Search found 2585 matches

by Copper Bezel
Mon May 29, 2017 7:28 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Superconducting CPU?
Replies: 66
Views: 13155

Re: Superconducting CPU?

Using the phrase "useful work" in the everyday sense of those terms in a physics topic seems potentially hazardous.

Edit: And very possibly the "free" in "free energy"....
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 25, 2017 5:42 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Uses of 1:11 Million Gear Ratio
Replies: 15
Views: 4848

Re: Uses of 1:11 Million Gear Ratio

Engineers hate this man!

This one easy trick increases your torque by 11 million times!

17 1/2 applications for reducing gearboxes! No. 8 will shock you!
by Copper Bezel
Wed May 24, 2017 3:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1841: "Who?"
Replies: 29
Views: 5779

Re: 1841: "Who?"

Initially read that as "AI", made it better. I vote "banal" on this one. Been done in various ways too often . DIdn't Randall do one last year where two folks at a party both made shit up about Star Wars, but because neither had a clue about the movies, they both felt relieved at...
by Copper Bezel
Wed May 24, 2017 1:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 6590

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

How does selection pressure work on epigenetic factors, though? If they can be reversed in a later generation, they hardly have time to fight it out for persistence in between. Ultimately, your need to pass on your genes really results from your genes' own accidental and non-intentive tendency to su...
by Copper Bezel
Tue May 23, 2017 8:52 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 123753

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

I don't feel like (partial) redundancy for emphasis is anything particularly novel.

"Human being" is also a fixed phrase with built-in associations that don't come with either word separately.
by Copper Bezel
Tue May 23, 2017 8:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 6590

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

I'd guess that heuristically_alone was probably referring to non-avian dinosaurs, presumably paraphyletically, but I can't really make much of that comment in the first place (as already commented with the billions rather than millions of years, etc.) I thought briefly I'd maybe started that with my...
by Copper Bezel
Tue May 23, 2017 8:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 6590

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Yeah, cladistically, anything that descends from a thing is still that thing.
by Copper Bezel
Tue May 23, 2017 8:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Uses of 1:11 Million Gear Ratio
Replies: 15
Views: 4848

Re: Uses of 1:11 Million Gear Ratio

Yeah, I'd kinda envision using a stepper motor for that application, really. Itself tied to a reducing gearbox, but still.
by Copper Bezel
Mon May 22, 2017 8:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 6590

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

You can easily make it unambiguous with two rules:

1) Every cell division is the death of the original cell; 2) multicellular life forms are just a special kind of colony.
by Copper Bezel
Mon May 22, 2017 5:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 6590

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Life, uh, finds a way.
by Copper Bezel
Mon May 22, 2017 5:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why haven't any animals evolved wheels?
Replies: 22
Views: 6827

Re: Why haven't any animals evolved wheels?

Hmm, is there any extent to which variations in fish body plans are more plastic, and simply because aquatic locomotion is more forgiving than terrestrial? I know that'd be different from the plasticity granted by segmentation, although - like, insects are a big, old, varied group in the same way la...
by Copper Bezel
Mon May 22, 2017 4:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"
Replies: 37
Views: 6590

Re: 1840: "Genetic Testing Results"

Hey, there's always panspermia.
by Copper Bezel
Mon May 22, 2017 12:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

It's very hard to isolate a person from language completely, and just as hard to isolate cases of total language deprivation from extreme social deprivation and neglect. Human brains are very, very deeply wired for language. Even in these cases of a deaf child growing up in a remote village in a cul...
by Copper Bezel
Sun May 21, 2017 7:25 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

My issue with treating consciousness or awareness as a grade is that whatever we're interested in is probably not a linear property, so it's really a bunch of intersecting axes, not just one. Something can be more or less conscious, certainly.
by Copper Bezel
Sun May 21, 2017 4:19 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

No, sensitivity is true positives vs. false negatives. That is, it's the proportion of actual positives that the test identifies as positives. Ah, gotcha. That makes sense now, then, sorry. And he never gives any thought to the idea that a construct such as Siri could be output unrelated to the ove...
by Copper Bezel
Sun May 21, 2017 3:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

False positives are exactly the thing, I mean, sensitivity is false vs. true positives, and there are no true positives. Glancing at the Wikipedia page, there are definitely bots that can convince humans that they're humans, which is a nonzero false positive rate.
by Copper Bezel
Sat May 20, 2017 9:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

I think there are open questions relating to consciousness, which makes it a more interesting topic than free will. We certainly assign intentionality to damn near everything by default, and that's never stopped. We get angry at animals and mobile phones equally when they misbehave. I do think that ...
by Copper Bezel
Sat May 20, 2017 6:52 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

a fair number of those people definitely believed in real, conscious entities of a kind different and superior to themselves, and tomandlu's quip was as a consequence both apt and incisive and definitely didn't warrant your uncorrection. No offense was intended; I hope none was taken. My point was ...
by Copper Bezel
Sat May 20, 2017 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1825: "7 Eleven"
Replies: 85
Views: 24816

Re: 1825: "7 Eleven"

orthogon, has anyone recently told you you're the absolute best?
by Copper Bezel
Sat May 20, 2017 4:01 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1839: "Doctor Visit"
Replies: 19
Views: 6139

Re: 1839: "Doctor Visit"

