All of garabik's Comments + Replies

psbook is what I'd use - you might need pdftops to get postscript out of the pdf, or perhaps print to a generic postscript printer directly.

Or two ordinary small balls, one dropped from just above the geosynchronous orbit, the second one from far above the orbit. While the first one slowly drifts away to the space, the second shoots away, makes a complete (retrograde) orbit around Sun and splashes into the Atlantic while the first ball is still drifting...

Requires some careful timing, though.

This is true, but those Moon or Sun solutions aren't my favorite. Moon, Sun, Jupiter and so on are external agents I've forgotten to explicitly forbid. Next time, I'll be even more careful when posting a problem. :-)

If their gravity is significant enough, then it is incorrect to describe that they splash into the Atlantic - it's the Atlantic that splashes into them.

I'd prefer solutions that do not destroy the Earth :-)

Two giant golden balls, dropped somewhere bellow the geosynchronous orbit might do the trick of a little orbiting around each other and then splashing into the ocean, one after another. That might cause some damage, but the Earth would survive as a planet. Rather costly and not environment friendly solution.

If both rotate (I assume the same angular velocity) , what can be said about the direction of their axes of rotation?

Another idea: Gurl ner zntargvp, pybfr rabhtu gung gurl nggenpg gurzfryirf, fgvpx gbtrgure naq gur ubevmbagny nflzrgel pnhfrf gur bowrpgf gb ghzoyr naq gur uvture bar pbzrf qbja svefg.

This one does not need air-breaking. I like it! But instead of magnetism, the gravity may work even better. Two massive objects with non-negligible gravity between themselves. That's my favorite idea.

Well, if you said "the sea is rough equally for both of them" it would be obvious:-)

Another idea: A ebgngrf. Gur Zntahf rssrpg cebivqrf yvsg naq fybjf qbja gur snyy.

No, they both rotate or neither one rotates. They are equal, so the same rotation must be assumed. Their initial places are different and any difference only comes from that fact. Still, an interesting suggestion.

My first thought was that B reaches terminal velocity and that's it, but the object A is dropped from substantially higher altitude, picks up speed much higher than the terminal velocity and the atmosphere won't slow it down enough,

I do not feel like oing the math, but there is a simpler solution: jnvg sbe n jnir naq gvzr gur qebc va fhpu n jnl gung bowrpg N, orvat uvture ol yrff guna gur jnir urvtug, uvgf gur perfg bs gur jnir.

There are no such special conditions for A and another special conditions for B. The sea and the air are roughly equal for both.

There is also the little issue of Venus receiving about twice the insolation than Earth....

But Venus albedo is 0.75, while Earth's is 0.3. So Venus gets less solar energy than Earth, because of very white upper cloud cover

As a rather illustrative case study look at the history of XMPP at Facebook and Google (Talk). Facebook messaging used XMPP until 2015, but it was not federated - but at least you could use client of your own choice. Then they switched to a proprietary API. Google talk used federated XMPP for years, but then dropped server-to-server encryption, effectively cutting off majority of servers, and then dropped Talk in favour of proprietary Hangouts altogether. So the trend is just the opposite - if the player grows big enough and the community becomes self sustained, they will start walling the garden.

Maybe he meant life expectancy. Anyway, that too is locale specific and depends on your life style and (increasingly with age) on healthcare availability - which could be hampered a lot by moving abroad. Not taking into account increased stress due to unfamiliar environment and (likely) less satisfying job.

Life expectancy in SA is mostly dragged down by high infant mortality and the incidence of AIDS. Not that those might not be important to you, but they are manageable risks for an adult.

I think it's probably like drunk driving -- most of the times it doesn't result in anything bad, but there's a non-negligible chance of outcomes so bad that the expected value still comes out negative.

Or like drunk driving on your own property, where there is no other traffic nor pedestrians, and you are alone in your car (well, ok, you are in the car with another person, but s/he is drunk as well, knows you are drunk, knows the risks of drunk driving and half of the time replaces you behind the wheel). Should it be illegal? (assuming there are no (health) insurance issues if you crash&injure yourself)

Well, in that case you two cannot affect anyone else but yourselves, whereas in the incest case... Hm, does creating a new person count as affecting them? That's probably model-dependent... Hm...

Combat efficiency is much reduced when using gas mask.

Moreover, while gas masks for horses do (did) exist, good luck persuading your horse wearing it. And horses were rather crucial in WWI and still very important in WWII.

We did not see gas used during WWII mostly because of Hitler's aversion and a (mistaken) belief that the Allies had stockpiles of nerve agents and Germany feared their retaliation.

A single world language should be designed and promoted. Previous attempts have been too Eurocentric to take advantage of all useful grammatical features that are available.

There are so many constructed languages already that you do not need to design anything, if you have some criteria, just pick one that suits you, brush it up and maybe replace the vocabulary. And then goes the minor issue of promoting it and gaining speakers :-)

English is rather badly suited for an international auxiliary language, as the things go. But still better than French or Ch... (read more)

It is much easier to do a spelling reform in a mostly illiterate country

Indeed. Look at the rejected recent German orthography reform – and the changes were (relatively) minor.

Or the messed up Slovak orthography reform from the '90s – and that was mostly a few acutes here and there.

Years ago I jokingly suggested to sell Crete to Turkey, in exchange for taking over Greece's debt (no doubt Turkey would jump at the opportunity and bend over to do anything possible to meet the debt payment criteria). The reactions I got were predictable, in the vein of "hell would freeze one hundred times over before this happens".

Jokes aside, selling territory (with actual sovereignty transfer, as opposed to simple real estate acquisition) seems to be a bit of no-go in the last decades. Especially selling it under duress for economical reasons.

Selling territory is already impossible politically, but what's much worse is selling over a population of your citizens, or forcing them to relocate. An uninhabited island would be an easier sell, but also of much less value to anyone.

Depending on your free time, engage in some hobbyist activity.

E.g. subscribe to a foreign language course, where you'll meet some people and gain the additional benefit of learning (at least the basics of) a foreign language (might not be applicable if you are in the USA).

E.g. imagine a society where human brains evolved just a little bit differently and >90% of population are dyslectics. This very obviously wouldn't matter until about the time proto-writing changed into true writing, i.e. after urban development and proto-states. But then, such a civilization is trapped.

There's actually some evidence humans have made some adaptions to be better at reading, but I can't find a source.
Being able to read would be a valuable advantage and after tens of thousands of years of evolution, more and more people could read.

I notice the effects of the recession – I always offer to buy food, and in the past beggars often concocted elaborate excuses why I should give them money instead of buying a hotdog or something. But in the last few years, more and more they agree to get the food (and actually eat it).

Anyway, depending on where you live, there might be organized teams of professional beggars who are exploited by their "owner" and they have to give him his daily share "or else". By not giving money, you really hurt the beggars - but this amounts to emoti... (read more)

This actually happens with people preferring books to ebooks or vinyl records to MP3 files.

OT nitpicking: books you can resell or lend, no such luck with ebooks, they work without electricity, quick shuffling through pages is easier with books, MP3 distort sound (though not perceivably at higher bitrates), so this was not such a great analogy. But yes, your point is valid.

How do you people out there learn foreign languages and how do you keep yourself from giving up or slowing down?

Watch a lot of TV (once you acquire enough basic vocabulary), preferably with subtitles (in that language). The subtitles might be of much less help in the case of Chinese than in other languages, though.

Are there other words that could be used instead of "AI" in this context?

"Od automatov po zombie" ?

Not an ideal variant, but I am afraid there are not many possibilities here...

If automatov means a combination of "automation" and "machine" as its etymology and translation seem to indicate, that would be a very good choice.

How does Time Turner select reference frame? What if you use it in the orbit, will you see Earth rotational angle jump by 90°? Assuming the reference frame is fixed to Earth surface, going sufficiently far away will give you FTL which can be used to create arbitrarily long time loops. Assuming it is not, what happens if you are moving at relativistic speeds (relative to Earth) and use the Time Turner?

