BaalChatzaf

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Posts posted by BaalChatzaf


  1. On 1/13/2018 at 12:22 PM, Peter said:

    What are the potential benefits of living in space or on a surface with lesser gravity? The evidence suggests longevity, once the downsides are worked out, and increased height, if that matters to anyone. Mars may not be tomorrow’s wonderland but it will supply gravity, water, and minerals. A recent article on The Mars Rover showed a new photograph of perhaps billions of gallons of water suspended in the rock face of a cliff and that was just one location. Of course there is always the species benefit inherent in the dispersal of human entities: no catastrophe in one location can wipe humanity out. For instance, we know North Korea is developing biological weapons that may destroy them and the rest of humanity. What would happen if only two percent of humanity was left on earth? In contradiction to that threat, two percent of humanity living on Mars, is sensible: letters and packages from home, delayed videos, and TV shows for the people left on earth, and the great adventure for the people on Mars. What could beat that?

    Peter    

    Zero g over the long term is fatal to humans. Our bodies evolved to function in a one g environment.  In zero g the bones start to decompose.  


  2. On 8/15/2019 at 2:45 PM, BaalChatzaf said:

     

    I wrote "Our   rather cramped and biased  point of view  cannot give us any idea of what life would be like in a place where carbon based life  has evolved.  "  edit that to becom e "Our   rather cramped and biased  point of view  cannot give us any idea of what life would be like in a place where carbon based life  has NOT evolved.  "


  3. 22 hours ago, Peter said:

     

    Therefore, any naturally occurring sentient beings, evolved through survival of the fittest, will be very much like humans.


    I

    Natural Selection (the principle)  will lead to organisms  tuned the the physical characteristics of their environment.   If physical conditions on another planet are much unlike the conditions on earth (the conditions in which and to which we evolved)   then beings  in such an environment could be very different from us, even if they are intelligent. It so happens that the only livable place we know  is our very own Earth here in our very own solar system, so we have no idea of  what  different sorts of livable environments elsewhere in the cosmos might be like.  

    Our   rather cramped and biased  point of view  cannot give us any idea of what life would be like in a place where carbon based life  has evolved.  

     

    Ba'al Chatzaf


  4. 49 minutes ago, Peter said:

    I think my thought experiment needs more precise constants. Another circular space for living is the space station, which are rotating centrifugal force producing environments that sustain human life. I think vehicles in zero gee will require rotation to keep humans healthy, even for a one year trip to Mars. Otherwise bones will become brittle and muscles will not be strong enough to support the weight of the individual. The Scifi show Deep Space Nine is a great exploration of that idea, where an entire city lives healthily in space.    

     

    correct.  Humans evolved to live in one g of gravitation.  A ten month trip to Mars  even with daily exercise will wreck the bodies of the crew.  Then  a two year stay at 3/5 G  and a zero G ten month return  will make the mission to Mars a suicide mission.  Missions to Mars require an entirely new propulsion system.   Until the happens the only off planet  missions we can handle are trips to the moon (three days or less)   and limited stays on the Moon.   The gravitation problem must be addressed before we earthlings become a space faring race.

     


  5. On 8/11/2019 at 6:33 PM, Peter said:

    Ba’al wrote: No corners for a sphere.  There is no way of flattening a sphere in the same way one can flatten a cylinder.  However the surface of a sphere has the property that any local region on the surface can be made topologically equivalent to a plane. end quote

     

    Imagine a globe with thousands of dots or pixels equally distant from each other on its surface. In our three dimensional space can a section, piece, or circle be cut out and be reformed, into a smaller globe without losing any of the dots on the piece's surface?

    Yes.   Consider this.  A north pole, Polar Projection map and a sout pole Polar Projection map.  Two planar maps covers every point on the surface of the earth.  If you don't mind losing the poles   a Mercator Map will do you just fine.  Of course sizes and shapes are distorted. Size and shape is faithful  only near the equator  and  vastly distorted (enlarged) near the poles.  The poles themselves are lost. 

     


  6. On 8/6/2019 at 11:05 PM, Peter said:

    Deep Thoughts. Four corners of the world? Can a globe have corners? Two frogs don’t make a right. What is another name for a Bail Bondsman? A Flight Attendant.

     

    I watched an old Johnny Carson tonight from 1975. It had Neal Simon on and a very young comedian named Phil Maher. Phil was actually pretty good. He is half Jewish but grew up going to Catholic church. How did he become so bitter, a Never Trumper, and not funny?

    No corners for a sphere.  There is no way of flattening a sphere  in the same way one  can flatten a cylinder.  However the surface of a sphere has the property that any local region on the surface can be made topologically equivalent to a plane. 


  7. 8 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

     

    There was a fellow in Egypt way back then who used real scientific math calculation to determine the near circumference of the earth. Real science, real results.

    Eristothenes of Alexandria.  He curator  of the Great Library of Alexandria.  He calculated the circumference of the earth on the assumption the Earth was spherical (almost right -- the Earth is an oblate spheroid).   See  https://www.windows2universe.org/citizen_science/myw/w2u_eratosthenes_calc_earth_size.html     to see how he did it.  His imethod was simple and elegant and required only basic geometry and proportions.  It also did not require telescopes.  Eristothenes  got  the circumference to within 5 percent of the modern value.

     


  8. 7 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    Wrong is the way to right. That makes Aristotle half right. Right?

    --Brant 

    Aristotle and his followers were not empiricists.  They did not see testing as necessary.  As long as their arguments made logical sense they were convinced of their correctness.


  9. 12 hours ago, Peter said:

    I wonder what would happen if after time travel is discovered we send easily understood textbooks back to Aristotle? And an almanac, and a copy of AS? No. That's too egocentrically nonsensical. And tell them The Gods don't exist?

    Jim Beam me up Scotty.  

    Forget about backward time travel.  That would imply contradiction to the law of conservation of energy  and  the second law of thermodynamics.   Existences is irreversible.  Time goes forward. 


  10. On 8/4/2019 at 6:01 AM, merjet said:

    If you had lived when Aristotle did, do you believe you would have gotten it as right as Newton did? 😄

     “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” - Atticus Finch

    some yes. some no.  Aristotle could have easily test his assertion that heavier bodies fall faster than light bodies.  A one pound rock and a two pound rock  dropped off the roof of the nearest temple of Zeus would have settled the matter.  Aristotle  could not have done microscopic or telescopic observations  because lenses had not  yet been invented.

     


  11. 21 hours ago, merjet said:

    Physics Needs Philosophy / Philosophy Needs Physics

    Scientific American, July 18, 2018

    No Aristotelian Metaphysics!!!!!   Just about every testable statement Aristotle made about the natural  world is WRONG.   Modern Physics is crypto Platonic.  The physicist Max Tegmark  makes no attempt to hide his Platonism.   

    Dumping Aristotle was necessary to progress.  Newton did a near-complete purge of Aristotle  in  "Principia Mathematica..." which even Galileo  did not do. Galileo did not get rid of circular movement of celestial bodies and neither did Copernicus.  That was left to Kepler  who was dragged kicking, screaming and calculating to the hypothesis that planets followed elliptical orbits around the Sun.  Newton provided the mathematical basis which grounded Kepler's   hypothesis.  Newton also established the methodology of  mathematically based physics  which is still in use today, even though the underlying physical theories and hypotheses have changed a great deal.  

     

    Ba'al Chatzaf


  12. 12 hours ago, Robert3750 said:

    Hi all,

    I discovered this site recently after Google searches prompted by rereading PAR, which piqued my curiosity about Rand and the Brandens.  I must say that this forum is a breath of fresh air, after getting the idea for so long that Objectivism is defined by the grim authoritarian stance of the people at ARI.

    My initial exposure to Rand was in my mid 20s.  A libertarian friend told me about her, and I ate up TF and AS.  In subsequent years, I watched the Italian We The Living film, and read shorter Rand books such as Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Philosophy Who Needs It, Capitalism The Unknown Ideal, For The New Intellectual,  and The Virtue Of Selfishness, so I have a good grasp of What Objectivism is all about.  I've never really thought of myself as an Objectivist, because Objectivist "apostles" constantly reiterate that it's a closed system, the totality of which MUST be accepted, at least as they define it.  That's always been off-putting to me.  Over the years,  I've been exposed to plenty of other "individualist" thinking--Reason magazine, Murray Rothbard, Tibor Machan, Von Mises, Hayek, Hazlitt, Albert Jay Nock, and others.  I do think Rand made the best moral case for capitalism.

    Even though I hesitate to call myself a big O Objectivist, I've always viewed life in objectivist terms.  I became a mechanical engineer partly because it deals with objective reality.  If one tries to ignore objective reality, the bridge will fall down, the motor won't start, or the rocket will explode.  In the world of audiophiles, I've always been firmly in the objectivist (as opposed to subjectivist) camp.  Fictional works where reality is shaped at will by consciousness annoy me.  And so forth.

    greetings and welcome...


  13. 7 hours ago, Peter said:

    Shucks. You got it. I have asked before if Freud followed scientifically pure methods and no one answered sufficiently. Now you must divulge your true I.Q. Are you from planet Earth?  And will you help me play the stock market?      

    Yes    ..... No

     


  14. "The Case for Trump"  by Victor Davis Hanson.  

    An excellent book showing  how Donald Trump totally blindsided the Media and the Establishment. 

    Pay particular attention to Chapter  6  which is  a detailed description of how the "Deep State"  operates.  For a politically naive person such as I am,  it was both alarming and enlightening.  The embedded Establishment is actively trying (and happily not succeeding)  in useating a sitting and legally elected President.  They are a nasty and vicious lot.

    I am a fan Of Hanson's writing and scholarship.  It is such a rare pleasure to find well written English, of the kind that V. D. Hanson writes.  I have read several of his books and heard his lectures which are video recorded and available on You Tube.  

    His book "A War Like No Other" is probably the best book on the  Peloponnesian War  written for history non-specialists. 

     

    Ba'al Chatzaf


  15. 6 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    All time is is a measurement of motion. There is nothing there except things that move. All space is is the distance between objects, also a measurement. "Space-time" is nothing as such.

    --Brant

    Measurement of change.  Motion is change of position. There are other kinds of changes too.


  16. On 6/24/2019 at 12:35 PM, Peter said:

    Per your last sentence, consider kids who are born into privilege and wealth. Can too much "smart" be a detriment?

    An occasional failure  can be the motivation for much success.  Failing now and again is good training for picking one's self up off the  floor and trying again.


  17. 6 hours ago, Peter said:

    Under your hypothesis, risk taking, sky divers, sea divers, mountain climbers, entrepreneurs, stock market investors, ignoring a "private property" sign, joining the military, poker players and gamblers everywhere, and even speeding would have the affect of making you stronger if the activity doesn't break your back. So, is there a rational reason to take risks? I want to be stronger so I will get the ladder and  . . .

    Or are you just talking about happenstance and misfortune befalling worthy people? Sufferers of PTSD might also disagree, but  occasionally I hear or think a phrase like I wouldn't be the person I am today if XYZ hadn't happened. I think Ayn Rand would agree with you, but she might say it was the positive, personal mental state and philosophy of the persons who have bad things happen to them that makes your phrase come true.

    I wish no bad things would happen to me. I was trying to remember if any Rand characters took "real risks" and the only one I can think of is Francisco, though I suppose founding or living in Galt's Gulch was taking a risk. Joke headline. FBI, ICE, and IRS raid mountain hideout of billionaire seeking illegals and tax evaders. Peter         

    Happenstance.  I am not out looking to receive non-fatal blows.

     


  18. 49 minutes ago, anthony said:

    Right, what I could call - someone meeting the resistance of reality (good and bad other people, in there too). There's a strong draw on a viewer/reader for a fictional protagonist when the odds are greatly stacked up against him/her, which defines most fiction. For me, most absorbing is the protagonist whom you can see in the process of volitionally creating his character qualities as the story progresses, as greater pressure on him mounts - iow, he is not 'a done deal,' his integrity and fortitude are tested and grow, he's having to make hard moral decisions as the plot unfolds, keeping you guessing which way he'll turn out, and succeed or not.. As we know, a prominent few of Rand's characters enter with a ready-made virtuous character; and she also shows others develop along the way. We want "heroes" to mentally/emotionally invest in, so it's critical  they are authentic, like us, and rising to bigger challenges than ours. They can do it, you can. Even people who scorn free will, evidently need a film hero who triumphs against adversity, going on nearly all the (although often over-physical) movie scripts one sees, which proves that realist romanticism is not completely dead. I think it's telling that most tacitly recognize their individual power of volition, needing to see demonstrations of it, while intellectually dismissing the idea.  

    Any blow that does not break my back, makes me stronger....


