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Comment: Re:Phase? (Score 1) 185

by Krahar (#33854334) Attached to: Squeezing More Bandwidth Out of Fiber
Thanks. Usually Google is excellent at showing relevant Wikipedia pages. Don't know why it fails in this instance. There must be some kind of reference compared to which phase is measured. I wonder if that is done by also sending a single reference on a different wavelength or if it is done by very fine-tuned clocks and knowledge of transmission time. Seems like a reference phase would be by far the easiest and most robust solution.

Comment: Re:Hate to say this... (Score 2, Insightful) 315

by Krahar (#33853404) Attached to: UK Scientists Leave Labs To Protest Expected Cuts
Science is a luxury in the same way that a bridge or a road or a port is a luxury. Sure, it is possible for you to haul your cargo and unload your ships without such luxuries, but fast forward 50 years and suddenly you have no infrastructure and you find yourself a third world country. But yeah, on a horizon of 1 or 2 years, it's a terrible investment, a luxury.

Comment: Re:ROFLMAO (Score 1) 139

by Krahar (#33812418) Attached to: Nobel Prize in Physics For Discovery of Graphene
Your post is below an x-ray image used to show an "energy field" to bolster BadAnalogyGuy's claim. That is where the x-rays come from. So your statement that I'm using a straw man is itself a straw man. Auras emanate around people, which is the difference between having an aura and, well, I guess being shiny. Nothing can ever be shown to be impossible, so saying that something is not proven impossible is a vacuous statement that does nothing to recommend any particular view. That does not imply that we should take all statements seriously, and I'm sure that in your life you make a practice of taking somethings not seriously even though they aren't impossible - since nothing is impossible.

Comment: Re:ROFLMAO (Score 1) 139

by Krahar (#33808176) Attached to: Nobel Prize in Physics For Discovery of Graphene
Yes, so a claim that aura readers read auras by using an undisclosed source of x-rays (including before x-rays were discovered), would then at least be slightly less ridiculous on the basic physics front. It seems we agree. Btw backscatter x-ray does not need the x-rays to pass all the way through the body - what is recorded is the x-rays that bounce back, not the x-rays that go through. The completely ridiculous claim is not that someone somewhere might be able to perceive electromagnetic radiation outside the visible spectrum (surely we can all detect some of that just by the heating it causes on our skin or the disease it causes through high enough exposure). The ridiculous claim is that some people can perceive x-rays coming from other people and that these x-rays tells them intimate secrets about that person. Also that the x-rays emanate as an aura, i.e. the x-rays are coming from somewhere slightly outside the person's skin. Feel free to test that if you have the free time to spend.

Comment: Re:ROFLMAO (Score 1) 139

by Krahar (#33802858) Attached to: Nobel Prize in Physics For Discovery of Graphene
You do need to produce the radiation because there is too little of it to count naturally. If that were not the case then xrays could be taken without subjecting you to additional radiation from the machine. If you are in a dark room you need to produce light to see even though you have eyes. Same thing.

Comment: Re:The frog story is interesting (Score 1) 139

by Krahar (#33801852) Attached to: Nobel Prize in Physics For Discovery of Graphene
I am not saying that anything many or even most people believe must be true. I am saying that auras fall in the category of things that I would expect most people to believe in if it is/were a real phenomenon. For that precise reason I would not conclude that auras were real even if you could surprise me by showing that most people believe in them, but I would acknowledge that the argument I am making here would then fail to count against auras.

Comment: Re:The frog story is interesting (Score 1) 139

by Krahar (#33801278) Attached to: Nobel Prize in Physics For Discovery of Graphene
We now agree on what you are saying. What I've never understood is that if this sort of thing is common and reliable, why is it not a part of normal human understanding? There is nothing controversial in saying that a singer sings and a carpenter works with wood. If there are auras and they can be read to infer facts otherwise hidden, I don't understand why that isn't as completely ordinary as what a carpenter does. On the contrary, even by believers it is presented as a half-magical thing that is fantastical enough to be newsworthy indeed. Getting a handle on auras is not a discovery that belongs at our level of technology - it belongs at the same time we found out that we have eyes and can use them to see. When science came along we stopped believing in many things that were silly, but many beliefs survived the transition. We still believe that singers sing. Yet we don't believe that auras are read, in spite of something like that being very easy to determine if the phenomenon is real and reliable. Certainly it is much easier to prove the existence of than to prove that there is invisible radiation, yet we all accept that the dentist isn't just making stuff up when he shows us an x-ray of our teeth. Even so, we don't believe in auras. Why is that? How could the theory of auras fall into such a state of neglect when even more fantastical things such as x-rays are not doubted? I say it's because there is no such thing as auras - I don't see a better explanation than that.

Comment: Re:Remains to be seen if it's an upgrade (Score 1) 259

by Krahar (#33628494) Attached to: Deleting Certain Gene Makes Mice Smarter
No one should expect evolution to design an optimal anything - what evolution produces is usually pretty good and at the same time unnecessarily complex in our eyes. It's the unnecessary complexity that is making it difficult for us to improve on evolution, because we have to understand what is going on to do much and evolution does not. We don't understand in detail what is going on in the body, and that's the problem because then we have a very hard time predicting what a new protein will do. So we are reduced to trial and error, and that particular technique is what evolution is the very best at, and so for that reason beating evolution is hard for us - until we reach a point where we really understand what's going. At that point we will be handily beating evolution as a matter of course, because then we won't be limited to the one technique of trial and error that evolution is so good at.

Comment: That's one asshat company (Score 1) 390

by Krahar (#33554562) Attached to: Defending Self In a Case of On-Line Identity Theft?
A typosquatter wants to create a domain using a trademark illegally. So then he doesn't want it in his own name because it is illegal. So he looks up the whois information of a related website and uses the same information in order not to have to put in his own name. Someone at the company discovers the typosquat website, runs whois on the typosquat domain and is enough of a moron to just assume that the name label associated to an illegal activity is actually genuine, and then proceeds to impugn the good name of an employee. This based on the equivalent of a bank robber putting a note with a name on his forehead and everyone just assuming that the name on the note is his actual name.

Obviously what the company should have done is to help the guy prove that it wasn't him, rather than just throwing him overboard to see if he floats. At least every other employee at that company now knows what kind of organization they work for, if they didn't already. I know I would be racking my brain to see if I couldn't find a better place to work if I was an employee there and saw something like this going on to someone else. I would be doing that even if it turns out that the guy actually did do it, because the company attacked him before they could know that, so if I ever got in trouble through no fault of my own I would know to expect the same thing - not the kind of place that I want to be if I have any choice in the matter.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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