Recent posts by vikaTae on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should shark fishing be banned?

Originally posted by thijser:

Personally I don’t really like the idea of becoming non-organic(although my current projects are not really supporting this view as I’m currently working on augemented reality and might (depening on the group I end up in and my personal choice) after the summer start working on an artifical limb for a minor).

Ooh. Who might you be interning with? Active or passive prosthetic?

I also don’t think it’s something we will be able to do within less then the 100 years I think we have left until our food supply is damaged to the point that we will be unable to futher afford research in this area (research requires exess production capacity something we likely will not have during a mass extinction).

I doubt things will come to a head that quickly. The ball’s rolling, but it’s still got a long ways to go. We’ll probably hit a severe resource crunch this century, and global climate change will be redefining coastlines most likely within 200 years. In the middle of that lot will be increasing desertification, crop failures, extinction of many bee species, et cetera. I’d guestimate we have a couple of centuries before it reaches the point where our species’ very survival is questionable.

It sounds like a long time when you say it like that, but it’s really not, especially when you look at the sorts of knowledge we will have to have by that point if we wish to weather the storm, versus the levels of knowledge we have now.

It’s long-term resource availability that’s going to be the main problem that will slow us down, as we have significant research capability now but there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to afford to keep those capability levels going long-term as the various countries battle for resource aquisition to keep their economies going strong. So it’s kinda a “do the research now, rather than put it off till later” kindof thing, and makes it incredibly annoying every time a country (yes, I’m looking at you, United States) decides to scale back the number and type of scientific programs it is willing to fund for political reasons.

I think the future might be in this case in either becoming better at keeping food in greenhouses while making sure the species required for this make it through (bees for example would be very useful and sadly they are in trouble).

Vertical farming in self-contained skyscrapers is certainly one avenue being explored. Problem is, we are decidedly crap at maintaining artificial biospheres, and vast amounts of more research and expensive practical trials are needed in this area, so we can create sustainable artificial ecosystems. Right now the collective amount of research in that area amounts to bupkis. Biosphere 2 was the last serious experiment in the area, and the sheer number of problems and minor disasters that hounded the project made it very, very clear how far we have yet to go in understanding how to create a sustainable closed ecosystem.

Despite the realisation that we are so far from being able to create viable artificial biospheres, that was the last serious such project to be funded. Since Biosphere 2’s experiments were halted, just over a decade ago, no new projects have been started, nor are there any in the pipeline. We can’t really afford such complacency, to sit on our laurels, and hope both the financial resources and time are available in later years when the dieback is more blatantly obvious.

As far as picking one species goes I favor a system that they have been trying in the south of France where they declare large track of water as complete “no take zones” meaning that nothing can be taken from there (at all). This actually improved the amount of fish the fisherman were able to take outside of the area by so much that it offset their inability to fish in these areas. There were now planning to extend this as a checkerboard pattern(tiles of 1 by 1 km)to cover more areas of the sea and improve both wildlife and food supply. It was however met with a lot of resitance of the fisherman who believed it wouldn’t help and by the fact that a few people who fish illegally can ruin it.

That sounds like a good idea. Presumably a wireless ad-hoc sensor network would greatly help in monitoring the water zones, and triggering an alert if human activity wanders in. The challenges of covering 1km square bodies of open water with wireless sensors, not have them float off and still be able to monitor the surface, are sadly, not insignificant.

Perhaps a lagrangian network of buoys would work best, tracking large wave displacements such as produced by a boat passing where it’s not supposed to be passing would be one of the most efficient ways of monitoring the situation. Minimal upkeep, maximal coverage.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by thijser:

Yes but we are also not able to pull bring the third world up to speed with the first world. So what makes you think that you would be able to pull it off with a population that is even futher behind?

Because we can bring the third world up to the standards of the first world (well, sort-of, there aren’t enough resources left for everyone to have the same levels of luxury), but there’s no incentive to do so. If you’re starting again, there essentially is nothing but the third world, and if the people you bring with you, wish to have the level of lifestyle they’ve been accustomed to, or perhaps more aptly give their kids that quality of life, then once you’ve made the jump, there’s no choice but to follow through, as there’s no turning back.

Heck of an incentive to see things through, right there.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

It cannot be pulled off in the present because in the present the industrial revolution already happened, and it’s a bit difficult to pre-empt something that already happened, unless you go back in time to a point before it happened.

This also means all environmental damage caused by the industrial revolution cannot be prevented from happening in the present, and could only be prevented from happening, by going back into the past before it occurred.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by thijser:

And if you bring enough people to form a genetically stable colony then what will prevent your people from taking a “illegal imigrant” view towards the native population? Seeing as they will likely be poorly educated and in general unaware of the culture in your colony? Especially seeing that if your wish to do something like that what is to prevent you from doing this right now? There are plenty of people in poor areas of the world with plenty of resources but just now the knowledge to exploit it.

The main advantages are being able to alter the planet’s technological history and use current knowledge to prevent inefficient resource depletion and manmade climate change triggered when we acted without thinking – including biosphere collapse.

These aspects demand time travel being used to go back into the past, and could not be carried out in the present.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by thijser:

That could work but would ask a lot more from the time travel tech, moving 1 human + laptops is a lot easier then moving an entire heavy manufacturing facility.

The time travel tech wouldn’t work anyway, as the planet is not occupying the same space if you go back even a few fractions of a second. But if we could do this, let’s do it properly.

And I think it’s going to be difficult to gain all supplies needed to keep your base running. Your facility would likely require almost every single resource on the periodic table, and it will be difficult to place your base in such a way that you have access to all of them. So you will likely need several bases for this plan which in turn will likely be seen as an allien invasion by the people of that time likely invoking a war

Agreed. Hence why a full military-industrial complex would be needed. I tend to have a pessimistic view of human nature in response to the unknown, and a flotilla of mile-long metal ships making unheard-of noises together with strange metal beasts belching fire or spinning rotors in the sky is, to the population of a primitive socity, about as unknown as it gets.

