tdscanuck t1_jefqbed wrote

Evolution. Fat is the most calorie dense food, so any organism that likes fat is much more likely to eat it, get more calories, and survive times of scarcity. Over time, that results in basically every creature that's capable of metabolizing fat finding it delicious.

Too much fat is bad for you but that's a *very* recent development...for essentially all of history (and still only for a small fraction of the world today) calorie deficit is far more likely to kill you than calorie excess. There hasn't been enough time for this to evolve back out.


tdscanuck t1_ja620w3 wrote

Have to be a little careful here...lots of carbon-based organic compounds melt. Like pretty much all plastics, fats, waxes, etc.

It just happens that the main compounds in wood (lignin, cellulose) are heavily cross-linked and undergo thermal decomposition into things that burn before they reach melting temperature under normal conditions.


tdscanuck t1_j9w3v14 wrote

Good point. Which is why the mechanics of co-ownership agreements are so important, and so complicated, regardless of what thing they're owning. There are *so* many ways it can get screwed up and so many eventualities that might not be fully covered by any agreement.


tdscanuck t1_j9w2yt6 wrote

Adding on for OP, the key with co-ownership is that the "legal person" involved in the ownership is a legal entity made up of *both* the co-owners. There's a contract underneath that lays out the terms of how the co-owners do things. If one co-owner tries to sell the property without the permission of the others 1) they've breached the ownership contract, and the other owners can retaliate and 2) the legal entity that owns the property (which is *all* the co-owners) hasn't agreed to sell co-owner, by themselves, isn't the legal entity that owns the property so they have no right to sell it.


tdscanuck t1_j9w2cxq wrote

It all depends on exactly what they sold and what went into the contract.

In theory they could sell any combination of rights. They might be selling the entire catalog and all the rights that come with it, or it might just be a subset. For example, "You can play and sell any of my songs you like, but I reserve the right to perform any of them live whenever I want." Or "You have full rights to everything I've written up to now, but no claim at all on anything I do in the future."

Like any contract, it's almost infinitely negotiable.


tdscanuck t1_j9v2gfj wrote

Yes, trinary systems exist.

We use binary for computing because it’s really easy to map the state of electrical switches (on, off) to binary digits.

Going trinary, or higher, means you can’t use switches. The math all still works fine but the hardware becomes far more complex. And, since you can emulate any system with any other, and binary is far easier to build, we stick with binary.


tdscanuck t1_j6lgzkn wrote

We *don't* measure the temperature excluding humidity. We just measure the temperature. It's really easy. Temperature doesn't change with humidity.

What changes is how hot it *feels*...when the air is dry sweating works better and we feel cooler. When the air is humid sweating works badly and we feel hotter. But the actual temperature isn't changing.


tdscanuck t1_j6kugm2 wrote

Usually the company proposes dividends and their board of directors approves it. From a purely process standpoint, most companies can turn dividends on or off at will (details depend on their exact corporate rules). In practice, investors generally expect dividends to be pretty even over long periods so companies don't like to mess with dividends...once you start doing them, or increase them, it's really hard to stop without a significant stock price hit.


tdscanuck t1_j6g61ep wrote

People actually build both, but you don't "improve" it from have to decide whether you're building determinate or indeterminate during the design phase. It's going to be part of the design requirements and it's going to influence everything else you do. If you don't know which kind you want before you start, and why, you don't want that person designing structures.


tdscanuck t1_j6erxv5 wrote


Movie makers like having a nice wide backdrop, it gives them a lot of room and, since we mostly operate on a (nearly) horizontal plane, there's a lot more interesting things happening to the left and right than up and down.

There a number of particular wide formats, it doesn't *have* to be 16:9, but that's why we generally like wide formats.

We got stuck with 4:3 for years on computer monitors & TVs because it's *very* difficult to make a widescreen CRT tube. They want to be 1:1 for technical reasons and 4:3 was about as close as they could get to a widescreen format that would look movie-ish.

Fast forward about 80 years and the technical constraints went away...modern LCD/LED screens don't care what shape they are.

16:9 got settled on as the standard format for DVD/HD TV as a nice compromise where virtually all widescreen movie (and now TV) formats look pretty good with minimal black bars for the weird movie formats, so now essentially all displays are 16:9 for maximum compatibility.


tdscanuck t1_j65dxgu wrote

You may have a bad agent...they should want to do both.

Selling is somewhat easier (less time commitment from the agent) but if someone is selling then someone must be buying so it's in the agent's best interest to facilitate both...they make money on both sides of the transaction.

