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Comment: Have I misunderstood something (Score 1) 105

by f3rret (#46014813) Attached to: Study Doubts Quantum Computer Speed

As I understand it, it's fairly common knowledge that a quantum computer wouldn't be that much faster than a normal computer in most cases. As I've heard it, there's only a few applications where a quantum computer would be significantly faster, the main one being the math required to crack RSA and other asymmetric encryption algorithms.

It could probably mine bitcoins stupidly fast too.

Comment: Re:New Altitude record? (Score 1) 117

by f3rret (#45938921) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Sets a New Altitude Record

aren't you forgetting about the sun providing constant input
and plants using that input to take the same old water and
the same old carbon in co2 and making starches, sugars
and cellulose yet again for yet another generation of animal
to consume?

Thermodynamics dude, entropy always increases.
The Earth isn't a perpetual motion machine.

Comment: Re:New Altitude record? (Score 1) 117

by f3rret (#45938005) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Sets a New Altitude Record

We will not die out once all earth's resources are depleted. Our population will just dwindle back to a level the earth can sustain.

By its nature a planet, and by extension Earth, is a clearly delineated and limited amount of stuff hurtling through space, eventually the biomass on said amount of stuff will have used and metabolized all the stuff it can use and metabolize. Once this has happened, once those resources are depleted the maximum sustainable level of biomass is zero.

Comment: Re:New Altitude record? (Score 1) 117

by f3rret (#45937989) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Sets a New Altitude Record

It would be the same sort of magic technology that would allow humans to land on, and successfully colonize, a habitable planet. Closer to home, it would be the same magic technology that would allow Mars or some other body in the solar system to become habitable. In other words, it's the sort of technology that doesn't yet exist.

But you might be right. Technology might have peaked and we might never have a symbiotic relationship with Earth, but that doesn't mean we should give up trying. Giving up is never the best option.

I never said we should colonize Mars or even the Moon, all I said was that eventually we would have to go to space in some capacity or another. Quite frankly I doubt we'll ever colonize Mars, or at the very least it'll be so far in the future that any speculation on the subject is so close to pointless that I simply do not care about it.
See the issue with the whole 'reaching a symbiotic relationship with Earth' is that by its nature the Earth is a limited resource and eventually the biomass will have metabolized all the stuff it can and then the Earth will no longer be able to sustain life, at that point we'll either die out or have to import raw material from other places.

Dude, calm down. I'm not the one calling you a nutter (although the trans-human species thing does sound a little whack). My point was that future technologies not only have the possibility of magically transporting us to other worlds, they also have the possibility of solving many of the problems that would force us to leave this planet in the first place.

I know you're not the one calling me a nutter, was replying to more than one post. And honestly there's nothing magic about technology that could potentially transport us to other worlds. we have tech capable of taking us to Mars right now, it'd just be a bigger version of stuff we already have. Granted, actually building stuff from that technology is such a huge undertaking it might be effectively impossible at this point in time. But then again I honestly think that a colony on Mars isn't really what we should be focusing on right now or even for a few hundred years, at this point in time I'd be perfectly happy seeing the space agencies focusing on the Moon and stuff inside the radius of the Moon's orbit,
I mean, assuming ITER achieves fusion and the follow-up industrial testbed also ends up successful, that means we will eventually have to go to space since the fuel needed to run a reactor like that isn't available on Earth in quantities that are anywhere near close to being useful.

Wow.

I've read and re-read my post several times. All two sentences of it. I can't find where I said we shouldn't exploit space for resources. My post simply challenged your assertion that there were only two choices for humanity: colonize space, or "die out and vanish forever". I happen to believe there's a third alternative. Sorry you've had such an emotional reaction to it.

You never said anything to that effect, again I was replying to more than one post. My post never said we should straight up colonize space; as I've said before I think that speculation on the subject of humanity as a interplanetary species is so close to futurology that discussion on the subject becomes for all intents and purposes science fiction; entertaining but not that useful.
What I think we should do is focus on what is close to us, and that means continuing space research at the current pace and working on more effective power generation, as I said, I quite honestly think that if we ever crack fusion then the whole 'going to space'-thing will follow naturally.

Comment: Re:New Altitude record? (Score 1) 117

by f3rret (#45934223) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Sets a New Altitude Record

That's not the alternative. Just compare trying to live on another world (say Mars) with the worst, most hostile, most resource depleted area on Earth. Earth is easier. Air to breath, a natural radiation shield, etc. I'd love to see humans on another world but we need to find another reason than "OMG we need to get off this rock!"

We don't need to get off this rock right now, but eventually we will need to, that's just a fact.
I would rather we figure out the rough idea of how to get his rock while we have time to think and don't suddenly end up having to work it out in a hurry.

Comment: Re:New Altitude record? (Score 1) 117

by f3rret (#45934195) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Sets a New Altitude Record

Seems to me there is a third alternative: technology might allow us to live sustainably and indefinitely right here on earth. In fact, it might be good for the future of these other worlds some hope to colonize if we figured out how to live sustainably here first.

