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There are now 33 comments... what are your thoughts?
  1. Jeff B says

    … is it just me, or was every single detail about the clothing that the suspect was wearing? He says he’ll never forget the face, but he didn’t say anything about the face!

    • Yep. The suspect was picked off the street based on a clothing description, and the photo lineup had the suspect as the only one with matching clothing. The prompt “describe him” is awful here, because it basically tells the witness that the suspect is in the photo array, and that there are matching details to look for.

  2. Taleweaver says

    Jacket and turtleneck color seem to match. The brain fills in the rest of the details. I mean, “how could I not remember anything about his face? That guy stabbed me!”

  3. Gregory T. Bogosian says

    Were the attacker’s eyes really closed during the stabbing or is that just a false memory created because the victim doesn’t remember what his eyes looked like?

        • This might be rude but…

          Were you paying attention this chapter? This is how memory works. What you remember about the guy who stabbed you was, “holy shit he was white and wearing a coat and a turtleneck and a beanie.” You might even remember what he was wearing. These are simple things to remember. So then when a cop officer is like “is this the guy” and his clothes all match your preconceptions, you brain goes, “aha! This must be the dude!”

          What’s easier to remember, the number of centimeters between a guy’s eyes, or the clothes he was wearing?

  4. SeanR says

    Happy Pi Day!
    (Now, here’s hoping Pi loses this one.)

      • For pun’s sake is Pi’s birthday 3/14? (Or 4/31 if you go by silly backwards European methods)
        Since she currently doesn’t have a proper name yet, I’m’a propose Pietra.

          • US seems silly: MM-DD-YYYY = middle, small, large — but it’s the same pattern as used in spoken language, so it’s not nonsensical. It’s the pattern we inherited from England back in the day. No idea how it came about in England.

            Europe is backwards: DD-MM-YYYY= small, middle, large — logical, but unwieldy and cannot use for sorting data.

            I prefer the other way around: YYYY-MM-DD. Am I the only one who does this? It allows easy sorting by date, is instantly comprehensible to both Americans and Europeans… Y’all need to adopt it.

              • We tried back in the 70s, and that messed me up. The elementary schools really went all-out to teach the metric system, and at least the ones I went to didn’t bother teaching English measure. Then when I got to junior high and high school, we only used metric anyway because science. Plus, I spent a fair amount of my youth living abroad.

                The upshot is, I never truly learned non-metric measure. To this day, I really don’t know how many cups are in a quart, how many yards to an acre, what a bushel is, etc. I do know there are 12 inches to a foot, and a yard’s a little less than a meter, and a quart’s kind of liter-ish, and (living in NYC) a mile’s about 20 blocks. But the rest is a gap I never filled in.

                Although I must say that Fahrenheit makes much more sense for human needs than Celsius. 0F is damn cold, 100F is damn hot. 0C on the other hand is merely chilly, while 100C is dead. With Fahrenheit, each group of 10 is meaningful: 90s = Hot, 80s = Warm, 70s = Pleasant, 60s = Cool, 50s = Crisp, 40s = Chilly, 30s = Cold, 20s = Freezing, 10s = Fucking Cold. With Celsius the divisions aren’t as clear: 30s = kinda hot up to blazing, 20s = nice and up to hot, 10s = chilly and up to pleasant, 0s = kinda cold.

                • Fahrenheit/Celsius difference:

                  Actually, Celsius makes tons of sense. Human bodies are mostly water. 0°C: water freezes. 100°C: water boils. Then mark out 99 intervals between them.

              • Metric’s Base10 is a little pointless in the age of pocket-supercomputers. If you wanted a properly efficient unit of measurement, we should all switch over to the gallon-style Base2 measurements. it’s nice and intuitive and easier to process in a computer.

                  • Units related by powers-of-2 (cup, pint, quart, half gallon, gallon) are easy to convert with a binary computer. You don’t even have to multiply; you just shift left or right, like moving the decimal point in base-10 arithmetic.

