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Posts posted by DrKrettin


    Does democracy need education to work?


    It would need it for a radical democracy (e.g. Ancient Athens) but for a representational democracy, even the uneducated should be able to elect politicians who are actually capable of something and know something about economics and the foreign countries they would have to deal with. On the other hand, there is Corbyn.....



    The point is, the only contact we have with the world around us is via our senses


    I'm not familiar with the argument, but please tell me if there is a philosophical distinction here: 1) sight used to perceive objects around us and 2) sight used to read a book which transmits the ideas written by another person.

  3. But you have to start somewhere - think axioms - and how you start may send you in the wrong direction and with the wrong mental approach. It is the art of thinking how to think. Just my opinion.



    Oh, I agree, there has to be a branch of thought which involves asking unanswerable questions. But I've seen what too much of it does to people.

  4. "most of well known good scientists were self taught"




    This it because historically, there was no scientific education available to the very few who became famous before the twentieth century. Just because most "well-known scientists" were self-taught, it doesn't follow that these days the same applies. I challenge you to find a famous scientist born after 1900 who didn't have at least a degree in natural science, if not a doctorate (Einstein sticks out there).

  5. Strange and ajb have made extremely valuable comments, and I can't see what else to add. I can't comment about a U.S patent application, but I do know from my son, who is a patent examiner for the EPO (and discusses the prnciples ad nauseam with me), that European applications invariably come via patent lawyers, and not directly from an inventor. This is because the exact wording of an application is critical in order to avoid ambiguities and to draw an exact distinction between the allegedly new concept and already existing patents. Patent lawyers are also quite good filters: they search existing patents and avoid the expense of submitting a patent which is not novel.


    Edit: I missed several posts above before posting. The whole process can take one to several years, depending on the amount of work in the input queue for a particular field.

  6. A better example is given by Strange. If instead of throwing a 62 kg rock you throw 62 1 kg rocks at the same speed but over a greater span of time.



    I don't think that would not work very well, because by the time you had thrown all 62 rocks you will have gained terminal velocity again (apart from the effect of the last rock)

  7. Let's say your velocity downwards at that point is v, and your mass is m. You and the bag are a closed system so your total momentum downwards is 2mv. If you manage to do as you say, the momentum of the bag itself is 2mv, so your own momentum is zero. Your momentum at hitting the ground would then be very small, so you would survive that impact. I'm not sure, however, how your body would react to the g forces experienced when throwing the bag, apart from the physical impossibility of doing it.

  8. I'll go for it, but I'll know I'll regret it. I've posted this before (on the BAUT forum) but I was instantly dismissed by all. I am as sceptical as it can get, but with a degree in physics, I have some idea how to conduct a physical experiment sensibly.


    Once I was living on a farm where the water supply to the house had been laid by previous owners, so I had no idea of its route across a large yard, and no idea of where it entered the house. I knew we had a leak somewhere, so instead of digging up the whole yard, I tried dousing, in which I had no faith at all. Using my son as a guide, I blindfolded myself and walked up and down the yard at one-metre intervals. On each crossing, my dousing stick signalled one and only one source, which my son marked for me. Afterwards I had a more or less straight line of marks across the yard which on excavation turned out to be exactly the course of the water pipe at a depth of about 3 feet. (And the leak, a faulty joint). Obviously that was the result, otherwise I would not be reporting it here.


    I hate phenomena for which there is no explanation, so it was an annoying experience. I tried to be as objective as I could, but people will argue that I knew where the pipe was all along, so I was kidding myself. Another argument, and quite a valid one, is that in Wales, wherever you stand, at some point below you there will be water. But this does not explain the straight line I mapped out.



    I think all but one could die in this scenario, depending on whether that person you kill has already killed someone.



    Ah, I see what you mean. What I meant with sequentially was if everybody were allocated a number, then the highest number kills someone, then the next highest surviving number kills someone, and so on. That would continue until everybody alive had killed somebody. That must result in 50% (I think)

  10. Doesn't it boil down to the following?


    If everybody kills one person simultaneously (as stated above with everybody in the world in a circle) then everybody dies. 100%


    If everybody kills one person sequentially, then 50% die.


    These are the limits, and any other arrangement will lie between them.

  11. is it possible to learn to accept someone the way they are or even like them? I'm struggling to try to learn to accept myself. I want to accept myself but i have to then accept that I'm a horrible person.


    Do you treat people in a manner which you would hate if they treated you likewise? Can you give examples of your nastiness?


    I suppose we've also evolved to live in cities, drive cars, use computers, etc...


    Our species has been hunter-gatherers for getting on for 1,000,000 years, or maybe half that time. This is time enough to talk of evolution, and during that time we have evolved over thousands of generations to be meat-eaters. The developments over one century are nothing to do with evolution, at least not yet.

  13. I agree totally. If animals used for food are not treated humanely, then there are real ethical issues which few people seem to bother about. But it is the principle of being a vegan which I just do not understand. We have evolved to eat meat, and I see nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, this gives rise to vile practices such as pig concentration camps and the eating of veal, force feeding of geese and so on.

  14. Vegans always present a simplistic argument. There are vast areas on the planet which have so little topsoil and such a bad climate that the only thing which will grow is grass. Why don't we eat grass? Because we have not evolved to do so. But we can use that land by rearing sheep and goats and eating them. What is wrong with doing that?


    I've met quite a few vegans. They were people living in Wales (predominantly dairy/sheep country) on state benefit, having vitamin B12 injections on the state health service. They were obviously too stupid to see the irony of it all. If only a vegan could tell me once and for all where they get their vitamin B12 if not from dairy produce.

  15. Why on earth should you take anything seriously from PETA? They have a genuine interest in animal welfare, but making totally exaggerated claims about the negative aspects of drinking milk is not impressive. How meaningful is "Some evidence suggests that ..."?


    Note also "showed that women who consumed four or more servings of dairy products each day were twice as likely to develop serous ovarian cancer as those who consumed two or fewer servings of dairy products each day". I wasn't aware that ovarian cancer could be trivial.

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