EDIT: We not even need to consider relativity - what if you are flying on a broomstick (constant speed) or on a moving train and use Time Turner? This experiment is simple enough and can reveal a lot.

DO NOT MESS WITH TIME. Obviously if you attempt to use it in the stated way something very bad will happen.

a standard diagnostic Charm showed Miss Granger as a healthy unicorn

Charms to detect active magic have each time detected her as being in the process of transforming into another shape

He performed certain spells ... declared that Hermione's soul was in healthy condition but at least a mile away from her body

The first two diagnostics are correct. If the third one is correct too, then Hermione is a perfect philosophical zombie now.

Not, it's much more akin to Dennett's "Where Am I?" or to becoming meguca.

The third one is simply a reference to the horcrux 2.0 that contains part of her soul.

For it was said once that you might need to raise your hand against your mentor, the one who made you, who you loved; it was said that you might be my downfall.

Indeed. Harry raised his hand against his mentor, the one who made him, the one he loved (‘Harry was in love. It would be a three-way wedding: him, the Time-Turner, and Professor Quirrell’), and was the cause of Dumbledore's downfall. Only, Dumbledore did not realize that he and Harry's mentor does not need to be the same person.

But didn't he note in the confrontation in the Defense Against the Dark Arts class that Harry had chosen Quirrell as his Wise Old Wizard?

"“Harry… you must realize that if you choose this man as your teacher and your friend, your first mentor, then one way or another you will lose him, and the manner in which you lose him may or may not allow you to ever get him back.”"

Dumbledore's comment in his note just don't seem congruent with this comment earlier on, and it's this comment and not the note which seems congruent with reality.

Hmm, random speculation: does the death mark have the power to resurrect you? (in some, not necessarily preferred or pleasant form). And the Death Eaters cannot talk about it, unless you already suspect this is the case. This would fit Snape's response from ch. 86: :

But as you can see, the Dark Lord was quite cunning." His gaze grew more distant. "Oh," Severus breathed, "he was very cunning indeed..."

The Dark Lord had nearly the same level of cunning that Quirrellmort had in HPMoR. (A little less, since he was less experienced at the time.) That alone would explain Snape’s response. Some sort of resurrection power of the Dark Mark is very unlikely, given that Voldemort is strongly predisposed not to give that sort of power to others. (Identified as one of his weaknesses in chapter 108.)

Learned Hangul (just the script, I have no intention of learning Korean ever). Not worth much of bragging, since it is indeed very easy, "a writing you can learn within a morning" - though it took me considerably longer.

My primary motivation was to have a sort of private semi-secret script to write my notes in, and something where syllables will be organized in blocks, which theoretically helps reading (though one has to read a lot to internalize the whole shapes to achieve this).

I have some relevant observations:

  • Hangul might fit Korean langua
... (read more)

I suggest adding a non-trivial random string to the original text. Otherwise if someone else makes the same prediction, your secret is immediately known to vim, and the information that you two are making the same prediction leaks to everyone.

Read on salting for more information.

I am starting to think that Lord Voldemort planned to commit suicide by proxy. Being without any personal aims, totally bored, without any happiness, surrounded by idiots, no chance of improvement - yet he cares about the world, at least somewhat, and realized that the original plan of playing chess with Harry would not alleviate his mood anymore anyway. And he has a better, happier and (age adjusted) more intelligent clone running around, so it is not like he will cease to exist altogether.

So he told Harry where to find Memory charms, prepared the plot, g... (read more)

This would to some extent letting Harry keep his wand- he wants to have some fun after all, and Harry should be given a very limited chance to win. Not much, maybe strip him naked, surround him by armed killers and point a gun at his head, whilst giving him only a minute to think. But leave him his wand, and do give him the full 60 seconds, don't just kill him if he looks like he's stalling.
He could have just Obliviated himself if that's all he wanted.

Thinking about AI boxing - note that it is Harry who represents humanity, his core values and goals were not changed that much by the Vow, they were just formalized.

