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Peterkin

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Everything posted by Peterkin

  1. Certainly - with the subjects' informed consent. Same with organs: the donor should be able to specify the purposes for which they consent to have their organs used. This could also apply to tissues surgically removed. As to behaviour, observations are made all the time in treatment facilities, institutions, many work-places and schools. To what extent these data are analyzed, and to whom they are reported depends on the purpose of the observation. When psychologists conduct studies and publish the results, the identity of subjects is never revealed, to prevent any potential harm. Scientific studies, of course, need to be very strictly defined and controlled to be as bias-free as possible, while observations of office interaction require a much lower standard of precision to be useful in removing stress points or impediments to efficiency.
  2. It's not clear to me. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02495/full In the articles I've seen, the therapy is mainly for gangrene and would healing, though they've been finding it useful for emotional trauma. Don't know about chronic illness. It wouldn't work for me: I have an almost pathological dread of having to enter one of those things.
  3. I doubt it. But I can see the underwater environment having a soothing effect, the same way a forest does: the green, diffused light, in particular may be responsible. Plus the lightness of body and ease of movement, the solitude, absence of pressure to conform and the expectations of other people. Other people can be extremely trying, even if one is well adjusted; if one has emotional issues, the fear of judgment is an additional burden. Deep salt water lifts a lot of that burden, both actually and metaphorically. I'm not sure you can always draw a clear distinction between psychological and physiological effects.
  4. For a while. You don't see a lot of horse-drawn carriages and buggies on the roads (Mennonite regions excepted, and there, they're restricted to the gravel shoulder, so as not to impede car traffic.) There comes a time when enough of the infrastructure has adapted to the incoming technology that it becomes more costly and inconvenient to keep using the old.
  5. I think that's a very limited perspective. The gridlock is not due to an insufficiency of roads, but to heavy reliance on personal vehicles. However roads are built, more cars make more trips and spew out more CO2. That's inefficient, unintelligent use of the roads. If you built more roads, they'd fill up in a few years, blocking migration routes, cutting habitats in half, killing wildlife and endangering one another. Why is there even a "rush hour" in every city? Where on Moses' tablets does it say everyone has to live on the outskirts of a city and work in the center from 9 to 5 every weekday? Why are cities so badly designed and organized? It's an erroneous one. The general idea for autonomous cars, atm, is to provide cheap taxi service. At least that's the plan in China. That, of course, would reduce the number of cars downtown. They'd still have to spend a lot of money on something that sits idle most of the time. Having robotaxis on call would be way more convenient: you'd still get to surf the net, without the hassle of looking a parking space at the end each little trip. The robotaxis themselves would be on the road most of the time, doing the work of a hundred private vehicles. Anyway, it's all speculative. What will be will be. You sure can build a mountain!
  6. Better than the 1980 miniseries? I'll see it as soon it's streaming - we don't go to movie theaters.
  7. That was the Nixon strategy. Reefer Madness predates that by about three decades or more. At first, cannabis was the main target, in order to aggrandize and enrich the He used Jim Crow and fear of Mexican migrants to promote the ant-drug agenda. When prohibition ended, the FBI and Customs police were facing cuts to their budget and power. They jumped right on board, waging valiant battle against a new bogeyman. That the subsequent disproportionately harsh sentencing happened to damage the nonconformist subcultures was a bonus; the vast amounts of money and manpower suddenly available to law-enforcement was the real payoff. The infamous movie Not unusual in other areas, either. Can you imagine how The Law would react if Leon D. Washington uttered as many threats as Donald J. Trump has?
  8. It would be a derail to go into detail here. Suffice to say, I had extensive radiation and chemo therapy for stage III squamous cell carcinoma of the throat in 2008. I was unable to swallow any solid food for several months; was feeble and miserable. Medical marijuana might have helped, at least with the nausea, but none of my doctors prescribed it. Touchy subject under a conservative government - they tend to make wars on things that don't hurt anybody, to collect in the religious vote. Besides, I sure wasn't about to start smoking again three months after quitting. It comes in tincture for vaping, but not a form you can add to the nutritional liquid muck in a feeding tube, so it wouldn't have been much use to me anyhow. What did help some was club soda.
  9. I couldn't; had a feeding tube for six months. But pot didn't become legal and readily available until several years too late. Mary Jane was never a culprit; only a scapegoat - the whole reefer madness mania was a farce.
  10. Yes, it seems the situation keeps developing. Last I heard, Level 6 autonomy was not yet cleared to roam free without human supervision; only under testing conditions. That may already have changed. In Ontario, it's still a pilot program, under strict regulations. Some states seem to have permitted Level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles and several have not yet drafted the pertinent legislation. Then the autonomous car would be reduced to calling for help, just like a human driver. Only, it would happen less frequently, because the autonomous vehicle never leaves its storage garage less than fully charged (while many human drivers leave home with less than half a tank, assuming fill-up opportunities along the way). They would unobtrusively listen in on weather, traffic and road condition reports at all times and be warned in time to avoid the detour, as a human driver rarely is. The dangers and foreseeable problems are very similar to those confronting all drivers - minus fatigue, distraction, diminished capacity due to emotion or chemicals. The possible sources of danger include mechanical malfunction, error, infraction and bad judgment by other drivers, weather, sudden hazards like runaway cattle or truck wheels - plus hostile action by humans who resent autonomous vehicles. Certainly, the problems are real - but then, they already exist. Some will be solved, some won't, as has always been the situation. Change happens: some people welcome it, some don't, but it happens anyway.
  11. That's not difficult. My outmoded cellphone indicates the level of battery charge and signals when it needs to be plugged in. As all autonomous cars will eventually be electric, they already "know" when a charge is/will be required. They also have GPS and there is no magic to an app showing where the charging stations are. Automatic debit or credit payments are also common. Pretty soon, too, the charging stations will be robotic, so the passenger need not even insert the plug. https://www.roboticparking.com/ In fact, you can do that a hundred times, since the fully driverless incarnations are not yet allowed on public roads without a human pilot. You can already choose a number of destinations for your GPS; no reason your car can't remember your usual commute, shopping and family outings. For tour-buses, it's a piece of cake. What you can't anticipate are routes and destinations for robotaxis and delivery vehicles.
  12. Superficially, yes. But people brought up in Saudi don't adapt so readily to the Finnish sauna and westerners sojourning in Arab countries regularly run afoul of alcohol laws. Even when they overcome, intellectually, the taboos of their native culture and assume the mores of a more permissive one, the deep shame regarding body, sexuality, profanity, unclean food, etc is never wholly erased; whereas, moving from a liberal to an authoritarian environment, they may obey the letter of the law and keep up appearances, but never develop a sense of shame if they get away breaking a rule. Dogs, btw, don't seem to be abashed unless they're caught in wrongdoing. Sometimes they'll even pretend innocence in the very teeth of overwhelming evidence. It's easier to adapt in childhood and becomes more difficult to impossible as a person grows older in an environment where some behaviours carry social stigma. It's not all that easy, breaking older dogs of learned behaviour patterns, either. There are other factors besides age: intelligence, imagination (have you always secretly or overtly questioned the validity of your culture's mores?) subservience/emotional dependency on others; the consistency of early indoctrination and how stringently it was enforced in your formative years; the level of disapproval you've encountered from peers...
  13. Or Mao or the Fatherland or King George. So? The root of organized religion is patriarchy. The Father is the arbiter of right and wrong, virtue and vice, pride and shame. It's still early, internalized socialization.
  14. Even if we accept that a psychologist can read what's encoded in DNA, all that means is that shame is an evolutionary adjunct of socialization. It is exhibited by dogs, who have no religion beyond reverence for the human master, who makes and enforces the rules which puppies internalize and they make the appropriate gestures of shame when caught in a transgression. Parrots don't, and they're arguably smarter than dogs, but less obedient.
  15. I can't see why you would put shame at the center of religion. Shame is a secondary emotion, a byproduct of indoctrination. Whatever rules a society has for the demeanour and behaviour of its members is taught to the young in their most impressionable formative years. Whatever they were consistently punished for in early childhood, they internalize as a taboo. In effect, we all carry some version of a police force inside our heads. The same rules are lodged in our neighbours' , colleagues' and rivals' minds; they're always watching and judging and shaming. We fear the threat of censure, of exclusion, of derision and shunning. This is the most cost-effective way to insure relatively smooth operation of a society. In that sense, yes, it's a survival strategy. Religion is later superimposed to lend more weight to the rules: a supernatural carrot and stick enforcement of social norms.
  16. People are working on this. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437522001268 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437522001268 The road surface can be divided for different uses, with barriers between vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian lanes. Just as commuter trains are now separated from roads. Private vehicles - autonomous and human-driven - can be restricted to roadways to which pedestrians have no access. If a tree falls on the rails, trains can be warned (though it's unlikely, as the verges of the rail lines are usually kept clear) in a timely fashion. If there is construction, signs are usually posted and car traffic directed around or through it - autonomous vehicles would be no exception. At this time, those 30 million cars are either not yet on th open road, or not really autonomous Some gaps still need to be filled and some bugs combed out.
  17. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/17/1006495476/after-50-years-of-the-war-on-drugs-what-good-is-it-doing-for-us None. It's unthinking fear. "Drugs" as a boogeyman has been a specter in American life for so long that the very word conjures up evil cabals and ruthless cartels. It tends to prompt otherwise nice people to demonize a wide swathe of their fellow citizens and vote for 'law-and-order' (aka conservative) candidates. It's not values or virtues; it's fear. Meanwhile, the "war" on drugs (aka war on the poor) has been an excuse for militarizing the police and brutalizing the justice system. Overall, not a very positive effect on society. Sensible laws in classifying substances and legalizing the relatively harmless recreational ones. Making arrests and sentences proportional to the degree of involvement in trafficking. Making safer alternatives and rehabilitation available to addicts. And the hard one: improving the standard and quality of life so that fewer people need an escape from their reality. There would be one less thing for people to worry about and one less excuse for police to harass and shoot them. Plenty more bad staff left to make life difficult.
  18. That includes taxis, shuttles and delivery vehicles, as well as the personal transportation ones that are still required to have a human driver.It's difficult to get specific numbers, as most of the available articles lump in all uses and levels of autonomy. Most of those are still operating under test conditions, either on the manufacturers' own course or participating in monitored pilot programs; they are still mainly owned by the makers, not individual licensees. This includes commercial vehicles, though many of those are already owned by . As for the Chinese ones, so far they're mainly taxis, with limited availability. I didn't realize this was football. The technology, and the various governments', enterprises' and citizens' response to it are evolving. I didn't claim that any issues had been resolved or are soon to be resolved - in fact, I raised a couple of problems pending. I merely suggested some ways in which the problems can be avoided or minimized in the future, assuming a co-ordinated long term plan. No, they're not. They were all built in the middle ages or before, designed for defence, rather than efficient rapid movement of private motorized transports, as much of the US road system was. Another difference is how much municipalities are willing and able to spend on public facilities and how much power they have to enact changes.
  19. Not really. The self-driving vehicles are not exclusively, or even predominantly, personal or rental cars: there are already automated buses and trucks on the road. I have predicted that, after the gradual takeover by autonomous vehicle is complete, all the roads will be safer. I realize that, although the incompatibility problem faded away, traffic safety did not improve after gas-fuelled cars took over from horse-powered ones, but I believe the situations differ in several significant ways: we are already set up for cars, so the signage and rules don't need substantial change; the automated cars won't speed; they're as capable of finding their way home when the human passenger is incapacitated as horses were. It has been suggested - and not only by me - that the mass transit system be automated. That's separate from general private traffic - which also needs regulation and co-ordination with the public transit. But it is an enormous investment to upgrade a system. This changeover would have to be introduced all at once, system-wide, not piecemeal year by year. The question remains whether a municipality can raise the necessary funds. And the reaction of residents to any innovation is always a question. As they are objecting to automated taxis, they may well object to any kind change that entails public spending and imposes limits on their accustomed freedom of movement. There is no reason that buses and subways can't be sequestered from pedestrian walkways, as they already are, with designated points to board and alight from them. Rental or shuttle cars can pick their fares up at one location, travel along the sequestered vehicle lanes and stop at the destination, without incursions into the bicycle lane or walkway, or shopping promenade. There is no need for private vehicles to be allowed in the city center. They can be restricted to designated vehicle-only roads, as several European cities have already done. Technically, these are not real problems. The problems come in human form.
  20. The two big questions regarding major change in traffic regulations: What will it cost? How will people react? Some cities have made great improvements already.
  21. Why? Autonomous mass transit is perfectly feasible. The autonomous trucks don't need any more roads; there are way too many roads already. Of course I know what you're fretting about. You think the only way to be free is the Davy Crockett way. Well, he was an ass. Having a constitution ought to mean that laws are based on the welfare of the entire polity, not that some people run off with a fragment of text and do whatever the hell thy like, because they have a powerful lobby and craven, corrupt politicians. if I'm emotional, it's about people exercising their gun rights school-children. I have no designs on their doors, nor on their houses, or whatever other property you're worried about. Just the guns. That's not negotiable. And be warned: I'll be demilitarizing the police next. Yep. Pretty soon, I'll demand to see those kids who have not been gunned down in their classroom properly fed and given adequate medical care, even if their parents are poor. Catastrophe is sure to follow. He's an ass, too.
  22. Not necessarily. Autonomous vehicles are trucks, buses, subways and trains, Not necessary: I'll have my robocops catch them in the act, videotape them and slap a hefty fine on them for disrupting traffic. Quite the strong reaction to an offhand joke. Okay, I'll respond seriously. First: the US constitution is not the only one in the world - ours doesn't allow everybody and his five-year-old to own assault rifles. Second: that amendment clearly requires a "well-regulated militia" and that's not what I saw on January 6. Half a sentence doth not holy writ make. Third: a grass roots movement can't accomplish anything against entrenched NRA and arms manufacturer backed politicians. Fourth: I have nothing against their doors; it's just the guns I don't want to leave lying around. If they want to kill one another badly enough, let them use golf clubs, kitchen knives, baseball bats and hammers - direct, personal methods, with implements that have a positive use when it's not being a weapon. At least they won't be able to use cars as weapons, once the autonomous driver takes over. (I may have slipped a bit off the serious near the end...) They already have. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/06/11/what-rupert-murdoch-owns/71089066/ Okay. Not sure how that works in a city, but it could. I'm all for distributed local production of all essentials, including energy and food. Democracy and autonomy would be nice, too. So would equality and social justice. Well, you can't have everything, but at least you get to keep your gun.... for now...
  23. A very well known and established effect. https://tpoc.ca/ Cats and dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses are used to help patients with a range of physical and emotional problems. The soothing rhythm of petting a cat or bunny tends to reduce stress, slow hear-rate, lower blood pressure and cure headaches. I knew a cat, way back in the 1970's that was taken on regular visits to a nursing home, cheering and comforting the residents. I have more recently known an Irish wolfhound who helped people with long recovery/rehabilitation after traumatic injuries. Physiotherapy can be painful and tiring; patients, especially children, get fed up with the exercises. While they could lean the big dog, they didn't mind the effort. Grooming a horse has the same effect: you're less aware that it's exercise. Also prison programs https://sites.bu.edu/daniellerousseau/2018/08/15/prison-dog-training-programs-rehabilitate-canines-and-cons/ It's not just rewarding, but therapeutic for humans to interact with other species.
  24. True. But low-speed collisions are less often fatal. Also, the wide open road is a clear and constant invitation to speed, pass and take stupid chances. (I know: I live on an ordinary two-lane highway, and even that can be hair-raising on Friday and Sunday evenings.) Lots of them http:// https://www.tuvsud.com/en-us/industries/mobility-and-automotive/automotive-and-oem/autonomous-driving and the one I linked yesterday
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