Richard_Kennaway's Comments

April Coronavirus Open Thread

I would like this to be true, but two days on from the above comment, I am not seeing any linearity in the world growth rate (second link above), just three points in a nearly horizontal line a few days ago. The link for BRA+SWE shows the same thing for Brazil even more dramatically. New daily cases is a noisy enough measurement that I wouldn't entertain hope that we are past the exponential phase until seeing at least a week of a flat or declining rate.

The site I usually look for stats on is

The graph at the bottom right still looks like exponential runaway, even when you switch to daily instead of cumulative cases. And just like the above links, a few days ago there was a period of a few days of seeming flatness in new cases, but it didn't mean anything.

Edit: corrected corrupted URL to the site.

Is this info on zinc lozenges accurate?

How do lozenges differ from tablets? If lozenges are out of stock, is sucking on tablets useful?

Frivolous speculation about the long-term effects of coronavirus

The saying "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" comes to be applied to supply chain workers, who gain higher status, though not necessarily higher pay.

Frivolous speculation about the long-term effects of coronavirus

Cash and PIN pads go away. Contactless every time, without even having to wave a card at a scanner.

Frivolous speculation about the long-term effects of coronavirus

Physical proximity comes to be seen as gross, as on Solaria, a planet and culture appearing in some of Isaac Asimov's novels.

The planet has a rigidly controlled population, and robots outnumber humans twenty-thousand to one. People are strictly taught from birth to despise personal contact. They live on huge estates, either alone or with their spouse only. Communication is done via holographic telepresence (viewing, as opposed to seeing)

As William Gibson observed, the future arrives unevenly distributed, and such a lifestyle will first be available to wealthier people. Proximity will acquire an association with the lower orders.

ᴊᴇɴᴢ's Shortform

Take it one step at a time. First: live. When you can do that, you will be in a position to start on everything else.

How effective are tulpas?

Do people who spend substantial time in online virtual worlds have any experience of their avatar taking on a separate agency? Or tried to cultivate such an experience? I am active in one such world, but I experience my avatar there as being just me wearing a different body.

Name of Problem?

In lambda calculus, this is called beta-equivalence, and is undecidable. (Renaming of variables is called alpha-equivalence, and is typically assumed implicitly.) If you know that two expressions both have beta normal forms, then by the Church-Rosser theorem, you can decide their equivalence by computing their normal forms and comparing for identity.

In some systems of typed lambda calculus, every expression has a normal form, so equivalence is decidable for the whole language, but the cost of that is that the language will not be able to express all computable functions. In particular, you may have difficulty shoehorning a program that can talk about itself into such a system. Self-reference is a basilisk for systems of logic, ever since Russell knocked down Frege's system by saying, "what about the set of sets that are not members of themselves?"

There are results along these lines for term rewriting systems and graph rewriting systems also.

Reason and Intuition in science

So was Unknown128's post just an attempt to smear that person's name by association with the Nazi screed he quoted from?

How does electricity work literally?

The problem is that you currently lack so much information about the things you are asking about, that no short explanation is possible. The atomic constitution of matter, electromagnetism, electrical engineering. Even to just a high school level, that is a lot of ground to cover. No-one can pour a few paragraphs into your head that will give you all that knowledge.

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