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Comment Re:Evolution.. (Score 2) 588

Have you ever met someone who is *actually* autistic? Not someone who has Asperger's and is socially awkward, but someone who has the full-blown condition?

When I was in secondary school, we took a course where we interacted with autistic people on a day-to-day basis. Autistic people can not be expected to care for themselves in any way. Forget taking advanced maths. It's a hard slog to get these guys washed and dressed every day.

I think both the OP and the GP are romanticising the condition. Yes, sometimes people on the so-called autistic spectrum have "sitzenfleich" - the ability to sit down and slog through difficult technical material, day after day, hour after hour. Don't count on it though. In general, it's just a very sad condition that limits a person's ability to understand and communicate with others.

Comment Re:This game is random , you can't outsmart someon (Score 1) 292

I guess the point is that people tend to deviate from this strategy and the computer can take advantage of those deviations.

I would be very interested to know how the learning algorithm works. Given that the program is taking advantage of your deviations from the 1/3-1/3-1/3 strategy, it follows that the computer is itself deviating from that strategy. Therefore there should be some strategy that beats the computer on average.

I guess you could continue this reasoning ad infinitum, but I would say that the meta-meta-meta strategies would converge to 1/3-1/3-1/3 pretty quickly.

Comment Erdos Prizes (Score 2) 170

Erdos offered many prizes for the solution of problems that he thought were difficult or out of reach of the mathematics of his time. These prizes were sometimes huge, worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of US dollars in today's money.

Erdos used to joke that he would get in trouble for violating minimum wage laws.

Comment Re:In English (Score 2) 117

There's a brilliant historical example of this. G.H. Hardy, one of the foremost mathematicians of his day, once gave number theory and general relativity as examples of mathematical disciplines that were interesting in their own right, but which were unlikely to ever produce anything useful. Nowadays, relativity underpins the GPS system, and number theory provides the basis for a large amount of cryptography.

It just goes to show that you never can tell...

Comment Re:12 pages!?! (Score 1) 168

Most slashdotters would be running ad blocking software anyway. I know I am. I'd also never buy something based on seeing it in a banner ad.

On the other hand, I'd actually think about buying iRacer, watching Top Gear, or buying the magazine after reading this interesting article. That's how the web is meant to be used.

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