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Comment: Re:A couple of crackpot ideas (Score 1) 234

by Kevin Fishburne (#49368905) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

So what you're saying is, the world is a simulation centered right around Sol, and we're suffering from IEEE 754 floating-point imprecision ?

I think KSP found a fix for that.

Well if it were a simulation, it wouldn't really have a center, just one or more "cameras" creating observable datasets. I suspect "they" would have a "camera" near anything sentient to keep them from completely freaking out. Maybe once a sentient being can prove they are in a simulation, as a reward for their cleverness their consciousness will be transplanted from the simulation to the "real world" where they will join the ranks of the "gods". No doubt pure bullshit, but it's fun to think of such things.

Comment: A couple of crackpot ideas (Score 1) 234

by Kevin Fishburne (#49360485) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected
What if, like in OpenGL when you set the near and far clipping planes too far apart, you begin to lose precision on calculations at distances farthest away from the camera. The same thing happens at a certain point when you examine something near the camera too closely; you observe the limit of the floats describing the modelview matrix. This assumes of course that the universe is a simulation and that, being a part of the simulation, we "can't see the forest for all the trees". It might explain the discrepancy between the behavior of matter and energy at quantum scales versus galactic scales and why "normal" (as in Newtonian) physics seems to work perfectly at human scales.

Second, what if there are multiple dimensions affecting space/time/matter/energy/etc. and we and our observations are generally constrained to but a few. If dimensions were like pages in a book, sometimes the words on the next page faintly bleed into the one you're reading if the paper's thin. Perhaps these unexplained phenomena are the result of one or more other dimensions faintly bleeding over into the one we can reliably observe. Dark matter and dark energy could be the shadows of something larger that by our nature we're blind to. To further the craziness, singularities could be gateways that when in sufficient number make the effects observable at galactic scales.

Comment: Re:How fucking tasteless (Score 1) 341

What kind of small, hateful person says "women, children, and other civilians" instead of "people" or "civilians"? How fucked do you have to be to value the life of one person more than another because of their sex or adulthood?

This isn't pretty, but human life isn't equally valuable and there are nearly infinite ways this can be quantified. First, it's subjective, and second, only a handful of reasons a rational person would agree with. Some examples:

Children generally have more time in front of them and therefore are being robbed of more when killed. If you had to choose between the death of a five year old or a 90 year old, which would you be inclined to choose?

If you believe in justice/punishment/retribution/etc., older people are more likely to have committed acts in their life that are worthy of punishment, while younger people are less likely. Obviously that doesn't necessarily mean they deserve to die or that there's actually a connection between their sins and their death, but again if you had to choose between an aid worker and a serial killer being killed, which would you choose?

If the Earth were about to be hit by an extinction event and only 10000 people could be saved via sci-fi-method-of-your-choice, would you select people at random or choose the best-of-the-best with respect to the successful continuity of the species?

If someone points a gun at your head and says, "I'm going to kill you," you are legally justified in killing them in self defense, which indicates at that moment your life is more valuable than the gunman's. Were it not, you'd be expected to simply run away, try to talk them out of it, or use other non-lethal means to stop them.

Comment: Re:Light going faster than the speed of light? (Score 1) 162

by Kevin Fishburne (#49325377) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light
@AC and cjameshuff: That is very interesting, and well-explained. Physics is beyond my areas of expertise, but I find it fascinating. As abstract as a lot of the science sounds to a layperson, I see it as a sort of attempt at answering a question we've always had, which is "What the hell is going on? What is all of this?" From the ocean disappearing into the horizon to the spinning pinpoints of light in the sky, physics and all its sub-disciplines someday will provide a solid foundation for us to usefully speculate on the ultimate question, which is "Why?"

Comment: Re:The problem is the fuzz, not the swatters (Score 1) 569

Some cities already do this. But now you're also got audio recording devices everywhere. I'm surprised by the amount of people here wanting to erode everyone's privacy to increase the chances of finding the swatters. It's a classic example of a slippery slope. Now that we have this tech, lets apply it everywhere for the smallest benefit.

I'm not advocating for recording devices, audio or video, to be installed at every street corner. A device specifically engineered to detect gunshots is something else entirely. If it's streaming continuous audio that's passed through a speech recognition algorithm on a government supercomputer and scanned for red-flag keywords it is no longer a gunshot detector, it's a nightmare, and the same goes for facial recognition cameras, chip implants, barcode tattoos, NSA hijinks, etc. The problem with privacy loss isn't technology, it's an overbearing and intrusive government and an apathetic citizenry. Technology is ethically agnostic; politicians and voters not so much.

Comment: Re:The problem is the fuzz, not the swatters (Score 1) 569

They do that here in DC. It gives them a "heads up" but not much else. Google "DC" and "Gunshot detectors" and get back with us won't you?

Well considering the context of my suggestion is a discussion on swatting, if the police receive an anonymous tip of gunshots but no gunshots were heard by neighbors or the detectors they can slow their roll a bit and not act like they're in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban. Didn't think I'd have to spell that out, AC, but so be it.

Comment: Re:The problem is the fuzz, not the swatters (Score 2) 569

How the hell did we get such a militarized police force anyway?

Same old story...a few bad apples ruin it for the rest. They should just put gunshot detectors on light poles and be done with it. They use them in the military to detect the discharge vector using triangulation. Three mics and a Raspberry Pi running off the bulb's current, transmitting to reserved bandwidth on the nearest cell tower. Of course if they actually did this it would cost ONE MILLION DOLLARS per device...

Comment: Light going faster than the speed of light? (Score 1) 162

by Kevin Fishburne (#49310965) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light
This is probably a really stupid question, but if light has a maximum speed but is also affected by gravity, what would happen if you shined a flashlight/torch into a black hole? It's going the speed of light at the flashlight but should increase in speed as it approaches the black hole's gravity well. Does the light just keep the same speed until it joins the black hole?

Comment: Re:Wait (Score 2) 128

by Kevin Fishburne (#49298941) Attached to: Why Is the Grand Theft Auto CEO Also Chairman of the ESRB?

Violent sex as a legitimate entertainment tool, seriously?!? I would hardly call it legitimate and do honestly look upon it as a profoundly disturbing reflection of humanity. Why do humans, find humans killing other humans, to be so entertainingly rewarding?

You'd have to ask God/evolution that one. Part of it is cultural, which is a shame, but a lot of "distasteful" media is designed to appeal to our baser natures. I don't think there's anything wrong with indulging in violent fantasy, whether or not sex is involved, as long as you're responsible enough to recognize what's happening and don't hurt people. To attempt to purify your mind will make you crazier than you are already biologically programmed to be and isn't necessary to control oneself. As our technology allows us more and more to indulge every dark whim, it becomes increasingly important to recognize the difference between what's okay to feel and what's okay to do. Our biology won't catch up for a long time, and most likely never will unless we begin engineering ourselves.

Comment: Re:Sex is more dangerous than violence (Score 1) 128

by Kevin Fishburne (#49298925) Attached to: Why Is the Grand Theft Auto CEO Also Chairman of the ESRB?

I don't worry about my kid going on a killing spree and being taken down by the national guard. I _do_ worry about her getting knocked up. That's the difference.

So games and movies don't make people kill but they make them fuck? That's a new one for me. Content ratings are a reflection of culture and some notion of political correctness, as in the ratings board doesn't want to find itself the target of negative media coverage. The best way to handle it would be to enumerate a game's content based on x number of controversial/sensitive topics as deemed by common cultures and let the parent decide which ones they care about with respect to their children. To say a game is "M" or 18+ is making the decision for the parent and should be outside the scope of an impartial ratings system.

Comment: Re:Pretty cool, but... (Score 1) 208

by Kevin Fishburne (#49208017) Attached to: Make Those Brown Eyes Blue
Wikipedia awaits your edit. It wouldn't surprise me if it was false, not because it's unlikely or anything, but once a person's actions reach a certain level of horror and depravity truly anything is possible and believable. You could say Mengele was launching people out of cannons to see if they could orbit the moon and it would sound completely plausible.

Comment: Re:Pretty cool, but... (Score 1) 208

by Kevin Fishburne (#49206803) Attached to: Make Those Brown Eyes Blue
Yeah, sorry. Sometimes I think just because I know something that everyone does...I'm weird like that. Here you go:

"Mengele's experiments with eyes included attempts to change eye color by injecting chemicals into the eyes of living subjects and killing people with heterochromatic eyes so that the eyes could be removed and sent to Berlin for study."

I heard from other sources that blue was his target color.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.