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  1. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from Elisa in Any Ancient Civilizations Without Writing?   
    I'd say it depends firstly on what you count as writing and also on what you count as a civilization. All hunter-gatherer tribes back to the branching of our species? I dunno... try sifting through this cool stuff:shrug:
  2. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to pamela in Is religion a memetic disease?   
    Seriously folks, its a matter of choice. You can believe and therefore act upon those beliefs. You can get tied up in groupthink and run a muck as a mob. Anyone can use any justification to kill- doesnt have to be religion. The bottom line out is,the choice of the individual.The indoctrinated children of today are the killers of tomorrow. You can bemoan religion until you are wormfood, but the masses seem to gravitate towards it. Whether that be as a result of fear, or needing a hope or simply an unstable mind. Point is, religion has been here for a long time now and its not going to go away any time soon
  3. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to bravox in New Tunes - Is There An Endless Supply?   
    Spotify claims to have millions of tracks. Surely the human ear imposes limits on how much music can be written, but the brain imposes an even lower limit on how much music we can *remember*. You can spend your whole life listening to music and never notice much similarity between two songs, mostly because you can't keep too many tunes in your head.
    There is more to music than notes (pitch), there is also tempo, rhythym, harmony, dynamics, and form. All those things affect our perception, changing a single one of them often makes a known piece of music sound completely different.
    It's hard to calculate how much music can be composed taking all those factors into account, especially since we don't know which combinations work (that is, after all, the job of composers)
    It's easier to win the lottery than to compose a piece of music someone has composed before. What happens often is that a composer hears a piece, forgets about it, but their subconscious keeps it. Then one day it reappears in their mind as something original. Happens quite often.
    There are specific criteria to consider a piece of music as plagiarism. I can't remember exactly, and I suppose it changes between countries, but it's something like "all notes must match for X number of bars".
    Consider a very simple tune, consisting of four bars of four quarter notes each, and each note being one out of 18 (accounting for two octaves plus two chromatic notes). Mathematically there are 121,439,531,096,594,251,794 (121 quintillion!) of those combinations, and this is a very simple tune. Sure, not all of those are pleasant to the ear, let's say we can only like one out of a million, then we have "only" about 100 trillion tunes.
    But, remember, those are very simple tunes, we can spice them up by using more or less notes per bar, more or less bars, different time signatures, different harmonies, and so on. Also, the refrain of a song usually consists of four groups of four bars, so that adds up.
    Based on the above I would guess there are maybe septillions, octillions, or some unspeakable number of possible songs. No reason to worry about running out of tunes :)
  4. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to CraigD in Is religion a memetic disease?   
    Well and succinctly put as is your usual, Turtle, and in a nice font, to boot.
    The back-and-forth about Muslims, Christians, criminals, murder, governments, and so on – which seems at first glance off-topic, but appears to me at close glance to be right on – leaves me with the impression that, while your “people can receive information from supernatural sources” is an important and insidious meme, it’s not the most pertinent one to an explanation of hijackers kill thousands with impromptu repurposed airliners, governments and militaries killing tens of thousands with state-of-the art weapons of war, or genocidal atrocities carried out with anything from rough forged machetes to precisely engineered gas chambers.
    Supernaturalists who kill because they believe a demon or a god has instructed them to, are rare, aberrant people, who I suspect are nearly all psychotic due to some underlying neuropathology. You might find yourself on the wrong end of a gun or worse from such a poor individual, but you won’t find a gang of 19 of them, or a national army lead such people, killing on a large scale. Further, I think that even the most dogmatically indoctrinated groups of religionists are, on some level, skeptical of the “god tells a prophet, prophet tells me what to do” meme, when the prophet or his apostle is a living person, and what he’s telling me to do is something I really don’t want to do.
    I think the meme that allows people to justify most acts of “killing for the greater good”, regardless of who or what sanctions them, is

    There’s not enough stuff for all of us, and if I and my friends don’t get it first, our enemies will, and we’ll be miserable.
    This has an obvious corollary, found in the memomes of even many non-human animals:

    The surest way to assure our enemies don’t get stuff is to kill them.
    An implication of the assertions that “religion is a memetic disease”, and killing is one of the direst symptoms of the disease, is that if we can eradicate or inoculate enough people against religion, this and other dire symptoms will be reduced. I’m skeptical of this conclusion, because, as others have noted, people can find justification for violence and killing in whatever is handy.
    In my heartfelt opinion, the various woes of being human we inflict on one another can ultimately be curtailed only by eradicating the “there’s not enough stuff” meme. This is a tough meme to squelch, because, without proper management and technology, and even with them at various periods of human history, it is and has been true.
    What the world needs is not, I think, ubiquitous naturalistic worldviews (the antithesis of superturalism in its many forms, including religous), but a ubiquitous sense of security. Once a sufficient fraction of humans believe they won’t die cold and starving, or on the end of some enemy’s implement of death dealing, all of our lives and the lives of our descendants will be much better.
  5. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to bravox in Is religion a memetic disease?   
    It's not sensible, but it is just one form of mass murder. Like the thousands of Iraqi civilians who died recently. Or those forty people in that wedding in Afghanistan. Or those 100,000 in Hiroshima. Or those 6,000,000 in Germany and Poland. Or...
    Whether you call it terrorism or war, it's just a play with words. Somewhere in the world there is always someone thinking mass murder is necessary to achieve some imaginary greater good. Everywhere else you have powerless people watching the whole madness in disbelief.
    When I watched the towers crumbling, I didn't think "God, please save us from those crazy murderers". I thought "God, please save us from ourselves".
    Indeed, so long as you don't open your mind.
  6. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from CraigD in Is religion a memetic disease?   
    It seems there is no use reasoning here. So, religion is the actual cause of evil?
    Yeah, it seems like your bias is opposite to that of Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad:

    If the Islamic law does not mandate female genital mutilation and tolerates only the most mild form of circumcision (and that only if it produces no adverse effects in the child), then how does it come about that so many people from certain countries with large Muslim populations insist that savage acts which exceed these limits are not only permitted, but required by Islamic law? The answer becomes obvious when one realizes that Christians from many of these countries also insist that the tradition is mandated by their religion as well. People often confuse traditions rooted in local culture with religious requirements.
    The part I bolded is the way I see it for several things which anti-Islam ranters point there finger at. Where I disagree with this guy is about male circumcision being beneficial. My disagreement with this is very strong, for the very fact that it is reccomended not only by Islam and not only by religions; I wish North American doctors hadn't reccomended it when I was born. All these genital mutations are ancient tribal practices and Goodness only knows why the male one is still so widespread.
    So, just like FGM, you attribute 911 to Islam too? I attribute it to criminals with whom most Muslims disagree. Those nearest to Palestinians and Lebanese hardly criticized it, but you might imagine why.
  7. Downvote
    Qfwfq reacted to 7DSUSYstrings in Underwater Volcanism   
    I've found in general that the ones so quick to assess just about anything as pseudo-science end up revealing themselves to be the worst pseudo-scientifics in the bunch. As a general rule these people are anal retentives and usually cannot follow eccentric creativity, because their imaginations are 2 dimensional, if that. If what you want is someone to wave hands and agree with you, then I'll simply not respond to your posts. I simply don't have time for that GIGO routine.
  8. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from Turtle in Behold The Power Of Wau   
    Well, it's exactly what I reckoned Phillip's blunder must have been. 
    Turtle's girlfriend is a really cute troll, never seen such a cute one before. ;)
    She gives a mighty strong hint at about 2:40 and there's a spot later where she prolly meant to say wau but she instead says a more familiar name.
  9. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to JMJones0424 in Post A Cool Picture   
    It can't, for two reasons.
    1) White has nine queens and two bishops of the same color, requiring eight promotions for the queens and one for the bishop. There are only eight pawns.
    2) There is no way to arrange the pieces on the board without having forced a stalemate or checkmate before the final move.
  10. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to bravox in Is religion a memetic disease?   
    Why does religion have to be explained, in terms of memes or whatever? Does anybody attempt to "explain" science? What if science is a memetic "disease"? Who cares?
    I find it amusing that religion is such a constant topic in forums like this. I don't understand why people who aren't religious worry about it so much. I don't like vegetarianism, rap music, marijuana, I think those things are detrimental to a person's mental or physical health, but I don't stretch my mind trying to figure out why people enjoy those things. Whatever floats their boat. Why does it matter?
    Now of course someone will say that religion is harmful to society, look at the Twin Towers, the Inquisition, the Crusades, Galileo, yada-yada. As if humans would suddenly become perfectly moral if it weren't for their irrational beliefs. Ironically, since most religions provide an explanation why humans are so morally corrupt, the problem must have existed before those religions were developed.
    I say, let people believe what they want, do not try to rationalize away their thoughts since you are not inside their minds. Do not assume you're an atheist because you are so smart, because that is absolutely not true. The world is full of smart believers and stupid atheists.
  11. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from CraigD in The Chaos Theory   
    Actually, it isn't really a requisite for the system to be closed. More in general we talk about boundary conditions and when the problem under study it time evolution these include initial conditions. If the system is open these are only part of the former.
    So it does make sense to say an open system is deterministic and discuss its degre of chaoticity, only that knowledge of initial conditions isn't sufficient. In weather forecasting for instance, they must rely on reasonable assumptions about things such as solar and volcanic activity because the atmosphere is not a closed system at all. Forecasts are conditional to how closely the assumptions turn out valid. Of course, the degree of chaoticity establishes what kind of margin there is on all boundary conditions, also those further to the initial ones.
    As for compound pendulums, I would tend to say the system per se is chaotic but has some solutions with motion which can be described simply.
  12. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to JMJones0424 in Hydrogen Absorption By Mercury   
    I'm sure there's other instances, but I know of at least one: hydrogen embrittlement
  13. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to CraigD in The Chaos Theory   
    Chaotic systems are considered deterministic because The future state of one can be exactly predicted if its initial/present state is known exactly.
    If the initial state of the system is not known exactly, but rather with some small uncertainty, uncertainty about its future state becomes much greater with time. This "sensitive dependence on initial conditions" is characteristic of a chaotic system.
  14. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to Knothead in Will Israel Have A Choice   
    Call me naive, but I really feel that it's pointless for Israel, the US or anyone to attack or, for that matter to threaten to attack Iran. If they have the capability to build the weapons, then it's pretty much inevitable that they will build it eventually. Diplomacy, in my opinion is the only practical way to deal with the situation.
    That doesn't mean that the **** won't hit the fan anyway, but a preemptive strike would only guarantee it.
  15. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from Moontanman in Why The Beasts, Creepy Things, And Birds Had To Die ?   
    I don't see the need for this discussion going so much off topic.
    No doubt the biblical flood is a legend, likely based on something that happened and the tale of it became a moral preaching. Although it did not submerge all land of the planet, something happened and narrative blew it up a bit, much like Illiad and Odyssey, much like Navigatio Brendani and of course Gilgamesh. So, why the need for argument?
    The OP simply asks why so many little critters had to be punished for the sins of Man. My reply is along the lines that the preacher who wrote that story hardly cared about the poor little beasties, he only needed to give an explanation of why not all of them perished, seeing as the Hebrews were well aware of it, I guess he couldn't very well have claimed Noah saved them all and only let humans drown. It's as simple as that, I'd say.
  16. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from Turtle in "Automatic trisection" of an angle   
    Joe, to put it briefly you are merely confusing the issue. You have not given a solution which meets the requisites of the ancient problem that was proven to have no solutions and there is no novelty that constructions of some kind exist wherin there are angles with a 3 to 1 ratio.
    Do you get what I meant when I talked about successive approximations vs. a finite step SE&C construction?
  17. Downvote
    Qfwfq reacted to sigurdV in "a Universal Representation Of Rules"   
    Forgive me for again intruding, but i feel "Interpretation" is an important subject that (ha ha?)
    is in need of interpretation.There is no way I can follow the argument in here,so I started the following thread: Philosophy of Matemathics
    I appreciate if you can find time to visit,interprete ,question, comment or object.
  18. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from JMJones0424 in Ethics Of Stem Cell Resesarch   
    Whether or not you see it as rational, whether or not is is so, whether or not it can be made so, it remains that there are all too many people who think it is the Lord's Truth and that an embryo has a soul. In these cases, like many others, there is no end to debate and the only answer is for the people of a nation to decide, all together, through their political system. 
    My vote over here was that there is no reason to ban research that can be very useful and important. Unfortunately it wasn't the result that prevailed.
  19. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from JMJones0424 in Evaporation Of A Black Hole   
    This is perfectly fair, as long as your critique makes sense and is based on competent reasoning. If you base it on arguments that have much less nexus than those you criticize, what's the point? 
    I myself don't consider Hawing radiation a 100% certainty nor even the existence of black holes as described by the usual models but that is another matter, I do however reason upon them along defendible lines. Therefore I don't agree with your critique at all and I don't deem it worthwhile to discuss, if you don't accept input which makes sense. I simply apply the same critical stance (that you recommend) to your arguments.
  20. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to Turtle in But, Larry...   
    just because we're paranoid does not mean someone is not out to get us. :omg: damnnable little elves and they felfin filchin' sneakage. google, through the youtube acquisition, is already asking for our phone numbers. more like constantly prodding... thank zeus no one can hack a phone. :doh: it was through my youtube channel that i got my personalized "dear larry" google warning that they are about to have a look at my privates. masher!!! please spread your legs and hold your arms up and out to the sides & hold this position for 10 seconds. we said hold still larry!!! :unsure:
  21. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to DFINITLYDISTRUBD in But, Larry...   
    I'll stick to an external solid state USB backup thanx....it would take no time at all to yoink it off my desk while bolting out the door or more likely window...and what's mine and private stays mine and private!.
  22. Like
    Qfwfq reacted to Moontanman in Ethics Of Colonization Of Other Planets.   
    An interesting point of view, the conquers always seem to be able to justify their acts after the fact. Since a great many of my ancestors were native american i have slightly different point of view on this, Andrew Jackson was a dishonest man who did horrific things in the name of building the US and he was one of the later ones. Earlier men did far worse even to biological warfare but that is not the subject of this thread.
    I have some real doubts about whether or not we would want to colonize other planets much less be able to do so due to biological reasons.
    I can see no reason not to colonize a planet that doesn't have complex life, complex life would make such colonization ethically debatable but intelligent life should preclude any colonization. Just because we did it in the past doesn't mean it's ok now. But again this is off topic.
    The topic is, if the planet we want to colonize can be shown to be uninhabitable X number of years from now, i said 2 million years, is it ethical to colonize that planet?
  23. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from Turtle in Hypo Security Seems Lacking   
    Hmmm that plugin might be a help but it depends on how that .org decides which IP's to list. You see, nowadays an IP ban is not only rarely effective but often unsuitable, just think of how many people are connected with whichever IP their ISP chooses at the moment and not with one specific to themselves. For quite a while I find both emails and IP's rarely helpful in controlling troublesome members and spammers sure ain't no idiots.
    Now obviously what we need isn't what they mention here. However I've been looking through settings and I recently queried other admins about a (very) vague idea. Lo and bahold, just now I found a setting which would no doubt be effective, only it would necessitate daily effort from mods/admins else it would be a PITA for new good users. The more I consider it the more I'm for it but it must first be discussed by staff and vows of goodwill assessed. This includes you of course, so, see youand Pam in the thread I'll open. 
    If I must be truthful, I've always been a light admin and more so with IPBoard which is more daunting, but the heavier admins are so rare nowadays and due to these woes I'm discovering more about settings.
  24. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from Turtle in Srdanova Math   
    Marjanovic, mathematics is all a matter of defining and constructing. However, it is no use unless it is intelligible and makes at least some kind of sense.
    Nobody here can follow what you are doing. It seems to be meant as proposing your very own number theory but you might as well be posting Chinese ideograms, Egyptian hieroglyphs or whatever else, we would hardly understand less than how well we understand what you are doing in this thread. You see, if you propose your own thing you can't expect others to understand it unless it is crystal clear and as easy as possible for someone to follow.
    Don't expect people to make a greater effort than they are, so far. If you want somebody to take an interest in it, you have to make sure it is worth the effort. This may be either by making it worth enough or by making the effort not excessive, preferably both.
  25. Like
    Qfwfq got a reaction from freeztar in Srdanova Math   
    Marjanovic, mathematics is all a matter of defining and constructing. However, it is no use unless it is intelligible and makes at least some kind of sense.
    Nobody here can follow what you are doing. It seems to be meant as proposing your very own number theory but you might as well be posting Chinese ideograms, Egyptian hieroglyphs or whatever else, we would hardly understand less than how well we understand what you are doing in this thread. You see, if you propose your own thing you can't expect others to understand it unless it is crystal clear and as easy as possible for someone to follow.
    Don't expect people to make a greater effort than they are, so far. If you want somebody to take an interest in it, you have to make sure it is worth the effort. This may be either by making it worth enough or by making the effort not excessive, preferably both.
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