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Everything posted by lemur

  1. But also note that it is people who view themselves as powerless and their actions as relatively insignificant that are prone to take the least responsibility for the consequences of those actions. When you get a great deal of people who are reacting to their lack of power and acting irresponsibly, the effects can be greater than when the strongest-willed individuals pursue their goals with everything they can muster. Generosity and kindness are sometimes performed to garner the social power that comes with gratitude and respect. This is not to say that these attributes are always destructive, but that they have many more negative effects than people recognize. But the reactions to these are also disguises for the things you mention. People try to regulate people climbing over each other by installing and patrolling social hierarchies and territorializations of who should do which work when and how, to prevent competition, for example. Also, trying to get ahead doesn't necessarily leave everyone behind. It depends on the specifics of what you're talking about. You should try to avoid generalizing statements unless you've tried to come up with a scenario that proves them wrong and failed at least a few times. I don't really post here anymore, but thanks for responding to something I said. Good luck.
  2. First off, hello to those who remember me from when I used to participate in the forum regularly. I was reading the book, Hitler's Scientists, by John Cornwell and another book was cited (can't remember the name of that one, sorry) that credited Heisenberg with the ethical feat of preventing Nuclear weapons from being developed by the Nazis first. This sounds as if Heisenberg was being lauded for obfuscation. Do you think this is a valid interpretation of the role Heisenberg played in the practical development of nuclear technologies?
  3. Ok, then subtract my posturing from the content of my posts and see how much of what I say is substantive vs. how much is oriented toward defending against personal criticisms not substantively oriented. I think you'll find that my orientation is primarily substantive and only becomes personal where personal attacks were initiated by someone else. I'm not claiming to be perfect but I strive to avoid interpersonal bickering because I've had enough bad experiences with it to actively avoid it. This doesn't mean I want to let people walk all over me either.
  4. Subtract your belligerence from your posts and what is left? You may be very good at expressing mathematical physical concepts but the rest of what you say is really just posturing and bullying. Are you familiar with the psychology of authoritarian personality?
  5. Um, my point was that technological progress has deprived people in cold climates of the natural function of manual labor to generate body heat. I don't know what feeling guilty and building windmills has to do with it. Waste-heat generating factories evolved into a culture of waste-heat supported relaxation, even as the factories were being automated or exported. Still the culture/demand for warmth continues, only now there is less association between heat and labor. So heat has become a product instead of a by-product of industry. I think you could say that warmer climates have also become alienated from their more climate-natural cultures with air-conditioning and the labor and lifestyle practices that have evolved as a result. Lots of energy is wasted for people in warm climates to wear constricting clothing and stay busy while lots of energy is wasted for people in cold climates to relax indoors during cold months.
  6. I'm not saying anything about the relationship between mass and weight except that weight represents the force of a mass due to gravity, i.e. the same object with the same mass weighs less on the moon than on Earth although it has the same mass because the acceleration of gravity is different.
  7. lemur


    That's a good point. That's what turned me from being a Bush critic to a Bush-supporter. I don't know if this effect is as common-sensical as simply distancing oneself from what popular opinion deems hated. It is popular to support a popularly recognized underdog but unpopular to support a person deemed a popular enemy (that is my impression anyway). It obfuscates a lot to avoid calling hate "hate." I think I am reasonably neutral when evaluating the media treatment of public figures. When I see snickering in the chastizing of Sarah Palin, it is not because I love her and want her to win. It's the same as when I see snickering about Obama's birth certificate issues and it is clear that the emotions go far beyond any rationally planned approach to organizing political inclusion/exclusion on the basis of national citizenship. That's reactionist posturing obfuscation nonsense. I'm talking about actual hate being expressed, overtly or covertly, in order to manipulate people into siding with the haters/bullies against the hated/bullied. It's just like picking a kid in the school yard and picking on him until no one wants to be his friend anymore because they're afraid of getting bullied with him.
  8. I have heard various reasons given and I don't know which are speculation or not. Regardless, I don't see any reason why an individual should be punished, let alone crucified, for expression. On thing that is clear is that the crowd requested Pontius Pilate execute Jesus because they said their laws didn't allow it. That is blasphemy of Holy Spirit. If you sincerely believe in a law, you don't seek someone else to break it for you because you're not allowed to.
