vektor's recent activity

  1. Comment on Germany has a terrorism problem, foreign minister says in ~news

    vektor (edited ) Link
    I kept thinking this headline was misleading and couldn't put my finger on why - the article explains the matter adequately after all. But I still couldn't shake the feeling that the headline at...

    I kept thinking this headline was misleading and couldn't put my finger on why - the article explains the matter adequately after all. But I still couldn't shake the feeling that the headline at least was pointing strongly towards islamist terrorism.

    I figured it out: It's because the foreign minister said it, not the minister of interior, so that cues people to place the issue abroad. Domestic matters aren't really his domain. Then why does he weigh in though? And this is where it gets interesting. The responsible minister is Horst Seehofer, from the bavarian CSU party. Let me illustrate:

    • SPD: Social democrats, but they lost their strongly social vein recently. Party of the foreign minister. You'd expect them to be vocal about right-wing terrorism. Part of the govt. coalition.

    • CDU: Conservatives. Do not exist in Bavaria. Main party of the coalition. Merkel is a moderate member among them.

    • CSU: Bavarian sister party of the CDU. Notoriously hard-line conservatives, they are the main reason why the hard-line AFD doesn't quite catch on in Bavaria: They're just as bad.

    That's the main things you need to know to put this statement into context: The german parliament is so fractured and clusterfucked that the best coalition we could come up with is the (previously strongly disliked) "grand coalition" of both majority parties. Imagine Democrats and Republicans having to team up because there are so many parties literally left, right and center.

    I'd read this statement as another statement of dissent among the coalition. Seehofer isn't doing his job and the SPD is not happy. Unfortunately, this won't sink that crippled ship either and we're kinda stuck with what we have. The SPD has not enough backbone to quit supporting Merkel.

    Also relevant how that govt formed. No one volunteered after the usual suspects couldn't form a majority. The SPD had ruled out a grand coalition before. After some other attempts failed or were sabotaged from the inside (Looking at you, Lindner), the SPD compromised a lot (on policy and principles) to get a govt going.

    Ninja: Further reading on the last bit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Merkel_cabinet and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_German_federal_election#Results

    7 votes
  2. Comment on What is a contradiction or dissonance you live with on a regular basis? in ~talk

    vektor Link Parent
    Keep good staples. Check what keeps well and learn to cook with it. I could whip up Tarte flambee right now without shopping much. The only thing I'd need that I don't always have is diced ham and...

    Keep good staples. Check what keeps well and learn to cook with it. I could whip up Tarte flambee right now without shopping much. The only thing I'd need that I don't always have is diced ham and that keeps for weeks. Pasta plus a simple marinara is similar in that way.

    Also, sort your fridge. Put things that don't keep for much longer to the front.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Fermi problem game thread in ~misc

    vektor Link Parent
    I actually looked it up out of curiosity yesterday. The Netherlands have 500 midwives at a population of 17M. Amsterdam has a twentieth the population, so we can estimate 25 midwives. Structural...

    I actually looked it up out of curiosity yesterday. The Netherlands have 500 midwives at a population of 17M. Amsterdam has a twentieth the population, so we can estimate 25 midwives. Structural differences between the rest and Amsterdam should be insignificant(everything is mostly urban), so proportionality is a good guess. We were all a good bit off. I don't think our estimates for birth rates were it, more the productivity of midwives(durch AVG is 2 births a day) and the population of Amsterdam.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Fermi problem game thread in ~misc

    vektor Link Parent
    Is the birth rate you mentioned per woman or per person? Because if it's 2.1 births per person, that would induce a life expectancy of around 50 (see my calculation under Wanda's comment). Which...

    Is the birth rate you mentioned per woman or per person? Because if it's 2.1 births per person, that would induce a life expectancy of around 50 (see my calculation under Wanda's comment). Which is abysmal. If we take it to mean per woman, that'd get you closer to 100. Easier to get to the actual life expectancy from there, particularly if you add in some kids dying before having children. That would halve the number of midwives you need.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Fermi problem game thread in ~misc

    vektor Link Parent
    I'll have the hint, yeah. Looking at the actual numbers I was fairly spot on. And wrt thickness: all I wanted to say there is that my guess was tainted by having read the previous answer. I know...

    I'll have the hint, yeah. Looking at the actual numbers I was fairly spot on.

    And wrt thickness: all I wanted to say there is that my guess was tainted by having read the previous answer. I know it's measured in km, that much is common knowledge. I know it can get to the high single digits and I think we can rule out anything beyond 8.8km. but whether 1 or 4 would make for a better average, I didn't know. 2 served me well though.

  6. Comment on Fermi problem game thread in ~misc

    vektor Link Parent
    That's a good one. There's 10^10 people on earth, weighing 10^12 kg. The land area of earth is 0.3 (land proportion) * 4 pi * (6000km^2) = 1.4*10^8km² = 1.4 * 10^14 m². Or 1 kg of human per 140m²....

    That's a good one. There's 10^10 people on earth, weighing 10^12 kg. The land area of earth is 0.3 (land proportion) * 4 pi * (6000km^2) = 1.4*10^8km² = 1.4 * 10^14 m². Or 1 kg of human per 140m². (Would you look at that, your apartment is statistically only inhabited by your forearm.) That's 7 grams per m^2. I think the Insects should be able to beat that, I'd have given them 100 grams per m², maybe a hint less, but certainly 10 grams. However, I don't think they're beating us by a factor of 100. My experience mostly pertaining to highly cultivated landscapes doesn't help guesstimating though.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Fermi problem game thread in ~misc

    vektor Link Parent
    I'll simplify a bit here and there and refine your area estimation. 70% of earth is water, 30% is land. of those 30%, maybe a tenth is antarctica and greenland. We'll estimate 2km of ice sheet,...

    I'll simplify a bit here and there and refine your area estimation. 70% of earth is water, 30% is land. of those 30%, maybe a tenth is antarctica and greenland. We'll estimate 2km of ice sheet, possibly spoiled because you said that was off. That's all we need. 2km on 3% ⁼ 86m on 70%. Without invoking Pi or computing the areas involved.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Fermi problem game thread in ~misc

    vektor Link Parent
    You could eliminate a step there. You don't need to estimate the number of women in the age range you specified, nor do you need the age range. A average woman will give birth twice a lifetime....

    You could eliminate a step there. You don't need to estimate the number of women in the age range you specified, nor do you need the age range. A average woman will give birth twice a lifetime. (Or a human once..) So you'd need to estimate the lifespan. 80 years? Well, one in 80 people give birth this year.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Computers were faster when they were slower in ~tech

    vektor Link Parent
    Add in that basically every one of those guru components are usually very complex of themselves and there's no clear structure of what you're even looking for because many things can be done in...

    Add in that basically every one of those guru components are usually very complex of themselves and there's no clear structure of what you're even looking for because many things can be done in many ways. So you end up with a huge ecosystem of barely even discoverable, extremely complex tools.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Going Nuclear Might Be the Best Way to Combat Climate Change in ~enviro

    vektor Link Parent
    Also my other reply to the sibling of your comment:

    The amount of engineering challenges involved in taming that mess of substances makes me sceptical.

    Also my other reply to the sibling of your comment:

    I'm well aware. I just don't see how the kilns in your analogy are feasible. Yes, they're theoretically plausible. But whether you talk about next-gen uranium reactors or LFTR-as-a-trashcan, I don't see how they're any more feasible than fusion, where at least we have lab-scale prototypes. Don't get me wrong, I don't want LFTR-as-a-trashcan to fail, but I don't think it's going to be a viable choice in the timeframe we need it to be; hence why I'm not excited about it (as seemingly everyone else). Nevermind the fact that fission reactors (for all I know) always involve controlling an unstable system that tends to transition to a dangerous state.
    I'm quite aware of how this is supposed to work in theory; I'm only sceptical of our capability of doing it in practice.

  11. Comment on Going Nuclear Might Be the Best Way to Combat Climate Change in ~enviro

    vektor Link Parent
    I'm well aware. I just don't see how the kilns in your analogy are feasible. Yes, they're theoretically plausible. But whether you talk about next-gen uranium reactors or LFTR-as-a-trashcan, I...

    I'm well aware. I just don't see how the kilns in your analogy are feasible. Yes, they're theoretically plausible. But whether you talk about next-gen uranium reactors or LFTR-as-a-trashcan, I don't see how they're any more feasible than fusion, where at least we have lab-scale prototypes. Don't get me wrong, I don't want LFTR-as-a-trashcan to fail, but I don't think it's going to be a viable choice in the timeframe we need it to be; hence why I'm not excited about it (as seemingly everyone else). Nevermind the fact that fission reactors (for all I know) always involve controlling an unstable system that tends to transition to a dangerous state.

    I'm quite aware of how this is supposed to work in theory; I'm only sceptical of our capability of doing it in practice.

  12. Comment on Going Nuclear Might Be the Best Way to Combat Climate Change in ~enviro

    vektor Link Parent
    Oh, that. Yeah, sure. But they're just recycling the simple parts. (U, Pt) I keep hearing about chucking all the waste into thorium reactors and I'm not buying it. (Sorry I misread your original...

    Oh, that. Yeah, sure. But they're just recycling the simple parts. (U, Pt) I keep hearing about chucking all the waste into thorium reactors and I'm not buying it. (Sorry I misread your original point)

  13. Comment on Going Nuclear Might Be the Best Way to Combat Climate Change in ~enviro

    vektor Link Parent
    You mean But even then... I haven't seen a convincing case being made that that will indeed be possible. The amount of engineering challenges involved in taming that mess of substances makes me...

    You mean

    Newer reactor designs could potentially recycle old fuel at some point in the future.

