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Comment Re:Intelligence doesn't require that many neurons? (Score 1) 68

Proven by who in what year? At one point this was clearly true. Currently this isn't so clear. In a couple of years it may well be clearly false.

Also, to assert that the neuron network has little to do with how rel complex brains function requires decent evidence. To assert that some particular neural network doesn't have much similarity may well be true, but there are lots of different designs of neural nets out there.

Now I've heard plausible arguments to the effect that the chemical gradients mediated by glia cells are so significant to the functioning of a mammalian brain that you can't have a reasonable emulation without also emulating them, and this may well be correct. Proving that it's correct is a bit of a task, and if anyone has done it, I haven't encountered the reference, much less decided whether or not I believe it.

Comment Re:There might be light but it is not the big pict (Score 1) 142

It seems reasonable that a fasting diet might help this, also, however. But 5 days a month is a bit extreme. I could do it a few times, but I think I know myself well enough to say I probably wouldn't be able to continue doing it. And from my past experience 1000 calories a day is harder to handle than a complete fast (except water).

What I'm trying is an extremely restricted carbohydrate diet. I even consider Oat bran to be high in carbohydrates. Wheat bran, however, and wheat germ are essentially free. I'm not totally pleased with the results, but it's certainly an improvement, and it seems to be something I can tolerate on a continued basis. I allow myself one meal a day which has, perhaps, a couple of slices of bread, or some potato. This seems to be important. If I get too low on non-fiber carbohydrates my glucose level rises...and I'm still trying to get a handle on whether that's good or bad.

Comment Re:Idiots (Score 1) 142

No, you won't see teeth evolved to crush grain. You will see teeth evolved to eat vegetables and fruit (among other things). Also tubers. But grains were not edible before the invention of fire and grinding (with stones, not teeth). (Well, green oats are edible, but you can't get much food that way, it takes too long. And I don't believe oats grow where we evolved anyway.)

It's been guessed, I don't know how reliably, that the first reason we started growing grain was to feet to cattle, and the second reason was for beer. Once we started growing grain for beer, we started selecting for larger grain head, and thence to something reasonable to eat after grinding.

Comment Re:Lifestyle disease (Score 1) 142

Perhaps it depends on exactly how well you read the reports. When I read the reports I *never* got the idea that they were recommending refined flours, sugar, or other similar sources of sugar or starch. The closest I can come is a recommendation for baked potatoes...which is still sort of valid, though now we (or at least I) worry more about the starch.

Cholesterol is an interesting example, though. Lots of "experts" believed that cholesterol was a very bad thing, despite the fact that the myelin sheathes around the myleinated nerves require it to insulate the nerves. Also despite the fact that it's disassembled during digestion, and that the body makes its own cholesterol from available ingredients, even if there is none in your diet. And the evidence against it in the diet was always quite shaky. That's a real example of the "experts" being stampeded by a unreliable study.

The actual dietary recommendations haven't changed as much as the public image of them, but the "food pyramid" is by PR people. Some of them are also dietitians, but they're mainly political or marketing. So you need to read a bit carefully, because while the "best available recommendations" are available, they aren't always obvious. But lots of starch was NEVER among the "best available recommendations", and *I* didn't even read the old food pyramid that way. I read it as recommending lots of whole grains, but that's a lot different from corn starch and sugar.

Comment Re:Are we from different countries? (Score 1) 116

To be fair, over the decades the cost of internet service in constant dollars has gone down and the speed of transmission has improved. Some of the content has also improved, and that isn't the fault of the ISP anyway.

When you compare the US to the rest of the world, of course, it's a far different story. And it may be different outside the metropolises (whatever the proper plural is). When my sister lived in a city in South Dakota the local phone company refused to allow internet connections...it can't have gotten worse than that.

Comment Re: The Million Regulators March on Washington (Score 1) 116

While that is true, they've gotten worse since standardized testing was implements. There are *reasonable* standardized tests. They'd happen perhaps once per year. Possibly twice. Three times is definitely overkill. And if you want to make them mandatory, make them mandatory for ALL schools. Otherwise make them local option.

Comment Re:The Million Regulators March on Washington (Score 1) 116

Only if one of the regulations overthrown is government guarantees behind contracts. Even then I think that's a hopelessly optimistic prediction. But as long as contract law stands many areas, perhaps most, are required to only allow one vendor access to their lines.

Come to that, you might also need to overthrow government enforcement of the right to property. Sometimes those lines are officially property of some particular private entity even though they were paid for by the government.

Comment Re:Because FUCK YOU, that's why (Score 1) 116

I think it would really be years or decades, not months. The current legal environment allows companies to have contracts that monopolize access to the telecommunication lines, and wireless frequencies are also strictly regulated. You might be able to handle SOME connections with laser links, but not most of them.

FWIW, there used to be many more ISPs when things were over dial-up *because* it was impossible to monopolize the lines.

If you want to go dial-up, you can probably still find a choice of ISPs, but who wants a connection that slow. You may need to call long distance, but that's a lot cheaper now than it used to be. (Checking, the first page of a Google search only listed 3 dial up ISPs, and one of them was AT&T.)

Comment Re: Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 244

Sorry, but that doesn't work. It works for batteries, because YOU are the one inconvenienced if the battery dies. But if the company bears the liability even if you are the owner, then the company isn't going to be willing to allow you to own the car. Not without a huge up-front payment. (The car may drive ever so safely, but accidents will happen, and legal judgments sometimes ignore facts.) I suppose it might turn out that the legal owner was the bank rather than the auto company, but it won't be the presumptive purchaser.

And I'm not sure I see a reasonable way around this. Automated cars are already so automated that people can't manage to pay attention to what's happening (see Ford engineers sleeping). So the liability *has* to be with the auto company. But if the liability is with them, then they're going to need to retain control so they can fix problems, ensure maintenance, etc. And that's an on-going expense...so they need to ensure either an on-going cash flow, or a sufficiently large initial payment...and it works better for responsible action if it's an on-going cash flow that the payer can get out of for good cause.

So I think that either the liability stays with the auto company, and so does the ownership, or the company only sells an initial period of liability coverage with renewal options and ownership (and control) lies with the individual. And the second option has all kinds of traps and potholes in it...probably more than the first.

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