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  • posted a message on Debate Forum alums: Where do you debate?
    Actually based on one of the suggestions from another member of this site, I moved to financial website to discuss/debate.
    I could never find people with sufficient financial expertise to challenge my ideas here. Even if I was wrong, the other party could not clearly point out why. I figured, if I'm going to debate, why not channel it into something more productive.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Debate Forum alums: Where do you debate?
    What happened to the debate forum? I haven't posted in years.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on What type of Islam do terrorist organizations like ISIS follow?
    Quote from slave »
    Their take, was that ISIL are not deeply religious at all, it is a sham, they are using Islam as a brainwashing tool to recruit soldiers from across the globe for their war. They told me to observe that ISIL has been killing Muslims of all persuasions to achieve their goals, which directly contradicts any Islamic faith.
    FWIW, many of the ISIL soldiers identify as Sunni's, but I don't that is really all that relevant given the history of the middle east.
    Whether or not ISIS truly acts in accordance with Islamic doctrine is, to say the least, rather dubious. But ISIS' identity is rooted in a very specific form of Wahhabist Sunni Islam. You could not profess Shi'ite Islam and fight for ISIS. They would not let you, and they'd probably hurt you.

    It's sort of like the KKK over here in America. They may not be very good Protestant Christians by any sane standard, but they themselves think they are, and they would be highly unlikely to let an openly Catholic person join up.

    This is exactly the response I said to a friend the other day.
    To OP: this is your answer

    At least in the opinion of the European Parliament
    Haider, Murtaza (Jul 22, 2013). "European Parliament identifies Wahabi and Salafi roots of global terrorism". Dawn.com. Retrieved 3 August 2014.

    I have friends, mostly persians who are Muslim. I recognize their opinions might be biased, but they are certainly more knowledgeable about it than I am.
    That is the branch every one of them points out to me.

    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Differences between American and European markets
    This is a difficult question, one that probably has no clear answer, but will rather be based on your own observations.
    Each of the markets, eternal staples, standard, foils, etc all function differently.
    Vintage is basically a category of its own.

    Instead of making a generalization to unify each of the separate markets in each region, you're better off just observing the differences for yourself.
    I will say this though,

    the differences between the American and European markets suggest that trade barriers exist between the two.
    These barriers are effectively transaction costs, and aren't necessarily dollar amounts, but include the labor and hassle to transact, the time and expense involved, and the considerable risk of trading with a random party overseas.
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Philosophical Implications of the Principle of Least Action
    >But in both of those cases, as well as all others without exception, the problem could have been solved using the good old "crank out the differential equations" approach -- it just would have been harder. The math is unequivocal. "Nature searches for the path of least action" and "Nature locally executes these differential equations at each instant" are logically equivalent statements.

    But I would counter that the math being too difficult is the problem. Or rather, we cannot divine the full implications of what we know right away.
    Lagrangian Mechanics is equal to Newton's laws. And sure if you think about it really hard you could arrive at that conclusion.
    It just so happens that it took humankind a century to figure that out.

    Why are so many differential equations unsolvable for us at the moment? Is it because we aren't trying hard enough? Or is it perhaps because the abstractions we have used to build mathematics
    are themselves in someway deficient or inefficient in ways we do not yet understand?

    Do you know what a quaternion is? A number of the form a + bi +cj + dk.
    It's a bit of an oddball really. I'm not sure where else it's used. I use it for computer graphics rotation computations.
    But if you don't use it in physics or math, there's reason for that.

    From wiki.
    From the mid-1880s, quaternions began to be displaced by vector analysis, which had been developed by Josiah Willard Gibbs, Oliver Heaviside, and Hermann von Helmholtz. Vector analysis described the same phenomena as quaternions, so it borrowed some ideas and terminology liberally from the literature of quaternions. However, vector analysis was conceptually simpler and notationally cleaner, and eventually quaternions were relegated to a minor role in mathematics and physics. A side-effect of this transition is that Hamilton's work is difficult to comprehend for many modern readers. Hamilton's original definitions are unfamiliar and his writing style was wordy and difficult to understand. However, quaternions have had a revival since the late 20th century, primarily due to their utility in describing spatial rotations.

