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Comment: Re:Flip the switch (Score 1) 247

by hawkinspeter (#47765963) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory
I don't see how consciousness is a "real" phenomenon. How can you tell by observing whether someone is conscious or is just following a certain set of complicated rules?

If it's real, how do you measure it? I personally believe that consciousness is just a by-product of our brain as a convenient way of formulating models of the real world, but doesn't actually exist. It's so easy to trick the "conscious" mind with false memories or mis-direction, not to mention the clear lag between actions and the conscious decision to make the action (the nerve impulses to move happen before the conscious realisation).

Comment: Re:Mandatory panic! (Score 4, Insightful) 421

by hawkinspeter (#47739211) Attached to: South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"
Unless you were there fighting the war, it's a bit disingenous to take on other people's war victories as your own. I'm a Brit, but I had nothing to do with World War II or any other war since then. Just being born on the same piece of land as someone else is a strange way of measuring your worth.

Comment: Re:How to pay writers? (Score 1) 610

by hawkinspeter (#47723011) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year
Yes, that could be a problem though we do now have an issue with identifying reliable sources even with loads of ads. In fact, you could argue that the current system tends to promote populist writing and hides more detailed analyses as the increased eyeballs provides a monetary incentive.

I don't think it would make that much difference in the long run as people have a wide range of motivations rather than just money. Reputation is based on more than just ad revenue.

Comment: Re:How to pay writers? (Score 1) 610

by hawkinspeter (#47721393) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year
I'd be willing to bet that that's never going to happen. Communication is a basic human need and people like to communicate even if there's no monetary reward. Think of it like a hobby - there will always be people wanting to post information about certain topics just because they want to.

Comment: Re:How the Patent System Destroys Innovation (Score 1) 97

by hawkinspeter (#47711003) Attached to: How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation
I think the premise of the study is flawed. Spending on R&D is not the same as innovation although there is some correlation. e.g. Companies might be able to get away with spending less on R&D as they are able to license the relevant patents rather than having to duplicate the research.

However, most patents aren't any use as most of them ARE obvious to someone skilled in the relevant discipline.

We can predict everything, except the future.