Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 140

by Knuckles (#48336179) Attached to: Robot Makes People Feel Like a Ghost Is Nearby

It gets interesting later:

To verify the response, the researchers conducted another study in which four researchers stood in the room. Participants were told that while they were blindfolded and operating the machine, some experimenters might approach them without actually touching them. The researchers told participants to estimate the number of people close to them at regular intervals. In reality, no researcher ever approached the participants. Yet people who experienced a delayed touch on their back felt more strongly that other people were close to them, counting up to four people when none existed.

Maybe I am blindfolded, but what's interesting about this? Test subjects were blindfolded in a room with people and were told those people would come close to them but not touch them. Then something poked them, which due to desyncronization they could not relate to their actions. So they concluded that someone was poking them. And being in an uncomfortable situation (blindfolded with people in the room, operating a machine of unknown purpose - or did they know it was a poking machine?), being doubtful if the researchers had spoken the truth about coming close but not touching (because this is what you think about in the situation), and figuring that there must be some purpose to this experiment (because this is what you do), some people guessed more people were actually in the room. Big whoop?

Comment: Re:In spite of this and other similar phenomena... (Score 1) 140

by Knuckles (#48336005) Attached to: Robot Makes People Feel Like a Ghost Is Nearby

I can't speak for most people, but from my own perspective I don't see a conflict between "dualism" and objective empirical explanations for all human behavior. :)

From the outside, there is no verifiable reason to believe in anything beyond the (philosophical) atoms that make everything up, but Consciousness isn't about externally verifiable phenomenon. It is about subjective experience..., and while a sufficiently complex network of switches could in theory behave in an externally, verifiably, identical way to a person (i.e. essentially a biological robot), I personally have an "internal" perception of experiencing things consciously.

That seems to leave me with three options:
1) Due to unexplainable and unverifiable mystical-magical emergent properties of the organization of matter, I have a bone fide subjective experience from complex combinations of consciousness-free matter.
2) All matter has inherent consciousness properties and thus everything has a spirit (animism)
3) People are special and have a "soul"

Which of these options you choose to believe is your own business. I hope you can speak about it respectfully with others, not try to compel them to comply with your own opinion, and stand up for your beliefs in the presence of someone else trying to compel you of theirs. Cheers!

+1 for the AC
And since I already posted, 2 questions:

It has been well known for a very long time that unexpected temporal relationships between our actions and sensory impressions do weird things to our perception. Like if you turn off the light and by coincidence a sound goes off outside in the exact same moment. How is this new research so unexpected then?

How does the temporal action-result distortion in this experiment explain anything about "ghost" experiences as they are more commonly described, where the situation created in the experiment does not exist at all? Like the Reinhold Messner story in in another article about the experiment?. Other than there being other ways to induce a similar experience - but I don't believe in ghosts in the first place, so there was never a doubt that this experience can somehow be induced.

Comment: Re:Uncompetitive? (Score 1) 312

by Knuckles (#47818515) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Thanks. I couldn't find coverage numbers for commercial transportation of people, but here's the numbers for the liability insurance a private car owner is required to have. That's the minimum coverage required by law:

7.5 mil EUR for bodily injury.
1 mil EUR for property damage.
50k EUR for financial loss.

The sums for commercial vehicles are probably higher.

Comment: Re:Drivers license (Score 1) 312

by Knuckles (#47810155) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

oh a side note how does one drive differently with a paying customer as apposed to a family member??

It's simple insurance mathematics. The insurance for taxis is most likely simply higher because the payouts are higher. Much more time on the road, etc. And it makes sense to require that a professional driver has adequate insurance for his passengers - which is a lot of coverage if you consider that a mistake can put 4 passengers in a wheelchair for decades.

Comment: Re:Uncompetitive? (Score 1) 312

by Knuckles (#47810039) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

1 mil is not much though: cause an accident with 2 passengers who remain maimed for life, and you have to pay for their care for the next 40 years, plus destroyed cars, road damage, whatever. Those things simply happen when you reach a certain scale of number of rides. A bog-standard private general liability insurance here gives you 6 mil coverage for like 5 EUR per month or so.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard