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Comment Re:But what is a lie? (Score 1) 117

No but :-) see you explained and made clear why you added the "but". And the dictionary definition allows for that usage.

A problem is when people use "but" as a quick way to divert from something, as part of a smoke screen.

Yes I'd love to meet up, awesome, really great, that'll be fantastic, but not today.

Comment Re:But what is a lie? (Score 2) 117

I consider myself to be on the Autism Spectrum scale. When I tell stories I want to be detailed; but I have learned that people don't want the full story and prefer summaries. Summaries so short that I more or less have to reinvent the scenario in order to get my point or question out and paid attention to. Since it's not the complete truth; it's a lie. But I want to tell the complete truth but people don't want to hear all the details and angles. It's a profound discrepancy in human communication that I have adapted to; the lie that communicates the essential but not exact truth. Is it a lie when people want/expect you to actually do it?

Lying isn't black and white. You have to interpret how much and what information a person is looking for. You are then lying only when you know what information a person is looking for and if they would care about the inaccuracy of the statement.

I agree it is a problem. I did a kind of psychological exercise where we had to pay attention to lying. The wording and precision really mattered. So even to start a sentence with, "Yes but..." was considered a lie, because the "but" negates the "yes" to some degree. It creates a sort of smoke screen, like, he is saying yes, whereas he really means no, and disguising it under the "yes".

If one learnt to pay attention to when one says "yes but" then one can go on to start to notice other inconsistencies. For example, how easily we invent excuses for things.

I guess when it comes to summaries, and having to make summaries, the issue may be, does the summary alter the person's response or decision? For example, if I have to meet someone and I arrive late and they are wondering whether to be upset with me, does my summary say: "I messed up, I'm late, I'm sorry" which leads them to the feeling that it was my fault, or is my summary worded to make a different effect: "I left on time, awful traffic" which leaves out the detail that I stopped for a grande latte mocha with raspberry syrup on the way?

In other words, does that detail matter? The issue is that most adults lie by telling the 95% of the story which is true, and leaving out the 5% detail which would land them in trouble. So if that detail is important, then it needs to be said.

Comment Re:fallacy (Score 2) 175

Because the human mind is incapable of bias and groups of minds are incapable of systematic bias?! There's a reason we say a real test of a prediction requires waiting for the real future. And this should be obvious to everyone. And before anyone tells "troll", smart intelligent honest people are as subject to bias as anyone, except because they know they are smart and honest, they are also subject to what's called "expert bias". It's just one more thing to be aware of as we pursue greater knowledge and insight. And it is unfortunate that many will dismiss experts purely because the experts say something inconvenient to various selfish interests and ignorance, but that's also just one more thing to bear in mind. Gaining knowledge is hard.

Comment Authoritarian rule (Score 1, Troll) 632

The great thing about authoritarian rule is it is efficient and forces compliance.

The bad thing is when it enforces a wrong policy and causes more harm.

And the trouble is, in life we can never really know whether an idea is correct. So there is always a risk.

Which is why flexibility is needed to some extent, and you always have to step back and say, ok, how can we be so sure?

Right now for example, Australia has been banning a surgeon who has been saying that maybe it isn't such a good idea that diabetics eat sugar.

So whilst vaccinations may seem a perfectly good example of a place where the authorities must take control and implement a view for public safety, it doesn't mean that's always the right call, by default.

It is always and often a risky call. Group-think bias is common amongst anyone who is a human being, expert or not.

Whilst taking action, we need ways to keep checking and keep open the possibility that the experts might be wrong. And we need to take action. And they could be wrong. Anything other than that is just more group-think.

It really isn't enough to say "it is science". You always need to ask, what specifically did they do to figure that thing out? In plain language. How realiable was that method of figuring it out?

Then be as authoritarian as you like in enforcing it.

Comment Re:against traditional American values (Score 3, Interesting) 228

I think there's a lot about our old values which may need changing in the face of better understanding. Even now, left wing tend to assume that if someone is poor, it is because the social system is oppressing them, whilst right wing tend to assume that if someone is poor, it is because the individual lacks good character. And not only is it obviously a combination of both, but it is a complex combination involving genes, family upbringing, sub culture, and so on, as well as the local opportunities which were available. Plus, free will.

And then there's complicated issues around how we define what's "fair". Is it fair that someone ends up poorer just because they didn't win the genetic lottery, either in looks or brains or some other marketable asset? And what if one day, say we discover a mechanism that proves reincarnation, as a sort of information transfer through some newly detected energy field. And then we realise, oh the capacity to be good and ethical and compassionate actually builds across lifetimes! So if you're "poor" as you're a "thief" then it is your lack of being willing to grow ethically across your lifetimes! And I'm not saying that's what is, I'm just saying, a lot of what we discover may challenge all sorts of assumptions.

But one thing about those traditional values is that they can always be bent to interpret some fact to suit an agenda. So if genes really do play a big part, then they can see it as part of "good breeding" and how "hard work" can help you succeed enough to marry into a good family and so raise the genetic quality of your children. They can frame it as, a quality of being rich and smart is being careful and selective in who you sleep with so as to gain a genetic reward, ie. still conservative hard-work values.

Comment Re:Anita Sarkeesian: Destroyer of Shareholder Valu (Score 4, Interesting) 313

Yes and there's a very simple model to make it clearer: pre-modern, modern, and post-modern.

Modern is the start of humanistic values. Pre-modern is old empires enforced with mythic and religious identity and so on. Post-modern is currently half baked, a step towards global but still in its early phase, and hasn't worked out yet.

So for example, post-modern often champions the rights of islamists to not be offended because it wants to avoid western cultural imperialism, even though the islamists are trying to return us to the pre-modern Middle Ages. And of course there was no post-modernity back in the Middle Ages, so post-modernity ends up trying to destroy itself. And taking us all down with it.

Personally I think we all just need to re-study modernity and understand what its core value for is for the world, the stuff it advanced and got right, such as the individual and humanistic values and education and so on. And figure out how the world as a whole can configure to develop towards modernity.

Once most of the world is practicing and working at a modern humanistic level, then a real post-modernity can emerge. The current version of post-modernity is a fuckup.

But it doesn't have to be depressing. Many recoil against modernity because it is godless or lacks rules for living. But Buddha already 2500 years ago said you have to cast off the old myths and figure out for yourself, as an individual, what works, including, what's the answer to happiness and compassion. Depending on how you read it, Buddha was teaching humanistic values thousands of years ago.

  Pre modern empire structures, basically weaponise religion to control followers and gain power. But if people just put on humanistic glasses, many of these weird cross cultural issues become very clear.


Comment Re: Stupid (Score 1) 1042

Quite. Time and space (as we experience it) would be constructs of the simulation. There's maybe only one thing that would not be simulated, and that's our sentience. Everything our sentience experiences, could be simulated, or at least, filtered heavily by the simulation. And as much as it may seem the simplest answer to say that the brain creates consciousness, that's not really the simplest answer, because we have absolutely no clue what consciousness is, nor how it is generated, so we are not even in a position to pick the "simplest" answer, as that assumes we know something about it to begin with. How does matter give rise to consciousness? Many are happy to just ignore this question, but that's more about it being such a woowoo unknown that nobody dares try to research it as they'd forfeit their reputation (although that is slowly changing). We know that what we experience, "there is an apple on the table", relates to the brain, as in stuff lights up in the brain, and all those pathways construct the actual perceptions, but that doesn't explain how we actually come to experience it.

To illustrate just how weird consciousness is, one needs to imagine a world populated by human robots, each with processing power similar to a human, all running programs in their brains, which completely duplicate all human capabilities, like love and hate and curiosity and so on. All of it. And, then ask, do they also need to be sentient, ie. experiencing what they are doing? And as far as I figure it, no, there's no reason for material machines which are highly complex and running extremely complex programs, to be experiencing their lives and existence.

So if there is one thing that's likely not simulated, it is sentience itself. "I think therefore I am" or rather, "I experience therefore I exist" or "existence therefore being" is the one thing which can't be removed. The point is, we don't know if it is a simulation, but existing/being conscious, being sentient, is the one certainty.

But you can exit the "simulation" every night when you go to sleep and your dreams are ... perhaps simulated... perhaps less so... or maybe every "level" in the matrix, the mother, the womb of existence, which is what that word means, maybe every form of the matrix is in effect a simulation in that, every construct is well, a construct, a structure, a form of experience.

Consciousness is the real mystery. That and maybe, why would we be living in this particular simulation anyway? For all we know, when people die they leave the simulation. And this simulation, like an engaging film, works better when people forget it is a film, a show, a simulation, a game. Maybe it is a place to experiment and learn. Breaking the fourth wall can be fun, but it also changes the nature of the show.

But what's also interesting about calling it a simulation (which implies life after death) is that it can be seen in non-religious terms. There's no need for a God, rather, the beings of the future are all the "creators" and for all we know, we ourselves eventually figured out how consciousness works, and managed to plug some part of our consciousness into the simulated inputs, which we then experience as a lifetime. Perhaps the oddest thing which people claim to have experienced during a near death experience is going to a world that is more real that this one. Take it sceptically, of course. But it is a little odd. They don't necessarily talk of going to heaven, they talk of going somewhere "more real".

But the difficulty is that we base reality on this reality, the one we objectively study. People's inner perceptions in altered states are, well, they aren't objective. But what we really don't understand is how sentience links to the brain. So to ask, how to break out of the simulation, is kinda to ask, how do you detach consciousness from the brain?

Comment Re:Yeah, that'll be why its 400C on Venus (Score 1) 130

Please try to read what I said in the way I said it.
If you turn what I said into silly absurd extremes, that's just straw man. And then you accuse me of logical fallacies.
You're the one being anti-reason. Just relax and read what I said. I said nothing about experts being idiots. Take this phrase I wrote:
"whilst the product of many years of intelligent work, is also not infallible"
That's NOT calling people idiots, and you're being disingenuous trying to read it that way.

Somewhere along the line, the politicians and activists and NGOs have turned climate change into a black/white argument with polarising extremes. So now to question it is to be "anti-science". That's one of the stupidest approaches they could have taken, politically. It generates a lot of short term gain in publicity, but in the long run, it risks bringing science into disrepute. Please don't perpetuate the problem by calling anyone who "disagrees" as "anti-science". That's like calling people who complain about institutional racism in law enforcement as "anti-order" or "anti-law", ie. you have a complaint about institutional racism in the police, and they say "only criminals would complain about the police".
Name-calling like that is a f*****g stupid argument. Of course not all the police is honest, of course the police sometimes make mistakes, and have biases. Because they're human like you and me. It is not "anti-science" to wonder about the mistakes in a field. That's actually the point of science, to find mistakes and biases and recognise how difficult some things are to study. That's why they rely heavily on computer models, because we don't have several Earths to conduct experiments on for real.

And you seem to have completely ignored the point that the methods used are a big part of how much to trust something. As I said, those doctors relied on symptoms and arrived at one conclusion, but with a CT scan they arrived at an entirely different conclusion. THAT is the point of that anecdote, and it is beyond me why you would ignore that.

Comment Re:Yeah, that'll be why its 400C on Venus (Score 1, Interesting) 130

Expertise is a factor. Ever been misdiagnosed by four doctors in a row? I have. And I could have died. Now that's a life lesson in what and how to trust expertise. Yes one goes to the doctor. But one also knows their knowledge, whilst the product of many years of intelligent work, is also not infallible. And this is pretty common. So one asks, how did they arrive at the conclusion? When they were taking symptoms, they concluded one thing. When they finally saw the CT scan, they concluded something very different. So the question is, what did they do, how reliable was the method for arriving at the conclusion? So then, have you ever heard of the Institute of Forecasters? They study academically the kinds of things which have empirically led to successful scenarios/predictions, and the kinds of things which have, from experience, empirically, led to bad predictions. And they looked at the methods for drawing up the scenarios of climate change, and according to empirical evidence, all the methods being used are rubbish. Take this about water. Yes, it is a greenhouse gas, which is why most of the warming is actually supposed to come from feedbacks with water, not from CO2 alone. On its own CO2 causes a degree of warming, and the rest is modelled feedbacks. But the methods used for the models are not to be trusted, because from experience it is known that the way they approached it, those methods are unlikely to work. But have you heard of the Institute of Forecasters? Nope, because they are "experts" but not the "experts" who you are choosing to listen to. And that's life: there in inherent and unavoidable risk in expert predictions, whilst a payoff for experts making their predictions/scenarios sound very urgent and important. I'm sure everyone means well, mostly, but we easily forget that complex models with feedback systems are NOT basic science, like some clockwork machine, they are the product of simulations, and so far they have all been running much hotter than actual temperatures. Plus there's no reason to trust those simulations because they weren't even built using proven methods. So if you're expert in the subject, please go ahead and check the Institute of Forecasters, and please say something about what is the actual evidence which you find is provably correct about man made catastrophic climate change.

Comment Re:Yeah, that'll be why its 400C on Venus (Score 0, Troll) 130

Hey I'm no scientist, but don't they say Venus' atmosphere has very high pressures and lacks water and Mars is 95% CO2 also? IOW, there's more to it.

They also say that right-wing Margaret Thatcher back in the days was one of the first leaders to talk about climate change, as it would help boost nuclear and so destroy the coal industry and so get rid of all those pesky striking left-wing miners (who just wanted to put bread on the table) and that by citing "science" then no politician would be able to counter the argument.

But then it wouldn't be the first time that people at the top levels of institutions used their position to make political trades and basically continue that long established human tradition of corruption at the top. Hey we grow a lot of grain in big agribusiness, let's get the government health agencies to recommend grain as the core staple everyone should be eating. And we're starting to see, fifty years later, how that turned out.

So excuse my ranty tone but whether I'm right or not isn't the point, the point is if you just go by what the media and politicians and professional organisations are telling you to believe... well that's not scientific. The truth may set us free but the truth is very hard to obtain.

I'm actually pro nuclear which puts me in the odd position of hoping that the public continues to buy into the narrative of catastrophic man-made climate change even though it looks to be on very shaky factual foundations, and at this point, even though many just counter that "everyone agrees" and "there's a consensus" and the "evidence is overwhelming" etc., which are all mostly people repeating a mantra of points which they themselves would not have been able to verify, so I'm actually having to side with group-think of religious proportions, just because I'm in favour of nuclear (but I'm not in favour of crippling the developing world, which thankfully will continue to develop regardless of what Westerners tell them they should be doing.)

Yes science requires extreme discipline and smarts and training, and that's also why it is so easy to bluff. I can't believe how often laypeople talk about science as if it is this incredibly disciplined and double and triple checked endeavour where no error can remain hidden. The people who practice science are very smart which also means they can be very smart about how to protect their research and fluff over the flaws. I'm sure many fields are continuing with a high level of integrity, but that is no guarantee all fields are doing it right. Too often we hear there's a consensus, yet what we should really be being told is "how do they know that?" Why all the emphasis on "consensus" and not on "how they know" ? The lame rebuttal is that the public is too stupid to understand.

The future belongs to Africa, China, India, and hopefully they will press on with nuclear regardless of green protests about radiation and green desires of some sort of utopia of sustainable farms (poverty).

Comment Re:BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (Score 1) 259

OK, you're thinking of recent generations. Like also my grandfather who dropped dead of a heart attack, after working at the shipping docks in Glasgow.
I was thinking older, hunter gatherers. For example, albeit a random google: hunder gatherers living to their 70s:

But just going back the the book I mentioned, what you were saying about cancer being a whole bunch of different things, and so successes being slow and gradual, and it being somewhat just part of the ageing process, well see that's exactly the conclusion which that book questions. It asks, have we come to that conclusion scientifically just because the science went down the wrong path early on, albeit the best path at the time?

If I recall, the book talks about "shocking" new experiments. They take the nucleus from a cancer cell, put it into healthy cells (replacing their nucleus) and find that none of the mice developed a tumour. Then they took the mitochondria from cancer cells, put them into healthy cells, and 97% of them develop tumours. So it looks like cancer is about damaged mitochondria and metabolism, not about genetic damage. And the reason we see so much genetic damage anyway is because the mitochondria, which is in constant communication with the nucleus, is causing that damage, ie. it is a side effect. And so that side effect damage to the nucleus is pretty random and so cancer looks like a whole bunch of different conditions, if you assume cancer is genetic. It is like firing a shotgun at a wall, seeing lots of damage all over the place, and concluding it must have been caused by lots of different pistols.

Anyway, I'm sure researchers just have to keep doing what they are doing, following the paths they have funding for, and so on. So one book won't change anything, and being just one book, hey should be discounted off the bat. But that doesn't preclude that "shocking" experiments have been done, as this book describes. I think that's just that scientists have a day job which requires them to focus on their specific research goals, and highly unusual findings are not going to change those goals in the near term.

My interest is just as a member of the public, and where the oncogenes stuff suggests hey, old age will screw me one way or the other, if it turns out that the science did take a wrong turn and ended up pursuing a side effect, whilst some of the science suggests that diet and energy and mitochondria are the real culprits, at least that's something I can work into my lifestyle anyway. And part of that is revisiting this question, do humans really just drop dead at 35 if they are on the Savannah hunting and gathering? Too often we accept what we hear because "it makes sense", not because we're tried to ask how that conclusion was actually arrived at, and what other conclusions could also have been arrived at but were overlooked.

Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Illuminates a New and Hopeful Path to a Cure

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