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Prometheus last won the day on January 22

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About Prometheus

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    Building statistical models for Raman spectroscopy.

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  1. Recently tried both these frameworks: Tensorflow is nothing like Python, it's like another language embedded in Python. Pytorch has much more 'Python-like' syntax, if you're familiar with numpy, Pytorch will be simple. However, the community support for Pytorch is currently paltry compared to Tensorflow. Either way, Python is a good start. I don't think the language matters as much as learning the fundamental concepts of ML though.
  2. Here's a list a well over a hundred.
  3. Before you dive into the physics are you familiar with the difference between hard and soft magic systems in literature? If so, do you know which one this is (i can't tell from the excerpt )? I ask because if the author uses a soft system then you're going to be chasing rainbows. Even if it's a hard system - with explicit rules - there's no reason it needs to be based on real laws of physics - it just needs rules that are consistent within its world. That said, some authors do try to make their systems consistent with real world physics, to a degree.
  4. Genes also have their own evolutionary agenda - was that not Dawkin's great contribution to evolutionary theory, that the unit of replication is the gene not the organism?Wouldn't memes be the same? Therefore i don't think it's useful to think of some memes, like religious ones, as particularly self-serving - they all are. But we can think of memes that better serve the organism, in this case the cultures they exist in. Perhaps some religions are more suited to secular societies than others. But then evolution is a blind process and what constitutes better? By some metrics religious countries do very well. My guess is that the changes to the memetic landscape that social media brings, and the click-bait maximising algorithms that appeal to our reptilian instincts which drive it, will change the selective pressures towards favouring extremist religious interpretations. But then i favour the Greco-Roman tradition and they're known Cynics.
  5. I've already given an account of the Genesis myth. The Jesus myth is from several centuries later. If you see how terrible and inconsistent the Star Wars prequels/sequels were compared to the original 50 years later then i can well understand why the Biblical mash-up so poor. A generous reading of the Jesus myth is that human sacrifice is no longer needed, because god has sacrificed himself/his only son for us. I'm not going to defend Christianity too much though, i think it was a regressive step even 2000 years ago when compared to the Greco-Roman traditions to the west and Vedic traditions to the east,. In the bible sacrifice comes up many times (Abel and Cain, Jacob and Jesus). Each instance demands that the best of humanity is demanded. But in the Greek myth Prometheus urges mankind to keep the best for themselves, tricking Zeus to take a lesser sacrifice. The Greek myths challenge mankind to aspire to godhood - which is the greatest sin, Lucifer's sin of Hubris, in the Christian tradition. My interpretation is that the blossoming of man is regarded as terrible in Christianity (although i don't think that's true of the Jewish myths), but as glorious in the Greco-Roman tradition. If we think in evolutionary terms, meme theory, then religion must have served quite a strong survival function. If it was so malignant, it developed so early in mankind it would have been like getting a childhood cancer - not something you survive in the natural world. I think a more accurate analogy would be to compare it to something like the appendix: something that helped us survive in the past, which became thought to be useless in modern times, but has been found to still serve a function for some people. Religion can can understood in terms of psychology and sociology too. The Greeks said that you can know a people by the idols they revere. Religions have their idols, as does the secular world.
  6. At least one Gandhi statue has been removed in Africa, and a new one stopped from being put up in the UK, due to his well documented racist opinions of Africans.
  7. Depends on what else happens, but i fear it could be worse than useless. On the one hand authorities and individuals can simply start removing monuments, hence being able to say 'look we tackled racism', while doing nothing to address current problems that disadvantage various communities. It could also provide recruitment material for far right groups (i'm sure the recent defacing of a Churchill monument will feature heavily in their propaganda). That's not a reason not to remove monuments, but since they will ensure there is a price to pay, what we get in return should be worth it.
  8. The mistake, for the religious or non-religious alike, i think is to take the stories literally. Taken as frameworks they make more sense. The forbidden fruit ( Milton's Paradise Lost solidified it as the Apple) symbolises knowledge, particularly of good and evil. The first thing Adam and Eve notice after eating it is their nakedness - they can now discriminate between themselves and a potentially hostile world and so seek to place barriers between it and themselves. The most interesting aspect of this story is that this coming of knowledge is cast as a bad thing. (Also interesting to note is the role of the serpent - later interpreted as Satan - in bringing about insight in humans. There is a theory that snakes provided the selective pressure that developed the human visual system to such a high degree. Perhaps a hint of how ancient these myths reach back). Compare this to the Greek myth of how humans acquired divine knowledge. Prometheus, the bringer of light (incidentally the same meaning as the name Lucifer), gifts the divine fire it to mankind (again, that theme of light, fire is also probably one of mankinds oldest technologies, both bringer of life and death), so incurring Zeus's wrath and much liver pecking. However, the key difference is that this acquisition of divine knowledge is seen as a good thing, not something to be punished. Herakles, one of the greatest Greek heroes, repays Prometheus by rescuing him from Zeus's punishment. However, humans don't get off so lightly, with Zeus tricking Epimetheus and Pandora (the first woman, so equivalent to Eve in that respect) into opening her jar (or box), thus unleashing all the torments man experiences (hope being a silver lining or the final torment that makes you endure all others depending on your disposition). Both stories cast our acquisition of divine knowledge as the source of our suffering (indeed humans do seem able to suffer in a unique way compared to other animals). However, the Greco-Roman lineage sees that burden of knowledge as our bridge to divinity (through adversity to the stars), the Judeo-Christian lineage sees knowledge as what separates us from divinity - and our ignorance as a return to the divine (man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith).
  9. To what end? Do yo want build mathematical models for medical/physiological applications? Do you want to keep doors open so that later you could move into a medical career? Are you just inherently interested in the subject but don't plan on applying any knowledge? Knowing your goal should help you focus on what you need.
  10. I'm not familiar with SpaceXs financing, but my understanding is that SpaceX treats NASA as a customer and so tax dollars only go to the company via market forces, as opposed to direct funding or subsidies etc... The USA have been paying the Russians through the nose for the same service. Whether that's a good use of tax money is debatable, but SpaceX are just delivering for a niche in the current market.
  11. This is the only one i could quickly find with healthy people. Modern ones focus on fluctuations in the presence of some condition. Use terms in that paper to search for more papers if you like. This has all the hallmarks of charlatanism though, so personally i wouldn't waste time on it.
  12. Depends what you mean by god. If you mean a creator god, in the Abrahamic sense, then that only appeared ~500 BC - and only once in humans among the Semetic people. That's far too late to have any evolutionary basis. Therefore i think God far too new a concept to be subject to genetic evolution, though it may have stemmed from older concepts that are rooted in our neurobiology.
  13. I believe the consensus is that human sacrifice had already largely vanished in most European traditions before the arrival of Christianity, but accusations of such were propagated as part of the subjugation of pagan traditions.
  14. In one person? 100? 1000? WBC fluctuates more than that during the course of a normal day. Even if true, does it translate to more resistance to covid-19? You'd probably want to measure coronavirus antibodies to make that claim. Unfortunately not - medical science progresses slowly for a reason. But they claim to already have data - ask to see it and post it here.
  15. So there's a consideration of statistical significance and clinical significance. As you state, there are natural fluctuations in serum biomarkers, even over the space of minutes let alone a day. To prove this increase/decrease in various biomarkers is not simply a result of these natural fluctuations you would need to repeat the test numerous times until you can be reasonably sure that the role of chance has suitably diminished. This is statistical significance. Related issues include multiple hypothesis testing (in this case there are three biomarkers being measured, i.e. 3 hypotheses being tested, unless they are clustering them somehow) and cherry picking (maybe they measured 20 biomarkers but only reported the ones they liked). Even if statistical significance can be established, is the the finding clinically relevant? So maybe the procedure bumps up your RBC a tiny bit - from within the normal range to a bit higher within the normal range - so what? It might be relevant for high altitude climbers and other niche activities, but for general health i'm not aware of it making any difference. Also well worth considering are any side effects of the treatment - any treatment must weight potential benefits against potential harm. You need to know about both to make an informed decision. Banned by Brazil, eh? The place that doesn't even listen to the WHO? Doesn't sound promising.
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