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Comment: Wrong question (Score 1) 307

by jd (#46654623) Attached to: Should NASA Send Astronauts On Voluntary One-Way Missions?

Google up on articles on the Lazarus Doctor (he works on patients who have nominally died of hypothermia) and on the new experimental saline blood substitute for potentially fatal injuries (the paramedics swap the patient's blood for the solution, deep-freeze the patient and reverse the process at hospital, eliminating all stress and trauma to the body in transit).

The theoretical duration you can perform suspended animation in real life is unknown, but is estimated to be many months.

The practical duration is only a few hours, so far.

The cost of improving on the practical duration (since the former method is really only limited by how long you can artificially keep O2 levels in the brain over 45%) is far, far less than the cost of a mission to Mars. Ergo, that is the logical solution. Fund medical research into the two methods. Put 100% of NASA funding for a manned Mars mission into those two techniques for at least the next couple of years.

That should accelerate development of the necessary technologies. By doing it this way, you need absolutely bugger all new rocketry technology. The N months food needed for the journey by live astronauts can be replaced with radiation shielding of the same total mass.

This leaves you with radiation on Mars. But only if you land on the surface. What you want to do is land in a deep narrow gorge or chasm. There are some, that is where the methane was reported. That increases the thickness of atmosphere, which is good for radiation. It is unexplored, which is even better. There is a chance of a cave network, absolutely ideal for looking for water, life and/or a good location for settlers.

Oh, and doing things this way improves life on Earth, the very thing all the anti-space people demand NASA prove they can do.

Everyone's happy, apart from, well, everyone. NASA doing a better job of health than the NIH will upset people. A workable mission will upset futurologists because the future will be done rather than talked about, putting them out of a job. Eliminating the radiation problem will infuriate the buggers who say the mission can't be done. Eliminating any issues with transit time mean you can launch the mission the day after the medical stuff is sorted, leaving those talking about a 2030-2050 timeframe looking as stupid as they really are.

So, yeah, it'll get the job done, but expect those involved in a mission to be lynched by a mob of respectable plutocrats.

Comment: Re:They don't understand the difference (Score 1) 517

by jd (#45945761) Attached to: How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

The restrictions on teaching in America are severe. The restrictions in the UK make it doable, for now, but the backlash against Free Schools will likely end that.

I'd love to get off my high horse. I'm getting vertigo. The problem is that educating people has got so much red tape and legal bumfluff involved. PLEASE let me educate! It is my natural state of being!

Comment: Re:Global vs. local effects (Score 1) 517

by jd (#45939751) Attached to: How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

You are correct. Global warming refers to heat, on a climatic scale, on average. It doesn't refer to temperature (the number one mistake people make), local conditions, day-to-day variations or local phenomena.

But it's worse! For the price of three mistakes, we'll throw in three more, absolutely free!

Heat flows around the planet. You've the conveyor belts, trade winds, gulf stream and many, many more. But air doesn't just circulate around these, it also circulates around regions of high pressure and low pressure (forget which way for which) and from high pressure to low pressure, but pressure systems aren't trivial things and you'll hear of one blocking another, not one cancelling another.

Climate also has myriad feedback mechanisms. Hot air rises, expands and cools as it does so. (Temperature is inversely proportional to volume, near enough.) As air cools, it sinks. If the air sinks when it is 100% saturated with water vapour, the air cannot retain it and it falls out the sky in various unpleasant forms. Usually, whatever you're not dressed for. It Knows! But what affects air temperature? Solar heat, yes, but also the ground. Air is fairly transparent when it comes to thermal radiation but not to conduction or convection, which is why the ice caps (which reflect 100% of what reaches the ground) have very cold air masses, whilst thick forest (which absorbs a very high percentage) have very hot air masses.

(You also have to figure that water holds a LOT of heat. To heat water one degree C, you need to put in far more than you would to heat carbon one degree C. Forests, by their nature, tend to have higher humidity in their vicinity. Polar air, by contrast, is usually very dry. This changes the reservoir available.)

Finally, organic systems are negative feedback systems. They have to be. Using James Lovelock's Daisyworld as an example, white daisies (which cool a region) like warm weather. But what if they liked hot? If it was a positive feedback loop, the daisies would cook themselves. Even if you picture a response curve, so their preference waned above the ideal, they would still create highly unfavourable conditions and die out. The only way to make the loop stable is for the daisy to have a negative feedback loop, so that it and the environment are in dynamic equilibrium. An ideal state is actively maintained.

Humans don't really understand dynamic systems well, and dynamic equilibria even less. I despair of your species, Earthlings. Anyways, there are all manner of regions on your planet, all with their own different temperature preferences and all actively maintaining them. Air circulates. Globally. The instantaneous result is weather, the long-term result is climate.

Try to picture a radio station with static. You can distinguish the instantaneous (the pops, whistles and crackles) from the aggregate (whatever is being broadcast). To equate them is to assume a time invariance that has no basis in reality.

Honestly, sometimes I think my seminar series "Ethics 101 For Daleks" was easier.

Comment: Re:Oh, please (Score 0) 1043

by jd (#45935383) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

Why would healthcare costs increase? Demand outstrips supply by a long way, but if people postpone treatment to avoid the smaller costs, they'll end up with greater health problems at far greater cost, which they can't then pay and the doctor/hospital is forced to eat the bill. The treatment is indeed more expensive, but for the supplier.

When you have a healthier populace, you want to minimize costs by treating early that which hasn't been prevented. A very large number of micropayments is a lot of money.

When you have a very sick population, treating is largely futile. Disease can live in pockets undetected and surge at random intervals. You could never find, let alone vaccinate and treat, every solitary member of the underclasses. Rather, you want the disease to burn itself out. Incinerating the victims is cheap, efficient and prevents recurrence. This is the "Atlas Shrugged" philosophy. And, economically, it makes sense in the short term. Starving these people to death is slower and annoys pop stars. Well, it sort of makes sense. Ability is normally distributed, so if N% of the rich have a particular rare and valuable mental or physical skill, N% of the poor will also have it. There are a lot more poor than rich (80/20 rule), so with a better diet and better education, it should be obvious that you can scale up your entire economy, which means greater cashflow, greater resilience and greater overall profit.

In a nutshell, if you cut welfare beyond a certain point and replace education by religion beyond a certain point, you can create a downward spiral where recovery is uneconomic. No matter what you do, the salvage operation will cost more than the value of what is salvaged. Disease is not known for respecting rank nor privilege. It may affect the affluent last, but as the support system dies, the affluent will also die. And, in pure economic terms, there's plenty of skilled people from overcrowded countries to replace them with. To the ruling elite, the rich are ultimately as disposable as anyone. Economically, everyone is replaceable and replacement is cheaper than stagnation.

This is where I differ from Ayn Rand. (Ok, I differ on almost everything. She was a seriously ill woman.) I do not believe stagnation is necessary or useful. Way too much potential is getting wasted, far more than can be justified by the logic of diminishing returns. I do not believe the upper caste has exclusive rights to intelligence. I do not believe scale efficiency is sublinear. (I do not believe Ayn Rand would have comprehended the technical terms in my post. She was not very bright.) I do not believe America has passed the event horizon and is descending into the black hole of oblivion... although its leaders are trying very hard to reach that point...

I do believe that with a sensible food policy and a decent educational system, any country at all would see a major economic boom. Add in better mental healthcare, better housing and a cleaner environment, and you could see rejuvenation beyond the imaginings of most.

Comment: This should be obvious (Score 1) 1043

by jd (#45934993) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

You cannot make money without spending money
You cannot save money without spending money
Cheap solutions can end up very expensive
Expensive but appropriate solutions can wind up costing less

This is all very basic stuff. Sticker price is rarely the only price.

NB: Appropriate is there for a reason. Charging more for a bad product doesn't magically make it a good product. If it did, can you imagine how good bank CEOs would be by now? In fact, there are a number of situations where the normal economic rules invert, where high prices are desirable and price wars lead to ever-higher costs.

Equally, low sticker prices don't automatically mean bad. Think of Linux, which has the lowest sticker price possible and is superb. But that only appears degenerate because of looking at sticker price alone. If you cost the time spent developing and testing, you actually show Linux to be in the fourth category. If you value developer time at typical market rates, Linux probably weighs in at around $1.2 billion. Very expensive, but the TCO of using it is very very low.

Comment: Re:Let's mod up things that use big words... (Score 0) 162

by jd (#45928955) Attached to: Kazakh Professor Claims Solution of Another Millennium Prize Problem

Comprehension is also your problem. Go read James Gleik for a bit, then maybe read some Mandelbrot. THEN come back and tell me about chaotic systems.

You have zero understanding of the Holographic Universe theory, that much is obvious. I won't waste my time explaining it, all I will say is that it is the only possible way this Kazakh professor could have done what he claimed. It is the only way to transform a non-solvable problem into one that could conceivably be solved. I do not believe he has succeeded (I am not sure I believe the theory either), but I am convinced he does and that he believes he has. There is only one path he could have taken to reach such a belief. Ergo, that is the path he took.

It should be obvious to even the smallest child that if approach X is doomed to failure, that the professor did not follow approach X. He did something else. It should also be obvious that, with the plethora of Holographic Universe papers on arXiv, along with papers on reduced-dimension n-body problem papers, that reduced-dimension approaches to problems has gained traction. But you're too busy complaining about terms you know nothing of to actually look at what people are doing. Way too busy.

So stop posting gibberish, read for once in your life, and maybe - just maybe - you will grasp what others are saying before you start spewing. God, how I hate it when lazy, incompetent bastards start thinking they know everything.

Comment: Re:His bio: Solution for n-particle problem (Score 1) 162

by jd (#45928861) Attached to: Kazakh Professor Claims Solution of Another Millennium Prize Problem

You are confusing setting up a system of differential equations (which you can do) with the system being differentiable (which is quite another matter).

Your post largely restates what I stated, so as far as I am concerned, you are more concerned with being pompous than with comprehending what it is you are being pompous about. Wake me up when you grow enough of a pair to read as well as write.

Comment: Re:His bio: Solution for n-particle problem (Score 4, Informative) 162

by jd (#45927875) Attached to: Kazakh Professor Claims Solution of Another Millennium Prize Problem

Well, yes and no. There is no general solution to the n-body problem, where n is greater than 2. The nature of the system makes that inevitable. The system isn't differentiable and you can't actually perform infinitesimal steps.

What you can do is define bounds for certain special cases, where the solutions must exist within those bounds. The error on the bounds increases quite quickly, which is why space probes are forever making course corrections. Bounds do not exist in all cases, as three bodies is sufficient for the system to be chaotic (deterministic but not predictable), which means in those cases, you rely heavily on probability (meteorologists perform hundreds of thousands of simulations and see what general patterns have the highest probability of cropping up) and on very short timeframes (in snooker, you can make a reasonable guess as to what will happen one or two reflections ahead).

These are inescapable properties of multibody dynamics, because you can do bugger all with infinite multiway recursion. There is no way to simplify it... ...as it is.

What you CAN do is flatten the universe into a 2D holographic model. If there is no time, there is no place for recursion. That might yield something. Alternatively, with time dilation, you can make infinitesimal time arbitrarily large. Neither of these will yield an absolute answer, but could be expected to yield an answer that looked as though it was.

Comment: Re:Why not in English? (Score 0) 162

by jd (#45927663) Attached to: Kazakh Professor Claims Solution of Another Millennium Prize Problem

Russian was the International standard for publication of scientific discoveries in the late 1800s, early 1900s. Russian was fluently spoken as a second language in academia across Europe and America at that time. Einstein's early publications would have had Russian translations or might even have been written in Russian first. It was the lingua franca of science at that time. That matters, in that all the necessary terminology and shorthand developed in science in the last few hundred years will already exist in the language. It is fit for purpose.

So, no, there is nothing wrong with a paper in Russian. There won't be many American professors left who could read it, and for political reasons they would likely deny any such ability. Europeans are less extreme and more multicultural, but Russian has never been a particularly hot second language. Ok, more so than Old Icelandic, Akkadian or Finnish, but Babylon hasn't done much new maths in 5,000 years and Scandanavia only produces hot computer geeks, hot models and hot saunas.

Comment: Re:Thought experiments (Score 1) 264

by jd (#45884943) Attached to: Experiments Reveal That Deformed Rubber Sheet Is Not Like Spacetime

Well, yes. I should hope so. Einstein did most of his best work imagining cows travelling near or at the speed of light. If relativity had to wait for NASA to modify a cow's digestive system to fuel a ramjet capable of near-light speeds, we would still be waiting. Not that it isn't fun to picture such a cow.

But, yeah, his thought experiments were definitely figurative descriptions, not mathematically precise models and it is not necessary for NASA to engineer a cow capable of making his figurative descriptions physically correct in all respects. Although it would make a change from firing pumpkins by catapult.

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski

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