Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    With regard to sounds similar to "ach", they also exist in languages in other Indo-European branches, like Russian (хорошо, Spanish (jamón) and Greek (ήχους). So they aren't all that rare. (Pharyngials are even more fun: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharyngeal_consonant )...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    In my experience in Germany the term "Fachidiot" is usually applied to mathematicians, scientists and engineers, and German wiktionary uses the term "nerd". There might be cases like this (or people falling back on special interests when leaving their social...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    the word "Oriental" has now entered the index verborum prohibitorum. Which leads me to wonder how such organizations as ASOR are going to handle their names. Be interesting to see how that goes -- I guess they could change the...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    If you're trying to understand why people of Chinese (and also Korean, Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipino, etc.) descent get twitchy about the way the US treats minority immigrants from Asia and the Pacific, Er, no, I'm well aware of that for...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I do not do that because the term Oriental is considered offensive in the US. As a card-carrying USian, I confess I didn't know that. Slightly quaint, yes, but not known to be offensive. However, I was just so wrong:...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    "it's" is a contraction of "it is", while "its" is possessive Lots of native English writers struggle with this. A useful mnemonic-like thing is that the possessive pronoun "its" goes along with the other third-person singular possessive pronouns "his" and...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    The answer appears to be nothing Mostly so. I hope that when OGH has gotten out from under his obligations he'll have the time and inclination to restore the forum to its former glories and broaden the participation. In the...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    There's no way to say what I'm thinking politely... but one way or another, they're going to get rid of the guy. Yes, that's been the question since 2016. As long as Trump delivers the goods to the plutocratic/business core...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    Oops, Resident Alien @ 223 pointed to it first. Sorry for the redundancy....
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    Perhaps somewhat related to OGH's OP, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/world/europe/uk-austerity-poverty.html...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    And as OGH points put in Dark State, the difference between a great computer and a crappy computer is a lot less important than the difference between a crappy computer and no computer. Yes, absolutely. Back in the mid-1980s, the...
  • Commented on GDPR compliance notice
    What letter of the alphabet would they be properly shelved under? There's undoubtedly a bunch of contradictory standards for this. https://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/recmgmt/forms/FilingRules.pdf Rule 2: Surnames which include prefixes such as D', Da, De, Del, De la, Della, Den, Des, Di, Du,...
  • Commented on GDPR compliance notice
    Whitroth, before writing any kind of data handling app that organizes peoples' names, you should be sure to read falsehoods programmers believe about names. Not just programmers: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/world/asia/mike-pompeo-kim-jong-un-name.html [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] committed a faux pas by saying that...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    If you want to get confused, try "left liberrarian", which can describe anything from anarchocommunists to Heinlein. Liberrarian? Guessing that's like libertarian, and if so, I've spent decades bemoaning that there were no left libertarians. If there were, they'd be...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    What's currently as scary as the stuff Lovecraft talked about? The only thing I can think of is nano-stuff. Any other candidates? Well, if I might adopt the Rumsfeldian Taxonomy, there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Like, we know...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    But they come from a society with nanotech and other crazy-level tech that means that an angry 12 year old who isn't properly monitored and controlled could create a nanotech fockbomb mixed with smallpox and wipe out half a...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    not not Remove one of those nots. I think that was occasioned by a parablepsis due to homoeoteleuton. Or something like that....
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    "Long peace" since 1945? Korean War Vietnam Afghanistan Invasion and conquest of Iraq Yep. It basically means that the major powers du jour have not not come into direct conflict. I.e., WW III hasn't happened yet. Too bad about those...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    does our failure to learn even the smallest of lessons from our past disturb you as badly as it disturbs me I take your point, but, though of a pessimistic bent myself, note the Long Peace since 1945. We could...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    Speaking of Critics, I'm becoming a bit of a fan of Sabine Hossenfelder, who's been mentioned here before. Her latest, this time on (super)string theory: https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2018/05/dear-dr-b-should-i-study-string-theory.html...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    If you really want a true collapse, though, you have to look at approx -1250 - -650 CE. There's a recent popularish book on this with emphasis on the earlier part: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1177_B.C.:_The_Year_Civilization_Collapsed https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10597.html It's a fast and fairly interesting read....
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    What is needed are Critics, like the naked mole rat ones in OGH's Singularity Sky, who could Criticize the process. Speaking of Critics, I'm becoming a bit of a fan of Sabine Hossenfelder, who's been mentioned here before. https://www.edge.org/conversation/sabine_hossenfelder-looking-in-the-wrong-places...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    cosmology and cold dark matter Looking through some of the presentations, it seems as if the CDM camp is basically stepping away from the galaxy rotation curves as relevant evidence (oh, pshaw, nobody serious takes those seriously) and says that...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    Skipping back a couple of threads to cosmology and cold dark matter, there was a symposium on such a couple of weeks ago at UCSB. Some of the slide presentations are interesting. KITP Conference: Dark matter detection and detectability:...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    You can only stop that by the host having a hardware dongle for each user, which is matched to the user's dongle at setup time. Is this drifting in the direction of everyone having a 1 TB OTP on a...
  • Commented on On hold
    Translation is hard. I'd ask if "mit ganzen rationalen Zahlencoefficienten" might not be "with completely rational interger coefficients". No idea what difference that might make to the mathematical meaning....
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches. I kinda prefer the Foglio version: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winslow#14_Accepted_Signs_of_Divinity Vanquish evil Provide a code of ethics Heal the afflicted Blight the crops Convert the heathen Call down the lightning Corrupt the innocent Eat the moon...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    "a person at conception" is uttely religious, and Christian, at that Yes. It would be interesting to get a Christian perspective on the fact that at most 50% of fertilized eggs make it to a live birth. Is mass prenatal...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    Also סֵפֶר מִלְחֲמֹת יהוה , and wouldn't it be fascinating to have a copy of that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Wars_of_the_Lord (The Lord, of course, being a theologically prudent euphemisim for יהוה .)...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    The God of Good is a warrior god (in the worldly sense, as well as the spiritual) Indeed. Here's a discussion of the OT warrior god. It's a little more veiled in the NT, except for Revelation, but it's there...
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