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TheVat last won the day on May 28

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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TheVat's Achievements


Scientist (10/13)



  1. Beyond maximalist, since Sched F extends to all of civil service, which includes all three branches. It is the entire civilian workforce of federal government. I would like to see this insidious proposal be on everybody's "today I learned" before November.
  2. Generally, a small ping to China will return a small pong.
  3. Wouldn't better access to reproductive care and contraception be a simpler solution? We could do that now, if the owners of aging pale penises would step out of the way.
  4. The sun meandering back and forth across the celestial equator seems like a good refutation for those without cellphones, spyglasses, lasers, ocean views, etc. All you need is a couple weeks and a long stick for shadow generating.
  5. Non falsifiable, for sure. Couples often sense some paranormal connection. An example of how confirmation bias works there is when I look out the window from a dim room during bright daylight outside (closed window, so I'm sonically and visually isolated from the exterior) and see her in the yard - and she looks my direction as if sensing my fond gaze. But I also am aware that she is often not looking towards the house...and I quickly forget those incidences as they don't fit the romantic deep-connection narrative. I've noticed couples tend to do this with unusual stress events, e.g. spouse A gets in a car crash at 4 pm. Later, spouse B recalls, that's odd, I dropped a coffee mug at that same time and it gave me this ominous feeling. (never mind that B often drops his mug and gets vague ominous feelings that don't pan out) We use such narratives to strengthen and maintain our bonds with others.
  6. The crucial roles of the umbilicus and placenta (requiring them to come along with the fetus), and the difficulty of separating them without harm and then somehow attaching them to another uterine wall (with attendant compatibility and host endocrine issues) would seem to be beyond present medical science. Uterine transplants were recently achieved, but not with embryos or feti in them, and that again would seem to be beyond present technique.
  7. Antifreeze degrades faster in the bottle than in your car's cooling jacket. They add silicates, which tend to polymerize to a gel in a couple years if the solution is just sitting on a shelf. In a car, the heat/cool cycles and circulation actually prevent that silicate instability. However... The glycol portion degrades in the presence of oxygen, which means if air gets into the cooling system it will break down faster. This process forms acids like glycolic, formic, acetic and oxalic acids. These can corrode the radiator over time. So changing the coolant is a good idea. - former shade tree mechanic
  8. The thing about social skills is that learning them seems so critically dependent on entering into real but structured social situations. I've wondered if some of the clubs (currently in more budgetary peril) in US primary schools sort of function (with an experienced adult supervising and stepping in) in that way. Fine arts clubs (drama, dance, choral, e.g.) seemed to work well for that.
  9. Wesley was right up there with picardian shirttail tugging on my list of most annoying STNG things. That and Riker perpetually leaning or slouching against things (which I suspect was an attempt to have some rakish Kirk-like vibe, in the ship's command, given Picard's* lack in that area). *not that JLP wasn't an excellent captain, and far more believable holding that Starfleet rank in terms of age, intellect and professional persona.
  10. Yeah, who needs polling or survey data? You met and talked to some people! And they were a perfect cross section of society because, like, people mojo and the scientists are all Commies and lying dirt bags! Once you learn to cut a birdsmouth joint on a rafter, you are incapable of being fooled!!! Forget all that silly fear mongering and conspiracy stuff! This guy talked to people! And it seemed like they were pretty darned smart in spite of their low IQs. Clearly they have AWESOME critical thinking skills because...well, they believe everything G. Edward Griffin says, like how cancer is just a vitamin deficiency easily cured with peach pits! F*** all those eggheads with their college degrees and obsession with "facts" and "evidence" and "peer-reviewed research." Here, hold my beer... I'm going to disprove the germ theory of disease! Because, like, NOBODY on my shift washes their hands and they're never sick!
  11. Something circular about all this. Saying sciences are philosophically biased towards a physicalist worldview is like saying lawyers are biased towards a legalistic worldview. Yawn.
  12. Citation for Chomsky, please. And look up brainwashing in a dictionary, please. As for your last sentence, some survey data to support that would be welcome.
  13. Interesting to contemplate that a felon cannot have a gun but can be president. Does that mean that if elected, TFG cannot be in possession of the nuclear launch codes? I leave that to better legal minds, but I could certainly see an "intent of the law" argument there.
  14. How are you aware of this? For you to know the reported correlation between streams/electrical towers and apparitions would suggest some scientists studied this, and got data that was inconclusive - that happens sometimes. Was this subject to peer review? Did the scientists check for black mold, where streams ran under the house? What about strong electrical fields having effects on the parietal region? Were demographic factors considered? (perhaps low income people live in cheaper, poorly maintained rentals more likely to have moisture problems or be near to electrical towers) Nothing in that example shouts disembodied minds, or suggests that as the first hypothesis, any more than the smudge on Becquerel's photo plate suggested he look for ghost rocks. I am not ridiculing, just trying too suggest that scientists choose testable hypotheses and with respect to the existing body of knowledge and Ockham's razor.
  15. So you are saying that philosophical bias has some responsibility in scientists steering clear of what is often called fringe science? I am wondering: could this avoidance also be feasibility challenges? How would you propose to do an inquiry into the nature of ghosts or disembodied minds? It would seem that practical obstacles, other than bias, present themselves. Being nonphysical puts quite a damper on observation, measurement and the other method tools available. I've noticed you not mentioning bias in regard to our massive apathy about studying fairies. Tinkerbell seems to provide little opportunity for research, and almost everyone over age ten seems to understand that, as a discipline, Tinkerbell Studies is a dead end.
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