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Comment: Re:analog computer (Score 1) 91

by YttriumOxide (#48342521) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

What interests me the most are the levels of subconscious/consciousness and where all this combines to create our singular, waking awareness.

Based on evidence of the effects of dissociative drugs, psychedelic drugs, and general anaesthetics, it seems likely that our 'singular, waking awareness' is primarily an effect of the information transfer between various brain regions through the posterior cingulate cortex.

Of course, knowing that doesn't make it any less of a head-fuck to contemplate how strange it is to be anything at all.

Comment: Re:Oh Please Edge Detection and Motion Detection (Score 1) 91

by YttriumOxide (#48342459) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

While you're not wrong, I do think that from the perspective of the article, it's also not really so relevant.

'This means that, in theory, an artificial equivalent of a brain-like cognitive structure may not require a massively parallel architecture at the level of single neurons, but rather a properly designed set of limited processes that run in parallel on a much lower scale'

Basically from my understanding, he's saying here that if we handle the sub-systems in a more traditional manner - as in, existing edge detection and motion detection algorithms in standard computing systems - that with ~50 parallel threads, we could have something brain-like.

It's also worth considering though that this is far less cool than it sounds at first blush simply by fact that the sub-systems would not be brain-like in the slightest.

Comment: Re:analog computer (Score 1) 91

by YttriumOxide (#48342449) Attached to: fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

While it may seem analogue, I'd definitely call the brain digital from a functional perspective.

The amount of neurotransmitters, strength of electrical activity, and so on are definitely analogue inputs; but due to the way that action potentials fire in cells, you're either "firing them" or "not firing them" (analogy: magnetic data on a disc is also analogue, but we only really care about the on/off state of it). Most information appears to be transferred based on the rate of firing them, and is not encoded in any special aspect of the spikes themselves. Furthermore, you might then assume that the rate timing of the spikes may be considered analogue data - again though, it's not really. There is a refractory period that limits the maximal firing rate of a single neuron, and downstream effects of this basically mean that the firing rates themselves could also in theory be quantised in a digital manner (although it'd be a massively complex problem to actually figure that all out).

While the whole system is quite fundamentally different from our current digital computers, it is nevertheless something that could also be a digital system.

Comment: Re:How do we actually know? (Score 2) 203

by YttriumOxide (#47875297) Attached to: 5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

I could harvest 5m gmail names from google searches, and then publish them with bogus passwords and create panic. Is there some statistic that says how many of these were real passwords?

Statistics, probably not. But to confirm they're not just all made up, I checked a few of the ones that were obviously a password for another site (one of the '+' addresses) and after 4 tries, found one that worked (on the 'other site', not on gmail). So they're definitely not just 'made up' passwords; they just aren't necessarily a password that was ever actually used for the email address they're associated to.

Comment: Re:Probably a few sites were hacked (Score 1) 203

by YttriumOxide (#47875255) Attached to: 5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

where are you finding the passwords? Im on the list and use KeePass for just about everything so should be able to nail down exactly where they got my password from.

The list with passwords was easily available for a while (and still is if you hunt around a bit - I found it without too much trouble).

Comment: Re:Just people using same passwords (Score 1) 203

by YttriumOxide (#47875235) Attached to: 5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

I'd guess it's just hacks of other sites, filter it on just gmail accounts and hope they used the same password for both

I'm pretty sure that's right. Actually, I'd say I'm around 5 nines certain.

My email is on the list (afforess@gmail.com, go check!) I use a password for gmail I have never used for any other site.

According to the list, the password is a 7 character string, lowercase, moderately common first name starting with c.

Comment: Re:The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science (Score 2) 600

by YttriumOxide (#46823431) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

I was with you until:

Per capita, I'll bet you've got more stupid fucks than we do.

I don't think that's something that's particularly easy to measure. I agree that pretty much every country has a large number of stupid people and a large number of intelligent folk. To suggest however that the ratio of intelligent to stupid is better is in the US than everywhere else however is pushing it a bit.

Comment: Re:Yeah, but women want it all (Score 5, Insightful) 427

So out of curiosity, how many women have you dated who wanted to go dutch on dates? Didn't expect you to buy them flowers or jewelry? Didn't want you to open doors for them? Didn't expect you to protect them in a fight?

Not the person you're replying to, but I felt I should step in here...

My wife always paid her fair share when we dated. I honestly felt a little uncomfortable about it at first, but she insisted.

She loves it when I buy her flowers and jewellery, but she'll buy me stuff I like too; so that seems even to me.

