Recent posts by vikaTae on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

However, the more likely scenario is our WATER. They may have used up all the comets in their neck of the woods.

What sounds more likely to you?

Harvesting the comets in our Oort cloud, and the chunks of ice in Saturn’s rings for water completely unprotected and free of biological contamination? Or, invading a nuclear-armed planet?

  
Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

The speed of light is always the same. Never more, never less.

As to the upper speed limit, I definitely agree. We have found no evidence whatsoever for the existence of anything capable of travelling faster than C. However, we have been successful on many an occasion at reducing the value of C according to the density of the material being phased through.

It doesn’t work the other way of course, as a perfect vacuum free of even the slightest particulate traces is as low as you can go as to the density of the medium, and that’s what defines the upper limit of C. Still, it’s worth bringing up that we can slow light, and we know we can control the speed of propogation of the waveform, before someone tries to bring it up as ‘evidence’ of how we might push the value of C higher than the natural limits allow.

Frankly, I’m surprised someone didn’t try to argue that already.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by biguglyorc:

I don’t think I follow. In the paragraph you quoted, I didn’t mean to suggest that every – nor any – human is a god, but that the qualities of a god vary from culture to culture. There were also mortal gods, like Osiris or Uranus, but that didn’t make them human.

However, whilst mortal they weren’t nearly as squishable as the average human. That was my point. the chances of Osiris being killed by a random accident were pretty much zero.

On a side-note, Harry would almost-die every year – be it because of lethal spells bouncing off of him, Basilisk venom he survived thanks to, uh, tears of a phoenix, or when he managed to regrow bones in his arm.

I’ll give you that one. I had forgotten that he had survived several events guaranteed to kill a human. Because his body was more durable than a muggle’s that did in fact make him the definition of a god when combined with his increased innate powers.

then a man driving a combine harvester becomes an inherently superior being to one who is not, purely because of the capabilities of the tool he’s using.

I like this argument, although I think it applies solely to technological advancement. Y’know, ‘cause magic and all. The concept of gods doesn’t really go well with technologically advanced universes, but it fits perfectly in fantastic ones.

The problem there is it doesn’t have to be technology. If you wish to make that argument then you also make the argument that a man who has picked up a rock from the ground is a living god, superior to all other men, because the rock gives him additional abilities he wouldn’t have on his wn. Likewise a chimpanzee who has picked up a stick to poke into an anthill, is now a god; inherently superior to all other chimpanzees because of the increased abilities the stick gives them they wouldn’t have otherwise.

It makes a mockery of the whole concept of a god, because these are simply random tools, they are not a part of the beings that wield them. They are not intrinsic abilities these creatures have that lesser beings could not hope to compete with as equals.

If you merge the tool with the body of the animal such as it is always present and is a part of their body, then yes I accept that it helps towards making them a god, as then it is not some random tool they found on the ground, but something that has been bonded to their very essence. As much a part of them as their other organs. Merge enough then yes you will wind up with a god; a creature superior in both form and capability to other members of the species.

However, this is very different to you picking up a random tree branch from the ground, holding it aloft and proudly proclaiming you have ascended to godhood.


As an aside, I tend to agree with this post:

Originally posted by fractalman:

Maybe we should seek to classify various hypothetical “gods”

Which sums up the possibilities well I think. I would agree that all fall under the purview of being gods.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

Just jumping in here; likely not for long, as I’m dog-tired, but there are a few inaccuracies here that probably should be addressed.

Originally posted by DanielMontgomery:

XD we don’t need to go the speed of light just a fraction of it, time warp bro XD we can bend space time it just takes a lot of energy XD quotes drake equation like its the “god formula” doesn’t relise it equates that there are 15000 advanced alien civilizations in the milky way XD doesn’t relise that being “uploaded” is actually called the technological singularity XD acts like he knows what he’s talkin bout but doesn’t XD

That’s not what the technological singularity even is. Not even close. Mind uploading is very much a post-singularity technology.

Rather the technological singularity is the point that technological innovation (which is exponentially increasing in pace year on year) has accelerated to the point that discoveries are occuring practically instantaneously. This is why it’s very hard to predict the timeline post-singuarity; because all gaps between disruptive waves of innovation are essentially null-and-void, and we have no real idea how long the singularity point will last, or what the ultimate results will be.

One thing is certain however, the best estimates put the singularity at somewhere between 2035-2045, and mind-uploading even at that breakneck pace of innovation, is unlikely before 2080 at least simply because of how much territory we have to cover to make it possible, regardless of how fast we will be travelling.

Tachyons are faster than light….. Do you even science bro?

Tachyons don’t exist to the full knowledge of our science. Nothing that travels faster than light has been detected.

Originally posted by DanielMontgomery:

FTL travel is possible, we just currently can’t fathom how to do it.

Incorrect. Right now, FTL travel is impossible as we understand the laws of physics. We can bypass the distance problem in theory, by folding space, but that is not the same thing as travelling faster than light. It’s not a case of ‘we know it is possible and we need to figure out how’ as you are implying but rather ’ we have no evidence it is even possible at all’.

Originally posted by DanielMontgomery:

now that’s a successful troll! you implying that neutrinos do exist and your right there made of matter and the do travel the speed of light. Thanks for the support!

He’s not trolling. Neutrino detection methods are numerous, and we have experimentally confirmed they exist, as well as several of their properties.

We have no detection method for tachyons, or a workable theory in how to detect something that violates c. It’s not for lack of trying either. Proving that c is not the speed limit of the universe would guarantee that research team was remembered forever.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by biguglyorc:

Maybe I misread the OP, but the concept of any god is discussed, not only the boring, immortal kind monotheism harnesses, which I don’t think yeasy was necessarily talking about, either. In ancient Egyptian, Greek and Scandinavian mythologies (and many others too, of course) gods kept being born, kept dying; sometimes mortals would become gods, and sometimes gods would become mortal – in those cultures, gods are “constituted” when they experience miracles or make them. Say, Harry Potter would make a decent god or demigod figure in any of those mythologies.

The problem is, if you assume every living human is a god, as Yeasy is doing, then we are forced to agree that god = homo sapiens sapiens. God is just another name for a human, or at most another word like sentient which applies to 7 billion plus beings on the planet already. It devalues the word completely.

As to Harry Potter being a god, I’d have to say no. Voldemort certainly qualified as a god, as he was both more powerful than a muggle and harder to kill than a muggle. It was ultimately possible but took a lot of effort. We have no evidence presented that Harry could have shrugged off muggle illnesses or survived an axe to the head or being hit by a bus, as examples of things that’ll kill any normal human.

Otherwise, if you’re claiming he’s a superior being based on him only having abilities a human wouldn’t normally have, then a man driving a combine harvester becomes an inherently superior being to one who is not, purely because of the capabilities of the tool he’s using. Heck you could say the same thing of a man with a rock versus one without – it becomes completely meaningless if you include tool usage rather than inherent traits.

Others who would certainly qualify as gods compared to humans would include: Superman, The hulk, Thor (of the movies not the mythology), and so on. Ones who would not qualify would include Batman, Garfield, Tedd Verres, and so on.

I think you’re using your own image of a god against yeasy’s, and it doesn’t make much sense to me.

I’m using the only definitions that make any sense, unless you are willing to argue that god=human, or god=fauna of course.

  
Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

it’s a very difficult thread to follow, in part because vika has an obscure theology that requires lengthy explanation.

A large part of it is I’m aware my beliefs must be constrained by science. I.e. whether I like it or not, I have to accept that gods are possible, based on what our tools and knowledge are driving us towards creating. The rest of my faith must fit with what I know is doable, so it has warped over the years as I recognise more and more ways we could give birth to a very real, non-allegorical god. Many gods, of all different origins, complexities, and modus operandi.

Doesn’t exactly help that I’m aware the creation of several of these is nigh inevitable as we progress – as in there is no way round us creating creatures with vastly superior capabilities and vastly more robust embodiment than we ourselves possess. So gods become an inevitibility from a practical standpoint. That’s bound to do a number on anyone’s belief system.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Christians and Atheists have one thing in common.

