Search found 88 matches

by reval
Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:18 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 58
Views: 6635

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

But overuse of antibiotics is already a problem, and the overpopulation it has partly been responsible for is already another problem. Because humans care about the "now" and the individual, and it comes at the cost of the future and the species. I hope you didn't mean that the way it sou...
by reval
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:06 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 58
Views: 6635

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

I'm trying to say the more efficient process is "better" because it survives better within a limited energy budget. The less efficient process is "bad" because it is inefficient and wasteful. It survives less well. For example, the "misuse" of the thought process to pro...
by reval
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2134: Too Much Talking
Replies: 13
Views: 2534

Re: 2134: Too Much Talking

Every social occasion ever!
by reval
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 58
Views: 6635

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

Yes, Pfhorrest, I believe that is a good analogy for how the thought process can be more efficient than the evolutionary process.
by reval
Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:46 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future
Replies: 127
Views: 9810

Re: 2020 Presidency Campaign for the Future

Sounds like a public stance against indiscriminate gun-grabbing to me, rather than a bought vote.

And another reason to vote for Bernie.
by reval
Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 58
Views: 6635

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

In what way are DNA (an information storage medium that reproduces) parallel to ideas people think and talk about? DNA and ideas are both information. Both are properly handled using information theory and computation . That is the basis of the theory of two local ordering processes . Other points ...
by reval
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:41 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 58
Views: 6635

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

For anyone joining us, the topic of this thread is the use of information theory to compare (1) the DNA that evolution works on, with (2) the ideas that people think and talk about. Trying to separate human behavior along the line between these two processes yields two distinct motives for human act...
by reval
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:18 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 58
Views: 6635

Re: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

Thanks for the comments! I wish I could help you see the distinction I'm trying to make. ucim - You can find the Darwin quote here . "I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable." (1844) This is directly r...
by reval
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.
Replies: 58
Views: 6635

Competition Is Bad. There's An Alternative.

This is a third attempt to explain the idea of two processes. Earlier threads are here and here , and full details are posted here . Competition is bad for people. That is true even though, as animals, everything about us originally came out of competition, and only competition. Evolutionary compet...
by reval
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:26 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"
Replies: 49
Views: 6641

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Ahhh, thanks! It was bothering me why this wasn't bothering me, and now I understand! the use of "them" ("...each person...was required to bring with them...") would have been highly unusual for a reputable newspaper in 1921. At that point in history, respectable usage would have...
by reval
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:35 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 843666

Re: Trump presidency

That treaty was itself an artifact of Cold War I. Longer ranges were supposed to provide more reaction time and cut down on the risk of a "false positive". It's not surprising to see the treaty abrogated in the leadup to a more complex and multilateral Cold War II. Security-minded bureaucr...
by reval
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2073: "Kilogram"
Replies: 97
Views: 15716

Re: 2073: "Kilogram"

That ratio is only exactly 3.14159265358979... in perfectly flat space. So when a US State Legislature declares pi equal to three, they are making a rather drastic statement about the curvature of the local space-time? Presumably due to the extreme density of local braincases. Are they, at this poi...
by reval
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 44
Views: 15617

Re: Everything is racism

I believe we are in fact talking about relatedness. Yes, people are using cultural signifiers to make these distinctions, and they are frequently confused about which traits are inherited and which are not inherited. But they know exactly who (they think) "looks like us" and who is "t...
by reval
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 44
Views: 15617

Re: Everything is racism

The interesting thing with humans societies is that we have several layers evolving simultaneously- while our genes are evolving vertically (the "line of descent" you talk about) we also have ideas that evolve horizontally. E.g. religion and culture. And ideas can evolve much faster than ...
by reval
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 44
Views: 15617

Re: Everything is racism

Focussing on the pattern of tribalism makes it that much harder get away with special pleading: "My tribal motivation is fine, but your tribal motivation is bad." You can use "tribalism" to simplistically describe a Nazi's distaste for non-Aryans and to describe a PoC's distaste ...
by reval
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:00 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Firearms Regulations
Replies: 213
Views: 56397

Re: Firearms Regulations

Yes, many states have training requirements for carrying and using firearms, and it is important to distinguish that from ownership requirements. For example, in Minnesota a permit to carry a firearm in public requires training and qualification. Similarly, getting a hunting license requires hunter ...
by reval
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 44
Views: 15617

Re: Everything is racism

Tribalism is the correct word if we have the courage to see that it applies to what we ourselves are doing. We're not calling someone else primitive. We ourselves are primitive, if we cling to these old tribal behavior patterns. And, yes, that needs to change. Tribalism also has a simple etymology t...
by reval
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 44
Views: 15617

Re: Everything is racism

As it happens, ucim is right about this one. Tribalism is what you're talking about. US-style racism, with its US-specific history of slavery and violence and segregation, is a subtype of a larger social pattern that is observed in many different places and times. The type is tribalism. US racism ma...
by reval
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:14 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The Internet -- sky or sewer?
Replies: 34
Views: 11021

Re: The Internet -- sky or sewer?

Finding a place where you can talk to people is heaven. And the destruction of that conversation is the work of the demons of hell. And the place where this is playing out is neither above nor beneath the Earth, but on the Earth itself. Averages are beside the point. What "most people" are...
by reval
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Imagine you're an evil dictator...
Replies: 6
Views: 6426

Re: Imagine you're an evil dictator...

Trying to think like a dictator (a.k.a. king) is an interesting exercise because it tends to illuminate long strings of historical events. One insight is that monarchy's main opponent is its surrounding oligarchy (much more than the people themselves). A king's main opponents are the barons. The mai...
by reval
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:13 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Are patents/IP good for innovation?
Replies: 67
Views: 20815

Re: Are patents/IP good for innovation?

