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Comment: Re:Sony pirating e-books? (Score 1) 55

by Immerman (#49500725) Attached to: Hacked Sony Emails Reveal That Sony Had Pirated Books About Hacking

Who said anything about death? I thought we were discussing non-existence. How many unicorns died to establish their non-existence?

For that matter, how many people have you barbecued? We should be delicious - biochemically similar to pork, and nice and tender since so few of us engage in significant amounts of physical labor.

Comment: Re:What the fuck are you talking about? (Score 1) 301

by Immerman (#49500605) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Nah, should be theoretically possible - the heart will keep beating no problem, and removing it shouldn't kill the person until oxygen deprivation starts setting in - people survive heart transplants ll the time. Drug someone enough that the shock doesn't kill them, and they should be capable of surviving at least until the oxygen in their brain is used up.

Of course without the blood pumping they won't have long - as a reference point nitrogen (or other inert gas) asphyxiation can cause unconsciousness within a few breaths as the oxygen is pulled from the blood, I imagine a cessation of blood flow would be similarly rapid. With powerful enough stimulants though you might be able to keep them conscious a bit longer - nitrogen asphyxiation usually takes a minute of two to actually kill someone, though permanent brain damage starts much sooner. Probably not long enough to eat their own heart, but maybe long enough to take a bite or two. Though WHY they would do such a thing is an entirely different question.

Comment: Re: Is banishment legal? (Score 1) 264

by Immerman (#49499053) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

Not necessarily - start high enough, with a favorable wind and a paraglider-style chute and you could possibly make it from non-restricted airspace, especially on a nice hot day with the heat-island effect was providing a strong updraft. Or you could be launched from a catapult/cannon/etc.instead, if you could somehow get it close enough avoid raising suspicion ahead of time...

Then again, Wikipedia at least classifies paragliders along with hang gliders as aircraft, and a determined lawyer could potentially get even a standard 'chute recognized as such, should a really lucky parachutist manage to make it. Now you've got me curious as to the legal classification. I'd think they'd be classified as ultralight aircraft, at most. But that seems rather generous.

Comment: Re:America! Fuck yeah! (Score 1) 264

by Immerman (#49498995) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

Did he even need a pilot's license? The article doesn't seem to mention anything about licenses, and the 'copter looks like it *might* full under the weight limit to be classified as an ultralight, which does not need a license to operate (~250 pounds unloaded, not counting safety equipment)

Of course if he was honestly attempting to deliver mail then that probably wouldn't count as recreational usage, at least not if it was mail he was supposed to deliver for reasons other than his own satisfaction, so I suppose he'd need a license anyway. But then he had to know he'd be stopped, he even called ahead, so clearly he didn't actually intend to deliver the mail - rather he wanted to create a media spectacle, which I think could be argued as recreational.

Comment: Re:That's great news! (Score 1) 499

The point is not that no one else has problems, obviously they do. It's just that if everything else were the same, and you were *also* black, you'd almost certainly be even worse off. Being a white man is kind of like being born with a +10 ring of luck. Doesn't mean you didn't also get saddled with a -60 luck modifier, it just means you have it that much easier than you would have otherwise.

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 1) 309

I'm fairly certain dead people have no legal rights, nor do hypothetical new copies that might be created at some point in the future. That money belongs to whoever controls the fund, not the corpses - so I suppose as long as they can be trusted not to enrich themselves at the expense of a bunch of slowly rotting meat, sure there might still be funds available. But nobody is being reanimated, at best they're being copied.

Comment: Re:Socialism! (Score 1) 471

I mostly agree in principle, got any suggestions on how to succeed at something that's never been meaningfully accomplished in the entire history of civilization? Didn't think so. Smaller government doesn't strip the cronies of any meaningful power, it just means that they're the only beneficiaries.

Face it, it's not going to happen. The question is only if some of the wealth being stripped from us is used to provide us with meaningful benefits, or if it all goes to the cronies. I'm putting the gun to no ones head - *we* generated 100% of the wealth, not the people wielding it.

How about this - you want smaller government, how about we start by eliminating THE largest completely artificial construct keeping the cronies in power. The thing every government in history has defended before all else, at least for the powerful: strong property rights. That's what lets the powerful accumulate ever more power - in nature you can own only what you can personally defend, nobody can accumulate vastly more wealth than their peers or it simply gets taken when they're not looking, or in open confrontation. In comparison even strong socialism is positively draconian in propping up the privilege of the powerful..

Comment: Re:Socialism! (Score 1) 471

by Immerman (#49491043) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

Why? I never made any claim that cronyism was distinct from anything - I just think that as long as the little guys are getting screwed regardless, we should at least demand some lube. Maybe even dinner and some health care.

Small government does have much to recommend it, but the cronies have a stranglehold on government, always have, and there's no way they're giving that up. Many government's have been overthrown throughout history trying, but somehow the cronies always end up allied with the new leaders as well.

Take a good hard look at the politicians promoting smaller government - they make lots of righteous noise, but when is the last time they've *actually* cut benefits to the rich and powerful, rather than just those for the rest of us? The only real question is: should the government do anything for the rest of us, or does it just squeeze us to fatten the cronies' larders?

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 1) 309

Has it been? Last I heard there were lots of hypothesis, lots of conflicting results, but not much conclusive evidence for how memories are stored in humans. Flatworms can eat each other and at least apparently gain memories, which does suggest that *they* store memories biochemically, but I don't recall ever hearing about similar results in higher animals, and life tends to explore a lot of options. Heck, eyes independently evolved what, at least nine different times that we know of? I imagine complex memory has probably evolved a few different times as well. And personality almost certainly has at least a component that's heavily structural.

Besides, if human memory were (strictly) biochemical you'd think eating the raw brains of your enemies would have become far more popular. Especially the ones holding secrets or great knowledge.

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 1) 309

I think the idea is to someday scan the brain-sicle and create an entirely new brain (real or virtual) based on the template. Which of course assumes that all the necessary information is preserved in the structure rather than in standing-wave patterns or in a biochemical medium that will inevitably decay even in cryogenic conditions.

The original is, as you say, almost certainly irrevocably dead, but I suppose the idea that a mind-clone of them may someday exist appeases some overlarge egos. Of course even that requires that the heads be sufficiently well preserved until then, which given the current state of both cryonics and neuroscience, not to mention the fact that the customers are generally already dead and can't offer oversight, seems... optimistic. And even if they are, there's the question of why anyone would bother creating mind-clones of a bunch of dead people with overlarge egos. Maybe if you had the head of Einstein, Ghandi, or some other figure who might have something to offer there would be a chance - but a two year old girl whose already lost half her brain to tumor-removal attempts?

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 1) 309

Well, since the original poster used their own completely arbitrary definition of hope specifically crafted to make their "point", I think missing the point is exactly the right way to refute it. (Hint - if you have to resort to Latin to make yourself sound smart, you probably aren't actually doing so.)

>To hope is to long for circumstances to change. That is to say, one rejects what is real and wishes instead for a fantasy.

Longing for circumstances to change has been the root cause behind virtually every social and technological advance in the history of humanity. Someone wishes there were a better way to get the hide off this animal than chewing through it with their dull omnivore teeth. They think of ways that wish might be granted, and come up with the idea of using the sharp edges of broken stone or bone to do the job. To equate longing for change with rejecting of reality is to dismiss all advances of the human race. Hope isn't a rejection of reality, it's a rejection of the immediately apparent limitations of reality - whether that leads to dwelling in fantasy or attempting to change things is entirely dependent on the character and capacity of the person doing the hoping.

Comment: Re:WHAT? (Score 1, Funny) 309

Yep, even the headline is horribly inaccurate, it should be "A 2-Year-Old Has Become the Youngest corpse Ever To Be Cryonically Frozen". If she wasn't dead going in, she most definitely is now. And about as thoroughly dead as it's possible to be short of cremation. The cells have all ruptured, the person has left the building.

The people selling cryonic preservation should be ashamed of themselves, especially in this case - they can't even stop decomposition, just slow it down. MAYBE eventually we'll master the technology to scan a brain and extract the memories, personality, etc. and install them in a computer or new brain capable of restoring stream-of-consciousness. In which case IF there's enough of someone's brain-sicle left to provide the necessary information, and IF the person potentially has something to offer worth the cost of "resurrection", MAYBE some of those frozen heads will get a mind-clone made of them. Assuming of course the company doesn't just chuck all the heads in the composter after the family stops paying attention.

But a two year old girl who already lost half her brain tissue to attempts to remove the tumor? What possible benefit to anyone would there be in creating a mind-clone of that?

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten