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Comment: Missing the real news here (Score 3, Insightful) 48

by wonkey_monkey (#48466943) Attached to: LHC's 'Heart' Starts Pumping Protons Before Restart

before being intentionally smashed into a metaphorical brick wall.

Surely the real news here is that they've been able to make functional use of abstract concepts.

Next they'll announce that they've slashed the electricity bill by powering the magnets with love.


The article could have told us what the protons were actually smashed into, instead...

Comment: Re:Martian? (Score 3, Insightful) 65

by wonkey_monkey (#48457925) Attached to: Conglomerate Rock From Mars: (Much) More Precious Than Gold

I have never understood why they can be convinced that a random rock they find in the desert is actually from Mars.

So, do some readingon the topic, and then you will understand. In the meantime, your lack of understanding doesn't change the fact that they can do this.

but it is magical thinking to hold that such a rock definitely came from Mars.

No, it's magical thinking to assume that science must be wrong because you know less than science does.

Given the science used, it would probably require magical thinking to hold that such a rock did not come from Mars.

Comment: Re:Hire an H1B to write headlines and summaries (Score 1) 302

by wonkey_monkey (#48452643) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

The problem is it can be unclear what is meant, or if something is being implied, when people start throwing in synonyms for no real reason. We're not all experts in the field, so when a summary throws in two terms - especially one which, in common usage, often implies a deliberate act (a detonation being the initiation of an explosion) - it's not unexpected that some people might find it confusing - even if all it does is raise suspicion that there might be some extra meaning for the differentiation that's escaping the reader.

Comment: Re:Obviously not many biologists here at Slashdot (Score 1) 442

It is obvious to the extreme that computers don't think, and aren't aware of anything.

Why is it obvious?

Also, "don't" does not mean "never will."

An amoeba is aware of its surroundings because it is alive.

For a particular definition of "aware" which seems rather circular, perhaps. Is a robot which can hear the name of an object being spoken, identify that object within it's visual field and pick it up with a robot hand aware of its surroundings? It's certainly capable of acting as if it is aware - and taken to an extreme, that's about all I can really say about other people.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn