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Comment: STILL smells like a duck... (Score 1) 150

by fyngyrz (#49186083) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

Except that science collectively doesn't claim to know what happened at the points when the universe was dense enough and at high enough energy scales that it is speculated current laws of physics break down

Yes, that's my point exactly. They don't. Because they can't. Because the theory is based on assuming something happened that our physics can't describe. BB theory is therefore incomplete in a way that makes it unable to stand in the face of what at this time appear to be some very simple and reasonable questions. Questions physics force us to ask.

To stick with your analogy, the Big Bang theory isn't saying the baseball materialized spontaneously from the ground, but that it appeared at some point on that path, with some evidence that the trajectory goes back some where near the ground for loose definition of "near." In which case, there being a pitcher and it being spontaneously generated on that path both being consistent with current theories and observations

No. Quite wrong. The specific reason I use this analogy is that BB theory goes right to the ground -- fractions of fractions of fractions of a micrometer above -- such that the option of there being a pitcher or a ball launcher, or a firecracker under the ball, or a really strong dwarf cricket or even microbe, etc., has completely gone away. You cannot explain BB any further using our physics because they state that the theory covers it right back until it cannot. Consequently it either has to be some other physics, or else it's massively wrong. Theories that are rigorous but then, still within the context of their own propositions, devolve into "and then we don't know" or "because we have no idea"

BB theory may, as I said above, be quite correct, and we may need new physics to understand it. if that's the case, on that day, it becomes a complete and compelling theory to me. Until then, it's not.

As of right now, spotting a galaxy that shows what we understand to be evidence of being older than would be possible if BB theory is correct does not particularly surprise me, any more than finding evidence that "Thor" was just some dude with a really big hammer would surprise me in the context of the ideas that present the Æsir and Vanir as "gods." Because just as, at present, there are no physics that would actually make the idea of a god or gods credible in the face of objective, reality-based inquiry, there are no physics that actually make the idea of the BB credible in the face of same.

Comment: Re:If it smells like a duck... (Score 1) 150

by fyngyrz (#49185093) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

"Monoblock" or "the primordial monoblock" is a term for the presumed state of the presumed material comprising the presumed universe just before it presumably exploded. Everything, no exceptions, including space itself, all in one tiny... something, (tiny with respect to... something), that did.... something, and then [waves hands] Big Bang! Try this google search.

Science can trace the expansion of the universe backwards quite a ways, within the bounds of our understanding of physics as it stands and it makes sense, albeit some very strange and difficult to swallow sense. But go back far enough, and a point is reached where our physics simply do not serve to describe the previous state. At all.

I liken it to tracing a pitched ball backwards, not having been around to witness the pitch, but analyzing the arc of its trajectory and theorizing that the ball erupted spontaneously from the ground in order to arrive where it is. We can't account for such a spontaneous emission, but after all, hey, there's the ball, right? The immediate and obvious objection is that "but physics tells us that can't happen"... well, physics tells us the exact same thing about the big bang. That's why I consider the comparison apt.

I'm not saying the big bang theory is wrong; I'm just saying it is definitely unproven, and that there are severe and fundamental problems with attempts to prove it at this time. Tomorrow, we have new physics, and that may resolve everything very nicely. But until or unless that happens -- until someone shows how the "ball could erupt from the dirt, spontaneously or otherwise" -- personally, I'm reserving BB theory acceptance.

Comment: Re:Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 641

by Sycraft-fu (#49179099) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Just saying that is an issue that would have to be overcome. It is a case where the trial could be fair, and the jury could believe he acted in good faith and the best interests of the public and still find him guilty, and have that upheld. Just further emphasizing how tricky the situation is. It isn't a case of "If they give him a fair trial he'll walk." No, in fact in a fair trial he could be convicted if the jury decided not to nullify.

Comment: Re:Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 641

by Sycraft-fu (#49176779) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Well in the case of civilians, you are in a special situation when you have access to classified data. You agree not to release it on penalty of criminal charges and you do so explicitly to be granted access. If you aren't ok with the restrictions, then you don't agree, and don't get clearance. Normal people like us aren't under any such restrictions, which is why the press doesn't get in trouble publishing it. They never agreed to shit.

