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Topics - FlatAssembler

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1
What are some songs that have changed their meaning completely over time? Like the Croatian song "Vilo Velebita", the title meant "beautiful tall woman" in the 17th century Croatian, but it has been reinterpreted to mean "fairy of the Velebit mountain" and is now one of the most famous Croatian patriotic songs (even though it originally wasn't patriotic at all).

2
Technology, Science & Alt Science / PicoBlaze Simulator in JavaScript
« on: November 08, 2020, 06:01:14 AM »
As a part of a school project, I've been developing my PicoBlaze Simulator in JavaScript. What do you think about it? How can I make it better in a way that isn't too difficult to program?

3
Yesterday evening, I've published a video in which I try to explain the basic concepts of the compiler theory:
What do you think about it?
Also, what do you think, does studying compiler theory help with programming in general? If you asked me this a year ago, I would say it certainly does. Now I am not so sure. I see that many people, most of which haven't studied the compiler theory, learn programming a lot faster than I do. I sometimes ask myself if it is because I've studied some compiler theory, rather than in spite of it. When trying to learn a programming language (such as MatLab or VHDL), I often find myself thinking "Wait, that seems impossible. How can that possibly be implemented in the compiler? I must have misunderstood something.", only to find that I didn't misunderstand it, and that the compiler somehow manages to compile that (even though I have no idea how I'd implement something like that in my compiler). Maybe I waste a lot of time on that and maybe I somehow need to turn off that kind of thinking in order to be a good programmer?
For example, I recently tried to learn some ReactJS and, of course, some advanced JavaScript. I thought it would be relatively easy, because I already knew some JavaScript, I've made a PacMan in JavaScript and a compiler for my language targeting x86 in JavaScript. But it wasn't easy for me. Soon after starting learning ReactJS, I bumped into something like this:
Code: [Select]
const header=<h1>Hello world!</h1>;I thought "Aha, that's some new syntax in JavaScript.". So I tried typing that into NodeJS, only to get a bunch of syntax errors. So I was thinking "What? If JavaScript engines can't parse the code when the ReactJS framework is not included, how can they possibly parse it when it is included? A framework can't possibly modify how the parser behaves, it starts executing only after the parsing phase has long passed. I don't get it.". Then came some importing CSS into JavaScript. I thought "What? How can that possibly work? JavaScript engines don't know anything about CSS. If you include a CSS file in JavaScript, it won't even tokenize (an identifier can't contain a '#' in JavaScript, but it can do so in CSS), yet alone parse and semantically analyze. I don't get it.". Then I saw the syntax for declaring properties of classes in JavaScript. In the example I saw, the declarations are separated with nothing but a new-line character. I thought: "What? But JavaScript is not a whitespace-sensitive language. How could this possibly work? How can the parser know where one declaration ends and where another declaration starts if they are not separated by a semicolon or a comma?". I thought it was too much for me, so I gave up.
So, maybe thinking about compiler theory is a very wrong way to think about the programming language you are studying. I was wondering what you thought about it.

4
So, I am interested, what are some things about languages that surprised you the most when learning another language? My native language is Croatian and I got very surprised to learn about the sequences of tenses. Before that, I used to think the rules for tenses in complex sentences in Croatian follow from the laws of logic. And, as it turns out, they are actually arbitrary complicated rules that vary between languages that have tenses, even among related languages.

5
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Does Vladimir Putin exist?
« on: August 27, 2020, 08:56:40 AM »
So, what do you guys think, is Vladimir Putin a real person, is this the real name of the president of Russia? I mean, focus on the name "Vladimir". Is that likely really his name? Or is it more likely a codename meaning "ruler of the world" or "peaceful ruler"? I know "voldĕti" is Slavic for "to rule" (and the change from ol+consonant to la+consonant is fairly typical of Slavic languages, it's called metathesis of liquids) and that "mirŭ" can mean both "peace" and "world", and such a name for a most powerful person in the world seems very ironic.

6
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Protests in Belgrade
« on: July 10, 2020, 04:44:18 AM »
So, what do you guys here think, are there indeed massive protests in Belgrade going on right now, as Guardian says? I live in Osijek, around 150 km from Belgrade, and I haven't heard anything of it until now. And I speak Serbo-Croatian, but I can't find any mention of it in the local news.

Also, what do you think the name "Belgrade" means? Does the "bel" part indeed come from Serbo-Croatian for "white"? Or is it more likely related to "pel" in Pelmonostor (Hungarian name for Beli Manastir), probably an Illyrian word for hill?

7
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Did Vukovar Massacre really happen?
« on: July 08, 2020, 08:05:12 AM »
So, what do you guys here think, did the Vukovar Massacre of 1991 really happen? The most smart-sounding argument I've heard for Vukovar Revisionism is that, if the mainstream story of Vukovar Massacre isn't mythological, how come do the names of people and places in it appear symbolic? Consider, the name "Vukovar" can be read as "city of wolves" (wolf being a very demonized animal). It doesn't actually come from those words (it actually means "city on the Vuka river", and "Vuka" was called "Ulca" in ancient times, probably from an Illyrian language and perhaps related to the name of the river "Volga"), but people who made up that myth of Vukovar Massacre perhaps didn't know that. And a part of Vukovar where there is supposedly a mass grave is called "Ovčara". "Ovčara" means "meat from sheep" in Croatian. The mainstream history tells us that the leader of the Croatian army in Vukovar, to whom president Tuđman supposedly refused to send weapons, is called "Mile Dedaković". So, the name of an innocent and helpless Croatian politician literally translates to "Dear Grandfather". And the name of the leader of the illegal army that commited the massacre is called "Željko Raznatović". That means "one who wants to destroy" ("raznijeti" is a rare, but still well-known, word for "destroy"). Do those arguments sound compelling to you?
For similar reasons, I think Varivode Massacre in 1995 didn't happen either. "Varivode" means "cooked meat" (from Croatian "variti" meaning "to cook")... that the victims of the massacre were turned into? Hmmm...
I also doubt that the Tiananmen Square Massacre actually happened. "Tiananmen" means "gate to heaven". Why exactly would somebody call a part of the city "gate to heaven", except to make a good story about a massacre? Though, admittedly, the name "Tiananmen" is not nearly as ironic as the names "Ovčara" and "Varivode" are.
Perhaps you'd like to stick with hard sciences, and you consider linguistics to be a soft science. Well, to me it seems it's easy to use hard science to argue against large massacres having occurred. Though it's not exactly my field of expertise (I am an electrical engineering student at the FERIT University), to me it seems that bombs contradict the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It says that the efficiency of a heat engine must be less than 100%. In a bomb, you are supposed to put very little heat to activate it, yet get tremendous amount of mechanical energy and heat from it. Its efficiency as a heat engine would have to be much greater than 100%. A body can't do work from its own internal energy, it needs to get energy from somewhere else to do the work. Bombs seem to contradict that principle. Could it be that bombs are like anti-gravity-chambers, everyone thinks they exist (thanks to books and movies), yet they contradict basic physics?
We can also use some philosophical arguments against believing in massacres. For example, a massacre is very hard to be looking at, so there can be no reliable eye-witnesses of it. Also, what do you think, how can I be happy if I believe there was a large massacre less than 20 miles from here and less than 30 years ago? If there was, then something like that can happen again, right? Besides, this depends on how we define the truth. Do you believe in the utilitarian theory of the truth? If so, how is large massacres having occurred existing the truth? Believing that just makes you feel you bad, and you can't do anything about that.
I've started this discussion on a few forums by now, for example on the TextKit Latin language forum.

8
Technology, Science & Alt Science / How to learn VHDL?
« on: May 30, 2020, 12:23:28 AM »
Hey, guys!
So, I am studying computer science (at the FERIT university in Osijek) and I having trouble with digital electronics. I have failed the digital electronics test three times by now. I have tried to make some simple programs in VHDL to learn it, yet I still can't pass my exams. What would you recommend me to do?

9
So, what do you guys here think about the Peer Ederer's arguments against vegetarianism?
I think they are mostly a giant red-herring. I've made a video responding to his arguments, you can see it here:

Peer Ederer pretends the main argument against eating meat is that meat causes global warming. He doesn't even mention the main argument that's used against eating meat from an environmental perspective, that is, that eating meat, as it is done today, leads to super-bacteria.
Even with arguments he does address, meat leading to global warming, I don't think he made an appropriate response to those arguments. The way we know grass-fed cows are the main source of our methane emissions is that our methane emissions have decreased over the years, just like the number of grass-fed cows has. He didn't say why he thinks that reasoning is wrong. He just cited some statistics about methane emissions from various places on Earth, which I consider, for the reasons I explained in that video, to be very dubious.
At the beginning, he discusses the health effects of drinking milk, his main argument is an appeal to an authority, and that's, if you ask me, an unqualified authority. Andrew Mente is an epidemiologist, not a nutritionist. My perception is that you can find a nutritionist that will argue eating meat is healthy (though such are minority), but that you won't find a nutritionist that will argue drinking milk is healthy. I explained the reasons for that in the video. I think he may genuinely believe those things, because citing epidemiological studies makes it look like you are doing science. In reality, when you are doing that, and it took me years to understand this, you are using a soft science to contradict a hard one. You are ditching science in favor of inferior evidence.

10
Hey, guys!
So, I was wondering, has anybody else here made their own programming language?
Thus far, I've made one programming language. It's a simplified low-level programming language, I call it AEC (Arithmetic Expression Compiler). Right now, it's not a very useful language, many things need to be done in inline Assembly even for simplest programs. Here is an example program in it, one that prints the Pascal's Triangle:
Code: [Select]
;Pascal's triangle
AsmStart
    macro pushIntegerToTheSystemStack decimalNumber
    {
        sub esp,4
        fld dword [decimalNumber]
        fistp dword [esp] ;"fistp" is the x86 assembly language directive for converting decimal numbers to integers.
    }
    macro pushPointerToTheSystemStack pointer
    {
        sub esp,4
        lea ebx,[pointer]
        mov [esp],ebx
    }
    macro pushStringToTheSystemStack string
    {
        sub esp,4
        mov dword [esp],string
    }
    format PE console ;"PE" means 32-bit Windows executable.
    entry start

    include 'win32a.inc' ;FlatAssembler macros for importing functions from DLLs.
    section '.text' code executable
   
    start:
    jmp howManyRowsString$
    howManyRowsString:
        db "How many rows of Pascal's triangle do you want to be printed?",10,0 ;10 is '\n', and 0 is '\0'.
    howManyRowsString$:
    pushStringToTheSystemStack howManyRowsString
    call [printf] ;printf(howManyRowsString)
    jmp theFloatSymbol$
    theFloatSymbol:
        db "%f",0
    theFloatSymbol$:
    pushPointerToTheSystemStack numberOfRows
    pushStringToTheSystemStack theFloatSymbol
    call [scanf] ;scanf(theFloatSymbol,&numberOfRows)
AsmEnd
currentRow := 0
While currentRow < numberOfRows | currentRow = numberOfRows
    AsmStart
        jmp currentRowString$
        currentRowString:
            db "Row #%d:",9,0 ;9 is '\t' (the tabulator).
        currentRowString$:
        pushIntegerToTheSystemStack currentRow
        pushStringToTheSystemStack currentRowString
        call [printf] ;printf(currentRowString,currentRow)
    AsmEnd
    currentColumn:=0
    While currentColumn < currentRow | currentColumn = currentRow
        If currentColumn = 0
            array(currentRow * 2 * numberOfRows + currentColumn) := 1 ;When I haven't programmed the compiler to deal with 2-dimensional arrays...
        ElseIf currentColumn = currentRow
            array(currentRow * 2 * numberOfRows + currentColumn) := 1 
        Else
            numberImmediatelyAbove := array((currentRow - 1) * 2 * numberOfRows + currentColumn)
            numberBeforeTheImmediatelyAboveOne := array((currentRow - 1) * 2 * numberOfRows + currentColumn - 1)
            array(currentRow * numberOfRows * 2 + currentColumn) := numberBeforeTheImmediatelyAboveOne + numberImmediatelyAbove
        EndIf
        numberToBePrinted := array(currentRow * numberOfRows * 2 + currentColumn)
        AsmStart
            jmp integerSignWithTabulator$
            integerSignWithTabulator:
                db "%d",9,0 ;"%d\t"
            integerSignWithTabulator$:
            pushIntegerToTheSystemStack numberToBePrinted
            pushStringToTheSystemStack integerSignWithTabulator
            call [printf] ;printf(integerSignWithTabulator,numberToBePrinted)
        AsmEnd
        currentColumn := currentColumn + 1
    EndWhile
    AsmStart
        jmp newLineString$
        newLineString:
            db 10,0 ;"\n"
        newLineString$:
        pushStringToTheSystemStack newLineString
        call [printf] ;printf(newLineString)
    AsmEnd
    currentRow := currentRow + 1
EndWhile
AsmStart
pushStringToTheSystemStack pauseString
call [system] ;system(pauseString)
invoke exit,0 ;exit(0)

pauseString db "PAUSE",0

section '.rdata' readable writable
    result dd ? ;A variable used internally by the AEC compiler.
    numberOfRows dd ?
    currentRow dd ?
    currentColumn dd ?
    numberBeforeTheImmediatelyAboveOne dd ?
    numberImmediatelyAbove dd ?
    numberToBePrinted dd ?
    array dd 30000 DUP(?)

section '.idata' data readable import
    library msvcrt,'msvcrt.dll' ;"Microsoft Visual C Runtime Library", available as "C:\Windows\System32\msvcrt.dll" on Windows 98 and newer.
        import msvcrt,printf,'printf',system,'system',exit,'exit',scanf,'scanf',clock,'clock'
AsmEnd
The executable file is available in the ZIP-archive here.
The most complicated thing I've done in AEC is implementing a sorting algorithm I came up with, it combines QuickSort and MergeSort depending on what seems optimal. You can see the source code here (the comments and variable names are in Croatian), the Assembly code (compatible with FlatAssembler) my compiler produces for it is available here, and the executable is available here. I've written a paper about that and I hope it will get published in Osječki Matematički List.
So, does anybody else here have some similar experience?

11
The Lounge / University Anecdotes
« on: March 29, 2020, 05:00:53 AM »
So, guys, do you have some anecdotes from your time at a university you want to share? I have three of them that I consider exceptionally funny:

1) During the summer break, my father asked me which courses I have the next semester. I was naming the courses, and, when I said "object-oriented programming", my father interrupted me and said "How? Object-oriented programming? A really weird name. And, is there then some subject-oriented programming?" I said that, as far as I know, there isn't. Then my father said: "I guess that's something that we historians can't understand. No, that, on Croatian language, that's not a good name.". After a few weeks, we met with some old friend of his. And my father told me: "So, tell him, what's the name of the course you have this semester.". So, I repeated: "object-oriented programming". And then my father asked him: "So, what does that name mean? Can you guess? Well, can you think of a name that's more stupid?". And the friend of my father said: "Well, I guess it's called object-oriented because programming is usually done by mathematicians and people from natural sciences. If programming were done by historians or poets, then it would be called subject-oriented programming.".

2) I also shared this anecdote on the TextKit forum:
Hodie in universitate (ego studeo scientiam computorum) docebamur de theoria unionum. Professor nobis explicabat, cur numerus cardinalis unionis unionum non semper sit summa cardinalum numerorum unionum: "Si hoc veritas esset, canis debet octo crura habere. Canis enim habet duo crura antica, duo crura posteriora, duo crura laeva, et duo crura dextera.".
Ego scio nulla verba Graeca, ergo ego non possim hoc lingua Graeca dicere. Non certus sum etiam, num ego hoc lingua Latina bene dixi.
So, on our statistics lectures, professor told us: "See, the cardinal number of the union of sets doesn't have to be equal to the sum of the cardinal numbers of these sets. Because, if that were the case, a dog would need to have eight legs. Dog namely has two front legs, two beg legs, two left legs and two right legs.".

3) When explaining the Biot-Savart law, our electrical engineering professor told us: "See, when you turn a glass full of water, the water won't spill out of it until some air enters that glass. Similarly, the current won't start flowing from the battery all until some magnetic field enters the battery.".

12
Flat Earth Q&A / A Question About Horizon
« on: March 19, 2020, 01:28:32 AM »
So, this is a question I haven't seen brought up on this forum. Pilots of high-altitude airplanes can approximately tell which altitude they are at by flying horizontally and looking at the angle at which they see the horizon.


In that formula, 'r' is the radius of the Earth, around 6'000'000 meters, and 'h' is the elevation you are at in meters.
So, if you are at the Mount Everest, 9'000 meters above the sea level, the angle at which you see the horizon is 3.14 degrees, but that's probably not perceptible there because mountains hide the horizon. However, if you are at 30'000 meters, where some airplanes fly, it's 5.7 degrees, and that's perceptible. But how is that possible if the Earth is flat?

13
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Reviving Latin
« on: March 17, 2020, 12:02:16 PM »
So, what do you guys here think, would it be a good idea to revive Latin as a language of international communication? I think it would be, that it would be more suited as a language of international communication than English is.
First of all, it's at least somewhat politically neutral. For English, many people have it as a native language, which gives them unfair advantage. Why should it be that I, as somebody whose native language happens to be Croatian, needs to learn to speak the international language, while some people don't need to?
Second, it has much easier spelling than English does. Latin alphabet was the language that Latin alphabet was designed for. Other languages that use Latin alphabet, well, it's not the alphabet made for them and it doesn't fit them perfectly. Or, as in the case of the French language, it once used to fit the language perfectly or nearly perfectly (since French comes from Latin), but now it doesn't. Similar story for the Tibetan language and the Tibetan alphabet. But Latin doesn't change its phonology over time, only languages with native speakers do. If we choose a language with no native speakers, we won't have that problem.
Third, its phonology is objectively easier than that of English. To a Croatian ear, "three", "tree" and "free" all sound the same, as do "bad" and "bed", while they are distinct in the English language. There aren't things like that in Latin.
Also, if we were speaking Latin, we could read 2'000 years old texts in the same language we would be holding conversations in. That's also a thing that makes Latin better than English, but, more importantly, it makes Latin better than recently-constructed languages such as Esperanto, Ido or Lojban.
As for the grammar, what do you think, is Latin grammar actually harder than English grammar, when everything is taken into account? I mean, in Latin, there is no 'a' and 'the'. Latin is often said to be hard because it has cases. But do cases actually make a language harder, or do they make it easier? When reading long sentences, I often get annoyed by English not having case endings and that I often have to reread a sentence multiple times to find what's the indirect object and what's the object. In Latin (or Croatian), you know it when you look at the ending of the word. Now, I am not denying that, in this regard, Esperanto is better than Latin. But, again, Latin has a culture, while Esperanto and Lojban don't.
I've posted a few YouTube videos in Latin, to demonstrate that it can very well be used to discuss modern topics:



14
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Should we kill all cats?
« on: March 16, 2020, 05:11:04 AM »
So, what do you guys here think, would it be ethical to kill all cats, and maybe also all dogs, to protect the small innocent animals they kill? I think it would be, I've made a thread about that idea on the TextKit forum. I think that's what follows if we accept consequential ethics (as most of the philosophers these days do), unless we assume that, for some reason, cats and dogs have more value than mice and rats.
Also, what do people on this forum think about rabbits as pets? I think they are better than cats and dogs in that they don't kill smaller animals, but that they don't actually love their owners. I've expressed my views about it here.

15
Hey, guys!
So, I've been thinking about making my own programming language that can be both interpreted and compiled and can be run on web. For now, I've just made a web-app that converts arithmetic expressions to i486-compatible assembly and interprets them.
http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/compiler.html
So, what do you think is the next step?
I only have a vague idea of what the syntax should look like right now, I am planning to make it possible to use both S-expressions and infix notation for arithmetic expressions and only LISP-like syntax everywhere else.
Do you think I need to rewrite my web-app to some language other than JavaScript? Many people say JavaScript is a bad language for those things, but I don't quite see why right now.

16
Technology, Science & Alt Science / HTML5 games
« on: October 10, 2017, 02:24:41 AM »
Hey, guys! I've just made a simple HTML5 game for my new website.
http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/pacman.html
It's made primarily for smartphones (it's playable on computer by mouse). It's supposed to have two interfaces. One of them, as in classical Pacman, you control the Pacman by pressing the buttons (in this case, on the screen, below the labyrinth). The other one is that, when you tap somewhere in the labyrinth, the Pacman follows your finger.
I've only managed to test it on Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. There, both interfaces work.
Can you tell me how it works in the browser of your smartphone?

17
Suggestions & Concerns / Attracting linguists
« on: August 22, 2017, 12:27:50 PM »
So, recently, there has been some discussion of whether we should try to attract more people interested in linguistics on this forum and how we should do that:
https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=70713.150
I personally think it might not be a good thing to do, because, no matter how we try to attract more people interested in linguistics, we will probably also attract people who will write nonsense about linguistics (as happens on most of the forums claiming to be about linguistics), and we could even lose what we already have.
But let's hear your thoughts.

18
Technology, Science & Alt Science / The "science" behind Nazism
« on: August 07, 2017, 01:04:10 AM »
One of the most favourite arguments used by the Nazis was that there were already starving people in the world. The logic went: there is already not enough food for everyone, so human population can't grow indefinitely. So, we should replace all the inferior races of humans with the superior one. That's the Aryan (Indo-European) race. Proto-Indo-Europeans were the ancestors of all the white people. However, they were interbreeding with other races, so their skin got darker and darker. But, since German people have the brightest skin, we know they are the purest Aryans. And pure Aryans were ones that made all the major technological advancements. They invented the wheel, they domesticated the horse, they spread the use of honey... Therefore, we need to keep them.

How would you recognize this was pseudoscience?

19
Technology, Science & Alt Science / A question about iOS
« on: August 05, 2017, 01:35:51 PM »
If iOS is based on Darwin OS, can you use the "system" function from "stdlib.h" in your Objective-C programs for iOS? If so, what does it do there? What kind of shell is available? Does it allow you to redirect the output of a CLI program to a file and then read it?

20
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Church-Turing thesis
« on: August 05, 2017, 01:17:23 PM »
Why is the Church-Turing thesis accepted? I am having trouble conceiving a program for a Turing machine that adds up two arbitrarily large binary numbers.

21
Technology, Science & Alt Science / A question about computer processors
« on: August 05, 2017, 06:08:12 AM »
Imagine the following hypothetical scenario. Suppose I installed MS-DOS 5.55 (the version that NTVDM emulates) on a computer with a modern 64-bit processor. MS-DOS itself is runnable on modern processors, if it's run from a live CD, which you can download here:
http://www.allbootdisks.com/download/iso.html
However, it can't be installed on modern hard drives. But, for the sake of the story, let's say I manage to (this isn't a question about hard drives, but about processors). Now, let's say that I also install DPMI and Flat Assembler (it's doable in DosBox, and it would probably be doable on MS-DOS if I had an access to a compatible hard-drive). So, let's say I compile the following simple Assembler program:
Code: [Select]
format binary as '.COM'
use64
xor rax,rax
int 20h
So, I run the program. What do you think would happen? Would the program simply exit and not output anything, or would it block the whole system (by sending invalid commands to the CPU)? Why?

22
Why do you guys argue for a new investigation of 9/11? If so many both governmental and nongovernmental investigations didn't find any evidence of a conspiracy, isn't it extremely unlikely that new investigations will find anything? And you realize how costly those investigations are? It's obvious to anyone who gets deeper into 9/11 that the alleged evidence of a conspiracy is just misunderstanding of science. There are basically no unexplained events in the contemporary US history.
On the other hand, here in Croatia, modern history is full of unexplained events. During the time of Yugoslavia, most of the national minorities, especially Germans and Italians, either died in "accidents" or simply disappeared. It's depressingly obvious that there was a nationalistic organization that killed thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people over a few decades. And the government still suppresses any investigation of it. And the reason is easily guessable: many of the modern-day Croatian politicians have nationalistic beliefs. And the death of the president Broz: it was rumored a few days BEFORE he died that there was a fascist organization that will poison him because of his alleged Russian ancestry. As far as I am aware, there have been zero investigations of the event. Maybe it's because some contemporary politicians were involved in it, and maybe also because people are very uncomfortable thinking that fascism might not have died out in Croatia by the end of the World War II. Why don't we ever hear those things discussed?

I don't support either the policies of the president Broz nor the War on Terror, I am trying to be as objective as possible.

23
So, I've recently had to edit some relatively long text in Microsoft Word. It had paragraphs with titles. Titles had the same font size as the rest of the text, but they were supposed to be in bold and italic. Someone asked me to check whether all the titles of the paragraphs were of equal size. Isn't checking it just a hopeless waste of time? They have to be. When you start a new paragraph, type a title and press shift+enter, the title is already the size it should be. So, given what I knew about Microsoft Word, and I knew quite a lot about it, it's impossible that the titles somehow changed its font sizes. What probability should we assign to that happening? If we don't know that it's even possible, shouldn't we assign the zero probability to it? So did I, and I didn't check it. And I got very surprised when my friend found a title that wasn't the same size as other titles, and he got quite angry at me. He said that we should fix it just by changing the font sizes of these titles, but I said we should look for a cause, because if there was something in that document that had changed the font sizes of the titles, it would happen again and again. So I spent time examining all the styles and all the macros in that document, but I didn't find a cause. My friend, who knew far less informatics and philosophy than me, was right, it was enough just to change the font sizes back to where they should be, even though we have no bright idea what changed them in the first place. So, what do you think is the error in my reasoning? What probability should I assign to there being such a weird bug in Microsoft Word? I know a bit of computer programming, and to me a bug that randomly changes the font sizes of the paragraph titles a bit (and apparently nothing else) seems, well, impossible.

