Search found 64 matches

by reval
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:00 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thank you for all the comments. Even though I wasn't able to convince anyone, I am glad we were able to talk about my specific proposals, which is already an improvement on my previous thread. In particular, I maintain that none of you was able to demonstrate a significant flaw or weakness in the ar...
by reval
Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Dear ucim, it is you, not I, who is trapped by "Master Race" thinking. Until you allow yourself to change your own desires, you won't become the kind of "thang" who can see the category error you make in comparing memes and genes. Both memes and genes are information. In principl...
by reval
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:09 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Chen - Thank you for your comments. Yes, I'm using "process" to refer to all types of interactions of matter and energy. These are mechanical processes taking place in a materialist universe. Obviously I am mainly interested in certain types of processes, specifically those that maintain t...
by reval
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Wealth taxation
Replies: 61
Views: 8185

Re: Wealth taxation

Also beware of externalized costs. The loss of natural habitat to surburbs and agriculture isn't easy to quantify in a dollar-based discussion of housing density, but the loss of pollinators could easily affect our food supply in very dollar-relevant ways.
by reval
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:13 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

I realize there are a number of places along the way where it may be hard to go along with the chain of reasoning and observation. Here is an attempt to break it down into a series of steps: 1. All processes happen in a universe of matter that is moving according to the laws of physics. No explanati...
by reval
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thanks for all the comments. And thanks to ucim for landing a punch (ouch!) The defunct thread sometimes felt like people were objecting to things I wasn't proposing. My fault, of course, for failing to convey my propositions. But this one lands squarely: ... the very idea of genetic engineering wil...
by reval
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:52 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Chen: Okay, I'll go ahead and try to put it in one sentence. "When people see that technology can supplant biological evolution, this changes what they want: they want to advance technology instead of advancing themselves over their rivals." So this is all about people's motives. I'm claim...
by reval
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

morriswalters: If you mean "don't mess with things you don't understand because you'll screw it up and cause a disaster" then of course I agree with you. Our understanding isn't there yet, and that's why we need better tools, and we need to go carefully as we learn. My confidence that we'l...
by reval
Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thanks for taking another look at this! I'm not sure I understand why "important" is misleading or unclear in this context? The Two Reasons" versions uses "the most important thing to notice" in this place. What I mean is "important for my argument" (also, "im...
by reval
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 1932

Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

A while back I wrote an 8,000 word essay which I described as being about competition. It was discussed here . It was a total flop, and that thread is now dead. (Please don't necro it.) I am grateful to the commenters who made clear that my political arguments were acting as a distraction from the c...
by reval
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:36 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Telescope amplification with laser medium?
Replies: 18
Views: 1822

Re: Telescope amplification with laser medium?

So it would only amplify on a single frequency at a time. Any way to tune the frequency? Sweep it through a range and get a spectrum? Amp up your signal for oxygen or whatever.

I like it. I have no idea whether it would work or what's wrong with it either.
by reval
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1848: "Glacial Erratic"
Replies: 23
Views: 2639

Re: 1848: "Glacial Erratic"

You know what glaciers lead to? Deranged drainage, that's what.
by reval
Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:44 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163763

Re: Trump presidency

The main good thing about Paris was that the Germans nearly got a statement that "ultimate goal is zero fossil carbon use" in there. They didn't, and the Paris commitments look meaningless in themselves, but the idea seemed to actually shift the Overton window. That means that "zero f...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 3:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How would you change the U.S. tax system?
Replies: 194
Views: 11316

Re: How would you change the U.S. tax system?

I'm sorry You're not, and please don't say you are. Specifics on taxation are pointless in the absence of the power to implement any meaningful change. Go ahead, take away the mortgage deduction. The only reason it could actually happen is that it will probably hurt the 99% slightly more than the 1...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 3:05 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Breaking Up the United States
Replies: 163
Views: 12954

Re: Breaking Up the United States

The US states can fix the electoral college disaster without a constitutional amendment: National Popular Vote Interstate Compact . This is an actual thing, with states accounting for 165 electoral votes having signed up; when it gets to 270 electoral votes it takes effect. Then these states throw a...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How would you change the U.S. tax system?
Replies: 194
Views: 11316

Re: How would you change the U.S. tax system?

Yes, MS-DOS was a copy of CP/M, not Unix, from experience with all three. And there's this surrealistic quality to this thread where people are talking about what *should* be taxed, and Thesh seems to be the only one aware of the raw power of property to make sure that it *isn't* taxed. There's your...
by reval
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System
Replies: 14
Views: 2892

Re: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System

I like the variable-sized parliament - but with only enough extra seats to get up to some minimal standard of proportionality. The extra seats would be evanescent, weakening party control, and the "best losers" would have to stay focused on their home districts. On the other hand, the &quo...
by reval
Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1814: "Color Pattern"
Replies: 61
Views: 6782

Re: 1814: "Color Pattern"

Otherwise why wouldn't my cousin see it? A lot of people don't believe what they're seeing. If what they see doesn't match up which what they think they ought to be seeing, the idea can get dismissed at a fairly preliminary level. I believe your cousin was being honest. Seeing something new and une...
by reval
Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System
Replies: 14
Views: 2892

Re: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System

Trying to square winner-take-all with proportional representation keeps not working. Winner-take-all gets you a local representative who may actually care what you think, but if you're in the local minority, you get nothing. Proportional gets you a national voice for minority positions, even they ca...
by reval
Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Okay, I agree that both E-Prime and the object oriented analogy are experiments that need to be abandoned. When my overloaded operators get compared with C++ I know I've failed. But seriously, I'm trying to avoid overloading the word "process", though I may have slipped up here and there. ...
by reval
Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 10337

Re: Free Will

Ignorance gives you free will in a deterministic universe. You make decisions and act based on the incomplete information you are able to obtain. The universe may be deterministic, but information about its course is not available to you. If you always knew the best action according to your motives,...
by reval
Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Wikileaks Releases CIA Hacking Secrets
Replies: 21
Views: 4249

Re: Wikileaks Releases CIA Hacking Secrets

It is heartening to see that the courage displayed by Manning and Snowdon is alive and well in the wild. As more and more normal people come to understand that spying on people and controlling people is wrong, the wrongdoings of the bosses come to matter less and less. We will move towards more tran...
by reval
Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Yes, I could more precisely have written "a human contains a thought process". Use of the verb "to be" has been criticized as imprecise and ambiguous. I have tried, as an experiment, to write in E-Prime , and this has sometimes helped me to clarify my thoughts. In this case, I fe...
by reval
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:20 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What do you think of this quote about "evil"?
Replies: 75
Views: 18995

Re: What do you think of this quote about "evil"?

Why not derive "good" from survival? In my relations with others I do "good" depending on our shared strategy of survival. This explains how the tribal warlord does "good" by building a mountain of skulls of tribal enemies, because tribal supremacy and growth is "g...
by reval
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

qetzal: But that is exactly where we disagree. A computational process is a model that includes a computer plus information (both of them concrete material things). The model fits all three of your examples, although you have left out some of the components. The thought process uses information in a...
by reval
Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:31 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163763

Re: Trump presidency

ban lead ammo Waterfowl take up stones that they keep in their gizzards to grind up food. They are very vulnerable to pieces of lead in their environment, and do in fact die of lead poisoning. For many years now, waterfowl hunting in the US has been legal only with steel or other non-toxic shot. Le...
by reval
Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Thanks for riding on the bus, even just for one stop! I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea that my brain may be holding many thought processes, and that they may be trying to direct my actions to different ends. In fact, the more rational ones seem to hold strong opinions against the older ones, ...
by reval
Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

The "thought process" isn't a thing. It is a process that another thing undergoes. Ah. I think I see one of the points of disconnection. Okay, I have been unclear. To me, a process is a thing. Information is a thing, a few electrons here or there, a mark in the clay. Computation and infor...
by reval
Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Sorry, yes, I meant {fight} and {compete for resources}. Thanks for your comments. I agree obviously I am not being clear enough, and only hope I can improve. Many of your suggestions urge me to stop talking about evolution already. But I have to talk about evolution because it is one of two fundame...
by reval
Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:10 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Okay, I forgot to explicitly mention "survival" as the first thing that the thought process does. If it stops surviving, there is no process, and nothing left to talk about. So "good" means good at surviving. The question I am asking is whether these thought processes, by talking...
by reval
Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Let me try to describe the thought process more clearly. Imagine that some aliens drop an embodied thought process onto a planetthat is similar to Earth, but otherwise without life. It doesn't matter whether the embodiment is organic, robotic, or in some other form. What matters is that it is a comp...
by reval
Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:35 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Sorry for my delay in answering. Tyndmyr: Yes, I do have a problem with sports competition, if there is a valuable prize involved, such as money, status, or reproductive opportunity. The genuine motive is what matters. ahammel and quantropy: Thanks for pointing out that I tried to dodge a point. I d...
by reval
Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

Having more kids is only a small part of the behavior motivated by evolutionary competition. Think of all of the traits and behaviors studied by biologists. All of those came out of competition. Each of these traits and behaviors exists because it provided some kind of an evolutionary advantage in a...
by reval
Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

We're all enmeshed in these complex exchanges with other people, aren't we? And each of us has our own mixed motives. A specific motive does not automatically imply a specific behavior. That's why it's hard to give a simple definition of cognitive motivation. It's a motivation, not a behavior. "...
by reval
Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:15 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

What does Bob want? The same act could be competitive or cognitively motivated, depending on why he did it. If Bob wants to be a billionaire and have someone else scrub his toilet and bring him a margarita, then he is acting competitively, and he might want to question where that margarita has been....
by reval
Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:20 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: how do you pronounce 2016?
Replies: 85
Views: 8701

Re: how do you pronounce 2016?

Ah, good point. Okay, you got me there. I still want a Year Zero, though.
by reval
Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:02 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 8076

Re: An essay against competition

I'm sorry I failed to explain clearly the problem of competition. I appreciate the chance to improve the explanation. Please allow me to speak bluntly. Based on your comment in the citizen's wage thread, I believe you may be wearing pro-competition blinders. That would make you exactly the sort of p...
by reval
Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:38 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: how do you pronounce 2016?
Replies: 85
Views: 8701

Re: how do you pronounce 2016?

I was shocked when I found out that a bunch of innumerates messed up the timeline by putting year 1 BC immediately before 1 AD, and forgetting the zero in the middle. It's because numbers are points, and years are ranges. There is no good solution (...) It makes sense to me to treat 1 BC as Year 0,...
by reval
Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:49 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: how do you pronounce 2016?
Replies: 85
Views: 8701

Re: how do you pronounce 2016?

Dates before common era always bothered me anyway. I was shocked when I found out that a bunch of innumerates messed up the timeline by putting year 1 BC immediately before 1 AD, and forgetting the zero in the middle. As far as I am concerned, this means all BC dates are wrong. Yes, there's all the...
by reval
Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:16 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 3074
Views: 163763

Re: AGA?

predicted 70% chance of Hillary winning when she actually lost in a landslide Michigan and Florida do not a landslide make. It was a close election in the end, and well within the range of the polling. Nate Silver discusses the limits of the polls http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-fivethirtye...

Go to advanced search