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Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

thegreatemu complete and utter rubbish (225 comments)

I'm probably a bit biased here, but also an expert, since I am a physicist who studies dark matter for a living.

The title's question doesn't even make sense! Big bang theory, and in particular studying the exact power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background, is by far the strongest evidence we have for the existence of dark matter and dark energy. All those pie charts you've seen showing the divisions of baryonic matter, dark matter, and dark energy? If they're properly cited, I guarantee every single one of them comes from data from WMAP or PLANCK: CMB experiments! You can't say that dark matter gives you room to invalidate the big bang, because without that we don't have really any strong evidence for non-baryonic dark matter in the first place...

about three weeks ago

Movie Review: Ender's Game

thegreatemu Re:overrated, anyway (732 comments)

You completely missed the point of the book if that's what you got. What made Ender the supreme commander wasn't his intelligence; he was brilliant, but not significantly more so than many of the other kids. Ender's gift was his empathy: what allowed him to overcome his foes was exactly that he DIDN'T see them as less than human, but that he respected, maybe even loved his adversaries, even as he set up to destroy them.

I won't argue about the rest of the series though

about 10 months ago

Google's House of Cards

thegreatemu trello (115 comments)

As a good example, you should take a look at trello , which is basically an organization/design/progress list tool, where each atomic activity is represented by a card. I've been using it extensively for about a year now, and the card+board metaphor really seems to make intuitive sense to everyone I've introduced to it.

about a year ago

Ars Reviewer is Happily Bored With Dell's Linux Ultrabook

thegreatemu Re:Too bad for lunix (181 comments)

Windows 3.1 was DOS based...
98 was the first version of windows that was an actual OS, not a graphical DOS shell

about a year ago

How Open Source Could Benefit Academic Research

thegreatemu it's already out there (84 comments)

at least in the particle physics community, practically all anyone uses is open-source code. The most common are GEANT4 for simulating particles interacting with matter, and ROOT which handles data analysis. Both are maintained by dedicated people at CERN.

As to more specialized code, any time I've ever asked someone about their analysis, no matter what institution or relation (or lack of) to me, they've always been happy to share their code source with me. Usually with many caveats about quality, but it's there. The problem for us has always been knowing who to ask, so a dedicated central repository could be interesting.

Maybe a model like the could work. Almost everyone these days puts preprints of upcoming papers on the arxiv. Since there's no review system, you also get lots of garbage from crazies, but it's generally not hard to weed out if you know at least a little about the subject matter of your search, and trivial if you know the relevant big names in your field. In the same vein, a huge code repository where anyone could upload their junky scripts, tagged by name and subject/function/whatever, might work better than it would seem at first glance.

about a year and a half ago

Poor Sleep Prevents Brain From Storing Memories

thegreatemu it's a species survival adaptation (180 comments)

I'm actually only about half-joking here. When you have a newborn, you get practically no sleep for months at a time, and yet people still have multiple kids. Why? Because nobody clearly remembers those early terrible sleepless months!

about a year and a half ago

Purported Relativity Paradox Resolved

thegreatemu Re:Cognition (128 comments)

Not by any means. For probably the best example, look at the Einstein-Rosen-Podalsky paradox , a simple thought experiment used an attempt to disprove the so-called Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics because it would require the instantaneous transmission of quantum states in such a way that would violate special relativity. People did try to think their way out of it, until Bell's theorem "thought" everyone back into the paradoxical corner - leading to the modern sciences of quantum entanglement.

In fact if you look back, many of the advances in modern physics have come about specifically because of paradoxes arising from thought experiments. See also the ultraviolet catastrophe, or even Schrodinger's cat for that matter.

about a year and a half ago

The Science of Game Strategy

thegreatemu Re:What about Magic? (136 comments)

You still shuffle your deck in Dominion, and it's still possible (though less likely than Magic, granted) to get screwed by chance - your money cards can keep getting spread out just enough that you never manage to get enough buying power on a given turn to buy the top-tier cards. Or you repeatedly get all your good combo-building cards in a row and burn through them without encountering anything practical. I've had both happen...

My biggest problem with Dominion is that you don't really interact with the other players much - it's easily possible to set up a game with none of the "Attack" type cards, in which case you're really just racing N games of solitaire. Even with the attack cards, you don't generally get to respond in any meaningful way - e.g., if you have a Moat you can block the Bandits, but otherwise not. There's no choices, or finite resources - should I save my surprise Bandit Blocker(TM) , or save it for a better opportunity?

about a year and a half ago

The Science of Game Strategy

thegreatemu Re:What about Magic? (136 comments)

I agree completely, but luckily there are alternative formats to Constructed decks, in particular Sealed and Draft tournaments. Everyone puts in their entry fee, then builds decks right there from sealed, virgin packs, so there's no "more money = more wins" mechanic. It's the only way I'd ever consider playing in an environment other than casually with friends.

about a year and a half ago

Game Review: Street Fighter X Mega Man

thegreatemu smash brothers (79 comments)

Clearly the ideal place for a modern Mega Man is in Super Smash Brothers. 3D look, but essentially a 2D game, and he would totally kick that damn Jigglypuff's ass...

about a year and a half ago

Will Tablets Kill Off e-Readers?

thegreatemu Pixel Qi to rule them all (333 comments)

Maybe, but only once I can actually buy a device with a damn PixelQi screen!

about a year and a half ago

US Presidential Debate #2 Tonight: Discuss Here

thegreatemu Answer the damn questions (706 comments)

I think at this point I would vote for any candidate who would just answer the questions that are being asked...or at least address them tengentially.

There also needs to be a buzzer or something to shut them up whenever they want to discuss their opponent's plans, i.e., put words in their opponent's mouth.

about 2 years ago

The Linux-Proof Processor That Nobody Wants

thegreatemu Re:The Year of Linux on Desktop Is Now (403 comments)

Except MS office, which most of the corporate/academic world still uses for everything. Yes, Libre Office can do everything as well or in many cases better, but that doesn't matter when someone sends you a pptx file that Impress mangles into an unreadable smear.

about 2 years ago

Obama and Romney Respond To Questionnaire

thegreatemu Vaccinations (608 comments)

I love how both candidates completely ignored the heart of the vaccination issue, pretending that the reason vaccination rates have fallen is due to people being unable to afford them or supplies running out, rather than the complete failing of our educational system, which has produced a generation of idiots who think that some celebutard's cry about vaccination-caused autism is somehow more worth listening to than a century of sound medical practice. I forget who originated the quote, but it goes something like "Democracy does not mean that your ignorance has an equal voice with my knowledge."

Anyway, just more of the same political dodging. We can't call people reckless morons for endangering themselves AND OTHERS by refusing to get themselves and their children vaccinated, because they might vote for me! I'd really like to have political interviews where we can tie the candidates down and keep asking the same question until they actually answer it,

about 2 years ago

Obama and Romney Respond To Questionnaire

thegreatemu Re:Climate change (608 comments)

I'm terrified to find myself supporting Romney here, but did you even read your own quote there? He said there was a lack of consensus on "the extent of the warming, the extent of the human contribution, and the severity of the risk."

Now let me quote from your linked article: "The study found that 97 percent of scientific experts agree that climate change is "very likely" caused mainly by human activity."

Nowhere does it say that 97 percent of scientists agree that the average global temperature rise will be X degrees, that the risk is extremely/moderately/not at all severe, or that "mainly" = 100%/90%/80%, etc.

As anti-republican as I am, I have to admit Romney hit this one exactly right. There is overwhelming evidence (which, btw, is way the hell more important than "consensus") that there is warming, and that we are the cause of some significant part of it. But predicting the specific effects, even the exact amount of temperature increase, necessitates a blind faith in models with a pretty poor track record so far.

Of course, the problem is that he's trying to use lack of certainty as an excuse to to avoid taking any action, despite the fact that the science doesn't say anything at all about the best way to fix the issue (or indeed whether it needs fixing...)

about 2 years ago

US Carbon Emissions Hit 20-Year Low

thegreatemu natural gas doesn't make CO2? (245 comments)

I suppose I could RTFA, but since when does burning natural gas produce less CO2 than gasoline? It's still a hydrocarbon. CxHy+O2->H2O+CO2...

about 2 years ago

With $8.6M In Kickstarter Funds, Ouya Opens Console Pre-Orders

thegreatemu Re:How open is this "open console"? (218 comments)

While I agree with the general question about how "open" this device is, you don't have to root your android to install apps from unknown sources; that's one of the main selling points over ios in the first place!

about 2 years ago

Why Groundwater Use May Not Explain Half of Sea-Level Rise

thegreatemu Re:Scientific review (244 comments)

When I read your second paragraph, I was really ecstatic for a minute there. You hit the nail on the head that so many climate change prophets are attacking with screwdrivers. There is a huge difference between the very well-demonstrated rising temperature and the significantly hazier predictions of future states based on extremely complicated and chaotic models. But based on very simple arguments, our actions are _likely_ to have an effect, and so doing what we can to minimize that possible effect is rational. (Unfortunately, the haze predictors are being used as justification for the degree of the response, which is not really justified.)

And then you negate all your rationality with the statement "We are directly responsible for this planet entering a new geological age with as much speed and force as the Cretaceousâ"Paleogene extinction event". It was a good job trying to sound rational, but you really need to keep your discourse consistent.

more than 2 years ago



LUX experiment rules out low mass dark matter

thegreatemu thegreatemu writes  |  about 9 months ago

thegreatemu (1457577) writes "The LUX collaboration today released the first results using their huge liquid xenon detector to search for dark matter interactions in a live webcast from South Dakota's Sanford Lab. (Here's a copy of the talk and the corresponding paper (warning: PDFs)).
Their conclusion: they see no positive evidence for any kind of dark matter. Moreover, they have pretty conclusively (by a factor of 20!) ruled out conventional dark matter as a source of the low energy signals seen by many of their dark matter competitors (CDMS, CoGeNT, CRESST, and DAMA)."


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