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Cryptanalysis as Epistemology? (paging cryptonerds)

Also the British cryptographers made a practice of "gardening"; before a German expedition was to depart, they'd mine an area so that they'd have known plaintext to work with. I imagine that helped a lot too.

Economics of Bitcoin

But how do you tell people who to send the money to without telling someone the connection between your identity and your public key (from which they can trace all further targets of the money from that key)?

I'm pretty sure Bitcoin at least provides the ability to run as many keys as you choose; if you're really concerned about that kind of tracking, it's quite simple to make a new key for each transaction.

An Anchoring Experiment

I'd guess around 8,000 feet (I seem to recall Sweden having only smaller mountains)

Tweetable Rationality

Wrote this in some free time during class (similar theme to Dorikka's):

When a shiny new theory you're makin'
That's non-obviously mistaken
Nature cares not a bit
How you justify it
If it disagrees with data taken

I figure limericks are good at sticking in someone's head, even if the structure makes you distort your point a little.

Off-topic Thread

So that makes 2 of us? Odd, I'd have thought physics would appeal more to logically-minded people.

Off-topic Thread

This may have been discussed before, but what level of interest in physics is there on LW? I seem to recall seeing someone saying they wanted to learn physics, but I don't remember if there were seconds to that.

College Selection Advice

Mostly I'd just recommend the same as everyone else, but I'd also recommend you to pay close attention to the environment of the schools. It might not make a difference for you, but it could certainly hurt your studies to, say, be an asthmatic at a college that's 1/3 smokers. Especially watch out for colleges that get far different light exposure than you do at home. This can seriously mess with your moods and that's usually not good for your studies.

On a different note, also make sure you're ok with the weather patterns at all your universities. I personally know 4 people from warm climes who dropped out of my university and moved home because they couldn't take the snow; don't waste your money like that!

Best of luck in your choice and your studies!

Edit: Once you get in and pick a field of study, try and get to know some of the professors in the department. Not only will this help eventually get letters of recommendation for grad school, it makes getting help on a tricky assignment that much easier :).

Computer security story

This misrepresentation is fairly standard in media coverage of Anonymous; it seems like they want to avoid the concept of decentralized organizations for some reason. Maybe it's uncomfortable for people to think that a disorganized mob is collectively smarter than they are?

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

I definitely used to have the same attitude towards cooking, back when my dad and I were first learning to cook. There's a few things I did to alter my perceptions (in no particular order):

  1. Start thinking of cooking as nifty biology/chemistry. There's a lot of books out there that go in-depth on this, but I think my favorite is "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" (Harold McGee 2004), which covers pretty much every foodstuff I've ever used.

  2. Think of the last time you went out to a nice restaurant to eat, specifically of the best portion of food you got. Imagine being able to eat food of close to this quality multiple times a week, at much lower cost (I generally pay as much to make an 8-serving dish as a restaurant charges for 2). This probably only helps if you're big on food and/or eating fairly low-quality food now, but I found it a big motivator when I was learning.

  3. If you're one of the many people posting in the dating advice comments above, consider the fact that cooking is an attractive skill in a romantic partner, so the time taken to learn it could be a useful investment.

  4. Try starting with recipes you don't need to pay much attention to, such as stews; this helps to minimize the feeling of wasting time, as you just combine the ingredients and leave.

As always, your mileage may vary, especially if you don't think with your stomach like I do.

Attention Lurkers: Please say hi

Hi all, I'm a physics student who's been lurking here since January or so...I'm generally pretty quiet.

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