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Posts posted by bombus

  1. I found it surprising for the exact same reason that bascule found it surprising -- Lou Dobbs is a die-hard, stalwart conservative.


    Even if I disagree with him (which isn't at ALL a conclusion I've drawn at this point in time), I'd still respect his ability to look beyond his ideology.


    Would you say he's a traditional conservative as opposed to a neo-conservative? If so that would probably explain it. Trad Cons like value for money as much as anyone!

  2. The USA makes heart pacemakers which are sold to European healthcare systems/citizens for £5000 dollars each, but they are sold to US citizens for £35,000 each! Heard it today on Radio 4 (link below)




    This is a good documentary - mostly about the credit crunch but mentions the US healthcare issue towards the end (at 26:00 mins - you can go straight there)

  3. Any measurement causes wave function collapse. The rest is semantics and philosophy (about whether or not observer must be "conscious"), and can safely be dismissed.


    I'm sorry to harp on about this, but no they cannot be safely dismissed, and the interpretation of the results is only 'semantics and philosophy' because many (most?) QM physicists simply don't engage with the implications of QM experimental results. It's perfectly possible to 'cook with quanta' and produce lasers, processors, solid state electonics etc without ever having to assess what one is 'actually' doing. What one IS doing is the mystery and does have profound implications that result in very 'unbelieveable' scientific explanations.


    I suggest all who disagree with me read John Gribbins 'In search of scrodingers cat'. The author very well sums up the background, nature and implications of Quantum Theory. If you are familiar with QM you might wish to skip to Chapter 10: The Proof of the Pudding.


    Since I can never know the outcome of an experiment until I look at it (by definition) I can never say when the wavefunction collapsed - I can say that it has (since I have measured a distinct value) and I can say whether the system had experienced decoherence. I cannot tell the difference, in principle, between the copenhagen interpretation, many worlds, or a quantum decoherence induced collapse.


    That is why the Copenhagen Interpretation is just an interpretation. There is no way to test it, so it is really just philosophy.


    This is for the most part correct, but the interpretations have come about from rigorous scientific experiment, so it is perhaps a little unfair to say its simply 'philosophy'. Also one should remember that science is a form of philosophy anyway...

  4. My analogy is valid. In the year 1012, some experiments were outside of what current physics could explain. So a possible interpretation would be "God did it". While fine at the time, we have now learned that "God did it" is unfalsifiable, meaning you can throw anything to God and nobody can tell you it's false. (since then, people redefine God's intervention to fit this).


    You seem to give interpretations and models some power. They have NONE. NONE. I see a tree and my interpretation is it was beamed by Scotty. It's mine, I believe in it and I may or may not be a crackpot (*). If I find more people to believe this load then what I have is religion not truth.


    *) This one of the straw men you throw along with the other fallacies. What you do here is make an unjustified parallel between being wrong and being a crackpot. I can be sane AND wrong. E.g. I ask if you took my lighter and you reply "I'm not a thief! You think I'm a thief?". You might have taken it by mistake, that means that you are not a thief AND you have my lighter.


    Also, I screamed it once and I'll scream it again. Appeal to authority. Just because X believes something _has_zero_bearing_on_reality_ or truth. The summed up opinion of all the humanity equals zero. Unless there's proof, a theory, falsifiable text, it means nothing. If Michael Jordan thinks I can win against O'Neill in 1-on-1 does NOT make it so.


    You forget that 90% of the 7 billion believe they were put here by deity? (or did at some point). Did that make a difference? If Einstein said he believed in the flying spaghetti monster, would that make it real? And don't fall in the trap of "more" true. Making it believable doesn't make it more true.




    See, there's the problem. You confer this interpretation thing power. It has none. Someone sees some light in the window. Their interpretation is "OMG it's a ghost". The complete sum of all interpretations precisely null.




    You seem to round off corners of concepts. If a sentence is unfalsifiable then it's unfalsifiable. If someone comes up with something that determines/falsifies it then we were wrong in calling it unfalsifiable.


    _Unbreakable_ means unbreakable. Actually unbreakable. Don't confuse it with "hard to break" "I can't break it" or "nobody has ever broken one". The former are theoretical concepts, they have sharp corners.


    Implying something is true means nothing. Tomorrow someone proves if untrue and all your implications are zero. Tomorrow someone proves if true and all your implications are still zero, because it's trube sinceproven, not implied.




    I mean that the person in a white coat that did the experiment never said that the world blinks when you close your eyes or that the particle knows it's being watched. If he/she did, s/he should have the license removed.


    I think that someone twisted "it works as if the particle knew" oversimplification for the masses and turned into "there is a bond between our consciousnesses".






    Interpretations explain nothing. Interpretations are imaginary tales based on the facts. We have them because it helps us conceive the future experiments.


    I see a tree. My interpretation is it's Gods' hands who planted it. Thus I make an interpretation model in which a huge hand plants it. This is falsifiable. How? I wait and see. Later, a new tree grows with zero huge hands. Into the bin it goes. Total value if the interpretation? Zero.


    The only thing it helped me with is hint at an experiment that will ruin it. I do it. I ruin it. The more I try and don't ruin it, the closer it's assumed to be to the truth.


    You see, if it's unfalsifiable I can't do an experiment. It's an axe with no blade.


    I suggest you look up the work of David Bohm, John Bell, Bernard d'Espagnat, and John Wheeler.

  5. Of course this is a coup - by the rich, powerful elites - as ever. Zelaya was a champion of the poor, and that just will not do.








    Photos of the coup here. As ever the army beats up the poor.



  6. That's all pretty wierd if you ask me.


    I can't think of anything more wierd actually, can you?


    'Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it' - Neils Bohr


    He was right then, and still is now.


    The whole universe can be thought of as a delayed choice experiment in which the existence of observers who notice what is going on is what imparts tangible reality to the origin of everything - John Gribbin 1984

  7. I don't expect anyone to provide proof of anything in speculations and psuedoscience - it is the only place in the forum where one can float 'crazy' ideas, HOWEVER, I think the issue here is that a GRAND UNIFIED THEORY needs to define how all the fundamental forces can be explained in terms of a single field. Just saying all are unified in the atom does not help because, Yes, of course they are unified in the atom and everywhere else in the universe, but HOW is the question. If you can answer that (preferably in mathematics) then you will be genius.


    Apologies if I have misunderstood you.

  8. OK.


    Are we saying that artificial intelligence/consciousness (perhaps not the same thing?) could theoretically be achieved (according to some schools of thought) by a computational system comprised of ANYTHING. So long as the system functions it could be slaves in labyrinths, water in complex pipe networks, lights and mirrors, ballbearings rails and gravity...


    Is this correct?


    Darn it - wrong thread....!


    Actually, maybe not. I have an idea forming.

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    A different thread (now mysteriously closed) highlighted that according to some theories of computation a computer could be made up of almost anything i.e., iot doesnt have to be electrons passing through a processor. It could be totally mechanical, or ball bearings in tubes under gravity, water in pipes, anything.


    Is it possible that particles, planets, suns, solar systems, held together by gravity could constitute a computable system - hence the universe being a huge 'computer'?

  9. Cite? i.e. support for this statement?


    Eddington - 1939: The philosophy of physical science: Tarner lectures 1938 Cambridge University Press


    W. Heisenberg: Über den anschaulichen Inhalt der quantentheoretischen Kinematik und Mechanik. In: Zeitschrift für Physik. 43 1927, S. 172–198.


    W. Heisenberg (1930), Physikalische Prinzipien der Quantentheorie (Leipzig: Hirzel). English translation The Physical Principles of Quantum Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1930).


    Gribbon, J (1984) In search of Scrodinger cat: London. Black Swan


    This is patently obvious anyway.

  10. GutZ, you're not wrong there.


    However, the Uncertainly Principle is that electrons (or any sub-atomic particles) cannot have a definite momentum AND position. This is sometimes attributed to being a problem of hidden variables that detectors are not accurate enough to detect, or because the detection device itself affects the result, but while this is true enough, it's actually an intrinsic quality of reality at the sub-atomic level. There is simply no such thing as an electron (or any sub-atomic particle) that possesses both a precise momentum and a precise position. Heisenburg stated 'We cannot know as a matter of principle, the present in all its details'.


    The Uncertainly principle does not work backwards in time though. An electron can be shown to have had both precise momentum and position in the past - i.e., we can know as a matter of principle the past in all its details.'

  11. That doesn't seem like a remotely accurate characterization of D H to me, and I don't know how you could possibly get that from that post in particular. And since I happen to think his assessment of ICH is dead on, you're pretty much calling me all those names as well, though I'll decline to duel. I will say that that description ironically pretty well describes how you come across to me, though, just with a few words switched around. ICH certainly seems like a prime example of a highly filtered, highly simplistic black and white alternate reality, where "the West" is to blame for literally everything bad. "Ha ha ha!"


    It is highly filtered as it's primary purpose is to offer an alternative to mainstram corporate media (even though many of the articles are taken from the more highbrow mainstream media) and emphasise reports that hardly see the light of day otherwise. As I am sure I have said in the past, I take in news and information from many places, CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, and this is just one other place. Anyway, Fox News is way more whacko - does anyone with brains watch it seriously!?


    I am not in any way an extremist. Questioning total trust in the free market, the role of western secret services in foreign lands, the legal legitimacy of wars, or the fairness of global free trade (etc) does not make me an extremist. It just means I want a better more peaceful world.


    If you want a story from a site even you can trust, try here:




    Just coincidence?

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    Typical. This is of course a non sequitur. You are once again using logical fallacies.


    Incorrect. Not a logical fallacy at all. I disagree with your opinion there.


    To answer your question: No. Think of it this way: If they (whoever "they" are) wanted to rig an election, would they have made it a clear victory or a would they have made it the absolute mess that it was? The simplest explanation for the 2000 election is that our election system (in fact, any election system) is flawed.


    In your opinion, not mine however. Read Greg Palast's book 'the best democracy money can buy'


    Do you think he's a whacko?


    The different between Bush and Gore in Florida was considerably smaller than the error in the system. As any scientist or engineer knows, there is no way to infer anything from a measurement that is much smaller than the noise.


    Yeah, especially when so many black people were denied the vote in Jed Bush's state!


    The winner-take-all approach that dominates the US Presidential election process demands that we do just that in the case of very close elections.


    If that's what you choose to believe, so be it.



    If the article fits the wacko bias of the sole proprietor of that site, that is. America is plagued by wackos of all sorts: Some from the left, some from the right, and some, from beyond Pluto. ICH is one of those beyond-Pluto sites.


    Please provide proof that he is a 'whacko' - or does 'whacko' mean someone who holds different political and moral opinions to you?


    And then he went off the deep end. He is a 911 conspiracy nut, for example. Only a person who knows absolutely nothing about strength of materials could write complete drivel like this: "I will begin by stating what we know to be a solid incontrovertible scientific fact. We know that it is strictly impossible for any building, much less steel columned buildings, to “pancake” at free fall speed. Therefore, it is a non-controversial fact that the official explanation of the collapse of the WTC buildings is false." (Also at ICH; no link, as I prefer not to link to crackpot sources.)


    Your incredulity appears to be based on opinion, not facts. Your choice to believe 911 is all above board is your's to make. There are many - not all cranks or whacko's - who disagree. But let's not digress.

    He might have been very good 15 years ago. He lost it since then.

    In your OPINION. Some may think he's seen the light.




    A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi, Montazeri, and the westernized youth of [sic] Terhan.

    Every source I have read, watched, or listened to makes a point to say that Mousavi was a key player in the Iranian revolution and was the Iranian Prime Minister during most of the 1980s. The article gets off on a very biased and false footing with the opening sentence.


    A false footing? I think not sir. Proof please.


    Bombus: Please name legitimate commentators who have "expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi".


    I didn't write the article for a start, and the author is clearly being a little sarcastic. Is that lost on you? He is inferring media bias. Can you not even detect the media bias?


    I suggest you read this (uh oh another Whacko site!)





    The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed.

    Iran itself said it would take a long time to count the votes. See, for example, http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/06/12/rivals-in-iran-both-claim-victory-in-election/: "Iran's state news agency is reporting that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won re-election, but a reformist rival is also claiming victory. The rival claims came even before the close of polls on Friday. Official results are not expected until Saturday."


    All this is explained in the article. Read itagain.


    Also note that Ahmadinejad also claimed victory before the polls closed. Did Roberts report this? Of course not, because that delegitimizes his silly claims.


    Again, I suggest you re-read the article. Once the opposition declare victory its a race agasinst time for the other side to do likewise as the longer the delay the more it looks like they are fixing the result.



    However, there are credible reports that the CIA has been working for two years to destabilize the Iranian government.

    First off, invoking the CIA is the bread and butter of conspiracy nuts.


    Yes, and conspiracy theorists who are quite sane invoke the CIA as well, because its what the CIA do. You do know that the CIA armed and trained Osama Bin Laden?


    Paul Roberts has turned into a conspiracy nut. Secondly, even if this is true it has nothing to do with whether the election was rigged. They are separate issues.


    Note the word NUT always comes after the word Conspiracy with you:-) Some conspiracies just happen to be true. History proves this.


    How can you say even if this is true it has nothing to do with whether the election was rigged. They are separate issues.

    They are quite obviously linked????


    For example, neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman wrote the day before the election that “there’s talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” How would Timmerman know that unless it was an orchestrated plan?

    Or Timmerman might have said that because long, long in advance of the election the Mousavi campaign had adopted green as their official color. This was widely reported. It was not just privy information to the Illuminati.


    So the opposition chose green - since when does choosing a colour = revolution?

  12. Some of the talk in this thread about Iranians with guns is very stupid.


    Iranians are not Arabs.


    Yes you are correct. My father was talking of people in the middle-east in general - it was my mistake to call Iranians arabs. (In fact the word Iran has the same roots as Aryan - Iranians are an Aryan people)

  13. Wait... did you say "evidence for a conscious universe?" Where exactly was that, again? I must have missed it. :rolleyes:



    Maybe people would be more accepting of your ideas/speculations if you weren't so crude in your response to/more accepting of their valid criticisms.

    Again... you openly conceded that that what you put forth couldn't be argued and couldn't be proven correct/incorrect. I rest my case.


    Ahem, shall I repeat it?

    Maybe you like to discuss things without knowing the background or context?


    Game, set and match to me I think.

  14. It doesn't matter that you're posting in P&S. The point is that you've put forward an idea which is COMPLETELY non-helpful in an argument. It brings NOTHING to the discussion, which you've implicitly conceded. So, it's a waste of space and readers time.


    Nobody is telling you that you cannot discuss this, or put forth ideas. The issue is that you're positing things which can be neither proven nor disproven, so it's NOT science... not even pseudoscience.


    It's a Speculation. And other scientists have speculated it:




    How can it be completely non-helpful when we are talking about evidence for a conscious universe? That is Panpsychism. Maybe you like to discuss things without knowing the background or context?

  15. The tone of the article, general skeptical attitude and the fact that they don't site any sources.


    OK. You can check out the facts yourself though.


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    Regardless of source bias and conspiracy theory, the general points about Mousavi being questionably better than the current regime and the accusations of vote fraud (and corresponding questions over whether those claims are accurate) are generally sound and well-reported on in the media. Let's move the conversation back to those starting points, please.


    Thanks Pangloss. I'm not even saying I agree with the articles but some have gone mad about whatever I suggest they consider - yet again. I appreciate your open mindedness and sense of fairness.

  16. Nonsense.


    If that's what you think, that's fine. I simply don't know enough to judge.


    Do you think that the Bush/Gore election was rigged in the US?


    Admittedly not such a nice guy.

    Have you ever had to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of evils? I see you are from Wales, so you don't get to vote for your Prime Minister. Suppose you did, but also suppose that Oliver Cromwell won the day. Rather than singing that Cromwell lay buried and dead, you would pay tribute to him -- and you would only be able to vote for candidates approved by the Lord Protector. (For those of you in the US, imagine that all Presidential candidates had to be approved by Pat Robertson.) Do you think you would be able to vote for someone who didn't stink?


    I think an option to vote for 'none of the above' should be compulsory on voting cards.

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    (Info clearinghouse is not a great resource, btw)



    Again, something that could be true, but feels exagerrated, not in the least because the source is Info Clearinghouse.


    Many articles on Information Clearing House are from other sources - most being perfectly reputable. The Paul Craig Roberts article is produced by ICH directly though. ICH does publish articles from very well respected Journalists such as John Pilger, and Paul Craig Roberts is also very well respected


    In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States


    Look them both up on the web.


    I agree that one should always check out the sources and add pinches of salt accordingly, but I would not recommend dismissing ICH as unreputable.

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    A little far fetched and paranoid, but not impossible, I guess.


    Is it? I'm not saying it isn't, but what do you base that opinion on?

  17. bombus, I'm not ignoring your previous reply, it will just take me a bit more to go over it thoroughly and give you proper answers. This, however, popped up and I thought it needs a quick one:


    You do understand that this is a highly unproven hypothesis, right? I am not saying it's wrong, but since it's not proven and isn't (yet) supported by any evidence, it can't be held as an obvious reason of why QM != brain.


    That is, you think that the brain doesn't work by QM because the above reason, which is an unproven hypothesis. It means that in order for your reasoning to make good point, you need to first put some evidence for your hypothesis.


    Please re-read what I said. I said 'Forget about QM for a minute'. Please do that and re-read the rest. I am not talking about QM for the rest of that post. I am also not making a firm hypothesis, I am merely making a speculation. I am telling you my opinion based on current neurobiological study. I do not ACTUALLY mean that neurones THINK, hence my use of inverted commas, I am suggesting that their action is far more complex than simply fire or not fire in that they process and assess at a cellular level impulses they receive before firing (or not) - and most people working in the field think so too.


    That's an unfair assumption.. what are you basing it on? First off, we're not closed to criticism (if we were, we would not have had this discussion, would we?) and second, there's no reason to claim the criticism or acceptance of it would change with that new case. If there is a reason, you need to put it forth. I, for one, might disagree with you on that one - I think that if the comparison is close enough, there's not much difference between the two cases, and therefore we either need to have moral consideration for *both*, or none for either.


    On the other hand, if you are refering to the fact that the slaves are humans (unsaid, but valid point to make), then I agree with you, but then the comparison to brain neurons is lacking, and missing the point that was made (about the *amount* and *ability* of multiple units to achieve a highly complex task).


    You see my point, bombus? I understand your reasoning, but the way you present it can lead us to have a totally different discussion, and so when anyone disagrees or agrees we do that on a totally different point than the one we actually argue, and the discussion becomes moot.


    No, I don't see your point at all. I am surprised you can't see mine though. Please read up about the chinese box thought experiment, and you will see that the use of a conscious person in the box has lead to some saying it's a flaw in the argument, even though others say it's inconsequential. It's only a minor point, and nothing to get flustered about, and as I've said, Sysiphus is correct. What more do you want me to do?


    Can we please get back to the subject of the thread?

  18. The thing is Britain is made up of the many peoples who arrived here. The Britons (Welsh, Cornish, Picts) then Anglo-Saxons invaded Southern Britain, the Scotti invaded Caledonia (Scotland), the Irish set up colonies, then we had the Vikings, followed by the Normans (French vikings). So we ended up with not just many accents but a fair few languages as well. Plus the accent young people have in London now is heavily influenced by West Indian (Jamaican) accents, Asian accents and even US gagster rap speak. It's changed since I lived there only ten years ago!


    I'd guess that US accents probably derive from British West-Country accents, Irish and Dutch with some East European and Italian in some eastern cities.

  19. Yes, and kidneys may merely utilize what we call urine producing ability in the same way. Just nets to capture the urine-producing essence, echoing through the cosmos.*


    *evidence pending**


    **but you can't disprove it!


    Well, one can't really argue with that...

  20. If I may step in:


    1) "On the deepest level," as Mokele used it, means an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms, not a total understanding of everything there is to know. Since QM, if it plays a roll, would obviously be playing that roll "on the deepest level," that's all that is necessary to falsify it.


    2) Neurotransmitters are hardly just "chemica transport systems for electrons."


    Certainly good sir,


    Forget QM for a minute. I am saying that even the fundamental mechanisms are not that well understood. Sure, we know pretty much what neurons, synapses etc do, but how their functioning is influenced by (as you say) neurotransmitters, glial cells, and other brain 'meat' and chemicals is not that well understood. In a nutshell, I don't think neurones are the biological equivalent of computer bits as I think they 'think' for themselves via smaller structures within them, and are influenced by lotsa stuff outside them.


    And yes, I agree, neurotransmitters are not just transport systems, but thier function seems to be to influence the nerve impulses in the brain (which are believed to be the primary mechanism for brain function - but not the only function).


    You are probably agreeing with my overall point in fact, that there are deeper levels than just neurons

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    Not if they're just following a set of rules.


    Yes you are right, but you'd be more open to criticism.

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