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Comment Re: Coin flip (Score 1) 115

This is not really the point made. It is true as you say that in expectation after 100 coin flips you will have as many tails as heads, however it is also true that the absolute difference between number of heads and tails are 10 in expecatation. More precisely, after k^2 coin flips, you get k more heads than tails or k more tails than heads in expectation. This is his suggested resolution to the problem - we are simply in the 10 more heads case (he is wrong in thinking that this occours because of how it started though - it is not because the first 10 was something in particular that you get this).

Comment Re: Researchers need to learn marketing (Score 1) 116

Then you should be happy! A large fraction of a scientist time is dedicated to writing grants, which is basically asking for money like you want - typically not to the public though. I personly consider it stupid. After having shown that you are able to produce very good reseach - and requiring basically just that to get a position - your job becomes teaching, marketing (grants), supervision and a small amount of research.

Comment Re: Is there any truth to what they're saying? (Score 1) 656

There can be bad side effects but it is better for everybody that nearly everybody else are vaccinated. It might be better for each person not to be vaccinated, when most everybody else are though (the probaility to get any of these diseases is quite low right now because of the vaccines). Not getting vaccinated without a good reason (such as very weak immune system), ensures that most people aint vaccinated however, so I think this is one of the examples where we need goverments to enforce a non-stable outcome (it is not stable since each person are better off not doing it).

Comment Re:Subsidizing Businesses.... (Score 2) 445

It would be closer to the post and courier services. The post has to deliver a mail to anywhere and not just the easy places. This is not the case for courier services.

The taxi companies (at least many places - I do not know if it concretely the case in Massachusetts) has to drive you were you want to go, even if it is to a part of town the taxi driver wants to stay out of. This is not the case for Uber/Lyft.

Comment Re:If it looks like a phone company. (Score 1) 25

Well, you are not allowed to sign your self into slavery, so there are business deals you cannot make. Is privacy a good enough reason to make a transaction illigal? Note that Europe cares more about privacy than the US, so the culture might matter for the answer.

Also, you can call peoples phones through skype, so it is not really clear that all involved people will know that their conversation is used for ads. Is that fair?

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.

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