    Much of our math and physics is built on vectors and tensors. It didn't have to be that way. But ultimately the abstract concept of a vectors proved to be more useful in us describing phenomena.
    That doesn't mean vectors are "correct." Quaternions regained some utility in being able to describe base phenomena in ways that were not clear using a vector description.

    I should think it the same way with approaching a description of nature with newton's law vs lagrangian and hamiltonian mechanics. Perhaps someday we will derive a wonderfully more efficient abstraction upon which to base our mathematics that would result in even greater insight. But I do not think you can simply dismiss these alternative formulations as exactly and unequivocally equal if one had simply thought hard enough about it.

    While true, the whole point is that alternative formulations give us insight on nature in ways that a single formulation would not. The value is there because we aren't smart enough to figure out all of nature with just an algebraic/calculus/differential equation formulation.

    I end my point with a reference to Fermat's last theorem.
    no three positive integers a, b, and c satisfy the equation a^n + b^n = c^n for any integer value of n greater than two.

    If one simply thought hard enough about this, you are correct they would have been able to figure out a proof, or a set of logical steps that would establish that statement as true.
    It took humanity 358 years to find an answer to that question. And by the time we had, we had created entirely new branches of mathematics describing properties of spaces and other mathematical abstractions
    (galois theory) that made the proof possible.

    it is because mentally divining the equivalence of newton's laws and a principle of least action requires so much thought (years for Euler and Lagrange) that there is value to be had--insight perhaps in the physical phenomena both hope to describe.
    Posted in: Philosophy
  • posted a message on U.C. Berkeley cuts 500 jobs.
    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from TomCat26 »
    Simple. To confuse the issue.
    Facepalm Nobody who does any research on the subject would be confused on the issue, and the ones who wish to draw a link between the minimum wage increase and the job cuts - the conservatives - are already confused on the issue.

    Conservatives will attribute the layoffs to the minimum wage increase.
    They. Already. Are.

    So what does Berkeley get out of this? Probably a little diffusion of responsibility.
    Uhh, no. Berkeley would still appear irresponsible and incompetent, just for different reasons.

    And if Berkeley starts lying, that means anyone following the stories would be able to point out that, instead of being extremely fiscally incompetent, Berkeley has been extremely fiscally incompetent and also lying. That's not better.

    The effort you're spending defending this silly idea would be better spent elsewhere.

    Nobody who does any research on the subject would be confused on the issue. I agree. But here's where you and I seem to differ.
    In my opinion. No one will. And that's the point.

    Like I said, you live in a world where it is self evident that people would go out of their ways to inform themselves. In your world because people do go out of there way, you don't know what I'm talking about. How can someone possibly get confused because they WILL in fact do the research.

    In my world, people are exceedingly emotional. In my world people don't read anything, study anything. They find whatever validates their worldview and they run with it. Truth is the thing that matters least of all.
    And in such a world, you better believe that misdirection carries value.

    Once you readily accept that people are simplistic, irrational emotional creatures, learning to play their game will come. No longer will you spend time trying to convince people of "the truth" or with logic.
    Instead, you'll abide a new set of rules...rules which play to irrationality and emotion.

    You admitted this: "Conservatives will attribute the layoffs to the minimum wage increase."
    But why are they? Are these conservatives not doing their research by your own standards? Apparently not. By your own words, reality seems a bit closer to how I'm depicting it then.

    I once wrote on a thread here, without religion, I trend pretty nihilistic....that atheism's attempt to not believe in God because there is no proof inherently exalts the concept of truth. As if truth is a God.
    You responded to that comment too actually.