    But even then... I haven't seen a convincing case being made that that will indeed be possible. The amount of engineering challenges involved in taming that mess of substances makes me sceptical. IMO the technology seems a lot less ready than fusion power.

  14. Comment on Julian Assange: Swedish prosecutor requests detention of WikiLeaks founder in ~news

    vektor Link Parent
    What he gained? Martyr status. He isn't the white hat Manning or Snowden are, so he had to find another way to feel important...? Probably not quite the truth, but it's that or an irrational...

    What he gained? Martyr status. He isn't the white hat Manning or Snowden are, so he had to find another way to feel important...? Probably not quite the truth, but it's that or an irrational deer-in-headlights choice far as I can tell.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on My Video Went Viral. Here's Why in ~tech

    vektor Link
    "I challenge you to find a better way" - break up YouTube - or at least, get a third-party recommendation engine going. With all the platforms of the web giants, I'd much rather the platform be...

    "I challenge you to find a better way" - break up YouTube - or at least, get a third-party recommendation engine going. With all the platforms of the web giants, I'd much rather the platform be non-profit and open. Imagine a non-profit website that takes in your view history and recommends material to you. Not in order to get you to watch as much as it can, but in order to serve you content you won't regret having watched 3 days after the fact. YouTube can't be that, they have a conflict of interest. YouTube can't do the best (by your standards) recommendations simply because their capitalist interests lie elsewhere. Amazon-the-marketplace has the same problem with how they treat amazon-the-retailer on their marketplace. Dating platforms inherently have to drip-feed you semi-successful relationships in order to retain you as a customer. If they knew the perfect match for you, they wouldn't show you, because they'd lose a customer.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on How the Aldi grocery chain is upending America's supermarkets in ~misc

    vektor Link
    The fact that most of these cost savings are even a thing kind of baffles me. No shopping cart jockeys, no greeters, no baggers... who even needs these? Here in germany, people bagging your goods...

    The fact that most of these cost savings are even a thing kind of baffles me. No shopping cart jockeys, no greeters, no baggers... who even needs these? Here in germany, people bagging your goods for you only happens in clothing stores and up, where employee business levels and profit margins allow it. In supermarkets, neither of these is a thing. Don't get me wrong, Aldi is really good here as well, but they don't have as big a margin as it seems they have in the US. They mostly beat out the competition through supply chain stuff and cutting down on bullshit products. In Aldis here, you can get one kind of canned corn, one kind of plain what flour, one kind of olive oil, one kind of sunflower oil. All of these choices are good, and you probably won't find a significantly better choice in another supermarket. But they're as cheap as the cheapest of the three brands other supermarkets sell. My only complaint is that as a baker I can't get everything I need there. They got your type405 all-purpose flour and they have organic whole-grain and then a few other grains as well. No bread flour, no other wheat variants, no rye. If you need other rare ingredients you could be shit out of luck as well, but no one misses the umteenth variant of what is essentially the same product. Interestingly, they offer much more choice when it comes to things where little variations actually matter - sliced meats, cheeses.

    I once shopped in a US Walmart supercenter. The choice paralysis is real, but the amount of wageslaves keeping the show going is surreal.

    8 votes
  17. Comment on What's a common misconception or misunderstanding you would love to see corrected? in ~talk

    vektor Link Parent
    Are you saying that the axes don't exist or that the classification along those axes make no sense?

    Are you saying that the axes don't exist or that the classification along those axes make no sense?

    2 votes
  18. Comment on What's a common misconception or misunderstanding you would love to see corrected? in ~talk

    vektor Link Parent
    Thank you for putting it like that. This is why I'm against caveating almost-certain statements. If every statement has some uncertainty about it, adding a caveat to a 99.999% certainty is just...

    Thank you for putting it like that. This is why I'm against caveating almost-certain statements. If every statement has some uncertainty about it, adding a caveat to a 99.999% certainty is just confusing.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on What's a common misconception or misunderstanding you would love to see corrected? in ~talk

    vektor Link Parent
    So you're saying you're a binosaur? Also, totally agreed. An interesting outcrop of this is pedants who can't actually tell you the difference between the hairs they're splitting.

    So you're saying you're a binosaur?

    Also, totally agreed. An interesting outcrop of this is pedants who can't actually tell you the difference between the hairs they're splitting.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on What is the incentive for curl to release the library for free? in ~tech

    vektor Link Parent
    I dunno. Moderation of StackOverflow has always seemed kinda volatile to me, often locking very interesting topics with no nod as to where it actually belongs. "Well, not here." is not exactly...

    I dunno. Moderation of StackOverflow has always seemed kinda volatile to me, often locking very interesting topics with no nod as to where it actually belongs. "Well, not here." is not exactly satisfying and productive.

    Anyway, I found this if anyone is interested in the mod/meta side of things: https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/384376/are-questions-about-the-motives-of-programming-library-developers-on-topic

    7 votes