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Comment: Re:so many sources (Score 1) 91

by Artifakt (#46762649) Attached to: 52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year

If writng style is really an identifiable characteristic, I would actually be doing you a favor by going Grammar Nazi on your last sentence. Those people who really learn enough of the manifold rules of proper English will form a group which will appear indivisible in attempts to isolate an actual individual, To stand out at all, such people will have to use words such as "eldritch", that are very, very rare, create complex compound sentences such as this one, or otherwise write unusually. People who write a run on sentence with a lack of singular/plural agreement and an ambiguous clause that undermines their actually conveying meaning, all at once, will be much easier to single out. Good luck.

Comment: Re:Specialization is for insects (Score 1) 720

by Artifakt (#46737691) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

1. Ginny might have a different opinion.
2. What about exposing the remarks by L. Ron Hubbard that prove Scientology is a scam? Surely a little credit for that is due?
3. He made it through the Naval Academy, graduating academic 5th in class. Yeah, he got sick later and was discharged after he caught tuberculosis. So your definition of failure there is what? Didn't make Admiral?
4. Despite being unable to re-enlist for WW2 because of his health record, he worked at the Naval Air Experimental Station near Philadelphia, as a civilian engineer. We have Isaac Asimov's word that he was successful as part of multiple classified projects there. (With Asimov working there as a chemist on some of the same projects). It's easy to take a cheap shot at this claim however, as some of these activities are buried deep in the records of the war department, and still aren't well documented publicly.
5. Being #1 in that field he was successful in, and at one point raking in at least 50 times the income his fellow practitioners predicted was the max. possible, is not just a modest success vrs a host of failures, it's rebuilding the whole field in your own image.Writing the first story in April of 39 and having the mortgage and his electioneering debts paid off by the middle of 1940 is not a "non-failure", it's a spectacular skyrocket of a success. He wrote what is often considered the first serious modern SF film (Destination Moon), which was nominated for three Oscars and won one), Most of us would not count screen play writer and print author as just one carreer. Tell me, do you criticise Beethoven for not having done anything really OK except the sonatas?
6. At least one of several houses he designed still stands. (Bonny Doon) The hidden saferoom mechanism still works, Heinlein personally moved multi-ton boulders with block and tackle to landscape and build the pool area. The house is modernist design that takes great advantage of technology to make maintenance affordable and is generally considered a polished, professional design. That sounds like a successful architect to me, if full time professional architects themselves consider him one..
7. Heinlein built a working model of a waterbed and didn't just describe one in print, all on record before the first attempts by others to patent such a device. Inventing something which has been sold in the hundreds of millions, only counts as a failure if your only standard of success is monitization. I'm afraid you're revealing more about yourself than you want there.

Comment: Re:If you make this a proof of God... (Score 2) 589

A mainline Protestant would argue that the Bible is sufficient for grace. it doesn't have to be totally accurate, or directly dictated by God, to lead souls back to God. It just has to have enough in it that people end up being saved. Some denominations hold that the reason for this is so God doesn't interfere with free will in giving the writers inspiration, or even in letting the readers make up their own minds. Other denominations don't take any particular position on why it was done that way. I can see some real problems with all of this, but I'm not a mainline Protestant. Anyway, you begged the question there, and it turns out that there is another answer and the religions you are arguing with have plenty of experience with people bringing this up..

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 351

by Artifakt (#46704047) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Exactly enough for a pair of breeding adults to reproduce enough times that, again on average, two of their offspring survived to reproduce, and so on. For humans, that's actually quite large, because twins and greater are rare and infant mortality is pretty extreme for mammals, so we can guess that the women of the new stone age lived to be about 25 on average, while the males should have had similar lifespans, unless the females averaged 30 and the males only made it on average to 14 but got lucky a lot in their last few months, or any other combination that balances the Darwinian books.

Comment: Re:The answer to this is probably 'no' but (Score 4, Interesting) 35

by Artifakt (#46692649) Attached to: Ancient Shrimp-Like Creature Has Oldest Known Circulatory System

And this is one reason we don't see gigantic insects, quite aside from the usual argument that the square-cube law would make their limbs too thin to support their weight. It also means they would have to evolve better oxygen transport mechanisms.

Comment: Re:Sand in our Brain (Score 1) 105

by Artifakt (#46680625) Attached to: Sand in the Brain: A Fundamental Theory To Model the Mind

I'm reminded of the dinosaur flocking animations of Jurrassic Park. The dino herds flock about here and there, respond to events such as predator attacks, and it all looks very realistic, but the computer models there can't be what nature really uses, because they work by having some parts of the herd respond to others faster than the individual elements could really sense what the others are doing. Yet it looks realistic, and if you use the same formulae to animate model birds or sheep or such things, even trained naturalists don't see anything odd about the results. What would you call a model that produces accurate seeming results for biology, but at the cost of the biologists claiming the physicists are all wrong about faster than light transmission of information? HORRIBLE doesn't begin to describe it. Fortunately, we haven't seen a bunch of bio-informatics specialists claiming they have just disproved General Relativity - maybe there really is some humility in science.

Comment: Re:As an observer (Score 5, Interesting) 105

by Artifakt (#46680573) Attached to: Sand in the Brain: A Fundamental Theory To Model the Mind

Except we are seeing many cases where it is counterintuitive even to working scientists in their own fields, just which explanation is simpler.

            For example, Guth's inflationary hypothesis in Cosmology has resulted in a prediction that certain constants must be random (because otherwise, there's the implication of something we might as well call God behind the non-random values). A hypothesis that invokes God is probably not the most simple - anything that might merit the name of God is likely to be more complex than the very universe it 'explains'. Fair enough, but random values seem to imply an infinity of parallel universes, which however will never be detected by real science, only in science fiction. An infinity of untestable phenomina as the outcome of a model hardly makes that the preferred model by Occam either. Last I looked, neither one of these interpretations of the inflationary hypothesis* has been mathematically shown to be the more simple of the two. If people who have had some real impact on the specific field (i.e. Hawking), can't really agree on what they mean by simple, Occam's Razor isn't working very well.

          This has shown up in several other areas of science, for example recent math proofs by computer that are so complex there's a real chance the computer made errors during the months it was crunching numbers for the millions of steps required. Once a proof is too complex for humans to even check, how can we possibly tell whether it is more complex than another proof or not? (Counting lines of code is not a very good measure there). And while I'm hardly up on all the issues in the "universe as a giant computer" debate, I've seen arguments from some of the pros in that field that seem to show there's problem with determining which explanations are the most simple there too, and I've heard at least one working scientist in the field of sexual selection pressure complain about the same thing.

* The recent Antarctic discovery might argualbly elevate Cosmic Inflation from hypothisis to full fledged theory if it wasn't there yet. For those who think it was a theory already, these observations would seem to place it on even more solid ground, in much the same way as Crick and Watson's work helped strengthen the claim of Evolution to be a well tested and heavily supported theory. But, not being able to predict whether the initial universal constants were random or non-random is a real problem when it comes to proclaiming Cosmic Inflation has the status of a solidly tested theory, no matter how much other evidence scientists gather.

Comment: Re:Something From Nothing. (Score 1) 392

by Artifakt (#46678895) Attached to: Why Are We Made of Matter?

Actually, they don't have to explain it, because science doesn't require everything have a time or point of origin or first cause, only things that proceed through time from a beginning to an end. It was a perfectly good scientific theory that the universe itself was Steady State. It had no beginning, just limitless forming of new stars as old ones died off, for eternity. Steady State didn't lose out in scientific circles because it was considered basically illogical or unscientific, but because evidece accumulated pointing to a moment of origin, the Big Bang. Science allowed for things which didn't need an origin or a cuae for that origin just fine. Ergo, an uncaused and eternal God is only unscientific if you believe that it's fundamental to science that all explanations be natural, but said God is not knocked out as a hypothesis just because it is causeless.
      You're offering an argument Carl Sagan made in the book version of Cosmos. It only works as seemingly logical because he treats something as a rhetorical question, even though he gave a factual answer to that question 20 pages earlier, and that's the real reason why it's not a good argument. Science didn't get to throw out the Steady State because it violated a fundamental rule of science itself, it had to amass evidence, and that's why science is worth admiring. That puts the ball in the Atheists court - It may be up to the religious to offere evidence for God, but it's also up to any person using science to support their position, to consider all hypothisi they know of that might contradict the one they favor, and not exclude them a priori. I don't have any particular evidence for God as a scientific hypothesis. If you have active evidence for Non-God as a hypothesis, go for it, but you should stop trying to take the shortcut of throwing the idea out before actually allowing weighing the evidence. That shortcut is an a priori assumption, it's not one that is standard to the scientific method, and using it means you just turned science into a religion. .

Comment: Re:Something From Nothing. (Score 1) 392

by Artifakt (#46678521) Attached to: Why Are We Made of Matter?

Yes, many people don't see these distinctions. But it's quite worthwhile to understand things anyway.
it's actually a Defense of Darwin's ideas to avoid thinking he wrote "The Origin of THE Species" or something like that. He was out to explain, in modern terms, why we see life organized into somewhat fuzzy sets that change with time, and personally, I think the man did a pretty good job. Unfortunately, I'd estimate that 60 - 70% of the people who thinkthey believe in Evolution either think Evolution proceeds towards abstract perfection, or that it explains the origin of life question. Slashdot is a lousy place to debate religion, because so many people have a religiously fanatical attachment to one or both of these bad translations of Evolutionary theory, and don't know the facts of the matter are the chief thing that disagrees with them, not the people they are criticising.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Speech? (Score 5, Insightful) 328

by Artifakt (#46666431) Attached to: Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

The first amendment guarantees that my speech (c)an never (legally) be restricted, constrained, repressed, silenced, censored, etc. by the government. Never.
Slander someone? Libel them? Threaten immediate bodily harm? Extort? Divulge information during a trial despite court order? Reveal medical or financial information you become privy to in an official capacity? Speak against the authority of a judge or other court official in proceedings? Display contempt for said judge in open court? Swear at or otherwise intimidate a person being constrained to remain on the spot by law enforcement? ,Just interrupt or speak over the speech of a person being questioned by law enforcement at the time? Verbally challenge the policeman him or herself during his or her otherwise legitimate excercise of police powers? Give verbal aid or comfort to an enemy nation during time of war

Oh yeah, the First Amendment supports your right to do any or all of those, and a pig buzzed me at Mach 3 yesterday.
Hint - there is one social contract - the law.
Hint 2 - you obviously know nothing about that.

The "cutting edge" is getting rather dull. -- Andy Purshottam