Recent Posts

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92
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« Last post by Just Alty, Please on Yesterday at 05:23:24 pm »
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-breitbart-kelloggs-advertisers-20161130-story.html

Quote
The cereal company said that it advertises on a large number of websites, “so occasionally something is inadvertently missed. In this case, we learned from consumers that ads were placed on Breitbart.com and decided to discontinue advertising there.”

Quote
On Wednesday, some of Breitbart’s top brass took to social media to take aim at the advertising defectors, describing Kellogg as “bigotry for breakfast.”

Yeah, that's definitely the best way to handle advertisers, Breitbart. :golfclap:
93
Beyond the wall / Re: Space dogs
« Last post by Mesozoic Mister Nigel on Yesterday at 05:05:29 pm »
Viruses have DNA, but they lack the replicative machinery with which to duplicate or transcribe it. That's why they hijack the cellular machinery of other organisms. One hypothesis about viruses is that they were originally parasitic organisms that gradually jettisoned their own cellular machinery. Prions, on the other hand, have no DNA at all, and simply seem to have a contact effect of inducing other proteins to misfold.
94
Beyond the wall / Re: Space dogs
« Last post by Mesozoic Mister Nigel on Yesterday at 04:51:56 pm »
Self-replicating is the current sticking point for most definitions of life, and is the reason viruses, which very nearly qualify as "alive", are in a gray area.

Prions are another I would think.

Not exactly, because they don't "replicate" per se, but rather are a contagious form of misfolding protein that nobody really understands. They're like the shitty memes of the protein world.

Do they work like ice 9?  I can't think of something normal to conceptualise.

I'm not sure how ice 9 is supposed to work in the book, I don't recall it being heavy on technical details. Prions seem to act like a template that induces normal proteins in contact with the prion protein to re-fold into a nonfunctional form.

https://hegemony.wordpress.com/2006/11/21/how-do-prions-work/
95
I think of Aini more like a sack of beetles on account of that thing LMNO wrote about PI

 :lulz:
96
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Turning Purple
« Last post by Mesozoic Mister Nigel on Yesterday at 04:39:21 pm »
The people who voted for Donald Trump are the quintessence of Middle America: white middle-class people who believe in a particular midcentury ideal of the American Dream, one in which healthy happy nuclear families with a stay-at-home-mom go to church every Sunday. Black people, immigrants, gays, and single parents are not part of this vision; that's why they could so easily disregard ther well-being with their vote. They are racist, but it's the kind of passive racism that allows people to do grievous harm against black communities with their votes while claiming (and earnestly believing) that they are not racist. Abortion isn't an issue for them because good women get married and stay married while good men work hard to support their families. They cant have immigrants TAKING those jobs, that wouldn't be right, and gay people... well, that's alright as long as they keep it behind closed doors, and as long as it's not MY son or daughter because I didn't raise them like that.

It's not a mystery. They are the rosy-cheeked, suburban, middle-class, Christian, white, conservative American Dream. That's what they're fighting for. The ones that don't have it, want it, and they earnestly think that Donald Trump will lead them back into the dream of trickle-down economics by lifting burdens from the wealth creators like Ronald Reagan reborn from the ashes of the 80's.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2016/11/09/donald-trumps-presidenti-victory-demographics/#16ec92b179a8
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/
http://billmoyers.com/story/so-who-are-donald-trumps-voters/
97
Beyond the wall / Re: Space dogs
« Last post by Trivial <insert joke> on Yesterday at 04:28:52 pm »
Self-replicating is the current sticking point for most definitions of life, and is the reason viruses, which very nearly qualify as "alive", are in a gray area.

Prions are another I would think.

Not exactly, because they don't "replicate" per se, but rather are a contagious form of misfolding protein that nobody really understands. They're like the shitty memes of the protein world.

Do they work like ice 9?  I can't think of something normal to conceptualise. 
98
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Turning Purple
« Last post by Mesozoic Mister Nigel on Yesterday at 04:25:10 pm »
Also economic division...but that's not what im here to say now...

You don't think the poor are a marginalized and underrepresented group?
99
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Turning Purple
« Last post by Mesozoic Mister Nigel on Yesterday at 04:23:44 pm »
Lots of people don't vote because they don't feel like its very effective, and they are right to feel that.

And that's how they get the government they deserve.   :lulz:

Now I feel a bit foolish. Of course taking the ~20 minutes to vote is worth it. It is more effective than other things you could do in that time. I should have just said that they don't feel like its effective but not said they were right to feel so. I guess I am prone to defeatism.

There were areas where it was five to seven hours. Basically, places where people had to miss a full day of work, if they even had the option, in order to vote.

I know I keep playing this fiddle, but THIS WASN'T ACCIDENTAL. This was orchestrated. Since the 2004 election, Republicans have been working furiously at local levels to close polls in poor and black areas, and to institute voter ID laws and other measures, like registration purges, to block poor and black voters, who trend strongly Democrat, from voting.

So without these laws rural/rust belt America would have voted Democrat? Do you still not understand what the electoral college is? Keep in mind, rural/rust belt America did vote Democrat for Obama twice. Very interested in your theory of how Obama won the raging white supremacist vote.

That's a very interesting way of completely not responding to what Nigel actually said.

Eh, he's locked into a reality tunnel. Not worth the time to converse with, because he has already decided what he wants to believe, and information that counters his pre-formed beliefs can't get in.
100
This is all actually pretty standard perception stuff; reality isn't what we perceive, what we perceive is simply our limited and subjective interface with reality. It's not quite accurate to say that he has devised a mathematical model of consciousness, although he is working on one. I am not sure where the "god" part is coming from, I didn't get that out of it.

I have two quarrels with Hoffman that are basically the same quarrels I have with every old-school cognitive psychologist I've ever met; he likes to talk about quantum physics, but doesn't have a quantum physics background and doesn't understand it well enough to grasp why scientists who DO have quantum physics backgrounds say that it doesn't apply at a macro level. He also, like many classically trained psychologists, has a distinct bent toward believing that philosophy without evidence is adequate to form theory.

It is worth noting that he works with the Chopra Foundation and is a crony of Rupert Sheldrake. http://www.choprafoundation.org/speakers/donald-hoffman/
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/intentchopra/2012/09/set-science-free-a-review-by-donald-d-hoffman.html

Basically, while what he says about the nature of perception being well removed from the nature of reality is accurate, I would take his other claims and any extrapolations from those claims with a generous pinch of salt. Notice that he decries pretty much all neuroscientists; that is a big tip-off that he is firmly rooted in woo. When you disagree with an entire field about the fundamental nature of the work they are doing, but don't actually have enough of a science background to understand the work they are doing, you are probably the one in error.

Setting all that aside, Michael Shermer has a salient criticism of Hoffman's hypothesis that our perceptual reality has no pressure to conform to actual reality: http://www.michaelshermer.com/2015/11/perception-deception/#more-4721

I think that he is not entirely off the rails, but that he is operating with insufficient understanding of the physical science he decries. He made a few references that seem to verge on an opponent network theory of consciousness, which is the right direction IMO, but I think that his insistence on latching onto a woo-tainted understanding of quantum mechanics is holding him back. Not that quantum mechanics has no relevance in neural processing; it very well might, but unraveling that is going to require neurophysiologists with strong backgrounds in physics, rather than psychologists with behavioral modeling backgrounds.
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