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Tomorrow's Science Heroes?

InfoVore Re:Sorry, Yes (799 comments)

1)The Bible uses parables to instill useful values. It is largely NOT literal. Children and simple adults believe it literally because they lack the capacity to grasp the deeper lessons present. This is okay, because the alternative methods of instilling the same useful values to a wide variety of people have no solid track record.

I have to disagree about your statement that simple adults believe the Bible literally because they lack the capacity to grasp the deeper lessons. I grew up in a literalist "the Bible is the inerrant word of God" church. Sermons and lessons were chocked full of deeper moral lessons from both the Old and New Testaments. Some of the most subtle insights into human nature I've ever heard came out of sermons based on Jesus's parables.

That said, there were doctrines where my church would not bend, eg those beliefs unique to our denomination that really weren't supportable by any reasonable reading of the Bible or were in direct conflict with scientific observation. If you questioned them, you would typically get either a) an unsatisfactory misreading of one or more biblical verses b) a glassy eyed look c) an unsupportable rationalization ("well you know to God, a billion years is like a day") d) or a quick change of subject.

I think that basically what this represents is not that the believers of that church were somehow cognitively inferior, but that they simply were caught in a set of self-reinforcing memes that required them to have mental blind-spots when it came to entertaining certain questions, thoughts, or observations. It was a powerful and compelling force.

It took me years after I figured out that they believed a bunch of unsupportable fantasy before I finally broke away. The draw to believe in the group consensus view was strong enough to keep me trying for years after I had effectively lost faith and begun finding my own truth (of which science figures in prominently).

more than 5 years ago
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What To Expect From Apple's Rumored MacPad

InfoVore Re:All this talk of Newton's ghost (213 comments)

And of course the tag line is: "iZombie, its for people with BRAINS!"

more than 5 years ago
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Real Nanotechnology Getting Closer, Says Drexler

InfoVore Re:how about interviewing some real nanotechnologi (134 comments)

Again, shenanigans. I never claimed Drexler came up with Nanotechnology. I said he did the first substantial work on machine-phase nanotechnology... something Smalley spent well over a decade trying to discredit. I remember the arguments and counter arguments back in the early 90s. Of course lots of scientists have been working at the nano-level before and since. My point was that for that specific type of proposed nanotechnology (mechanosynthesis, assemblers, dissassemblers, etc) that these guys did the first serious theoretical work. I still stand by that based on the evidence.

The reason you got attitude from me was that your dismissive attitude towards them and their achievements. I certainly respect both theoretical and experimental research in this or any other scientific field. However, it looked like you were minimizing the importance of the necessary theoretical portions and elevating the experimental. THAT is what I was pushing back against.

I certainly wish you and your compatriots great luck and success in your efforts. I fully understand that without guys like you, its just equations on a page or simulations in a computer ... worthless unless applied.

more than 5 years ago
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Real Nanotechnology Getting Closer, Says Drexler

InfoVore Re:how about interviewing some real nanotechnologi (134 comments)

"None of these guys has worked in a nanotechnology lab. None of these guys has tried to build something starting from atoms. "

I call shenanigans. Every one of these guys has substantial nanotech street cred going back 20 years or more. Every single one of them has "worked in a nanotech lab". Most of them FOUNDED the discipline of Molecular Nanotechnology.

Drexler did the first substantial theoretical work on precision mechanosynthesis of molecules, the limits and restrictions on carbon-carbon mechanosythesis, charted possible paths to research and development, and so on. Oh and besides providing the theoretical underpinnings for molecular manufacturing (a new term that had to be created because opportunists like Dr. Richard Smalley successfully co-opted the term "nanotechnology" all the while trying to kill the credibility of Drexler and mechanosythesis approaches), Drexler is one of the strongest voices promoting thinking ahead about the risks and ethical implications of widespread use of molecular machines. The Foresight Institute was set up in large part to think ahead of nanotech development and be prepared with ethical and legal guidelines for the development and use of molecular nanotechnology. Oh, and he got the first EVER PhD in Nanotechnology.

Hall, besides being the founding chief scientist of Nanorex (who are developing open-source computational tools to support research in structural DNA nanotechnology), he's published a trunkload of papers on various aspects of nanotechnology. You can find a list here

Merkle did some of the first work on computational modeling of carbon-carbon nanostructures for mechanosynthesis. He worked as a research scientist at Zyvex, the first commercial nanotech research company, for several years. He's apparently still actively researching. His list of recent research papers, along with Freitas's, are here

Freitas is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Molecular Manufacturing. He's published a raft of papers (see link above) and did the first practical research on the theoretical underpinnings of nanomedicine, which he published in his book NANOMEDICINE.

They may not be pushing atoms around with an AFM (or whatever you are doing), but they are laying the foundations for the science and engineering of molecular manufacturing.

Show some respect.

more than 5 years ago
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Obama Campaign Seeks LAMP Developers

InfoVore Re:What's wrong with you people?! (488 comments)

No my analysis isn't wrong, it just didn't include that aspect of the larger election. Of course the general election will be the final repudiation of the Reagan revolution and the neocon insanities. Not one of the candidates is a champion for that camp, including the Republican candidate (which is why their base hates McCain so much. he's not "one of them".)

There is more going on in this election than a excoriation of GWB, the Reagan revolution and the Neocon philosophy. Specifically the fight between Clinton and Obama is a generational struggle for control. Yes there is more than that going on in the entire race, but it is a large component driving the contention between those two candidates supporters.

How do I really feel? Yeah, I resent the Boomers as a group. I'm one of the Gen-X generation that has been uniformly crapped on by the Boomers since we committed the ultimate sin of not worshiping them.

My rhetoric applies to both the Boomer fueled neocons (look at the neocon philosophical heavyweights - all Boomers) and the machine Democrats (they aren't cohesive enough to have their own group name), like the Clintons.

more than 6 years ago

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