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Comment Re:Galactic North... (Score 1) 268

...and this is why I don't like the balloon analogy -- people point to the way in which the analogy is completely unlike the analogous system, and then assume that there is a comparable property in reality.

Think of the universe as the dolly zoom in the movie Vertigo. No matter where Jimmy Stewart is, as he climbs up the tower, when he looks down you see the bottom of the tower stretching away from him. There is no real center point -- it's not like the center of expansion suddenly moves up the tower with him. And it's not as if the bottom of the tower is expanding into the ground below. It's just that the space between him and the bottom appears to stretch away.

Comment Re:Getting close to design sensitivity (Score 1) 220

Actually, let me rephrase that -- it's not counter-intuitive at all that amplitude goes as 1/r, but what's odd is that with gravitational waves, you directly detect the wave amplitude, so detectability falls off as 1/r. For most waves, you detect the wave intensity, which goes as amplitude squared and therefore 1/r^2.

Comment Re:Babylon 5 (Score 1) 363

Okay, someone please explain the appeal of Firefly. I should be smack on its target audience. It was clearly inspired by one of my favourites, Blake's 7. Many many people whose opinions I trust love it. So I watched the entire run. And I couldn't stand it. I hated the characters (not in a Blake's 7 way, where there are no morally good characters but lots of interesting ones, but in a I-don't-care-what-decisions-they-make way), I hated the plots, I hated the western/sci-fi crossover style. I really can't understand the appeal.

Comment Re:Dealing with deniers objectively (Score 3, Informative) 321

I agree, but the problem with arguing against conspiracy theory is that "a vast conspiracy is hiding all the truth so no one can find it" is inherently unfalsifiable, which makes scientific argument (i.e. presenting evidence that falsifies the proposition) pretty useless.

[TMB]

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It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.

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