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About Damateur

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    Wisconsin USA
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    science, science fiction, horror, making spreadsheets, recreational mathematics (exponential digital invariants)
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  1. While I already know I have Asperger's, out of curiosity I took the test koti provided a link to and got a score of 38. I didn't know while growing up though and it made things challenging but also gave me tools and insights I doubt I would have had if I had been neurotypical. Not being able to read facial expressions and body language means taking people at their word until you get to know the person. And by "taking people at their word" means taking everything they say literally (as in genuinely, accurately, etc - yes, I know the correct meaning of the word). I've learned to deal with neurotypicals by analyzing the way people speak: what they say, how they say it and even what they don't say. I also endeavor to say what I mean and mean what I say. I'm not good at relationships. With that caveat, take your partner at their word and don't bring up past fights at all. Your only reference to them should be that they were based on potentially wrong information so they are moot and won't ever be brought up again - assuming you can actually stick to that pledge. And this would only be your pledge to them. Clarity is excellent. Emotions are fine but they need to be expressed verbally. A "meaningful" look isn't meaningful. Looking with "love" in your eyes is just looking. Honest words are needed. Meaningful deeds are needed. Ask questions and take the answer literally. Always be honest. If you aren't sure about something then ask for clarification. There was a period of a few years where I couldn't tell my mother that I loved her - I didn't feel it so I couldn't say it. When I was again able to say it, she understood that I meant it. I can't tell you that everyone with Asperger's is like that. Your partner might not be able to tell you that they love you right now. But they could like you enough to be with you. I'm not sure how you should broach the subject of Asperger's/autism with your partner. I keep coming back to something you said: "I truly love this person, and am willing to try what I can to give it a second chance." If you have not actually said this, it might be a good start. They might not be able to accept the idea that they have Asperger's/autism - it took me a few years. But I was also working through it alone. If they can't deal with it and you do love them then agree to not pursue it but ask if you can try to follow guidelines as if that were the case so you can try to be a better partner. In other words, you won't talk about it but will act as if they can't read expressions or body language. Above all, temper my attempts at advice with what others say and with reason. You know this person far better than I do so if something I said doesn't ring true, don't do it.
  2. The italicized portion is close. Science and other fact-based subjects provide a welcome relief from the mine-field of social interaction. The bold portion is incorrect. Being on the autism spectrum - at least for me - means not being able to read facial expressions or body language even after trying to study how to do it. It is not a matter of not being interested in social behavior, it is a matter of not being capable of participating fully in social situations and when it is attempted often doing something wrong. So people with an ASD are more affected by peer pressure as we struggle to fit in. Those problems lead to anxiety and depression. It is often easier to be a wall-flower and just watch (thus making fewer mistakes and suffering less humiliation) than it is to participate. While having Asperger's caused some of my problems, I think it also helped me find solutions. I was depressed and considering suicide in my teens so I researched suicide and wrote a paper on it for school. It helped me see that if I was trying to scream for help (pills or other slower methods with someone around) then failure could be either death or life with the scream being ignored. I also saw that even if I was trying to end my life (quicker methods with no one around) then failure wasn't just living but potentially living with a serious permanent physical disability: paraplegia, quadriplegia, etc. Also, actually ending my life would mean never being able to enjoy even the little things I did enjoy sometimes - all those possibilities went away forever. I realized that all the changes we undergo throughout life - dating, breaking-up, breaking a limb, going blind, recovering one's hearing, becoming quadriplegic - all of those were almost nothing compared to the change we would experience with death (I thought there was an afterlife at the time). So the death-change would alter a person so much that what we enjoyed in life would not matter in the same way - if at all. So I've gone on living, enjoying what I can. Humor helps a lot. I used to play Starcraft as the Zerg imagining all the Terrans I was killing were the annoying people in my life - I really loved creating a multi-species force so I could use any unit I wanted although I had my favorites. (Multiple nukes in close succession on the same point was always fun.) Now I have other games for mayhem. Find what works for you.