Originally posted by KingZeldar3:

I’m not claiming that there can’t be any possibility of an existence of a deity, I just simply don’t hold the claim that there is.

Out of curiosity (this really is just pure curiosity) would you change your mind if we as a species created a god, literally, (as in not theologically but actually, physically) or would you consider it something other than a god and continue believing they don’t exist?

I’m curious what the standpoint might be, when we (the general we) succeed. Right now, there’s no really clearly identifiable yardstick for how individuals might react.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by yeasy:
[long empty rhetoric series of nonsensical non-claims]

Jesus was not worshipped when he was alive, as Christianity did not spring into being until he was dead. Thus because he was not worshipped as a deity when he was alive, I make the claim that he was not worshipped when he was alive. The two are connected. Because A happened, I then claim A happened.

It’s not necessary. One can be a god, but act like he’s not. Heck, maybe I’m “a god” too and I’m just pretending to be human?

Proof is then easy to obtain. We fire a series of bullets through your forehead and out the back of your head. If you survive, and go on about your life as normal afterwards, then you’re a god. If you do not survive, and the remains of your brain (if any survived) are shown to cease all activity, whilst your brainstem does likewise, then you were not a god, and were no different than any other mortal with a human embodiment.

If you are so certain you are a god, you will not mind subjecting yourself to this test, and we will determine your godhood conclusively, after this test is complete.

These are baseless claims too. I’m not here to hear your opinions, I don’t care about opinions.

It’s not baseless, it’s pure fact. If you die, and then someone starts imagining if you were here, this is what you might have said:…

That does not mean you are sending them these thoughts, transmitting them into that person’s head from the afterlife. Rather, it means they have created a construct in their own mind out of their own thoughts, that they then start to identify as being your will.

If you think about what Genghis Khan might do in a given situation for example, this does not mean that you have just tapped into the hidden undead mind of Genghis Khan and are now channelling his essence directly. It simply means you have created a discrete entity in your mind, labelled it Genghis Khan, and tried to use your own knowledge of what Khan was like, to try and determine what it would want in a situation before you.

I’ll be glad to see them and continue discussion

We’ve been through this many times before yeasy. You always struggle to understand what an indisputable fact is. Your definition of facts has always widely diverged from that of everyone else here. Thus I answer the above not for your sake (as I know you won’t understand, from prior experience) but for the sake of any of the newcomers, who think your above might have been a valid argument because they don’t yet know how you argue (empty rhetoric only).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by yeasy:
Jesus can be considered as god under Christian laws, He was killed.
You can argue that it was only his mortal body ~ but by religion, when we’re killed ~ it’s only our mortal body too.

Therefore using argument about ‘being killable’ is senseless, as immortal ?soul? can be common feature of god and human. It won’t give us any extra data.

Jesus wasn’t a god. Nobody when (if) he was alive, considered him a god. It was only after he had died, that a meta-entity was created in his name. The original being and the new meta-entity are not the same being, and no data from the original’s mind made it into the new one, or vice versa. There is and was no direct connection mental between them whatsoever, at any time. So they are two separate beings, one mortal and unworshipped, the other quasi-intangible effectively non-mortal (not immortal, as it is technically killable) and worshipped.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Boston Bomber - Twitter celebrity

I think it rather suggests an overwelming tendency towards apathy. These people are inundated with violent graphic imagery all day long from the news, from film and TV media, from graphic novels, games, even written works. It’s all become rather passe.

So, when they see the news, its a lot like watching a movie; they likely don’t know anyone it affects, and the story told / media attention is not that dissimilar to a blockbuster. Fundamentally then it’s little different to them, then rooting for the bad guy in a movie; it has no personal-level impact on their lives either way, and ties into the tendency to romanticise villains.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

Correct, it is not only physically impossible to kill them but also to prove this, as they cannot physically be demonstrated to possess theses skills rather it is ‘perceived’ through belief that they possess this skill.

Because they are not physically present, but are still influencing their followers, they can still be said to be present.

The standard Christian god’s embodiment for example is as a meta-entity, with every follower’s brain serving as a neuron in the deities own mind. As the followers sync their belief up (via the same interpretation of the bible) and discussion of the beliefs, they create the thoughts going from node to node in the overmind. So the god does have a physical existence, albeit one created by the followers.

