Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | login

Well if you tried reading just past the abstract...

> To forestall misunderstandings, let me add a note of humility before going further. This essay will touch on many problems that philosophers have debated for generations, such as strong AI, the problem of induction, the relation between syntax and semantics, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. In none of these cases will I claim that computational complexity theory “dissolves” the philosophical problem—only that it contributes useful perspectives and insights. I’ll often explicitly mention philosophical puzzles that I think a complexity analysis either leaves untouched or else introduces itself. But even where I don’t do so, one shouldn’t presume that I think there are no such puzzles! Indeed, one of my hopes for this essay is that computer scientists, mathematicians, and other technical people who read it will come away with a better appreciation for the subtlety of some of the problems considered in modern analytic philosophy.

(From some (very) cursory reading, this does seem to hold true.)


I've been trying to make some kind of casual contact with these folk for quite a while now. Beyond understandable why they wouldn't want to be easily found. Still, if anyone knows of any Parisian gigs which may have something to do with UX, let me know maybe? :) I'm totally not da police.


Oh my, there's some really magnificent stuff, I started giggling while reading this:

  The Quantum Mechanic monster is basically one big physics joke.
  Its attack will randomly teleport you, and eating a Quantum
  Mechanic corpse will give you the intrinsic speed ability (or
  remove intrinsic speed from you if you were already fast). Upon
  death, the Quantum Mechanic also has a small chance to drop a
  box. When you open the box, a cat named Schrodingers Cat will be
  found inside. 50% of the time, the cat will be alive, and 50% of
  the time, the cat will be dead.
  What brings this into The Dev Team Thinks of Everything territory
  is that if you look at the game's source code, you discover that
  unlike every other box in the game, the state of the box's
  contents (whether the cat is alive or dead) is not determined
  until you open the box and look.


As 'blunder has mentioned elsewhere, you should use pluggable transports (try obfs3, scramblesuit, fte in https://bridges.torproject.org/options) when in mainland China. Don't use vanilla Tor bridges or vanilla Tor there.


..but on the other hand, the US is not part of the ICC (it hasn't signed the 1998 Rome Statute of the ICC), and it also has this jolly federal law in place (2002): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Service-Members%27_Pr...

    The new law authorizes the use of military force to
    liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied
    country being held by the court, which is located in
    The Hague. This provision, dubbed the "Hague invasion
    clause," has caused a strong reaction from U.S. allies
    around the world [...]


This is not entirely correct; the US is not a party to the Rome Statute, true, but it in fact Bill Clinton did sign the Rome Statute, but it was never submitted for ratification, and George W. Bush's administration sent a note purporting to retract the signature (as a means of avoid obligations that attach to signatories to treaties even prior to ratification under the Vienna Convention on Treaties, specifically, the obligation not to work to undermine the treaty's purpose.)

The US has engaged more positively (but without any moves toward ratification or even retracting the purported retraction of its signature) with the ICC under the Obama Administration.


Thanks for providing these details. (I didn't even know that Bill Clinton did actually sign the statute, even though it was effectively retracted (if only via (GWB) sending a note purporting to retract the signature, as I take it.))


I'm not sure what the president's signature, or retraction of signature, should be expected to mean. The key is its ratification by the Senate.


You don't have to be signatory to the ICC for torture to be illegal. The ICC is fairly recent. We didn't need the ICC at Nuremberg. We don't need it now. It can be prosecuted within the US justice system, or a new tibunal can be created for it.


> And here, a full essay on Derrida titled "Philosophy as a Kind of Writing": http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Rorty-Philosoph...

Thanks for this, I haven't read it before. For anyone curious, it is a very clear-headed and well-articulated take by an American philosopher (analytic and later (him becoming a prominent participant of) pragmatic (if you could call it that?) tradition) on Derrida's conception of philosophy / approach to truth (so to speak.) There's a very nice part about what he considers to be the constructive component in Derrida's system/view, and it is detailed and honest (in the sense of capturing many nuances), I think.

A very nice and easy-going read, would recommend to anyone interested.


It will soon be possible, for instance, for a business man in New York to dictate instructions and have them appear instantly in type in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call up from his desk and talk with any telephone subscriber in the world. It will only be necessary to carry an inexpensive instrument not bigger than a watch, which will enable its bearer to hear anywhere on sea or land for distances of thousands of miles. One may listen or transmit speech or song to the uttermost parts of the world. In the same way any kind of picture, drawing, or print can be transferred from on place to another. It will be possible to operate millions of such instruments from a single station. Thus it will be a simple matter to keep the uttermost parts of the world in instant tough with each other. The song of a great singer, the speech of a political leader, the sermon of a great divine, the lecture of a man of science may thus be delivered to an audience scattered all over the world.

