Recent posts by vikaTae on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Mystic, to save dragging two threads off topic (and because the original discussion in this one is pretty much finished) I would like to address your post from another thread here.

Originally posted by mysticvortex13:

you honestly think i would be the one to do my work? i’m using trial and error to determine which means will convince someone who has already done the research to be qualified to do my work for me.

The problem is, someone who has already done the ‘research to be qualified’ knows you’re talking bullshit when you make these proposals. You don’t understand basic science and it shows.

This is why you fail to convert people who know what they’re talking about – it’s obvious that you don’t, and are just spouting impractical ideas because they sound utopian, without the first clue what would be involved in creating them, or how they would even function.

my first step is to convince someone smarter than myself that i’m wiser (not in the smart ass way, but in the more inclined to intuitively know the correct path to choose kind of way) than they are.

You have failed.

You will continue to fail until or unless you make the effort to educate yourself in the topics you talk about, and try to understand what will and won’t work and why.

Speaking to experts in a subject as a layperson with no understanding of their field, and expecting them to believe you are wiser than they are, is doomed to eternal failure, and eventually makes you a laughing stock to be dismissed along with anything you might say next.

a 22 year old stereotypical nerd who lives with his mother and hedonizes the day away has no business trying to be an instrument of change

This sentence has pissed me off, Josephine. So, you’re really a male, not a female? Was anything you said to me during our discussions true? Or was it all just an exercise in trolling as others are starting to believe?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

Originally posted by MagicEggplant:

In other words, I have to achieve that much more to have the same standing with someone who may not be as privileged.


I’m a white woman in an extremely technical job. As such, there was a lot of perhaps unintentional bias against believing a woman was capable of pulling her weight as much as a man in this field. There still is, to quite a large degree, depending on what organisation you are currently trying to work with.

As such the rule of thumb for me, was I had to be twice as qualified as a man going for the same position, to even get a chance at getting a foot in the door. It required a lot of willingness to work additional hours without recompense, and willingness to go the extra mile in everything I did to be taken seriously.

These days I work right on the bleeding edge in my particular field and my knowledge of the topic is unquestioned by my peers. These days also, the bars blocking a woman from working in a STEM field are a lot looser than they once were, but they are most definitely still a problem.

It can almost be taken as read that someone coming from a disadantaged social position is going to work his or her butt off above and beyond the call of duty to get the position. Is someone coming from an already-priviledged position going to be doing the same?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

Originally posted by MagicEggplant:

I don’t stand a chance if I’m competing with a black lesbian from Wyoming for a spot in a graduate program, even if I am more qualified.

Of course you do. The trick is to make yourself stand out as much as possible, as a really good investment.

Even with affirmative action schemes in place, there comes a point where it is obvious they cannot afford to pass you up.

Even if affirmative action didn’t exist, you’d still only be one of a legion of candidates for the position, and you’d be in more-or-less the exact same situation, where you have to really sell yourself to make them remember you above all the rest, and say ’that’s the person we need’.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Originally posted by mysticvortex13:

because a homeless person’s pet is taken care of by resources.

if resources were infinite, which with a molecular assembler, they certainly would be, that’s the very point i’m trying to make and i’ve said so in many ways from the very beginning.

Ok, since you’re going to keep bringing it up, let’s look at what would actually be involved in your molecular assembler shall we?

Then we can all see why it is absolutely not going to be able to do what you keep insisting it’ll do.

Your molecular assembler is going to take a stream of absolutely pure atoms of different materials like a printer takes inks ora 3D printer takes fillament. These atoms are vital, as without them no molecules can be assembled and the fabricator cannot make anything. Likewise it is absolutely imperative that each stream has that absolute purity. Even a single atom of the wrong element could potentially be disasterous.

So, where’s it going to get these atom streams from? The logical answer is the environment around us. However, these atoms are not pure; they are mixed in with everything else, and most are already part of various molecular chains. So, you’re going to require a coprehensive system for collecting raw materials from the environment, in places where they won’t be missed. A good choice might be a pipe collecting polluted riverwater as it offers a constant flow of material and a good selection of atoms of different elements. However, an immediate issue is how to keep such a system unclogged, or how to stop creatures trying to nest in or crap in said pipe, blockingthe flow. It’ll have to be carefully designed, and regularly maintained.

The actual separation of individual atoms from this mess, along with their sorting into streams is going to be a major heavy industrial, laborious process. We can safely assume that every set of collection pipes is going to have a massive factory-complex associated with it, and extreme demands for power in order to run the various processes that sort and separate then purify the various elements. It’ll doubtless produce waste of its own, in the form of unusable or hazardous elements by he truckload.

Then we have the logistics of getting these various pure atomic streams to the fabricators. If fabricators are to do the job you’re insisting they’ll do – be available ubiquitously – that means pipes will have to be laid alongside water, power and sewage, going to every home, every business, every building in every town and city, from these factories to the fabricators. Each pipe carrying a different element in pure form.

Laying these pipes will again be a massive undertaking, and maintaining them will be as challenging as maintaining the gas or water networks now. Like said networks, they’ll constantly demand power of their own for pumping purposes.

Then finally we reach the fabricators, complex machines in their own right that build items up atom by atom, pulling from the atom streams, and creating molecules by the billions. They’re going to generate waste heat like nobody’s business, and likewise are going to have enormous power demands, not to mention that of course you’re going to be charged for your use of various atom streams, because producing, purifying, and transporting them up to this point has been a major undertaking of several core industries and likely tens of thousands of jobs.

Now somehow these enormous, powerful, expensive to operate machines, and the heavy industry supporting them, together with power demands savage enough to require an entire secondary power grid, are going to magically make all supply-and-demand problems vanish are they?

Does that really look at all realistic now?
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Originally posted by urine420:
Some specific people lose and win, but the overall societal structure is unshaken.

Which sounds good until you realise societal structure is evolving, driven to a large part by technological progress.

Eg the society of 100 years ago was radically different to the society of now, despire the human participants being relatively unchanged from generation to generation.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How do we get rid of human greed?

Originally posted by mysticvortex13:

well i’ll be… you’re actually right to a certain degree. i’m guilty of cherry picking my article for information that supports my cause and extrapolating it to all things i personally relate to that particular aspect of life… no regard for reality.

Yup, I think we agree on that :P

If you believe this will work, then try it on a population of Mus musculus, alter their genes in ways you believe will achieve what are looking for, and observe the results. Faster, cheaper, and far more likely to be granted laboratory funding than a human model for proof of concept.

but now i see it’s not the only area that must be altered.

Yup, you’ll basically have to reverse engineer the brain and build a new one from scratch with that knowledge, to do what you are trying to do. You’re basically playing whack-a-mole with both the midbrain and the hindbrain with your method, as we are very well aware the brain is heavily distributed-processing based, with some emotional triggers (like the pleasure response) scattered throughout the brain rather than concentrated into one place.

Add in the organ’s tendency towards extreme plasticity, and ability to adapt existing structures into new roles in order to plug gaps where processing regions should be but aren’t, and you’re going to have a hell of a time trying to extract a major set of necessary subsystem from the brain.

But as I said, Mus musculus. Cheap to get ahold of, breed like crazy, brain complex enough and similar enough to ours’ to work, and has a near-identical internal structure including a virtually identical nervous system and a short lifespan.

Do your work on them, and you’ll see applicable results that can be scaled up if your hypothesis holds (which I severely doubt it will).

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Originally posted by TheBSG:

It’s like Vika and I had an extremely anti-authoritarian kid who likes to type paragraphs about future tech instead of the topic.

If I had a daughter, I’d like to think I’d be capable of teaching her that the physical laws of the universe are not something you can decide to just throw out on a whim, and that your desires for future tech have to at least stay grounded in what is actually going to be possible, rather than running off on a flight to fairyland with your design docs.

It would be nice if the solution was kinda remotely relevant to the problem it was trying to solve too.

Originally posted by mysticvortex13:

this is my solution to every problem the world has. genetic modification and molecular assemblers.

See above sentence of my own; neither of these solutions are going to be remotely capable of fixing the problems she tries to apply them to, but then Mystic has continually demonstrated a nonexistant understanding of just about every field of knowledge she’s talked about.

Originally posted by urine420:

technology cannot create revolution, only the people can create an ideal world. pie in the sky thinking about technological gods only results in tools which further benefit the entrenched power structure. The ideas you present are not bad, but they can only operate positively in a non capitalist system

Definitely not true. A disruptive technological wave by its very definition undermines already-existing industries by offering technical capabilities that didn’t exist before, and allow new ways of doing the same things, far more swiftly, cheaply, and often energy-efficiently. It has a tendency to blow the previous industry away, and have a disruptive effect on other, related industries. There are countless examples throughout our race’s history, and if anything, they’re coming more quickly and closer together now.

The actual problem with Mystic’s ideas are twofold:

1. She doesn’t actually understand the physics behind the technology she’s yammering on about, and it shows.
2. She doesn’t actually understand how these technologies could logically be applied, and it shows.

Case in point: Neither a star-trek replicator nor retroviral engineering is exactly going to be of help whatsoever in determining whether a homeless person should be allowed to keep a pet or not. How the heck could they be?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it possible to recreate a person?

Tulrog, before I address your post, I wish to clarify something. Are you as I increasingly suspect, something of a novice when it comes to understanding the workings of the brain and sensorimotor systems? I can address your queries, but will have to phrase things in different ways than I would if I was speaking to Stan, for instance.

By perspective you mean a point of view? Also, you mention ‘this’ neurological system and ‘another’ of the same- is there something that makes neurological systems different?

Wasn’t sure how else to address it. I’ve only experienced the world from the view of inside the central nervous system of this body, experiencing through the peripheral nervous system of the same body. I only have experience of a subset of what this particular physical body has encountered. (That subset determined by what experiences the body has been through, have been noticed by my nervous system.)

An exact copy of my body with an identical nervous system would have a different set of physical experiences, and so that girl would not be the same person as me by a matter of perspective. Hers would be of a different set of thoughts because her experiences would physically be different than mine. This in turn would lead to different thoughts running in her head, despite the hardware actually being physically the same.

There is no way for the experiences of the two bodies to link up, to synchronise. Thus two different individuals form. Even if (when) synchronisation was realistic, the individuals would only be the same person during the actual moments of sync. As soon as they were separate again, they would start to diverge into distinct individuals, precisely because their physical selves were disparate, with different experiences.

The situation becomes even worse when the hardware is physically different, as is the case in genetically dissimilar individuals, and also the case in multiple personality disorder when the different personalities are running on differing sections of the same hardware isolated from one another.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Your view on legalization of Marijuana

Originally posted by MagicEggplant:

I would argue that it should be legal to use any drug that doesn’t put others at risk, including marijuana.

We’re not disputing that. It’s the method you choose to use to gain your fix which is at issue.

for example, if you bake your cannibis into muffins, it’s a good idea to carefully label what they are and/or put them up high, so unaware third parties don’t start helping themselves to pastries which will harm their concentration ability without them being aware its happening. Besides, even cannibis can kill, if it’s consumed by a person with the wrong preexisting condition.

It’s more about responsible use of your drug of choice, then it is about limiting your access to any substance.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it possible to recreate a person?

Finally a few words on what I’d like to read in an answer. As you have seen I’ve avoided exact definitions like my life depended on it. A part of this just comes with the territory. As far as I know there is no way to measure the very core of a person making it difficult to make precise statements.

We know where there is the core of a person but only in general terms. We know where your conscious mind is not, and where it is in the most general sense (the prefrontal cortex). Isolating the exact individual structures responsible is going to take time.

However, your conscious mind is only part of the problem, and you rely on the other structures of the midbrain and cortex to a massive extent. To the point where ‘you’ yourself are just an advisory set of subroutines to a decision-making and record-keeping engine that is majoratively out of your control.