The problem is, that’s not a physical existence it’s easy to kill. You cannot identify one human body in the mass of followers, that if you dropped a grand piano on their head from a great height, it would kill the god. You’d just destroy one node of a far greater structure; something that happens all the time anyway as old nodes die and new ones are indoctrinated in.

In order to kill that god you’d have to destroy the entire mind, which means genocide of the believers, basically. Doable, but far, far more effort is required to genocide a large number of people than to kill one.

Would I be considered to be a god by the human once they reach the age of 30? In the book it does say I am immortal after all.

The answer would I suspect be yes, which links back to the implication that only belief is necessary.

The problem there is it is empirically disprovable. If your vat-grown person walks out of the room, grabs you and strangles you (likely since their musculature would be in its prime, by default) then you have just proven the book to be in error, by very visibly dying in front of them.

It is the same problem if you form a cult, and have yourself on a throne at the head of the cult. All someone has to do to prove you are no more than human is shoot you, or hit you with a blunt instrument, poison or strangle you at any time. As soon as you die through the same means used to kill any mortal, it becomes obvious that you were actually mortal.

The difference being that these deities who lack mortal bodies or whose mortal bodies are much, much harder to kill, don’t die through the same means used to kill mortals; any attempt to kill them in that way is going to fail, and by failing will only reinforce the faith not destroy it. Their godhood is basically tested, and they pass the test. Whereas in your example, you would fail the test when put to it.

We agree on the belief aspect basically, but I maintain that once that belief on your godhood is tested, that is the cutoff point. Pass the baseline test of being a god and you’re a god. Fail the baseline test of being a god, and the faith in you that has been buit up evaporates along with your life.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

And we come full circle back to a god not necessarily needing to be demonstrably superior. Check… any current religion of your choosing :)

All the religions currently around have a god that is physically impossible or exceedingly difficult for the human worshippers to kill. They cannot just put a gun to that god’s head, pull the trigger, and then hold a press conference stating that deity is dead; there’s nothing left to worhip now.

It’s a defining characteristic of the deity that they must be more resiliant to damage than members of the species doing the worshipping. In the case of Yahweh as a good example, it’s a god from outside the universe, so whilst the god isn’t necessarily any harder to kill than one of us, its a lot like one of us running a sophisticated simulation on their computer systems in which the residents of the sim are self-aware.

The residents cannot physically access outside the simulation to inflict physical harm on the sysop, so the sysop is once again, extremely difficult for them to kill. If it’s even possible, it would certainly entail far more effort than it would to kill any of their own.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / would a artificial human have rights?

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

which is a major cause for concern given that they are pressing now for legislation to allow their ‘killing robots’ to make kill decisions in the absence of a human.

It won’t get through. There are too many problems with current machine vision algorithms recognising targets correctly in busy visual environments for any such deployment not to have massive negative political fallout the first time it’s used. That’s a short-term self-resolving problem only.

I’m personally more interested in the scenario when we do succeed in creating AGIs. Artificial General Intelligences or Strong AI is very, VERY different to the weak AIs we’ve been pursuing for the past fifty years. Not an algorithm or a set of algorithms intended to intelligently solve a specific task (which is the definition of weak AI), an AGI is specifically intended to be a human-level independent, self aware intelligence. We’re nowhere near successfully creating them yet, but the split in AI work between strong AI and weak AI work occurred a few years back, and we’re seeing a real push for the creation of strong AI.

When we succeed (and there’s no doubt we will; there are no theoretical barriers impeding the task) that’s when things get interesting. We’ll have completely artificial minds capable of rational thought and self-determination. That’s when artificial being rights really will matter.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

Anything that you choose to believe is a god (which occurs through implicit worship by definition as shown above) is a god, and nothing can be done to disprove that. Sorry to take the lame argument of disprove to illustrate my point but…

Not really accurate because you can demonstrate that a given individual claiming to be a god is not a god, through killing them. If you are able to kill them using the exact same methods you would use for any human, then you can use that as conclusive proof they were not more than human.

