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Comment: Tax? (Score 1) 195

by Pino Grigio (#47920193) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance
Taxes on businesses and profits are taxes on:

(1) Wages, pay and conditions
(2) Investment
(3) Employment

I think all taxation should be personal taxation; that a business should not be classed as a person for legal purposes and that no taxation should be levied on industry or business at all.

That should enable the tearing up of what in the UK is a 10,000 page tax code, most of it concerning various bribes, shakedowns, let-offs and special cases for businesses. I think if you can't make a tax code that can be written on one side of a piece of A4 paper, you're probably being paid by the hour to write it.

Comment: Re:In case you missed the anime convention (Score 1) 866

by Pino Grigio (#47912249) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk
I don't think so, no. You can only get so far by ignoring qualia and denying they exist (as people like Dennett do). Consciousness does not supervene on the physical, though obviously it is associated with brains and (who knows) might be a property of the universe as a whole. I like the panpsychist approach and do not believe our current understanding of nature is anywhere near close to correct. There's something to explain, much like there was something to explain about the nature of cavity radiation at the turn of the 20th century. An anomaly, so to speak. And I have no doubt that if it's discoverable by science, it will be the next scientific revolution. A complete paradigm shift in our understanding of the universe.

Comment: Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 1) 575

by Pino Grigio (#47911963) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Al Gore is not a scientist.

Neither are the vast majority of politicians, activists, laymen, personalities, intellectuals and academics who lecture us on this issue. Still, he claims to represent the paradigm and if he does not, it's a real shame that none of these "scientists" (I use the term in its broadest possible sense) speak out against him. That they do not is indicative, don't you think?

Comment: Re:In case you missed the anime convention (Score 2) 866

by Pino Grigio (#47899581) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk
It's what Cairns-Smith called the bomb in the basement of modern physics.

...that qualia must belong to the physical world while at the same time physics and chemistry, which supposedly can in principle give us a complete account of this world, have no place for them

I interpret it as suggesting that even after you've described all particles, forces, fields and laws, there will still be something left to explain. Also known as "some things transcend Human understanding". You can be an atheist and believe this, by the way.

Comment: Obviously. (Score 2) 290

by Pino Grigio (#47881037) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'
Of course. I read about this quite a few years ago in a book called Global Warming and Other Bollocks. It has a chapter on salt. I'm still recovering from being told that egg yolks are as bad for me as smoking, though I don't eat 20 eggs a day (or smoke any more), it turns out that actually they're probably only bad for people with heart disease or diabetes.

Anyone losing the will to live yet? I could go on...

Comment: Re:Thermodynamic equilibrium is not required (Score 1) 211

by Pino Grigio (#47872335) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life
You're right but isn't all this just extremely banal? To say that entropy is a statistical measure of disorder and that between certain bounds, life is more or less likely is simply to say that a body at equilibrium (like Mars) is much less likely to harbour life than one that isn't (like the Earth). It's a "no-shit Sherlock" moment.

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.