All of Mystfan's Comments + Replies

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.

0SilasBarta10yYes, but my point is, that still requires you to trust the counterparty not to tell others that you're connected to that key, which would allow them to follow its transactions. You can make it a little harder by having that account spend the money around to other accounts you're connected to, but it's still traceable.
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.

0[anonymous]11yLimericks stick in your head if you actually follow the structure. Do you really see no problem with the syllable stress "How you JUStify IT" or "If it DISagrees WITH data TAken"? Writing a good limerick is hard. Here's my best attempt, in which I think the rhythm works, but the second rhyme relies on having the correct regional accent:
3khafra11yAt the end of a line Put two spaces before hitting enter/return for a linebreak For a larger linebreak, put two enter/returns
Off-topic Thread

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

0wedrifid11yIt did appeal at one stage. But I learned enough of the interesting stuff that what is left just seems menial. I never would have thought ten years ago that I would find statistics more engaging. Something to do with being directly useful for constructing the kind of knowledge that most fascinates me. Well, that and when I've gone back for another science degree there were too many boring prereqs needed before you can get to the fun stuff.
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.

0Mitchell_Porter11yYou can get questions answered at Physics Stack Exchange [] and have discussions at Physics Forums [].
0hwc11yI have a degree in it. My curiosity is mostly satisfied.
0beriukay11yI was planning on revisiting some topics and try to gain mastery of things like ballistics, spring dynamics, and wave equations. If it comes as a part of my RSS feeds, I would probably up that as a priority.
0BenLowell11yI'm currently studying physics at my university.
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 persona... (read more)

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 th

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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.