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Comment Re:Silly. (Score 1) 387

We seem to be getting confused over different posters ideas of memory and memorisation. Memorisation has its place, as does reading and not memorising. Furthermore, memorisation in and of itself is insufficient as a road to understanding. Things such as times tables or musical scales are apt for memorisation, as possibly is a piece of text or music, or a mathematical proof you wish to study in detail, but there are other tools of understanding and learning that are important and, without which the old wisdom of 'everything looking like a nail to one with only a hammer' starts to apply.

Comment Re:How about Fedora? (Score 1) 685

I recently started using Ubuntu and it seems I'm the only one who, after mac and windows, actually likes Unity. What I loved with apt was that, at the command line, when I typed latex, I got 'latex is not installed, to install, type sudo apt-get install texlive' so I typed it in and waited and, before long, latex was installed and worked. The gui package manager is great for listed apps (a step up in usability from either mac app store and much better than install uninstall on windows). All in all I'm happy with Ubuntu 11 and have never used 10.x so have nothing to compare it with in terms of recent linux distros.

Comment I demand the right to determine... (Score 3, Interesting) 241

Consider someone saying "I demand the right to determine my own Real Name. It's mine after all and I reserve the right to change it. Not that I will, but I don't want some busybody in Google telling me I can't." How do you tell them that they don't determine their real name, and have no choice in the matter, save for deed poll.

Comment Just to check (Score 1) 315

that they have verified that

1.) They are certain that heredity is solely controlled by genes.
2.) They are certain that DNA is the sole mechanism for passing on genes.
3.) That looking at DNA sequences is a productive method of finding causes of things.

Personally I believe that they are uncertain in (1), uncertain in (2) and that (3) is not true. DNA is a waste of time with regards to 99.99999% of human behaviour.

Comment Of course Twitter is more powerful (Score 1) 209

The mathematical models need access to a large number of independent human minds to effectively control the level of uncertainty exhibited by the stock market. Formal (and hence finitary) mathematical methods just cannot cope properly and reliance on them is usually the cause of stock market bubbles and crashes.

Comment IE 9 can beat Firefox and Chrome all it likes (Score 0) 235

It doesn't hurt, and IE 9 has no free foundations, so I can't really accept it. Firefox works just fine, as does Chromium, under Ubuntu. Under Windoze I use FF also. IE just isn't relevant anymore. Microsoft should GPL the source of IE... then it would be a real player in the browser market, but for now it is their pet and not mine, and they can keep it.

Comment Re:Hyperbole (Score 1) 355

In the European Convention, as I read it, rights to not extend to the extent that they seriously impinge upon the rights of others. I am just asking JustAnswer about my rights. What we need in the decision process is accountability: everybody who makes a decision or interpretation of weight should write down their decision or interpretation and sign it and the trail of authority should be available for inspection under Freedom of Information laws.

Comment You know they don't have a sound point when... (Score 1) 385

They start saying 'we got 80.34%, they got 67%, so we're better' stuff. We want qualitative arguments that are clear and succinct. I you don't have one, you don't have a point and what you are saying is therefore pointless, so why bother? With that, I move on. Google works for me and Bing doesn't, so for me that is a 100% effectiveness for Google and a 0% effectiveness for Bing, which roughly corresponds to my actual usage pattern, so the 'vote with your feet' economic model works well in this case. When will marketroids get it that 'measurably better' is a silly idea because there is no standard of measure!

Comment RANT: Politicians who... (Score 1) 403

...don't understand the internet, computers and above all our social instincts to communicate with each other will make stupid suggestions like this again and again and again. When will we get it that we don't want professional politicians coming up with ideas to govern us. They should select the sources of ideas they trust, listen to the people, weight up the options and choose between what is offered, without adding any colouration from their own thinking. As our representatives, they should represent us, and our interests, not themselves, their ideas and their ultimate interest of getting re-elected. Absolutist monarchs never had these problems so why, as a purportedly more advanced and democratic society are we still ruled by the Absolutist Monarch that is the current community of professional politicians. We need a constitutional system so that politicians are not free to have their own ideas written into laws: they must give the ideas to the public and the public must think them through and, en masse, give them back before an idea should be considered worthy or writing onto the statue books. END RANT.

Comment Mind and Brain (Score 1) 63

The Mind thinks, the Brain only connects those thoughts to the body, acting like a switchboard. The Brain can be used for rudimentary thoughts, but little beyond that. Sooner or later these 'scientists' must realise that: this conclusion is inevitable from basic considerations of the maths involved and basic natural assumptions drawn from everyday experience.

Comment But what will run on Windows 8? (Score 1) 385

Personally, when the release date for Win8 is annouced, I plan to purchase a copy of Windows 7 for an as yet unobtained PC because I know all my current Win software runs on Win7, but I fear M$ are going to break legacy compatibility (as they must do sooner or later) in order to move the Windows platform on. I hope they make fundamental changes to Windows with Win8, but hope the give Win7 long term support as well. (I guess I can dream.)

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Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated. -- R. Drabek