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Comment: Re:Difference between erratic & erotic (Score 1) 568

by tolkienfan (#46822043) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science
I think different people are studying the origins of the universe vs the general population's understanding of science. I for one am interested in both. It bothers me greatly that the people running the country don't generally have much understanding of science. I think it might be handy, esp. for things like the dept of energy, but what do I know?

Comment: Re:You’re using the wrong defn of doubt (Score 1) 568

by tolkienfan (#46820435) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science
I think you are being a bit hard on Dawkins. Most of the time he's debating people who refuse to look at any of the evidence, and often claim it doesn't exist. He's not speaking to open minded people who are simply trying to learn. I think you'll find that he is very good at getting ideas across, in the right setting. He did some very interesting tv shows, for example.

Comment: Re:Shocking... (Score 3, Insightful) 568

by tolkienfan (#46820375) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science
It IS inconsistent with a rapid deposit. The depth isn't correlated with density, or weight or buoyancy. Instead it's correlated with complexity. Organisms survive because they are still well adapted to their environment. Anyone with the slightest education in evolution would be able to answer that. Also, a few strata have isotopes that aren't found on earth anywhere else, but are found on meteors, and these strata perfectly partition fossil - just as if a large meteor broke up in the atmosphere and was distributed over a large area, somewhere between two ages with different animals. This is completely inconsistent with all the strata being deposited at once. Not to mention we have a very good idea of the rate of sediment deposits which is consistent with the estimated ages of the fossil records. Also consistent with documented volcanoe eruptions which have caused identifiable deposits. Also, the types of plankton and krill have changed over time in ways that leave different variants in different strata, but inconsistent with a sudden deposit, since these species all were essentially the same, and wouldn't be expected to differ in buoyancy. That's just off the top of my head - and I'm no expert. If you want to attack the science, at least learn some of it first.

Comment: Re:If you make this a proof of God... (Score 1) 612

Then why didn't you simply say "a supernatural entity cannot be ruled out"? It's obvious on the face of it. It's fairly useless, though. Just because you can't rule it out doesn't mean you should assume it exists. Just as you can't rule out invisible pink unicorns. But suppose you do suppose there exists something that has no measurable or detectable effect on the universe. Then in what way can it be said to "exist"? And in what way does it help us to know it does exist?

Comment: Re:If you make this a proof of God... (Score 1) 612

Actually, in our technoligical terms, simulating quantum mechanics would require an insane amount of compute. Quite the opposite of what you're suggesting. One method would be the sum over histories, which means integrating over every possible way of getting to each possible outcome. Of course, if our universe is being simulated the stimulator wouldn't necessarily be constrained by our technology. But your argument was that the simulator was trying to save cycles, whereas classical mechanics is far easier to simulate.

Comment: Re:If you make this a proof of God... (Score 1) 612

The fact is that by the evidence available to them, they would have no reason to assume a god. One would be neither explanatory, nor helpful to them. A god would be pointless. Unless, of course, the programmer takes part in the virtual world, changing things at will. But then they would have evidence, wouldn't they?

Comment: Re:Won't work (Score 1) 342

by tolkienfan (#46709173) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading
Suppose a screw manufacturer cut their price by halving their profit, but as a result sells 10 times as many screws. You wouldn't call that an ambiguous comparison, would you? It's exactly the same with shares. Market makers cut their per share profit, but increased their volume. As a result shares are much cheaper to trade, and more trading takes place. The big difference with shares is you're not buying in the first market (from the manufacturer), you're buying aftermarket, so the buyer needs a way to find the seller and they need to agree on a price. The most efficient means yet found for this is the market maker. Any more efficient way woukd naturally supplant the market maker buy undercutting their profit.

Comment: Re:Won't work (Score 1) 342

by tolkienfan (#46709065) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading
If you submit market orders, you are paying the bid ask spread. It's per share, so it's completely unambiguous. Put it this way: suppose the theoretical value of XYZ is $98.7633 then the best bid will be $98.76 and the best offer will be $98.77. If you submit a market order to buy a 100 lot, you'll be matched at $98.77, paying $0.0067 per share to the market maker, totalling $0.67 for the lot. But, you don't have to do that. You could instead submit a limit order to buy 100 at $98.76. And you'd likely get filled after a fairly short time. So: 1 people CHOOSE to pay the spread. So they must see a benefit. 2 your broker likely charges more in fees. The benefit is quality of fill... you'll get filled instantly at the nbbo in the first case. In the latter case you may not get filled at all... the price may change. These small fluctuations are next to meaningless to a long term investor, but they keep the markets efficient and risk down. There's much less risk to owning a stock when you know you can sell at within a penny of its value at a moment's notice. As for "other efficiencies" occurring at the same time, it's simply false. HFTs shrunk spreads by competing with the specialists, who used to keep the spreads at 25c in many cases. The specialist was unable to compete with 1c spreads -their profits dried up. This isn't theoretical, it's fact. HFTs are also supremely good at arbitrage, to a degree that prices are always very very close to ideal. HFTs are better for your trading than your broker. You seem genuine, unlike many here, so I hope you continue to discuss this.

Comment: Re:Yikes (Score 1) 342

by tolkienfan (#46706727) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading
That was a completely valueless comment. It did nothing to furthur the discussion. It didn't present any viewpoint or evidence. You merely call me a thief and state that I wouldn't accept any proof if you did present it. I'm asking for any shred of evidence for other's benefit... because I know you have none - as evidenced by your lack of ability to present it. I'm the expert in this discussion, so it should be obvious why I keep asking. Some people have had genuine questions for me about HFT, and want to learn. You clearly want to remain ignorant. So be it.

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan

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