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Posts posted by Area54

  1. 2 hours ago, exchemist said:

    If you think I can come up with 3 reasons (I can’t, obviously, or I wouldn’t be saying what I’m saying), why don’t you propose some yourself?

    Because the most effective way for me to convince you that your argument is flawed is for you to recognise it yourself. There are more than three plausible reasons. I have confidence you can do it. Are you saying you are absolutely unwilling to try? I hope not. That would be an unimaginative, self-defeating attitude and not one that tallies with the character that comes through in your posts.

  2. 2 hours ago, AIkonoklazt said:

    Did you see the bad example he used? The example involved was a lever, with the wedge as one of the elements of the lever. The lever was the machine while the wedge was an element. Not only that, can this entire discussion around machine consciousness revolve around a single-piece tool? If so, how? Obviously it can't, which is why this argumental route wasn't subsequently followed (as far as I could tell.)

    1. He didn't use a bad example.
    2. He made no mention of a lever in his example that you quoted. He specified a wedge only and identified it, correctly, as a machime.
    3. I don't see the discussion revolving around a single-piece tool. You seem to be raising a strawman. Not a tactically sound move on a forum with several astute members.
    4. My interest was in correcting your uninformed understanding of what constituted a machine. Up to you if you take advantage of it.
  3. 1 hour ago, exchemist said:

    What would be the point of commissioning voyages lasting tens of thousands of years, without even knowing what you would find, and with no means of sharing the knowledge obtained?

    I don't pretend to understand the motivations of an alien mind. Your statement suggests that you do. While you ask it as a question, the implication is that there would be no point in commisioning such voyages.

    I've followed your posts for years. I have very little doubt that,if you think about it for a ew minutes, you can come up with at least three reasons why they might.

    2 hours ago, swansont said:

    Potato, potahto. How can it be ignorant if you can’t/don’t point to any knowledge that would erase that ignorance? What is this missing information?

    We seem to be talking past each other. If any of the assumptions implicit in excehmist's position are invalid, his position is refuted.


    2 hours ago, swansont said:

    As with others, you point to “solutions” without any consideration of the details involved. Again, I invite you to do some analysis on the technical solutions you present. Absent that it’s just plots from sci-fi stories.

    And I invite you to stop dodging the question and specify what you consider to be insurmountable or impossible in any of the handful of alternatives I have suggested.

    More to the point, are you denying that the points I made have been assumed to be false by exchemist and by yourself. If so, what is your rationale for making the assumption that these are false. At present it looks like a casual, lazy rejection

  4. 2 hours ago, swansont said:

    You are free to present an analysis showing the folly of the position. I have asked others to do so, and have found no takers.

    I wait with interest your demonstration that I considered @exchemist's position foolish. I don't. I consider it ignorant, in the specific sense that it ignores certain possibilities, or the counterpart of that - it is based upon certain assumptions.  These include:

    • Hibernation of intelligent lifeforms for lengthy periods, of the order of centuries, or millenia, cannot be achieved.
    • Even if they could be achieved, no intelligent lifeform would willingly subject themselves to it.
    • No intelligent lifeforms exist, whose lifespan is such that a millenium would represent only a small portion if its potential.
    • No generation ship could possibly be constructed that would survive intact and functioning for millenia.
    • Even if such shiip could be constructed no intelligent lifeform would willingly subject themselves and their descendents to such a voyage.
    • No intelligent lifeform will ever develop the technology to freeze embryos for millenia, succesffuly stimulate then into growth, raise them via sophisticated robotics and educate them via advanced AIs.

    No FTL drives, no warp space, no worm holes required.

    If you feel you can justify those assumptions go for it. If not the position is refuted.

    2 hours ago, exchemist said:

    Rumsfeld was quite right, of course - though wrong about almost everything else.

    On this we are in complete agreement. :)

  5. On 6/9/2022 at 8:45 PM, exchemist said:

    It seems to me we have learnt enough to realise the futility of interstellar travel.

    You sound a bit like Lord Kelvin, challenging the viability of Darwin's evolutionary theory on the basis that the Earth was not old enough. He was comfortable that it would take no more than a hundred million years or so to cool from a molten state to its present temperature. Ignorance of radioactivity led to a flawed conclusion, despite his genius.

    Donald Rumsfeld was mocked for speaking of unknown unknowns, but I think he had a point.