- Tesla, 1909



He also said some nice things about communication devices "in your vest pocket," but I can't find it.


> The song of a great singer, the speech of a political leader, the sermon of a great divine, the lecture of a man of science may thus be delivered to an audience scattered all over the world.

"...and videos of cats."

I find it endearing that our visions of the future always see the best (or worst) of humanity, but never the mundane or banal.

> He also said some nice things about communication devices "in your vest pocket," but I can't find it.

I had a search. Maybe this one?

"When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket."


though I think that's actually one of the less interesting things to be found in that interview... Tesla really was quite the interesting person, it seems.


Ah indeed, that's the one!

> though I think that's actually one of the less interesting things to be found in that interview

oh I probably agree, or at least in general - in terms of what kinds of things Tesla might have said that might still be relevant. Check out his biography on wiki - totally bananas, and most awe-some indeed.


> I find it endearing that our visions of the future always see the best (or worst) of humanity, but never the mundane or banal.

Because the banal makes for boring stories.

Star Trek could just as well have been set aboard a naval ship island hopping in the pacific or similar. Being crewed by the best and brightest of their generation, and equipped with the latest science had to offer.


That's probably because the common man from back then (who was probably more into banal stuff like cat videos) didn't have a voice that survived the times - probably couldn't even read or write. Tesla, along with those other dudes, was a well-known inventor, definitely not working class.


Ulam's spiral is fascinating, too. I've recently discovered this excellent prime number distribution visualization page, which combines the general idea of Ulam's spiral with other things: http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~jhw/spirals/


This is pretty cool, but seems like an illusion in that it appears to show a pattern where there isn't one. At least not exactly.

Firstly, the formula traces a spiral. If you plot every point, that is. You only plot a point if it's a prime, but it's still always going to trace a spiral!

Still, this only-plotting-primes business leads to new, unexpected patterns emerging. Yet, if you think about it, that's not altogether surprising really. Patterns emerge not so much in where the primes are, as where the primes aren't. Once you go beyond two, anything divisible by two can't be a prime anymore. Same with three. Same for all numbers, because that's what prime means. As a result, you get a pattern. It just so happens that this is what that pattern looks like when you plot it on a spiral rather than a straight line, or in a grid like the OP.

The grid has a similar effect, but the pattern forms vertical lines depending on how many of the prime factors within the set divide evenly by the modulo divisor chosen. Or the divisor +/- 1, which gives rise to diagonals (try adjusting the number up/down by 1 to see this effect).


Thank you, your explanation was a deep insight into those patterns for me.


Woah! That is cool. Thanks for sharing.


> so what's the problem?

I think that's a fairly naive point of view. Consider the simple fact that these devices are not to be used in isolation - e.g. you come to someone's home, etc. If you think this is too alarmist a mindset, maybe you'll remember how quite a few folk were outraged about facebook's new app which was to actively listen via your mobile's mic (so it can e.g. recognize music and add "while listening/watching" etc. info to status updates and so on.)

The problem in that case was not (just) the actively-listening part ("don't use it if you don't like it"), but rather that people (in)voluntarily become the dreaded dragnet surveillance infrastructure.

"Such future hope for decentralization." Ha! :)


And this is also true for cellphones. Siri is always listening for you to say her name, which means that anyone you talk to with an iphone is always recording.

Not everyone has the same level of concern over "priacy" that you do, deal with it. It's 2014, everything is being recorded now and will be even more so in the future.


If you don't trust your friends, there are much worse ways they could betray you.


With hopes of not sounding too rude:

Could you explain more what this is about? (These frontpages with nothing but a "give me your name and email address so we can sign you up for $list" are kind of irritating, personally.)

Why should one sign up? The hashtag makes me think of IRC channels (but apparently it's just a hashtag?) Why is this better than creating an IRC channel and pointing people to it?

..so it's powered by levels.io, which is for "building a community around your product." Its frontpage includes a graphic about a spike in pageviews.


Sorry about that, I could make that page a bit more clear :)

Yes, it's a Slack chat for nomads and remote workers and people that are planning to be soon. It has channels for different cities so that people can meet up wherever they work.

We have just passed 500 members, so it's fun to see where this goes!


It's a slack chat room.



Applications are open for YC Summer 2015

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Y Combinator | Apply | Contact