Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

William Hobba

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About William Hobba

  • Rank

Previous Fields

  • Country
  • State (US/Canadian)
    Not Specified
  • Relationship status
  • Real Name
    Bill Hobba
  • Copyright
    Public Domain
  • Biography/Intro
    Interested in why the world is as it is. Have fond partial answers in Quantum Mechanics and Symmetry
  • Experience with Objectivism
    Read a lot on it when young. Now reading The Passion Of Ayn Rand
  • School or University
  • Occupation
    Retired computer programmer

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Everybody has studied Euclidian Geometry at school. That is reason laid bare. I will not go deeper into it - you can do that yourself and make up your own mind if you agree with what Ayn Rand says or not. I have my own views, very close to Ayn Rand's - but not quite the same - I call it a modelling perspective. But geometry contains the essence of it. What you figure out for yourself, using of course discussions, readings etc as pert of the process, you always understand better. Thanks Bill
  2. I didn't realise my little post had generated so many further replies. I thought the original answer I got was satisfactory so didn't pay any more attention to the thread until now. But to add further context, the Feynman Lectures are very famous textbooks in physics - although written for freshman students, is not generally recommended as a text for such a course, but nearly universally recommended as supplementary reading for the serious thinking student - the one that wants to go beyond the usual textbooks that are more about passing the final exam. In the opening chapters he discusses the basics of physics and points out we often model things in ways that are good enough for most practical purposes, but when looked at closely are not quite correct. An example he uses is a flat table and when solving problems of balls rolling on tables etc we can model to great accuracy it as a flat surface from euclidian geometry. But look at it closely. If you do that you see the top of the table has molecules evaporating off it and intermingling with air molecules/atoms. So the surface of a table is difficult to define exactly. He then moves onto the quote I gave as a further example of this kind of difficulty. It isn't really - and I am sure Feynman knew that - he just wanted students to think a bit about the fundamentals of what they are studying. Like I said the books are best used by the serious student who wants a deeper understanding. I must also say something about Quantum Mechanics. Just about all the stuff written at the layman level is rubbish. A notable exception is Susskind's book: https://www.amazon.com.au/Quantum-Mechanics-Theoretical-Leonard-Susskind/dp/0141977817 The worst load of total rubbish I have seen about it is the following: Evidently school students are actually made to sit through this junk - poor kids - no wonder our education system destroys bright young minds eager to learn - it's a scandal really. Even better if you have a more advanced background is Ballentine's 'bible' on Quantum Mechanics: https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Mechanics-Development-Leslie-Ballentine/dp/9810241054 It debunks so many myths, such that there is a measurement problem (there isn't - its an invention of the Copenhagen Interpretation). It's a must have for anyone that wants to seriously understand it. It even derives Schrodinger's equation, not postulates it, but derives it, from its true foundation, symmetry - which is the actual foundation of a lot in physics. I personally hold to what I call a modelling view of QM but that would be another thread in itself - still Ballentine debunks so many myths it truly is a classic. Thanks Bill
  3. Sometimes. I remember being forced to read 1984 at school. When asked for my comment I said it was silly - you would have to be nuts to let a world like that come about in the first place. How silly I was - the thought police today with things like gender dysphoria, a psychiatric condition that needs treatment by professionals, as a guiding principle, are even worse. I occasionally joust with them on twitter, and about the only reasoning method they know is the ad-homenem attack. When I point out can't you be more creative and at least come up with a logical fallacy other than the most common one it mostly goes right over their heads. Thanks Bill
  4. What was it Hilbert said, and had engraved on his gravestone - 'We must know. We will know.'. You are a sentient human being - it follows directly from that. Thanks Bill
  5. Ever see the series 7 up? At 28 when they look back at their younger self's they wince. My father was a communist when young but later saw the light. Young people often realize how silly the ideas they hold when young, mostly just picked by a sort of cultural osmosis, really have no basis. Thanks Bill
  6. What would Ayn Rand say to what Feynman said in his famous lectures 'We can’t define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers… one saying to the other: you don’t know what you are talking about! The second one says: what do you mean by ‘talking’? What do you mean by ‘you’? What do you mean by ‘know’?' Thanks Bill
  7. Hi All There is a very important theorem discovered by the greatest mathematician who you probably never heard of, Emmy Noether, that says something very profound about nature. I have chatted to philosophers about it but they seem totally unaware of it, or as an aside the struggle this great mathematician had to endure because she was a woman. I know of a professor who teaches this stuff to math and physics students. The class reaction is always the same - stunned silence as its importance sinks in. But it doesn't seem to hold the same sway in philosophy departments. Also what would an Objectiveist take on it be? I will give a spoiler upfront - I think its the most profound example of Quantum Mechanics being the underlying basis of reality - whatever that is (I don't want to get into a discussion of that even though of course its an important question - but we may touch on it in discussing this). Anyway here are the details: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/science/emmy-noether-the-most-significant-mathematician-youve-never-heard-of.html Thanks Bill
  8. As said plainly and clearly in the links I gave. Here is the exact logic. The links I posted says - and I quote - ' but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas'. The first article said the total is 18%, but the second said it has been upgraded by 11%. This gives (.18 x 1.11) X .95 - about 19% - so if you want to argue 1% I will give you that. Your arguments about managed grasslands etc are beyond my competence - I accept them as true but do not really know. However I am very confident in my math, and the calculation required so simple, there is no other conclusion. If you are still not convinced there is nothing more I can say - sometimes in a discussion each side retreats to their own position and further talk about it useless. I think it has reached that here. I will leave it to those reading it to judge. Thanks Bill
  9. As I quoted: 'We typically think of farts as being the culprit, but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas. So Belching does account for 95% of the emissions. And the second link showed the original amount of 18% in the first link was now thought to be lower than the real amount by 11% giving the 20%. You said: 'What I said above, in a nutshell, is this: pasture that is managed according to regenerative principles sequesters more carbon in the soil than a typical temperate climate forest (like the ones in Europe, most of North America, and most of Asia).' The link I gave seemed to cast some doubt on that here in Aus: 'The NSW Department of Primary Industry has compared soil organic carbon under perennial pasture in high rainfall areas in the mid-north coast of NSW to native hardwood forests within a 100km radius. They found that for the high-rainfall areas studied, there was no significant difference between soil organic carbon in the pastures and native forests at 20 centimetres depth, with an average storage of 72.9 tonnes per hectare in the pasture versus 76.5 tonnes per hectare in the native forest site' Of course you are free to argue otherwise - but I do not get how this does not, at least, need further clarification on your part to support your claim. You have done that - pointing out you said properly manged pasture - and that's fine - I don't know if its true or not as I am not knowledgeable in the area but will accept it until I come across evidence to the contrary. As to the rest of the stuff - of course I read what links I post. Although I am prone to go off on tangents such as my comments on Feynman and Dyson. Guilty as charged on that one. I suspect however we are on different wavelengths in how we engage in discourse. All that you needed to say was something like - interesting Bill - but I was referring to properly manged pasture where the situation is different. I engage in a lot of scientific discussion over on Physics Forums and I find your approach somewhat different to what I am used to. So please bear with me and I will try to get a feel for the style on this forum and post more in line with that. Thanks Bill
  10. No - eg Dyson has his credibility of course. So does Gell-Mann, but he has a different view. He says correctly the trend has a component that is random, cyclical caused by things like sunspot activity, and the actual warming caused by the emissions. It exasperates him people do not get this. He didn't say so but you get the impression until people understand this, and scientists know better how much each will contribute, why are we arguing it? But he does think the emissions will eventually predominate - but when - your guess is as good as mine - and the effect - Dyson thinks it could be good. I could have his view wrong - but that seems to be his gist. Another view in the myriad that is promulgated. Contrast it to what Dyson says. Interesting inst it. Feynman had great credibility with the public for being a no nonsense type guy as well as an extremely good explainer of complex subjects. But he was so good people thought they understood it perfectly well when they attended a lecture of his but after couldn't, for some reason remember exactly what he said. In some ways he was somewhat of a paradox. Thanks Bill
  11. True - but one can live in hope. He certainly did in the Challenger disaster - but doing it again - that's a tough one. Reading the interview with his good friend Dyson what was one of the comments made - what has Dyson done - you just want to cry. Interesting story about that. One of his most famous contributions was showing Feynman diagrams and Schwinger's approach to QED were equivalent. Its famously known Dyson never got a PhD - he doesn't believe in that system. Of course with his published accomplishments he could apply for and easily get the higher award of DSc, but never bothered. Anyway while lecturing on his findings, Feynman, who being a friend of Dyson, already knew it, sat at the back of the lecture hall cracking up everyone near him with jokes. At the end of it he said - Your'e in Doc. It is suspected by some he would also have loved never to have had a PhD because he would have got a great kick in saying - I don't have a PhD and even I know that. That's just how he was - his basic view of what he thought was rubbish was I am just a kid from Far Rockaway that has seen through your city slicker ways. It grated on people like Gell-Mann after a while - part of it was creating these stories about himself like making a big deal of having to wear a tie at the Caltech restaurant despite wearing a tie to work most days - he thought it utter pomposity - but its just who he was. Thanks Bill
