There is an island upon which a tribe resides. The tribe consists of 1000 people, with various eye colours. Yet, their religion forbids them to know their own eye color, or even to discuss the topic; thus, each resident can (and does) see the eye colors of all other residents, but has no way of discovering his or her own (there are no reflective surfaces). If a tribesperson does discover his or her own eye color, then their religion compels them to commit ritual suicide at noon the following day in the village square for all to witness. All the tribespeople are highly logical and devout, and they all know that each other is also highly logical and devout (and they all know that they all know that each other is highly logical and devout, and so forth).
Of the 1000 islanders, it turns out that 100 of them have blue eyes and 900 of them have brown eyes, although the islanders are not initially aware of these statistics (each of them can of course only see 999 of the 1000 tribespeople).
One day, a blue-eyed foreigner visits to the island and wins the complete trust of the tribe.
One evening, he addresses the entire tribe to thank them for their hospitality.
However, not knowing the customs, the foreigner makes the mistake of mentioning eye color in his address, remarking “how unusual it is to see another blue-eyed person like myself in this region of the world”.
What effect, if anything, does this faux pas have on the tribe?
I will post the answer tomorrow….
Towers of Hanoi is a game that challenges the mind. There is a version for the iPhone where you use your fingers to move the disks. Usually it takes a long time to play because with 8 disks (last level), the minimum moves that you need to make to solve the puzzle is 255. Building a robot to solve that puzzle for you is way faster so that was what I did. Robots are stupidly fast.
A young woman whose car flipped over a bridge guardrail and then crashed through the river ice below says the hand of God helped her survive.
What a strange name for Emergency Response personnel.
Today one of my 3 external hard drives died. It’s not a big deal, I back up all my data and having a 5 year old hard drive die is commonplace. What is a big deal, is that since I had this drive indexed and because the hard drive can no longer be read the windows indexer fails to start. Now, creating new folders or moving/renaming files takes on average 30-40 seconds per operation.
And people pay money for this crap?
The Day of Purity is a day when youth can make a public demonstration of their commitment to remain secularly pure, in mind and actions. …
With Julia, everything came back to her own sexuality. As soon as this was touched upon in any way she was capable of great acuteness. Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning of the Party’s sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party’s control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship. The way she put it was:
‘When you make love you’re using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don’t give a damn for anything. They can’t bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simpIy sex gone sour. If you’re happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?’
It may lack the hilarity of an unaccompanied David Lee Roth crooning to himself like a lunatic, but surely someone has a use for twenty three unaccompanied John Bonham drum tracks.
(We are a prepay station. A little old lady walks in.)
Lady: “So what, I can’t get gas now because so many idiots drive off? What kind of world do we live in that a Christian doesn’t get treated right?”
Me: “… I’m sorry, Ma’am, we lost over 75,000 gallons of gas last year due to drive offs.”
Lady: “This is just stupid. Why don’t you just turn the damn pump on? I’m filling up, I don’t know how much it’s going to take.”
Me: “Ma’am, you can either leave your keys, a credit card, or an ID, and I’ll be more than happy to turn the pump on.”
(The lady hands me a $20 bill.)
Me: “Alright, I’ll just prepay this 20, and it’ll shut off for you when it hits 20.”
Lady: “No no no. That’s my down-payment. Turn the pump on and I’ll come pay the rest.”
(I sigh and turn the pump on, I’m really not supposed to, but at least I’ll have some money to put towards it if she drives away. The lady goes out and pumps her gas, comes back in to pay.)
Lady: “One day, the Lord is going to come down and smite everybody who doesn’t respect the Christians who live by the rules.”
Man behind her: “I’m going to be a good Atheist and prepay my gas. $15 on pump 3, please and thank you.”
Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.
Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced “another 7/7″ and the loss of “British lives on British streets” if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.
In last week’s court ruling it was concluded that “Tele2″ had assisted in copyright infringement because they give their customers access to The Pirate Bay, thereby copying copyrighted material in their routers. It reads: “The telephone company’s dissemination of access to the www.thepiratebay.org entails the transmission of copyright protected material through the companies routers.”
A crucial factor in the ruling is thus that the ISP commits copyright infringement in their routers when they allow access to The Pirate Bay. An absurd claim of course, and even more serious, it opposes the Infosoc Directive, that formed the basis of the Danish copyright law.
In in Article 5 of the Infosoc Directive it is clearly stated that “copying in routers” is allowed, as an exception to and a limitation of the rights holders’ exclusive rights. Even more so, this is non-negotiable, and every member state of the EU must accept it. Oscar Swartz, an Internet pioneer and writer in Sweden who has been researching the case extensively rightly argues that the Danish court misinterpreted the Directive in this case.
WALLACE: [In November, the Republican nominee] would be weighed down by a faltering economy, an unpopular war, at least according to the polls, and — forgive me — according to polls, an unpopular president. How does he overcome all of that and beat the Democrats?
BUSH: Because there are two big issues. One is who’s going to keep your taxes low. Most Americans feel overtaxed. And I promise you the Democrat [sic] Party is going to field a candidate that says, “I’m going to raise your taxes.”
They’re going to say, “Oh, we’re only going to tax the rich people.” But most people in America understand that, you know, rich people hire good accountants and figure out how not to, you know, necessarily pay all the taxes, and the middle class gets stuck.
I can’t help but wonder if the president appreciates how foolish this is.
On the one hand, Bush is conceding that he’s content to allow the very wealthy to “hire good accountants,” shirk their legal responsibilities, and pass along the tax burden to the middle class. If the president is convinced that the rich are able to “figure out” how not to pay their tax bill, shouldn’t he, you know, care about fixing a system in which, by his own explanation, middle-class families are getting screwed?
A popular video on YouTube shows Kellie Pickler, the adorable platinum blonde from “American Idol,” appearing on the Fox game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” during celebrity week. Selected from a third-grade geography curriculum, the $25,000 question asked: “Budapest is the capital of what European country?”
Ms. Pickler threw up both hands and looked at the large blackboard perplexed. “I thought Europe was a country,” she said. Playing it safe, she chose to copy the answer offered by one of the genuine fifth graders: Hungary. “Hungry?” she said, eyes widening in disbelief. “That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey. But Hungry? I’ve never heard of it.”
But now, Ms. Jacoby said, something different is happening: anti-intellectualism (the attitude that “too much learning can be a dangerous thing”) and anti-rationalism (“the idea that there is no such things as evidence or fact, just opinion”) have fused in a particularly insidious way.
Not only are citizens ignorant about essential scientific, civic and cultural knowledge, she said, but they also don’t think it matters.
She pointed to a 2006 National Geographic poll that found nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds don’t think it is necessary or important to know where countries in the news are located. So more than three years into the Iraq war, only 23 percent of those with some college could locate Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel on a map.
Walking home to her Upper East Side apartment, she said, overwhelmed and confused, she stopped at a bar. As she sipped her bloody mary, she quietly listened to two men, neatly dressed in suits. For a second she thought they were going to compare that day’s horrifying attack to the Japanese bombing in 1941 that blew America into World War II:
“This is just like Pearl Harbor,” one of the men said.
The other asked, “What is Pearl Harbor?”
“That was when the Vietnamese dropped bombs in a harbor, and it started the Vietnam War,” the first man replied.
At that moment, Ms. Jacoby said, “I decided to write this book.”
When Hillary Clinton left New Hampshire in January as the big winner, a doctor and building owner says she forgot to leave something on her way out of the state: a rent check. After finally getting paid the money he was owed, the doctor says he’ll donate the proceeds to the campaign of her rival, Senator Barack Obama.
“Thirty days went by, with no replies to phone calls, e-mails, no replies at all. Suddenly a newspaper article comes out. It was the worst publicity they could get. Three days go by and I get a check,” said Terry Bennett of Rochester
Lawrence King, 15, was declared brain dead by two neurosurgeons about 2 p.m. at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy Ventura County medical examiner. King’s body remains on a ventilator for possible organ donation, he said. He was shot early Tuesday in a classroom at E.O. Green Junior High School.
Police have not determined a motive in the slaying but said it appeared to stem from a personal dispute between King and the suspect.
But several students at the south Oxnard campus said King and his alleged assailant had a falling out stemming from King’s sexual orientation.
The teenager sometimes wore feminine clothing and makeup, and proclaimed he was gay, students said.
“He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails — the whole thing,” said Michael Sweeney, 13, an eighth-grader. “That was freaking the guys out.”
And the acceptable response to any perceived threat to a man’s masculinity is deadly violence, apparently. That’s at least two lives permanently ruined because of fear mongering and sexual hatred.
And things won’t improve any time soon.
Here’s the press release, titled “The SCO Group Announces Reorganization Plan to Include $100 Million Financing by Stephen Norris Capital Partners”.
It seems Stephen Norris Capital Partners “and its partners from the Middle East” have fallen in love with SCO’s “vast range of products and services”:
“We saw a tremendous investment opportunity in SCO and its vast range of products and services, including many new innovations ready or soon to be ready to be released into the marketplace,” said Stephen Norris, managing partner for SNCP. “We expect to quickly develop these opportunities, and to stand behind SCO’s existing base of customers and partners.”
Hahahaha. Maybe this is the key?
SNCP has developed a business plan for SCO that includes unveiling new product lines aimed at global customers. This reorganization plan will also enable the company to see SCO’s legal claims through to their full conclusion.
That’s code, I think, for “this will enable the company to continue to attack Linux”.
The press release is a bit coy. Here’s more detail:
Mr. Norris acted as a principal financial advisor to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud of Kingdom Holding Company, in structuring and negotiating the re-capitalization of Citibank, which returned over $15 billion in profits on about $590 million of equity invested….
Since 1997, Mr. Norris, and certain members of his team, have worked on a number of investments including real estate investments in Europe and the United States. They were involved in amongst others the privatization of Thompson CSF, the recapitalization of Suez, the acquisition of portions of Credit Foncier’s real estate portfolio in Paris by the German firm of IVG, the formation of Nomura’s (London) bid for a Dutch mortgage bank, the offer by a major Saudia Arabian investment firm for Lamborgini in Italy, and the formation of a bid by Leucadia International’s for the Labouchere Bank in Holland. He also negotiated and structured investments in Synxis Corporation, which was backed by George Soros and Mr. Norris, and MARC Global Holdings.
Update: It seems Bill Gates has a friend in this picture. The two announced another deal last year, according to this IHT article, “Four Seasons Hotels agrees to bid from Gates and Alwaleed”:
Gates and Alwaleed have collaborated for at least two years. After attending a dinner at Gates’s home in Bellevue, Washington, in early 2004, Alwaleed agreed to explore ways to assist Microsoft’s expansion in Saudi Arabia.
So, there’s Waldo.
“In what can only be described as an act of utter desperation to overcome Vista’s mostly negative public perception issues, Microsoft has put together an online “Fact or Fiction” quiz about Windows Vista. Every person who submits themselves to Microsoft indoctrination gets a free shirt and the chance to win a $15,000 prize. Some of the supposed ‘facts’ will make you feel like you’re reading a document from an alternate reality. Get ready to get a job as a computer salesman for a mass-market retailer as you go through the quiz.”
Actually, since the quiz is done in Silverlight, their flash competitor, only the microsoft fanboys can do the quiz. I don’t have it installed…