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nkt

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  1. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Michaelangelica in Are older people capable of rational thought?   
    I've just read this thread with much mirth.
     
    Yes, the title/subject is bigoted. It really wasn't thought through.
     
    The topic of this debate should have been neutrally phrased. It is one of the cores of the scientific method - don't ask leading questions!
     
    From my experience of arguments, as a forum mod, from working in Big Aero, and from being one of two boys, the most common start of arguments, especially big and noisy ones, is that the two (or more) parties are arguing different things. As things get more frantic, it can be very funny to note how many people are arguing the same thing, from a different angle, using different language forms.
     
    {Someone} doesn't get it, because he doesn't seem to understand the argument, possibly because it's not in his list of types of argument?
     
    Anyway, this thread cannot be "solved" because it was a poorly phrased question, and everyone is arguing about different things.
     
    If we change the debate topic to "Which group is more rational, the young or the elderly?", then we can have a debate.
     
    Given the new topic, I would suggest that, in general, the young are more impulsive, and less likely to act rationally. No rational person would drink to excess, to the point of falling down, yet many people do. Binge drinking is a problem mostly of the younger generation, in the UK, where town centres are now the subject of youth curfews and drinking bans. More youths are in prison, and more are committed to prison, than older persons (though the gender gap is even more noticeable) which implies lower impulse control, since most crimes are not pre-planned.
     
    As to the questions raised above by some as regards the "obvious" deterioration of the elderly, I would suggest that this is partly a self-selecting set. Many youths who were mentally confused and had issues due to it would already have been subjected to a strong selection pressure during the journey to old age. Those in homes for the last 50 years would be less visible, while those not in care would be more likely to die before reaching old age. Further, those who lost it (or never had it) at a young age 50 years ago could easily be mis-filed. (Though that could easily be argued either way - they are old now, which group do they go in? Both?)
     
    That some proportions of both the young and old are bat$hit crazy is true, but we would have to investigate the comparative rates of crazy, as well as track the delta of the crazy function over a short to medium term.
     
    Further, who defines crazy or even just stubborn? It is an eternal hope of mine that Terry Pratchett is perfectly fine, and it is the testing process that is wrong. "Do you see persons and characters that are not there?" "Can you hear the voices of the dead in your head?" "What colour is magic?" When you consider his corpus of work, I'm sure he would answer yes to all three of those questions. When you don't consider it, he's a nutter.
     
    Much to debate, once the question is properly phrased.
  2. Like
    nkt got a reaction from TheFaithfulStone in Why so many disorders in children?   
    Zero-goal education in the USA has a lot to answer for. The same as the comprehensive system in the UK.
     
    When you reach 12-16, you should already be capable of driving in a nail, and doing minor DIY, the same as you should be able to read and write and count. At this point, having sampled the two major paths for a person with regards to employment, that person should be allowed to make a choice. Either work with the hands, or work with the brain.
     
    Sadly, not everyone can be a rocket scientist (Ask North Korea!) and not everyone can be a brain surgeon. In fact, most people cannot. Even if they were, the population of the world would be wiped out quite quickly by a nasty virus on telephones, due to the lack of office cleaners.
     
    I started writing a book, but have now given up. It was called "Flooding the foothills", taken from the work of Hans Moravec of Carnegie Mellon University robotics institute in December 1997. Read this passage, and see if you can sork out the problems today?
     
     
    So tell me what use there is for another 10,000 degreed social studies graduates to McDonald's and Burger King?
  3. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Eclogite in Intelligent Design of the universe!   
    Ah, yes, but people expect answers to everything they can think of in the 21st century. And they expect it free and yesterday, and in terms they can understand without effort. Sadly, for hard science, this is an issue, since the "simple" stuff is a generalisation of a complex case.
     
    Therefore people tend towards "feelings" and the feeling that someone/thing designed everything is easier. It means they don't need to think or question.
     
    The danger of treating ID alongside Darwinian Science on an equal footing, is that even a 5 year old can get the hang of ID in an hour, and remember it. Treating evolutionary subtleties like that gets you nowhere except an easy to find fault with model. Suddenly, those kids are believing that there is a god who made the world. Next thing you know, they are talking about it with friends, and then the next generation things it is true, and Darwin comes second. A generation after that, it's "Darwin? That got debunked, as the Intelligent Designer planned..."
     
    Then we enter the dark ages again. Only this time without cheap oil and coal to drag us out of it again.
     
    EDIT: This loony ID [drdino.com] is a perfect example of why we have to fight hard. He sells his rubbish with beautiful words and carefully constructed appeals to what is "obviously right" and feelings. Most scientists simply show you the facts, and say work it out for yourself if you don't believe me. People like him will win the PR war easily if we don't argue against them at every step.
     
    This is talking about the "we use 10% of our brains" myth, but if the shoe fits...
  4. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Turtle in Favorite Quotes   
    You can lead a fool to knowledge, but you can't make him think...
     
    (nothing personal!)
  5. Downvote
    nkt got a reaction from goku in The most influential person ever...   
    Pilot was vital to the whole Christian religion thing, though. Had he simply had Jesus flogged, the whole movement would have died.
     
    Sadly, George Bush the Lesser and his crony, Tony Blair, are going to be remembered for what they have done, and it won't be with kind words or thoughts. Should someone come to power in either the USA or UK who simply chooses to use the insane formerly emergency-only powers they have installed, to create a lawful dicatorship, then history, I hope, will not be kind on these two charlatons.
     
    The world is now far less safe than before 9/11/01, and it is getting worse with every extra-judicial prison found, with every vaguely suspected building bombed from afar, with every law cutting freedom of press, speech and association, along with limiting freedom of movement, religion and even thought.
     
    I care far more about the issues that occur every day - rapes, murders, continuous threats and acts of violence - than the once in a few years terrorist attack. I wrote the following to The Sun newspaper, the most widely read tabloid rag in the UK, who have been attacking mercilessly anyone who doesn't support 90 day internment without charge, even those who want 28 days (still double the current limit):-
     
  6. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Turtle in Steel vs. Aluminium in drinks cans   
    Hi all.
     
    Something I've been idly pondering the last five minutes:
     
    Some drinks cans are steel, but most are aluminium. And all food cans are steel. (Most (All?) are lined with something as a barrier material, too)
     
    Why is this? Obviously steel is cheaper than Aluminium, but harder to form. However, by now you would think that one type would have won completely.
     
    Thoughts?
  7. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Dark Mind in Testing neg rep   
    141 rep, 291 posts.
     
    HTH.
  8. Downvote
    nkt reacted to Loopy in Testing neg rep   
    I volunteer Loopy up to have some "Disapprove" of this post. After you disapprove, please post your current number a reputation points, and your post count when you neg repped Loopy.
     
    Don't feel bad, Loopy is my test dummy :hihi:. This is Dark Mind.
  9. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Dark Mind in 10th poster gets a free Multipuzzle 1 deluxe   
    Dang, just a few hours too late... ;~)
  10. Like
    nkt reacted to Chacmool in Mining activities!   
    The unused mines can also become tourist attractions. An example is the so-called "Big Hole" in Kimberley (South Africa). Mined to a depth of 215 metres, and with a surface area of about 17 hectares and a perimeter of about 1,6 km, it is the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. On 14 August 1914 work on the mine was suspended. By that time 22,5 million tons of earth had been excavated, yielding 2 722 kilograms of diamonds.
  11. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Chacmool in Moneyless society : Would it benefit society?   
    Volunteerism works well in some circumstances. Self-organisation works better than anything else a lot of the time, it is more flexible and nicer for all involved. However, it will generally only work for a short time, as people lose the motivation to clean the toilets, etc. after a few days, and unless they are paid with food and other essentials at the right times, they will get upset and leave. They might just go do another task, or they might take a break, but they might become a parasite and simply claim to be working to get food, for example.
     
    Qfwfq, getting a diamond isn't much use, unless you can trade it for something useful. It would be like having a £10,000 bearer bond and no hope for change - if you have to use it in a shop, you can empty the change draw, and the shop, but then what? You didn't get the full value of the diamond, and you can't carry all that food without other payment, plus, of course, anything fresh or frozen will rapidly spoil. So suddenly you lose say 25% of your wealth, and you have to become a shop-keeper!
     
    In the situation where you aren't starving or thirsty, you can pick and choose, but if you were dying, you might be forced to barter that diamond for a few liters of water and a large meal.
     
    And, of course, the only reason for diamonds being expensive is the enforced scarcity caused by De Beers, and you might find that your diamond wasn't really worth much any more! Sure, they are great for cutters and shiny things, but in daily life?
     
    We are, of course, already seeing the effects of the change from a scarity to an abundance society.
     
    Free things are far more common now than 20 years ago, as now we are all well fed, internet connected, and have time to post on boards such as these. We are now in an abundant knowledge society. What formerly took years of study, trust building, apprenticeship, etc. are now available to people in a few seconds via a search engine, along with enough details and the like to ensure that even just an interested party can find more than they could ever wish to know about almost any subject.
     
    Of course, as I pointed out elsewhere, this effect is caused because we earn enough that we have free time and therefore freely contribute to forums and web pages without expecting anything more back than the occasional compliment, the chance to show how clever we are, the opportunity to hear our own voices, or the socially positive side of having a chat with friends, even if we then leave evidence of that talk for future generations to stumble upon.
     
    If we were still working 15 hours a day down the pit to break even, we wouldn't be giving our knowledge away on here for free to strangers, we would be hopeing to charge a little for it (at least). The death of the web design market shows this is true and disruptive - there are no middle ground web designers any more. High end sites costs thousands, and low end sites are free templates or £20 favours. Nothing happens at the £500 mark any more, because there are so many people chasing so little work, and that's before we even mention outsourcing issues, where for £5 an hour (UK minimum wage is £4-20) skilled people in India will happily turn out web pages, databases and bespoke programs for you, then email the results once payment is transferred over.
     
    In the end, money talks volumes about scarcity. Things needed fast cost more, things hard to get, make or move cost more. Modern manufacturing means that things rapidly become so cheap as to be meaningless, but then become rapidly scarce once the production lines stop.
  12. Like
    nkt got a reaction from IrishEyes in The Second Amendment   
    You don't even need to go that far. Just take a look at the 51st state - the UK. We banned machineguns back in 1920, and then everything was fine for a while. In 1956 (we believe) a secret memo was issued by the government, which stated that "self defence is no longer to be accepted as a good reason" for the ownership of firearms. This wasn't really an issue at the time, since most of the jewellers, etc. simply took up "target shooting" on paper at least. A few cases went to appeal, and a few licenses were granted, but the last was in 1965, to my knowledge. The years went by, and more things were added to the "banned" list (Section 5) which requires the authority of the Secretary of State by the 1968 Firesarms Act. This also brought in licensing for shotguns, which, at the time, was nothing more than a trip to the post office and a few pounds for a lifetime.
     
    Soon, however, the crime rate began to climb. No more was the number of robberies of jewellers shops and banks in the two to three a year. riminals were becoming bolder, and action had to be taken! So the requirements were tightened again. More things were moved to Section 1 (firearms) from Section 2 (shotguns) and some Section 1 things were moved to Section 5 (banned).
     
    The need for a certificate was moved up a notch, too. Now you needed a referee and photos, as well as a security check and home visit. Costs increased. One serious massacre took place, in Hungerford. In spite of the evidence showing that a shotgun and pistol were the two main weapons used, SLRs were banned (sorry, moved to Section 5) for anything other than .22RF, and IIRC large magazine shotguns were moved to Section 1.
     
    At some point, CS, Mace, CN, and, indeed, anything "noxious" was banned to Section 5, along with Tasers and the like.
     
    In 1996, Dunblane occurred, when a man who was unhinged shot 17 5 year olds to death along with their teacher. First there were calls for a ban. The shooting sports mantained a "dignified silence" for a while. The government insisted on waiting for the report. They then ignored it, and banned all pistols (short firearms with a barrel below 30cm and an overall length below 60cm) over .22RF anyway. The other side won the election, and banned those too.
     
    Registration meant that the guns were easily collected, but high compensation levels were arranged, to ease the passage from being trusted to being untrusted.
     
    Shooting in the UK has been in a slow decline for years, but that has now picked up massively. Now that the real thing has been banned, lots of criminals are using them, killing far more people ever year than the total deaths from the single massacre. This has, of course, prompted calls for other things to be banned.
     
    Blank firers are now heavily restricted, and owning one to the wrong deactivation spec can get you jail time in the range of years. Even airsoft guns are in danger of being caught by a prohibition of anything that "looks like a gun". Meanwhile, back in the real world, people are being shot with pistols so often that they don't even make the front page of the paper any more.
     
    Other weird things have happened (or not if you believe in simple cause and effect) like the victimisation rates have gone right up, since no-one gets involved as they are, by law, unarmed. Yet many UK police are now armed, and not just with pistols, but with the type of gear seen in the US only on SWAT personnel. CS gas in carried by all police (yes, that's utterly illegal for you or me, even with a firearms certificate!), a knife, anti-stab vest, baton, and handcuffs (which are an effective weapon).
     
    The 9mm pistols and H&K MP5's aren't ringing the armed policemen's bells any more, though, so a new, ultra-high velocity assault rifle designed to go clean through almost all body armour is in the pipeline, to stop the "new generation" of bad guys who shoot back with illegal guns.
     
    At the same time as the pistol ban, parliament decided to move some other things to Section 5. Hollowpoint bullet heads, and, in fact, any "designed or adapted to expand" are Section 5! You can, in theory, go to jail for owning a keyring with a hollowpoint dummy bullet on it.* Yes, they are now in the same legal class as a heavy machinegun or anti-tank missiles.
     
    Many things in Section 5 now have a minimum 5 year sentence, because a complete ban was so ineffective. Licensing of airguns due to people using the only thing they can legally own, under-powered airguns (12 ft-lbs or below, otherwise it is a Section 1 firearm), to shoot animals, is being called for. Presses, powder and primers are probably going to be heavily restricted, too, such is the power of the myth of the "underworld armourer"...
     
    Brocock self-contained air cartridge guns (6 ft-lbs air pistols) are now also Section 5, bringing a 5 year prison term for simple possession, because the rumors that you could convert one to fire real bullets for £80 were belived by idiot politicians and promoted by policemen with an agenda.
     
     
    So yes, oppose registration. It is the first step to a complete ban of everything, including pictures of guns. Imagine a country where the rules were like the rules in US schools. That is England. Imagine a country where no-one dares to get involved to stop the commission of a crime, as much for fear they will be arrested and charged, and sent to jail, for preventing a rape or mugging, as for being killed whilst defenceless by the attacker(s). That's the UK. Imagine a country where anything at all that is effective for self-defence is banned, and any item, even your newspaper, will get you sent to jail if the police prove that you intended to use it for defence or yourself or another. Welcome to England. Leave your brains at the door, lest you go mad, or a criminal dashes your head to the ground and kicks you to death for fun... :eek:
     
    *An irony is, the expanding bullet ban was never brought in in Northern Ireland, and nor was the pistol ban. Whilst real terrorists are running around with AK-74's and grenades, it would seem more "sanity" prevailed! No talk of an airgun ban there, either!
  13. Like
    nkt reacted to EWright in Similarities in homosexuals - genetic?   
    I'd say we "key in on" the "stereotypical" homosexuals moreso, because they fit an idea that we have in mind or are easy to relate to ideas we have or others we have seen of 'that type' who were memorable. However, I'd say it they transend a larger portion of phenotypes that aren't so obvious and therefore you don't notice as readily.
     
    I think there may be "trends" within their culture as to behavior and such as well. It doesn't seem to me that so many (if any) gay men spoke the way they do now (lispy quasi-feminine speech), say 50 years ago. Granted, gays weren't as open then as they are now, but the ones that were around didn't talk that way.
     
    I happen to be biracial (black and white) and was raised in a very white area as a child. When I moved to the city, many black children felt I acted or spoke "white". Point being, this type of speach is characteristic of what you are exposed to... not inherited or genetic. So this type of speech IMO is based on a perpetuation of a type of behavior initially exhibited by a few, which has become 'popular' and incorportated into the larger (male) community. I assume its similar with women. And as society has become more accepting... OR their community has become more open, I suspect there is also a desire to distance themselves in some ways from the perceptions of the larger community, in order to feel an increased sense of an individual and separate community, with its own 'culture' and behaviors (aside from just sexual behaviors), etc.
     
    I do think there is some degree of masculinity in gay woman as you describe, as well as obvious femininity in many gay men... I'm just saying I think there are many who do not display these traits as well. When you see a person of a ceratin ethnicity, you can be relatively certain of what ethnicity they are. But you can not automatically assume that a feminine acting man is gay, or a more masculine woman is a lesbian. I think there are also degrees of "gayness" in which some are likely more prone to become so due to the way they were born, and that sociological factors are a larger influence for others.
  14. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Tormod in The Second Amendment   
    You don't even need to go that far. Just take a look at the 51st state - the UK. We banned machineguns back in 1920, and then everything was fine for a while. In 1956 (we believe) a secret memo was issued by the government, which stated that "self defence is no longer to be accepted as a good reason" for the ownership of firearms. This wasn't really an issue at the time, since most of the jewellers, etc. simply took up "target shooting" on paper at least. A few cases went to appeal, and a few licenses were granted, but the last was in 1965, to my knowledge. The years went by, and more things were added to the "banned" list (Section 5) which requires the authority of the Secretary of State by the 1968 Firesarms Act. This also brought in licensing for shotguns, which, at the time, was nothing more than a trip to the post office and a few pounds for a lifetime.
     
    Soon, however, the crime rate began to climb. No more was the number of robberies of jewellers shops and banks in the two to three a year. riminals were becoming bolder, and action had to be taken! So the requirements were tightened again. More things were moved to Section 1 (firearms) from Section 2 (shotguns) and some Section 1 things were moved to Section 5 (banned).
     
    The need for a certificate was moved up a notch, too. Now you needed a referee and photos, as well as a security check and home visit. Costs increased. One serious massacre took place, in Hungerford. In spite of the evidence showing that a shotgun and pistol were the two main weapons used, SLRs were banned (sorry, moved to Section 5) for anything other than .22RF, and IIRC large magazine shotguns were moved to Section 1.
     
    At some point, CS, Mace, CN, and, indeed, anything "noxious" was banned to Section 5, along with Tasers and the like.
     
    In 1996, Dunblane occurred, when a man who was unhinged shot 17 5 year olds to death along with their teacher. First there were calls for a ban. The shooting sports mantained a "dignified silence" for a while. The government insisted on waiting for the report. They then ignored it, and banned all pistols (short firearms with a barrel below 30cm and an overall length below 60cm) over .22RF anyway. The other side won the election, and banned those too.
     
    Registration meant that the guns were easily collected, but high compensation levels were arranged, to ease the passage from being trusted to being untrusted.
     
    Shooting in the UK has been in a slow decline for years, but that has now picked up massively. Now that the real thing has been banned, lots of criminals are using them, killing far more people ever year than the total deaths from the single massacre. This has, of course, prompted calls for other things to be banned.
     
    Blank firers are now heavily restricted, and owning one to the wrong deactivation spec can get you jail time in the range of years. Even airsoft guns are in danger of being caught by a prohibition of anything that "looks like a gun". Meanwhile, back in the real world, people are being shot with pistols so often that they don't even make the front page of the paper any more.
     
    Other weird things have happened (or not if you believe in simple cause and effect) like the victimisation rates have gone right up, since no-one gets involved as they are, by law, unarmed. Yet many UK police are now armed, and not just with pistols, but with the type of gear seen in the US only on SWAT personnel. CS gas in carried by all police (yes, that's utterly illegal for you or me, even with a firearms certificate!), a knife, anti-stab vest, baton, and handcuffs (which are an effective weapon).
     
    The 9mm pistols and H&K MP5's aren't ringing the armed policemen's bells any more, though, so a new, ultra-high velocity assault rifle designed to go clean through almost all body armour is in the pipeline, to stop the "new generation" of bad guys who shoot back with illegal guns.
     
    At the same time as the pistol ban, parliament decided to move some other things to Section 5. Hollowpoint bullet heads, and, in fact, any "designed or adapted to expand" are Section 5! You can, in theory, go to jail for owning a keyring with a hollowpoint dummy bullet on it.* Yes, they are now in the same legal class as a heavy machinegun or anti-tank missiles.
     
    Many things in Section 5 now have a minimum 5 year sentence, because a complete ban was so ineffective. Licensing of airguns due to people using the only thing they can legally own, under-powered airguns (12 ft-lbs or below, otherwise it is a Section 1 firearm), to shoot animals, is being called for. Presses, powder and primers are probably going to be heavily restricted, too, such is the power of the myth of the "underworld armourer"...
     
    Brocock self-contained air cartridge guns (6 ft-lbs air pistols) are now also Section 5, bringing a 5 year prison term for simple possession, because the rumors that you could convert one to fire real bullets for £80 were belived by idiot politicians and promoted by policemen with an agenda.
     
     
    So yes, oppose registration. It is the first step to a complete ban of everything, including pictures of guns. Imagine a country where the rules were like the rules in US schools. That is England. Imagine a country where no-one dares to get involved to stop the commission of a crime, as much for fear they will be arrested and charged, and sent to jail, for preventing a rape or mugging, as for being killed whilst defenceless by the attacker(s). That's the UK. Imagine a country where anything at all that is effective for self-defence is banned, and any item, even your newspaper, will get you sent to jail if the police prove that you intended to use it for defence or yourself or another. Welcome to England. Leave your brains at the door, lest you go mad, or a criminal dashes your head to the ground and kicks you to death for fun... :eek:
     
    *An irony is, the expanding bullet ban was never brought in in Northern Ireland, and nor was the pistol ban. Whilst real terrorists are running around with AK-74's and grenades, it would seem more "sanity" prevailed! No talk of an airgun ban there, either!
  15. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Dark Mind in Society destroyed...   
    Which is why earthworks and seige engines, plus tactics and firearms useage and training, design, even chemical and nuclear weapons effects have all been part of my "training" as I have gone through life. I find it all fun (perhaps except seeing/reading about the atomic survivors and mustard gas victims!) and interesting.
     
    The first thing to do would be to set up a safe perimeter, and work from there. Find a defensible location, like an island or a bunker, or even a solid old house out on the moors, and use that as your base. Next would be to set up a secondary base, better hidden and secret, with enough that if the primary base was attacked or burned down, you could "retreat".
     
    From there, set up defensive perimeters - an intelligent attack is unlikely, but a truck with a couple or six people in it would be too hard to stop from taking everything you had otherwise!
     
    Find some like-minded people, and arrange things with them, consolidate and continue. Write up a few laws and have a process for them, and bring in a low level taxation to support things like water supplies via pipes, sanitation and sewerage works, defences, and to support those who guard us while we sleep, and hence cannot plough fields all day.
     
    Send out teams of scavengers to bring back things that might be useful, make a few technicals for them, which would greatly increase the range and ability of them, and keep them far safer, and procure important things like a JCB, bulldozer, tractors, fuel bowsers. In the short term, rice, pasta, etc. would be fine from almost any source (unless the disaster had been nuclear) and even 5 years on, once boiled properly, it is still good food.
     
    Find an army base and take whatever was needed, and hide the rest away or destroy it - not usual, but sensible if there are going to be issues with armed gangs running around. Try not to get killed by the others at the army base, I guess...
     
    Find a power station, and you have hundreds of tonnes of coal or oil. If you find it is nuclear, leave quietly!
     
    Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea. I've just come up with that off the top of my head - I didn't even mention things like cutting back trees, moving fences or setting up a forge and repair shop - but if I ever had to, I could do that as well...
     
    Yes, I was a Boy Scout (but only for a few months)!
  16. Like
    nkt got a reaction from CraigD in Upload your mind into a computer by 2050?   
    I don't even think it will take that long. I think AI will be here in 5 years, at least to the level of no more call centers or human share dealers. (Then what will happen to the world of supply and demand? Most humans will be unable to keep up for even five minutes, and will be unable to earn a living!)
     
    If you want a fairly good read that covers a lot of this ground, without too much science or moralising, try Accelerando, by Charles Stross (download from http://www.accelerando.org)
  17. Like
    nkt reacted to CraigD in Mental processing is continuous, not like a computer   
    Does continuous imply chaotic?
     
    Rightly or not, an inference one might draw from the headline “Mental processing is continuous, not like a computer” is that this difference poses an insurmountable hurtle to the simulation of mental processing on a digital computer. My previous post was meant to refute that idea, without directly confronting it, as I am here.
     
    Some background history: There are commonplace analog phenomena that cannot be successfully simulated on a computer. Most famous among these is the weather. For much of the first half of the 20th century, most technologists, notably the legendary John von Neumann, believed that successively more accurate simulations of the atmosphere would allow it to be precisely forecast many months into the future. In the 1960s, this belief was overturned when work on atmospheric modeling by such folk as Edward Lorenz revealed a category of problems that would come to be formalized under the moniker “Chaos Theory.”
     
    The reason chaotic systems cannot be usefully simulated is that small inaccuracies in measuring the initial state of the system to be modeled yield large differences between the future states of the simulated and actual system. No improvement to the model can eliminate the difference – Unless the initial state measurement is virtually perfect, even a perfect model of a chaotic system becomes decreasingly accurate in its predictions with the passage of time.
     
    The key question becomes, then “does ‘mental processing is continuous’ = ‘mental processing is chaotic’”. If so, it joins the weather in the category of things we can’t hope, even in principle, to simulate.
     
    At first analysis, the answer seems to be yes. Like the atmosphere, the brain has a lot of moving molecules, electrons, etc. It’s hard to imagine, and likely provably impossible to invent, a scheme to measure its state to virtual perfection.
     
    I’ve reached the opinion, however, that the correct answer is no. In the same way that a digital computer reduces a potentially chaotic system of moving electrons and changing magnetic fields into discrete binary bits to produce a system with a state that can be perfectly measured as a single large integer, I believe the brain’s scheme of inhibitory and excitory chemical inputs producing discrete nerve firings reduces makes it, in principle, measurable and simulatable.
     
    I attempt further exploration of this question in the Science Forums>Computers and Technology>Upload your mind into a computer by 2050? thread.
  18. Like
    nkt got a reaction from IrishEyes in State sponsored crime   
    Same here. Except that *because* of the USA, I now have significantly less freedom than I did before the "War on Ideas" started, what with the new anti-terror laws the UK passes every five minutes at the USA's behest.
  19. Like
    nkt got a reaction from Boerseun in State sponsored crime   
    So you disagree with the moral relativity of your government? Sure you aren't a terrorist/freedom fighter?If I killed, or ordered killed, someones family, then laughed at them from a distance, rubbed their faces in their inability to do anything, and called them cowards for not dying "bravely" by running headlong into my tanks armed with a pop gun, then yes, most non-Americans can see that terrorism has a basis for justification.As defined by the USA's intelligence and a closed off court? Or as seen by the rest of the world? And isn't unilateral invasion of another country even more illegal under international law?And there was me thinking you Americans didn't understand sacasm!Gee, I wonder which large American company got the oil contracts for the whole of Iraq before the fighting even (officially) ended? See http://money.cnn.com/2003/03/25/news/companies/war_contracts/ So no conflict of interest there, then! 
    What about Afghanistan?
    You still sure this has nothing to do with oil?Hmmm... Founded by the USA, funded by the USA, backed and armed by the USA... So NATO had the same interests as who?Well, if you look at almost every single conflict that has gone on for more than five years anywhere in the world, you will find the USA in there. Let's not mention El Salvador, Cuba, Viet Nam, North/South Korea, Afghanistan (vs. the Soviets and now), Iraq and Iran, Panama, the list isn't endless, not quite... Angola, Korea, Grenada, Libya, Hiati, Yugoslavia... In fact, name one war/coup/revolt where the USA hasn't "helped" one side or the other to further US interests? Even the Northern Ireland situation was largely funded by the USA! 
    I've not included even half the incidents in my list. See http://www.ilaam.net/Sept11/AmericanWars.html for a list of 100 *overt* *military* interventions, plus numerous assasinations and other naughty tricks.
     
    I have little doubt you will rubbish that article due to the name of the author, but that doesn't make it any less true.
  20. Downvote
    nkt reacted to Boerseun in State sponsored crime   
    I do not see the justification in this statement. Would the attacks have been any different if it was the French or Chinese?
    Apparently so, seeing as they did it. Governments executing criminals is also against my standards, if we want to keep consistency in moral matters in mind here. When's the next inmate going to take his final walk in Texas?
    True. And how do we stop future terrorism? By invading country after country on a flase premise and totally disregard and ignore their cultural values and stomping over their human rights? Or actually try and get to the core of the problem, which is more philosophical in nature than the barrel of a gun can explain. If you look at the World Trade Center, it's clear that the attacks were symbolic in nature. They didn't just pick the two highest towers in Manhattan and flew into them.
    ...and a prayer
    Yes. I'm sure that oil had nothing to do with it. I'm sure that it was all about emancipating the poor Iraqis. I'm sure, in the two weeks before the war began, Hans Blix was just pulling ole' Dubya's left leg when he told the UN that there was no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
     
    Embedded journalism = State sponsored propaganda
    Okay. That just proves my whole point about the US being the cause of its own downfall. Today you don't care a tom tit's tosser for the French, and you stomp all over them. Anger rises in the French community, and ten, fifty, hundred years from now they decide they've had enough of your arrogance and start blowing you up. It was unavoidable, if only you didn't have that brash "who cares about the French" attitude. You should care about the French. You should care about any nation you could care to mention, because if you don't, it'll come round and bite you in the butt.
    No - not at all. Of course your sovereignty and national integrity is yours to protect. And that being the case, the sovereignty and national integrity of other nations should be respected. If you don't respect it, they will bite you - and seeing as your army, air force and navy is so ridiculously inflated beyond common sense, the only way they can bite you is via terrorism.
    No one depends on the US to do so. It's just in the USA's best interest to have its defence forces deployed world-wide on a constant basis, same reason Rome stationed garrisons throughout the ancient world. Global stability = good environment for trade. If some cultures need to be vanquished in our eternal greed, well, tough luck to them.
    The only people stopping the EU from spending more money on defence, is the EU itself. They see no need to inflate the military to Cold War levels, seeing as its not necessary.
    NATO was a organization created by the US, in conjunction with Western European states to serve as a bulwark against Soviet expansion to the west. It was created to serve US interests. The Soviets are gone. The threat is no more. If the US still wants a defunct organization to serve a redundant purpose, it should certainly foot the bill. Or get a new mission for NATO.
    Another funny thing - you wanna know why the US never bombed South Africa? Because, even with the morally corrupt system that was running SA back then, it was in the USA's interest to have a capitalist, western-oriented nation in South Africa to counter the wave of communism spreading through the newly-independent countries in Africa. So, the US can ignore human rights violations like Apartheid if the violating state is to America's benefit. And here, the issue was Capitalism vs. Communism. It boils down to money. Dollars and cents. America will ***** and moan about its constitutionally protected freedoms and rights as much as it wants to, but the US lacks the moral fibre to practice what it preaches. You SHOULD have bombed South Africa, if you wanted to be consistent.
    But okay - there's no oil in SA, so there's no profit in bombing Pretoria to shreds.
    Hahaha... see previous line
  21. Downvote
    nkt got a reaction from linuxgeek71 in Is immortality possible?   
    Nice one! Wish *I* had though of signing up to a weirdo's affiliate program selling wacky claims, then posted it as a question on a science based board! :xx:
     
    http://www.alexchiu.com/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id= is what's behind the link... :)
     
     
    Edit: Oh, and the guy is a total loon. Just read his idea for World Peace! "Get all the countries to become one corporation"! Because companies aren't ever wrong, or go bust, or sue themselves out of existance... :)
  22. Like
    nkt got a reaction from bumab in How to talk to aliens   
    And I disagree with you.Why on earth do you say that? We made it to the moon because one president of one large country decided that he would like that as his legacy. And that was 30 years ago, before the advent of the computer had much effect, before modern materials science came about, before we decoded our genome, before cloning became possible, before we learned how to make oil and water mix... It didn't usher in some era of world-wide peace here - why would it anywhere else? 
    We could do the same again today, in less time, if we stopped worrying so much about the (potential) loss of a few people - if the odds of dying going to the moon are lower than driving down the road to get to work, that should be good enough! You would get people even if it was 50/50.
     
    The only reason I can think of for an age of worldwide peace after getting into space is due to the first one up there dropping rocks on all the "enemy" and suddenly winning, with the world as the prize of that side.
     
    And that doesn't bode well for us, should we bump into them.
     
    In fact, if they were a peace loving race with no wars, why the heck would they ever get into space in the first place? Without industrialisation on a massive scale, they would never run out of oil or coal or other resources, and would therefore not ever need to go somewhere else for resources. Not even across the sea, let alone into the sky. No reason to learn to fly, let alone build ICBMs at several million a pop, so basic space travel is right out. And that industrialisation, in reality, only happened because of the two world wars.
     
    And that *really* doesn't bode well for us, should we bump into them.
  23. Downvote
    nkt reacted to UncleAl in Dark aether   
    http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/youare.swf
     
    Physics Today 57(7) 40 (2004)
    http://physicstoday.org/vol-57/iss-7/p40.shtml
    No aether
     
    http://fsweb.berry.edu/academic/mans/clane/
    http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/17/3/7
    No Lorentz violation
     
    There is no aether to 10^(-15) relative BY EXPERIMENT.
     
    Michelson-Morley experiments
    Brillet-Hall experiments
    Kennedy-Thorndike experiments
    Hughes-Drever experiments
    Ives-Stillwell experiments
  24. Downvote
    nkt got a reaction from C1ay in Hbar=e^2/e0c   
    I have no idea what the point of posting the OP was.
     
    It isn't a proof, nor is it even useful, and is will only serve to confuse people looking for the true values of those constants he has changed slightly.
     
    Planck is pretty unlikely to be wrong, and if he had been, the various proofs would fail at various stages too. I remember we covered this and determined the values for h and hbar in various classes at uni, both experimentally and theoretically. h is used all over the place, and h(bar) is simply a mathematical construct to save ink, as Infamous correctly states.
    h(bar) MUST be h/2PI, as this is its definition!
     
    E = hν and λ = h / p are pretty exactly known.
     
    This led directly to the development of our complete quantum theory of matter, quantum mechanics. h appears in the Shrodinger Equation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, and the Dirac Equation of relativistic quantum mechanics. In quantum mechanical analysis, it turns out that the quantity most often used is h/2PI, and this is given the special symbol h(bar).
     
    If, as a construct, it was wrong, then the deviance from theory would have been spotted in the experimental results for things such as laser interferometry, which is about as accurate as things get in the real world.
     
    I agree with Al. If the guy isn't an idiot, then, he is even worse, and doing this on purpose. :hyper:
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