  12. Well it says: Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together. So you are correct in concluding it does not state its cow flatulence - BUT the title of the article is 'Cow 'emissions' more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars' I will now be more exact - emissions go beyond flatulence - there is also belching, emissions from excreted poop and probably others as well. From the second article: 'It's hard to believe that belches, farts and poop from livestock could have any kind of global atmospheric effect, but it's an issue of scale, and the nature of methane itself.' and 'We typically think of farts as being the culprit, but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas.' So I apologize for not being exact and pointing out its 95% from belching rather than flatulence - my bad. But really does that change the argument? Deforestation, as I mentioned also accounts for about another 20% currently (some say as high as 41% which I do not believe - I think 20% seems to be about the consensus). What that is the CO'2 emitted by destroying the forests itself. You are correct in saying it's likely replaced by grassland that also will absorb CO'2 and emit oxygen. So it may be self limiting. I am no plant ecologist but I suspect the grass is not as good at it as the forest it replaces: http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2009/12/which-plants-store-more-carbon-in-australia-forests-or-grasses/ Now I don't know how accurate the above is although it looks like a reputable source. I have read where it puts more into the earth than forests - but the above suggests it doesn't compensate enough. As I said right at the beginning of my posts the earth is a complex system and models predicting the future do not have a good record. I will now be more exact on that point. Some models indeed have predicted approximately what we see now, and some climate change alarmists have used that for saying we are headed for doom. But the consensus seems to be the following: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/did-global-warming-slow-down-in-the-2000s-or-not/ We are not seeing the increase in global warming predicted after 2000. Scientists are trying to understand why - but either way its not the doomsday scenario the alarmists like Gore predicted. The interesting thing about Gore is not what the skeptics harp on - the skeptics claim that the stated 97% of climate scientists believe in global warming is wrong - it is in fact correct. Many of his statements are. The thing about Gore is he DELIBERATELY lacks balance - he does not say what percentage of that 97% percent think we are heading for disaster - it varies widely form - nothing to worry about, to we have 150 years, to if its not fixed by 2030 we are doomed. And yes every single emission issue is fixable - but at what cost? Here in Aus the state of South Australia went for 50% renewable's and it now has the most expensive electricity in the world, and also one of the most unreliable. The economic impact of which is now being felt as well as small little niceties those pushing for such didn't think about like the elderly dying from heat or cold because they can no longer afford air conditioning. And even worse when it's pointed out the climate change zealots don't not just care - that would be bad enough - they even laugh about it. It makes you shake your head and wonder at their perverted psychology. IMHO its become for many not something for reasoned discourse, but a religion not to be questioned. Just to add balance to the distorted view of climate alarmists (by which I mean unbalanced) it's wise to look at what one of the true greats of science, Freeman Dyson has to say: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/11/freeman_dyson_interview/ Obviously he is one of that group Gore doesn't want to talk about. I always wonder where we would be if Dyson's good friend Feynman was still alive. He could cut though this sort of rubbish like a hot knife through butter. Look at the Challenger Disaster. He didn't go around with the other members of the panel looking into it. He went to the JPL which I think is located near or in Caltech where he worked, and sorted it out with the scientists and engineers. The panel got nowhere - he solved it. The reason - the panel was political in it's basis - Feynman eschewed such - for him the science was the thing. I think there is lessons to be learned from that for the climate debate. Thanks Bill
  13. Don't worry about it - even if the alarmists are correct, and that is highly debatable, we can figure out how to solve it. Technology is progressing at an ever increasing rate. As Issac Asimov said - you don't abandon technology misapplied, you fix it up. When cavemen started fires in caves to keep warm they didn't stop because the smoke was unbearable - they invented the chimney. There is no reason to believe this is any different. Thanks Bill
  14. Some interesting stuff I didn't know in your post - good one. Either way we are both agreed 'In other words, there's nothing to worry about.'. If anything bad eventuates, and that is very debatable, there is zero doubt we can rectify it without the alarmist carry on you hear from some. Real scientists are much more cautious. Thanks Bill
  15. See the following: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cow-emissions-more-damaging-to-planet-than-co2-from-cars-427843.html That gives 18% but recently it has been upgraded to 11% more than previously thought: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/09/weve-grossly-underestimated-how-much-cow-farts-are-contributing-to-global-warming/ This gives about 20%. The reason it seems implausible is its mostly methane which is a much worse global warming gas than CO2. And that's just cows. All other animals, including even us, contribute as well - but its not as bad as cows - still its likely higher overall than 20% - but I don't think anyone has published the exact figure. The main point is its something most don't know about, and we are not likely to be able to do anything about it. We will have to rely on future technology to somehow manage it - or maybe not - more research is needed. That's the issue with all this global warming stuff - we don't really know whether to be worried or its a non issue. Global weather scientists are much more careful in what they say than the highly vocal alarmists. Either way I am very confident we can handle whatever the situation is and the alarmists are way off the mark. I will answer some of your other comments in a separate post after I have cognated on them a bit. Thanks Bill
  • Create New...