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Comment Re:Thinner (Score 2) 269

Do people really want thinner phones?

In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife; but that doesn't work so well with a tomato. SPLAT! Introducing the Ginsu Phone--chop, Chop, CHOP! (warning, keep phone in sheath when not in use. Works best with Ginsu shaving cream. Do not hold up to face when talking. In case you need to talk for more than four hours, do not use this phone.)

Comment Re:Not sure (Score 1) 68

Simply having a larger word size isn't what I'm talking about though. Larger word sizes are just a composition of binary bits. I'm thinking more like the Flatland analogy. We know what true and false are, but we don't know what "arrow" is.

In Flatland, a sphere projects onto the plane and is perceived as a circle. In our world, an "arrow" veracity might project as a paradox. For example, "everything I'm telling you is a lie" is a classic statement that defies analysis as "true" or "false". Perhaps it's an "arrow" statement projected onto our world.

Comment Re:Not sure (Score 1) 68

Kind of the first joke I thought of too; but... what if our desire to ask such questions is the result of some sort of built-in bias? What if truth is N-dimensional and we just can't conceive of it in any real way? Note, not gradations of T and F, but an actual N-dimensionality of veracity. Like, I'm telling the truth, I'm telling a lie, or I'm telling an arrow.

Comment Re:Day 4 executive order. (Score 3, Informative) 1051

If Trump actually issued that order, I'd be on board. Instead he's expressed the desire to jail and strip citizenship of flag burners. Anybody who passed high school civics should see the problem with that. I was actually shocked to find out that SCOTUS ruled 5 to 4 that flag desecration is protected speech. So yeah, nevermind the abortion thing. We could actually end up with authoritarians on the court who don't care much for free speech.

Comment Reddit hasn't been known for free speech... (Score 1) 229

Reddit hasn't been known for free speech for quite some time. I've only been on it for less than two years, and in that time we saw the banning of Coontown and other offensive groups. Not that I endorse the content of those groups; but if you're going to hold yourself out as a bastion of free speech, you have to at least allow anything that's legal and AFAIK the mere existence of the offensive groups wasn't illegal.

Aside from that, there was an alleged astro-turfing campaign sponsored by Hillary's campaign. There is little rhyme or reason to what gets promoted to the front page, which indicates to me that even if the site itself is free, the strings are being pulled by SEO types and/or people who have simply learned how to game the system for karma. That kind of thing can make the site effectively less than free--burying important ideas and events beneath a well-crafted cat meme.

Comment They're making the cube sound harder than it is (Score 2) 54

They're making the cube sound harder than it is. The difficulty doesn't correspond well to the number of combinations. Back in the 80s when I played with them, the solution technique I knew was based on recognizing that the components of a cube could be flipped or twisted, with the flip or twist balanced out by another component. Then you simply executed moves to undo the flip or twist. My best times were 3 minutes or so, which sucks now but I bet the solution algorithms have gotten way more sophisticated. Anyway, a kid can memorize the algorithm so it can't be that hard. I'm guessing any modern CPU executes it so fast that most of the time is taken up by the movements of the robot.

Comment Re:Two rockets (Score 1) 1368

Sorry, I was referring to secession in general and should have made that more clear.

Now that the issue has been raised, there are indeed right-wing secessionist nut-jobs in CA. See, State of Jefferson. They tend to spin themselves as more libertarian than right; but if you scratch the surface it seems very right-wing.

Comment No. Revamp primaries and parties (Score 1) 1081

No. Revamp the primaries so that states like Iowa and New Hampshire aren't disproportionately represented. One "super Tuesday" for everybody. None of this business where states that hold late primaries are irrelevant. Also, we need to do something to make 3rd parties more viable. That's a little more murky. There may be no systemic reason why our 3rd parties are so weak. It may just be that America doesn't have much room for more than two; but perhaps if we lowered the debate threshold to 1% for at least *one* of the major debates, it might be interesting.

Anyway, the primary process screws us long before the EC comes into play.

Also, candidates know the EC is there so they build their strategy around it. If it were a direct popular vote, they'd change their strategy and we might actually get the same results.

Comment Just because he's an oligarch... (Score 1) 304

Just because he's an oligarch doesn't mean he's wrong. If transparency "disrupts" the sausage-making, maybe it's because there were too many rodent hairs in there.

The "OMG, some rich asshole sponsored this" argument has been applied to a number of initiatives, and in each case I'm trying my best to analyze the initiative on its own merits rather than based on who sponsored it.

It's not easy though. The voter's guide is 223 pages.

Comment Re:A-10 is an overhyped obsolete POS (Score 1) 325

That's a good point. There's the arms vs. armor race where it looks like arms are winning. In the signal vs. jamming race, I don't know if it looks like there's a clear winner yet. It seems like spread-spectrum would help defeat jammers, followed by the fact that any single-point jammer creates a signal that you just home in on and blow up. So then let's say you distribute jammers everywhere (including hospitals and places of worship, bastards!) and jam all frequencies. Bummer. It does seem like some degree of autonomy is required; but as long as you have clear coms to base you should be OK. So then maybe the ultimate scenario becomes sending orders from Nebraska to a base overseas, and then the missile launches there and uses intel about the target to guide itself the rest of the way. Or perhaps we could just live in peace. Nah... crazy talk.

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