Search found 1025 matches

by tomandlu
Thu May 18, 2017 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

Is anyone else here of the opinion that clearly von Neumann is at least of the same level, and that Fermi is only arguably a step back if you're a disagreeable jackass? Or is it just me? I wouldn't take that as a comment on their abilities or even their contribution; more on general awareness of th...
by tomandlu
Thu May 18, 2017 3:35 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

doogly wrote:I like this post here, and the parts about Turing's moral heroism give me goosebumps. This is greatness.
http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=63


Thanks for that - an excellent read. I have to admit, I laughed out loud at the "Jews cheat" anecdote.
by tomandlu
Thu May 18, 2017 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

So, you think a genuine consciousness arises? And not just something that behaves identically to a conscious mind but might have no self-awareness? Well, I certainly do. And what do you mean "behaves identically but is different"? That's rubbish. Is it? I thought it was one of the classic...
by tomandlu
Thu May 18, 2017 1:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

The Chinese Room is the dumbest shit. Of course that room is conscious. If you think "Things that perform computations aren't real, like me, I'm real, I'm the best and most authentic," you need to not choose examples that beg the question so egregiously and transparently, and you need to ...
by tomandlu
Wed May 17, 2017 10:38 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

Sure, it may not be possible to reliably transfer a particular consciousness from one thing (brain, computer, whatever) to another. But that says nothing about whether consciousness is purely physical or whether it could happen on a computer, and thus doesn't really say anything about free will. I ...
by tomandlu
Wed May 17, 2017 5:30 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

Mandelbrot was probably a bad choice - I'm more thinking along the lines of "extremely sensitive to initial conditions".

e.g. we can model weather systems, but we can't model our weather system, and there is no inherent contradiction in that.
by tomandlu
Wed May 17, 2017 4:32 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

doogly wrote:Why wouldn't that be conceivable?


I find it conceivable that one might be able to transfer the sensation of pain, but not the person's reaction, their conscious response. By all means disagree; I'm not sure I agree with myself either...
by tomandlu
Wed May 17, 2017 4:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

I've been musing on this and various related discussions, at least as they related to consciousness, and I thought I'd tack them on here (although it's a bit OT in some ways). One of the problems of consciousness is that, if we accept that it arises from a purely physical process, then that implies ...
by tomandlu
Thu May 11, 2017 2:58 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

I think there's a lot of value in making fine distinctions and unpacking intended and unintended meanings. It's possible I simply had a terrible philosophy professor. We spent a lot of time with Kant. From my conversations with my son, philosophy raises lots of interesting questions and then answer...
by tomandlu
Thu May 11, 2017 2:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

Morally right (as opposed to unjust? and in relative or absolute sense?) Logically right (as opposed to incorrect?) Justifiable (as opposed to unsupportable?). The question is more one of the hearer's mindset than of any kind of objective evaluation of an external circumstance. "Who's 'im, Bil...
by tomandlu
Thu May 11, 2017 11:35 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

"Screw those guys" is definitely my general feeling there. My philosophy minor in undergrad taught me that philosophy is the study of malformed questions. Figure out what you're actually doing, whether that be art theory, history, literary criticism, semiotics, sociology, or theoretical p...
by tomandlu
Thu May 11, 2017 10:02 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

Except that I think we can definitively say that neither beauty nor free will can be reduced to a particular physical property. They're both subjectively experienced, emergent things made up of many complex parts that are not themselves. There's no one part that's irreducibly the thing we're talkin...
by tomandlu
Thu May 11, 2017 9:10 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 7235

Re: Free Will

"Unask the question." Or ask a different one - "Is it right that I should feel responsible for the choices I make?" Assuming your answer is 'yes', then it would appear that we 'know' free-will exists without having to establish it empirically. We are aware that we have choices, w...
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:30 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is All Evidence Statistical?
Replies: 23
Views: 2030

Re: Is All Evidence Statistical?

BTW does anyone recall, or have a reference for, the old-time quote about it being hard to draw the absolute line between night and day, and yet it being tolerably easy to tell the two apart in general?

The Google has failed me so far, but I'm sure I'm not making it up.
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is All Evidence Statistical?
Replies: 23
Views: 2030

Re: Is All Evidence Statistical?

But then really, what reason do you have for using statistics? At the root, all evidence is aesthetic. Tomandlu, I promise your kid isn't too young for Feyerabend. Ah, we've moved on now to Panpsychism (fwiw we both think it's reasonable). [EDIT] That aside, I shall pass on the reference. He's jugg...
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is All Evidence Statistical?
Replies: 23
Views: 2030

Re: Is All Evidence Statistical?

gmalivuk wrote:Badly formulated theories, such as the "theory" that Russel's teapot exists, are provable with one example but only disprovable statistically.


Would you define (or consider it reasonable to define) that one example as a statistic?
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is All Evidence Statistical?
Replies: 23
Views: 2030

Re: Is All Evidence Statistical?

I don't know if the term "statistical evidence" is a thing. Ideally, all theories would be supported by empirical (i.e. measured) evidence. In many cases we'd want to perform statistical analysis to see if the results we have are statistically significant. Wouldn't something like smoking ...
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:28 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is All Evidence Statistical?
Replies: 23
Views: 2030

Is All Evidence Statistical?

My son and I were having a (friendly) dispute over whether all evidence for a theory is essentially statistical. He maintains that it is, even if the sample-size required is only 1 (e.g. the 1919 eclipse proving Einstein was correct). Whilst I concede that he has a point, this strikes me as making t...
by tomandlu
Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:41 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Pubmed - was Wakefield right?
Replies: 2
Views: 1078

Re: Pubmed - was Wakefield right?

Phew, ta (no humble pie today!).
by tomandlu
Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:08 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Pubmed - was Wakefield right?
Replies: 2
Views: 1078

Pubmed - was Wakefield right?

Does this make a good case that Wakefield may have been right about vaccinations and autism? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24354891 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28031551 This study reveals that the risk of autism during from the late1990s to early 2000s in the US significantly decreased...
by tomandlu
Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:59 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: V=IR - bad science or am I being thick?
Replies: 15
Views: 2763

Re: V=IR - bad science or am I being thick?

Okay, so in relation to a (smartphone) battery, is the quote right, wrong or ambiguous?

My sort-of understanding of a battery is that voltage is the potential, current is how quickly that potential is being consumed, and resistance is how you control the flow of current.
by tomandlu
Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:28 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: V=IR - bad science or am I being thick?
Replies: 15
Views: 2763

V=IR - bad science or am I being thick?

In this article: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/10/samsung-how-batteries-work-smartphones-explode there is the following statement: The higher the resistance the harder the battery has to work to maintain a usable voltage and so the amount of power it can produce per charge decrease...
by tomandlu
Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:51 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Paleolithic Hide-Clothing
Replies: 3
Views: 1203

Re: Paleolithic Hide-Clothing

This seems like a good place to start. Also, in the book Hatchet , which is really accurate to real life, the protagonist figures out how to make garments out of animals he kills. I forget exactly how he did it; I can go look it up in my copy if you want. Heh - the taxidermy net link was fun, but m...
by tomandlu
Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Paleolithic Hide-Clothing
Replies: 3
Views: 1203

Paleolithic Hide-Clothing

Does anyone have any idea what the basic skill-set would be to make animal hides durable and adaptable? I'm thinking specifically of four requirements: ⋅ Is it enough to just scrape a skin or is more necessary to preserve it? ⋅ How would you soften a skin? (clothing) ⋅ ...
by tomandlu
Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:33 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Tonic Water
Replies: 17
Views: 4427

Re: Tonic Water

Angua wrote:<snip>


For topic/username synergy, you should drop the 'n'.
by tomandlu
Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Tonic Water
Replies: 17
Views: 4427

Re: Tonic Water

Just jumping in with the fact that you can only taste bubbles if your body can turn the CO2 into acid. You don't actually taste the bubbles! Some medications have this as a side-effect. Ah! Which might imply that warmer tonic does taste more fizzy, since smaller bubbles = greater surface area for r...
by tomandlu
Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:49 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Tonic Water
Replies: 17
Views: 4427

