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Comment: Re:A flock of starlings (Score 1) 81

If you can't see the individual starlings, and can only see the flock, the flock behaves in a quantum manner. It jumps around, it can appear in two places at once, apparently traveling faster than light, it has probabilistic properties.

So the tipping point, depends on our detection technologies. If we can't zoom in to see the individual starling then quantum behavior is "flock of bird" sized!

Quantum physics does scale, you just need to realize that the 'flock' is the size that you can detect, and the reason you think it is one thing is because you can't detect half a thing. It's a function of the detector not the thing.

Nope. You are suggesting a hidden variables theory where each starling is a variable. Bell's Theorem says that you can only have this if you give up locality, realism (counterfactual definiteness) or that the universe isn't just making it up as it goes along (conspiracy).

Comment: Re:Of course it is ... (Score 1) 224

by hawkfish (#49329585) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

TSA is a place where money goes to be spent on the premise that spending money on things which do nothing is better than doing nothing, even if the outcomes are the same.

They have a blank check to spend money on stuff with no proof it has any value.

Other than harassing everybody, the TSA has accomplished very little. It's become a money pit which pretends to be keeping us safe.

The TSA can point to very few incidents where they've actually stopped anything related to terrorism. Mostly they just serve to annoy everybody else.

Meanwhile, the baggage handlers are the ones who keep getting caught smuggling stuff.

The TSA is a pathetic joke, beefed up by reactionary politicians, and which utterly has failed to make anybody "safer" by any objective measure. In fact, everything they do seems to be devoid of "objective measure".

I submit to TSA screening because it is the only kind of stimulus money one can get out of Republicans.

Comment: Re:Yet another Ted Cruz bashing article ! (Score 0) 415

by hawkfish (#49277193) Attached to: Politics Is Poisoning NASA's Ability To Do Science

You're missing anti-GMO, anti-economic-reality, anti-free-markets, and other lunacy of the left.

You have provided no data on anti-GMO political persuasions, just hearsay, so this claim has as much credibility as claims that "anti-vaxers are libruls". I personally suspect that the anti-GMO crowd tend conservative because there is a strong "purity" angle here that meshes well with prevalent conservative religious views.

The rest of your "lunacy" list is not supported by data at any scale. Kansas, Europe and the Great Depression all demonstrate that free markets do not magically work without serious amounts of regulation and stimulation, whereas recent results in Minnesota and the US as a whole provide support for Keynesian economics. And please don't reply with a "No True Scotsman" fallacy - I don't accept it from the left for communism and I don't accept them from the right for unregulated markets.

And yes, libertarians are right wing. Get over it.

Comment: Re:"Water has a memory" (Score 1) 447

by hawkfish (#49252241) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

I think I saw some research somewhere showing that the same people who believed this also bought thousand dollar specialty speaker cables, HDMI cables, and specially crafted wooden volume control knobs for their home stereos, 'because it improves sound quality'.

I recently bought some very nice speakers (protip: that is where 90% of your money should go. Any fool can make linear amplifiers, but coupling to air is hard.) Anyway, I don't have a lot of free time these days, so I decided to get some speaker cables while I was there. I could have bought some gold banana plugs and wired them up to heavy lamp cord myself, but my house is in pieces and my tools are in storage, etc. so it was really just a time saver. The cheapest cables I could find were USD250 each and the main reason I got them was not for the woo factor but simply because they were well manufactured and looked good (got to appease the wife when buying those boy toys!)

What the heck would cause 1m audio cables to cost more than that? How about silver plating on the plugs because silver has slightly better conductivity! And don't worry about tarnishing because they will also sell you a cleaning kit! Then there was the powered grounding/capacitance/alien mind control dampeners you could get.

What was that P.T.Barnum quote? "It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money." True dat.

Comment: Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (Score 1) 245

by hawkfish (#49137883) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

Feel free to rant about this. Or to try and change it. Individually you are pretty powerless, though. But if indulgence in a false sense of self importance is what keeps you going to your job every day, they sure won't go out of their way to shut you down.

Ranting is the first step to changing anything. As you point out, we are all pretty powerless as individuals, but collectively we can change a lot, if history is any judge. After all, Democracy itself didn't just happen. It wasn't a gift from the powers that be, but taken from them, very much against their will.

Right now, the largest threat to democracy in the US (where I live) is the atomisation (thank you Hannah Arendt) of society. We have all been broken down - not into the disconnected individuals of early 20th century totalitarian systems (of both the left and the right BTW) but into slightly larger groups of ideologically uniform members that can be manipulated in large chunks. This little subthread has already seen several different chunks bumping into each other and having to deal with each other, so in that sense I think my "rant" was very constructive. Not to mention my sig quote.

