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Comment: Re:"No idea how... the brain works" (Score 1) 205 205

In my modeling I came to this same conclusion several years ago now, that consciousness is the pre-requisite of intelligence. If true -- and I do think it is -- then the implications are most profound, especially in light of how we as humans treat our fellow living creatures. I'm quite sure that piggy you ate for breakfast knew he was alive, knew he was a distinct entity from other piggys, etc.

But the real kicker is the definition of consciousness itself. Most want to over-define or overload the concept and so end up having all sorts of extraneous elements mixed into their definitions, when at its most simple definition it is the ability to use time to advantage by acquiring and manipulating memories (observation and experience.) Once this ability is in place, rule sets become possible and it's off to the races.

Our human consciousness is so very obvious and apparent that almost everyone overlooks it even though they are using it when thinking about their own consciousness: The short-term memory loop which is used by the internal dialogue, where songs loop over and over, where you receive and acknowledge the message from your stomach that you're hungry -- that is your point of consciousness: A short-term memory loop is all it is. The tricky part is that I suspect humans at least have two point of consciousness and to some extent they either like each other and get along or are in conflict, but this is beyond the point I wanted to make here, which is that I think you're right.

Anyway, I ramble.

Comment: Donate according to preferences or prejudices? (Score 1) 268 268

I do NPR and Wikipedia, but not much else. NPR because they actually do real news reporting much of the time, and Wikipedia because they are such an important source of reference for many people of the world who don't have access to reference sources otherwise.

Comment: Re:Kludgy Mess Requires Kludgier Foundation (Score -1, Troll) 45 45

If you had bothered to read the first sentence of the quote -- and were able to comprehend it in context -- then you would not have posted this grammatically-challenged reply.

Allowing AC posts like yours have ruined this site for years now. The owners and operators of Slashdot should have fixed this by now, severely restricting who has access to AC posting.

Seriously, answer me true: Would you have made your original reply to my post if you had had to use your real account name? You don't even have the courage of conviction for your own position and yet you don't hesitate to personally insult those who do. You're a cowardly little turd who should be exposed for what you are to all who know you and have to work with and around you.

Comment: Re:Kludgy Mess Requires Kludgier Foundation (Score 0) 45 45

"A recurrent criticism of inflation is that the invoked inflation field does not correspond to any known physical field, and that its potential energy curve seems to be an ad hoc contrivance to accommodate almost any data obtainable. Paul J. Steinhardt, one of the founding fathers of inflationary cosmology, has recently become one of its sharpest critics. He calls 'bad inflation' a period of accelerated expansion whose outcome conflicts with observations, and 'good inflation' one compatible with them: "Not only is bad inflation more likely than good inflation, but no inflation is more likely than either.... Roger Penrose considered all the possible configurations of the inflaton and gravitational fields. Some of these configurations lead to inflation ... Other configurations lead to a uniform, flat universe directly – without inflation. Obtaining a flat universe is unlikely overall. Penrose's shocking conclusion, though, was that obtaining a flat universe without inflation is much more likely than with inflation – by a factor of 10 to the googol (10 to the 100) power!"[106][107]"


Personal insults are not adequate replacements for knowledge, asshole.

Comment: Simple as playing with blocks (Score 1) 315 315

Make learning programming fundamentals a blocks toy. Kid can stack program blocks a certain way, the physical block pattern gets scanned into the computer, turned into code. Point is to make it an interesting hands-on toy which makes the obvious connection between what the kid does with the toy and what happens on the computer. Once the kid makes the connection to building with pieces, they'll want to go directly to building on the computer, by-passing the simple to use but less powerful blocks.

Comment: Humane Methods and Definitions (Score 5, Insightful) 1081 1081

The guillotine was originally adopted by the French as an evolved and humane method for taking a human life and, considering what we've seen with alternative methods this past century, I have to agree: It's fast, relatively painless (quite possibly completely painless when one considers the shock reaction of the body,) somewhat messy, but has great symbolic and even theatrical value. Granted, the upper classes world-wide hate this device with a fearful passion, but that is actually part of its value.

Comment: Robust versus Secure (Score 4, Insightful) 131 131

The internet was designed to be amazingly robust, able to successfully get a message through a nuked-out infrastructure -- point A to point Z via any number of non-predetermined intermediate points. It was not designed to be secure because such security wasn't deemed necessary to the completion of the mission of getting a message to point Z from point A regardless the damage inbetween the two points.

What security it does have has been bolted on after-the-fact much like bolting a wind spoiler onto a Volkswagen Beetle. and with pretty much the same comical effect. "Secure" internet will require some serious redesign at the various hardware and sofware levels before it can be secure.

An interesting question is whether or not it can be both very robust and very secure at the same time?

My point being that the warnings about the above were made loud and clear in the mid-1990s when the internet was "discovered" by the citizenry and the commercial interests and yet everyone yelled "Full speed ahead!" and so here we are.

Comment: Re:Yellowstone hotspot/McDonalds/Impact Crater (Score 3, Interesting) 65 65

Glad to see someone else made the connection between this location and the Yellowstone hotspot. In terms of geologic time, this entire area is really "hot" and prone to large events of various types. Having a concentrated earthquake swarm in this area is worrying, especially since I live in Boise....

I was living in Portland during the whole Mt. St. Helens cycle in the late '70s/early '80s and the only adult nightmares I've ever had involve geologic events: It's hard to fully appreciate such things until you've experienced them.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.