To be a god from our perspective they would have to be greater than a human. All of the gods we’ll eventually be able to build, will be far greater than a human, and that is demonstratable both in capability and in their ability to resist or ignore the type of damage that would be mortal for a member of our own race in the same embodiment as us.


Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

[long post]

If you’re going down that path then ultimately you have to agree that nothing objectively exists, as all of perception rests on certain axioms that dictate that our subjective perceptions reflect an objective reality. If you discount subjectivity entirely as you are trying to do, then you automatically discount reality as well.


Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Just because a term is subjective or relative does not mean it does not have a ‘proper’ definition…. It just means it’s harder to find an example that would fit in regards to every possible opinion.

Exactly.

To use your ‘tasty’ example, whilst we cannot tell the degree to which a person finds something tasty, we can observe impartially the effects should we choose to – we can see the taste buds lighting up via a fMRI scan following their increased oxygen consumption. We can see via 3DEEG the signals transmitting down both the glossopharyngeal and facial nerves, proving that something has excited the taste buds. We can even in principle, intercept the signals and decode the neural codes telling us both which receptors activated and what they tasted.

We may not know how tasty the person found it, but it is objectively possible to prove they did find it tasty, and the degree to which they did so. Objective proof of a subjective response.

Since we can prove that subjective responses both objectively exist and objectively carry data, we can include them in our results, so long as we note the subjectivity of them where it applies only.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Anonymous

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

Very close to 100% of government websites probed were vulnerable to this issue for at least three hours after public announcement today.

Knowing government computing competency, and the way IT is typically outsourced to specific companies that are in bed with the civil servants, it’s likely that in 18 months time, most if not all of those will still be vulnerable.

Websites don’t really matter though. That’s just dissemination of information (something government agencies tend to do very badly in the first place). It’s the infrastructure behind them that it is vastly more important to secure against attack, and in many cases they do have competent engineers involved in the process.

It helps that our infrastructure isn’t a discrete entity. So much of it was developed ad-hoc, that it would likely take a dedicated effort to cause widespread calamity, and weave your way through the mess of halfway compatible and heavily patched together systems that form the backbone of our society.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does Diversity Harm Multiculturalism?

Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

Now before you throw me a lot of flak, hear me out.

Does importing other ways of thought damage the native cultures of a region?

It would have to, if we accept the direct implications of the Sapir Whorf hypothesis then the way you view the world is directly molded by the logical constructs your birth-taught language uses to define the world.

Since a region’s culture will have developed along the same lines as the region’s language, with each being intertwined and heavilly influencing the other, once you introduce new languages with roots in different cultures into the mix, you are going to inevitably add new ways of looking at the world into that local culture, and inevitably change the structure of that local culture accordingly.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Anonymous

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

Just to clarify my point, it has been 12 hours since one of the biggest bugs in existence has been released to the public, and Anonymous have not yet mobilised to do anything drastic.

They won’t either. The very nature of the group means they will only target issues the general public sees as problems. Precisely because they don’t screen for specialists, they’re not going to be oriented towards specialist or network-centric problems.

The internet is closed. It is made by the owners and the owners keep it that way.

I’m not really sure what you mean by this statement. If you mean that the internet is in a collection of public and priave hands with each piece of infrastructure legally owned by one party or another, then I agree.

If you mean it’s something that does not allow ad-hoc additions by literally anyone, then I must disagree.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

So then we could refine the minimum requirements to be: demonstrably superior, in comparison to the group viewing superior individual as a god. BUT this doesn’t cater for those mentioned in various religious scriptures, who ultimately are not demonstrably superior but rather perceived to be, clue is in the word ‘belief’.

This is where the increased durability has to come in, same as for beauval’s point above. As this being gains power, sooner or later someone is going to try and demonstrate the being is not a god but a man or a similar sentiment. Having the durability to shrug such attempts off then reinforces that this individual is in fact superior, and is then effectively a god, cementing that belief even further.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Could you even imagine how they would respond to futuristic people showing them electricity, guns, flying machines, medicine, and genetically engineered glow-in-the-dark pigs?

As both of Janton’s recommendations touch upon, you have a problem there. Whilst your technological knowledge is superior, you are limited by the capabilities and attitudes of the time, in what you can reproduce. Even with the Medieval England example, the whole concept of high voltage conductive wire laid from roof to cellar of a tower (to blow up Merlin’s abode) would likely be unworkable, because the Britons were incapable of creating steel sufficiently low on impurities to be able to carry a current reliably.

You would have to slowly work in secret (as both did) to build up an infrastructure, and even then much or even most of your knowledge would not be usable within your own lifetime, as you slowly bring the cultural inertia up to a point where more advanced techs can be created, bringing the cultural level up with it.

Ultimately it’s the similarities between you and them that have the most chance of doing you in. You are still just as frail and as much a ‘squishy human’ in body as the primitives are. Every method they have for getting rid of an undesirable in their own population will work on you.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Communism Vs. Capitalism

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Any socio-economic system is going to have its good parts and its bad parts.
What really matters is who controls which parts.
And what is the Yin-Yang w/in that particular group in control.
Rule by fear or by benevolence?
Be greedy or be humane?

The problem you have there, is whilst the socioeconomic systems evolve rapidly, human nature evolves extremely slowly. So slowly in fact that it has been completely left behind by the societies we are living in.

That nature is aways going to be the weak link of the chain. Until and unless we can design a society with full knowledge of human psycology, and with intrinsic safeguards in place, our societies are always going to collapse into those in charge doing what they consider is best for their own genetic lines, over and above everybody else.

Unfortunately, we have a snowball’s chance in hell of creating such a safeguarded society whilst those in charge have anything to say about it; for the exact same reasons.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Anonymous

Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

I can’t wait for it to stop being vogue to run around with a Guy Fawkes mask that was made and distributed by Warner Brothers while simultaneously spouting how much you hate corporate media.

You might have to wait a while. The average herd mentality ‘individual’ is none too bright. If it’s not this, it’ll be some other ‘must have’ mentality.

Does make me wonder though. How much anti-corporate hate is just because it is ‘hip’ to do so?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by MarkNutt2012:

What is a god, but a being that is worshiped by those beneath?

I’d say it was possible to consider oneself a god without being worshipped.


Originally posted by beauval:

Just about every god that has been invented appears to have an overwhelming need to be worshiped and to be the recipient of sacrifices, which is pretty narcissistic and childish when you think about it. Would we expect a slug or a frog to worship us?

That’s not the gods doing that though; that’s us. It’s human nature to fear the different, and since we cannot attack and win against something we believe to be impossible for us to attack and kill, it becomes human nature to try to placate it instead; to guess at what it wants, what its intentions are.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Originally posted by Pleasedonot5:

Vika, how would you define “order of magnitude”? I am having difficulty understanding your definition.

Yes, that was entirely my fault, and should teach me not to post tired (opertive word “should”). You cannot talk about orders of magnitude of difference without giving a basis for comparison.

With humans the typical comparison point is the amoeba. A god then being any creature whose capabilities are as far above us (both in terms of complexity and power) as we are above an amoeba.

In reality it doesn’t even have to be that great a difference. The Greecian gods frankly didn’t have a clue what they were doing, and were as petty and about as cognitively powerful as humans. The difference came in that they possessed powers far beyond that any human could hope to achieve and crucially no matter what they did, no human or group of humans would have been able to effectively kill or even inflict lasting harm upon such a being. They were effectively immortal.

This is why a powerful human in our society cannot be a god. Take a leader in industry. They have vast financial powers and can order the creation or destruction of great edifices and communities practically at will. Yet shoot a business leader through the head with a bullet and they’re as mortal as anyone else. That’s not to say a god has to be unkillable, but they must be much more durable than members of the lesser species that considers them as a god.

Take a human, arm them with modern tech, and place them on another world where there are no other humans, and the dominant lifeform is a race of sentient coyotes. They have a non-tool-using civilisation (as they never developed opposable thumbs) and to the coyotes the human’s capabilities are godlike. The human can run faster than any of them (thanks to a personal transport device like a jetpack) lives practically forever (generations of coyotes have come and gone, whilst the human is still there), and the human is immune to bite damage (worn armor).

