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dream_weaver

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Everything posted by dream_weaver

  1. dream_weaver

    Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    Life has a new ingredient Inosine could be a potential route to the first RNA and the origin of life on Earth Date: December 3, 2018 Source: Harvard University Summary: Our prehistoric Earth, bombarded with asteroids and lightening, rife with bubbling geothermal pools, may not seem hospitable today. But somewhere in the chemical chaos of our early planet, life did form. How? For decades, scientists have created miniature replicas of infant Earth in the lab in order to hunt for life's essential ingredients. Now, one of those replicas points to a possible new ingredient in the world's first RNA. First, some new versions discovered to test. Recently, however, researchers discovered a way to make versions of adenosine and inosine -- 8-oxo-adenosine and 8-oxo-inosine -- from materials available on primeval Earth. So, Kim and his colleagues set out to investigate whether RNA constructed with these analogs could replicate efficiently. And while these substitutes failed to perform, the crux per this excerpt is: nosine enabled RNA [replicated] with high speed and few errors. It "turns out to exhibit reasonable rates and fidelities in RNA copying reactions," the team concluded. "We propose that inosine could have served as a surrogate for guanosine in the early emergence of life."
  2. Yeast not only gives rise to bread, it gave rise to an answer to a question that has eluded evolutionary biologists. "To understand why the world is full of plants and animals, including humans, we need to know how one-celled organisms made the switch to living as a group, as multicelled organisms," said Sam Scheiner, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Environmental Biology. "This study is the first to experimentally observe that transition, providing a look at an event that took place hundreds of millions of years ago."
  3. dream_weaver

    Ukraine

    Back in other news . . . Russia fires at Ukrainian ships and captures three vessels off Crimea Ukraine says Russia opened fire on its naval vessels, seized them From the second link: The international community has largely not recognized Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine. According to TASS, a 2003 treaty confirms the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait as domestic waters of Russia and Ukraine.
  4. dream_weaver

    The Transporter Problem

    Lawrence M. Krauss did this 5619 word expose on the Star Trek transporter back in 1995: Beam Me Up an Einstein, Scotty Not that he provides the last word on the subject, he does reveal that the onion has many layers to it, and presents them from several perspectives derived from several of the fictional explanations provided. Here's an excerpt from where he gets as close to discussing the consciousness issue: When a body has no body Perhaps the most fascinating question about beaming - one that is usually not even addressed - is, What comprises a human being? Are we merely the sum of all our atoms? More precisely, if I were to re-create each atom in your body, in precisely the same chemical state of excitation as your atoms are in at this moment, would I produce a functionally identical person who has exactly all your memories, hopes, dreams, spirit? There is every reason to expect that this would be the case, but it is worth noting that it flies in the face of a great deal of spiritual belief about the existence of a "soul" that is somehow distinct from one's body. What happens when you die, after all? Don't many religions hold that the "soul" can exist after death? What then happens to the soul during the transport process? In this sense, the transporter would be a wonderful experiment in spirituality. If a person were beamed aboard the Enterprise and remained intact and observably unchanged, it would provide dramatic evidence that a human being is no more than the sum of his or her parts, and the demonstration would directly confront a wealth of spiritual beliefs.
  5. dream_weaver

    The Transporter Problem

    What is difficult to place into this framework is the transporter brushing with death in order to accomplish the goal. Is the transporter severing matter and form, substance and structure? If so, how? Recollections of watching Star Trek episodes, the person at the controls moved a lever, and at one time, there was like a cylinder of what appeared to be television static, the camera would switch to the destination, and the static would resolve into Kirk or Spock, and the show would continue. Everything else is conjecture in the individual minds of what they imagine "must have happened". Until a working model of a transporter is built, God formed woman from Adam's rib is about as informative as God spake and firmaments appeared between the waters. Google query on "how does a star trek transporter work": A transporter is a fictional teleportation machine used in the Star Trek universe. Transporters convert a person or object into an energy pattern (a process called dematerialization), then "beam" it to a target, where it is reconverted into matter (rematerialization).
  6. dream_weaver

    The Transporter Problem

    Rod Sterling would have been hard pressed to put it any better. Someone wrote on a travel method where the traveler was put to sleep prior to the journey. A child figured a way to remain awake for the trip, and at the destination, was arrived as an old version of the child. (The child with make-up to look like wrinkles and gray hair.) All that needs be interjected now is Derek Parfit's version, albeit, it transforms the question from one of teleportation to replication.
  7. dream_weaver

