Sam Harris discusses morality

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.

Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions

Did you know what does CAPTCHA stand for?

Back in the days of the army – actually that was just 2 years old but I like to make it sound real long ago – we always had different courses to attend, different software systems to use. And they always have these crazy contrived acronyms that would sound nice (some failed). I always imagine a bunch of people brainstorming a name for the product, then subsequently spend 5 times longer to figure how to have the long form fit the acronym. And one would go, “how about COURAGE?” Then a bunch of people start writing down what can COURAGE possibly stand for only to get rejected one by one and move on to try PRIDEST or something. The whole procedure is iterative.

So much time spent on a contrived acronym. And everyone chipped in. I give the silliest acronym as much of my interest lies in finishing my program, my book, my whatever, just anything but the acronym. I can’t be bothered. I think Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express Edition Service Pack 1 is fine. And I think calling (EDIT: I fell asleep here.)

Oh I digressed too much. Anyway, CAPTCHA actually stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.

Screenshot of Windows 7’s new calculator Programmer mode

Here’s the calculator in Windows 7. It’s got 4 modes, basic, scientific, programmer and statistics:

Windows 7 calculator different modes

(The different modes of Windows 7 calculator.)

I don’t know why there is “programmer” in the list. I thought “Programming” would probably be a better choice. Better yet:

  1. Normal human
  2. Scientist
  3. Programmer
  4. Statistician

This is how the normal human calculator looks like:

Windows 7 calculator basic

(Windows 7 calculator basic.)

Nothing new here for scientists. It just looks prettier but I add the impression that scientist don’t like pretty things.

Windows 7 calculator scientific

(Windows 7 calculator scientific.)

The new “Programmer” mode. Displays 64 bits nicely for you:

Windows 7 calculator programmer

(Windows 7 calculator programmer.)

And for the statistician, I am apparently not a statistician, I don’t know what I did to get the value. Perhaps someone can enlighten me what the orange-lit button meant:

Windows 7 calculator statistics

(Windows 7 calculator statistics.)

It makes me happy to see the Windows 7 calculator. It’s an improvement from the age old Windows calculator design.