It is LV that has goals that are mostly what we'd agree about (`ensure the continuous existence of the world'), but he has very different values and no moral constraints. In short, dealing with him is like dealing with an Unfriendly AI or an Alien mind (like Sorting Hat).

So this is more like a clash between Unfriendly (or better, Indifferent) and a Friendly AI, where the goals are more or less... (read more)

Same thing. ‘The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.’

I shall take no chances... in not destroying the world...

Oh my... did Voldemort just magically imbued Harry to do his best to put the whole world into time-frozen stasis in the Mirror?

Though revealing this to LV would not do any good - there is a failure safe mode, namely killing Harry, and if LV learns what he did (apart from pointing out his own stupidity), he has all the motivation to kill Harry right now.

hypothesis: Voldemort is pretending to lose.

Everything he said and did about Hermione is true - he wants Harry to have restrains and a sidekick (and a true friend, but his is an emotion he knows not). He knows that Harry has the best chance to defeat death, and so the best course of action is to move to the background to live a safe, boring life, now with his horcrux network, new body with who-knows-what capabilities, Harry being one of the very few things in the world that can hurt/kill him. So if Harry will think Voldemort is finally dead...

Against this... (read more)

Assume Voldemort is pretending his Horcrux network became Hermione's, and then lets Harry kill him. When Hermione wakes up, she will tell Harry she senses no Horcrux network. Granted, they won't kill her to test this, and because they don't know Voldemort's Horcrux rituals (and don't even have the Resurrection Stone ring), they will never be sure. But they will (should) suspect. I wonder if there is any way to test if someone has a Horcrux 2.0?

Hypothesis: The mirror (or the whole room) connects universes. More specifically, there is only one mirror, stable in the multiverse (quantum, mathematical, magical or whatever) of compatible universes. A compatible universe is such an universe where the mirror exists, i.e. most probably the one that did not branch off before the end of Atlantis (or boltzmanned into existence a moment ago).

Looking into the reflection, your (magical) brain picks the image from a different universe, the one that matches your CEV most closely.

Nothing can hurt the mirror, unle... (read more)

+1 for using 'Boltzmann' as a verb.

Time travel isn't fully computable

Depends on what kind of time travel and what kind of universe. Heck, even classical newtonian real-valued physics is not computable (but is computable to arbitrary precision). If the information content of the universe is finite (like, it is a grid of finite many cells, each of them could be in only finite many states, and time is discrete as well), then time travel is computable - you just have to store the information for the past 6 hours and brute-force consistent stable loops.

I haven't re-read the fic in a while so this might be a stupid question, but does QQ know about Partial Transfiguration?

Harry used partial transfiguration to make a hole in a wall in Azkaban, ch. 57. Quirrel saw the hole, but how much did he deduce from that is hard to say.

So, what is Harry's deepest desire? There are several candidates, but I think a strong contender is a Quirrell who isn't evil.

That's his (currently strongest) instrumental desire. What is his terminal desire? Something about humanity conquering death and reaching towards stars perhaps...

Question is, which desire does the mirror show?

Perhaps neither. Canon Harry originally saw himself surrounded by a family, a desire which was both obviously unfulfillable and outside Harry's known range of explicit wishes (we know he wishes his parents were still alive, but the mirror showed a more extended family of whom Harry had never thought as far as we know). For more direct relevance, Ron saw himself being popular and successful (terminal desire) but at the end of the book Harry saw himself finding the Stone (instrumental desire).

The Map isn't sure who is in the Mirror room; maybe it's still indetermined.

Maybe indetermined because the room is (so far) causally disconnected from Hogwarts, there is still one hour of time turning left and a stable time loop has not formed yet, because it is not clear who and how is going to use the time turner to get into the room before now.

Alternatively, the true Cloak of invisibility hides you from the Death itself, never mind a mere map...

In canon, the Cloak does not hide you from the Map. I don't remember if this has appeared in MoR, but an Author's Note referenced this fact: in canon, the Cloak does not hide you from Moody's Eye. Rather than change this, EY made the Eye a venerable artefact, rather than something that Moody whipped up. And he also made the Map a venerable artefact, rather than something that the Marauders whipped up. So I expect that the Cloak does not hide you from the Map in MoR either. [Edits: capitalization.]

Maybe that's because it's a false memory?

It is very likely. Also from Chapter 3, when McGonagall told Harry about his parents' murder:

And somewhere in the back of his mind was a small, small note of confusion, a sense of something wrong about that story; and it should have been a part of Harry's art to notice that tiny note, but he was distracted. For it is a sad rule that whenever you are most in need of your art as a rationalist, that is when you are most likely to forget it.

But just after Hermione's body dissappeared, they throroughly searched Harry's person and stuff for transfigured objects and finite incantatem-ed the lot.

The corpse could be transfigured into the necklace of the time-turner. This is such an incredibly stupid and dangerous idea that no-one would ever suspect Harry to do anything like this. Or he can transfigure Hermione into one chain link of the necklace (safer failure mode).

Are there any (known) size limits to the transfiguration? If not, there's plenty of room at the bottom...

Help me obtain Sstone of Transsfiguration, and I sshall try my hardesst to ressurrect your girl-child friend to true and lassting life.

But not necessarily the same physical form - thus the Alicorn Princess.

Maybe she needs to come back as a unicorn, so she can have steady access to unicorn blood?

However, Quirrell seems to dislike lies - half truth, yes, misleading information, yes, but blatant lie is just not in his style. Whether this is an inherent feature of his character or sense of honour, or he wants to keep open the possibility to confirm his words later in Parseltongue if need be, that's an open question.

Inherent feature. We're told this in chapter 51:

Poetry is not only about rhymes. See (any) Obfuscated contest winners for programs that are beautiful, in both form and content, but unlike "classical" poetry, require some programming knowledge to appreciate.

There are also whole programming languages designed to be an artistic work, not to be used In Real Life - e.g. Perligata.

I've made a decision to read fiction primarily in foreign languages, to get some side benefit from it (in addition to the entertainment). This did slow my reading down (I am quite a fast reader) - several times unless I am already proficient in the language. This is mostly because of my conscious effort to pay attention to the grammar and vocabulary (dictionary lookup not included) - otherwise the slowing down would not be so pronounced.

I found out that after 5 or 10 books (and introductory lessons), reading in a foreign language stops being a hard work and becomes enjoyable again.

Awesome! How many and which languages are we talking about here? Can you comment on the difficulty of starting reading in a language you have zero prior or related proficiency in vs. zero prior proficiency but understand a related language? Do you make an effort to "read aloud" inside yourself (using correct pronunciation)?
0Peter Wildeford9y
That's an awesome idea! I'll do that if I ever learn a foreign language well enough...

And you might consider getting the license abroad - the costs might be significantly lower. Though language barrier and getting there (without a car in the first place, even if you happen to live "just across the border") might be a problem.

Such as SHMUdroid (for Android)? Unfortunately, these apps tend to be country specific.

I don't speak that language so it's hard for me to tell but probably. I'm from Germany

Disclaimer: I am not a meteorologist, but a friend of mine is and I had discussed this with him some time ago. Paraphrasing from memory, I might make mistakes.

Only in recent decade or two we got enough computational power to run huge weather models (such as Aladin) comfortably, with live updating on incoming data. However, the model is only as good as the input data - if the meteorological weather stations are positioned every few kilometers, the prediction is extremely good, but if they are more sparse, the errors increase. The complexity of terrain plays... (read more)

How to count work related usage? I do not have personal account, but now I am testing tweeting as part of social networking PR. Perhaps I should vote twice, one personally and once in the official authority.

Arthur Clarke's idea of reduced gravity prolonging significantly human life. Sadly, the available evidence does not quite point in this direction. But for a sci-fi story it might be quite OK (e.g. it is discovered that microgravity prevents Alzheimers').

Even though it could make for an interesting story, I would be very wary of making up scientific facts that future research may render obsolete.
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