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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/19/18 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Because I am a philosopher, not a scientist, and this is a science forum, I did not feel any obligation to vote on the issue. Most people, who have read my posts already know my view on the "click-it squad". I would also like to say that I do not see much value in the vote, as the people who are in the forum are reasonably happy with the way the system works, and the people who are not happy with the system have mostly left. So I predict that the vote will be self-confirming and retain the system. The one point that was brought up in this thread, about people arguing with accepted Science, makes sense to me. I can see that it would be frustrating to have to repeat over and over something that has been well established in Science. In my recent thread, Consciousness and Evolution, I worked through seven pages, seven full pages, before I could get the other members to understand that all life is conscious. There are different levels of consciousness, sentience, awareness, sensing, perceiving, whatever, but it is all consciousness. Even after repeatedly telling them that Science confirms this, and explaining that a biologist, a micro-biologist, and a neurologist all confirmed this, there were still arguments. One might wonder why I bothered to work so hard on this. It's simple -- I can not demonstrate the possible connection between consciousness and evolution if the other members do not know WTF consciousness actually is, as they tend to confuse it with the rational aspect of mind. The new ideas don't start until page eight and go through to page ten. A ten page thread that, at most, has only three pages of worth. So I do sympathize with the arguing problem. On the other hand, in Philosophy, it is necessary to know how to make an argument. Telling a philosopher that they must work Philosophy without making an argument is like telling a scientist that they must work Science without using experiments. Absurd. A lot of people in this forum know how to argue, but few know how to make an argument -- with the exception of mathematical arguments. Would it help to post some instructions on how to make a philosophical argument? You did ask for opinions, and philosophers always have lots of opinions, so please consider. There are a lot of posts about new members having problems in the forum. The perception seems to be that new members do not know enough about Science, so they make mistakes until they learn, then their problems with down votes cease. Nonsense. This thinking assumes that new members are uneducated, that they are not professors, scientists, teachers, philosophers, or other educated people. It assumes that new members have nothing to contribute. It also assumes that the old members know more than the new members. I am pretty certain that I know more about consciousness than most members and did when I joined. There may be a few members, who know as much as I do, but I have seen no one who knows more. Of course, you could say that consciousness is not studied in Science as that topic is covered by Philosophy, but there are a surprising number of titles in the Science section with the word "consciousness" in them. It hasn't been that long since I was a new member, so I will tell you what I remember. Notes To Gee: 1. It is OK to insult Religion, Philosophy is just fluff, but do not say anything against Science or you get a down vote. 2. It is always important to be respectful, well mannered and proof your work, but in this forum be very careful how you word things because if it is possible to twist your meaning, someone will and you get a down vote. 3. Tell everyone that you are a scientist, not a philosopher, and deny any belief in "God". (I couldn't do this and got a lot of flack for being a philosopher.) 4. Never complain to a Moderator about a member who has a high rep -- no matter how they are acting. It will backfire. 5. Always agree with the popular opinion -- or DON'T POST. Posting opinions that are unpopular will earn you a down vote. 6. If you ever get three down votes on a post -- GET OUT OF THE THREAD. Tar never learned this one, got about 40 down votes in one thread and left the forum. I will miss him. 7. Avoid the Religion forum as they are all fanatics. Some hate religion, some love religion -- but they are all fanatical about it. 8. Avoid Ethics as that forum can be summed up as "If you would just think like me, act like me, or be like me, you would be ethical." (chuckle) I don't know what maggot in my brain caused me to recently write a thread there, but it didn't work out. I wrote a thread about power and entitled it Powerful Men, Beautiful Women, and Sex. Apparently I did not know that the Powerful Men were being mean to the Beautiful Women Sexually, so it was a thread about sexual harassment. By the bottom of the second page, I apparently was the cause of this harassment. Who knew? 9. Stay away from Politics unless you can think of it as a newspaper and not post. 10. If you ever need a few up votes, go to the Science section, look around for something that interests you, and then profusely thank whoever answered your questions. Sucking up in Science is always good for an up vote. 11. If you found Swansont in a thread in Philosophy, you could often be more open and honest in that thread because people tended to behave when he was around. In this thread, I learned why they behaved. (chuckle) One thing I will say is that Swansont apparently had a lot of power, but I never saw him abuse it and believe he possesses integrity. He is not the only one, and I don't mean to single him out as I see integrity in many members. I just noted early on that people behaved themselves around him. 12. Do not start your own thread. It is suicidal. It is OK to question, but if you start a thread with an idea in mind, you are going to be attacked. For some reason, members in this forum take an original idea as an assault on their authority, so they attack. If I followed these rules, my rep points went up. It did not have a damned thing to do with learning Science. Gee
  2. 4 points
    Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76 on Pi day, 3/14/2018. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43396008 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/14/stephen-hawking-professor-dies-aged-76?CMP=fb_us
  3. 4 points
    ! Moderator Note Irony meter overload, thread closed. Furyan5, you're extremely hidebound on certain definitions, and you're unwilling to look at the reasonable alternatives, which makes you a preacher. You've made your point, and if we see it being spammed elsewhere, you'll be booted for soapboxing.
