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Everything posted by dream_weaver

  1. dream_weaver

    Portrait Generator

    The only thing missing is a frame superposing a milk carton around the image: Impressive computer image rendering.
  2. Ran across another article on Real Clear Science that was reminiscent of this earlier posting: The Silver Fox Experiment Still Shapes Thinking on Evolution Apparently the referenced experiment is still ongoing: Some 60 years later, his experiment is still going. It is one of the longest running science experiments ever, having outlived even its creator. And after all this time, it is still shaping the way we think about fundamental questions in biology — and even influencing the way we understand our own evolutionary trajectory.
  3. dream_weaver

    Ayn Rand's Library

    Here's a more explicit statement from About Ayn Rand under the Resources heading: Legacy Library We've worked to reassemble Ayn Rand's personal library as it was at the time of her death. Curious about what titles she'd read or owned? You can take a look here. View her Library > Granted . . . it is still the internet.
  4. dream_weaver

    Which Eternity?

    It was in the Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy to be found: The climax of the "miraculous" view of existence is represented by those existentialists who echo Heidegger, demanding: "Why is there any being at all and not rather nothing?"—i.e., why does existence exist? This is the projection of a zero as an alternative to existence, with the demand that one explain why existence exists and not the zero. Granted the claim of the "miraculous" view is not stated explicitly in your lines leading up to it, but Heidegger's demand resonates in the cited portion. The denial that it is "NOT Reification of the Zero" brushes aside just 'what' is the alternative to existence.
  5. dream_weaver

    Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    Complex molecules emerge without evolution or design Date: January 17, 2019 Source: University of Groningen Summary: In biology, folded proteins are responsible for most advanced functions. These complex proteins are the result of evolution or design by scientists. Now scientists have discovered a new class of complex folding molecules that emerge spontaneously from simple building blocks. Hightlight from within: Origin-of-life Proteins have two major folding structures: alpha helices and the beta pleated sheet. 'In protein design, scientists use variations on these themes, like adding an extra helix', says Otto. 'They tend to stick close to what nature has offered.' The new folding structure results in five stacks of five aromatic rings. The entire molecule has a five-fold symmetry. 'However, the other thiol-based structures that we are still studying show yet other types of folding.' A striking conclusion drawn from the discovery of this new folding molecule is that complexity can emerge spontaneously. 'This is interesting for origin-of-life research: apparently, you can get these complex molecules before biological evolution has started.' The formation of the new molecule is actually driven by folding, explains Otto. 'That is quite special. The energy level of this molecule is very low. This drives the equilibrium from a "random" mixture of small rings towards this specific very stable 15-mer.'
  6. 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."
  7. Finished reading "Leave Her to Heaven", written by Ben Ames Williams in 1944.

    Saw the book for the first time in a "Little Free Library" box while visiting Curwood Castle (built by another popular author of the early 1900's), and the title reminded me of a line from For The New Intellectual's lead article ". . . leave them to heaven."

    Things that make you go hmm.

  8. dream_weaver

    Do we have a "primitive mind"?

    First off, how was it discovered by those who accept the notion? Secondly, how would its veracity be independently verified by our conscious mind. Thirdly, how might a conclusion that a conscious mind is not capable of verifying such data escape the paradox that it is making a claim of knowledge? This smells like leftover determinism repackaged to masquerade as a scientific banquet.
  9. There is the Wayback Machine. Apart from that, if it was not bequeathed in a will, or allocated into an estate plan, then where other copies may be harbored would be difficult, indeed, to reclaim.
  10. 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."
  11. dream_weaver


    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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. 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".
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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"?
  21. 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.
  22. 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


      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


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

    3. 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.

  23. dream_weaver

    Grieving the loss of God

    This reminded me of your earlier thread on Truth as Disvalue.
  24. The current threshold of 'Newbie' posts had not been met yet. Exception granted.
  25. 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.