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William Hobba

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  1. Interesting take. Would the Turing test now being passed make any difference? https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27762088#:~:text=The 65-year-old Turing,London that it was human. Thanks Bill
  2. Interesting view. We do not know if the laws that govern the world are simple or not, but modern physics has shown the importance of symmetry. This is part of the work of a very remarkable woman, IMHO as remarkable as Ayn Rand was, whose story is not as well known as it should be: https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/how-mathematician-emmy-noethers-theorem-changed-physics. She fought against terrible misogeny, but her genius could not be denied, and is generally considered one of the top 20 mathematicians of all time - quite possibly top ten. She was not even allowed to study mathematics at university - but that did not stop her. Now 42%, and rising, of all math majors are women. Surprisingly, and for reasons I do not understand, in physics it is just 20% - go figure - obviously it can't be the math. I know Ayn Rand in her youth was advised to study math - but did not. From Barbra Brandon's biography: 'The subject [Rand] most enjoyed during her high school years, the one subject of which she never tired, was mathematics. 'My mathematics teacher was delighted with me. When I graduated, he said, "It will be a crime if you don't go into mathematics." I said only, "That's not enough of a career." I felt that it was too abstract, it had nothing to do with real life. I loved it, but I didn't intend to be an engineer or to go into any applied profession, and to study mathematics as such seemed too ivory tower, too purposeless—and I would say so today.' Mathematics, she thought, was a method. Like logic, it was an invaluable tool, but it was a means to an end, not an end in itself.' I often wonder how things would have turned out if she studied it under Noether like the philosopher Grete Herman did. Sorry for the double post - something funny happened. Thanks Bill
  3. There is nothing to reconcile. Even if the world is totally deterministic, because of the phenomena of chaos (ie any lack of knowledge of initial conditions, no matter how small, will always grow, so eventually any prediction made is wrong), it means there is no way to make use of that determinism. You may want to argue - that is just a practical objection - I am speaking of matters of principle. It is often said QM is fundamentally probabilistic. That it must be is incorrect - the DBB interpretation is perfectly deterministic - but because the laws of QM do not allow knowledge of all initial conditions (the Heisenberg uncertainty relations still hold) that determinism in principle is of no value . It is an example of a deterministic system that in principle, not just in practice, is effectively not deterministic. Thanks Bill
  4. Replying to the original question, two physicists have an interesting take: https://www.sciencealert.com/quantum-complexity-rules-out-our-universe-as-a-computer-simulation People here might find it interesting. Just as an aside, while the above looks fine, in general beware of popular articles discussing Quantum Mechanics - many are to be blunt total BS. If you really want to know about QM get Susskind's book: https://www.amazon.com.au/Quantum-Mechanics-Theoretical-Art-Friedman/dp/0465062903 Thanks Bill
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Interesting thread. One thing that hasn't been emphasized here is that modern presentations of SR based of symmetry are rather difficult to refute: http://www2.physics.umd.edu/~yakovenk/teaching/Lorentz.pdf Of course physics is an experimental science and its ultimate validation is experiment not theory. But it does show if its wrong some of our basic notions about the world would be wrong - which would be a very very interesting and surprising thing. That''s SR - what about GR. That's actually quite interesting. In SR where t is the proper time the principle of inertia implies a particle moves that maximizes the proper time when you integrate it along the path it follows. If dt is a infinitesimal amount of proper time in turns out dt = Nuv dXu dXv and the path is the one that maximizes the integral dt = Nuv dXu dXv - this is called the principle of maximal time. That's in the usual Cartesian coordinates and time as usually measured. But you can mathematically transform to general coordinates so Nuv dXu dXv becomes Guv dXu dXv when dXu are the new generalized coordinates and Guv is called the metric. This means Guv acts like a field - determining the motion of a particle. One of the principles of physics is you can derive field changes by whats called the principle of least action. OK lets apply that to Guv. Here we make use of a very interesting theorem called Lovelock's Theroem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovelock's_theorem That shows that GR ie the Einstein Field Equations are the only solutions. If you are not a math type just in a general way accept what I said above. If you want the gory detail see the following by Lovelock and Rund: https://www.amazon.com/Tensors-Differential-Variational-Principles-Mathematics/dp/0486658406 Now the question is where does the Equivalence principle enter into it. Its not that easy to answer. Also it raises the same issue as SR. If GR is wrong some of out basic notions would be wrong. Thanks Bill
  21. Gore is an idiot. Forget him until he debates his views with actual climate scientists that have done a process called attribution - look it up if you don't know what that is. Until he does that, which he will not because they will show him for what he is - ignore him - or just read it for a laugh. For example it is known that recently for the first time in quite a while the north pole went above zero. Is that climate change - or just a slightly abnormal weather pattern - only investigation with scientists writing peer reviewed literature will determine that. As far as I know it has not been done. Gore acts as if things like that show we are doomed unless we change our ways. Its purely emotive - not scientific. I think he knows it so will never subject his alarmist view to proper scrutiny. Thanks Bill
  22. We need much better models of what will happen if we do something - so far such has a dismal record. Thanks Bill
  23. Hi All First post for a long time - so please bear with me. I have scanned through the thread and have a different view to others ie climate change hoax vs it being real. Climate change is simple physics - the well known Greenhouse Effect. If you continue spewing CO2 and other so called greenhouse gasses like methane into the atmosphere eventually the earth must warm. BUT - and this is a big BUT there are a number of things that need to be taken into account: 1. The earth is a complex system - predicting when 'catastrophe' will occur, or even if it will lead to problems, has proven so far impossible - models touting doom and gloom 20 years ago did not predict what we now see. We now have better models of course but we have no idea of their accuracy. In other words your guess is as good as mine if anything bad will happen before natural advances in technology such as Fusion power fixes it, as much as it can be fixed anyway - see below. 2. Believe it or not 20% of global warming gasses come from cow flatulence. Anybody that thinks we can do anything about that is kidding themselves. 3. Another 20% is from illegal deforestation that the countries it's going on in do not have the resources to stop it. Again doing anything about that seems unlikely. 4. The Paris accord simply committed most countries to what they were doing anyway - and combined with 2 and 3 above will not lead to reductions that will avert danger if it is coming before our technology can fix it. 5. One possible way to reduce greenhouse gasses is going to Nuclear Fission reactors. We now have reactors that burn older reactors waste as fuel. Solves two issues in one - reduces gasses and gets rid of noxious nuclear waste at the same time. But here in Australia the mere mention of nuclear cause most to go into no way mode. I am a mentor of a site called Physics Forums where many nuclear scientists and engineers post. I ask them to come on over there to discuss it with the experts and the typical reaction I get is - I prefer to listen to actual scientists. That's right - they will not discuss the facts with scientists because they want to listen to scientists - amazing. I say forget it - being scientists when you make a statement they will ask you to back it up with peer reviewed literature not opinion. For some reason that's the end of the discussion. Also their scientific knowledge is so bad they do not even know the difference between fusion and fission. You just sit there shaking your head. Based on the above my view is forget about it - its inevitable but all we can do is trust advances in technology will avert any possible danger. All this nonsense I hear we are moving to 50% renewable's and other rubbish touted where I live in Aus is simply a waste of money - it will just slow it down - not avert it - that is assuming catastrophe is on the way - which as explained above we do not really know anyway. Much research is being done into solutions by private enterprise because there is a lot of money to be made eg when Fusion is perfected whoever does it will make a mint. Really governments do not have to do that much. It's all based on emotion - not facts - that IMHO is the real issue. Thanks Bill
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