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Everything posted by Alexandros

  1. Would you mind giving me the names of the critics (even better, the links to their articles/essays) who argue that overproduction causes the boom-bust cycle?
  2. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewb...ey_hacked#63657
  3. http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1782306...elevator_games/ Despite the likelihood that commercial space flight (via Virgin Galactic, X-Cor, and Space-X) will become cheap, safe, and practical long before a 90,000-ft elevator could achieve the same, I still found this story interesting from an engineering standpoint. 3000 feet in 48 seconds is nuts. Any person who would wish to ride would need to train in a centrifuge unless we can train the liftman to administer Vulcan neck-pinches. Still, pretty impressive achievement.
  4. Don't forget the fact that the existence of the state (public) university is itself unconstitutional. When we keep that in my mind, we can approach this with the "private vs. public school" angle. Amongst other things, the idea that public schools should not exist is the result of the fact that, in order to finance the school, the property rights of many people must be violated via taxation. Since dismantling the university is a wholly impractical goal at this point in time and, therefore, lots of taxpayer dollars are going to be spent no matter what, all attention should be paid to figuring out how to get the most out of every dollar spent. It is my idea that, since we are dealing with taxpayer dollars, one should only concern themselves with the physical side of things. That means monetary profit. The idea here is that if the citizens are going to have their money stolen, they will be justified in expecting the absolute best of what it will be spent on. In this case, they should expect the best school that their money can buy. And if we think about what a school is (a learning establishment), we can determine what fundamental things are used to gauge the quality of a school: 1) The level of education offered and 2) how high its profits are. To me, this means determining what is more profitable: the chapel or an extra restaurant/reflection room/etc.
  5. I'm interested in what you could have said that could possibly make them feel that "Be present" was a finishing move. Sounds like cliche-guru nonsense to me. As humans, we are predisposed to interpretation, and have a deeply rooted need to comprehend our surroundings. It is impossible to flip a switch and suddenly stop considering the things we are confronted with. I'm convinced that anyone who says otherwise is just trying to be 'cool' or trying to game some kind of intellectual power over you.
  6. Sigh. "Is it because I'm gay/bi/transgender?!" just became the new "Is it because I'm black?!"
  7. Great post! I've been wanting to look into this topic some more, and I think this will work for a general framework.
  8. This one is called "Toujours plus haut N. Y." http://shop.siudmak.fr/component/page,shop...mart/Itemid,45/
  9. That boat is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. What type is it?
  10. While I agree with you, I think there is still something to be said about the world today. In my lifetime I've had the chance to speak with several people who lived through that time (the Depression), and the thing that I took away from them is that, while they are happy to live in a country that will step up to help them when in need, they were still very, very, very ashamed to take relief money from the government. To them it meant they had failed, when it was the politicians and the FED who were failing all around them. This is because FDR's answer to the Great Depression was totally unheard-of and foreign. Those people did not grow up with the idea that "Government takes care of the needs of the people when the people are in trouble". No, they grew up with that can-do, work your arse off to feed your family attitude. Now, let's look at today. There is hardly a person alive, conservative or liberal, who doesn't hold the idea that "Government takes care of the needs of the people when the people are in trouble." On both sides of the aisle, FDR is one of our country's most well-known heroes. Sure, this generation and the last haven't experienced anything remotely as disastrous and devastating as the Great Depression, but that isn't the point the author of this thread was making. If there were another depression, the people alive today have neither the attitude or the leadership to handle it as well as the people during the Great Depression. As a side note, it is for this reason that I think we will have our own 'Bolshevik Revolution' someday. A president was just elected on a slogan: "Hope and Change"; a promise to spread the wealth around: "My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." (Direct quote); and a gaurantee to give to every lazy and unproductive person he can uncover everything they need to survive, "free"-of-charge. Let me restate the beginning of that last sentence: A president was just elected by majority vote... It really is frightening. And, while I do everything from writing my congressman to taking a vacation day so that I don't miss the chance to vote to getting lost in hours of conversation with any socialist or liberal who is interested in intellectual conversation, I'm losing heart. I can't talk to enough people for enough time to convince them of the immorality of socialism, and, living in a state like Texas, my vote is mostly meaningless. As my classes get harder, and my studies intensify, I find myself becoming more and more like Roark: absorbed in my work and passion, and mostly insulated from the world around me. Lately, I've been having to remind myself to care, remind myself to read the news to see how the rest of these delusional individuals are going to vote away my rights. But, I'm starting not to care, and with that comes a bit of guilt, and even that is disappearing now.
  11. I just started my freshman year in Mechanical Engineering. Aerospace and automobiles are of prime interest to me. I've wanted to be a part of the space program ever since I was 10 years old, when I saw Ron Howard's "Apollo 13". That story rocked me to my core. If there are any here who aren't familiar with it, I recommend reading up on it a bit. Off the top of my head I can't think of any story that is a truer and more complete testament to the awe-inspiring power of the human mind. As far as automobiles are concerned, I never really had any great interest in cars. I always thought they were cool, and I knew I would one day have the perfect, well-engineered driving machine, but I never thought about designing them. It wasn't until I read this statistic that I became deeply interested in cars: I remember thinking, "How long have cars been around? 100+ years? That's not just absurd, it's totally unacceptable." And that's my story. I salute you, fellow engineers. Heat is a powerful enemy, but he will be defeated. Stand strong.
  12. Einstein's theory on the photoelectric effect and the idea of the photon can be considered the start of quantum physics. If that isn't revolutionary, I don't know what is. --------------------------------------------- In my lifetime (24 years), the Nobel Peace Prize has never stood for anything. To me, Obama just received the equivalent of a gold medal from a 25-cent vending machine. However, the prizes in sciences and literature are interesting (literature less and less every year). Kao's work in fiber-optics was revolutionary to say the least, and Boyle's and Smith's invention of the CCD (charge-coupled device) revolutionized everything from medical imaging to the little camera you travel with in your pocket. But my favorite result of their invention? These: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/
  13. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/artic...ZpGq_clUpC7dAUg Empire State Building turns red-yellow for China's 60th (AFP) – 1 day ago NEW YORK — New York's iconic Empire State Building will light up red and yellow Wednesday in honor of the 60th anniversary of communist China. The Chinese consul, Peng Keyu, and other officials will take part in the lighting ceremony which will bathe the skyscraper in the colors of the People's Republic until Thursday, Empire State Building representatives said in a statement. The upper sections of the building are regularly illuminated to mark special occasions, ranging from all blue to mark "Old Blue Eyes" Frank Sinatra's death in 1998 to green for the annual Saint Patrick's Day. Just last week the tower turned bright red. However, that was not to mark some other communist achievement, but the 70th anniversary of the film "The Wizard of Oz" in which Dorothy wears ruby slippers rather than the silver of the original L. Frank Baum novel. Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. I'd like to say something here, but the article speaks for itself.
  14. I've bought several remastered recordings of Rachmaninoff playing himself. While there is a certain novelty in hearing him play his own compositions, recordings as old as these can only be remastered so much, and most of them retain much of the original white noise. Thankfully, incredible music never dies and there are tons of modern day, crystal clear, beautiful versions of his music. Look for Krystian Zimerman's recording of Rach's 1st and 2nd Piano Concerto, which was performed with the Boston Symphony. There is a feeling that one gets when listening to the Piano Conerto no. 1 that is reserved for only the most amazing things in life.
  15. You deserve payment for your hard work, so that you may purchase a steak or health care if you want them. That is to say, for your hard work, you deserve the ability to seek these products. This is not the same as deserving the products themselves. You can only deserve anything if it is what was agreed upon as payment for your efforts*. *Edited for clarity
  16. Consider the scenario where someone has had something stolen from them. In this instance, the victim deserves justice. This, I think, can be applied better to the present situation with healthcare than can the idea that "deserve" is being used incorrectly. I think you'll find that, of the people speaking up in favor of socialized medicine, far more think they deserve healthcare because 'we, the American people, have been screwed over time and time again by the evil, evil, evil, greedy, evil insurance corporations who do evil, greedy, evil things to us, and we deserve free healthcare from the government so that we can be protected from such evilness and greediness. And, oh yeah, Bush did 9/11."
  17. You made the objection yourself: Man is incapable of knowing simultaneously the momentum and position of a particle. That man's ability to conceptualize goes unsurpassed by all other organisms does not mean that there necessarily can not be aspects of the universe that we are incapable of understanding for lack of empirical evidence. Homosapien is the most recent step in a long line of evolution that is based on the ability to survive on Earth. One of the results of our evolutionary tract is the human eye, a sensory mechanism, whose effectiveness is tied directly to how much light is available for it to receive. Insofar as particle physics is concerned, the only way that we have been able to research is through the use of light. To put it another way: of all the senses humans have, only one of them has proven suitable for research in particle physics. That sense is based on light, and that is exactly the issue. Because we have found no other sense that can be used to study particles without interfering with the particles themselves, we have to turn to reason to tell us the rest: A is A; things can not be while not being, or exist here while existing there; things must be discrete. It is for this reason that the Uncertainty Principle and the science behind it is only proof that we are, at our present level of sophistication, incapable of studying particle physics any further than we already have.
  18. I think the entire issue stems from an irrational, but nearly unanimously accepted, explanation of the Uncertainty Principle. The common view is that the inability to know simultaneously both the momentum and position of a particle is a feature of the nature of the universe, and not simply a limitation of present scientific or human capability. Perhaps it is a problem that we will never be able to solve, but that does not mean it is a feature of the physical universe. It is because of man's nature that we must use light to observe these particles, and in doing so we cause the effects on them. It is only by ignoring this fact that scientists can accept such things as "the cat is both dead and alive". The Uncertainty Principle, and the science done in its name, is only proof that we suck at observing particles.
  19. What do you want to know? I can only offer a summary of Aristotle's ideas until you tell ask for something more specific: Aristotle observed that there are bodies in motion and asked the question "what set these bodies in motion?" He deduced that there had to have been an "unmoved mover", that is, something that caused the first ever movement without having moved itself. When first trying to understand this concept, many people make the mistake of imagining stationary, motionless bodies; one of the bodies moves, which causes a chain reaction. Likely, the flaw in their interpretation is that they never address what causes the first movement. The only way to avoid an infinite chain of events (a body moves which causes another body to move, but the movement of the first body was caused by another moving body, which makes it the first moving body, but it was moved by something, so on and so forth until you go insane), Aristotle reasoned that there has to have been something that caused the first movement, without moving.
  20. I see the number 56 in the first image, but no numbers in the other two. But, that's no surprise, I've known about my color blindness for a while now. I have a weak case of Deutoranopia (red-green). I don't lack the ability to see red or green, and the only time I see gray is if that is the intended color. And while it may be difficult to imagine being color blind, most of us don't see things much differently from those with normal color vision. It doesn't really present any significant challenges in day-to-day living, even though it has had profound effects on my life: By the time I had enlisted in the Navy, I had been training for 4 months to get into peak physical condition because I intended to join the Special Forces (SEAL) program. I did extremely well in all parts of the physical exam except the color-proficiency portion. Because I failed that part, I was denied entry into the SEAL program. Even worse, I was suddenly unqualified for the majority of jobs in the Navy, and the jobs left to choose from weren't interesting to me at the time, so I wrote a letter of separation and de-enlisted. I had nothing else planned for life at that point. I was going to be a SEAL with an education from the US Naval Academy. I'd be able to do just about anything I could want with my life. But, that's all water under the bridge now. Now, I'm in college and studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. My original motivation for studying ME was to get involved with the field of aeronautics/aerospace, but because of color-blindness the FAA won't let me anywhere near planes, jets, or spacecraft. Thankfully, as I've been exposed to more and more through my degree, I've come to love many other things besides air and spacecraft. Now the biggest complication color-blindness creates in my life is that the drafting software I prefer to use draws datum planes in brown and highlights them with red when they are selected. Sheesh. I know I'm especially annoyed because of my color-blindness, but I can't be the only one who thinks that is just bad design.
  21. I suggest he start with an investment in his own education and get ahold of some Objectivist literature.
  22. Calling it "community service" is a disgusting trivialization of the efforts of the firefighters on that day and of the men who fight in the resultant war to this day. I hate this man with nearly every fiber of my being.
  23. Would you mind giving an explanation of why lifeboat situations are an exception? I've reached my own conclusions on the topic, but would like to understand exactly what you mean before I present them.
  24. Ask him what he thinks of the idea that all particle physics is based off Neils Bohr's model of the Hydrogen atom, and that the model was based purely on classical physics which could be applied only to atoms with one electron (that is, only Hydrogen, and Helium and Lithium in certain ionic states). Ask what he thinks of the fact that all of quantum mechanics is based off this insubstantial model, which is no doubt the reason for such phenomena as the uncertainty principle, which states that we can only observe the position of the electron or how it is moving, and not both simultaneously. In other words, ask him how particle physicists could be so certain that all things are determined when the very act of observing the particles interferes with (ie: changes) them, therefore ruining their chances of ever knowing everything about the particles. Ask him what he thinks of the hole that particle physicists have dug themselves into by basing the entire field of quantum mechanics off Bohr's model, which has left them with the inability to answer such simple questions as those that pertain to the spin of electrons. And ask him why he thinks that, despite all of this (and more), physicists haven't gone back to the basics and re-evaluated the positions of Schrodinger and Heisenberg to find out where they went wrong. And tell him the fact that "quantum physics is responsible for so much of the technologies we enjoy in the modern world" isn't reason enough for it to go totally unquestioned. Any foundation can be built upon, no matter how weak. The entire science is based on a single model and a few equations discovered by a man, Bohr, who was very explicit in making sure that the science world new that his model breaks down completely when you apply it to the multi-electron level. This is reason enough to question any and all assertions that come from the field of quantum mechanics.
  25. Pretty cool! I have only recently heard of SpaceX and am really excited about their success. Another company that I have been following relatively closely is XCOR Aerospace. Bill Whittle at PJTV did a piece on them a little over a month ago: http://www.pjtv.com/video/Afterburner_with...ne_Before/2187/
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