gpl's recent activity

  1. Comment on What is math? A teenager asked that age-old question on TikTok, creating a viral backlash, and then, a thoughtful scientific debate in ~science

    gpl
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    I want to push back a specific part of what you're saying because I think it gets to the meaning of mathematical existence in conversations like this. I think you're being a bit too quick to...

    I want to push back a specific part of what you're saying because I think it gets to the meaning of mathematical existence in conversations like this.

    I'm also not sure what you're saying. Partially because "exists" is overloaded here; exists, as a math term, refers to belonging to a set.

    In the general sense, mathematics is constructed; anything can exists in an arbitrary sense, whether or not you can construct something with all the properties you want is another question.

    I think you're being a bit too quick to simplify the definition of mathematical existence, and I think it is less well defined than you make it out to be. First, mathematical existence does not a priori mean being a member of set, because you can formulate mathematics without reference to set or elements (take type theory for example). But in such formulations we still talk about abstract mathematical objects, so the must be some question of whether the thing we are referring to exists. That is what we're talking about here.

    (For what it's worth, I don't think it's true that anything can exist in an arbitrary sense. Let x be the first real number after √2. Does x exist? )

    In any case I don't think whether or not you can write something down (or represent it in some way) has bearing on whether or not that thing exists, because the question is true even for things we can write down. When I write down √2, what am I referring to? Usually the claim implicit in these discussions is some sort of platonist one, where we agree that mathematical objects (numbers, groups, spaces) have some independent abstract existence. What you and @skybrian are talking about if I understand correctly is different. You're asking whether, if we take for granted these objects have those above qualities, can we represent them in some way which is fair and interesting but I think is different than the question at hand.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on The election that could break America - What if Trump refuses to concede? in ~misc

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    It is terrifying reading this and seeing how many ways Trump could conceivably disrupt a fair election. And also that they all just seem so damn plausible, and not many of them, in and of...

    It is terrifying reading this and seeing how many ways Trump could conceivably disrupt a fair election. And also that they all just seem so damn plausible, and not many of them, in and of themselves, seem brazen enough to provoke public outrage.

    13 votes
  3. Comment on An open invitation to discuss r/AskBibleScholars extending its reach to Tildes in ~tildes

    gpl
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    My understanding is that you've been talking to @Deimos about the mechanics of doing this, but I am curious what the game plan is. Do you intend to bring many of the usual contributors over,...

    My understanding is that you've been talking to @Deimos about the mechanics of doing this, but I am curious what the game plan is. Do you intend to bring many of the usual contributors over, complete with a new group here like ~biblescholars?

    In any case, I have thought and continue to think this would be pretty cool for the site, both in terms of growing it and in terms of diversifying the represented interests here. I have always had an interest in Biblical scholarship so perhaps I am biased.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Which podcast is your go-to recommendation to others? in ~talk

    gpl
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    In no particular order I usually recommend: 99% Invisible Sean Carroll’s Mindscape (great interviews with experts in various fields) Armchair Expert Last Podcast on the Left (if I think they’ll...

    In no particular order I usually recommend:

    • 99% Invisible
    • Sean Carroll’s Mindscape (great interviews with experts in various fields)
    • Armchair Expert
    • Last Podcast on the Left (if I think they’ll like it, since it’s not for everyone)
    • SYSK

    Out of these I probably listen to LPOTL the most.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Which podcast is your go-to recommendation to others? in ~talk

    gpl
    Link Parent
    Interesting you say that. I listened a ton in the 2009-2011 timeframe and I always loved their dynamic. I’m curious now to listen to some new ones and see if it’s different than I remember.

    Interesting you say that. I listened a ton in the 2009-2011 timeframe and I always loved their dynamic. I’m curious now to listen to some new ones and see if it’s different than I remember.

  6. Comment on FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast in ~misc

    gpl
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    There had been murmurs and rumblings among some party activists, but until now it had largely not been a focus. I fully expect that to change in the wake of RBG's death. We're already seeing the...

    There had been murmurs and rumblings among some party activists, but until now it had largely not been a focus. I fully expect that to change in the wake of RBG's death. We're already seeing the start of op-eds making the case, albeit not from elected officials (examples one and two), and we even have some elected officials talking about it.

    Senator Ed Markey has been more explicit and said that Dems should pack the court if this nominee goes through.

    Rep. Joe Kennedy III has said similarly.

    Minority leader Chuck Schumer has said:

    "Let me be clear: If Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table," Schumer told the Senate Democratic caucus, according to a source on the call.

