27 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Universe as a Simulation

‘Duh huh! That’s putting it mildly!’ Zinda purses her lips. ‘There are two problems, really. The first is that we can’t solve any hard problems. Not really. Anything that’s NP-complete. The Travelling Salesman. Pac-Man. They are all the same. All too hard. Even if we had a computer the size of the Universe! It drives the Sobornost crazy. We don’t mind it so much: that’s what makes most games fun. And we have quantum shortcuts for some special cases, like coordination. And for ...
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11 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 How Many Vowels in the English Language?

No, the answer is not: “Five: a, e, i, o u.” Granted, in traditional English spelling those are the vowel letters, yes, but I’m talking about our spoken language: How many significant vowel sounds are there? Well, if you consult any popular American English dictionary, and study the Pronunciation Key, there will be a long list of vowels. In the Pronunciation Key to the American Heritage Dictionary, 19 different vowel symbols are listed (not counting the ones only used in foreign words)!...
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Not five, but considered phonetically there are 19.