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Comment: Re:Habeus Corpus (Score 1) 332

by iris-n (#49522749) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

It is creating a legal framework for deciding these things, because the law currently lacks one.

And why is that a good thing? More lawyers, regulations, court cases? I don't think creating rules is something good in itself, on the contrary.

But anyway, don't you think parliament is the proper place to debate such a deep question? I feel that a judge really shouldn't have the power to decide whether chimps deserve to be treated as humans.

Comment: Re:Matlab (Score 1) 175

by iris-n (#49517817) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

Matlab is the worst piece of shit I ever had the displeasure of working with. I only use this crap because the SDP interpreters I like (YALMIP and CVX) don't support anything else.

Once I had a bug in a code I had been writing for more than a month, and after lots of work I tracked it down to a vector declaration of the kind

v = [a, b +c];

You know what Matlab thought this meant?

v = [a, b, c];

Yep. It interpreted a whitespace between 'b' and '+' as creating a new vector element. And it's not even consistent, if I type [a, b + c] if gives again a two-element vector instead of a three-element one.

The fact that the programmer who introduced this "feature" was not instantly smitten by a thunder is proof that Zeus does not exist.

Btw, if you know any sensible SDP interpreter that does not require Matlab, I'd really like to know.

Comment: Re:Yeah, (Score 1) 313

Thanks for the book reference, seems cool, I'll check it out.

Well, there will be major social changes, that's for sure. But bringing people back from the dead it's a minor thing, as realistically we'll never be able to bring back anyone that did not take precautions to be ressucistable, and these will remain a small minority for the foreseeable future.

I think the largest impact will be when technology to radically extend lifespan and life quality (cure ageing) becomes widespread.

Comment: Re:Yeah, (Score 2) 313

Honestly, I think the whole religious industry ought to be frogmarched to jail and never let out. Is it quackery, fraud, and cruel, preying on grieving relatives, selling false hopes, engaging in grotesque experiments with human remains.

There, fixed that for you. The major point of most religions is to comfort people from their fear of death. All the religions I can think of prey of grieving relatives, sell them false hopes of an afterlife, and perform some grotesque ritual with human remains.

The difference is that unlike religions, cryonics is actually based in reality. Everything else is guaranteed to not work; but according to our current knowledge, cryonics is the best shot we have to actually cure death.

Of course it is highly unlikely to work, but it is a completely different league than burying (or burning) a body and hoping that some god will grant that soul eternal life in some paradise.

Comment: Science versus religion (Score 1) 228

by iris-n (#49432579) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

Typical case of religion obstructing the progress of science. Luckily in this case it is a minority religion that the local administration does not take seriously anymore. Imagine if that was a place sacred to christians, like the Mount of Olives, or to buddhists, like Sri Pada (also known as Sri Kanda). The poor telescope would never have a chance.

Comment: Re:The fucking cat (Score 1) 172

This is true; a measurement always returns a definite result, never a "smearing" or a "blur". But I'd like to point out that the issue is a bit deeper, as there is no physical distinction between "determinate" and "indeterminate" states. For example, a photon with vertical polarization is in a "determinate" state if you measure it in the vertical/horizontal basis. But if you measure it in the diagonal/antidiagonal basis it is in a "indeterminate" state, a equal superposition of diagonal and antidiagonal.

Comment: Re:The fucking cat (Score 4, Informative) 172

I wish people would stop speculating about the fucking cat and just read what Schrödinger wrote. Come on, it's four paragraphs.

What Schrödinger is doing is pointing out how ridiculous it is to accept the "quantum blurring" because "it only affects microscopical particles anyway and they're just weird". The problem is that one cannot consistently keep the blurring confined to the atomic domain. As Schrödinger points out very clearly, if we accept that the atomic nucleus is "blurred", then this blurring can be easily amplified to the macroscopic domain and make the cat be simultaneously dead and alive. Since we don't observe cats to be blurred, we cannot accept atomic nucleus to be blurred.

That's what Schrödinger states one line after introducing the fucking cat. Since I know nobody is gonna click the link and RFTA I'm going to quote:

It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality.

Comment: Nice story, but misleading (Score 1) 172

I never knew that Schrödinger joined at some point in Einstein quixotic quest for a classical unified field theory. Cool story, bro.

