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by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:44 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
Replies: 81
Views: 46490

Re: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"

(Apologies for the double post but editing posts from mobile is hell on this crapphone.) Perhaps to clarify.... I don't see "air is blue" as a dismissal of the fantastic physics of Rayeigh scattering at all, and I don't think Randall does either. Rather, I see it as an invitation to explor...
by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:18 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
Replies: 81
Views: 46490

Re: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"

It's not a question of the mechanism so much as its consistency. When you say something is blue, it normally means you can expect it to look blue in most contexts where the light allows for it. If that isn't the case – if for instance the color depends on the angle like Zinho's example, or on fluor...
by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Puzzling artifacts and reasonable reasoning
Replies: 79
Views: 14513

Re: Puzzling artifacts and reasonable reasoning

So my new avatar....
by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:38 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

Another possible flaw in the argument: we don't actually know that any facts about the universe are ultimately contingent! I have a fondness for physicists Max Tegmark's semi-philosophical Mathematical Universe Hypothesis , which supposes that mathematical platonism is true and that our physical un...
by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:25 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
Replies: 81
Views: 46490

Re: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"

It's not a question of being scientifically concrete. When I say something is a certain colour, 99% of the time I'm talking about the light being reflected off that something. Common usage defines that. What color is your skin when you go outside? What color is your hair? What color are your eyes? ...
by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:48 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
Replies: 81
Views: 46490

Re: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"

But the color of air is different than what we traditionally think of color. Usually when we say "color", we're talking about reflected or occasionally transmitted light, rather than scattered. Very much agreed. Saying the atmosphere is blue might let you skip a physics lesson for the mom...
by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theory of black hole composition
Replies: 50
Views: 7508

Re: Theory of black hole composition

The complexity of these different approaches certainly makes me feel like I'm trying to model a thermonuclear weapon with a 2nd-grade chemistry set. But hey, why not give it a shot? I think that even before evaluating the validity of my application of Hawking radiation, I should probably try to get ...
by sevenperforce
Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:28 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
Replies: 81
Views: 46490

Re: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"

I particularly loved this: Normal light interacts with the atmosphere through Rayleigh scattering. You may have heard of Rayleigh scattering as the answer to "why is the sky blue." This is sort of true, but honestly, a better answer to this question might be "because air is blue.&quo...
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theory of black hole composition
Replies: 50
Views: 7508

Re: Theory of black hole composition

In the last graphic, I depicted the evaporative photons leaving behind a reduced event horizon which, from their perspective, was located at the center of the former black hole quanta. However, since we are dealing with evaporation lifetimes well in excess of the Planck time, it may be that the redu...
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:45 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

In any case that's just me being pedantically specific in my own writing, not passing judgment on anybody else's diction.
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:43 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

doogly wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:the Johannine gospel

It's called John.

But since "the author of John" ≠ "John" it's helpful to distinguish betwixt the two.
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:38 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

It's not quite so special-pleading as that, because most definitions/conceptions/descriptions of "god" already implicitly or explicitly contained the attribute of necessary existence, or something like it. Consider John 1: "In the beginning was Logos, and Logos was with Theos, and Lo...
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:39 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theory of black hole composition
Replies: 50
Views: 7508

Re: Theory of black hole composition

Would you not require the emission of two or more particles to maintain conservation of momentum? And would that system of 2+ particles then add up to 1 Plank mass perhaps? Let's use this question of conservation of momentum to solve for the most energetic particle(s) an evaporating black hole can ...
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:35 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

Found a solution I feel fine with to both this sort of question and all questions pertaining to existence, I just call it "reducere ad infinitum" Which is to say, sure yes we can say the universe exists (or not, doesn't even matter) and then something created it, and then something create...
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:20 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Ignorant Magic - story idea
Replies: 18
Views: 8469

Re: Ignorant Magic - story idea

I'm feeling a bit of the Matrix thing going on. People who use magic to bend spoons or whatever but don't really understand why vs people who are trapped in the Matrix and follow its rules vs people who understand that it's an illusion vs The One. Of course making your concept into a compelling stor...
by sevenperforce
Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
Replies: 81
Views: 46490

Re: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"

Collimating incoherent light, reaching millions of degrees when the photosphere is only thousands... I think thermodynamics would have something to say about this. (The corona is over a million degrees, but it's too sparse and transparent to do much.) It does, however, seem like something like this...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:20 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

I like to think of it as being prepared. If someone is trying to sell "quantum energy crystals" to my impressionable grandparents, it's nice to be able to expose the quackery with minimal effort. Similarly, if someone is claiming justification for their particular brand of bigotry based on...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:10 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"
Replies: 81
Views: 46490

Re: What-If 0141: "Sunbeam"

This is quite possibly the best line in a What-If, if not all of science fiction, so far: You wouldn't really die of anything, in the traditional sense. You would just stop being biology and start being physics. Yeah, the scenario itself didn't get quite as complex or interesting as a lot of other ...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:05 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

*shrug* Even a single h-bomb, without a long range delivery system, isn't much of a deterrent. It's a problem, sure. The kind that attracts bad attention, if sufficient instability exists, and ends up being a target, but...I don't believe he can cobble together an actually functional ICBM. Still go...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:59 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

No, I'm dismissing the dribblings of christians who puff up their piety with the pretense of philosophy. One need not spend a year of philosophy gargling such errors. Those who remain ignorant of history... What is equivalent to "history" in this case, and what is the implied consequence?...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

doogly wrote:No, I'm dismissing the dribblings of christians who puff up their piety with the pretense of philosophy. One need not spend a year of philosophy gargling such errors.

