Back in college I implemented a checker AI that used minimax and a neural network that was trained with a genetic algorithm. After 4 days of tournament on a 400mhz box the resulting AI would almost always beat me. It was always fascinating to me that it used a 4 ply minimax with a 50 hidden nodes and 90 inputs to handily kick my ass.
I always wanted to re-implement it in node and for a cooler game. Alas! I have too many side projects.
I anticipate having to take out between $50,000 and $100,000 in loans to finance a degree.
Is that really what college costs these days? I went to state school which cost about 8-10K per year. My loans are 0% subsidized govt loans. I pay about 150 bucks per month. I could have paid them all off by now, but why?
In-state tuition at my state flagship (Illinois) is $20,000. Factor in cost of living and various fees, and costs can easily run into the $30,000 to $40,000 per year range. Moreover, state funding for the university has fallen in recent years, meaning that financial aid is scarce and that tuition is perpetually rising.
You don't have to go there; especially not the whole 4 years; just googled Illinois state is more like $6500, and community colleges are way cheaper -- and you can use CLEP too! (OTOH, CS at UIUC would look really coll on the resume, so maybe transfer for your last 2 years, or go for an MS)
how can people still deny that we went to the moon when that thing has been sitting there since? Id think that those people who think that there was no moon landing would have done a fair amount of research about it, and would have learned of the existence of this man made thing there.
The typical moon-conspiracy-theorist doesn't claim that nothing man-made has reached the moon, only that humans haven't been there. Unmanned probes or laser reflectors don't present a problem to their world view.
For that matter, from Earth examples, its not terribly hard to find places with volcanic obsidian laying around vs nearly pitch black non-reflective areas.
Doesn't help that people were not randomly bouncing laser beams off the moon before the landings.
"so there exists a peculiar shiny field of obsidian rocks on the surface in that particular area, so what?"
If it were a religious claim that (fill in the blank) put a gold tablet up there, skepticism would be seen as healthy.
Personally I think the ham radio AMSAT guys should drop an active transponder on the moon, so EME antennas don't have to be so elaborate. Of course it would only work half the time and temperature cycles would be brutal on the poor thing, but still...
> "so there exists a peculiar shiny field of obsidian rocks on the surface in that particular area, so what?"
It's not sufficient for the surface to be shiny. The retroreflector array needs a really specific configuration of mirrors to reflect incoming light from any direction back to it's source. That is rather unlikely to form naturally. Without that, it would only reflect the laser back to earth for a very small portion of moon's orbit, as it doesn't always point exactly to the same direction.
Assuming solar not RTG for power. And the battery bank to make it thru the weeks long lunar night would be enormous. If AMSAT (or partners) did a RTG power source it would certainly be a first, probably not going to happen along with a lunar AMSAT also being a first. Unless they hitch-hiked on a bigger mission.
There is some weirdness with certain mountain peaks near the poles being in continuous sunlight. Great spot for a manned colony. Of course that is a lot different in scale from just dropping an unmanned AMSAT transponder.
It would be much easier to lunar orbit the device, although less cool than being on the surface. A reasonably low orbit could keep transmitting even in the shade.
I don't think humans have walked on the moon. I wouldn't bet my life on it, and I don't have a complete narrative as to the why/how of it, but I'd put the odds at over 50%.
It's something of a technological anomaly. A few years back the Apollo program had been in complete shambles, burning the Apollo 1 astronauts to death. 30-40 years later, we are still crash landing probes into the surface of planets and blowing up space shuttles. But for a few years starting in 1969 we routinely soft landed a rocket on an unmapped alien surface, and then launched it again and docked with the command module orbiting at 3000 mph? It just doesn't seem to "fit".
I've seen enough historical examples to know that you CAN dupe most people most of the time.
Most people seem to be convinced by the "social proof". I really believe if it were the other way around, no one had heard of the moon landings, and you were going around telling people "no really, we landed on the moon, drove a car around on it and played golf!" ... that you would be completely ridiculed.
Anyway, not here to start a huge debate, just providing an answer to a question.
The problem with moon hoax theories is that, in the modern day, we're accustomed to extremely realistic CGI. What we don't realize is that in 1969, it would have been harder to FAKE the moon landings than to actually land on the moon.
> completely secret for decades. Virtually no secrets survive that long.
How do you know that? If a secret did last for decades, you wouldn't know about it.
I can actually give a couple counterexamples: two big government secrets that lasted 3 decades:
(1) A US bomber accidentally dropped a hydrogen bomb out of an airplane into the dessert near Albuquerque, New Mexico, triggering a conventional but non-nuclear detonation. This happened in 1957 but was kept secret until 1986 -- a span of 29 years. "It was only in 1986 when an Albuquerque newspaper published an account based on military documents recovered through the Freedom of Information Act." (ref: http://www.hkhinc.com/newmexico/albuquerque/doomsday/ )
(2) The British were regularly reading encrypted German messages by around 1940. The codebreaking of the German Enigma machine was one of the greatest secrets of World War 2, and the British shared the knowledge with the Americans. This secret was revealed in 1974--after 34 years--because of two books by key intelligence figures. (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra#Post-war_disclosures )
In both cases, at least dozens of people--but more likely hundreds of people--would have been privy to the secrets.
I'm certainly not endorsing conspiracy theories about fake moon landings. I'm commenting only about the persistent meme that big secrets are quickly exposed: it's not necessarily true.
>> completely secret for decades. Virtually no secrets survive that long.
> How do you know that? If a secret did last for decades, you wouldn't know about it.
No, I meant secrets that quickly came out (that weren't secret for long), versus things that were only revealed after a long time. It's a reasonable yardstick for the degree that things can be kept secret "for decades", my claim.
* What women want. Freud famously asked. but no one knows, certainly not women. This may belong in a different category, since it's not clear that anyone knows the secret.
> A US bomber accidentally dropped a hydrogen bomb out of an airplane into the dessert near Albuquerque, New Mexico, triggering a conventional but non-nuclear detonation. This happened in 1957 but was kept secret until 1986
So that's in the never-revealed secrets column? Just checking.
> This secret [Enigma] was revealed in 1974--after 34 years--because of two books by key intelligence figures.
Actually, it was because of the British Official Secrets Act, that required silence on sensitive matters until the government granted permission, and that was obeyed by all concerned. The books were't simply published, after due consideration they were vetted by the authorities in advance of publication. That example belongs in the well-kept secrets act, because everyone involved obeyed the rules until given permission to do otherwise. If it had been a 50 year silence requirement, I suspect that it would still have been obeyed.
But I think you'll agree that rare exceptions don't disprove rules.
> I'm commenting only about the persistent meme that big secrets are quickly exposed: it's not necessarily true.
Not "quickly exposed", that's not a position I took. Thirty or forty years is sufficient validation for my original claim.
There is a question I've always wanted to ask someone who's convinced that the moon landings were faked.
Where the line is between fake and real? Was it the entire Apollo program or just the six landings? Obviously there has been some space travel by humans at the time. In your view how far did we get before faking the rest? Did we just stop with Gemini and say 'screw it the rest is too hard'?
I can acknowledge that it seems superficially anomalous to have people flying to the moon using slide rules, but it's not like NASA just pointed a finger and decided to go. There were a number of steps along the way where each step makes sense compared to the next one. If Apollo 8-10 were real, then 11 seems entirely plausible.
I have always prided myself on almost never doing my homework in high school. I did enough to get into college with a 2.1 GPA. I think I would have been much better off if I was assigned less homework or if not doing homework did not lower my grades, I would have had a better GPA.
I had an idea to build a tall bike which contained a large and heavy wheel in the center of the frame, above the 2 wheels but below the rider. This wheel would be made to spin somehow and act as a gyroscope to help the bike stay upright when stopped.
This seems to suggest that my plan would never work. If gyroscopes don't stabilize, then why are they used on monorail trains etc?