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Hopefully he didn't commit anything to a journal
October 11, 2006 9:22 PM   Subscribe

Linux filesystem developer Hans Reiser has been arrested on a charge of murder. Reiser and his company, Namesys, developed one of Linux's most popular filesystems, ReiserFS, and are currently working on the next generation, Reiser4. Reiser was interviewed by KernelTrap last year:
A willingness to believe that data indicates that one is wrong, and sometimes perhaps that everyone is wrong, is essential to a scientist. Boys think that being brilliant will make them a great scientist. Men know that, in the words of Sir Francis Bacon "men are imperfect mirrors of the creator". and that rigor, thoroughness, and a belief in data over consensus are what really matters. I am a blind man with a stick, and my contribution to society is that I ignorantly poke where none have poked before because I am more sure that I am such a fool I'd better check it than anyone else in my field. My only true insight into the field is knowing what a fool I am.
Reiser has sometimes been known as abrasive and arrogant in development circles, but no body has been found. The future of Reiser's two children remains unclear. [more @ arstechnica]
posted by nasreddin (80 comments total)

 
Oh, that headline... ZING!
posted by symbioid at 9:33 PM on October 11, 2006


open sores kills
posted by Dreamghost at 9:34 PM on October 11, 2006


Hopefully he'll get a speedy trial.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:37 PM on October 11, 2006


Hopefully the press will ponder "Can open source programming cause violent behavior"?
posted by stbalbach at 9:47 PM on October 11, 2006


"Reiser has sometimes been known as abrasive and arrogant in development circles"

Ah, those old giveaways.
posted by beniamino at 9:58 PM on October 11, 2006


Reiser has sometimes been known as abrasive and arrogant in development circles, but no body has been found.

Interesting compound sentence.
posted by adoarns at 9:58 PM on October 11, 2006


Reiser has had hard times financially lately, some of which he's publicly blamed on the cost of his divorce.
posted by gsteff at 10:04 PM on October 11, 2006


Wow...that's very sad. The murder, I mean. Not his arrest.

I've known more than my fair share of open source developers, sysadmins, geeks...including some internet conversations with Reiser...and they tend to have a greater share of personalities on the peripheries of rational behaviour, no matter how brilliant they may be. Finding out that one of these people on the extremes may have committed murder doesn't surprise me in the least.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:05 PM on October 11, 2006


Death Row Files Systems
posted by b1tr0t at 10:09 PM on October 11, 2006


This is a local (San Francisco area) story so it's been on the news a lot, to include tape of him running (literally) from a news crew. I ain't saying it's enough to convict, but beyond that incident, he's not exactly coming across as real concerned about what's become of his childrens' mother... and realistically, me thinks that's gonna make one wonder.
posted by ambient2 at 10:13 PM on October 11, 2006


So what is the status of his v4 filesystem? Can you host a Linux system on it? Wasn't there a scuffle about it being rejected from the kernel?
posted by jouke at 10:15 PM on October 11, 2006


There's no body, so I hope that they have some pretty damning forensic evidence. My skepticism gland always starts to buzz when I read about someone arrested for the murder of someone whose body has not been found, and it buzzes doubly so when I read that his lawyer claims that the police would not let him speak with Reiser.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:21 PM on October 11, 2006


I don't know, it was enough to sentence Scott Peterson to death.
posted by knave at 10:29 PM on October 11, 2006


From namesys website:

Hans Reiser was the project initiator, primary architect, supplier of funding, and one of the programmers. Some folks at times remark that naming the filesystem Reiserfs was egotistic. It was so named after a potential investor hired all of my employees away from me, then tried to negotiate better terms for his possible investment, and suggested that he could arrange for 100 researchers to swear in Russian Court that I had had nothing to do with this project. That business partnership did not work out.

Sounds like there are some bad associations in there. I like his counter-intuitive analogy of corporate software and communism.

Commercial OS vendors are, at the moment, all closed economies, and doomed to fall in their competition with open economies just as communism eventually fell....Rather than saying to any such vendor that they should do this now, let me simply point out that whoever is first will have an enormous advantage....
posted by Brian B. at 10:33 PM on October 11, 2006


I don't know, it was enough to sentence Scott Peterson to death.

They found both Laci's body and the body of the fetus; they washed ashore a couple of weeks before Scott Peterson was even arrested.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:35 PM on October 11, 2006


Now we can answer "both" on the programmer or serial killer quiz!
posted by ravelite at 11:03 PM on October 11, 2006


Oops.
posted by knave at 11:07 PM on October 11, 2006


Personally, I feel for Reiser, as I do for any private person charged with a serious crime, simply on grounds that the whole mechanism of the state is arrayed against them, and they have only their own personal resources, and perhaps what family and friends are willing to risk or lend, to help them. It's generally a terribly unequal situation, regardless of the person's guilt or innocence. Even if he is found innocent, the cost of this to him is, at minimum, a complete change of the rest of his life. And if he is found guilty, we all lose the urging of bright mind in the technical world.

Whether you bought the Rieserfs Kool-Aid or not, the effort Reiser put into developing and delivering an alternate open source file system had some larger benefit to the Linux world, in that he raised the concepts of file system performance and journaling as legitimate user expectations for open source operating systems, without which ext3 might not have had what limited journaling capabilities that it does. I've run Reiserfs v3 on a number of project machines, but never on a production system, and my experience has been generally good, but others whose opinions I respect, have had less than solid results.

Still, I would have liked to see Hans push through to seeing Reiser4 a more broadly adopted product, that fully realized his ideas for it. I'll feel badly for his family, no matter what the result of this latest set of developments, and for Hans, who is now largely taken from the work he loved so much.
posted by paulsc at 11:26 PM on October 11, 2006


IMHO, Reiser4 was and continues to be the open source movement's best chance to move beyond the hierarchical filesystem model that Unix created and all major operating systems still use today. I've felt for years that if operating systems used a relational or set-theoretic model, instead of a hierarchical one, computers would magically be much, much easier for people to use than they have been. The whole computer industry has been stuck in a rut for 30 years because of the compounding need for backwards compatibility, and Hans Reiser was one of the very few people that might have been able to break us out of it. That isn't to say that the kernel developers were unjustified in resisting its inclusion into Linux... backwards compatibility and interoperability matter in the real world, but they could have made stronger efforts to meet Reiser halfway.

Actually, based on my enormous respect for Reiser's technical abilities, my uninformed suspicion is that he's guilty. He came off as being talented to the point of social-maladjustment.
posted by gsteff at 11:53 PM on October 11, 2006


posted by solid-one-love They found both Laci's body and the body of the fetus; they washed ashore a couple of weeks before Scott Peterson was even arrested.

Wrong. The bodies washed ashore on Monday, April 14th; Scott Peterson was arrested the following Friday.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:03 AM on October 12, 2006


Wrong. The bodies washed ashore on Monday, April 14th; Scott Peterson was arrested the following Friday.

Five days, a couple weeks, whatever; the particulars aren't crucial; the point is that they had a body.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:08 AM on October 12, 2006


No, the point you're trying to make is the police need a body in order to have a case/make an arrest, which simply isn't correct.

posted by solid-one-love There's no body, so I hope that they have some pretty damning forensic evidence. My skepticism gland always starts to buzz when I read about someone arrested for the murder of someone whose body has not been found, and it buzzes doubly so when I read that his lawyer claims that the police would not let him speak with Reiser.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:12 AM on October 12, 2006


I'm going to be somewhat cold, callous, and analytical here.

I've had some indirect exposure to Hans Reiser over the years, mostly in the sense of "OMG look what he said this time!" links, but I already had the impression of a guy who was somewhat megalomaniacal and quite paranoid. He had Center of the Universe theory worse than most people I've seen... from what I could tell, if two people disagreed with him, they must be communicating via secret backchannel to discredit Hans Reiser. (keep in mind, though, that this impression is largely gathered from negative links.) He seemed incapable of understanding that people could be as smart or smarter than he was. This drove him to moderate heights -- creating a filesystem is not an easy thing -- but sabotaged his attempts to get it included in the Linux kernel. There are three Extremely Irritating People in open source/free software that I know of... Richard Stallman (who really is brilliant and a visionary, but is also a serious asshole), Theo De Raadt (the OpenBSD guy, famous for his irritability, nastiness, and ability to write some of the only secure code in all of computing), and Hans Reiser.