Obligatory link: They're Made Out Of Meat I've seen this skit previously, but it finally occurs to me why it doesn't click for me. Why would any creature not made of meat care enough about meat for the concept to make conversational sense here? I mean, it's meat to us because we eat it. To anyone e...
by Copper Bezel
Sat May 20, 2017 3:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

Second point is valid and why the story concept doesn't really work even in principle for a loosely speculative story, but I think the point would be contested whether "human emotions" as circumscribed in the series are exclusively a set of shortcomings. I think consciousness as you're thi...
by Copper Bezel
Fri May 19, 2017 6:15 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

But the whole point of this is to move on to non-humans, to wit, machines, and expand (or fail to expand) the definition enough to include (or exclude) them. To do that, we need to know what we're talking about. And not just "well, you know... 'our kind' (wink wink nudge nudge)". What's t...
by Copper Bezel
Fri May 19, 2017 4:06 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

Everything I have ever met that looks convincingly like a living human has been conscious, so... How do you know? You don't. You haven't a clue as to whether they are conscious or just zombies. You are assuming that they are conscious, probably because they look sufficiently like you. In other word...
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 18, 2017 2:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

What would it entail to behave as if you're conscious, but not be? If you're not aware of your surroundings, you can't pretend to be. You can have something that creates the appearance of something in certain contexts - an illusion - but as you add in all the properties of the original thing, it eve...
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 18, 2017 1:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1838: "Machine Learning"
Replies: 22
Views: 7420

Re: 1838: "Machine Learning"

Except that I've lost a lot of respect for Scott Adams, recently, and I'm trying not to let it influence my critical viewpoint, but whilst Randall is quite legitimately questioning the general process as a low-effort solution to anything and everything, Scott appears to be questioning the results o...
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 18, 2017 6:01 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1836: "Okeanos"
Replies: 27
Views: 7506

Re: 1836: "Okeanos"

Oh my GOD that's gorgeous
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 18, 2017 5:26 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

I think the Chinese Room poses an important question, but an answerable one. In a sense, it's just abstracting the problem of consciousness away into absurdity. To me, the best response, although I don't remember the talk where I heard it, is to extend the Chinese Room from a computer into a brain: ...
by Copper Bezel
Mon May 15, 2017 1:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

I'm sure that means something to someone!
by Copper Bezel
Sun May 14, 2017 4:03 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

First thought: Different culinary traditions may have different conventions that make Western categories less applicable.

Second thought: However, that there is a Chinese bierock.
by Copper Bezel
Fri May 12, 2017 2:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

I'm telling you, it's just polysemy. They shared different aspects of sandwichdom with the accepted prototype and now both senses exist independently with their own conventions and history. And "structural" sandwichness and "ingredients" sandwichity are even the axes already repr...
by Copper Bezel
Fri May 12, 2017 11:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1836: "Okeanos"
Replies: 27
Views: 7506

Re: 1836: "Okeanos"

That said, you probably wouldn't see such messages with less than 1000 viewers, most of them being interested in marine biology or at least aware that "ocean" and "pacific basin" mean it's about real underwater things. When Twitch did that Cosmos livestream, it was like literall...
by Copper Bezel
Fri May 12, 2017 5:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

I honestly think Pfhorrest's taxonomy is pretty sensible for how the term is normally used. There will always be things that exist by analogy or extension that don't fit into it, though; that's how polysemy happens. The Double Down resembles a sandwich and is being sold as a sandwich by a major food...
by Copper Bezel
Fri May 12, 2017 12:15 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 944
Views: 288152

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I did that as a kid. I can't really speculate reasons beyond the obvious, that "lightening" is another word that exists and "lightning" sometimes sounds as if it's said that way, with the N becoming syllabic.
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 11, 2017 10:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

++ on Sandwiforma and Sandwimopha. Pizza seems to me to differ simply because its preparation differs so much. If you took an already-baked disc of bread, piled on some meat and cheese and a dollop of tomato sauce, and toasted your construction, I think that'd be a sandwich regardless of whether you...
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 11, 2017 9:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

rmsgrey wrote:but when a region is contained within another, we tend to treat it as an enclave rather than an overlap.

Oh, that is a very nice way to think of it and much better than my babbling about vans and trucks.
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 11, 2017 8:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

Yeah, the thing that makes a hot dog difficult for some part of my brain to accept as a sandwich is not its bun, but the fact that the bun seems auxiliary to the hot dog in providing the shape of the final concoction, in the same way that's true of a corn dog or a hot dog that's simply baked into it...
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 11, 2017 3:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

I don't quite follow. Are you saying that chickens aren't generally considered birds? Why does it matter to the definition what you think of first, or how frequently specific instances are encountered, if everyone agrees on it? Chickens certainly aren't the birdiest birds. At the same time the word...
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 11, 2017 2:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

I think there's a lot of value in making fine distinctions and unpacking intended and unintended meanings. It's possible I simply had a terrible philosophy professor. We spent a lot of time with Kant.
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 11, 2017 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1835: "Random Obsessions"
Replies: 90
Views: 15731

Re: 1835: "Random Obsessions"

I've decided to die on hamburger hill for unrelated reasons, but my reason for being indifferent to the sandwich-definition argument is semiotic. Many words work by examples and analogy - most, in fact, in everyday speech, where strict definitions with specific criteria such as those used in scienti...
by Copper Bezel
Thu May 11, 2017 1:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 25895

Re: Free Will

Yeah, fair point on both counts. Hard work goes in and internally consistent systems come out, but the same could be said for theology.

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