I'll hold doors open for her, and she is happy that I do. But she'll hold doors open for me too, and I'm happy that she does.

She most certainly would expect me to defend her in a fight; but equally, I'd expect her to defend me in one. (neither of us is particularly physically inclined, but we're also not really the types to get in to fights; so thus far it hasn't been a situation that has arisen)

Basically my point is that just because a woman expects some things from the guy, it doesn't mean she's asking for unequal treatment... she may be willing to do all those same things too.

Comment: Re:Reinforcing the term (Score 1) 464

Douche isn't a gender specific word?

Men can be whores - in fact some research indicates there are more prostituted men than women.

Women can be assholes too.

Perhaps this was a kind of troll? Very lame if so.

I believe it's cultural/dialectal. In Australian and New Zealand English (at least), men can also be cunts - in fact, in southern New Zealand 15 to 20 years ago (I can't speak for today), it would have sounded very strange to call a woman "cunt" whereas greeting your male friend with, "hey you old cunt, what's up?" wouldn't be unexpected in some social circles.
I'm well aware this doesn't really make much sense, but language often doesn't.

The same almost certainly applies for "douche", "asshole", "whore" and so on. Sometimes male, sometimes female, sometime both.

Comment: Re:What about other people? (Score 1) 278

by YttriumOxide (#45937663) Attached to: British Spies To Be Allowed To Break Speed Limit

I don't think you quite understand government mentality around espionage, 'national security', etc.

Casualties are acceptable, if it gets the job done.

And that mentality isn't necessarily wrong, given that you accept the premises they're working under.

Imagine you know that if you don't make it to a place in the next 5 minutes that a man will gun down a room full of schoolchildren. In order to get there, you have to speed and in doing so greatly increase the risk of killing a single innocent pedestrian. Even if that happens, it is a better outcome than the children being gunned down.

Now, that scenario is dramatically oversimplified. Decisions about national security concerns are however made on the same basis. The belief is that the loss of a small number of lives is worth it in order to prevent the loss of a greater number of lives or extreme suffering to a great number of people (one death is better than a million on the edge of starvation; even if no-one dies directly).

I'm not saying I agree with them - I actually don't, because I don't believe that most things they refer to as 'national security' are in fact validly so - but the logic makes sense given that you accept the premises.

Comment: Re:in the context of society.. (Score 1) 382

by YttriumOxide (#45937345) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

Are you suggesting that you, an individual, is a statistically significant sample size?

Certainly not if you're looking for evidence of general action; however if you consider the original statement that there is no safe level of LSD use, then it only requires one 'negative' to disprove it.

Also, beyond simply myself there is plenty of research that shows LSD is an extraordinarily 'safe' substance by pretty much any measure you care to choose (with the exception of legal ramifications, which is a societal issue, not a drug issue).

Comment: Re:in the context of society.. (Score 1) 382

by YttriumOxide (#45930821) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

That's not really the point. The question isn't whether X is less harmful than Y, the question is whether X is harmless enough to be legal.

Firstly, if Y is considered harmless enough to be legal and X is less harmful than Y, then surely the question of whether X is harmless enough to be legal is already answered, isn't it?

Secondly, asking the question this way ignores the harm of X being illegal. The war on drugs is a very harmful thing to society - far more so than the drugs themselves.

I fully believe that if all recreational drugs were legalised, there would be new problems in society that we hadn't dealt with before, but the overall amount of harm would be lower.

Comment: Re:Alcohol (Score 1) 382

by YttriumOxide (#45928313) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

But that does not indicate the various product *causes* the psychosis. It only shows an underliyng problem earlier.

Psychedelics are also like that.

There was significant research performed in to whether psychedelics can directly cause psychotic episodes (as anecdotally reported on more than one occasion). It was found that in people with a known predisposition for psychiatric issues (or people with existing psychiatric issues) that a psychotic episode brought on by psychedelic use occurs in a fraction of a percent (sorry, I don't have the research in front of me to look up the exact figure). In people with no known predisposition, there was only one case (out of a very large number; again sorry, no exact number right now) where a psychotic episode occurred. This was in a person who happened to be the twin of a schizophrenic; so it is considered likely that they did in fact have a predisposition that simply wasn't noted.

Comment: Re:in the context of society.. (Score 1) 382

by YttriumOxide (#45928259) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

There certainly wasn't a "safe use level" of LSD

Being a successful professional, a great husband and father, making inroads to becoming a moderately successful author (see sig), and having used LSD extensively for the past 16 years, I must respectfully disagree vehemently with that statement...

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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