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About DaWanderer

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  1. DaWanderer

    what C++ IDE & OS do you use

    Your list doesn't include Vim or Emacs? We're talking about the C++ they use on computers, right?
  2. DaWanderer

    Do you think brain training works?

    There's some speculation that "overuse" of the so-called Default Mode Network (DMN) in the brain may lead to excessive amyloid deposition (an indicator of Alzheimer's). Being engaged in a task disables the DMN, so one could argue that "brain training" may help reduce one's risk of Alzheimer's. From this link: [color="#403838"][font="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica,"][...] the causality between amyloid deposition and DMN dysfunction remains to be determined. On the one hand, the observed DMN dysfunction might be one of the functional consequences of amyloid deposition. On the other hand, DMN dysfunction might be one of principal causes of amyloid deposition, given that high levels of neural activity can result in amyloid accumulation in vivo (Cirrito et al., 2005) and that nondemented elders with amyloid burden fail to deactivate DMN during memory tasks (Sperling et al., 2009). Perhaps most likely, amyloid deposition and DMN dysfunction might aggravate each other in the course of AD. The recently developed high-field fMRI, together with other invasive techniques, will offer a chance to clarify this question in animals.[/font] [/quote]
  3. DaWanderer

    Linux is a LIE

    CUDA installed just fine for me on the latest Ubuntu. But then again, I'm not a retard
  4. DaWanderer

    Survey: What do you think about the Bible?

    Because people are retarded.
  5. DaWanderer

    Survey: What do you think about the Bible?

    Very true. Its unfortunate that the colloquial term "agnostic" is equated with atheist and the colloquial term "atheist" is often taken to mean anti-theist. By themselves, the technical terms simply refer to orthogonal stances on epistemology and metaphysics that many people hold, regardless of religion (e.g. faith is required because God is mysterious, I'm spiritual but I don't believe in a particular god).
  6. DaWanderer

    Proof God doesn't exist?

    Agreed. When we start talking about things this "meta", correctness gets a lot fuzzier. I see your points and I can say that I'm less confident in my views than before. I need to make friends with some Mathematicians. Reading Atlas Shrugged helped propel me into learning more about philosophy in general, which ended up eroding all of the certainty I had in Objectivism during my early teens. Probably not Rand's intention either, though she may have been delighted to hear me parrot John Galt to my family's pastor. I must've been an annoying little sh*t Meow.
  7. DaWanderer

    Proof God doesn't exist?

    I think this is a decent definition, but I feel that even something like 1=1 has the hidden assumption that two things can share the same identity in some sense. I couldn't tell you what a reality would be like where that wasn't true, but I can imagine defining a mathematical system where two things can only ever be approximately equal, and thus 1=1 is never true under that system. Admittedly, I'm seriously pushing the limits of what "physical" means. What I really want to get at is the idea that even something as simple as 1=1 relies on an axiom (usually S(x) = S(y) => x = y under Peano) and that this axiom appears to be inspired by the reality we live in, where objects can be reliably compared and classified. One of my professors told a great story about a visiting IBM researcher who talked about how the design of one of their original cryptographic co-processors had been formally verified by a proof checker. It was hacked within days of its release because people figured out how to mess with the power input to the chips and get them into undefined states. The moral of the story was: logic depends crucially on external factors; the process of abstraction does not remove those factors, it merely assumes they are within tolerable ranges.
  8. DaWanderer

    Proof God doesn't exist?

    I don't think anybody's yelling, just a (hopefully) friendly debate. We most likely just have different definitions of what constitutes a physical assumption. Care to give your definition?
  9. DaWanderer

    Proof God doesn't exist?

    I certainly hope so, since I'm working on a PhD in Computer Science and currently doing programming languages research! Yes, these things can be boiled down to mechanistic string operations, but that mechanism assumes that (1) the string will remain stable if it is not operated upon and (2) that operations are regular, in the sense that the same operation on the same string will always give the same result. Proofs do not float in some abstract space, they are relative to both a set of axioms and a method for checking (or executing) the proof. In practice, I think the methods we have are pretty solid, but they are certainly not the only game in town. Yes, I've read GEB and even attended lectures by Dr. Hofstadter. I obviously can't speak for him, but my intuition is that he would not be happy with your notion of Mathematics as a science being purely a notion of abstract symbol manipulation. He talked briefly at one point about losing faith in Mathematics as a source of objective truth, and I've been meaning to get more details about it. Since this thread is now being taken over by cats, how about we call it even?
  10. DaWanderer

    Proof God doesn't exist?

