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Comment Re:root problem (Score 4, Interesting) 136 136

Yes it is the major issue. Which always brings to mind my favorite proposed solution: Mine neodymium from asteroids, use it to construct a massive rare earth magnet ring around Mars, and watch as Mars' solid metal core once again becomes magnetized and creates a planetary magnetic field. Sure, it would be a truly massive project, but it would be easier by orders of magnitude as compared to trying to restart the magnetic field by liquefying the mantle and outer core of Mars. Plus, we wouldn't have to worry restarting Olympus Mons.

Comment Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 3, Interesting) 150 150

While I agree with the conclusion, I do beleive you arrived at it a bit incorrectly. It's that mosquitoes don't fill any useful ecological niche. Their sole purpose in the environment is to make things suffer, and they don't have any positive contributions which even come close to evening that out. This is a rare thing that should enable us to slaughter them in massive quantities to the point of extinction without any noticeable effect on the environment except that more people will be willing to go on nature walks.

Comment Re:Larger landing area (Score 1) 342 342

It sure seems that if a larger landing area was available, so that the rocket didn't have to lean so far to adjust to a very small target and thus could prioritize staying vertical, it would be able to land successfully.

Or they could get their engineers to take a look at the PID system they're using so that the rocket could correct for the error by making more gradual adjustments sooner, it wouldn't have to lean so far.

Comment Re:what about skinny people? (Score 1) 378 378

You're saying that you have no right to seek justice, or even care at all, if someone tortues and/or murders your family, simply because that person had absolutely no choice in the matter, no more than a rock can stop itself from falling. Just making sure you understand the logical implications of your determinism here.

Comment Re:what about skinny people? (Score 1) 378 378

Way to deny the existence of free will. Saying that everything we do is just a function of nature vs. nurture doesn't account for the idea of volition. And if we don't have a choice over what we do, the entire concept of ethics and justice becomes nonexistent. You don't put asteroid into jail for killing someone(as unlikely as it may be) because an asteroid doesn't have a choice. We put people in jail for murder because, at some point, they made a decision to murder another person. If murder is simply a function of nature and/or nurture, the person can't be held accountable for their crime, and thus they cannot be justly punished.

Sure, there is a lot than can be accounted for by nature/nurture, but that view of humanity is incomplete. Accounting for the ability to choose is what completes it, and we need to keep that in mind in order to not throw meteorites in jail and otherwise maintain the possibility of order and sanity in society.

Comment Re:I never have understood (Score 5, Informative) 265 265

Japan/Germany - they couldn't REACH us to do much damage, even if they'd wanted to.

That's just not true. The German u-boats in particular were very much able to reach us, and cause significant damage. Operation Drumbeat in particular was able to do a surprising amount of damage. With only 5 u-boats, they were able to sink 25 American ships, many of them within sight of major US cities such as New York and Boston, all in the span of a single month.

Over the next few months, they managed to sink 22% of our tanker capacity, and well more than 2 million tons of cargo shiping.

It got to the point where the u-boat commanders were calling the time from January to August in 1942 the "American Shooting Season," and east coast cities and towns had to be blacked out after dark for most of the remainder of the war.

They couldn't invade, but Germans could certainly reach us all right.

Comment Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 1) 197 197

I agree completely that determinism is a terrible philosophy to have. But any view of the world based entirely on the premise of "matter in motion" is necessarily purely deterministic due to this little pesky thing we call logic(which the copenhagen interpretation was content to largely disregard). Matter in motion is logical. People are not logical due to the fact that we have free will. Therefore, people have this thing called consciousness, which is not matter in motion.

To illustrate this, assume that a neurobiologist is able to perfectly map out a model of the human brain, and generates a set of rules for each node(neuron). Under a given set of conditions, it sends a signal(in our brain it is electrical, but so long as it is a signal, it doesn't matter. Likewise with the neurons. In our brains, they are cells, but so long as they are a node that can perform I/O, it doesn't matter what it materially is) to the next node. Suppose the neurobiologist sets a few trillion or so people in a vast field, and gives each of them a set of rules corresponding to a specific neuron, and when a certain condition is fulfilled, they send a signal to another person in the form of a thrown ball.

This gives us a seemingly perfect model of the human brain. It is obvious that the model is purely deterministic. Yet all the observable data we have is in favor of our free will. Therefore, this thought experiment must be missing something, not accounting for some unknown factor. Yet it accounts for all the materialistic factors. We can only conclude that there is necessarily a nonmaterial consciousness involved somewhere in the process. Material determinism in no way infringes upon our free will.

Comment Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 1) 197 197

Nonlocality is one of the premises of pilot wave theory. And Bell himself, who discovered those inequalities that you are so misinterpreting, was a supporter of pilot wave theory: “Is it not clear from the smallness of the scintillation on the screen that we have to do with a particle? And is it not clear, from the diffraction and interference patterns, that the motion of the particle is directed by a wave? De Broglie showed in detail how the motion of a particle, passing through just one of two holes in screen, could be influenced by waves propagating through both holes. And so influenced that the particle does not go where the waves cancel out, but is attracted to where they cooperate. This idea seems to me so natural and simple, to resolve the wave-particle dilemma in such a clear and ordinary way, that it is a great mystery to me that it was so generally ignored."

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss

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