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Everything posted by Tenzing_Shaw

  1. I think the crucial thing to remember here is that this experiment really tests low-level perceptual brain function rather than high-level concept formation. Since chimps live in the wild, they need to be able to perceive and react to observations very quickly. I am guessing that the chimp's brain provides faster reaction time, as well as a more vivid "after-image", which explains the animal's success at this game. What you have to do to test for a true conceptual faculty is overload the creature's perceptual faculty: give it far too many things to keep in its consciousness simultaneously. For
  2. I agree. I am not very knowledgeable about architecture, but those look like very well-designed houses.
  3. I think this quote covers most of what people today call "luck" very well. In competitive chess, there is a similar saying which I really like: "The stronger player is always lucky".
  4. Now that you put it that way, this certainly makes sense to me. I maintain my position regarding the full-spectrum lighting, however. See the "Full-spectrum light sources and health" section from an article produced by Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center: http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/nlpip/lightingAnswers/fullSpectrum/claims.asp
  5. I think the answer is that value is objective. Thus, the key part of the (bad) definition you cited is "considered as having a higher or more pressing claim". "Considered" by whom and for what purpose? If the answer is anything other than "by the actor" and "to enhance his own life", then the action is a sacrifice; otherwise, it is a favorable tradeoff (i.e. a profit). The definition from dictionary.com is bad because it does not explicitly distinguish a sacrifice from a profit, and yet these two concepts are obviously very different (you don't need a dictionary to know that). Instead of being
  6. From what I saw of the sources you provided regarding the effects of sunlight on mood, you have missed my point. This effect is well known and not controversial to my knowledge. However, the use of artificial "full-spectrum" lighting devices to produce the same effect requires more proof than pointing out this fact. Basically, these devices assume that it is the specific solar frequency spectrum that counts, and not the intensity of the light (note that sunlight is typically vastly more intense than most artificial lights). In fact, the sources you cite seem to correlate serotonin levels with
  7. Beware: full-spectrum lighting is probably pseudo-scientific. See the Independent Verification section in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-spectrum_light#Independent_verification. I have also heard that the benefits of vitamin supplements are questionable, so I would look for a credible scientific/medical source which can verify their usefulness before trying them. Just a caveat; I have no objection to the rest of your advice/observations.
  8. The following two dialogues from The Wrath of Khan show why James Kirk is one of my favorite movie characters of all time: [After allowing the simulated Enterprise to be destroyed.] Saavik: "Permission to speak freely, sir?" Kirk: "Granted." Saavik: "I do not believe this was a fair test of my command abilities." Kirk: "And why not?" Saavik: "Because... there was no way to win." Kirk: "A no-win situation is a possibility every commander may face. Has that never occurred to you?" Saavik: "No sir, it has not." Kirk: "How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with
  9. From High Noon: "You're a good looking boy, you have big broad shoulders, but he is a man. It takes more than big broad shoulders to make a man, Harvey, and you have a long way to go. You know something? I don't think you will ever make it." -Helen Ramirez to Harvey Pell, contrasting Harvey to the hero, Marshal Will Kane
  10. Very well said indeed. Last one to Alpha Centauri is a rotten egg!
  11. By the way, if you are looking for engineering schools with very practical curricula, there are a few I have heard of which strive for this explicitly. One I visited (when deciding where to transfer to for engineering) is Rensselaer in New York (I was impressed with what I saw there, but ultimately chose UIUC).
  12. I would just like to point out that most engineering graduate programs do not require subject based tests (typically only the general GRE), so GPA will be particularly important in the case of the OP.
  13. This (the union of theory and practice) is certainly one of the most important aspects of an engineering curriculum. I have mostly been very impressed by the department here in this regard. Most of the core classes involve significant and challenging lab/design exercises. To give you an example, I took a robotics class in which we applied inverse kinematics and simple computer vision techniques to program manipulators to move blocks around on a table; I thought this produced a near perfect combination of theory and practice. There have been a few courses (maybe 1 in 5) which I felt could have
  14. As Yang said, I studied Electrical Engineering with him at UIUC. I actually came here after transferring from a liberal arts college where I studied physics for three years. My college had an agreement with UIUC to the effect that they will "usually" accept transfer students, and I had no trouble getting accepted given my academic record. Regarding costs, tuition was very expensive for me (more precisely, for my parents), since I was "out of state". After three semesters and summer school, I was able to enter graduate school here, and get a tuition waver/stipend (pretty much guaranteed for all
  15. I read Ishmael many years ago. I was troubled by it even then, and after learning about Objectivism, I now consider it to be perhaps the most evil book I have ever read. It could be considered a sort of manifesto for modern radical environmentalism. As I recall, it quite plainly advocates that man should attempt to live like a nonrational animal.
  16. Thank you for the clarification; I learned Japanese when I was young, and have never studied it formally.
  17. I like this one also. With people who understand it, I also like the Japanese word "Gambatte", which means close to the same thing (interestingly, the use of this word in Japanese is approximately analogous to the use of "good luck" in English).
  18. Yes, really. Please contain the sarcasm/innuendo. If you insist on brining the discussion to that level, then don't expect me to participate. If you have any serious arguments, please make them.
  19. I'm not sure about this reasoning. Suppose I agree to pay some individual $1000 as a gift (i.e. in exchange for nothing), on a certain date (perhaps even with a written agreement signed by both parties). If I fail to pay on the appointed date, should the courts force me to do so, and why?
  20. To themadkat: I missed your post while I was composing my last one, but I think my response to Grames also addresses most of your points. I would like to answer a few of them specifically, however: Do you agree that people in, say, the United States today are much freer than almost any tribals were in the past? If so, note that this is the heart of the current discussion: I am attempting to argue that yes, they have much more freedom. I think you may be missing my point to some extent: violence as such is not so much the issue here necessarily, although some tribes were certainly ve
  21. Your sarcasm notwithstanding, here is one quote from Wikipedia: From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism. Here are some quotes from an article which (ironically) seems to be largely sympathetic to Native American practices: From http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/history/hs...ans_slavery.htm. I am not interested in debating the specific merits of any given tribe. The principle is that in the absence of reason, brute force is the only recourse. If this principle is true, then history will reflect this fact (which, from all the evidence I have seen, it does). As I said, r
  22. I guess I will enter the discussion, since I at least agree with David's point that there can be no contract to duel. If a clown does not show up to a birthday party at which he has been hired to entertain, then there are damages, because an agreement was made to trade values (presumably, the entertainment for a fee). If the fee has already been paid, the clown certainly must compensate his customer by at least this much. Not knowing any specifics of contract law, I assume the customer could also obtain additional compensation from the clown, because the clown's absence denied him the chanc
  23. And this is precisely what is not possible, in almost any aspect of one's life, in a primitive society. Typically, a tribal would not be able to choose such important things as his occupation, or his mate(s). If the superstitious beliefs of his tribe happen to call for a sacrifice from him, perhaps involving a painful ceremony or even his death, he will not be able to refuse. If his tribe goes to war, he will not have a choice about whether to fight. If the tribal leader makes a decision which he knows is irrational and will doom the tribe, he will not be able to follow his own judgment instea
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