  3. I didn't say or imply either of those things. jcme11 expressed some concern about abrupt endings so I pointed out that abrupt endings are not the worst thing to happen. That's all. Nothing more.
  4. As humans we are social creatures and have long memories. Our memories keep those we have met alive in our minds even after their deaths. Being social animals we try to form stronger bonds with those who make us better or even just feel better. These factors make us miss those who have died and regret their death. The stronger the bond we had, the more we miss them and the greater our regret. But those aspects also mean we 'live on' in those we know just as those who have already died 'live on' within us. We can affect others while we live but that is at times (when we aren't around) due to their memory of us. So too, can we affect others after our death as their memory of us affects them. An abrupt end is not always a bad thing. My paternal grandmother had TIAs (transient ischemic attacks = mini-strokes) which took her from healthy but slightly infirm to pretty much incapacitated and confused about who was whom. She, in effect, died a couple years before her body died. A slow, drawn-out ending can be much worse than an abrupt end. Living your life then being forgotten - is that really the worst thing? There are ways to be remembered but the easiest ones are also the worst ones. Do you want to be remembered by future generations but only to provide them a frisson of schadenfreude? Or would you rather live a good life knowing that you helped humankind along the way?
  5. Nope. There is no evidence for a god. The universe does not need a god to exist and function. There is evidence (like childhood cancer) that a benevolent rational god does not exist. Childhood cancer (and other terrible things) are evidence that IF a god exists, it is malevolent and for me it is far more comforting to not believe in such a god - to think that there is no god taking joy in our suffering. Shouldn't that say "Other humans will oppress you and torture you and bring you to submission if you do (believe in god)." ?
  6. The portion I made bold contains hidden assumptions (1) that there needs to be a "Physics System" and (2) there needs to be a computer to run that system. Remove those two assumptions and your argument vanishes so you have no proof of any sort of god.
  7. If someone were to jump off a building with a table, they'd have a fractionally better chance of surviving if they jumped with the table above their head holding onto the legs trying to use it as a very crude parachute. Mythbusters examined the idea with sheets of plywood rather than a table and IIRC they determined there would be very little reduction of speed.
  8. Rather than go through all this stuff about "belief", why not consider the fact that scientists are people and they don't always say exactly what they mean? Try considering that they should be using the word "trust" instead of "believe" - that they trust in science. Might people be making a poor word choice rather than doing something weird like believing in facts?
  9. Except powering down an AI (removing the battery from a self-driving car) is not the same as death for a human. A more accurate equivalent would be anesthetizing or inducing a coma in a person - they can be restored to life. One would need to erase the AI's program to kill it (or physically destroy the memory it is stored on). Would reprogramming the AI to prevent it from committing the crime again be murder? We might be altering the AI's 'personality' which many would not consider murder. And it is a procedure we have contemplated doing to human criminals (if we could). The "death of personality" of a human is a moral quandary that AFAIK has not been solved yet. But whether human or AI, it is no longer the same personality. But so far even the abrupt accident-induced changes in personality (of a human) never constitute the recognition of a new person. The idea of a tumor or other disease absolving a person of criminal liability has been shown in TV shows but I don't know if that happens in real life. Would we treat the lines of code which allowed the AI to commit a crime like a tumor and just excise them? We don't include our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom "in our moral sphere of consideration". What features would be required in an ape for us to include them in our moral sphere of consideration? If we can answer that, we'll have a better understanding of how to answer ydoaPs' original question regarding AIs. * Currently we do not consider any AI or planned AI as something to treat humanely; we are proceeding to try to recreate a human mind within a computer. Yet consider for a moment how alien that existence would be: no eyes, ears or voice of it's own but millions of borrowed ones, no sense of touch, balance, taste or smell. So whether an 'uploaded' human mind or an artificially created human mind analog, we need to create an artificial environment in the computer for it to live in otherwise it is almost guaranteed to go insane. I think our best route for an AI is to create something that is native to a computer but interdependent with humans and having a carefully crafted set of ethics programmed into it.