    People often say this, but what does "no physical assumptions" really mean? Equivalence, grouping, and ordering may seem very abstract, but they require assumptions about preservation of state through time and repeatability of measurement. Kinds of mathematics can be defined that do not require these assumptions, though they do not appear to be terribly useful so far. This is related to the thread in general, because it is precisely the problem I have with people going around saying they have an understanding of God (loosely defined as the created of the universe). The leap that one must take to claim any understanding, however minute, of God from the infinitesimal dot of their own existence is simply beyond me. This is usually where faith would come in, but all I see is an infinite space of potential gods with no principled way to choose (unless I have faith in some choice mechanism, ad infinitum). This is not about a sloppy distinction between theoretical and practical Mathematics. It may be the case that some useful mathematical "truths" cannot be proven under the set of axioms we have chosen, and must instead be adopted as axioms themselves. Gödel showed us that such truths must exist, but it's hard to tell if they're just a bunch of silly, self-referential statements or something much more useful. Chaitin conjectures that the Riemann Hypothesis is one such case, though I don't think he has any grounds for it.
  11. DaWanderer

    Proof God doesn't exist?

    Saying Mathematics is about absolute truths is a bit misleading. Like you said, formalization always leads to those "truths" being relative to some system of axioms that itself can only be proven with a different set of axioms, and so on. This isn't to say that there is no such thing as objective truth, it just is unreachable or unprovable from a single set of axioms (i.e. Gödel's incompleteness theorems). Deductive proofs are an idealized subset of a much more interesting class of questions where uncertainty is given first-class status. Bayesian analysis is an excellent framework in which to express formal model comparison in the face of uncertainty, though we are forced to make our assumptions explicit (a good thing, in my opinion). I also disagree that Mathematics is not about the "real, physical world we live in". Even something as detached and abstract as a Turing machine embeds serious physical assumptions, such as a tape cell only containing a single symbol or blank at any given time (this assumption is broken in quantum computing models). Solomonoff, Kolmogorov, and Chaitin have produced an extensive body of work demonstrating that Mathematics itself is an empirical science, requiring the same inferential tools we apply to the "real, physical world" (see Algorithmic Information Theory).
  12. DaWanderer

    Linux use and development, finally...

    I can offer a more middle-road perspective on the Visual Studio vs. Vim/Emacs debate. I used VS for many years exclusively when Windows was my primary OS. It's an excellent product (the Intellisense and debugger are hands-down the best in any IDE). When I went back to grad school, I moved my life over to Linux and started using Vim. Here's what I can say about the differing philosophies of these editors: VS is like fast food. It has a great deal of pre-packaged, convenient tools all under the same brand name with the same look and feel. Small customization is easy, though it's just easier to take the defaults and get used to them. Anything that makes it into the final "menu" must be something that a lot of people wanted. Maybe you would've preferred hot sauce on your burger, but the store is all the way downtown... Vim is like a mom and pop restaurant. If you've been eating there for 20 years, they know you by name and you get exactly what you want. If you're fresh off the street, though, you get a bewildering experience trying to navigate the "menu" (which the regulars never seem to bother with). As you become more familiar with the place, it's no problem to pop back into the kitchen and ask the cook for something special from time-to-time. Hell, you can even bring in your own fixins from home if you want.
  13. DaWanderer

    File Merging Tool?

    Quote:Original post by slayemin If you've got a 2TB hard drive and you have something like 100,000 files (being really generous here), and you want to find any duplicate files which may have different names or some slight variation in the data (ie a 192Khz song vs a 128Khz song), then you'll probably end up doing a file comparison on the bit level against every other file on the hard drive. In most cases, though, you won't be trying to determine if two files are "similar". You can just check file sizes and then do a hash comparison when they're the same. This will only degenerate to N^2 when every file is the same size, which is highly improbable. As for a program that does precisely this, I was unable to find one either. However, this can easily be done by a small Python program. Since you're not concerned about directory structure, just group all files you want to check on either side by their sizes and then compute hashes for both groups. The set difference of all hashes for a given size will tell you what both of you are missing. [Edited by - DaWanderer on November 14, 2010 9:15:27 AM]
  14. Tomboy might be something to look at. It comes installed by default on Ubuntu and is listed as working on Windows and Mac too.
  15. DaWanderer


    I love me a good wheat beer. Upland Wheat is the best one I've found in my area so far.
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