Absolute worst-case scenario, we’d need enough people with us, to form a genetically stable core colony, and bring the young of other societies into our group. Not my preferred way of doing things, but it’s a fallback plan if neccessary.

and even if that doesn’t happen you would need to ensure that the people in charge keep the same set of morals you set at the beginning. If a coupe occurs then you might just end up setting up the most tyranical ruler in history.

Yup. But that’s a risk I would prefer to take, as I don’t see running ramshod over another’s civilisation as an option. If they don’t have the freedom to self-govern are we really bringing a boon, or a curse?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by thijser:

Well I think that the time around the world wars would be the time you can set these systems. Before the industrial revolution there would be no reliable way to power your devices, no easy way of printing your stuff and no easy way of getting towards these untapped resources (all depended of course on what you can take with you, if you can have a solar car+boat and several laptops and printers and a paper machine and a large supply of inkt cartiages/refueling system/spare parts then no problem).

I was more considering things like a portable nuclear reactor and a supply of fuel cells. Electric-powered mining vehicles, truck-based refining and heavy manufacturing facilities. Possibly just go a different route and pack an old, retrofitted oil tanker with all the equipment and food supplies necessary to get an industrial base off the ground from scratch with no external support, and keep it self-sufficient, then shove the ship itself through the time travel portal. Multiple ships if it’ll take them, including military vessels.

I am literally talking here about a mobile industrial revolution. Don’t rely on the capabilities of the time, but take them all with me en-masse. This is why earlier would be better; both so that easily accessible resources are not currently being exploited, and so we don’t have to reeducate natives to unlearn the way of doing things they’ve learned.

So I highly doubt this system will allow you to transfer information for more then 100 years.

It will if the entire support system including sufficient population to use the knowledge on the system, go with me. That would be the entire point of taking so much. We have the knowledge (literally as much of the net as we could store, and as many dead-tree style resources as we could obtain digital copies of), and have the equipment to set up a heavily defendable, self-sufficient, highly technological community that can realistically defend itself from whatever capabilities the significantly less advanced societies around us have. Another advantage to aiming for earlier in civilisation’s history is the capabilities of surrounding civilisations would be drastically reduced in comparison, so if things did go sour we would have overwhelming technological superiority to politely ask them to bugger off.

From there it’s a case of expanding our influence, and teaching the people of the groups around us. Not touching their government systems; let them self-govern as they see fit. It’s a cultural ability fast-tracking, not an invasion force. Prove ourselves by our abilities, and willingness to bring their basic knowledge and capabilities up to our level, as swiftly as is safe for them, whilst letting their societies continue to self-govern.

Wouldn’t be compatible with the goals of every society, but enough more primitive civilisations could be transformed in a lifetime of effort to make the process worthwhile.

Drop in in the early middle ages, and we might even be able to skip that 800-year odd period where scientific progress was unheard of. It’s a good time when most of the older civilisations’ capabilities are long-forgotten and an age of regression is at hand.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Communism Vs. Capitalism

Communism and capitalism are actually quite compatible, and the best systems seem to be a hybrid of them.

Consider if you will, a cooperative firm where every member owns an equal share of the business, and has a direct incentive to do their best to grow the business as it benefits them directly. Quite common in small village firms, and some smaller supermarkets.

That cooperative is then one firm of many all vying for business in a capitalistic system.

At the top of that capitalistic system, the local government regulates what businesses can and cannot do, on the basis that all citizens under its care have equal rights, and because they are equal, certain practices that would undermine that equality are completely out of the question.

It’s not pure capitalism, nor pure communism, but a mixing of the two systems, that produces a much more flexible system than either is capable of doing alone.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should shark fishing be banned?

Originally posted by thijser:

And Vika I doubt we will be able to prevent a mass extinction nor do I think we are at the beginning of one, I think we are already in the middle of one, we have already killed between 10 and 25% of all species alive before the industrial evolution. That is a speed not matched by any other mass extinction, and a mass extinction seems almost inevitable now even if all man made objects and all humans were to disappear overnight.

I doubt we will either, but we might be able to slow it. Buy time to find a way out of this hole we’ve dug for ourselves. But protecting individual species won’t do that. We need to protect entire biospheres, in fact go further than protecting them and help them recover, if we wish to slow the cascade collapse. It’ll still collapse, as the biospheres interact with one another, and a collapse in one will disrupt adjacent systems regardless of what we do.

But, if we’re going to do that, it has to be an all-out endeavor. If we’re just going to pick and choose individual species without thinking about the role they play in the environment; the species supporting them and the species they support, then we might as well not bother, as it’s not going to work. We’d end up entirely artificially breeeding and feeding that species, whilst the biosphere still collapses around our ears – and then what are we going to feed it? Because by that point food for our own use is going to be a very major problem.

I think that our best bet is really in massive research project in food production independent of the normal food chain. Combined with ensuring that at least a group of key species can survive we might make it through.

This is one reason (of many, many reasons) I’m so interested in changing our substrate. If we assume that systemic collapse of the ecosystem is inevitable (which given human nature to ignore a problem until we’re staring into the looming maw of the abyss directly, is the most likely outcome), then one way to survive it might well be to break ourselves free of the organic foodchain.

If we don’t have to be organic based any more, it opens up possibilities for more of our population to survive such an event. If we can get to the point where organic and inorganic can work side by side, then we’ve got a way to return to our current state once the planet has recovered (and given that this is the sixth massive dieback, it is very likely to recover … eventually).


As an aside, I’m not necessarily saying that the above solution is the best one. It’s just that I’d prefer to have as many options on the table as possible, so there are multiple different ways to survive this mess we’ve made for ourselves, and survive in sufficient numbers that we still have a civilisation to work with. Personally, I’d take the inorganic route, but just because I would take it does not mean I would recommend it for everyone else.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

It’s a fair idea thijser. I would be leery of supplying information to companies rather than to governments personally, but that’s more because I trust companies to only cherry-pick what is profitable to their existing speciality, whereas a government is more likely to take anything useful.

I think how I would do it, is I’d use our knowledge of which areas of the world were unpopulated or scarcely populated at the time, along with which areas had at-the-time untapped resource deposits, and assemble a sizable team plus mobile infrastructure to take with me. I wouldn’t be planning on returning to my own time afterwards, and would instead set up a new power with these resources, so I had a base from which to distribute knowledge.

I’d still distribute it rather than hoard it; not looking to take over the world’ operations for myself, but I think with a strong infrastructure behind me, and a defensible position by our standards, nevermind by theirs, I would be in a much better position to guarantee I could rapidly accelerate the development of the world, and skip things past some of the mistakes made along the way.

In fact, if I was doing that, I think going back further in time, prior to the world wars would be the way to go. Prior to the chaos of the industrial revolution.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Children

Originally posted by CaptMilkshake:

There are 3 types of children.
1. The good ones that respect their elders
2. The little bratty ones that don’t know their place. (these are often the ones you see cursing on the playground in kindergarten)
3. The kids that cry over the littlest things.

Is this your own theory, please? I did a little digging, and cannot find any academic resources claiming the same as what you are claiming. Since this is essentially child psychology, academic resources seemed the best place to look.

This was the closest I could find to what you are claiming:


  • Easy or flexible children are generally calm, happy, regular in sleeping and eating habits, adaptable, and not easily upset. Because of their easy style, parents need to set aside special times to talk about the child’s frustrations and hurts because he or she won’t demand or ask for it. This intentional communication will be necessary to strengthen your relationship and find out what your child is thinking and feeling.
  • Difficult, active, or feisty children are often fussy, irregular in feeding and sleeping habits, fearful of new people and situations, easily upset by noise and commotion, high strung, and intense in their reactions. Providing areas for vigorous play to work off stored up energy and frustrations with some freedom of choice allow these children to be successful. Preparing these children for activity changes and using redirection will help these children transition (move or change) from one place to another.
  • Slow to warm up or cautious children are relatively inactive and fussy, tend to withdraw or to react negatively to new situations, but their reactions gradually become more positive with continuous exposure. Sticking to a routine and your word, along with allowing ample time to establish relationships in new situations, are necessary to allow independence to unfold.

It’s not saying the same that you are, but it is close. The difference is in the details, and if it is the view you’re referencing, I think you may have misunderstood what they are trying to say.

You view it from the child’s developmental perspective, not from whether they ‘respect their elders’ or not. That metric is too generic, and doesn’t actually cover the development of the child’s mind, but just how they appear to a casual outsider. It doesn’t tell you what’s really going on, or how best to work with them.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

I’m sure Jan reads all of YOUR posts….lol
What was it he calls them…..techno babble?

Yup, and it’s a fair point. Reminds me I have to work harder at communicating tech-heavy topics more effectively. It might be a difference in our mindsets Karma, but I appreciate such a view. Especially when I can see he’s not trolling, and it’s a genuine grievance.

If he’s voicing that it’s a struggle, odds are others are struggling as well, and not voicing that. So, if these people are still making the effort to read my posts, then I figure its the least I can do to try and meet them halfway. It benefits me in the long run too, to have practice at explaining these subjects to a non-technical audience, and hopefully get better at doing that.

And, YOU wonder why I have the two of you on mute.

Actually I don’t wonder that. I have worked the pattern out, you know. I’m certain most of the others have too. You mute someone the first time they openly disagree with you, then it’s a struggle to get unmuted, only to be muted again the next time they disagree with you. Others handled this in their own way; I’d fallen into the trap of not arguing with you if I disagreed because I didn’t see it as worth the shitstorm that always followed. A semblance of friendship with you basically meant not calling you out on anything.

It is quite amazing how well Jan can respond to posts that he automatically skips over.
Personality disorder much?

If you check, he responded to my post, not yours. He’s quoting sections of mine, then responding to them underneath. So there’s no logical break present there.

BWT, I also skip over material I find not worthy of my time/effort to read.
And, guess what….petty shit personal attacks the two you make certainly; religiously; automatically fall into that realm.

That’s your perogative. You are welcome to hide all posts I make if you wish to. Like yourself I’m a major presence on this forum, and I’m well aware that may mean I am an unwelcome sight to some. That I’m unwelcome to some elements of the forum, such as the trolls and timewasters I could care less about. But, if those who do not fall into the above categories take the time to read my posts, then I feel it is my duty to keep an eye on how I express myself and try (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so) and moderate my own behavior. Show courtesy in trying to make it a pleasant read where possible, and try and keep my exasperation either to myself, or fling it at specific targets when keeping ire to myself proves impossible.

If I cannot do this, then I cannot expect my posts to be read, and if I cannot expect my posts to be read, what am I even doing here?

Still, it is a digital medium and that makes the content fairly fluid. If anyone does wish to mute my posts, (or any other user’s posts) information how, and a link to the script to do it can be found here. The script will prevent specified users’ posts from being displayed at all, on your computer. Be aware it may break the conversational flow.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by thijser:

raises hand
Anyway if you could go back in time then wouldn’t you just be able to take the tech with you? I mean a set of computers containing the combined scientific articles of the last 70 years would speed up research more then preventing ww2 would slow it down.

It’s not a bad idea. I can only see two potential flaws.

1. If a computing device from the 2200s was dumped in our laps today, would any of us have any idea how to access the thing? All the knowledge is on it, but would we be able to figure out how to connect a power supply to it, then access the files in an order that made any progressive sense?

2. The second flaw is more morally dubious. In order to see the data on the computer’s drive put into action, we’d need a large research and manufacturing base. That means securing the cooperation of a country in existence at the time. There’s only one country that comes to mind in that era that would have a vested interest in obtaining knowledge of all manner of (to them) entirely unconventional technologies and capabilities. Giving that country access to 70 years’ worth of R&D would completely negate any benefits gained from killing off their historical leadership, and pretty much guarantee they would win the ensuing conflict.


Raise your hand if you automatically skip over Karma’s posts.

I do still read them. Occasionally I find useful nuggets in there, even if the vast majority is normally extremely predictable, or unpleasant. Despite his claims otherwise, I usually read his links as well, unless it’s yet another pointless youtube link. I come here looking for offbeat points of view after all.

Well that, and I cannot get greasemonkey to work properly with the version of firefox I run through the proxy. Without greasemonkey, I can’t run the scripts to autohide posts. It’s either use my real ip address here, or don’t autohide posts, and I heh, kinda lack the willpower not to read them if they’re visible :)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

What the fuck, vika?
If you are gonna QUOTE me, at least do it right.

Why bother, when it’s obvious the whole thing’s just your usual pet rant topic? We’ve all got one. I’m aware I bring my own into things too much and am trying to work on that. But I also try to only bring it in when it’s germaine to the topic. You spent five paragraphs ranting about the American capitalistic model and how the people need to wake up to where the money is flowing. How is that at all relevant to the topic of the thread?

If you aren’t able to see how what I said IS ON TOPIC & adds to the thread, then that simply speaks to how your mind is limited to seeing your biases.

Fair enough. I’m too stupid to understand how the ‘robber barons’ of the US are hoarding all the money that belongs to the people, and thepeople need to wake up and rise back against the oppressors, is at all relevent to the discussion of killing Hitler or Nobel, to prevent a holocaust.

Why don’t you explain it, since I’m too stupid to see how they’re the same topic?

What now? Because I don’t see your MEDICAL MARVELS as being all that necessary to humanity as you do.

Yea, medical marvels. That’s what it’s about. Medical marvels like the battery, or the automobile, or the written word. Medical marvels like agriculture in inhospitable terrain, or the microprocessor. All medical marvels. Yup.

esp if it means jumping into war w/o doing all that is possible (killing Hitler as a child) to not do so. If you want to see such advancements better funded, then a much better attitude from the wealthy towards the little guy and his diseases/health needs might actually be a better direction to go.

That’s my whole argument right there. Money is only available in spades for new innovations when it is in the immediate interests of the purse-holders to do so. Imminent catastrophy if they don’t open the purse strings is the only guaranteed motivator. Human self-interest at work.

So, every time there is a yawning abyss right in front of us that the existing methods won’t deal with, out come the purses, and every new idea that sounds workable is funded.

It’s not workable to say “we’ll just mind-control the wealthy into doing whatever we say”, though I guess that answers Janton’s question about whether or not you would see that as a valid means to reach your goals.

And, it was the Chinese that “invented” Gunpowder … if you want to go to the source for propulsion of a killing object.

So you need to find that individual who invented gunpowder and put a bullet in their brain. Another vector for war averted. Another truly gamechanging technology eliminated.

Nobel intended his invention to be used for construction.

Doesn’t matter what he intended it for, matters what it was used for. Therefore you travelling back and putting a bullet in Alfred Nobel’s brain before he could invent it would be justified according to your own logic. With him dead, his invention doesn’t get made, and another tool that winds up getting used for war, no-longer exists.

Any invention that used his as a base, no-longer exists. Such as the nuclear warhead, which used the capabilities of conventional plastic explosives as the trigger. Einstein’s formula was no good without access to compounds that could create the necessary focussed blast waves.

My point in my rant was to show just how evil Man can be and to what ends he will use most anything intended for peace to become a vile tool.

There’s your answer right there then. The inventor of the spear, the inventor of the bow&arrow, the inventor of the atlatl. The inventor of the sword, the inventor of the cart, the inventor of bricks, the inventor of food preservation. Each and every one of those can be weaponised, and its weaponisation led to deaths. If you put a bullet in the brain of every single inventor, before they could invent their invention, think of all the lives you’ll save.

Sure you’ll lose 10x over (probably a 1000x over) lives for every life you save, every time you purge a gamechanging technological or social innovation from history, but it’s all worth it in the name of peace, right?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

long, completely off-topic rant about the evils of capitalism and how the American people need to ‘wake up’ to the wealth inequality gap

Aside from it being your favorite topic to rant about, Karma, how exactly did that add to the thread?


Originally posted by crossbower97:

Speaking about bombs, how about Nobel? The guy who invented dynamite that ultimately led to the creation of bombs and the usage of explosives in war. Why should we not shoot him, he killed millions due to his invention. What makes him a lesser villain than Hitler?

When you put it that way, absolutely nothing. His inventions end up killing more people than Hitler did (Hitler himself used derivatives of Nobel’s inventions to kill many). You could even argue that the development of nuclear weapons owes much to his work, as the multiple shaped charges that trigger the initial compression wave are very much in his field.

You could also go right back in time, and kill anyone who invented the concept of using tools to hunt, since it is clear that our use of tools in violent pursuits resulted in untold billions being killed. Imagine how many lives could be saved if we prevented mankind from ever using tools.


Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

IMO a better question might be, if you had the power to force a country’s will, mind control, would you use it?