Re: Tonic Water

The best way to decrease CO2 loss is to increase the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere the carbonated beverage is in. Pouring it into a smaller container and securely sealing the top on is an easy way to do this. Squeezing the (plastic) bottle so that there's a much smaller air space be...
by tomandlu
Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:00 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Apologies, but can someone check this translation (English to French)
Replies: 1
Views: 1804

Apologies, but can someone check this translation (English to French)

I need to send an email in French to try and recover a phone and ipod from a Parisian garage. Can someone confirm that Google has given me a reasonable translation (and that it doesn't sound rude?): English: Hello, You are very kindly looking after a small, blue 'Centre Parcs' bag that I left behind...
by tomandlu
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1718: "Backups"
Replies: 45
Views: 5124

Re: 1718: "Backups"

Hah! This sort-of happened at a client's site, and it took us a few hours to figure out what they'd done. Basically, they called in to say that a whole bunch of Word documents generated by our application had gone awol, which didn't make any sense, given the trail in the application, but, yes, they ...
by tomandlu
Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2835
Views: 525914

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

Thanks all - I'll get back to you when (hopefully) I've got my head round this...
by tomandlu
Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:33 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2835
Views: 525914

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

So, you say you understand the examples with FTL spaceships. Could you elaborate on your understanding of how these can break causality as a starting point? A transporter is exactly the same, is the issue. Well, 'understand' would be pushing it, but all the examples seem to depend on communication ...
by tomandlu
Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2835
Views: 525914

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

doogly wrote:teleport to somewhere else "now," boost a little so that "now" changes meaning, and teleport back into the past lightcone of your original action.


I know I'm being thick, but that really doesn't help me understand.
by tomandlu
Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:08 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2835
Views: 525914

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

Err... an instantaneous transporter *is* FTL travel... And "instantaneous" transport in one reference frame can always be backwards-in-time in another. Thats the whole point. So can I have an example where I can break causality by using transporter technology? I get that it's possible to ...
by tomandlu
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:12 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2835
Views: 525914

Re: RELATIVITY QUESTIONS! (and other common queries)

This came up elsewhere, and I've been trying to find a resource that will deal with this specific set-up, but I can't find anything that helps me... If you don't have FTL travel, but you do have instantaneous transporters, how would you use that technology to break causality? I sort-of get the examp...
by tomandlu
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:07 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Does potential energy have mass?
Replies: 78
Views: 11260

Re: Does potential energy have mass?

Oh, you could get a new universe spawned from a random fluctuation all right, but the average timespan for that to happen is thousands of orders of magnitude greater than the lifespan of an individual universe from Big Bang to heat death. Isn't that a reasonable mechanism for the creation of a new ...
by tomandlu
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:04 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: List of All Laws of Nature
Replies: 199
Views: 19666

Re: List of All Laws of Nature

Point was - should we count descriptions of (human or otherwise) anatomy, including neuroanatomy, as 'laws of nature' in the same sense as laws of motion or thermodynamics? Yes. Why? I mean, I can see that the underlying physics would be 'laws of nature', but in the case of specific anatomy, these ...
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:44 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How Far Can A Person Walk Into The Desert?
Replies: 27
Views: 4583

Re: How Far Can A Person Walk Into The Desert?

Some of the information here might help...

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/i ... 456AAj5PK8
by tomandlu
Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Does potential energy have mass?
Replies: 78
Views: 11260

Re: Does potential energy have mass?

Oh, you could get a new universe spawned from a random fluctuation all right, but the average timespan for that to happen is thousands of orders of magnitude greater than the lifespan of an individual universe from Big Bang to heat death. Isn't that a reasonable mechanism for the creation of a new ...
by tomandlu
Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:28 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: New (economically) type of FTL travel
Replies: 16
Views: 4408

Re: New (economically) type of FTL travel

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Yes,
Alice can receive a note at A1,
pass it to Bob ad B1,
who can then pass it back to Alice at A1 again.


Thanks (sort of - now I've got to figure it out).
by tomandlu
Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Does potential energy have mass?
Replies: 78
Views: 11260

Re: Does potential energy have mass?

Quizatzhaderac wrote:The energy content of a heat dead universe is still well defined, but it's an epiphenomenal quantity at that point.


I like that word - so it exists but it cannot affect anything? (a bit like my libido, really)

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