User talk:Martin Arrowsmith

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New logo large.png Welcome to RationalWiki, Martin Arrowsmith!

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Hi Wave.gif. Nice of you to join us. If you'd like to know a bit more about the site please have a look at our RationalWiki:Newcomers' guide.--Bobbing up 15:16, 22 September 2008 (EDT)


Um... nice math? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:00, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Just practicing ;)--Martin Arrowsmith 00:24, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Welcome Wave.gif. Free all this month are talkpage archive boxes.
You could create a sandbox, something like User:Martin Arrowsmith/maths. Also create User:Martin Arrowsmith before you get growled at Mister Redlink. - User For best results always render PNG 00:27, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
But only say the word, and it shall be done.--Martin Arrowsmith 00:44, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Welcome to the Dollhouse! Nice user name... even if it is your real name... ħumanUser talk:Human 23:53, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Message from the RationalWiki Ministry of Demotion and Personal Impediment[edit]

Dear Martin Arrowsmith,

We regret to inform you that you have been demoted to the rank of sysop. You are requested to report to a bureaucrat, at your nearest possible convenience, to be assigned a mop and bucket for the purposes of cleaning up the mess around here. If you have any further questions please refer to the enclosed pamphlet So you are now a sysop.

Your Sincerely,

Sir Reginald Albert Humfildink-Hollingsworth the Third, Under-secretary of the Chief-secretary of the Personal-secretary of the Minister.


Nice anatomy example. CorryI've made a huge mistake. 20:12, 12 November 2008 (EST)

Nothing says 'you're fucked' like farts sputtering out of your dick while you pee.--Martin Arrowsmith 20:47, 12 November 2008 (EST)
Well, it's definitely a quick way to a UTI or even pyelonephritis. CorryI've made a huge mistake. 12:26, 13 November 2008 (EST)

hand on the stove[edit]

That's an awesome example. Sterile furnace 01:53, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


Philip likes to play the game of "answer my question and only my question and I'm going to pitch a fit until you do and not discuss anything else." Gets him out of having to play. FYI Sterile furnace 04:20, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Orange box[edit]

EverItalic textyone should get a random "hello" once in a while! Hello! ħumanUser talk:Human 05:02, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks muchly!--Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 05:28, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Colbert Report interview with Andy[edit]

Thank you very much. Welcome back,everybody. My guest tonight is trying to create a conservative bible. We already have that. It's called 'the bible'. Please welcome Andy Schlafly. (applause)

Thank you very much. Hey, Mr Schlafly, thanks so much for coming on. I've wanted to talk to you for the longest time. And to tell you one thing sir, thank you - thank you, for taking the Internet back for conservatives

A ha ha ha

Barack Obama got elected with his little web-let people out there, raising money; John McCain had a Commodore 64 and a tape machine.

Uh ha ha ha ha

Tell, tell the people here about Conservapedia. What, What is it that you're trying to do with your conservative version of Wikipedia?

Conservapedia is a free, online encyclopedia and it has courses; free courses...

What can you learn, what can they teach you?

They teach you economics, american history, world history, and it's been...

Not Keynesian economics, right?

No no, no no, we stay away from that...


No no, free market economics, and we've helped hundreds of teenagers get into top colleges, including one who's here in your studio audience. We've been blessed with 140 million page views, and the reason people are coming to us is because (holds up fingers) we're concise, unlike wikipedia, we have NO GOSSIP, no gossip

no gossip?

no gossip

oh come on, have a little gossip

And we have no. liberal. bias.

Thank you. Thank you. There is far too much liberal bias on Wikipedia. What are some of the examples, um, that you see of liberal bias on wikipedia?

Lets take the example of abortion. I just looked at that a couple hours ago...

First of all, hilarious subject. Go on.

Well, I apologise. Ha ha

Oh, no, no, absolutely; its good for a couple laughs. Go on.

Abortion does cause some medical harm to the mother, some long term harm, its hard to deny tha...

I have seen those studies, and one of the problems with those studies, and I, I'm glad you brought it up, is that they've come under criticism because it turned out some of those studies were funded by fetuses, and so... there's questioning, y'know, whether there's a conflict of interest there (audience groan) Now, um.. I went to conservapedia, and I did all my research for this interview on conservapedia, and I want to say it is an honor to sit down with one of the signers of the Magna Carta.

A ha ha ha ha

Thank you so much for being here. Um. Do we need encyclopedias at all, sir? Why can't we just go to the bible? All the answers are there. It is the ONLY inerrant book. There are no mistakes in it, correct?

A lot of the answers are there, and Isaac Newton, for example, credited his insights to the work he did translating the bible. Not just reading the bible, but...

He came up with gravity when a bible fell out of a tree

A ha ha ha ha


Not only did Newton credit his work in translating the bible, he said everyone else he knew who translated the bible also had terrific other insights, so it's a marvelous activity, and what we've done is we've opened up the translation of the bible - for the first time- to the general public, for people to come forward; the best of the public to come forward and work at translating the...

Now I love that phrase, 'best of the public'; cause I believe that there's the public, and then there's the best of the public

A ha ha ha

What is it, because, because - the 'best of the public' went on to your conservative bible project to put me into it, to make me Moses, OK? And you took it out. Why'd you do that? The best of the public made me a biblical figure!

Well Stephen, it wasn't just Moses they made you, then they made you Noah, for Noah's ark, and then (audience applause) a ha ha...

Hey, when the hard rain comes down, don't come crawling to me.

a ha ha ha

But, but, but, who determines what the best of the public is? You say best of the public, not experts. Who determines the best of the public?

It's like, the olympics. There's a process that brings out the best, so that when you get to the final race...

You mean, sponsorship by the Colbert Nation? What.. Who decides who the best of the public.. Do you decide who the best of the public is?

No no no, its a process so it becomes clear, when the final race is run, after you've been at it for a while...

But who makes it clear? Cause I, I determine what's real in my world. Who determines what's real in your world? don't you ultimately edit what these people put in?

It, it's a...

Don't you ultimately edit what these people put in?

No, but lots of us edit it. It, it's, it's a process...

Who is 'lots of us'? Who are these experts, 'cause I wanna be one of them, 'cause I believe in the conservative world view, and I want to create my own reality the way you are.

But there are no definitive experts (laughter)

Because you believe, you believe in multiple realities, right?

No no. No no.

There isn't just -- is there one reality? Is there one objective reality, sir?

There is

There is?

There is only one objective reality, it's like...

I agree with you.

It's like the development of mathematics. You don't vote to decide whether 2+2=4 or 2+2=5. It becomes clear over time, as the mathematicians work on it, the truth rises to the top.

So who are the mathematicians who are working on it?

It's, open to the public

But who took the public's insertion of me into the bible out! Who did that?

It was, it was, ha ha

If it's open source, how could you take it out?

It was another, it was another member of the public who took it out, and it...

So if my folks go back in, they could put that stuff back in?

They could, but then it would come out again, and the person who did that, the person who has, if I may, discredited himself by insisting on something that isn't true, then gets politely removed from the site

But how do you know it's not true? Isn't the tru... Isn't the truth just what we agree upon?

No, the truth...

But you've said there's no such thing as an objective fact.

No, no I believe in objective truth, and it becomes clear over time. It's like a criminal trial.

But who makes it clear? To whom does it become clear, and who decides whether it's clear or not?

It's the jury - it's over time...the jury...just the way a legal pro...

Is it a jury of my peers?

Yeah, jury of your peers

But my peers are the Nation, and they put me on the site. Why would you...

A ha ha ha

People have a mistaken idea that Jesus was liberal. What's the most ridiculous myth about Jesus being (a?) liberal?

Most of Jesus's parables were economic parables, and they were free market parables. He gave one man five talents, he gave another man two talents, he gave a third man one talent. The man who had five made five more. He was rewarded. He was commended. The one who had two made two more. He was commended. The one who had one didn't make any more. He was sent to Hell.

And, people forget, that when Jesus said if someone asks for your coat, give your cloak as well, the end of that is 'but charge him double'.

A ha ha ha

Mr Schlafly, thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you so much

Andy Schlafly,; check it out! We'll be right back.

