04 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

## A Computer Algorithm for Randomization

Back in the early days of computers, one of the more popular methods of generating a sequence of random numbers was to employ the following scheme: 1. Choose a starting number between 0 and 1. 2. Multiply the starting number by 4 ("stretch" it). Subtract 4 times the square of the starting number from the quantity obtained in step 2 ("fold" the interval back on itself in order to keep the final result in the same range). 3.Given a starting number between 0 and 1, we can use the proce-dureâ€...
Folksonomies: algorithms randomization
Folksonomies: algorithms randomization

From John Casti.

27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

## Having Kids Makes One Cognizant of the Brevity of Life

Having kids showed me how to convert a continuous quantity, time, into discrete quantities. You only get 52 weekends with your 2 year old. If Christmas-as-magic lasts from say ages 3 to 10, you only get to watch your child experience it 8 times. And while it's impossible to say what is a lot or a little of a continuous quantity like time, 8 is not a lot of something. If you had a handful of 8 peanuts, or a shelf of 8 books to choose from, the quantity would definitely seem limited, no matter ...

27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

## The Boundaries of a Game Versus Boundaries of Other Kinds...

What does it mean to say that games take place within set boundaries established by the act of play? Is this really true? Is there really such a distinct boundary? In fact there is. Compare, for example, the informal play of a toy with the more formal play of a game. A child approaching a doll, for example, can slowly and gradually enter into a play relationship with the doll. The child might look at the doll from across the room and shoot it a playful glance. Later, the child might pick it u...
Folksonomies: gameplay
Folksonomies: gameplay

27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

## Norman Borlaug, Giga-Lifesaver

In the 1950s and â€™60s, another giga-lifesaver, Norman Borlaug, outsmarted evolution to foment the Green Revolution in the developing world.21 Plants in nature invest a lot of energy and nutrients in woody stalks that raise their leaves and blossoms above the shade of neighboring weeds and of each other. Like fans at a rock concert, everyone stands up, but no one gets a better view. Thatâ€™s the way evolution works: it myopically selects for individual advantage, not the greater good of the ...

06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

## Of All Times in which to Live, You Would Choose Today

I don't think in terms of one year, but I can tell people what I genuinely believe, which is that if we take responsibility in being involved in our own fate if we participate, if we engage, if we speak out, if we work in our communities, if we volunteer, if we see the joy that comes from service to others, then all the problems that we face are solvable despite all the terrible news that you see, despite all the genuine cruelty, pain, and hardship people are experiencing all around the world...
Folksonomies: optimism
Folksonomies: optimism

13 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

## Why We Can't Have "Intuitive" Programming Languages

If a procedure named INSIGHT has been defined and then called seventeen times in the program, and the eighteenth time it is misspelled as INSIHGT, woe to the programmer. The compiler will balk and print a rigidly unsympathetic error message, saying that it has never heard of INSIHGT. Often, when such an error is detected by a compiler, the compiler tries to continue, but because of its lack of insihgt, it has not understood what the programmer meant. In fact, it may very well suppose that som...
Folksonomies: programming intuition
Folksonomies: programming intuition

12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

## Wheat Domesticated Homo Sapiens

Think for a moment about the Agricultural Revolution from the viewpoint of wheat. Ten thousand years ago wheat was just a wild grass, one of many, con
Folksonomies: artificial selection
Folksonomies: artificial selection

25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

## A Sick Burn

Yet your prison without coherent design continues to imprison you. How can this be, if it has no strong places? The rational prisoner exploits the weak places, creates order from chaos: instead, collectives like the FSF vindicate their jailers by building cells almost compatible with the existing ones, albeit with more features. The journalist with three undergraduate degrees from MIT, the researcher at Microsoft, and the senior scientist at Apple might volunteer a few words about the regulat...
Folksonomies: insults
Folksonomies: insults
29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

## Roman Arithmetic

...basic Roman arithmetic is largely rather simple, even for those of us spoiled by Arabic notation. Addition is no sweat, because complex Roman numbers already use what math pros call additive notation, with numerals set beside one another to create a larger number. VI is just V plus I, after all. To add large numbers, simply pile all the letters together, arrange them in descending order, and thereâ€™s your sum. CLXVI plus CLXVI? CCLLXXVVII, or CCCXXXII. And one of the advantages of the Rom...
Folksonomies: math mathematics education
Folksonomies: math mathematics education
20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

## How the fantastic becomes dull and familiar

Most fantasy RPGs follow the tried and allegedly true formula, which strips them of anything â€˜fantasticâ€™ and grounds them in the dull â€˜realityâ€™ of the familiar. Sadly, the much coveted instant recognition usually means instantly forgettable. How many times should we save an utterly predictable and generic world before it gets really old? Why is that when we see a town on the horizon, itâ€™s not a place of wonder and strange customs, but a place to restock on FEDEX quest and trade in y...