    The Transporter Problem

    So a note to whomever discovers and ultimately constructs a Star Trek style transporter, like a pack of cigarettes, it must come with a clearly marked warning label to the effect of: Use of this product invokes a Frankenstein Clause. You will die before the process is complete, and the entity resurrected at the completion of the process may, or may not, provide you with the salvation of the time traveled you may otherwise have incurred. I believe the other thread also stated that the person who used a transporter should not be treated any differently afterward, leaving open the question: If a person refuses to use a transporter even before they are created, should they be treated differently?
  8. dream_weaver

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    No, I seem to be grasping at straws here for the moment. I'll have to be content with having explicitly revealed the error at this time.
  9. dream_weaver

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    The "first person perspective/experience" has an identity. Yours has an identity, mine has an identity, and 7.4 billion other residents of this inhabited world have each their own "first person perspective/experience" along with its respective identity. Each of these units are part of the set of "first person perspective/experience", including those which were, those which are, and those which have yet to be. As units of this unique identity, there has to be a range of measurements which have been omitted, which must exist in some quantity, but may exist with any quantity (within their respective range limits.) At this point, what is being dealt with is similarity, not a state of being identical. Identity, as described, is not a state of being identical, rather it is where the spectrum of identified and yet to be identified similarities reside. Again, it seems as if the riddle rests on different perspectives of a particular. Two different perspectives of, in this case, "first person perspective/experience".
  10. dream_weaver

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    Agreed, it isn't clear yet. I'm struggling with this. There is something about the "first person experience" that is universal, or independently shareable—via communication—yet dependent on the one experiencing it.
  11. dream_weaver

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    A proper expression of the following: could be reworded as: 1. Everything existing in reality exists independent of every person's perception, knowledge, consciousness, experience etc. The "first person experience" is separate enough to be identified as the "first person experience", dependent on the first person to experience, and can be projected such that it can be understood that other's must have that "first person experience" as well.
  12. dream_weaver

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    If the "first person experience" is dependent on yourself to experience it, how is it independent of the "first person's perception"?
  13. dream_weaver

    Metaphysical status of First Person Experience

    There is an equivocation on "everything". Point 7 comes closest to stating it explicitly. Awareness is not a tangible existent that can be pointed to, wrapped up and given away as a present, etc. The use of "everything" goes from a tangible existent sense in point 1, to to broader use that is consonant with the explanation given in chapter 6 of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, treating the concepts of consciousness synonymous with those of existence and identity.
  14. Dagny placed the remnant of the motor into a vault in one of the tunnels; the vault had once contained an emergency electric generator, which had been removed long ago.

    —a thing that made me go hmm. Was it really necessary to bring up the prior content of the vault?

    1. StrictlyLogical

      StrictlyLogical

      Man’s mind or reason, his engine for life was also once used in ancient Greece and again during the Enlightenment, and in the face of bad philosophy is once more abandoned with nothing in its place... now another chance at restarting the generator of his life... a rebirth of reason.

    2. dream_weaver

      dream_weaver

      Atlas Shrugged, the Kelsae Sweet Giant Onion of literature. The chapter Wyatt's Torch just got more intricate.

    3. Grames

      Grames

      Rand is drawing a parallel between the broken "motor" she found and an electric generator.  Also, in a way what had been removed is now restored (although the "motor" doesn't work yet) foreshadowing some other restoration yet to occur. 

      A vault also keeps private, or keeps a secret, what is within it.  This is yet another foreshadowing of her discovery that John Galt has already secretly been working in the Taggart Terminal.   As the book goes on to show, Galt really has been Dagny's private motivation all along, even before she knew Galt existed.

  15. dream_weaver

    Grieving the loss of God

    This reminded me of your earlier thread on Truth as Disvalue.
  16. The current threshold of 'Newbie' posts had not been met yet. Exception granted.
  17. dream_weaver

    Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer, by Michael White

    What Everyone Gets Wrong About Newton's Apple An interesting adjunct included with the postscript by this article's author: —Stephen Skolnick P.S. I can never talk about Newton without bringing up my favorite fact about his life. The story of the apple tree is set in 1666, when 23-year-old Isaac Newton unexpectedly found himself with the time to sit in his family's garden and stare at a tree because Cambridge University—where he was a student at the time—was closed for the year due to a minor outbreak of bubonic plague. We can thank this little touch of plague for virtually all of Newton's scientific legacy: in that single impromptu gap year, he had his epiphany about gravity, discovered that white light is made up of all the colors in the spectrum, and basically invented calculus. Having a year off from studying and doing homework to actually think—to sit and sip tea and look sideways at a tree, to squint through glass panes at funny angles to study the rainbows they make, to ponder without pressure and generally explore his own ideas rather than furiously studying those of his professors and predecessors—was undoubtedly an important ingredient in producing what became known as Newton's annus mirabilis: the miracle year.
  18. Having read this recently, when Bill Harris asked this question, "But Newton also believed in alchemy, so what's that called?" reminded me of how this biography could address something here, that has also been touch on in the referenced thread. More on this later.
  19. dream_weaver

    Concept formation and neuroscience.

