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  1. Dear All, I am going to take a hiatus from the forum from today. As some of you might know, the natural sciences are not my only area of interest; in particular, I am committed to a form of spiritual practice as well, and have been living in a Buddhist monastery as a lay person for the past few years. I have made the decision to deepen this practice further by ordaining as a monk in the Theravadin Thai Forest tradition, and for various logistical and monastic-political reasons this should ideally happen at a traditional training monastery in Thailand. So tomorrow I will be departing for Thailand to seek ordination there. I think it doesn’t need pointing out that forest monks generally don’t spend a lot of time on Internet forums, so chances are that I will only get to check in here very occasionally, if at all. That being said, there are a lot of question marks and uncertainties, particular in terms of immigration formalities, so it is possible that I need to come back here to Europe in a few weeks once my initial entry permit runs out, and make alternative arrangements from here (meaning I’ll have to find another place to ordain). I will only know once I get to the monastery and start dealing with the local immigration authorities (I see frustration and nightmares on the horizon!), but I’m willing to take that risk. I have been debating whether it is useful to present my reasons for going this path - you have seen me here being on about physics and equations all the time, so this might appear strange to some of you. But I’ve decided not to, because when it comes down to it, I can’t really present a convincing rational argument - this decision simply didn’t come about as the result of reason. I will say only that I’ve seen and understood enough in the spiritual practice that I have already done in the last few years, to know that this is the right path for me. The argument is a phenomenological one, not the result of rationality, so it cannot be easily conveyed in a written post. Spirituality ultimately expresses itself in the kind of person you become by engaging in it, and that’s not something you can fake or wear as a mask. You also cannot reason yourself into the monastic life - that is far too weak a basis for anyone to be at peace with that form of life, never even mind to be able to derive any benefit from it. It needs to be a true conviction that arises somewhere deep within, and that cannot be verbally communicated to others. I will add here that for me there has never been any contradiction between scientific endeavours, spiritual practice, and philosophical enquiry. Not only is there no contradiction, for me these are just aspects of the same underlying motivation to better understand the human condition; hence, if engaged with in the right way, they are complementary and inform each other. I have always felt strongly that it is necessary to achieve some kind of synthesis of these three things for us as a species to make any kind of real long-term progress, since each one in isolation can be misused for harmful and even destructive purposes, as history has sadly shown us all too often. So anyway, thank you everyone for sharing in these discussions, and I hope I have been able to make some kind of contribution - no matter how small - to this forum. In case I’m not back here for a while, I wish all of you the very best, and hopefully we’ll cross paths again. Keep my account open, just in case
    12 points
  2. I was reading through Mordred's long standing thread on space and I came across some posts from Mike in the early part. Members may wish to know that Mike passed away earlier this month after a long standing degenerative illness (not covid). Mike was an interesting character, an artist with a degree in Physics and the founder of a successful manufacturing business before retirement to Cornwall. His artistic (dreamy) side gave him an unusual and sometimes frustrating perspective on Physics, especially later in life when we knew him. But he was a genuine character and sometimes offered suprising insights as well.
    8 points
  3. Staff have decided to update the forum rules to include the following: This is in response to a number of threads and certain members who have made threads here under the premise of 'just asking a question,' only to reveal that they are in fact trying to peddle conspiratorial or otherwise nonsense ideas. While covered to some extent by pre-existing rules, we have decided to make it explicit that we will not be hosting these sorts of threads, if for no other reason than the fact that they are a waste of everyone's time.
    8 points
  4. OK let's clarify something here. First consider the following definitions. Mass is resistance to inertia change Energy the ability to perform work. Spacetime a geometric model system with 3 spatial dimensions with 1 time dimension. In physics dimension is an independent variable or value that can change without affecting any other mathematical object. So how does mass curve spacetime. Well GR models bodies in free fall that is without any force applied. Time is given units of length and can be called an interval. This is done by setting c which is constant to all observers and adding a unit of time. So the time coordinate is given units of length by ct. [latex] (t,x,y,z)=(ct,x,y,z)=(x^1,x^2x^3x,x^4)[/latex] the last is in four momentum form for convenience as its useful to model a particle trajectory along the x axis. Now what is spacetime curvature. Well space is just volume... (Very important ) it isn't a stretchable bendable fabric... Those are just analogy descriptive. What spacetime truly means by curvature is the worldline paths for light it us the null geodesic. If you shoot two laser beams in flat spacetime those beams stay parallel. If spacetime is curved then the beams converge for positive curvature and spread apart for negative curvature. This is a consequence of how the mass term affects the time it takes for a particle to go from emitter to observer. That whole resistance to inertia. So let's drop two objects toward a planet. You have the usual Centre of mass. As the objects free fall they do not stay parallel. They will converge upon one another as they approach the center of mass. That what is really meant by curvature the free fall paths are curved. Not the volume of space.
    8 points
  5. So looking at the image below, it appears that Galagidae have recognizable soles, but Cynocephalidae do not : and when we look at a primate phylogeny, we see the split between these two groups is around 65 million years ago: So soles originated about 65 million years ago, give or take. You meant soles as in soles of the feet, right?
    8 points
  6. So if I change the charge of one plate, somebody can measure an instantaneous change at the other plate. Wouldn't that be a violation of special relativity? @Menan You show that you do not understand entanglement. Let's go one step at a time. First a classical example. I have a bag of balls, they are all red or green. Without looking I pick two balls, and I put them in separate boxes. I keep one, and send the other far away. Then I open my box, and see it is a green ball. What can I conclude about the colour of the ball in the remote box? Right, nothing. And why? Because there was nothing special with my picks. It could have been two reds, two greens, or one red and green. Now I pick, looking of course, one red and one green, and put them in two separate boxes. So what I did here is 'entangle' the balls. Now I shuffle the two boxes, so that I do not know which one is which. If I open one, and see that it is red, I immediately know that the ball in the other box is green. And of course, this is independent on the distance. If I send the second box lightyears away, and only then open my box, I still know immediately what some alien sees when he opens his box. I know it because the observations are correlated. And the correlation already happened at the moment of my picks. That is the moment of entanglement. It is not when the boxes are opened. Now in quantum physics, there are processes where two particles pop out, which have e.g in one aspect always opposite values. Say the direction of spin. So if I measure the spin e.g. in a vertical direction, say it is 'up', then I immediately know that the other one will measure spin 'down', when also measured in the vertical direction. But as with the balls, the 'moment of entanglement' is when these particles popped into existence. But in quantum physics a few things are different: first, it is impossible to say which particle has which spin without measuring (it is as if I created the green and red balls, including their boxes, without knowing which ball is in which box). But as the two particles are entangled, if I measure both, the measurements will always be correlated. And there is nothing special with correlation: if I send one particle far away, and then measure my particle in the vertical direction, and the alien measures his particle in the same direction, I will always know what he measures: the opposite of my measurement. The 'spooky' aspect comes in when we do not know from each other in which direction we measure the spin. It can be vertical, horizontal, 30o, 45o, 55.3977o. What we find is that the correlation is stronger than one would expect if we would assume that the particles already had a definite spin from the beginning. But it still is correlation, not causation. As with the red and green balls, there is no direct causal relationship between my and the alien's observation. The causal relationship goes back to the moment of 'entanglement'. Everything afterwards is just correlation, and therefore cannot be used to transfer information. And because there is no causal relationship between my measurement of the spin of my particle, and the alien's measurement, I cannot use entanglement for sending information. And all this is very well understood by all quantum physicists, and is no secret at all.
    8 points
  7. Well, since Markus has expressed his desire to join a Monastery, I think that definitely answers the OP question. But, some words to Markus... ( no offence meant, just trying to lighten the mood ) A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head monk to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies. The head monk, says, “You make a good point, my son.” He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held in a locked vault. Hours go by and nobody sees the head monk. The young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing. “We missed the R! We missed the R! We missed the R!” “Father!” cries the young monk. “What’s wrong?” The head monk with tears in his eyes replies, “The word is CELEBRATE!"
    7 points
  8. I am unsure why you would think that - you have never upset me in the slightest with anything you have said, so no apology is necessary at all. But just to set the record straight anyway: it is highly unlikely that I know more about GR than you do I am merely an interested amateur, and everything I post here - without exception - is entirely self-taught. Unlike Mordred, I have no academic credentials in any area of science; truth be told, I never even went to university at all. My understanding of GR and physics in general is cobbled together from a variety of textbooks over the years. I am on the autism spectrum, and one of the defining characteristics of people on the spectrum is that we tend to get totally absorbed by narrow areas of interest (this is called monotropism) - for me that just happened to be physics, specifically GR, at least in the beginning; so I did a lot of reading and self-study in that area. In recent years my interests have diversified somewhat, and I also got involved with certain areas of philosophy and spirituality. Also, understanding GR is natural and intuitive to me, in a way that does not seem to be the case for most neurotypical people; perhaps people on the spectrum find it easier to step outside established paradigms (in this case Newtonian physics) and look at things from a different angle. We tend to have difficulties with other aspects of life, though. I can only speak for myself here. I have no interest whatsoever in anything to do with politics; I stay as far away from it as I can. Anytime in the past when I needed to get involved in politics (workplace, family, etc) it ended badly for me in some way or another. The main reason would be that, as being on the autism spectrum, I am unable to read social cues and guess at peoples’ social intentions. Social interactions between neurotypical people are a complete mystery to me, I cannot understand them. I function reasonably well in daily life, but that is only because I have learned to mask a lot; it’s not the same thing. To me, politics is a bunch of people with strong opinions, who do not recognise them as being opinions, and mistake them for some kind of reality. So they get terribly agitated when others don’t share them; there is a lot of suffering it it, really, and no one seems to even see that. I have plenty of views and opinions as well, but I tend to be able to recognise them as such (or so I hope), and see how they are changing with time, so I don’t try to push them on other people. They are just constructs of my mind, so ultimately they say more about my mind than they do about the world at large. As for religion and ethics, they are areas of interest to me - but I personally don’t see them as something to be debated or discussed on social media, which is why I don’t participate in those threads. Religion - or rather: spirituality - in particular is something you do, not just some passive view on the world. I see lots of people who call themselves “Christian” or “Muslim” or “Buddhist”, but these are just labels - those same people may speak and act in ways that reveal complete ignorance of the nature of human suffering. And conversely, some of those people I have met who were most at peace with themselves and the world did not label themselves in any way; they just lived a truth that existed within them on a visceral, intuitive level. So religion and spirituality are never external things, they come from the inside; they are lived, not debated. That’s all I can really share with regards to this. Ethics, to me, is the art of finding the path of least suffering, for myself and everyone else who is involved, in any given situation. There is no such thing as “right” or “wrong”, there is only cause and effect. One can write down general principles for this that may hold true in most cultural backgrounds, but ultimately it is again something intuitive and visceral, something that happens inside. Intention has a lot to do with it - if we act from a place that understands the suffering inherent in all sentient life, and consciously choose to act in ways that minimises it to the best of our limited abilities, then the seeds of our actions will generally be wholesome ones. Again, I think it has a lot to do with one’s reasons for being here. I am on this forum for two reasons only - to expand my own knowledge and understanding, and to help others do the same; and very often, these two things are mutually co-dependent, and happen simultaneously. It is no longer about getting anyone else to adopt my own views on things. Ultimately you cannot force someone to understand something; you can only offer them the tools that might enable them to put the causes and conditions in place for such understanding to arise eventually. But different people come from different backgrounds, and they are at different stages of their own journeys when they arrive here on this forum; it does happen that someone just isn’t ready to listen, and then it won’t matter what you say to them, regardless of how rational and scientific it is. They will be unable to see the merit in it. It’s not even their “fault” really, it’s just that the conditions are not right yet for understanding to arise. Getting upset or offended will never help in these situations - most often it is best to simply disengage and walk away. After all, it is their journey, so I don’t need to loose my own balance over it.
    7 points
  9. Just did not want to let this pass without a party (Dutch treat...). You are all invited at the lakeside! (Just Click on the picture to see it full size.) Thank you to all from who I learned a lot, and also thank you all who understand less than I do about certain subjects, but force me me to rethink, or make my viewpoint clearer, or force me to read some book or article (again). I noticed that much of what I read is influenced by topics here in these fora. And thanks to those who make this forum possible, moderators, administrators, sponsors, etc. Up for the next 1000!
    7 points
  10. SR does not claim that such an observer will always see the Earth clock run slow, if by see, you mean what his eyes or instruments directly record. In this usage of see, he will see it run at a rate of T = To ((1-v/c))(1+v/c))1/2 where v is positive if Earth and the Observer are receding from each other and negative if they are approaching each other. A factor contributing to this observation is the the distance and thus the propagation time for signals is constantly changing, getting longer when receding and getting shorter when approaching. This factor works out to be c/(c+v) When you factor this out of the first equation you are left with the time dilation equation. This means that there are two things to consider: what you see happening to the Earth clock, and what is happening to the Earth clock. So while while receding from the Earth, the observer will see the the 1000 Hz signal as being 500 hz and the Earth clock as ticking 1/2 as fast as his own,. Taking into account the effect of the increasing distance, he will determine that the Earth clock is ticking 0.8 as fast as his own. He will meet up with the object when his own clock reads 1.01.2022 (as the distance between Earth will be only 1.2 ly as measured by him and this is how long it takes to traverse this distance at 0.6c.) He will see the Earth clock reading 1.01.2021, but determine that it is 8.07.2021 on the Earth at that moment. Now at first, you might be tempted to think " But wait, if he sees 1.01.2021 on the Earth clock, and the Earth is, according to him, 1.2 ly away, wouldn't that mean that it should be 3.15.2022 on the Earth by his reckoning?" This is not the case. The light he is seeing at that moment left Earth at a time when the distance between them was less than 1.2 ly, so the time it took the light he is seeing took less than 1.2 years to reach him from the Earth. Now he accelerates in order to come start the trip back towards Earth. We will assume a minimal acceleration period. Now this is the part where people tend to get tripped up. After he is done and is now approaching the Earth and not receding, we will assume that he still reads 1.01.2021 on the Earth clock by visual means. However, he will no longer conclude from this that it is 8.07.2021 on the Earth. Instead he will conclude that it is 6.05.23. During the return trip he will see a frequency of 2000 hz from the signal and the Earth clock tick twice as fast as his own. But again, taking into account the decreasing distance effect, he will conclude that the Earth clock is ticking at a rate 0.8 as fast as his own. Thus he will see the Earth clock tick from 1.01.2021 to 1.01.2025, but conclude that it ticked from 6.05.23 to 1.01.2025 during his return leg. (see will see it tick off 4 years, but conclude that it ticked off 1.6 years. Again, it all come back to what happens during that acceleration period. As far as anyone at rest with respect to the Earth is concerned, nothing special beyond the standard SR effects take place. But for the observer actually undergoing the acceleration, things aren't this simple. For him, the rate at which clocks run depend on which direction they are from him relative to the acceleration he is undergoing and the distance from him in that direction. Clocks in the direction of the acceleration run fast, and those in the opposite direction run slow (beyond what he sees. This even effects clocks that share his acceleration. A clock in the nose of the Ship will run fast and one in the tail will run slow. ( in this case, since there is no changing distance between himself and the clocks, what he sees, will be in perfect agreement with what is happening to the clocks. While this may seem to be at odds with common sense, it is how a Relativistic universe works. A problem with your questions is that they only deal with particular points of the whole scenario without taking in the whole picture. It like comparing two men walking and only considering where they end up. Below we have the paths of two men, Red and Blue, over the same interval. If you just look at where they end up, you would conclude that Blue walked a shorter distance because he ends up closer to the starting point than Red does. But when you consider the whole interval, it is clear that Blue walked a further distance. The same thing is true with SR, if you only consider the end results, you are missing what is really going on.
    7 points
  11. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic there have been key findings that have altered our understanding or required responses to this disease. For example, the realization that pre- or asymptomatic persons might be infectious has required a different approach to masking and social distancing. While we have several threads discussing the pandemic, I feel that recent developments justify a new topic, especially as it could be used to clarify potential misunderstandings. With the delta variant (B.1.617.2) gaining dominance we are seeing yet another change that requires us to re-think the trajectory of the pandemic. First of all, the transmission rate of this variant is much higher than estimates for the original strain. The CDC has compared it to chicken pox, which has a basic reproduction number (R0) of >10. What does it mean? First of all, this might indicate that vaccine-based herd immunity is entirely out of the picture. With a R0 of 10 you would need to have a total protection of >92% of the population. Since the effectiveness of the best vaccines against the delta variant are a bit lower than 90%, it means that even with no vaccine hesitation and even if we could vaccinate children with it, we won't hit the required target for herd immunity. This has been assumed to happen for a while now, and might be the least surprising bit of news. However, there are a few recent findings that have prompted changes in messaging, for example with regard to masking. The key issue here are the finding that folks with breakthrough infections have similar viral loads as unvaccinated folks. What does it mean? Fundamentally there some vaccinated folks that get infected with SARS-CoV-2. That in itself is not surprising. Historically, breakthrough infections happen for most vaccinations at low frequencies. Most of the time the focus is on illness, i.e. symptomatic manifestations of infections. However, as mentioned, the possibility of asymptomatic spread has changed that. The fact that vaccinated folks still have high titers means that folks with breakthrough infections could infect others and especially unvaccinated folks are at risk of becoming seriously ill. Vaccinated folks, for the most part do not seem to develop serious symptoms anymore, but it means that vaccinated folks could unwittingly infect and endanger un-or undervaccinated folks. This has prompted a reversal in the masking recommendation. Moreover, it has made many infectious disease experts nervous as in many countries mask mandates are being lifted. Unknowns: There are still many open questions. For example, in the US, the delta variant is causing more illness in younger folks, including children. It is not clear whether this is really a property of the virus, or just because younger folks tend not to be vaccinated. It is not certain whether the vaccine effectively protect from long-haul COVID symptoms. The rate of breakthrough infections is unclear, we know the lower end of the estimate based on detected cases, but since folks without symptoms typically do not get tested, we do not know exact numbers. Even in a highly vaccinated community it is possible that there is a large enough reservoir to allow new variants to develop. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7031e2.htm?s_cid=mm7031e2_w https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.31.21261387v1 Discussion points: As a whole it means that we are heading into new territory during fall and winter. The big question is whether the current vaccination rates are good enough to prevent mass hospitalization or will easing of restrictions make folks forget that the disease is still there and cause a new surge. Vaccine hesitancy will add fuel to this potential fire. The communication in many countries/states/provinces have been confusing to say the least and quite a few folks I have talked to seem under the impression that there is little danger left, despite the fact that even in highly vaccinated countries, especially younger folks are barely hitting 50% of full vaccinations. Moreover, most folks in the world are still unvaccinated, meaning that we will need to prepare for more variants. Everyone is being sick and tired of the situation, yet undoubtedly the world has changed yet again (and will continue to do so). A big decision at some point is to establish how many deaths we are comfortable with. With regard to flue, for example, the number is surprisingly high across countries and by any estimate, COVID-19 is going to eclipse it, unless very high vaccination rates are maintained, which is notoriously difficult. Edit Aug, 19, 2021: A new preprint has come out indicating that with the Delta variant Pfizer might only be 42% effective at preventing infections (not disease!) and Moderna was about 76%. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.06.21261707v1 This seem to highlight that behavioral prevention is still going to be important.