As such it could be a situation where even if they agree it was just, it was still illegal.

Comment: Also can be some of one and some of the other (Score 1) 641

by Sycraft-fu (#49175649) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

He's leaked a lot of things. So even if the jury agreed that some of it was justified, a situation where the public's need to know outweighed his promise to keep it secret, they could rule that on other things that wasn't the case. It isn't the sort of thing that would have to be taken as part and parcel.

As you said though, even in cases that people feel are justified, he still might be held guilty. The agreement regarding classified information you undertake doesn't have exemptions, it doesn't say "You agree to keep this secret unless you think the public needs to know," it is pretty cut and dried. So even if the jury believes he did the right thing, they very well could find him guilty because he still broke the law.

Comment: Re:1.2 what? (Score 1) 197

Budget cutbacks.

In careful consideration of this, and in light of the seriousness of the problem, I have determined that the appropriate reaction is to seize Canada. I'm pretty sure that congress will determine the commerce clause covers it, anyway. I'm writing my crook^w legislator this evening.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 231

by fyngyrz (#49165523) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

Having used both removable batteries and external battery bricks, the external battery brick is FAR more useful.

Probably so. Luckily, there's a much better way to go. Throw out the original battery, replace it with one that has several times the capacity, replace the back with the supplied replacement, and buy the appropriate hardshell if that's how you roll.

Result? More battery life than a brick, no having to plug in all the time, and no need to remove the battery until it dies, which will likely be some years down the road.

When I bought my Note 3 (SM-N900V), it wouldn't last a day. I'd have to turn it off (not use apps, etc.) before bedtime if I wanted it to have enough juice left to receive a call, text, IM or email, etc. -- it would hit 5% by 9pm or so. Once I replaced the battery, I just pop the thing on the charger about every other day while I'm sleeping and have no worries. It'll go three full days of use, but that does put the battery down to about 20%, so I tend to avoid it.

This makes the phone thicker and heavier. I don't mind a bit. But some people would.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 231

by fyngyrz (#49165377) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

A replaceable battery costs more upfront and is incompatible with thinness. Most people get a new phone long before the battery dies.

After buying my Galaxy Note 3 (SM-N900V) and using it for a little while, I learned that the battery would hold up about 14 hours under the kind of use I made of it. So I replaced the battery with one that has about 3x the capacity, replaced the back of the phone with a back that would properly contain the new, much thicker battery, and got myself a new case for the resulting assembly.

The resulting phone (which I am delighted with) is not thin. In order to make me happy, the battery had to be replaced well before it died. The cost of the extra battery and case and hardshell added quite a bit to the bottom line cost of the phone. But the result was the best phone I'd ever used. I gave my iPhone to one of the kids and have never looked back. I do have a late-model iPad, but I rarely use it any longer other than to continue to play some long-standing word, chess, carcassonne, and upwords opponents. My desktop machine is a mac.

Based on my experience, I'd at least take a look at a new Samsung before any other Android platform. I'm no longer willing to consider Apple at all.

Comment: Optimism (Score 0) 231

by fyngyrz (#49165215) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

[Optimism] is something, the author argues, that is sorely missing from the new J.J. Abrams movies.

Every bit you can get closer to reality is what tends to separate better SF from worse SF. I look around me, and I see very little reason for optimism. I see no reason for optimism in ST:TOS, either, it was sort of invasive. ST:TOS was a litany of "everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and the expendables (red shirts) are gonna die. ST:TNG, the same, except also, if IRL you appeared in Playboy, you're gonna die. ST:STE was dark as hell (and frankly, with that huge story arc, for me, the most enjoyable, despite what I perceived as a rather wooden captain in the first few episodes. Hoshi, Phlox, Trip and T'Pal made up for that, and then some.)

So. He may be right -- optimism is missing -- but I see it as a feature, not a bug. I look forward to the possibility of more of the franchise.

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected. -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972

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