    But I'm telling you the evidence is before you, that truth does not matter. People could discover the truth, but they wont--as you emphatically pointed out already about the conservatives. So then tell me what's wrong with using your enemy to help with your agenda? Nothing. It's smart, and rational.

    And to top it all off, it's perfectly biblical

    "Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” 7When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)

    9There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks."

    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on U.C. Berkeley cuts 500 jobs.
    Simple. To confuse the issue.

    This is what Hackworth wrote:
    "So they've got an excuse for being as ridiculously in debt as Berkley apparently already is, and has been for a while?"

    Now consider Tiax's objection:
    I'm confused. The articles say the increase hasn't gone into effect yet. Why should we attribute the deficit, and these cuts to address it, to that increase?

    which is the perfectly sane, reasonable, and calm conclusion to be drawn. Of course, my contention is that people will draw no such conclusion. Conservatives will attribute the layoffs to the minimum wage increase. Which we both agree on... They are in search of any evidence, even faulty evidence to support their agenda. So what does Berkeley get out of this? Probably a little diffusion of responsibility.

    Huge deficits stemming from abject incompetence is something that might get some people fired. But as long as some of the public opinion can be swayed into attributing Berkeley's incompetence on yet another libtard scheme gone awry, personal responsibility for mismanaging the deficit can be deflected away. Administrators at Berkeley, of all places, wouldn't lose their jobs over pushing a liberal agenda. But they might for incompetence.

    If you botched a budget, which axe would you rather have fall on you?

    That you were incompetent, personally, for having mismanaged a budget.
    Or that you pushed a liberal agenda, raising min wage, and the consequences resulted in failed economics, proving yet another example of why liberal doctrine is idiocy.

    The former attributes personal responsibility. The latter takes advantage of "your enemy"(conservatives), who will ironically save you by focusing on liberal idiocy in the abstract vs the personal incompetence of some admins.

    I think wall street has their own philosophical version of this which is: Never let a crisis go to waste.
    In this case, however, it makes sense strategically to go one step further. Manufacture your own crisis (raising min wage when you damn well didnt have the money to do it), and then not letting that crisis go to waste.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on U.C. Berkeley cuts 500 jobs.
    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from TomCat26 »

    I don't know why people didn't agree to this. This sounds perfectly reasonable. It would certainly give them a hint of justification and misdirection to
    1. Be in debt all along.
    2. Raise min wage.
    3. Use #2 to misdirect blame and accountability by the parties who caused the debt in the first place.
    Except no, that wouldn't work to anyone who actually did any research on UC Berkeley's history of being in debt.

    The only people who are trying to misdirect blame to the minimum wage are conservatives who object to raising the minimum wage - because I guess they don't understand the principle behind a minimum wage in the first place - and therefore react to both minimum wage increases and massive debt within a company and think, "LOOK! My biases are confirmed!"

    Highroller, you are concerned with truth. And that's a good thing. In your world, people are always dilligent and care about the facts.
    They will do their research, and really know who is to blame.

    In my world people don't listen or give a damn. They make 3 second decisions that validate their world view. In such a world, the strategy advocated by Hackworth is worth quite a bit of mitigation. It's a tactic that has value in a flawed world.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on U.C. Berkeley cuts 500 jobs.
    Quote from Hackworth »
    So they've got an excuse for being as ridiculously in debt as Berkley apparently already is, and has been for a while?

    I don't know why people didn't agree to this. This sounds perfectly reasonable. It would certainly give them a hint of justification and misdirection to
    1. Be in debt all along.
    2. Raise min wage.
    3. Use #2 to misdirect blame and accountability by the parties who caused the debt in the first place.

    It's a narrative that would most certainly appeal to the conservative perspective, where min wage would cause a loss of jobs and greater unemployment.

    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Philosophical Implications of the Principle of Least Action
    Quote from DJK3654 »
    I've heard of the general many times in many ways, but Lagrangian Dynamics is a new one to me.
    I'd call this metaphysics. Metaphysics deals with the fundamental natures of the world, and this seems to fit the bill.

