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Author Topic: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!  (Read 16349 times)

ViolentDove

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #100 on: 15 Sep 2008, 23:21 »

Apparently a mutckin is 3/4s of an imperial pint.
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With cake ownership set to C and cake consumption set to K, then C + K = 0.  So indeed as one consumes a cake, one simultaneously deprives oneself of cake ownership. 

Nodaisho

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #101 on: 16 Sep 2008, 00:36 »

Why should we? If base 10 is so awesome, why do computers use base 16? Base 10 is only used due to humans having 10 fingers.

Computers use base 2. As in, binary. And that is only because of the nature of the electrical components, which are either "on" or "off." Does that mean it is any less convenient?

Also, our non-metric systems of measurement aren't base anything. They're completely arbitrary, and therefore completely confusing. How many ounces in a pound again?...
Computers use base two like our brains use... I don't know enough neurology to finish the metaphor, someone help me out here? The very basic of how our brains work, I would say our brains use binary, in that either a connection has electricity travelling on it or it doesn't, but for all I know, that is bull. Windows, at least, uses hexadecimal, base 16, and I think most OSs do so as well, though I could be wrong. There has to be a reason behind that, anyone know history of computers well enough to tell me what it is? Did one of the original computer guys lose a couple fingers?

The imperial system tends to use multiples of two to go up in terms. It makes some sense, when you think about it, people usually get one or two things, not one or ten. I knew a guy that made a whole long post on the subject, he really knew his stuff, or at least was good enough to make it sound like he did. I'll see if I can find it, if you want to read it. Interesting stuff.

16 ounces in a pound, 8 fluid ounces in a cup, 2 cups to a pint (which makes you wonder why they don't just say cup rather than half-pint, maybe ambiguity between the cup object and the cup measurement?), 2 pints to a quart, 4 quarts to a gallon. Not consistent, but always either doubling, quadrupling, or octupling. I imagine that there is an intermediate step between quarts and gallons, I mean a real name, not just half-gallon, like there are decimeters but you never hear anyone using them. Maybe the same with ounces to cup. The yard is the only exception to the even number tendency I can think of off the top of my head. I believe the foot measurement was based off of the tread of a marching legionnaire, and other measurements were based off of how far an army could march in a certain amount of time (mile seems a bit short, but then again, hoplites carried armor, spears, shields, swords, and walked long distances. Most were shorter than the average person today as well, and probably not as well nourished).

And would someone please tell me what kind of animal has fur that stretches out for an eighth of a mile? I need to shoot me one of those, lifetime's supply of leather right there, unless you are Rob Halford.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #102 on: 16 Sep 2008, 09:22 »

Man, it's all well and good to "explain" where these absolutely arbitrary measurements come from (mile? WTF?), but do you realize how many people have no idea how to convert between these units? It makes conversions for, say, mathematical calculations (which already use decimal units, why not continue that trend!) so much more of a pain than necessary. And besides, how relevant are any of those measurements now? None of them have any meaning to an average person beyond the fact that they are ingrained into our memory from an early age. The only arguments against switching is it would be difficult to change things that are already established, like highway markers, and harder on people who are already used to this terrible, terrible system, but it would make everything ever so much easier, in the long run. Oh, and our system is also probably easier on cooks, but they already use their own ridiculous measurements like dashes and pinches, so whatever.

RE: Computers: Hexadecimal was convenient for early computers because they were built on 16-bit architecture: a memory address was usually 16 binary digits (16-bit address space), and the information at any given address was also 16 digits long (16-bit addressability). So, instead of having to write out a sequence of 16 ones and zeros, computers could simply use hexadecimal digits to represent groups of four digits (2^4 = 16). This doesn't necessarily make anything easier, as when a computer is executing some instruction in memory it still has to expand into binary to parse the opcode, operands, etc., and even doing simple calculations it's often easier to use binary, as it simplfies the arithmetic (especially given two's complement calculations with negative numbers; at least, I find binary easier to understand in that case). So computers only really "use" base-16 numbers for input/output related things, as it's easier to report a long binary number in this kind of hexadecimal shorthand. Interestingly, it's not much harder to convert from binary to decimal than it is from binary to hexadecimal. At least, the logic behind the algorithms is pretty similar.

As far as Windows using hexadecimal, that's not quite true anymore. The x86 architecture, on which most processors for the last many years of computing have been based, is actually a 32-bit processor: 32-bit address space, 32-bit addressability. So mostly it works with larger numbers, but still in the way I outlined above. Eight hexadecimal digits per binary word instead of four. In recent years they've been developing stuff like the x86-64 architecture, which is 64-bit in contrast. This is why you have had 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows' latest OSs, and why programs designed for one aren't necessarily compatible with the other (if you're trying to read from one memory location to the next in a 32-bit program, that same program, depending on how it's designed, may instead read the first half of one location, then the second half, and so on).

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #103 on: 16 Sep 2008, 09:54 »

You guys really are being kind of assholes to this guy. I understand you don't care much for him, but really he's done nothing wrong in this thread and you're not encouraging good forum behavior when you jump on him just as much when he hasn't done anything here (vs in the fashion thread).

 The more remote you are, the prices rise much faster than in urban areas where people have more options about which station they go to. I am right on the border to DC and gas reached $3.85 this morning. Gas in my hometown tends to be 25-30 cents more a gallon than here. So I am really not all that incredulous that wherever he is has manged to reach $5.
Oh and last time gas prices got high, stations around here ran out of gas. I believe him.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #104 on: 16 Sep 2008, 10:03 »

What's really confusing in America is that most often marijuana is sold by the ounce (or half, quarter, or 1/8 ounce) but is weighed in grams.

Whoever thought that up must have been PRETTY STONED, DUDE.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #105 on: 16 Sep 2008, 10:07 »

You guys really are being kind of assholes to this guy. I understand you don't care much for him

Only one person was truly an asshole to me in this thread.  Every time I say that people on here don't like me, someone says "Stop being dramatic, nobody dislikes you", so I'm just going to stop trying to figure it out.
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Ozymandias

Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #106 on: 16 Sep 2008, 10:11 »

RE: Computers: Hexadecimal was convenient for early computers because they were built on 16-bit architecture: a memory address was usually 16 binary digits (16-bit address space), and the information at any given address was also 16 digits long (16-bit addressability). So, instead of having to write out a sequence of 16 ones and zeros, computers could simply use hexadecimal digits to represent groups of four digits (2^4 = 16). This doesn't necessarily make anything easier, as when a computer is executing some instruction in memory it still has to expand into binary to parse the opcode, operands, etc., and even doing simple calculations it's often easier to use binary, as it simplfies the arithmetic (especially given two's complement calculations with negative numbers; at least, I find binary easier to understand in that case). So computers only really "use" base-16 numbers for input/output related things, as it's easier to report a long binary number in this kind of hexadecimal shorthand. Interestingly, it's not much harder to convert from binary to decimal than it is from binary to hexadecimal. At least, the logic behind the algorithms is pretty similar.

As far as Windows using hexadecimal, that's not quite true anymore. The x86 architecture, on which most processors for the last many years of computing have been based, is actually a 32-bit processor: 32-bit address space, 32-bit addressability. So mostly it works with larger numbers, but still in the way I outlined above. Eight hexadecimal digits per binary word instead of four. In recent years they've been developing stuff like the x86-64 architecture, which is 64-bit in contrast. This is why you have had 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows' latest OSs, and why programs designed for one aren't necessarily compatible with the other (if you're trying to read from one memory location to the next in a 32-bit program, that same program, depending on how it's designed, may instead read the first half of one location, then the second half, and so on).

I think it's worth noting that none of these OSes or computers were on hexadecimal architecture. They were all binary, but represented in hex for the user/programmer's benefit, because it's a convenient shorthand and converts extremely quickly and easily. The computer sees binary, the user sees hex, but it's the same thing.
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imagist42

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #107 on: 16 Sep 2008, 11:07 »

Did I not explain that bit of it? I thought I had. Probably not well, anyway.

Oh, I am a cocker. I terribly interchanged "hexadecimal" and "16-bit" at certain points. Bloody 16, what a terrible number. Also, "computer" is both the machine and the person, so that's a little confusing in my post.

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #108 on: 17 Sep 2008, 13:10 »

Come on, use real units.  My automobile gets 3DAB16 furlongs per firkin.  Or 11110110101112 furlongs per firkin, if you prefer. 

Those values are not equal, and I'd still call balderdash on your car being that efficient even at the most conservative estimate.

DAMN STRAIGHT I'M GONNA CALL YOU OUT ON THIS.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #109 on: 17 Sep 2008, 13:32 »

Actually, if anybody believes those numbers, I have some ocean front property ,here in Arizona, for sale. 

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #110 on: 17 Sep 2008, 20:40 »

I think what it really comes down to with measurements is what you are used to, it is like your first language, no matter how many others you use, the first one you learn is going to be the one you use best and reflexively, you drop something on your foot after spending 30 years in spain and growing up in an english-speaking country, you aren't going to swear in spanish, you will swear in english. I think in US imperial units, if I use meters, it is because that is what I was given the information in originally, I wouldn't be able to show what that distance is without converting it from yards. I have no problem with someone else using meters, but I prefer using yards, just like I could learn to be right-handed, but fuck you very much if you try to force me to do so.

Celtic, everyone knows there isn't any beachfront property in arizona. I would buy you if you said east of the San Fernando valley, but that is because I know it has to happen soon, Kurt Russell can't stay in shape forever.
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celticgeek

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #111 on: 17 Sep 2008, 21:25 »

Celtic, everyone knows there isn't any beachfront property in arizona. I would buy you if you said east of the San Fernando valley, but that is because I know it has to happen soon, Kurt Russell can't stay in shape forever.

Sorry, it's a joke.  The idea is that if you believe some totally out of it thing, then you would also believe that there is ocean front property in Arizona.  Sort of akin to selling someone the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. 

By the way:
Furlong,Firkin, Fortnight System
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Nodaisho

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #112 on: 17 Sep 2008, 22:21 »

Yeah, I know, I was trying to make an Escape from L.A. joke, but then I realized that it was only LA that became an island in that movie, and it didn't work without changing the setting, and then I really screwed it up.

edit: And I think I must be miscalculating the binary, because the way I read it, that wouldn't be difficult, as that gives you more than 15 gallons, and only 34 furlongs, which is 5 and 4/6ths miles.

1111 is 15, right? 8,4,2,1? Should I not be grouping it into segments of four digits? Should it go 4096,2048,1024,512,256,128,64,32,16,8,4,2,1? I'm actually not fluent in either binary or hex, I was going to be taught computer-based stuff in elementary, but that never panned out after the first two lessons or so, on an apple II.
« Last Edit: 17 Sep 2008, 22:31 by Nodaisho »
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celticgeek

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #113 on: 17 Sep 2008, 22:24 »

Yeah.  I would give you a ration about that, had I not screwed up approximately a zillion jokes that I have tried to make up in my time. 

Don't take any wooden nickels. 

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Nodaisho

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #114 on: 17 Sep 2008, 22:32 »

A ration? Never heard that expression before.

Course, you have had a lot more time to screw up jokes than I have.
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celticgeek

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #115 on: 17 Sep 2008, 22:34 »

The full expression is "a ration of shit".  Meaning that I would make fun of you for it.  And, yes, I have had an enormously long to screw up jokes, and many other things, too. 
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Nodaisho

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #116 on: 17 Sep 2008, 23:19 »

Ah, okay. That a term that has an origin in the military? It just sounds like something I would expect to hear a veteran say.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #117 on: 18 Sep 2008, 09:10 »

Reviewing my posts in this thread, I think that:
a) I should have thought about it more first, and
b) been more sober.

Iechyd da!
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #118 on: 19 Sep 2008, 00:49 »

Computers use base two like our brains use... I don't know enough neurology to finish the metaphor, someone help me out here? The very basic of how our brains work, I would say our brains use binary, in that either a connection has electricity travelling on it or it doesn't, but for all I know, that is bull.
Our brains are not digital. They're analog.

Quote
The imperial system tends to use multiples of two to go up in terms. It makes some sense, when you think about it, people usually get one or two things, not one or ten. I knew a guy that made a whole long post on the subject, he really knew his stuff, or at least was good enough to make it sound like he did. I'll see if I can find it, if you want to read it. Interesting stuff.
The Imperial system is a hodgepodge of systems with a number of bases: decimal, sexagesimal, duodecimal, vigesimal, etc, which is why it's not particularly consistent. It goes well with the English language, which is a hodgepodge of other languages.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #119 on: 19 Sep 2008, 06:53 »

Computers use base two like our brains use... I don't know enough neurology to finish the metaphor, someone help me out here? The very basic of how our brains work, I would say our brains use binary, in that either a connection has electricity travelling on it or it doesn't, but for all I know, that is bull.
Our brains are not digital. They're analog.

My brain transcends such pedestrian distinctions.

Being serious, neither of you is really correct. Surprise, neural biology is more complex than an either/or decision!

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #120 on: 19 Sep 2008, 08:50 »

Isn't any given neuron either firing or not firing? I mean, in that sense, at least, it's digital--even though any given perceptible action or reaction or thought is the product of lots and lots of neurons firing.

I have no idea what I'm talking about now.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #121 on: 19 Sep 2008, 14:41 »

Well I didn't really want to go into details, but no it isn't as simple as whether or not they are firing. How strongly they are firing matters (ie. analog) but most important really is how quickly they are firing. That is to say, your brain is more like FM radio than AM. Or for another analogy, think of how Morse code works.

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #122 on: 19 Sep 2008, 15:18 »

You know that horse that would tap the ground over and over to answer questions? It's like that.

Nodaisho

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #123 on: 19 Sep 2008, 21:20 »

It's looking for food? Actually, that's pretty accurate, for one part of said brain at least.

I'm actually taking a psych 101 class right now, we are doing at least some of it on the various areas of the brain, covered the story of Phineas Gage, people that have had damage to certain areas of the brain (there was one guy named clive who was a brilliant concert pianist, but every 30 seconds, his conscious memory reset itself. He could play piano, but couldn't tell you how he knew, could tell you what season it was, knew the person working with him well enough to kiss her as a greeting, but didn't recognize her at all. Chilling.), that sort of stuff. Interesting, but not what I signed up for.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #124 on: 19 Sep 2008, 23:26 »

Nodaisho, it's still only September, they're just trying to give you a sense of wonder about the field ("see how weird things can be?  Aren't you interested?")

Anyway, the brain is definitely not digital.  With 20-30-some different primary chemical messengers determining when and how and how fast any neuron fires, each of them acting at different receptor sites, some of them inhibitory, some of them excitatory, thousands of input and output connections per neuron, and a whole bunch of other factors involved, it's really not an "on-off" system.
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Nodaisho

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #125 on: 20 Sep 2008, 00:25 »

I bet that if you break it down far enough, though, it is a very very complex binary system, you just have to be able to keep looking deep enough. We might not know enough yet to find it, though.

I think that being able to figure out what makes people tick would be far more interesting than looking at pictures of the brain. The closest thing that happened to that so far was the teacher doing a cold reading on the first day of class, he printed out the exact same description, which read like a horoscope, for each person, supposedly analyzing them.

In one page, we have gone from gas to psychology, you all should be proud of yourselves.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #126 on: 20 Sep 2008, 00:35 »

No, the chemical nature of the neurotransmitter system makes for a level of unpredictability that separates it from being a binary system.  See, a neuron firing isn't just an electrical zap.  That happens within a neuron (chemically I might add, it's a really complicated process, all K+ ions and voltage-gated channels and shit) but the actual means of communicating to other neurons is through chemical release.  That chemical release is just too sloppy of a communication system to make neuron-to-neuron communication a binary process, especially since some of these chemicals act against others.  Basically, a neuron only fires if the voltage difference between the inside of the cell and what's happening outside of it gets pushed beyond a certain point, and THAT process is moderated by OTHER chemical messengers that receive the neurotransmitters from other neurons and then affect the inside of the cell in a whole separate variety of ways.  It's just not a strict action-reaction situation, it's much too organic for that.  Saying the brain is essentially a binary system is like saying humanity is essentially a really complicated species of mold.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #127 on: 20 Sep 2008, 06:24 »

Humanity is a virus, haven't you seen the Matrix? (I am too classy to put an eye-rolling emoticon or 'rolls eyes' in asterisks, so I'm putting this here in case someone thought I wasn't joking)
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #128 on: 20 Sep 2008, 06:42 »

Have you ever seen a picture of a Rube Goldberg machine? The brain is kinda like that.

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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #130 on: 13 Oct 2008, 23:54 »

you know, if gas gets any more expensive, people will just have to walk or bike everywhere even though everywhere is supposed to be car-distance. basically, America could get unfat.
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #131 on: 14 Oct 2008, 00:10 »

Yeah, sorry. I'm against pointless necroing, but i figured since it was still on the front page it would be okay. what is your limit on how old a thread can be before it's considered dead? and now i realize the thread wasn't just old, it was pretty much completely unable to support any more useful conversation. I just wasn't thinking, cause it's midnight here and i'm tired. I'll try not to do stupid stuff like that again. Hopefully we can just let it die again.
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2008, 00:16 by LittleKey »
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Re: ATTN: Americans: Bend over!
« Reply #132 on: 14 Oct 2008, 00:29 »

General rule of thumb I've heard is two weeks, though I don't know that this place has a specific rule about it.  But yeah, nearly a month is definite necro territory.  "Still on the first page" doesn't quite work when a board doesn't get a lot of new threads in it, just a lot of activity on old ones.
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Scaring the shit outta Hannelore since...  God knows when. (T-shirt reference FTW)
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