  6. On 6/17/2022 at 9:13 AM, AIkonoklazt said:

    I don't see a wedge satisfying any of the sub-definitions of a machine:


    Just to reinforce @studiot's correction of your understanding of what constitutes a machine, a wedge is most assuredly a machine. Levers are another. Pick up any stout fallen branch in the forest and use it as an undesigned lever to move a rock.

    Dictionary definitions are excellent for the purpose they were designed for: capturing current usage of words in general communications. They are less effective, sometimes misleading, and occassionally seriously incorrect when defining terms within science and engineering. The consequence of this - you cannot refute studiot's argument by attacking a strawman definition of machine.

  7. 27 minutes ago, MigL said:

    Nobody will watch chicken races because horses get abused by the jockeys in horse racing

    I heard that in Central Asia it is popular to race chickens against cattle, but it turned out to be cock and bull story.

  8. 22 hours ago, mistermack said:

    It might  be an entertaining read, I don't know, life is too short to read all that kind of stuff. 

    I have not read Darwin's Black Box, but I do have a copy of Behe's later work The Edge of Evolution, along with another dozen or two creationists' works. Wells, Dembski, Denton, Johnson, Stove - the usual suspects. Religious fundametalism threatens our society and it makes sense to know your enemy.

    On 6/6/2022 at 6:40 PM, Trurl said:

    The book exposes the limitations of Darwinism.

    Other members have asked, but you seem to have ignored them - can you specify a couple of examples of what you perceive as the limitations of Darwinism, or any mainline aspect of evolutionary theory?

    20 hours ago, Peterkin said:

    Some theorize that a god big enough for its own capital on a common noun once existed and at sometime stopped showing itself? Who theorizes that?

    It is a common thought in some theological circles. I've run across it many times. If you wish I can try to dig out specific examples for you.

  9. 2 hours ago, BV63 said:

    It would not be the first time scientists find that drugs can be used for other problems than the drugs were approved for.

    Very true, but such instances are the result of professional observation that hints at such a possibility and is then demonstrated (or refuted) through a series of carefully designed tests. It is not taken as an established fact just because someone makes an unsubstantiated claim in a random blog.

    I am also curious how you as "I'm not a scientist" seems so proficient at producing bits and pieces of research that allegedly support your view point, yet seem blindly unaware of the vast volume of publications that contradict your claims. It's almost as if you were being fed material by someone with an agenda. Can you explain that?

  10. 17 hours ago, CharonY said:

    What I am trying to say is that ants are awesome and any disagreeing is just objectively wrong. Also, I have no idea how one would even try to speculate about motivations and patterns to a psychology that is literally alien to us.

    In discussions about what aliens would, or would not do, what they would, or would not be like, and what they would, or would not think, it always strikes me how few people appreciate precisely what alien means. Put another way, I agree wholeheartedly with your second sentence. (And your first, but that's a secondary matter.)

  11. 45 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

    <snip> They reason that we would be no more interesting to an ETI than an ant hill is of interest to us.  <snip>

    In addition to your response for rejecting the reasoning, I note that the search phrase "ant ecology" on Google Scholar returns "about 971,000" items. It seems some of us are interested in ants.

  12. 3 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

    Iridium is rather rarer than gold.


    Indeed. The unusually high concentrations of iridium, well above normal levels, at the Cretaceous -Paleogene boundary led to the identification of the Chicxulub impact that caused the extinction of most of the Earth's species, including the non-avian dinosaurs. If iridium were common we might still be puzzling over all that.

  13. On 5/18/2022 at 11:59 AM, tonylang said:

    If one adheres solely to the classically understood, thermodynamically described, relativistically constrained mechanisms to explain life writ large then you are forced to say no, and in so doing you would necessarily be Earth and human-centric as one discounts the rest of the cosmos.

    This statement is flawed in at least two ways:

    • Observations of "the rest of the cosmos" contribute to the "classically understood, etc." mechanisms. Consequently the rest of the cosmos canobt be discounted if one "adheres to" mechansisms that have been determined, in part, by observing the rest of the cosmos.
    • Excluding a hypothetical possibility that lacks substance or support is not equivalent to discounting the rest of the universe.

    Conclusion: the rest of your rambling can be ignored.


  14. On 4/29/2022 at 8:58 PM, beecee said:

    That goes without saying. My point though, the real danger is the irresponsible, ignorant dog owner.

    I don't think you have demonstrated your point. Let's assume the study's finding is accurate: breed does not predict behaviour. However, that is not the same as genetics does not predict behaviour. i.e. you exclude the possibility that a combination of genes, which might occur in a variety of breeds, could result in a tendency to aggression. This is the old nature vs. nurture argument. I readily accept the nurture role, as represented by the owners, but I don't see - on the information presented so far - that nature is excluded.

