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Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

Ihlosi Re:The longer you live...Cancer could be your rewa (272 comments)

A certain irreducible background incidence of cancer is to be expected regardless of circumstances: mutations can never be absolutely avoided, because they are an inescapable consequence of fundamental limitations on the accuracy of DNA replication,

Fundamentally, it's an inesacpable consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. However, this consequence can be avoided if you keep throwing energy at the system.

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'

Ihlosi If the biology that controls lifespan is reversed, (272 comments)

If the biology that controls lifespan is reversed, the condition is usually called "cancer". Limiting the number of cell divisions is one of the main safeguards against this disease.

Suggestion: Develop an inexpensive and effective cure for cancer first.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

Ihlosi Luck plays no role in gambling. (340 comments)

And these people just proved that luck plays no role.

Simple statistics can prove that luck plays absolutely no role in gambling if you look at a large enough number of individual games. No need to built a fancy robot for that.

In fact, most "casino" type games of "chance" are designed to have a very small house edge. This keeps the players playing while at the same time ensuring that the house does not lose money. Lotteries, on the other hand, have a house edge high enough that it's pretty close to cheating.

about two weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Ihlosi Re:Do it in your free time (300 comments)

eating necessarily means stealing matter in some way, so there's that... considering the matter is 5500K at the surface of our sun and carbon sublimes at 4000? not to mention gravity, and the difficulty in resisting becoming part of the star itself. you'd need to evolve a propulsion system in space... that can put out more thrust than a star while part of you is touching said star. the surface gravity on the sun is what.. 27 times earth gravity?

Technically, one could siphon protons and other ions off the star magnetically while orbiting it. You'd just need one hell of a magnet. But magnets are fun, and bigger magnets are more fun!

about two weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Ihlosi Re:Dyson Sphere? (300 comments)

Would this not fit the description of a star eater?

No, since the Dyson sphere does not modify ('digest') the star itself. It only converts the radiation produced by the star into usable energy.

A star-eater would modify the star itself, either by altering its mass or changing its composition.

about three weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Ihlosi Re:I think... (300 comments)

What are you guys talking about? Astra is a latin word.

'astron' is ancient Greek. 'astrum' is the loan-word version in Latin. You know, for those Romans who found 'stella' to sound too uneducated.

about three weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Ihlosi Re:Starivore? (300 comments)

But "starivore" is an abomination. if you're going to make up new compound words, you should stick to the same language for each component.

Unless you're an engineer. Then words like 'automobile' and 'television' are perfectly fine.

about three weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Ihlosi Re:I think... (300 comments)

While it's a horrible bastardisation of Greek and Latin, I think 'astrovore' sounds better.

How about 'astrophage'?

about three weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Ihlosi Re:Stellar engineering is more likely. (300 comments)

A form of life that utilizes all the energy of a star is an astrovore

I'd disagree, because just using the regular energy output of a star can be done without "digesting" or modifying it. An astrovore would have to actively modify the star itself by altering its mass (siphoning off hydrogen or other atoms) or changing the composition of the star.

about three weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Ihlosi Stellar engineering is more likely. (300 comments)

I think we're more likely to find signs of stellar engineering or other megascale construction - doesn't have to be a complete Dyson sphere, but a star that radiates more in the IR spectrum than physically plausible, has a peculiar/abnormal spectrum or does not evolve the way normal stars do.

And please, don't call it "starivore". Call it "astrovore" or, if you're an engineer, "astrophage".

about three weeks ago
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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Ihlosi Re:Of course science can't prove God. (755 comments)

You can not have something that is omnipotent.

Is that an axiom or can this statement be proven?

so it has no effect?

The effects of an omnipotent entity can be as detectable or as undetectable as the entity wishes.

Really, if it changes something that CHANGE is detectable even if you can't see what is causing it.

If you can't think of at least three ways an omnipotent entity could mess with your detection, then you have no imagination.
Can you detect the actions of a root user on a system where you don't have root privileges yourself (and no access to the hardware)? We have discovered many thing we only initially knew because of there effect on something else, like planets.

