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Ramsey + Moore = God

David Chalmers and Alan Hájek give a one-page argument that the Ramsey test and Moorean reasoning entail that rational subjects should accept that they have the epistemic powers of a god [pdf]. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood on Jan 6, 2014 - 65 comments

READ BULLETIN 1147, PEOPLE!

Why You Can't Travel Back in Time and Kill Hitler. (SLio9) io9 takes on the Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act trope, from a classic episode of The Twilight Zone to Desmond Warzel's Wikihistory. [more inside]
posted by suburbanbeatnik on Sep 8, 2013 - 129 comments

when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die in infancy

Crusader Kings II is a computer game in which you play as any one of hundreds of feudal lords in Europe in the High to Late Middle Ages. Hoping for your family to become just that little bit more powerful, you scheme against your liege, your vassals, and occasionally even your enemies. Meanwhile, at least half of the game's cast of thousands schemes against you. The game's potential for Shakespearean intrigue has made it ripe for post-game write-ups called after-action reports. With the recent release of The Old Gods, an expansion allowing for play as a pagan ruler, PC Gamer published its own series of after-action reports: Lords of the North. The game's thematic similarities to A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones have not gone unnoticed, either. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 31, 2013 - 244 comments

conservation of information

A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox - "A paradox around matter leaking from black holes puts into question various scientific axioms: Either information can be lost; Einstein's principle of equivalence is wrong; or quantum field theory needs fixing." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 18, 2013 - 36 comments

Twitter API returning results that do not respect arrow of time.

It started as an afternoon hacking project with your Twitter API. I called it @timebot. I set it running just over a year ago.
posted by xqwzts on May 29, 2013 - 60 comments

This view of time does not look encouraging for time travelers

The concept of time as a way to measure the duration of events is not only deeply intuitive, it also plays an important role in our mathematical descriptions of physical systems. For instance, we define an object’s speed as its displacement per a given time. But some researchers theorize that this Newtonian idea of time as an absolute quantity that flows on its own, along with the idea that time is the fourth dimension of spacetime, are incorrect. They propose to replace these concepts of time with a view that corresponds more accurately to the physical world: time as a measure of the numerical order of change.
posted by finite on Apr 25, 2011 - 127 comments

DOES. NOT. COMPUTE!

The next time your computer won't do what you want, just give it a stern talking-to.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 22, 2010 - 26 comments

Learning to underthink a plate of beans.

On Self-Delusion and Bounded Rationality A short story by M.I.T. faculty member Scott Aaronson about a woman whose rationality got in the way of her happiness. [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on Jul 24, 2010 - 92 comments

Scientists prove that lunch came before breakfast

Scientists in Edinburgh have determined that the chicken came before the egg. [more inside]
posted by educatedslacker on Jul 16, 2010 - 38 comments

Holy Purple Potion Scientist Man!

Flash Friday Saturday Fun: Paradox Embrace is a platform puzzler similar to the Shift trilogy (2 & 3) but in COLOR! You shift between three space-times to negotiate the levels collecting keys and such. In game tutorial makes learning the game pretty quick. Deceptively simple at first but gets quite difficult.
posted by schyler523 on Jan 9, 2010 - 6 comments

Come with this plate of beans if you want to live

I will always have been back. The precise nature of time travel in the Terminator universe has been the subject of griping from philosophy-trained bloggers and whole anthologies by academic philosophers. Despite valiant attempts, including this thorough assessment from M. Joseph Young's exhaustive Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies , there has never been a truly satisfying unraveling of the twisted Terminator continuity. The knot has now been cut.
posted by escabeche on May 24, 2009 - 62 comments

Rules for Time Travelers

Rules for Time Travelers [Spoiler? alert.]
posted by BitterOldPunk on May 14, 2009 - 82 comments

Time paradoxes and alternate universes

These subjects still fascinate me after a lifetime of interest: faster-than-light speed, alternate time streams, parallel universes, time travel, antiparticles moving backward in time, time loops, and the recurring themes of paradox -- all serious but astonishing ideas of science. Something about them inspires infinite possibilities. Am I not alone?
posted by ember on Mar 12, 2009 - 64 comments

The Price of Anarchy

Braess' paradox and the price of anarchy [PDF]: "We had three tunnels in the city and one needed to be shut down. Bizarrely, we found that car volumes dropped. ... We discovered it was a case of Braess' paradox, which says that by taking away space in an urban area you can actually increase the flow of traffic, and, by implication, by adding extra capacity to a road network you can reduce overall performance." [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 27, 2008 - 15 comments

All Our Favorite Toxins

The Drug Addiction Paradox "The plants should never have developed toxins that reward animals for eating them, and humans should never have developed a reward mechanism for toxic plants"... De-evolution or Idiotic Design? [more inside]
posted by wendell on Apr 17, 2008 - 65 comments

This is the title of this post.

- This is the Title of this Story
- Self-reference in 'Self-reference in...'
- This is Not the Title of this Essay
- How I explained infodumps and saved humanity [more inside]
posted by cortex on Jan 24, 2008 - 74 comments

shoots grandfather, hits self instead

Time Travel, or, the art of causing events after they've already happened. [requires java, more inside]
posted by Avenger on Jul 23, 2007 - 34 comments

Sometimes higher is lower

An audio illusion called the tritone paradox is based on Shepard Tones, a finite self-similar sequence of tones that seem to contiually rise or fall in pitch. Diana Deutch has found that how you percieve these illusions can be strikingly different from person to person and that most people have some form of pefect pitch.
posted by ozomatli on Jun 14, 2006 - 42 comments

Can a xlqp make a btzl?

Can God make a rock so heavy that he could not lift it?
posted by brownpau on Jan 13, 2006 - 161 comments

Another spineless Democrat

"Tim Kaine says Adolf Hitler doesn't qualify for the death penalty." Or so say Republican campaign ads supporting Jerry Kilgore, Virginia's attorney general, in his bid to become that state's new governor. Tim Kaine, the Democratic lieutenant governor, says his moral objections to capital punishment are rooted in his Roman Catholic faith. "Solidly pro-life" Jim Kilgore, endorsed by the Virginia Society for Human Life and National Right to Life political action committees, accuses Kaine of being an "anti-death penalty activist who cannot be trusted to oversee the death penalty in Virginia." This is important to Virginians. Based on the number of executions carried out under the post Furman laws, Virginians are second only to Texans in their fondness for execution. As attorney general, Kilgore tried to expand the kinds of crimes that would be eligible for the death penalty. Tim Kaine reassured voters, "That's why I personally oppose the death penalty. But I take my oath of office seriously, and I'll enforce the death penalty . . . because it's the law."
posted by three blind mice on Oct 15, 2005 - 42 comments

Let S be the set of all sets that don't contain themselves. Does S contain itself?

This link, which you are no longer looking at, will take you to a pretty cool essay.
posted by Citizen Premier on Aug 27, 2005 - 48 comments

Student Challenges Basic Ideas of Time

A bold paper published in the August issue of Foundations of Physics Letters seems set to change the way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to motion and classical and quantum mechanics. The work also appears to provide solutions to Zeno's paradoxes. (Via Kurzweilai.net. More inside...)
posted by Pinwheel on Aug 1, 2003 - 41 comments

The Paradox of God, the Bible, and Religion have fascinated humans since the dawn of civilization. What are your favorite web pages and books on the intersection of science and religion? Do you feel that the human concept of God evolves through time? Is science displacing God? And what about miracles? Are miracles possible?
posted by Morphic on Nov 3, 2002 - 69 comments

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