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Comment Re: Nonsense (Score 1) 466

And as far as this soylent stuff is concerned wasn't it proven that supplements aren't very good and you need actual food to be healthy?

While I do think this guy is a nutcase in general, there's nothing inherently wrong with the concept of soylent. I've been living off the European "Joylent" for nearly a year now and have never felt in better health.

As long as the body is getting everything it needs in a form that it can correctly process, it will be healthy. The biggest concerns are "is there anything missing that the body needs that wasn't accounted for?" and "are the ratios/quantities really correct?". Of course, these are also valid concerns from any normal food intake if you don't vary your food a lot, which is - in the modern day and age - an increasingly common situation.

It's important to remember that it's not a "supplement", but a "food replacement". Supplements are - as the word suggests - something to supplement an existing intake giving you the things you might be missing. A food replacement on the other hand is designed to give you everything you need. Whether or not it meets that goal is a matter of debate, but there are actual food scientists researching that actively at all the major suppliers of these 'soylent' products.

(to note: the common wording amongst consumers of these products and in this reply here uses "Soylent" (upper case S) to refer to the specific brand, and "soylent" (lower case s) to refer to the type of food in general. Soylent is a soylent; Joylent is a soylent; Joylent is not Soylent)

Comment Re:The cognitive dissonance ... (Score 4, Insightful) 131

As a European socialist, let me be the first to say that the government can keep their goddamn noses out of my private affairs.

Socialism is about making some individual sacrifices for the good of society as a whole (because in the bigger picture, that also benefits each individual); not mindlessly letting the government have complete control over my life.

Comment Re: UK needs to be run by corporations like Americ (Score 1) 266

True, the EU isn't a country. It's a union of European states... just as the USA is a union of American states.

There is a difference of course, in that the USA has a much stronger and more influential central government, with much less power afforded to its member states than in the EU; but in essence, the concept is entirely the same.

Comment Re:analog computer (Score 1) 91

What interests me the most are the levels of subconscious/consciousness and where all this combines to create our singular, waking awareness.

Based on evidence of the effects of dissociative drugs, psychedelic drugs, and general anaesthetics, it seems likely that our 'singular, waking awareness' is primarily an effect of the information transfer between various brain regions through the posterior cingulate cortex.

Of course, knowing that doesn't make it any less of a head-fuck to contemplate how strange it is to be anything at all.

Comment Re:Oh Please Edge Detection and Motion Detection (Score 1) 91

While you're not wrong, I do think that from the perspective of the article, it's also not really so relevant.

'This means that, in theory, an artificial equivalent of a brain-like cognitive structure may not require a massively parallel architecture at the level of single neurons, but rather a properly designed set of limited processes that run in parallel on a much lower scale'

Basically from my understanding, he's saying here that if we handle the sub-systems in a more traditional manner - as in, existing edge detection and motion detection algorithms in standard computing systems - that with ~50 parallel threads, we could have something brain-like.

It's also worth considering though that this is far less cool than it sounds at first blush simply by fact that the sub-systems would not be brain-like in the slightest.

Comment Re:analog computer (Score 1) 91

While it may seem analogue, I'd definitely call the brain digital from a functional perspective.

The amount of neurotransmitters, strength of electrical activity, and so on are definitely analogue inputs; but due to the way that action potentials fire in cells, you're either "firing them" or "not firing them" (analogy: magnetic data on a disc is also analogue, but we only really care about the on/off state of it). Most information appears to be transferred based on the rate of firing them, and is not encoded in any special aspect of the spikes themselves. Furthermore, you might then assume that the rate timing of the spikes may be considered analogue data - again though, it's not really. There is a refractory period that limits the maximal firing rate of a single neuron, and downstream effects of this basically mean that the firing rates themselves could also in theory be quantised in a digital manner (although it'd be a massively complex problem to actually figure that all out).

While the whole system is quite fundamentally different from our current digital computers, it is nevertheless something that could also be a digital system.

Comment Re:How do we actually know? (Score 2) 203

I could harvest 5m gmail names from google searches, and then publish them with bogus passwords and create panic. Is there some statistic that says how many of these were real passwords?

Statistics, probably not. But to confirm they're not just all made up, I checked a few of the ones that were obviously a password for another site (one of the '+' addresses) and after 4 tries, found one that worked (on the 'other site', not on gmail). So they're definitely not just 'made up' passwords; they just aren't necessarily a password that was ever actually used for the email address they're associated to.

Comment Re:Probably a few sites were hacked (Score 1) 203

where are you finding the passwords? Im on the list and use KeePass for just about everything so should be able to nail down exactly where they got my password from.

The list with passwords was easily available for a while (and still is if you hunt around a bit - I found it without too much trouble).

Comment Re:Just people using same passwords (Score 1) 203

I'd guess it's just hacks of other sites, filter it on just gmail accounts and hope they used the same password for both

I'm pretty sure that's right. Actually, I'd say I'm around 5 nines certain.

My email is on the list (, go check!) I use a password for gmail I have never used for any other site.

According to the list, the password is a 7 character string, lowercase, moderately common first name starting with c.

Comment Re:The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science (Score 2) 600

I was with you until:

Per capita, I'll bet you've got more stupid fucks than we do.

I don't think that's something that's particularly easy to measure. I agree that pretty much every country has a large number of stupid people and a large number of intelligent folk. To suggest however that the ratio of intelligent to stupid is better is in the US than everywhere else however is pushing it a bit.

Comment Re:Yeah, but women want it all (Score 5, Insightful) 427

So out of curiosity, how many women have you dated who wanted to go dutch on dates? Didn't expect you to buy them flowers or jewelry? Didn't want you to open doors for them? Didn't expect you to protect them in a fight?

Not the person you're replying to, but I felt I should step in here...

My wife always paid her fair share when we dated. I honestly felt a little uncomfortable about it at first, but she insisted.

She loves it when I buy her flowers and jewellery, but she'll buy me stuff I like too; so that seems even to me.

I'll hold doors open for her, and she is happy that I do. But she'll hold doors open for me too, and I'm happy that she does.

She most certainly would expect me to defend her in a fight; but equally, I'd expect her to defend me in one. (neither of us is particularly physically inclined, but we're also not really the types to get in to fights; so thus far it hasn't been a situation that has arisen)

Basically my point is that just because a woman expects some things from the guy, it doesn't mean she's asking for unequal treatment... she may be willing to do all those same things too.

Comment Re:As an environmentalist and (former) Obama fan. (Score 5, Funny) 343

And Henry Kissinger.

And that one there shows that the Nobel peace prize means NOTHING.

Hey that is not fair, for years Kissenger systematically carpet bombed civilians in countries that were not a threat to the US at all (Laos, Cambodia)... and then he stopped.

That means he single handedly stopped a horrific, unjust and criminal war. If that doesn't deserve a peace prize, it certainly deserves some kind of prize.

Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 533

And since it's impossible to settle, it's a total waste of time to even think about it.

That argument could be used to discourage all fiction, from books to films, and also vast swathes of philosphy including all of metaphysics and a good part of all the other disciplines. You have no imagination. Not only is it a lot of fun to think about interesting questions and go over potential answers in one's mind, it has also been long established that this is a healthy and useful activity that leads to a better understanding of the world.

How can you even live without occasionally considering some questions where a definite answer is impossible to establish? This in itself is an unanswerable question and one I find myself considering very often while reading comments like yours.

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