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Comment Re:Lots of speculation. (Score 1) 314

"Likewise the formation and evaporation of micro-black-holes is not very well theorised" and from the other poster "what if in reality it's going to grow exponentially"

* Also what happens if two or more black holes are created that can then collide with each other?
* Can one black hole like particle influence the decay of another black hole particle?.
* Could 3 or 4 acting together grow exponentially more easily than one on its own?
* Also how would micro-black-hole particle groups behave in other collisions with other non-black holes like particles?

We have current theories that tell us what to expect, but we won't know for sure until we try it. But is it even to dangerous to try it?

Also its extremely unlikely for multiple black hole like particles to (almost) ever collide in space or in a planet or in its upper atmosphere, but due to the grouping of collisions in the LHC its very possible and it certainly cannot be ruled out or even prevented. Therefore we cannot use the single collision in the upper atmosphere idea as a guide to assume multiple collisions are safe.

Ultimately scientific discovery is a process of trial and error. We think we know what we are doing and our theories work very well so we really do think we know precisely what we are doing, but ultimately for us to make any discovery, it can result in showing us something we didn't expect. So there is an element of trial and error leading to a discovery. (Its partly what makes it so interesting).

The process of discovery is vital to science to find more evidence to support or disprove our current theories, but the almost unique problem we are faced with the LHC and the possibility of creating black hole like particles, is that for the first time, the process of discovery of finding something bad has potentially globally horrific results.

It comes down to a problem of deciding the risk/reward ratio of doing any experiment. It would be nice to say with almost all experiments in the history of science, there have never been any global scale hazardous repercussions to consider of them going wrong, (although thats obviously not entirely true). But in the case of the LHC the almost unique risks are on such a huge scale, we have almost never encountered anything like this before, so its very hard to imagine and easy to dismiss, as its way beyond the norm of what we usually have to consider.

I don't have answers, just ever more questions. But I very much think its a very important philosophical question we are all faced with. Is there ever going to be an experiment that is too dangerous for us all to try and will we even know before we attempt to try it?

Also with such huge prizes of world glory of Nobel prizes (and so on) combined with the ever present endless fascination of whats possible and seeking that new discovery, I very much suspect there will always be some people who want to push and gamble for such huge prizes whatever the potential risks. But then almost no one in science really wants to hold back discoveries. (We are like a bunch of discovery junkies, always wanting that next fix of another discovery). But then who will say no, its too dangerous around so many of us who want to say yes, go for it?

Comment Re:Lots of speculation. (Score 5, Insightful) 314

"Calculating how quickly a micro-black-hole would accumulate mass strikes me as a great undergrad tutorial question."

Which implies using existing theories to calculate it. What I think the grand parent post is saying is that we don't know for sure our current theories are all correct. After all, if we knew it all 100% correctly, there wouldn't be any need to build the LHC.

Scientific evidence accumulates over time. In science, its extremely hard to say 100% correct and be very careful of anyone who claims different.

Our current theories are our best current understanding of the universe and they do indeed work well. But we cannot be 100% sure. In the case of creating a black hole we won't know for sure until we create one under the conditions in the LHC (which due to the grouping of particle collisions in the LHC is different from a single high speed collision happening in the upper atmosphere).

Throughout the history of science we can see time and time again where theories were overturned. We therefore cannot assume all our current theories are correct under all possible conditions. There could be factors we are so far ignoring.

The problem is, the creation of a black hole in the LHC is kind of a unique experiment, as most wrong answers in science don't have such horrific results if our current theories are wrong.

Comment Awe-inspiring next generation technology... (Score 1) 383

"I really feel like we've regressed to the 1960s"

As this launch is partly testing the Solid Rocket Booster stage, you could argue its regressed 750 years into Chinese firework technology!.

Although both would be a little unfair and while its easy to joke at it being basically a high tech firework (at the moment as the other stages are not used yet), the goal of making launches cheaper is very important.

Although to be fair its no where nearly as impressive as even a Shuttle. Its currently not even as impressive as a Saturn V rocket.

I wish we would back a design like Skylon. Now that would be something to get really excited about and it would fill even the general population with a sense of awe to inspire a whole new generation of space exploration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon

Comment Re:IBM's hardware vendor mind is taking over (Score 1) 863

"Where's the "-1 Big fat paragraph" modifier"

I was thinking exactly this at first. Its paragraph size is really off putting, but I thought i would read some of it, to give it a chance. I'm happy I did, because its very good observational sarcasm of the way we are moving into an Orwellian world where big business is very much a part of Big Brother. The scary thing is so much of it borders on possible and in some cases already exists in some form.

Comment Re:Yeah, right (Score 1, Redundant) 759

Well from a security perspective, thanks to Microsoft's attitude to XP, buying XP has turned into like me buying a dog, and then I have to waste my time with updating decent firewalls just because Microsoft don't want to update their software to support us, because they use that a means to force and manipulate us into buying Windows 7.

So much for them creating a product I want (I want them to support XP and produce more products for XP ... and not keep forcing obsolescence onto us all as a means to extort more money out of us all).

But then Microsoft has the power to extort many people even though we all see, know and hate their tactics against us all.

Comment Re:American "Justice" (Score 3, Funny) 304

"Megacorps don't often go after other megacorps because it would end up as mutually assured destruction"

Its true they use patents more like negotiation chess pieces in some kind of tactical battle, but sometimes big companies do go after others big companies simply to achieve some tactical advantage. For example using the law as a delaying tactic against their opponent or to force them to give up some other patent rights as a negotiated compromise. Sadly its all tactical moves at their scale. It often has very little to do with engineering for them. They are more interested in its strategic value against opponents.

By anyway, this patent needs to die now. (http://www.google.com/patents?id=Ay99AAAAEBAJ&dq=7139761)

Its totally insane. In a long winded way as far as I can tell, its trying to say associating a piece of data with another piece of data. What like for example, associating a persons name with their postal address and then associating that postal address with their data of birth. etc.. etc.. etc.. Its what computers have been setup to do for decades!, yet this patent troll is trying to claim its their idea and Facebook should pay them!... yeah right, and how long after they go after Facebook, will it take them to then go after everyone else who uses a computer. I mean, FFS allowing patents like this makes a total mockery of the whole patent system.

[Disclaimer] I'm not a patent lawyer and these IP law comments are for entertainment purposes only ;) .. assuming you find IP law entertaining, (not that i'm implying IP law isn't entertaining ;) ... hmm.. this disclaimer could be made recursive.

Comment Planned Obsolescence (Score 2, Interesting) 456

"I miss the days of over-engineered machines built of inferior materials." ... "Funny thing is, they still work. Like new."

Sadly thank the Gillette razor manufacturer for creating the tread with their idea of the disposable blades, just over a hundred years ago. Since then ever more products have been designed to wear out and fail. Its the whole concept of planned obsolescence which is a big marketing tactic. (So much for conserving and using earth resources responsibly. These companies are far more (self-)interested in profit). Its disturbing how much thought goes into planned obsolescence, e.g.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence

Here's an eye opening discussion about the idea of "Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence" back in 1932.
https://www.adbusters.org/blogs/blackspot_blog/consumer_society_made_break.html

Its a tactical move by companies. No wonder we have such problems now with everyone consuming earth's resources after decades of companies behaving like this.

But I don't know how it'll ever be stopped. For decades everyone has been led to believe in the idea of getting things ever cheaper, but that quietly assumes the product will fail sooner and so need replacing sooner and so in the long run, it'll end up working out more expensive. But then everyone has been also led to believe almost everything is out of fashion and so needs to be replaced regularly. While thats true of some things (especially technology due to improvements) it doesn't apply to everything we buy.

Another problem is it costs more to produce something well rather than cheaply. So the cheap companies win and the well produced product companies end up going out of business. So we are rushing towards a world that produces ever more cheap rubbish that keeps needing to be thrown away and each time its thrown away someone profits from replacing what was thrown away. So we have ever growing rubbish mountains all around the world, which is also causing ever more environmental damage. :(

Comment motivation? (Score 3, Interesting) 482

Like giving them the motivation to seek power over everyone in the world and to then hand control of that power to a select few who ordered the creation of these robots and AI. But are robots and AI the real danger, or are they just the latest tools of the minority of people who seek power over others. In which case, is it the people who seek power are ultimately the real danger here?

Comment Re:The challenge (Score 3, Interesting) 262

"The researchers are probably pretty smart people," and "forces may cumulatively add up to zero"

No matter how smart they are, they have proved they have a flaw in their logic. Cumulative Force isn't the same thing as Peak Force.

They are applying motion to the samples so its no wonder the samples are reacting differently to motion than being stationary in gravity. Which is also different again from being in zero G.

The peak differences are an important factor. For example no one would question it would affect or even damage the samples if we were to say, for example heat the samples to +100C above what they should be and -100C below what they should be. So even though it could be said on average they were at the temperature they should be, its very obvious the peak differences are also important not *just* the average. Same goes for gravity applied to the samples.

It really gets to me, the number of articles we see where some effect is used to mimic something else in an attempt to create a simulation, yet they assume all their results must be accurate. Why do they fail so often to question the limits of their simulation. It should be drummed into their heads, its a simulation and simulations have limits to what they can simulate.

Comment Re:They are NOT Denying Global Warming (Score 1) 1100

You don't actually believe 19cm rise do you? Surely you can see through a figure that meaningless. These figures have already been updated to say higher than that. Also at the other extreme, its something like 100M+ rise if all the ice melted, which I also don't believe, but a say 1-6 meter rise in the next 90 years I think is more possible. But even just a 1.5M rise would cause serious problems for some countries, especially during storms.

Also it doesn't matter if its in the next 10 years, 100 years, or 1000 years we get the sea rise of say just 10 meters. Sooner or later some generation will suffer the serious consequences and we cannot treat future generations with utter contempt out of an arragant close minded desire for greed now.

Comment Re:They are NOT Denying Global Warming (Score 4, Insightful) 1100

"They are trying to get the courts to rule on whether Global Warming will be _harmful_ to humans."

They should say it in a language business people understand. I.e. Money. Any Global Warming regardless of the cause will give sea rise which in turn displaces millions of people living near the coasts (global cost will be many billions). Plus the loss of every beach on the planet wiping out all coastal businesses dependent on beach tourism (cost again in many billions). Plus crop yields affected world wide (cost again in many billions). (Thats just 3 examples off the top of my head). Also when I say billions thats the very low end of the cost range. For example, the global cost of wiping out (or protecting) every coastal city thats even just only 10 meters (or less) above sea level must be way off into the trillions range globally. They could probably equate just sea rise with a global cost in billions per extra meter of sea rise. Thats a graph business people would understand.

But I deeply suspect these business people are not looking for the truth (whatever it is), they are instead looking for an excuse to use, regardless of any truth. Because as always, they are focused on finding ways to increase their money. As they say, "Follow the money". What do business people have to gain from this legal action? ... Money. Otherwise they wouldn't take the time and money to start legal action.

Comment Re:Expectation of anonymity? (Score 5, Insightful) 476

"I don't think anyone should ever expect anonymity" and "British"

With a foolish attitude like that, they should try to get a job with the British Government.

Anonymity is almost a form of protection, however its *never* perfect protection. Anonymity is a poor man's protection in an imperfect world, but some small amount of poor protection is still better than no protection.

Its a fact of life not everyone in the world can be trusted, so all of us choose to hide some information. Therefore any attempt by governments to imply "if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide" (tm) is simply part of government (and business) PR manipulation tactics to fool the masses into docile acquiescence. Knowledge is power so all of us have to be careful leaking all knowledge about ourselves. Plus all governments want more power (its why each politician got into that job in the first place, they want the power to rule and control others so they can ultimately personally gain from having that power over others, and its also why they always want ever more of everyones information because it gives them ever more power. Knowledge is power).

As for this model, she is (like many models) very evidently a HPD (Histrionic Personality Disorder), and the one thing HPDs want above almost all else is ever more attention, which is exactly what this case is giving her.

Comment Re:Mandelson (Score 4, Insightful) 382

@AC: Wow, judging from your totally over the top frankly arrogant comments its you who needs "a sense of perspective" rather than flying off the deep end. If you AC, bothered to learn some "history", you would see there was a lot more to Heinrich Himmler than his high profile horrific acts during WW2.

Heinrich Himmler spent years scheming and manipulating to finally work himself into a position of immense power. It is that scheming and manipulation that allowed him to consolidate his position of power leading up to WW2. His behavior showed someone extremely driven (at almost any cost) to seek any way to gain power over others. Psychologically that's very interesting, as it strongly points to a personality disorder that I strongly suspect Mandelson shares many aspects with. A good example is their extreme self interest, with such a total lack of empathy for opponents. Knowledge and lies are a weapon to people like this. Mandelson is exactly like this. (People like them so often learn from a young age that lying gets them what they want and as they have no empathy to others they don't care they are lying. Worst still, they sadly see most people as overly trusting pawns their lies easily manipulate. Even worse, they consider themselves smarter for winning over trusting people).

We have seen atrocities throughout human history, so sadly there's nothing special about our time. Given the right circumstances (or more to the point, wrong circumstances) seemingly innocent people today would sadly be capable of similar levels of horrific contempt and lack of empathy to opponents and people they just see as their pawns, in their own rampant driven for self advancement at the expense of others. For example, the act of treating 1 person with contempt or 10 million people with contempt is simply the difference between the amount of power the person in power has. But if someone with a huge amount of power treats the lives of 10 million people with contempt, then you will find hundreds of thousands of people out of the 10 million are likely to end up dying if the contempt lasts months and years. We have seen that repeated throughout history and around the world. The people in power at the time, often don't want the 10 million to die. The point is, they don't care if they live or die. Their only concern if the 10 million died is what effect would that have on their own position of power. Its a totally self interested mindset. They don't even think about the victims they are only interested in how that affects them. Thankfully most people don't think like this sick minority of people, but sadly this minority so often seeks to gain extreme power over others, ultimately for their own gain from having such power over others.

If the world is to ever progress, we *all* need to learn to recognize this kind of person and then together we would have the power to stop them holding such positions of power over us all.

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