  4. 4 points
    I can't believe that D Trump's idiotic proposal has been discussed for four pages. Only someone like the current president would think that, in a country where the problem is too many guns and their easy accessibility, the solution is MORE guns. Schools need to be gun-free zones. Guns and kids don't mix. Kids need to be taught their problems cannot be solved with violence. Nor are their problems so great these days, as to cause all the teenage angst.
  5. 4 points
    Well I'm sorry you took umbrage at my quickly dashed off scribbling yesterday. It was designed in a hurry to 'get you started'. One very important point you need to realise is that many words with wider meanings in the general English dictionary are used scientifically with only with specialist meanings. Furthermore scientists will assume that you are using these specialist meanings, if you introduce them. So if you need clarification about a technical term ask, don't waste precious time arguing about a definition. From your posts I don't know if you know what a null hypothesis is, but my hint contains everything (scientifically) needed for a starting point. How about There is evidence for global warming. or There is not evidence for global warming. Which of these do you think is null? Which of these can you best falsfy? A further hint, don't make your scheme too grand. Go for something achievable by a 14/15 or 17/18 year old scholar (you didn't say which and it makes a difference). Another important question is. What subject is this for? Geography, Geology, Environmental Science, Chemistry... ? Where will you look for evidence (material to put into numbers) Well, as I said it depends upon the subject. You might look for changes to migratory patterns of birds, insects and animals You might look for changes to how far North od South various vegetation limits eg Tundra vary You might look for direct measurements of some physical property - Can you suggest one? Incidentally marks will also be awarded for the thinking behind rejecting certain markers, in the writeup of such a project. So, for instance, should you accept or reject the obvious one Is the concentration of Carbon Dioxide changing? Will knowing this actually assist? All this is totally consistent with the roadmap I offered initially. So shall we start again?
  6. 3 points
    Yes, you must distinguish between truth1 and truth2... Just kidding. To be honest, I do not like the substantive 'truth', even less when written as 'Truth'. I think the first thing is to look on which 'objects' the adjective 'true' applies: these are propositions, or complete systems of propositions, where I think about e.g. scientific theories. What it means is that they fit to what they describe. If they do not, they are false. (Or they are meaningless ('colourless green ideas sleep furiously'), or they do not describe a situation unambiguously ('One cannot see light' )) So simply said, one can define 'truth' as the correspondence between a description and reality. So it characterises a relationship between propositions and facts. Which e.g. means the 'Truth' is not out there. We find out if a proposition is true, if we find out that the description corresponds to reality. It is an attribute of propositions ('in there') and reality ('out there'.) I think this meaning of 'true' is simple. But that does not mean that it is easy to find out which propositions (or theories) are true. The two topics should not be confused: what 'true' means on side, and how we find out on the other. I think that some of the examples given are wrong: e.g that about simultaneity in relativity. Are two events simultaneous or not? Well, we know exactly how this depends on from which inertial frame you are observing these events. So we have to amend it to 'for observer A the events are simultaneous, for observer B they are not'. If we know how the perspective has influence on what people observe, then we know that there is nothing to quarrel about. It is as if two people are facing each other, and quarrel about the question if the chair stands at the right or at the left. If you take the perspective in account, the whole problem has vanished. Same with what is true today is false tomorrow. If it was an 'eternal truth' (something like F = mv, like Aristotle thought), and today we know it is false, then it was false all the time. We erroneously took it for true. But truth hasn't changed, because reality did not change. Same with the opposite: reality changes. It is drizzling. It is really true! I see it when I look out of the window! But of course this event is local: where I live, and am now, it is drizzling. It makes no sense to quarrel about the truth of 'it is drizzling', if I do not take the context in account. When I am going somewhere else tomorrow, then it is still true that 'in Switzerland at 17.03.2018 16:30 local time, it is drizzling'. Even if it is beautiful weather at the place where I am tomorrow. Personally, I would prefer to separate some concept pairs: For factual knowledge, 'true' or 'false' apply, because there can be a kind of correspondence between factual propositions and reality For morality, I would use 'right' or 'wrong'. There is no way that science can find out what is morally right or wrong. It can help if facts play a role in a moral decision ('if you do this some people might be killed, if you do that, the risk is negligible'). But this already presupposes that both agree on the norm that killing people is wrong. For aesthetics it becomes more difficult: beauty, interesting, fascinating or ugly, boring, ...The difference with morality is that it has a very strong personal factor. The compulsion to come to an agreement is less than in morality, but do not underestimate the intersubjective character of these aesthetical norms. If these is a discussion on how to renovate the old city centre, it can become very important that people agree. Well, then they are wrong. Truth is not subjective. Beauty has a strong subjective side, morality less, but truth is definitely not subjective.
  7. 3 points
    I think Gees introduced the topic of an elephant. Koty is the blind man holding the trunk, and trying to describe it. Strange is the blind man holding the ears and trying to describe it. Ten oz is the blind man holding a leg and trying to describe it. And Dimreepr is the blind man holding the tail and trying to describe it. Sorry Gees, but you've created a mess. I think you're gonna have to re-state and clarify the OP.
  8. 3 points
    The simple answer is that the universe works in such a way as to prevent your ever exceeding c relative to your starting point. You are essentially asking what prevents you from constantly accelerating at 1 m/s2 until you exceed the speed of light. If the Universe operated under the Rules of Newtonian physics, nothing. After 7 years, 21 days, 20 hrs, 47 min and 38 sec, you would be moving faster than light. However, we don't live in a universe that follows Newtonian rules, but follows Relativistic ones instead. And one of those differences in rules is in how velocities add together. Under Newton if you want to get the sum of two velocities, you simply add them together like this, w=u+v. Thus if you were moving at 1 m/s relative to some reference and then added 1m/s to your current speed, you would be moving at 1+1=2m/s relative to the initial reference. However, it turns out that this isn't correct. the right way to add the velocities is by w= (u+v)/(1+uv/c2) where c = the speed of light in a vacuum or 299,792,458 m/s Now when you add 1 m/s to 1m/s you get a resultant velocity of 1.9999999999999999777469988789276 m/s almost, but not quite 2 m/s At low speeds, this doesn't amount to much, but as the speed increase, the difference starts to mount up. If you were moving at 0.1c and increased your velocity by 0.1c, you would be moving at .198019802 c relative to the point you were initial moving at 0.1c relative to. If you boost you speed by another 0.1c, you will now be moving at .2922330097c relative to the initial frame. Do this 7 more times, and instead of moving at c relative to the initial frame like you would under Newton, you would be moving at 0.7629989373 c. Each time you add change your speed by 0.1 c relative to your current speed as measured by you, you add less than 0.1c total change in your velocity. And the closer you get to a total of c, the less change in total velocity you'll end up with, and no matter how you try and add up the velocities, the resultant velocity will always end up being less than c.
  9. 3 points
    It is a sad day, the world lost a great mind. His sense of humor was a great addition to his work - his singing of the Monty Python "Galaxy Song", the poker scene on Star Trek The Next Generation, his appearance on episodes of "Big Bang Theory" and the Simpsons...countless interviews and comedy shows he appeared in. He had a great life considering that he made it to 76 when he was getting 2 years max at 22 years of age. On top of his work in physics he left 3 children, a major hollywood film was made as his biography - who could ask for a more fulfilling life.
  10. 3 points
    I'll only touch on this one, but my statement applies to all seven items. Making an assertion in response to another assertion is not 'debunking'. Until you provide some evidence and a logical argument you are simply stating one opinion to oppose another. I also suspect that for the most part you yourself made up all of the assumptions you are "debunking".
  11. 3 points
  12. 3 points
  13. 3 points
    A scientist takes a photo of a single atom using an ordinary camera: https://qz.com/1205279/photo-of-an-atom-a-scientist-captured-an-incredible-photograph/ (Didn't we have someone here recently claiming that atoms don't exist!) Five ways the heaviest element on the periodic table is really bizarre: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/5-ways-heaviest-element-periodic-table-really-bizarre Discrepancy in neutron lifetime measurements might hint at new physics (but probably not dark matter): https://www.quantamagazine.org/neutron-lifetime-puzzle-deepens-but-no-dark-matter-seen-20180213/ (I wonder is this might be relevant to the discrepancy in the amount of of lithium predicted in big bang models) More here: http://twistedphysics.typepad.com/cocktail_party_physics/
  14. 3 points
    Pulling out of the Paris climate agreement? The whole world agreed to that. Now, it has to be re-negotiated - presumably costing millions to arrange for all to come up with something that will probably be exactly the same but worded differed, just so the USA don't feel like they are being pushed around. Great.
  15. 2 points
  16. 2 points
    Yes indeed. Sorry about that. I did dispatch it, but it seemed to get sidetracked and last time I saw it some idiot had sent it out towards Mars.
  17. 2 points
    As far as I know, it only exists in spy fiction.
  18. 2 points
    Take the energy content and divide by c^2 Batteries tell you how long they will run, and at what current, e.g. 1 amp-hour. You also have a voltage. E = Pt = IVT So 1 amp-hour at 1 V would be 3600 Joules. The mass difference would be 4 x 10^-14 kg
  19. 2 points
    From Light Into Heat. His Radiation Remains. The Journey Complete. ..
  20. 2 points
    My old rugby jersey has never been seen in a lab. God has also never been seen in a lab. They have this in common. But of course trying to draw conclusions about something based on the commonality of whether or not a human has observed it by now is a foolish endeavor.
  21. 2 points
    It is not that others can't see the difference you are specifying, they just don't agree that your definitions of words like "detect", "see" and "visible" etc are the only ones. By insisting that your chosen definitions are the only correct ones, you are just as much the problem as anyone else (given your hostile attitude, probably more so).
  22. 2 points
    The irony of this is that I wrote a first post sympathetic to your 'outlandish claim', but not entirely supporting it. You chose the direction from there. First by asking "Can I tell you something...... " But since that something you asked for had altered my words in more than one way I had to answer No . I could have added I am unable to do so, but I did chose to suggest you reread my exact words so you could rephrase your questions. Instead all you have done since is attack me. So why should I help you realise that you are asking about the present and I deliberately set my society in the past. Furthermore you kept demanding countries, ( a word I did not use) whilst the society I talked about existed in a region of Africa that did not have formal countries at that time. Finally I mentioned the word surfeit, which is crucial to my examples since they had a surfeit of energy, which still exists today as I noted in the present tense.
  23. 2 points
    Why do you claim inductance is a length in CGS. Why do you claim voltage is energy in CGS? Is jumping from 3 metres below ground level to 2 metres below ground level possible only in maths, not in the physical world?
  24. 2 points
    It's a matter of level and direction: Anger and hate can be useful if directed at situations rather than people, for instance, I can be angry and hate what greedy people do (whilst understanding why they do it) but if enough of us direct those emotions towards a solution we might solve it. Fear, I think, is self-evident at the appropriate time and place. Jealousy can, at a reasonable level, remind a partner of appropriate behaviour and our feelings and help cement the relationship. Guilt can remind us of the mistakes we (ALL) make and gives us an opportunity to better/redeem ourselves. Revenge, now that is a tricky one because our natural urge is to hurt them as they hurt you, and at the appropriate level that is justice; an eye for an eye (you steal my cow and I take one of yours) but the urge is strong and tends to lead to an over-reaction (because we want to be sure you feel the same level of pain) so we take two. Inner peace is as much about understanding others as it is about understanding oneself.
  25. 2 points
    If the emboldened sentence is what you wished to know then you should have opened with that enquiry. Instead you produced a series of statements relating to the thermal characteristics of the planets that were inaccurate, either through misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or misrepresentation. These inaccuracies were dealt with by myself and other members. At no time, that I could see, did you address our corrections. Instead you piled in with other, similar statements that were also misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or misrepresentations. This technique, when used by creationists, is called a Gish Gallop. It is not a sincere method of discussion. We've moved on quite a way since the time of Lord Kelvin. He was unaware of radioactive decay. There is no issue to account for the current heat budget of the solid Earth. Sure there are details to be worked out, but details are exactly that - details. They are not matters of fundamental uncertainty. What makes you think there is an issue? And you are right - it should not be too difficult to work out the numbers. It's so basic that you should be able to find it in any relevant textbook. Have you looked? I mean, you've come up with all these links that supposedly represent a problem for the conventional view (all of which are misunderstandings, misinterepretations, or misrepresentations) , yet you can't find this basic information. That strikes me as peculiar. Moreno, if you sense a tension in my posts you would be correct. I don't feel you are dealing honestly with the membership with your style of presentation> I apologise if this is a faulty impression, but that's how you are coming across. You say you want a concrete discussion. So do I. It's time for you to deliver.
  26. 2 points
    The “Lazy Jet Stream Theory” seems to be supported by all these observations. The theory explains how the polar jet stream, which is driven by the difference in temperatures between the polar air mass (Polar Cell) and the temperate or mid-latitude air mass (Ferrel Cell), will weaken or get “lazy” as the polar air mass warms more than the global average. In the same way the arms of a spinning ice skater can be extended more easily as the skater slows down, the borders of the polar air mass (polar jet stream) can wander more easily away from the center and toward the lower latitudes—creating so-called “omega loops.” This leads to more longitudinal patterns in our weather, instead of the more traditional latitudinal or zonal flow to weather patterns that agriculture depends on. This more frequent interruption in traditional weather patterns also makes it more likely to break weather records, such as record cold temperatures farther south or record warm temperatures farther north, especially in winter and spring when the loss of the normal temperature differential is most pronounced. Certainly, the early prediction of amplified arctic warming, which was specifically expected to result from extra CO2 heating, seems to have been born out (see colored arrows and shaded text on annotated graph below) over the first climatologically significant period of time—thirty years—since Stuiver's prediction. The non-annotated graph (in black and red) was first published in 1981, and it was used in the 1991 textbook for climate researchers, on page 253: Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics no.16; Paleoclimatology; edited by Crowley & North. ~
  27. 2 points
    NortonH is suspended three days for soapboxing (refusing to answer relevant questions) and thread hijacking (dragging dirty laundry from closed threads into active ones) And also for calling everyone a troll while engaging in trollish behavior. The suspension should give people time to do maintenance on their irony meters.
  28. 2 points
    Length is frame dependent. Energy is frame dependent.
  29. 2 points
    To be fair, the author quoted in OP seems to be quite misinformed on a number of issues, including the concepts of evolution. As such, obviously he is espousing his opinion which are quite obviously lacking context or are outright wrong. He claims that over the last 50 years Somalia the population was kept alive by food aid. Yet, looking at IMF data Somalia was self-sufficient until the late 70s and until the early 80s they exported significant amount of livestock to fuel their economy. Famines really flared up in the wake of civil war, but also by the influence of the IMF which imposed certain austerity measures that arguably further destabilized the country as some economists argue. These measures, including the devaluation of their currency increased prices for agricultural imports (fertilizers, fuel, irrigation systems etc.). Moreover, to increase income the government favored the production of high-value agricultural products for export rather than for consumption. These and many other factors led to a vicious cycle in which the country grew more and more dependent on external food sources, which destroyed the abilities of local farmers to compete leading to starvation, leading to destabilization. Now whether that analysis is correct depends a bit on the sources. However, it is clear that Somalia did not grew to starvation due to foreign aid in the last 50 years (considering its ability to secure food and maintain population growth during droughts before the destabilization of the country). It is also easy to see that the article was full of fluff, bluster and polemics, but does not provide even a little bit of insight on what is happening in the countries he is talking about. The two-dimensional view of these nations and their people, effectively reducing them to populations of cattle that outstrip existing resources (based on what? Much of Europe has outstripped its resources by that measure!) makes it quite clear that this opinion column does not deserve an in-depth analysis and heck, I wasted far too much time here.
  30. 2 points
    From the OP of the thread you reference: "I am of the opinion that this is pure theatre and self delusion. If the energy source cannot survive without subsidy then it is clearly not producing more energy that it consumes." Your thread was about how you personnel feel about subsidizes and for some reason was in engineering. The thread doesn't seek to analyse the cost per watt of energy produced, environmental impacts, or future potential of different energy sources. Rather it is just a complaint about subsidizes. There is nothing scientific about it.
  31. 2 points
    No, I am nowhere near saying that. I am tempering your rather aggressive and unrealistic assumptions. Probably doesn't matter much, since the ability to observe will scale with distance. It's far easier to observe someone close by, both in signal strength and in light-speed signal delay. A civilization a billion years older than us must be less than 500 million light years away, and would currently be observing the antics of Cambrian flora and fauna.
  32. 2 points
    Ok I was thinking of posting some links myself but lets just do this your way. BTW I worked in a coal fired steam turbine plant for a number of years and thats how I know that one day wind will beat the pants off coal in efficiency. You all know how we generate electricity, a few magnets, a shaft and a coil and one more thing some way to spin that wheel. You can spin with your finger or a bicycle it doesn't matter its just got to spin. The coal plant does this by burning refined coal to heat the water converting it into steam and shooting the steam through massive turbines that spin the wheel. All this takes a humongous apparatus (my plant was 17 stories tall and covered over 2 acres) that has to be rebuilt constantly. Every few months the plant fills up with hundreds of workers doing 7 day 12 hour shifts to rebuild a turbine or a furnace as fast as possible to get that wheel spining again. All of this ignores mining, refining (ever hear of an acid bath) and transportation of the coal and all the good land that is laid to waste in the process. All the wind turbine has to do is spin in the wind. Trust me my friend we have been refining our use of coal fired steam turbines for a long time we are just getting started with wind. When the technology catches up coal will be dead and the only question there will be is why did we wait so long.
  33. 2 points
    You did a much better job of explaining yourself this time NortonH so I hope the mods will leave this open and lock the other thread. This is true. This is not true in the case of wind turbines. The source of energy is the wind and obviously it exists with or without the turbines. Also the turbines don't consume any energy that we have to realistically "pay for" other than construction and maintenance. Thats the whole point. This is also trivaly false. You can buy a watch these days that cost more than some cars the watch used less energy to "create" and uses less to run. If you want to try to defend this concept further I suggest you divorce create and run because it really is two different things. I get it. No idea if its true but for the purpose of this discussion I'll take your word for it. Our technology will get better as we use it and renewables are a much better long term plan than the status quo. So I'm ok with the subsidies.
  34. 2 points
    Ethiopia? You mean the country that was the third-poorest in the world with more than half of the people living in poverty about 10 years ago? The country that has seen one of the highest growth rates in GDP averaging 10% in the last decade? The one that managed to reduce the proportion of people living in poverty to 30% by 2011 despite huge regional conflicts? The country where birth rates almost halved (which is a strong indicator of child health)? You mean the country making huge advances despite the vast challenges it faces? Pretty well, it seems.
  35. 2 points
    Theoretically, improved quality means more up votes, so increased quality over time will "get rid of" the negative reputation. It's not an insurmountable task like it would be were we using the old system where a downvote from somebody with enough positive reputation *cough* swansont *cough* would have such a strong effect that the damage to the reputation would be effectively infinite. And we have both natural and artificial buffers to reputation abuse. Posters notice abuse and often upvote to counteract the unnecessary downvote. Also, we have a special user group that habitual rep abusers get put into. That being said, staff don't read all threads, so we don't notice all abuse. If you think somebody is abusing the reputation system, report a post that was abused and tell us about it. A great way to help with both issues is to be very generous with positive rep. A post doesn't need to win a Pulitzer prize to deserve some rep. The problem there is that it could lead to feuds of reputation abuse. Iirc, we had that sort of problem when you could leave a comment with your rep. Though, that was before I became a demigod. Just so you know, staff *can* see who reps what posts, and it's not always who you think. For example, a few posts above, one poster got a negative rep and the immediately following post is replying with a snide comment. One might reasonably think that the poster making the snide comment left the rep, but they didn't (I checked).
  36. 2 points
    On the subject of writing ... I heard of an interesting experiment on vision. When you look at a page of writing, it all appears to be there, fully formed. But that is an illusion created by the brain. They did an experiment where they used eye-tracking so that only the word you are looking at is displayed, the rest of the text is replaced with X's or nonsense. To the experimental subject, the page of text appears completely normal. To someone looking over their shoulder, it is a page of nonsense, with words being displayed momentarily all over the place. (They did a similar thing with colour, to show that the mind creates a colour image of the full scene before us, even though only the central part of the visual system has colour perception.)
  37. 2 points
    I had made a suggestion a while back but IIRC it wasn't feasible because of a software change requirement or something. Basically it would add points over time to anyone with negative rep, since it seemed new members would tend to get it and not have time to adjust, understand the rules (such as speculating in good faith but in the wrong forum type of thing) They could be potentially solid members but would carry that negative rep for some time. Maybe if a mod would simply clear it after 30 days they could have a fresh start. It is after all a system where we want members to actually care about to some degree about their score, especially if negative and it is much easier to get negative (just start insulting) than positive (well thought out or helpful) rep.
  38. 2 points
    I understand that the White House is a gun-free zone. Surely what's good enough for the president should be good enough for school kids.
  39. 2 points
    It isn't uncommon for members to correct each other humbly when mistakes are make - The bear simply pointed out your error and you lambast him. Boo!
  40. 2 points
    The model describes how the universe expanded from a very high-density and high-temperature state. Many people make this confusion.
  41. 2 points
    Check out the little spat between Itoero and Dimreepr in the Status Update section for an example of the use of neg repping to win an argument, or punish your opponent for having a differing viewpoint. Not taking sides, but that is one good reason for getting rid of down-voting.
  42. 2 points
    Nope. There are many definitions used in biological or sociological and common use terms, which have very different aspects. Such a generic definition as provided here would e.g. mean that smaller people form a race vs taller ones. Especially in humans the biological concept is problematic due to large gene flows between human populations. In common use it is an extremely mixed concepts that diverges vastly from how other subspecies are described. So no, it is not trivial at all.
  43. 2 points
    It would work better with an arrow where the = sign is.
  44. 2 points
    ! Moderator Note If everyone could please stick to the topic, it would be appreciated.
  45. 2 points
    Similar sentiments. I never claimed to have examples of action for fear of appearing weak, just that I would not dismiss it outright, given the examples of acting on ideology instead of fact. You would have to ask the person who made the "weakness" claim for examples. When it comes to official actions, a country has but one federal government, and the actions (or inactions) of that government can be referred to in this way, regardless of the opinions of its citizens.
  46. 2 points
    Then why do you keep referring to the whole country as having a single attitude or trait? You either think all Americans need to get over themselves, or you don't mind lumping the ones who do not have bad traits in with those who do have bad traits, simply based on their country of origin. You know, like bigots do. Would you find it offensive if I suggested Canada was a lawless country simply because some Canadians are lawless? You keep bitching that I am misrepresenting your attitudes, but you keep displaying the same attitudes over and over. As I said before, you just don't seem to have any understanding of what people might find offensive.
  47. 2 points
    I miss being corrupted absolutely.
  48. 2 points
    FB/Twitter/Google+ are screwed up because of inability to say you don't agree with crap somebody said.. and it gives incorrect impression everybody agrees with it, when there is visible dozen "likes".. and nobody "dislikes" crap somebody said.. Down vote is often (always?) disagreement for somebody said. Without having to write entire essay about why do we disagree, which would be flooded by dozen of posts and basically disappear, in the ocean of discussion..
  49. 2 points
    All we can do, if we have any intellectual honesty at our disposal, is to remove as much subjectivity like "truth" and "reality" and "proof" and "what's really going on", and observe what actually happens in nature, and use those observations, along with accompanying theory and mathematical models, to make predictions about the rest, and keep testing those against nature. All your attempts to know "what's really going on" are just guesswork, and that's what the methodology is there to reduce. You don't know what science is for, so you're like a person trying to measure their driveway with a song and then bitching when you don't get a meaningful answer.
  50. 2 points
    I'm told that when naked mole rats sit around shooting the breeze, they discuss how they are a clear aberration. Apparently domestic cats hold much the same viewpoint. Not to mention African Greys. It seems its a tendency of any reflective species to view itself as unique and special. You can probably eliminate any single species from the planet and the biosphere will continue pretty much as it was apart from some small, local readjustments. So you can replace the word "humans" in your statement with the name of any species . If you don't feel a Great White is not a super-fish would you like to take one on in unarmed combat. I suggest it won't be long before you are truly unarmed. Moontanman has mentioned examples of intelligence and tool use, etc. There are plenty of examples of animals that are faster than us, or anything else,have better vision than us, or anything else, can endure lower temperatures than us, or anything else. And so on. If we insist on comparisons that focus on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses it is difficult to not to consider us super, but that seems a biased approach. Overgrazing is common. Predators sometimes kill too many of their prey. The Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed by one of its inhabitants. There are, I think, numerous examples of this. We are better at it than most, but I don't think most of us want to boast about that.