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Comment: This is not a flaw in the system (Score 2) 408

by wen1454 (#39970075) Attached to: Positive Bias Could Erode Public Trust In Science

This is not a flaw in the system. This is a virtue of the system. Nobody wants to read 100s of papers about how bananas do not cause cancer. No scientist (at least no scientist that I know) believes that a paper proves anything. The paper is a finding worth sharing which must then be confirmed repeatedly by other scientists to be accepted as a fact.

Comment: Dubious numbers (Score 1) 296

by wen1454 (#35875624) Attached to: Apple vs. Microsoft, By the Numbers

Was Microsoft really worth more than Apple in 1980s? According to Google finance, since pi day 1986 (Microsoft's IPO) Microsoft stock has increased 24850% and Apple stock has increased 10820% (adjusted for splits). Obviously there is not a perfect connection between stock increase and market value (because of stock buybacks, acquisitions, etc.). But if the Google finance numbers are correct, it seems implausible that Microsoft was worth more than Apple in 1986. And since Apple stock did not increase between Apple's IPO (1980-12-12) and Microsoft's IPO, Apple was almost certainly worth more than Microsoft in the early 80s.

Comment: Re:Occam's razor... (Score 1) 371

by wen1454 (#34611700) Attached to: Free Radicals May Not Be Cause of Aging

Not really. The control animals in these studies are given unlimited amounts of food. They eat excessively because evolution has programmed them to feast when food is available. They are the equivalent of obese humans. So eat 30% less than the typical obese person eats, which would be approximately the RDA not 30% less than the RDA.

Comment: Re:Punditry Pays (Score 1) 308

by wen1454 (#34384012) Attached to: Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism

I was very interesting in transhumanism in late 90s and early 00s. Back then Kurzweil was not in the picture. The most prominent transhumanists were Nick Bostrom, Max Moore, Natasha Vita-More and FM-2030. Furthermore, to the best of my knowledge, Kurzweil did not make any important theoretical contribution to transhumanism. In fact transhumanism today is ideologically almost identical to transhumanism in the 90s, except that the term "transhuman" is deemphasized in favor of the totally ridiculous term "singularity". So it is surprising to me that Ray Kurzweil has been able to establish himself has the singularity/transhumanism guru despite being a latecomer and making no important intellectual contributions.

Comment: Wrong question (Score 1) 375

by wen1454 (#34202712) Attached to: Can Windows, OS X and Fedora All Work Together?

How many workers in your office would prefer using Linux and OpenOffice.org to using Windows 7 and MS Office? I suspect almost all of them would prefer using Windows 7 and MS Office. Even a small dip in productivity or worker satisfaction would outweigh savings from using FOSS.

Gmail vs Exchange is a different matter. I suspect most workers under 40 would prefer Gmail, and most older workers would prefer Exchange. If there are savings, a switch might be justified.

Comment: Re:To immediately Godwin the poll... (Score 1) 1270

by wen1454 (#33982632) Attached to: Given one free trip to the past in a time machine, I would..

Killing Hitler is not really necessary. A better strategy would be to go to Austria a few years before his birth and interact briefly with his father. This would almost guarantee that the same sperm would not enter the same egg and Hitler would be never have been conceived.

Comment: /. you are to blame (Score 2, Insightful) 240

by wen1454 (#33921350) Attached to: Why the Web Mustn't Become the New TV

The web has been getting more linear for a long time. Greedy businessmen are only part of the problem. The other part of the problem is the emphasis on recentness. The most recent articles are placed first creating a linear organization. Blogs, /., twitter, reddit are all part of this trend. In the past content was more likely to be organized hierarchically (e.g. most personal websites) or with the most recent comments first (message boards and newsgroups). The consequence of this trend is that now articles are only viewed and discussed for about a day after they are posted. In the past discussions would drag on for weeks and months (hence Godwin’s law), and 6 month old content on your website was as likely to be read as 1 day old content.

Comment: Agreed (Score 1) 311

by wen1454 (#33865400) Attached to: How Should Poll Numerical Increments Be Set?
The author of the poll should estimate the distribution of the quantity in question. For example,

height~normal(70,9)
income~exponential(0.000025)
sexualpartners~poisson(e/pi)

The choices should be the based on the quantiles of the distribution. For example,

How tall are you? a. <5'7" b. 5'7"-5'8.75" c. 5'8.75"-5'10" d. 5'10"-5'11.25" e. 5'11.25"-6'1" f. >6'1"
What was your income last year? a. <$7000 b. $7000-$16000 c. $16000-$28000 d. $28000-$44000 e. $44,000-$72000 f. >$72000
How many people have you had sex with? a. <=0 b. 0-0 c. 0-1 d. 1-1 e. 1-2 f. >=2

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