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Comment Re:Number of sentences? (Score 1) 342

It's worse than that because it's not even true. There are, quite literally, an infinite number of valid English sentences because you nest phrases like "The man who had the wife who had the son who had the cousin who had the...." and so on, ad infinitum. At no point does this stop being a valid, grammatical English sentence. Of course the utterence itself is necessarily finite because, eg. the heat of the death of the universe will prevent it from being produced, or we'll die of old age, but this is a physical limitation, not a linguistic one.

Comment Did you actually read the article? (Score 5, Informative) 840

"But then, the silence was broken. Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, took his turn at the microphone. "The situation in which we are living is extremely exacting, and we are asked to be absolutely truthful and credible," he said. The last couple of months have been very difficult, he went on, with so many questions being raised about things that happened long ago. But he said, "This is the time for truth, transparency and credibility. Secrecy and discretion are not values that are in fashion at the moment. We must be in a condition of having nothing to hide." The crowd applauded."

Comment Re:The Pope (Score 2, Interesting) 840

Oh, well then, that makes it perfectly OK and not all ridiculous and totally and completely bullshit

It turns out only SOME of the things the Pope says are the infallible word of God.

And how do we know the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra? Because God said so? No? Because some people made it up 140 years ago? Yeah. Well I now dictate that I'm infallible when speaking "en slashdotia". Beware.

Comment Pope sez (Score 1) 840

"The Internet is making me increasingly irrelevant and, to boot, is serving as a means of propagating news about the criminal misconduct rampant in the archaic and faintly ridiculous institution I command. So it must be evil, since I, and what I stand for, is all that is good. Anyone publishing information that serves to discredit me or my organization is, by definition wicked, even if what they say is true. Pay attention to me!" I think that's what he means.

Comment Re:That is very interesting (Score 1) 301

You're teaching your computer to read "in the way humans do"? You managed to code a Language Acquisition module into your program, one that matches how children learn language? Really? Learning language is not done by "training" or else any old human could pick up language. But we know that after a certain critical period it becomes functionally impossible for a human being to learn language. Ergo language acquisition is not simply induction, but rather some mental process we don't have a basic understanding of yet. If you've managed to figure out how children manage to learn language and you've implemented that in a computer than I'm writing this message to one of the eminent geniuses of this century. Of course, I don't think this is true.

Comment Re:DotA legacy (Score 1) 118

Most of the stuff you list is just incorrect.

Last-hitting your own creeps is something that adds strategic depth and skill to the game. It makes laning much more competitive.

The reason casters don't scale late game is because they're extremely powerful early game. A hero like Pyromancer or Thunderbringer can kill half the heroes in the game with their spell combinations early to mid game. If there were no late game downside to picking heroes like this none would pick anything else.

And ranged heroes do get lifesteal, so I don't know where you got this idea.

Comment Note taking isn't stenography (Score 5, Insightful) 664

I see a lot of people commenting on how fast they need to type/write in order to take notes. I find this a little odd, because if you're taking down more information than you can easily handwrite, you're probably not taking notes properly in the first place.

The point of taking notes is to compress the information into a salient outline structure and then insert only the most important information. Just copying, verbatim, what a professor says isn't, in any real sense, "note taking". Note taking implies that you're selectively recording the parts of what the professor is saying that are most important. Just copying down everything is something else entirely, and is dreadfully inefficient, first because you can easily get the jist of what someone says without recording their exact wording, and second because it makes reviewing the notes mostly a waste of time.

Comment Re:meh, philosophy is dead (Score 2, Interesting) 165

> Historically is was a place for science and mathmatics. Since those disciplines now have there own fields, what the hell good is philosphy?

What good are science and mathematics? Well, some of it has practical application. But the main reason people study those things is that they find them interesting. People don't become scientists or mathematicians for "the good" of anything, they just do it because it's interesting. It just happens to have useful side effects down the line. So it is with philosophy which, as you mention, produced those fields. So by the transitive property, philosophy is useful insofar is it allowed the production of fields like science and math. Not to mention that the fundamentals of both science and math are still philosophical issues. Science is nothing without interpretation, and interpretation of scientific results is just metaphysics.

>Before someone responds with the boring and done arguments, my initial goal in college was to become a philosophy professor. It was then I realized it ahs nothing new to offer the world. Even the most basic philosophy question have been answered.

That might have been your goal, but from your post I'm not sure it was ever a serious option for you. It would be like me saying the reason I'm not a professional soccer player is that "I realized it has nothing to offer the world" rather than the actual reason, which is that I wasn't good at it. I suspect similar is the case here.

>Which came first, chicken or the egg? Evolution has taught is it was the egg.

Actually, if evolution has taught us anything this question, it's that was the chicken. But since this is your idea of a 'philosophical question' your failure to ascend to a post in academic philosophy is, as I mentioned, unsurprising. This may shock you, but it's quite hard to become a philosopher. Getting into Harvard law school is a joke compared to getting into a top philosophy grad school in terms of intellectual talent required.

>If yopu walk towards something, but only half the remaining difference, will you ever get there: Quantum mechanics has shown us that, yes, we would get there because there is a smallest distance that can be moved.

