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Joe Gaspar
Worked at Kent State University
Attended Kent State University
Lives in Middleburg Hts., OH
1,102 followers|469,367 views

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### Joe Gaspar

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Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping wo...
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Now that's some serious coding.﻿
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This is something that feels like it should have been obvious, but wasn't. Purdue University has an average class size of 31. But when you survey students about their class sizes, you find that they see an average size of 56. How is this possible?

It's not a perception bias: it's something much simpler. Say you have two classes with ten people, and one class with 100 people. The average class size is 40. But if you're surveying students, then you'll encounter more students who are in the big class than in the small class, because there are more students in the big class than the small class. In fact, you'll find that 5/6 of the students are in the big class, and so the average experience of a student is a class size of 85.

This is called the "inspection paradox," and it boils down to this: "How common is X" and "how commonly do people experience X" are not the same thing. In particular, if something happens when a lot of people are trying to do the same thing -- say, a crowded class -- then the average person will experience that much more often than average!

There are plenty of examples of this: how often do you have to wait a long time to get a cab, or how often is the train crowded? If one train a day is jam-packed and the rest are empty, you'd say that most trains are pretty good. But most people will never experience the empty train; by definition, most people are on the full train.

For those who want some simple math to explain it: say everyone gets broken into two groups, a big group with B people and a small group with S people. Your chance of being in the big group is B/B+S; your chance of being in the small group, S/B+S. If you sample people and find out the average number of people which people report seeing in their groups, you'll therefore find that it's (B^2+S^2) / (B+S). If B is much bigger than S, this is approximately equal to B-S, or just B: everyone experiences the big group, not the small group.

The article below shows all sorts of examples of this, from running speed to Facebook friends to prison sentences. Variations of this are everywhere, and they can profoundly affect our perception of the world. Be aware!

h/t .﻿
The following is a draft of an article I have submitted for publication in CHANCE Magazine, a publication of the American Statistical Association. With their encouragement, I am publishing it here to solicit comments from rea...
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"Patriotism in a nutshell" http://9gag.com/gag/aZN7DQn #fun #feedly ﻿
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A nearby black hole just erupted for the first time in 26 years and scientists are ecstatic

Lurking 8,000 light years from Earth is a black hole 12 times more massive than our sun. It's been peacefully sleeping for 26 years.

But on June 15, it woke up.

Now, scientists around the world are using highly sophisticated instruments to learn as much as they can about this mysterious beast of nature before the black hole returns to its slumber, which will be soon.

Black holes are very dense, massive objects in space that have an immensely powerful gravitational field that traps anything and everything that comes too close, including light. But on occasion they'll spit out material as well as suck it in.

On June 15, one of NASA's satellites picked up a torrent of x-rays all coming from a single source: the black hole.

"Relative to the lifetime of space observatories, these black hole eruptions are quite rare," said Neil Gehrels, the principal investigator for Swift, the NASA satellite that first identified the eruption in a NASA press release. "So when we see one of them flare up, we try to throw everything we have at it, monitoring across the spectrum, from radio waves to gamma rays."

This black hole is just one half of a two-body system called V404 Cygni. Its partner is a star slightly smaller than our sun, and it's been nourishing the black hole for at least 77 years. The x-rays that astronomers observed on June 15 were the heated guts from the companion star that had spiraled into the mouth of the black hole.

When black holes in binary systems, like V404 Cygni, feed, they do so by gravitationally attracting a single thread of gas from the star. The black hole is 12 times more massive than its companion and therefore has a much stronger gravitational grip which slowly pulls gas from the star as the star orbits around it, like in the animation below:

As the gas gets pulled in, it orbits around the black hole, forming a disc. The closer the gas gets to the black hole, the stronger gravitational force it feels and so the faster it moves, heating up to searing-hot temperatures. When the gas reaches temperatures of more than 1.7 million degrees Fahrenheit, it emits a jet of high-energy particles, which satellites like NASA's Swift instrument then detect — albeit 8,000 years later because of the time it takes light to travel from the V404 Cygni to Earth.

But there isn't always a steady stream of gas falling into the black hole, which is why it takes such long naps in between feedings.

That disc has two regions: and inner, hot region, and an outer cool region. You need a lot of gas to provide enough pressure and push to cross this barrier, which takes time to generate. Once the black hole has consumed all of the gas in the inner region, which it does in a few days, it has to wait for more.

Astronomers first took interest in this black hole more than 77 years ago, when they initially detected a strong burst of light from it in 1938. It came again in 1956, and then again in 1989.

While the eruption of 1989 was studied with a handful of instruments, the outburst wasn't studied in half the detail compared to this year's event.

Outbursts like this usually only last for a few weeks to months, so astronomers have culminated a total of nine instruments in space and on the ground to study the black hole in all wavelengths, from very low energy like radio waves to the most energetic like gamma rays, before time runs out.

Some of the instruments they're using include the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the European Space Agency's INTEGRAL satellite, Japan's MAXI, and the 10.4-meter Gran Telescope Canarias operated by Spain in the Canary Islands.

"It is definitely a 'once in a professional lifetime' opportunity," said Erik Kuulkers, the INTEGRAL project scientist in the NASA press release.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nearby-black-hole-just-emitted-220730283.html﻿
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Anthologies.﻿

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:O

Building your own PC rig is now as easy as stacking a bunch of coasters on top of one another.﻿
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The body of this article -- which is well-written and worth reading, if you care about the subject -- is about how it's suddenly become evident that Trump's loudly touted and not particularly covert brand of racism, isolationism, and xenophobia isn't just harmless and funny, after two of his followers beat a homeless man into the hospital for being Latino and then praised Trump's speeches while they were being arrested.

But the interesting thing they miss is hidden in plain sight, right in the headline. For Trump to have stopped being funny, he had to have been funny in the first place. And that joke only ever worked for people with a certain kind of privilege.

Donald Trump has never been subtle about his views. While his hair and his general egomania may be clownish, he was always showing these things off while preaching about how we need to crack down on Latinos, Blacks, immigrants, the Chinese, whoever he's on about on any particular day. He was doing this while calling for mass deportations of tens of millions of people, closing borders, engaging in ludicrously heavy-handed "negotiations" with other countries, and so on. And this has been working: Trump's popularity is because there are people who wonder, "well, why not?" and there is someone out there advocating solutions which sound (a) simple, (b) brutal, and (c) based on beating up people whom they don't see as part of their own society, from whom they can simply "take back" their power. (Although, as these other groups never actually had any such power, what's really meant here is "take")

It is only possible to see that as a joke if you have never had a reason to fear ethnic violence. But the US has just as long and bloody a history of ethnic violence as it has a history. Nothing Trump is suggesting is new; you could have heard it 150 years ago from the Know-Nothing Party, or 100 years ago from the more political branches of the Klan, or 50 years ago from the John Birch Society, each with their own variants.

Nor is it a coincidence that Trump is having these successes in the midst of Black Lives Matter, or in the aftermath of GamerGate; there are powerful movements afoot in our society where groups that were previously excluded are demanding their fair share of the floor, and powerful counter-movements of people who suddenly feel that the one thing they had of their own -- complete dominance of some spaces -- is suddenly being taken away. Trump is a natural mouthpiece for these groups, and he's quite good at it.

(There's some question about whether Trump came out openly in support of GamerGate a few weeks ago, or whether this was just a rogue autoresponder that he let stand, but I would by no means be surprised if he were to say something about it at some point; the complaints of GamerGate align surprisingly well with his rhetoric)

And anyone who watches these issues knows that there is profound violence immediately on deck in all of them. GamerGate was awash in death threats, and a few actual attempts. Black Lives Matter was born in the wake of shootings, and the rate of violence by whites (and especially police) against black youth in this country has hardly decreased.

You can see another version of this in the part of the Republican press which is highly anti-Trump, not least because Trump is completely disconnected from the party's main political organs. Consider this article by Ben Domenech from The Federalist, which is quite far to the right but unconnected with Trump: http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/21/are-republicans-for-freedom-or-white-identity-politics/ The essential meat of the article is that the party has underestimated Trump's appeal, and in order to curb his lunatic candidacy, the Republican Party should find a better way to express his ideas and so pull his followers back into the mainstream.

And what are these ideas? "White identity politics." Note that the article does not fear that these become part of the Republican platform; it fears that they will become such a large part that they overwhelm the rest of the platform, and so these need to be addressed in a careful way. But there's nothing wrong with pulling them in, Domenech says: "'Identity politics for white people' is not the same thing as 'racism,' nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist."

Pro tip: "identity politics based on racial categories" is actually the dictionary definition of racism, and "identity politics for white people" is the prototype example of the category. Domenech's article isn't about rejecting Trump's racism: it's about finding more socially acceptable ways to express it, so that it can be folded into the party mainstream without taking it over.

For those wondering about Trump from the outside, I can give a simple explanation of his politics: Trump is a classical European far-right party leader. This is why he seems a bit exotic by recent American standards: especially since the 1980's, the American far right has been dominated by the "theological" far right, a very distinctly American political movement which focuses on making the country explicitly into a Fundamentalist Christian country. Trump, although he speaks to a similar (and overlapping) group of people, isn't talking about religion at all; instead, you'll find his politics very similar to that of European far-right politicians, of the sort who like to put "National" in their party names.

On the European spectrum, Trump falls somewhat to the right of Jean-Marie le Pen, perhaps a shade left of the Golden Dawn, and somewhat more populist than Jobbik. If we were running in a parliamentary, rather than presidential, system, he would currently be at the head of a far-right party that was polling in the high teens, and press coverage would be worried about how many seats he would get and whether he would be able to force a coalition to join him. In the US system, he's instead at the head of a far-right wing of a party, and the question is whether he will be able to force the party to adopt his policies wholesale to avoid electoral defeat next year.

So that's the secret thing which this headline hides: Trump was only ever funny if you had never had a reason to be aware of, or to fear, ethnic or sexual violence tacitly supported by the state.

If you've ever had to be aware of that before, Trump was never a joke.

h/t to  for pointing out the Federalist article.﻿
Win or lose, Trump's campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid
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Google has now been ordered by the Information Commissioner's Office, which is responsible for enforcing data privacy laws in the UK, to remove links to news stories about the stories that were previously removed from search results under "Right to Be Forgotten" rulings. In other words, the ICO is attempting to subvert the Streisand Effect.﻿
The Right to Be Forgotten has proved somewhat controversial. While some see the requirement for Google to remove search results that link to pages that contain information about people that is
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This show is great so far.

#MrRobot  ﻿
"Mr. Robot," USA Network's new hacker drama series, is good entertainment. But is it also a good depiction of hackers, hacking and infosec?
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Delight enjoyment.﻿
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In his circles
538 people
Have him in circles
1,102 people
Work
Occupation
Student / Artist's Model / Computer Scientist
Employment
• Kent State University
Artist's Model, 2009 - 2012
Places
Currently
Middleburg Hts., OH
Previously
Kent, OH
Other profiles
Story
Tagline
Computer Scientist and part-time dreamer. I learn what I need to create what I want.
Introduction
My main interest in computer science is artificial intelligence, but the breadth of my interests in computer science and elsewhere is quite broad.

I strive to be a sort of modern day polymath. We have delved so deeply into the various fields of study, but there is still so much more to be gained from combining what we collectively know in order to bridge the gap between fields.

A better term for my main interest is complex systems.
Bragging rights
IQ: 138
Education
• Kent State University
Computer Science / Applied Mathematics, 2009 - 2012
• ITT Technical Institute
Software & Applications Programming, 2007 - 2009
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Gender
Male
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Single
Joe Gaspar's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
 Sage Mathematical Software Systemplus.google.comopen-source mathematics software system
 Our (Mis)Leading Indicatorswww.linkedin.comEvery month, we are barraged with economic statistics, our "leading indicators." Like the unemployment and inflation, housing starts, G.D.P.
 Java Code Geeksplus.google.comFrom Java developers to Java developers, help develop the largest Java Geeks community today
 27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understandwww.buzzfeed.comI love you, but no more talking.
 Reference data from other sheets - Drive Helpsupport.google.comWithin a single spreadsheet, you can replicate data and copy it from one sheet to another by entering the sheet name and an exclamation mark
 Security Now 413 | TWiT.TVtwit.tvMicrosoft handing NSA encrypted messages, Feds disinvited to Def Con, and more.
 Almost Human (Circle)plus.google.comAlmost Human this Fall on FOX
 Arch Linux (official) .plus.google.comA simple, lightweight GNU/Linux distribution
 The Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle (pay what you want and help charity)www.humblebundle.comPay what you want for some awesome games and help support two charities. All of the games are DRM-free and support Mac, Windows, and Linux.