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Comment Re:Fermi's Paradox (Score 1) 349

It might have, of course.

If the first observation would have been one of a green square "thingy", then that would have been how the Universe would look today.

Of course, observing a green square "thingy" is only possible if that is still possible, given all the observations that have been made up to that point - or, to word it differently, given the Universe that we created up to that point.

Comment Re:Fermi's Paradox (Score 1) 349

Perhaps the laws of physics dictate that there must be one civilization in the universe. Not less, not more.

Why? Because life, or consciousness, can only exist if the laws of physics are consistent.

Let me provide an example description. In the beginning, there was human consciousness. Nothing else existed. For example, there was no Sun.

The latter statement should be read as "Sun was not". So I'm not saying that the Sun didn't yet exist. What I'm saying is that not even the concept of "Sun" existed. "Sun" wasn't present, "Sun" wasn't absent. It didn't exist, it didn't not-exist. It just "was not". It was like "undefined".

But then, the consciousness looked upward, and observed a yellow disc.

From that moment on, the number of possible universes was greatly reduced. Until this disc was observed, many universes were possible: ones with a yellow disc of course, but also ones with a green square, ones without any such thing, ones with 42 dodecahedrons circling each other, and so on. But as soon as the yellow disc was observed, the number of possible universes was reduced to those were a yellow disc could exist.

And so on for all other observations. Each new observation reduced the amount of possible universes we could be living in. One could say that human consciousness created the known universe, just by observing it.

Now imagine that the universe contained two, or even more, consciousnesses that independently observed the universe. That's impossible! They would be independent, so they would be creating different universes. Yet they would also have to be in the same universe we are in if we were ever to observe them. These two requirements are incompatible.

Therefore, we are alone. We must be. Because there's only one law of physics, which is the law of consistency.

Comment Get two different lenses (Score 1) 464

Some 18 months ago, I started to have problems reading, especially in darker environments. Reading the menu in some restaurants was getting real hard.

My ophtalmologist proposed to try two different contact lenses (I use contact lenses for many years already). One lens, for my left eye, would have optimal focus at short distances. The other lens, for my right eye, would have optimal focus for long distances.

My ophtalmologist told me that some people love this setup while others just get nausea, so I could try them for a month. If I decided they were not for me, I could replace them with ordinary contact lenses at no cost (but then I would of course need reading glasses). If I liked them, I could keep them.

I kept them. I love them.

My brain automatically uses the eye that's most suited for the distance I'm focusing at. So now, reading from the computer screen, I use my left eye. If I close my left eye and use my right eye to look at the screen, things get a bit blurry.

Similar for long distances. When driving, my brain automatically uses the right eye, so I can see traffic and traffic signs in good focus. If I close my right eye while driving, things get blurry.

This all happens totally automatically. I do not have to spend any effort.

Estimating speeds and distances is still possible. I have no problems catching a ball thrown toward me, and I can still estimate the locations and speeds of cars, cyclists and pedestrians while driving. It seems 3D vision still works when one image is sharp while the other one is blurry.

I use contact lenses, but my ophtalmologist told me this setup works with (single focus) glasses too.

I suggest you propose this setup to your ophtalmologist and see what (s)he says.

Comment Re:Mixed-handedness (Score 1) 260


You still write checks? How cute! ;-)

I'm in my mid 40's now. I never wrote a check. They're definitely a thing of the past. You find them in some monetary museums. Even my father never wrote checks. My grandfather (who was born in 1898), however, once told me he wrote checks when he was young.

Comment Eavesdropper in the middle? (Score 1) 247

An email address travels through several systems between you and the other side. This applies to the time when you fill in your email address in a web form, and even more so when the company sends out emails to your address.

Thus, it may be premature to conclude that the fault is with the company. Eavesdropping may have occurred at any of the intermediate systems.

Comment Re:A short list (Score 1) 547

After that, one should clean the free space on the disc. If you have no rights whatsoever, the simplest way to do that is by filling up the disc with random files until it's full. Then erase the filler files and you're done.

I do this by creating a text file called 'a' for simplicity, 4096 bytes long, containing only the character 'Z' (which makes for a nice binary pattern). In a DOS prompt, I issue commands like

copy /b a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a+a b
copy /b b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b+b c
copy /b c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c+c d

to fill the disc. However, if you even do not have access to a command prompt, multiple copies of any other file will do.

Comment Only one-way transfer? (Score 5, Interesting) 403

Europe sends data about all financial transactions to the US. Does the US send data about all financial transactions to Europe?

Europe sends data about all airline passengers to the US. Does the US send data about all airline passengers to Europe?

Long ago I thought we were equal. Obviously, one of us is more equal than the other

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