They may want to sell *more* than buy but they should never want to *only* sell.


tdscanuck t1_j604un3 wrote

Generally no, baking kills yeast. What's in there when we eat it is almost certainly dead.

Even if it weren't, there's no way for the yeast to get into our blood, the worst they can do is eat the sugars in your stomach. Which they can totally do...don't eat a lot of live yeast, for this reason.



tdscanuck t1_j5xkuj8 wrote

It's not just for machine learning, it's a general problem with any models that try to simplify anything. Overfitting is basically when you make the model so "big" (enough values that it can adjust) that it can perfectly fit *any* training data you feed it. So your model will look *amazing* in terms of performance, but it may totally fail when you finish training and try to do something useful with it because it's too hyperspecialized to the training data.

As a trivial/over-simplified example, suppose I want a machine learning widget to recognize pictures of traffic lights so I can automate those stupid captchas (yes, I know that's not how they actually work). I get training data of 10,000 pictures of traffic lights and 10,000 pictures of non-traffic lights and use that to train the model. Except I give the model 10,000 different variables to work with (far too many). The model can "learn" to recognize each of the 10,000 pictures because it can use one variable to match each photo of a traffic light. The results on the training data will be recognizes every one of my 10,000 traffic lights and ignores anything that isn't those. 100% success!!! But now I feed it a new picture of a traffic light...and that doesn't match any of the 10,000 I trained it on before. The model will say "not a traffic light" because it got too specific...I overfitted the model so much that it can *only* recognize the training data. It was never forced to figure out how to efficiently recognize traffic lights with a much smaller number of variables that would learn "traffic-light-ness" but still be general enough to recognize other traffic lights.

You can do the same trick in Excel with polynomial fits to data points...if you give the polynomial enough free variables it can match basically anything to a pretty high accuracy. That doesn't mean you've discovered some amazing 70th degree polynomial that magically predicts your data, you've just (grossly) overfitted the model.


tdscanuck t1_iydi2sf wrote

Read the report you linked to.

Among other things: -Tether promises on that page to publish reserves daily. The last accounting report is Sept 30, 2023 -That report specifically notes two ongoing lawsuits, the outcome of which is not included in the audit results (because they’re still going) -The audit report shows $56B in cash & equivalent reserves against $67B in Tether liabilities…I.e. they’re about $11B short of actually backing their token. The balance is made from bonds & precious metals (probably fine), and outstanding loans (definitely not fine…the recoverability of those loans is unknown). Most believe that those loans are actually to their parent company, which means they’re not real at all, they’re just shell game accounting. That’s what they’re trying to determine in the lawsuits and, so far, Tether has not responded to.

Short version: their own auditor’s report says they don’t have the cash they claim to and the auditors can’t tell, and Tether isn’t saying, where the balance is actually coming from. It’s definitely not cash and it may not exist. If it did, the lawsuits would be over quickly. The fact that they aren’t tells you something.

Edit: I dig into the footnotes.., it looks like they’re double counting the gold they have to back Tether Gold tokens as precious metal reserves for Tether. Which means their precious metal reserve that’s backing Tether also really isn’t…it can back Tether Gold or Tether but not both. So the gap is closer to $11B than the audit report summary makes it seem.


tdscanuck t1_iyb8e7h wrote

It's the market.

In *theory*, Tether is supposed to maintain a value of $1 USD because the issuing company (Tether Limited) says they maintain a reserve of $1 USD for every Tether.

However...Tether Limited doesn't actually do that. They're up to their eyeballs in lawsuits right now because they don't have the reserves the claim to and they won't let anyone audit them to figure out what they do have.


tdscanuck t1_iya4mr6 wrote

I totally agree with /u/TheLuteceSibling and /u/pocketjpaul that this may be an unanswerable question.

BUT...*if* conciousness is an emergent property of complex systems (which is one of the competing theories but we may not be able to confirm), then you go into the general space of emergent properties, which is that you get properties of systems that are *more* than the sum of their parts because the "thing" is the interactions, not the parts.

A bunch of lightly-electrified cells *aren't* conscious. Dopamine isn't happy. But the interaction of a whole bunch of dopamine (and other stuff) mediated lightly-electrified cells results in a network/interactions that are conscious. It's the relationship between the things, not the things themselves, that defines the phenomenon.

It's roughly like pointing at a wave and saying "how do a bunch of water molecules make a wave?". The water molecules have no idea that they're part of a wave and "the wave", which is a perfectly visible measurable predictable thing, is made up of different water molecules from moment to moment but it's still "one wave". It's the interaction/relationship between water molecules that defines the wave, not the molecules themselves.