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Everything posted by TheVat

  1. Is that really true? Has a research team attached pulse oximeters to players, or done some other measure of oxygenation? I have been a longtime hiker, on challenging grades, and my impression is that fit women have, if anything, more stamina than men, complain less, need less hydration, and "activate...their hips" quite efficiently (sometimes distractingly).
  2. If we're speaking of the Ruwa, Zimbabwe case, with which I'm familiar, then I don't know what you mean about adult witnesses. Pupils age 6-12 at a private school were the only witnesses, and crude interviewing techniques allowed cross-contamination of their stories. The "environmental message" the students heard was reported only by the psychiatrist who happened to be an ardent environmentalist as well as a believer in alien abductions. And some pupils reported seeing nothing. The event also followed, by only two days, the re-entry of the Zenit-2 rocket from the Cosmos 2290 satellite launch. The booster broke up into burning streaks as it moved silently across the sky, giving an impressive light show across southern Africa. The case is permeated with problems that just don't pass the sniff test.
  3. @Airbrush, since I posted a fairly extensive reply to your OP (mainly directed at your segment "Water") the other day, I am reposting in hopes of getting a reply this time. If my main point was obscured, let me just say that many techno fixes work better when scaled up to blocks or communities, simply because their per-person cost drops so much. Highly engineered systems for SFD (single-family dwellings) may be prohibitive in cost for all but the wealthy. That said, I think there are simpler water recovery options, at homes, for graywater purposes.
  4. Just quick thank you to @Peterkin and @beecee for replies to my post yesterday which a time crunch (ongoing) thwarted my replies. The issues of participation, fun, and phenotype in performance seem fractal in their complexity.
  5. I confess to some confusion over how a purely fitness-based system of eligibility in a mass-plus-strength sport would be more inclusive. Whenever I peer in here, I see good hearted people wanting to make things fair. But removal of gendered sports would instantly remove probably 90% of women from eligibility from mass-strength-fast-twitch fiber dependent games like football. Realistically, what would solve this, Small People's Football? Shotput With Delicate Arms League? Rowing with Lower Upper Body Strength League? Somehow it's hard to see high school or college kids flocking to such offerings.
  6. I think Ockham's razor is useful when evaluating cases like children claiming to have encountered aliens. Given what we know about the psychology of children, there seem to be compelling reasons to consider the ET explanation less likely. A similar response to the notion "they can't all be hoaxes" -- given what we know of the human propensity for trickery, mischief, and a vast array of schemes for self-promotion and/or boosting tourism in places with sagging economies. (And never underestimate the power of boredom, especially in a small town) Our beliefs should never be guided by something being unidentified, except in forming the belief that we may not always get sufficient data about the myriad of small anomalies that occur. I heard an odd sound last night at three a.m. The cat was out, so it wasn't the cat. Nothing in the local news next day. Spouse asleep. Probably will never know what it was. Maybe just some ordinary event, but heard half-asleep. Many things like that in everyone's life. Now multiply by 7.4 billion...
  7. One problem I often see understanding philosophy is the notion that it is a single discipline, when it is really half a dozen (axiology, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, etc.), each with its own set of logical and analytical tools. As regards some scientific undertaking, an ethicist and an epistemologist might have very different concerns, and lumping them together would be a muddy mess. The branch that is actually called "philosophy of science" is the one that is usually most relevant here, since it is concerned with how best science can shape methods for observing and understanding the world, evaluate the reliability of theories, and find what are the boundaries of science. If science was your car, PhOS would be the mechanic who understands the car's functioning and how to make repairs and keep it running well. However, if you were wanting to understand the fundamental reality of cars, you might contact the specialist in metaphysics. Or, if you wanted to know where it might be wrong to drive your car, you might contact the ethicist. But mostly, you would be looking to the PhOS specialist. Anyway, main point I'm trying to make is, it's really important not to treat philosophy as some easily demarcated singular field; much better to pick a branch and try to understand that branch.
  8. Time spent cooking is a valuable, grounding thing. Never met anyone who learned some cooking skills who regrets the time they spend cooking. We are humans, with dextrous hands and inherent creative energy, and there is joy in the art of preparing good meals. Good cooking comes from conscious beings with palates and noses, who can test for those nuances that makes a dish memorable. The idea of turning that over to a robot seems both sad and doomed to failure. And what would happen to interesting mistakes? Ones that turn out amazingly delicious, or that become a funny story in a family or social group that becomes a shared experience. I'm tired of imagining idealized futures that take all the wrinkles out of life, where all experiences are neatly prepared and scrubbed of imperfection. We need a little reminder of entropy... Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...
  9. Yes, the idea of personal sacrifice for the good of a community is one that's currently in danger of being swamped by extreme ideologies. Somewhere I was reading this social philosopher who mentioned the pizza analogy - at a party, some people grab three slices of pizza because they think the supply will run out, while others take only a single modest slice, for the same reason. We seem to have a lot of three slice grabbers dominating the conversation atm.
  10. Isn't this basically what we already have, on a mass production scale? Those who enjoy cooking still buy basic foods, chop, slice, dice, boil, saute, roast, fry, etc. Those who don't can buy already prepared frozen meals, or open a couple cans, or make a sandwich in very short time. (One wonders what sort of life is it, where one would need to save even those few minutes...not a life I'd want.) We're already to where I can make a meal with so little effort that it's hard to see the economic investment of cooking robots or whatever. Also, given the much-needed social aspect of meal preparation in familial cohesion, what would be further eroded or lost by total automation? This has real problems, given the toxic residues that lurk on shingle roofs and other exterior surfaces around SFDs. That said, a cistern system with a non-asphalt shingle roof, and a purification system that's reasonably priced, could be a big part of solving water supply woes. Could certainly help with graywater needs. Getting it to reasonable potability standards might be pretty spendy - there's a reason we do things like that on a larger scale, sometimes. Another thought, in America some of our energy woes (and housing costs woes) relate to the culturally dictated norms of square footage per person, which are fairly ridiculous. I think the so-called tiny house movement, at least in its less extreme branch, has a lot of common sense to offer in creating housing options that offer much lower energy requirements and construction costs. I know a couple who have a house that's 2200 SF. They know it's stupid, and wasteful, and encourages using some room as dumps for consumer crap they would have resisted in a smaller house. Two people can generally do well with a third that square footage. Do you really need a sewing room or a guest bedroom when you don't sew and your guests are usually ending up on the foldout couch?
  11. I really like V.S. Ramachandran's, Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind. Another good (popular) intro to the field is Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. If you want to go a little deeper, try Stanislas Dehaene, Consciousness and the Brain.
  12. The youth accused of killing 10 at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., had undergone a psychiatric evaluation, ordered by New York state police after making a school shooting threat last year. Somehow, that didn't trigger any legal safeguards that would have prevented him from purchasing an assault rifle, or crossing into another state to purchase larger magazines for it (which are illegal in NY). Even though his threats were specifically about doing a mass shooting. (Reopening this thread after three years, I wish it was to talk about what has changed in those three years. Not much, apparently.)
  13. Some of the differences in skill between players at higher levels of competition may relate to sex-related factors like fast-twitch muscle fibers and reaction times. That was discussed pretty exhaustively earlier in this megathread, IIRC. I would speculate that, in more finesse based sport, the faster RT (visual and auditory) of males would give a slight edge where things are happening really fast. But the RT studies I've seen also find that the differentials in RT between sedentary and active persons are greater than between sexes. So it would seem that RT is heavily modified by training. Historically, little boys were pushed more into sports where RT would matter, and so you'd have generations of humans where RT was modified heavily at early ages.
  14. Yeah, I was wondering if QM principles would impose a limit. If you need a charged particle to accelerate, say in an antenna, it seems like there could be some minimum energy below which electrons would simply not flow back and forth and no emf wave propagated. And there's size problems maybe, if you had a bar of metal that was light-hours in length and trying to sustain some very low energy flow. Seems like you'd have random noise wipe out any attempt at signal. Any help from physics-trained members, like @swansont, would be welcome.
  15. https://www.science.org/content/article/why-judge-might-overturn-guilty-verdict-against-u-s-scientist-hiding-china-ties Arrested in June 2019, Tao was the first academic scientist prosecuted under the China Initiative, a controversial program begun in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump that was aimed at rooting out economic espionage. However, only two of some two dozen academics charged under the initiative were ever prosecuted for espionage-related offenses; the others were generally charged with failing to disclose ties to Chinese institutions to U.S. funding agencies. U.S. universities once encouraged interactions with Chinese institutions, notes German, a vocal critic of the erstwhile China Initiative, and academics like Hu and Tao were praised for building those links. “Now the FBI is saying that all such collaborations pose serious national security risks,” German says. “But they are conflating the very real threat of economic espionage by China with collaborations on fundamental research that pose no such threat.” More on the background of the case: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-uncertain-future-for-a-chinese-scientist-accused-of-espionage More in-depth: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/03/21/have-chinese-spies-infiltrated-american-campuses This all seems like the kind of racialized Trumpist panic that kills good science and drives away the most talented. The DOJ, in all the stories I've read, seems to have a lot of agents who have little understanding of how fundamental science works, or that normal collegial exchange of information is not "theft." I'm glad the China Initiative was cancelled, but they need to bring all those misbegotten prosecutions to an end, and focus on real industrial theft and military secrets, not some guy in Kansas tinkering with ambient-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for possible future use in clean energy. This is basic research that thrives on international cooperation and the free flow of research data.
  16. I know 3-30 hz are used for submarine communications, because ELF penetrates seawater, so those are certainly detectable. Below that, I don't know of any principle that would forbid detection, but I imagine constructing a transmitter antenna would be impractical. IIRC long bolts of lightning propagate ELF. Also disturbances in Earth's magnetic field.
  17. Though I have participated minimally in this thread, with brief comments on decriminalization, I would rather not be turned into a Straw Man, or attached to other posters' positions. I have no problem with the rule of law, or control of harmful substances, be it leaded paint, horse dewormer, or crystal meth. I was referring only to end-user decriminalization, which has mountains of evidence as an effective alternative to dumping sick people in prisons or letting them OD in gutters. AFN.
  18. The libertarian ethos seems to underly a broad range of movements for social liberties. Some furphy-driven, some not. If people want something enough (maskless life, a bong, whiskey, cellphones in classrooms), they will rationalize their path towards it. Heinlein said man is not the rational animal but the rationalizing animal. One question for an ethics thread is - should we let bad ideas (furphy-driven)(love the new word, thanks, Australia) progress to failure mode on their own? IOW, are crises sometimes acceptable?
  19. Russia is resorting to putting computer chips from dishwashers and refrigerators in tanks due to US sanctions, official says https://www.businessinsider.com/us-says-russia-using-chips-from-dishwashers-in-tanks-sanctions-2022-5 Sounds like military parts shortages could be another part of eroding Russian ability to sustain this war. OTOH, the ice cream stays cold if you keep it up in the turret.
  20. https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/11/business/salton-sea-lithium-extraction/index.html Superheated brine provides easily extractable lithium to help the production of batteries for the many electric cars we need to meet future goals of carbon neutrality. The sea is a geologically interesting location, where two crustal plates grind past each other. So you get both geothermal energy (one of the world's largest geothermal fields) and future electric cars....from one puddle of hot brine. Beautiful.
  21. I would have thought it obvious that this was not my point. Rather, some percent of crimes arise from drug trade and drug need, and these would decrease. No one is suggesting we have government promote, say, meth -- just that decriminalizing some end user activity, and providing clinical safe settings with a safe (nonadulterated) product would have a net effect of lowering violence, overdoses, poisonings, jailhouse abuse of vulnerable persons, and barriers to treatment. Many users have mental health issues and would be less likely to use, and use in a dangerous way, if they had secure and nonjudgmental venues where options were there for them. Seattle, at last report, is doing well with this approach. Which I find extremely unsurprising.
  22. Yep. Goes back to Marbury v Madison, 1803. SCt decisions have the force of law, and may strike down laws that violate the Constitution. One of our most important checks in the "checks and balances" system.
  23. Isn't most illegal activity around drug use a result of the drugs being illegal in the first place? If an addict can go to a safe and secure location to obtain pure, inspected drugs and hygienic delivery systems, without stigma, where will the crime come from? No need to mug someone for quick cash or fenceable goods, to buy your next fix from a dealer. No need for rival gangs to shoot each other over streetcorner turf. No cartels dumping bodies in the desert. Vast improvement, really, to legalize use and production (for clinical use, or in controlled facilities as described above).
  24. Unenumerated rights don't exist because of SCOTUS decisions. They exist because the Constitution was amended to protect them, and that was ratified by 3/4 of the states, at minimum. Decisions clarify and make explicit what is already baked into the constitution. To articulate a right that is not articulated in the Constitution is sometimes the task of the Supreme Court. They are not creating rights, they are illuminating them. Or that was their assigned duty until recently.
  25. Yes, I'm aware of the obstacles in having scientific expertise inform policy. Possibly every member of this forum is aware. (grin) I was expressing a wish, not suggesting that anti-scientism and post-truth memes will go away anytime soon. Regarding cellphone addiction, there does seem to be a growing consensus, insofar as the young folks are concerned, i.e. the cohort that averages nine hours a day on their smartphones. If we have a thread that more fits those problems, I can probably link some research (the documentary, "The Social Dilemma," is a good jumping-off point to get a sense of the problem). Suffice it to say that gigantic corporate forces of the social media variety are going to push back hard against the data showing cognitive and psychological problems arising from their coded-to-be-addictive algorithms. And, my guess is this particular addiction, where the tender and growing minds and personalities of teens are concerned, will make all of our legal and illegal drug cornucopia look like a tiny bowl of salty cashews by comparison. But I fear I'm taking this off on a tangent. Really, I'm just trying to find a broader perspective on the idea that nothing should be criminalized while much can be recognized as harmful and worthy of allocating therapeutic resources towards. But I'm still evolving on that one.
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