24
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Airplanes don't exist
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:10:29 AM »
Our culture makes us hold many irrational beliefs. One of them is demonstrably the belief that airplanes exist. It's told us by our parents, told by our teachers, and most of us never really investigate it. And there is not much evidence of that.
Most of the arguments we use to prove airplanes exist can be used to prove that dragons exist as well. We sometimes see white lines in the sky and we say they are evidence of jet airplanes. But saying they are the evidence of dragons is just as valid. There are people who say they have flown on an airplane, and use it as a proof that airplanes exist. But they could just as easily say it for dragons. And history tells us that before people claimed to have flown on a dragon just as often as people say today they have been on an airplane.
In reality, what we usually mean when we say airplane is so called jet airplane, and they can be disproven with some basic physics. Jet airplanes are supposed to work by having water (or some other liquid) as a fuel and engines forcing that water to go out, so that that water accelerates and, by the Newton's third law, makes the airplane accelerate also. But remember the Torricelli's law? Most of the people have learned it school, they just have never really thought about it. If they have, they would realize that it makes  the airplanes impossible.
One of the well-known formulations of the Torricelli's law is that, when a liquid goes through a small hole (an outlet), its speed is determined by the formula:
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v=sqrt(2*g*h)But there is a pretty obvious implication here. That is:
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a=0The Newton's second law tells us:
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F=m*aTherefore:
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F=m*a=m*0=0So, by the Newton's third law:
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F1=-F2
0=-F2
F2=-0=0
So, the force acting on an airplane itself is zero, so by the Newton's first law:
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F=0
 |
 V
a=0
So, how can jet airplanes work in reality if they don't even work on paper? You may give me some counter-example to the Torricelli's law. But do the counter-examples matter? They don't. The Torricelli's law is derived from the Bernoulli's equation, and it's derived right from the Newton's three axioms.
Also, the burden of proof is definitely on you. You can't prove for anything that doesn't exist that it doesn't exist, but, in general, if something exists, you are able to prove it. And Occam's razor always favors more an explanation that involves someone lying or hallucinating than an explanation that involves something as complicated and as crazy sounding as airplanes.
And you might ask me what if I am wrong. So what if I am wrong? At least I am thinking about whether airplanes exist, and other people aren't thinking about that at all, they just accept what most people believe as fact. And you are way more likely to be wrong if you aren't thinking than if you are thinking.
(This is a satire of many arguments made on this forum!)

25
Flat Earth General / What does "free thinking" mean to FE-ers?
« on: July 04, 2017, 07:14:41 AM »
FE-ers like to say they are free thinkers, but what do they mean by that? Most of the FET is nonsense that just sounds scientific. You know, like trying to explain the optical effects of the shape of the Earth via refraction. People who accept such things are probably thinking something like: "Well, it doesn't make sense to me, but I guess it would make sense to a scientist. We are just not yet loud enough to reach a respectable scientist!" And FE-ers are, as can be confirmed by anyone who's been on this forum for a while, unable to provide any evidence for what they so firmly believe (not even misunderstandings of the science, as the creationists provide in place of actual evidence). That's the exact opposite of what I'd consider free thinking. But let's hear the other side of the story.

26
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Is the Stockholm syndrome real?
« on: July 03, 2017, 10:52:32 AM »
Stockholm syndrome is a supposed effect that the victims of slavery and similar things aren't objective towards their abusers. Allegedly, they think what they have done to be more ethical than it actually is. That is used to explain the distrust of the institutions by people who have been saved by them. I think that's a politicisation of science. That's basically a way for the institutions to deny the unintended consequences of their interventions. The concept is simply incoherent. When we say that something is unethical, we usually mean it makes somebody unhappy. So, what do you think about that?

27
Philosophy, Religion & Society / A "simple" ethics question
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:24:31 AM »
Suppose you've just bought yourself some new expensive clothing. You walk by a river bank. You suddenly see a child drowning. There is no time to take off clothing. Would you save the child? Most of the people would say they would. But think of it this way: how many more children could you save from starvation if you sell that your new clothing and give that money to charity? There are tens of millions of starving children, and a meal for most of them costs less than a dollar. So, is it actually ethical to save a drowning child if you have expensive clothing?

28
Government isn't actively trying to protect us. It only intervenes when a psychopath has already murdered someone. And then they put him not to a place where he will rehabilitate, but to a place from where he returns with even more psychological problems, which made him murder in the first place. For all we know, they could in fact be making things worse. Justice systems, judges and lawyers, have no interest in bringing peace and justice to the society, they make money by making other people argue with each other. Even if people are naturally violent, the last thing you need is a government. Government is made of people with power, and power corrupts, it doesn't make people better. If politicians really wanted to help the poor, they would give their undeserved money to charity, they certainly wouldn't pass a law that effectively makes it illegal for the poorest to have a job (called minimum wage law). If they really cared about the environment, they would stop subsidizing factory farming, that hurts the environment more than any other industry. They certainly wouldn't pass the emission standards laws that cause monopolies by hurting small corporations more than big ones. Politicians are good only at having long, boring and nonsense discussions. And laws are statements about how society should work made without evidence, and they should be dismissed without evidence. So, why are people so affraid of anarchy?

29
I am going to tell you a story from my experience. I think there have been many cases in which good people trusting institutions did bad things to me because of that, but this one is certainly true.
My parents got divorced when I was little and they hate each other very much. In Croatia, there is an institution called "socijalna skrb" (I am not willing to find an English equivalent) that's supposed to help the poor and stop family violence. One day, while I was in school, "socijalna skrb" phoned my unemployed father to urgently come to their office. He hoped they would finally give him financial help so he came there. They didn't give him financial help. Instead, they "informed" him about me having written bad things about him in a letter to the "socijalna skrb" in a near-by town. They allegedly came to know that from my mathematics professor. My father and I were arguing all evening about that supposed letter, he did not believe me I didn't actually write any letter to the "socijalna skrb". After hours of arguing, he hit me in the face. He had never done that before. And he almost certainly wouldn't have done that if he hadn't trusted "socijalna skrb". A few days later I asked my mathematics professor about that supposed letter. Needless to say, he just stared at me blindly. Again, this is a true story, it happened recently. And I am by no means the only victim. "Socijalna skrb" has been sued countless times, but every time the court reinterprets the case again and again until it looks like it's not the fault of the institution. "Socijalna skrb" is supposed to end the family violence, when they are ones who cause the family violence. Its employees are in a delusion that they are helping the poor, and they just make things worse. Croatia is a very democratic and a very liberal country with relatively low corruption, yet the institutions still find a way to destroy peoples lives. I can imagine it can only be worse elsewhere.
So, let's hear your thoughts about trusting the institutions!

30
For those of you who are unaware, object-oriented programming is basically an attempt to increase the productivity of programmers by making the programming languages follow the subject-verb-object word order. It is a paradigm found in many popular programming languages such as Objective-C, C++, Java, C#, Visual Basic, and so on, C being somewhat of an exception.
For instance, the C directive:
memset(field,0,10);
that fills the field (a part of a memory) with ten zeros, would be written in C++ as:
field.insert(field.begin(),10,0);
"Let the field insert, at its beginning, ten zeros."
This might appear to be a great advantage at first. However, to enable such statements in C++, you need to make the so-called classes and objects, which quite often make the code very complicated. A meta-analysis of the empirical studies funded by IBM found no benefits of using object-oriented programming whatsoever.
http://www.csm.ornl.gov/~v8q/Homepage/Papers%20Old/spetep-%20printable.pdf
So, my question is, is OOP actually a pseudoscience? It appears to be. It makes countless nonsensical rules on how to use classes and objects just to explain away why it doesn't appear to increase the productivity. That's no better than what astrology does, when its proponents say that the predictions fail because it's hard to make a horoscope. There is no scientific consensus about those rules whatsoever, the proponents of OOP can't agree even on whether C++ is an object-oriented programming language or not. It makes countless statements regarding formal logic and philosophy that programmers have no hope evaluating (much like the conspiracy theorists bombard people with claims about the photographic anomalies most of the people can't evaluate).
Attempt to increase the programming productivity using the declarative programming languages (like Haskell or Wolfram Language) appear to be much more scientific, at least the empirical studies that favor them, but they seem to attract very little attention.
So, let's hear your thoughts.

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