    As the question of what it means, this raises the question of whether it means anything. And to that effect, I find it difficult to say that it does mean anything. Meaning must derive from something, and in this way, not everything can be meaningful- there must be a basic foundation of things which are meaningless from which meaning derives. Such a principle as this is an easy candidate for a meaningless foundation. Unless by 'meaning' you mean 'significance' (rather than something to with purpose and cause) which is simply a relative assessment.

    But this is more than just merely ascribing meaning to something. Why the principle of least action in the context of lagrangian dynamics is significant over a pie in the sky emotional expressions about "oneness with the universe" is that the laws of physics are actually derivable from this.

    The principle of least action is essentially "nature will always choose the shortest path"
    Mathematically that means taking the total derivative of the functional of the lagrangian. And from there, essentially all physical laws mathematically spring forth.

    This isn't a matter of humans ascribing meaning to the principle of least action so much as it is the fundamental principle upon which the universe appears to be based.

    If I tell you distance = rate * time, that isn't really up for interpretation. Distance will equal rate times time. It is a truth pervasive enough, solid and concrete enough, we can build an actual world around the implications of that. For this reason, I believe it goes beyond our human ascribing of meaning to it. Distance, a concept we defined, will equal rate * time. We may have defined all those concepts. But once we defined distance, speed, and time, the truth of distance = rate * time exists, whether we discover it or not.

    Posted in: Philosophy
  • posted a message on Philosophical Implications of the Principle of Least Action
    Have any of you ever heard of this?

    There is a fundamental principle which governs and drives all nature. This is not some pie in the sky articulation of cosmic oneness. It is in fact what actually has been shown to govern the physical laws of our universe as far as we can tell. It is called the principle of least action.

    You know physics and its familiar laws:
    s = vt (distance = rate * time)
    F = ma (force = mass * acceleration)
    KE = 1/2(mv^2) (Kinetic Energy = .5 mass times velocity squared)
    p = mv (momentum = mass * velocity)

    There is however an alternative formulation of physics known as Lagrangian Dynamics. Lagrangian Dynamics does not solve for answers to physics questions with the common equations directly, but rather takes the entire physical system as a whole. Lagrangian = Potential Energy + Kinetic Energy. One can determine the path particles will take in motion in reference to the total system in the aggregate.

    It's almost like saying, I could calculate the trajectory of the baseball you throw using newton's laws, but instead I choose to do so by analyzing the entire stadium and looking for alterations in the entirety of the energy contained within the system.

    That is possible because of one reason: Nature always chooses the path of least resistance. This is known as the principle of least action.

    If I have an equation which takes into account the entire system, then within this equation, if i find the function which minimizes the trajectory, that function is the set of laws for the system.
    Just like you did in algebra, finding the vertex of a parabola, or in calculus where you found the lower bound by finding the point where the derivative = 0, finding the minima of the Lagrangian will literally let you derive the entire set of the laws of physics which must govern that system.

    It is an absolutely astonishing and unbridled creation of human genius or discovery. It is what Euler and Lagrange worked on, and what countless others on the way to Einstein added to. It is the backdrop of Einstein's work in discovering general relativity.

    Every single law of physics that we currently know of is derivable from the Principle of least action, which mathematically translates to finding the set of functions at which the Lagrangian is a mathematical minimum.
    Those of you who have taken physics know that all physics basically derives from physics. One equation leads to other equations. Even einstein's theory of relativity is mathematically derivable from this.

    The question now is this: Have any of you heard of this before? Something so encompassing, so simply expressed, and yet so elegant is bound to have provoked some philosophical thought as to what it all means.
    What branch of philosophy does this even fall under?

    I am not at all a philosopher. But I did google to find these:



    Is this metaphysics? Is this mathematical philosophy? What do you think about this if you have never heard of this before?
    Posted in: Philosophy
  • posted a message on Vintage and Black lotus?
    Quote from sealteamfive »
    Passing of Rush has definitely affected it. I've looked and there seem to be less for sale than before his untimely passing. People who own lotuses don't simply sell them on the flip of a dime, they sell it if they need the cash or are a vendor. There are a great many lotuses out there that will likely never be sold again barring very extreme circumstances like the owner passing away and the person who inherits the lotus selling it or, again, need money for medical bills or any number of things. People don't sell lotus just because it went up $500 so they can make a profit on them. People will be sitting on lotuses for literally decades without selling them.

    More people are probably realizing that the window on buying lotuses is closing in this price range. People hate to miss the window at, say, $2.5K and then have to drop $1.5K more on a copy of an unlimited lotus as that's naturally a very big increase both percentage and cash wise.

    I think this is an issue with the Power 9 in general. People that were teenagers when the game first came out are now pushing 40. Many of them can afford to purchase these cards. With only an estimated 15,000 in existence and some number of them already destroyed, it is possible that we'll get to a point they aren't available for any price. Some vintage baseball cards only come up for auction every 5 or 10 years and others less than that. We could easily see something like that happen within our lifetimes.

    Magic is reaching a point of transition. The question is are men their 40s going to want these cards?

    Magic saw a huge uptick as those who were teenagers turned into their mid twenties and has disposable income.
    But, the disposable income of people in their twenties is on the order of tens or hundreds of dollars.

    In other words, imagine it's 2006 again. You want to buy a black lotus. It's $500. Can you afford that? The answer is yes. What about the mox sapphire? $300
    Can you afford the beta lotus at $1000. If you reach for it, sure. The disposable income of the twenty somethings can sustain these prices.

    But now? The prices of the power 9 have reached a point that is beyond the disposable income people see in their twenties.
    When an unlimited lotus goes for a minimum of $3000 each, unless you're a programmer working in silicon valley or an engineer, this is going to be quite a stretch.
    A beta lotus at 6-10k is even more unlikely.

    An engineer in their 40s can afford these kind of toys. But is the demand and appeal still there for them? Does the 40+ market buy things from
    nostalgia. Perhaps some do. But I dont think their emotional demand is the same as the twenty somethings. And that's my point.

    The question now really is this: can magic turn this transition from idol of the twenty somethings into enduring generational collectible?

    The price of a honus wagner baseball card is obviously not in demand from twenty somethings longing for nostalgia. It's moved well beyond that.
    Same thing with a 1952 Mickey Mantle Rookie card.

    I honestly think magic has a good shot of making the transition from twenty-something nostalgia toy into generational collectible that might be passed down to your kids.
    In fact, of all the collectibles out there magic probably has the best shot of making it. Black lotus's price has marched on upward is a near straight line for years.

    I believe they are in the midst of such a transition.

    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Looking for opinions on possible Pucatrade counterfeits
    Quote from Joban8 »
    Hey all. Like the title says, I was recently sent 4x 'Revised' Atogs in NM condition and I'm now thinking that they're counterfeits. Keep in mind, I've handled fakes before, so I have a general idea about how they differ. What I'm not sure about is how the manufacturing process differed (if it did at all) between 'Revised' and modern sets.
    My reasons for suspicion:
    -Cardstock feels more like a poker/playing card than a Magic card.
    -The font has a "shadowed" effect on two of the copies and two don't have the same effect.
    -The cards are literally in NM condition; I know this doesn't mean they're fake, but it's not everyday you find pristine copies of cards that old.
    -The mana symbol color is noticeably drab and whitish pink.
    -The card-backs are much darker than that of modern sets.

    Now, I believe that all of these reasons could probably be explained if WoTC used a different printing method or something during that time. Hell, I don't think it would even be worth the effort to counterfeit Atogs. However, I haven't been able to find much information on that topic myself, so I was hoping some of you fine folks would be able to provide some more information? Regardless of the answer, I won't be opening a case simply because 4 Atogs aren't worth the time it would take to get the points back. I'm just curious now and want to get some more information in case an issue like this happens again. I appreciate any insight that you folks may have.

    I started playing magic in revised. What everyone has said here is true. In fact, Revised was so prevalent during its heyday that I honestly thought the OTHER sets in magic were misprinted.
    Like...why the hell is the artifact brown so dark in 4th edition? What did they do?
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Vintage and Black lotus?
    Quote from Ebonclaw »
    I think Lotus is kind of an exemption to this rule. The thing is, the supply of lotuses, particularly good condition ones, are drying up. This is due to the nature of this particular card, many owners obtaining one are of the mindset that it's something that they won't part with unless the pricetag simply gets too ridiculous to ignore, or a financial crisis forces their hand. It's always been and always will be the capstone piece of Magic. It's a notable exception to the rule that most Magic cards pricetags are made up of both collectibility and playability. There's only one format you can even play a single Lotus in, and aside from a few hotspots, is a pretty niche one at that. Playability has almost no impact on Lotus' price, it's almost entirely derived from its status as a collectible. Cards getting their price from their playability are more liquid, with people being happy to move them as they change decks and such. People getting cards as a collector's piece, however, are much less likely to sell just because prices rose. Granted, at some point everyone does indeed have a price, but most collectors that have finally obtained a Lotus aren't going to suddenly move it off to make $200. If anything, that rise in price reaffirms their investment and makes them want to hold it longer. Sure, eventually the price gets so high that it does indeed autocorrect, but with something that is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to obtain, coupled with an increased demand fueled in part by the passing of Christopher Rush (at least IMO), I think we're seeing a bigger and more permanent rise in the price as supply continues to dwindle. I don't think many people buy a Lotus to flip it, and for every one that does, there's someone else buying one to make it part of their permanent collection. This can be partially proven by the fact that the most desirable, cleanest copies are in very short supply and the ones that are available have a much larger, disproportionate pricetag compared to the price differential of cards like Underground Sea (LP vs NM) where the pricetags are much more heavily influenced by playability.
    The general rules of supply and demand are just a little different for cards like Lotus because the demand exists for a different reason and stems from a different audience.

    Based on my observations of the market, I would agree. Black Lotus is in a category all by itself.

    It obeys NONE of the ordinary assumptions of magic pricing. It is pretty much THE status card people think about. It is the undisputed answer to the question "What's the most expensive magic card"

    Sure there's fraternal exaltation, Proposal, misprints, or blue hurricanes. But the card that stands on its own merits is black lotus. Hopelessly overpowered, and the enabler of countless turn 1 kills, it iconically defines magic even outside magic. People who dont play magic wont know ancestral recall, but they might know of black lotus. It's price is partially responsible for it's infamy. It's the one card that X person payed 40,000....5000...20000....17000...for. What's shocking to me though is that it continues to gain. Normally a price spike would cause massive sell side pressure. But it hasnt happened.

    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Vintage and Black lotus?
    And here is the raw data.

    Beta Lotus sold for ~ 5.5k 3/22
    Beta Lotus BGS 8.5 sold for ~ 8.1k 3/21
    Beta Lotus sold for ~ 6k 3/21
    beta Lotus BGS 9 sold for ~ 13k 3/20
    beta Lotus BGS 9.5 sold for ~ 39k 3/19 (signed)
    UL lotus sold for ~ 3.2k 3/18
    Alpha Lotus HP sold for ~ 6.4k Ides of March
    Dan Bock Pony Lotus sold for 2.4k 3/14
    Beta Lotus sold for 7.2k 3/12
    Alpha Lotus BGS 9 sold for 21k 3/5
    UL lotus sold for ~ 2.2k 3/5
    UL lotus sold for ~ 3.1k 3/4
    UL lotus sold for ~ 2.6k 3/1

    I've followed the lotus market for a while, and I'm telling you this is a massive increase from the norm. Someone or some group of people are picking up lotuses significantly faster than before.
    Posted in: Market Street Café
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