What sort of technology would this be? Magic? Because it sounds like it.

Fossil fuels will eventually run out, they will do so quite soon.
So we move to fission power, eventually we'll run out of fissile material too.
So we invent fusion, well that requires fuel too and that fuel isn't exactly plentiful on Earth as it is right now.
Wind and solar, well if we reduce the Earth's population quite a bit that might work better in the long run, but eventually we're gonna run into the living space vs. energy producing space problem, not to mention that we also need room to grow our food.

I might be a space nutter, that is true, I wouldn't mind if we ended up as some sort of intergalactic transhuman species.
But fact of the matter is, we cannot get something from nothing and by its nature Earth is a limited source of matter and energy that will eventually run out of stuff. I'll buy that we might never colonize space or even leave our solar system, by it doesn't make sense to think that we will never have to exploit space for resources, even if we do so with robots.

If we aren't anything special and shouldn't feel special, then we do we even bother fighting diseases and feeding the poor, if we are going to die out eventually anyway. I mean, ultimately the universe itself is doing to die somehow, why should we even try to survive, why don't we just all get smashingly drunk all the time and just wait to die out, I mean it'll happen eventually, why fight it?

Comment: Re:New Altitude record? (Score 4, Insightful) 117

by f3rret (#45933385) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Sets a New Altitude Record

Because it's obvious that our technology has peaked and no one's going to colonize the universe. But there's a small yet vocal segment of the geek crowd that needs to believe that technological progress is infinitely exponential, that planet Earth is just a "rock", and the species has this glorious manifest destiny in space. But don't you date call it a religion.

The alternative to this being that we as a species is doomed to forever live on a single world, and slowly but surely deplete all natural resources available to us here and then eventually die out and vanish forever.

You might be right, technology might have peaked and we might never move beyond Earth, but that doesn't mean we should give up trying. Giving up is never the best option.

Comment: Re:High THC (Score 1) 382

by f3rret (#45933129) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

It's said that strains being sold here in Colorado are far higher in THC than the stuff that was being smoked in the 1960s.

Probably true, it isn't just in Colorado, you're also seeing these high THC super skunk strains popping up everywhere, most of the stuff you buy from seed banks these days have a bit of super skunk in them, and this might or might not be a good thing.

Comment: Re:Yes and no... (Score 1) 382

by f3rret (#45933121) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

Yeah the higher potency stuff makes a user feel crazy. Some want that feeling. I've seen people freak out on the synthetic stuff particularly badly. Some of those chemicals are vastly greater in their effectiveness at blocking/modulating receptors, and not tested for safety.
The real stuff seems to wear off in a few hours and leave a person stony for a few days. Then its back to normal. "Don't panic, its organic" is what the old timers say.

  Don't let the users do things while impaired like operate machinery, shoot guns, drive cars etc. I don't care if they hurt themselves, but I hate seeing innocents pay the price for morons.

Well first off, most "synthetic weed" isn't really THC or any of the other naturally occurring cannabioids. they're usually fully synthetic chemicals that never were anywhere near an actual cannabis plant. From what I hear, their effects aren't much like a normal cannabis high.

That said, the study I mentioned never looked at the synthetic stuff, it only looked at the (possible) link between high THC content weed and psychosis to a more natural mix between THC and other cannabinoids.

My hypothesis is that the reason we're seeing these new super skunk strains with ultra high THC contents is because reagent tests that allow you assess the THC content in your plants have become more widely available, allowing for more focused breeding towards higher and higher THC contents; and this might turn out to be a bad thing, because if you watch the video in my original post a pure THC trip kinda looks like it sucks while a more natural mix produces what looks like a quite enjoyable experience.

Comment: Yes and no... (Score 4, Interesting) 382

by f3rret (#45927965) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

While I am all for legalizing it, the article does have a point.

I recall at least one British study looking at the link between cannabis and psychosis that found that strains with a high THC/other canabinoids ratio would cause tests subjects to score higher on at least one standard test questionnaire for psychosis, while subjects injected with a more 'natural' blend of THC and other canabinoids would tend to get a psychosis score not much different from them being sober.

The conclusion as I recall was that there is some evidence that strains bred specifically for a high THC content could be more likely to cause psychotic event or temporary psychosis-like states.
BBC did a documentary that filmed part of said study, here it is: http://youtu.be/ZGr0ne9FHOM

Comment: Re:interesting (Score 1) 123

by f3rret (#45555705) Attached to: Group Thinks Anonymity Should Be Baked Into the Internet Itself Using Tor

If you can tap into/analyze the internet backbones (as the NSA can) then Tor isn't very anonymous. They can track packets and figure out who's really connected to who even though the packets are relayed.

I don't know if this can easily be fixed, but now would be the time to do it.

They can't identify EVERYONE, and they cannot identify anyone in real time.

E = MC ** 2 +- 3db

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