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Comment I am a strange loop (Score 2) 230

So it seems that consciousness and attention can have effects in the physical world

Of course it can, what do you think is controlling my arms as I scratch my arse? It has other names, spirit, soul, mind, etc. There's a reason scientists and philosophers alike call consciousness "The hard problem", it all boils down to the fact that you can never fully understand yourself. You are not separate from the rest of the universe, you and the universe are one (or as Sagan put it) "We are the part of the universe that observes itself", and by extension that implies we can never fully understand the universe. I don't know about anyone else but like Feynman "I'm ok with that, I'm not afraid of not knowing, I find it more interesting".

Having said that the world is full of scammers who use very clever magic tricks to separate the gullible from their wallets. The "clever" part is that they know enough about the human mind to be able to distract it from what's really happening. Of course there are others who truly believe they have special powers but they always turn out to be mistaken when put to the test.

To summarise: Wake me up when James Randi pays out on his million dollar challenge.

Comment Re:A projection of what? (Score 2) 433

The interpretation put on the ancient greek math and accepted as "gospel" by medieval scholars was shown to be deficient in the 1600's, the Greek math itself gave more accurate results for at least a century after Copernicus went to his grave. This was the beginning of the enlightenment which told us there's no way to prove any particular interpretation is correct, all you can really do is compare the scope and accuracy of the predictions between competing theories, (including the theory that "god done it").

Comment Re:A projection of what? (Score 2) 433

Just because the equations match what's happening does not mean they describe what's going on.

Yes and physics has operated very well for the last hundred years based on that method. All that counts is that it can predict what will happen, ie: can it be tested. The more phenomena it can be applied to the better.

Comment Re:I do. (Score 1) 151

Do you seriously think what GP described is a Usian problem?

It's sounds like the AC's problem to me, if the "vast majority" of his bosses are 'vindictive arseholes' then either he's really unlucky, or there's something about him that brings out the 'vindictive arsehole' in people. My guess is that the AC is a young male and as such will generally have problems with any authority figure. OTOH he has a point, I'm not going to light up a joint in the bosses office any day soon.

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 3, Informative) 182

That is basically the GP's point, a snow covered data centre is like an igloo, the heat generated by the servers/people inside can't escape so it becomes a lot warmer that the surrounding ice, but due to the large amount of ice it's thermal inertia ensures the walls don't melt. You need to get past the ice to dissipate the heat effectively. Old English pubs with 3 foot thick stone walls don't need heaters when full for exactly the same reason.

Comment Re: Epic Fail. (Score 2) 182

It doesn't matter what you call the system, if the gap between rich and poor is small (say a factor of 10) then people are generally happier. Obscene disparities in wealth do nothing but fuel revolutions. The "American dream" boils down to wanting to be mega-rich, they want the wealth gap because they believe they are "exceptional" and will one day leap across it in a single bound. The US would probably work a lot better for everyone if it simply stopped arguing with itself about money.

One of the major reasons why an American can pay up to 10X as much as an Australian for inferior health care, is that the American system is obsessed with finding and eliminating people who are "getting something for nothing". Not just the government but also the hospitals and private insurance companies. There's a veritable army of government and private accountants all spending $5 to save $0.50. Here in Oz the doctor bills the government directly. It's the doctors and hospital admins who are monitored for fraud by cheap automated statistical analysis.

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy