Search found 575 matches

by RockoTDF
Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:12 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Properties of Sentience
Replies: 28
Views: 3812

Re: Properties of Sentience

@ rockoTDF: I agree that we can plausibly say that the monkey that touches the dot on its forehead while looking in the mirror is self-aware. But that doesn't give a general criterion other than to consider that we do similar things and we do them because we are self-aware. OP asked: "Without ...
by RockoTDF
Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:01 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Same school for undergrad and PHD, Yay or nay?
Replies: 11
Views: 1829

Re: Same school for undergrad and PHD, Yay or nay?

How prestigious is your school? If it is someplace really really well known you won't have a problem.

At MIT they call it being MIT3
by RockoTDF
Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: On your eyes
Replies: 15
Views: 1990

Re: On your eyes

"Resolution" isn't exactly the best way to think of it. It is sort of like asking what the storage capacity of the brain is in terabytes. The center of your visual field has more cones (neurons with photoreceptors) that signal based upon color (wavelength. The periphery has more rods, whic...
by RockoTDF
Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:31 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: How difficult is it to get into MIT?
Replies: 32
Views: 5386

Re: How difficult is it to get into MIT?

I can't claim expertise, as I am also still one of the many wanting to get into MIT. However, I just went on the tour literally last week, and I'm fairly good friends with a guy who just got it. Spoiler'd for length. Obviously grades are important, as are tests like the SAT / ACT / etc. However, It...
by RockoTDF
Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0621: "Superlative"
Replies: 136
Views: 31036

Re: "Superlative" Discussion

Very good comic, mainly because of the choice of commercial parodied. But honestly, I don't think the man in the commercial is that interesting. He just seems like a 70-ish year old version of James Bond who knows how to speak Russian. No, no, no. He speaks French *in* Russian. I do think that is t...
by RockoTDF
Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:25 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: So, My Senior Year Begins (College Choice)
Replies: 7
Views: 1148

Re: So, My Senior Year Begins (College Choice)

Right, so, about halfway through my junior year of high school, I sat down and came up with six colleges. These six colleges were (a) the ones I would apply to (b) had good physics programs and (c) made an impressive list if anyone said to me "So, where are you going to college?". They we...
by RockoTDF
Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:10 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: How difficult is it to get into MIT?
Replies: 32
Views: 5386

Re: How difficult is it to get into MIT?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the chances of you getting into MIT are extremely slim; only 3% of international students who apply get in, and those who do get in probably have 95% averages at least . Unless you have some absolutely amazing ECs or something, you probably won't make it. You should ...
by RockoTDF
Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:56 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Design a curriculum for your field
Replies: 0
Views: 453

Design a curriculum for your field

Over in the computer science board there is a thread about designing your own CS curriculum. The idea is that if you were the chair of a department at a university and had total control and weren't afraid of students hating their lives, what would you do? I thought it would be interesting to expand ...
by RockoTDF
Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:25 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Future and present, CS advice
Replies: 9
Views: 1899

Re: Future and present, CS advice

Profs always like it if you say the word 'research' around them... just be prepared to hear them talk for a while. To me, I feel like that's one of the best ways to become involved. Yes they do. They also sometimes know of 10 people in the world that love their uber-specialized niche, and are alway...
by RockoTDF
Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:15 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: If you could make your own CS curriculum, how would it work?
Replies: 10
Views: 2664

Re: If you could make your own CS curriculum, how would it work?

I would agree that there is a correlation between "code-monkey factories" and java in year one, but I don't think it is always the case. My beef with Java as a teaching language is that it is not abstract enough to easily draw mathematical analogies (like functional languages) but it isn't...
by RockoTDF
Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:47 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

A part of the problem with the AI/simulation stuff is that people are stuck thinking about computers as being strictly of a von neumann design, and programmed by rule based systems. Are you suggesting there are plausible computer architectures which are not rule-based? I am very sympathetic to the ...
by RockoTDF
Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

That's wikipedia. There are still tons of relevant behavioral labs out there. To deny this is ridiculous. Cognitive psych is bigger at the moment, sure, but behaviorism is alive and kicking. Reflexively in response to tapping the patellar tendon, presumably. The cheese burns so good. I think this i...
by RockoTDF
Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:18 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

"Everybody" is a real stretch. Behaviorism is critically important in working with children with developmental disorders, drug addicts, and so on. Hence the qualifier "pretty much." Or as wikipedia has it: "In the second half of the twentieth century, behaviorism was largel...
by RockoTDF
Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:49 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

You make it sound like we're dead EMTP :( From a scientific standpoint, you pretty much are, in the sense that pretty much everybody acknowledges the cognitive movement was a necessary corrective to behaviorism. "Everybody" is a real stretch. Behaviorism is critically important in working...
by RockoTDF
Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:27 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

"That" word again? If you have a problem with parsimony, you have a problem with science. I have a problem with people who use it in a sloppy way. "Parsimony" is not verbal spackle to be smearing into the holes of a weak argument. I don't see what is so weak about the argument. ...
by RockoTDF
Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:36 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

HEY ATTENTION PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE! An instinct is an innate response to a certain stimuli (such as how your eyelids fire off when you get something in them) and is NOT a learned behavior. Just thought I would get that out of the way. Animals with extremely simple nervous systems (such as insects) b...
by RockoTDF
Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:54 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Books you never finished
Replies: 280
Views: 169431

Re: Books you never finished

Heart of Darkness For Whom The Bell Tolls (will pick up again at the weekend) A Brave New World Chapterhouse Dune (or maybe I'll restart this one...) Moby Dick. This one is tough because it was my favorite teacher's favorite book of all time, and shortly after handing in my paper (which the latter q...
by RockoTDF
Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:30 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Cures for insomnia
Replies: 19
Views: 2306

Re: Cures for insomnia

Boring book works. I started reading The Origin of Species about 2 months ago and I'm not even half way through it. I average maybe 3-4 pages a night before I fall straight to sleep. I once said that it should have been called "The Origin of Sleepy." I had to read the entire thing for His...
by RockoTDF
Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:04 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

I assume that you have feelings. I don't know why I would think differently about a brain that is made of silicon and not carbon. I guess the unsceintificness of it all bugs me. It might not be testable right now, but I think it is more parsimonious to assume that function will remain the same if s...
by RockoTDF
Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:37 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Cures for insomnia
Replies: 19
Views: 2306

Re: Cures for insomnia

Do you read or watch TV in bed? It is quite easy to form "awake" associations with your bed, which is about the last place you want! Cut out activities in bed other than sleeping and sexual activity. If you don't fall asleep within 15 minutes, get up and do something else away from your be...
by RockoTDF
Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:29 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

They are surprisingly independent in many cases, but not completely. The idea that *all* behavior is a consequence of mental processes is what the quoted poster was trying to say, which is completely incorrect. So then, even if you succesfully create a human brain the "behaves" like a hum...
by RockoTDF
Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:54 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

Also, you are taking a very unparsimonious and anthropocentric view of behavior. I sense an attack of behaviorism coming my way. BF Skinner; I'm going to dig you up and put a stake in your heart. I think behaviorism is a very, very misunderstood field. I'm not a radical behaviorist, I'm just saying...
by RockoTDF
Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:31 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

Fair enough, I'll post some links for you (Rocko will probably have more/better ones): The Matching Law : basically the fundamental aspect of all behavior - simply, the ratio of responses is proportional to the ratio of reinforcement. (This is a simplified version of what actually happens, but it's...
by RockoTDF
Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:25 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

Also, you are taking a very unparsimonious and anthropocentric view of behavior. Animals with extremely simple nervous systems (such as insects) behave according to the same rules as humans, but lack the necessary hardware to experience consciousness (ie a brain). We have to assume that they do not...
by RockoTDF
Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:11 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

No, that's incorrect. Desire is necessary to create the drive to chose anything . It may sound like a squishy concern, but mark my words, it will prove to be one of the greatest problems in formulating true AI. Our own awareness of the moment -- our human consciousness, in other words, stems from a...
by RockoTDF
Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:49 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A question on research/thesii(?)/scientific process
Replies: 14
Views: 1875

Re: A question on research/thesii(?)/scientific process

Sorry if this post seems disjointed, I'm bad at explaining my thoughts. Firstly, what started my train of thought was that in NZ if you want to be a university lecturer you need a PhD. Don't know if that's the case for other countries. So I thought, a thesis involves conducting research and writing...
by RockoTDF
Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:01 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion and Science, Mutually exclusive?
Replies: 289
Views: 27155

Re: Religion and Science, Mutually exclusive?

John Robbins, a recently deceased apologist and theologian, had some not-so-nice words for science: The First Experiment The historical account in Genesis 3 is a graphic illustration of the sinful error of empiricism: Adam and Eve, who had received God’s propositional revelation about the tree of t...
by RockoTDF
Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:42 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Artifical Brain in 10 years?
Replies: 117
Views: 10701

Re: Artifical Brain in 10 years?

As a neural systems grad student, I will add to the choir of "bullshit" from my fellow xkcd neuro/cognitive/computer scientists. Their model does not incorporate development and gene expression (which are really important) nor do they seem to realize that there are vast differences in neur...
by RockoTDF
Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:28 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Fox News analyst call for execution of captured soldier
Replies: 52
Views: 5027

Re: Fox News analyst call for execution of captured soldier

The soldier may have deserted, but the rules are that he can cooperate with the enemy so long as he discredits the videos in some hidden way (scratches his nose with middle finger, blinks stuff in morse code). The training has been updated a bit because of the war on terror since this douchebag left...
by RockoTDF
Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:26 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: A New Space Race
Replies: 64
Views: 5156

Re: A New Space Race

Well, I'd much rather see spending on something that advances the frontiers of science than a lot of the other crap our government spends money on. Also, the argument "why waste money on space flight when there are other more important things to do here" is complete crap. It's just the sa...
by RockoTDF
Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:35 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Life expectancy of scientists
Replies: 32
Views: 5851

Re: Life expectancy of scientists

How can we know if a death is statistically less painful? Like, ask people who are dieing on a scale of 1 to 10 how painful it is? o.O Don't be a Mathematician...Galois died at 20 from being shot! D= For some reason a lot of famous mathematicians died young, and the Fields Medal is limited to peopl...
by RockoTDF
Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:29 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Women as good at chess as men. . .unless they are facing men
Replies: 94
Views: 8136

Re: Women as good at chess as men. . .unless they are facing men

It wasn't clear what I meant from the way I wrote it, but it's exactly the sexual preference thing that can make women more comfortable around gay men. Not because they're better listeners or more fashionably dressed, but because there is no lingering worry that "he's only hanging around to ge...
by RockoTDF
Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:28 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: A New Space Race
Replies: 64
Views: 5156

Re: A New Space Race

Space colonization is a big, expensive pain. I think its a dream, but in reality (especially with the rising sea levels) we are going to see some sort of Oceanic colonization first. Does this mean Americans might start caring about science education again? Wouldn't that be nice? To be fair, at the t...
by RockoTDF
Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:52 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Women as good at chess as men. . .unless they are facing men
Replies: 94
Views: 8136

Re: Women as good at chess as men. . .unless they are facing men

I think it is interesting that some of the measures memory for location and mental rotation turned out to be unimportant. This is probably because the skills of chess experts sometimes do not generalize. I'm really surprised they didn't talk about the study where chess players were no better than c...
by RockoTDF
Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:22 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Women as good at chess as men. . .unless they are facing men
Replies: 94
Views: 8136

Re: Women as good at chess as men. . .unless they are facing men

Has anyone considered that female players may have done worse when told they played men because they may have adjusted their strategy to how they think men play? I would hope something like this came up somewhere in their discussion section. The abstract mentioned that women are really underreprese...
by RockoTDF
Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation
Replies: 236
Views: 13504

Re: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation

The military is a rough example because of the Physicality involved at the low levels. I actually think this is a fundamental military problem to begin with, because the promotions that occur at low levels do not have criteria matching promotions or skill sets at high levels. The Military system as...
by RockoTDF
Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:40 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation
Replies: 236
Views: 13504

Re: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation

So, this incident is used as the beginning of the history of women's abuse, something that was perpetuated for thousands of years. If nothing like this ever actually happened, that seems pretty significant to me. Not really. Because I can basically guarantee that any brief history overview immediat...
by RockoTDF
Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:13 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation
Replies: 236
Views: 13504

Re: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation

"Things" means "scientific research" now? Because we are discussing research and scholarship. In general; not in the context you quoted. I think you're misreading what was actually being discussed, and grossly mischaracterizing Belial's position when he claims that the previous ...
by RockoTDF
Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:20 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: MY Kind of Science
Replies: 19
Views: 2577

Re: MY Kind of Science

I think most of what the OP is talking about is not necessarily molecular biology, but mostly either "social" biology - the hive techniques of ants, or "long-term" biology - evolution, forced evolution, and the engineering of a super-species. And now, to contribute further to th...
by RockoTDF
Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation
Replies: 236
Views: 13504

Re: "Harder to kill than a vampire" - feminist misinformation

Debatable? If you think emotion has a part in scientific research then you have lost the plot. "Things" means "scientific research" now? Because we are discussing research and scholarship. The reason we don't have many women generals (or admirals) is because these jobs usually g...

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