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Posts posted by Sayonara

  1. 34 minutes ago, Samantha Priss said:

    Not all. Define "prejudice".

    This site has been developed over many, many years and it has worked very well indeed for thousands of members without the benefit of your semantic impositions.

    Nobody here has any obligation to defend the rules of the site to you. Again, if you want to engage here in a discussion that interests you, then you’re going to have to operate within the rules of the platform while you do so, regardless of whether or not you appreciate or agree with those rules.

  2. 41 minutes ago, Samantha Priss said:

    No it was completely on topic.

    Disputing what the rules are or should be is not the same as expressing an opinion on how aggressively or liberally moderators enforce the rules.

    You have a choice here. Continue to grind your own personal axe in the same environment where you have already been told plainly that a platform for those views will not be made available, or end up being sanctioned.

    Hint: railing at the rules you agreed to abide by when you joined, and blaming everyone else for your inability to work within those parameters, is not the optimal strategy. 


    14 hours ago, Vexen said:

    My progress is underwhelming.

    That thought will eventually become a corrosive force in your life if you let it. We are living through a time when cultural perception is saturated by illusory examples of great achievement and success but 99% of it is media-enhanced BS. Everyone thinks they’re starring in the film adaptation of their own life. Everyone presents themselves as a glamorous high-flier on social media. It’s no wonder there’s this feeling of dejection and insufficiency spreading throughout western society.

    The first thing you should do, immediately, is consciously make the effort to stop comparing yourself to other people. We do that all the time without realising it, and from a psychological health perspective it is deeply unhelpful. The likelihood is that this is the largest single factor contributing to your sense of being underwhelmed at yourself 

    Instead, compare yourself to who you were 1, 5 and 10 years ago. What’s changed? Why? What do you like and dislike about that? What steps can you take to duplicate and enhance the useful changes and phase out the mistakes?

  4. Okay so it's been about 15 years since I decided I couldn't be bothered to code an entire online game.

    For those of you who don't know (which I guess is the majority of you who haven't been stalking me) I've spent the past 5+ years publishing the Armada Wars universe as fiction. After four books the characters are in their stride, events are dire, and it's starting to get really fun.

    At some point I may well come full circle and - if the fan base gets big enough - look at game dev again.


    Also... one million necromancy points :ph34r:

  5. He didn't make a conclusion, he said the results suggested a motive.


    Imprecise wording on my part, mea culpa. He says the results suggest a specific motive, and I characterise this specificity as the 'conclusion'. Perhaps I should have said that he could not possibly justify selecting one of many possible motives as being one that is suggested by the available evidence, given that there is no such evidence accompanying the reputation total on each post.


    If you are going to attack his logic you should make sure yours is impeccable.


    Ironically, this was my point to him.

  6. Oh, I didn't know that making fun of contributors by association was acceptable here. But I guess one shouldn't expect anything better from replies on scienceforums.net (ha ha).


    It's still a logical fallacy. I am trying to discourage it. All the upvotes suggest that it is encouraged here.


    A logical fallacy occurs when invalid logic or an unsound logical argument are used in furtherance of an argument. Since I made no argument, no logical fallacy can be said to have occurred. My comment is best characterised as jest, and it is aimed at the juxtaposition of the import of the OP's chosen subject matter with the apparent clumsiness of his tool use.


    You cannot possibly make a conclusion about the motives behind upvoting. You cannot say why people voted, only that they did. You also cannot assume that the community is homogenous and there were no downvotes, only that there were fewer downvotes than there were upvotes. Since you're taking the super serious high road and calling "logical fallacy" (albeit incorrectly), it seems very strange that you'd then draw such a spurious inference.


    I suggest you drop this now. In future when you see a post which you think is abusive, off-topic, or otherwise breaks the rules, use the post reporting tool like you're supposed to.

  7. These replies are worthless because they're posted on an internet forum site that ignorant people can post on.



    Or... we could judge writing by its contents and not where it's posted. These are similar to ad hominem attacks, and are irrelevant.


    I strongly disagree. This is not a request for help made by someone who wants us to check his work and give him pointers; it was linked for us with the comment that it is a "one-page article, which clearly shows that the current interpretation of the theory of relativity, on the slowing down of clocks in motion and time dilation, is wrong".


    In that light, it is a very strong indicator that the OP does not have a good understanding of the academic process or any formal system of peer review. This in turn allows fairly accurate inferences to be drawn about their rigour and acumen.

    The original argument doesn't make any claim of peer review or meeting high standards, so there's no reason to refute it.


    And I did not state that it did. I am entirely free to make comment on the fact that Dropbox is not an academic or publishing resource, regardless of your views, and I will thank you not to police my posting decisions.

  8. But you have already shown that your understanding is woefully inadequate. Or, to be generous, highly selective.


    Oi! False dichotomy!


    It can totally be both laugh.png


    I'm unaware of such research. I know from experience that just a few generations of insects are sufficient to cause changes in their behavior through selection. But none of these behaviors I've observed can be considered really complex like dam building. Just a few generations of swatting flies on tables will create a generation that will land on the bottoms of objects rather than the tops.


    It's the same thing, only more of it. The emergence of complex behaviours through natural selection is no more difficult than the emergence of highly exotic phenotypes through natural selection.


    Nature is not beholden to us to act in accordance with our intuition and expectations.

  9. Quick query, because I think I possibly misunderstand you.


    In your first post you talk about the language appearing naturally as "an enhancement of whatever animal language proto-humans spoke".


    Is it an assumption of this thread that the Egyptian culture developed in isolation from other cultures, from their ascension from animal status to the beginning of their written history? Or that they are the common root of modern languages? I get the impression from your posts that there is an unspoken supposition at work: that modern languages and civilisation exclusively have their roots in Egyptian culture. This is not the case.



    I'm also curious to know what your understanding of "computer code" is. I suspect from the context that you don't quite appreciate its lack of redundancy, the structure and context division, or the inherent fact of function by intention. Yet you're suggesting that an early language, which anthropomorphised natural phenomena, was similar. They could hardly be more opposed. The only similarity I can see is that some computer languages abstract concepts into functional classes, which could be said to be similar to the use of metaphor in human language. But the design intent and reliability outcome are so different as to make the link tenuous and superficial.


    So yeah... curious to know what computer code you refer to and why (there are many languages, organised in a loose hierarchy, so it's not a good term to bandy about without being specific).

  10. So far as I am aware there is no known means at this time to read behaviors such as dam building in the DNA of beavers.

    Nobody is making that claim. The claim that is made - and which is backed up by reams of actual science - is that it is empirically demonstrable that complex behaviours can arise from selection events.


    We say they are hard wired to this and there may well be some truth to this but it's unlikely that the first dam built by a beaver was "hard wired" into it.

    Again, that wasn't the claim. Go back and read. Selection events such as that work by incrementation, not sudden invocation.


    I'm not denying instinct by any means. I'm merely suggesting that any animal must have some basic understanding to function in unknown situations (other than fight or flight) and complicated behaviors must be learned after the understanding makes the behavior possible.

    We know that there are many animals that can perform apparently complex tasks. For example, an octopus learning how to access reward items inside a screwed-shut jar. Many bird species can perform similar tasks and adapt to condition changes in the scenario. As I said, there is a surfeit of material available about these behaviours. Then there are more advanced animals like chimps and dolphins that have highly complex interacting behaviours from which social interactions and linguistics have emerged. They could be viewed as the transitional phase between "selection-invoked" behaviours, and the more heuristic, situation-dependent, apparently "free-willed" behaviours that we display.


    I'd strongly suggest reading up on the behavioural sciences in biology prior to attempting to speak on it with authority. It's relevant to what you're talking about, and knowing the material will prevent faulty assumptions.


    Gunpowder burned rapidly and exploded if it was confined. Perhaps it was an accident caused by the explosion not being completely confined that led to the first rocket but the individual who saw and perfected it had to understand the theory behind it rto accomplish the task. Nothing has ever really changed. What sets man apart is the ability to pass down very complex learning not only through apprenticeship, oral tradition, and various forms of writing but also our relative dexterity and some simple cleverness. It's much too easy to overestimate human cleverness since most of what appears to cleverness is actually learning.

    I think it's easy to confuse, and thereby treat in the same way, two critically separate ideas:

    • That humans see something happening and learn to duplicate it consistently,
    • That humans understand why that thing happens and how their consistency is obtained.


    There's no evidence other species have such complicated language as we do. Most appear to have no more than a few hundred words. Even if these are arranged in something like computer code the amount of information that can be passed and the complexity of the ideas must surely be rather limited.

    The more we come to understand dolphins, the more complex we find them to be. Their vocabulary might not have anywhere near as many symbols as ours does, but the thing with symbols is that they can be recombined. And recombination frequently leads to novel usage.


    This is quite an interesting talk on the matter: http://www.ted.com/talks/denise_herzing_could_we_speak_the_language_of_dolphins.html



    Perhaps there are other human characteristics that come into play as well but it seems most improbable that language isn't the primary source of our power. Human males have always had a need to impress the females for instance but this is probably not a strictly human characteristic.

    I think possibly language in its own right is not the super-ultimate-key, but as I alluded to earlier it's quite likely how we have used it that has made such a rapid difference to our species.



    This is exactly the point though. The first thing a writing system would record is all the knowledge, oral tradition, and history that existed at the time writing was invented.

    That's an assumption.


    This simply doesn't exist. To my knowledge there simply is no comprehensible writing between 3200 BC and 2000 BC. I know there is nothing Egyptian from this era other than what is said to be religious writing but none of it is comprehensible. Every book fronm before 2000 BC didn't survive. A few ancient works were transcribed early in the 2nd millineum BC but in each case these works are primarily lists. Most of the other surviving writing are titles and labels. Are we to believe the ancients wrote only one word sentences and religious mumbo jumbo? This is most highly improbable.

    Why should people not have used this new technology to record what was important to them at the time? Why should every literate person suddenly think "ah ha! time to record all of our knowledge for posterity"? New technologies aren't always immediately applied to the aim that they will best serve. That is true now, despite us being in the age of design, and I don't see why it should not have been true when writing first appeared.



    I'm not certain I'm even impressed by most modern communication outside of math and science. It seem most communication is clumsy at best. It seems a miracle anytime two people are on the same subject and doubly so when I'm one of them.


    For the purposes of modern man, you could take the design of a micro-processor to be a form of communication. Or the mapping of the genome. Those are pretty awesome practical consequences of our ability to communicate precisely. I think you grossly undervalue this ability, although based on the way some people communicate I can't necessarily say I blame you.

  11. A few years ago when we were plagued by nuisance members we used a plug-in to set up a special user group. Any members in that group would have a horrible experience on the site until they gave up and went to troll elsewhere (long loading times, randomly incorrect pages, missing style sheets, broken images... you name it).


    I wonder if @blike has put us all in that group angry.png

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