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Comment Re: I honestly wonder... (Score 1) 156

For a start - a simple gene test would show her child had only her DNA, and the child would invariably be female. But seeing as it also has not been observed in any other mammal, and there is strong biomolecular reasons to believe it cannot happen in mammals - it would be an extraordinary find, and would raise well deserved scepticism if claimed. If somebody claimed it and agreed to a DNA test though - then it would be confirmed.

Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 380

>Stats say that a huge majority of the population falls within the normal for all measured traits (not 'some', not 'a few', but 'all'). It's not statistically possible to have a trait with a normal distribution that exempts some other trait with a normal distribution. Look it up snowflake.

It doesn't HAVE to be. There are just too many possible traits and too much variation in the population for anybody to be in the normal range on all of them. Statistically about one hundred billion humans have ever lived, you may find one if you had a sample size of one hundred trillion.
Seriously - you're talking everything from height to average heartbeats per minute through number of children and length of hair. Nobody is in the "normal" range on everything - and if ever such a person was born they'd commit suicide at age 10 when they realise they are the most boring person to ever walk the earth (which, ironically, would put them outside the normal "lifespan" measure).

If you actually think it's possible for a human to be born who isn't actually way outside the normal on at least one trait - then you need to study the right science, it's not statistics - it's genetics that determine that. Every reproduction contains random errors, a mixture of two sets of data in a semi-randomized way - and influences from environment on top. Just on genetics we can guarantee it, and when you throw social and environmental influences on top - it boggles the mind that you can imagine this is even possible.

Consider all the ways genes in the human genome can be combined into a viable person. There trillions - that means the odds of anybody having YOUR specific DNA is trillions to one. The silly conclusion is that it's impossible for you to exist. The sane conclusion is that it's impossible for anybody exactly like you to exist. DNA doesn't care if it's in the normal range or not, in fact - there are genetic factors that actively DISCOURAGES this in certain situations. HSP90 for example is a protein that folds other proteins into the right shape, it's VERY good at it - even ensuring the right shape if the DNA contains errors. But it has another job - when there are climate changes HSP90 is used as part of the processes cells use to adjust to the new climate. But while redirected to that task- it can't fold proteins, so other - proteins take over, which lack it's error-correction.
Think about what that means - it means climate changes actively ENCOURAGE mutations which could have lain dormant for millions of years to suddenly appear as actual people. The condition most likely to require adaptation - causes the body to stop suppressing it and encourages mutation.

I think there has never BEEN a more extraordinary claim than the idea that any person, let alone MOST people, fit the normal range on all traits. It's like insisting you can jump into orbit.

Comment Re:I did (Score 1) 306

Because every other country has active measures in society to combat that pressure from companies. And in the others they are at least partially successful. Not entirely - much of Europe is having the exact same problem as Japan though at an earlier stage and not as severe yet. That's one reason it's ridiculous of Europe not to welcome the refugees with open arms - they desperately need an influx of able-bodied young people to keep their economies working.
The US is earlier on the same road, mostly thanks to the immigrants Trump wants to kick out - without them, the US would be a lot further along. Already the US is worried that they can't sustain social security when people are living longer and there isn't a fast enough inflow of young people to fund it.

Japan is the furthest along that road, and thus gets to serve as the great big warning sign of where that road leads, but you're an idiot if you think those other places aren't on the exact same road and measurably moving forward on it. They are moving slower because of policies designed to combat this corporate pressure. Those policies, however, are being steadily eroded - which will accelerate the trip.

They need to be significantly strengthened if you want to change course. That means things like paid family leave, maternity leave with job protection, paternity leave with job protection, good (and affordable) childcare options - so that people don't have to choose between life and work.
A healthy society needs people who work to live. When everybody lives to work - that society is doomed.

Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 380

What makes you think "there is no normal" applied to just one trait ? The whole point is that it applies to your full humanity. Nobody is within the "normal" range on EVERY trait. We're ALL outside it on SOME trait.

So that means- nobody is actually normal. You can be normal X, but you can't be normal. To be normal you have to be the average on ALL MEASUREABLE TRAITS.

And no human being has ever been that.

Comment Re: Zuckerberg (Score 1) 274

Thats not an unusual. People who die without wills in a few generations can leave land as a lot of tiny patches divided among descendents with no real idea which patch belongs to who.
My great-grandfather owned a farm near Thabazimbi but none of his kids lived there and over generations the divides got tinier and tinier. A few years ago I was contacted by the government who wanted to add the farm to a nature reserve, asking my consent to give up title to my tiny share. I gave it, all the relatives I know did too. The land is now part of a nature park.

Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 380

>Enough of your virtue signalling, make up your mind - is there or is there not a normal as far as the human brain goes? You've now in this thread asserted both that there is a normal and that there isn't a normal.

No I fucking well did nothing of the kind. I stated that all human brains are uniquely programmed, for which I provided proof: they are neural networks and it's mathematical fact that it's impossible for two neural networks to have identical programming, it can never happen.
I then said that even if there WAS an actually useful or sensible concept of normal to apply to humans - it makes no sense to do so since it's absolutely useless information. If "normal" is not better - which you now claim to believe - then it is useless. There is literally nothing you can use it for. It doesn't MATTER that the "normal" sector of the bell curve can walk - you STILL have to put in wheel chair ramps. Normal is, at best, a complete waste of time to calculate. At worst - it's a constant excuse for atrocities. But it serves no GOOD purposes and is never brought up except to excuse atrocities.
Indeed the mere calculation of "normal" very often IS an atrocity.

But - as to the original point - there is nobody alive, in whom there isn't SOME traits that are at the far edge of the bell curve. Nobody is normal because NOBODY is in the center in ALL traits. You may have "normal height" but you will NEVER have "normal everything". Nobody ever does.
That's what "there is no normal" means.

No matter WHAT you choose to berate somebody for being "not normal" over, they can find something to do the same to you. As it happens nearly every "normal" we've calculated have since been roundly rejected by science and the medical community as useless. BMI is a perfect example - it was once the holy grail of measuring if you live healthily, but it's ridiculously easy to show that it is a completely useless metric because the correlation between height and weight is not simple or direct. Because your weight isn't determined only by fat content (bone density and muscle size have a bigger impact on weight than fat does because both are denser than fat). Hell having long hair can throw the calculation off- hair adds weight. To try and divide height by weight, guess a normal and tell everybody outside that they are either a heart-attack risk or an eating disorder turned out to be useless because damn 80% of the people outside the "normal" range are perfectly healthy.
It's a useless metric at best, a completely made-up one at worst.

Hell the very idea that you can apply "averages" to human society is a ridiculously recent suggestion - which changed society for ever and in EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE it changed it for the worst. Deciding you could calculate "normal" for humanity may just go down as the worst atrocity ever committed by a scientist. And he never actually proved that it was true, that his numbers meant anything.
http://www.theatlantic.com/bus... it's unjust that Quetelet was forgotten, he deserves to be remembered - alongside Hitler and hist countryman King Leopold the first.

Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 380

>All evidence suggests that human characteristics (including characteristics of the brain) follow a normal distribution.
Yet you fail to cite a single piece of it... how odd. Physical characteristics of the brain - sure, but the programming of the neural net, personality, implementation... hell no - what you're claiming is prohibited by the laws of mathematics. Two brains can no more be identically programmed than four and four can make nine.

> "Well, we don't really know how the brain works, so each brain must be unique"
That's a nice strawman you got there... shame if anything were to happen to it. Like me pointing out that my argument was we DO know how brains work - and things that work like that CAN ONLY BE UNIQUE and that this is a mathematical fact, and giving you an abundance of evidence from different fields that neural network programming must be unique.

>As a lifelong atheist I've laughed at "evidence" of god that goes "Well, if you can't explain it, then my explanation must be correct"
Wow two strawmen in a row. Let me hit you over the head again. I never said "it's true because we don't understand it" - I said "we don't know how it works BECAUSE no two works the same".
It's not an argument FROM ignorance, the ignorance is the EFFECT not the cause. The cause is "it's a neural network and the programming of neural networks is an emergent phenomenon" - the EFFECT of that cause is "no two are ever the same".

But lets look beyond this silly argument for a moment - at the fact that even if you were CORRECT you'd still be a fucking idiot. Because it is utterly meaningless. Lets, for the sake of argument, accept your ridiculous notion of "normal". You've given absolutely NO evidence or even an argument why "normal" should equal "good" let alone "better". Why is "normal" special. So we accept the idea of "normal" - it makes no difference. Not "normal" is not a bad thing, it isn't evil, it isn't lesser. It's just different. And different is not indicative of bad. And it sure as hell doesn't justify "lesser rights".
We make accommodations for "not normal" in every aspect of society - because society BENEFITS from diversity of views and experiences. We put up wheelchair ramps in buildings even though very, very few people use wheelchairs. But I take it they are "normal enough" for you ? We bring out books in braile for the tiny number of people who don't have "normal" vision. Should we stop doing that according to you ?

Who gives a fuck what is normal. Half the people on this site are not "normal" they are mostly educated and intelligent well above "normal" ranges. Do you also think nerds should have lesser rights ? Was it a GOOD thing when jocks bullied them for being smart because smart is not normal ?

Normal my friend is, and always has been, nothing more than a synonymn for mediocre. Glorifying it has never been anything but a fear of being exceptional.
I do not participate in such ridiculous notions - I admire exceptional people. I have no admiration for "normal" people. More than any single person, it was Turing who defeated Hitler - because he was in no sense normal. He had a rare (and not "normal") sexual orientation and a rare and not normal intellect. He was exceptional - and worthy of admiration. Normal is an insult.

Comment Re: Pardon Manning and Snowden (Score 1) 380

> you really are - "normal" is commonly accepted in both lay and scientific terms to be the middle bulk of the bell curve.
And if you know that, you'd know that it is a completely useless metric, and there is certainly nothing to be learned from it. When a study tells you that men are on average more aggressive than women - then, if you actually understood bell-curves, you would know it's actually telling you that 60% of women are more aggressive than 40% of men !

>Making the specious claim that everyone is unique is an affliction of very young, and very naive, social butterflies.
And a fact of maths and physics. Human brains are neural networks - and as any AI researcher will tell you, if you program two identical neural networks, and present them with the exact same training, they would end up with completely different sets of connections. No two neural networks ever program the same- it's literally a physical and mathematical impossibility. And so, it's physically and mathematically impossible for two brains to be programmed the same. The programming of a neural network is an emergent phenomenon. The thing about emergent phenomena is that, as they progress through causality, they don't only change themselves but also change the very rules that govern the next iteration. It's utterly impossible then, from initial conditions, to predict the end result. Mathematicians call this "ant-country", in refference to Langton's Ant - one of the easiest and simplest experiments that show emergence in action.
It's a simple fact that no two brains are programmed alike. They are all powerful pattern-matching computers but the very thing that MAKES them powerful pattern-matchers also means they HAVE to each be unique.
Whoever told you, you were not unique was trying to brainwash you into conformity. Looks like they succeeded. You poor little snowflake, unable to handle living in a world without imagining that everybody else is just like you.

Now do yourself a favour, go actually read up about Langton's Ant. Then maybe go and read about emergent phenomena. Hell go read about the history of evolutionary circuitry - we're building advanced circuitry using physical neural networks that are cheap, reliable and easy to make... and we have absolutely no idea how they work.
Indeed evolved circuitry has proven that there are things about electronics we don't yet understand - and simulated neural networks are less powerful because of that, several evolved circuits contain blocks which have no discernible connections - electric or otherwise to any of the rest of the circuit... yet if you take them out the circuit stops working. We have no idea why that is. It's like having a lightbulb in your room that mysteriously stops working when you take the radio out of the room, except the radio isn't even plugged in to the wall, has no batteries and has never been switched on.

And then tell me, after you learn all that, that you seriously believe we can identify "normal" for something as complex as a human brain ? We can't figure out how Adrian Thompson's signal-differentiator works and you think you know how BRAINS work !?!?!?

Comment Re:Cue Jeff Goldblum (Score 1) 156

>Certain particular species seem to be more resilient than others as seen by how long they have been around. Sharks is one of them. Perhaps that trait is one of the reasons why. I wonder if alligators and crocodiles have similar traits? (and other seemingly ancient species)

We don't actually know that. There were crocodilians around with the dinosaurs - but not the same species we have today. In the case of sharks - we've found great white bones from back then, but we don't actually have any proof they were the same as the great whites we have today - in fact that is highly unlikely. All that proves is their skeletons haven't changed since then. But there is a LOT more to a body than it's bone structure. Odds are the great whites of the Jurassic era were notably different from their modern descendents. Perhaps they didn't yet have that astounding immune system ? Perhaps they had very different behaviour ? Nowadays they are an apex predator - they certainly were not when they shared the oceans with icthyosaurs and mosasaurs.

And there are quite a few long-lived species that don't seem to have asexual reproduction. Horse-shoe crabs are the last surviving species of a family that ruled the world some 300-million years ago - and they don't. But again - we don't know what soft-tissue changes they've had since their ancestors first crawled around in those ancient bays.
Remember, as XKCD recently reminded us, if all we had of spiders were fossils -we'd have never known about webs.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 789

For every question there is an answer that is simple, obvious and wrong.

Congratulations. You found the simple, obvious and wrong answer.

The real world is so much more interesting because humans are so much more variable than you realise.

