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Comment: Hide Your Insults: "ULA - King of Space Travel" (Score 1) 78

by Jaborandy (#49449899) Attached to: SpaceX To Try a First Stage Recovery Again On April 13

In order for our proposed name to stick, we need to pick one that is both obviously insulting when viewed by those who agree with us and also seemingly-acceptable and even positive-sounding when viewed by those who love ULA.

My proposals are:
* Gold Standard
* Spruce
* Exorbital (Exorbitant + Orbital)

You all have got to be able to do better than that. Come on, float your own names...


Comment: Re:Electric Universe (Score 2, Funny) 236

by Jaborandy (#49358347) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

Thank you for the link, AC.

I saw two errors so egregious in the first three pages that I can dismiss that paper immediately. First the authors claimed that stellar gasses need to be sufficiently ionized that magnetic field lines could be frozen in them. This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of electromagnetism. These people could not possibly give fair treatment to an electromagnetic theory with such a basic misunderstanding. Second, they claim that obviously stars are not affected by the magnetic fields, and therefore they can falsify the opposing claim by demonstrating that gasses and stars move together. The plasma universe theories require a corresponding adjustment to our understanding of the stars themselves as strong electrically charged objects themselves, but more importantly the modeling of the flow of current is the key to understanding the electromagnetic forces acting on the gasses and stars.

Those folks took down a straw man.


Comment: Certainty in Science (Score 5, Insightful) 236

by Jaborandy (#49358303) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

It really bothers me to see quotes like this one: "There is more dark matter in the Universe than visible matter, but it is extremely elusive."

That's so matter of fact, and leaves no room for the possibility that the theory of dark matter is wrong. I feel that the certainty level around our understanding of this topic is low enough that it isn't fair to competing theories to say things like that as if they are observed fact. In fact, we've never detected dark matter. We infer its existence from a number of things that don't add up gravitationally without it, indicating we're missing something. Dark matter that interacts gravitationally allows us to model a universe that adds up, if only this invisible stuff were distributed just so.

This article shows yet another data point indicating that dark matter may not exist, because of how it continues to not react with stuff, just as it would if it weren't there at all. I don't mean to say that it's 100% wrong, but I think it's unfair to say with 100% certainty that it's true either. Shouldn't we as scientists be more careful with our words, and say that dark matter is BELIEVED to make up more of the universe than does visible matter, based on our current leading theories? I think being careful with what we know and how well we know it is important to maintaining trust with the public and with each-other.


Comment: Electric Universe (Score 1, Troll) 236

by Jaborandy (#49358237) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

The answer to what they're missing: Electric charge and currents.

The electric universe folks explain that galactic rotation rates do not require dark matter to make sense. The electric current through the galaxy adds forces on the charged stars and gasses that adds up to explain the observed motions. This article sheds more light on the problems with the dark matter theories. It's time to more strongly consider the possibility that dark matter isn't the answer.


Comment: I'm Still Rooting for AMD (Score 5, Interesting) 345

by Jaborandy (#47020175) Attached to: AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money
I was so proud of them when they kicked IA64's ass with their amd64 architecture, beating Intel at their own game by choosing to be x86-compatible when even Intel didn't go that way. Then I was sad when amd64 started getting called x64, since it stripped AMD of the credit they deserved. Go AMD! A world without strong competition for Intel would be very bad for consumers.

Comment: Re:Don't Be So Cock-Sure You Know The Answer (Score 3, Interesting) 269

by Jaborandy (#46512007) Attached to: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

Thank you for sharing your perspective like a gentleman. I respect that.

I think the core of our disagreement is with your expectation that all the things explained by LCDM must be explained by other theories. I believe it's perfectly fine for the answer to be that some things aren't connected. If we no longer assume we know the age of the universe, then predictions of element ratios no longer need to agree with observations of CMB, which may be totally disconnected from galaxy supercluster clumpiness. If red shift is seen to have some cause other than just expansion, then no unified theory has to predict how the universe got from a near-singularity to the observed state. Once you take a fixed finite timeline out of the picture, there can be different causes for different phenomena.

(Last post from me on this thread.)

Comment: Re:Don't Be So Cock-Sure You Know The Answer (Score 1) 269

by Jaborandy (#46511587) Attached to: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

Reread my title, BorisTheSpider. I'm clearly talking to people like you. Your message showed exactly the unarguable hubris I'm talking about.

As for your challenges, if I'm allowed to make stuff up whenever I want to make my theory fit the model, I can do at least as well as the Lambda CDM. But then it'd be no better either. I don't want to make up dark energy when it calculations don't add up. I don't want to make up dark matter when my motions don't add up. I don't want to invent a cosmological constant that causes accelerating expansion because the timeline doesn't add up without it.

I do not assume that the universe must be expanding in the "expanding space" sense. I do not assume large scale electric charge imbalances are impossible. I do not assume dark matter exists. I do not assume that the universe must have had an identifiable beginning. I do not assume that it must fit with any religion's idea of "the moment of creation." I honestly believe that most scientists believe in the Big Bang as a religious litmus test akin to "do you believe in science?"

I do make a lot of assumptions, but when I take out the assumption of a Big Bang, I find that a lot of things don't necessarily follow supported by their own weight. And anyone who justifies one piece of the puzzle by saying it fits into the Lambda CDM, is I believe falling victim to circular logic. I remain unconvinced that Lambda CDM (or any previous Big Bang formulation) is anything more than an attempt to put a random formula together that ties together a number of different unfounded assumptions so they look like they reinforce each other.

You assume it's more than that, and I appreciate that you are working to validate aspects of the theory. Here's what I'd like you to ask yourself, even if you still think I'm an idiot: When you find something that disagrees with the theory, you try to figure out what variable needs to be tweaked to improve the agreement, but is there a point where you would ever consider reexamining the questions of the assumptions? Why haven't we reached that point yet?


Comment: Don't Be So Cock-Sure You Know The Answer (Score 0, Troll) 269

by Jaborandy (#46509865) Attached to: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found
Wow, these guys are way too certain of themselves. And this isn't direct evidence of anything except polarization. Anything beyond that, be it gravitational waves or what that says about the first moments after the Big Bang, are indirect.

Science is a process of discovery, and we need to be open to alternatives that are not disproven. The expansion of the universe is a great example of this. Everybody "knows" that the universe is expanding and that this indicates a Big Bang is the most likely origin story. But technically, all we have observed is that there is a correlation between distance and red shift, assuming that absorption spectra are constant over space/time and light doesn't chance frequency in travel. We have not actually observed that distant galaxies are actually moving away from us. We literally have no direct evidence that the universe is expanding. It's a theory. Not proven fact.

To put a more fine point on it, we know (can demonstrate experimentally) that relative motion is _a_ cause of red-shift, and we observe red-shift. We have not, in fact, observed this relative motion on scales large enough to demonstrate universal expansion. This is an indirect measurement believed to be reliable, but not proven. We can only observe relative motion on very close things via parallax, and we've found that some things are coming towards us, so relative motion locally is not dominated by expansion. We rely on the theory. It could be wrong.

A viable alternate theory is that light gives up some energy while traveling extremely long distances, which shows up as red-shift. Where does the energy go? It could be the source of energy for the CMBR. It could go somewhere else. In any case, as a theory, it explains the red-shift just as well as expansion. Another viable alternate theory is that the absorption/emission spectra of atoms differs with space/time. Perhaps atoms farther away or longer ago created and absorbed light at lower frequencies, this making older light appear red-shifted by current frequency comparisons. This theory is even harder to test, but just as good at explaining the observations.

As a scientist, remember the difference between theory and proof.


Comment: Alternate Title (Score 1) 1431

by Jaborandy (#45958887) Attached to: Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie
Alternate title: "Man Shot To Death After Striking Retired Police Officer In Dark Room"

When you put it that way, it's not ridiculous. Probably wouldn't have received national attention either. Yes, the fight started over texting, but it was finished when one of them hit the other. Violence in public is risky. You never know how the other guy plans to defend himself. Don't be an asshole and hit strangers, and you won't get shot by the tiny percentage who carry guns.


Comment: Powerhouse Brands Should Be Scared (Score 1) 110

by Jaborandy (#43363351) Attached to: OUYA Console Starts Shipping To Kickstarter Backers
With so many excellent value priced entrants to the console gaming market, the big names (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) should be worried. It is becoming harder and harder to justify high price points with this kind of low priced competition.

Steam's entry seems more likely to get market share over the longer term, but all these options together make it clear that a TV-connected computer is available to run whatever you want, to any market that will pay. The financial barriers to entry are disappearing, and I think that's wonderful.


Comment: Why Physical Destruction Works (Score 5, Informative) 1719

by Jaborandy (#42317127) Attached to: Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage
When I want to physically destroy my hard drives, I use bullets. Here's why it works:

The surface of the platters is covered in magnetic data, but in order to read it you have to be able to pass a head over it. If you bend the platters, put a few jagged holes in them, and destroy the bearing center, there is no technology that can run a read head reliably over a data track. If the platters are bent, you can't install them in a new drive or mount new heads. You also can't flatten them to the original tolerances without destroying the magnetic surface coating.

The biggest hand-waving magic people fear is the electon microscope techinques which have been shown to dig up even erased data by looking at the edges of the latest written data to see what was there before. While this is technically possible in ideal conditions, it requires that you can move the platter under the tip of the microscope with incredible precision. Without the platters in perfect physical shape, you'd risk destroying the electron microscope's fragile tip.

Pistol rounds generally dent the platters pretty seriously. Rifle rounds generally punch through leaving jagged holes. A combination of both is a fun day at the range, makes great desk art, and securely pretects your drives from ever being decoded again.


Comment: Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (Score 1) 109

by Jaborandy (#39800987) Attached to: How Nearby Supernovae Affected Life On Earth
Yeah, I'm not convinced that's accurate. It's a logic thing.
We know:
      1 - Red shift is observed in proportion to distance
      2 - Relative velocity (away from us) causes red shift

Based on these two facts, it cannot be proven that relative velocity depends on distance. That's why it's just a theory.

Relative motion is one possible cause of the observed red shift, but that does not mean it is the only possible cause. I think it is more likely that light loses energy in some form over thousands of years, and this energy loss is reflected as a red shift. This is perfectly consistent with observations, is simple, is consistent with every other physical process in nature (which cannot in general maintain perfect energy conservation over infinite time periods), and has the unfortunate side effect of causing a complete re-evaluation of everything we think we know about the universe.

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan