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Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 1) 552

by khayman80 (#49801717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Yes, what you're saying matches my conclusions.

Of course, the link between clouds and temperature is even less straightforward. As I recall the research suggests there is only a very small effect on average temperatures, though there is a dramatic effect on the diurnal variation - cloud cover tends to stabilize temperatures, causing slower heating during the day, but also slower cooling at night.

Yes. Another complication is that high, thin clouds warm the surface while "low, thick clouds primarily reflect solar radiation and cool the surface of the Earth."

Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 1) 552

by khayman80 (#49801577) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Hold on there mister, the Laschamp event only lasted less than 500 years, and occurred in the middle of an ice age, over 41,000 years ago. I don't know about you, but I see a whole lot of unknowns that make it very difficult to conclude that "the climate didn't change". ... I would prefer to not draw any conclusions from what little data we have of this event.

So your preferences are different than Richard Alley's. He concluded at 43:01 that "We had a big cosmic ray signal, and the climate ignores it. And it's just about that simple. These cosmic rays didn't do enough that you can see it."

Maybe this is because Richard Alley's estimate that the Laschamp anomaly lasted "for a millenium or so" matches other estimates that are longer than 500 years.

We have the technology to measure GCR's, and we have the technology to measure cloud cover. Let's verify the theory of GCR's and cloud formation, let's quantify it, and then let's see if we can accurately predict cloud cover and irradiance fluctuations based on this data.

I've explained that the maximum impact of this mechanism has been estimated to be responsible for no more than 23% of the 11-year cyclical variation of cloud cover. Furthermore, there’s no long term trend in Svensmark’s data, which would be necessary to explain the long term warming trend that’s been observed. For more information, see chapter 7.10 of this textbook.

Update: Other relevant papers include Kristjansson 2002 and Laut 2003, followed by Svensmark’s response and Laut’s rebuttal. More recently, Erlykin et al. suggest that the apparent correlation is due to direct solar activity, while Pierce and Adams state: “In our simulations, changes in CCN [cloud condensation nuclei concentrations] from changes in cosmic rays during a solar cycle are two orders of magnitude too small to account for the observed changes in cloud properties; consequently, we conclude that the hypothesized effect is too small to play a significant role in current climate change.”

Another update: Snow-Kropla et al. 2011 makes similar points.

Comment: Re:suckers (Score 1) 117

There is no scenario in which the problems of solar outweigh the problems of nuclear enough to sway the pendulum into nuclear's favor.

Scenario: Yellowstone erupts, dimming sunlight all over the world and continually dumping dust onto solar panels and into wind turbine gears.

Monocultures are vulnerable. A diverse energy portfolio is more resilient, and nuclear power has a low carbon footprint. That might be why the national academies of 13 nations called for the "development of nuclear power plants that are safe and secure, and ensure the secure long-term management and disposal of waste. International collaboration in development of the next generation of nuclear reactors and in reducing the risk of proliferation is essential."

Comment: Troll v Troll (Score 5, Funny) 89

by meta-monkey (#49800983) Attached to: Professional Internet Troll Sues Her Former Employer

I kind of have this idea that the comments section on CNN.com or foxnews.com is all troll bots. Right wing troll bots arguing with left wing troll bots arguing with agent provocateur right wing troll bots pretending to be deranged left wingers arguing with agent provocateur left wing troll bots pretending to be deranged right wingers.

Basically, the internet is trolls all the way down.

The alternative, that those are real people expressing their actual opinions, is too horrifying to contemplate.

Comment: Re:Who dies from old age? (Score 1) 552

by Kjella (#49800527) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

And people don't usually die of "old age" but of things related to it. When the body gets older, the immune system gets weaker, your bones and muscles decay, your brain gets messed up, and a lot of deaths are in reality just a mix of a bunch of factors that just result in the body kind of shutting down. None of that will happen anymore.

And there's a feedback loop here too, because you a) have less life left to live and b) is generally weaker you get less treatment. A relative of mine is dying from cancer and it's low intensity life-prolonging treatment. If he was 20 years younger, they'd put him on high intensity drugs that would keep the cancer suppressed much, much longer. If he was 50 years younger, they'd probably try a full bone marrow transplant which is a massive procedure that is not only ridiculously expensive but likely to kill the old by itself. So being forever young wouldn't just avoid age-related diseases, it'd open up far stronger treatments as well.

Comment: Re: Exodus (Score 1) 552

by Kjella (#49800383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Even if it worked (I doubt), this does not mean that you stay young forever. You don't age normally, but all your joints will be used up purely mechanically. Not ageing does not equate to 'no wear'. It doesn't equate to 'no disease', and neither to 'no cancer'. Teeth will decay, nothing to do with age. Even parts of the heart will be used up and not regenerate.
In a nutshell, the non-ageing population segment will be zombies with artificial hips, joints, teeth, heart, and so forth.

Why artificial? All the blueprints are in my DNA. On severe burn victims they do muscle and skin grafts, with sufficiently advanced technology we could grow pretty much anything. The non-ethical way would be to just clone me, zap the higher brain functions and keep for 15 years in a vegetative state you'll have all the organs to fit an adult man. The ethical way would be to find ways to grow just that organ in a lab. It wouldn't be the cure to everything as you could have brain tumors and whatnot but you could get pretty far that way.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 118

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49799991) Attached to: Uber Revises Privacy Policy, Wants More Data From Users
We can only hope that Uber's notoriously...risk tolerant...approach to just ignoring regulations that they don't like will result in a lot of spam that is actually 'spam' for the purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 being sent out.

That particular law is more or less a dead letter, given how easy covert or extraterritorial spamming is(and, of course, it's assorted gaping loopholes); but there are theoretical penalties that could stack up fast if you actually fuck up.

In this case, if grabbing people's contact lists doesn't count as 'email address harvesting' in the context of the prohibition on sending to harvested addresses, I'm not sure what would.

Honestly, it's downright impressive. Uber has managed to get markedly sleazier since they did their "Oh, 'god view' and threatening to stalk reporters who piss us off was naughty; we promise to be good..." charm offensive bullshit.

Comment: There are reasons for 12-TET (Score 1) 97

by Sycraft-fu (#49799983) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

It is a good balance between getting a good 3rd, 4th and 5th and not getting too complex. You have to go to 29-TET before you get a better perfect 5th and 41-TET to get a better major 3rd. Gets a little complex musically to represent and deal with all that, not to mention design instruments that can play it back.

So remember that ultimately music is all math, and as such some things do end up being "better" than others musically. I'm not saying we shouldn't have the capabilities to use other scales, I mean computers are more or less unbounded in their capabilities and samplers can microtune to any required setup, but 12-TET has a reason for its prevalence.

Comment: Re:Hijacking my friends' email addresses (Score 1) 118

by Blue Stone (#49799853) Attached to: Uber Revises Privacy Policy, Wants More Data From Users

Can't companies be fined for spamming in the USA?
The statement that Uber wants the "ability to send special offers to riders' friends or family" is a clear declaration to spam, since a person *cannot* opt someone else into recieving marketing emails.
Seems like any activity based on exploiting such contacts in said manner would clearly land Uber with not insignificant fines and/or criminal prosecution.
(IANAL etc.)

Comment: Re:Coding: Language Skills (Score 1) 264

Are you in an environment where you listen to and speak French daily? I learned French in high school myself (three years), but honestly, there's a huge difference between learning an hour a day in a classroom only and actually using it to communicate with others each day. When completely immersed, younger children can actually pick up most of a new language in a month or two, while adults will likely take a bit longer, perhaps half a year to a year. My parents and grandparents were immigrants, so they experienced this first-hand.

You undoubtedly find computer languages easy to learn because you can actually USE those languages daily, reinforcing what you learned to the point where it feels quite natural for you (and thus "easy"). I'm betting they'd be a lot harder for you to learn if you didn't have the opportunity to practice using them so much.

Granted, I do think human languages are much harder (less logical, huge vocabulary, complex syntax), but I still think the comparison is reasonable.

Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 2) 441

by rgbatduke (#49798433) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

We wouldn't know. We do know that perceptual errors, emotional disturbances, and the rest are possible.

You are simply saying that we cannot disprove God, that absence of evidence is not conclusive evidence of absence. Sure. But so what? We can go down an enormously -- actually uncountably infinite -- list of propositions for which we have no evidence. If we are sane, we do not grab arbitrary entries from this list and promote them to plausible beliefs, no matter how pretty a story they make.

Your argument is, of course, ancient and has a name. You are arguing for a God of the Gaps. As human knowledge has expanded, thing after thing that was attributed to God in ancient scripture has been shown to have natural causes. Furthermore, "natural causes" have been shown to have a rigorous, inviolable consistency so much so that when we look hard for cases where our existing laws fail, or where there are still pernicious inconsistencies that suggest that they are not quite right and will require future revision.

Since all of the "easy" gaps have been plugged, you are stuck following this chain:

Laws of Nature (microscopic nuclear + E&M and QFT) -> nuclei and nucleons
Laws of Nature (E&M/QED) -> atoms and molecules (Chemistry!)
Chemistry -> Inorganic and Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry + classical E&M and mechanics -> biochemistry and biophysics
Biochemistry and biophysics -> evolutionary biochemistry, neurophysiology etc (Biology)
Biology -> neuropsychology, anthropology, medicine, (Psychology!)
Psychology & information theory & mathematics -> Intelligence and cognition, Artificial intelligence, etc.

At this point, you take the fact that the science is incomplete to extend the quite correct observation that we don't understand all aspects of human consciousness (yet!) in full detail as a "gap" in which you can insert God. Consciousness is only possible with God, God can communicate with humans by directly manipulating microscopic physics, chemistry, biology, psychology laws in ways that directly violate the second law of thermodynamics, and so on. Forget whether or not there is any good reason to think that this is true. Forget the fact that we have an entire, consistent, empirically validated chain of physical law and reasoning stretching from the microscopic to the macroscopic. If you hear voices in your head, it could be God instead of (for example) your right brain talking to your left brain or some other perfectly natural thing. Hence in your mind, there is a reason to believe, and furthermore to invent a whole new "logic" to explain the fact that your conclusions can be held independent of the mere common sense that leads to the development of consistent science.

Obviously -- seriously -- you are mistaken. What you are doing is called the "Mind Projection Fallacy". To quote wikipedia:

Once one has grasped the idea, one sees the Mind Projection Fallacy everywhere; what we have been taught as deep wisdom, is stripped of its pretensions and seen to be instead a foolish non sequitur. The error occurs in two complementary forms, which we might indicate thus: (A) (My own imagination) (Real property of Nature), [or] (B) (My own ignorance) (Nature is indeterminate)

Welcome to B, with an admixture of A. Our ignorance is not an excuse for assuming that Nature is indeterminate and there is room for e.g. violations of the first or second laws of thermodynamics at the whim of a Deity, and your imagination of God filling the gaps in our knowledge is neither evidence nor (worse!) certainty that that which you imagine is a real thing.


Your good nature will bring unbounded happiness.