  10. You're welcome. The series of self-portraits is an excellent example of art in science as well as being both enlightening and disturbing.
  11. I can be too subtle at times - an unstated idea was that the kids' trip to school or something else in the school would probably expose the students to more radioactivity than the rock samples but that parents would not understand and object anyway. I know we have radioactive materials inside us but I didn't think it would be more than in a small rock although we do tend to be larger than small rocks. And sometimes I make mistakes. Biology is one of my weaker areas. Checking with Wikipedia for a quick and easy (if not always accurate) reference, On the Origin of Species was published in 1859 and in 1869 Friedrich Miescher discovered what he called nuclein. I did not recall that the components of DNA were being discovered that early. But it has been a long time since I was in school. A bit of info on the Wikipedia DNA page reminder me of a documentary I saw a while ago about the research into DNA, from the first X-ray diffraction through to Crick & Watson's work. I think it was actually in this doc that they mentioned that if Darwin's theory was wrong, discoveries about DNA would have forced us to figure out something else. (Not sure why but) I thought the Modern Synthesis was finished after the structure of DNA was determined rather than being based on Darwin and Mendel's work.
  12. If this thread wasn't still being used I wouldn't post this but I did a search and found the following - although I don't know if this is specifically the series of self-portraits you referred to above. http://www.boredpanda.com/alzheimers-disease-self-portrait-paintings-william-utermohlen/
  13. This would be very cool. Unfortunately, here in the USA, I don't see that happening any decade soon since there would be parental concern about the radioactivity as well as (unreasonable) religious concerns. * The discussion reminds me of a point I read once that if Darwin had been wrong, the discovery of DNA and how it works would have destroyed his theory and we would have been seeking an alternate mechanism. Instead the discovery of DNA lead to a refinement of Darwin's theory into the even more robust Evolutionary Theory. It is humbling to think of how Darwin, through observation and deduction, derived the process of natural selection and developed his theory and that we have only needed to refine it a bit in spite of more than a century of amazing discoveries. I used to believe in evolution but I no longer do after studying it – now I understand and accept it. I also now see three groups: those who believe in evolution, those who don't believe in evolution – but neither of those groups understand it – and those who understand and accept evolution. I have never met someone who understands evolution but doesn't accept it – all who claim to be such people show that they don't actually understand evolution and really they just don't believe in evolution.
  14. Amusingly, Kent Hovind is a YEC (Young Earth Creationist) who eventually started lying about evolution saying that natural selection was not a part of evolution. I guess he got tired of recognizing natural selection as a real thing which undermined his claims about evolution so he started claiming it was separate. Basically, a lot like the attempts to "show" that the Quran has science in it. About the Kaaba in Mecca, there is a holy item called the "Black Stone" which is believed to be a meteorite (although that might not be true) which is embedded in the wall of the building. The building is holy because of the Black Stone, not because it is vaguely cubical.
  15. The bomber was solely intended as a very minor plot device; a plausible means of creating the slice since it would otherwise be utterly preposterous (instead of just very improbable). With the changes in Windows, my version of Mathcad stopped working a decade or so ago. Without it, I'd be hard pressed to accurately do the math for the orbital requirements for the moon slice. My original idea was the slice never achieves orbit - it is only propelled to another location on the moon's surface. The safest result is always back onto the moon. Next is away from the Earth & moon but that does reduce the moon's mass and will, most likely, accelerate the moon's slow escape from the Earth. Landing on Earth gets us an extinction level event due to the mass even though it is not moving all that fast (probably). Remember that people - in spite of their plans - can be a part of "fate". In my idea above, the bomber intended to just destroy the antimatter containment unit and planned for it as a sphere. Instead, with too little explosive for the torus, the bomber tries what seems to him to be the next best idea which results in the slice. A more intelligent bomber would have placed the explosive along the inside of the torus (in the donut's hole) or just in one or two spots on the torus. Those would have caused a more immediate catastrophic failure. But the bomber tries to be clever in spite of not actually being clever and causes something odd to happen. All that being said, this is your story and you need to use, modify, or ignore what you choose.