Newcomb’s Paradox: What Would You Do?

Recently, Mark Frauenfelder wrote an interesting article about Newcomb’s Paradox.
Franz Kiekeben (who is a very funny cartoonist) does a nice job of describing Newcomb’s Paradox, which I’ve enjoyed contemplating, on and off, for many years. For those of you that may be unfamilliar with it, here it is.

A highly superior being from another part of the galaxy presents you with two boxes, one open and one closed. In the open box there is a thousand-dollar bill. In the closed box there is either one million dollars or there is nothing. You are to choose between taking both boxes or taking the closed box only. But there’s a catch.

The being claims that he is able to predict what any human being will decide to do. If he predicted you would take only the closed box, then he placed a million dollars in it. But if he predicted you would take both boxes, he left the closed box empty. Furthermore, he has run this experiment with 999 people before, and has been right every time.

What do you do?

On the one hand, the evidence is fairly obvious that if you choose to take only the closed box you will get one million dollars, whereas if you take both boxes you get only a measly thousand. You’d be stupid to take both boxes.

On the other hand, at the time you make your decision, the closed box already is empty or else contains a million dollars. Either way, if you take both boxes you get a thousand dollars more than if you take the closed box only.

What would you do? Please read the rest of Kiekeben’s essay before offering your reasoning. Link

(Via Boing Boing.)

DIY Fig Rig


I saw a post the other day on about a DIY fig rig, I was amazed, and had to try. The results were great, and I am so happy with them. Images can be found here.

I thought that I would add my parts list, and some of the things that made it easy for me on this nice little DIY.

1x Five foot piece of 3/4 PVC pipe

10x 3/4 PVC chevron angle pieces umm… You know what I am talking about.

2x 3/4 PVC T’s

1x 3/4 PVC X

2x 3/4 PVC Plugs with a 1/4 inch whole drilled in it

1x 4-1/4 – 20 Carriage bolt

2x 1/4 inch fender washers

2x 1/4 inch wing-nuts

That is about it. The next step is trimming all of the PVC pipe to the correct lengths. With the five foot section of pipe, cut to these lengths.

5x 6 inches

2x 3 inches

4x 2 1/2 inches

2x 1 1/2 inches

That is all the cutting. About the easiest way that to put it all together is by doing it in two halves. That way you can press them together. After you get them put together, you screw the wing-nut to the bottom, and then add the washer. But the bolt all the way through, and unless you are adding the camera right away, put the other wing-nut on the top.

This was a really simple, cool project. I was anxious to get this started, as I wanted to take it skiing at Brighton the next day. You can check out the video here.

Special thanks to Shygantic for the specs.

Big Kid Toys

Picture 2.pngSo… I got an XMods RC Car. I have to say that this is one fun toy. I have to shout out my buddy Jeff for the hook-up over at RadioShack. So, these cars have kind of a cult following. They are totally customizable. You can add faster engines, all-wheel drive kits, lights, sway bars, body kits, and all kinds of other cool stuff. I think that later today, I am going to go and pick up the stage 2 engine, and the all wheel drive kit. Make it go a lot faster, and drift a little better. Post coming after!

Using Google Talk in iChat

Picture 3.pngI thought that I would take a moment to explain how to use Google Talk with iChat. I really like the ease of use and simplicity of iChat, and love that it integrates so well with Google Talk. I have a lot mre friends with PCs that are using gTalk, then Mac friends that are using AIM. So here it is.

1. Open iChat and Select Preferences/

2. Add a new account by clicking on the + button in the Accounts pane.

3. From the drop down menu, click on Jabber Account.

4. In the Jabber ID field put your email address.

5. Password: Your password.

5. In the server field, put

6. Then click add.

7. Make sure that in the server settings that is being used, and that all options are selected.

That is it, you are now ready to start chatting it up. If you need somebody to chat it up with, don’t hesitate to add me, at whyisjake at gmail dot com.

4K On The Timeline


Wow…. who loves HD? I do! For those of you that don’t live and breath video editing, one of the big pushes in world of film making is pushes towards High Definition. A standard TV program is encoded in a format called DV-NTSC. This means that there is roughly 720×480 pixels on the screen. When you got to HD, you can push from 480 pixels to 720, or recently 1080 lines of vertical lines of resolution. What is really cool, and the what is the budding technology of the future, is that People will soon be able to go beyond the 1080 lines of resolution, and reach 4000 lines of resolution.

A friend of mine and I have been wondering, how in the heck are we as editors (and computer nerds) going to be able to edit this high resolution video when video cards in computers only support up to 2k on the timeline. The answer comes with healthier, stronger video cards, beefy processors with lots of RAM, and now, the Redcode codec.

This new camera is going to be putting 4k on the timeline, and as such, allowing a $17,000 camera to work with a $4000 computer. Rather then having to use an $80,000 camera with a $100,000 proprietary, black-box, system.

God bless America.

On The Beauty Of Facebook

Picture 2.pngIt is one thing to create a site, and something else to create a thing of beauty that can integrate into a major browsing experience. I spend a lot of time online, I don’t regret this, I see it as the way of the future.

(Insert creepy video of Leonardo DiCaprio in the Aviator: The way of the future… The way of the future…)

One of my favorite findings is the newish feature in Facebook, called Sharing. I was thinking to myself today, the one thing that Facebook really is lacking is the ability to share and distribute content.

As i was reading the Facebook Blog today, I stumbled upon the sharing posts. With a single link in your bookmark bar, you can immediatly share all kinds of content from the web. Pretty slick. This quickly and easily allows you to share images, videos, blog posts within and outside of Facebook. Just another reason that I love Facebook way more then that other big social website



Picture 1_1.png
I found the coolest little plug-in for Safari called PicLens. It is similar to creating greased lightbox effect for images on specific sites like Flickr, Facebook, or Google Images. After getting a page full of photos, you can click on the bottom-left corner of one of the images, and be taken to a full screen slide show of the pictures on that page. Very cool, after your little brother posts a bunch of photos of his birthday part that he didn’t invite you too… Download it here.