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Posts posted by BaalChatzaf

  1. 21 hours ago, Jonathan said:

    The striped pole is the south pole. The yellow sphere is your beginning point. You follow the red path south. It's exactly one mile. Then you head west on the green circle. Its circumference is exactly one mile, which brings you back to the red path, which you take north for one mile back to your yellow sphere starting point.



    North mean North a line of longitude.  Longitudes all intersect at exactly two points. The geographic north pole and the geographic south pole.   Walking north-west is NOT  walking north.


  2. 23 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

    Watch what Michael Palin does:

    He actually travels east instead of west, but no matter, just assume he walked west instead.  It looks like the circle he's walking in is about 20 feet in circumference, so let's assume it's precisely 20 feet.  If, to satisfy step 2, he were to do that walk 264 times (exactly one mile), his end point would be exactly the same degree of longitude as where he started.  He could then walk north one mile to satisfy step 3. 

    I don't do You Tubies.  How about a latitude and a longitude?

  3. 13 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

    Places that allow the northerly walk to occur on the same line of longitude that the southerly one did.

    Max told you yesterday:

    You ignore the possibility that going south and going north can be done on the same line of longitude, while going west between these two displacements.”

    Please provide the latitude and longitude of a point other than the North Pole which satisfies the conditions.


  4. 9 hours ago, jts said:

    Sometimes the universe is 'benevolent', sometimes 'malevolent', sometimes something between, using those words metaphorically, not literally. For example if you are a zebra being eaten alive by a pack of lions, you might have difficulty at that moment believing the universe is benevolent. Bad things can happen to humans too -- earthquakes, tornadoes, giant ocean waves, hereditary disease or disability. You can avoid most of these things by rational and intelligent thinking but I suspect that even the greatest Objectivist super heroes (with cape and the sign of the dollar on their chest) are not always in complete control of reality. For example even the greatest Objectivist super hero would get old and die.


    The universe has no intentions nor does it "will" any actions.  The universe is not a conscious entity.  However conscious entities inhabit parts of the universe.


  5. 7 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

    Longitudes intersect only at the poles. And yes, that is the meaning of walking north.

    Other places besides the North Pole also work. You end on the same point where you started.

    what other places?


  6. 21 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Good things come from academia, and a whole lot of rancid shit does, too.

    Here is the big problem with elitist clubs like academia--they protect the rancid shit with the same zeal they protect the good stuff.

    They have no fundamental reality and/or truth standards (except for show), only standards for joining or staying on the outside.

    And once inside, rancid shit has the same value as genius.


    A lot of the "good stuff"  is considered heresy by the  Church of Social Justice.  Fortunately most of math and physics is so abstract that the SJW's do not understand it well enough to condemn it, so much of it gets published.  However any physics research that casts even a scintilla of doubt on anthropogenic global warming is treated as propaganda bought and paid for by the Evil Oil and Coal  Corporations.


  7. 23 hours ago, Max said:

    You ignore the possibility that going south and going north can be done on the same line of longitude, while going west between these two displacements.

    North means a 0 degree geometric heading with respect to the poles at wither end of the axis of rotation. This is slightly different from 0 degree heading wrt  magnetic north.  The magnetic poles wander about.


  8. 22 hours ago, Max said:

    I agree, those terms were badly chosen. Further, the idea of a beneficial (let alone "benevolent") universe is a bit of a tautology: man evolved in such a way that he could survive in his environment. It's the anthropic principle again: we shouldn't be surprised that the universe makes intelligent life possible, we wouldn't be there to be surprised if that had not been the case.  

    Bacteria in those hot springs could also wonder that their local universe is so beneficial to them. while they of course evolved in such a way that they could survive in that environment (which would be lethal for humans).

    But beneficial or not, it won't continue endlessly, one day, when that big asteroid comes, we're finished, probably long before the sun finally kills us. Even the dinosaurs (OK, with exception of the birds) were wiped out, while they had existed for some 100 million years, so they were exceptionally well adapted to their environment, and yet the universe decided one day to be no longer benevolent to them, to borrow for a moment the anthropic view of the universe. 



    I think we can agree that the cosmos (during some of its evolution) operates in such a way the living things such as we are  and such as exist on earth  can and did evolved and can maintain their existence for extended periods of time.  Nature  does not love or favor us (in a manner of speaking).  We and living things like us are here and flourish and also die and are destroyed.  The Earth went through at least five major intervals of extinction during which life was vastly reduced and could have been destroyed. 

    A day will come (not soon) that the earth will become hot and dry  so that the seas dry up and life perishes.  Then the hydrogen in the sun is all fused the Suns gravitation will fuse helium into carbon. This is a hotter process than fusion of hydrogen into helium.  The Sun will be 40 percent hotter (higher temperature) than it is now.  The seas will evaporate and life will perish (first on the surface, then deeper down). This should be about a billion and a half years in the future.  Eventually enough of the "fuel"  of the sun will be fused and mass will be lost so the the outer layer of the Sun's plasma will be blown away and the sun will swell up, most likely consume the 4 rocky inner planets   Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  Only the outer gas giants will remain. 

    Nature does not favor the living in the very long run.  The cosmos  is expanding and cooling down. Eventually all activity in the cosmos will reach a very cold equilibrium.  The cosmos as a domain of life will cease to be.  Entropy is increasing, the Cosmos is "dying"  (i.e. heading to a cold equilibrium state where nothing much happens).  

    Live long and well while you can.


  9. Ayn Rand's excoriation of  academia  was totally on point.   Hugh Prichett is alive and at work in America, currently and woe unto us.

    The proof of intellectual degradation  was solidly given by the famous  Sokal Hoax.  And if  this were not enough there was a follow-up with the Sokal Squared Hoax.

    Please read the following articles:  and

    If Sokal did not give us a righteous scare, then Sokal Squared should have us pooping in our drawers. 


    Live long and Prosper  \\//

  10. On 12/29/2018 at 8:31 PM, Jon Letendre said:

    The North Pole works.

    Other places work, too.

    Nope.  The only places where two longitudes intersect are at the poles.  Heading North means moving on a line of longitude  in the direction of the North geographic pole. 


  11. 23 hours ago, trying to think said:

    Where can I find the Objectivist arguments that we do not live in a malevolent universe?

    Definition of "malevolent"   is  having or showing a wish to do evil to others. 

    The universe does not intend or wish anything. The universe is not an entity that intends or wishes so the term "malevolent"  does not apply to it.  Better to use the term "harmful". 

    If the universe were totally harmful then we would not be here  to ponder  whether to use the term  "malevolent". If the universe were totally harmful  then living things could not evolve and survive.


  12. "benevolent" and "malevolent" should only be applied to entities capable of  intentions.   The better words to  use  are   "beneficial"  and "harmful" (resp.)  which can be applied to any entities  capable of producing  beneficial (harmful)  results or effects.    "volent"  indicates will or intent.  

  13. 3 hours ago, Max said:

    But even if you suppose that in only one of 1000 cases vaccination would cause autism, this would show up in the statistics if your sample is big enough. The question is not how many vaccinated children become autistic, but: is there a difference in the percentage of children diagnosed with autism between vaccinated and unvaccinated children? If there is no difference, then there is no evidence for the hypothesis that vaccination causes autism, that is elementary statistics. Now "data" is not the plural of "anecdote", you need a large sample to get reliable results. Such studies have been done, and the conclusion of all of them was that there is no evidence that vaccination causes autism. 


    However, immunization does produce benefits.  How many people are paralyzed with polio this days.  Hardly any.  When I was a kid, Summer time used to be Polio Hell.  I was forbidden by my parents to go to public swimming pools and discourage from going to the movies.  And almost everyone knew someone, or had a relative that was crippled by the disease.  So a statistical analysis IS appropriate.  If the odds of harm  by NOT having the immunization,  exceed the odds of harm BY having the immunization one should  be immunized.  An interesting thing happened with regard to smallpox.  It turned out that more people were getting a smallpox related disease from the immunization  than  those is in  unimmunized population were getting smallpox.  So smallpox shots were eliminated.  The disease simply ceased to exist in advanced countries like the U.S.     But the anti-immunization crackpots do not have a valid statistical argument for their position.  They simply believe that immunization causes autism. They are wrong.  Almost all indication are that the various types of autism are genetically conditioned.  Studies show that it runs in families.  But this, right now, is a suspicion, not a proven fact. One thing we do know at this point, immunization as such does NOT cause autism.  The Anti-Vac  crew are crackpots. 


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  14. 1 hour ago, jts said:

    Smoking does not cause lung cancer. If it did, everybody who smokes would get lung cancer. Clear proof that smoking does not cause lung cancer.


    That is correct. Smoking by itself does not cause lung cancer.  Smoking, perhaps,  enables other conditions to prevail, but these other conditions are not universal in the population.  That is a possibility.  But the anti-immunization crackpots do not say this.  They say flatly, baldly, and wrongly, immunization causes autism 

  15. Have a look here    The article indicates 92 percent of the population is vaccinated. If vaccination caused autism (it doesn't) then over 80 percent of the population would be autistic.  However only one in ninety is diagnosed with autism.  Clear proof that the hypothesis  immunization causes autism is poppycock.  

  16. 3 hours ago, Max said:

    You mean they aren't? 😈

    The majority of Americans are sane and have working brains.  They may not be as wise as they should be but they are connected to the real world.  No clinical study done to date supports the hypothesis that immunizations cause autism.  If that were true the 90 percent of Americans would be autistic because 90 percent of American have been immunized against measles, whooping cough, dyptheria and polio. I will not accept this hypothesis until a clinical double blind study supports it.


  17. On 12/27/2018 at 12:16 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    Since that is true, you don't get to say science and ethics are separate and have it mean anything real.

    Science is now communicated to the public--and often implemented--through propaganda outlets. They decide for others what is true and not true. Falsification, trial and error, etc., are window dressing if they clash with propaganda priorities.

    Tell me where science exists differently. You can't.

     As you yourself just said, the days of otherwise have passed.


    The conditions under which science may be practiced are certainly affect by government involvement, but the science itself is about something else.  Physicists think of fields, manifolds, particles, symmetries, topologies, gauge effects,  etc when they do physics. They are not thinking of the next grant.  That is someone else's job.  The contents of physics is mostly math. It is a pure context unpolluted by ethical and political matters. 

  18. 6 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:



    When science is funded by its victims, there's not only a big honking lot of morality in it, there's a ton of immorality.

    Let's do like this. Remove government from science and let the scientists survive on the free market. Do you think that's a good idea? I think it's wonderful.

    Another thought, to you believe it's possible for people to become corrupted by unearned money, even scientists?



    These are moral issues that go right to the heart of scientific credibility.

    If you want to know "how the world  works," really works, cut government funding from science. Then talk to me about ethics.


    There was a time when governments did not fund science.  Rich guys funded science out of their own pockets.  Those days have apparently passed.  Without  government funding which means the extraction of tax loot from the public   we would not have manned missions to the moon or machines capable  of  measuring the Higgs Field.   The government is involved even in marginal cases.  The transistor was developed at Bell Telephone Laboratory 1947.  But Bell could not have done it without a monopoly granted to ATT as  regulated monopoly.  It is frustrating. I would prefer that our theory and technology could be developed  without any government involvement but that just isn't happening.  If the government did not license ATT as a regulated monopoly we would have waited a long time for the transistor (which is the main basis of our economy now)  to be developed.  Maybe it would not have been developed without government involvement.  I am unable so say that for sure but it seems that way. 


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  19. 6 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    I wish that were true.

    But it's only true in some imaginary utopia.

    You can't have science without scientists. You can't have scientists without money. Today's scientists like government money. And many do sloppy sloppy work for unearned money and call it science. And they squelch scientific inquiry in the name of "science" to keep their money flows open.

    It's all interconnected.


    The science is about nature and what it does or does not do.  Funding is about paying the scientists and providing  resources to the scientists in order for them to science.  Funding as such will not  prove or disprove a hypothesis.  Unfortunately there is just as much funding for badly done science as the for well done science,  Probably more than for science done right.


  20. 4 hours ago, jts said:

    Let's see if I correctly understand Bob Kolker. Someone takes a bullet to the head at point blank range and dies almost instantly. Most people would think it's a reasonable hypothesis that the cause of the death is the bullet to the head at point blank range. But this would be sloppy thinking. Maybe it's just coincidence that he took a bullet to the head at point blank range and died very soon after. To conclude that there is a cause and effect relationship would be post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    A cause always produces the effect, not merely sometimes. A single example to the contrary is enough to prove that it is not the cause. T. C. Fry (a health nut) took a bullet to the head at point blank range and survived! It contributed to his health problems but didn't kill him. This proves that a bullet to the head at point blank range does not cause death. Anyone who thinks it did cause death in a specific case is doing sloppy thinking.


    It is what the bullet does to the brain that causes death

    A bullet to  the brain  mashes and rips brain tissue so that the brain no longer functions as a brain should.


  21. 28 minutes ago, Jon Letendre said:

    The physical sciences are not all alike and cannot use the same procedures or standards. In Astronomy, for example, experimentation is problematic. Each science requires procedures suited to the subject matter investigated. Bob is trying to force fit what’s appropriate in his specialty into life science.

    We know from ER experience that the same sized dose of X will kill patient A, merely sicken patient B and have no measurable effects on patient C. It can be repeated so that patients with characteristics like patient A will almost always be killed, with characteristics like patient C, almost never  any consequences, etc.  Bob looks at this through the lense of the science he spent his career with and concludes that since dose X doesn’t always kill, it cannot be named the cause of death of patients in category A.

    Ultimately all scientific hypotheses and theories are validated by 1.  observation and measurement  2. laboratory experiment and testing   3. clinical testing which generally uses some statistical form of hypothesis test.   The bottom line is:  the predictions  have to match what nature shows through either observation or experiment.  Science of any kind has to be subject to testing and potential empirical falsification.  Obviously the details of the experiments and observations depend on what is  being studied.  Some things can be corroborated by conditions in imposed in the laboratory.  Other things have to be observed and measured as they happen naturally.  Astronomy, as you pointed out, is such a science.  So is cosmology.  Particle and Field physics are tested in such installations as CERN.  Chemistry is tested in the lab.  Biology is test both in the lab and in the field.  The essential thing that distinguishes the physicals sciences (that work) is ultimate empirical testing and possible falsification,  from philosophy  which is all vapor and abstraction.  Mathematics is a peculiar thing. It is not a science because it is not empirical  but  its claims have to be validated by proofs  which are formulated by mathematicians,  then read and checked by other mathematicians.  Checking a proof for correctness is empirical even though all of the subject matter is abstract.


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