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More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Limits of Measurement (138 comments)

I think my biggest problem was the phrase "ISTM your question is meaningless". It reinforced my general impression that a lot of physicists treat the math as the be-all-and-end-all of physics, without trying to develop an overarching (for lack of a better word) "narrative".

You end up with statements like "going faster than c makes you travel backwards in time" or "an electron doesn't have a position until it's measured". Both fit the math, but are probably simplifying things greatly. I suspect the physics of the future will provide intuitive explanations, with new underlying rules that will seem inscrutable. Dismissing the importance of the ACTUAL reality shuts down avenues of investigation and harms discourse.

That said, your last paragraph makes me think I was just overreacting. You've made it clear that intuition is an important aspect of theoretical physics, and people aren't blindly following the math.

4 hours ago
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More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Limits of Measurement (138 comments)

I like to think of an electrons a droplet of water (well, droplet of EM-field) with some very exotic properties.


  • It tends to stick together, but can be pulled apart.

  • When an electron is pulled apart (forced through a double-slit, for instance), it's strongly self-attracted, and tries to spring back into an electron-sized droplet very quickly

I think there's a very good reason electrons bound to an atom act like an "electron cloud". It's not that the electron appears and jumps randomly, it's actually everywhere.

yesterday
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More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Limits of Measurement (138 comments)

I hate this point of view - the one that says our math is everything, and there's no objective reality underneath driving it all. The math absolutely has to match observations, but describing physics without trying to understand what's ACTUALLY happening is like describing a baseball game purely in terms of Newtonian interactions. You'll understand individual phenomena very well, but you'll never understand the model well enough to make accurate predictions.

yesterday
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Oh, bore off (572 comments)

The reason we're still "blathering about non-existant [sic] WMDS" is because "WMD" is a shorthand for "nukes". The yellowcake uranium evidence, the aluminum tubes that "were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium", the quote "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud".

All of the WMD arguments for war were in the context of nukes, not chemical weapons.

So yes, you're technically correct - which is the best kind of correct - but you're also missing the point. None of the WMDs that we were warned about were found.

Not to mention if chemical weapons were a casus belli, just about every country in the world would be a legitimate target.

4 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:cause and/or those responsible (667 comments)

This is an incredibly disappointing comment to see modded Insightful. It's a non sequitor, it insults the parent, and most importantly, it adds nothing to the conversation.

I guess you can no longer use the traditional response to accusations of Russian misdeeds, since the US has stopped "lynching negroes"?

about two weeks ago
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Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Software will kill the software profession (171 comments)

And then we'll *still* need developers.

If someone ever invents a language that let's people program in plain English, it will be discovered that the majority of people cannot learn English.

about two weeks ago
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Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (144 comments)

Okay, I've read through a number of your replies, and one question keeps coming up. Who the Hell are you? What skin do you have in this game?

Companies pull books all the time for all kinds of reasons. Why is this one worth disrupting the site over? Are you Dinesh himself, trying desperately to get more income (or mindshare, whatever). Or has he hired you to spread the word on whatever sites you can? Are you simply a Concerned Citizen for whom this one book is the final straw?

Or are you a crazy lib who hates Dinesh D'Souza, and intends to delegitimize him by being a dick on websites in his name?

Or are you just trying out a new trolling technique? In which case, full marks for creativity, full marks for getting the bites. But 0/10 for pulling at the emotions like a traditional troll does. You're stirring up more confusion than anger.

about three weeks ago
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Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (144 comments)

If you want the book to reach people, maybe you should apply the same persuasive techniques to Costco stores that we've seen in this very thread.

For instance, you might find yourself in a Costco and see a small group of people gathered around telescopes, discussing the many wonders of the universe they hope to see. You could shove your way to the center of their attention and shout about how Costco censors a completely unrelated book! I can think of no finer way to win the respect and admiration of the scientific community.

about three weeks ago
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If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:No, they're replacing. (341 comments)

Damn, that was an incredible volley of logic. I'm convinced.

about a month ago
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Will 7nm and 5nm CPU Process Tech Really Happen?

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Car analogy? (142 comments)

You're absolutely right. I was trying to be clever and ended up with an unexpected "+5 Insightful". I assure you, it wasn't my intent to be taken seriously.

about a month ago
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Will 7nm and 5nm CPU Process Tech Really Happen?

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Car analogy? (142 comments)

We're trying to make smaller and smaller cars out of silicon, because then we can fit more cars onto parking lots. The number of cars we can fit onto a parking lot has been doubling approximately every 18 months for the past half-century, but we appear to be approaching some hard physical limits for the actual size of cars. In addition to the limits imposed by the size of the cars themselves (below a certain size, cars start interacting at a quantum level with the other cars around them), there are also challenges inherent in manufacturing cars at such a tiny scale. There is some new car-making technology on the horizon that may resolve these issues by using higher-frequency car-making lasers in our car foundries. But top researchers still have technical hurdles to pass before they can manufacture cars that are smaller than 7nm.

about a month and a half ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:pure rubbish (394 comments)

I once worked in engineering group that also had couple of architects, we called them "farcitechs" and now you all know why

It may seem obvious to you, but I felt you could be clearer on why all your architects joined the People's Army of Columbia.

about a month and a half ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Wait a sec (772 comments)

I'm not sure I follow. If antennas are the most likely thing to be struck by lightning in their immediate area, in what sense don't they "attract lightning"?

about 2 months ago
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Air Force Prepares to Dismantle HAARP

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Climate Science Defector Forced to Resign (178 comments)

If I wandered into a programming-language-of-the-week thread and started posting about Syrian refugees, I'd rightly be chastised and modded down. In no way is that the appropriate forum to air my grievances.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that "no reasonable person" would think it's appropriate. So, yeah. Insane. Unable to grasp or understand social norms.

about 3 months ago
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Study: Earthlings Not Ready For Alien Encounters, Yet

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:next 50 to 100 years? (453 comments)

How do you even begin to make an argument against "nothing is infinite"? What evidence is there either way? And how could you prove it one way or the other?

I think the extraordinary claim here is that one could gather enough information to even form an informed opinion.

about 3 months ago
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Study: Earthlings Not Ready For Alien Encounters, Yet

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:next 50 to 100 years? (453 comments)

Nothing is infinite

[Citation Needed]

about 3 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Time to move into the Century of the fruit bat. (1198 comments)

So its unacceptable for them to behave this way, but its ok if the state does it?

This argument has got to stop. I am 100% against the death penalty, and this statement hurts my position by associating me with morons.

Raping and killing a 6-year-old != Killing a rapist murderer who makes society a worse place

If you honestly can't see why some people would see a difference, please shut up simply as a favour to me. If you can understand the difference but think your argument still has merit, you'll need to write a lot more than a pithy one-liner to sway people to your point of view.

about 3 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

DahGhostfacedFiddlah Re:Punishment fits the crime (1198 comments)

Presumably, this means that Criminal A destroyed twice as much property breaking in, endangered twice as many people during getaway, had a gun in twice as many people's faces. Sounds fair to me.

about 3 months ago

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