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Comment Re:More information (Score 1) 252

'Optimise the common case' has been wisdom in the *nix world from before we were born. In the case of X, what was the common case when it was designed is not the common case now, and X does not optimise that common case.

That common case is local display, using graphics hardware which is built around 3D and OpenGL.

What the display subsystem needs to do is to efficiently make available the display hardware capabilities of the machine it is running on, in a way that is easy for people to program.

Then there is the question of what a modern desktop environment needs and how to efficiently deliver that.

The design assumptions of X, and the need to work around things using extensions and suchlike, make things harder than they need to be.

If you want your 'evidence', take a look at the size of code and execution time required to do basic and complex tasks using X vs similar situations on Mac and Windows. X solves problems that don't often need solving, and is a poor fit to the situation where it is most often used.

Comment Re:scientific literacy along with general educatio (Score 2) 315

You say 'You can't be called a moral guy just because...', so you believe that whether or not you rare a 'moral guy' has nothing to do with what you do.

You claim that scientific literacy along with general education gives the potential to choose to be moral, but then effectively say that if that your education depends upon the beliefs and ideas of cultures 2-3 millennia ago then that does't count. This despite the origins of western philosophy and mathematics coming from works of that period.

Then you end with the footnote that morality and ethics are purely subjective.

Your position just doesn't make sense.

Comment Just wondering (Score 0) 1121

If you repeat the experiment, but change the brand to one of the following non-real brands:

1) High Explosive
2) Big Bomb
3) Subversive
4) Mind Control
5) Insurrection
6) Hardcore Porn
7) Gay Elimination

I wonder whether you'd get similar levels in variation of how many packages get through. I'm not suggesting anyone actually carries this out, just think about it. Labels containing words which give rise to perceived meanings will always cause at least some difference to happen. The simplistic idealistic 'don't judge a book by its cover' mindset that says that labels don't matter is just that: simplistic and idealistic. And in reality we can't evaluate the true content of what we see, so judging by outward appearances based on our internal beliefs is always going to happen. If you want packages to get through somewhere, don't put labels on which might cause delivery agents to not like the package.

On a similar note, I have the right to free speech, and to say that I disagree with government policy. But I should not expect to be able to walk onto a stage at a Republican conference and say that I believe that all Republicans are stupid, deluded and should be heavily medicated by our psychiatric friends to treat them for their 'disease' without at least getting heckled a little. People have likes and dislikes, and will not react the same to things they like as to things they dislike. This is human nature, and without it, we cease to be human.

Comment This is of course ...the (Score 1) 127

the... a solution to the three body problem under a universal unidirectional inverse square law -- still the simplest case of the three body problem which one can analyse.

What if the force is dependent not on mass, which cannot be negative, but on electric charge, which can be? What about a hypothetical coloured force (like the stuff out of quantum chromodynamics) in which Red attracts Green and repels Blue, Green attracts Blue and repels Red, and Blue attracts Red and repels Green? What if there is a fourth party which may decide, from moment to moment according to as yet unspecified rules which way the attraction-repulsion cycle goes (so that the force is a kind of alternating dihedral force if you are familiar with the nomenclature of elementary group theory)?

Of course what the three body problem (and indeed gravitation and electromagnetism of two bodies) looks at is the continuous equivalent of modern game theory. A computational model, of course, then works in discrete time, so a computational model is an application of game theory (wearing a suitable disguise, such as a purple beard and greeny-grey glasses ;-) ).

Comment Re:Too complicated (Score 1) 205

Nobody gets excited because the theory is too complicated. Even a physics major has trouble understanding what the Higgs is (and just repeating "the thing that gives stuff mass" is not an explanation).

Given the fundamental assumptions a physicist takes on, there is no single, simple, beautiful explanation of our reality. Physics is the best science has to offer, and loses itself in a sea of complexity when faced with certain fundamental questions. Those fundamental assumptions need, I think, a re-examination.

Comment Satisfaction and its absence (Score 1) 205

The world's physicists want to discover the universe's deepest secrets, and have up until now believed that more and more intricate experiments would gradually force the desired information out. What they are finding is that their efforts have yielded only a reasonably self consistent theory which fits observed facts when they are experimentally observed, yet is massively complex, incompatible with other fundamental theories, and ultimately unsatisfying to the scientist who hopes via his science to understand reality. This one's a win for the universe.

Comment Just get your own domain! (Score 1) 119

I am in the process of migrating from and to chalisque.{net,org} and and related websites: that way you control what is and is not done, and have an actual binding legal contract with the hosting provider which clearly sets out who is responsible for what. Of course this costs money, but you do get what you pay for with free-as-in-beer services.

Comment Re:Morning sunlight is a waste (Score 1) 646

Morning sunlight is great to get up to: you just have to get up to enjoy it. My morning sunrise T'ai Chi practice would be impossible before work if daylight saving time were to be abolished, without renegotiating my terms with the company I work for. I value DST, and fear that if the US abandons it, the UK will follow suit. Besides, once a year, DST gives us a valid excuse for being late., namely that the DST auto-update routines in our smart devices contain bugs that couldn't be fixed by the community due to the source being too tightly controlled.

Comment Reliability is the issue with playful artificial k (Score 1) 69

I devised a JavaScript kitten doing just this using mouse and key events perturbing a feedback loop just on the cusp of chaos and with at least three attractor patterns. You then sample a fingerprint from the loop state. It's great when reliability isn't required. But non human recognisers are unfortunately prone to making silly errors.

Comment Efficiency undermines speed (Score 1, Informative) 81

I'm exploring efficient intuitive ways of programming my Dorothy, my pi. As a 32 bitter its way faster than the 486 I learned linux on. And the 486 was fast enough to be fit for purpose. Being spoilt with speed has led us up a blind alley where pooters can't keep up despite bashing their heads on quantum physics limitations. We need proper efficiency, not the crap we have today

Comment Re:Humanity comes first! (Score 1) 1106

To right. We need a theory of resource management that is based on sound mathematics and logic, not the haphazard economics we have at present. The key is quantisation and arithmetical relationship so that all measures are in a fixed rational relationship with one another. Essentially we end up with interesting ways of mapping the natural numbers, and when we realise this we will truly come to appreciate how powerful the human intuition is. For an example of how this kind of quantisation can help things see my article at where I fix musical harmony via arithmetic so as to ensure that any dissonance is mathematically inaudible to your typical human.

Comment Re:Christians, physicians and hospitals (Score 1) 813

You misunderstand the meaning of fact. The existence of the keyboard I am typing this on is factual -- I can feel it. The existence of fossils dug up from the ground is fact -- we can see the fossils.

The existence of dinosaurs is a postulated explanation for the presence of the fossils (an explanation for the facts). The theory of evolution is a theoretical explanation for the patterns we observe in the diversity of life. We have not inspected evolution in process except in very recent times, and we cannot go and check to see that evolution actually happened in the distant past.

The existence of the distant past, no matter how obvious it may seem, can never be elevated above a hypothetical assumption needed to render any scientific explanation of our past in terms of present evidence practicable.

This is the reality behind the 'it's just a theory' thing. The 'it's just a theory' thing is not wrong, it's just that the fundies who don't get what a theory is, nor what a fact is, nor even what their scriptures are going on about, twist the implications of the 'it's just a theory' thing to their own ends.

Belief against the evidence is an all-too-easy trap to fall into, whether your a person of faith or not. Faith such as the Christian one make falling into this trap easier, and that is the quid pro quo for the doorway it offers you into the more spiritual aspects of life.

As for our distant origins, I wish people would stop claiming that we can truly know them by understanding present day evidence. We cannot, unless we are given without support the assumption that what we rigorously deduce from present day evidence under the hypothetical assumption that in terms of physics and metaphysics, things have always been as they are now. What distant past projections do is to test the internal consistency of theories which explain how life and the universe evolve in the here and now.

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A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms. -- George Wald