But I'm annoyed about the portrait of Schrödinger as Sancho Panza to Einstein's Don Quixote. Schrödinger was a major genius! He invented quantum mechanics, for fuck's sake! I'm particularly riled up by the statement

Embarrassed by the incident, Schrödinger would give up his quest for unity altogether and turn to other topics. Similarly, he would never collaborate again with a prominent physicist.

This seems to imply that Schrödinger never accomplished anything after he stopped collaborating with Einstein. Well, he helped discover DNA.

Comment: Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (Score 2) 540

by iris-n (#47878759) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

As far as I know the Cuban government wanted to exchange this guy for Cuban prisioners kept by the US, the Cuban Five. The US refused.

These Cubans went to the US to disrupt the operations of anti-Castro terrorist organizations based on Miami, and for that they were sentenced to 15 years in jail, the same sentence that befell the American guy.

So I do understand that Cuba wouldn't want to give up on their only bargaining chip to free its agents. It's a sad state of affairs, really. So much could be gained if there were a little bit of goodwill on both sides.

Comment: Why is everbody against it now? (Score 1) 247

by iris-n (#47202911) Attached to: Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding

I'm finding quite curious the contrast between the comments that appeared the first time this story was discussed in /. and now. Whereas in the first time the comments were balanced and generally positive, now most comments are violently against it. I wonder what caused this change. Perhaps now that it is clear that they are getting money and have a chance of making a difference the corporate shills have woken up?

Comment: Re:Einstein is not god (Score 1) 118

I don't owe him an apology. I am a physicist, and my field of expertise is foundations of quantum mechanics. I did not say that this idea is insane as a knee-jerk reaction. I have read his paper, and I've been to a presentation by the men himself.

I find superdeterminism isane because it is too strong a hyphotesis: it can explain any experimental result. It is, therefore, incompatible with the very idea of doing science. Let me give you an example. Suppose that you want to measure some property of a particle, say, the polarization of a photon. In a superdeterministic theory, the photon's state could depend on which basis you chose to do the measurement, so you could conclude nothing at all from the result. Even the idea the a particle has some property independ of your choice of measurement does not apply.

And it's also deeply troubling how he arrived at superdeterminism. He wanted to do a deterministic model of quantum theory, but there is these pesky Bell inequalities tell you it's impossible. So what does he do? Simply assumes superdeterminism to brush off the issue.

It's not as if he was building a superdeterministic model per se, it is just an ad hoc hyphotesis that he added to get rid of Bell inequalities.

Comment: Einstein is not god (Score 5, Insightful) 118

by iris-n (#46434385) Attached to: Einstein's Lost Model of the Universe Discovered 'Hiding In Plain Sight'

This kind of article bothers me immensely. It treats Einstein as the God of Science, and uses the fact the he worked on something as evidence that this idea is no crackpottery. Well, guess what, Einstein also shat, farted, pissed, had bad ideas, and even commited mathematical mistakes.

And one should never evaluate a scientific idea based on who's working on it. The Steady-State model of the universe is not a crackpot idea, simply because it is consistent with the laws of GR and (superficially) consistent with observational evidence. Philosophically, thought, it does seem quite silly, and I myself would never have regarded it as more than a mathematical curiosity, had it not been already falsified when I was born.

A more modern example would be 't Hooft's work on superdeterminisc models for quantum theory. The guy is obviously a genius, but this idea is pure insanity, and it saddens me to see people taking it seriously just because a Nobel prize is working on it.

Comment: Re:Control vs. Prosperity (Score 2) 119

by iris-n (#46242135) Attached to: A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

That was a sarcastic answer to GP; I'm not one of these people, I think Sweden is a great country, and I'm fact gonna visit there in two weeks.

I'm aware that yours is the "correct" definition of socialism, but you should also taking into account that the definition is very much culture-dependent. People in Europe usually refer to Sweden as socialist, and I'm happy to go along, since the old form of socialsm doesn't exist anymore in Europe.

Comment: Re:Control vs. Prosperity (Score 2) 119

by iris-n (#46241843) Attached to: A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

You should do some research on how Cuba was before the revolution. People don't revolt for nothing, you know? Although it's undeniable that today Cuba is quite poor (partly because of their own economic mismanagement, partly because of the US embargo), it is still in a better shape than it was under Fulgencio Batista. At least the people now have universal access to health and education.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.