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Comment Minsky (Score 1) 206

"...over a protracted period of good times, capitalist economies tend to move from a financial structure dominated by hedge finance units to a structure in which there is large weight to units engaged in speculative and Ponzi finance. Furthermore, if an economy with a sizeable body of speculative financial units is in an inflationary state, and the authorities attempt to exorcise inflation by monetary constraint, then speculative units will become Ponzi units and the net worth of previously Ponzi units will quickly evaporate. Consequently, units with cash flow shortfalls will be forced to try to make position by selling out position. This is likely to lead to a collapse of asset values.â

-- Hyman Minsky, "The Financial Instability Hypothesis"

Comment Re: DC power? (Score 2) 239

The waves probably did travel faster than light. This is a well known property of waveguides below cutoff. Even the group velocity can travel faster than light if the attenuation is large enough. However, energy transfer is limited to the speed of light.

The whole "nothing can travel faster than light" claim is an over generalization. A lot of things travel faster than light, just not matter, energy, or information.

Comment Re:Actually, you CAN'T do that (Score 1) 65

The Everettian interpretation is certainly better than the Copenhagen interpretation, since it doesn't raise the measurement problem; however, it's no where near as simple (in the Occam's razor sort of way) as the Bohmian interpretation.

However, I think the history of physics should teach us that different interpretations are often different facets of the same thing. Compare Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, for example. They are both accurate (at least for our universe), but quite different in their approach and interpretation. However, they are unified in that they are dependent on conservation laws. A unified theory should be approachable from both directions, and possibly other directions as well. It also turns out that one is often easier to apply than the other in certain situations, and thus both approaches are useful.

Perhaps there is a bit of truth in each of the QM interpretations.

Comment Re:Too Far Away (Score 1) 134

The problem with trying to detect radio signals from hypothetical alien civilizations is that they would almost certainly have to be intentionally signaling us, and at great expense (it would take a lot of power). High power analog TV transmissions (the type that can be distinguished from background noise) are nearly extinct on earth, and certainly won't last through the century.

As efficiency improves, every from of communication becomes more and more indistinguishable from random noise to any outside observer that doesn't know the protocol. So, unless we catch a civilization in the particular period of time between the invention of radio, and the invention and perfection of efficient communication, we won't be able to actually detect their signals to each other. I guess we could just look for unusually high powers of random noise, but there are already so many potential sources of high-power random noise that it seems pointless.

Comment Re: Too Far Away (Score 1) 134

I'm not so sure thats true. I used to think something similar; however, I'm now convinced that we're really living in the most dangerous time period for our race right now. The difficulty is that in the next ~100 years (order of magnitude estimate) is that we need to transition from a growth economy to a steady-state economy, and the growing pains might be too much for us.

I think if we can get through this next ~100 years, then it will be trivial to get through the following 10,000 or more. Eventually we'll have to get off this rock to survive true global extinction events, but those should be quite rare at this stage in our solar system's life.

Comment Re:HORNET vs Tor (Score 1) 61

I know nothing about the TOR protocol, but could you use a random number of hops drawn from a modified Poisson distribution in which the user can modify the minimum number of hops? Every time a layer is peeled off, the node would essentially check that this isn't the last hop, and behave accordingly.

Comment Re:"[T]raders have to react so quickly" -- really? (Score 1) 92

Wouldn't that make it a positive sum game?

Unless you include the natural capital (resources) in the system, in which case it's a zero sum game. Of course then you should also include the influx of energy from the Sun, which again makes it a positive sum game.

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz