Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 0) 133

Um, you do realize that scientists do have experimental evidence that dark matter exists indirectly, right?

So, um...indirect experimental evidence is not actually empirical. It is absolutely, completely un-the-same as experimental evidence.

The case for dark matter is more inductive or abductive reasoning. Given certain premises based on our current understanding of gravity and our observations of the universe, dark matter makes sense. However, our observations could be wrong, or our models could be incorrect.

Comment Not to say I told you so... (Score 0) 133

But I fucking told you so!!

I have nothing to go on other than my own impertinence and pigheadedness, but I am convinced that simply adding mass to the equation is not what is needed to solve it. Yes, our models look right when we add that mass, but I think it's something else going on. Something fundamental, misunderstood, and/or some emergent interaction of other forces.

Comment Re:Hah! (Score 1) 436

Safety is an illusion that we are selling our freedoms for.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you stated with the exception of the above statement. Safety is a state of being you generate. It is a status of prepared existence. No you cannot prepare for every occurrence. No need to worry if you will get shot by a sniper, blown up by a nuclear strike, or hit by a falling meteor. You can't prevent or minimize those things. You cant avoid lightning strikes either and they are much more likely.

Recognizing what you can avoid, minimize, or eliminate with precautions, premeditation, constructive habits, and (dare I say it!) forearming yourself is where safety begins. Training and rigorous execution of the aforementioned is how safety is generated. Expecting safety from external sources is complete insanity. Just about every other person, law enforcement included, will put their life ahead of yours. This is natural and should be expected. Add in that old truth "when seconds count, the police are minutes away" and the list of parties responsible for your safety when it really matters drops precipitously. So when life and limb are on the line, how then can you have the expectation of safety from someone other than yourself? The hard truth is that in almost every circumstance you can't. To expect otherwise is to surrender your self determination to the hands of "fate" and the tender mercies of criminals.

An exception to this would be certain friends, my children, and my wife when I am with them. I will put myself in harms way, lay down my life if necessary, to prevent harm to them. While this dedication to the life of others may not be rare among friends and family, it is exceedingly rare with strangers. I can't stress this enough: Do not expect strangers and law enforcement to save you when the shit hits the fan. Rely on yourself, train yourself, take precautions, act intelligently, and know that you will win no matter what. And if winning means dying to save those you love or those you decide should live, act decisively and without restraint.

Sorry for the rant, but this is something I feel strongly about.

Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 2) 279

This is incredibly interesting to me. Thank you for the link and details. I have self-defined free will as the ability to control your own brain. Or, another way to put it is, not the ability to affect and change the outside world, but the ability to choose your internal worldview, moods, thoughts, and to change the landscape of your experience, and thereby control the habits, actions, and how existence occurs to self (the experience of experience.) The application of recursion to experience: the self experiencing the self experiencing the self.

There is an amazing amount of automation, habits if you will, that your brain is great at performing without conscious thought (Check this article out for a primer on habits and how they relate to conscious thought: NY Times.) There are also many thoughts that are circulated in the mind that are simply reflexive, a product of a though generating meat-machine (see cognitive behavioral therapy for details.) Gaining control over these reflexive habitual actions and thoughts is what I see as a demonstration of free will. You will continue to have reflexes and habits for life. That's just how your mind/body works. It is the control of these things, the self-administered reconditioning as a result of examination and resolve, that shows the exercise of free will.

Another way to consider this is: What mechanism is responsible for an addict that stops using? In light of the structural and neuro-chemical deficit I and other addicts are operating from, where does that ability to simply stop come from? Definitely not the part of the brain that is already compromised and abnormal. It is responsible for perpetuating addiction. I posit that free will is as inherent to the human mind as recursion is to linguistics, and they are both part and parcel of the same complexity payload that generates both sentience and consciousness in our brains. Through structured self-experience of the self we can gain access to generate wholly new actions and patterns in our own operating medium, specifically the structural and neuro-chemical pathways in our own brains.

Comment Re:Consciousness is not the same thing as free wil (Score 1) 279

Just over a year ago I made a decision to stop consuming alcohol. I had been consuming some alcohol daily for over 25 years. I wonder if the same parts of the brain that these researchers looked at are the same as the ones I used to make that decision to stop drinking.

I also wonder if those parts of the brain these researchers are calling the "free will" center of the brain are what I use when I consider the decision I made and, so far, keep making the decision to not drink.

  I would consider what I did an exercise of free will. I am skeptical that what they are testing for in this study is actually free will.

Comment Re:Remember it's the Clintons (Score 1) 636

Yes he had a choice you fool. Take a stand, speak up, make your reservations heard by the people and garner support; manufacture opposition. Its not like he didn't have a thousand news outlets hanging on every word. He was the president.

The other choice was to take money from the business interests, screw the people, and toe the line that our elected officials always do, namely voting as a block for laws that infringe on the rights of citizens.

Easy choice for the would-be aristocrats. They know who supports them monetarily and they know that they can get so much more back than just votes from them. And, unlike the electorate, business and corporate interests will hold them accountable for their actions.

Comment Re:$85.90 per share? Lol (Score 2) 450

Retirement funds are buying most of the tech stocks. Some of them have the problem that they have another billion dollars every week that they have to invest in tech stocks and there just aren't that many good investments so they dump it into well know tech players. It is even worse in the UK where one type of high growth fund only allows investments into 200 companies that are registered in some government scheme. Some of their stock prices seems to have nothing to do with any type of value.

Comment Re:Trump will succeed because... (Score 1) 407

I see Hillary as Lawful Evil. She does things that are obviously evil, like provably lying to the FBI during their investigation, but gets away with it because she has followed the letter of the law. Also, a Lawful Evil individual would insinuate themselves in a position where they could dictate the law and empower their evil tendencies.

As for Trump, is there such a thing as Chaotic Stupid?

Comment Re:Homosexuals (Score 1) 407

In the study you are referring to the participants were violent homophobes. Meaning specifically, they had a history of committing physically violent acts against homosexual men. This is an important distinction from people who act in a way that is inimical to homosexuality in general. They are just assholes.

Comment Re:Nice previously researched spin in the "article (Score 1) 407

Damn right!! Now out of the same respect you have for yourself and your precious body and lungs I require you show me the same respect.

Never again use any consumer products that have perfumes or scents in them, including but not limited to:

1) Dryer sheets (I can't fucking exercise outside in neighborhoods because of these damn things)
2) Clothes detergent
3) Soap
4) Shampoo
5) Conditioner
6) Perfume and cologne
7) "Body sprays"
8) Air fresheners
9) Hair products (from mousse to wax)
10) Cleaning products

All of these can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and subsequent sinus and respiratory infections. Many of the fragrances are carcinogenic as well as the medium used to disperse them.

With your obviously heartfelt sentiments expressed above you have to get behind this, otherwise all you are is an arrogant self-centered hypocrite.

Comment Re:Nice previously researched spin in the "article (Score 2) 407

...and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a government taking steps to protect people from harmful substances.

Agreed, for the sake of argument. Now you have to stop operating any petroleum consuming devices in my vicinity. Cars, motor boats, lawnmowers, etc., all have to go. Don't even THINK about running anything on diesel! Also, no more dryer sheets, colognes, or perfumes. Keep your toxic, allergenic, and carcinogenic smells in their tanks and bottles, thank you.

Man I like this idea!

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 265

One of the lessons of religion is in your reply. Your mind is preoccupied with a certain world view. As a result you become myopic to the truth in front of you. You can't even see reality when it is spelled out for you in plain language on a page. You ignore the meaning of words and insert your own. All you see is your internal state superimposed on external reality.

That is a great lesson to learn more about, especially for someone with your proclivities toward prejudice and pejorative condemnation.

Another lesson, apropos of your completely failed translation of the sentence you quoted, is how some people will react without thinking when they encounter certain subjects. You seem to be triggered by religion.

I could try to educate you about how my post was a criticism of large religious groups and their past actions. I could mention that the overall thrust of the post was to point toward a post-religious future. I could also indicate where I was taking cues from Dawkins, Jung, and Campbell in my post.

And, I could wipe your ass for you as well, but if I did you would never learn to do it for yourself. Grow up.

Comment Something is wrong but what? (Score 3) 387

Richard Feynman wrote in the introduction of one his books that one easy way to find out of a theory is bad is to look at its complexity If it isn't simple, it is most likely wrong. He went on to talk about how strange the orbital mechanisms and mathematics were before Kepler found the correct and simple solution to the problem that disproved nearly everyone in the field. With that he ends the introduction and delves into quantum mechanics.

Slashdot Top Deals

Crazee Edeee, his prices are INSANE!!!