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Comment Re:Michelson-Morley were wrong. Ether exists (Score 2) 298

There's no difference between "change in speed of light", "change in distance", and "change in travel time for light". They're all the same thing. Don't both instruments detect very small changes in round-trip travel time for light, comparing one direction to the other?

Sure then 1880s apparatus wasn't going to detect gravity waves, but that's just a matter of sensitivity of the instrument. We still call an electron microscope a microscope.

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 298

Oh stop this nonsense. Causality being broken with FTL speeds is one of the most annoying and most wrong thing ever when it comes to FTL.

Causality breaking is subtle. For a simple one-way trip, in your reference frame, nothing will seem wrong, but from another reference frame you may appear to go back in time. If you have two pairs of ansibles (FTL telephones), each pair moving relative to the other, it's possible to send a message round trip (FTL to your connection, normal space to another endpoint, FTL to its connection, back to you) in such a way that you receive it before you send it.

The circumstances needed to break causality are somewhat contrived, but it's possible.

This is also why silly things like long-distance sensors in sci-fi wouldn't work either because light is still based on photons.

So a warp drive moving a whole ship FTL is somehow more believable than some sort of wave or particle that travels FTL and can be bounced off things in front of you? I find tachyons easier to believe than warp drives, myself (much as I hated particle-of-the-week Trek episodes)

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 5, Interesting) 305

TFS said

Could society's embrace of GPS be eroding our cognitive maps?

I delivered pizza for a few years, before GPS, and a few hours of taking orders will disabuse you of this naive notion that most people have "cognitive maps". Most people do not know where they live! They can't tell you the nearest major intersection. What they know is a sequence of steps to follow to get to their house.

"Turn left at the big tree. Turn right where the church was before it burned down. Turn left where Johnny was hit by that drunk drive last year. Look for the red house."

I'm only slightly exaggerating. I really do encourage everyone to use maps, to learn to change your "pathing" dynamically when conditions change, to know where you are not just the steps you took to get there. To quote the REM song: "Stand in the place where you work. Now face north. Think about direction; wonder why you haven't before ". Can you do it without looking anything up?

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 298

I think you meant to say "Inconceivable? You keep using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means".

Many fictional things are "conceivable", but in terms of real science, no one is going to take a casual "general relativity is totally broken" proposal seriously. General relativity has made more and better predictions (and more unexpected predictions) than just about anything. You can doubt any theory, but the more one has proven itself, the higher the bar to claim "but maybe it's totally wrong".

Every theory "might be wrong", but that's not a useful observation - it helps no one to point that out, much like complaining about the weather. "This might be true instead" is useful, but you have to explain everything the current theory is correct about too.

Comment Re: What scientists do (Score 1) 551

Yes, the trend was down. That's what I said. The explanation for "the Pause" was that Solar output fell, and that matched the amount the CO2-based warming rose. That's my point above: that Solar changes can be bigger than CO2-driven changes, to judge by the historical data of the past 800,000 years.

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 1) 274

I take your point for the few people working professionally with GitHub instead of the normal case for software devs.

In my case, my professional name isn't my legal name - the latter isn't anywhere on the internet. But to your point, my professional name does indicate my sex, and if I were trying to make a living with open source it would show up in GitHub.

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