Science Tidbits #4

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:01 pm

Yeah there is an argument that correlation doesn't equate to causation.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Well, there's that old adage that power corrupts. It's not surprising that it would be supported by observation. And, of course, pre-existing conditions, whether it's a mere desire for power or full-fledged sociopathy, would exacerbate the phenomenon-- and, also, it may simply be normal primate behavior, because very often what's a successful strategy in the wild can be considered mental illness in society (e.g. the fight-or-flight syndrome).

But types of government and electoral processes can mitigate the condition. It's certainly an argument for term limits. Unfortunately, assuming that it is derived from normal primate behavior, the process would need to apply to the voters as well as the candidates, because they feed into it. The article notes how underlings feed power-hungry bosses by mimicking and empowering their behavior.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by scottydog » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:11 pm

Reminds me of your heroes blog post, RJ, on The Greatest Power.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:11 pm

Yes, I definitely believe that it's possible to be incorruptible. It probably goes against biology, but most civilized behavior does.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by scottydog » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:23 am

So does that mean civilization's only hope is to rid ourselves of our corporeal essence?

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:09 pm

^Eh, human civilization has been around for hundreds of thousands of years*. We're OK for a while longer.


*People tend to fixate on recorded history and grand monuments, but we've probably been living the civilized life for most of the time genus Homo has been around.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:52 pm

We can deal with biological impulses if we have a social context that directs them. Unfortunately, most people can't separate biology from reason and most social customs are designed to validate biology rather than overcome it. I don't think we need to shed our corporeal forms, but I do think that cybernetics will one day fundamentally change human nature-- what form (or forms) that takes could go in many directions.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by scottydog » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:06 am

My niece just had a baby. I can't help but wonder if that child will live 200 years or 1,000 years with help from technology. It's weird to even ponder.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by huggle » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:41 am

Darth Vader like? Hmm, not sure if that'd be a good idea. What if someone hacks the controls for your artificial lungs or your insuline pump? Frankly, I'd rather do without any aid that's not purely mechanic.
Purely genetically, 130-140 is the limit. You can copy DNA only so many times before the typos get lethal and the stem cells that produce blood have a limited lifespan, too. On the whole, I think, life expectancy is going to fall in the next decades. Our environment is socompletely polluted that it's impossible to counteract all of the poisons medically. And it'd take centuries to eliminate all the pollutants from atmosphere, soil and water (provided that - highly unlikely - the chemical industry stops completely to create new poisons).
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by scottydog » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:55 pm

huggle wrote: Purely genetically, 130-140 is the limit. You can copy DNA only so many times before the typos get lethal and the stem cells that produce blood have a limited lifespan, too.
Scientific advances may soon fix those typos and reverse (or halt) the aging process. It's probably a bad idea to eliminate death -- after all, death is natural and allows for the necessary recycling of life.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:39 pm

Congratulations to your niece. :)

I think we're probably pretty close to being able to engineer viruses that can transcribe corrections to chromosomes and DNA. When stuff like that will be legal, approved by the FDA, or covered by insurance is another question. I'm also sure that cybernetics will-- and must-- enter the picture at some point. If you live a thousand years, you've got to be able to retain and access all those memories. There are other likely paths to immortality as well.

Personally, I'm in favor of eliminating death, especially my own. Death may be natural, but so are cancer and kidney stones. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by scottydog » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:12 pm

^^ It is hard to swallow that many unpleasant things are natural -- poison ivy, diarrhea, Donald Trump, and cheap waxy chocolate, among them.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:10 pm

^ :lol:
RJDiogenes wrote:Congratulations to your niece. :)

I think we're probably pretty close to being able to engineer viruses that can transcribe corrections to chromosomes and DNA. When stuff like that will be legal, approved by the FDA, or covered by insurance is another question. I'm also sure that cybernetics will-- and must-- enter the picture at some point. If you live a thousand years, you've got to be able to retain and access all those memories. There are other likely paths to immortality as well.
I'm in favor of a virtual reality scenario, which I used in a couple of my books. That would stave off death, but eliminate problems like over-population and effectively having the same people around millennia after millennia.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:08 pm

^^ Agreed, and that's also a big part of the Spacious Skies universe. I'd be very happy with that for myself as long as there is contact with the physical world and some level of portability-- such as the possibility of being part of a virtual environment that travels to the stars.
scottydog wrote:^^ It is hard to swallow that many unpleasant things are natural -- poison ivy, diarrhea, Donald Trump, and cheap waxy chocolate, among them.
That's an insult to diarrhea. :warn:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by huggle » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:25 am

I have the gravest doubts of DT being natural. An individual that stupid couldn't possibly survive in a natural environment and therefore he must be engineered. I suspect he's a shelless version of the Dalek Supreme. That'd also account for his permanently calling for the extermination, elimination and annihilation of people and things that stand in his way.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:14 pm

^ :lol: :unsure:

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:14 pm

That's actually a reasonable theory. :mellow:

Actually, come to think of it, Trump could be proof of the Simulation Hypothesis. Somehow-- either because of a programming error or a mischievous programmer-- his interaction flags with the rest of the simulation have been disabled, so that the normal rules of "reality" don't apply to him. Maybe he'll just eventually freeze up and pixelate.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:08 am

Juno's flyby of the Great Red Spot has been successfully completed. They're in the process of processing the raw images now, so we should see some great pictures in the next few days. :yes:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:10 pm

Or sooner! :yes:

The dorky, geeky part of me wishes that they'll see some floaters.

[BBvideo 425,350][/BBvideo]

That was the scene that helped inspire the Aeroga in Diaspora.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:21 pm

Lupine wrote:Or sooner! :yes:
Well, those are oddly shaped. I like how they're letting people do their own enhancements. Some of them are very artistic. I noticed a little Andy Warhol tribute in there. :D
The dorky, geeky part of me wishes that they'll see some floaters.
That was one of my favorite parts of Cosmos. Not to mention A Meeting With Medusa and 2010 I wonder what Juno's minimum resolution is and what you'd need to see one of them.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:36 pm

I think they said that details down to 4 kilometers can be seen in the images. That would be just above Sagan's hypothetical floaters.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:56 pm

Or maybe that's just what they want us to think. :unsure:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:14 pm

^ :lol:

I wonder though if floaters were spotted if we'd even immediately recognize what it is we're seeing.

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:01 am

Probably not. It would just be more controversial evidence, like the blueberries and methane blooms on Mars. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Post by Lupine » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:00 pm

Or the red steaks on Europa having the same spectra-graphic signature as cyano-bacteria. :unsure:

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