Personally? Absolutely not. Enslaving other minds to my own as drones is absolutely against my philosophy in every regard. The wide variety of thought patterns between individuals and wide disparity of goals is a strength (assuming you can prune out the more extreme viewpoints). A single unitary mind loses that strength, and in exchange for a singularity of purpose, you are left with only a single set of views on how to tackle any given problem, losing the benefit of dissenting viewpoints.

Oh, wait. There’s Edison. He was in it totally for the money, but hey, that’s one.

There are innumerable inventors who try to make changes. There was one invention about five years back that stuck in my mind: translator glasses. A person speaks in front of the wearer, microphone in the glasses picks up what’s being said and runs it through google translate, displaying the translated words visually on the screen of the glasses. It fell by the wayside because the inventor was unable to secure funding to finalise the prototype and take it to market. It was a new paradigm, and at the time the existing methods of translation were ‘good enough’ with no urgenct need to try a new method of cross-culture understanding, so money to develop it further was going to be difficult to come by.

You are right though in that sometimes game-changing discoveries are made and successfully pushed through without conflict being present, but as you’ve noted yourself they are rare, and far between. Even then they’re relying on a foundation level of tech that is itself, usually adversity-derived.

The modern version of Thomas Eddison would probably be Ray Kurzweil. Same frankly brilliant mind, same sort of business sense with those inventions, and string of companies to his name. However, the inventions of the two men are radically different, to a large part because the available technology to use as a foundation is so different. I think it’s very safe to say that without the war-driven developments that came out of Bletchley Park, not a one of Ray’s inventions would have been possible, as they are, to a one, microprocessor based.

Think how little Eddison could have achieved if battery tech for example, was nonexistant in his lifetime.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Way To End All Crime

Originally posted by champion17:

@vik

If your saying your reactions to certain situations are already pre-determined by the brain I have to disagree with you.

Good thing I am not claiming that then :)

If I was claiming that, I wouldn’t have neuroscience itself at my back. What I am claiming, is that the decisions we think we’re making, we’re not making. The decision to act is made completely outside our conscious control, in another part of the brain entirely, then given to us wholesale after it has been put into operation. For that claim, the science has my back, as the previous links I have given to the evidence, testify.

Decision making is not something we have any direct control over. We can feedback that “it was a good idea to act that way because…” or “it was a bad idea to act that way because…”, but that’s as much control over our actions as we ever get. Pure feedback. The actual decision itself is never made at a conscious level. We can tell this because activity starts in a different area of the brain to where the conscious mind lives. This activity transmits out, striking other areas of the brain which in turn send commands to the muscles to move, seconds before the activity is also transmitted to our conscious minds.

Because the decision has already been both decided on and put into play before our conscious mind has been given a copy of the decision (in other words before we’re even aware ‘we’ have decided) the decision cannot originate in our conscious minds.

Further the circuitry that does do the deciding, is not in a part of the brain where new pathways based on environmental stimulii are laid down. It’s in a part of the brain where our genetics and our gene expression are the sole deciding factors in what circuits will be laid down. The way our brains process data to make these decisions is thus determined by our genes, rather than our experiences. Our experiences still supply the data to be processed, but they don’t control the manner in which that data is processed.

  
Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

I’m confused. What does inherent traits like strength, intelligence, sexual vigor, passed on via ones genetics, have to do with racial supremacy?

I’m glad I’m not the only one seriously confused by that claim. It seems to be something along the lines of “The Nazis used reality during the pursuit of their goals. Therefore reality is inherently evil, and must be abandoned.”

Modern neuroscience is empirical evidence based. There’s no other way to reverse engineer the brain, than to examine how it actually works, and dismantle it piece by piece, examining how each piece fits together in the function of the whole. Jim’s claim is that makes the field inherently racist and I really do not understand where that viewpoint is coming from.

 

Topic: Serious Discussion / Buy real and fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps,birth certificates,diplomas,Visas

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should shark fishing be banned?

Originally posted by dd790:

Let’s just hope Homo sapien is one of the species that gives way to something better

So long as there’s still time to reembody those of us who would prefer to survive the extinction of homo sapiens, I can certainly drink to that!


but yes, if most complex life dies out because the biospheres are severely compromised, then homo sapiens certainly won’t be immune from the dieback. We are not even remotely near as disconnected from the food cycle as we seem to think we are.

Banning hunting of one species or a handful of species isn’t going to cut it as a solution. Environmental preservation is something that will have to be done either holistically, or not at all. Otherwise, it’s akin to trying to bail the boat out with a bucket when a half dozen torpedoes have blown holes in the hull.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should shark fishing be banned?

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

The reality of it is, if you can trust what them thar “scientists” say, that species come & go; and, nature is still alive and well.

[snip]

She might have done it by killing off the more dominate life form(s) and “starting all over from scratch”.

There is mounting evidence that we are in the early stages  of a sixth mass extinction event.

If so, then yes nature is ‘cleaning house’ of all more complex lifeforms, and we have a serious problem on our hands.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should shark fishing be banned?

Originally posted by beauval:

It’s not just the Chinese who eat sharks. I used to be partial to rock salmon, which was a cheap and popular fish.

Heh, you know I never realised rock was a species of shark. I’ve eaten that plenty of times; it’s got a much stronger flavor than cod, and far less bones to fiddle with than skate. So I’m just as guilty as beauval and the Chinese, of diminishing the shark population, whoops.

Preserving their culture is going to be important in securing the cooperation of the Chinese, I suspect. So, we’re either looking at cloning farms to replicate the fish just for the decorative bit (wasteful), or gene splicing the code for the desired structure onto another creature so it can be harvested more easily. Use mice for the donor tissue most likely as their genome has been explored forwards, backwards, upside down and inverted, and the practice is rather common.

The absolutely critical bit would be coming up with a way of mass producing the desired pieces of flesh more cheaply than they can be gained from ocean fishing. Do that and you can kick the feet out from under the ocean harvesting operations.

But whichever method of dealing with the problem is chosen, it’ll have to be started sooner rather than later, whilst we still have the actual shark species genome to work with. Once they are extinct, or near-as-damnit extinct, it’ll be far too late to find healthy specimens to extract the code from.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Way To End All Crime

Jim

Originally posted by jim_vierling:

The brain is an organ. It has no more bearing on who you are than your heart or your liver.

In the same way as the processors are just parts of a computer, sure. Strip every microprocessor out of your computer system, and lock them away. It’ll still boot up and run all your programs just fine, I’m sure. Just look at all that data streaming through those registers that aren’t there anymore.

The brain is an organ yes, but by far the most important one you have. It is where all your thinking is done. The central processing system for the entire body. You are just a tiny part on top, quite near the front.

There is no preprogrammed center of your brain making decisions for you.

Prove it. Please do. I’ve proven there is, many times now, throughout the course of this thread. Yet you still refuse to provide any data at all, to back up your claims. Why is that, I wonder?

I’ve asked you multiple times to do so, and each time you’ve steadfastly ignored my request in your otherwise detailed replies. Strange that, don’t you think?

  

beauval

Originally posted by beauval:

If you were about to walk off a cliff, wouldn’t your subconscious stop you as a matter of urgent self preservation?

No. This is one of the curious things about our brains, and also one of those major, major design faults I was moaning about earlier. Other than the feedback from the prefrontal lobe, your brain has no way of dealing with abstract data, such as “if I fall off this cliff, I am going to fall to my death”.

So, if you see you’re near the cliff edge with time to spare, your mind has time to process this fact, dump the sensory information into the decision making regions, from there have the information dumped into the prefrontal, and dump the secondary sensory information from the prefrontal, back into the decision making regions by a ludicrously roundabout route to supply the necessary sensory information that if we do this, we’re going to die.

However it is just sensory feedback, much like the mass of other senses. If you don’t register that you’re near the cliff edge, and your conscious mind doesn’t process this fact, your brain literally has no data telling it that if it walks off the edge, it’ll die, and you’ll walk right off of it blithely.

The brain knows the cliff is there. Visually you’ve seen it, audibly you’re hearing whatever is down at the bottom of it. You’re feeling the air currents, proprioception is telling your brain your footing is unsteady. But it lacks that abstract connection.

If you realise you’re going over the cliff as you’re going over, it’s too late. Your mind knows what is happening, but it still has to send that information down into the rest of the brain, and the rest of the brain will make the decision. Ironically the area that needs to know is in the cerebrum, below and in front of the prefrontal cortex, but the data will still be passed down and back towards the sensorimotor cortex, and way, way down to the cerebellum first before being passed back up. (Why both have to be told, nobody’s really sure. A duality between the two areas was first detected only a couple of years back. They’re partially mirroring each other’s functions for some unknown reason that just makes my job harder)

Designed by a madman that messaging system was. Or proof of extremely unintelligent design.

You’re just the sense warning the brain of the problem. The brain itself (ie not the prefrontal cortex) still has to process and make sense of that data, and reach a decision. By the time it has done that, you’re over the edge and gone.

The wall is more interesting. So a question to vika. Suppose you were walking across a plain, and came to a wall. It extends as far as you can see, with no obvious way round it or over it. Does your subconscious just give up, or it it still beavering away in the background while you think you’re dreaming up imaginitive ways to deal with the problem?

Still beavering away. Collecting data from every source it has, including you. You do have some control over your imagination, at least I think (hope) you do. Still not 100% on that, l and won’t be till we narrow down exactly which neural towers in the prefrontal are generating your imagination and the precise method they’re using to do that (optogenetic testing will tell us how, but we’ve got to narrow down which towers are actually involved, first). Still, psycology says you do have rather limited control over your imagination, and until neurology can give us a more definitive answer, I’ll have to use that.

Ultimately, you may ‘decide’ to ignore the wall and turn back, yes. However, you’ve not reached that decision yourself, rather it’s been worked out elsewhere then slipped into your inbox as if it was a conscious decision, when in reality, it reaches you after it’s been put into motion by other processes. Likewise if you ‘decide’ you can scale it. The decision arrived, fully formed and complete in your mind, overriding whatever plan you were working out the kinks of at the time, like new data overriding the keyboard input buffer on a home computer. Whatever you were actually doing atthe time was purged, and you’re given this new decision instead.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Way To End All Crime

Originally posted by Kasic:
Rather all the evidence (some of which I linked above) points to another area actually making the decisions.

Wouldn’t that other area still be considered “you” though?

It’s entirely beyond your will to change or to control. It is a part of your brain you as a person have absolutely zero control over. So no, it’s no more a part of your actual mind than the cerebellum is.

Being able to predict the outcome doesn’t mean there was no choice in the matter.

But it does mean that you have as much choice as a boulder rolling down a slope has a choice to follow gravity. It’s still a choice: Do what gravity tells you, or do what gravity tells you.

Same thing’s going on here. An external force is telling you what your choice is. Further that external force isn’t so much making a choice as balancing a weighted tree. In the end, it’ll come down to math.

I will admit there is a likelihood that quantum-level effects are going on that add some level of randomness into the system. All efforts towards replicating a brain in silicate acknowledge that it is possible material-based quantum fluctuations may not be fully replicatable when a different substrate is used. However, the jury is still out about whether or not those interactions actually matter once you get as large as the cellular level.

Still, it would be deceitful of me if I didn’t admit I am aware that may be a player in the process.

Doesn’t mean that we cannot control ourselves or make our own choices, even if those rules can be used to make us not be able to.

From my own perspective, the more I’ve learnt about the fundamental organisation and functioning of the PNS and CNS, the less control over the functioning of our own brains I’ve found we actually have. My decisions aren’t my own. They’re being made by something I have exceedingly little control over, and absolutely none of that control is direct. It’s one of several reasons I’m so keen to unravel the coding languages and structure the nervous system uses. Only by understanding the structure (and fixing a few major implantation and interface fidelity problems) can anything approaching an actual free will be made.

Right now, none of us actually have that free will. It is extremely limited and secondhand feedback only. That situation is unacceptable, along with many, many other inefficiencies, flaws, and downright baffling elements of the brain’s computation. (Baffling as in why in the sweet holy hell, does it do things thatway?)

The organic body I have, which I think of as me, makes decisions based off of what it is.

That would be a definite difference between us. I don’t see my embodiment as me. It has directly shaped large areas of my brain, but it’s not actually me, the person, and it can be changed. ‘Me’ is everything in my CNS I have control over, or can route signals through reliably.

My mind evaluates those actions and tries to change/direct those actions by providing feedback from past and current sensory data. That sounds like choice to me.

It isn’t, because at the end of the day your mind is just additional sensory data, added to the pile. The choice what to do with all that sensory data, is beyond your control.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Way To End All Crime

Originally posted by Kasic:

Not being knowledgeable at all in neuroscience, could you tell me whether the following is correct? It seems to me, from what I know and from what you’ve said, that the conscious mind is a feedback system.

That’s accurate, yes. It’s something kinda ‘tacked on the end’ of a frankly, piss-poorly designed brain. (Which is what you get when you use blind evolution to design a computer.)

The job of the conscious mind is to generate abstract data as opposed to physical bodily-needs type data. We think it evolved as a side-product of our social nature. So yes, it is generating that data then passing it back inside the brain to be used.

Wouldn’t it be logical to conclude that this feedback system has an influence and is not just expressing the decisions already made in a more complicated way for no reason?

It has an influence yes. That’s the whole point of it. It is generating feedback data to help influence the next decision. However, there’s no evidence that it is coming up with decisions itself. Rather all the evidence (some of which I linked above) points to another area actually making the decisions.

There’s precedence in the brain for an area not knowing where it’s data is coming from, as the data generated by the conscious mind is often (probably always) treated the exact same way as physical data coming from the senses by other parts of the brain. So it would make sense if the way the conscious mind receives data was as a copy of the same mechanism repurposed, rather than evolving a whole new mechanism for the task. That is the way evolution tends to do it; repurposing existing structures where possible.

However, and what I was trying to explain to jim, that influence is governed by the way it processes data. There’s no evidence the structure of the prefrontal cortex is changing due to environmental data. More damningly, there’s no evidence of activity from the proteins involved in creating new circuitry in an area, when it is active. Whereas there is such evidence in the areas of the brain dedicated to storing memories.

This means that the prefrontal cortex is in essence a fixed system. If you like, a collection of GPUs, that process data in highly complex ways but ultimately use defined pathways to do this job. It’s a system we’ll be able to replicate. A system we’ll be able to emulate. Then use the emulation to predict exactly how that area is going to process data, before it even processes it, and know what feedback is going to be generated. The brain’s a chemical and ionic system, and ionic data transfer is slow. It’s only at the synapses themselves you see electrical activity jumping the gaps.

This means an electronic or optical system is going to outperfrom the brain for speed and get there first, if it is running an emulation of the same pathways. I’ve set these up myself with the peripheral nervous system, which is also ionic transfer. Signals travel at roughly 2m/s down an ionic pathway. The brain is slightly faster given that much of the transference occurs over synapse links rather than flowing down the axons, but it’s not that much faster.

So there’s nothing in theory stopping us from completely emulating the conscious mind, faster than the conscious mind itself can crunch data. If we produce an exact copy of the circuitry via that emulation, we’ll be able to predict exactly what data the conscious mind is generating, before it generates it.

Can it really be said to be ‘free will’ if it is fundamnentally always going to be fully predictable what that ‘will’ is going to generate? I don’t think it is. It’s just a computational pipeline, following the same old pathways each time.

For example I want something to eat so I go to the kitchen intending to get a sandwich. Upon arriving there I decide that I don’t actually want a sandwich and instead make pasta.

Problem there, is that’s not really an abstract thought process, and is rooted in physical bodily needs. My suspicion in that scenario is your hindbrain (specifically brainstem) is receiving sensory information from your gut telling it which resources are most needed, and the sandwich doesn’t (from memory of the ingredients) give the most important nourishment right now. So a cross-check with the hypothalamus occurs, which is where your hunger and desire for food is regulated from. The hippocampus is called upon for what foods are available that give what is most needed, and your decision changes.

We’d have to set up an experiment using fMRI EEG (EDIT: sorry, brain-fart on my part. fMRI wouldn’t work since it requires you be stationary, EEG would work) to check, but my suspicion is your higher thought processes won’t actually be involved in this decision circuit. The brain has specilised regions dealing with nutrient intake (and I’ve just named most of them).

You won’t realise anything’s changed until you’re informed of what you’re now having to eat (since your feedback on the decision is now required).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Way To End All Crime

Does the conscious mind agree with that decision? Or is it simply an illusion of agreement from a decision reached elsewhere, being handed to your conscious mind, with your mind having no way of actually telling where it came from?

We don’t yet have the data needed to say either way, but given how the conscious mind is essentially a late-development to an already-existing brain, evolving late in the process, I place my money on it being the illusion of agreement from the data that was supplied elsewhere. It would explain why the conscious mind is always in agreement with the decision produced outside of that mind.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Let’s see…..
we are at our best when we heinously kill, maim, & torture thousands of ppl and destroy massive amounts of resources.

We are at our best when we perform something akin to a social ethnic cleansing wrought by (usually) the more advanced members of it. Bombs & guns win out over sticks & stones every time.

Not what I said. I said we are at our most innovative when our backs are up against the wall. Bombs and guns are just two examples of innovations (multiple levels of innovation) that came about when one culture or another’s backs were against the wall. A way to prevail in conflict. A way to change the gameboard.

We are cock-sure that acceptable-level advancements wouldn’t be made during peacetime that we should schedule a regular “social-maintenance” war so we can maintain a good level of “progress”.

We are absolutly certain that without adversity great change won’t occur, yes. Bog standard human nature. Growth only comes through challenge. The nature of the challenge does not matter, only both the severity and the immediacy.

Most of the smaller innovations you see during the normal course of things, are only building on what came before; natural extentions of what we already know. Even in the business world, it is only when the business has cutthroat competitors, and the business’ survival is on the line if they don’t deliver, that the resources needed to truly innovate, are ploughed in. It is only at these times that new directions are truly taken seriously.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Way To End All Crime

Originally posted by jim_vierling:

You are the ones pushing that genetics produce innate behaviors. That is one of the foundations of the “master race” theories.

Doesn’t matter whether it is a foundation of the Nazi belief system or not; if it is also the reality of the situation then we will keep using it. Would you abandon the theory of gravity because the Nazis used it to guide where their victims would fall?

A car can not think

The computer that controls a modern car is crunching variables and calculating constantly. Some of the most advanced can make decisions on how to drive, themselves. Fundamentally the process is much the same as our own brains use, with electron transference across gating being the driving force.

But we’re not even looking at the car itself in my original analogy; we’re predicting what the driver will do. Whether that driver is human or not is immaterial. If we understand the positions and movements of all the major surrounding factors, and the current position, stance and prior behavior of the target vehicle, we can precisely model what it is going to do. Its ‘free choice’ predicted accurately in advance, every time.

If you knew exactly how someone reacted to a certain stimulus before then you may be able to predict how they would respond to that particular stimulus if exposed again, but humans can think and may have already decided to react differently to that stimulus because their first reaction did not produce a result that they liked.

Only within the limits the circuitry in several areas in the prefrontal cortex allows. That’s where all abstract decision feedback comes from.

If their behavior were genetically predetermined they would not be able to change it.

A river’s course is determined by the terrain it flows over. The moving water also erodes the terrain. If a river was driven by natural processes, it would not be able to alter it’s course no matter how the terrain changed below it.

Is that really the argument you wish to go with? The capacity to analyse decisions and supply feedback for future ones is created by the genetic framework. Because it is natural in origin, we’re able to map it (and are closing in on the exact structures involved, within that area). Ultimately we will be able to model the neural columns precisely and recreate how a decision will change exactingly – because we can recreate all the pathways involved in decision making and see how they are weighted.

You have it backwards. The environmental stimulus is the cause. Without the cause or environmental influence there would be no firing in the brain in response to it.

Without the genetic structure providing the foundation there is nothing to make a response.

Try it. Take a breeze block and expose it to all manner of sights, and sounds. A constanty stream of environmental stimulii. If you are right the breeze block will grow a brain and become a living, thuinking entity in response to the environmental stimulii.

The brain is just where the firing takes place.

The brain is where the computation takes place. Without computation no input can be processed, and no output gained. The way the computation is structured determines how the inputs are processed and what is done with them.

The genes that produce the brain are not intelligent and do not know anything about what can happen to the organism.

Lines of code in programming are not intelligent, and therefore no dynamic, responsive, intelligently behaving software is, or will ever be possible, right?

Without the environmental stimulus, nurture, there wouldn’t be any way for the person to react to the cause.

I say again. Take a brick, or a piece of dead wood and experimentally prove it can be turned into a living, thinking being just by exposing it to a massive amount of stimulii. Since you continually claim the brain is an unintelligent lump of chemical processes that is not involved in thought, this should be easily doable for you and experimentally verifiable. We can btring inanimate objects of all kinds to life, if we follow your claim that nature-based circuitry is not required for cognition.

Good luck. Meanwhile in the real world, you cannot process data of any kind, without first havintg a structure that is capable of processing it. The nature of that structure deternmines what processing is carried out.

The other part of the brain as you call it did not make a decision. Even in your hypothesis, it could not have made that decision without the environmental stimulus first.

Theory, not hypothesis. A hypothesis has no data backing it up. Once the experimentally done, peer reviewed and repeated data backs it up, it becomes a theory, until or unless some data is found that disagrees with it. So far all data found not only agrees with this theory, but also other works reinforce it.

Unless you think that the other part of the brain that you mention is somehow “psychic” and knows what is going to happen before it happens?

No, but I do believe it is tied directly into the white matter highways of the brain and thus is capable of receiving data from other parts of the brain, and feeding data back – like sending details of the decision made back to the conscious mind section of the brain (prefrontal cortex) to make the mind think that it came up with the decision, when time-indexing shows the decision was reached and begun to be put into action before details reached the conscious mind. In other words that the conscious mind was not the originator of the decision.

I’m not going to address the rest of your post now; there’s no point as I’ll just be repeating the same points over and over (and so far you have not supplied one lick of evidence to back your own claims up). Everything comes back to these fundamentals. Until we can agree that computation happens in the brain, all thoughts occur in the circuitry of the brain, and the circuitry is natural in nature, we won’t get anywhere. After those basics are dealt with, then we can work on how the mind is not the originator of any decision, and how the way data is processed determines what the output will be.