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Comment: Re:Warp Drive (Score 1) 550

Neural networks was one of the worst misdirection in the history of AI. These was a lot of wasted effort on that idea.

Have you seen what neural networks are doing recently? I think you will find that the course on machine learning I linked to is primarily about neural networks. Your opinions are asserted very strongly but you give me no reason to think you know much about the field other than your swagger.

Comment: Re:Warp Drive (Score 1) 550

I see no evidence of any programming that "learns" or is the slightest bit adaptive.

Ever heard of neural networks? Machine learning? Here is a course given Andrew Ng at Stanford. Watch the intro video, and you will see, amongst other things an autonomous helicopter that was taught, not programmed but taught to do an inverted takeoff. This stuff is already real.

To quote the video:

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to learn without being explicitly programmed.

Comment: Does anybody know more details about this project? (Score 1) 37

Cool project, but the article/video is short on detail. I'd like to know more about the way this robot is actually learning. Is it a neural network? How does it know an oscilloscope is an oscilloscope? Does it use binocular vision to recognize distance? Ultrasound? Both? What type of computing hardware is on board? For that matter, what type of quadracoptor is this? And more importantly where can I get one?

Comment: Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (Score 1) 105

by catchblue22 (#47284379) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

What you are looking at IS the State, unless you stay constantly vigilant.

Yes, exactly. And obviously we are not there yet. However, from what I can see, we are going towards this. It may not be once corporation, but even if it is ten, twenty or thirty corporations that control most economic activity, this is concerning to me. Of particular concern is the American food supply, both its creation and its distribution. Small farms are disappearing, with huge corporate owned farms becoming dominant. I believe this is a dangerous concentration of power.

However, the elephant in the room is wealth distribution. The wealthiest Americans own a concerningly large portion of the national wealth right now. And it is a simple mathematical fact in the American system that wealth leads to political power. Thus, the American political system is now acting primarly in the interests of the most wealthy. The right wing, which is the most owned by the wealthy, push "low tax" and "small government" policies, whose sole aim is to increase the wealth of the most wealthy relative to the rest of the nation. And the "tea party" movement will not fix this. It will in fact make it far far worse.

It is a historical fact that the ONLY way America has found of leveling out wealth distribution is via a progressive income tax system. Following WWII, the top tax bracket (over $500000) was more than 90%. These tax rates effectively created the American middle class. In 1980, the upper tax bracket rate collapsed, and this began the decline of the American middle class. Seemingly paradoxically, the decline of the middle class has led to economic decline as well.

I would advise that if you value the future economic well being of your children and grand-children, that you perform a political and economic reality check.

Comment: Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (Score 1) 105

by catchblue22 (#47283585) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

Government should be small, on the side of the people and transparent when at all possible. Also, Importantly we should never have a regulation or law that we are compelled to live under that can not be easily explained and understood.

Ok, I agree with the "on the side of the people" and the "transparent" part. The "small" part might be nice. However, I would like you to consider a thought experiment, basically a reducto ad absurdum. Imagine a world in which there is only one corporation that controls all trade. I mean all. All goods must be bought through this corporation, and all people work through this corporation. What would the role of government be then? What if a person disagreed with that corporation? What if that corporation chose to banish that person from working? This would mean that this person would basically be out on the street with no chance of work. Would the government's role be to protect that person? Should the government act to break up that huge corporation to preserve trade? Would it? Or would the State have become the corporation?

Comment: Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (Score 1) 105

by catchblue22 (#47282961) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

National Defense, Infrastructure, Foreign Relations, Border Security, Protecting Individual Rights, Protecting trade between the states, Ensuring a uniform set of laws that normal people can understand and follow.

What happens when the rights of an individual conflicts with the rights of a huge corporation?

Comment: Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (Score 1) 105

by catchblue22 (#47280961) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

The State will always wield its power badly. The more power you give them past what is 100% absolutely needed results in worse than what you want to be protected from. Always.

You completely missed my point. If you try to eliminate the democratic State, the corporation will become the State. Only it will not be restricted by the laws of a democratic government. It will make its own defacto laws.

Comment: Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (Score 1) 105

by catchblue22 (#47279321) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

I am a right leaning libertarian and I think Musk is doing well. It is his business and he can try to accomplish whatever he wants.

I too believe that Elon Musk is awesome. He embodies the best of the free enterprise system. The problem is that most on the right, and that includes the funders of the tea party movement, espouse policies that will result not in a proper system of free enterprise where the best and brightest rise to the top, but rather a system where entrenched players act ruthlessly to maintain there positions of power. Whenever a small player looks too competitive, they will just absorb that player.

The idea that the removal of government power will result in a world where super-humans like Musk will be free to make life better for all of us is, I believe, a delusion. The simple fact is that you can never, ever eliminate the State and its power. There will always be some organization making laws that all society must follow. What is happening in the US is that the power of the State has migrated into private hands. Congress is now, for all intents and purposes owned by private corporations, who get Congress to write laws in their own interest (they are already writing laws to hinder the disruptive Space X) And if Congress lost the ability to control society, the power would then migrate into the hands of the largest corporations, which would basically mean a return to a feudalist society of lords and serfs. And judging by the fact that you are spending time posting on a plebian board such as slashdot, you are likely to be a serf, and not a lord. Doesn't sound very libertarian to me.

Comment: New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (Score 4, Interesting) 105

by catchblue22 (#47275071) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

If you watch the Tesla news lately, I think it is apparent that the current American launch monopolists have initiated a wide ranging propaganda and political campaign against SpaceX. Examples of this are here and here, as well as comment boards on various articles about Space X. The memes I have noticed emphasized are first and foremost that SpaceX is cutting corners (aimed at legislators), that Space X is the beneficiary of "corporate welfare", and that Musk is a "communist bum" (aimed at right-leaning readers).

One of the primary reasons I think this is evidence of an organized campaign is the timing. Space X initiated the campaign against the Russian rocket engines being used by ULA, as well as objecting to the bulk purchases of launch contracts by the Airforce from ULA, thus locking Space X out of a significant number of launches before it gains certification. I can imagine this as a directive from ULA exectives being given around that time. Such campaigns typically take a few weeks to work-up. They take studies of public opinion, come up with themes to base their campaign around, and then test those themes with the public, often with focus groups. This lag of a few weeks for propaganda campaigns is typical when an organization suddenly decides to initiate a campaign based on new information. Watch for it next time you see a government or corporation being attacked by a new threat. This lag of two or more weeks between threat and response is typical I believe of an organized propaganda campaign.


Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy 772

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-doesn't-measure-temperature-or-blood-pressure dept.
cold fjord writes: "Dan Kahan at the Yale Law School Cultural Cognition Project says, 'Because imparting basic comprehension of science in citizens is so critical to enlightened democracy, it is essential that we develop valid measures of it, so that we can assess and improve the profession of teaching science to people. ... The National Science Foundation has been engaged in the project of trying to formulate and promote such a measure for quite some time. A few years ago it came to the conclusion that the item "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals," shouldn't be included when computing "science literacy." The reason was simple: the answer people give to this question doesn't measure their comprehension of science. People who score at or near the top on the remaining portions of the test aren't any more likely to get this item "correct" than those who do poorly on the remaining portions. What the NSF's evolution item does measure, researchers have concluded, is test takers' cultural identities, and in particular the centrality of religion in their lives.' Kahan also had a previous, related post on the interaction between religiosity and scientific literacy."

Comment: Re:Facts are there (Score 1) 379

by catchblue22 (#47036159) Attached to: Studies: Wildfires Worse Due To Global Warming

Excellent post, containing actual arguments and links to real papers. Unfortunately we have to put up with provocateurs here, many of whom are likely paid to post, and most of whom have almost no idea of what they are talking about. To those of you who find these corrupt denier posters troubling, remember that science is an unending search for truth. It is the best way we have of comprehending the physical world. What the deniers do is the exact opposite of science.

We who follow science have truth and morality on our side. The power of the catholic church was once threatened by the scientist Galileo's scientific assertions that the Earth went around the Sun. He was persecuted but he stood his ground in defence of scientific truth. Now the power of oil billionaires is threatened by the scientific fact that carbon emissions are warming the Earth. They are using all their expertise in "public relations" to undermine any real action to reduce their power. But we must remember that no matter what the Grima Wormtongue deniers say, the well being of our grandchildren depends on breaking the power of these corrupt psychopathic billionaires. We must break our addiction to oil.

Comment: Re:If you regulate properly, we'll stop our busine (Score 1) 286

Of course all threats by corporations regarding regulation have proven to be true. Collapsible steering columns, air bags, anti-lock brakes and other government mandated technology standards have nearly destroyed the auto industry, as the American car companies promised they would.

Comment: Re:Recycling (Score 1) 152

by catchblue22 (#46982669) Attached to: Is Carbon Fiber Going Mainstream?

You're going a little over board on the fatigue issue with Aluminum. How many times do you think you'd have to tap that frame with your fingernail?

If you are really worried about it, get a steel frame.

Not really. Riding on city roads places constant stress on frames. The zero fatigue limit on aluminum bikes basically means that your bike frame has a limit on how much it can be ridden. Ride it enough and it will crack. I have personally seen two cracked aluminum frames.

At the very least, I would never buy an aluminum frame unless I know that the frame is an aluminum alloy that has a non-zero fatigue limit. I would also never buy a used aluminum downhill bike.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.