  19. 19 hours ago, Peter said:

    Per your last sentence, consider kids who are born into privilege and wealth. Can too much "smart" be a detriment?

    Yes.  Being smart and knowing one is smart  and occupying a position of privilege can sap ambition and the urge to excel.  


  20. 16 hours ago, Peter said:

    Dream Weaver on another site wrote: Origin of life: A prebiotic route to DNA. Date: June 18, 2019. Source: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

     

    Summary: DNA, the hereditary material, may have appeared on Earth earlier than has been assumed hitherto. Chemists now show that a simple reaction pathway could have given rise to DNA subunits on the early Earth.

     

    The crux: [A] team of chemists led by LMU's Professor Oliver Trapp has proposed a much more direct mechanism for the synthesis of DNA subunits from organic compounds that would have been present in a prebiotic environment. "The reaction pathway is relatively simple," says Trapp, which suggests it could well have been realized in a prebiotic setting. For example, it does not require variations in reaction parameters, such as temperature. In Trapp's experiments, the necessary ingredients are water, a mildly alkaline pH and temperatures of between 40 and 70°C. Under such conditions, adequately high reaction rates and product yields are achieved, with high selectivity and correct stereochemistry. 

    The is reminiscent of the Urey-Miller experiments.  Please see:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller–Urey_experiment

     


  21. 18 hours ago, Peter said:

    Nicky wrote on another site: For instance, in NYC (or NYS, I'm citing this out of memory, so I'm not entirely sure which), an overwhelming majority of genius level IQ tested high-school students are ethnic Ashkenazi Jews. A crazy amount, something like 49 out of 50 "genius" IQ students in NY are Jewish. That's a natural consequence of Ashkenazi Jews being, on average, about ten points above the average population, in IQ. Which is not that much. But small statistical differences result in overwhelming differences when it comes to outliers (in this case, geniuses). end quote

     

    Those statistics  are reasonably sound.  But  what of the causes?  There is a hypothesis which I moderately subscribe to , to wit, the mating  customs of Ashkenazim in Europe  put a high value on males who mastered the intricacies of the Babylonian Talmud and the very strict reasoning  of the Scholars, Rabbis and Sages. These bright young fellows had their pick of the women in the villages and shtetils.  The matchmakers (marriages were arranged  to advantage the families of the women who paid  a bride prices for  a good husband)  would often pair up the brilliant young  Talmud-Bucher  with the daughter of the richest man in the Shtetel.   It turns out this was a breeding program to make intelligent children (although the mechanisms of human biological inheritance were unknown at this time).  Now contrast this with how Catholics arranged things.  The best and the brightest sons  were encouraged to go into the Priesthood where their opportunities for biological mating were .... limited.....  So the Catholics were taking half of the gene pool for intelligence out of circulation.  There you have a crude and semi-plausible account for why the Ashkenazim   were "so  smart".  Also for cultural reasons every Jewish male was encouraged to become as learned as he could in matters of Talmud and Torah.

    The logic of and about the Talmud (and logic there was)   was a kind  of hybrid between inferential logic and inductive logic.  It was, at its root  Bayesian reasoning.   To become an accomplished Talmud scholar of repute  required decades of study.  Jews have traditionally put a high premium on "being smart"  and practical!  It is just the thing one needs  to survive in a hostile or potentially hostile environment. So in a strange way, the anti-Semites promoted the  breeding of  super-smart Jews.  One had to have one's wits firmly attached to survive in that environment.

    Breeding programs  of other sorts have emerged in the Asiatic nations.  China is renowned  for  turning out its share (and more than their share) of very smart people.  Some thousands of years ago China was several light years ahead of Europe in both abstract thinking and practical engineering.  China, which has dumped Lenin and Marx for good old practical reasons is in the  process of reclaiming its eminent position in the world of ideas and technology.  Japan has also done well  and in the smaller  Asiatic nations as wells as Japan and China  the "tiger-moms" who push their son's  unmercifully is a known phenomena.  There is a shortage of women in the Asiatic nations (sons are preferred to daughters for cultural reasons)  so the brightest and most ambitious males are more likely to "score" in the reproductive  struggle and competition.  

    And so it goes.  A combination of genetics and culture, in some cases, is an effective breeding program  for intelligence. 

     

    Ba'al  Chatzaf  --- a descendant of Abraham, if not in the flesh, then certainly in the spirit.

     

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