Of the three, I'd never in a million years think that either Richard or Theo would ever kill anyone; they are annoying, but quite sane. Hans, though, always had that air of paranoia, and a sense of not really understanding that other people existed in quite the same way most of us do. I hope he didn't do it; I hope Nina is safe somewhere. But given what I know of his online personality, I believe that he'd be able to commit murder if sufficiently stressed. Other people just are not real enough to him.

As far as the loss to Linux... eh, it's not that big a deal. Reiser3 was very unstable, and once it went into the kernel, Hans et al mostly stopped fixing it, so the mainstream kernel devs got stuck with it while he played with Reiser4. They did finally get it working well, but they really resented being stuck with it.

Reiser4 was just getting to the point of being tolerable as a main filesystem, but it was so complex and had so many features that I can't imagine it would EVER have been debugged well enough for really mission-critical applications. The kernel devs didn't want to get stuck with maintaining that design, so it never went into the kernel.

XFS and JFS are both very solid alternatives, and both are already available. XFS' one real weak spot is that it doesn't deal well with kernel crashes/power cuts. It's otherwise good. I haven't heard anything bad about JFS, so it's probably also pretty solid. Linux is fine; losing Reiser, if that's the outcome, will have all the impact of taking your finger out of a lake.

The two things, though, that really worry/distress me about this whole thing are Ms. Reiser and especially the two children. That's just about the worst possible thing that can happen to a kid. I don't know if it's one of those proverbial fates worse than death, but having a missing mother, with the father arrested and charged with her murder, can't be too far off.
posted by Malor at 12:29 AM on October 12, 2006 [3 favorites]


I should have said..."the kernel devs didn't want to get stuck with maintaining that design, and they also didn't like Hans Reiser, so it never went into the kernel."
posted by Malor at 12:32 AM on October 12, 2006


On Slashdot they were writing as if he had been convicted. nLet's give him the benefit of the doubt, please! The innocent-unitl-proved-guilty principle belongs to ethics and human relations as well as law.

The other big concern is the future of the project. Unless someone else becomes the main suspect right away, this will take HR away from it for significant time. Fortunately it seems there are at least a few others who know the code well enough to carry on.
posted by jam_pony at 12:40 AM on October 12, 2006


Thanks Malor. That explains a lot.
posted by jouke at 12:45 AM on October 12, 2006


Malor writes "There are three Extremely Irritating People in open source/free software that I know of... Richard Stallman (who really is brilliant and a visionary, but is also a serious asshole), Theo De Raadt (the OpenBSD guy, famous for his irritability, nastiness, and ability to write some of the only secure code in all of computing), and Hans Reiser. "

ESR?!?!
posted by mr_roboto at 12:47 AM on October 12, 2006


On Slashdot they were writing as if he had been convicted. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, please! The innocent-unitl-proved-guilty principle belongs to ethics and human relations as well as law.

So if I'm around at your house and your wallet goes missing, and there's only you and me there, you think the fact that I've not been convicted of anything in a court of law means that our relationship shouldn't change in any way whatsoever? That it would be unethical to be sceptical about me, despite the balance of probabilities favouring the possibility that I took it?

Of course, I might not have taken it. It might have fallen behind a cushion. A burglar might have snuck in through the window and snaffled it. Or little green men from Mars might have beamed down in search of condoms.

Me though, I'll continue to go with Occams Razor in my search for an explanation. If there's just you and I there, and I'm some broke ass crackhead, desperate for a pipe, and you know that you didn't do it, then the chances are that it was probably me.

One interesting story.