Comment: Re:It's a self-correcting problem. (Score 4, Interesting) 245

by hawkfish (#49132273) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

If antibiotic development wanes long enough, eventually some rich people will be threatened by new infections for which there are no cures.

Once that happens, antibiotic development will instantly become a top priority for governance and major industry players.

And how many of us proles have to die before our lords and masters decide to piss some new antibiotics into our water supplies for us to use?

Comment: Re:What would a Nurse Do (Score 1) 162

by hawkfish (#49129545) Attached to: Should a Service Robot Bring an Alcoholic a Drink?

The summary did call the person in question the robot's owner.

I think the robot should obey the owner's wishes and get them the drink. But it should sigh audibly when asked to and mumble under its breath while giving it to them. Maybe occasionally snipe at them in a passive-aggressive manner. "Should I cancel all productive activities that you had scheduled on your calendar for today?" "Would you like vodka in a glass or should I set it up as an IV drip into your arm?" "Would you like me to make a bunch of regrettable drunken Facebook posts for you, or would you rather do it yourself?"

"Here I am, brain the size of a planet..."

Comment: Re:Thank you for reminding us. (Score 1) 108

by hawkfish (#49120597) Attached to: Mummified Monk Found Inside 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue

Well, you've got to stretch the definition of Religion pretty far to encompass Buddhism. It offers no God, nor any Commandments (though lots of guidelines for monks and others seeking enlightenment). Hardly a religion by most definitions.

Which definitions are you referring to? Mine is Paul Tillich's "Ultimate Concern". By that definition, Buddhism is certainly a religion in the sense that it provides a path to meaning (i.e. enlightenment.)

Comment: Re:Its politics/emotions not intelligence level .. (Score 1) 580

by hawkfish (#49049423) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

One thing I've noticed about software engineers is that too many of them are lacking the critical statistics skills they need to function effectively. Perhaps it's because we tend to think in Boolean terms of true and false. Thus, "I have a 1:450,000,000 chance of winning the lottery" turns into "I have a chance of winning the lottery", which is a different wording that is remarkably easy to misinterpret as a "50:50" chance, even though both outcomes are statistically equal to false. They apply that same lack of understanding to any risk, including vaccination (a 1:3,000,000 chance of a serious adverse reaction becomes "a chance of a serious adverse reaction".)

This says it all.

Comment: Re:Let them play (Score 1) 289

The ways of making and keeping friends that come naturally to everyone else don't come naturally to him. He *wants* friends, but just doesn't know how to make them.

They don't come naturally. Those are skills you have to learn. Most end up being naturally taught, but some people miss it.

Without proper supports*, he quickly winds up socially isolating himself with his actions

Which he will always do until you teach him better social skills. Don't look at it as some medical disorder, look at it as a skill gap. I have the same problems and I'm 28. There's no one to help me now and no one ever tried. The older you get with poor social skills the worse it gets. People don't fault kids for social awkwardness, but you're a creepy crazy guy if you're socially awkward after being a teenager. People don't give you any benefit of doubt. You exist to kidnap or harass people as any mistake you made was on purpose and for some specific reason. 'Why does this person not have any friends? He must be dangerous, lets stay away from him.' Social awkwardness is a self perpetuating problem that can quickly spiral out of control into deep depression and suicide.

You won't help him by teaching others how to behave around him. You can't teach everyone he'll meet in his life. You have to teach him how to interact with others.

Worse, he will interpret any sign of kindness as friendship and follow this person.

Because everyone else ignores (or hates) him or at least that's how he sees it. When no one talks to you, that one person who does must be really interested in you. Why else would they talk to you? No one else does.

Please don't let him end up like me. Teach him social skills like you might teach someone math. Read about some specific type of communication or behavior and then practice and practice and practice it. You might have to deal with anxiety issues as well.

Please don't assume that a) your experience is universal (anecdotes are not data) and b) that those of us with kids on the spectrum are lazy, ignorant twits. We have spent YEARS doing all of the stuff that you "suggest" and all the stuff that you deride as "useless" and guess what? Our kid STILL has a real set of problems. Is he much better at social interaction now that we have spent all this time teaching him skills and getting him therapy? Yes! Can he pass as neurotypical? Not for more than about 30 minutes on a good day. And that is never going to change, no matter how much willpower, time and money we throw at him because there is a real physical problem here.

Would you tell a blind kid that they just need to work on the skill of seeing? Of course not! And ASD kids have real, measurable, neurological deficits. The brain is a wonderful thing and can route around a lot of damage, but it is no substitute for dedicated hardware, which he clearly lacks. And quite frankly getting guilt from pseudo-experts like you does not make life easier. My wife has a masters in this field, which required actual lab work and clinical experience, so please keep your ignorant, holier-than-thou, superior attitude to yourself. You are causing a lot more damage than you realise.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."