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Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 322

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#49379395) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

2nd potential mechanism. Due to competition for rare leadership positions, serfs showing leadership potential are killed outright, leaving behind only those with brains enough to do the job that the lord wants them to do. Once a dynasty and traditional economy are established, eight nor nine generations of this and you'll end up with a genetic separation between "noble blood/highborn" and "serf/lowborn" populations.

For an extreme comedic version of this, see, these English actors portrayed the four class English system perfectly, complete with simulated IQ levels.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 322

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#49379219) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

In feudalism, and in certain forms of tribalism, the chief/King and his family eat first, and then everybody else eats what is left over from their table. (in Calapuya Chinook, the title of the chief was the Hias Mucktymuck- quite literally "the dude sitting at the head of the table", from which we get the saying "Lord High MucktyMuck"). I'd call that a very powerful selection mechanism.

Comment: Re:I agree .. BUT .... (Score 3, Informative) 223

by Lodragandraoidh (#49376763) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology

Every organisation needs a "not boring" slot of time for their developers. Not for product that needs to ship NOW.. but for stuff that may need to ship next year.


Except I would add: "may never ship at all."

The key point here is you aren't betting the company on it, but you still should be doing it. Every company should encourage innovation - and even if the company isn't willing to bet any cash on it. Another way is to encourage your developers to spend some time on their own personal FOSS projects. What this gives you is experience - and from a risk vs. reward perspective, success is attained not by how much working (boring) code you produce, but really how many times you try something that fails, and get up again and keep pushing on with new/modified ideas based upon this experience giving your customers real value. Companies without this perseverance will fail, or at best will be mediocre.

On the flip side - if your core business (the part that you are trying to show your customers you are innovative and a leader in) becomes too boring - and by too boring I mean while it may 'work', it may not do what a customer really wants/needs - then you run the risk of losing those customers to someone who will try and be willing to fail.

Just like all oversimplified prescriptions, the article's concept does not take into account the nuances of business goals, risk aversion level, available human factors and skills, and so on.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 0) 322

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#49375791) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

I suspect that evolution is involved. Those who have power in society are making the decisions and thus NEED the larger brains. Those whose grandfathers were ditch diggers and under 99% of the societies ever designed would be ditch diggers themselves, didn't need big brains and in fact were better able to survive without them.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 234

by foreverdisillusioned (#49368997) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected
As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, a key thing to realize is that many internally consistent and mathematically correct models have been built in physics, only to be discarded because they don't match reality. There are an infinite number of universes that don't exist, but math lets us describe then perfectly.

Einstein himself identified the need for a cosmological constant quite early on.

But he quickly realized that this "need" (as it was originally conceived) was entirely psychological/emotional in nature--the effect it was supposed to explain didn't exist and so the term became useless. Einstein himself called it a mistake.

Some people are now disagreeing and saying that he was so brilliant that he solved a problem no one knew existed, but I am highly skeptical of this sort of freewheeling approach. Even if the Cosmological Constant can be made to worth mathematically to describe Dark Energy, you're on very shaky ground trying to re-purpose it to describe a totally different phenomenon from the thing Einstein was originally envisioning when he created that term.

Tying together the above two points results in the key thesis I was dancing around in my original post: "Explaining" an unexpected observation by shoehorning it into a term in an existing equation--taking a superfluous term and making it important again by flipping the sign and allowing it to refer to a different phenomenon--is a very weak and queasy "win". This kind of re-purposing strikes me as a very shady way of recycling a bit of trash that should have been tossed out many decades ago. Let me put it another way: the cosmological constant term should have never been in there to begin with. These aren't my words; they are (more or less) Einstein's words. If Hubble had made his discoveries sooner, Einstein would not have put the constant in there. So, in a universe where the cosmological constant term doesn't exist, what do we do when we see dark energy? Do we create the cosmological constant exactly as it is now? Would it make intuitive sense to create that term out of whole cloth and add it to alternate-universe Einstein's equations?

Anyhow, it's as you've said: GR has serious unresolved issues at universal scales, but also at galactic scales (rotational issues, Dark Matter.) Additionally, it has issues at the QM level, which makes it the primary thing standing in the way of a GUT. Just consider for a moment how gravity stands alone, unconnected to the rest of physics... and it has significant mysteries (dark energy, dark matter, galactic rotational behavior, closed timelike curves, singularities), and it also has important questions that we think we already know the answer to but we haven't verified (gravity waves, gravitational behavior of antimatter and other uncommonly seen particles, the existence and properties of negative mass / negative energy)

Conclusion via Occam's razor: GR is wrong. Not toss-it-in-the-garbage wrong, but wrong in the way that Newton's equations predicting the orbit of Mercury were wrong.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 234

by foreverdisillusioned (#49362545) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected
Well correct me if I'm wrong, but GR primarily aims to explain the laws and effects of gravity. It does this rather well in our solar system. But for the reasons I've outlined, it fails on several counts to predict the movement at larger distances (on the scale of galaxies.) You could claim "well, that's just another hidden force at work--GR is flawless!" And that might indeed be true. But I don't think it's absolutely, self-evidently true.

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw