Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

A First Draft Application: Competing Hypotheses

For any who remember my old post about solving modest crime in a non-violent Anarchy society, the solution requires the proper technology app and a culture used to using it in order to create accusations and refutations as well as provide a rational assessment of the evidence, which then allows people to make their own decisions on how to treat a criminal. Strong evidence for armed robbery? Most people will stop dealing with you. (How to keep them from just doing it again, or worse, is slightly answered in Why Disabling?, but in general even armed robbers have to deal with people to get weaponry. I am aware of the bullet holes this has.)

An application originally made for the CIA, now completely open source, steps in to fill part of this need: While it's not a full Bayesian evidence analyzer, it's nevertheless fairly nifty and should help people reason about hypotheses. So here's some free love from me! Go use it, go extend it, tell grandma. :)

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Cryonics as strong evidence against souls?

There's an interesting story here that has mixed reviews; I like it. It's about the author discovering a testable hypothesis that could destroy a belief in God.

I had some free time this evening, so I decided to chat with a friend of a friend about her theism, and see if I could change her mind in any form. But just getting some thoughts out there for these people to consider, planting some seeds, is a worthy goal. And so I think I've made headway on that part, but at the very end I too discovered a testable hypothesis that should destroy her belief. Since this occurred on an IM protocol, I have the benefit of logs, which I shall share. (Edited slightly for paragraph flow.)

I said, "People get sick. We don't just let them stay sick and die."

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Separate Your Deities

Foreword: this post shouldn't be too enlightening for an educated reader and makes a point that should be obvious but whatever.

Atheism continues to rise, and the arguments are becoming more and more philosophical. Religious people are fighting a rearguard battle, trying to retreat, but they're backed up against a cliff and religion isn't long for this part of the world, though sadly I can't say the same for religious thinking.

But in these modern arguments, the main point often seems to center around Is the idea of a God possible?, with theists taking a "yes" as acknowledgment that their particular God is possible. This is wrong thinking on two fronts: this notion of "possible", and not separating the ideas.

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Let's dissect a rant! With a rant

So in a recent chain mail about what it means to be a manly cowboy, there was an interesting bit at the end. I'm unsure whether I should take it seriously or not; it's pretty crazy from my standpoint yet I can imagine people believing it as a sound course of action. But for amusement I shall take it on anyway, and rant to the air on the web! First, the full text, edited only slightly for formatting:

The COWBOY Solution to save Gasoline !

OBAMA wants us to cut the amount of gasoline we use.....

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Flex Tip: ComboBox Events

(New tag "tips". I'll probably be posting a lot of little tips for various things I pick up that I didn't find immediately from Googling.)

ComboBoxes in Flex have several useful events, the most used I believe are open, close, change. But one is lacking: itemClick. There is a difference between: opening a ComboBox then clicking outside or on the ComboBox itself to close it, and opening a ComboBox then clicking an item, even if it's the same one as before.

Fortunately Flex provides a way to detect this difference. The "close" event fires a DropdownEvent which has a "triggerEvent" member, which will be null when the item was clicked, will be a buttonDown event when the user closes with the ComboBox itself, and will be a mouseDownOutside event when the user clicks somewhere else. So simply return when the triggerEvent != null, and you have an itemClick feature. Edit: After some tests it appears that this technique isn't foolproof! Edit 2: My hack was to grab this.contentX and this.contentY and constrain them that way. Not very good.

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Server Migration Completed

I finally made the jump to hostgator. I'm having some real issues with mod_rewrite however, so I'll get back to any readers on what I learn from it.

The problem is with public_html/ being mapped to the default domain and I want it to go to public_html/domainname. However in the end I'll probably just symlink public_html to ~/domainname and remap the other domains to stuff outside of public_html.

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