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Everything posted by Area54

  1. That sounds like Last Thursdayism, or the more classical Omphalos hypothesis. Would you agree?
  2. So you reject the idea that some people can only be satisfied by extravagance? What is your evidence for that?
  3. I thought that was what I said, since it would take some antics to disentangle the semantics.
  4. So, two measurements are required to ensure fair an equable application of the principle: A measure of the acceptable content of the breakfast A measure of that portion of "your mission" that is to be applied to compensate for the breakfast In today's society we call these measures money. How does your proposal differ?
  5. Barbecue, wherein the fuel for the fire is charcoal. Thus contradicting your doubt that charcoal will react with anything in nature. The contraction "babrbie" is, I think, an Austrlianism and as such should be avoided by any true Englishman. Shame on you Studiot.
  6. Exactly so. And the difficulty for science is that one can, with reasonable accuracy, predict how potatoes can be harvested and how many individuals employed through the investment of a billion dollars; predict how many roads will be repaired and the economic impact of improved traffic flow and reduction in damage to road vehicles travelling on the improved surfaces etc.. But when it comes to science projects, especially blue sky reasearch, such prediction is - in the individual cases - wobbly at best. Unless the decision makers are blessed with the understanding that such research will, in total, deliver valuable and remarkable benefits, then the battle will be a tough one.
  7. Dubai's oil resources have been more or less depleted for a decade plus. Over 95% of Dubai's economy is non-oil based. This is one example of what appear to be serious errors in your understanding of the various topics you talk about. You seem to wish to learn - perhaps take the advice from @Ghideon and tackle one point at a time.
  8. Unfortunately your characterisation of the project is misleading and arguably seriously in error. That is, for some, a major distraction from what you wish to discuss. But on a lighter note - if it's an even larger white elphant that may provide the space for effective social distancing.
  9. Area54

    Space Time

    I suspect it relates to the alleged instances of people time travelling without the benefit of physical mechanism. The example that comes to mind is of the two visitors to Versailles early in the 20th century who seemed to be transported back to an earlier period where the people they saw and the layout of the gardens matched (allegedly) the late 18th century. Wikipedia article. There is also a silent movie era newsreel (?) in which a member of the crowd appears to be using a mobile phone. All of the instances have simpler, more convincing, mundane explanations, but its a useful plot device for stories.
  10. Thank you. I am familiar with much of the data on the impact and on LIPs. As you are aware, while the impact was practically instantaneous there are error bars on the dating of that event. Coupl that with the spread of the Deccan eruption ages and one arrives at uncertainty. My point was - and remains - if a larger number of age determinations, taken with greater precision across the full spread of activity are available, then we can more likely determine with confidence the relative ages of impact - eruptions - extinctions*. Such was not the case the last time I had occassion to look at the research literature. It may be the case now. *Equally, the last time I looked, there was still debate as to the extent to which some extinctions of some genera preceded the impact and were related to the LIP vulcanicity. Tighter control on the LIP ages can help address this.
  11. The data as of around 2015 was ambiguous. There are suprisingly few precise dates on the Deccan lavas. (The impact event is much more tightly dated, via the irdium rich layer.) It remains an interesting problem. I'll have a look for something more recent.
  12. Excellent points. In consequence I've deleted my draft reply to Moreno, which fell into the "Yes, there is category". I think it will be a step in the right direction, but a much smaller step than many hope for, or expect, but a step nonetheless. We whould be glad of that step, but we should insist upon more. I'm not American, but this death has highlighted the injustices that exist in all countries towards minorities. A good starting point for change is to examine to what extent we are personally complicit in benefiting from, or maintaining the status quo where we live.
  13. That observation is simplistic to the point of error. It would be more accurate to state that humanity is a species that has prospered through a crude balance between aggression and cooperation. Competition can be for natural resources, mates, power, etc any, or all of which may, at times, though not always, equate to living space. What do you understand to be the justification for WWII? Why do you ignore the separate reasons/justifications for the Pacific war? I'm not clear how you are tying this assertion (German culpability) into an "offensive justification by the victors". Which reports of German atrocities do you believe were fabricated?
