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Everything posted by lightburst

  1. If the premise is that the attacker has unlimited resources and capabilities, and that the scheme can literally be anything, then it is impossible to defend yourself given that the premise makes it so that even the counter-plan can be the attacker's plan. The attacker's plan would first have to unfold before any counter-measure could be enforced. The only possible alibi is to be a saint of a person that no judge or jury would ever think of you as capable of the crime, or alternatively be physically unable to (lack of limbs, or brain damage).
  2. Oh god, anthropology. I'm saying investing thought on the different sub-classes of atheism doesn't really add anything to anything except the satisfaction that your list of the different kinds of atheism is 1 entry longer. Unless you're going to use this fact to deduce some new insight to the human psyche, it just becomes an arbitrary noun you (not 'you' you) can use in dinner parties to impress people. But since you may be into this anthropologically, I guess you can just ignore me.
  3. The only thing that matters is whether you believe in a god or not, and to some extent 'why' you believe what you believe. Any adverb or adjective that goes with being an atheist doesn't matter. By 'why' I mean whether because you've seen Allah in a buttered toast, or the roof of the motel was torn off by a bright monster with a billion arms. Do we go out of our way to sub-classify Republicans, Democrats, and Independents? No. You are either any one of those or you are not, and anything in between is put as personal difference in opinion. Some even go out of their way to NOT associate to any party and just believe the way they do. I think this whole sub-classifying atheism is just a hipster movement rooted from the idea that atheism is some sort of social statement.
  4. I think Dawkins is being too loud for his content. Although I do think that debunking superstition and to some extent religion and promoting rationality is important, the way he does it makes it sound TOO important. It's all too exaggerated and hyperbolic that the target audience take it as an insult and stop listening 3-4 sentences in. Other people definitely do the job better. That's coming from a guy that only sees him on youtube and has read zero of his books.
  5. A variable line through some point P(j, k) intersects the x and y axis at points X(a, 0) and Y(0, b). You are to find the minimum are of the triangle XOY. After a few pages of scratch paper, I gave up and looked up the solution. I got as far as determining that the slope of the variable line would determine the area of the triangle so I used the 'point-slope' equation for the line. What I don't understand is why is equating x and y to zero in the equation of the line valid? The way I thought about it is when x (or y) is zero, then the line would sort of shoot off to the right and create a line that goes through the Origin and the point P(j, k) which would be an invalid case for the triangle (not being a triangle at all).
  6. I could argue that the 'dictionary writers''s definition of a singular 'God' is biased because most people (in quantity) regard a 'God' to be a single being. I say that a 'God' is merely a noun addressed to some supreme being(s). I have friends who address God as capital G.o.d. to 'emphasize' that it is the christian one-and-only god, and has little to do with 'number' but with 'identity'. I guess my point is that we use nouns to mark ideas, and use verbs/adjectives as 'qualifiers' and you can do the plural/singular deal from there. But this involves some redefinition so I wouldn't back it up too much except that I've thrown it in the argument.
  7. When you are alive, you have the 'potentiality' to experience good things/pleasures whereas being dead is the 100% chance of feeling/having/being nothing. Also, this assumes, I think, that your consciousness actually lives on so that you can tell the difference. In an infinitely void existence that is death, having a short moment of happiness wouldn't matter is there is an infinite void that follows must like infinity plus/minus a constant is still infinity. There is no consciousness to remember the good times you had, so why would it matter. On the other hand, I wouldn't be willing to give up my life-card just yet. Maybe I'm a hypocrite. But yea, I think that the potentiality of living a good life is more than enough to justify living. I guess it's a matter of deciding which odds do you consider to be 'good enough reason' to live.
  8. Wouldn't you say that the 'looser' sense is also open to the possibility that you could have more than one 'God'? Though gramatically, I think capitalizing doesn't just necessarily mean singularily in number but singularity in idea. But I know nothing about grammar except that I can use it so
  9. By algebra, I meant something a highschool or maybe 2nd year college student would understand. I think you guys are mistaking what I call algebra to 'stuff that use algebra', or maybe I'm just ignorant. When I think of algebra, I think of 'finding x', satisfying equations (i.e. solving for f(x) = 0), simplifying, expressing a function in terms of x/y/z, solving for coefficients (i.e. partial fractions), factoring of functions (i.e. x2 + 2x + 1 = (x+1)(x+1)), 'maintaining equality' (i.e. rationalization or multiplying by 1 i.e. (x/x)), and then maybe a few I missed. By 'traditional rules', I meant like 'if you add on one side you add on the other' or 'dividing both sides', which was what Feynman was criticizing. I grew up with these 'rules' and so the idea of 'different ways' to achieve these things in algebra is so confusing and new to me. If Feynman didn't do it this way, then how COULD he have done it? The best 'different' I've come up with was in arithmetic which made it easier for me to count and stuff; counting the way I was taught is HARD. But in algebra, the notion that 'whatever you do to the other side, do to the other as well as to maintain equality' is such a natural idea to me now and 'any other way' is just unthinkable. So I'm asking.
  10. Richard Feynman on The Pleasure of Finding Things Out said something about how when he was tutoring his cousin about algebra and said that his cousin was to find the value of 'x'. Feynman went on to the answer and then his cousin said 'but you did it with arithmetic, you have to do it in algebra'. The following was then about how algebraic rules were invented so kids could pass a class even though they didn't know what they were doing and that it didn't matter how you got the answer so long as your answer is correct. My question is, apart from the 'traditional' rules of algebra, in what other ways could you 'do' algebra and also what did it mean when it was said that Feynman did it with arithmetic? Also, how did Feynman 'do' algebra math since he obviously didn't do it the same way that is taught in school (He taught his kids math and the teacher would complain and tell them 'thats not how to do it' and then some math techniques he told other los alamos scientists about).
  11. The way I see it, Theory is something that tries to explain things with proof. The proof part bumps it up from hypothesis. The proof is simply 'reasonable reasons to believe so'. So, there are theories that are less factual and conclusive than others. Much like string theory is, as far as I know, based off mathematical arguments rather than empirical/physical data. Whereas the theory of gravity and electromagnetism is very much demonstratable. Both are 'theories' but vary in how true people perceive them to be. And then there are the theories in fields like psychology which aren't always true but are nevertheless fair because they have data to support the argument. 'Facts', as people know it, are just things we've seen to occur without the observer being out of their mind (drunk, high). If you stretch it out from things mundane like 'he stole a car' and into natural phenomena, then 'facts' are just things that have occurred so often we assume it's going to happen to the end of time. It's not fair to compare 'facts' a theory because theories only try to explain things using the information given to it as proof; they are different things. On the other hand, if you disregard theory as a set of ideas some old fool thought of (which I'm sure a lot of people think of, particularly for evolution) and only look at the data THEN you can compare the 'theory' with being 'fact'. Of course, you can view the data in different ways much like gravity can simply be particles or a wave or even rubber strings connecting everything that has mass (which are things I'm not trying to suggest as true, but for the sake of argument), but the point is that IT'S THERE. If you line up the human ancestors scientists 'claim to be', then you'd see that evolution is such an obvious thing you'd be half crazy not to believe in it, and then the scientists' 'claim' becomes so conclusive and we live happily ever after. So, theory can both be 'theory' and fact. Give or take a vantage point.