And another.

posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:57 AM on October 12, 2006


I always read "reiserfs" as "REI serfs". Like serfs who have been forced to work at REI. Does anybody else do that?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:04 AM on October 12, 2006


the author of ReiserFS lives in my neighborhood!?

when i saw this story on slashdot last night, i felt dumb. i've seen flyers around town with the picture of Nina Reiser, and never thought to connect the two.
posted by joeblough at 1:09 AM on October 12, 2006


I don't know, it was enough to sentence Scott Peterson to death.

Um, the body was found. Exactly where Scott claimed he was "fishing" that night.
posted by delmoi at 1:40 AM on October 12, 2006


No, the point you're trying to make is the police need a body in order to have a case/make an arrest, which simply isn't correct.

Wow, with psychic powers like that you should open your own hotline!
posted by delmoi at 1:44 AM on October 12, 2006


Of the three, I'd never in a million years think that either Richard or Theo would ever kill anyone; they are annoying, but quite sane.

Well, my impression is that Richard is in fact quite crazy. He seems harmless, but definitely not sane. He has agoraphobia and hydrophobia, and can't take baths.
posted by delmoi at 1:47 AM on October 12, 2006


Now we can answer "both" on the programmer or serial killer quiz!

He'll have to kill at least one more person.

I always read "reiserfs" as "REI serfs". Like serfs who have been forced to work at REI. Does anybody else do that?

I think you're out on your own.
posted by delmoi at 1:51 AM on October 12, 2006


More information at the Mercury News. Doesn't look good for Nina. :(
posted by Malor at 2:04 AM on October 12, 2006


PeterMcDermott, "benefit of the doubt" allows for some rational investigation to reduce doubt. In the missing-wallet scenario, we'd have better access to the evidence than readers of web stories have to the evidence in the Reiser case.

You wouldn't even be there, I hope, if you were a crackhead, but that and all the other facts would be taken into consideration. If the facts made it likely you were the culprit, I'd say so but without assuming any more than I was sure of.

The point is, the fact that the police have charged someone gives reason to think there is a more-than-weak case against him, but without knowing much more it doesn't justify speaking of the person as a criminal.

It is a lurid set of facts with a lot of twists. Enough for a TV movie or a bad novel.
posted by jam_pony at 2:16 AM on October 12, 2006


Oh, and mr_roboto: ESR (Eric Raymond, for those not in the loop) annoys a lot of people, but a lot of folks also really like him. It's his tendency to self-promote that bugs folks the most, I think. He's more junior-grade annoying, like Dan Bernstein. :)

And delmoi: That could very well be, I have not met Mr. Stallman in person. But I have exchanged email with him, and he even called me a 'hostile person'. Why? For thinking that he shouldn't be jumping into security mailing list discussions ranting about us daring to call a Linux distro something other than GNU/Linux.

He's completely obsessed, and may have hygiene problems, but I strongly, strongly do not think he is dangerous. I think calling me a hostile person was very aggressive from his perspective.

Hans, though... from what I've seen, if I were forced to bet, I'd bet on guilty.
posted by Malor at 2:16 AM on October 12, 2006


He's more junior-grade annoying, like Dan Bernstein.

*giggle*
posted by rough ashlar at 2:40 AM on October 12, 2006


Me though, I'll continue to go with Occams Razor in my search for an explanation.

This is the third time in about a week that I have seen someone here wielding Ockham's razor like the Star Wars Kid. It is just a Heuristic. It's not a logical rule ( even if it does make light saber like sounds in your head when you use it).
posted by srboisvert at 3:09 AM on October 12, 2006 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: It's not a logical rule (even if it does make light saber like sounds in your head when you use it).
posted by mosk at 3:22 AM on October 12, 2006


Malor: Surely DJB goes on that list!
posted by mkb at 3:39 AM on October 12, 2006


He's completely obsessed, and may have hygiene problems, but I strongly, strongly do not think he is dangerous. I think calling me a hostile person was very aggressive from his perspective.

Which would mean we agree.
posted by delmoi at 3:46 AM on October 12, 2006


The future of Reiser's two children remains unclear.

the future of everyones children remains unclear.
posted by quonsar at 4:16 AM on October 12, 2006


the future of everyones children remains unclear.

Well, except these girls; their future is extremely clear.
posted by gsteff at 4:49 AM on October 12, 2006


Interesting, guess that make Reiser4 a killer's app!
posted by sexymofo at 5:01 AM on October 12, 2006


From Malor's SJMN link:

Court records show that Nina Reiser complained that her husband exposed their children to violent video games and movies, and refused to stop when asked.


Oh boy, here we go ...
posted by intermod at 5:17 AM on October 12, 2006


Photos of Nina.
posted by meehawl at 5:46 AM on October 12, 2006



No, the point you're trying to make is the police need a body in order to have a case/make an arrest, which simply isn't correct.


No, that's not the point I was making at all. I spoke about my skepticism; I said nothing about what the police need. Knave then suggested that Scott Peterson was convicted without a body; I showed that this was not correct. Again, whether Laci Peterson was found four days or 14 days before Scott Peterson's arrest does not change any point being made.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:38 AM on October 12, 2006


Um, the body was found. Exactly where Scott claimed he was "fishing" that night.

Careful, delmoi. The bodies were actually found in Richmond, a few miles from where Scott claimed to be fishing. That crucial detail may invalidate whatever point we conclude you were trying to make.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:44 AM on October 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


From a Department of Justice report in 1992:

"Among [homicide] victims of offenders acting alone, men were just as likely to be victimized by a stranger as by someone they knew (table4). By contrast, women were more likely to be victimized by known offenders than by strangers. About three-quarters of all lone-offender violence against women was perpetrated by an offender whom the victim knew. In 29% of all violence against women by a lone offender, the perpetrator was a husband, ex-husband, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend--an intimate. Compared to men, women were about 6 times more likely to experience violence committed by an intimate."

If you read the report further, an additional 31% of victim/offender relationships are unknown, but an intimate relationship between them is not ruled out.
posted by jfwlucy at 6:54 AM on October 12, 2006


It is just a Heuristic. It's not a logical rule ( even if it does make light saber like sounds in your head when you use it).

Actually, Ockham's razor is quite well-founded as a general principle by Bayesian probability theory and/or algorithmic information theory. Not that it needs to be whipped out in every casual conversation.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:00 AM on October 12, 2006


Actually, Ockham's razor is quite well-founded as a general principle by Bayesian probability theory and/or algorithmic information theory. Not that it needs to be whipped out in every casual conversation.

That is flat out misleading just as it almost is when people whip out Ockham's Razor. Using it to pre-emptively cut alternatives out consideration prior to gathering all available information is not Bayesian or any Information theory. It's a rhethorical strategy to constrain discussion in order to create an advantage.

Ockham's razor states that you shouldn't prefer explanations with more entities when choosing between valid theories. The key part being VALID. It is not that you should prefer the simpler theory before either alternative is proven to be valid which is how it typically gets used here. Believing a husband is likely to have killed his wife without any evidence for it because it is the simplest possible explanation is an egregious example.
posted by srboisvert at 7:36 AM on October 12, 2006 [3 favorites]


Stop bickering about Ockham's razor.
posted by boo_radley at 8:09 AM on October 12, 2006


What the hell are you talking about? Ockham's razor is well-founded, despite its origin as a heuristic. Do you just not like the way I said so?

Believing a husband is likely to have killed his wife without any evidence for it because it is the simplest possible explanation is an egregious example.

I don't see how that explanation is any simpler than: 1) guy has well-known problems with his ex-wife 2) she disappears 3) he gets picked up because of the well-known problems.

Supposing a murder is not going to be the 'simplest' explanation. It's NOT using Ockham's razor unless you have some weird pathological priors which expect murder at every turn.

Stop bickering about Ockham's razor.

No. I already had this message typed and those letters can't go back in the keyboard now, can they.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:20 AM on October 12, 2006


It only has one blade. Useless.
posted by yerfatma at 8:23 AM on October 12, 2006


"About three-quarters of all lone-offender violence against women was perpetrated by an offender whom the victim knew. In 29% of all violence against women by a lone offender, the perpetrator was a husband, ex-husband, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend--an intimate."

There you go, an obvious argument for doing the obvious: ban heterosexuality!
posted by davy at 8:29 AM on October 12, 2006


Wow, how my interests have changed.

I'm having the same feelings now as when I was 17, hearing about Gator Rogowski.
posted by dozo at 8:36 AM on October 12, 2006


Ockham's razor is quite well-founded as a general principle by Bayesian probability theory
There's a great description of that in Mackay's book.
posted by Coventry at 8:46 AM on October 12, 2006


David Mackay is the shit. I'm looking forward to his new book on energy.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:48 AM on October 12, 2006


From the Mercury-News article:
Splatters of Nina Reiser's blood were found in the house and car of the missing woman's estranged husband, Hans Reiser, law enforcement sources said today.

The sources also said that Hans Reiser removed the passenger seat of his 1988 Honda hatchback and that he attempted to hide the vehicle from authorities. This is the same car that his wife's blood was found in, sources said. Police are still looking for the missing seat.

Investigators have also recovered books on how police investigate homicides, which were obtained by Hans Reiser a few days after his wife's Sept. 3 disappearance, the sources said.
Clearly he killed her with Ockham's razor and there was so much blood in the car that he had to get rid of the seat.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 AM on October 12, 2006


cat /var/run/reiser > /dev/jail

He's going down.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:06 AM on October 12, 2006


solid-one-love writes "My skepticism gland always starts to buzz when I read about someone arrested for the murder of someone whose body has not been found"

Mine too, though he may just be a student of scarabic.
posted by Mitheral at 10:29 AM on October 12, 2006


jfwlucy: these statistics have led me to guess that he probably did it, although of course we have no idea and he needs a fair trial.

The Riser kids went to preschool with my kids. One of them played with my kids - I never met the other. I have no idea where the kids are now although it seemed like at first they were being put into foster care which is terrifying. I've been thinking most about them through all this.

What bothers me more than anything about this case is that over 100 people have been murdered in Oakland this year, the vast majority are poor and black or Latino. Although the Chron has actually been commited to covering most of these murders in brief, not one of those murders has received anywhere near the coverage that Nina, a wealthy white woman has gotten.
posted by serazin at 10:39 AM on October 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


IMHO, Reiser4 was and continues to be the open source movement's best chance to move beyond the hierarchical filesystem model that Unix created and all major operating systems still use today.

I also had high hopes for Reiser4 -- but the development seems to have stalled since 2004 (i.e. the namesys page has stayed the same since then). Definitely something you don't want have happen with a filesystem.

IMHO, the future of filesystems is ZFS. Even though it is open source, I don't know if it will ever put into BSD/Linux due to licensing issues (it's under Sun's CDDL).

The fact that Sun is using it in production systems says a lot about it -- something that I would never use Reiser4 in.
posted by karson at 10:58 AM on October 12, 2006


I've been using ReiserFS in production systems (3, not 4) for years now and have never had any notable problems with it at all. It'd be kind of a bummer to see it go away.

Oh well. It's just computer stuff.
posted by drstein at 11:08 AM on October 12, 2006


Poor Nina, poor kids.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:58 AM on October 12, 2006


Well, Reiser3 isn't going anywhere. It's a solid part of the kernel and thanks to the magic of open source it's about to pass the bus test.

Reiser4 might actually benefit from this. It's been my impression that its development has stalled mostly due to an impass between the kernel devs and namesys' devs. They each have an idea for how to do things and never the twain shall meet. Perhaps, just perhaps, with Hans distracted/unavailable someone else with more diplomacy skills will pull together and either fork the sucker or reconcile the two.

ZFS is nice though, but its GPL incompatible so it'll never make it into the mainline kernel. As an external module though, it might, just like Atheros, nVidia, ATI and every other non-GPL driver out there.
posted by Skorgu at 12:00 PM on October 12, 2006


Actually, ZFS is in a much better situation than the others mentioned, because the source for it is available--it should be able to be built for multiple archs, be debugged, and so forth.
posted by oats at 12:17 PM on October 12, 2006


What the hell are you talking about? Ockham's razor is well-founded, despite its origin as a heuristic. Do you just not like the way I said so?

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about the nature of my objection. I don't disagree with Ockham's razor as it is intended to be used. I fully accept it as an entirely reasonable practise for selecting from a range of valid theories. It is the valid part that bothers me in the use of it here. The theories tossed out here are not at the point yet where you can decide which ones are validated against actual evidence. They are speculation. Predictions without validation. So choosing one over the other before you even know which one's accurate using Ockham's razor is a misuse of the Heuristic or Principle.

I don't really dispute its use when you have two competing theories that are equally accurate but using it before you even know the theories are equal is jumping the gun. If you slice things up with Ockham's razor before the predictive accuracy is assessed then the preacher wins with a theory of "God wills it so" because it as a simple theory that only needs a single entitiy to explain everything. The predictive accuracy may be pathetic but you never let the other theories be considered because you shaved them off with Ockham's razors before they were even considered.
posted by srboisvert at 12:19 PM on October 12, 2006


"...Hans, though... from what I've seen, if I were forced to bet, I'd bet on guilty."
posted by Malor at 5:16 AM EST on October 12

The point of our legal process, Malor, is precisely that no one, except a jury, is ever forced to bet. The rest of us, including normally careful thinkers such as you, are supposed to devote our energies to keeping open minds, and respecting the process. While we can, let's have good thoughts for Nina and the kids, and for a man we don't know is guilty, shall we?
posted by paulsc at 12:49 PM on October 12, 2006


.
posted by owhydididoit at 12:58 PM on October 12, 2006


oh, and...
This Occam's razor...it vibrates?
posted by owhydididoit at 12:58 PM on October 12, 2006


oats Reiser4 is GPL'd open source. ZFS is CDDL'd open source. The CDDL is not GPL compatible, but they're both open source.

Honestly I've never had a good experience with a Reiser filesystem, be it 3 or 4. I've heard that 3 is nice and stable now, but IMHO it was declared that way before it actually was. Reiser4 is still for the thrillingly brave.
posted by Skorgu at 1:06 PM on October 12, 2006


Reiser has sometimes been known as abrasive and arrogant in development circles, but no body has been found.

Interesting compound sentence.


i have immortalized it
posted by RTQP at 2:55 PM on October 12, 2006


the predictive accuracy is assessed then the preacher wins with a theory of "God wills it so" because it as a simple theory that only needs a single entitiy to explain everything

I think you are misusing the term 'entity' here. It is not equivalent to 'thing'. The God concept is a huge conglomeration of entities (read as posited assumptions, or perhaps necessary criteria) so Occam's razor totally surprises it on the street, slashes its face, then runs away laughing, if you catch my drift.
posted by Sparx at 3:14 PM on October 12, 2006


"I don't know, it was enough to sentence Scott Peterson to death."

Wait, they caught Hans with an altered physical appearance and $10000 cash trying to go to Mexico?

Oh, that's right. That was Scott Peterson who was acting so strangely.
posted by Sukiari at 7:03 PM on October 12, 2006


so Occam's razor totally surprises it on the street, slashes its face, then runs away laughing, if you catch my drift.

Or, on the other hand :)
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:14 PM on October 12, 2006


I don't know why but yerfatma made me LOL.
posted by wobh at 9:31 PM on October 12, 2006


Sonofsamiam: I see your link (thanks - that was interesting) and raise you information theory.

The twisted thing that comes out of it is (and I derail, forgive me) multiples are simpler than individuals. Via mr Occam's utensil the limit is another entity in itself. Thus, via Occam, it is more responsible to posit an unlimited pantheon than a single deity as any description of the number of deities is, in itself, an entity.

This also works for universes, which is kind of cool - unless you are sleeping with the anthropic principle.

(I do, of course, recognise the limits of Occam's close shave. If it's evidentially wrong then simplicity is no defense)
posted by Sparx at 1:08 AM on October 13, 2006


That was Scott Peterson who was acting so strangely.

Yes, and there was no strong physical evidence linking him to the crime. He probably did it, but the case was almost entirely circumstantial.
posted by oaf at 2:02 PM on October 14, 2006


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