Those who remain ignorant of history...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:22 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

China's cautious there. They DO have a no first nuclear strike policy, and they're not dumb enough to get into a nuclear shooting match with the US. If one breaks out, they're gonna write North Korea off as a loss and call it a day. Concerns will revolve around things like "where will the fall...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:58 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

most of first year of the class is spent on the philosophy of religion. How horribly boring. It really does all seem to amount to simple special pleading. "Necessary." Scoff. Wait until I tell you about Descartes ;) That aside, the whole thing is much more formal than I expected - a sort ...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:47 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

No one is going to nuke China just for being North Korea's ally...not unless China actually tries to defend North Korea. It would make no sense for the United States to act aggressively toward China merely due to the tenuous alliance it currently maintains. This. China would either support them on ...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

Reading the description of that argument you linked I think the creation of this argument went something like this: "When we do the old 'Something must be at the beginning of the chain=>God' argument others point out that the "what caused it" argument applies to God too." "...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Landing a Rocket on the Mun
Replies: 23
Views: 9459

Re: Landing a Rocket on the Mun

I mean, yes, you don't need to orbit a body before leaving it, but I don't think you save fuel by opting to do it this way. Not in a two-body problem, no. But if you are heading to another body's SOI, you've got a chance if your engines are powerful enough and you don't mind pulling really high gee...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

I do not think that people understood what my last post was saying. If N.K. used nukes on S.K., China would know that are the only two ways that the situation can end. China stays allies with N.K. and risk attack from all of S.K.'s allies; China does not ally herself with N.K. and does not risk att...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Argument from Contingency
Replies: 43
Views: 8156

Re: The Argument from Contingency

It might be a handwavy answer, but I tend to view philosophical arguments for the divine as a de facto product of limited inductive reasoning. We axiomatically group things into categories like "contingent" and "necessary" based on our inductive understanding of the way the world...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theory of black hole composition
Replies: 50
Views: 7508

Re: Theory of black hole composition

Even if there isn't matter inside, there is still a lot of energy from those photons. Does the concentrated energy of those photons not provide a gravitational field? All of the other questions in this thread are harder, but that one's relatively straightforward - the gravitational field depends on...
by sevenperforce
Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:48 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Landing a Rocket on the Mun
Replies: 23
Views: 9459

Re: Landing a Rocket on the Mun

Optimal launch off mun would be wait for the right angle and then launch straight upwards and out of the SOI on to your desired course. Don't waste any dV on horizontal stuff like going to orbit first. Yeah, I don't think this is true? I suppose it would depend on your T/W ratio, your highest accep...
by sevenperforce
Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:54 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Nuking all the military installations believed to contain nuclear weapons or weapons delivery systems with tactical B61 bombs dialed to the 100-kiloton range could be done with no risk to US personnel, low NK civilian casualties, and massive results. Well, you'll likely get shelling of Seoul, right...
by sevenperforce
Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:04 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Oooh, that's really pushing the line with the Chinese, then. And they're strongly territorial, as shown by the various island disputes. Those are crap compared to trashing areas of the mainland, too. North Korea is putting itself in a delicate place by doing that... I mean, if China actually gets a...
by sevenperforce
Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

It'd be a mess, though. Any fight with North Korea would be pretty awful. Even if you try very hard to only hit military targets, they are...a very militarized society. A lot of military to hit. And when the resource shortages inevitibly hit, because you're trying to diminish their capacity to figh...
by sevenperforce
Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:08 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

The US doesn't subscribe to No First Use. The United States has refused to adopt a no-first-use policy, saying that it "reserves the right to use" nuclear weapons first in the case of conflict. Oh, right; I was thinking of the non-nuclear-state assurance: "The United States will not ...
by sevenperforce
Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

I doubt the North Koreans actually know what a hydrogen bomb is, much less possess the capacity to build one. This reminds me of a controversy that happened in Massachusetts a little while back. A group of exchange students from the Middle East (may have been Pakistan) wanted to take a class on nuc...
by sevenperforce
Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:58 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theory of black hole composition
Replies: 50
Views: 7508

Theory of black hole composition

A while back we were kicking around some ideas in the RELATIVITY QUESTIONS thread and it got me to thinking about black hole formation and a lot of the unsolved problems surrounding black holes. Specifically, the question arose whether black hole formation could be in any way represented from an &qu...
by sevenperforce
Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:56 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Ignorant Magic - story idea
Replies: 18
Views: 8469

Re: Ignorant Magic - story idea

Izawwlgood wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:Which is why I think it would be better if real laws of physics were actually the result of actualization of beliefs about the universe by particularly clever people.

Dammit Feynman, stop trying to quantify reality.

I think this is appropriate.
by sevenperforce
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:35 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Do we have indication of any delusions or mental problems at all? Executing people to consolidate power is hardly delusional. Any statement he's ever made about the United States is awash with delusions of grandeur. Execution to consolidate power is par for the course for psychopathic dictators but...
by sevenperforce
Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Ignorant Magic - story idea
Replies: 18
Views: 8469

Re: Ignorant Magic - story idea

Copper Bezel wrote:That's just the point at which it becomes believe-in-yourself power. This becomes Digimon in a fight and Oprah in economics.

Which is why I think it would be better if real laws of physics were actually the result of actualization of beliefs about the universe by particularly clever people.
by sevenperforce
Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:09 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test
Replies: 50
Views: 13565

Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Dunno if they'll ever sign an actual peace treaty. Kim is one stubborn, psychotic SOB. Wasn't he educated in the States? I'm not sure that the wild psychotic thing is the person in the position, or if it's a factor of the politics and the position itself, as his father was pretty belligerent, yet w...

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