Sanford, genetic entropy, blah, blah[edit]

Debunked at least here (first part here)

Sanford's main point then is that there are likely to be very few truly beneficial mutations in humans because of this effect. Although this decades-old argument is generally correct for humans, it is misleading for two reasons. First, it neglects to mention that this near-neutrality effect is especially acute in large mammals like humans because of their historically low population sizes. However, most creatures on earth are not subject to this problem to anything near the same extent. How do we know this? There are many lines of evidence, such as the evolution of codon-usage bias. I won't take the time to explain this in full here, but suffice it to say that it can only evolve if selection is able to act on very weakly beneficial mutations. Briefly, we expect to see strong codon bias in species that have large populations. Predictably we find little or no codon bias in humans or mice (in concordance with Sanford's point), but it is present in nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans and, more strongly, in C. briggsae), cress Arabidopsis thaliana, fruitflies Drosophila melanogaster, and is very strong in microorganisms like E. coli and yeast Saccharomyces cereviseae. Second, Sanford handwaves about the ratio of beneficial mutations to deleterious mutations, when in fact there are no good direct estimates of this number for humans. Direct estimates in other organisms are not abundant either, because it is technically difficult to do so, but there are some for which the picture is not as apocalyptic as Sanford suggests. For example, Sanjuan, Moya & Elena (2004) found that "the proportion of beneficial mutations was unexpectedly high" in the vesicular stomatitis virus. I also know of at least one other study (as yet unpublished, so I cannot say anything else about it) which found that the ratio of beneficial to deleterious mutations in a famous microbe is much higher than previously thought. Which brings us to the main problem with Sanford's argument. Let's imagine that what he has said in Chapter 2 is right and that there is no evidence for the operation of positive selection (selection for beneficial mutations) in humans. This is precisely where Sanford's argument fails. In fact the opposite is the case: we have strong and abundant evidence that positive selection has occurred in the human evolutionary lineage. To Sanford's embarrassment , there has actually been a steady stream of papers demonstrating positive selection in the last few years, such as, Johnson et al. (2001), Sabeti et al. (2002), Nielsen et al. (2005), Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium (2005), and Voigt et al. (2006). To understand how these estimates work I would recommend evolgen's 7-part series of posts explaining how natural selection can be detected using molecular data (the last one is a good place to start). Only someone completely ignorant in the human population genetics literature could possibly claim that beneficial mutations don't exist in humans.

sterile furnace 02:47, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

nice ref, but this IS PJR thats being talked at. He fails to see that some changes just swap one code for another that specifies exactly the same thing :) I am taking break until at least new years so he doesnt spoil my happy for christmas. Hamster (talk) 03:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
this may be of interest , what Motoo Kimura really said about mutations. "1968 marked a turning point in Kimura's career. In that year he introduced the neutral theory of molecular evolution, the idea that, at the molecular level, the large majority of genetic change is neutral with respect to natural selection—making genetic drift a primary factor in evolution.[7]" from Kimura, M. (1983). The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. Hamster (talk) 19:14, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I understand your frustration with the Conservapedia[edit]

First of all, I thank you for your help with the Anisotropic synchrony convention article. While it looks good at first glance, bad refutations of ASC — such as incorrectly claiming Lisle proposed an unworkable geocentric ASC — have no place on this Wiki.

I think the best solution to the ASC proposal is to point out that the ASC doesn’t really solve the light in transit problem young earth creationists have. Instead of creating artificial light in transit, with the ASC, God instead created objects with artificial aged time dilation. It’s the exact same problem slightly obfuscated.

Second of all, I share your anger with some of the horrible articles on the Conservapedia. The article there that really ticks me off is the poorly written and argued Counterexamples of an old Earth article. I wanted to scream in rage the first time I saw that article.

