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Comment: Re:The Body Count Unit of Time (Score 1) 534

by trolltalk.com (#26616579) Attached to: I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

The "0-dimension point" doesn't exist in the real universe.

Lines are supposed to be made up of an infinite series of points. This would imply that individual points are infinitely small. However, we know that it's impossible to divide space below a certain size - it becomes impossible to determine, for example, which side of a given boundary the two "ends" are on, since, below a certain resolution, the probability that either"end" would actually be on the other side of the boundary is high enough that, half the time, both "points" are still on the same side after the division. This isn't a limitation of our ability to resolve stuff, but a limitation of the physics of our universe. We cannot locate any one "point" in space with absolute (infinite) precision.

The universe is grainy. Infinitely small points simply don't exist in the real world.

Comment: Re:The Body Count Unit of Time (Score 1) 534

by trolltalk.com (#26616455) Attached to: I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

Read the rest of the thread. Points and lines are theoretical constructs for our convenience. but their "real-world" equivalence isn't a one-to-one mapping. For example, a line is supposed to be infinitely divisible. In the real world, at a certain value, you can no longer determine if you've actually divided the "line", because of the uncertainty of the measurement - both the "graininess" and probabilistic nature of the universe render it impossible. So, the absolute minimum to describe a "real-life" point is a combination of possible positions, times and probabilities. That's more than a simple x/y/z coordinate. In other words, the point has a certain (none-zero), size. It has "dimension-ness", since it's not infinitely small. (Infinitely small points quite simply cannot exist in our universe, so the concept, while convenient, is nonsense).

Comment: Re:This reminds me... (Score 1) 242

by trolltalk.com (#26616381) Attached to: Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer's

You should see my top 10 reasons why a dog is better than getting married :-)

As for people with psychological problems, some of them are genetic, and we really should be doing what we can to make sure those genes get weeded out. For those problems that are environmental/situational, on the other hand, it would be in our best interests as a society to invest in proper treatment and in prevention.

For example, we can go a long way towards preventing battered spouse syndrome by making it socially unacceptable for people to hit each other - and this applies also to hitting their own kids. It's not much of an extension from whacking a kid to beating up on another adult. There seems to be an "it's not so bad if its' in the family" attitude.

Same thing with post-traumatic stress disorder, or seasonally-affected depression. We lose billions in productivity every year, but instead of treating the problems, the publics' attitude is "snap out of it" or "pull yourself up by your bootstraps." People don't seek help in part because of shame and internalized built, in part because of their fear of how others will perceive them, and in part because of the cost. Silly, but there it is. Spending some money to educate the general public is a good investment. Better, though, is to make it part of the curriculum, so that the next generation will know how to seek help.

Prevention where possible, treatment where practical (some things we just don't know how to treat yet), and cure when we can. The same rules as for physical problems.

Comment: So maybe they'll finally have a Wii in stock ... (Score 1, Troll) 118

by trolltalk.com (#26573117) Attached to: Ubisoft Expecting New Consoles By 2012

So maybe I'll be able to find a store that actually has Wiis in stock by 2011, since they'll be obsolete by then?

Seriously, of the 3 - Playstation, XBox, Wii - only Nintendo hasn't made any price cuts, and they still can't keep them on the shelves for more than a day or two.

Comment: Re:The Body Count Unit of Time (Score 1) 534

by trolltalk.com (#26490109) Attached to: I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

Let's look at the standard model. You cannot define both a position and a vector for an abject, and the more accurately you try to define one, the more the other will vary (Heisenberg). Thus, when you define the "position" of an object in time, it has to have a duration component. An object with a duration of zero (or just a "point in time" to mangle the language) simply doesn't exist. So, right away we're beyond a simple one-dimensional model of time when it comes to any object in the physical universe.

Now, since any one dimension of time can be swapped for one in space to get the same math, and we've defined n dimensions of space, time similarly has n dimensions.

Throw in the probabilities for both time and space if you want to get as close to the real universe as we can. After all, we know that the description of a line as being an infinite set of points between a and b is nonsense in the real world, because of the graininess of the universe. There is no such thing as "an infinite set" of anything, just useful approximations. See the links from the front-page article on The Universe as Hologram for more about the inherent graininess of the universe and the possibility that it may have already been detected/measured.

Comment: Re:The Body Count Unit of Time (Score 1) 534

by trolltalk.com (#26489903) Attached to: I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

See, but, without a way to measure how long someone has lived, the body count is pretty worthless. You can only compare your body count to people that have lived for an amount of time equal to or less than your current age.

Why can't you count people older than yourself? If they were a PITA, and now they're at room temperature, that's still a win.

Comment: Re:Humor? Entertainment? (Score 1) 1654

by trolltalk.com (#26488867) Attached to: Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes

Most libraries have free classes in how to use the Internet, computers, etc. No books required. Libraries - it's not just dead trees any more :-)

Also, do you really believe that someone who, at this late stage in the game, doesn't know how to use a computer but has been on the workforce for 30 years, can (or even should) be "retrained" to do menial typing on a PC, as opposed to something else more in line with their skills? How, even after taking a few courses in Word and Windows, are they going to compete against people half their age that know that shit without even trying?

It's the same as all those "technical colleges" that say that after 1 year, you too can be a computer programmer or internet security expert. Frauds preying on desperate people.

Comment: Re:The Body Count Unit of Time (Score 0) 534

by trolltalk.com (#26488123) Attached to: I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

A point has zero dimensions, because given the origin (the point itself), you can describe everywhere on the point with zero coordinates.

You cannot describe a point in a higher-coordinate system via zero coordinates. You cannot describe "everywhere" on the point with zero coordinates because, as *you* point out, you need to be "given the origin(the point itself)". This is a 1-dimensional description of the point, and as such, it does describe the point completely. However, that "description" is one dimension, not zero. Something with zero "dimensions" has zero information, and cannot exist. Your "point" is a mathematical falsehood with no analogue in the real universe.

Your "line" can be treated the same way. In the real universe, there is no such thing as a line such that "because given an origin, you can describe every point on the line with "one" coordinate." Real objects (not imaginary mathematical constructs that have no real-life analogue) are impossible to "describe every point on the line" because we have NO way of even knowing exactly how many points are in that line at any particular time. Both space and time are grainy, as is the probability of any particular point, and our description of a line has to take that into account. To describe a line in the real universe requires much more information than you can provide with only 2 "dimensions".

As for traveling through time, since time and space can be shown to be equivalent, you can trade one dimension in one for one in the other, so double up on dimensions in time. Also, entropy requires that time actually exist; otherwise, there is no probability based on space and time, and hence no object can ever exist. No objects == no entropy.

Comment: Re:The Body Count Unit of Time (Score 1, Interesting) 534

by trolltalk.com (#26487791) Attached to: I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

Points, Lines, Planes, Cubes ... these are all mathematical descriptions of "something", right?

Are they, by themselves, real? Can a point (whether you use is as a first "dimension" building block in constructing a series of dimensions, or as a "zero-dimension" "point", exist? As a zero-dimension object, the concept is nutzo - something with no dimensions has no existence. It lacks ANY dimensions. However, if we use it as a starting point, assigning it a "dimension" of 1, it has at least 1 dimension of existence. It is self-consistent, and self-contained.

Of course, to have it interact in our universe, we could give it position coordinates, time coordinates, and probability coordinates. Let's take an electron. We can describe its' orbit to a certain degree of probability and time. If we add more time, we can describe more probabilities, to the point where, if we have enough time (duration), we can, to a "good enough degree" predict the chemical properties of the atom it orbits.

We'll never be 100% right 100% of the time, because the underlying graininess of the universe doesn't permit that, just like we can never describe any real object 100% of the time with 100% accuracy. Doesn't that sound exactly like what we see with such things as the two-slit experiment - we cannot make an arbitrary, linear prediction as to which of the two slits a photon will go through, and photons "interfere" with photons that have passed through before and after, IF they are observed. A grainy universe in all dimensions (time, probability, as well as space) allows for the graininess of time that would allow individual photons to interfere with others that "aren't there at the same time".

Now I don't know about you, but I've never been happy with the "collapse of the wave function" and "superposition of states", nor with the "branching universes." While they're allowed under this model, they're not required. More importantly, normal interactions would appear to have superpositions of states under certain circumstances, so we don't have to resort to the voodoo of the copenhagen crowd. Schrodinger's cat never is really both dead and alive, but can, until we open the box, be described as being in that state - or not. (okay, those last 2 words are a bad pun).

It also explains "spooky effects at a distance" without having to get into "quantum entanglement", provided we allow for conservation of probability, which seems a reasonable assumption - it just becomes a natural part of our universe, and by definition, not spooky. Heck, it becomes required, which means we can have our quantum cryptography being based on fundamental physical properties of the universe

Comment: Re:That's what abortions are for ... (Score 1) 194

by trolltalk.com (#26487315) Attached to: My Genome, My Self?

You're arguing that schizophrenia somehow "protects" against other mental diseases. I don't buy it.

I've lost all patience with dealing with them, after seeing how much damage, up to and including death, schizophrenics can cause.

This turned out to be a "good thing" years later when one of my friends had a relative staying with her who refused to take his meds. He indulged in a lot of bizarre behaviour, including never flushing the toilet. I told her that's easy enough to fix. Next time he came out of the can (without flushing) I confronted him just outside the door to the toilet and told him to go back in and flush. He said he had. I shoved him in the can and pointed to the bowl he had just filled with disgusting turds. He then tried to claim it wasn't his. I shoved his face in it, and told him that if he EVER EVER didn't flush, I'd make him eat it.

From then on, he ALWAYS flushed, even though he was off his meds and doing all sorts of weird shit. And as long as he flushed the toilet, I treated him civilly enough. He might have been crazy but he was using it as a lever to engage n his own style of passive-aggressive bullshit.

What most people fail to realize is that, while you're not doing anyone a favour by enabling them to continue such behaviours, trying the "normal methods of communication" not only won't work - you become an enabler. You have to communicate the same way you would with an angry dog. Fearless, and in command. They have to KNOW, at the lowest level possible, bypassing all (ir)rationalization, that this is the way it is. No if, no else, no but. The behaviour modification has to be done at a bio-chemical, instinctive level, and this is one way to do it.

Of course, most people can't do it, because they lack confidence, same as they can't grab a snarling 120-pound dog that has just tried to attack another one by the face and shove their face into its', and say "You EVER do that again and I'll turn you into a fucking rug!" That dog went on to become the best-behaved dog anyone had ever seen, super-loyal and very happy, but everyone who had seen the original incident said he should be put down immediately, and nobody wanted to go near him for months after, even though his change in behaviour was immediate and permanent.

Sometimes all it takes is one act to permanently alter behaviour. But we're too "nice" to be "mean enough" to actually do it. Just like we want to maintain the illusion that we're too "humane" to cull destructive genes, when in actual fact we betray future generations by condemning them to suffer with diseases we can eliminate in a couple of generations.

There's no excuse for not sterilizing all schizophrenics and bi-polars as a public health and safety measure.

Comment: Re:Humor? Entertainment? (Score 1) 1654

by trolltalk.com (#26486549) Attached to: Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes

Nice stereotype of auto workers as dumb air-wrench monkeys who can't do anything as simple as send an email.

The people *I'm* insulting are the fools who believe that by paying a "Technical College" for some basic skills that they could get in 15 minutes for free at the local library - they have more money than brains, which, generally speaking, isn't saying much.

True technical colleges? Look to the European model, or Quebec's CEGEP system. Not these "take a few courses and in less than a year you too can have an exciting new career as a [insert whatever]".

Comment: Re:The Body Count Unit of Time (Score 1) 534

by trolltalk.com (#26486249) Attached to: I'd rather measure my days by means of ...
Sorry, linky got eaten. See here for more of what I mean.

One of the interesting side-effects is that we can state with certainty that god does not and cannot exist in this universe, since the basic requirement for god in most peoples' minds is perfect knowledge of everything along all the axis, and our universe requires as part of its' existence that there can be ONLY imperfect knowledge of it. Even positing a "god" in a higher set of dimensions doesn't work, because any "god" with "perfect knowledge of a universe" could not, by definition, have any such knowledge that pertains to our universe - it would have to be some other universe, where the constraints are different. In other words, god can't even interact with our universe, so we're safe :-)

Comment: Re:Now we can get the Bible banned! Awesome! (Score 1) 849

by trolltalk.com (#26486041) Attached to: South Carolina Seeking To Outlaw Profanity

I'm not worried about MY ultimate destination. I'm satisfied that the mathematics of the current universe preclude the possibility of the existence of your "god". The graininess of the universe is sufficient proof that god (an all-knowing being) cannot exist - no such encoding of all the information required is possible, in this or a higher set of dimensions.

I'm sure you believe in the "big bang" or some such nonsense as that. How did the objects that started the big bang get there? How did the universe just appear? It had to come from somewhere.

So, using your logic, god had to come from somewhere. "Where did god come from. After all, to use your own words, you believe in "god" or some such nonsense as that. How did god get there? How did god just appear? It had to come from somewhere."

Look, god is impossible, at least for this universe. Your religious beliefs, as you so clearly stated, are entirely based on faith, which means they have absolutely no basis in reality. The cold hard facts of the underlying structure of the universe trump your unfounded beliefs. God simply doesn't exist. This universe simply does not allow, never mind have, the "perfect knowledge" that "god" would require. And no, putting god in another universe doesn't work, because again, it doesn't change the fact that our universe doesn't allow "perfect knowledge"; A god such as you believe in could only interact with or "rule over" a universe where there is no such thing as the graininess of space, time, and probability.

Whether such a universe exists is irrelevant our universe, since such a god could never interface with ours.

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

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