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    Name that tune!

    This might make a fun game, but actually I'm just trying to remember the name and composer of a classical melody. I'm sure the melody is very famous. The first eleven notes seem to be the same pitch; maybe that's enough to give it away. (I Googled "classical melody 11 notes the same" but got...
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    Lies about Joe Biden

    Nobody thinks Joe Biden is as smart as his old boss, Barack Obama (though his IQ is probably higher than the present ilk of top GOPsters like Marco Rubio or high-school dropout Lauren Boebert). And, just like with me and others in their 70's his mental agility may be declining. But Joe Biden is...
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    Perils of Artificial Intelligence

    Decades ago, there were worries about the adoption of "Artificial Intelligence." Banking software trained itself whether to approve or deny loan applications by mimicking the decisions of real loan officers. The software was denied access to the Race variable, but learned to mimic the...
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    Is Furstenberg's proof just Euclid's proof with a lot of useless catsup?

    (This may be an uninteresting topic. I'm using it to practice writing math on the new Board.) One of the most famous theorems in all of mathematics is Euclid's proof that there are an infinity of primes. This gem is the almost inevitable choice when a non-mathematician asks for an example of a...
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    What is a Mark (unit of weight)?

    A British mark is a unit of money equal to 13 shillings and 4 pence (old money); i.e. 2/3 of a pound; i.e. 160 pence. It is a "unit of accounting" — I don't think any 1-mark coins were ever minted. If one assumes parity (i..e. that a pound of money equals 1 troy pound of sterling silver, and...
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    Early Life and Exolife (split from Exoplanet Stuff)

    Whenever I see this thread title, I think of Exolife — life on other planets. I think Nick Lane may well be correct, that our life based on water, peptide chains and some variant of nucleic acid chains is "perfect" and that no other biochemistry is plausible. In this view, if life is ever...
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    Interesting traffic or road/street patterns

    While reading the Roundabouts thread, I thought of mentioning non-roundabout patterns. But that would have been a derail in a thread that already started as a derail; so I'm starting a new thread. Feel free to mention any patterns at all that you find interesting. I'll start with three: (1)...
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    Now US Afgan and post Trump. Was: Brexit derail

    Your reference to "impoverished uneducated grey masses" may apply, weakly, to the Brexit vote, but it doesn't fit the facts of the 2016 U.S. election: Clinton won among those with less than $50,000 income by a large margin. (The above-$100,000 vote was split almost evenly. Trump's win came...
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    How to count equivalence classes

    Imagine a rotatable square, with each corner colored black or white. (Make it a "lazy susan" with four places for a food dish atop a dining table if you wish.) Partial rotations are outlawed; the square can be rotated only by exactly 90°, 180°, 270°, or 360°. Rather than making little square...
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    Who is Grant Shapps and why is he willing to degrade Stonehenge?

    (I'm just reporting some things I found interesting. It's up to TFTers whether the ancient Stonehenge monuments or British politics today is more interesting to discuss. Political Discussions may be the best forum for this: It's not just U.S. that has increasingly dysfunctional Politics.)...
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    What issues matter to American voters?

    Clicking through FoxNews I meandered into a YouGov page which reports on a survey. People were asked to pick the most important issues (up to five) facing the country. I don't know if the results are interesting or important but it was a bit of a bother to extract the numbers from their...
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    Stewardship of global collective behavior

    Social media (and related tech) are bigger threats to humanity than climate change. I've started at least two threads on this important topic; rather than bumping one of those I'll start another. Vox interviewed some of the authors of a recent journal article. Here's the pdf of the paper...
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    Instantaneous Codes (including the "Fibonacci Code")

    (A recent thread on Fibonacci numbers reminded me of an interesting tidbit about those numbers: I thought of the "Fibonacci code." But I didn't want to hijack that thread, and, anyway, talk of the "Fibonacci Code" segues into a more general discussion of Instantaneous Codes.) And I am reminded...
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    Key Discoveries in the History of Science

    This is the thread for briefish summaries of key scientific discoveries. All fields of science are eligible. No need to list the discoveries in the order of importance, but each should be a specific well-defined new advance in scientific knowledge. (Darwin's Theory of Evolution in general might...
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    Bipartisanship: A Modest Proposal

    My proposal here is serious, and important. I hope fellow TFT'ers will work on the details, make the prose more acceptable, and ask Biden and the D's to follow through. A 60-40 split in the Senate will be much better than the 50-50 split we have now. I propose a Coalition of the Sane: Fifty...
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    What happened to the Ark of the Covenant?

    Let us first keep in mind that the Cushitic-speaking Qement people of Ethiopia once practiced a religion with parallels to the Jewish religion too strong to be coincidental. While the Israelite people were Semitic speakers from Canaan, there is a good possibility that the Israelite religion...
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    George Soros and AOC sabotage the Suez Canal: PROOFS

    This post is as serious as swallowing a chicken-bone but on advice of lawyers I'm posting it in the Humor forum. The tone of the thread While "The Woke" Cause "Mayhem", a boat causes actual problems leads me to suspect that JH and other board liberals are unaware this was a deliberate act of...
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    How to Put Out Democracy’s Dumpster Fire

    An article in The Atlantic with the ambitious title: How to Put Out Democracy’s Dumpster Fire Our democratic habits have been killed off by an internet kleptocracy that profits from disinformation, polarization, and rage. Here’s how to fix that. discusses the joyous history of American...
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    What's that code snippet?

    There are several programmers here at TFT. Let's play a game. (I might have posted this in the Games subforum but there doesn't seem to be one.) Post a code snippet (in any programming language) and/or guess the intent or context of a prior submission. Submissions may be made in any...
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