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Everything posted by dream_weaver

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. dream_weaver

    Concept formation and neuroscience.

    One (or more) of those nerve impulses must have taken an Epicurean swerve in this thread.
  4. 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.
  5. 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."
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. dream_weaver

    Abstract Surrealism

    You honed in on the gist of it.
  12. dream_weaver

    Abstract Surrealism

    'GOING, GOING, GONE!' Banksy’s Girl with Balloon artwork SELF-DESTRUCTS in secret shredder frame minutes after £1m auction – and now it’s worth double In a twist to be expected from street art's most subversive character, the canvas titled Girl With Balloon suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame By Abe Hawken 6th October 2018, 10:05 am Updated: 6th October 2018, 10:33 pm Painting as auctioned: Painting shortly after the gavel struck. If nothing else, this framed a shred of evidence in a rather concrete form.
  13. dream_weaver

    The Resistance Banker

    It was watched on Netflix here, while the Internet Movie Database provides a little more detail in their reviews. It's nice to find these little gems, even if they are inadvertently stumbled across.
  14. dream_weaver

    The Resistance Banker

    A dramatization of events surrounding the creation and operation of an underground banking setup to aide the resistance against German aggression during World War Two. It nicely illustrated the angle of doing the right thing, in the context of being in the midst of a war. Internet Movie Database link to The Resistance Banker.
  15. dream_weaver

    Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    Did key building blocks for life come from deep space? Date: September 28, 2018 Source: University of Hawaii at Manoa Summary: All living beings need cells and energy to replicate. Without these fundamental building blocks, living organisms could not exist. Little was known about a key element in the building blocks, phosphates, until now. Researchers have now provide compelling new evidence that this component for life was generated in outer space and delivered to Earth in its first one billion years by meteorites or comets. Here's a little more (having been detected on Comet 67P) on the element of phosphorus : In an ultra-high vacuum chamber cooled down to 5 K (-450°F) in the W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry at UH Manoa, the Hawaii team replicated interstellar icy grains coated with carbon dioxide and water, which are ubiquitous in cold molecular clouds, and phosphine. When exposed to ionizing radiation in the form of high-energy electrons to simulate the cosmic rays in space, multiple phosphorus oxoacids like phosphoric acid and diphosphoric acid were synthesized via non-equilibrium reactions. "On Earth, phosphine is lethal to living beings," said Turner, lead author. "But in the interstellar medium, an exotic phosphine chemistry can promote rare chemical reaction pathways to initiate the formation of biorelevant molecules such as oxoacids of phosphorus, which eventually might spark the molecular evolution of life as we know it."
  16. "She felt someone looking at her and turned. The young brakeman stood watching her tensely." She wasn't whistling dixie. While it is common enough to hear the expression, studies thus far have failed to bear this out. What psychological phenomenon might give rise to this. It might make sense from a manifestation of guilt - an extension of a supernatural recorder keeping a record for the day of judgment . . . but whistling a melody she heard being whistled absent mindedly?
  17. Here’s What’s Wrong with Ayn Rand’s Philosophy By Craig Biddle. Posted at The Objective Standard Many articles have been written about what’s wrong with Ayn Rand’s philosophy. But, to my knowledge, none of them presents her ideas accurately. So I thought it would be helpful to write one that does. Here’s what’s wrong with Rand’s ideas: A nice, brief1, satirical article. 1. Less than 3000 words.
  18. Earliest known drawing found on rock in South African cave Archaeologists found the marked stone fragment as they sifted through spear points and other material excavated at Blombos cave in South Africa. It has taken seven years of tests to conclude that a human made the lines with an ochre crayon 73,000 years ago. Not much to go on. The size of a couple of fingernails, possibly a chunk broken off something bigger. The facts that it was human made, and 73,000+ years old stand out the most.
  19. Unexpected and Gruesome Battle of 1250 BC Involved 4,000 Men from Across Northern Europe As it is, no one knows who these people were who fought on the banks of the Tollense River in northern Germany near the Baltic Sea because there are no written records from the time. But analysis of the remains of the 130 men, most between ages 20 and 30, found so far shows some may have been from hundreds of kilometers away—Poland, Holland, Scandinavia and Southern Europe. What is fascinating to me, is an amateur archeologist stumbles across a find. As he, soon joined by others, continues to examine the surrounding area, it turns out to be an historic unrecorded battle. Add to that input from various fields of specialization, and we are able to determine the approximate era, ages, geographic locations . . . all of this well after the fact.
  20. You wouldn't know how to notice it. Sneaking is one art they're expert at.
  21. Replaced it with a quote from Howard Roark, rather than Ellsworth Toohey: I've always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I've always recognized it at once --- and it's the only quality I respect in men. I chose my friends by that. Now I know what it is. A self-sufficient ego. Nothing else matters.
  22. dream_weaver

    Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    Scientists identify protein that may have existed when life began The primordial peptide may have appeared 4 billion years ago Date: August 30, 2018 Source: Rutgers University Summary: How did life arise on Earth? Researchers have found among the first and perhaps only hard evidence that simple protein catalysts -- essential for cells, the building blocks of life, to function -- may have existed when life began. Researchers have designed a synthetic small protein that wraps around a metal core composed of iron and sulfur. This protein can be repeatedly charged and discharged, allowing it to shuttle electrons within a cell. Such peptides may have existed at the dawn of life, moving electrons in early metabolic cycles. Credit: Vikas Nanda/Rutgers University-New Brunswick Hard Evidence? The scientists used computers to model a short, 12-amino acid protein and tested it in the laboratory. This peptide has several impressive and important features. It contains only two types of amino acids (rather than the estimated 20 amino acids that synthesize millions of different proteins needed for specific body functions), it is very short and it could have emerged spontaneously on the early Earth in the right conditions. The metal cluster at the core of this peptide resembles the structure and chemistry of iron-sulfur minerals that were abundant in early Earth oceans. The peptide can also charge and discharge electrons repeatedly without falling apart, according to Nanda, a resident faculty member at the Center for Advanced Technology and Medicine. "Modern proteins called ferredoxins do this, shuttling electrons around the cell to promote metabolism," said senior author Professor Paul G. Falkowski, who leads Rutgers' Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Laboratory. "A primordial peptide like the one we studied may have served a similar function in the origins of life."
  23. dream_weaver

    Is a cashless society on the cards?

    Jack Ma enters the fray with a certain sense of irony. The Chinese government is finding a private citizens entry into the financial fray disruptive. An excerpt from Jack Ma’s Giant Financial Startup Is Shaking the Chinese Banking System: Ant Financial Services Group, founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, has become the world’s biggest financial-technology firm, driving innovations that let people use their phones for buying insurance as easily as groceries, enabling millions to go weeks at a time without using physical cash. That success is also putting a target on the company’s back. China, even more than the U.S., is now under pressure to reckon with the disruptive power of a financial-technology giant.
  24. dream_weaver

    Number of people in Atlantis

    It was a musing on "I can not refind it, does that tell you something?" "The Crow" is why I have to listen to multiple recordings over again to try finding something again. I generally don't remember everything I've ever heard and where, specifically, I've heard it. In this case, I don't have the book, you mentioned. The lecture it came from happens to be available on the ARI site.
  25. dream_weaver

    OCON 2018

    Yaron Brook Show with Greg Salmieri & Onkar Ghate Discussing Conversation with Jordan Peterson