  9. Yes, I've been chastised enough times by Swansont for thinking classical mechanics into quantum matters. However, the electrons are still attracted to the nucleus by electrostatic force, which means that moving them away from the nucleus requires counter-force, right? It just so happens that the amount of energy/work required to get them to move is specific to their quantum conditions, right? But isn't a potential difference a force impetus in the same sense as mass and distance create a gravitational force impetus? My whole point with this was to address questioning as to how potential energy can be empirically observed. It cannot be empirically observed as an amount of energy, because that would require selecting an arbitrary frame. Still, it can be observed to be present in the form of force, so it's not as if a bowling ball on a table in a space station can be observed to have potential energy the same as the ball on the table on Earth or the moon. The force indicates the presence of potential energy, though it is not a quantity of energy. Idk, I think the presumption that an object has weight (i.e. not mass but weight) regardless of whether it's sitting still on the ground or falling suggests that force can be observed even when net force is zero due to the ground pushing up against the object. This seems like an abstract issue to me, though, since anyone with a truck parked on their foot will tell you that an object sitting still on the ground can be exerting force. I suppose technically, though, the reason the person feels pain is that the weight on their foot is doing work in the form of pushing nerve-cells into unfamiliar shapes.
  10. What causes the spark? The light is emitted when electrons are excited and de-excited to release the energy as photons, right? So what was the force that had to be overcome to excite the electrons? Their electrostatic attraction to the nucleus, right? So isn't the electrostatic force holding the electrons to the nucleus the force that resists the current? Isn't the reason conductors conduct easily that their conduction-band electrons have to overcome relatively little electrostatic attraction to change levels? Yes, I agree with this. Weight is like electromotive force, if I understand that term right. It is not an amount of energy but it does indicate the presence of energy, albeit that the energy is inactive (potential), no? Work is force exerted over a distance. So a motionless object can't be doing work, but it can have the potential to do work if it is exerting force, right? I would describe force as an "intensity" at some given point. F=MA doesn't really make sense considering that acceleration refers to change in speed, which presumes motion. Still, a motionless object can still exert force, right? And the same object can have a capacity to do work, right? Still, I see your point that energy can be measured as an amount of work whereas force can only be measured as the acceleration of a mass at a given point. Ok, these are valuable constructive criticisms. I will be more careful to ask people about their criticism, but that also requires that the criticism has content other than "that's not physics, go read a book!" Terms are also not hard to google, and I usually do that already anyway. Thanks for keeping this constructive. I understand that some people lose patience since I do too in various situations. I just can't really do anything until someone gives me something substantive, which you have gone to the trouble of doing.
  11. You've called me ignorant and told me to read a physics book enough times now. Now could you please restrict your criticism to substantive aspects of my posts instead of your general impression of me (whether you call that ad hom or not)? If you don't have the ability or patience to read the content of a post I write, that doesn't automatically mean you should start ranting about how you're a physicist and I'm not. If you do read the content and you have critical insight about why something I said is wrong, I'm happy to learn from your insight. The insults get old, though.
  12. Thank you for your book suggestions. I don't think they have those at the public library I use but I'll keep my eyes open for similar titles. "Intensity" may not be your term of preference but it is English and commonly understood. I am more concerned with the content of what is said than the style of saying it. Writing style aesthetics is not physics, btw. "Magnitude" is a term I'm familiar with but I don't know what it refers to empirically. It sounds abstract. "Charge density" sounds less abstract but what does it refer to exactly? In a conductor, there are conduction band electrons that change levels practically continuously, correct? So it sounds like "charge density" would refer to the amount of conduction-band electrons in an excited state relative to some total sample. It is clear that you use textbook terminology and style that I'm not familiar with, but that really doesn't prove that everything you ever say is going to be right and that anything I say is necessarily wrong. For some reason, you seem to want me to be socially deferential on the basis of credential-status but I'm just interested in substantive arguments, whatever their style. I will try to understand yours even if you don't feel the need to bother with mine. I still don't think it's fair for you to keep denigrating me, though, just because I don't want to make your level of abstraction a condition for me to think about and discuss physical mechanics. Thanks, Hal. I am going to read about electromotive force now.
  13. Why not then? Gravity is the force with which the object pushes down. As long as it is pushing down, it has the potential to move in that direction whether it is actually moving or not. So its potential energy can only be measured within a frame of motion that you apply BUT its actual potential to move is present in the force it is exerting, which is empirically observable/measurable as weight. Energy is the capacity to do work, right? Isn't force a capacity to do work as long as it is consistent over the distance of work to be done? I see your point about the existence of potential without resisting force, but the resisting force DOES indicate that there is a potential to do work present, doesn't it? Otherwise it wouldn't be resisting anything. I'm just being honest. When a criticism cites what is faulty about something I say, then I can understand the grounds and agree. Without any direct criticism with reasoning/grounds, what basis do I have for accepting or rejecting the argument? You could fail every arithmetic test you ever took but if you said that 2 + 2 = 4, you'd be right and it wouldn't be arrogant to say so. High test scores don't make arithmetic right, logic does. That is usually what I do. When people criticize me uncritically be calling my language "gibberish" or telling me that I don't understand physics, though, what other means do I have of keeping the criticism content-focussed except to reassert what I said that I believe(d) to be correct? You can't second-guess your understanding just because someone else tells you you're stupid. You need a reason that deals with the content - not ad hom attacks. Credentials don't prove substantive arguments. They're just an indication that someone has been exposed to training that should have made them capable of forming rigorous substantive argumentation. They're no guarantee that someone is going to be right at any given moment.
  14. For the record, I would not claim to be above reading any physics book. I read them often, in fact, along with other sources and I read posts on this forum with great interest as well. My weak point is mathematical language like "scalar fields," which I sometimes google to try to understand but often I find what was expressed in terms of expensive mathematical language could have been expressed in simpler empirical terms once I do understand. No matter, I do try to learn more by reading posts with unfamiliar language and decoding it slowly and painfully sometimes. Other times, I remind myself that I am not getting paid for what I am doing so I am free to concentrate on what interests me the most. When I am wrong, I will not claim to be right. However, I will not blindly accept anyone's claim that I am wrong without reasonable grounds. It's as important to rigorously evaluate the legitimacy of critique as it is to evaluate the legitimacy of any other argumentation.
  15. What empirical references does this post contain? Conduction-band electrons in a conductor transmit waves of pressure. When they reach an insulator, they attempt to transmit their energy through the medium. This could cause the shielding of a wire to melt, air to spark, etc. A heavy enough truck parked on a weak enough bridge will also cause the bridge to collapse to allow the truck to continue expressing its potential as kinetic motion of falling. What word describes the strength of charge intensity besides voltage then? My understanding is that the behavior of electricity in conductor is analogous to gas-pressure. The voltage in the circuit is whatever amount of force it is being pushed with. It doesn't build up because the circuit is opened. Is that what you're saying?
  16. What do surplus free electrons in copper do when they encounter air? They must attempt to dissipate into the air. If they have enough voltage, they do and cause a spark and their kinetic energy gets converted into a chemical reaction producing ozone or electrolyzing water vapor or something like that. How is the potential energy (capacity to do work) not directly evident in the force/weight of the falling object? Even if the object is in free fall, its acceleration is the product of gravitational force. Gravitational force does work (force over a distance), which keeps it accelerating, right? Now I'm getting confused because it seems as if kinetic energy gets stored as potential as an object goes up before falling back down. I guess it wouldn't matter in terms of potential meaning the capacity to do work, though, since the force is being expressed over a distance regardless of the speed or resistance to the object falling. This actually explains why both a falling object and an object sitting on the ground can both have potential energy, i.e. because they both have the capacity to do further work. No? It's foolish to allow arrogance to blind you to the possibility of being wrong, but it's just as foolish and egoistic to falsely claim to think you're wrong when you don't really think you are just to appear humble/submissive. I wish none of this was about who was credentialed and who isn't. Good discussion puts all that aside and sticks to critical discussion of content. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong, but it confuses me when people tell me things I'm saying are wrong when they're not.
  17. I've actually been reading a lot about potential energy since this discussion started. I'm not insisting on reducing things to my way of thinking. I just use my method to explain something in a way that someone who doesn't seem to understand might get some insight. I've said it many times I'm not competing with any textbooks or any other books. The only reason I'm being defensive is because I don't think I said anything incorrect. The only thing I'm questioning about what I said is if a current stopped by opening a circuit in fact exerts force or "pushes" against the insulator blocking it from re-closing the circuit. I believe it would since electricity flowing through a conductor is analogized as electron force-pressure, thus there must be force within the insulated conductor "equal and opposite" to the force of the insulator impeding the current from flowing. I don't mind people telling me that my analogy wasn't helpful to them better understanding what I was talking about. What bothers me is when experts in physics completely undermine the validity of what I said by calling it "gibberish." This confuses me as to what part of what I said was wrong and what part was not. Obviously I was not wrong that a falling object 'at rest' is pushing down on the surface it is 'resting' on with the force of gravity. And it is also quite self-evident that the force with which it is pushing expresses a potential to be in motion if the surface resisting its motion was not present. So why would physicists be saying that these statements are indefensible in terms of physics?
  18. The following post explaining my comparison of weight and voltage as expressions of potential energy has been contested as being "gibberish:" What is gibberish? The idea that "electric charge 'pushes' against an insulator?" What else would it be doing while waiting for sufficient voltage to build up to the point of being able to spark across a gap in the circuit or some other insulator separating the conductors? Is it gibberish to say that "an obstacle preventing an object from falling impairs gravitational motion in the same way an insulator prevents an electric charge from flowing further within the circuit?" If a bowling ball dropped out of a helicopter is stopped by a bridge on the way to the ground, is the bridge not impeding the flow of the ball to the ground? Is it gibberish to say that "in both cases, force is met with resistance and the "equal and opposite reaction" of the resistance is the potential of the impeded kinetic energy (flow)?" Ok, this one is a bit harder to read but it applies a Newtonian principle, that actions have equal and opposite reactions. That means that a moving object resisted by a medium or barrier pushes against the barrier with force, which is returned in an equal and opposite force from the medium/barrier to the object. That force resisting the kinetic flow is the potential energy the flow has to continue in the absence of the resistance, no? Maybe I could have worded it differently, but this is all physics, is it not?
  19. The post in question used adequate terms. Shall I repost it in another thread for sentence-by-sentence criticism? It was not written using any language ureadable to anyone who knows physics or who doesn't for that matter.
  20. It is not gibberish. You can't keep making these undermining criticisms without reference to anything I said. There is nothing special about you that allows you to insist on the validity of your assessments simply because they're yours. Anyone can call anyone else's post gibberish but it doesn't prove who's right and who's wrong. What is stopping any crackpot from calling anything you post "gibberish" and telling you to go read a physics book?
  21. lemur

    Mars by 2010?

    My point was that the expense of space-travel is due to the high wages and revenues of businesses that create a standard of living that is non sustainable for even an aristocracy indefinitely, let alone everyone globally. Ironically, you mention world conflicts, which are also caused by large economic differences between high paid people like engineers and poor people.
  22. Dekan's post said that he didn't see a different between an object "charged" with gravitational potential and one that wasn't. Thus it seemed pertinent to give a concrete, tangible example; i.e. the force with which the object pushes down against the ground or whatever it is 'resting' on. Since the word, "charged" was used, I thought it would be helpful to consider an analogical expression of 'gravitational pushing' in electric force. My conclusion was that electric charge 'pushes' against an insulator with the amount of voltage it is poised to transmit at the moment the circuit closes. Thus I think it is reasonable to compare weight to voltage, where an obstacle preventing an object from falling impairs gravitational motion in the same way an insulator prevents an electric charge from flowing further within the circuit. In both cases, force is met with resistance and the "equal and opposite reaction" of the resistance is the potential of the impeded kinetic energy (flow). If this reasoning is incorrect, I of course want to hear why, but I see nothing faulty about it, honestly.
  23. Recently, someone has informed me that my posts cause them distress. I searched for an ignore setting for this user and recommended they use it as well but I couldn't find one. Am I missing it or is it unavailable in this forum?
  24. The same sphere would not push down as hard (i.e. with as much force) if it had less gravitational potential, e.g. on the moon. I think I can safely say that weight is to gravitational potential what charge-voltage is to electrostatic potential. I have to be careful saying this, though, because someone might accuse me of being physics-illiterate and spreading false knowledge.
  25. Many people like to travel between continents for cultural pilgrimages. I can imagine that in an energy-scarce future, increasing numbers of people will opt to migrate for a period of at least several years to some other continent since it won't be practical to work all year long and fly somewhere for a couple weeks vacation.
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