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Comment: This would be so useful for lost objects at home (Score 1) 35

by mark-t (#47968563) Attached to: New Long-Range RFID Technology Helps Robots Find Household Objects
Things I'd put such an rfid on include my phone (when its run out of power and I can't just call it), my car keys, the remote control, my reading glasses (as long as it's small enough to unobtrusively attach to the temple part of the glasses frame), and my cat.

Comment: Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (Score 1) 319

by mark-t (#47951541) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

Did I ever once suggest that I would Liberal? The conservatives might tend to be the lesser evil of the two, but we have more than two parties.

I vote with the party that most closely aligns to my own views... that doesn't necessarily mean I'll vote for the winning party (I can't remember the last election where I voted for the winning party actually), but I know in the end that it's the most I can do to give my own personal values a voice in Parliament, and an alternative view for them to consider when enough people in my voting district vote the same.

Comment: Consider... (Score 1) 1

by mark-t (#47950849) Attached to: Free will persists (even if your brain made you do it)

It is certainly true that to the best of our sensibilities, we seem to have something like a free will. We can, for example, take any kind of data that we are exposed to in the present, and make what we believe to be free willed decision. I can concede that this appearance might very well be just an illusion, but if it were ever the case that we could somehow become aware that we were not making a free willed decision, then that illusion would disappear as well. Simply providing data to a person and allowing them to independently make what they think is a free-willed decision is not something that would dissolve such an illusion. Further, if free will does not really exist, then it should be possible to contrive a hypothetical situation where all of the decisions that someone will make can be anticipated before they occur.

If, however, it were ever allegedly possible to predict with perfect certainty what answer a person would give to a specific question, but the person had already decided to say that their answer would be the opposite of whatever their alleged predicted answer would be, then the prediction will always be wrong, so no mechanism for prediction such a decision exist, showing in turn that free will exists. If, however, they were not capable of deciding to do that, then they would not have any illusion of free will either. The illusion persists, however, so free will must also exist.

Comment: Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (Score 4, Informative) 319

by mark-t (#47949771) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

Is Canada still taxing blank media

Youu mean the blank media levy? Yes.

Which is particularly ironic now that Bill C-11 passed in 2011 (despite otherwise unanimous objection to it by all other parties, the Conservative government, controlling slightly more than 50% of the seats in the House of Commons, was able to finally push it through, which they had been trying to do repeatedly since 2006, and were only able to do so once they had a majority government), and which happens to make it illegal to bypass or break any kind of technological protection measures on copyrighted works, even for personal use, and considering the increased reliance of such measures in an only ever-increasingly digital era, this bill makes the levy on blank media, which was supposed to exist to subsidize for private copying only by the way (not piracy, as some people believe), an extra expense that Canadians are paying for and practically don't even have the right to legally enjoy (although the government has said they will not enforce the bill in matters for strictly private use, it would still apparently be technically illegal).

Did I mention that I really hate the Canadian Conservative government? I sure as hell didn't vote for them.

Comment: Re:Wake me when chimpanzees invent smelting (Score 1) 218

by mark-t (#47947809) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

If some creature, without having been ever been trained or taught how to do it by a human being, formed a weapon-shaped mould out of plaster or ceramic, and then went and melted down some metal to get it into a liquid state, which it would pour into the mould, and waited for the molten metal to solidify before trying to use it as a weapon that is more effective than what they can do with their natural limbs, then I would say that the weapon was produced by non-natural mean, whether or not it was a human being that was doing it, and honestly, I don't know how anyone else could claim otherwise. At some point in prehistoric times, human beings figured out how to do this on their own, after all.

You are right about fire being an interesting discriminator, because although fire certainly happens naturally all the time, it seems that only human beings actually contain and explicitly employ it for any kind of productive use. Also interestingly, humans have been controlling fire for over a hundred thousand years for a variety of purposes, so one might want to ask why haven't other species started doing it by now too? *THAT* would be a revolutionary discovery... noticing that apes might like to murder eachother because it has some measurable evolutionary benefit is just... well... meh.

Comment: Re:Wake me when chimpanzees invent smelting (Score 1) 218

by mark-t (#47946683) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

Mere modification of a natural object is not sufficient... it must be modified by unnatural means, which means specifically employing something outside of one's own natural capabilities to make something more fit for purpose than it otherwise would be, which in the case of smelting and making cast weapons, would be fire.

Call that a moved goalpost if you want to, but I never laid any claim to any other standard. Human ancestors leaned how to control fire to achieve productive ends over a hundred thousand years ago... so I'd suggest that the actual goalpost was set in pre-history. Besides, somebody asked where my yardstick was... challenging it by suggesting that any logical similarity to a less specific form of measurement should automatically make a concept with higher standards is somehow equivalent to a lower standard one is fallacious.

Comment: Re:Wake me when chimpanzees invent smelting (Score 1) 218

by mark-t (#47945275) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other
My yardstick is not merely using tools, but manufacturing them, specifically using what would be considered unnatural techniques. In the example above, I referred to making a specific choice to melt metal, so that it can be poured into sword or other weapon-shaped moulds to create said weapons, to in turn be more effective at killing. This is something that our ancestors figured out how to do an untold number of years ago, going back to pre-historic times.

"I'm a mean green mother from outer space" -- Audrey II, The Little Shop of Horrors