A Question of Randomness

I've been pondering a question for a while, and I can't figure out the answer. Because it's odd and analytical, I thought I'd talk about it here. It comes from a digital card game I play a bit, but the question applies more broadly.

Suppose you have a deck of cards which has been properly shuffled and dealt from. Some effect or game mechanic instructs a player to look through the deck and pull out any one card whose suit is Spades then shuffle the deck.

Now suppose you are playing the same game on a computer. The same effect or mechanic is used. Because it is on a comuter, the game can show you the player his or her options without revealing the order of the deck. Because the player does not gain any information about the order of the deck, the game does not shuffle the deck after. The deck's order is left exactly the same, save one card has been removed.

The question I've been pondering is, are these two approaches effectively the same? In terms of effective randomness, does removing a card from a randomized deck have the same effect as removing the card then shuffling the deck? If both approaches were used many times in many games, would there be any difference in the overall effect on games and the order cards are drawn in them?

Strangest Problem I've Ever Seen

I think my computer is haunted. I've spent several hours examining it today, and here is a small sampling of what I've encountered. On any webpage in Chrome, typing Ctrl+C like you would to copy something is interpreted as typing "". Ctrl+V, used to paste things, is interpreted as "". Backspace isn't recognized as being pressed at all,* but if I hold Ctrl down, it functions as the Delete key. If I open the same page in Firefox, no keys work *unless* I hold down Ctrl, then Ctrl+whatever works like normal.

And that's just the web pages. Firefox has the same problem if I type in its address bar as if I type on a webpage, but Chrome has something different. In Chrome, if I try to type in a web address, Chrome activates the Ctrl-command associated with any key which has one. So if I type the letter a, it uses Ctrl+A to highlight all text. If I type v, it pastes whatever I last copied. So forth and so on.

This is, without a doubt, the strangest thing I've ever experienced on a computer. There's a ton more to it too. The strangest part is it only affects programs which use Javascript (and possibly similar coding languages). Other programs, like Notepad, have no issues at all. It is baffling, and I think I should set my computer on fire. Or just reinstall Windows.

*For any programmers out there, the key is actually recognized as being pressed down and let up, it just isn't triggering a keypress event to do anything. I have no idea how that's possible.

How Do You Mess That (Much) Up?

I am not perfect. Nobody is. I get that. I have made plenty of stupid mistakes in my life. Even so, I don't understand how some mistakes get made. It's even more confusing when those mistakes get included in a publication. For that to happen, the author needs to make the mistake and not notice the mistake while drafting the publication. Then any editors and reviewers have to not notice the mistake. Then usually, readers have to not notice the mistake either.

For some errors, I understand how that might happen. For others, I don't. Today's post is going to discuss an example where several inter-related errors in a publication caused the paper to have dramatically different results than it would have had otherwise.
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I'll Be Back

Visitors to this site will have noticed I've been absent from it for quite some time. The reason for this is simple. I got fed up with the global warming debate because no group, side or organization involved in it I could find has the slightest bit of integrity. I couldn't even find many individuals who did. The result was nothing I said or did seemed to matter since the overall dialogue is nothing but partisan punditry.

I started doing other things with my time, and I had way more fun and got way more out of them. As time went on though, I missed some of the things that had attracted me to the global warming debate in the first place. I never really cared about the debate itself, but I always liked studying, analyzing and learning that came with it. And to be honest, I loved seeing the many absurdities one could find.

As a result, I recently started examining things again. I thought it'd be fun to go back to my original method of reading and studying, without commenting. It was. But as I did it, I once again found things I need to talk about just to "get them off my chest." Because honestly, some things are too good not to share.

I debated about coming back for a couple weeks, but the latest discovery I made is such a doozy it sealed my decision for me. From here on, I'm not going to try to "make a difference." I'm not going to worry about sides, groups or anything tied to society. I know some people will get annoyed at me for saying this, but everyone participating in the global warming debate sucks.

But that doesn't mean people can't have some fun looking at parts of the debate. That's what I plan to do. Tomorrow I'll be back, refreshed and reinvigorated, with a new post that contains what I think may be my most hilarious discovery to date. I won't say it is important, but god, is it funny.

The Chutzpah

I'm trying to get a bunch of work done on a couple gaming-related projects by Christmas so I'm not spending much time keeping up with things in the blogosphere, but a person drew my attention to a tweet and I had to highlight it:

It's really quite obscene. If you don't know why it's so outrageous, read my response to it:

Lewandowsky and many of his compatriots of his field of study have completely misused simple correlation tests by applying them to highly skewed data sets, violating basic requirements for the tests. The tests require data have a symmetrical distribution (which you can't have in a heavily skewed data set), and because of that requirement, the relationships their results represent will be symmetrical.

Lewandowsky has amazing chutzpah to violate the requirement his data have a symmetrical distribution then turn around and say his results prove there is a symmetrical relationship.

Nazi! Nazi! Nazi!

Lately I've discussed some examples of how the once great site, Climate Audit, has been going downhill as its proprietor, Steve McIntyre, has taken to a strange behavior in which he says and does all sorts of bizarre things which make him seem little more than a mouthpiece for Russian propaganda.

McIntyre complains about being described as such, but at this point, I think it is a completely appropriate description. We've reached the point where McIntyre happily even the most obvious of tricks used in Russian propaganda. Consider, for instance, this tweet of his:

Here, McIntyre slams a group for supporting "Ukraine, one of only three nations in world to vote against UN anti-Nazi resolution." McIntyre apparently feels this is a terrible thing to do, but if so, why doesn't he mention who the other two countries who voted against the resolution were? Maybe it's because he's Canadian, and those two countries are the United States and Canada. I guess he didn't want to admit he refuses to support his homeland due to it being run by Nazi sympathizers.
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That's not Pedophilia!

I've been in something of a writing malaise as of late, and as a result, I've been spending time doing other things, like helping set up a new website I'll be contributing to (for gaming, not cimate stuff). I feel kind of bad about not posting more here, but honestly, the other things I've been doing feel far more productive.

That said, I did see two things I couldn't ignore today on Twitter. I'm going to talk about one today and the other tomorrow. For today's, no real context is needed but most readers have probably heard Senator Roy Moore has been accused of sexually molesting teenage girls. A user on Twitter, who I believe is aso a commenter here, wrote this in regard to those accusations:

Moore's accuser was a 14 year old girl who says he, when he was a 32 years old assistant district attorney, invited her to his house and gave her alcohol. She says they kissed and he undressed the both of them, so that she was weraing just her underwear and bra while he was just wearing underwear. Then, she claims, he made her put her hand on his genitals.

But this isn't pedophilia, because her underwear stayed on!

Happy Turkey Day!

Scheduling issues prevented my family from getting together to celebrate Thanksgivings Day yesterday so we're doing it today instead. I think that's okay. The date of most holidays is arbitrary so if you want to celebrate one day rather than another, who's to complain? Besides, it sure beats going shopping today.

Anyway, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Turkey Day. I don't actually know how this holiday came about as I'm pretty sure my grade school lessons about pilgrims in their shiny buckles weren't all that accurate, but I can't say I really care. It's a great holiday for spending time with family and something and something... Yeah, I don't know.

I just like to good food.

Prius Too Fast

So I nearly got in a pretty bad car wreck today. Some guy in a sports car decided I was going too slow in my Prius. No prob. He can just go around me. We're on a highway with two lanes going our direction. It's not even a problem he decides to swing back into the right lane even though the left lane was completely clear.

The problem is, somehow, in his nice little sports car, he doesn't accelerate enough so when he swings back into the right lane, he's less than a foot from my car. Panicked, he yanks the wheel left and goes into a full spin, landing in the grass (unharmed). Naturally, when I go to check on him he speeds off before I can even get to his car.

I'm fine as he managed to just barely avoid clipping my car, but I can't get over this. How in the world did this guy wind up in a situation where he would have to say, "The Prius was going too fast"?

November 19, 2017 9:45 Update: This morning when I saw my car, I realized the phrase "close call" might not be entirely accurate: