Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:August:09 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
 
WIKI | FAQ | Tech FAQ
http://csua.com/feed/
2005/8/9 [Uncategorized] UID:39059 Activity:nil
8/9     Illegal Aliens and American Medicine
        http://www.jpands.org/vol10no1/cosman.pdf
2005/8/9 [Uncategorized] UID:39060 Activity:nil
8/9     DDT: A Case Study in Scientific Fraud
        http://www.jpands.org/vol9no3/edwards.pdf
        \_ The political tone of this is obvious, so I went to see who these
           guys represent -- apparently private doctors.  Amusing.  The wages
           of socialism in a given professional sphere is radicalization of
           skilled professionals. -- ilyas
           \_ I think radicalization can occur for either liburalz or
              consurvatives.
              \- At a global level the DDT story is really a sad one, and not
                 just of academic interest. It goes from that hack Rachel
                 Carson and US Govt to the UN who starts pressuring developing
                 countries with endemic malaria problems not to use it. What
                 is appropriate for large scale argicultural use and "tactical"
                 application in domiciles is wildly different.
2005/8/9-11 [Science/Biology] UID:39061 Activity:kinda low
8/9     Some news on evolution:
        "Convergent Evolution in Poison Frogs"
        http://csua.org/u/cyz (Yahoo! News)
        \_ That evolution crap is just a "theory".  In fact, God made
           the world in 7 days, just like it says in Genesis.  And I
           challenge anyone to prove to me different.  (I'll just deny
           all the evidence you present.)
           \_ actually, bible says he laid it to waste and remade it
              in 6 days and 1 day of rest
              \_ My book is holy!  Yours isn't!  And only I am qualified
                 to interpret my Holy Book!
        \_ I read this article, but what it does not make clear is how it is
           known that the frogs are not related. Geography doesn't tell the
           story. Could they have evolved from the same frog ancestor?
           \_ The article did not say the frogs are not related.  In fact the
              article calls the two frog species in the two continents
              "cousins".
              \_ Then, excuse this question from a non-bio guy, how is it
                 known to be a case of convergent evolution?
                 \_ Then there are three possibilities that it is not a case of
                    convergent evolution.  #1: they did not evolve, ie. God
                 \_ Then there are two possibilities that it is not a case of
                    convergent evolution.  #1: they did not not evolve, ie. God
                    is involved; #2: they did not evolve in separate
                    ecosystems, ie. they evolved in the same ecosystem, and
                    ecosystems, ie. they evolved in the same ecosystems, and
                    one species somehow traveled or were transported across the
                    Atlantic Ocean to the other continent and settled down.
                    #3: they did not evolve in separate ecosystems, ie. they
                    evolved in the same ecosystem, and the continents of Africa
                    and America separated only relatively recently instead of
                    millions (or whatever) of years ago as found by geologists.
                    Atlantic ocean to the other continent and settled down.
                    Take your pick.
                    \_ I am asking why they think that it *is*. I can think of
                       reasons why it might not be.
                       \_ Their reasons are that they think none of the
                          possible alternatives are true:  #1 is not true
                          because species do evolve and God did not create them
                          in their present forms.  (This is debatable.)  #2
                          is not true because they think poison frogs and ants
                          can't swim across the Atlantic and nobody
                          transported huge population of poison frogs and ants
                          across the Atlantic recently.  (I think this is
                          accepted.)  #3 is not true because geologists says
                          so.  (I think this is accepted.)   So, what remains
                          on thir table is their original claim that "these are
                          two instances of convergent evolution".  What remains
                          on our table is their claim and alternative #1.
                    millions (or whatever) of years ago as found by geological
                    scientists.  Take your pick.
                          because species do evolve as other evidences suggest,
                          and God did not create them in their present forms.
                          (This is debated.)  #2 is not true because they think
                          poison frogs and ants can't swim across the Atlantic
                          and nobody transported huge population of poison
                          frogs and ants across the Atlantic recently.  (I
                          think this is accepted.)  #3 is not true because
                          geologists says so.  (This is accepted.)   So, what
                          remains on their table is their original claim that
                          "these are two instances of convergent evolution".
                          What remains on our table is their claim and
                          alternative #1.
                          \_ Who said that the continents had to separate
                             recently? How do they know this adaptation is
                             recent? There are also lots of cases of animals
                             (especially frogs) being deposited in other
                             places by storms.
                             \_ There is a very easy method to determine
                                speciation, one only has to examine the
                                DNA, either mDNA or nuclear. One can
                                simply pick certain markers, something as
                                simple as a a RFLP, and determine how closely
                                a species is related. There is no need
                                to conjecture on the macroscopic since
                                we have had modern techniques to explore
                                evolution for well over fifty years now
                                in vitro.
                                \_ If they are related then I say it's not
                                   convergent evolution.
                                   \_ Convergent evolution, as stated in the
                                      article, is "the process in which
                                      organisms not closely related ......".
                                      So the two poison frog species can be
                                      related, and so are the two ant species.
                                      They just need to not be closely related.
                                      \_ Who defines how close? I mean,
                                         they are both frogs so of course
                                         they are related in some way.
                             \_ Hmm, good point that the adaptation might not
                                be recent.  Let's see what proof they have in
                                the full report in the upcoming issue of
                                Proceedings.
        \_ it's stupid, one frog in 22 eats a cigarette some lame
           scientist dropped and now they are evolving some new type
           of nicotine defense mechanism?
           \_ i agree. doesn't explain that ants eat plants..
              ants eat insects, honeydew and fruits.. and leafcutter
              ants cut leaves for storage (heating up their home)
              but not food.. this article blows..
           \_ Where in the article does it say anything about nicotine defense
              mechanism?  The mechanism in the article is about alkaloids.
                \_ nicotine is an alkaloid
                   \_ Yes, but not all alkaloids are nicotine.
                \_ can you read "However, this is some of the most
                   convincing evidence that plant-insect-frog toxin food
                   chains do exist"
                   \_ Yes I saw that, but please read the whole article.  Ths
                      observation on nicotine, and its suggestion of
                      plant-insect-frog toxin food chains, are separate from
                      the obesrvation on alkaloid defense mechanism.
                      \_ but half the article is on this. and the
                         most direct quotes from the scientist are about
                         this and not the alkaloid defense mechanism..
                      \_ yeah, but it shows how stupid these scientists
                         are... "most convincing" evidence but no facts
                         or evidence to be found .. so they claim
                         it as fact.. a lot of this bs is pervasive
                         among evolutionary scientist who forget to use
                         the scientific method and keep making theories
                         into facts..
                         \_ Why did you say they found "most convincing"
                            evidence and then say they found no evidence?  If
                            you meant no conclusive evidence, that's true and
                            the article never claims that there is conclusive
                            evidence.  Also, you said the article claim the
                            toxin food chain as a fact.  The article never
                            claims that either.  It stated that "they are not
                            sure how the chemical enters the frog's system.",
                            and that they only have convincing evidence, not
                            conclusive evidence.
                      \_ i agree, isn't it better that animals would
                         prefer to eat the nicotine laden frogs because
                         they'll get addicted to nicotine? and get
                         a good buzz out of it.. .. ? hehe
                  \_ that's a lot of faith.. a plant that has no
                     nicotine to be found anywhere, yet they
                     use this as the "most convincing" evidence?
                     sounds like bad science and blind faith.
                     \_ This is not bad science, because they are only using it
                        as convincing evidence, not conclusive evidence, and
                        they are not drawing any conclusion out of it.  Also,
                        they are not concluding whether there is or is not any
                        nicotine-producing plants, because "Our team has not
                        yet conducted a survey of possible nicotine containing
                        in the area where the nicotine-frog was found".
2005/8/9-11 [Computer/Companies/Google] UID:39062 Activity:nil
8/9     Turns out Google is a corporate whiner:
        http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45661
        \_ Does jblack post the worldnetdaily links too?
           \_ Why, do you have a problem with the content of the article?
               \_ They forgot to mention the Swift Boat Veterans in
                  this article...
        \_ Google is a Kool Aid factory like Apple. They have a nice search
           engine (and Apple has nice products) but the zealots are
           overbearing.
           \_ Your analogy is tired and does not bear out, or else the
              zealots you're so concerned about would have drunk poison
              kool-aid by now. You would be better served to attempt to
              compare them to Hare Krishnas or Moonies, if you're looking to
              make a cult comparison.
2005/8/9-11 [Computer/HW/Laptop] UID:39063 Activity:nil
8/9     Is there such a thing as a reliable water-proof laptop case?  Who
        makes/sells it?  I'm looking for something that's as portable as
        possible.  Thanks.
        \_ Waterproof as in "can get rained on" or waterproof as in "can be
           dropped in a lake"?
           \- there are expedition rafters who take laptops and satellite
              comm equipment, so yes. i am not sure if they are special
              purpose laptop cases or just a case adapted for laptop that
              is nominally "for" camera gear. but you cal look at say pelican
              cases. by now i assume there are thigns especially for laptops.
2005/8/9-11 [Computer/HW/Laptop, Computer/HW/Memory] UID:39064 Activity:nil
8/9     I had a motherboard die after like 90% of the capacitors leaked.
        Appareantly this is a widespread problem (badcaps.net). I'm
        wondering, (a) why I hadn't heard of this earlier, and (b) why
        there hasn't been a big recall of defective components.
        \_ (a) because you don't read /., http://theinquirer.net, ....  Do you
               read anything?  Try to keep up a little, will ya?  This is
               over a year old stuff.
               \_ I read /. almost everyday. When was it on /.?
                  \_ Years ago.
           (b) Abit sort of recalled.  Problem is too widespread to recall.
               Trying to do so would probably take out a lot of companies.
        \_ Not only that, you apparently don't read the MOTD or archives,
           this was mentioned more than once here. The answer is to get
           replacement caps (assuming your other components are intact)
           and solder them on to the board. Also, MBs are under $100 US,
           the cheapies can be found for sometimes less than fifty, so
           it's such a cheapie item that a general recall would've killed
           some of the MB companies because the margins are razor thin.
           And yes, there is a sort-off coverup going on.
        \_ I just had my thinkpad t41 crap out under warranty... does anyone
           know if they had this problem too?  It died slowly, e.g. showing
           signs of going out of spec in the video memory first.
           \_ Just about EVERY company was affected, including IBM.
2005/8/9-11 [Computer/HW/CPU] UID:39065 Activity:nil
8/9     Can anyone recommend a vendor that sells Athlon 64 X2 (dual-core)
        configurations for small businesses?  Basically it looks like we're
        buying Pentium D machines from Dell otherwise.
        \_ You want a desktop (non-buffered memory, ECC not required, etc.)
           or a workstation?  I see HP has workstations using dual-core
           Opterons.  Look for xw9300.  A bit pricy, but you get what you
           pay for.  Will see if there's something in the desktop domain.
           pay for.  Call them up and ask?
           \_ Price/performance is much better for the Pentium D than the
              dual-core Opterons.  You can heat rooms better, too.
              I'm looking for Athlon 64 X2, either the 4400+ at $630 per CPU
              or 3800+ for $405 per CPU.  Desktop.
2005/8/9-11 [Politics/Foreign, Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:39066 Activity:nil
8/9     News media save lives of sailors on Russian mini-sub
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/russiamilitary
        "When the worried family tried to find out from the navy what the
        chances were of seeing their loved one again, a military psychologist
        arrived. 'This is Russia -- pray!' he told Miloshevsky's wife Yelena"
        \_ This is a very heartening story that illustrates the importance
           of a free press. Thanks for sharing.
2005/8/9-11 [Uncategorized] UID:39067 Activity:nil
8/9     Happy 40th Birthday Spore!  May your history be as glorious as
        that of Venice!
2005/8/9-11 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:39068 Activity:low
8/9     "I worked in oil refineries for nearly a decade, and there's nothing
         I enjoyed more than SUV owners complaining to me about gas prices.
         I've been out of refineries for the past three years, and now that
         prices have really taken off, I'm sure I've missed many more of
         those wonderful discussions."  - w00t!
         The Oil Moat:  http://csua.org/u/cz2
         \_ "No new refineries have been built in the United States in more
            than 20 years, and judging by the popularity refineries hold in
            the public imagination, I'm pretty sure there won't be any new
            plants added soon."  Huh.  I live very close to a refinery, and I
            both like the way it looks and the way it smells.  Apparently that
            is a minority opinion.
            \_ I like the cancer and other disease the best!
               \_ Evidence?
                  \_ Uhm, Google?
        \_ Although refinery capacity is running very tight now, many of the
           refeneries have been expanding output continually for decades.
        \_ An economy of scale would fix the problem:
           http://csua.org/u/cz9 (SFGate.com, McCain Presidency)
2005/8/9-11 [Transportation/Car] UID:39069 Activity:moderate
8/9     http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-080905shooting_lat,0,7165327.story
        An Ethiopian immigrant was in critical condition today ... Asmelash
        and his friends were stopped at a traffic light at Adams Boulevard and
        Crenshaw Boulevard when a dark Honda Accord pulled up alongside them
        about 12:30 a.m. ... The men in the Accord asked Asmelash and his three
        friends where they were from ... When someone in the car said,
        "Ethiopia," the driver of the Accord got out of the car, walked over
        and shot Asmelash once in the chest ... The gang members were Latino
        \_ I wonder what the Latinos thought the guy said. There's no way
           they know what/where ethiopia is.
           \_ Since all Latinos are illegals and are therefore criminals that
              rape and steal and murder (and are also dirty and uneducated).
              Thanks, freeperguy.
           \_ Obviously you don't understand how gangs work.
                \_ Clearly you do, sitting behind your computer screen
                   motd'ing all day, and then gang banging by night.
                   \_ Are you latino?  Do you understand the effect gangs had
                      on Los Angeles?
           \_ Right, since all Latinos are illegals and are therefore
              criminals that rape and steal and murder (and are also dirty
              and uneducated).
                \_ the ones that commit acts like this certainly are.
                   \_ Uhm, yeah and I know plenty of college grads from the
                      college of your choice that couldn't point to Ethiopia
                      on a map.  WTF does race or membership in a gang have
                      to do with it?
           \_ I'm guessing the Latinos didn't really care what he answered or
              where he's from.  They asked the question so that he wouldn't
              take off when they're walking over to shoot him.
           \_ I'm guessing the Latinos thought the black people weren't
              respecting them.  The correct answer is:  "Nowhere, man, nowhere"
              -long-time L.A. resident
              \_ Just out of curiosity, why is this the 'correct' answer?
                \_ well, do you have a better answer? !pp
                   \_ Yes.  It's "From your fuckin MOM's house, bitch" while
                      you reach for the Pancor Jackhammer stashed behind your
                      seat to teach the nasty little tacos some multicultural
                      tolerance by turning them into road sashimi.  -John
                   \_ Why do I need a better answer to have the PP give an
                \_ well, do you have a better answer? !op
                   \_ Why do I need a better answer to get have the PP give an
                      explanation?  I'm genuinely curious (hence the opening
                      phrase 'Just out of curiousity').
                        \_ oops. first, I mean !pp (not !op). next, I wasn't
                          being confrontational or belligerent, but rather
                          just smart ass. I was just trying to imply that
                          the "best" answer is the non-answer (i.e.
                          "nowhere, man, nowhere"), the one that ends
                          the conversation asap.
                          \_ Yah -- I was just curious what 'nowhere' scans
                             as in the minds of gang members.  I'm assuming
                             that it's basically saying that you're not from
                             a neighborhood and hence have no gang affiliation
                             (so you have nothing to declare, etc).
                 \_ http://girlhealth.org/gangs/expertinterview.html
                    http://lang.dailynews.com/socal/gangs/articles/dnp5_main.asp
                    But yeah, the real answer is to run/drive away as fast as
                    possible, and ideally, to not be in a situation where
                    you're even asked that question.  While you are running
                    away, you can say, "I'm from nowhere, man!"
                    \_ Heh -- thanks for the links!
2005/8/9-11 [Computer/SW/Languages/Java] UID:39070 Activity:nil
8/9     So I'm developing this java app which will produce a bunch of data we
        need to analyze with statistics and graphs.  I'd like a way to take
        data from variables in a java program, write some semi-standard file,
        and be able to generate stats and graphs automatically.  One solution
        it to write it to a CSV file and import it into Excel and then apply
        Excel formulas and make graphs, but that will require a lot of manual
        work because the size of the data sets will vary.  Is there a better
        way?  We're not wedded to Excel or windows.
        An example is in java having int[][] foo and float[][] bar and wanting
        to make foo.size() charts of foo[i] vs. bar[i]
        \_ Yes, this problem has been solved before. It's called gnuplot.
           \_ I hate you.
           \_ MATLAB, IDL, etc etc etc
          \_ I prefer R, but it's got a bit of a learning curve. --darin
2005/8/9-11 [Uncategorized] UID:39071 Activity:nil
8/9     Worlds largest Tanzanite diamond discovred:
        http://tinyurl.com/92gup (jckgroup.com)
        \_ What the hell is a Tanzanite diamond?
        \_ ^diamond^stone
        \_ They're talking about cutting and polishing it.  Why the heck
           do that?  You take something extraordinary--a freakishly big
           Tanzanite crystal--and cut it into ordinary little pieces. Why
           not just keep it intact as a freakish museum piece?
           \_ cut it into the "Heart of the Mountain" stone
           \_ A freakish Tanzanite crystal is not going to buy your way into a
              mistress' pants.  OTOH a polished one will.
              \_ it might if your mistress is a geologist...
2005/8/9-11 [Uncategorized] UID:39072 Activity:nil
8/9     htop rules.
2005/8/9-11 [Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:39073 Activity:moderate
8/9     110 MPG in a Prius:
        <DEAD>www.post-gazette.com/pg/05220/550484.stm<DEAD>
        \_ Doing this sort of thing with a fully charged battery is meaningless.
           You should start with a flat battery.
           \_ Uh... why?  It's about pushing a limit, not about practical use
              \_ Because MPG is a measurement of how much gas you use
                 traditionally.  The battery is only full because you used gas
                 before the measurement started in order to charge it.  Thus
                 you're not getting an accurate measurement.  What if they only
                 drove 5 miles and did it all on battery.  They got INFINITY
                 mpg!  A new and unbeatable record!
                 \_ Er, the person below is right.  They never talked about
                    initial battery state.  And for a prius is flat battery
                    a reasonable initial state?
                    \_ I think the only fair test of MPG is to start and end
                       with the battery in the exact same state.  Flat -> flat
                       or Full -> Full; it doesn't matter which.
                       \_ Then we'll have to find another report that gives
                          their start and end battery states.
                 \_ I think they should start at the top of a steep hill
                    to boot and just coast to the bottom.
           \_ Proof positive that motd assholes will complain, nitpick, and
              bitch about absolutely anything and everything.
              \_ The claim is "110 MPG" and a link to the method this was
                 determined.  Your "nitpicker" called bullshit on that claim.
           \_ Where does it say the battery is fully charged?
           \_ Whatever, it is still k3wl.
        \_ whatever, its still a *GAS* car.  Incremental improvements in gas
           mileage are going to get overwhelmed by increasing numbers of
           drivers.  Further work on gas mileage is just bandaghing the
           infected wound, not dealing with the real probelm.
           \_ Yeah, see, generally (though I'll concede 'not always')
              technology has this tendency to move forward in incremental
              steps.  I mean, seriously, do you honestly think it's better to
              wait 20 years for a revolutionary step up while we get
              "overwhelmed by increasing numbers of drivers" and still use
              the same inefficient technologies?  I guess I'm just not seeing
              what alternatives there are that can be implemented _now_....
           \_ It's a stopgap.  When you perfect your high yield, cheap, easily
              produced solar cell, call us.
           \_ RIDE BIKE!
              \_ What about drive hybrid diesel?
           \_ Yes, it's an efficient gas car.  As opposed to what?  An
              electric car?  Fuel cell car?  Both of those ultimately use
              fossil fuels too.  Or are you expecting a solar car or a
              car powered by Mr. Fusion?
              \_ A fuel cell car gets its energy from wherever you get the
                 energy to make the hydrogen, so it could be nuclear, oil,
                 solar, coal, gas, wind, hydro or a mixtures of all.
                 Before you start flaming me, please note that I am not the
                 OP, and I think hybrids are cool, I was just pointing out
                 the innacuracy in your statement about fuel cells.
                 \_ It might be a technical inaccuracy, but in practice, the
                    above poster is right.
                    \_ No.  Depending on where you live, a majority of your
                       power could very well be from something other than
                       oil.  Also, by switching to fuel cells, you are setting
                       up a system where any new energy that comes online
                       such as clean coal or some crazy fusion scheme or
                       whatever is instantly the power source for cars,
                       without the painfuly slow R&D process currently underway
                       to make fuel cells compete gas engines.
                       \_ Do you know what "in practice" means?
                          You're talking about splitting hydrogen from water.
                          This is much more inefficient still than splitting
                          from NG.
2005/8/9-11 [Reference/Religion, Politics/Domestic/911] UID:39074 Activity:low
8/9     Conservative Christian group pickets military funerals:
        http://csua.org/u/cz3
        \_ They're not conservative Christians.  They're nuts.  These are the
           "God hates fags" people.  They protested on 9/18/2001 saying that
           \_ They can be all 3.
           not enough people died, and that if any rescue workers found anyone
           alive they should be left to die.  They're just plain nuts.
           \_ Amazing. Your contortions remind me of the communists who
              try to both justify Stalin and distance themselves from him
              because they can't face the connection between their belief
              system and pure evil.  Are you going to claim that Jerry
              Falwell is not a leader in the American Christian conservative
              movement?  Are you going to deny that the Bush whitehouse still
              treats him as a friend after he came out in support of the
              terrorists after 9/11?  I'm not saying that all or even most
              conservative christians are evil, but if you deny that there
              are *some* among you who support terrorism and genocide you
              are a liar and a hyporcrite.
              \_ Is Jerry Falwell one of those TVangelists?
                                - conservative christian
                 \_ "And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But,
                    throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal
                    court system, throwing God out of the public square, out
                    of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some
                    burden or this because God will not be mocked. And when we
                    destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God
                    mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the
                    abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the
                    lesbians who are actively trying to make that an
                    alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American
                    Way, all of them who have tried to secularize
                    America, I point the finger in their face and say
                    'you helped this happen.'"  -Falwell
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Falwell
                    I don't care that he apologized later to cover his ass.
                    The man literally sided with the terrorists *right* after
                    9/11, and I've actually seen him on cspan as a VIP guest
                    at the Bush white house since then.
                    \_ You don't seem to understand this quote.  He's not
                       "siding with the terrorists" here.  He's saying
                       something which is a long tradition in Christianity,
                       which is that wickedness rejects the protection of God.
                       He didn't say the terrorism was God's will.
              \_ "Don't you associate some of those above with liberals.
                 We don't want them on our team."  -- ilyas
                 \_ Who are you quoting here, yourself?
                    \_ I am quoting Liberal Team Management.  I guess it was
                       a little ambiguous.
                       \_ You do realize that was a very silly joke, right?
                          \_ There is this old jungle saying in Russia:
                             "In every joke there is a grain of a joke."
                               -- ilyas
                             \_ There is this old saying in America:
                                "We are here to help ilyas, because in every
                                russkie, there is an American trying to get
                                out."
2005/8/9-11 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:39075 Activity:nil
8/9     Housing market collapses in San Diego:
        http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s8i8827
        \_ The spoof isn't that funny IMO.
           Real article:  http://csua.org/u/czc
2005/8/9-13 [Science/Biology, Science/Physics] UID:39076 Activity:moderate
8/9     http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?columnsName=pub
          \_ this link doesn't work anymore
        I haven't been paying attention to the ID vs. Evolution
        discussion but I read this in the Merc and I was a bit
        surprised by the arguments made in favor of ID.
        Do the ID folks really think that the universe has more
        order now than at some point in the past when all the
        forces were unified (more entropy/disorder now right?)
        Also I'm confused by the assertion that the laws of nature
        imply ID. Isn't is equally plausible that the laws of
        nature are the result of (1) random chance or (2) the
        result of a natural process (such as collisions of branes
        in higher dimensional space) that creates an infinite
        number of universes so all possible laws of physics are
        expressed?
        \_ Well, I don't know about most of the arguments presented, but
           it is a little puzzling that the fundamental constants would arrange
           themselves randomly into an interesting looking universe that
           we have.  If things were a little off, the universe would be
           it is a little puzzling that the fundamental constants would
           arrange themselves randomly into an interesting looking universe
           that we have.  If things were a little off, the universe would be
           very boring indeed. -- ilyas
           \_ But there is a small but finite probability that the came
              about by random chance right?
              And by boring you mean boring to people right? Some other
              arrangement might give rise to a universe that is interesting
              to different form of "life".
              What I don't understand about ID is that there does not
              appear to be a way to show that ID is more likely than
              the theory that branes are/have been colliding in higher
              dimensional space for an infinite amt of time thus making
              possible every arrangement of the fundamental constants.
              How can one accept a theory which is by definition un-
              proveable?
              \_ By 'boring' I mean you can't have life as we understand it
                   -- low entropy entities that use energy to maintain their
                   state, or for that matter planets, stars and galaxies --
                   things needed to support life. -- ilyas
                   \_ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
                 \_ The only way we can even talk about this is if we
                    happen to have the conditions for life.  So, just
                    out luck that we happen to have these conditions,
                    however small the chance.  It really doesn't prove
                    anything.
                            \_ And this is called the "weak anthropic"
                               principle.  For some strange reason, I can't
                               find anything in ID addressing it (which I'd
                               think would be important). -emarkp
                    \_ You don't understand.  This isn't meant to be a proof
                       of anything, but something requiring an explanation.
                         -- ilyas
                         \_ The point you're missing is that if there are
                            an infinite number of universes, only in the
                            ones where the physical laws are conducive to
                            the rise of intelligent life will there ever
                            be anyone to notice that the physical laws
                            are conducive to the rise of intelligent
                            life.  -tom
                            \_ And what if there isn't an infinite number of
                               universes?  Occam's razor says to assume the
                               least.  Why is it more 'expensive' to assume
                               intelligent design than to assume infinitely
                               many universes? -- ilyas
                               \_ Because intelligent design still presupposes
                                  a creator, which just pushes the question
                                  up a level; who created the creator?
                                  It's a lot easier to assume an infinitude
                                  of universes than to assume that an
                                  intelligent being somehow sprang into
                                  existence before the universe did.  -tom
                                  \_ So you would rather postulate an
                                     infinitude of worlds than suspend for a
                                     moment your intuitions borne of your
                                     linear perception of time?  Seems like
                                     people suspend intuitions a lot when
                                     looking at fundamental things -- consider
                                     quantum mechanics.  I should mention that
                                     'created' is a causal notion, and causality
                                     is an illusion, a way our brain organizes
                                     information.  There is no causality in
                                     physics. -- ilyas
                                     'created' is a causal notion, and
                                     causality is an illusion, a way our
                                     brain organizes information.  There is
                                     no causality in physics. -- ilyas
                                     \_ Wikipedia on "Causality (physics)":
                                        "special relativity has shown that it
                                        is not only impossible to influence the
                                        past"
                                        "Despite these subtleties, causality
                                        remains an important and valid concept
                                        in physical theories."
                                        \_ This is one of those cases where I
                                           know more about the subject matter
                                           than wikipedia.  There is no
                                           causality in physics, only in
                                           physicists.  The standing of
                                           causality in modern physics is so
                                           weak that even my advisor, a fairly
                                           influential causality guy, concedes
                                           that it's all likely an artifact of
                                           the human brain, and not an objective
                                           feature of reality.  On a slightly
                                           unrelated note, I wish people would
                                           stop quoting wikipedia as an
                                           authoritative source.  I read some of
                                           their 'contention' pages, and wasn't
                                           really impressed.  You don't have to
                                           look far to find wikipedia blatantly
                                           being wrong -- in the general
                                           Causality article, Pearl and
                                           Spirtes are listed under
                                           'Probabilistic Causality,' which is
                                           untrue, proponents of that area
                                           include Good, Cartwright, etc.
                                           Pearl/Spirtes are in 'Structural
                                           Causality.'  Wikipedia is trash.
                                             -- ilyas
                                           the human brain, and not an
                                           objective feature of reality.  On
                                           a slightly unrelated note, I wish
                                           people would stop quoting
                                           wikipedia as an authoritative
                                           source.  I read some of their
                                           'contention' pages, and wasn't
                                           really impressed.  You don't have
                                           to look far to find wikipedia
                                           blatantly being wrong -- in the
                                           general Causality article, Pearl
                                           and Spirtes are listed under
                                           'Probabilistic Causality,' which
                                           is untrue, proponents of that
                                           area include Good, Cartwright,
                                           etc. Pearl/Spirtes are in
                                           'Structural Causality.'
                                           Wikipedia is trash. -- ilyas
                                           \_ I support quoting of Wikipedia as
                                              an authoritative source, with
                                              disagreements with Wikipedia well
                                              disagreements with Wikipedia
                                              documented on motd for any sodan
                                              to evaluate. -jctwu
                                              to evaluate.  Wikipedia's
                                              usefulness significantly
                                              outweighs its negatives when
                                              used in this way. -jctwu
                                              \_ What usefulness?  It's an
                                                 encyclopedia and it's WRONG.
                                                 A lot.  Do you really want me
                                                 to look through the causality
                                                 article and list all things it
                                                 got wrong?  Wikipedia's
                                                 'usefulness' is misleading
                                                 people into thinking they
                                                 know something.  -- ilyas
                                                 \_ Then fix it man -- you're
                                                    extremely lucid in your
                                                    writing when you set your
                                                    mind to it.  That's one of
                                                    the nice things about
                                                    Wikipedia -- I assume that
                                                    people with brains and
                                                    enough confidence in their
                                                    knowledge go in and remove
                                                    blatant inaccuracies, so
                                                    as time goes on, the
                                                    overall quality of the
                                                    information gets better.
                                                    Don't get me wrong -- it's
                                                    still a source of info
                                                    which resides in the
                                                    internet and therefore is
                                                    deserving of a little
                                                    skepticism, but it's still
                                                    a damned handy reference.
                                                                   -mice
                                                 \_ It's a Wiki-based
                                                    encyclopedia, not a
                                                    traditional encyclopedia.
                                                    In your opinion, Wikipedia
                                                    is trash; I already stated
                                                    my opinion.
                                                    You could also submit a
                                                    change, but that's your
                                                    prerogative whether you
                                                    do or do not and why you
                                                    wouldn't.
                                                    I don't think we can get
                                                    any farther than this.
                                                    any farther on this.
                                                    One more thing you can do:
                                                    We can avoid the subjective
                                                    question of whether
                                                    Wikipedia is useful or not,
                                                    and you can instead explain
                                                    calmly and succinctly why
                                                    there is no causality in
                                                    physics, and/or post a URL
                                                    which says so.  Pretend
                                                    you're Feynman lecturing to
                                                    a freshman physics class.
                                                    -jctwu
                            \_ This logic appeals to me, but many find
                               it deficient.  Of course, if things weren't
                               conducive to us being here, we wouldn't be
                               here....  Those who have the most trouble
                               with this usually cite the incredible odds
                               against it.  However, with possibly a trillion
                               "trial" locations, over a span of billions of
                               years, it doesn't seem unlikely to me that
                               life would somewhere arise and ponder the
                               unlikelyhood of it all....  But the pondering
                               would 100% take place in those lucky, rare
                               locations that "won".  Like here.
                                         \-there is a good paper that assess
                                           the amount of "tolerance" we can
                                           have in various "free parameters"
                                           [i.e. the fundamental physical
                                           constants] in light of the
                                           anthropomorphic principle [the idea
                                           that we have to be here to to ask
                                           the questions] ... i can dig up
                                           the reference if there is interest.
                                           if you are interested in this
                                           you may want to review first review
                                           the list of free parameters ...
                                           some of them are pretty technical
                                           but you need some knowledge of what
                                           the are to see how things fit
                                           in terms of "dependencies". there
                                           are many good discussions of this.
                               \_ Who says there are "trials" or they take any
                                  "time"?  Why not "every possible existence
                                  that could be, is"?  And maybe that means
                                  there are an infinite number of existences,
                                  and maybe that means there are a finite but
                                  greater than one number and maybe that means
                                  this is it and the only it.  It's all just
                                  freshman lounge chat anyway since we can't
                                  ever know but this is better than a lot of
                                  the other motd/wall posts.
                   \_ Hey ilyas, tell us about the stars.  -aspo
                      \_ Aspolito is a meme's way of making another meme.
                           -- ilyas
        \_ ID is intellectual fraud.  It presents strawman arguments about
           evolution and largely consists of handwaving.  I can't distinguish
           between it and more sophisticated moon-hoaxers. -emarkp
           \_ Do other religious conservatives give you a lot of shit for
              being such a decent, rational person on science issues?
              I think it's fantastic to see someone who self identifies as
              a religious conservative speak out against these people.  You
              can probably get a lot more traction stopping them from destroying
              American science than us liberal jewish athiest scientists.
              can probably get a lot more traction stopping them from
              destroying American science than us liberal jewish athiest
              scientists.
              \_ I've never been criticized for it.  I point it out
                 misrepresentations of science when I see them, and
                 misrepresentations of religion when I see /them/.  I'm
                 particularly annoyed about ID because it is an attempt to
                 misrepresent science to defend the author of physical law, and
                 I just read a 30-page article this weekend from ID that read
                 like an anti-religion tract but was basically anti-Evolution.
                 -emarkp
        \_ ID isn't really about the universe and physical laws, but
           more about:  Goddamn, can you believe a tiny sperm and a tiny
           egg can combine and grow into one new human being, without anything
           else going wrong?  GAWD or ALIENS must have been involved!
           \- a fairly cool book on weird examples and corner cases in
              biology is THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE by EO WILSON. I found this
              quite readable and interesting and I have a fairly limited
              bio background. http://csua.org/u/czi
              \_ Cf. a good deal of Stephen Jay Gould's work on evolution.
                 \- isnt SJG soft on ID?
                    \_ No. Read Bully for Brontosaurus.
                 \- Some comments: the ID vs Evolution debate is somewhat
                    interesting for various reasons but it mainly has to
                    do with politics when hitting a low [like BUSH weighing
                    in about it] or philosophy of science [what is a theory
                    vs a collection of fact, what are standards of proof,
                    causality in an empirical or observational science].
                    if you are interested in actual debates on evolution,
                    those dont really concern the teleological or "invisible
                    hand" aspect of ID but other "legitimate" issues with
                    the various competing evolution theories.
                    dawkins and gould are the populerizers, but
                    you can also look at wilson, mayr [died recently too],
                    this fellow H. Orr, Stevene Pinker, matt ridley,
                    and r lewontin [recently gave a talk at berkeley]
                    and daniel dennet. a lot of these guys have secondary
                    agendas and strong personalities so it makes for
                    an interesting story/debate to follow.
        \_ The problems with ID are twofold: 1) It is not science, it is
           philosophy.  Don't teach philosophy in science classes.  And 2)
           As soon as you use the "The Wizard Did It" type of logic to explain
           the world then it's religion, not knowledge, and you can go to
           church to become indoctrinated in such a fashion.
2017/09/20 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/20    
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:August:09 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>