  12. It would be odd to grow something so useful just to show off to the ladies... But nevertheless. I wouldn't deny that genetics and natural selection (environment, competition, prey) greatly influence an animal's evolution. I say that only because I didn't formally study biology, or even evolution. (nobody told me 'THESE ARE THE ONLY REASONS') The OP said something about a dinosaur evolving into something, something it would have evolved into eventually in the dino-era, even though it now has been resurrected into our era. Then I said that the triceratops ancestor (without the horn and face shield, or at least underdeveloped and uncool) wouldn't have grown its triceratop features (horn, face shield) had it been resurrected into our modern era because the reasons it would have grown those features wouldn't necessarily exist anymore. Of course, if it is truly only for mating then it would have grown it I suppose but for the sake of argument lets make it something cool (offensive, defensive). I think that genetics does define the sort of roads an animal's evolution can take (possible paths). However, I also think that it is natural selection that drives and influences which road to take. Perhaps in some way, mutation does too. Therefore, my argument is that, if the reasons that compelled the triceratops ancestor to evolve the triceratop features in the dino-era is now gone in the modern era had it been resurrected, then it wouldn't continue/go forth on evolving the triceratop features. I think that because of genetics, the triceratop ancestor would only have the 'potentiality' to evolve a face shield, and without any survival reason to do so then it wouldn't evolve one.
  13. But that is only if the face shield already exists, no? Surely the im-assuming flat-faced hornless ancestor of the triceratops wouldn't have grown the face shield anyway if t-rexes suddenly disappeared (not necessarily having not existed).
  14. I don't think evolution works quite like that. Things change when there is continual reason to change. If, say, a particular dinosaur is starting to grow a hard exoskeleton and given a few generations in its dino-era it would have end up having essentially a shell. If we resurrect that particular dinosaur, it wouldn't continue growing that exoskeleton just because it would have grown it anyway in its era simply because the ecosystem is different now and the reasons why its growing a hard shell may not be present anymore. The specie that would have end up being the triceratops wouldn't grow its nice shield face anymore if there weren't any t-rexes to defend against. The ballgame is different now.
  15. For one, I think that scientists would have enough foresight to NOT release dinosaurs to the wild. Herbivorous or not. One reason is that somebody like me would just catch a triceratops and keep it as my own. Dinosaurs already wield enough weapons and defenses to not have any reason to add any given our current ecosystems. What they need is stealth, smarts, and the foresight not to go into the cities and streets. Also, they would need to be in significant number (about a hundred per population, IMO) to have them evolve in such a drastic way in a few thousands of years. Better chances for advantageous differences to occur and spread itself.
  16. Of course. The OP was saying something about 'massive changes' being a sign of 'success'. I'm pointing out that it isn't. Cockroaches has not changed much (If they HAVE existed long before, as they are now) because they are good at what they do. On the other hand, if cockroaches HAVE NOT existed long before as they are now, then it wouldn't be reasonable to expect something completely new evolving from cockroaches because cockroaches are 'current' (no time to evolve yet). Of course, things change even a small amount even for a small period. And an isolated population of roaches can diverge from any mainland specie, but the OP is expecting 'big changes' since he was talking about how our current species draw their roots from dinosaurs. (e.i. Chickens are mini raptors that don't want to eat you) I have no idea whether cockroaches existed, as we know them now, along with the dinosaurs. I'd like to put this in the context of 'big changes', as it was the impression I got from the OP. Big changes occur the heavier the pressure to evolve is. (e.i. not doing well) Cockroaches wouldn't need evolving since there isn't really anything threatening their lives. Their food is easy, they reproduce fast, not a lot hunt them down. Granted, over time, they might gain insecticide immunity and shoe resistance. The way we live now as humans, even if we get larger cities and therefore larger territory for cockroaches, the environment will still be the same and there will be nothing new to adapt to. Global warming isn't something I expect roaches to directly fuss over. Though, destroyed earth and therefore no food for us and therefore no food for them would be a problem. I guess I didn't account for how humanity would affect them much.
  17. I don't think introducing new animals to the wild is such a good idea, for a start. In order for a particular insect species to evolve due to dinosaurs being alive, the dinosaurs (their prey/host) would have to be common enough in number such that they affect a large enough number of these insects. If the dinosaurs proved to be extra yummier, or if dinosaur blood is poisonous or something. Eitherway, 2-3 dinosaurs being part of the diet of several insects wouldn't cause any concerns. Then again, given a long enough time, a local population can adapt to their new dinosaur diet. But nothing particularly noticeable (bigger, deadlier). New virus/bacterial strains could be possible though. Current species can trace their roots to dinosaurs. Nothing has evolved from cockroaches because cockroaches are 'current'. Animals evolve because they need to change to adapt. If something has been doing so well, then it doesn't need to evolve because there is nothing to adapt to. Cockroaches are happy being the little nuclear-proof, crush-proof, smelly parasites that they are. There is nothing much to adapt to since they can pretty much eat anything and reproduces like crazy (their eggs are POISON PROOF) and they can fly and they are small so predators wouldn't be too much of a worry.
  18. I do suppose that there are people who 'truly' believe in what they say as much as they believe physical reality. I mean, the westboro baptist church sure go out of their way. Not even my religious friends go that far to recruit church members or persuade people. But I would also argue that most religious people (at least christians. I can't really speak for other folk) do have a sense of separation in priorities in terms of what is divine and physical. Given my experiences so far. I live in a predominantly christian/religious country, and atheism hasn't caught on in the same way it has caught on in the west. In fact, superstition is the closest in terms of being treated as 'real', as compared with faith.
  19. Half-believe is NOT a technical term. I argue that religious people do have it in them that their faith is not as real as they tell it to be, that their faith is not as real as reality is real. Committing a sin which damns a person to hell for all eternity is a bit low priority from any other type of (physical) harm. Hey, we panic more from someone breaking something in their body than seeing somebody on an all-out sinning-spree. At least, I haven't met anyone who actually behaves as though divine punishment is as good as any, even trivial, real world dangers/pain/harm. Even my extra religious friends whom I've seen cry and be emotional in church (the whole shebang). I started out religious, though maybe not as extreme in practice as other people but I've taken the whole ideology seriously (academically, even), so no free will, 'let god decide', or 'it tears me inside to see' crap because that was never the first thing that came to my head when things happened. I don't mean to offend or flame, if I come off that way. It's just a thought that came to me in the shower.
  20. That's true, just because that's how most teachers I've had had done it. But it's not the most effective way to teach. Just because we cannot see beyond the horizon doesn't mean there is necessarily a cliff at the end. Wondering about the idea that there is more to know than we are able to know doesn't get you any farther in knowing anything except that you *could* be right in your 'knowing' that the ocean extends farther beyond the horizon. Even then, getting the correct area of the ocean and distance of the horizon will be tricky; the ocean beyond the horizon can simply be marginally smaller than what we can see. But sure, I guess 'knowing' that the ocean extends farther beyond the horizon 'counts for something'. Assuming that we could be correct in our results and carry on is a lot better than to assume we could be wrong and not do anything.
  21. Richard Feynman: What is Science? Perhaps that's relevant to the discussion?
  22. Computers won't be doing the things we do as humans because Alan Turing said so. Although we might be able to create a good enough AI to discover patterns that we wouldn't otherwise recognize, inducing/deducing new laws would always be the job of humans (or in the far future, dolphins). If humans are going to limit scientific discoveries, it's going to be through budget cuts and ethics. I think we would have reached artificial evolution by now (smarter, stronger than people from early 20th century) if it weren't for that darn 'ethics' and 'no playing god'. But that's just me.
  23. The characteristic of science is that you try to find the mechanisms behind something in a systematic and logical manner. Since Psychiatry is more of a medical discipline as far as I understand, I'd imagine they would try to find differences between normally functioning brains and brains that suffer from mental illness. Given that knowledge, they concoct/use medicine/chemicals/compounds that work on those differences and bring those brains to normal working order. You sell the ones that work and bin the ones that don't. If it doesn't quite go to your standard of 'prediction', akin to something like Physics, then it just means that 1.) The brain is so complicated and/or 2.) The discipline is incomplete/young.
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