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The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

dinfinity Re:and that means it doesn't cost any more? (231 comments)

My apologies. Apparently I misread your 'I left the US as well' as 'I went to the US as well'. The 'as well' and the rest of the thread must have thrown me off.

2 days ago

Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

dinfinity Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (446 comments)

Fuck Searle and his Chinese Room. Seriously.

The Chinese Room thought experiment causes so much lack of understanding it should be banned. Take your Chinese Room and ask it this:
"How many fingers was I holding up ten seconds ago?" (your single-state basic lookup table is not going to work, baby)

Such questions require ever more hacks and additions to the original thought experiment to the point where the most apt analogy for the guy in the Chinese Room is that of a hand. Determining that hands don't "know" anything is hardly ground-breaking.

And don't get me started on the extremely vaguely defined notion of what it means to 'know' or to 'understand'. The fact that humans attribute those things with an almost mystical quality is a testament to the (quite effective) arrogance instilled in us by evolution. Is it really that hard to accept that we're not the deliberate, free-willed agents we think we are?

3 days ago

In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

dinfinity Re:Flawed Premise (453 comments)

Although I agree with you, technically autonomously driving vehicles can take away some of the logistic issues in car sharing and car rental services. Being able to drive anywhere, then get out and have the car return to the place the renting agency needs it to be would greatly increase the attractiveness of occasionally renting a car.

4 days ago

Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

dinfinity Re:Control the carbs and you control blood lipids (249 comments)

So beans and rice is bad?

Maybe. Sometimes. It depends.

Your question is like asking "So, is water bad?"
The worst thing in dietary advice is trying to shove individual types of food into some ill-conceived set of two boxes labeled 'bad' and 'good'. It really destroys the discussion.

I think the whole obesity and diabetes epidemic stems from a sedentary lifestyle

1. Depends on what you mean with sedentary life style. IIRC, 30 minutes of daily mild exercise (walking) is enough to let almost all the increased risk of being (reasonably) overweight disappear (it is enough to move the caches of visceral fat to the more external fat storage locations). Link: http://news.aces.illinois.edu/...

2. Diabetes is a disruption of insulin response that is brought about by insulin spikes. Insulin spikes are generally caused by food with a high insulin index (generally proportional to the glycemic index, with dairy as a clear exception to the rule). Although this depends in part on whether your blood sugar is low before eating (and a number of other factors). See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

3. I believe the prevalence of engineered foods is higher in the US than in other developed countries, simply because people in other countries tend to be chauvinistic about (the purity of) their traditional food. Engineered foods are bound to elicit effects in the body that are driven by outdated but powerful mechanisms in our bodies ('engineered' means getting you to want more of it, either right then and there or the next time you're buying food). As it happens, sugar and carbs in general are one of the if not the most physically rewarding things to ingest. Just try to do a little bit of your own food engineering: it doesn't always work, but 9/10 times you can make pretty much anything self-prepared taste better by adding sugar. There's a reason pretty much every sauce in existence has a very high sugar content (20+% for ketchup and Sriracha).

5 days ago

Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

dinfinity Re:Control the carbs and you control blood lipids (249 comments)

I'm not sure medical science understands (well enough) the relationship between carbs/blood sugar/cholesterol and cardiovascular disease

Sadly, medical science has, for decades, had a better understanding than you seem to think. The problems arise from advisory organs (from the individual dietitian to the WHO) having to justify their existence by coming up with some kind of advice.

"In general, we're not really sure about a lot of things, but it is pretty obvious that nutrition raises your blood sugar levels, with the speed of the increase related to the glycemic index of the food and that both very high and very low blood sugar levels have negative effects on your body, so you should manage your nutritional intake based on your blood sugar levels. Oh yes, and don't forget the buffering effects of glycogen storage in your muscles and liver" makes for great but very unmarketable advice.

"Fat is bad, mmkay" and "High cholesterol will kill you" are a lot more palatable.
Who cares about scientific accuracy nowadays? Most 'journalists' don't. Most politicians don't. The average Joe certainly doesn't (at this point he doesn't even trust those scientist fuckers, always 'saying' different things in the papers).

Take it from me: the science is out there and has been for a while. Believe nothing you read about the subject of dietary advice, unless it is actual research or the stating of hard facts:
(note the years of publication)

5 days ago

Profanity-Laced Academic Paper Exposes Scam Journal

dinfinity Re:The Source Document (134 comments)

Don't forget the rock-solid references. That is one quality paper!

5 days ago

The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

dinfinity Re:EU is getting too powerful (331 comments)

We also have the 2005 referendums in France and Netherlands that told us People had enough of this mess

Don't be an idiot.
1. Those referendums said no such thing. They were about accepting a set of laws under the name 'European Constitution'. Most of the people who voted didn't have a fucking clue what any of the laws were and didn't want to know. They just collectively wanted to vent their nostalgic love for their old currencies and similar hatred for the newfangled Euro.
2. It is not a mess. It's doing great and improving every day. You haven't the faintest clue what an ineffective and internationally unattractive clusterfuck Europe would have been without the EEC and the EU.
3. Representative democracy. There is a reason for the existence of specialization and that reason is efficiency.
I really feel for many of the good politicians: they work their ass off to understand the material to be able to make tough decisions and then literally millions of fuckwits who have no idea about any part of their job or the subject matter come along and bitch at them, tell them they should do it differently and to generally go fuck themselves.

Honestly, imagine the second dumbest idiot you know who has no idea what the fuck your job is about, let him abuse you, tell you how to do your job and then just smile and say you're doing your best.
Relevant XKCD: http://xkcd.com/793/

5 days ago

The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

dinfinity Re:and that means it doesn't cost any more? (231 comments)

A continent of idiots. Good reason to leave.

Please do.
Europe can do without people who fail at reasoning.

about two weeks ago

The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

dinfinity Re:and that means it doesn't cost any more? (231 comments)

Yes, and Americans have more freedom to make those choices for themselves than Europeans.

No, most of them do not. Social mobility is provably higher in most EU member states with high taxes. It's pretty simple: wealth/income redistribution provides a lot of people in the lower part of society with freedom. Many (less affluent) Americans have little choice but to take on any job they can get and then work as many hours as they can get, crawling for their superiors for fear of getting fired. That's not freedom.

You can choose which company you work for, and you can found your own company. Both of those are a lot easier in the US than in Europe.

Wait a minute. You actually believe that Europeans can't choose at which company they get a job? Really?
Also, wrong: http://www.nationmaster.com/co...
Or perhaps founding a company is easier in the US, just less of an option to most people.

Nothing, except higher taxation, less wealth, and more regulation

Bullshit. Private investments are hardly regulated and not taxed at all.
But don't let reality spoil your preconceived notions. Just keep waving that banner, man.

about two weeks ago

The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

dinfinity Re:and that means it doesn't cost any more? (231 comments)

Anybody with half a brain generally doesn't acquire money for its own sake

The point was that some people would choose non-monetary benefits over monetary benefits. As they say: money can't buy you love or friendship.

most of the interesting jobs you can get in Europe are publicly financed one way or another (research, art, etc.)

False. Unless you wish to invoke a No True Scotsman-fallacy.
1. 'Europe' does not have a centralized policy for funding of 'most of the interesting jobs'. The member states of the EU differ wildly in the extent to which they 'finance' certain jobs.
2. In general: art and research are subsidized, not 'financed'. There is nothing stopping anyone from attracting private investments for their activities. In fact, there are European anti-state aid laws to prevent anti-competitive subsidization by the governements of the member states: http://ec.europa.eu/competitio...
Many universities in Europe cooperate tightly with institutes that are oriented towards commercial(ly viable) research and the associated private investments.

which means you don't get to do what you think is right, you bloody well have to do what society tells you to do

News flash: unless it's your company, you're not deciding what you get to do. You bloody well have to do what was in the bloody job description when you decided to take the job. If you believe that a private institution gives more of a crap about 'what you think is right' than a public one, you're deeply misguided.

about two weeks ago

The Downside to Low Gas Prices

dinfinity Re:The Highway Trust Fund (554 comments)

I was actually trying to point out that cirby was arguing purely based on the name of the fund. I think we can agree that the name of any institution shouldn't dictate what it is for. It's convenient and intuitive if the name does reflect the goals of an institution, but to argue about those goals based on the name is just silly (or +5 Interesting, apparently).

Calling changing the goals of a fund over a period of fifty years a 'bait and switch' is equally stupid. You're effectively implying that, had they changed the name with the changing of the goals, 'the American people' would have not let those changes stand as they would then suddenly realize what was going on. If you think that is true, it's pretty obvious who is calling the American people stupid here.

about two weeks ago

The Downside to Low Gas Prices

dinfinity Re:Lucky America (554 comments)

So, gas in the US isn't cheap. It just isn't taxed to death like in other parts of the world.

Gas in the US is cheap to the comparing consumer. Where the money goes isn't relevant in the consumer's appreciation of whether it is cheap or not.

Whether USians are 'lucky' is a different story. Considering that taxes on gas tend to be used for infrastructure investments, it isn't hard to see why the quality of the road infrastructure in the countries with high taxes on gas (and other automotive related taxes) is much higher than that of the US.

I consider myself lucky to live in a country which has had the political insight to maintain great (road) infrastructure through taxes, despite the never-ending complaints of the populace paying those taxes. The complainers are the people calling the US lucky for low gas prices and they are the same people who bitch and moan about terrible roads the second they drive in a country with low (gas) taxes.

In short: you get what you pay for.
Disclaimer: ... in a proper democracy.

about two weeks ago

Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

dinfinity Re:240km/hr? (418 comments)

Normal trains in Europe do 300kph routinely.

If with 'normal' you mean specialized trains running on a limited set of tracks, then yes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...
They apparently can go 575 km/h if you let them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

What most people would consider 'normal trains' and normal tracks are limited to 200 km/h and usually less than that (130km/h and 160km/h are common speed limits).

about two weeks ago

The Downside to Low Gas Prices

dinfinity Re:The Highway Trust Fund (554 comments)

Rename it 'The Transport Infrastructure Trust Fund' (which is what it has become). Problem solved.

about two weeks ago

First Experimental Demonstration of a Trapped Rainbow Using Silicon

dinfinity Re:Mind-blowingly cool, but... I don't get it. (79 comments)

I believe GP was specifically referring to the 'stopped' part. Considering we've always learnt that the speed of light (photons) is more or less static(ally high), it's pretty hard to accept photons just being slowed down to a halt.

IANAP, but I've learnt from Feynman's QED lectures that reflection is not as straightforward as one tends to think it is. IIRC, reflection is more of an absorption + emission-event than a 'bouncing' event. Combining that with the text "Removing the silicon grating from the silica waveguide releases the light again" would lead me to think that the grating allows the absorption of the photon(s) to happen, but leaves the absorbing material in a state in which it is unable to complete the emission event and in such a way that the emission event is put 'on hold'. The latter would be that the energy is unable to dissipate in other ways.

Again, IANAP, and I'm pretty much pulling this out of my ass, but this is how I wrap my head around it.

about three weeks ago

We Are All Confident Idiots

dinfinity Re:Summary doesn't support headline (306 comments)

Interestingly, this will favour the less competent people, because they will be more confident.

This, and most of your post has nothing to do with the Dunning-Kruger-effect. The effect does not state that the incompetent are more confident than the competent, just that they are more confident than they should be.

Your conjecture is based on the notion that competence and introversion go together in certain fields: "Incompetent, but confident people rise to the top while competent, but cautious people stay at the bottom." (notice the sudden addition of 'cautious' as somehow being inherent to competent people)

Although there is merit in it, again: it has nothing to do with the Dunning-Kruger-effect.

about a month ago

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

dinfinity Re:And anyway (583 comments)

Oh well, in that case... eh, African tribes, maybe? What about Tibetan monks?

Man, I totally forgot about those. Although I heard those African tribes have some kickass diamond mining technology.

about 1 month ago



Solar power absorbing nanoparticle-based steam generation boasts 24% efficiency

dinfinity dinfinity writes  |  about 2 years ago

dinfinity (2300094) writes "Rice University scientists have unveiled a new technology that uses nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam. The new “solar steam” method from Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics is so effective it can even produce steam from icy cold water. Details of the solar steam method were published online today in ACS Nano. The technology’s inventors said they expect it will first be used in sanitation and water-purification applications in the developing world."
Link to Original Source


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