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Bill Angel

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Everything posted by Bill Angel

  1. My thinking and experiences are somewhat similar to yours. I'm now 67 and started to collect Social Security at 62. I had been doing computer support work as a contractor for the US Department of Defense, something I stopped doing in 2002. I can see that younger people than me have made impressive technical contributions to the defense effort, and have been well paid for it, but I'm still left with the nagging suspicion that their efforts will have turned out to be fruitless in terms of guaranteeing our security, like all those scientists and engineers who contributed their talents during the First World War. Einstein published the General Theory of Relativity in 1915, and hence had something of value to show at that time for his creative efforts, compared to his contemporaries who were struggling to make contributions to the war efforts of England and Germany.So now I would rather spend time thinking about issues in Cosmology (for free) than get paid to do tech support work for the Department of Defense, or for ANYBODY for that matter.
  2. Engineers create intellectual property that they patent and can prevent other people from utilizing. A good example is Polaroid preventing Kodak from utilizing Polaroid's work in instant photography to market Kodak's own line of cameras and film. Scientists aim to develop an understanding of how Nature works, an understanding which is shared with and can be utilized by the entire scientific community. A good example is Watson and Crick's elucidation of the structure of DNA.
  3. I would assert that a big problem that is solvable is bringing the costs of prescription drugs in the USA down to where they are affordable. A month's supply of Humira, a drug to treat psoriatic arthritis which is heavily promoted on TV, costs about $2,400. As a veteran the VA supplies it to me for a copay of only 8 dollars. And while those with private health insurance can also get the drug for a similar low copayment, the heath insurance premiums for all those in their insurance pool have to reflect the costs of providing such medications as Humira to those who need them. I suspect that this is one reason that a lot of people (especially Republicans) hate Obamacare, because healthy people now have to underwrite the costs of providing these very expensive drugs to those who need them.
  4. Richard Feynman considered himself to be an atheist. This excerpt from an interview with him would seem to indicate that he considered this issue (whether or not a diety exists) to be settled and not to be of intellectual interest to him.
  5. I agree. I just meant that if for example one observed a crystal composed of identical atoms that exhibited radioactive deçay, it would not be possible to specify deterministically the sequence or the order in which the atoms would decay, just the probability that each atom would decay within a certain period of time.
  6. Consider these relations: The motion of billard balls can be described in a deterministic manner. But for subatomic particles whose lifetimes are extremely short, the uncertainty in their energy becomes large, as does the uncertainty in their momentum. These uncertainties makes a deterministic prediction of their movements and the characteristics of the products of their decay not possible.
  7. I don't believe that the US military currently has manpower requirements that necessitate the need for conscription. I served in the Navy after graduating from college in 1970 with a degree in physics, and my talents and education were not used very effectively by the military. People like myself who desired at that time to pursue graduate studies in the sciences should have continued to have gotten student deferments.
  8. While it's possible to argue that the very old, the incurably sick, the feeble minded, etc. are a drain on society's resources and should be eliminated, it's most likely that the mechanism of population selection, once granted to a society, would be extended to also eliminate the political dissidents and the social critics.
  9. At some point his daughters will grow up and will no longer be a financial burden for him to support. If he works on a farm and collects wages, he will be able to start collecting Social Security at age 62. There are also other benefits he can start to collect if he becomes physically unable to continue doing that job.
  10. If dark matter collided with dark anti matter, the result would be the production of photons. One would expect these photons to be visible, unless they were some form of dark energy. Would a dark photon then be a photon that did not interact with normal matter?
  11. I got a BS in Physics in 1970. When I got out of the Navy in 1973 I went to work for the National Bureau of Standards developing electronic instrumentation.
  12. If I repeatedly watch a YouTube video, like a music video, then I can recall the movement depicted in the video, one example being that of Michael Jackson dancing. But if I catch a glimpse of a scene in real life just once, I'll probably just remember one or two still images that had made the greatest impression on me, such as someone's facial expression. ,
  13. Interesting article: If the Options Market Is Right, China's Stock Rescue Is Doomed One point that the article is making is that the Chinese government is endeavoring to prop up the stock market in advance of the World War II victory parade on September 3, an event the government will use to demonstrate its rising military and political might. Another point the article makes is that Chinese investors have about 5 trillion yuan ($783 billion) of borrowed money riding on stocks, and many of them are looking for a chance to exit, according to Bank of America Corp. So any rally in the Chinese stock market, brought about by government buying, could simply be an opportunity for investors who used borrowed money to buy their shares to unload their holdings, quite likely at a significant loss, if they had bought their shares earlier in the year.
  14. The issue of free will is also linked to how one perceives things. In a confrontation with another individual, one might perceive that other individual as a threat, or one might perceive that other individual as simply acting obnoxious. The decision of how one might respond to the situation would depend upon which of those perceptions is at that moment the dominant one. If one perceives the individual as a threat one might shoot him. If one perceives him as simply being obnoxious, one might just walk away from the confrontation.
  15. Many leading Information technology companies are holding considerable cash overseas. For example: Microsoft: 93 Billion Apple: 70 Billion IBM: 61 Billion Cysco Systems: 53 Billion Google: 47 Billion Hewlett-Packard 43 Billion And the list goes on. See: U S Companies are Stashing 2.1 Trillion Overseas to Avoid Taxes One wonders how much of these assets are being entrusted to the integrity and solvency of the Chinese banking system. A recent news article stated that "China fell back on its major levers to stem the biggest stock market rout since 1996 and a deepening slowdown, cutting interest rates for the fifth time since November and lowering the amount of cash banks must set aside [to cover bad loans]." See China Falls Back on Rate-Cut Lever to Stem Stock Market Rout I should think that lowering the amount of cash that Chinese banks need to set aside to cover bad loans would make these banks more prone to failure, given China's economic problems. The question is if these banks do fail, will they take with them the assets of American corporations that might be on deposit with them?
  16. I suffer from psoriasis, and each day apply Calcipotriene ointment to affected areas on my skin.Calcipotriene is a synthetic vitamin D3 derivative for topical dermatological use. I could get the same benefit by instead utilizing a tanning bed that exposes the skin to UVB radiation.
  17. There is a line of ice cream made by Edy's carried in the local supermarket.The label states "No Sugar Added" and "1/3 fewer calories than regular ice cream", and 1/2 the fat of regular ice cream. The label also reveals that there are 110 calories per serving (1/2) cup,as well as 17g of carbohydrates, which the label states is 6% of the recommended daily value based on a 2000 calorie diet. Of those 17g of carbohydrate 3g is sugar and 7g sugar alcohol. The label of this line of products seems to be rather informative.
  18. I think that is military crime against USA because China isn't democratic country.The average annual GDP growth of China 2010-2014 is 8.6%The average annual GDP growth of Mexico 2010-2014 is 3.3% If US companies relocated their offshore operations from China to Mexico, the increase in economic activity and hence GDP growth in Mexico would help to dampen the inflow of illegals from Mexico to the USA. Create jobs for them in Mexico and they won't come to the USA. And a lot of them would voluntarily return to Mexico from the USA to fill those jobs.
  19. I'm 67 and my only source of income is Social Security, so these factoids about the the relationship of illegal immigrants to the Social Security system seemed worth mentioning: Source http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/20/news/economy/immigration-myths/
  20. Good point.And one plausable scenerio is that Trump does not get the Republican nomination, but rather than fade quietly out of the picture chooses to mount an independent run for the Presidency the way Ross Perot did in 1992.
  21. If a thought can be represented as a quantum mechanical wave function, and the box as a potential well, then unless the sides of the box are infinitely high, there will remain a finite probability that the thought will be found outside of the box. Or expressed another way, the thought can escape the box via "quantum tunneling".
  22. There are elephants that roam the Kalahari. When the circus came to town the handlers put on an exibition of the elephants being fed. One item on their menu that day was watermelons. Spectators got to watch the elephants stepping on the watermelons and then eating the pieces.
  23. That's correct, but also causes problems. When the dentists took an XRay of my tooth, they could see inside of the roots just fine, but they could not see inside the upper part of the tooth that was covered by a metal crown. Also, Doctors and Dentists don't use photographic film any more. The X Rays are captured by solid state sensors.
  24. Anyone care to comment on the assertion that climate change is making Siberia more agriculturally productive?
  25. Your suggestions are good ones, but there is this provision in eighth amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting "cruel and unusual punishment", which your suggested treatment of Dylann Roof could be construed as being.
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