Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Both own half. (Score 1) 374

by dinfinity (#49581455) Attached to: Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

Thanks for getting my point and not being a 'King Solomon'-waving or 'think of the child support!' dipshit, like most of the others here.

This is not a "women's body"-issue (as actual pregnancies may be construed as), but one of multiple sane adults enabling a postponed decision. Gender is irrelevant here, the subject is irrelevant and philosophically speaking, the number of parents is irrelevant as well.

The pre-embryos are not alive yet and the situation is thus equivalent to owning pretty much any inanimate objects with multiple people. The only slightly complicating matters are that the objects are very rare and irreplaceable, yet non-liquidatable. They could be inherited frozen T-Rex eggs: the problem (and answers) would remain the same.

Comment: Re:1D compression, AKA "Serialization" (Score 2) 129

by dinfinity (#49565903) Attached to: Holographic Principle Could Apply To Our Universe

I would mod you up, but this is too interesting to pass up.

What I always wonder about is what the exact limitations are that the holographic principles imposes on a volume. Our intuition tells us that a volume can contain all possible configurations of 'particles', but apparently (given the holographic principle) it can't. Some configurations are just not possible or undetectably equivalent to others, leading to the lower information content in a volume (if I understand the principle correctly).

Now I can easily come up with some layman stabs at configurations which I'd deem physically unreachable, but I'm fairly convinced that it's a bit more complex than that.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 407

by dinfinity (#49532475) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

I struggle enough with caffeine and the negative effects of trying to keep intake manageable that I can't imagine how bad an addictive substance with much worse withdrawal symptoms would be.

Start drinking decaf.
No crashes, no 'needing a cup of coffee' (you don't, it's addict bullshit), no dehydration yet still be able to regularly enjoy warm tasteful beverages (more often even, as you also lose the 'I already.had x cups today' and 'I need to sleep in an hour' crap).

I switched a year ago and have not looked back. The only time I think about the effects of caffeine on me is when I feel supershitty and tired and remember that I had a cup of regular coffee two hours before that.

Comment: Re:like no problem humanity has ever faced (Score 1) 197

by dinfinity (#49523971) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

Does a child's success diminish the parent?

This is missing the point.

Parents do not generally compete with their own children. They do compete with the children of other parents. Getting a proper job when you're 55, unemployed and lack special skills is hard if there are droves of young people willing and able to work harder and for less pay (let alone with far superior intellectual capabilities!). I'm not trying to stretch the analogy, but I am saying that it is broken.

Humans will have to compete with cybernetic or artificial life forms and will become obsolete as a species. Competing for resources is not a problem if you are say 85 and do not really have to compete anymore (due to having amassed enough assets to be able to live out your life). If you are not in a comparable situation however and still need to gather resources to sustain yourself, you're fucked. Think about this: Apart from zoos, circuses and research facilities, we aren't exactly handing out jobs to chimps (mind you, if it would work, we would) and save for honoring the traditional social constructs of human rights, there is no reason for highly advanced artificial life forms to (ultimately) do otherwise with humans.

The 'good' news is that a variant of this will become a must-solve problem well before artificial life becomes relevant. There are already many individuals who are not able to compete in current society and that amount will only increase. The question for society 'what to do with them' is pretty much the same question advanced artificial life will have to answer for humans in general.

Comment: Re:We can learn from this (Score 1) 163

You have to accept that we are a competitive species, not a collaborative one. We may do things together, but only in the perspective of self-fulfillment. It's as if individual growth is hard-coded in our genes. Maybe not you, certainly not me, but in average, yes.

We have to accept that it is in our biology, but civilization is impossible without trying to curb it.

It is also in our nature to kill, steal, and maim. Should we then say: "Well, apparently we should allow that or even cater for it."?
The answer is no.

Many things that enable civilization are based on preventing our selfish and animalistic biological nature from manifesting itself. Laws and customs we introduced because we rationally analysed a current situation and said: "Fuck, this shit isn't working. In fact, it's terrible and it is hurting the effectiveness of our society. We need to change it."

Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in motivating people to be constructive members of society. Harnessing our inherent selfishness is a necessary part of that. But to elevate it to some holy and untouchable status is just folly. If anything, it's quite plain to see that in it's unbridled form it leads to simple tragedy of the commons, with those vying for money, power and influence collectively hurting society for their personal gains (you might remember a banking crisis not that long ago, which is a prime example).

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 2) 336

by dinfinity (#49519509) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

Well, 'incapable of it' is sort of a stretch. See this documentary: (around ~7:00)
which is about this girl:

There are some potential issues in this specific example, but I'd say it does show that even a severely abused/sortof feral human child is better capable of acquiring language (to some extent) than any individual of another primate species.

Don't forget that the examples of 'having a conversation in sign language [with primates (or birds)]' are highly disputed. Even with years and years of extensive training, the prime examples involve a lot of interpretation and often cherry picking by (probably enamored, but definitely invested) researchers:

Comment: Re:Sony pirating e-books? (Score 2) 59

No, that is not what it means.

There are legitimate cases where the proverb applies and he was very clearly implying this was such a case (his added reasoning was that teachers were better able to handle coffee without making a mess than adolescents). In fact, there are many legitimate cases encoded in law. One need only look at age limits to see that this is the case, although the juxtaposition of 'god' and 'cows/oxes' is perhaps too inflammatory for the proverb to be used often.

Anyway, my point is that a lot of people in power positions place themselves above the law with (very) questionable rationalizations. We all do it when doing things such as speeding, but feelings of self-importance exacerbate the behavior.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James