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Posts posted by imatfaal

  1. 4 minutes ago, cladking said:

    The models are in essence a mnemonic to remember experiment.  The experiment necessarily reflects reality but the model does not. But to the degree a model does reflect reality it can be used to make prediction.  Models can then evolve but they will never reflect reality itself as they grow increasingly more accurate. 

    At the risk of getting into semantics I doubt models will ever really impart "understanding".  They are like taxonomies and other sorts of categorization in that they are mnemonics for retaining great amounts of data.  True understanding is knowing how to apply equations properly rather than the ability to just crunch numbers.  And it's the ability to recognize when you don't really have all the quantities or know all the variables. 


    Cladking - why do you insist on trying to explain the scientific method and modern scientific thinking when you clearly have no idea and have had this shown to you on multiple occasions

    A scientific model is an attempt to provide a rigorous and self-consistent mathematical and theoretical system which produces results which mirror those we find through empirical observation.

    An experiment does not reflect reality - it is reality.

    Models do impart understanding - that is they do unless you are using some mad definition - which is quite possible.  They might not impart understanding of some platonic underlying schema - but then nothing does. 

    You do realise that many scientific models are created before any specific data really becomes available - the scientists extrapolate from more general data and other models, guess, and create maths which looks beautiful and fitting.  They then work out how this would be manifest in experiment.  They then go looking for 27kilometres of superhard vacuum to smash protons together. 






  2. 3 hours ago, Gratiano said:

    I am familiar with Epimenides paradox. ...



    I have just seen your location - from that I really would hope that you are familiar with Epiminides; I also apologize for calling you a liar - even via a millennia old quote :)

  3. 3 hours ago, Gratiano said:

    ...Give me an example where self-contradiction is produced.



    In maths - too complex to do here.  In language - the paradox given above.  Read Godel Escher Bach by Doug Hoffstadter - it is completely bonkers but a modern classic

  4. 4 hours ago, Damateur said:

    Also, since the balloons could be at a significant angle to the ship, wouldn't that negatively affect the sail effectiveness?

    Exactly - that was the root of my comment about sail shape.  I don't necessarily think the effect would always be negative but it would be large.  Sails are a shape and are battoned  to work both with the wind and into the wind - this idea would introduce a new variable; the angle of the "mast" with respect to the boat would vary with both the wind direction and with the boat's velocity (magnitude and direction)  with respect to the wind

  5. I realise this is pretty meaningless but I do like the new cover photo option - it is accessed from the top right of one's profile screen and allows an uploaded photo to be used as the backdrop of your profile page.  Mine is a panorama shot taken from Barf in the Lake District in the NE of England taken whilst walking there four or five years ago with my Brother and Sister-in-law

    This is what I mean http://www.scienceforums.net/profile/32514-imatfaal/ it is fairly inconsequential but a nice personalizing touch

  6. 21 hours ago, beecee said:


    Today's science fiction [ in many cases] is tomorrow's science fact.

    I remember as a young child reading, listening to, and watching the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy - and even at that young age realising that such a marvel as the Guide itself was never going to be within my reach. 

    Now I reach across and touch a button on a black glass slab which reads my fingerprint and acknowledges my right to open the interface; I say Ok Google set timer for fifteen minutes. then I say Ok Google what is the mass of of a 352 mainsail.  Then OK Google play Bob Dylan. 

    H2G2 had nothing on this - Now if they could get Peter Jones (RIP) to do the voice in OK Google my wishes would be complete


  7. 8 hours ago, DrP said:

    Ha!  I actually like the new profile page. The posting history is on display and it tells you how many times you have  'won'...  apparently I have  'won'  6 times. lol. I had no idea at all. lol.

    String has won 40 times, imatt - 133, Lord Antres - Thrice and studiot 15 times.

    Doesn't appear to be a friends list...  maybe it was wiped as there is now a section for followers....  of which I have none, lol.

    You have two followers - both of rare distinction; the CEO and a lazy lying mud-slinger

  8. 4 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

    People in govt refuse to answer a variety of questions and or point out the silliness of them all the time. He should have just said " I am not going to hypothetically discuss using Nuclear weapons". Saying yes to a question about hypothetically incinerating an unimaginable number of people is in poor taste. Addressing the question as absurd would have been more appropriate. The use of nuclear weapons on a population isn't something one casually spitballs about. I have no doubt had the reporter asked if he'd drone strike his own children if ordered his answer would have been something more akin to my recommendation above. perhaps it was a bad question but it was also a terrible answer.

    Exactly.  One would hope that a person risen to the rank of admiral would have the savoir faire to dodge a question like that whilst reiterating the sanctity of the chain of command and also questioning the wisdom/integrity of the reporter asking the question.   Unfortunately I could also imagine the world in which it was a question planted by the administration with a pre-agreed answer - the orange faced excuse for a human being is very bellicose for one who dodged many drafts


  9. 1 hour ago, Endy0816 said:

    Any thoughts on the feasibility of using a sail kept aloft by balloons rather than a traditional mast?

    Balloons would act as pretty good "air-anchors".  You also need yardarms .  The sails would need to be different shapes to work - and I don't know this subject well enough but I think they might need to be different shapes depending on where the wind was coming from.  Sails and bits will have a mass between 25-50kg for a yacht - even for that you would need some big balloons; but you woud also need much bigger to provide the tension to keep the line close to vertical when a force is applied through the sail

  10. All very well thinking god won't burn us - but not when we might have to pay for a new roof.  And you are right about the blame for and act of god - you will remember the furore which surrounded the York Minster strike and fire - not sure what the Arch-Bish had said but the Daily Fail (or was it the Sunday Excess) blamed it (only sllightly tongue in cheek) on some pronouncement which was a little too liberal for them

    Steel's resistivity is at least 6 times that of copper  - so a similarly proportioned (cross sectional area) steel conductor would have to dissipate 36times more heat.  Also copper is much more flexible; lightening conductors are ribbons of copper which arrived on a drum and are unwound in situ.  A steel version would have to be brought to the site in short pieces and welded into a whole.

  11. 5 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

    ...On a vaguely related note, why do churches have lightning conductors :)

    Other than being the tallest building around often with pointy metal things on the roof (and a huge publicity problem if their god keeps burning their building down) - hmm dunno - Go on I am intrigued


  12. 1 hour ago, Gratiano said:

    Is this called self consistency?

    Self Consistency is essential but not everything. There was (maybe still is) a hope to produce a mathematical system in which each of the axiomata are self-evident if the others are true - but in the end you need something which is just assumed to be true for your system 


    Also complete self consistency is impossible - any sufficiently complex mathematical axiomatical system will eventually produce self-contradiction; but we tend to ignore this as you only get to those points with recursion and self reference.  A nice way of thinking about it in linguistic rather than mathematical terms is Epiminides paradox  -


    Epimenides was a Cretan who made one immortal statement: "All Cretans are liars."

    Douglas Hoffstadter - Godel Escher Bach

  13. Just now, fresh said:

    consider he is married,he shouldn't do it. he crosses the bottom line.


    If you feel the fact that he is married is pertinent then I would conclude that you think there is a sexual content to his messages (rather than, say, a shared enjoyment of good photography or body-art etc.)  If there is a sexual content then it could either be an unexpected sexual advance or being sent as some initial form of intimidation/mockery/harassment, or an incredibly ill-advised attempt at humour/bonding

    A useful question to ask oneself is to think whether he would send these images to a male friend.

    Two not easily interpretable acts, do not really constitute harassment; the best way to nip this trend in the bud whilst amongst friends is an open dialogue


  14. @Moontanman  Well I have found my first mistake.  Wikipedia gave density in the easy to use grams/cubic centimetre - but I should have been using kilograms/cubic metre - so that was three magnitudes out!  This figure was rooted which means the answer I get is 1000km across.  That is intellectually much more appealing as it means that the circumference is 6300km - and this is also the length of carbon colossal tube which could support its own weight in earth's gravity (presuming constant g over that height)

    But even so - that is the longest carbon nanotube which can be spun up to sufficient rotational velocity to provide 1g at the circumference.  This calc is using the structure with the specific strength (tensile strength per unit mass) that is currently known to man - ie colossal carbon tube

  15. 26 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

    Interesting, my sources say that even steel can be used to make a Oneil type cylinder miles across, let check and I'll get back to you! 


    To be honest I was really winging it - and lots of these xeno-architectural projects are done by real experts in normal architecture so I would not be surprised to be wrong

  16. I am very good at origami. I tend to do it without thinking and get into an almost meditative state.

    A few days before christmas I am sitting at my dining table making little sonobe cubes and other shapes from scraps of wrapping paper to decorate christmas tree - everyone else TBOMK is watching a film.  After about twenty minutes my (frighteningly bright) niece slides a sonobe cube across the table to me that she has made and learned to make by watching me.

    There has been no deliberate communication, let alone use of language, as I have never even noticed she was there - I am making sonobe polyhedra not doing anything else consciously (that's the whole point); but the process of making sonobe cubes has been explained ie passed from one individual to a second with no use of language what so ever

    I still get sonobe cubes sent to me by my niece - but she never really mastered the complex stuff


  17. 1 minute ago, Doctordick said:

    Latex seems to work fine now. The problem was apparently in my presumption that it would work in the preview mode!!

    And it seems that one must refresh to see it even when posted.  But I like the rendering, and loads of extra gadgets on right click.  The hover to zoom is very useful for those of us with imperfect vision

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