  15. The other day I found my car covered in bird shit, which was annoying. Then I thought, there must be something positive I can take from this, and there is. Birds are dinosaurs, so I have dinosaur droppings on my car. Dinosaur droppincs! How cool is that?

    What different perspectives have you taken on a negative situation in an attempt to change it into a positive one?

  16. 13 hours ago, Kittenpuncher said:

    Well that's not what he was saying

    That is exactly what I was saying.

    You have my sympathy for the difficulties you face. Sadly, it seems unlikely you will readily overcome these until you accept that your interpretaion of what is happening to you is probably mistaken. I wish you luck in that regard.

  17. 6 minutes ago, Kittenpuncher said:

    The easiest time to remember something is always initially

    I think you've just confused how the mind tries to block out insane/evil things with the actual way that a memory works

    No. Unlike you I have taken the trouble to find out some of the things researchers have discovered about memory. You don't have to take my word for it. That would be a bad idea. Just do some study yourself, using reliable sources.

  18. 1 hour ago, Kittenpuncher said:

    Things that I remember being on the internet, stuff like that, being expunged from it, even things like entire words and their meanings (like fascismile from before), along with some stuff changing from how it was

    Memory works in peculiar ways. Intially we do not remember what happened, but what we remeber is an interpretation of what we think happened. When this memory is revisted it is revised. Repeatedly. Moreover, research has shown that false memories are readily created. Therefore, it is not surprising that you run across things that seem to have been changed. If you didn't, that would be abnormal.

  19. 17 hours ago, Kittenpuncher said:

    Well I'm pretty sure you don't really think passive aggressiveness is like a super mask of poker masterness, you could just ban me I mean I've been on discord before and this would be exquisitely cordial by comparison *sips tea*

    I have a little bit of data on some similar concepts when I've described them to others

    But it's not very ethical to tell your schizo buddy a bunch of heavy duty mind destruction KP Originals ® at the homeless shelter surrounded by the other destitute

    So I mostly have data on what they do to my own mind and I have actually put quite a bit of dedication into being able to reasonably simulate how other's minds would react

    I mostly do this because the inner workings of my mind are an enigma and that is a cold and lonely thing and if I could overcome the towering wall that is between me and everyone else ever being able to understand what is going on my mind, I might one day be able to get treatment that will end my unfathomable suffering at the hands of my inescapable madness

    Actually the main problem tends to be that the likelihood of an individual being able to follow the conversation with something like this as a subject or even process or understand it almost at all. The most consistent thing I've noticed is that most will simply drift off into a sort of daze or stupor or be blocked by a literal sort of wall or barrier that protects them from understanding, they're simply too sane, and I believe that their mind is trying to protect them from understanding those sorts of things. Sometimes it is triggered by someone speaking at length with great verbosity and technical brilliance, instead, or someone trying to tell an extremely sophisticated, hilarious, subtle joke

    And this has led to a lot of religious development in the past few years I believe, and many people believe that I am the bride of the lord from revelations and that my body sort of contains or is the universe in some way. Of course you'd think that I'm a megalomaniac, but that's one reason why this stuff is important to me, so that I can not only maybe cure my diseases, but also so that I can learn the truth about who I am and be free of the confusion and paranoia that causes me almost unbearable grief in and of itself... 

    OK. That was difficult to follow. What you seem to be saying is that individuals who, for whatever reason, feel greatly challenged by and uncertain about their situation can be "pushed over the edge" by certain ideas. That seems reasonable. If people are "on the edge" then, by definition, it takes very little to "push them over".

    However, that sensitivity applies only to those edge-dwellers. The rest of humanity just ignores dumb ideas, or indulges in some corrective education, or trolls a litte. Even among the edge-dwellers, a group whose membership card I have occassionaly carried, almost all would treat your opening idea with a yawn, or a giggle. Screams would lie beyond the event horizon.

    Clearly you have an interest in science. Why not take advantage of that interest by educating yourself further through discussion on this forum - discussions based on solid science, not crazy ideas.

  20. On 3/29/2022 at 8:52 PM, MigL said:

    Sulphur and Silicon provide large numbers of compounds also, but would require other liquid solvents than water, at much higher temperatures, for interesting chemical reactions. 

    If my understanding of the chemistry is correct, then the number, range and complexity of these compounds is substantially less than available with carbon, and the possibilities of manipulating energy more limited. This does not rule them out as potential bases of life, but does make them less likely.

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