  14. The last time I checked well over 100 organic molecules had been detected in comets, meteorites, interstellar space and large moleculars clouds. You seem to be using the terms "building blocks of life" and "seeds of life" as if they were the same. I think a more common usage would be for the building blocks to be relatively simple organic chemicals such as amino acids, hydrogen cyanide, methane, carbon dioxide, while the seeds would be life in embryonic form. The latter could indeed exist in suspended animation, but that term would be meaningless for the former. Perhaps the Miller-Urey experiment was more important for launching a field of study than for the actual results, interesting though they were. I find that an interesting thought. Is alien microscopic life so alien it would, generally be unable to interact with us in any significant way, or would even the most benign organisms in their own environment prove devasting for multicellular terrestrial life? "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it . . . Arggh!" The problem with the Martian methane is that each new batch of information seems to confuse the picture rather than clarify. Life? Chemical reactions in the near surface? Volcanic emissions? Instrumentation artifacts? It is worth keeping an eye on developments.
  15. You don't seem to be asking for help, so much as asking for the answer. Have you no provisional thoughts on this? A suspicion as to which processes seem most likely? Have you checked your text book? Your class notes? I suspect members will be much more inclined to help if you demonstrate that you've done at least some work on this. That's just a suggestion. Of course you might get unlucky and someone will give you a complete answer, then you'll have missed another opportunity to learn how to learn. As written, the question seems to be missing some words, or one or more words have been mistyped. The sentence does not parse meaningfully.
  16. I I have done several of the online tests for amusement. Some of them are deplorable, testing only one aspect of intelligence, for example. All tests contain some elments of cultural bias that are difficult to remove, so that at best one can only compare oranges with naranjas. Most of the online tests I can recall were to short to arrive at a proper measure of IQ. I suspect they may be moderatly accurate for those in the mid-range i.e. the bulk of the population. But it is my impression that those in the upper levels of IQ can get an inflated figure by just making a lucky guess on a single question or two. I know that I consistently scored higher, by from 5 to 20 points, on online tests than on the professionally conducted test I took. That corroborates your suspicion of "implausibly high numbers".
  17. I was unclear in my post. I agree that we will require exceptional people to develop advanced AI systems. (At least until the AIs do it for us. :)) The people who will be less necessary, perhaps unnecessary are the bright people whose skills can be replaced by those AIs. Possible examples include design engineers or medical doctors. In practice, if our thinking is being done by AIs, our labouring work by robots and companies are run by psychopaths, there will be nothing left for the rest of us, other than to sit back and drink martinis. Sadly my IQ lies in the top couple of %. This forces me to acknowledge that my failure to be anything other than mediocre is because of a serious lack of tenacity or social nouse.
  18. Since the current pandemic has often been compared to a war, I am reminded of two military aphorisms. Generals are well prepared to fight the last war. No battle plan survives its first contact with the enemy. If true, these suggest that: We must be much smarter (and invest more money in planning and preparation) than we have been traditionally. Flexibility and rapid response must be built in at every level and in every location.
  19. Some thoughts,frequently speculative, in no special order, on the thread OP and some of the points made by other members: The OP contains the inherent assumption that IQ has a strong correlation with "success" of the individual and of society. I think it is generally understood that "success" is much more complex than that. Thus Nelson Mandela was undoutedly of above average intelligence, but it was his grit, determination and compassion that enabled his achievements. That raises the question, why would a decline in IQ (unless it were off a precipice) be of much concern? I would be more troubled by a fall in commitment and caring. I suspect that declining average IQ is unlikely to have a major impact on the value of the outliers. There should still be Newtons and Einsteins and lesser luminaries to do the heavy mental lifting for society. Most of us are drones compared with the 'top level thinkers'. The development of AI is likely to eliminate a large scale need for those with above above average IQs but that fall short of genius level. The increasing reliance on AI over the next century may be the real challenge we face in relation to societal intelligence. I keep getting flashes of the Eloi and Morlock of H.G. Wells' Time Machine, in which the decadent and now dumb elite are preyed upon by the subterranean worker Morlocks. (The novel was, at its heart, about the nature of society and its possible trajectory. The SF element was a device to enable that exploration.) I have long thought the main value of the IQ test was to determine how people would do on an IQ test. I benefited from a University education funded by the government, fees paid and sufficient money to live on, so that aspect (for undergraduates) of Moreno's proposals resonates positively with me. However, that was at a time when university education was, in the UK, for 5% of the population, not closer to 45%. I hope that this expansion of student population has not been achieved at the expense of standards, but I remain nervous on that point. Of all the points raised in the thread so far the drop in attention span is the one I find most concerning. Intelligence is only of value when it is employed effectively. That takes time and practice and application. In other words, it requires one's attention be focused on a problem until it is solved. On an upbeat note, perhaps we are developing aspects of intelligence that are appropriate to the environment we are now living in and that are not well discerned by the current tests.
  20. I strongly suspect that is not going to be the case in manner which is significant for this discussion. The Himalaya are, as you know, vast and contain a wide - and typical - variety of rock types. Their elevation and associated deep levels of erosion expose that range of rocks. I would be surprised if the deviation was significant. Certainly, the variation could not possibly be sufficient to make a meaningful dent in the CO2 released by human activity annually, which I understand is the point you are focusing on. Or, were you heading in another directIon? I think the climate change situation is alarming. What makes it more alarming is the refusal that you note by much of the public (and interested corporate bodies) to believe there is a problem. In that setting sober, documented and justified estimates of climate change and its consequences can be seen as alarmist by those who refuse to accept that there is a significant risk. "Alarmist" then becomes a rhetorical catchphrase used to excuse acceptance of the evidence. On the plus side, evolution may one day produce an animal that is not only as intelligent as homo sapiens, but is actually able to use that intelligence in a consistent and organised way.
  21. A good question. I shall trawl through some textbooks, but the simple qualitative answer is - a substantial amount. A more nuanced answer would be to note the following: Major silicate minerals fall into the following groups: Ortho-silicates: these include the olivine group minerals, in which the eponymous mineral is a solid solution of Fe silicate and Mg silicate. It is a major mineral in basic lavas, including basalt, the commonest lava on (and off) the planet. The ortho-silicates also include several common metamorphic minerals, such as garnet and staurolite, which contain calcium or magnesium as principal elements. Chain Silicates: These, especially the pyroxenes and amphiboles, are major minerals in both igneous and metamorphic rocks. There are many varieties, but magnesium is common in such minerals as the pyroxenes enstatite and hypersthene, and the amphiboles hornblende and glaucophane. Calcium is abundant in the pyroxenes pigeonite, augite and wollastonite. (The latter is CaSiO3). There are many more examples, but the ones mentioned are all important rock forming minerals. Sheet Silicates: Serpentine and chlorite are important metamorphic minerals rich in Mg. (Mg is the only metallic element present in chlorite.) Biotite, one of the two common micas, contains significant Mg. The clay minerals are exceptionally varied, but most varieties include Mg, or Ca, or both in their structures and are thus abundant in many sedimentary rocks. Framework Silicates: Of relevance here are the hugely important feldspars, in particular the plagioclase group. These contain Na and Ca as the dominant metallic ions. Mg is present in lesser amounts in some feldspars. So, you see that the major minerals, incorporating significant amounts of Ca, or Mg, or both are to be found in all major rock groupings, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. I recommend An Introduction to Rock Forming Minerals, by Deer, Howie and Zussman for anyone looking for something more on minerals. This is the classic on mineralogy. I think the latest edition came out in the early 90s, but I used my 1966 1st edition to check that my memory wasn't too far adrift on the brief notes above. On a separate point, re-atmosphere history, Chemistry of Atmospheres, by Richard P. Wayne Oxford University Press 1991, contains a chapter on atmosphere evolution. I've found it useful. Drat. I am not thinking logically. What you are actually asking is the proportion of Ca and Mg in the crust. That is readily available, as in this Wikipedia article. It give Ca as 4.15% and Mg as 2.33%, making them the 5th and 7th commonest elements in the crust. Those percentages may seem low, but keep in mind that almost 75% of the crust is composed of silicon and oxygen.
  22. The majority of the rocks you mention are composed predominantly of silicate minerals. These are weathered by carbonic acid, converting for the most part to clays, with a portion of the carbon dioxide now "trapped" as calcium carbonate. Unfortunately, the amount of CO2 removed by weathering globally is an order of magnitude less than the amount being released by human activity. The weathering/ocean sink is important for the long term carbon cycle, but does little to help us with the rapidity of change we have introduced. This is a basic summary of the factors involved. I agree with you, it was an excellent post by joigus .
  23. It is quite common for "retired" politicians to become much more statesman like in their words and actions. Freed of the need for political machinations they can speak more from the heart (something I thought May did not have). Taking a leaf from the fight against the virus, I wonder if we could take plasma from such politicians and inject it into the present incumbents, hoping that the antibodies would deal with the hypocrisy and kant flowing in their veins.
  24. Former UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, did little - in the opinion of many - to distinguish herself in that role. In an opinion piece in the Times she has delivered a forthright and seemingly sensible critique of the inadequacies of the global response to the corona virus crisis by governments. (It pleasently surprised this observer, but maybe that's just me.) Here is the link to the article. And Here is the BBC's take on the subject. I stole the thread title from them.
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