Science, Pseudoscience, and Irrationalism
October 30th, 2006
Un domn distins, Steven Dutch, şia publicat pe net o samă de gânduri, dintro carte, pesemne. Citiţi şi gata.
Look who’s deciding your rights, now!
October 30th, 2006
A BBC news report tells us that UK government seeks to allow citizens to make legal private copies of their CDs and such. This is a good thing. What bothers me is that “But it is not the music industry’s job to decide what rights consumers have that is the job of government.”. Why don’t I decide what rights consumers have, or their momma, perhaps?
Gates Recommends Ubuntu
October 30th, 2006
Concert Mike Stern
October 26th, 2006
Mike Stern band susţine concert în Timişoara pe 5 Noiembrie. În clubul The Note. Sau, pentru cine e mai uşor, pe 4, la Cluj, la Teatrul Naţional.
Sam Harris On The Religious Moderats
October 25th, 2006
An excellent speech (thanks #aradlite!) by Sam Harris at Idea City ’05. See the video here.
Automatic flattery won’t get you anywhere
October 24th, 2006
…but when you’ve just lost your job (for instance), it might get you the required energy to grab another bottle o’ vodka. Try it for yourself!
Eşti un animal, Viskovitz
October 21st, 2006
Alessandro Boffa, “Eşti un animal, Viskovitz“, Editura Polirom, 2006.
Freaky drawings
October 21st, 2006
Jesus, with you always. (Now, Jesus is with clowns always, too!)
I’m infecting it
October 17th, 2006
Happy Meals in Japan were suplied with an MP3 stick, with autorun and virus included.
Now, for the fun part: slashdotters trying to translate the page with babelfish and google found some rather interesting terms: “The virus of Troy wooden horse type” and many, many more. Here’s a new version ZeroWing vs. McDon
In A.D. 2006
Meal was beginning.
Customer: What happen?
Slashdotter: McDonalds set up us the free mp3 player.
Slashdotter: You get virus.
Customer: What !
Lawyer: Main bank account turn on.
Customer: It’s You !!
Ronald McDonald: How are you gentlemen !!
Ronald McDonald: All your passwords are belong to us.
Ronald McDonald: You are on the way to obesity.
Customer: What you say !!
Ronald McDonald: You have no chance to be thin make your time.
Ronald McDonald: FAT FAT FAT FAT ….
Customer: Take off every ‘lawyer’ !!
Customer: You know what you doing.
Customer: Move ‘lawyer’.
Customer: For great lawsuit.
How to Prove Things
October 17th, 2006
HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 1
 proof by example:

The author gives only the case n = 2 and suggests that it
contains most of the ideas of the general proof.  proof by intimidation:
 ‘Trivial’.
 proof by vigorous handwaving:
 Works well in a classroom or seminar setting.
HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 2
 proof by cumbersome notation:

Best done with access to at least four alphabets and special
symbols.  proof by exhaustion:
 An issue or two of a journal devoted to your proof is useful.
 proof by omission:

‘The reader may easily supply the details’
‘The other 253 cases are analogous’
‘…’
HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 3
 proof by obfuscation:

A long plotless sequence of true and/or meaningless
syntactically related statements.  proof by wishful citation:

The author cites the negation, converse, or generalization of
a theorem from the literature to support his claims.  proof by funding:
 How could three different government agencies be wrong?
 proof by eminent authority:

‘I saw Karp in the elevator and he said it was probably NP
complete.’
HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 4
 proof by personal communication:

‘Eightdimensional colored cycle stripping is NPcomplete
[Karp, personal communication].’  proof by reduction to the wrong problem:

‘To see that infinitedimensional colored cycle stripping is
decidable, we reduce it to the halting problem.’  proof by reference to inaccessible literature:

The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found
in a privately circulated memoir of the Slovenian
Philological Society, 1883.  proof by importance:

A large body of useful consequences all follow from the
proposition in question.
HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 5
 proof by accumulated evidence:
 Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample.
 proof by cosmology:

The negation of the proposition is unimaginable or
meaningless. Popular for proofs of the existence of God.  proof by mutual reference:

In reference A, Theorem 5 is said to follow from Theorem 3 in
reference B, which is shown to follow from Corollary 6.2 in
reference C, which is an easy consequence of Theorem 5 in
reference A.  proof by metaproof:

A method is given to construct the desired proof. The
correctness of the method is proved by any of these
techniques.
HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 6
 proof by picture:

A more convincing form of proof by example. Combines well
with proof by omission.  proof by vehement assertion:

It is useful to have some kind of authority relation to the
audience.  proof by ghost reference:

Nothing even remotely resembling the cited theorem appears in
the reference given.
HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 7
 proof by forward reference:

Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author,
which is often not as forthcoming as at first.  proof by semantic shift:

Some of the standard but inconvenient definitions are changed
for the statement of the result.  proof by appeal to intuition:
 Cloudshaped drawings frequently help here.
(Thanks, steju)