What makes you you, especially in contrast to somebody else?

Perspective. I only have the perspective of life inside this neurological system, and not the perspective of life from inside another neurological system. If we joined two living brains together such that the signals could fleely flow between both, that individuality would likely muuddle very, very quickly.

To what extend can a computer simulate a real person?

In theory? 100%. Though the simulation of a brain is at that point itself not a simulation of a person, but a person, running inside a simulated structure. Yes, I realise it’s a difficult distinction to grasp.

To what extend can a computer with some organic components simulate a real person?

That’s certainly one way of getting around the substrate problem. But again, 100%.

To what extend can an android simulate a real person?

100%, obviously. You’ve already asked if a virtual embodiment can be used to create a person – in theory it absolutely can. So what difference is swapping the virtual embodiment for a physical embodiment honestly expected to make?

Can any of these three possibilities be a real person? If not where to you draw the line?

all three of them hold the possibility to be a ‘real’ person.

If it looks like a duck, moves like a duck, behaves like a duck & thinks like a duck then it’s a duck.

What sort of information can be extracted by scanning a brain? (For example memories, beliefs, emotions). By scanning I mean gathering any form of physical measurement of the brain that doesn’t require interaction with the person itself.

Here I’m confused. In order to scan the activities of a brain you have by definition, to be interacting with that brain. How would you yourself classify EEG, ECoG, fMRI, electronic & optogenetic neuroprosthetics?

If extracting information from the brain is possible: Is it possible to predict the whole life of a person? Some major decisions? His next shopping list? If he will press the green or the red button right after the scan?

Whole life? No. Even by knowing how the system processes data on the most fundamental level, you will not be able to predict what otherwise-unrelated external events will impact upon them.

Predicting decision making by 7-10 seconds before they actually enter the mind is already a thing, but that’s just taking advantage of our understanding of how the brain actually functions, and that the conscious mind is usually the last to be informed of a decision after it has been made.

The next shopping list kind of decision is determinable through psychological screeening – what they think rather than how they think, so yes, already achievable, and online shopping is built round this core concept.

What their decision will be in response to specific stimulii, is again something we can already do, to a high degree of certainty, by understanding how our brains process and categorise sensory information, and observing the pathway activation sequences in the brain. ERP signals are a huge help in that.

Is it possible to change the brain physically and by that change the “person”? Think of false memories, different personalities and beliefs.

Yup, umpteen case-studies have shown this, including the infamous examples of the man who thought his wife was a hat, and the man whose entire personality altered when he was impaled through the head with a rod of metal.

Would it be ok to “change” people against their will? Where would you draw the line?

I would say no, not if you’re talking about physically redrawing their internal circuitry.

As always the rights of one person to do something end when they start to infringe on the rights of another person.

If you went to sleep or went into a coma and got “replaced” without knowing it. Would the new “you” notice any difference?


Only the old one would.

Would you want to “transfer” yourself into a artificial non-decaying body at the cost of killing your former self?

No, there are several theoretical ways of doing so that wouldn’t terminate the original.

Do you think you will wake up one day in the far future because some experiment created an exact copy of your current body?

It wouldn’t be me; it would only be a copy who believed she was me. I would experience nothing as continuation of self would not have occured, in any form.

By contrast when you go to sleep and wake up the next day, continuity of self has occured in chemical neurological form. Your self never fully dissipates. This is not the case when you are simply transferring static data between different systems.

Note: I’ve kept my replies brief to avoid creating a wall-of-text and infuriating some people for doing so (again). If you wish to discuss any aspect in more detail, that’s fine. However as it stands I’m not 100% sure where your own knowledge-level is at, and would like to avoid sounding patronising as well :)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Your view on legalization of Marijuana

Even on your own property your rights may be curtailed. England recently passed a law that bans people from smoking in their own cars if there are children also present in those cars at the time.

Your property after all, exists within the country’s property, so even being on your own property doesn’t necessarily give you the right to invalidate the basic rights of others – and that’s what these sort of laws hinge upon.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Your view on legalization of Marijuana

Originally posted by in_me_mums_car:

if you smoke through a bong you are getting far less chemicals from the combustions process than you would say from smoking a joint.

You’re still getting the cannabinoids, which is the entire problem. Changing the filtration method doesn’t change that basic fact; if it did, the intended user would be unable to use the smoke to get high.

The problem with smoke is it doesn’t all go to the intended user, and even when it does enter their lungs, it comes back out on their breath in the same form it went in. So other individuals in the same immediate area end up inhaling the active ingredients whether they consented to or not.

Even when cannabis is fully legalised, you right to use smoke as a vector to do so anywhere you please will be curtailed. As whilst you have the right to smoke it, you do not have the right to force others to smoke it without their consent.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Heh. Define normal :P

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Heh. It doesn’t work quite like that :p

Also it’s kinda a mistake to assume the subs/slaves are always female.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How do we get rid of human greed?

Originally posted by mysticvortex13:

genetically modifying the amygdalae of all humans on earth would be a surefire way to overcome instinct and emotion, the root of all greed.

Instincts aren’t housed in the amygdala.

However, what you’re asking for is the removal of a pair of relatively massive areas of the midbrain;the only way to get to which is to drill through the brain from outside. If you’re removing that whole section from a living brain, there’s no easy way to deliniate where the amygdala ends and the white matter highways begin. You damage those and you’ve buggered up interdepartmental communications within the brain.

All this would do even if successful, would remove our ability to feel emotions of all sorts, including the ones linked directly to survival. Instincts would be unharmed, though the way they now interact with the rest of the brain would be …interesting. Emotional responses generally moderate the non-reflex instincts, strengthening or weakening their effects.

You’d probably lose greed, but you’d also lose all sense of moderation and other rather handy states. The end-result could very well actually be worse than you started with.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

It doesn’t really help that the OP is the exact same event as in this OP from SD’s front page two threads down at the time of this thread’s posting, where we ascertained the reason the dog was taken was that it was a valuable breed, owned by a Roma gypsy.

That organisation has a history of attacking and harassing Roma gypsies by any means available as they wish the Roma to leave France. So in some ways this was a racially motivated event.

In other ways, as an actual shelter worker in that thread pointed out, the amount the organisation sold the dog for was double the amount a shelter usually charges, and it was sold quickly enough that it’s fairly obvious they already had buyers lined up for that specific breed.

Furthermore, it is questionable if they did a medical check of any kind on the dog, as they were unable to substantiate the ‘drugged’ charges and released no blood workup information of any kind.

It certainly looks to me like this was just a ‘theft to order’, with a bonus side-dish of hate crime.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Water on Mars, and the greed of humans who can't wait to exploit it.

Originally posted by GlassChessX345:

What I fear is humanity might get a little too greedy and try to dig in too deep for resources and release the original biological entities that were previously hidden from our plain sight. That might cause some problems for our future Colonists if the Martian entities found themselves to be compatible with the Earth-like environment and started spreading themselves out.

Lots and LOTS of ifs there, and you know it :)

A big one is if they do exist, are these microbes going to be compatible with an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere? After all, Mars does not have any analogue of that whatsoever, and if they are feeding off deep vents they’ll have evolved to derive their nutrients from an incompatible molecular source to oxygen. Exposing such creatures to our atmosphere would in all likelihood send them dormant or starve them outright.

Honestly, I doubt there’s a single existing ecosystem at all. It depends greatly on the exact nature of the compounds in the saline, and the conditions for life in general. It’s just too hostile an environment.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Water on Mars, and the greed of humans who can't wait to exploit it.

Originally posted by baconxdvrdx:

But they say the surface feels like places in specific seasons like wet sand on Earth.

Really? Who does? Your link certainly does not. Neither does any other source using the data I’ve come across – including the data itself. Perhaps try reading your own links?

Why does humanity assume Mars is its to do as it pleases?

Because there is no other sentient life in the equation. Uninhabited world = usable resource.

If there’s heavily salinated water present, it means it is going to be easier to distil fresh, drinkable water from that. Note that easier != easy.