    And Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, said:

    "Filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials. Congress would have to act and expanding the court would be the right place to start," Nadler added.

    I expect this to become a central focus of Democrats in the campaign and beyond, so expect to hear more of it.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast in ~misc

    gpl
    (edited )
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    Packing the court definitely has the potential to tarnish the legitimacy of the SC, but it is not a sure thing and the public might go either way on it. Marquette university released a poll...
    • Exemplary

    Packing the court definitely has the potential to tarnish the legitimacy of the SC, but it is not a sure thing and the public might go either way on it. Marquette university released a poll (completed before RBG's death) that had some interesting statistics on this point. The first result I think is relevant is that the GOP is already largely on thin ice when it comes to conduct regarding the Supreme Court. A majority of the country already thinks that holding the Scalia vacancy open was the wrong thing to do (even a majority of Republicans)

    Was decision not to hold hearings on nomination of Merrick Garland the right or wrong thing to do, by party identification

    Party Right thing to do Wrong thing to do
    Republican 45 54
    Independent 20 78
    Democrat 15 84

    Coupled with this point is that the cross-tabs on increasing the number of justices is not as bad as you may think, although there is a substantial partisan split.

    Party Strongly favor Favor Oppose Strongly Oppose
    Republican 7 27 44 21
    Independent 7 34 42 16
    Democrat 15 46 32 7

    There is must be an overlap (substantial, even) between people who already think the Republicans have done the wrong thing regarding the courts, and those who currently oppose increasing the number of justices. If the issue comes to the forefront, I think there is a real opportunity for Democrats to make the case that the only way to restore legitimacy and balance to the court is by adding 2 justices. This would retain a conservative 6-5 majority, but make things less lopsided, and would probably be seen as less overtly political by independents than if the Democrats try to add 4 justices and take the majority.

    Just as a final point, we do have separation of powers, but we also have checks and balances which are designed to allow one branch to exert control over another. Controlling the number of justices is one such check that the legislative has over the judiciary, and this wouldn't be the first time the number was increased (we started out with 5, mind you). If the Democrats don't over reach I think it is entirely possible to make the case to the public that the number should be expanded while still maintaining the court's legitimacy.

    EDIT:

    Adding this because some new polls were released after I started writing this. A majority of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, say to wait until after the election to fill this seat.. 63% say the seat should be filled by the winner of the next election, 23% disagree, and the rest are unsure. That is a pretty amazing -40 approval of the course the Republicans are taking. Now, I don't expect this to stop them, but what it does mean is that the Democrats have even more grounds for claiming that they are respecting the will of the people by expanding the courts.

    My 2 cents is that most people probably want a somewhat balanced court regardless, and doubly so if the imbalance is perceived as being the result of partisan politics. The SC has regularly enjoyed high popularity and perceived neutrality (even now it is something like 60%, and by comparison Congress is in the teens somewhere), and I think in general people feel it does a good job of fairly adjudicating cases. If Democrats move to maintain that balance I think they would be supported. If they overreach I think the response will be similar to what we see in response to the current GOP overreach.

    8 votes
  8. Comment on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of gender equality, dies at eighty-seven in ~news

    gpl
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    I don't think the SC would have a huge roll in the approval of treaties. They could however effectively scuttle efforts to implement those treaties.

    I don't think the SC would have a huge roll in the approval of treaties. They could however effectively scuttle efforts to implement those treaties.

    6 votes
  9. Comment on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of gender equality, dies at eighty-seven in ~news

    gpl
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    I can definitely imagine suburban women and college educated voters (the demographic that swung hard towards Democrats in 2018 and that Republicans want to get back) being pissed at McConnell...

    I can definitely imagine suburban women and college educated voters (the demographic that swung hard towards Democrats in 2018 and that Republicans want to get back) being pissed at McConnell moving to replace RBG.

    Trump is already getting out the GOP base, its the one thing he's good at. If GOP Senators are still down in polls, it means they have to win over moderates and centrists, and so far I am not sure such people will be approve of McConnell being so duplicitous here.

    8 votes
  10. Comment on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of gender equality, dies at eighty-seven in ~news

    gpl
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    I don't necessarily agree with @Adys, but the fact remains that the US is the global superpower for the time being, and events that have the potentially to radically alter its politics, or else...

    I don't necessarily agree with @Adys, but the fact remains that the US is the global superpower for the time being, and events that have the potentially to radically alter its politics, or else shift its politics going forward, do have an effect on the global community. It's not about whether or not we're looked up to, it's about whether or not we're responded to. And for the time being we are.

