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Comment Re:Principia (Score 1) 381

Well, I started out with a triple major in Physics, Math and Computer Science, but eventually dropped out for a while and became a Hippie. I didn't actually pick up my Physics from the Principia, but I did go to a Jesuit University and actually had to read it. I cannot adequately express how valuable this book has been to me.

Dean Kamen dropped out of school, went to the library, studied Newton's Principia, and went on to be an awesome inventor and thinker.

Eli Goldratt used the thinking processes in the Principia to turn USA manufacturing and business methods on their respective heads. Read his books, "The Goal", "It's not Luck" and "Critical Chain" for some really interesting examples of thinking. He wrote a terrific book, "The Choice" which clearly describes how useful Newton's methods are.

Comment Absolutely! (Score 1) 381

In fact, I keep re-reading parts just for the imaginative spark.

OK, I admit to being an assembly language addict. I think describing tasks in machine language is as stimulating as a book full of logic puzzles. (But let me still recommend ANY book by Raymond Smullyan, such as, "The Lady or the Tiger?" )

I also admit to programing in LISP and using Jan Lukasiewicz's notation for symbolic logic.

I suppose you should keep these things in mind while evaluating my recommendations.

Comment Re: eating less (Score 5, Interesting) 256

Yeah, it is not simple thermodynamics. The complexity of the interactions in the body is overwhelmingly mind-boggling.

Interestingly enough, more and more researchers are buying into the lower-carb side of the diet controversy. And it seems that if you lower the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you probably have to increase your fat intake to get enough energy to prevent starvation responses. And a gut that is adapted to burning fat for energy is significantly different from a gut that burns sugars. And so on....

However, the report of a single study doesn't provide a prescription for health. Some time ago there was good discussion about creating a comprehensive science database to compare outcomes of different research. This database would report on both successful and unsuccessful experiments and research, which could possibly cut down on instances of "fads" by identifying what works, what doesn't work, and what hasn't been tested yet.

Comment Premise is absurd... (Score 1) 519

Stafford Beer tried this in Chile and almost ruined the country completely. The original article is taking an absurd assumption about Economics and building it into a completely ridiculous conclusion.

The first two problems: 1. Economics is a dynamic system. It is non-linear and not deterministic, because:
2. Economic behavior is a complex system and unpredictable emergent behavior spontaneously arises from strange places.

Even the most ignorant of /. readers shouldn't fall for such a flawed argument as contained in the original article. Read "Out of Control" by Kevin Kelly (it's free, now) and see if you agree with any part of the source article. Economics is more about human interaction than simply converting resources to goods. (What about services, for instance?) The test space for such a large number of possible interactions is many times greater than the time available in the life of the Universe.

If you would like to read a book that covers similar subject matter but is specifically oriented to Economics, try, "The Origin of Wealth" by Beinhocker: This is actually an incredible book, and techies will relate well to it.

Comment Re:You have to know how to secure a Windows 10 PC (Score 1) 982

OK, you got my interest. What exactly is the "Pirate Bay Edition" and is there documentation about what has been removed, disabled, or enhanced? There must be 20 different bootleg copies of Windows 10, but I don't trust them either. All I want to do is know how to lock down the OS for my tech clients.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be political at all? (Score 1) 702

That makes you a "left-winger" I can respect.

I actually object to the phrases left-winger and so on, because they are gross generalizations and lack precision. In fact, I probably should not have been drawn into commenting because the OP was so lacking in content.

I still respect and admire anyone who is open-minded enough to examine more than one side of an issue and discuss it rationally.

Comment Re:This probably means... (Score 1) 1080

Yeah (laughing), except that "Capitalism" doesn't have an explicit, cause-and-effect model that would meet any description by Newton's criteria.

The biggest problem is that we are talking about a "complex system" in mathematical terms. A few rules at one level create totally unpredictable results a few iterations into the behavior. So "Capitalism" is probably not a concise enough domain for analysis, and we will have to define and analyze much smaller sub-systems to derive the description.

Comment Re:Why does it need to be political at all? (Score 1) 702

You make such a good point...

The presumption is that Literature has "influence" and if people buy literature based on marketeering describing the prestige of awards, then the influence from the authors' biases influences the individual.

The answer would be to have a set of standards for the award, but that is very difficult for Art of any kind.

The Left is afraid of books like "Fahrenheit 451," "1984," and "Starship Troopers" for good reason: A well-written story bypasses the reasoning parts of the brain. They would rather people be exposed to only those stories that reflect their point of view, and those are the stories that the Right is afraid of. Thus, the conflict.

Comment Re:This probably means... (Score 2) 1080

Right on the mark, and nicely said.

On the other hand, NOBODY really knows what Capitalism "is" be cause "Capitalism" doesn't really exist as a noun. The word "Capitalism" exemplifies a nominalization (creating a noun out of verbs, which is also a nominalization) and is generalized of behaviors relating to the use of assets. The "is" illustrates the conflicts that exist in the "is" of identity (described by Aristotle and Korzybski). It is no surprise that you can ask a question that has no meaning and people won't understand it.

One possible answer to the problem of understanding may be a scientific approach to the description. Maybe we need to describe a model where the use of assets changes from the trade for other assets, to their use as resources for creating more assets. Once we describe a provable or falsifiable process, we can determine if it works better or worse than alternative processes.

Comment Re:Ellen Wood Speed Reading Course.... (Score 0) 207

Well I took it back in the early '70's. You can read about my experience on my one-and-only blog article: The short version is: I went from about 100 words per minute to over 8000 words er minute with no loss in comprehension in 8 weeks.

You can achieve the same results for your self by conscientiously following the instructions in this book:

Good luck and happy reading!

Comment Re:Speed reading is pseudoscience. (Score 1) 207

There has been a lot of controversy about what actually constitutes "reading." The speedreading systems I'm familiar with have this criteria: If you can look at the page and visually get information from it, then you are "reading." The more information you glean from the pages, the better you read. The less time you spend looking at the pages, the faster you are reading. In the Evelyn Wood System (which is what I took back in the early '70's) my goal was to read as fast as I could at speeds appropriate to having 90% or better comprehension and recall. However, in the EW system it was also considered to cover the text multiple times (called "layered" reading) if that is what it took to understand the text. So I take a 1200-page textbook, read it and take notes (which is also taught at EW) and finish in about an hour. Then I do it again. I may do it again. and when I've done I've understood about 90% of the text. in about 3 hours total time. (Doing the exercises and skill-building are not reading, but are probably necessary for mastering the subject.)

On the other hand, according to Mortimer Adler in his famous, "How to Read a Book," the criteria are different and speedreading would only be considered as one part of the reading process. Adler claimed that you must be able to reproduce the author's thought exactly, or you haven't competently read the source.

So, it is not "pseudo-science" as much as "badly-defined" science. (I refer you to Alfred Korzybski's "Science and Sanity." I defy anyone to speed-read that! This is a book where Adler prevails over Wood.)

Comment Re:Speed Reading is Rubbish (Score 1) 207

Sorry, but I disagree. I've met people who can read and absorb technical material a rates varying from 4000 to 12,000 words per minute. Most people read prose faster than they read technical material. If you are well grounded in the technical material and have mastered the vocabulary, you can practice on the subject and get very fast.

I met a Chemistry Professor from India in an Evelyn Wood reading Dynamics program in Chicago in 1978. He only achieved about 1200 words per minute with 90% recall on prose, but he demonstrated a speed of 10,000 to 12,000 words per minute with 90% recall (or better) on Chemistry, Biophysics and Biochemistry texts. We had to borrow material from Strick Medical Center to find subject material that he wasn't already very familiar with, but that's what he ended up showing us. Even on subjects that he were totally out of his field (Oceanography, Geology and Astronomy) he could absorb the material at varying rates starting at about 3500 words per minute. And the more Math, the faster he read. When he started the course he was reading prose at about 200 words per minute with about 70% recall, and tech material at about 1200 words per minute with 80+ % recall. Notice the big improvement in only 9 weeks!

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Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"