                    Meanwhile, in base 2, the fraction 1/10 is actually an infinite fraction which cannot be represented precisely (without an infinite amount of memory). So 10 x 0.1 is not exactly equal to 1. Metric is doomed to imprecision in the computer age. :)

                    This being a site about law, it’s perhaps worth noting that the US has been officially metric since 1893. (Allowed by law since 1866; regulated to be the sole basis in 1893.) All those familiar units are just names for specific values of SI measures. There aren’t any separate standards maintained for US measures. You can still buy meat by the pound in England. Canada still sells 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood for your house, because it’d be silly to sell 1200x2400mm sheets that didn’t fit with the others. Nobody complains that they’re not metric. The US population just ignores its metric fundamentals a little more thoroughly.

                  • LDD put it better than I would have, but yep! Computers being as common as they are, a binary-based system of measurement would in theory be more precise, and require less processing power to handle on a daily basis. Base10(Metric) and Base12(Most of Customary) require a little overhead for the processor to handle, though it’s impossibly tiny.

                    The intent was more to poke fun of the idea that the customary, imperial, or metric units matter all that much, since we all carry phones capable of converting from from anything to anything in a blink of an eye.

                • The imprecision caused by digital approximations using base 10 instead of base 2 is negligible, and given that a base 10 number system is standard use, the advantages of metric’s base 10 vastly out weigh the benefits of base 2. Sure, a handful of digits well below measurement precision that are going to be dropped off anyways are more accurate with base 2. On the other hand, if there’s some human error in using that computer it’s less likely to get noticed, whereas in a familiar base 10 system.

                  On top of that, there’s plenty of times where it’s worth doing quick back-of-napkin calculations, and that being is base 10 makes it easier. There’s a reason that even when the U.S. didn’t switch to metric, it’s really common in science and engineering, and even in the engineering fields where it is less common a lot of the engineers would prefer to work in it, but can’t because existing infrastructure (including stored information) isn’t in metric. As someone who actually does a great deal of math which involves units, the base system sounds awful.

            • I write YYYY-MM-DD whenever possible. So do most of my co-workers. Of course, we’re all programmers, so “logical but unconventional” is kind of our thing.

            • Month-day-year is the pattern commonly used in _modern_ spoken language. I’ve been told that putting the day first used to be more common (e.g. you’d say “the first of May” rather than “May first”). I’m really not sure how we transitioned to middle-first, which is a rather silly standard.

              If I ever have to invent a date format for a fictional civilization, maybe I should use year-day-month and see how many readers try to claim that’s an implausible system.

              According to Wikipedia ( Wikipedia|Date_format_by_country ), the year-month-day ordering that you prefer is common in a few countries, including China and Japan. I agree it’s handy that it turns an alphabetical sort into a chronological one, and for that reason I tend to use it when putting dates into filenames on my computer.

              Year-month-day is also analogous to the “big-endian” system we use for numbers (i.e. the digit with the biggest place value comes first; 123 = 100 + 20 + 3, not 1 + 20 + 300). Although a persuasive argument could be made that “little-endian” is actually a more convenient system (when you read the number 123,456,789, you can’t actually tell that the first digit represents “hundreds of millions” until you get to the end of the number, so you have to count the digits in the number and then go back to the beginning; in a little-endian system, the first digit always represents “ones”, so you can read and understand the digits in the order they’re written, and without making multiple passes).

  5. Ann Onymous says

    “Son of a bachelor.” Nice.

  6. Y. Exeter says

    “Number three? No? No… um…”

    That’s a slightly different response from how he responded in the earlier panel. Given that he’s looking at the investigator while saying this, I’m… guessing that’s accidental coaching by the investigator, right? Considering the guy seems to be seeking feedback.

  7. Tim says

    BTW, I got a C on my CivPro midterm.

    I’m blaming you, since you insist on dealing with *interesting* topics, and not the ones I’m struggling with.

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