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Comment Yanis Varoufakis (Score 1) 866

Alot of the current posts suggests that it is redicules to listen to a former minister of economics from Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, on economics. He is also "Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens and a private consultant for Valve Corporation" (Wikipedia), however.

While being minister of economics from Greece might not be good for your credentials (not with standing that he was the guy Greece called in to deal witht the crisis), being a professor at University of Athens and a private consultant for Valve does sound fairly good.

Comment Re:Huh (Score 1) 491

Obviously, in the USA (and most other countries), they would treat this man far worse. Most places he would have been executed.

According to Wikipedia, there are 36 countries where execution are used in practice, another 51 there execution is not used in practice, but still on the books, 7 where it is only used for war crimes (or similar) and 103 where it is not used. Even if we assume that it would have been called a war crime and that he would be executed if there was a law allowing for such (even if it was never used in practice), then Breivik would still not have been executed in half the countries of the world. On the other hand, over half the worlds population lives in one of the countries were execution is used in practice.

With that said, while I'm not in favor of harsh punitive treatment in prisons IF it doesn't help prevent crime, nothing in the article sounds unreasonable. He is a dangerous killer - he killed 77 people. It's not unreasonable for his jailers to try to prevent it from becoming 78. He's so dangerous that making him wear cuffs when moving him between cells and preventing him from coming into proximity with other prisoners seem like reasonable precautions.

As others have noted, the crime this is meant to prevent is his murder. His crime was committed with weapons. I have not heard anything about him being especially dangerous without such.

Comment New = better? (Score 1) 247

I think the new could be viewed as better than the old. Not doing anything is not evil and would therefore qualify for the old but not the new. it would have been more clear perhaps if they had said: be (or do) good. The problem with that is that would only say what was wanted when compare to the old, since good is not just the oppeosite of evil.

I think any cynical reading was clearly not intentional (you need to be quite strange to tell people that you intend to be more evil in the future) but they should have seen it coming.

Comment Re:Math (Score 1) 284

I never said anything about the police. Alot of the highly rated posts are saying that the 3 dead writers is because of Islam. My post is saying that a country the size of Bangladesh would experience something like this with a not extremly low probability, no matter the religion or anything else for that matter. Heck, my own country, Denmark, would just need 1 dead writer and it would be much more unexpected, because the country is so much smaller and I do not think that anyone would comment on one writer having died.

Comment Math (Score 1) 284

I do not think 3 writters is enough to draw any conclusion about the security of Bangladesh. They got 156 million people and 20 writters have died this year out of the 7.125 billion people. That means that 0.5 writters should have died in expecation in Bangladesh. 6 times the expected number does not seem unreasonable.

To be more precise: If we assume that 0.5 is the real expectation for Bangladesh and each writer dies with equal probability in a given year and are independent (i.e. that one writer dies does not say anything about the probability that another dies), we can given an upper bound on the probability that 3 have died in a year using Chernoff bounds. It says that the probability that 3 writers have died while the mean is only 0.5 is a bit more than 5%.
Note though that this is an upper bound on the real probability and hence only gives a quite rough estimate. If we assume that it is accurate, we see that if all countries were the sized of Bangladesh (i.e there are 45 countries), then every year more than two countries should have 3 dead writers in expectation (or Bangladesh should have it once every 20 years if it happens only according to chance).

Note that this is not taking into account the relatively arbitrary choice of time for this article (it is more likely that at some point in a year a country is far from the expecation, simply because there are so many points in time in a year), choice of objective (there are many equally important properties to dead writers this year and it is therefore more likely that some of them are far from the expecation) and that it is in the news (more unusual things are in the news, i.e. it is not news that another country did not have 6 times to many dead writers).

Comment Optimal outcome (Score 2) 65

I think this is the optimal outcome for the scientists. They can show: 1) We have done something (i.e. the poker bot is not too far from the best human players so our time has not been wasted). 2) There is more to be done (i.e. give us more money to look at this).

Also, I do think it is a quite impressive outcome.

Comment Re:Not many devices (Score 3, Interesting) 56

Well, that was one of the more unexpected "you mama" joke: Your mama is so fat that she shows up in a post mentioning only your room!

I want to note that just in case someone thinks so: You can not roll two 6-sided die and add them together and get a 12-sided dice - first of all you cant roll 1 and you roll 7 way too often. What you can do is have two rolls of a 6-sided die. Say you first roll x and then y. If y is even you rolled x otherwise you rolled 6+x. This gives you precisely 12 different equally likely outcomes.

Comment Re:Black and White (Score 1) 177

So a pedestrian is walking on the sidewalk 10m from your car. Do you slow down? If not, how will you avoid hitting him if he suddenly decides to sprint and jump infront of your car? If you do slow down, people will never use the autodrive feature.

You could write it under the assumption that everybody else was trying to make you fail (basically it would become a zero-sum game) but it is fairly clear that it is far too restrictive in any real sense.

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