And the sexual fetish of crossdressing has nothing to do with transgenderism, very many people are into cross-dressing for sexual purposes but it has nothing to do with their normal gender expression or feeling. It's no different than dressing up as a french maid or a nurse -it's just sexual fantasy roleplaying and the fantasy ends when the orgasm comes.
Transgender people never stop identifying as what they are. It has very little to do with sex.

Comment Re:I did (Score 1) 306

Yeah... you know what happens when you don't discourage your thinking ?

Japan, Japan happens. Aging population, young people who don't date or have sex because they all work 18 hours a day - because anybody who doesn't loses their job. Meanwhile the pension plan is going bankrupt because there are too many old people drawing from it and not enough young people paying in.

Comment Re:Explore the ocean depths (Score 1) 99

>But even on DS9 you still had Sisko's dad's restaurant

And if you had paid better attention - you would have noticed that he didn't charge the people who came to eat. He ran the restaurant because he got personal satisfaction from keeping his cultural cuisine heritage alive. His "wait staff" likewise did it because they got some or other personal benefit out of it.

>How did Sisko's dad get the property for the restaurant?
That one wasn't well answered in the show, land is tricky since on the planet itself it's definitely finite. But there are many possible ways to solve it. For example those who require land for something could request it, and some democratic process would allocate available land to people based on what they want to use it for - the less beneficial it is to other people, the lower on the list it goes. You could easily factor in exceptions for things like ancestral land (and there is evidence in other episodes and series that such exist). There are economic philosophies NOW that have potential answers to that question. For example anarcho-communism rejects the idea of OWNING land but considers entirely legitimate the idea of USING land. So if you're using it - you get to keep it, if you stop using it, somebody else can use it. As long as you use it though - nobody else can lay claim to it.

>Why is anyone "doing what they love" busing tables?
You'd have to ask them - but near the top of the list of possibilities would be: because they want to learn the recipes of their cultural cuisine heritage from a master, and working in his restaurant is their best opportunity to learn from him. But what any given individual finds rewarding - only that person can know.
If I had an income that removed the need to ever work again - I would still do lots of work, I'd code FOSS projects and relish being able to do them full-time as long as I wanted, I'd write stories, I'd study aeronotical engineering, I'd finally make a really good video game... and I'd also spend weeks sitting on the couch playing with my daughter and just relaxing. And sometimes, I'd do some pretty serious manual labour - building cupboards and such, just because I want them and something you made yourself is special in a way something you bought can never be.

>Again, people acting like they're participating in an economy.
They are- but it's a fundamentally different kind of economy. It's an economy without scarcity. So that changes the entire thing from the bottom up. The whole concept changes - what is valuable changes, what is tradeable is different. We're currently seeing some of the difficulties in making post-scarcity work in a scarcity-based economy in a topic that gets discussed on ./ all the time: copyright law. When copyright was created - printing presses were huge, expensive things that few people had. It was a minor industrial regulation that affected almost nobody. But now, the means to copy things is cheap and ubiquitous, and any particular copy is essentially free to make, so ewe can make unlimited numbers of copies. It's a post-scarcity technology now.
And it's messing up the scarcity based economy - so right now the answer being pursued is totalitarian market controls to induce artificial scarcity - that's a pretty terrible approach but it's also almost certainly doomed in the long term. When we solve that one, we can probably adapt that solution to all your other questions.

> I don't know what a post scarcity society would look like, but it wouldn't look like Star Trek.
I never claimed it would. In fact I'm pretty sure you brought Star Trek up and I merely responded to it. And like I said, the ST depicted on screen was quite far removed economically from whatever Gene had envisioned - simply because an actual paradise leaves you no conflict and without conflict there's no drama. That's why diluthium crystals were supposedly impossible to replicate - there had to be something for peoples to fight over or you couldn't have fights.
Roddenberry's vision was never revealed on screen - even he himself had to corrupt it to make it into television. So we can't actually judge if it would be a good approach or not.

But we can judge the concept: that in a society where resources aren't scarce, we have no need for an economy built on the expectation of scarcity, and indeed, as copyright is showing - it is a terrible fit to try and put one there as it leads to totalitarianism.

Comment Re:I honestly wonder... (Score 1) 156

I actually did a google before writing that, to make sure my memory wasn't letting me down - and the only stories I could find were about human-induced parthenogenesis post-dolly using a modification of the same technique.

If what you're saying is true, then I don't know about it. I did however read quite a few scientists on those stories declare that what they have achieved is considered impossible for mammals, so it seems unlikely.

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