packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (quarter-rear)
Dan Shive (best known as the creator of El Goonish Shive) recently wrote a brief argument why alternate universes would probably not contain alternate "you"s. His argument looks correct, as far as it goes, but it is qualitative - lacking numerical estimates - and I don't see why it has to be. The data exists. Surely ballpark back-of-the-envelope numbers could be produced.

...but not trivially. Dan Shive's challenge can - and I think should - be broken down as follows.

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Now, I lack the knowledge of biology to, first, nail down these questions to their most correct forms, and second, assign probability estimates to relevant steps in the chain. But the most superficial examination of the situation seems to suggest at least one thing: any alternate universe measurably diverging a significant period before the birth of an individual is vanishingly likely to contain a copy of that individual. Which, of course, is what Dan Shive has pointed out.

And, as an obvious consequence of this, even if such a universe contained a duplicate of yourself, it would still be vanishingly unlikely for it to contain duplicates of anyone not your direct descendant. (Which would make for a heck of a paternity test, I have to tell you!)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Now that the election is over, we can get to the important stuff. Why is there a light in the refrigerator but not in the freezer?

Submitted By [ profile] vivichick

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As an engineer, I would bet on condensation and ice deposition. Unlike in the refrigerator compartment, freezer compartments tend to accumulate water (generally solid) on the interior surfaces. If this water is melted by the heat of the lamp, it can short out the system. (Further, the obvious way of avoiding this problem - having the light behind an insulating shield - fails, because the shield develops ice and obscures the light.) In addition to this problem with the light, the switch that would turn on the light when the freezer opens is vulnerable to icing and the resultant clogging.

A light in the freezer would be handy. Unfortunately, it's not practicable.


packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

October 2011

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