the right choice, though I would have made different editorial choices in the prose, and possibly using one equation (to wit, \sigma_{x}\sigma_{p} \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} ) could maybe have been defensible, but still a choice I would have disagreed with.

Comment: Re:Definitely (Score 1) 385

I would argue that very few to no popular articles need the exact formula for black body specific intensity. But if they do, the formulaic form is clearly superior. It's likelier that the article would focus on a specific aspect off blackbody radiation. To wit, I would expect the majority to talk about the ultraviolet catastrophe, and I wouldn't explain it in terms of equations at all, neither in symbolic nor in written out form.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.

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