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Comment It means we're winning (Score 2) 338

One of the website I check every morning is the daily Arctic sea ice extent.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicen...

And I have a really good feeling that this will be the year that humanity finally gains the upper hand in our millennial struggle against the Arctic ice cap. Once the ice cap melts completely, even temporally, it will shift the equilibrium of seasonal oscillations. Every winter it will freeze a little less; every summer it will thaw a little sooner. Until our final victory is inevitable. Congratulations everyone. And keep up the good work.

Comment Re:She has no idea what she is talking about (Score 1) 394

And I can't believe that someone at least educated enough to name drop perturbation theory thinks that numerical methods are anything other than an approximation. In many cases, approximations are a useful solution, but you can NOT solve an arbitrary set of differential equations with absolute accuracy using numerical methods which would be a requirement for a true simulations of reality. And your own link the Church-Turing-Deutsch thesis acknowledges it as being incompatible with classical computers and only speculative regarding quantum computers.

Comment Re:She has no idea what she is talking about (Score 1) 394

You're talking about a very common homework problem in almost every introduction to quantum classes. THose same quantum classes should have taught to the limitations of the approximation. https://web.stanford.edu/group... Just go ahead and skip to slides on experimental error. Perturbation Theory gives you a nearly about a 2% error from experimental values even for the simplest properties of the simplest systems. This is not convincing evidence that reality can be modeled using simple differential equations on classical computers.

Comment Re:She has no idea what she is talking about (Score 1) 394

How did you deal with the correlation and exchange between the two electrons? You probably used some approximation that only works because helium can be assumed to be non-reactive. As soon as one of those electrons gets moved from a ground state S orbital, your numerical simulation would start to fall apart. These issues cannot be waved away as a "complexity" problem; these equations have existed since before digital computers and the solutions for non-trivial problems still allude us. The TFA addresses this when she points that that quantum mechanics will never be accounted for by a classical computer.

Comment Re:She has no idea what she is talking about (Score 1) 394

Heck, all of physics we know can be simulated even in a classical computer, they are just differential equations

Spoken like someone who has never actually tried to simulate those differential equations for an non-trivial problem. Those simple equations, like the Schrodinger equation, become mathematically intractable as soon as you simulate something more complex than a hydrogen atom.

Comment Re:Ummmm..... (Score 1) 394

An equation is only a mathematical description of a model. Even once you have the equation, there is no particular guarantee that a solution is computable.

So you're making the same argument as Intelligent Design advocates. You're saying that because an artist can paint a realistic representation of a sunset, that the real sunset must have been "painted" by an artist too.

Comment Re:The objection ignores Bostrom's basic argument (Score 4, Insightful) 394

it is very likely that an advanced civilization would have the ability to run very accurate simulations

That is an unfounded assumption. You're taking a mere 50 years of computational progress and extrapolating to infinity. But there are physical limitations to computational density and mathematically intractable problems (like the many-body problem) that don't go away no matter how many iterations of Moore's law that you throw at them. Even simple, well-defined sets of differential equations, like the Navier–Stokes equations, are a struggle to simulate.

Comment Re:Culture War Rages [Re:Something stinks] (Score 1) 379

You've got it backwards. If a state were to choose to leave and was willing to negotiate mutually agreeable terms, who would pick up arms to stop them? By 1988, even the Soviets weren't willing to use force to oppose popular secessionist movements. You have a low opinion of the US government if you think they would be more tyrannical the Soviets.

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