Planets aren't omnipotent entities.

Also, please learn what entropy is. There are about a dozen different meanings. I'm referring to thermodynamic entropy.

So you think it is possible to freeze a drop of water without increasing the thermodynamic entropy of the universe?

about three weeks ago
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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Ihlosi Of course science can't prove God. (755 comments)

Omnipotence trumps science any day. Something that is omnipotent can chose to remain undetectable to science. Even something that can ignore the laws of thermodynamics (a subset of omnipotence) could do so.

On the other hand, even the tiniest effect that ignores the laws of thermodynamic can be taken as proof of god-hood. If any entity can freeze even a drop of water without increasing the universes entropy, it should be considered a god for all intents and purposes.

about three weeks ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Re:As with all space missions: (200 comments)

In learning school, the people of my tribe were taught that molecules ARE matter.

Atomic nuclei are matter. Disassembling and reassembling atomic nuclei, however, is an entirely different beast (several orders of magnitude difference in energy) than disassembling and reassembling molecules.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Re:As with all space missions: (200 comments)

I love the space elevator/beanstalk idea, but we're several human generations away from the first full-scale model.

Which is why we should stop dreaming about it and stark working on things that are feasible with our technology. Mass drivers, launch loops, laser propulsion, you name it.

Venus won't be of much use until we can disassemble and reassemble matter itself.

Actually, we don't need anything that exotic (matter generation) for starters. We need a universal chemical synthesizer, which can assemble chosen molecules from a set of given input compounds. Basically a very flexible chemical plant. It doesn't need to create matter, just rearrange given molecules into new molecules.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Depends on where in the atmosphere you are. (200 comments)

I thought Venus' atmosphere was corrosive?

Some parts of it are. The higher your altitude, the less sulphuric acid you'll find.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Re:As with all space missions: (200 comments)

After Luna and Mercury, there will be very little use of the other planets, other than small moons.

I disagree.

Planets are just too darn hard to get on and off of.

Only if you use primitive launch technologies which require the ascent vehicle to carry all of the necessary energy and reaction mass for the ascent.

Seriously, you think that in your scenario, we'll still use rockets as the main way to get off planets?

The first thing we need is one or more ways to launch things into space where most of the energy and reaction mass is not carried by the launch vehicle.

None have proper gravity or pressure for us.

Venus could be cooled down with a solar shade in space (which could double as a power plant) and be transformed into something more habitable than its current state.

Also, some applications work in a wide range of gravity. You can have fairly normal kitchens, bathrooms, swimming pools, showers, sinks and toilets on Mars, despite only having a third of the gravity of Earth.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Re:Solar irradiance in the article? (200 comments)

Why did you make the parent comment specifically stating the opposite?

Err, I didnt?

The correct relationship is an inverse-square-distance (1/(d^2)) relationship. Compared to Venus, Earth is about 140% of Venus' orbital radius from the sun (and therefore gets 1.4^2 the solar irradiance) and Mars is about 240% farther from the sun (and therefore gets 2.4^2 the solar irradiance).

The numbers in the article give an inverse (not squared) relationship, which would be correct for distances, but not for solar irradiance.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Re:Solar irradiance in the article? (200 comments)

Different magnetic fields strengths and atmospheres (or lack thereof).

Photons shouldn't be affected by magnetic fields. And the numbers given in the article correspond suspiciously well to an inverse-distance relationship.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Re:Awesome! (200 comments)

I've been wondering for years why we couldn't send a dirigible probe to Venus

Balloons are neither dirigbles, nor dirigible. They just provide buoyancy.

about a month ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Ihlosi Re:As with all space missions: (200 comments)

We're not talking about an air ship where you can take a leisurely stroll on the pool deck admiring the Venetian sunset. We're talking about a space ship that is suspended in a convection stove.

Or a sauna. On the plus side, you get plenty of solar power to run your AC with.

about a month ago

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