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Everything posted by TheVat

  1. Consider the operation you do on the 5:3:2. Can you see what you might do to that result to obtain the volume given? Remember this is a cube.
  2. A liitle trouble following here. Does this relate to Prigogine and self-organizing systems? So rather than a world where pure classical chemistry prevailed, fully deterministic, and maybe the complex chemistry of life would not have developed, we needed the unpredictable but still deterministic chaotic systems of quantum superpositions of all possible arrangements? Would this increase the chances of ACGT bits colliding and starting RNA strands? The primordial pond tends toward states that are more organized?
  3. I take @joigus point, that we don't need hyperbole to talk about the problems of Gaza. A place with its unique blend of economic corsets, Malthusian crisis, failed governance, rotting infrastructure, doesn't need to be a concentration camp to be a place of blighted opportunities and overcrowding. This wiki entry speaks to the troubles and abuse Palestinians have received when seeking free movement... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_freedom_of_movement When a woman in labor is denied passage and has a miscarriage at a border checkpoint, such a story becomes a catalyst that amplifies anger and despair. Israel has operated those checkpoints in a brutal manner that creates thousands of such stories over the years, feeding the hatred. The population explosion aspect also points to the flawed logic of any political and/or religious faction that tries outbreeding its perceived enemy. Both ultraconservative Jews and Muslims have factions that tried this, an insane tactic in a desert land with low biological carrying capacity and narrow borders. As @J.C.MacSwell and others note, Hamas doesn't care about Palestinians but rather about keeping its own ranks well-stocked with young and impressionable cannon fodder. I can see no path to peace so long as all these toxic ideological forces continue to feed each other.
  4. Let me see if I'm following this. Noncommuting, this means a measurement can change the state, right ? If we have observations A and B, we have two observables A and B that fail to commute, it is to say there is an eigenvector (direction) of A that it is not an eigenvector of B. So then an interaction with B isn't just some passive uncovering of preexisting information, but is an interaction that can change the state in question.
  5. When the birthrate soars to where the average age is 18, that's usually a strong indicator that women are extremely oppressed in a society - basically chattel for breeding. And when you're at that point demographically then bad governance is perpetuated. Throw in confinement to a small space and it's a recipe for Calhoun's behavioral sink. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_sink Again, while acknowledging the horror that is Hamas, I do not absolve Israel of its role in the past century of oppression and displacement. And creating that sink. Apparently when one calls on Israel for moral accountability, everything one has said will be falsely framed by someone as sympathy for Hamas or anti-Semitism.
  6. If Patrick McGoohan, as Number Six, had really been a "free man" wouldn't he have selected a piece of cutlery from his kitchen and taken it along on his beach runs in order to puncture that giant angry balloon? Clearly something was keeping him from choosing escape strategies that he wanted to try. My theory is that all his actions were dictated by an invisible being called a screenwriter.
  7. A bachelor, then. 😀 One reason I resist adopting a firm stance on free will (and why I've minimized participating in this chat) is that no position really seems to resolve any issues in life or in the mysteries of cognitive science. Some like to strike bold philosophical postures, but at the end of the day, if they haven't gone insane, they still behave as beings who make decisions and are held responsible for them.
  8. I posted on this a week ago in the neighboring free will thread, with an article comparing Sapolsky book to another book, which was compatibilist. (I'm not rejoining the discussion, just adding a bit of background reading) The floating quote function has removed the quoted portion within that quote, sorry.
  9. Humility would serve you well. If someone can't understand you, putting the onus entirely on them is unreasonable when you possess the intelligence to meet them halfway with your own clarification and employment of the common parlance. As it is, you come across as cute but a bit solipsistic.
  10. I remain highly skeptical that LLMs can skirt the symbol grounding problem. They are handling semantically empty signifiers and this won't change unless their deepest architecture could somehow become self-renovating and reactive to the world in a manner that....well then they would not really still be LLMs in any meaningful sense. I am not saying an artificial semantics is flat out impossible, but it seems to me something that arises when an entity must survive and adapt to the world (though not necessarily in our particular human ways of doing so) and exist in an evolutionary relationship to other entities. But I'll read Bajohr's paper, beyond the intro, and see what is meant by "dumb meaning." It sounds pretty fuzzy. Thanks for keeping the thread going btw.
  11. 1971. From an easily searched online source, which took me about 30 seconds to find: Hall thrusters have been flying in space since December 1971, when the Soviet Union launched an SPT-50 on a Meteor satellite. Over 240 thrusters have flown in space since that time, with a 100% success rate. Hall thrusters are now routinely flown on commercial LEO and GEO communications satellites, where they are used for orbital insertion and stationkeeping... 🙄
  12. For those following, I thought it might be useful to define the acronym RCP 8.5 which is being used here. RCP 8.5 is one several scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways) that yields a particular concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. RCP 8.5 is the concentration of carbon that delivers global warming at an average of 8.5 watts per square meter across the planet. (at the surface, at noon on a summer day in the temperate zone, we get about 1000 w/m2 total insolation - I got this figure from Woods Hole) The RCP 8.5 pathway delivers a temperature increase of about 4.3˚C by 2100, relative to pre-industrial temperatures. RCP 8.5 is often contrasted with RCP 2.6, which would deliver a total warming of about 1.8˚C by 2100. @Ken Fabian has neatly summarized all the political and market forces that are smoothing the path for renewables and decreasing the chances of the dystopian RCP 8.5 scenario. I would only add that the driver of an alternative like wind is its fundamental simplicity and ease of construction once production of components is scaled up. There's something almost surreal about looking back at the history of power generation and seeing how humanity breezed (npi) right past a 19th century technology that ran on free fuel.
  13. Quite serious vulnerability. If LLM bots are trained on personal information, breaches of their training data could reveal bank logins, home addresses, embarrassing images, etc. There could be lawsuits ahead if training data is not properly anonymized.
  14. Hopeful there won't be too many pissing contests in the humidity thread. Comfort does seem very subjective, based on my experience living on a high arid steppe. Ms Vat and I have gotten so acclimated that when we travel east to someplace like Omaha it feels like driving into a Lousiana swamp. The thread has prompted me to think more about getting a humidifier, for the sake of skin and mucous membranes in the winter. Piano hygrometer was at 20 this morning. Came up to 22 after we boiled water for oats and made coffee, so kitchen activity doesn't make a big difference.
  15. Melting all polar ice and glaciers would involve an enormous volume - estimates I've seen are around 70m further sea level rise. https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/how-would-sea-level-change-if-all-glaciers-melted Clearly this would be an extreme scenario involving a runaway feedback effect made of various specific effects of reduced ice cover, e.g. albedo drop, release and dissociation of methane hydrates, particulates (both microbial and inorganic) blowing out of ancient bogs and other thawed permafrost, methane from thawed organic material decomposing, and others. As for tectonic processes that @studiot mentioned, yes, lots of unknowns there. I will try to dig a bit more into that USGS estimate, given that it's a little higher than some.
  16. GAZA = BAKERSFIELD Was curious how small Gaza is, given the frequent and quite credible use of the word crammed to describe conditions of the people there. 140 square miles. So it is the size of Bakersfield CA. Bakersfield has 400,000 people, who can come and go from there, and is surrounded by accessible open land and a nation which it is part of. Gaza has 2.2 million people, penned in like animals. And they are currently confined to about half of that land area, due to the wholesale destruction of North Gaza. So it is currently a state with about ten times the population density of Bakersfield. In its better days, it was five times. Its largest city, Gaza City, was more tightly packed than New York City, with more than 650,000 people living within its 18 square miles. Gaza City had triple the population density of Washington DC, twice the density of San Francisco. These other cities, of course, have orders of magnitude more wealth and infrastructure tailored to handling a dense population and robust supply chains bringing in food and amenities. So this leads me to wonder, as bombing has now resumed by Israel, of the southern part of Gaza, where are all these civilians supposed to flee to while the war continues.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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?)
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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