It also raises the possibility that life might have evolved on Mars, but it’s folly in the extreme to claim that Mars has a planetary biosphere as you seem to be trying to do – the data simply does not support that.

At absolute best, we may be talking about small pocket biospheres down deep where there’s an energy source to exploit. Sunlight certainly isn’t going to be one, that far out. By the time you hit Mars, the sun is not that much brighter than any other star in the sky.

Pockets of native bacteria feeding off underwater vents in various subsurface lakes or ponds is probably the absolute most we could hope for. Certainly nothing that would likely be at all disturbed by our presence on the planetary surface or near-surface tunnels.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

The pet ofthe homeless person does wonders to improve their mental helath; gives them a friend to talk to, and someone to take care of.

That very aspect of believing they have to take care of another, tends to put more suicidal thoughts on hold, as a good example.

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Why not have those charities also cover the care of the pets of the homeless on roughly the same principal? Or have the local humane society partner up with the local homeless shelter.

There are already some charities that basically do this. The PDSA springs to mind immediately. Entirely donation-run, clients ‘give a donation of whatever they can afford’. If that is nothing, so be it. Donations behind the scenes take care of the rest.

The PDSA doesn’t have the best care standards in the world – if an issue is complex and is going to require lengthy or costly treatment, their vets tend to opt for putting the animal to sleep instead, but the service is still miles better than nothing at all.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Originally posted by beauval:

Oh dear, James. If you think vika’s post was more than just slightly tongue in cheek, you have much to learn.

Indeed. I was quite honest and very, very serious James :)

I get the suspicion that you don’t quite grasp just how far-spread such lifestyles are.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Not in owner-pet relationships James. The sub/slave is entirely under the thumb of the owner. By choice they put themselves there, yes, but it requires a great deal of personal discipline and mental stability on the part of the owner to consider their pet’s needs in everything they do. Likewise the pet considers the owner in everything they do.

If that discipline and work isn’t there, that’s when human pets start suffering extensive psychological trauma, dying, or both.

It’s also why it cannot be a mainstream thing without literally untold amounts of suffering by well-meaning idiots trying to control other’s minds & lives when they cannot even control their own.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Well, James asked directly for my thoughts on the matter Mafefe. If you’d actually read the posts above yours once in a while, you might actually understand what’s going on.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / About the recent Super-moon Lunar Eclipse...

Originally posted by Kasic:

Every single time these same morons freak out over the moon.

It won’t be long now before these same folks see ‘confirmation’ of their beliefs as a second sign appears in the coming months. Leaves on trees will start to turn russet colours (red, orange, yellow, brown) and begin to harden and fall from trees. As the trees expose bare branches to the sky and crispy leaves litter the ground, what else could it be than the end of days?

It might even snow in places some months after that, which is surely a third confirmation, no?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / About the recent Super-moon Lunar Eclipse...

I love these batshit-crazy end of the world pronouncements. Some people must lead such rotten lives that they are anxious for it all to end – for them, and for everyone else as well.

There are lists all overthe place of the thousands upon thousands of times religious cults and extremists all throughout history have been dead-certain the world was about to end in fire.

These for example, never fail to make me smile:

1914: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Armageddon.
1915: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Armageddon.
1918: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Armageddon.
1920: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Armageddon.
1925: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Armageddon.
1941: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Armageddon.
1975: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Armageddon.


If we keep saying random years often enough, eventually one of them is bound to be true, by law of averages. Hopefully.

We really need the world to end to save us from looking stupid.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should homeless people be allowed to keep pets?

Heh, those who know me are well aware I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with such arrangements, to the point my home’s been built to accomodate them :)

Yes I am totally fine with keeping of humans as pets, particularly if there’s a lot of love on both sides of the arrangement. Owned and owner. Live-in consentual slavery, yadda yadda yadda.

It’s a perfect lifestyle for some who crave it, but it is absolutely not something that’s suitable for everyone, nor should it be. A great deal of hard work on both sides of the arrangement is the norm.