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Peter Boothe
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Peter Boothe

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Competence at computers is incredibly important and incredibly rare.

Hackers just got a copy of every single federal employee's data. They may have gotten copies of every single security clearance application. This is very very bad.
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If what I read is true, the database wasn't even as well-protected as my Gmail account. 
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Peter Boothe

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Tracy blogs the World Cup? Yes!
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Peter Boothe

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Hey, look!  It's a family photo!
 
#Mars #SpaceImages #Photography

Look Back in Wonder: +NASA's Curiosity rover's first picture of Earth from the surface of Mars. Info: http://go.nasa.gov/1bz4mVn
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I think I can see my house from there!
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Peter Boothe

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A colleague who lost his teenage son due to a traffic accident 3 years ago, told us about the 'black halo' which remains above his head, and which only others who have lost a child are able to see. I do not doubt for a second that this is the case – that people who have not lost a child are, ...
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Peter Boothe

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I'd like to explain why John Boehner has led the charge to shut down the government thanks to some combination of innumeracy and his lack of knowledge of game theory.

Some numbers to start us off:

  The house has 433 congressional representatives in it.

    193 are Democratic

    240 are Republican

    of the Republicans,
      66 belong to the Tea Party Caucus.
    By the magic of subtraction, we can see that
      240 - 66 = 174 Republicans are NOT member of the Tea Party Caucus.

John Boehner, due to innumeracy or just plain not giving a damn-ness, has said that he won't bring to a vote any budget that won't get enough votes to pass the house solely with Republican support.  For a bill to pass the house, it needs ceiling(433/2)=217 votes.  This means that he won't bring a budget to the floor unless it can garner 217 Republican votes, rather than 217 votes total.

To get that many Republican votes, if we assume that all non-Tea-Party members of the Republican party care even slightly more about the continued operation of the US government than they do about Obamacare and governments invading ladyparts, he has to convince 217 - 174 = 43 members of the Tea Party Caucus to do something other than shut down the government.  However, the Tea Party Caucus has, as its main planks, "No Obamacare", "Government Bad", and "Government Must Forcibly Interfere With A Lady's Medical Choices".  Three things that Obama will simply not sign into law.

Because Boehner refuses to consider Democratic votes as "votes" that could be used to pass a budget, the Tea Party controls congress.  As long as the Tea Party controls congress, nothing is going to get fixed, because the Tea Party's official position on compromise (inasmuch as there is such a thing as the official position of the Tea Party besides "the future is bad and scary") is that compromise is the same as losing.

The government is going to stay shut down.  We're going to hit the debt ceiling and the full faith and credit of the United States will be called into question.  This will happen because John Boehner has publicly promised that, in the house, only Republican votes count.

John Boehner is a terrible human being who is bad at his job and can't add, and his terribleness is going to bring us all down.
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Does it get sand in anybody else's shorts that Congress' wages are not affected by the shut down?  
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Peter Boothe

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Have him in circles
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Peter Boothe

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This Chrome extension makes my life a little better every day.
 
Cool Chrome extension that shows you a new piece of art every time you open a new tab.
Art Project masterpieces from Google Cultural Institute in your browser tabs
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Peter Boothe

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Interview advice. Enough people have asked me for it that I figured I should write it down. 
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Tumblr is synonymous for porn these days?  Haaaaa!!! :D
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Peter Boothe

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Random math thought:

Can a bayesian reasoner have an opinion about a theory, or only about an individual fact?  Theories are elements from the power set of facts (which is itself a countably infinite set), and so there are more theories (at least |R| many) than there are descriptions of theories (of which there are only |Z|).

I'm okay (kinda) with a bayeseian reasoner updating itself about whether X is true when it encounters a new fact about X, but how could it ever, even (ahem) in theory, update it's belief about every possible theory when it encounters a new fact?
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But that's my point- I don't think there are uncountably many theories. If theories are algorithms, then there are only |Z| of them. I don't think the definition of a theory as a mere set of facts captures any of the interesting properties of theories as we know them- what makes theories useful is that they have internal structure. And yes, by this definition theories would be useless in a max-entropy universe, but, well, theories would be useless in a max-entropy universe (q.v. the no-free-lunch theorem).

I feel like it may also be relevant that you can typically reason about huge sets of theories at once, rather than having to reason about each one individually, but I'm not sure how to formalize that.
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Peter Boothe

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Bridges of NYC: solvable, as long as you are willing to forgo visiting the singly connected islands of Staten, City, Rikers, and Roosevelt.  Also, you will need to be multi-modal as some of the bridges considered are pedestrian-only, and others are car-only.
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Thanks for the link +Jack Knight!
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Peter Boothe

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I am an irrational monkey with limited computational power, bizarrely discontinuous supply and demand curves, dependent on those around me to survive whilst simultaneously caring about their status, and I have very little insight into what I actually want.  I suspect I am not alone in this, although I also suspect most of my fellow monkeys would (irrationally :) ) not describe themselves in this manner.  Where is the economics applicable to computationally limited, irrational, social, ignorant ape hordes?
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You are correct sir, I would not describe myself that way. Humans are apes, not monkeys. Monkey is not synonymous with ape. 
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Peter Boothe

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If your candidate doesn't win, you must accept the legitimacy of the actual winner.  I may not have liked GWB, but he was my president for 8 long years.  He was a moron led by evil people to bad ends, but he was also my president.  I had to own that.  Now I will have to own the winner of this election.  And so will all of the Americans reading this.  THOSE ARE THE RULES.  Don't like the rules?  Get out.  You are not fit to live in a democracy.  

I am very afraid of a teratocracy.
Two of the most important pieces I've produced here at Open the Future concern teratocracy -- a neologism meaning "rule of monsters." The first, Fear of Teratocracy, outlines the core concept: American democracy is shifting from debates over policy to debates over legitimacy. The second, Teratocracy Rises, offers a set of examples of how attacks on the legitimacy of one's opponents is becoming attacks on the concept of democracy itself. As I not...
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"Puppet for alternative energy" is way better than "puppet for warmongers".  And the Senate and House screwed Obama on Gitmo, by putting an amendment which make closing it illegal as part of the must-pass NDAA which funded the military.

There are real changes.  In particular: health care.  Most of it has yet to go into effect, but it is a real change and is predicted to save 30,000 lives per year.

Who the president is matters.
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Have him in circles
376 people
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