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Prometheus

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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. There are a number of misconceptions there, some of which have been addressed in this thread but let's visit them one more time. No one is disputing the average man is physically stronger than the average woman. How does this follow from men being physically stronger? Or is it a separate statement? Or it could be cultural conditioning with nothing to do with neurobiology. Why do you keep skipping over this possibility? Map reading isn't a defining characteristic of the sexes. But again, no one is disputing that there are biological differences between them. What we are asking of you is to try to disentangle those innate biological differences from cultural conditioning. That should be the starting point for any imagining of what a matriarchal society would look like. Do you acknowledge that there are some purely cultural differences between the sexes - it seems you just assume every difference can only be purely biological. We know this isn't true, and you've been given links throughout this thread if you want to follow this up. No one's asking you to do that (or imagine that). How do you know this? You've just assumed it's true. Provide some evidence to back it up. We don't have any societies that raise girls with boys toys so unfortunately it's not straight forward. I gave 3 types of evidence i would look for. There's probably more: for instance, there must be studies on child playing styles and toy preferences between the sexes. Have you tried to look for any of them? But we do have historical examples of some of the more matriarchal societies being famously warrior-like. Again, why do you keep ignoring this? I've only been talking in averages. There have been thousands of female rulers throughout human history across the globe, enough to give us the idea that they aren't so different to male rulers. There are also plenty of gay rulers, including Philip II, one of the greatest Greek (Macedonian) rulers and quite probably his son, one of the greatest rulers in recorded history: Alexander the Great. In the Greek and Roman golden ages, these weren't exceptions. Just to give an idea of the sort of things i was hoping you might submit as evidence i found this study. Turns out female rulers engaged in more wars than men. If you can't or don't want to answer these questions and points then i agree it's probably best to lock the thread.
  2. Not really. I think you're trying to say that male hippocampi are innately larger than females', but that's yet to be proved. You're assuming way too much. What do animal studies suggest? Are there any studies on how sex hormones affect the growth of these regions? Any studies on neonate brains? These are the things i'd start off looking at. Even if we take something more obvious like the increased musculature of the average man and more aggressive impulses due to higher levels of testosterone, doesn't mean a matriarchal society would be less warlike (Sparta, perhaps the most famous warrior society in all of history, was also one of the most matriarchal). It might mean you'd still be sending men off to be cannon fodder, but the strategic decision to go to war could be made by a matriarchy. Decisions to go to war take months, balancing many factors, meaning impulses have less of an effect. I'm not convinced a matriarchy would be any less inclined to war than a patriarchy. There are historical precedents for this - female rulers have popped up quite often and didn't seem less inclined to war - but then they were still operating in a patriarchy. So that's another place to get clues: compare the number of wars engaged by kings vs queens.
  3. Or men have larger hippocampi because they were encouraged to explore the world as boys, as girls were encouraged to domestic play (recently came across this with my niece who wanted a remote control car as a present but the mother over-ruled her to get a cooking toy). If we're imagining a society starting from scratch we'd need to know the direction of causality, at the moment we have only correlation (as far as i know - haven't delved into the literature). Again, how much of this is biological and how much cultural conditioning? My impression is that any biological differences are exaggerated by cultural norms. To imagine a truly matriarchal nascent society we need to strip away this cultural element, leaving us with a biological case from which to proceed (although it probably isn't as easy to separate culture and biology as i suggest given one emerges from the other). Maybe there are animal studies that could give us some clues?
  4. I think a closer analogy is: Doc: I'm afraid you have COPD. Patient: Smokers lung? What do I do about it? Doc: Let's start with stopping smoking. Patient: OK doc... how do I do that?
  5. So they have the carbon and hydrogen to make polymers but how difficult is this process: is it already established or would it require new technologies (aside from doing it all in space)?
  6. While female and male brains have differences, it would be difficult to pick apart what is truly biological variance between populations and what is cultural conditioning. I vaguely recall a study that found female hippocampi were on average smaller than in males, which was said to explain why men were better navigators. But we also know parts of the brain less used will atrophy. So is it a case of their hippocampi being intrinsically smaller, or a result of gender roles directing its use (or lack of)? When women have risen to prominent historical roles they have pretty much done as men have done - Wu Zetian, Boudicca, Hypatia (but maybe that's because they emerged in patriarchies). There is also evidence of early societies that while not matriarchal, were more balanced. The Spartans are a probably the best documented example, and weren't significantly different from surrounding societies. I've also heard it said men more readily pursue risky pursuits, perhaps leading to voyages such as Colombus'. Assuming this is a neurobiological difference, it wouldn't necessarily preclude risky behaviour from men. Remember Colombus was sponsored by both Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, with the former willing to sell some jewels to fund it (thoough she didn't need to). War would still be conducted by men on the field; aside from differences in physiology making men on average more suited to those demands, sending women to fight would be a flawed strategy. The Romans lost ~300,000 men to Hannibal in the Punic wars from a total population of ~3.5 million - thats a huge proportion. If they had all been women of child-bearing potential Rome would almost certainly have fallen. Overall i don't think there'd be gross changes to the patterns of war, economic cycles, spiritual practices, technological development etc - just a lot of changed details which are impossible to guess at. They say men are from Mars and women from Venus, but we all know they're both from Earth.
  7. How common would plastics be in an off-Earth economy? I've had a quick look around and it seems that plastic manufacturing heavily relies upon organic materials, from hydrocarbons to bioplastics. How hard would it be to make plastics from the materials found near Earth? Apparently Titan has an abundance of hydrocarbons, but i couldn't find anything closer to home.
  8. Hard to comment without knowing his work, but it sounds like he was talking about the conscious experience of time, rather than the actual physics of it. If you want to study the physics of it, then do so. And if you want to use your experience of time in your spiritual practice, then do so. But chasing them both, thinking they are the same thing - it looks like you're chasing your tail - which is fine as long as you know you're not going to get anywhere.
  9. I'm Buddhist. I've not heard of the philosophy/power of Now. Is it perhaps a Western interpretation of some Buddhist principle? It's interesting that the Buddha refused to answer questions regarding the nature of the universe. We don't need to know much about nature of time to strive towards a more wholesome life.
  10. Medicine, particularly epidemiology, suffers from these same restrictions and is yet able to proceed. There are interesting parallels between the accumulation of evidence that inhaling tobacco smoke causes lung cancer and AGW, but one point of departure is that the basic physics seems far more well understood than the basic biology was for tobacco related lung cancer.
  11. I think what is skewing your eye is that the nature of exponential growth is not intuitive: over a human life span we only see a small interval of the curve . Over geological times though, the nature of that curve is apparent. It started shallow, but now we're seeing just how steep it is: societies and landscapes changing within single lifetimes. It's an old story.
  12. Sounds like a plan. Just some general comments that may or may not be helpful. Find something to love in the subject otherwise it will become a grind and you may end up resenting the subject. Understanding Euler's identity and writing a programme to generate the Mandelbrot set captivated me. If you're interested in history, you can tie any of the maths you learn to its historical context. If you're interested in science it should be easy to tie in some maths. Join a community. You already have by joining this forum, but there might be local ones too. Ask questions. Vent frustrations. I'd add exercise and meditation to the regime and adjust diet if needed. Look after yourself; the brain and body are a single functional unit, neglect one at the cost of the other. I'd also sprinkle in a few weeks off to allow your brain to fallow.
  13. Thanks for the articles. I can only speak about UK practices. Here are the NICE guidelines for stroke, one type heart attack, a more dangerous type of heart attack, asthma and the Resuscitation Council's guidelines on cardiac arrest. The only explicit mention of sex in any of these documents was is in the MI document: 'Immediately assess eligibility (irrespective of age, ethnicity or sex) for coronary reperfusion therapy...' Which is not to say that there aren't differences in the sexes in how these present, only that at present they are not considered relevant: any differences are far too small to be relevant to emergency situations (emergency medicine is a blunt tool compared to the precision medicine in some other fields). That could change in the future, but i doubt it for one particular reason. The holy grail for medicine for some time now is personalised medicine, where treatments are tailored to the individual, as opposed to the one size fits all approach still prevalent. You might think using sex to guide assessments and treatments would be a step to this end, but the opposite is true. For instance, the asthma article you provided talks about the impact of sex hormones on asthma. One day emergency medicine may be good enough to take these into account when making treatment plans. However, human variability being what it is, if we just assume women and men will have a certain levels of relevant sex hormones we could be doing more harm than good - the fact is that men and women as populations exist on a distribution, and without more information we do not know where on this distribution they exist. We can only treat based on averages, which is the antithesis of personalised medicine. If emergency medicine is good enough to be able to take into account sex hormones in asthma treatment it should be good enough to directly measure these sex hormone levels, via a blood test for instance. In this case, sex would still be irrelevant as we have the direct measure of the pertinent factor - circulating oestrogen and progesterone levels in this instance. If you know of different practices outside the UK let me know, i find this interesting, although perhaps off-topic here.
  14. Chest pain is one of the most common presenting complaints in A&E (~5%). You'll get assessed by a triage nurse or doctor ASAP, get an ECG, and your pathway determined based on those. Most UK departments still rely on The Manchester Triage system. It's old, but has been well validated. Not a single presenting complaint includes sex as a factor.
  15. How? I never came across that in 6 years of A&E nursing. There's a difference in the presentation of abdominal and associated pains, but for the ones you have listed i can't remember any instances where knowing the sex made any difference to the patient's outcome.
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