Your idea of serious philosophical problems are "which came first, the chicken or the egg" and the sophistical paradoxes of Zeno, which were refuted as soon as he produced them?

>These may be interesting papers because they come from a time when philosophy was critical to develop logical, rational, and skeptical questions.

Like I said, the fact that your idea of philosophy is Zeno's paradox and the chicken and egg shows that your understanding of philosophy is quite limited. Contemporary philosophy is, in some respects, quite difficult to differentiate from science. Philosophy of Mind is fully engaged with neuroscience, biology, cognitive science, etc. Even a cursory glance at some of the issues contemporary philosophers work on would show you that this is the case.

Comment Re:Meditations on First Philosophy (Score 2, Insightful) 165

"I exist, therefore I exist" is not invalid.

P therefore P is always valid, for any value of P. It's trivial, but anything that's trivially true is valid.

P always follow from P. The implication that the Cogito is invalid is just an absurdity. What you might mean is that it's a tautology, but tautologies are always true. The Meditations makes several dozen laughable logical blunders, but this isn't one of them.

Comment Re:A partial solution: (Score 1) 629

I don't that's really true, at least any more true than the fact that almost anything can kill you.

The only withdrawals that are often fatal are alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazapine withdrawal, and barbituate withdrawal.

Heroin withdrawal might be the most unpleasant of all, but it isn't all that likely to be fatal as far as I know. I'm sure some people have died due to heroin withdrawal, but it's not a significant risk.

Comment Re:The Turing Test (Score 1) 979

Finally, someone saying something sensible about the Turing Test.
It's an absurdity that serious AI research say things like "we need to make our computer stupider, so it can pass an arbitrary test". These people are supposed to be smart, but here they telling the world that they think the best method of making an intelligent computer is to artificially handicap to be bad at math, make stupid, illogical reasoning choices, have poor memory, etc. just so it can pass as a human.
The utter inanity of that thought is just amazing: the way to make a computer more intelligent is to severely limit it.
Not to mention the dozens of other problems the Turing test runs into, eg. the fact that dogs and horses and dolphins all seem rather intelligent, but would fail a Turing Test, that human calculators like autistic savants, or John von Neumann (he might know something about computers!) would fail. John von Neumann could instantly multiple 2 5 digit numbers in his head when he was 4. He would fail the Turing test, ergo he's not intelligent or conscious. Someone should have told Mrs. von Neumann!

Comment Re:First Post (Score 1) 222

Whether or not video games are dangerous (they very well might be. I think the studies are inconclusive in this regard.) is irrelevent.

We, as free citizens, should be allowed to engage in (reasonably) dangerous activities, activities such as drinking alcohol (Huge in Germany), driving cars (Also huge in Germany), etc.

This isn't a factual matter but a moral, rights-based matter.

Comment Re:Company or store policy? (Score 3, Insightful) 417

That's the stupidest bit of free-market fundamentalism I've heard today.

Due to all kinds of factors like economies of scale, customer loyalty, established physical presence, detailed infrastructure, etc. an existing company has so many competitive advantages over an upstart that to pretend some entrepreneur could (for God knows what reason) start up a consumer electronics store to take on, say Best Buy, is just absurd.

Somehow this perfect entrepreneur would have to know that (for example) Best Buy was paying its managers more than the market reasonably could bear (which is basically impossible since Best Buy now almost wholly comprises the market for big box consumer electronics store, which means that the price BB pays its managers is, de facto, "the market price") and, in order to leverage this into a competitive advantage over BB, this manager would have to run his stores at least as well as BB does in nearly every other respect (the stores would have to be roughly equal in other respects for this small competitive advantage to accrue) and he would have to hope that this disparity in price he pays his managers (which couldn't reasonably be more than a few ~10k per manager) would, eventually, allow him to overtake BB or at least put enough pressure on them to lower their wages, which they would do, driving this stupid entrepreneur out of business, because of all the aforementioned advantages Best Buy has as an entrenched company. For example, BB could pressure suppliers not to sell to this company, or to sell products to him at a higher rate, because BB accounts for a huge amount of, say, Toshiba's laptop PC sales. So if Best Buy says "Either stop selling to this guy with 5 stores or stop selling to me, and my 3500", what do you think Toshiba is going to do?

Of course, this is just an elaborate fiction. None is stupid enough to take on an entrenched monopoly like Best Buy for some Robin Hood goal of righting a wrong in manager pay when anyone with half a brain knows they would be pounded into dust like dozens of companies before them.

On its face, this claim is absurd, that all it would take is ONE company paying its managers "just a little" less will have any effect on anything. Like all free market fantasies, this falls apart as soon as you give it more than a moment's reflection. For example, it forces you to either conclude that Best Buy is almost absolutely perfectly efficient (doubtful) or business leaders would absolutely be jumping at the chance to take them on. Thus if your free market logic were so impeccable, you'd be able to secure money from real capitalists (ie., people with money) and enact the plan yourself. So why haven't you?

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We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it. -- Saul Alinsky