Search found 1085 matches

by tomandlu
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:36 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans
Replies: 31
Views: 729

Re: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans

When people are attacked by dogs, they usually do not fight back and attempt to escape instead or dislodge the jaws, which is futile. But if they were determined to kill it from the outset, things would go very differently. If dogs just fastened their jaws and then remained fairly static, then I mi...
by tomandlu
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

I mean that a large universe which develops into a vacuum with a surprise brain in the middle is still more likely than a large universe with such low entropy that not only do you get a brain, but also planets and stars and stuff. Because the former is far higher entropy. Is it? In the latter case,...
by tomandlu
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:33 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans
Replies: 31
Views: 729

Re: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans

speising wrote:it really depends on the initiative rolls.


Also, not being a halfling...
by tomandlu
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans
Replies: 31
Views: 729

Re: Biology: Wolves vs. Humans

p1t1o wrote:Humans walk after them. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting)


So... Slasher movies are surprisingly realistic? ;)

As to the original question - dunno, but I'm fairly confident that the reason we 'beat' the wolves has nothing to do with one-on-one grudge matches.
by tomandlu
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:37 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Rather than resort to statistical improbabilities, wouldn't it be a better starting point to hypothesise a small, localised fluctuation in entropy that acts as a seed for a wider disruption? TBH I'm still confused as to the whole basis of the argument (although someone posted a link to a pdf I keep ...
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Of course we're talking about a single mind. You can't claim to have independent observations of other things besides your mind, can you? You may, "but this is silly, this is like brain-in-vat arguments, these are not worthwhile to consider as a realistic model for things," and the answer...
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

elasto wrote:That's why I claim life is special


I don't think BBs relate to abiogenesis, but I may have got the wrong end of the stick.
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:30 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

Most of them. The thing is, brains tend to be significantly smaller than the entire universe. Ultimately, this is an argument about entropy, and a low entropy universe is much, much less probable than a low entropy brain no matter how it is arranged . Consider that in reality, your extremely improb...
by tomandlu
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

When we speak of the probability of a BB vs an OO, don’t forget that we are speaking of the de novo origin of one—if that mind reproduces and thus generates a community or ecosystem of its kind, then that still counts as a single origin—e.g. there is one origin of homo Sapiens despite over a hundre...
by tomandlu
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

2, yes, it's very unlikely, but if your universe model includes an infinite duration spent just living at thermal equilibrium having thermal fluctuations, then however unlikely your BB is more likely than an OO. infinity * small number > big number Okay - but would I be right in saying we would hav...
by tomandlu
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:07 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: disproof of boltzman brain?
Replies: 51
Views: 3086

Re: disproof of boltzman brain?

There's a few things about this that bug me - can someone enlighten me? The contention seems to be that, if the existence of the universe depended on a random fluctuation of total entropy, then BBs, absurd as they are, are more likely than actual brains. However... ⋅ What does it mean when...
by tomandlu
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:02 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Asimov's 3 laws
Replies: 17
Views: 3075

Re: Asimov's 3 laws

Many thanks all - some very useful stuff there (as well as a few trips down memory lane...)
by tomandlu
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:21 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Asimov's 3 laws
Replies: 17
Views: 3075

Asimov's 3 laws

Given the three laws: ⋅ What's to stop anyone shouting out "all robots must immediately destroy themselves"? ⋅ What's to stop anyone 'stealing' a robot with a simple order? Finally, and slightly OT, does anyone know if the laws considered copyright of Asimov's estate or...
by tomandlu
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:20 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

Also keep in mind that in the specific example you gave, what makes the difference is not the inertial motion of the spaceships and earth, but their acceleration ... It's that change in speed, acceleration, that results in the spaceships' clocks being behind when then rejoin the earth in its state ...
by tomandlu
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:13 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

I think the best answer is "nope". Under special relativity, all inertial frames are equivalent. Sure, in your reference frame you measure the clocks in the other reference frame as running slow, but, in the other reference frame they measure the clocks in your reference frame as running ...
by tomandlu
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:09 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

I thinkt he best answer is "it's not that special." There is a sort of important analog for a kind-of-special frame used in cosmology -- if you operate at a scale where the universe is just a homogeneous bulk, then there is a frame in which that bulk is at rest. This frame is pretty speci...
by tomandlu
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:29 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

I'm still trying to turn this into something I understand rather than just accept, and that's led me into something else that's now bugging me. One of the principals of relativity is that there are no privileged frames of reference, but isn't there one special frame of reference where time, relative...
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:44 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Integrating Superpowers into Society
Replies: 5
Views: 2269

Re: Integrating Superpowers into Society

I'm a bit curious as to where the economic/superpower margin is, such that Electro is worth hiring to save the occasional costs during surge demand, but not worth replacing the whole power system? As an aside, in Frank Miller's slightly underrated "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" (aka &quo...
by tomandlu
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

Naively, it seems to me that time's arrow is a result of the third law and the uncertainty principle, and as such, is a macroscopic thing. Consider an explosion; a classical case of increasing entropy. During the explosion (like at most any other time), the future is likely to be more disordered. J...
by tomandlu
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

Someone correct me if Im wrong, but: If there is an entity present capable of observing a particle, you are not in a maximum-entropy-state universe. If you're in a minimum-entropy-state universe, there are no particles to look at...yet. So the answer is either: yes, you can tell, or; the question d...
by tomandlu
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:11 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

You are asking a question about a single particle quantum state in the first sentence, and the state of the universe in the second, so could you connect some dots? For simplicity's sake, single particles, but I'm also thinking of ratios - i.e. any statement about the whole that can be inferred from...
by tomandlu
Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:42 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Most realistic magic system and areas for improvement
Replies: 27
Views: 8468

Re: Most realistic magic system and areas for improvement

To take a left-turn, magic in Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian Warlord Chronicles * is based on never being quite sure whether it was magic or not (and when it most looks like magic, the curtain is very quickly pulled back). Nothing that happens can't be explained as a combination of coincidence, knowle...
by tomandlu
Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:07 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

BTW can you tell, looking at an individual quantum particle, whether it exists in a universe of maximum or minimum entropy? Basically, is there a difference between the quantum state* of a young universe, and a universe that's reached full entropy? * a somewhat vague description, but hopefully yswim...
by tomandlu
Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:27 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

PM 2Ring wrote:That sounds like Cramer's Transactional Interpretation of QM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transacti ... rpretation which has always been one of my favourites.


HIs SF book sounds like it might be fun.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein%27s_Bridge_(novel)
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:16 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

gmalivuk wrote:More like the other way around. SR says spacetime behaves a certain way and from that you can derive what happens with space and what happens with time.


So, yes? (i.e. nothing else involved?)
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:59 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

I read an article that suggested that quantum entanglement could be explained without spooky action if causality breaks down at the quantum level - i.e. a particle sends a message back in time to its twin about how it should spin, etc. If true, IYHO would this qualify as a major revision of QM or ju...
by tomandlu
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:38 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

Can I check something? Does the distortion of the light-cone grid arise naturally from what happens to space and time in special relativity? i.e. can those grids be derived from those two aspects of SR alone, or is another factor required?
by tomandlu
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:20 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

Okay, and in all honesty, although I believe in the principle that FTL breaks causality, I never get it. So, given my original specification, how would I, for instance, arrange to give myself the combination of a safe when the only record of the combination was inside the safe? When you receive the...
by tomandlu
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:53 pm UTC
Forum: Movies and TV Shows
Topic: The End of the F***ing World
Replies: 7
Views: 2137

Re: The End of the F***ing World

Yeah - started watching it on the recommendation of my daughter. I find the faux-nihilism a bit relentless, but it's great fun.
by tomandlu
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:51 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Re: Yet another FTL question...

Okay, and in all honesty, although I believe in the principle that FTL breaks causality, I never get it.

So, given my original specification, how would I, for instance, arrange to give myself the combination of a safe when the only record of the combination was inside the safe?
by tomandlu
Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:04 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic
Replies: 661
Views: 245013

Re: I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

I'm sure I've asked this before, but I'm damned if I can find it... A short SF story, where a man in the US wilderness stumbles across an alien machine that's collecting living samples. It pursues the man, and when he's finally caught after a long chase, he's released as the exercise has put him bel...
by tomandlu
Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:55 pm UTC
Forum: Movies and TV Shows
Topic: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Replies: 190
Views: 21767

Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Shrug. I loved it, but I accept that some of the criticisms are valid. All I can really say is that all I ask of my fantasy media is that I don't spot the plot holes at the time I'm watching it, and it passed that one. I sort-of liked TFA, but I haven't had such a buzz watching a SW film in a long t...
by tomandlu
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:40 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Yet another FTL question...
Replies: 35
Views: 7766

Yet another FTL question...

If you could teleport instantly to any point in the universe, but didn't have any magical way to change your relative momentum, which you'd still have to handle conventionally, could you still potentially break causality?
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

Tchebu wrote:New perspectives on it, definitely, but not a full-blown overhaul like the transition from classical to quantum mechanics was.


Well, yes. I certainly don't dispute the strong possibility - after all the blind men really could have been dealing with a snake, a fan, and a tree-trunk...
by tomandlu
Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Odd sunlight reflections off glass windows
Replies: 11
Views: 3076

Re: Odd sunlight reflections off glass windows

Variations in air pressure could cause fairly uniform distortion for multiple windows... Do you think that the differences in temperature between the outside and inside could cause the differences in pressure? I was referring to a pressure difference between the atmospheric pressure (on both sides ...
by tomandlu
Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Odd sunlight reflections off glass windows
Replies: 11
Views: 3076

Re: Odd sunlight reflections off glass windows

Variations in air pressure could cause fairly uniform distortion for multiple windows... Do you think that the differences in temperature between the outside and inside could cause the differences in pressure? I don't think it's much affected by temperature differentials - at least it isn't limited...
by tomandlu
Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:02 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 19035

Re: Quantum Question

Grand unification (or lack thereof), black-holes and information, gravity, dark matter None of those are problems with the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics. Grand unification and dark matter are both problems of finding specific quantum mechanical models that have these features and conf...
by tomandlu
Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Network on a trusting planet
Replies: 5
Views: 2337

Re: Network on a trusting planet

As others have said, better off in the SF-science forum, but what the hell. I work in health IT, and we need to provide hospitals with the ability to import data from other hospitals, as well as allowing patients to access their own data*. For the former, the obstacle is not so much security as comp...
by tomandlu
Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:27 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is this logical statement true or false?
Replies: 9
Views: 4274

Re: Is this logical statement true or false?

"All absolute statements are false" is false, because if it's true it's false, but if it's false then at least one absolute statement is true, but it need not be this one, so you avoid the "This sentence is false" paradox. I'm not sure "including this one" affects the ...
by tomandlu
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:23 pm UTC
Forum: Movies and TV Shows
Topic: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Replies: 190
Views: 21767

Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

I loved it, and it's been over 30 years since I said that about a SW film. Space Leia was dumb in the way that it was staged, but didn't bother me otherwise. The Monaco planet was largely a waste of space and time, but compared to the lows of I-III, it was Citizen Kane. Aside from that, I have a...

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