The coyotes have never seen tool usage, and providing the human never takes their rig off, how would they ever know the human is just a human, and just as squishy as them? To the coyotes all these tools are part of the godlike creature that just joined them.

This is perhaps the most important attribute of a god; it must be surrounded by less durable creatures of lesser capability. You put a thousand extremely powerful creatures of similar capability together, you have a group of equals, with none considering the others to be anything special. You put three augmented humans on that planet of sentient coyotes, and now they’re gods.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Minimum Definition of God

Probably the easiest way to define the lowest level of a god would be “Personal power and durability at least an order of magnitude beyond the capabilities of the lesser species viewing them as a god, and beyond the ability for members of the lesser species to kill them in any obtainable way.”

Once we build a limit to how vague “god” can be become, it becomes possible to actually demonstrate that the concept of god is preposterous.

It’s not preposterous actually. Sure the concept of God is, but that’s because its worshippers have built the capabilities of that particular deity up and up and up over the millennia, until there’s no way any actual deity could meet the expectations.

But the concept of a god in general, is quite sound with numerous ways it could be practically achieved.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Challenges of Online Communication

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Perhaps an internet equivalent could consist of certain types of closed channel communications, such a private messaging systems on the site, or programs that only allow interface between a limited number of people, such as Skype.

I’ve seen a good analogue of that in some online educational virtual environments, which seems to work quite well. The doors of the rooms are encoded to only accept people through them that are on a specific list of usernames. The rooms are zoned so that no chat carried on inside them can be detected outside.

It gives you a standing, permanent structure which has exclusive membership priviledges to only those accounts who are supposed to be there. When it’s time for a new class, the console program deletes the door object and replaces it with a new one with a different list. There’s no collision detection on the interior side of the door, so students can leave the room to log out at any time, but if their name isn’t on the invite list for the new session they cannot get back in. Add in staffmembers with the power to boot any unwelcome persons out of the current room, and it’s fairly effective.

Lets multiple sessions take place simultaneously on the same server, in complete privacy from one another, whilst increasing the feeling of being physically on campus.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Christians and Atheists have one thing in common.

Originally posted by Pleasedonot5:

You can stand by personal observation; everyone does. However you know that personal observation means nothing to everyone else, simply because we do not have access to your experiences, right?

Personal observation of your own internal thought processes is however, the main metric we can use, precisely because it is extremely rare for someone to be in the position where their full internal thought processes can be studied and catalogued externally. It doesn’t help in the least of course, that we’re still not in a position to fully do so.


Originally posted by WorthoftheGirth:

TL;DR: I’m salty because I got wrecked by creationists

The creationist argument is no different than than any other denomination of Christian or pseudo-christian faith, in that they are constructing their god out of whole cloth in their heads. Creationism differs from the others in that they attempt to reverse engineer the world around them by cherry picking scientific research that they can adjust to fit the bible, and discarding that which they cannot adjust to fit the bible, as well as discarding that which disagrees with the bible.

In short, they are creating the nature of their deity themselves, through rose-tinted glasses and sheer force of will.

Still a valid deity, and objectively it does exist – as a collection of mental engrams in the minds of the followers. Without them that deity is completely without power, and without existence.

In short, the creationist deity owes its very existence to its followers and is literally nothing without them. I agree that it does exist, under those terms.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Challenges of Online Communication

Depends on context I suppose.

When your purpose is to work together on a project, such inane questions are a blessing. Usually you nominate one person to prepare for the meeting with a slew of ‘idiot questions’. But if anyone else wishes to chime in with them, it’s fine. Idiot questions are the most inane, stupid, or downright braindead queries imaginable, but they’re all going to be asked by outsiders at some point, and if we address them early in the project, we can design round them.

Other than that a meeting is basically a ‘meet up’ and they are essential when you’re working as part of a team, to ensure you’re all on the same page with your own tasks and your expectations of the other team members. The project leader additionally has a meeting with management to make sure they’re all on the same page as well.

Meetings are basically focussed group communication and they are essential to teamwork on any project that is bigger than a single person. We cannot eliminate them without losing the common ground aspect of teamwork.