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jimmydasaint

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Posts posted by jimmydasaint


  1. I am sorry to hear about your excessive workload. I have also invited scientists into school to work with the children who appreciated the new input and were very friendly towards the PhD (normally a final year student who wanted an experience of teaching). Hope your second idea prevails in the future as a general model of behaviour.


  2. The myth may have stemmed from pre-street lamp days, when there was little or zero ambient night light, and hence less activity from people. On full moon nights there may have been more activity because people could see better and, hence, more trouble may have occurred.

    I'd go with this hypothesis qq. People go wild every Friday and Saturday in the UK - it's called binge drinking - irrelevant of the presence, or absence, of a full moon. Driving home late on a Friday, I am often faced with mad idiotic driving by people desperate to get home to start the weekend. The full moon has nothing to do with this phenomenon - it is more likely due to the increasing availability of cheap alcohol and happy hours.


  3. The only thing which got me hooked on Physics (applied Maths) at school as a teenager was that it led to a definite answer - a form of truth which some other subjects lacked. I used to avoid homework until the last minute and be on the streets playing football/soccer or other sports until very late - often seeing the ball by the streetlights.

     

    As a teacher now, I see exactly what the OP is saying - our current model fails the least able or the slow learner and we are leading cattle through a fence. It is tragic, but, when there are moments when a class interacts with, and "clicks" with a teacher, both the teacher and the students improve as a result of this social interaction.

     

    I have had my say about the current education system to the Department for Education in this country (the UK) but no rational response has been given to me.

     

    The motive of the teacher matters as well and I have seen, for the most, part, caring and compassionate teachers who work bloody hard for their pupils. A few egotists or people who don't like children enter the profession to earn their pensions and it looks as if the author of the OP met one of these teachers.

     

    In reality, the school system originally, in the 19th century was in three tiers: a) labourer class; b) middle manager class and c) director and owner class. The success of all those hardworking and self sacrificing teachers throughout the years has been in allowing individuals from a) and b) to enter professions for class c). This success continues to this day.


  4. Hopefully it is not the only game in town

     

    http://www.jta.org/2017/04/04/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/israeli-firm-to-provide-drinking-water-from-the-air-for-india-and-vietnam

     

    I am not sure how much of an impact this technology is having...

    The model you are suggesting is a water generator that filters and then condenses the water directly from the air. It seems great for isolated villages or small companies but I see the production rate of water unlikely to serve small towns or cities unless it becomes a popular trend, and the technology is rolled out through distributors on a worldwide scale. But, if solar energy can be used to power the device it looks suitable for small scale use in a sustainable manner.

     

     

    Water Gen devices use thin plastic leaves to condensed water from warm, humid air. The company says that its largest unit can produce 825 gallons of water per day for only 10 cents a gallon (mostly in energy costs).

     

    In India, Water Gen is to deploy its technology to supply drinking water to remote villages in India with solar power from Vikar Solar. The Vietnam project is to generate tens of thousands of liters of water a day for the people of Hanoi. Water Gen also said in a statement that it plans to build a factory to produce technology for sale in the region.

    http://www.jta.org/2017/04/04/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/israeli-firm-to-provide-drinking-water-from-the-air-for-india-and-vietnam


  5. Of course the computer "feels" that it has made a difference: it increased its IAmGreat parameter. Seriously, our "feeling" might be more complex and involve a lot of neural processes and chemicals, but it has long been established in this thread that if complexity is the only difference, humans not fundamentally different from robots..

     

    Cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am. If I doubted my existence, there is a "someone" to doubt it. You see things Bender. Light hits your eyes and are picked up by rod and cone cells in the eye and passed on to neurons to the brain. Who sees the image in the brain and interprets it?

     

    Your second link demonstrates nicely that humans like to think we are special, because we think differently about humans than about anything else. That does not make us special.

     

    My aim was to establish the role of genetics in social interactions and I gave to examples where the genetic predisposition was important to the development of social personality characteristics.

     

    About the evolution of social beings: psychopaths cannot form a social group and individual humans would not have survived long. It would have been nigh impossible for a solitary mother to raise and protect children. Social structure was vital for such a squishy ape-like mammal with such a long nurturing period. Psychopaths would either need to display social behaviour or be excluded from the group. So it could be as much as disadvantage as an advantage.

     

    Give me some abstracts to read please. However, it is important to note that psychopaths may be successful in having no empathy or compassion except for themselves and therefore can imitate human qualities in a more complex but similar way to a computer. I will try to find some evidence of this myself.


  6. I'm not even that great a programmer. ;)

     

    Like others, you haven't given any definitions, so I'll have to throw in my own.

    Humans, computers and robots all use cost functions to decide which action to take, weighing benefits against cost/risk. I suppose to call an action a "True act of compassion" it needs to have a cost, while the only benefit can be "feeling good about yourself".

     

    So I'll give the robot an additional parameter, which I'll call "IAmGreat". Whenever the robot takes an action with no other benefit, the IAmGreat parameter is increased. Then I'll add increasing this parameter as an additional term to the cost function with some weight. There you go.

    OK, I am sure you are being modest, which is a good quality. I will present a definition of compassion, which, IMHO, is a most human/humane quality of what we define as character:

     

    compassion
    noun
    1.
    a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
    verb (used with object)
    compassion
    /kəmˈpæʃən/
    noun
    1.
    a feeling of distress and pity for the suffering or misfortune of another, often including the desire to alleviate it
    Word Origin
    C14: from Old French, from Late Latin compassiō fellow feeling, from compatī to suffer with, from Latin com- with + patī to bear, suffer
    Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition

    My main point would be the following- does the computer feel better as a result of a kind action? Do I feel better when I show compassion to someone? Yes, undoubtedly I feel better about myself. Does a computer feel good? I am sure you can replicate feelings by, for example, making a smiley face light up as the computer's "I Am Great" ratio increases but does it feel it has made a difference to the life of someone as we humans do? I don't know.

     

    I am trying to understand why humans have not evolved as "survival machines" rather than social beings because I am assuming that the latter needs facets of character which may not be directly selected for by Natural Selection. However, I am willing to concede that aspects of the human composition in the brain such as number of oxytocin receptors or "mirror" neurons could play a part as genetic determinants of social behaviour. Nevertheless, I question why humans are not solely populated by those that are the fittest for survival. I remember being told anecdotally that psychopaths thrive in top professions and are at the top of many industries due to their selfish and survival traits in modern life. It made me wonder why we need human qualities such as empathy or compassion at all in the first place.

     

     

    Abstract

    A common variant in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR), rs53576, has been broadly linked to socially related personality traits and behaviors. However, the pattern of published results is inconsistent. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to comprehensively evaluate the association. The literature was searched for relevant studies and effect sizes between individuals homozygous for the G allele (GG) and individuals with A allele carriers (AA/AG). Specifically, two indices of sociality were evaluated independently: i) general sociality (24 samples, n = 4955), i.e., how an individual responds to other people in general; and ii) close relationships (15 samples, n = 5262), i.e., how an individual responds to individuals with closed connections (parent-child or romantic relationship). We found positive association between the rs53576 polymorphism and general sociality (Cohen’s d = 0.11, p = .02); G allele homozygotes had higher general sociality than the A allele carriers. However, the meta-analyses did not detect significant genetic association between rs53576 and close relationships (Cohen’s d = 0.01, p = .64). In conclusion, genetic variation in the rs53576 influences general sociality, which further implies that it is worthy to systematically examine whether the rs53576 is a valid genetic marker for socially related psychiatric disorders.

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0131820

     

     

    The mechanism by which humans perceive others differs greatly from how humans perceive inanimate
    objects. Unlike inanimate objects, humans have the distinct property of being “like me” in the eyes of the
    observer. This allows us to use the same systems that process knowledge about self-performed actions,
    self-conceived thoughts, and self-experienced emotions to understand actions, thoughts, and emotions in
    others. The authors propose that internal simulation mechanisms, such as the mirror neuron system, are
    necessary for normal development of recognition, imitation, theory of mind, empathy, and language.
    Additionally, the authors suggest that dysfunctional simulation mechanisms may underlie the social and communicative deficits seen in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6661/16b9135d9fb9cd3d19c9d594c8b530996226.pdf


  7. Many yars ago I listened to a radio interview with an american researcher who had cured

    98 out 100 mice by cutting out portions of the pancreas. (The other 2 in her trial were

    still in recovery at the time) Apparently recovery was total and permanent.

     

    She was complaining that no one would fund her human trials. I never heard any more of

    that.

     

    PS. If anyone wants to look it up if it's even possible - it was on the

    Ed Doolan radio show on radio WM (UK)- year unknown sorry.

    Fred can you please find transcript or the name of the scientist please? This could be crucial to the discussion.

    My dad weighs 130 pounds, skinny to the bone, eats salads, and still had type two diabetes.

    He never was fat, he's always worked in hard labor, and he eats very little.

    Explanation?

    Environmental factors - diet, vaccination, electro-smog, genetics - all in a confusing mishmash that interact together?


  8. I would red up on the background thoroughly before you continue with your criticisms quickquestion. I have a quote and a link here for you to read:

     

    The mirror test, sometimes called the mark test or the mirror self-recognition test (MSR), is a behavioural technique developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. as an attempt to determine whether a non-human animal possesses the ability of self-recognition.[1] The MSR test is the traditional method for attempting to measure self-awareness; however, there has been controversy whether the test is a true indicator.

    In the classic MSR test, an animal is anaesthetised and then marked (e.g. painted, or a sticker attached) on an area of the body the animal cannot normally see. When the animal recovers from the anaesthetic, it is given access to a mirror. If the animal then touches or investigates the mark, it is taken as an indication that the animal perceives the reflected image as itself, rather than of another animal.

    Very few species have passed the MSR test. As of 2016, only great apes (including humans), a single Asiatic elephant, dolphins, orcas, and the Eurasian magpie have passed the MSR test.

    Animals that are considered to be able to recognise themselves in a mirror typically progress through four stages of behaviour when facing a mirror:[5]

    (a) social responses (b) physical inspection (e.g. looking behind the mirror) © repetitive mirror-testing behaviour (d) realisation of seeing themselves

    Gallup conducted a follow-up study in which two chimpanzees with no prior experience of a mirror were put under anesthesia, marked and observed. After recovery, they made no mark-directed behaviours either before or after being provided with a mirror.[citation needed]

    A wide range of species has been reported to fail the test, including several monkey species, giant pandas, sea lions, and dogs.[2][3]

     

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_test

     

    It does not seem to be a wholly rigorous or foolproof method - but it is a start...


  9. And another one... rude shopkeepers who think they are doing you a favour when you are the customer with the money to pay their goddamn wages - I met two of these shopkeepers in the last few days who looked as if they were squeezing a lemon between their ass cheeks!


  10.  

     

    And why shouldn't any other computing device be able to "think recursively"?

    IMO, if I understand recursion correctly, it is similar to Descarte's cogito ergo sum ( I think therefore I am). This led him to believe that even if he doubted his existence there was someone who did the doubting. In short, it is thinking about the action of thought. This requires human experience of a "self" to which events have occurred about upon which thought could be "built".

    If you properly define things like "compassionate" or "genuinely empathic", I can program a computer to show this behaviour. Same for the "freshness" of air, but this would obviously need some sensors to detect e.g. CO2 levels.

     

    I can program a computer to (randomnly) avoid interaction if there is a risk of not getting a response (fear of rejection).

     

    About psychopaths : what makes you think they are more like robots? They simply have different weighing functions to make decisions. It's not like the rest of us don't weigh our actions.

     

     

    On second thought, one could argue that psychopaths are less like robots. After all, most robots are programmed to take the well being of (other) humans into account.

    I don't doubt your programing brilliance. However, you are suggesting similarities to human qualities. How does the computer show that it is an entity to which things have happened from the environment and from which it has developed a personality. Compassion can be easily put on for show by people and computers alike but true compassion seems to be developed by character and a conscious choice rather than a copy of a compassionate action. For example, feeding of the hungry would be an act of compassion. A computer could ask people if they are hungry and then feed them, of course, but could it be programmed to feel that the action was rewarding and an act of growth of personality? If you could do that then you should be rewarded with a huge grant and a team of postdocs.


  11. I think you could have included a crucial point to be made, which is the proposed mechanism of action:

     

    How Does It Work

    The new drug inhibits an enzyme called low molecular weight protein tyrosine phosphatase (LMPTP), that is suspected to bring about the lowering of cell sensitivity to insulin. With reduced LMPTP activity, the drug re-enables insulin receptors on the surface of the cells — particularly those inside the liver — which in turn restores the cell’s power to regulate excess sugar. When the body can once again regulate blood sugar levels, the condition of Type 2 diabetes is effectively reversed. A New Drug Could Completely Cure Type 2 Diabetes

    Notice that the tests were performed on mice and not in human tissue culture. The findings of the authors are encouraging but not final - the word "could" is pretty standard but important.

     

     


  12. Moontanman,

     

    Hope everything is well with you friend. My only thinking for humans not being robots is down to this strange thing called consciousness which seems more well developed and sensitive than other species and the ability to think recursively:

     

    The Uniqueness of Human Recursive Thinking

    The ability to think about thinking may be the critical attribute that distinguishes us from all other species

    Michael Corballis

    200732713297_307.jpgenlarge-image.gif

    A dog chasing his tail has nothing on the human race. Recursion—a process that calls itself, or calls a similar process—may be a fundamental aspect of what it means to be human. In the human mind, recursion is actually much more complex than the notion of returning to the same place over and over. We put phrases within phrases because we hold thoughts in memory; thus we have language and a sense of a past self. We are aware that we are thinking about what someone else is thinking; on this awareness we build a sense of self and the ability to be deceptive or to act on shared belief. Recursion gives us the ability to mentally travel in time. It is fundamental to the evolution of technology: Human beings are the only animals that have been observed to use a tool to make a tool. Looking at human language and thought, psychologist Corballis finds recursion within recursion. (bold emphasis is mine - Jimmy)

    http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/page2/the-uniqueness-of-human-recursive-thinking

     

    We also, IMO, have a limited sense of free will - I know you are aware of this argument


  13. The answer is "yes" to all of those. I defined fear quite randomly, but in a way that was not vague. If you care to define "rational or irrational response" and "feeling of fear" less vaguely, I'll explain how to program a computer with that behaviour.

    A "humanoid robot" is a robot with roughly the shape of a human and has nothing to do with this discussion ;).

     

    Can you programme an ECG to be compassionate or genuinely empathetic to an individual that it perceives as "the same?"

    Can you programme a supercomputer to show random acts of kindness?

    Could you ask a computer to rate the freshness of the air or the gentleness of the rain or to perceive the related nature of all living things?

    I would argue that you are expert enough to become a simulacrum of a living being but that expertise would not be able to show the computer its own place in a "timeline of life" or to consider its thought processes or to feel a sense of volition which seems to come from an unseen and subconscious source.

     

    I am happy to go along with a definition of fear that is a perception of danger and automatic responses to avoid that danger. Think of a beautiful member of the opposite sex that you want to speak to and consider the fear of rejection if you approach that person. That is what I would consider to be an irrational fear.

     

    My problem is that humans appear weak to me. They cannot shut off feelings of compassion and empathy that would slow down their progress. However, psychopaths seem to behave more like robots in my opinion, with pure self interest as one of their primary motivations. It puzzled me that there were not more sociopaths and psychopaths in society as a result of Natural Selection.

     

     


  14. Taken directly from the paper:

     

    The salt rejection properties of our GOGr membranes were further investigated using

    forward osmosis, where we employed concentrated sugar (3 M) and
    NaCl (0.1 M) solutions as the draw and feed solutions, respectively
    (Supplementary Section 7). ..
    are the concentration of NaCl at the draw and
    feed sides, respectively. Our analysis yielded ≈97% salt rejection
    for the GOGr membranes with a water ux of ≈0.5 l m2 h–1
    .
    Even though the ux is lower than 510 l m–2h–1 typical for
    forward osmosis, we believe this characteristic can be signicantly
    improved by decreasing the membrane thickness to 1 µm or less
    (Supplementary Section 7). Such thicknesses are readily achievable
    for GO laminates and can result in uxes >5 l m–2h–1

     

    IMO, we now have a good solution for desalination of water using a relatively cheap material (graphene) but the flow rates depend on single salt solutions in controlled experiments where the flow rate achieved is approximately 5 litres per metre squared per hour. You can use thousands of graphene oxide membranes simultaneously to get a reasonable flow rate. However, the amounts of different salts and biological materials would need a pre-filter that would slow down the flow rate. Is it possible to give an impoverished coastal town with sufficient clean water for their drinking needs? I don't know - I am not an engineer or a materials scientist. However, I am sure there are such people on the forum who can chip in on this important matter.
    Salty_ocean_6.jpg
    .

  15.  

    I realise this is a joke, it's just not very funny for some, but in case it wasn't intended as a joke; grow a pair.

    Of course, it's a bloody joke mate! However, the panic room, like the eponymous film, sounds like a good idea to me.


  16. And another thing that really grinds my gears. As soon as my wife sees me sitting around "relaxing", she immediately thinks of something to do that takes about half an hour. Really, I should send her on holiday and build myself a panic room with drinks, snacks and the possibility of a small fort with room for one inside.


  17. The difficulty seems to be in flow rate (not precisely mentioned) and also on the overwhelming saturation of graphene oxide membranes with the high salt and biological material content of seawater. A pre-filter for biological material could be used but what about the salts excluded from the final clean water? How easy would it be to get rid of the excess salts?

     

    I am very encouraged by the results and this presents hope for water management for people living next to significant bodies of water.


  18.  

     

    So you have your certificate in Cherry Picking. Well done.

    Why do you think it is acceptable to be such a vile bigot?

    You need to remove this line from your sig: "Lets keep it friendly and polite!"

     

    Or add one saying that you are a hypocrite as well as a bigot.

    I agree with Strange. By all means hate religion; I have no relation to organised religion because all three mainstream religions have fallen into the same trap - formalism and dogmatic adherence. The God I believe in is an intellectual and a forgiving entity who has kindness as Its core value.

     

    Alan, you do come across as a man who believes all the bull**** that the media broadcast as truth but the great book "Manufacturing Consent" should enlighten you to the true nature of the press.

    Mass media play an especially important role in democratic societies.

    They are presupposed to act as intermediary vehicles that reflect public
    opinion, respond to public concerns and make the electorate cognizant of
    state policies, important events and viewpoints. The fundamental
    principles of democracy depend upon the notion of a reasonably informed
    electorate. The ‘propaganda model’ of media operations laid out and
    applied by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in
    Manufacturing Consent:
    The Political Economy of the Mass Media
    postulates that elite media interlock
    with other institutional sectors in ownership, management and social
    circles, effectively circumscribing their ability to remain analytically
    detached from other dominant institutional sectors. The model argues that
    the net result of this is self-censorship without any significant coercion.
    Media, according to this framework, do not have to be controlled nor does
    their behaviour have to be patterned, as it is assumed that they are integral
    actors in class warfare, fully integrated into the institutional framework of society, and act in unison with other ideological sectors, i.e. the academy,to establish, enforce, reinforce and ‘police’ corporate hegemony

    http://web4.uwindsor.ca/users/w/winter/40-328.nsf/0/10ff8b04ff3a317885256d88005720f6/$FILE/Klaehn.critical.review.pdf


  19. It's helpful to realize that emotions are not irrational or imperfections but fairly straightforward shortcuts to making decisions in situations where either speed is paramount or where game theory means that everyone making optimal, rational decisions is liable to result in an equilibrium state that is less beneficial to you than may be possible if things are mixed up with a disruptive behavior or where the threat of disruptive behavior is reasonably expected and can therefore be used as leverage in negotiations.

     

    There's a meme of humans being illogical/irrational and computers being superior in logic and unemotional, but that ignores the constraints of the problems that need to be dealt with and the reasons why emotions exist in the first place, which are things that computers attempting to operate in a similar environment cannot completely ignore.

    Thank you for that clear and compelling insight into the use of computers and neural networks. The insight about use of emotion is superb and worth some thought. so it is possible that emotions give humans the edge during conflict, or survival-type situations. Great post Delta.

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