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Comment: Re:Negative mass- not antimatter, but odd (Score 1) 214

by silentcoder (#47480963) Attached to: Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

>On the other hand, if the +apple runs into a brick wall at several km/sec, itâ(TM)s going to make a fair-sized hole. Where did the energy to break the bricks come from? You donâ(TM)t expect the wall to reform as the â"apple deals it a second blow, do you?

Nope, nothing of the kind, at most I would expect the bricks it knocks lose to land a tiny bit further away.
The +apple hits, transferring kinetic energy to the wall (it had to have a lot if it was moving at several km/h as in your hypotheses) - which knocks the bricks out and makes the hole.

Now what happens when the -apple hits depends on what the nature of the particle's are, more specifically whether they obey the Pauli exclusion principle. If not, it passes straight through the wall without breaking it at all (though the repelling between the particles as it passes through might cause some micro-cracks). This is the prevailing theory.
If it does obey the exclusion principle - then you have energy transfer just like with the +apple, and the +bricks move WITH the energy regardless of the source, so the bricks fall in the same direction - however because as they are knocked out they are ALSO repelled by the -apple's negative mass, they fall a few microns further than when the +apple hit.

At least, that's my understanding. I am not a physicist, just a fan of physics.

Comment: Re:Negative mass- not antimatter, but odd (Score 2) 214

by silentcoder (#47480937) Attached to: Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

If it exists, we can do something so much better - we can build Alcubiere Drives - that is, the real version of what Star Trek called "Warp Drives".

(This reference is not accidental - Star Trek inspired Alcubiere's research as he himself pointed out in an e-mail to Shatner - he wanted to test if Star Trek's loophole was really possible, and he found out it is at least theoretically possible, but only if negative mass exists).

Comment: Re:November? (Score 1) 148

by silentcoder (#47473191) Attached to: US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

>As it should be. We need fewer laws, not more of them.

While I agree with the general principle you DO need enough of a functioning system to be able to actually pass the good laws and revoke the bad ones.
A government that cannot get either done at all (which is what the US has today) is nothing but a massive and worthless expense.

As an anarchist the system I favour would make new laws much easier to suggest and pass than any govenrment but, with a much greater level of oversight (since everybody votes on every proposed law) and by removing politicians you make corruption far more difficult and oligarchy all but impossible.
On the other hand - libertarians generally hate the idea because they know that an anarchism is likely to be stronger welfare state with the sensible ideas from socialism in place and the bad ones ignored (or rapidly revoked) instead of their "unregulate everything" madness. A small government gives you all the downsides of a government with none of the potential benefits.
No government or big government are both better ideas (actually - I would argue that no government is the biggest government of them all - since now EVERYBODY is part of the government).

Comment: Re:This will die in the senate (Score 1) 148

by silentcoder (#47473163) Attached to: US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

On the other hand - that should pretty much destroy your unemployment worries, since you'll have more retirees than new entrants - looking for work should become a seller's market (which I consider the ideal economic situation) - where wages once again rise, benefits are stronger and quality-of-life over-all goes up tremendously for the entire population. The happiest and wealthiest nations are the ones where for each job-seeker you have several companies competing for their services, trying to outbid one another to get you to work for them.

Comment: Re: A win for freedom (Score 1) 1330

by silentcoder (#47360505) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

>How would you resolve this in law? I'm assuming you want to allow this guy not to make a cake for the KKK, but wouldn't want him to be allowed to put up a sign saying "no disabled" or "no whites" in his shop. Or are you saying you would just let people arbitrarily discriminate on the grounds of personal bigotry?

Actually - much as I despise the KKK I would say the real matter comes down to the cake. If it's just a plain cake with no symbols or anything- then he SHOULD have to bake it, he may dislike their beliefs but the mere fact that they would consider coming to him proves they can't be all that sincere in them to begin with. He can't deny little Timmy a birthday cake because he thinks Timmy's dad may belong to the Klan.
On the other hand if it's a Swastika Cake with the letters "KKK" on it he can freely refuse to bake it.

There is no discrimination involved in that at all - he is simply choosing not to sell a particular product, that's no more discrimination than Herbalife having qualms about selling heroine.

Comment: Re:A win for freedom (Score 1) 1330

by silentcoder (#47360413) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

And what about that same right for workers ? Should employers be able to mandate what religion their workers ascribe to ?
If not, then they also do not get to mandate which religious morals their workers have to obey on their own time.
And that means- their right to religious freedom on contraception ENDS at whether THEY (the employers) USE it. They get ZERO say in whether anybody else does, OR how said people obtain it.

Your freedom ENDS where mine begins. My sex life is none of my employer's business, nor is what contraception I use or do no use. They have no right to know it, and any opinions they have on it they can keep to themselves since they have no right to enforce those opinions on me.

Comment: Re:How low can you go?(power density) (Score 1) 152

>If it's not testable, then by definition it is not science.

I said it's HARD to test, I didn't say it's impossible.
The REASON it's hard to test is because it's a theory about what may have happened billions of years ago - and billion year old samples are kind of rare. The big bang theory was hard to test for the same reasons and took decades to become accepted - back in the 1960's it was laughed of as glorified creationism.

The whole point is to test the theory because this IS a 2 billion year old sample.

Comment: Re:How low can you go?(power density) (Score 5, Interesting) 152

>What bollocks. I think the actual question to ask is how it's possible to create the conditions for an very large (the size of the mine)and extremely low density (the concentration of natural ore) nuclear reactor.

No bollocks involved - those laws depend on the fundamental constants. Scientists have speculated for decades about the possibility that these may have been slightly different in the distant past - and thus the laws of physics would not be exactly the same.

This is quite controversial, mavericky science because it's very hard to test - but it's actually become less so in the past 20 years or so because some evidence from astronomy (in particular the cosmic background radiation) is suggesting that they may have been slightly different in the very early days of the universe.
Oklo offers a chance to look more recently (on a universal scale) but still a long time ago - 2 billion years, about half the lifetime of the planet.

If there had been subtle and slight changes over the years - then 2 billion years ago should be enough to detect some - much smaller even than what cosmic radiation data has hinted at, but on the same line (that said there are other theories that could explain the radiation data - the question is unanswered at the moment since none of them have any other supporting evidence yet either).

Now there's no proof the fundamental constants have changed at all since the big bang, but there's no proof they haven't. For most physics it's perfectly adequate to assume they have always been constant, but if they weren't and we could determine that, it would change a lot of our understanding of physics - particularly the physics of the early universe.
By factoring in those different values we could possibly explain a lot of the other things which currently remain open questions.

So while it's unlikely - it's nevertheless and most decidedly NOT bollocks. It's maverick science for sure - but it's still science and still done according to the scientific method. If it yields results those results will be greatly valuable.
Just because there's a 99.999% chance your theory is a dead end, doesn't mean it's not proper science to damn well test it and make sure.

Comment: Re:A foretaste... (Score 3, Interesting) 89

by silentcoder (#46830605) Attached to: The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos

Don't be so sure, we think of history as the big things politicians, generals and kings do - but historians tend not to care much about those, if only because they are already as well documented as they are going to be.
Generally historians are more interested in the end in how ordinary people LIVED at that time.

One of the most valuable archeological digs ever found from the Roman occupation in Britain was an old trash-heap, because on it we found lots of things which were thrown away as worthless then - but because of that were valuable now as they hadn't been preserved through the usual channels. We found a letter sent from Rome to the wife of a Roman soldier telling stories of what the family has been up to. We found an early forerunner of the ipad (a wax covered slab on which you could scribble notes with a stylus, a quick heat-up let you smooth out the scribbles and reuse it).

Some of the most insightful pictures we have of more recent events like the American Civil War or the Anglo-Boer war were pictures no newspaper would publish - family pictures which show what the fashions were for example.

The point is - there is absolutely no way of predicting upfront what will have historical value someday, and the things we tend to assume will have none have a tendency to become the most valuable EXACTLY BECAUSE it was NOT valued at the time and this means that to future historians - those will be rare finds.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.