This quote is commonly attributed to John von Neumann: "You insist that there is something that a machine can't do. If you will tell me precisely what it is that a machine cannot do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that." Did he say it, or something like it? Where? If not, who did?
I heard a term somewhere that referred to the modern phenomena of sounds being decoupled from what produces them, in the sense that it's no longer a one-to-one relationship between sound and thing. So whereas previously every time you heard a bark you knew it was a dog, now it could be a TV, a computer, or a robot dog. Likewise, a big professional sound system could sound like almost anything. I think the originator was an academic. I distinctly remembering seeing mention of this on wikipedia once. What was that term? Who coined it?
I'm looking for a listing, preferably something with citations of the actual state laws, of when each state changed it's laws to allow for the direct election of electors in the electoral college.
A friend of mine has just returned from Mongolia and was describing roving mad-max style gangs of men using Nazi symbols, with apparently limited understanding of their meaning in the west. Where can I read more about Mongolian Nazis? Is this really prevalent? How did they come to hear about Nazis in the first place? Do they get along with western neo-nazis (despite being ethnically Mongolian)? [more inside]
This is a recording of the CBS radio announcement of the Pearl Harbor bombings. I remember having a longer version of this exact clip, and right where this one ends an announcer with a classic American radio accent says "We take you now, to Washington". Where could I find that again? (I've googled, and all I can find is the abridged version). [more inside]
Has data ever been assembled showing the religous convictions of Americans over time, starting at the countries conception? A sort of compendium of the religious history of the United States... It seems as though such a thing should certainly exist, but I've yet to find it.