Thank you for your collaboration with me. I have enjoyed it. Samiam (talk) 06:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, I found the holes in Lisle’s ASC model when combined with a miraculous creation of the Earth 6,000 years ago. The universe is still old for most frames of reference and he still needs to either create deceptive light in transit going one-way away from Earth, or have a different looking universe around Earth and the Milky Way when looked at a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. This is all explained in Anisotropic synchrony convention. I would love you have you review my research and see if I’m making yet another Reeves-style error, or if the current model holds water. Samiam (talk) 12:53, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Does this thought experiment hold water[edit]


I do not think I am as well versed in Lorentz transforms and special relativity as you are, but, based on my limited understanding of these principles, I would like your feedback on this thought experiment with Lisle’s Anisotropic synchrony convention. This has been bugging me all week:

Sure this crazy ASC notion could be the actual universe we live in and the special theory of relativity would hold.
However, Lisle also proposes that God, via a special miracle (which breaks the laws of physics), creates every single star in the sky in one instant of time (“everything in the universe was made in the span of six days [...] this creation happened a few thousand (roughly 6,000) years ago [...] God tells us that the stars were created on the fourth day to give light upon the earth” Lisle 2010). This special miracle violates special relativity for various reasons. Among other things, it gives the universe an absolute clock.
Now that we have this absolute time that permeates the entire universe, we can suppose we’re an Andromedan in the Andromeda galaxy, 2.5 million light years from Earth, at the moment of creation. This Andromedan was just created with the artificial appearance of age—Lisle doesn’t seem to object to artificial age (“Just as Adam was created mature, needing no time or process to reach adulthood, so was the universe” Lisle, 2010)—just artificial light in transit.
The first thing this Andromedan does after being created is get out a telescope and look towards the Milky Way. What does she see there?
In a non-ASC universe with no miracle of creation 6,000 years ago, she would see the Milky Way and Earth as it existed 2.5 million years ago.
But, in Lisle’s ASC + miracle of creation 6,000 years ago, for our Andromedan to see the same thing, God would have to lie and create artificial light in transit.
As I understand it, and I could be wrong, Lisle’s only solves the problem of artificial light in transit coming towards the Earth in a 6,000-year-old universe. He doesn’t solve the corresponding problem of light in transit going away from Earth.
(Well, he can eliminate light in transit going away from the Earth if he assumes everyone else sees a big black spot instead of the Milky Way and Earth until 100,000 years ago our time/2,400,000 years in the future their time in the Andromedan galaxy)

Samiam (talk) 00:27, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm thinking about it, but it may take me a bit to come up with a solid answer. One thing, though - the notion that the anisotropy is centered on Earth seems to have cropped up again. From the Andromedan's POV, light travels instantaneously toward them, just as it travels instantaneously toward us from our POV. I've been working on a similar thought experiment, but I haven't figured out how to skew the light cones yet. This is going to take some reading, so don't wait up...--Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 05:11, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually, we don’t need the Andromedans. I have something much much simpler: Imagine a giant mirror 5,000 light years from Earth. In our universe, looking at that mirror, we’ll see Earth from 10,000 years ago. In Lisle’s ASC universe, that mirror will not show us anything for the next 4,000 years.
The reason things seem centered on Earth is not because of Lisle’s alternate way of looking at special relativity, but because the miracle of all of the stars appearing at once in Lisle’s paper is one that was done for the benefit of Earthlings and in Earth’s frame of reference. Samiam (talk) 05:31, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, I’ve backed up my current refutation with solid math. Using a combination of fairly basic high school geometry and trigonometry, along with Lisle’s own formula for calculating how fast a ray of light goes in his ASC universe, and using his divine creation miracle to sidestep the really hairy special relativity math, I demonstrate that, in Lisle’s universe, once the universe is created, one will see the reflection of a 10,000-light-year-away star before seeing a reflection of the Sun/Earth: Talk:Anisotropic_synchrony_convention#Let_me_back_up_some_of_my_refutation_with_solid_math Samiam (talk) 11:54, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Pendulums question from Saloon Bar expanded[edit]

"Any mathemagician types in the house?"

If I have two ideal pendulums with different periods that started swinging at different times, over a finite time period in the future I can find the shortest span between one pendulum reaching its leftmost apex and the next pendulum doing so, and I can say exactly when this will happen over that time period. If the pendulums have periods that drift, though, in a random-walk kind of way where each new error term is drawn from a known distribution and builds on previous errors, can I still make statistical predictions about the combined behavior of the pendulums like I could in the first case? --Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 23:33, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

yes Hamster (talk) 00:25, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Ask Ethan Siegel at Starts With a Bang for a great answer. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 00:44, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Isn't that just asking what can you say about two samples with set probability distribution functions? In which case, wouldn't the central limit theorem apply? Otherwise, you'd have to know if whatever statisticyou are looking for is an unbiased estimator. (My math minor did something!) Sterilesig.svgtalk 01:15, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Can anyone show me how to move this conversation to my talk page? --Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 14:04, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Conrol-X will cut it from here. Control-V will paste it to your take page. Like this. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:22, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

I have a method to simulate the behavior of a pendulum that has a particular kind of variable period. A starting period is specified, then an error term is randomly drawn from a distribution with mean of zero and given standard deviation. This error term is added to the starting period to produce a new period. The new period is used to find the time of the next leftmost maximum. The process is then iterated, adding a new random error term each cycle.

single simulated pendulum

Here is one simulation run for a single pendulum, with the times of leftmost maximum graphed. Close observation will show that the periods between maxima are not constant.

two simulated pendulums

Here, a second pendulum has been introduced. The second pendulum has a different starting time, a different starting period, and the error terms are drawn from a distribution with a different standard deviation (the mean is still zero).

two simulated pendulums and minimum interval

In this case, two pendulums are simulated and the shortest interval between a leftmost maximum of each pendulum is marked in blue. The blue mark somewhat obscures the marks for the two pendulums.

ten simulations of two pendulums

The simulation can be repeated, and the results for each run recorded. Here, ten runs are displayed. Note that the starting time of both pendulums remains constant, but over time the simulated leftmost maxima diverge for each pendulum.

large number of simulations

When large numbers of simulations are combined, patterns become more apparent. 30,000 simulations are summarized in this truncated figure. The distribution of the shortest interval for each run (blue areas) seems to be related to the intersection of the other two areas. Is there a quantitative way to express this?

distribution of shortest intervals

The same 30,000 runs as the previous figure, but here only the shortest intervals have been displayed to better show their distribution. The behavior here appears complex. What's the best way to describe it?

--Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 16:11, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Don't you think it's just Gaussians with increasing standard deviations added together? Sterilesig.svgtalk 17:11, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
offset normal curves with increasing standard deviations

Sterilesig.svgtalk 17:53, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict)I think that that describes the individual pendulums, yes. In fact for a starting period p, and standard deviation of the error terms of s, the Gaussian for the th period would have a mean of and a standard deviation of . I think that if you sum that for all over the interval in question you'll get one pendulum. I'm not sure how you go from there to the curve for the shortest intervals though. I think it would somehow involve the area that was common under the two curves. If you take a look at the 'large number of simulations' figure above at around the 165,000 mark, you see a left shoulder on the shortest intervals curve that matches a notch in the intersection of the curves of the two pendulums. But I'm not positive.--Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 18:25, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
The difference between two Gaussians is another Gaussian, isn't it? Although min(ΣN(μi,σi)-ΣN(μj,σj)) is sorta a weird thing to think about. Sterilesig.svgtalk 12:31, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
I think that the arithmetic sum and difference of two Gaussians is also a Gaussian, but now that you mention that I'm not sure that's what we're dealing with here. Maybe for a single pendulum it's more like the union of all those Gaussians, rather than the sum like I said above? When I construct the curve for one pendulum I take the first Gaussian with a mean of, say, 2, AND the next Gaussian with a mean of, say, 4. I don't add them to get a single new Gaussian with a mean of 6. And I don't think that the union of two Gaussians is itself a Gaussian. But I'm in the dark here - so I appreciate the help!
Qualitatively, it seems reasonable that the distribution of shortest intervals would match that of the common area under both individual pendulum curves, as those are the areas where it is possible for the interval to be zero. Not every individual minimum would be zero, of course.--Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 17:55, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
The sum/difference is important because you are measuring the difference between periods and you're adding the error each time. The standard deviations (proportional to error) do not add, but the variances (square of the standard deviations) do add up (I'm not sure where you got your standard deviation formula from), and I suspect the math would be the same for differences. Then you would add those normal distributions, and re-normalize the distribution (to give area 1; I would think you would just divide by the number of distributions). (You probably have to have a cut-off, as you could wait a long time for that smallest difference). Sterilesig.svgtalk 20:21, 18 August 2013 (UTC)