I love that link. It reminds me of a poster I once saw which gave instructions on how to make electric generators, fixed wing aircraft, penicillin, and the like for prospective time travelers.
Great link. It reminds me of my freshman astronomy lab which actually had us students calculate for instance the diameter and mass of the Earth and sun, and through the semester moved up to the level of using parallax and blackbody spectra to calculate distance to various stars.
Pre-scientific societies have managed to build quite complex machinery. For instance the Antikythera mechanism, Roman textile mills, Egyptian irrigation systems, etc. Is it possible aliens could develop something as complex as a calculator without first attaining scientific literacy? If so electronics wouldn't necessarily prove scientific literacy to them.
True, but would you agree that it is more likely that rational entities attain spaceflight capabilities? Also, rationality is likely to share some universals, whereas religion seems far less likely to.
Funny story, but it raises a good point. Perhaps an expression of curiosity would be enough to convince them of our worthiness.
I like how pragmatic you're being. I am new here, but one of the things that attracted me to this site was the fact that much of the material is simply above my head. That's hard to find in informal public online communities outside of academia, and I feel that the very challenge of trying to wrap my head difficult material is an absolute necessity for keeping my math and statistics skills sharp. However, different people have different bars that they want to reach, and I do agree that more accessible material is a great idea. As for me, I have a voice...
I certainly agree that it can seem that rationalists are lonelier, I'm just posing an alternate reason why. Though, perhaps your post deserves a more thoughtful reply than I gave.
Unfortunately, the question seems to be a difficult one to answer. First, we need to find a way to determine whether or not rationalists truly are more lonely. Loneliness seems like a tricky variable to quantify. Some ideas that spring to mind: You could measure the size of social circles using social network data or self-report surveys. Simply measure self-reported lonelines...
Perhaps you have conflated correlation and causation. It is possible that loners, or people who are less concerned with group conformity simply have more time and resources to devote to their rationality.
One possible explanation of your dream is that we live in a world in which people's minds which are perfect for each other enter the dreamworld and find each other. We don't believe that because the world doesn't seem to work that way.
The world doesn't seem to work this way because there has been no reproducible empirical evidence that it works that way. This isn't a case of "The Earth looks flat from here, so it must be flat." You're postulating that there is another realm of existence out there that doesn't intersect with our reality in a...
scientia potentia est
Knowledge is power.
--This quote is attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, but we don't really know.
Honestly, I'm not that sure. I knew that there have been issues for law graduates to find jobs, but with the state of the economy the way it is, there are problems for graduates across the board, not just in law school. I'll be graduating this spring with degrees in political science and history. So, I can try and find a job now when the market for college graduates in general is similarly bad, and I'll likely end up working a low paying hourly office job, like customer support, or do some graduate work, like law school or a masters or phd program in on...
Though I won't be curing AIDS, designing cheaper solar panels, or searching for the Higgs Boson, seeing as I haven't chosen a career in the sciences, I am preparing for law school which should put me in a career that fairly well optimizes my income, while giving me a chance to use some of the rational argument skills on this site. Also, I live in Kansas, which, if I prove good enough at law, could provide me good opportunities to be on the front line against religious ignorance and bigotry here in the states. It would be a dream of mine to be in court ag...
On New Year's Eve this year, I made a spontaneous resolution to go vegetarian. It wasn't exactly a well-thought out rational decision; I mainly just wanted to see what it was like and if I could do it. I never really liked the cruelty argument, probably because that would entail coming to face with the fact that I was responsible for quite a bit of that cruelty. Mainly, I was interested in health benefits, and figured a good way to test those would be to become my own guinea pig. Ten days into the new year, I've only eaten meat twice (I had sushi with ...
A couple of years ago, I happened to take a very interesting grad-level anthropology course entitled simply "Masculinity" at the same time that I was having some perfectly normal doubts about my sexuality. Most of my time in the course was spent butting heads with the professor who felt that most of evolutionary psychology consisted of a way to roll us back to the dark ages on issues of sexual equality, but long story short, I came out the other end doubting whether not just gender (the cultural aspect), but sex (the biological aspect) was just ...
If it is in her will, then she is probably safe enough. I do understand your wanting to hide the fact from her friends. Being a member of one of the first few generations to be frozen, she is a pioneer in cryonics, and acceptance is always tough for pioneers. In this case however, the pioneers might just live to see a world where people are actually thankful for what they did.
I voted you up for simply quoting The Screwtape Letters. I read it over the summer, and despite its assumptions of Christian theology, I don't think I've found a better work of fiction on the topic of human psychology.
amorality is a hallmark of effective revolutionaries
Says who? Sure there are amoral revolutionaries, but some acted in fairly moral ways, and many more at least sincerely believed they were acting in the common good. And even the amoral revolutionaries drape their selfish motives in the language of morality.
Best of luck to her. Though I am curious, are you hiding the fact of her preservation from the authorities or just from her other friends and family? If the authorities, what would/could they actually do? Would there be a stiff punishment for 'desecration of a corpse' or other such nonsense, or are you worried that someone might take her out of cryo? I have heard of a case where a cryo facility here in the US was shut down, but they didn't actually thaw anyone. Hopefully Russian authorities would be at least that sensible.
When I read the percentage who had cheated on an exam, I started to call BS in my mind, knowing that if I, being among the smartest in my class back in high school, had cheated, surely the rest of the bell curve had too (After all, the only way of getting this data is unreliable self-report surveys.), but then I realized what a perfect example of this fallacy I was making.
Wouldn't a program (like a computation of the laws of physics) written within the confines of the universe be necessarily less complex than the universe itself, or am I missing the point of your post?
Are we allowing dreams into evidence now? As real as your father's experience may have been, it is still subjective, and thus really doesn't have any bearing on the rest of us. For instance, say I had a very exciting dream involving myself, Keira Knightley, and few clothes. A rational response would be to write it off as a very good dream. An irrational response would be to become convinced that Ms. Knightley was infatuated with me and start writing her creepy letters. Likewise, if your father simply wrote this off as a dream, perhaps one whose effects...
I think most people would agree that a dice, regardless it its fair or not, does not have free will simply because its unpredictable.
You've obviously never played pen and paper RPGs.
I'm not saying the near-term economic woes won't hurt China or bust some of their economic bubble. I just think these are less likely to be profoundly crippling. The urban development issues you mention are part of what's leading to China's environmental troubles, and will have bigger impacts than just near term economic imbalance.
I didn't actually realize cryonics was such a hot topic on this site until after I had posted, so I became a little worried that I'd get beaten with the newbie stick for it.
I consider myself a transhumanist (in the sense that I find genetic alteration, computer augmentation, life extension, etc to be desirable goals, not in the sense that I drank the Kurzweil Kool-Aid and think that all this is inevitable or even probable in my lifetime), but I had never really considered cryonics as a major transhumanist approach. I'm certainly not opposed to cryonics on ...
I'm going to have to distinguish here between guilt in the actual sense, and guilt in a legal sense. Do I think Amanda Knox did it? Somewhat likely. Do I think the prosecution proved that beyond a reasonable doubt? No.
I think my estimates of guilt for all three parties will be higher than most commenters, but here they are:
Probability that Knox participated in the murder: 15% Probability that Knox participated in or covered up the murder: 20% Probability that I would find Knox guilty of murder: 5%
Probability that Solecito participated in the murder 10%...
I think even these numbers are a little high, except for the fact that you didn't limit it by jurisdiction. Cryonics isn't hot right now, but longevity certainly is. I don't think there is enough attention on cryonics to justify legislation, but even if there were, the first steps of the legal battle would be court decisions rather than legislation.
The Chinese bubble is certainly going to collapse, but I doubt it will be a sudden enough collapse to happen within the year. People can talk all they want about undervalued currency or export dependency, my money is on demographic echo from the one child policy, and ecological and agricultural collapse from industrial pollution, both of which would be on the scale of a decade or more instead of a year. Though a smaller bursting of the bubble could happen due to general global economic downturn, the real kicker is still down the road a few years.
I guess I should have said 95% confidence on each of them rather than all of them. I would take 10 to one odds on any of them individually, and probably even money on all of them, depending on how the predictions were formalized. (IE instead of "A b-list celebrity will die unexpectedly; CNN will declare this a national tragedy." "CNN will devote X hours of news time to the death of an actor who has not starred in a movie grossing over Y million in the last Z years, or a musician who has not made it onto the Billboard top 100 in at least Z years."
Out of curiosity, which ones would you think most likely to turn out wrong and lose the bet for me?
A major church figure will face allegations of child abuse.
Europeans will riot over reductions in social programs.
A vague new terrorist threat will lead to increased security procedures at American airports.
A conservative talk show host in America will openly endorse murder of atheists, homosexuals, or immigrants.
Video of a pop star engaged in sexual acts will be leaked to the public.
A b-list celebrity will die unexpectedly; CNN will declare this a national tragedy.
A natural disaster will strike a third world country, causing everyone to completely forget ...
How is that 'weaselly'? Say there is a criminal who confesses to a crime, and quite obviously did it, but the police failed to properly Mirandize them, or otherwise unlawfully elicited the confession. Legally, you should find them not guilty, even if they likely committed the crime. Not guilty does not equal innocent.