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Comment Re:Philosophy is fundamental (Score 1) 515

Ugh. This view is, alas, very common, but grossly inaccurate. While it's true that philosophy is not usually axiomatic, neither is statistics, nor most of science. That doesn't mean it's not useful and you can't do interesting things with it.

Most of what we now know about the world came out of philosophy. As the ideas got more worked out they branched out and became their own disciplines. Mathematics, physics, biology, psychology, logic, even computer science, started out as things that philosophers studied. This is not surprising, since philosophy is, at it's core, just thinking rationally about things we don't understand in the world.

That isn't too say that all philosophy is worthwhile, a lot of it is useless mumbo jumbo. That is the difference of course between bad philosophy and good philosophy. If your ideas are not clear, or your conclusions do not follow from your premises that's as equally damning in philosophical work as in any scientific discipline.

Comment Re:Free trade of ideas, anyone? (Score 1) 687

It's not just unfair practices that gives local competitors an advantage, it's quite often simply understanding China better. When multi-national chains go into China, they always start in Beijing or Shanghai, try to establish a following there, then slowly branch out into the provinces. When a Chinese chain gets going, they always start in the provinces and only after they're successful there do they move into the wealthy cities. Guess which strategy does better.

Comment Re:A novel concept... (Score 1) 360

This is a key thing for email clients to detect. Something claiming to be from a bank with links to a website should be highlighted with some big flashing warning, "ALERT! THIS IS LIKELY A SCAM!" Not all users, even some relatively bright people, will be able to figure this out on their own and software should be designed to accommodate those people as well.

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We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"