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Comment: Re:Knowledge (Score 1) 1037

by sunsurfandsand (#46685627) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Two words: free will.

Three more words: does not exist


Nisbett, Richard, & Wilson, Timothy. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 84, 231-259.

Shows that even after we have made a supposedly free choice, we don't know what were the real determinants of our behavior. We report plausible, but baseless explanations.

Libet, Benjamin (1985). "Unconscious Cerebral Initiative and the Role of Conscious Will in Voluntary Action". The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8: 529â"566.

Shows that unconscious neural processes that launch behavior precede the decision to do the behavior. We feel like we made a free choice to act after the act has already begun.

An experimental assessment of facilitated communication. Wheeler, Douglas L.; Jacobson, John W.; Paglieri, Raymond A.; Schwartz, Allen A. Mental Retardation, Vol 31(1), Feb 1993, 49-59.

Shows that even when we are certain we are not doing something we adamantly say we would not do, we unconsciously choose...but not do it.

+ - Wisdom of Crows Demonstrates Wisdom of Aesop 1

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Using New Caledonian crows captured from the wild, scientists have demonstrated the corvids' ability to master the task of retrieving food by displacing water, inspired by the classic Aesop fable of the "Crow and the Pitcher". Per the researchers: 'In their understanding of physics — how objects displace water — the crows were comparable to 5-to-7-year-old children ...' Reuters provides an approachable summation of the news, here."

Comment: Re:Adblock! (Score 1) 111

by sunsurfandsand (#46399365) Attached to: The Facebook Ads Teens Aren't Supposed To See

By telling me, in effect: Hey Asshole. We'll delete your account if and when we want to, but we sure in the hell aren't doing it when you ask us to. they set a dangerous precedent, and make clear that they will do whatever the hell they please with your^H^H^H^Htheir account.

Are you starting to see the issue now?

No, but I see what you think is the issue. Before, you just sounded unreasonable. Now you seem maybe hyper-vigilant, but at least not nuts.

Comment: Re:Adblock! (Score 1) 111

by sunsurfandsand (#46388529) Attached to: The Facebook Ads Teens Aren't Supposed To See

That's correct. That's the big deal. If you are too stupid to figure out why, that really isn't my problem.

I'm not sure my not knowing how you rationalize your paranoia about FB taking its time deleting your profile in any way suggests I'm stupid. Let's stipulate though that I am. Please explain then, in terms even I can understand, why it is a big deal. You never had to provide any accurate, let alone secret, information about yourself. You don't have to "Like" anything, or post any pictures of your pets, or click on any adverts, or send or accept any "Friend Requests", or even log in. So then, what is the big deal? Granted, it's not your problem, but would you condescend to say what it it that troubles you so?

+ - Apocalypse NAO: Are Robots Threatening Your Immortal Soul?->

Submitted by malachiorion
malachiorion (1205130) writes "Have you heard the one about the Christian college in North Carolina that bought a humanoid robot, to figure out whether bots are going to charm us into damnation (dimming or cutting our spiritual connection to God)? The robot itself is pretty boring, but the reasoning behind its purchase—a religious twist on the standard robo-phobia—is fascinating. My analysis for Popular Science."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Pffft (Score 1) 723

by sunsurfandsand (#46121339) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

That was part of the problem. The forecast didn't call for 2 inches, it predicted that the ice/snow would miss Atlanta, though not by much.

That is partly right. On Monday, that was what the weather advisory predicted. However, at 3:39 AM Tuesday, my wife, who works at a DeKalb County school, received a weather alert that said the advisory had been upgraded to a warning. The warning stated that there would be dangerous winter storm conditions, and that only emergency vehicles should be on the road. Everyone in state, city, and county government, and school systems, knew what was coming.

Why were the schools not closed? Several years ago, I forget which year it was, there was a weather forecast for a few inches of snow. The schools closed. Not a flake fell. The school systems were heavily criticized for pre-emptively closing. After that, they have been reluctant to close until they see the snow. This time, that proved to be a mistake.

Hindsight, as the cliche says, is always 20/20. Here in the ATL, even when foresight is 20/20, making the right call is, at best, 50/50.

+ - The universe may be finite and bounded afterall.-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The question is discussed whether the universe is finite or infinite, bounded or unbounded. In modern science it is presumed to unbounded and since the discovery of the accelerating universe, for which the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2011, that it is also infinite. However Hartnett has found that using the cosmology of Moshe Carmeli that the same equations that successfully fit the observational evidence in the cosmos can also be derived from a finite bounded universe. This means our location is space may indeed be special after all. The work was published in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics titled “A valid finite bounded expanding Carmelian universe without dark matter” (Int J Theor Phys (2013) 52:4360–4366)."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Why would anyone install this? (Score 2) 202

by sunsurfandsand (#45737733) Attached to: CryptoLocker Gang Earns $30 Million In Just 100 Days

It's ransomware: it encrypts your files with a public key. The private key is controlled by the gang. You don't pay, you end up with a bunch of random-looking data substituted for your files, since the gang destroys the unique private key after the time is up.

Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the $300. Fortunately, I never liked my data anyway.

Comment: Re:I for one (Score 1) 246

by sunsurfandsand (#45728581) Attached to: Will You Even Notice the Impending Robot Uprising?

The assumption that we humans will be able to develop AI that can then create new and better technology is a logical fallacy.

How is it a logical fallacy? Isn't it just an empirical question as yet unanswered?

For this the AI must become sentient, or can only optimize existing processes and technology, but never create new one.

Why? The fact that no one has yet invented a robot-designing robot is no guarantee that no one ever will. I work with neuroscientists who build animats and cultured neural networks that interface with computers. The latter have been shown to learn. Sure, those examples are to robot-designing robots as protozoa are to humans, but that's the point. Protozoa evolved and here we are. The real logical fallacy is in assuming that because we claim to be sentient now that we have evolved, that the eventual robot-designing robot will make the same claim.

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis