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Wow, I estimated 5/25/2013 back in December 16, 2012. As it turns out, Engadget reported that it was opened today: 5/26/2013. Pretty close :)
It appears that the Wikipedia page at:'s_Inside_the_Cube%3F#Estimated_time_to_completion has been updated to include equations and an estimation of August 14, 2013 as the end date. It's interesting that they have a similar view of the size of the cube, but imagine it to be a solid cube instead of a simple layering of 6*s^2 mini-cubes. Maybe the developers did imagine it to be a real cube, but for simplicity of a coordinate system and handling multiple players, I wonder if they are correct. Time will tell...
As an update, I also need to point that Opera also does a wonderful job with very smooth touchmove events. Google maps on Opera for example pans very well...
One quick correction, I mean: LIMIT_(as n approaches infinity) of SUM_(from x=0 to n) of (0.9 * 10^x)
[Disclosure, Eric was a college suite-mate of mine.... Thanks for commenting!] Let me give you the punchline: You have just argued that you can't use the definition of a "limit" to what is shorthand for a limit! Taking a step back, your argument uses limits about a point, and indeed a function can have a discontinuity about that point. I am talking about infinite limits, which have a slightly different definition. But instead of getting into the details of the difference in the definition of a limit about a point and an infinite limit, let me point blank ask you: What does 0.9999... mean? What is it short hand for? It literally means the act of appending 9's after the decimal point infinitely. Mathematically that means 0.9 + 0.09 + 0.009 + ..., which we write in shorthand (imagine the correct mathematical notation): SUM_(from x=0 to infinity) of (0.9 * 10^x) But how do you calculate an infinite sum? That by definition is LIMIT_(from n=0 to infinity) of SUM_(from x=0 to n) of (0.9 * 10^x) 0.99999... is SHORTHAND FOR AN INFINITE LIMIT! So I the infinite definition of a limit is the appropriate way to understand it. When we learn decimal notation, we haven't learned the limit yet. The concept of a limit is hard, which is why 70% OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS INCORRECTLY THINK THAT 0.9999... < 1. I am passionate about this since this is one of the facts that could really help people understand infinite limits. It should be one of the first examples that allow students to go "a-ha!" instead of just having them blindly memorizing the definitions.
As it turns out, Mathematica 8 has taken a bold step in this direction: I really wish Wolfram would spend a bit more time pointing out the significant work at MIT and others who have blazed the trail before him, but it is still very compelling.
Thanks! I fixed the link to Bart's instructions.
It appears that CNBC agrees with me:;_ylt=AtH.LOaCJNqBNltjkGXVhWO7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1djh1c3VrBHBvcwM0BHNlYwN0b3BTdG9yaWVzBHNsawNjb21wdXRlcnNub3Q-?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=&ccode=
I should also point out the extreme dangers of alternative medicine. When any treatment survives objective testing, it becomes mainstream, and then additional research is done to determine the pathway: WHY it works. This has occurred for many truly alternative medicines: Aspirin (Willow bark), germ theory, even anti-biotics. After the objective testing, these then become mainstream medicine. Alternative medicine that remains alternative does so for a reason: it doesn't survive objective testing. It doesn't survive objective testing because it doesn't work better than the placebo effect. The placebo effect is REALLY STRONG: For some diseases (like irritable bowel syndrome) can have positive response over 60% . So yes, there are going to be HUGE numbers of people vouching for spiritual healing and alternative medicine that doesn't work. If it works so well, what is the harm? The primary harm is the validation of incorrect alternative theories (like "balancing energy") which is then used to incorrectly validate elements of faith. In a very harsh interpretation, Lourdes is using the placebo effect to justify the Holy Spirit. Not good.
Anthony is intelligent, dynamic, amiable, and seems genuinely nice. I'm sure, Ron, that this experience made you feel a bit more confident in your faith, this experiment, and that spiritual path you are leading. This leads to my warning: we are led to our faith primarily by the positive experiences with each other and experiences of self-revelation, not because our faith has any basis in truth! Anthony's discussion had the premise of the truth of Jesus and the Bible's teachings. His approach for questioning his faith was the separation of spirituality and religion. What was missing in doubt was: Why did he believe? What were the ramifications of his being right? What were the ramifications of his being wrong? Instead we are lead to the inevitable conclusion: It is right because it "feels" right. These spiritual feelings have a very human basis: friends, community, and our extremely fallible perception of "something" being out there.
- Confirmation Bias ( in Wikipedia under "Confirmation bias" ) is people's tendency to remember data that supports their theories or beliefs and ignore data that is inconsistent. This is one reason why independent repeatable double-blind studies are so incredibly important. - Cold Reading ( in Wikipedia under "Cold reading" ) is a technique that "mediums" use seem like they somehow how details about you. Thanks to confirmation bias, people ignore the "misses" and focus on the "hits" causing them to believe that the mediums are real. - Pascal's Wager (and criticisms) is described well in Wikipedia under "Pascal's Wager" - This article covers the nuances of "soft" vs. "hard" atheism: (though reading it you have to get through a bit of opinion and editorial). - Parallels between Jesus' life and the myths of Osiris and Dionysus (a side reference I made during the interview) is in the book "The Jesus Mysteries" by Freke and Grandy - JREF, James Randi, and the $1,000,000 challenge: - Skeptic's Guide to the Universe (a podcast that typically steers clear of religion and focuses on science news and skeptical analysis of paranormal claims):
Let me take a moment to fix some inaccurate statements I made and point to some on-line resources for those who are interested (apparently my original post was automatically rejected as spam due to the number of links, so pardon the references to searching Google and Wikipedia for a specific quote): - Herod the Great was mentioned in Matthew Chapter 2:1 (not Luke... sorry) - Wikipedia has a good entry on "Herod the Great" that discusses the debates of his timeline - Ideomotor effect: (Please search in Wikipedia under "Ideomotor effect" - BBC report on Iraq Bomb Dowsing Rod: - I claimed that Iraq spent $56 million on the ADE-651. I was low: According tho the BBC they spent $85 million! - Elephant legs optical illusion: If you do a Google images search for "Elephant legs optical illusion" the first 5 hits are of the illusion - Wired article on facilitated communication: - Seeing faces in things or hearing voices in noise is called "pareidolia" and is an awesome demonstration of how the brain does pattern recognition. Wikipedia ( search for "Pareidolia" ) has a definition as well as samples.
Ron, thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in your podcast, and for being so patient while I expressed my opinions! When talking about faith (or politics), I find it hard to get entirely through a single claim, but you allowed me to ramble through what I hope is a pretty complete overview of my beliefs (or non-beliefs :) . I really wanted to be a positive example of atheism and skepticism (as opposed to the standard cynical "know-it-all" stereotype of atheists). So let me apologize for my "snarky" tone when I mention the two creation stories in Genesis (roughly in the middle of the interview), while I intended for it to be a playful statement, as I listen to it, I realize that it could be offensive. I have a couple of corrections for errors I made and links to more information (which TypePad doesn't seem to want to post), so I'll try to follow up this post. Thanks again! Butch
It should be clear that love is beyond an emotion. Emotions fade, infatuation extinguishes, and people change. But if not an emotion, then love is a decision, a commitment, to put someone else's happiness and well-being as a key priority in your life. I also believe that it is important to understand love as a commitment with prioritization, and not some mystical emotion, because it helps me balance it with other goals in life. Why should I postpone some of my projects, goals, or dreams? If I see that my love for my wife and daughter is a choice and a goal that I have made for myself, and that choice and goal is vital and important to me, it helps me put the other goals and dreams in perspective. Do I kick myself that I have been working on the same project for two years with little progress? Yes, until I realize that the duty that I have embraced as a husband and Dad, that I have taken on for myself, the commitment that I have made, is not some externally imposed obligation or destiny, but something that I truly want in my life. So clearly I view love as being separable from a spiritual aspect (adding more fuel to our discussion tomorrow :).
Toggle Commented Jan 31, 2010 on 1 Corinthians 13 at Let Go and Be
I believe the iPad's "inability" to multitask is the same as the iPhone: it really can, but not for non-Apple developers. With the iPhone, you can play the Apple MP3 player while doing other applications (it will nicely reduce the MP3 volume if an application generates sound, and then restore it). However, you will not be able to IM and Skype at the same time. So they don't even have to update the hardware: just fix the darn operating system (of course they don't consider it broken since it was by desgin)!
Toggle Commented Jan 30, 2010 on Apple's iPad at RonVitale
You have publicly embarked on a wonderful journey. You are going to encounter people with incredibly strong convictions who are going to grab individual statements and will violently pick them apart (myself included). I hope that you can look through the man-made machinations to find the microgram-sized nuggets of truth that will push you toward your goal of revelation :) I would like to point out that "I don't believe in God" is actually rather different than "I believe in no God". "I don't believe in a God" is called "soft atheism", and it comes from this: - There is no evidence in the common concept of God (a personal God who intervenes in our lives) - Following a rationalist world view, I choose to believe in things that have repeatable pragmatic results - Therefore I do not believe in God. God could still exist, (just as aliens visiting the Earth could exist) but there is no evidence for Him. I argue that "I believe in no God", called "hard atheism", takes a must stronger "leap of faith" in that faced with no evidence a person chooses to believe in the complete absence of a personal God. So what is the pragmatic difference? Soft atheism is a world-view that is consistent with a rationalist free-thinking approach. It hopes to be swayed by evidence. A hard atheist stance is one of an ideologue.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2010 on What do you believe? at Let Go and Be
While the video is captivating, I must confess that it was overshadowed by the volume control. The volume control? Why yes... because it actually goes to 11! Someone at the BBC has a cute sense of humor.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2009 on BBC's Olympics movie is fantastic at Defenestrated