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TheVat last won the day on November 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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  1. https://undark.org/2023/11/17/book-review-free-will/ Offers some good summary of the discursive issues so far. Looks at books by two authors who reach quite different conclusions about free will. Here's a snippet that I found amusing.
  2. Let me guess, the House members who have been strongly supporting a well-known fat pathological liar the past few years were the ones reluctant to cast a vote against this fat pathological liar.
  3. For many that's counterintuitive. But it makes sense, where the amount of water in the air, in absolute terms, is so small. I suspect some of that folk belief about cold relates to the situations like walking through a heavy mist or drizzle where cold moisture is reaching your skin in larger quantities and drawing more heat from it. And you are then, as the article notes, not getting any warming from direct sun, adding even more chill.
  4. Omnibus cauliflower poltroon strabismus pecan-prestidigitate recirculator furzen-fenster. I freely wrote that sentence. Was it entirely determined as a the result of antecedent conditions crafted in the Big Bang? Could I have willed to compose some other sentence? (i.e. if we ran the universe back to the BB, and then let things play out again, would I type the same sentence?)
  5. That seems true for when it's hot. But it seems like humidity also heightens chill when temps are below a comfortable room temp. I notice this visiting children in another state where it's far more humid. 10 C there feels colder than 10 C does here. And in summer 30 feels hotter there than it does here.
  6. It's semiarid here, near the Wyoming border, so it's never all that humid and, going by the hygrometer I've got on the piano, the transition is fairly gradual. It's 18 C atm, in that room, and 22% humidity. So raising that would be a plus. Some here opt for humidification built into their furnace. Though, as pointed out, that can increase perceived chill. I think Americans overheat their homes and buildings, by European/UK standards. The numbers people are giving here as norms would strike many of my compatriots as on the chilly side.
  7. I think humid air has two benefits in the cool season, one is comfort for skin and upper respiratory tract, the other is that humider air would have a bit more thermal capacity and reduce the number of heating cycles (I think most systems work more efficiently with longer spaced out cycles). That's a guess, needs fact checking. And I'm writing from a locale with distressingly dry winter air, where upping humidity is always desirable.
  8. Seems like one of the cost factors with GSHPs in very cold places will be digging through frozen layers of soil and then having tubing robust enough to handle instability in the ground from expansion/contraction.
  9. The information exclusion weakness is one of many to be found in IIT. Cerullo does a good job showing the lack of empirical support for the theory. I occasionally follow Scott Aaronson, a foremost theoretical computer scientist, who has a really good blog, and he does a robust critique of IIT. https://scottaaronson.blog/?p=1799
  10. Published in Nature today. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06692-3 Simpler language version from NASA news site: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/news/1771/discovery-alert-watch-the-synchronized-dance-of-a-6-planet-system/ The discovery: Six planets orbit their central star in a rhythmic beat, a rare case of an “in sync” gravitational lockstep that could offer deep insight into planet formation and evolution. Key facts: A star smaller and cooler than our Sun hosts a truly strange family of planets: six “sub-Neptunes” – possibly smaller versions of our own Neptune – moving in a cyclic rhythm. This orbital waltz repeats itself so precisely it can be readily set to music.
  11. Stopped feeding them - seriously? You make them sound like stray cats. If you didn't intend a racist slur on these people, then perhaps you should learn some of their history. These people owned and ran farms and grew olives and dates and other cash crops. They sustained themselves for generations and then were driven off their lands and shoved into a tiny space without consent or due process of law. They didn't go there because Israel "made it nice." The Naqba ravaged their lives and means of economic autonomy and created a misery and anger that comes from that genuine condition and is amped up by each new round of brutality and heavy civilian casualties that Israel's many attacks have brought, and the ongoing degradation of being shoved into horrible conditions of overcrowding and restricted rights and various embargos. It's rather like someone knocking you down, putting their boot on your face and whenever you punch at their leg they cry, Look! Look how awful a person he is! He is a vicious leg puncher! No wonder I have to keep this boot here! Oy!
  12. Analysis is breaking down something into its elements and then making a detailed examination of those elements. Analysis as such seems too abstract and complex a process to be achieved by a single neuron. (and because analysis breaks down a whole into parts, it doesn't seem like the optimal path to a holistic sense of an aware self) I wonder if the process that is more relevant to consciousness (see Godel Escher Bach, by Hofstadter) is recursion, another one that seems to require a network of neurons. Our awareness of self seems to have a recursive quality. We are aware of our perceptions. We are aware that we are aware. We are aware that we are aware that we are aware. And so on. The mind is thus involving a process of self-reflexivity or recursion.
  13. If you put a word in quotation marks, you are changing its meaning. So I then don't know what you mean by "analyze." Also, it would help if you define "system" in this context. Cells have more than one system that regulates their various activities.
  14. Analysis is a high-order cognitive process that, so far as we know from this planet, only one or two species with large brain/body ratios can manage. So, no, an individual neuron cannot analyze anything. It can no more analyze than it can compose a symphony. You might want to find a basic introduction to neurosciences. Your Brain, Explained by Marc Dingman is an example. Another neuroscientist, V S Ramachandran, has several accessible books out on the topic that have been quite popular.
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