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About Edgar

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  1. Whenever I encounter a professional philosopher who is untrained in mathematics (which is basically every unpublished philosopher), I typically translate mathematical proofs into a loose approximation of basic English, without any symbols. I use pronouns to hide variables once they've been introduced, but the trick is hiding the initial variable introductions with proper nouns. I like to give arbitrary variables proper names to avoid spooking people. Usually this ends up meaning I use words like `Suzy' and 'Sharon' instead of `x' and `y'. This is only a minor sleight of hand, and I often get told it's awkward to read, but it's typically the closest I get to communicating something mathematical to a non-mathematician that otherwise thinks they know things. In Allen's case, I tend to think that an even more curmudgeonly version of that would be useful. People with no knowledge of rigor like to delude themselves into thinking they can capture the intuition behind complex ideas by entertaining a single, specific, non-general instance of it, even if it's of a more universal claim and that example would not otherwise generalize well. Need a set with three members? Talk about Mary, Sue, Linda and their rotary club. Need a property? Talk about the color of their hair. Need a binary relation? Talk about the difference in height between each pair of them. Give the example and tell them "It's like that". They'll nod their heads in agreement at your colorful characterization, either thinking (wrongly) that they understand your general theorem or just wanting to save face to avoid looking unintelligent. (It's usually the former and rarely the latter.) People also like to be told that they know things, so iyou should lead into complex points with phrases like "as I'm sure you know" or "as we all see" and pleasantries to that effect. This is especially helpful if there's an obvious gap between you and the other person. It makes it look like you're on the same page, and appearance is all that matters here.
  2. Hearthstone Random Talk Thread

    There isn't just some new King Krush otk lurking deep in this set's new hunter cards....right?
  3. I've been taking a class on the philosophy of language this semester. It's been technical enough that the material more or less overlaps with linguistics. We've mostly just been talking about the language people use to make claims about ethics in normal, everyday speech. In other words, we've been talking about the common use of words like 'ought' and 'should' rather than the meaning of 'ought' and 'should'. (If that sounds subtle and arcane, worry not; it is.) I've been tasked with writing a paper for the course, but the professor requested I take a survey of native English speakers before making any broad, sweeping, philosophical claims. (How dare he be so responsible.) Naturally, I have no funding to conduct a legitimate live-interview phone survey of a demographically representative sample of sufficient size to make any real claims. Thus, I turn to the next best thing: Duelistgroundz. If you'd like to help out a fellow DGz-er, take my SurveyMonkey survey on the use of the words 'ought' and 'should' in a few basic contexts. (It's extremely short and informal.) Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8F5CYTD I thank you all in advance for your continued benevolence.
  4. Philosophy in your life

    Though I rarely post here, I am quite literally a philosopher-in-training. (The Nietzsche picture is mostly just for the excellent facial hair, however. It was either him or Chester A. Arthur.) Since philosophy has had some impact upon my life, I figure I can speak of it to some extent with regard to the OP's musings about its everyday prevalence. Though I can only give my personal life experience, which I supremely doubt is generalizable, I'm tempted to say something like the following: 1. Philosophy is readily accessible but rarely by accident. What I mean by this is that most people I know have a strong interest in philosophy, but it's only aroused once someone introduces them to it. In this sense, someone with a philosophic mindset can turn almost anyone into an interlocutor. Really, it's moreso that few people ever even attempt to question claims or assertions, particularly long-held or "sacred" ones. It's the putting of scrutiny upon common claims, especially everyday ones, that produces a curious sensation in people with even a passing interest in thinking. I've had these sorts of conversations with a number of people over the years. Almost every time, after several hours of talking like that, I would receive a strong thanks or appreciation for the mere act of pointing out philosophy's existence. 2. Philosophy is extremely difficult, and effective philosophers are much rarer. From a practical view, a good philosophical partner has two things: intelligence and open-mindedness. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the latter is much more important than the former. As you might imagine, it's extremely difficult to find someone who is perfectly open-minded. Even the best philosophers have vaguely partisan views on certain matters; the worst have only partisan views. The issue here is that philosophical discourse usually requires a starting point. To find a starting point, one often needs to look for areas of agreement, tossing aside beliefs that are firmly held yet not easily justifiable. Many people can be taught or coerced to be more open-minded, and when I talk to others philosophically, I ruthlessly probe them on seemingly trivially correct beliefs. However, few people demand such extreme open-mindedness of themselves without being prompted. Those that do are often led to skepticism. (It's something of a running joke that every aspiring young philosopher goes through a period of skepticism in graduate school. I'd cast suspicion and envy upon any that didn't.) As far as intelligence goes, it's extremely useful when it comes to philosophy but in less obvious ways than might be expected. Firstly, a person that is intelligent yet close-minded makes for a poor philosopher. If one isn't looking to examine beliefs or assertions and revise them if necessary, he isn't much of a philosopher. That's philosophy's bread and butter. The more interesting point, however, is that intelligence can be misleading when it comes to philosophy. In my opinion, without the proper tools of reason (logic and mathematical proof), intelligence can lead one far too easily astray. What I mean by that is that intelligence is most effectively used when thinking rationally. I consider this to be best epitomized by reasoning logically, insofar as that is possible. Curiously, there are limitations on logic from a practical standpoint, so a supremely articulated philosophical argument closely resembles an (in)formal mathematical proof. (However, this opinion is controversial. There are pockets of philosophers that would heartily reject this assertion, and many more that pay mere lip service to the claim but do not follow it.) Tangentially, in my view, mathematicians are often either extremely effective philosophers or have zero interest in philosophy at all. (This hinges upon the open-mindedness of the individual at hand. Perhaps Allen has an opinion on this?) 3. Philosophy is nearly useless and more often detrimental. At its core, philosophy is about questioning things. In life, when one questions things like order or directives, it is often more difficult to fulfill what is required. This is fine for more theoretical pursuits and lifestyles, but it can be a burden for anyone with a very boring or straightforward job, no matter how well it pays. The mere act of questioning produces hesitation, and depending upon the results it might also produce resentment toward the task at hand. The issue is that once one beings to question things, it is difficult to go back to a life of not questioning things. For people with many straightforward directives in life, philosophical questioning often reduces effectiveness or willingness to carry out such directed tasks. This is the downside to philosophical activity. Really, as far as I'm concerned, philosophy is only of use to the small fraction of people who live lives of theoretical pursuits. The most obvious example is that of theoretical scientists. While experimentalists can often subsist without putting common scientific precepts to scrutiny, those positing new theoretical frameworks can be of great reward by utilizing philosophy. However, philosophy itself is only supplementary in such cases to a more primary knowledge base (often a science of some sort). Philosophy in and of itself only merely makes one better at theoretical pursuits; it does not actually teach these pursuits. This puts a skilled philosopher in a curious position: better able to treat of theoretical pursuits yet unexplored by others. Aside from scientific research, off-hand the only concrete example of a role where this is particularly useful is that of political ruler. An effective ruler must be able to effectively sort through a wide array of complex theoretical problems, often ones that are not even anticipated. Specialists function (far) better in some of these particular areas of course, but only philosophy prepares one for a theoretical-generalist position, which, quite frankly, is a job that rarely exists. I don't know of how much use everything I said is though. I went full-on Earl with the comment length, after all. (That's good, right?) Of note, however, is that Duelistgroundz's trial by fire method of improving Yu-Gi-Oh! play is far more pleasing philosophically than almost anything you'd find on Pojo or the like. It's part of what brought me to the site initially.
  5. Thanks, everyone. This was helpful.
  6. I'm gearing up to enter academia and was looking to make a simple personal website where I can put a CV and post links to various journal publications.   Most people I know in similar circumstances have basic sites through blogspot or something similar. I am looking to instead create something basic from scratch with my own domain name.   Much of my current research involves mathematical logic, but the only remotely relevant applied programs I have used are MATLAB and Mathematica.   Given my ignorance, I have a few questions:   1. Where and how can I register a domain name? 2. What should I expect from related hosting fees (if any)? 3. What languages ought I learn for this purpose?   My goal is to make a trivially basic site that I can gradually expand over time as my research progresses.
  7. DCK vs BLS

    I find it curious that the rulings for the timing of Doomcal's effect against Warrior Lady's seem to imply that Black Luster Soldier's effect could trigger even if the monster that it defeats during Damage Calculation never hits the graveyard. I had previously assumed that a monster that lost during Damage Calculation then lingered between "After Damage Calculation" and the "End of the Damage Step" and were considered merely "destined to have been destroyed by battle" rather than already "destroyed by battle," since it would not yet have been literally in the graveyard despite the fact that destruction would typically technically be a form of a card's sending to the graveyard. I suppose that in actuality it is theoretically then possible that a card could lose in battle but then leave the field via a card cost/effect after damage calculation without affecting Luster's ability to attack again. I guess Doomcal would negate the activation of Luster's effect though, were it to be activated, which, since optional, would not be mandatory like Doomcal's. Then Luster would be destroyed by the card effect.
  8. Karakuri

    I do like Soul Taker. I was just about to post a thread on that card. It's surprisingly useful for making cards like The Shining and Lightpulsar Dragon miss the timing on their effects on top of the already nice spot removal.
  9. Silvery Snow Sniper

    I like it, but I can only see it used reliably as a sided response if decks running the full gauntlet of mystical space typhoons and night beams become popular. Although, I suppose it has some merit against Inzektors, if they're still around after the next ban list, right after this finally hits the TCG.
  10. Yeah, I suppose I could have worded that a bit more cleanly, but that's just the way I rationalize it in my head. You have to destroy the old card in order to activate or set the new one, which makes it feel like a cost, albeit not technically being one. I always found it weird that the old card has to be "destroyed" rather than "sent" though. It just feels strange, since when you tribute a monster, you don't destroy it, yet removing your field spell in order to play another counts as destruction. Eh. I guess we have Geartown to thank for that.
  11. I was under the impression that for someone to activate a new Field Spell if the same person already has one on the field, since there is only one Field Spell Zone, one must first destroy the prior one as a sort of pseudo-activation cost in order to activate the new Field Spell, and that then, upon activation and prior to any other card effects being chained, the continuous effects of Malefic monsters "notice" that there isn't a new Field Card on the field and apply their destruction effects, since this new Field Card wouldn't "count" until it resolves successfully, yet the continuous effects "check" the game state constantly.
  12. HERO

    I like that you max out on Emergency Calls. I always found the extra speed it gives to help with set-up for fusion plays. They also serve as excellent bait for blind MST's if you draw too many of them. I've always personally preferred Dimensional Prison to Bottomless Trap Hole, however. I find it to be much more useful for a deck like Heroes that isn't always brimming with huge monsters. It's also much, much better off the top-deck, at least in my experience.
  13. Really Eternal Rest

    Typically, I would side Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, but I myself have been siding Really Eternal Rest as well in my Chaos build. I treat it as a side-deck replacement against Inzektors for decks that run a high amount of dark monsters natively (anything beyond Tour Guides and Sangan, basically).
  14. Orange Soda

    Hey, I'm Edgar, introducing myself as is apparently the thing to do around these parts. I've been lurking DuelistGroundz for awhile now, finally making an account once I started forming questions in my head(s) that I only trusted to get quality answers from here. There are only so many times you can Google a rulings question only to see nothing but Pojo links. (Bleh, I hate that place.) Anyway, I started seriously playing YGO around New Year's and quickly became a junkie. I'm a rulings nerd, so I constantly look to try to make sense of the things that Konami spits out for individual cards, and the posts here have helped me tremendously in that department. Things like that new chart that Kevin & Co. put out with regards to the Artist Formerly Known as Priority excite me more than they have any right to. 'Same with Atem's charts. Those things are heavenly. Anyway, I like building and playing rogue decks namely, chaos. I, unlike Kel, also hate Orange Soda. Videos supporting it really make me cringe. I hate people that post them. [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lTBUDBq8xw[/media]
  15. LaDD and Gellenduo

    If we look at what has been previously posted about the Damage Step, [quote name='Pharaoh Atem' timestamp='1297220679' post='2762182'] [3] The Damage Step The Damage Step has confused people for a long time now. It's not all that complex unless we let it be. The Damage Step has a Start, an End, and several things that happen in between. I'll make a list. These are NOT steps, nor are they "parts of the Damage Step." They are THINGS THAT HAPPEN in a specific order, nothing more. These are the bare bones of the Damage Step. (a) Start of the Damage Step This one's nothing more than what it's called. (b) "Until the end of this Damage Step, flip all involved face-down monsters face-up." This one's usually called "Flip face-down monsters face-up". The problem with that description is that it makes it seem like the "flip face-up" thing is something that only happens here. With the creation of the card "Gemini Counter", it's now possible to flip a monster face-down again after it's flipped face-up because of this rule. So, I changed how I describe it; because of Gemini Counter's answer to what we do if a mon's flipped face-down later. We flip it right back up again. © Damage Calculation Simple stuff. This is the actual "battle." Compare stats of involved monsters, inflict battle damage to players if necessary, and note which monsters are considered destroyed by the battle; said monsters are not sent to the Graveyard immediately. (d) End of the Damage Step It's what it sounds like. This is the time where monsters destroyed by the battle are sent to the Graveyard by that battle. The Damage Step only gets complex when effects are added in the mix. Some effects activate at the start of the damage step. Some activate when a card is flipped face-up. Some are triggered when a card is flipped face-up, but wait to activate. (FLIP: Effects and other effects that work similarly to them activate after damage calculation.) Some activate before damage calculation. Some of these effects can activate at any time from the start of the damage step up until damage calculation; others can activate only after face-down involved cards are flipped. Some activate during damage calculation. Some activate when battle damage is inflicted. One of these effects - "Flashbang" - activates before all the others. Some activate after damage calculation. "Red Dragon Archfiend", "D.D. Warrior Lady", and the effects of monsters triggered by being flipped face-up (FLIP: Effect or not) activate here. Some activate at the end of the damage step. [/quote] it would appear as though once damage calculation occurs at (c), your Light and Darkness Dragon would still be on the field, waiting to be sent to the graveyard, Gellenduo's effect would activate here as its own chain, I'm bit sketchy on this part, but I believe that Light and Darkness Dragon's effect would not be able to be activated at this time since it's considered "destroyed," so to speak, allowing Gellenduo's effect to resolve, sending it to the graveyard. Then after the chain resolves and sends Gellenduo to the graveyard,the Damage Step ends at (d), and LaDD is sent to the graveyard, triggering LaDD's effect which can target Gellenduo in the grave at activation because it was previously destroyed.