Search found 3401 matches

by elasto
Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:24 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?
Replies: 207
Views: 22758

Re: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?

I do think it makes sense to say that we have the right to be protected by our government. And this right implies an obligation by the government to protect us. But this protection is enabling our freedom to do things. I agree. But consider the parallel to crack: The principle reason crack is bad i...
by elasto
Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:51 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?
Replies: 207
Views: 22758

Re: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?

I agree we're into difficult terminology here, but if you look at the UN's list of rights for the child there are clearly others that agree with me to class these things as rights. I don't know if there's any logical difference between 'a right group X has to receive behavior Y from group Z' and 'an...
by elasto
Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:01 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?
Replies: 207
Views: 22758

Re: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?

If you restrict your definition to those things which you consider good ideas, you're going to have a hard time finding failures, no? How did I do that? Here's my definition once again: To me it's about giving people more rights - or extending existing rights to more people. Nothing there about whe...
by elasto
Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?
Replies: 207
Views: 22758

Re: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?

Progressive means moving forward toward new ideas, bringing about change, etc. Oh, if we're making it as bland as 'change' then, no, not all change is good. Vista wasn't as good as XP, so there's an example right there. Under that definition practically every law ever passed is progressive - the DM...
by elasto
Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?
Replies: 207
Views: 22758

Re: Have there been any progressive reforms that failed?

How are you defining 'Progressive' there? To me it's about giving people more rights - or extending existing rights to more people. With that definition it's hard for me to think of a progressive reform that failed. Prohibition was definitely regressive in those terms - as is the existing war on dru...
by elasto
Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:31 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Hurricane Sandy
Replies: 81
Views: 10076

Re: Hurricane Sandy

8 million homes without power though, possibly for weeks. That pretty much sucks :/

And many of those without running water too, but hopefully that'll be restored within 24 hours or so.
by elasto
Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:17 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How does space differ from time?
Replies: 78
Views: 18930

Re: How does space differ from time?

I sort of get what you're arguing, but it's hard to imagine how something like that would experience consciousness - unless everything is conscious - even a mathematical formula written on a paper. Sure, I could get how actually running a mathematical formula on a computer could experience conscious...
by elasto
Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:58 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: "New" Information in the Universe
Replies: 59
Views: 12027

Re: "New" Information in the Universe

Uh. No. A large number of additional inputs are required to grow a functional human being. If you just stick two strands of human DNA in a petri dish and come back 18 3/4 years later hoping to find an adult person there, you're going to be deeply disappointed. Ah, but those 'additional inputs' (ie ...
by elasto
Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:43 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: "New" Information in the Universe
Replies: 59
Views: 12027

Re: "New" Information in the Universe

An entire human being is grown from the information contained in two minuscule strands of DNA, so clearly we're highly compressible. Life is special (but not unique) in that it is able to locally lower entropy - at the cost of greatly increasing entropy elsewhere. And it's a runaway effect: Life is ...
by elasto
Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:25 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Problem Generating Infinitely Many Endless Bitstrings
Replies: 10
Views: 2892

Re: Problem Generating Infinitely Many Endless Bitstrings

If you haven't read this thread (in particular the solution thread) you might find it quite interesting, FancyHat: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=45360

There are also other, similar threads around; It was just the first one that turned up on a search.
by elasto
Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How does space differ from time?
Replies: 78
Views: 18930

Re: How does space differ from time?

Found the article I read on it: http://io9.com/5655307/why-are-past-present-and-future-our-only-options Don't like the way he expresses some things - in fact I like very little about how he talks about time (I like the way dudiobugtron expresses it much better) - but it's quite informative in a pop-...
by elasto
Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:12 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How does space differ from time?
Replies: 78
Views: 18930

Re: How does space differ from time?

That's very helpful, ThirdParty , thanks. Does anyone have any ideas why this situation is what it is? I suspect not, but who knows? It's probably just the anthropic principle at work: ie. that if it weren't three (macro) dimensions of space and one of time intelligent life couldn't form. I once re...
by elasto
Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Burgler sues homeowner after robbery, shooting.
Replies: 65
Views: 8218

Re: Burgler sues homeowner after robbery, shooting.

IMO punitive damages should go into a central pot that helps fund universal legal aid.

Claimants should receive compensatory damages only - including a portion for pain and suffering. Bringing a lawsuit shouldn't be like winning the lottery.
by elasto
Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Burgler sues homeowner after robbery, shooting.
Replies: 65
Views: 8218

Re: Burgler sues homeowner after robbery, shooting.

In my dream legal system, the defendent should be able to get this thrown out with a court appointed lawyer and without ever showing up to court. Like with a signed statement or something. I agree; I like to see universal legal aid too. However, since some countries, including the US, struggle with...
by elasto
Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:00 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Italian seismologists sentenced to 6 years for earth quakes
Replies: 42
Views: 5111

Re: Italian seismologists sentenced to 6 years for earth qua

Any decision from this point on will be based on minimizing the risk of becoming responsible for the damage, rather than minimizing the risk to the public in general. It is a silly decision, but then, it's Italy. I hear that's one of the factor's behind spiraling health costs in the US: The over-pr...
by elasto
Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:07 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warming?
Replies: 1714
Views: 292412

Re: Is it possible to have a rational debate on global warmi

It might well be true that, all being equal, the planet being a few degrees warmer is net beneficial. The problem is how rapidly the climate is changing. There could be mass famines and wars over rapidly changing access to fresh water. Heck, some countries may demand that the West, having benefited ...
by elasto
Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Fair Notification
Replies: 14
Views: 4221

Re: Fair Notification

Concerns It still costs the time-value of money for it being held to be on the list You could make it very cheap - eg. 1%. All you're really trying to avoid is people who have real real interest in buying it taking up spots. Sort of gets rid of a free market (It's for sale, but first this guys has ...
by elasto
Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Fair Notification
Replies: 14
Views: 4221

Re: Fair Notification

Well, if demand exceeds supply and you don't want to increase the sale price to balance it, then what you do is set up a waiting list. Since one of your goals is that home hobbyists are preferred to resellers, you simply set a rule that someone who has never bought a particular tool from you always ...
by elasto
Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:01 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 141506

Re: Definition of Free Will

If what we have is indistinguishable from some ideal notion of free will, why would we call it anything but free will? We can call it either free will or determinism - whichever is a more useful model at the time; just as we can view an electron as either a particle or a wave, whichever is a more u...
by elasto
Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:41 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.
Replies: 48
Views: 5178

Re: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.

That critique seems harsh. It was what it was: A live video feed of someone spending two hours going up in a balloon and five minutes jumping down. It was exciting and dramatic because it was live - because anything could have gone wrong at any minute - eg. the attempt could have been aborted due to...
by elasto
Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:12 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 141506

Re: Definition of Free Will

That's an excellent quote TGB and sums up my viewpoint, and why to me it doesn't matter that we don't have 'true' free will: We are constrained to only be able to choose to do that which we want to choose to do; But since we'd make the same choice anyhow even if we had 'true' free will who really ca...
by elasto
Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:38 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Tech Industry's Dirty Little Secret
Replies: 74
Views: 10943

Re: Tech Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Came across this pretty cool set of pics and just thought I'd share!

http://www.google.com/about/datacenters/gallery/#/tech
by elasto
Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:35 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.
Replies: 48
Views: 5178

Re: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.

I'm not usually one for lolcats but...

Image
by elasto
Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:27 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.
Replies: 48
Views: 5178

Re: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.

Yeah. He looked to be spinning at 100RPM or so at one point, and, given that his parachute wasn't going to deploy until 4(?) mins after he jumped, if he'd spun fast enough to pass out he could have spun uncontrollably fast for minutes which presumably could have killed him. My guess is that the aver...
by elasto
Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:15 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Does "poverty" require agreement?
Replies: 15
Views: 5441

Re: Does "poverty" require agreement?

I would have thought that poverty was a relative measure based on the distribution of wealth in a society, not a absolute measure. Mostly I'd agree, but I think there is still a line. In my very first post I put that line personally at having insufficient calories/vitamins/water or shelter to be in...
by elasto
Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:52 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.
Replies: 48
Views: 5178

Re: Red Bull Stratos is live and underway.

The ground control guy seemed pretty incompetent "the wind is coming from the north. no the wind is coming from the east." The ground control guy was Joe Kittinger - the guy whose records Baumgartner was trying to break - records that this guy had held for fifty years. Apparently his advi...
by elasto
Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:22 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Does "poverty" require agreement?
Replies: 15
Views: 5441

Re: Does "poverty" require agreement?

By that measure the richest kings in europe lived in poverty. (even a simple disease could be deadly to their kids.) In health terms they did live in poverty. Poverty has more than one dimension - I assumed that went without saying (but thanks for saying it TB :D). Although, as with the left-right ...
by elasto
Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:14 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 141506

Re: Definition of Free Will

I find it extremely hard to see how a computer program perfectly emulating the neurons of a human brain (say my brain) wouldn't be conscious, and yet at the same time it would clearly be deterministic, therefore I conclude that I too am deterministic. It may be that we can't perfectly emulate the h...
by elasto
Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:24 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 141506

Re: Definition of Free Will

The key here is you say " perhaps ". Without 100% certainty (yes, that's rather hard, may be impossible, that is the point) we are deterministic or random, we have to conclude "we do not know to a sufficient degree". So we call this system we don't know "free" as a sys...
by elasto
Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:44 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 141506

Re: Definition of Free Will

There are things in nature that come close, though. A crystal in the right solution can reproduce. A forest fire can release sparks that create new forest fires. You say life is special in that it could conceivably turn the whole universe into itself, but a black hole could conceivably turn the whol...
by elasto
Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:44 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science is no longer science...
Replies: 91
Views: 11468

Re: Science is no longer science...

I think this does not take into account that holding back of a drug for adults because children could be prescribed it doesn't solve any ethical problems at all ... because now you could have lots of adults dying because they can't get the drug because it's not approved for children. I didn't say i...
by elasto
Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:39 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Does "poverty" require agreement?
Replies: 15
Views: 5441

Re: Does "poverty" require agreement?

Did anybody actually read the article? I'm reading it as referring to the fact the they have been dispossessed, and moved into modern society. They aren't living in the forests as primitives, rather as day laborers. Barahirwa says his people make little money working for other people, carrying sack...
by elasto
Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Does "poverty" require agreement?
Replies: 15
Views: 5441

Re: Does "poverty" require agreement?

If you're saying in absolute poverty are almost always unhappy then you're saying that almost everyone throughout history has been unhappy. No. You'll note the definition I gave is much narrower than the UN's: I said if they aren't getting getting enough calories (ie starving) or not enough vitamin...
by elasto
Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:56 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Does "poverty" require agreement?
Replies: 15
Views: 5441

Re: Does "poverty" require agreement?

While is true that that is the literal meaning of the sentence, sentences are almost never purely literal . They almost always carry subtext and implied information. In this case, it is implied that they are also extremely poor, and that is why they have these health problems. I think that, by any ...
by elasto
Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Does "poverty" require agreement?
Replies: 15
Views: 5441

Re: Does "poverty" require agreement?

There's relative poverty, absolute poverty and happiness - and the connections between the three need to be carefully untangled. If these tribes are not getting enough calories/vitamins/water/shelter to be in good health then they are in absolute poverty. From our viewpoint, they are obviously in re...
by elasto
Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 213410

Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Aren't you presuming the computer is only aleph0ly fast? Perhaps it's aleph1ly fast! Presumably then it could count all the reals in finite time!
by elasto
Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:55 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science is no longer science...
Replies: 91
Views: 11468

Re: Science is no longer science...

I suspect that regulation requiring greater transparency of the study information would solve the issue, and probably have beneficial aspects as well. I'd be entirely ok with requiring that any study on a currently-for-market drug performed by the manufacturer be published online for a specified pe...
by elasto
Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:41 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Are shadows cast by moonlight larger than those by sunlight?
Replies: 16
Views: 3698

Re: Are shadows cast by moonlight larger than those by sunli

Ok, so a couple of days has passed so it's probably ok to 'spoil'. This is a pretty good link on how an Ancient Greek found approximate distances to the moon and sun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchu ... _Distances
by elasto
Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science is no longer science...
Replies: 91
Views: 11468

Re: Science is no longer science...

I can't watch the video but at a talk of his I attended a few weeks ago he spoke of a similar case where the drug was trialed for adults but could also be legally proscribed to children as long as the available information didn't inidicate significant risk.(so that you don't end up with some silly ...
by elasto
Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:54 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science is no longer science...
Replies: 91
Views: 11468

Re: Science is no longer science...

This only assumes that there is no communication between scientists, which isn't true at all. Sure, I never said it never happens. However, in industries like pharmaceuticals there are probably confidentiality agreements in place preventing researchers from one company telling researchers from othe...

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