    12 votes
  11. Comment on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of gender equality, dies at eighty-seven in ~news

    gpl
    Link Parent
    Mitch can't stand to lose four GOP Senators, no matter what he wants to do. Mitch McConnell might as well be unaccountable, but there are more than 4 GOP senators who are fighting for their...

    Mitch can't stand to lose four GOP Senators, no matter what he wants to do. Mitch McConnell might as well be unaccountable, but there are more than 4 GOP senators who are fighting for their political lives. It may not be likely, but it is not impossible.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on What sort of software do you want to see? in ~tech

    gpl
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    gnuplot is something I’ve been meaning to check out. I’ve used Jupiter before and I agree it’s useful for this, but it feels like a lot of overhead just to get a decent workflow making plots in...

    gnuplot is something I’ve been meaning to check out. I’ve used Jupiter before and I agree it’s useful for this, but it feels like a lot of overhead just to get a decent workflow making plots in python.

  13. Comment on What sort of software do you want to see? in ~tech

    gpl
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    I would like a nice, modern utility for quickly making and editing plots given some raw data. ggplot is good but I can’t help but feel something more modern might be better. Right now I just make...

    I would like a nice, modern utility for quickly making and editing plots given some raw data. ggplot is good but I can’t help but feel something more modern might be better. Right now I just make python scripts to properly format plots using pyplot, but I have to rerun the script when I make changes. Something was was real time and quickly reversible would be nice.

  14. Comment on What keyboard do you use? in ~tech

    gpl
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    I have a Leopold FC750R and I love it. I went with the 80% because, while I don't often use them, I like the option of having arrow keys for scrolling. Plus the function keys come in handy...

    I have a Leopold FC750R and I love it. I went with the 80% because, while I don't often use them, I like the option of having arrow keys for scrolling. Plus the function keys come in handy occasionally. I mostly program and write, with very little gaming, so for me it was certainly worth the purchase.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Scientific American endorses Joe Biden: We’ve never backed a presidential candidate in our 175-year history—until now in ~science

    gpl
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    In 2016 I was still in school, and had tons of fellow physics classmates who cared deeply about science, but were either apathetic or cynical towards electoral politics and didn’t bother voting. A...

    In 2016 I was still in school, and had tons of fellow physics classmates who cared deeply about science, but were either apathetic or cynical towards electoral politics and didn’t bother voting. A lot has changed since then of course, and many people are more politically engaged than they were in 2016. That being said apathetic voters surely still exist (as evidenced by “high” turnout still often being below 50% of eligible voters), and this type of endorsement could be enough to convince some of them to vote. I bet it would have for some of my classmates in 2016.

    11 votes
  16. Comment on JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims in ~lgbt

    gpl
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    What is the significance of referring to her as Joanne Karen as opposed to JK?

    What is the significance of referring to her as Joanne Karen as opposed to JK?

    3 votes
  17. Comment on JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims in ~lgbt

    gpl
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    You can’t make this shit up. I honestly cannot understand how people get so attached to the gender binary - even if it is something you are unfamiliar with or haven’t thought much about, once you...

    You can’t make this shit up. I honestly cannot understand how people get so attached to the gender binary - even if it is something you are unfamiliar with or haven’t thought much about, once you learn about it why would you care? It’s equally shocking to me that she would tarnish her reputation so much with a lot of the population that grew up idolizing her stories over something where literally the default was to just not say anything.

    28 votes
  18. Comment on Phosphine discovered in Venus' atmosphere, which could be evidence of microbial life in ~space

    gpl
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    I would say this is more conclusive than any past “signs of life” announcement from Mars.

    I would say this is more conclusive than any past “signs of life” announcement from Mars.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on The Cubs' Alec Mills has no-hit the Milwaukee Brewers in ~sports

    gpl
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    Pretty fun that the no-hitters this season have been Sox and Cubs. I watched the Sox no-hitter, they're my team ;). Just so thriller and tense to watch, especially those last 3 outs. I am hoping...

    Pretty fun that the no-hitters this season have been Sox and Cubs. I watched the Sox no-hitter, they're my team ;). Just so thriller and tense to watch, especially those last 3 outs. I am hoping to see a perfect game one day, but I gotta get lucky to do so.

    2 votes
  20. Comment on I’m moving across the country in a few days in ~life

    gpl
    Link Parent
    Near Sacramento, if that doesn’t give the school away ;)

    Near Sacramento, if that doesn’t give the school away ;)

    1 vote