News Briefs 16-08-2007

Nietsche vs Dawkins - now *that* would be an interesting debate...

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Do you believe that the sciences would have arisen and grown up if the sorcerers, alchemists, astrologers and witches had not been their forerunners; those who, with their promisings and foreshadowings, had first to create a thirst, a hunger, and a taste for hidden and forbidden powers? Yea, [and] that infinitely more had to be promised than could ever be fulfilled?

Friedrich Nietzsche

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Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
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5 days 18 hours

I'm picturing a gladiatorial wrestling match...

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

So Rick, do you think we should put out money on the dead guy? After all, he can't lose :)

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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3 hours 21 min

I mean, we all know Dawkins, the evolutionist.

How he loves to GO APE in the heat of a discussion ;-)

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

anthonynorth's picture
Member since:
13 April 2007
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6 years 18 weeks

Hi Red,
Stop insulting the apes.

...

The balanced adult retains an inner child

Anthony North

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 21 min

As I stated on Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log, Personally, I personally wonder whether the REAL reason Bigelow is moving ahead of their schedule, has more to do with the announcement made by a company in Barcelona of putting their own private orbiting hotel, than with the rising launch costs they are talking about in their press release...

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/
2196487/space-hotel-welcome-guests-2012

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

I think Bigelow and Branson, and other people you can find, are going ahead of this just for the fun of it. Sure they think they can make a good deal of money on it. All of them.

But they also think they can tolerate the loss if it doesn't work. And hey, it really would be a lot of fun.

I bet that the Barcelona company people have read at least as much as science fiction as Bigelow and Branson.

I hope it works.

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 21 min

The IXth century fiction version of the mad scientist was a nobleman who pursue science as an aristocratic diversion (Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll).

I bet Captain Nemo had pretty ample resources too. Otherwise how can you build something like the Nautilus?

But in the XXth century, the truth was that all the major discoveries and technological achievements were done first by public servants and then by corporate employees.

Now it seems that in the XXIst century the aristocratic technocrats will bring the Romantic vision to reality.

The danger in all this is that it could really create a clear division between two segments of society: the rich post-humans capable of living 150+ years thanks to stem cell research and cloning therapies, and who enjoy their 24-hr spare time frolicking in outer space, while the 90% rest of humanity has barely enough to live and suffer the conwequences of horrible new super-diseases.

But it doesn't have to be that way. That's the choice we have to make right now.

We could really end extreme poverty, AND at the same time venture to the stars. Those endeavours are not really implicitly opposite as some people think.

We really maybe the most important generation to ever walk the face of the Earth. Ours are going to be the most difficult and trascendental choices that will mold he future of the rest of humanity for millenia to come.

Are we up to the challenge?

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

late at night, or early in the morning, take your pick

I remind you again about von Braun. and Koroylev.

They wanted to go to the moon, with their big rockets, and they did.

Sure they were supported by the big cold war states.

But I say again: either (or both together) von Braun or Korolyev would have gon to the moon, no matter what. Nazis, Amaricans, Soviets, private enterprise, or sheep farmers. They did not care, they would have made it to the moon.

Now, nobody is even trying. Sad, no ?

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
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53 min 3 sec

I always liked the anecdote, that the story of von Braun's life was titled "I Aim at the Stars". Wags suggested it should have the subtitle "but sometimes I hit London".
;)

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things

thefloppy1's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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3 weeks 2 days

but if you believe what has been written and the varius movies, he never wanted to do that Buzz bomb thingy.

"Life can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you do what your told."
LRF.

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

It seems to me, from talking to many people from the British empire, that von Braun had 2 major faults.

(2) He was a Nazi, or at least a Nazi collaborator, and
(1) He was not British

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

earthling's picture
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22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

well, between the swampy parts around Peenemuende, and the stars, London is somewhere in the middle? No ?

Also, between my hometown of Dortmund, and the control of India, don't make me say what the British did, to my hometown.

Those were really bad times. The good guys, in my view the [edit:]winning allies [not wining allies that was a typo], did really terrible things. We all know that.

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

anthonynorth's picture
Member since:
13 April 2007
Last activity:
6 years 18 weeks

Hi Red,
I see it like this. Environmental consciousness, the people finding a revulsion of war, communications on a global scale, technology that can get us into space, and businesses big enough to cashier it.
All these things are reaching their height at the same time. It all points to getting out there, and doing it as a species.
You're right, we are at the turning point of humanity - if we have the guts to grasp it. But making the leap? The only thing we're missing is the confidence. That's why we're descending into ridiculous trivia in lifestyle and culture.
Marking time.

...

I'm fanatical about moderation

Anthony North

earthling's picture
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22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

I agree. We supposedly don't have enough money to help starving people, or $100 million a year to make a nice little spacecraft. We could if we wanted to.

But we do have $100 million, every stinking Saturday, to go to stupid movies. Nevermind the DVDs.

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 21 min

Charlie Kersey, from Orlando, FL, wrote this GREAT comment on the Cosmiclog.com article regarding the 30th. anniversary of the famous Wow! signal:

"And interestingly enough, the next day, Elvis "left the building" for the last time... coincidence... I think Not!

Happy WOW Day! "

I think this guy nailed it :-)

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

DynaSoar's picture
Member since:
3 August 2005
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4 years 48 weeks

"Physicist says Hollywood movies hurt students' understanding of science."

I find it far more likely that students' understanding of science is more at risk from supposed scientists making supposedly scientific claims, and coming to supposed scientific conclusions, and providing absolutely no evidence to support any of it. The paper referenced claims there's a behavioral outcome from a certain stimulus and then spends the entire paper showing off math skills (and doing a very bad job of teaching those skills, if that was their goal) but never once examined behavior. It's not as if they couldn't, despite being physicists rather than psychologists. They have students, and test them. It would have taken very little effort to question the students on their movie watching habits and comparing that to their grades.

People who do this and claim it's science eat my lunch just as much as people who jump to unsupported conclusions and call it skepticism. They're not just non-scientific, they both harm to science and education.

I think they could both use some corrective phrenology. No, that's not scientifically supported either, but it's certainly emotionally appealing.

No, I am not the brain specialist.....
YES. Yes I AM the brain specialist.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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3 hours 21 min

Personally I think that many of the 30-40 somethings that chose to follow a career in science, did it because they were influenced by shows like Star Trek, or low-budget Sci-Fi movies with ridiculously impossible giant insects and roaming dinosaurs that were Way Cool!

Sure, most of the science of those shows are bogus (after alL, their main purpose is to ENTERTAIN, education is not Hollywood's job), but the importance here is to spark the curiosity of young people toward nature, exploration and discovery.

Then some of them will go and try to figure out if there really is a way to achieve warp speed or not.

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

Don't forget the Apollo program. A lot of the people who are now 40-50 went to the USA universities did it because of Apollo. Maybe half a generation before what you are saying.
But there still was a real effect to this - if you go to the US, you can maybe, perhaps, possibly, do something amazing. If you to universities in Europe, you can't.

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 21 min

Let's not forget "2001", which was released in 1968, before the moon landings.

And what about the people at Mission Control who were working at NASA during Mercury, Gemini & Apollo? Heck, what about Von Braun? They were influenced by literature: H. G. Wells, Verne, even pulp fiction sci-fi magazines, Astounding Stories and all that.

But regard the second part of your comment, I fear that the edge American Universities had on science is beginning to falter.

If I were a stem cell reasearcher, I certainly would not consider a position on any American university. Not because of the universities credentials, but becaue I wouldn't want the government breathing behind my neck everytime I watched something under my microscope. I might aswell consider a position in Scotland or even Singapur.

Societies get what they pay for. For 30 years America benefited from the wealth the space program and basic science research brought. But now I think a young man in the US would think it makes more sense to try to become the next American Idol or a career in sports, instead than submitting to he hardhips of a science education that it's probably going to end up unfairly underpaid anyway (for me that is even more evident in the african american community). And if left uncheck that would put America behind other countries that are pushing prestige through science, like China or India.

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

Indeed the original effect is wearing off. If the US had a real space program, or some other really advanced effort, then that effect could be there again.

Aside from stem cell work, there is a lot of Biotech still going on in the US. As well as telecom. Computing is there too.

But an interesting example - the most advanced CPU in public use is the Cell Processor in the Sony PS3. Now this sounds Japanese, doesn't it?

It is not. It is basically from an IBM shop in Texas.

But it is related to something else. The most advanced CPU was built to play games. Stupid pointless games.

Sure the people who developed this thing didn't do it for the games, they did it for the challenge of making that machine. But the only way they could find funding was the games.

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 21 min

Entertainment is today the main driving force in industry. We have new Ipods every year and new game consoles every 3.

What about a new heart pacemaker?

I have a word for it: LUDOCRACY. In the realm where entertainment is the most important thing for the people, the court jesters are kings.

And although I admit I was a big part of it (and still am), it is disturbing that one of the biggest reasons the Internet expanded so much in so little time was not because people wanted to find new information or educate themselves...

It was because we were searching for PORN.

...And we still are.

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
53 min 3 sec
earthling wrote:

But it is related to something else. The most advanced CPU was built to play games. Stupid pointless games.

Still a much better reason than is usually the case for the development of technology - namely, to better kill other humans.

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
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5 weeks 1 day

perhaps it is better than making weapons

But still, all people want these days is entertainment. I think that is aiming pretty low.

Solve any problems, no. Learn anything, no. Spend more money on fun, yes.

And then look at what kind of games they play.

----
You can observe a lot, just by watching. (Yogi Berra)

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 21 min

In this day and age, we define our lifes in terms of our leisure. If wer'e not careful we might end up turning into Eloi or something.

But I must confess. One of my favorite pastimes -after hanging out ere at TDG of course- is playing FPS games. I understand it is a plain contradiction in my psiche, the fact that I consider myself a fervent pacifist, and on the other hand enjoy so disturbingly much turn foes into hamburgers with my saw weapon on GEARS OF WAR...

I explain it to myself as a form of catharsis, of re-oriening my primal violence, since I care not for practicing Football or any other sports which are no more than staged combats.

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

Rho's picture
Member since:
14 June 2006
Last activity:
6 weeks 5 days

Hi RPJ,

To boldly go where no man has gone before..bad career move for scientists these days.

A matter of choice;
Intimidation, corruption and lies, or serenity, sharing and sincerity.

red pill junkie's picture
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12 April 2007
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3 hours 21 min

There's SO much to explore. And not just outer space. We barely now what lies beneath our own oceans. Ther have been moe people walking on the moon than people venturing to the deepest spots of the Oceans; and that's a pity.

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

anthonynorth's picture
Member since:
13 April 2007
Last activity:
6 years 18 weeks

Good morning everyone,
The simple fact is, exploration has always been done through a need for trade. It was the case with European expansion, and it will only get going properly today when trade provides the reason.
Governments are very bad explorers. It's got to be a world thing, not US, or any other government. The world, through our trading organisations. Delete East India Companies', insert Intergalactic Cos.
Come on, Multi-nats, forget trivia and get the hell off this planet!!!!

...

I'm fanatical about moderation

Anthony North

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 21 min

What many people don't realise, is that a very important reason why the US and China want to explore an mantain a permanent coloni on the Moon, is because of its vast resources in Helium 3, which could turn into the most important fuel source for centuries to come.

Countries are still willing to pursue a 19th century mentality toward their supposed rights to own and exploit unclaimed territories. See what's happening with the Arctic Pole: Russia, Canada, the US and Denmark are willing to send combat troops in order to defend what's "theirs".

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It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

Marissa's picture
Member since:
7 February 2005
Last activity:
5 years 40 weeks

you say...

well.. that makes sense

no wonder if floats up there so well!

That aside, there is always a monetary reason for exploration. Rarely does man do anything just to know something.

hugs

marissa