    One (or more) of those nerve impulses must have taken an Epicurean swerve in this thread.
  20. dream_weaver

    Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    Chemists find a recipe that may have jump-started life on Earth Carell’s story starts with only six molecular building blocks—oxygen, nitrogen, methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen cyanide, all of which would have been present on early Earth. Other research groups had shown that these molecules could react to form somewhat more complex compounds than the ones Carell used. To make the pyrimidines, Carell started with compounds called cyanoacetylene and hydroxylamine, which react to form compounds called amino-isoxazoles. These, in turn, react with another simple molecule, urea, to form compounds that then react with a sugar called ribose to make one last set of intermediate compounds. Finally, in the presence of sulfur-containing compounds called thiols and trace amounts of iron or nickel salts, these intermediates transform into the pyrimidines cytosine and uracil. As a bonus, this last reaction is triggered when the metals in the salts harbor extra positive charges, which is precisely what occurs in the final step in a similar molecular cascade that produces the purines, adenine and guanine. Even better, the step that leads to all four nucleotides works in one pot, Carell says, offering for the first time a plausible explanation of how all of RNA’s building blocks could have arisen side by side.
  21. dream_weaver

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    Did you read this in the guidelines? This website facilitates trade among those interested in Objectivism. The primary -- but not only -- form of trade will be information about Objectivism and discussion about its applications. Agreement with Objectivism is not required for participation. Anyone interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy may join. I'm having difficulty parsing your assertion of self-proclaimed Objectivists from those having an interest it the subject, especially when agreement with Objectivism is not a prerequisite for participation.
  22. dream_weaver

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    Jason Hunter, So in your esteem not only are human beings duty-bound to ensure the survival of family, there is a duty to engage in debate about this and presumably other subjects? Just how do 'weak replies' to any particular position serve as evidence for any other particular position?
  23. dream_weaver

    Abstract Surrealism

    I've asked others, on occasion, if art imitates life or if life imitates art. Framing art as a derivative of life, (philosophy, too, is a derivative) really upends the question, in a way that I implicitly knew, but hadn't identified explicitly in relationship to the question.
  24. dream_weaver

    Abstract Surrealism

    Billionaire Griffin Pays $500 Million for Two Paintings The Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Source: Art Institute of Chicago “In order to own the greatest art historical objects of our time one has to go above and beyond to obtain them,” said Abigail Asher, a partner at art advisory firm Guggenheim Asher Associates Inc. in New York, who wasn’t involved in the transaction. This makes me think of a couple of lines from the chapter on Anti-Greed. One: "She picked up a discarded newspaper; she managed, with effort, to understand what was written, but not why it should ever have been written: it all seemed so childishly senseless." True, it is quite a story. It is not every day a billionaire purchases two such paint-works for half a billion dollars. The other: "But the child, she thought, knows that he is playing a game; these people pretend to themselves that they are not pretending; they know no other state of existence." There are some really surreal aspects to this.
  25. dream_weaver

    Abstract Surrealism

    Myth Busting Banksy This was from the above follow-up article found on Digg/Artnome regarding the recent Sotheby’s and Banksy incident. We will start by looking at the key engineering questions: • Could a device that had been in the frame for up to 10 years have the battery life to listen for a remote trigger? • Was there a functional shredder in the frame or was a pre-shredded work spooled out? • Was the shredder shown in Banksy’s video the device used to shred the painting? We will then follow up with questions around the potential for collusion between Sotheby’s and Banksy and what each scenario implies. • Was Sotheby’s aware of the prank, and perhaps complicit? • What does it say about Banksy if he colluded with Sotheby’s? • What does it say about Sotheby’s if they did not know ahead of time? The fact that a follow-up article was produced suggests something more than meets the eye occurred here. In Mark Scott's words: "There are no accidents in politics." In his experience, investigation into politics often provided clues that led to deeper underlying factors that where intended to remain hidden by their benefactors. Searching for clarification on a saying, the following was found via Google: Anti-mimesis is a philosophical position that holds the direct opposite of Aristotelian mimesis. Its most notable proponent is Oscar Wilde, who opined in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying that, "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life". The first line is currently verbatim of Wikipedia's "Life imitating art" page. From "Myth Busting" to "Fact sometimes stranger than fiction", even the Aristotelian attribution of fiction needs to be differentiated from its basis in historical rendering at times.
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