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Comment Shape Dynamics (Score 1) 268

This all sounds consistent Shape Dynamics. IANAP, but according to Lee Smolin's book Time Reborn, this can lead to a preferred frame of reference, including an actual centre of the universe. It also make time into its own thing, disentangling it from space. Which could ruin time travel forever.

Comment Re:We need to stop the abortion. it's just horribl (Score 1) 301

There is exactly one reference to abortion in the bible. It's in Numbers 5, and it details the process for performing an abortion if you believe your wife has been unfaithful.

There's another (indirect) reference in Exodus 21:22 which prescribes a monetary penalty for inducing a miscarriage in a woman bystander. Which is hardly surprising because children were considered property at the time.

Comment Re:An alternative? (Score 4, Informative) 170

Stop clear-cutting all the trees for lumber and to put up crappy strip malls and subdivisions!

That is backwards. A mature forest does not remove net CO2. You need to cut it down, sequester the wood in housing or whatever, and then let the forest regrow. If forests are going to be used to remove carbon, we need to cut down more of them.

Well, but old growth forests actually remove more carbon than their younger replacements, so it isn't that simple:

"Rather than slowing down or ceasing growth and carbon uptake, as we previously assumed, most of the oldest trees in forests around the world actually grow faster, taking up more carbon," said Richard Condit, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "A large tree may put on weight equivalent to an entire small tree in a year."

So by leaving an old growth forest in place, we sequester the carbon (in the forest) and improve the uptake.

Comment Re:Not senile, just falling for old philosophy (Score 1) 951

This is just repackaging Anselm's Ontological argument for the existence of God: postulating "a being of which no greater can be conceived" would necessarily mean God exists. Just like living in a computer simulation: imagine "a computer simulation where no greater simulation can be conceived".

But it doesn't make things real. Just because you'd have to imagine a real God doesn't necessarily make it exist outside your head. Same with the simulation.

Neat thought experiment, not a proof.

I always liked the opposite argument: If we are living in a simulation, then by Zorn's Lemma there is a maximal world containing our simulation and all the simulations that contain it. Now, what is the difference between beings living in that limit universe using their physical substrate and us living in their universe on our nested physical substrate?

Comment Re:Campaign season (Score 1) 607

So what you're saying is that you are too dumb to vote your own principles, and so is everyone else. Or are you saying that candidates literally force people to vote for them, somehow using money to do that? Be specific.

It's more complicated than that because there are a lot of obstacles to voting your principles effectively.

For example, there are a lot of people talking about writing in Bernie, Jill Stein or whoever, but unless a certain amount of paperwork is filed, those write-ins will not get counted. This paperwork is usually significantly less than what is required to to have your name printed on the ballot, but it is not trivial (and sometimes not free e.g. Wyoming charges $200). Moreover, the "Bernie or Bust" crowd doesn't seem to get that unless Sanders himself files write-in paperwork, their votes will not even be tallied.

The Libertarians seem to be better positioned here because they are on all 50 ballots. But the Greens are only on about 27 (last I checked) and BoB is pretty much a non starter.

So you can vote your principles all you want, but if you are trying to (as my mother would put it) "stand up and be counted" then it is not so simple.

Comment Re:dreams (Score 1) 260

I think the real problem (as several other posters have commented) is not the "Skynet scenario", but the simple fact that a lot of knowledge work "is targeted and extensively trained for a single, very specific task". And any time you come up with a subsequent job for these people to be expensively retrained for, if the job is at all lucrative, then it is worth automating. Modern techniques mean that this automation can be developed faster than training humans. How long did it take Lee Sedol to learn to play Go at world championship levels? And how long did it take the AlphaGo team to train their network?

The only stable state here is mass unemployment. In this scenario, we have more to fear from the human owners of the automation than from the automation itself.

Comment Re:Sorry, there's nothing magical about clickbait (Score 1) 300

If you are going to work your balls off, you'd better eat breakfast. If you are going to sit on ass all day, you can probably skip it, unless you're hungry. You can now skip this article, and every other article like it. Tada!

If you are going to work your balls off, you'd better have a lot of Vitamin D too...

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