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We have a daughter now. *great happiness* [31 Jul 2014|02:27am]
N) *glee!*

(Born 2014-07-29, 1345 (UTC+2).)
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The end of a world. [05 Oct 2013|05:08pm]
G) This is G. I write, not to speak, but out of fear that I will forget.

I have long resisted using this slave's tongue. Yet in my dream, my comrades accused me in this tongue, and when I tried to speak in my own I could only do so haltingly, with language from this other country mixed in. I used the slave's tongue to state my place, and I do not regret my decision. I do not think I want to use it much, though.

I had a nightmare. Maybe the first dream I'm had since the world burned.

I dreamed my comrades awoke in a different world, a different place, to serve the gods and bring it to its knees for their glory. It was similar, very similar, but there were differences. Not bad ones. My spirit sent messages, and I received them, and I was reborn in new flesh.

Lugha'Du was there, and others who I have known, even though their names flicker and fade in my memory. I spoke with Lugha in the hut in which I awoke, and gradually grew used to my new flesh and to speaking in my Clan's tongue again, and watched others outside.

He spoke with a strange urgency, and when there was a moment of respite, I read the messages I had received from those other than him.

When the world burned, everyone and everything become ash. I have valued our history and heritage more than most, and that stubbornness may have cost us much, but when a huge treasured portion of it was pushed into my limbs, I burned and it burned and my spirit went to this place, to wait and plot its conquering.

My comrades are, likely, in different worlds right now. I know not what they do. I lived and died in one world, in one Clan, and if our gods give me this one to conquer I will not seek out another. Especially... especially if memories are lost, and the world I came from is denied. We travelled, once, to Siege Perilous. It was not an experiment that lasted long. However, what happened in my dream may have been similar. It was not reality, but if it had been reality it might have been worthwhile. --but there is no way that Lugha would have been there, or so many of my other comrades from that time, so many cycles ago.

In my nightmare, the messages accused and scorned me for the loss of the hut with which I was entrusted. The hut which no one remained to be entrusted with, when I too died. The messages spoke of the great blow to our Clan's history and heritage, of a great Elder who lost everything and returned to holding nothing more than a Gruntee, of a younger comrade who had cheered me and defended me to others and was betrayed by my actions, all his pride crushed.

My spirit was in this flesh, and this flesh slept on the strange human replacement for a bed of straw. No slave was typing. Right now, and in my nightmare, and in the messages, a slave's flesh was typing, but there was no slave and no world for a slave to be in. I was not in flesh like this one, but in a world like the old world whre a slave's typing is necessary, and there was typing, but no typer. That is how I can be sure that it truly was a dream, that my spirit was not in another world while this slave's flesh slept. That, and that Lugha could not have been there.

I looked at what the messages said, the cold disdaining words. They said things that I will not repeat, and which I am already beginning to forget.

I looked at their words in the slave's tongue, and thought on my own halting grasp of my own, and turned to this tongue to speak and tell them of the burning of the world, and of myself. Not to beg, but to proclaim and defend and show myself as the self that arose to my rank, the one they knew and the one that betrayed no one, the one with a heart of fire that will never die. And then I awoke, in this slave's flesh.

This was a nightmare born from my sadness and shame at having been entrusted with something that I could not protect or pass on to another before my incineration. I am almost surprised that it was not a nightmare about other things that I regret about my time with my comrades.

The world burned, the Clan died, and I do not think there are any who record or remember what happened in its last throes. If there are, I will proclaim my righteousness to them without fear and without flinching.

I am Ghul'Ruk, Wa'Lusk-R of a dead Clan, a member of the noble Thrak'Ghaash, and the last Namakh of my people.

I will not waver.
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Thoughts on the 'envelope problem'. [03 Oct 2013|06:48pm]
N, largely reporting for B)

If there are only two envelopes, the possible gain and loss is the same, and nothing is to be gained by changing between them.

Something is only gained if assuming that for any given 'A' (contents of an envelope) both a A/2 and a 2A option exist.

In practice, one picks one envelope (of the two options) and sticks with it. However, there's a simpler way of putting this.

First, you're given one envelope, with a set amount of money present. Then, you're offered a second envelope which may have half or twice the contents. The (probably) correct choice here is to switch to the second envelope, due to that it has an (average?) expected value of 1.25A. However, the same reasoning cannot be used to switch back--if 1.25A = B, then the first envelope CANNOT have an expected value of 1.25B, as that relies on the option of the first envelope having twice the second envelope having twice the value of the first envelope. You can only go backwards to A, not forwards to greater and greater expected values.

On that note, if you /can/ have greater and greater expected values then, like the first switch, you should definitely make the choice and keep making the choice until the number of choices runs out or the amount of money you stand to gain is no longer worth the time put into making the choices.

That is, imagine that after being given an envelope, you're offered two more envelopes, with the guarantee that one contains half the amount of money in your current envelope, and one contains twice the amount. (This shouldn't be necessary to spell out, but let us assume that the amount is in a form not detectable from the outside, perhaps such as a completely trustworthy cheque.) Choose one, and all other envelopes are taken away, after which you are again presented with two envelopes, holding the same relation to your current one.

In theory, however many you choose, the 50/50 chances of going up or down the ladder should average to no movement at all. In practice, for a small number of choices there's a small fairly-possible deviation from the zero point, and for a very large number of choices there's a larger small fairly-possible deviation from the zero point. As the random walk is continued for as long as feasible, the desire is to get as far from the zero point as possible, with the knowledge that the equally-likely direction 'up' the exponential ladder stands to bring far greater gains, in absolute terms, than the equally-likely direction 'down' that exponential ladder.

Incidentally, when you're only ever presented with two envelopes and have to choose between them (rather than being given one and then offered the choice of another), that's akin to starting with an envelope of contents X which is closer to the contents of the smaller-contents envelope than to the bigger one. You gain by picking one, but then gain nothing by going back and forth between set points. Only new choices give you the option of stacking expected values.

...actually, we've now become curious about how that works out in practice, if one pays attention to it. First let's try the one-switch case.

First to second evaluation, +A option averaged with -A/2 option = +A/4 option. From there, (+A -A) averaged with (-A/2 +A/2) results in a net advantage of zero (compared with the starting value of A, which itself is A/4 worse than the expected value of the second envelope), so no advantage to going back.

HOWEVER! In the new envelopes each time case, averaging four possibilities:

((+A -A) + (+A +2A) + (-A/2 +A/2) + (-A/2 -A/4))/4 = (3/4)A - (3/16)A = +(9/16)A! That's the total advantage compared to the starting value of A, indicating an expected value of the second envelope of (25/16)A, which is appropriate for an expected value of (5/4)*(5/4)A. This will continue to grow with each choice...
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...'Gestalt Houkai' ('Gestalt Breakdown'). [08 Sep 2013|09:34pm]
N) Thinking about this phenomenon in terms of music.

First, you hear something and react (music, language... writing for instance, when looking rather than listening). This part is done unconsciously, or perhaps one should say non-consciously.

Thinking about something for a long time, this ceases to take effect. The normal reaction weakens and (at least for a time) disappears, as one becomes aware of all the different patterns that make it up, but lack any basis for understanding the significance of those patterns.

One hopes that, if one understands thoroughly the patterns and their effects, the reasons why they are what they are--like understanding thoroughly the etymology of a word--that one will still be able to recognise and make use of them even when this occurs.

People who write jokes, perhaps, can find themselves at a loss as to what's funny and what's not, at least without testing their creations on a fresh unprimed sounding board (a person to provide a default reaction). However, if one understood thoroughly what parts of a joke have what effects on the listener's mental state and why, then maybe one could tell whether a joke would be funny or not (and why) even if one were unable to do aught but be aware of the patterns present...

That is granted a known risk, that knowing the underlying details of a thing's process well enough (such as that of music, paintings, or stories), make render one unable to react naturally. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though... hmm.

--Huh. Livejournal won't let us post this in Firefox.
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Ah. Yes. (This can also be applied to the spelling/grammar equivalent situation.) [21 Jul 2013|04:48pm]

Question: "So what if I sing off-key, who cares?"

Answer: "/Everyone who isn't tone-deaf./"

Mentally speaking, it /hurts/...
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...Ah, that's right. [20 Jul 2013|11:46pm]
N) It's not that one program tells you the answer and a later program tells you the question. It's that one program tells you the answer and a later program tells you /why/ it's the answer, in a convincing(/semi-intuitive?) way that you can understand.
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Ah, that would be amusing. [19 Jul 2013|10:56pm]
N) *person shot by doppelganger, who has perhaps claimed to be that person from the future*

"This can't work. If you kill me, it'll create a paradox, and if you don't kill me I'll remember this and stop it from happening!"

"That's what these are for." *shows clearly-labelled memory erasure pills; in a shocking twist, pops into own mouth" "I'm not you from the future. I'm you from /the past/."
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Minor common-sense(?) note: [10 Jul 2013|04:01pm]
N) Upon being swapped in, a different individual in a single body (not sharing memories) is in fact /incredibly unlikely/ to suddenly theatrically exclaim "Why is [thing] on my plate!? I would never eat [thing]!". If anything, "Eh, when did this plate get here?", though more likely "Eh, where is this!? How did I get here?".

If you have no memory of a certain plate, then it's most subjectively likely that someone put it in front of you when you weren't looking, and there's no reason to expect its contents to match your tastes.

By contrast, the Railgun manga instance is fairly straightforward and pleasant(?). (Person who can't eat raw apples made to think that apple wedges are melon chunks through mind control, said mind control then withdrawn in the middle of chewing a mouthful.)
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The 'tracert' (not just ping -t) command has been discovered. [09 Jul 2013|08:38pm]
N) There is joy.
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...This season (of broadcast anime) looks as though it's going to be fun. [04 Jul 2013|09:01pm]
N) *smiles*

('Inu to Hasami' light-hearted humour, and now the Iwatobi (swimming-related) anime which looks much more enjoyable/interesting/amusing to follow than other recent attempts by the studio in question... plus there's another Monogatari season starting soon, and of course the remaining half othe current Railgun season. There could yet be even more anime of interest, too, but even without counting on that the starting season is shaping up to be very enjoyable!)

(Granted, the last season with 'Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge' (and the first half of the current Railgun season) was also wonderful in that respect.)
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(Note that if you claim black is not a colour, you have to say the same about purple/magenta...) [04 Jul 2013|12:07am]
N) (No significant main-entry content.)

Edit: N) (Depending on whether you claim purple and violet are identical or not, pink or brown (or even white) might be better choices.)
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Absurdity. [02 Jul 2013|11:34pm]

"My way of life is diametrically opposed to my physical characteristics. I'm not willing to change my way of life, so please switch my physical characteristics to be consistent."

"Okay, but first you'll have to spend two years with a way of life (more?) inconsistent with your current characteristics."

"...I just said that I want you to switch my physical characteristics because I'm /not/ willing to change my way of life. What?"

...if one were willing to jump through the hoops of satisfactorily 'living like a man for two years (and thereafter)', one could just go straight to 'living like a woman' and being content... the whole point is to fit the outside to the inside, and not try to force the inside to fit an outside.

After all, 'androgeny' is a convenient goal.
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進級試験で見たら、やっとぐっと来た。 [24 Jun 2013|09:35pm]
N)  「臨む」。「臨月」、「臨戦」。「出産を望む月」、「戦闘を望む(状況)」。

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A passing thought. [21 Jun 2013|08:17am]
N) What if there was only a single bank for a country, and it was run by its government? What if loans and the like were handled compltely seperately, and the only function of the 'bank' was to increase the money deposited in it according to a (changeable, presumably always positive) rate set by the goverment? What if, instead of taxes, that rate was lowered by the amount necessary for desired costs to be paid for (such that the same total amount of new money would enter the system)?

If 'twould be doomful, would like to know why so. If not doomful, that would also be useful(?) to know.
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Hm? [12 Jun 2013|10:48pm]
N) If a 'memory' is a specific combination of certain concepts and sensory impressions (including emotion), then it may be clearer how so many can exist simultaneously in parallel without 'one's capacity filling up'.

Perhaps the extreme state would be for all connections to be in place, and all possible memories to be had, with the downside that most of them would be completely nonsensical and useless (like the chatbot/{neural network} with schizophrenia?).

Question raised: Are there any memories which a human brain /can't/ form? --Ah, but maybe not, since everything is perceived subjectively, and presumably all senses for subjective perception are modelled in the memory-forming apparatus...

In any case though, extra appreciation regarding abstract thought (and the ability to remember things in that area).
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Ah. (Concept phrasing.) [25 May 2013|01:28pm]
N) "Arguing that the silver lining outweighs the cloud is what people call 'Stockholm syndrome'."

Edit: N) If the above is taken as correct, what would the opposite be called? That is, someone arguing that a small side-effect outweighs a large direct effect? (And how would one definitely determine which was greater? As with thalidomide, a side-effect can often be far worse than the thing that was being addressed, and as with the discovery antibiotics, a side-effect can also often be far better than what one would have had without the situation... hmm.)

("Mold accidentally grew in my experiment, and it killed the bacteria! Antibiotics has been discovered!" "Arguing that the silver lining outweighs the cloud? Stockholm syndrome!" There needs to be a way of identifying which is in fact heavier... which gets tricky when factoring in people's differing priority hierarchies... hmm.)
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Right... Bell's theorem is probably one of the main things to keep in mind. [23 May 2013|10:06pm]
N) Whether challenging existing theories (specifically regarding quantum mechanics (and maybe relativity in general?)) or trying to fully understand them, it looks as though it mustn't be ignored...

A large disadvantage of simplified models in general is that they often have the most important things left out, the keystones on which all the other parts crucially hinge.

Even if only analogous, necessary to have /some/ model of what is actually _happening_... an example would be in Chemistry, some sort of explanation for why an atom has shells at some energy levels and not others... probably better examples, actually.

Must read.

Edit: N) Speaking of 'how could this be', must remember the hypothesis of 'the whole universe is a simulation, information that low-level isn't set upon creation, and the information is filled in retroactively'. That approach seems fairly unintuitive, granted.

Second edit: N) *widened eyes at the contents of 'nonlinear optics'*

Third edit: N) Curiosity about where precisely the cosine predictions came from in the first place.

Fourth edit: N) Wait wait wait /WHAT!?/
Is that article seriously saying that you can measure a particle from each pair to see whether or not the remaining particles will be entangled in the future!? That could be used for yes-no future-prediction questions (for instance--for a money-related matter--future lottery number identification through binary chop), yes!?

Fifth edit: N) Incidentally, the immediate question is 'What happens when statistically significant correlation tells you that two (streams of) photons are going to be entangled by you in the future, and in reaction you don't entangle them?'. (And vice versa.)

Sixth edit: N) Hopefully far more helpful comments in http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/04/24/2031211/quantum-experiment-shows-effect-before-cause .
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What the 'executioner'(/'executor') executes is the sentence, not the person... [20 May 2013|03:44pm]
N) Unrelated: Bath and toilet cleaned with bleach. Shower curtain currently soaking in bleach+water.

An anti-virus mask seems to have helped considerably, though some amount is presumably the placebo effect.
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Orders of magnitude. [18 May 2013|07:28pm]

'man' = ten thousand

man^2 = oku = a hundred million

man^3 = chou = a trillion

man^4 = kei = ten quadrillion

An oku en/yen is worth approximately a million pounds.

...and weighs 10 kg, according to a section of a program just watched while eating supper below.

By that, ten thousand yen would weigh one gram... is that accurate? It's possible that the 10 kg weight was misremembered, or used smaller note sizes than necessary. Let's forget that datum, as it's been called into question.
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Babanuki (Old Maid) played yesterday for the first time (several rounds). [17 May 2013|08:35pm]
N) Significantly enjoyable. (!)
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