The Big Think

May 14, 2013

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 10:29 pm

From a good friend’s FB page:

“But what we’ve seen is always going to be a very small cup dipped out of a very big ocean, and turning your back on the ocean to stare into the cup can’t change that.”

Linda Holmes

From this short essay, which is worth a read.

Turn Your Head and Cough

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 10:07 pm

Byron York: IRS scandal raises fears about enforcing Obamacare: “The Internal Revenue Service scandal would be bad enough if the IRS just handled issues like collecting income taxes and granting nonprofit status. But the immensely powerful federal agency is about to become even more powerful with the arrival of national health care, and that makes the still-unfolding scandal even more troubling.

‘When I hold town meetings, a great deal of distrust comes through about the size and increasing power of government,’ says Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. ‘The IRS targeting crystallizes that distrust in a very big way because of the IRS’ reach into taxpayer information. What’s happened heightens fears about how the IRS will handle taxpayer information and wield its power when it enforces Obamacare starting next year….'”

In the next few weeks, the details of the IRS’ apparent misconduct will be spelled out in a series of hastily arranged congressional hearings… For millions of Americans, the hearings will do what Charles Grassley noticed at those town meetings in Iowa: reduce their faith that the federal government will treat them fairly.

And that will mean even more anxieties about the coming of Obamacare. “Now every American understands there are elements of the IRS that go off on their own,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told MSNBC Monday morning. “Why would you trust the bureaucracy with your health if you can’t trust the bureaucracy with your politics?”

Oh, but nothing bad will ever come of having the IRS invovled in health care! All those people saying that government is too big and intrusive must be the crazy ones. Right?

Friends: this is exactly the type of thing that people in favor of a smaller government always warn against.

And somehow the message just Will. Not. Sink. In.

One More Piece of the Drake Equation

Filed under: Science,Space/Astronomy — jasony @ 8:02 pm

Beautiful. I’ve always wished I could draw so I that I could explain the doppler shift technique. Now I can just point to this video.

Q-Bits

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 10:47 am

D-Wave quantum computer matches the tenth ranked supercomputer for speed: “How did the D-Wave computer do on the tests? On the largest problem sizes tested, the V5 chip found optimal solutions in less than half a second, while the best classical software solver required 30 minutes to find those same solutions. This makes the D-Wave computer over 3,600 times faster than the classical computer in these tests. This puts the effective speed of the D-Wave quantum computer on this class of problems at roughly the same as the tenth ranked supercomputer in the world as per the November 2012 Top500 list – the IBM/DARPS Trial Subset, with 63,360 64-bit cores that produce a maximum floating point performance of 1.5 petaFlops. The comparison shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but suggests that the 439 qubits of the D-Wave computer can solve such problems as quickly as do huge massively parallel supercomputers.”

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