    6 points
  12. I’m on the autism spectrum myself. The problem here is that we can’t isolate a specific sensory stimulus at the exclusion of everything else. So in this particular example, the stimuli coming from eye contact and his spoken words are both present, and both equally prominent simultaneously, which makes it difficult to focus on the actual content of either one of them. Averting eye contact simply makes it easier to focus on the person’s speech, so a lot of autistics will do this unconsciously and automatically. A better example would be a room full of people all talking to each other; it is very hard for me to just focus on what the person in front of me is saying, since I am forced to equally register all the other conversations in the room at the same time. There is no functioning filter there to limit and focus sensory stimuli - which is why we get sensory overload in certain stimuli-rich environments. Note that this is a matter of degree - different environments affect different autistic people in different ways and degrees.
    6 points
  13. A question about a sign convention that leads to a lot of confusion. This is not the only instance multiple sign conventions in Science. In this case it is a result of History. Thermodynamics was originally developed by physical scientists and engineers. They were concerned with making machines (steam engines) for the industrial revolution. Steam engines are heat engines. That is they thought in terms of input (heat in the form of fuel) and output (work). Both of these were thought of as 'naturally being' positive quantities. So they wrote their version of the Law of Conservation of Energy (The First Law of Thermodynamics) as ΔU = q - w. Chemists came to the scene from a different point of view. They wanted all forms of energy to have the same sign, whichever side of the conservation appearance they appeared so they could present the equation as a sum on both sides of the equation. So they wrote their equation as ΔU = q + w. By then it was also realised that, although all the terms are energies, there is a difference between ΔU , which is a state variable of the system, and q and w which are exchange variables of the energies crossing the system boundary. So they tidied up by stating that all energies crossing the boundary from the system to the surroundings are negative and all energies passing from the surroundings to the system are positive. Now they could add them up, move them about in equations and between equations in other parts of Science in a consistent manner. It is an improved system But it shows the importance of knowing the sign convention in use and the equations that go with it. This last remark also applies to other such instances of multiple conventions such as those in Electricity, Elasticity and elsewhere.
    6 points
  14. This is my 1000th post! Time to celebrate, This is a fine moment to open the Islay Single Malt I got for Christmas. Cheers from Ghideon, to all new and old form members!
    6 points
  15. It might help, if you @Angelo would first, in an objective tone, lay out exactly what you believe Tyson's argument to be, and the steps in his reasoning (as far as they are provided and assuming they are truthful). As far as I understand the simulation hypothesis, is that it is based on chance and likelihoods coupled with some very specific assumptions; however the things you say, and the way you ask your questions and/or comment on other peoples posts, to me seems to indicate that you (at best) don't know the full reasoning behind the simulation hypothesis (or you do understand it, but are wilfully creating strawmens). Additionally, it would be great to present the strongest argument(s) for the simulation hypothesis, and not immediately assume that Tyson and other people agree on everything. If he has some illogical reasoning or assumptions you don't agree with, then it may be good to find a better version of the argument, instead of immediately disregarding the entire hypothesis. If you are really interested in understanding Tyson's and other people's point of view on this, it would help to start with a detailed summary/explanation of the hypothesis, because I could explain it (as far as I understand it), but I doubt the explanation is similar to what you think it is. And if you aren't sure on WHAT people belief, then it is very strange to already think of it as nonsense, therefore (assuming you have good reason to think of it as nonsense) it should be easy for you to explain it (in your own words, please don't just link something, that doesn't test your current understanding). Kind regards, Dagl
    6 points
  16. My son holding my grand daughter!
    6 points
  17. Implicit here is a false suggestion of equivalence. That’s not the case. If a kid walks down the hallway in school and gets punched in the face and has his lunch money stolen, is it his fault for carrying lunch money or walking freely down a public hallway? No, of course not, but if you think “both sides” need to compromise here then that’s precisely what you’re saying... that the kid is equally guilty as the bully. Trump last year said send a bill to my desk and I’ll sign it. Republicans were in control so drafted their version. Democrats agreed to vote for it and provide billions of dollars for this wall last year, and the compromise was that dreamers would get status. Trump backed out. He moved the goalposts. He said I want more. Funding ran out in December and Democrats said, fine... we’ll sign the republican bill yet again... we’ll compromise... but want money allocated to smarter enforcement options. A wall is not smart, and even countless republicans across the nation and some on Fox News itself agree. Trump said no. Eff you, a wall or nothing. Democrats said, Republicans still control all 3 branches of government. Since they’re in control, they need to get their president onboard. They couldn’t. President had a tantrum. Paper tiger in the Oval Office. Said he wants a shutdown. Shutdown began. Democrats took control of the house in January and on Day 1 passed a bill to reopen the government. Senate leader McConnell would not even bring it to the floor. Democrats later said they’d give more money for border protection, just not a wall. They compromised. President still refused. Wall or nothing. Eff the workers. Democrats passed multiple other bills to reopen parts of the government and agreed to negotiate terms on border security. They AGAIN voted for the previously passed republican funding bill from December. McConnel AGAIN wouldn’t bring it to the floor. Today Democrat senators continued to pressure McConnell to bring the bills up for a vote. He refused. He said it was pointless because the president won’t sign. Democratic Senators reminded him that they had the votes to override a presidential veto... that they are a co-equal branch of government and need to act like it. McConnell left. He just walked off the floor. Still no vote. Democrats will again pass a bill tomorrow to reopen the government. The bill will be the one drafted and previously agreed to by republicans. I agree there’s a lack of compromise here, but to say it’s equal across the aisle is absurd. The bully is trying to steal the lunch money. The other side has already offered to share their sandwich with him and are not at fault merely for having lunch money in their pocket.
    6 points
  18. Right, he is saying that the speed of light in both directions is the same with respect to any inertial frame as measured from that frame. So in the following example we have two observers. One standing along the tracks and the other traveling along the tracks in a railway car. Two flashes are emitted from two points along the tracks that are equal distance from the track observer. the light from these flashes arrive at the midpoint observer at the same moment as the railway observer is passing him. Thus both observers detect the light from the flashes at the same time. Like this: For the midpoint observer ( or anyone at rest with respect to the tracks) these flashes were emitted simultaneously, as shown by the expanding circles: However, for the railway car observer, events have to occur differently. He still detects the light from both flashes simultaneously, and they arrive when he is adjacent to the track observer. But unlike the track observer he has not remained halfway between the emission points the entire time. He is not an equal distance from the emission points when either of the flashes was emitted. But he must also measure the speed of light for each of the flashes as being the same relative to himself. But since the distances each of these flashes travel relative to him are not the same, in order for the light of the flashes to reach him simultaneously, they must have left at different times. And the sequence of the events for him occur like this: For the track observer, the flashes are emitted simultaneously, but for the railway observer they are not. This is the relativity of simultaneity: Events that are simultaneous in one inertial frame are not so according to another which in relative motion with respect to the first frame.
    6 points
  19. I am pleased to now add CharonY and Strange to the list of gullible fools wonderful people willing to sacrifice their time for the greater good here at SFN. Congratulations!
    6 points
  20. As I said in my previous post. Relativity makes no such claim when it comes to what an observer will visually see. This is a straw-man argument based on a misrepresentation of Relativity. To explain the difference between what the observer would visually see vs. what he is conclude is happening, we'll use some space-time diagrams. First consider two clocks separated by some distance and stationary with respect to each other. The blue line is our "observed" clock and the green line is our "observing" clock. The scale is such that light, shown as the yellow lines, is drawn at a 45 degree angle. Thus our observer will see light that left the blue clock when it read 1 arrive when his clock reads sometime after 3, and he will see the blue clock read 1 at that time. He also will see the light that left the blue clock when it read 2 arrive sometime after his clock reads 4. However, this does not mean that he will think or conclude that what he sees actually represents what time it is for the blue clock at those moments. That would be shown by the black horizontal lines, which shows that when the green observer sees the blue clock read 1, he knows that it actually reads the same as his own, or somewhat after 3, and when he sees the blue clock read 2, it actually at that moment reads somewhat after 4. Now let's add a third clock, one that is moving at 0.6c relative to the both clocks so that it and the blue clock are closing in on each other. This will be the red line in the following diagram. The light that left the red clock when it read 1 still arrives at the blue clock when the blue clock reads somewhat after 3. But the light that left when it read 2, arrives before the blue clock reads 4. The blue clock observer will in fact see the red clock ticking at a rate twice as fast as his own. But again he will not conclude that this means that this represents what time it actually is at the blue clock. When he sees the blue clock read 1 he will conclude that it reads a bit before 3 at that moment and when he sees it read 2, he will conclude that reads something before 3.5 at that moment, as shown by the black lines. He knows that the light carrying the image of the blue clock reading 2 left the blue clock when it was closer to him than the light carrying the image of it reading 1 left the blue clock. His has to account for this when determining when exactly that light left according to his own clock. As the black line from his clock reading 2 shows, the red clock didn't actually read 2 until sometime after his clock read 2. Thus after accounting for the time it took for the light from the red clock to reach him, he will conclude that the red clock is ticking slower than his own. This is time dilation. Now add yet another clock, this time so that it and the observer are receding from each other, as shown by the light blue line. Again the light leaving when it reads 1 arrives at the green observer when the green clock reads after 3. But the light leaving it when it reads 2 doesn't arrive until the green clock read after 5. The green observer will see the blue clock ticking at 1/2 the rate of his own. But this time, the light blue clock is further from the green when it reads 2 than it was when it read 1, and when the green observer takes this into account, it will turn out that when compared to his own clock, the light blue clock is ticking slower than his own, and by the same rate as he concluded that the red clock is ticking slow. The light blue clock exhibits the same time dilation as the red clock. This is what Relativity says is happening in the real universe, and this is not you you are trying to claim it says ( that an observer will always see a clock as running slow). If you are going to argue against a theory, you have to argue against the actual theory rather than some imagined version of your own creation.
    6 points
  21. 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
    6 points
  22. This is the rhetoric pushed by billionaires who don't need the government the way most of us do. Isn't it pretty obvious that the billionaires in politics today are only interested in removing restrictions on themselves, and limiting the money spent on the rest of us? These folks have been hammering this message of "bad government" and "sleazy politicians" for decades, while actively being the representatives with the sleaziest behavior, doing everything they can to make the government bad. They don't care if you have access to libraries, museums, parks, swimming pools, or healthcare. They have all those things taken care of due to their massive wealth, and object to taxes that make these things available to the rest of us. They've chosen to ignore our efforts that brought them great wealth, and instead spend money convincing folks that government needs to be dismantled for OUR good. And now they have this blatant racist sexual assaulter-in-chief who is morally and economically corrupt, and happens to have a deluded following all chanting about bringing down the Fed. Working class folks who think this billionaire has their backs while he whittles away at the very thing that has the best chance of making all their lives a lot better. The wolves have tricked the sheep into removing restrictive fences, and the sheep are all praising the freedom.
    6 points
  23. Puerto Rico agrees. Black athletes agree. The anti-fascist movement agrees.
    6 points
  24. Why do you limit your options to 'god did it' or 'everything popped out of nothing'? What about it didn't start, i.e. it's always existed? What about 'we don't know'? Also, as i understand it physicists have found that things do simply pop into existence. And yes, i'm frequently astonished by existence. Why does that imply god? I like this question. Many people seem to question that the universe could either just pop into existence or that it has always existed - but are happy to ascribe these exact same properties to something they call 'god'. Either way something has this property - why not discard the middleman and simply ascribe it to the universe. Depends how god is defined. A god that set up the conditions for the big bang but does not intervene at all thereafter would be impossible to detect, at least with our current capabilities. A personal god that answers prayers and parts seas has been pretty well debunked. Such a god would be easy to detect - we would just look for instances where the laws of physics contradict themselves (i.e. the rules change) - seas start to part, lakes turn into wine, whatever other crazy stuff you think a god might do. There is no sign of such a god.
    6 points
  25. There are several parallel issues here. One is that wealth acquired by the ultra wealthy tends to get put into tax shelters and nebulous investments so it grows (but remains outside the system), whereas that same money in the hands of the less fortunate goes IMMEDIATELY into the community around them. They spend it on groceries and vehicle repairs and school clothes for kids and paying the electricity bill so it’s not dark in their apartment anymore at night and their kids can read. The providers of those goods and services in that community where this money is being spent ALSO spend the money once received for THEIR groceries and THEIR service needs and on THEIR kids. Dollar for dollar / unit for unit… the money in the hands of the less fortunate does more net good than money in the hands of the already fortunate. Yes, spending from the wealthy also creates jobs and injects money back into the system, but very little relative to money used in “trickle up” stimulation packages. Also, a bit of extra money in the hands of someone who already has a bunch of it doesn’t tend to change their behavior or encourage extra spending. Getting $1,000 tax break when you’re sitting on $50M isn’t going to suddenly result in them finally making a call to a plumber or the purchasing a new dishwasher… but for the person living paycheck to paycheck that money literally changes lives, gets spent and injected back into the system quickly, and results in lasting reductions in poverty and suffering. When you’re living at the margins, every dollar counts. It also costs a lot to be poor. When the washing machine breaks, you can’t afford a new one but you can afford to pump quarters into the machine at the laundromat… but that ends up being more expensive on net. When the car breaks down, you don’t get to work on time and you get fired. The rich, however, have tax protected ways of growing their wealth and can afford tax attorneys to hide it. Paying more tax has more impact on their ego than on their lived experience. The anger at the rich is out of hand, though. We need better policies and enforcement mechanisms, not more hate and vitriol directed at those doing better than us. Sadly, the anger is probably in large part intentionally being amplified by the very people on the receiving end. If they can keep everyone mad and focused on the wrong things, then the status quo remains stable and no progress or change gets made. Like most issues in economics, we make a huge mistake by treating it as a moral failure when at its core it’s a policy failure. Fixing the policy is just super hard because the people with the power to change the laws tend to be the same ones benefiting the most from them… and also because focusing on wonky policy details is hard for a public who’s often just trying to survive through to tomorrow and who’d much prefer throwing stones and being distracted with us/them tribalism. Perhaps this thread could try focusing on wonky policy details instead of distractions like yachts and steel boats… or not.
    5 points
  26. While this thread is closed and (I think) being the only person who identifies as female in this thread, I just wanted to provide a little food for thought. Of all the women in my life with whom I am close to, I can't think of a single one who hasn't been sexually assaulted or raped by a man at some point in her life. I cannot say the same about the men I know wrt to false accusations. Anecdotal I know, but something to think about.
    5 points
  27. Three of those images imply too much power in the wrong place. The other is a horse.
    5 points
  28. The 'economy' is not just a money making mechanism for the wealthy, Phi. It is the means by which most of us feed, clothe, house ourselves and our families; it's how we survive. I have no problem with the economy 'going for a sh*t' as long as it saves lives. But if it 'goes for a sh*t' for too long, people start losing their life for reasons other than the pandemic. That is the balance that has to be struck; dying by starvation is just as bad as dying by Covid-19. I believe that is what Danijel Gorupec meant.
    5 points
  29. Today I learned that skills improved by participating here on scienceforums can, at least in some minor way, be helpful in the current virus situation. I joined a local initiative where students studying from home can ask about math and physics. Debating science here has made me more confident regarding mainstream science and how to respond with useful hints (instead of solutions) to homework questions.
    5 points
  30. A better question is why [math] 10^{-43}[/math]. Would it help to recognize that number is one unit of Planck time with our current observable universe to the volume of 1 Planck length. The temperature being equivalent to Planck temperature. The Planck units are in essence boundary conditions on which our ability to mathematically describe in essence breaks down into Infinities and nonsensical results. You often only hear the space and time axis in essence flipping roles for the GR descriptive but cosmology must also include both macro and quantum effects. So its good to understand how the limits of the macro and quantum theories apply. (String theory also recognizes these limits) One detail as mentioned in this thread is were describing our Observable portion in essence the limits of shared observable causality with our current universe. Time being a measure of rate of change or duration you in essence need a dimension in order to have something to measure or even something that must be able to change. However one must also realize that the t=0 represents the collective worldlines of all particles in our observable portion extrapolated from the closest we can mathematically describe and potentially measure. In the closest to pointlike we can describe. It does not represent any time outside our region of shared causality. In essence [math]10^{-43}[/math] is the origin of time for all potential worldlines in our observable universe that are extrapolated to the beginning of our observable universe (as the emitter event).
    5 points
  31. Thank you for all your feedback. I’m currently working on some mental health issues and cannot reply on give the answers the time that I would like to in regards to research and time and I struggle to express the concept fully and accurately, more to come but I have to work on my stability at this time kind regards David Wavish
    5 points
  32. I'll clarify for him. For the reaction mass to produce an upward force on the rocket, it has to be accelerated downward relative to the rocket. In order to return that mass to the top of the rocket, any downward velocity the mass has relative to the rocket has to be stopped and reversed. This is an acceleration just as much as the one producing the upwards force on the rocket (acceleration is either change in speed, direction or both). This action will exert a force on the rocket opposite to that caused by accelerating the fuel downward. The end result of this force will be counter any upward movement by the rocket. This ends up with the net movement of the rocket as being zero. There is no way around this. There is no "clever" way to "fool" the rocket into having net movement by recirculating the fuel/reaction mass.
    5 points
  33. thethinkertank has been placed in the queue for spamming the forum with an impressive amount of nonsense.
    5 points
  34. Join a science forum and post once...
    5 points
  35. Brevity and sarcasm. No wonder no-one knows WTF you're talking about half the time.
    5 points
  36. It seems you have to know an awful lot these days not to offend people, other than not saying anything. Good manners, adherence to tolerant principles, and absence of mal-intent does not seem to be enough.
    5 points
  37. Hello everyone! It has been a while since I was active in the forum. Sure, I post a song here and there, but I just can't participate like I used to. I'm still having problems with my left hip even though I had a hip replacement back in April, 2017. Since then, I lost my job and medical insurance because I simply can't sit and write code for hours on end due to the extreme pain in my left hip. I lost my job as a software engineer in the middle of being treated by my doctor and they want a $500 deposit to continue treating me. Unfortunately, I don't have any income, I'm unable to work, and I've blown through my savings on living expenses and doctor bills. Most likely, I will need a revision done on my hip replacement to fix whatever is wrong so that I can go back to work and be a productive member of society. So, I'm reaching out to the community and asking for your help! The following link is to my GoFundMe campaign. I've attached photos of how my surgeries went so you will understand how much pain I'm actually experiencing. It's ok if you can't donate. You can help me out tremendously just by sharing this link! Every little bit helps!!! https://www.gofundme.com/clevelandraymond Thank you all so much! I truly appreciate anything you can do. Not only does your efforts mean the world to me, but also to my family as well.
    5 points
  38. It's pretty easy, and it's been done to death. Most of their arguments are strawmen, in that they make a false or misunderstood claim to attack, instead of a more difficult, legitimate claim. For instance, that the creation of proteins is astronomically improbable, therefore it couldn't have happened. Since they mistakenly think the universe is only a few thousand years old, they can't accept that evolution had millions of years to miss before it finally hit. Many of the arguments are nitpicking Darwin, as if the theory began and ended with him. They ignore what every scientist knows, that theories are dynamic, changing as new evidence shapes them into better and more accurate predictions. And they keep repeating arguments that have been refuted, which is seriously dishonest from an intellectual perspective. I still hear "If we descended from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?" being spread to ignorant audiences. They study evolution only enough to cherry-pick the parts many don't understand, and then ask questions they don't want answers to. If they really studied evolution sincerely, with an open mind, they would come to the obvious conclusion that there's no other way it could work. Evolution is a fact, and the Theory of Evolution describes how it works, with observational accuracy backed up by more evidence than almost any other theory.
    5 points
  39. Kidnapper abducts 50 of your colleagues. Says he will only release them if you let him have sex with your wife. You say, no. Are you now responsible for the 50 colleagues being held hostage? Of course not. The magnitude of stupid required to suggest such a thing is overwhelming. Kidnapper says, fine. Let me have sex with your wife, I’ll also return the many items I stole from your home last year, and will additionally agree not to steal anything else for 2 more years. Agree to this and I’ll release the hostages. Understandably, you again say, no. Are you now responsible for the 50 colleagues being held hostage? Of course not. Are you the one now at fault for “not compromising” with the kidnapper? Of course not. The magnitude of stupid required to suggest such a thing is overwhelming. “What if you just let him put it in the butt?? that’s a compromise” ... that’s where this conversation has devolved into. No. Not just no, but hell no. Yet that’s precisely what’s happening here when posters keep saying Democrats are the ones responsible despite their MANY votes attempting to reopen government and to get workers paid, and despite the obvious obstacle here being Mitch McConnel and the president for refusing to even allow a vote.
    5 points
  40. In previous threads, staff have mentioned that we have on occasion curtailed or removed the ability for people to use the reputation system. In previous versions of the forum software we were able to limit positive or negative reputation limits separately. This meant that the impact of people who wished to use the reputation system to target specific members was always low, and staff could easily reverse it. This no longer being the case means that the system is more open to being abused by people wishing to use it as a form of personal attack. Thankfully, we have had very few cases where staff have had to intervene. For those cases where we have had to do something, admin have created two new member groups with reputation point limits set to either 0 or 2, which limits the use of both positive and negative rep points.
    5 points
  41. People are starting to argue with reputation points. I see more and more negatives, on both sides, even for valid points which deserve deliberation. It is a very sensitive subject but, I have come to know that everyone involved in this discussion is a sensible person. Discussion leads to understanding, so if you want your viewpoint understood, discuss it. Don't neg rep opposing views, they're just trying to make their viewpoint understood.
    5 points
  42. I'll let you know about a "rule of thumb" with regards to science and the scientific methodology. First and foremost, before you let your imagination run free, searching/looking for any new ideas that are not mainstream, please make an effort to get to know the mainstream product, and why it is mainstream and held as valid by most scientists...learn its predictions that have been shown to be valid...research the experiments that have supported its validity...check out all the observational data that support it. Then if you really and truly believe there is a serious fault with the particular incumbent model, start imagining why over so many years, the professionals and experts in that particular discipline, have not found this serious fault. You see that is the scientific method. Theories/models do not get established and then just rest on their laurels. They are conducting experiments everyday, testing the limits and accepted successes of the theories. Even long established theories are tested everyday...Even SR and GR are continually asked to live up to their deserved reputation. If you do that honestly, you will see why the chances of any Tom, Dick or Harry, coming to a forum open to all, to invalidate or propose some new model over-riding the incumbent is pretty close to zero. Best of luck anyway.
    5 points
  43. I just wanted to express my heartfelt apology to the members of the forum. I was on suspension for a year for very indecent behavior. I hope I can rejoin your community once again.
    5 points
  44. Grabbed this from a FB friend. Seems like a good clarification, but is probably too long to read for those who need to read it most. Enjoy. //“I would like all of my right wing, conservative friends and family members to read the following. It explains my beliefs in a nutshell. I borrowed this from my buddy, who borrowed this from another friend.This explains my views in an even tempered, logical way. Let's break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: Not every Liberal is the same, though the majority of Liberals I know think along roughly these same lines: “1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period. 2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that's interpreted as "I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all." This is not the case. I'm fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it's impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes "let people die because they can't afford healthcare" a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I'm not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen. 3. I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn't necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I'm mystified as to why it can't work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt. 4. I don't believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don't want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can't afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist. 5. I don't throw around "I'm willing to pay higher taxes" lightly. I'm retired and on a fixed income, but I still pay taxes. If I'm suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it's because I'm fine with paying my share as long as it's actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare. 6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn't have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live. 7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is - and should be - illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I'm not "offended by Christianity" -- I'm offended that you're trying to force me to live by your religion's rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That's how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don't force it on me or mine. 8. I don't believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you. 9. I don't believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN'T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they're supposed to be abusing, and if they're "stealing" your job it's because your employer is hiring illegally). I'm not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc). 10. I don't believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It's not that I want the government's hands in everything -- I just don't trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they're harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation. 11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I've spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past. 12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege -- white, straight, male, economic, etc. -- need to start listening, even if you don't like what you're hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that's causing people to be marginalized. 13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is sensible policies, including background checks, that just MIGHT save one person’s, perhaps a toddler’s, life by the hand of someone who should not have a gun. (Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine). 14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you're using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person? 15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else. 16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be? I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I'm a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn't mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don't believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.”
    5 points
  45. I use to post on this forum under the forum handle In My Memory between 2005 and 2007. I know it's a long time ago and few people either know or care who I was, but I want to apologize for my behavior back then. In short, I was a compulsive liar and a relentless narcissist. Let me unpack this in detail: Any single statement I made regarding my education, occupation, life, family, hobbies, or experiences was false. At the time when I posted on this forum, I was not capable of telling truths whether big or small. I was fully and completely aware that I was a compulsive liar in the clinical sense of the term. The compulsive lying started when I was very young. Without going into details, I grew up in a household where my parents hit and screamed as a first resort at the smallest, slightest annoyance. I spent my entire childhood tiptoeing around my parents' razor thin patience and angry outbursts. When they raised their voice at me, I lied as a defense mechanism to escape punishment. In time, the lying became so habitual that I couldn't talk to them without falsifying some fact or detail, no matter how small. If they asked me if I ate cereal for breakfast, I would say I had a bagel. If they asked me why I seemed tired, I would say I wasn't. If they asked me what I did at school, I'd tell a story about having lunch and a nice conversation with friends; when in actuality, I didn't talk to anyone because I had no friends. And so on in that fashion ad infinitum. This carried on into adulthood: anyone who engaged me would get an earful of embellishments and false memories. I occasionally lied for sport, saying outlandishly false things just to amuse myself. Predictably, I did screw up and lost friends, trust, and credibility along the way. I burned a lot of bridges. It took me a long time to realize why I did this, but the short version was that I was deeply sad and crushed by inferiority. I did not handle these feelings in a healthy way: I lied constantly to bolster my own ego and feel important for a change. I found it incredibly, stupidly easy to slip into the compulsive lying habit behind the anonymity of the internet. For years, I role-played personas on various internet forums. I weaved long, detailed back stories into my characters. All of my characters were idealized, implausibly talented, wishful versions of myself. The persona on this forum was a financial analyst struggling to hold her marriage together. Despite being an "idealized" version of myself, I was positively venomous at times. I deliberately tried to get under people's skin, broke people down to build up my ego, used narcissism as a weapon. I do not want to deflect responsibility for my behavior by psychoanalyzing it away. I was aware of what I was doing and in control of my actions the entire time. I take full ownership of everything I've done and said. I cannot express how deeply, irrevocably ashamed I am for my past behavior. I sincerely, earnestly express my regret and apologies. -- With that in mind, I also want to emphasize that I have mellowed out considerably in the past decade. I am self-aware and deeply introspective regarding my own behavior and the direction which my life unfolds. Consequently, I took deliberate steps to become a better person and manifest my idealized self; I decided that compulsive lying was incompatible with the person I wanted to be. I never sought the help of a counselor (I don't think I could have engaged one honestly even if I wanted to), but I was strongly self-motivated to police the things I say to people. I slipped up frequently at first, but I found that the less I lied, the less I needed to do so, and eventually I was able to talk to people in a completely transparent, truthful manner. I've also put a lid on my narcissistic streak and no longer swing my ego around like a wrecking ball. I've wanted to get this off my chest for years. Best wishes, IMM
    5 points
  46. scherado has been banned for multiple instances of rule-breaking in his quest to become the Troll King. We apologize that his interruption in the normal rational discourse was all noise and no signal whatsoever. Roger Dynamic Motion has been banned, NOT for incessant hijacking and almost daily irrationality, but for failing to respond to requests for clarity, EVER. Discussion requires that we express our ideas so others can understand. We wish him good luck with his ideas, whatever they were supposed to be.
    5 points
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