313 reputation
16
bio website google.com/…
location Berlin, Germany
age
visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen Jul 13 at 13:39

I'm the Grumpy Old Ape sometimes answering C++ questions on Stackoverflow.
Usually you will find me in the C++ Lounge of the Stack Overflow chat.

I occasionally retweet something on my Twitter account, and I'm known to even generate my own tweets once in a while.


Apr
4
comment Are Americans More Obsessed With the Military Aspect of History? If so, why?
@BrotherJack Some of their tribes, like the Greeks, Latins, or Celts, settled huge areas, dispersing or assimilating the people living there when they arrived, only to in turn be driven out by yet others. (Think of the Germanic expansion driving the Celts out of central Europe, and the Slavic off to the east.) When we then come to the early medieval times, most European people have already found their place, but those waves just continued.
Apr
4
comment Are Americans More Obsessed With the Military Aspect of History? If so, why?
@BrotherJack: Retrospectively, genocide might have been too harsh a word, because not all of them set out to wipe out other people. OTOH, the effect was certainly the same: those other people disappeared. In Europe, Homo Sapiens made the Neanderthals disappear (who themselves inhabited areas formerly inhabited by other hominids), and archeology finds one cultural layer after another overrunning Europe, each sweeping their predecessor out the arena, until the first such wave in historical times, the Indo-Europeans, arrived.
Apr
4
awarded  Nice Answer
Mar
30
awarded  Editor
Mar
30
revised Are Americans More Obsessed With the Military Aspect of History? If so, why?
edited myself into an ugly corner there
Mar
28
comment Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
@ihtkwot: I was kinda sitting on my hands, trying not to post it, but in the end couldn't stop myself...
Mar
28
comment Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
Oh, and might I point out Hari Seldon, who proved beyond doubt that history can be statistically quantified and probabilistically predicted. :)
Mar
28
comment Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
@BrotherJack: Actually what I described wasn't an example of machine learning techniques. For those books, computers were "only" used to run the simulations based on the model the scientists had created. They were useful through their ability to run those simulations in mere hours (or maybe days, back then), while humans would have had to calculate for weeks, months, or even years to find the same results. But, yeah, natural language processing might be a very hot field, too, in history. I don't think anyone would tackle the Rosetta stone nowadays without the extensive help of computers. :)
Mar
28
comment Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
@ihtkwot: I think even the 2nd book is a bit out of date after 20 years, although, in essence, its prediction (we will run out of dumping grounds for our excess heat, carbon dioxide, waste, etc. before we run out of raw material) is probably still true. The authors said the 2nd book was triggered by the predictions of the 1st (we will run out of raw material) being rendered wrong. I suppose it's still a very good read, though. IIRC, the code for their mathematical model (in C, I think) was later put into the public domain. If you dig deep enough, you might still find it somewhere.
Mar
28
comment Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
@Sid: I am not sure what more I can say. Scientists are finding more and more correlations between the turmoils of the last millenniums and natural disasters. The Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age caused flourishing and starvation of populations, and through this conquests, wars, and revolutions — IOW: what we consider history.
Mar
27
comment Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
@ihtkwot: Ah, we had a misunderstanding then. Just as the weather forecast only talks about rain probability, and often cannot say with much certainty whether it will rain in a specific town, extrapolating the future from the past according to a specific model can only tell you about general trends and probabilities (think "wars for water"), but cannot predict a specific revolution. (What these scientists do is to create a mathematical model that, given the relevant data for, say, 1800, predicts a 2010 scenario that matches the 2010 reality. And then they just let it run a bit further.)
Mar
27
comment Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
@ihtkwot: If that was true, all weather forecasting would be in vain. Fortunately, you're wrong.
Mar
27
comment Was there ever any organization of thieves or pickpockets?
Well, seeing that this is for fictional reasons (pun intended) anyway, you might want to look into Ankh-Morpork's Guild of Thieves. :)
Mar
27
comment Are Americans More Obsessed With the Military Aspect of History? If so, why?
@quant_dev: Yeah, of course, they are a comparatively young nation, only recently formed. That I'd agree with.
Mar
27
answered Are Americans More Obsessed With the Military Aspect of History? If so, why?
Mar
27
awarded  Teacher
Mar
27
comment Are Americans More Obsessed With the Military Aspect of History? If so, why?
@quant_dev: Just about any nation, when you look back far enough, is based on genocide and civil wars. That's certainly true for the European cultures, most of whose ancestors came from the east and overrun whoever lived here before, just to later be overrun in their turn by more waves of Indo-Europeans, and over the millenniums fought each other viciously. And most European nations certainly had civil wars at one time or another.
Mar
27
answered Intersection Between Computer Science and History?
Mar
17
comment Why does German money from the 1940s not bear Nazi symbols?
@Anixx: I really don't know (though I doubt it), and googling brought up lots of historical info on the Reichskreditkassen, and detailed description on the coins, but nothing on the design curiosity you noted. Sorry, but I have to give up on this.
Mar
17
comment Why does German money from the 1940s not bear Nazi symbols?
Interestingly, this 5Pf coin, coined by the Reichskreditkasse in 1940, does show a swastika.