Brainsonastick t1_j255n0i wrote

Are the therapies in the works going to prevent PD, stop its advancement, or outright reverse it?

And any insight on how far away from FDA approval they are?

My father has had it for almost 20 years now so I’m trying to keep up with this stuff but it’s pretty far outside my usual field.


Brainsonastick t1_iyevuap wrote

There had been much debate as to whether the sword could be tried for the string of deaths of its owners. They were all technically suicides but it’s clear Double Edge’s bullying caused them all.

“The sword is clearly sapient!” the crown’s prosecutor argued.

“But the crown’s laws all specify ‘man’, not sapient creature. This court has no authority over a blade.”

“Probably written that way because so many men are less than sapient.” the sword chimed in.

In the end, the court decided it had no authority to try the blade for its crimes but noted that the blade did not have any legal protections either.

So the crown’s officers of the law decided to destroy the blade. They subjected it to smashing between massive stones.

“Oh yeah, that’s it! Reminds me of the time I did your moms!”

“Really guys, strongest blade in existence and you think a couple boulders can dull me? When men say they’re ‘hard as a rock’, they usually mean their penises, not their heads.”

Finally, the chief of the crown’s law, Lord Archibald Lester, whose first name and lack of hair the blade had made numerous swipes at, gave up on destroying the blade and chose to have it disposed of instead. He tasked his head butler’s son, Erian, with taking the blade to the cliffs and dropping it from the ledge. A simple task he could entrust to even this young and unskilled man.

Erian had grown up a servant of the Lester family. When Archibald’s father died and Archibald became patriarch, things changed for young Erian. Archibald’s father was an understanding, even tempered, and even arguably kind man. Archibald was none of these things. He did not accept excuses performance below his standards. Even good ones like “I’m nine and no one ever taught me how to cook so I don’t know how”. Archibald had resented Erian ever since that moment now four years past. However, Erian’s father, Rowan, was a valued servant so he couldn’t simply dispose of the boy, opting to send him on trivial errands instead.

Erian, now 13, was thrilled to receive such an important task as disposing of a legendary blade. He saw it as a chance to prove his worth to his Lord. He eagerly accepted, stocked on supplies for the two week long trip there and back, and set off, too excited to even mention to his friends that he would be gone.

“Hey half-pint, smooth out your steps a bit. It’s bumpy on your scrawny shoulders.”

“Huh? Who said that?”

“Oh great, the half-pint is a half-wit too. Me, Double Edge, the only one on your shoulders.”

“You can talk?! A blade can talk?! I must let Lord Archibald know! This will surely change his mind!”

“And you’ve been downgraded to a quarter-wit. Good job. The old fart knows. That’s why he’s getting rid of me.”

“Hmm… I suppose Lord Archibald doesn’t like when people talk back to him. Father always reminds me to keep silent and nod in his presence so he won’t get rid of me.”

“Okay, you’ve been upgraded to third-wit.”

“You’re rather rude for a blade, Mr. Sword.”

“And back down to quarter-wit. But you had a good run. My name is Double Edge and how would you know what’s rude for a blade if you’ve never heard one speak before?”

“I take it back. You’re very rude in general. Though I figure since most blades don’t talk at all, they’re not rude at all so by saying anything rude, you instantly become one of the rudest blades.”

“Huh, that’s actually a fair point. Okay, back to third-wit.”

“Thank you. So you’re really getting thrown off a cliff just for being rude?”

“I thought we already established that. Being rude and… maybe some results thereof.”

“Seems a little unfair to me. Do you at least have a last request I can grant?”

“Hah, last? I’ll be back. A simple toss off a cliff wont even scratch me. But if you’re taking requests… don’t throw me off a cliff.”

“Sorry, I don’t think I can grant that request. But you’re really that strong?”

“Of course I am. I’m the strongest and sharpest blade there is, both in edge and… edge. That’s why they call me Double Edge!”

“If you’re that powerful, can I—”

“Yes, I will let you try me out. Go cut that tree in half and see how it feels. With any luck, I’ll at least have company over the cliff.”


“Nothing. Try me out!”

So Erian did. He found his weak young arms were able to easily cleave through the sturdy elm before him. The power was intoxicating. He forgot about his journey and spent most of the day making a clearing in the forest before he finally got tired and made camp for the night.

“What do you think? Pretty fun, right? I can teach you how to use me in battle too.”

“It was amazing! But I know how to fight already. My friends and I duel like knights all the time.”

“What were we at? Third-wit? Not anymore, quarter-wit. Fighting with a blade like me is nothing like hitting your friends with sticks. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about being blocked when your blade can cut through theirs.”

“You can cut through other blades?!”

“Indeed I can. Let’s spend a few days in the forest here and I’ll make a proper duelist out of you.”

To be continued.


Brainsonastick t1_ivcs3cn wrote

You can simulate it! There’s a class of algorithms called genetic algorithms. Basically, you write a code to convert from a string of characters to an object whose fitness you can test. In this case, a string of positions at which to fold the paper.

Then, you generate a bunch at random, test their fitness, and have the best ones interbreed. That means combining their strings (in a meaningful way) and adding random mutations.

That’s your new generation. Keep doing this over and over again and you’ll find the fitness of your planes, on average, increases each generation. After enough generations, you’ll get some pretty decent planes (assuming your code is good). Some might even be recognizable but a lot will super weird and surprising that they work at all.

There’s a simple video of a genetic algorithm evolving simple cars. It generates one capable of completing the track in only 37 generations. That sounds like a long time but on an evolutionary scale, it’s nothing. On a computer simulation time scale, it’s nothing.

And here is a more complex car evolution video that goes into some easily accessible explanation on how it works


Brainsonastick t1_iugrq24 wrote

There’s a tendency among laypeople to think philosophy is simple because they have their philosophy and opinions. It’s true of lots of fields but philosophy seems to get it worse than most.

Sure, anyone can discuss the merits but to be qualified to debate it in a way that other people could learn from listening, you need some kind of exceptional skill and knowledge. Like a degree in philosophy specializing in moral philosophy. Or a specialty in the ethics of criminal Justice. Or maybe research experience on the death penalty’s effectiveness as a deterrent (though that last one would be a more limited scope discussion).


Brainsonastick t1_iueug68 wrote

This reminds of the time Jordan Klepper interviewed a Trump supporter at a rally and asked him “has your life gotten better since Trump was elected?”

The guy said “yes it has. I’m making double what I used to!”

“And what do you do?”

“I’m in debt relief.”

Cue Jordan Klepper laughing too hard to talk.