This discussion is so far missing the "information is free" position, according to which Intellectual Property claims are always wrong, and are harmful to innovation and to humanity. The US Constitution eliminated the other monopolies that enriched European monarchs, but perpetuated patent...
by reval
Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Equifax is hacked
Replies: 27
Views: 12109

Re: Equifax is hacked

The original purpose of the SSN was for Social Security, namely to make sure that "no SOB can take it away from them" (FDR). The point was to track your individual contributions in order to establish your irrefutable claim to benefits, because, politically, people seemed to care about your...
by reval
Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1880: "Eclipse Review"
Replies: 51
Views: 9517

Re: 1880: "Eclipse Review"

A haze of thin overcast isn't a problem at all: you can still see the bite taken out of the sun through the glasses. When a heavier cloud goes by, you can't see the bite. But even the heavier clouds can't interfere with the effect of totality: a brilliant spark and it's day, and then there isn't - a...
by reval
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:58 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: sick realization: you have negative dollars
Replies: 174
Views: 62802

Re: sick realization: you have negative dollars

How is this any different from needing to eat? Yes. That. The root of all this debt business is the need to eat every day. Derivative things like ownership claims are just accreted around this basic need. All of this "extended debt" is just tricks and games to get OTHER people to give you...
by reval
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:00 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thank you for all the comments. Even though I wasn't able to convince anyone, I am glad we were able to talk about my specific proposals, which is already an improvement on my previous thread. In particular, I maintain that none of you was able to demonstrate a significant flaw or weakness in the ar...
by reval
Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Dear ucim, it is you, not I, who is trapped by "Master Race" thinking. Until you allow yourself to change your own desires, you won't become the kind of "thang" who can see the category error you make in comparing memes and genes. Both memes and genes are information. In principl...
by reval
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:09 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Chen - Thank you for your comments. Yes, I'm using "process" to refer to all types of interactions of matter and energy. These are mechanical processes taking place in a materialist universe. Obviously I am mainly interested in certain types of processes, specifically those that maintain t...
by reval
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Wealth taxation
Replies: 120
Views: 43985

Re: Wealth taxation

Also beware of externalized costs. The loss of natural habitat to surburbs and agriculture isn't easy to quantify in a dollar-based discussion of housing density, but the loss of pollinators could easily affect our food supply in very dollar-relevant ways.
by reval
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:13 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

I realize there are a number of places along the way where it may be hard to go along with the chain of reasoning and observation. Here is an attempt to break it down into a series of steps: 1. All processes happen in a universe of matter that is moving according to the laws of physics. No explanati...
by reval
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thanks for all the comments. And thanks to ucim for landing a punch (ouch!) The defunct thread sometimes felt like people were objecting to things I wasn't proposing. My fault, of course, for failing to convey my propositions. But this one lands squarely: ... the very idea of genetic engineering wil...
by reval
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:52 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Chen: Okay, I'll go ahead and try to put it in one sentence. "When people see that technology can supplant biological evolution, this changes what they want: they want to advance technology instead of advancing themselves over their rivals." So this is all about people's motives. I'm claim...
by reval
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

morriswalters: If you mean "don't mess with things you don't understand because you'll screw it up and cause a disaster" then of course I agree with you. Our understanding isn't there yet, and that's why we need better tools, and we need to go carefully as we learn. My confidence that we'l...
by reval
Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thanks for taking another look at this! I'm not sure I understand why "important" is misleading or unclear in this context? The Two Reasons" versions uses "the most important thing to notice" in this place. What I mean is "important for my argument" (also, "im...
by reval
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 12429

Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

A while back I wrote an 8,000 word essay which I described as being about competition. It was discussed here . It was a total flop, and that thread is now dead. (Please don't necro it.) I am grateful to the commenters who made clear that my political arguments were acting as a distraction from the c...
by reval
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:36 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Telescope amplification with laser medium?
Replies: 18
Views: 5097

Re: Telescope amplification with laser medium?

So it would only amplify on a single frequency at a time. Any way to tune the frequency? Sweep it through a range and get a spectrum? Amp up your signal for oxygen or whatever.

I like it. I have no idea whether it would work or what's wrong with it either.
by reval
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1848: "Glacial Erratic"
Replies: 23
Views: 6171

Re: 1848: "Glacial Erratic"

You know what glaciers lead to? Deranged drainage, that's what.
by reval
Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:44 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 843666

Re: Trump presidency

The main good thing about Paris was that the Germans nearly got a statement that "ultimate goal is zero fossil carbon use" in there. They didn't, and the Paris commitments look meaningless in themselves, but the idea seemed to actually shift the Overton window. That means that "zero f...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 3:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How would you change the U.S. tax system?
Replies: 197
Views: 63892

Re: How would you change the U.S. tax system?

I'm sorry You're not, and please don't say you are. Specifics on taxation are pointless in the absence of the power to implement any meaningful change. Go ahead, take away the mortgage deduction. The only reason it could actually happen is that it will probably hurt the 99% slightly more than the 1...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 3:05 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Breaking Up the United States
Replies: 174
Views: 65643

Re: Breaking Up the United States

The US states can fix the electoral college disaster without a constitutional amendment: National Popular Vote Interstate Compact . This is an actual thing, with states accounting for 165 electoral votes having signed up; when it gets to 270 electoral votes it takes effect. Then these states throw a...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How would you change the U.S. tax system?
Replies: 197
Views: 63892

Re: How would you change the U.S. tax system?

Yes, MS-DOS was a copy of CP/M, not Unix, from experience with all three. And there's this surrealistic quality to this thread where people are talking about what *should* be taxed, and Thesh seems to be the only one aware of the raw power of property to make sure that it *isn't* taxed. There's your...

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