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TheVat last won the day on August 21

TheVat had the most liked content!


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  • Location
    Western U.S.
  • Interests
    Biology, AI, Cognitive Sciences, philosophy, and ego-deflating attempts to understand current physics
  • College Major/Degree
    Biology, Information Science
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Life Sciences

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Organism (8/13)



  1. The less professional the army, the more likely to flee in disarray, and to abandon their weapons. (Or become cannon fodder) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/20/russia-recruits-inmates-ukraine-war-wagner-prigozhin The Kremlin’s reliance on unorthodox methods to keep the fighting going in Ukraine is worrying for Russia, according to Lee. “Russia no longer has a professional army in the traditional sense. It is now made up of some professional units, mixed with paid short-term contract soldiers, mercenaries and now, apparently, prisoners. “Armies are effective when there is clear hierarchy and cohesion,” Lee added. “I can’t even begin to imagine what disciplinary problems prisoners will bring.” On Tuesday, the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, himself behind bars, tweeted that Russian prisons were full of people with “big problems with discipline and even bigger problems with alcohol and substances”. He said: “What could such an army even accomplish in combat?”
  2. @MigL If you join a website and post the above, then you are going to come across as bigoted in your attitude. Note he could have added "some" before atheists, and then offered specific examples to support the last sentence. My guess is that he didn't back up that remark because it's a straw man. If you post bigoted comments, then where there is free discourse (which you clearly prize, as I do) people will call you on it and you don't get a special safe space where your bigotry is tiptoed around. Then Derp went onto assert: Did he post polls or surveys to support this? Did he offer any quotes from atheist arguments to support his contention of "context negative for accuracy"(whatever that means)? So, another vague attack, without any actual consideration of an atheist perspective, or glimmer of intellectual honesty.
  3. I didn't take a stance. Out of genuine interest, and my usual appetite for scientific evidence, I requested (per this website's SOP) some citation to support your personal anecdotal experience. The topic of the thread is depression, so are you saying that fasting can help depression? Once again, I ask a straightforward question. As for your insults and "you're following me" comment, it sounds like the fasting didn't do much for your paranoid ideation. I'm not following you, I am continuing to follow this thread, which I posted in a few months ago. (Aggressive Aggressive Addendum: fuckhead)
  4. Relationship Tip : do not attempt to seduce your spouse or SO with the "please help me ward off prostate cancer" gambit.
  5. Could you provide some sort of citation, hopefully from peer reviewed research, for your assertions? While I can well imagine the therapeutic potential of psychoactive drugs like psilocybin, I think the water fasting claim is more "out there" and needs some factual backup. Also note the thread topic is treatments which do not involve medication -- dosing with a psychoactive compound would fall under the rubric of medication, seems to me.
  6. A good thread to revisit, with some long and thoughtful postings from Ken. I saw this today, about "nuclear bros," who inhabit the web and seem to get pigeonholed as millennial males, perhaps erroneously. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/09/30/nuclear-bros-power-activists/ (Will post screenshot link at bottom for those with paywall woes) As the article makes clear, there are a variety of pro-nuke positions, united by their estimations that the depredations of fossil fuel use outweigh the potential calamities of nuke plant accidents. I remain skeptical of the implied either/or of such calculations when we have a gargantuan nuclear fusion reactor pouring 173,000 terawatts on us continuously, and driving air currents easily harvested with a 19th century technology. I think it's a fair point that the more moderates make, that responsible stewards of the atom like France, Germany, California should keep their existing units running a while longer until we can ramp up renewables and battery storage. https://archive.ph/2022.09.30-155236/https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/09/30/nuclear-bros-power-activists/ Or https://archive.ph/sZBww
  7. And what does the recycling of organic material through an ecosystem have to with a metaphysical theory of spiritual passage? Aside from it being an interesting metaphor, the cycling of carbon and assorted minerals doesn't point to the existence of some ethereal plane of being. The mere fact that some of my phosphorus (if my ashes are scattered) will be absorbed by plant roots and eaten by a grazing herbivore and incorporated into its skeleton doesn't mean my consciousness will persist into some other earthly life. The Eastern theory of transmigration of souls is predicated on a sophisticated system of religious moral laws and related duties ("dharma") and a long series of lives in which many lessons are learned and past actions accounted for (karmic debt). It's a great deal more than "recycling" some "mystical energy force" through the breakdown of corpses. The only science based approach I know of is the investigation of so-called past life memories in order to test a pretty extraordinary claim. To date, those investigations have been beset with procedural errors and inability to rule out other explanations of a more prosaic nature. ETA: and now I see this is the thread with the reincarnation chat we had in February, with Rama denouncing a Sugar Daddy god in the sky and Eternal Rest Home afterlives. Ha, fun times.
  8. If you heard me make a statement about some other social group, ethnicity, or creed beginning with "the problem with [members of this group]..." and continue on with a blanket statement that betrayed ignorance of said group, you might well conclude that I was a flaming bigot. No need to waste any more time with your ill-informed prattle.
  9. Our inner twelve year olds are thriving today! A great pair of knockers... (Credit: Mel Brooks)
  10. C - of course. Solar panels generate electricity which can crack water to make H. Plenty of sunshine, hardly ever clouds over. Lunar water ice was found at the poles, back in the 70s. B - Probably dozens of alternative lubricants? Boron hydride, silicone, lithium, etc. As the wise frog said, a minor concern. Sealed bearings, you don't need vast quantities. I think space programs have been thinking beyond oil for many decades now. Count me out of any colony where your life depends on a thin sheet of material floating at a Lagrange point. What could possibly go wrong, eh? Ok, maybe the mylar shield is a temp. Cool the ball, sequester all the frozen CO2 ice, then slowly bring the heat up again (scrolling in the shield) as you generate atmosphere that permits maximum IR radiation back to space. Might get a sustainable terrestrial type clime at the higher latitudes?
  11. Maybe we should concentrate efforts on treating fellow humans and sentient animals better. Have not seen clear evidence that insects are neurologically developed enough to consciously suffer. Not saying such evidence couldn't emerge in further research, or perhaps that consciousness arises in large colonies - a "hive mind," maybe. Perhaps the best argument for humane lab practices is that it furthers the habit of compassion in humans?
  12. Plus one to that. Godwin himself has pointed out that sometimes parallels to Nazi Germany are called for in a discussion. Godwin's Law is observational not proscriptive. My question (why blow things up, etc) was more directed at Stringy asking if the US could have done the deed - and how I didn't see much motive for us. (I should have copy-paste his comment in my post) I agree Russia has possible motives.
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