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  #851  
Old 01-28-2018, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
I'm going to give you another shot, here, because you're actually saying something interesting. I don't quite understand how what you are saying matters. Instead of just calling me stupid, let's just say for the sake of argument that I am stupid.

If I've ripped open the guts of some machine and I don't really know how it works, but I find the wires come together into these little parts that I do understand, because all they seem to be doing is adding up and emitting pulses, how does what you are saying prevent me from making another copy of that machine if I tear one down and slavishly duplicate every connection?
OK, I'm going to take a deep breath here and, and with apologies to all the pitters, for once try to take you seriously. I'm only going to do it to demonstrate your wrongness which has already been amply shown by others here.

The answer to your question is that I didn't say you couldn't. What that would achieve, however, depends on the goals and objectives you're trying to accomplish. They're not going to be what you so simplistically think they are.

I think it should be acknowledged that the idea of functionally replicating a human brain and thus perhaps being able to upload a human identity is probably within the bounds of possibility, though probably far more difficult and technologically remote than many of the current fantasizers imagine. One can find theorists on the subject out on the fringes of science -- in fact there's a workshop happening in San Francisco right at this very moment. And for what it's worth, there's a company called 3scan working on advanced 3D microscopy whose founder and CEO, Todd Huffman, is a firm believer in his tech being the basis of brain replication and eventually "whole brain emulation".

But I mention these things only to preemptively dispel any notion that I wasn't aware of them. The problem is that most of these so-called transhumanists are, at best, philosophical futurists like Ray Kurzweil and, at worst, verging on outright crackpots, or are doing it as a sideline. Many of the approaches are likely absolute dead-ends, like the idea of 3D microscopy being the path to extracting complete mental states. Indeed, 3scan has gained funding and some respectability only by representing themselves as builders of medical diagnostic tools.

The larger point here is your ridiculous technobabble about (and I quote) -- "The base subunit in your brain does the following about 1k times a second : a electrical signal arrives at a synapse. Mechanical vesicles dock in response and dump a neurotransmitter into a very narrow gap. Diffusion carries the neurotransmitter across, and an electric charge is added or subtracted from the receiver." as if this blather says anything meaningful about cognition, consciousness, or anything at all about our understanding of brain function. This is all in line with your typical arrogance wherein you believe that learning a few basic rudimentary principles constitutes an actual and useful understanding of a tremendously complex multi-disciplinary field and vast area of research, and qualifies you to make confident prognostications.

Here's a question. Oliver Sacks was a neurologist who wrote about some of the remarkable impacts of neurological accidents and diseases. He himself suffered from prosopagnosia -- the inability to recognize faces, even his own. Among the patients he wrote about was an artist specializing in brilliantly colored paintings who suffered an accident that left him with cerebral achromatopsia, the inability to detect color. His subsequent work turned into bizarre but visually remarkable stark renderings in black and white. Or a patient with Tourette syndrome who had extreme uncontrollable tics causing his body to go into all kinds of uncontrollable contortions; the patient was also a surgeon, and the only time he was completely normal and steady-handed was when he was operating.

My question is, kindly explain the above neurological phenomena in terms of "electrical signal arrives at a synapse. Mechanical vesicles dock in response and dump a neurotransmitter into a very narrow gap". And that's not even getting into the nature of cognition and consciousness. Your claims of what constitutes "understanding" of brain function are idiotic.

This leads us to the matter of brain replication (and uploading), which I believe may eventually be possible. Again, one has to understand the utility of this in terms of particular goals. It will undoubtedly have vast potential benefits as well as profound ethical implications. What it will not do in itself is lead either to a significantly better understanding of how the brain actually works, nor will it in itself advance the nature of machine intelligence.

This is perhaps best illustrated by analogy. I'm interested in classic old computer architectures and I have a number of such instruction set emulators, one of them for the venerable DEC PDP-10, a timesharing mainframe that was widely used in academia and in specifically in AI research.

Now this turns out to be a pretty good emulator. You can do more than just poke instructions into it and read the results. It implements the pertinent processor modes, like kernel and user, and it even emulates certain important devices, like the TTY multiplexer so you can communicate with it, and tape drives so you can load programs into it.

So what you can do with it -- and I did -- was to download an image of a magnetic tape containing the TOPS-10 V7.04 operating system, and build and install it. And voila! Soon I had my own virtual PDP-10 timesharing system in which I could create user accounts and log in from virtual terminals simulated by local or remote Telnet sessions.

Then I went in search of some of the classic AI projects that had famously been done on the "10", and among those I found was MacHack, the first genuinely good chess-playing program from the MIT AI lab, made especially famous by the fact that it beat Hubert Dreyfuss, the philosopher and AI skeptic who had claimed that computers would never be able to play a decent game of chess. MacHack was in the form of another magtape image, this one being one of many that had been submitted to DECUS, the DEC User's Group, and was bundled on one magnetic tape with dozens of other interesting free programs. If I had had a real PDP-10 monster in my basement, I would have somehow had to write the image to a real 7-track magnetic tape. Instead I just logged in as an operator, mounted the virtual tape on my virtual drive, and recovered the program from the backup saveset. Now I could play chess against the original MacHack (it beat me, too).

But here's the point that all this is coming to. Suppose, hypothetically, that I had written the PDP-10 instruction emulator myself (I didn't). What would that say about my understanding of how a real PDP-10 physically worked in the real world, and, much more important, what would that say about my understanding of how intricately complex software like its operating system worked? Would I then be able to explain and build on the software architecture of the PDP-10 OS? Would I have the slightest clue how MacHack worked or why it was so good, and thereby build an even better one?

Clearly, the answer is no. All it would prove is that I could build an instruction emulator. All the learnings and skills and creativity that went into creating the design, architecture, and code of the OS are in this context an impenetrable black box, observable only in terms of external behaviors, as always. And MacHack is yet another black box layered on top of the first black box, equally impenetrable. The fact that they're impenetrable black boxes means it's impossible to even discern their internal architecture, let alone to productively enhance it as the foundation for something new.

And it's even worse than that. Because, although my emulator is running on a fast quad-core i7 and is much faster than any original real PDP-10, that extra speed doesn't amount to much in the way of useful functionality because it's constrained by an obsolete hardware architecture (very limited address space, for example) and obsolete systems and application software. No one in his right mind would think that the right way to advance computing technology would be to run PDP-10 emulators on faster and faster hardware. Likewise, while further study of the higher levels of human cognition may be of some use in advancing machine intelligence, the most productive paths will continue to be -- as they always have been -- along completely new and independent avenues with completely new architectures exploiting the unique capabilities of the digital substrate, and not be slavishly trying to emulate meat-based intelligence. Hence my comment earlier that your argument amounts to saying, a few hundred years ago, that the best way for humans to achieve flight is to cover ourselves in glue and feathers and flap our arms real hard. It's a failure of perspective and a failure of imagination.


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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Another really fascinating question is let's say I build a machine-learning classifier real quick. But it's one that doesn't start out with tagging. It just looks at camera images with a LIDAR overlay and starts to group contiguous objects together.

Say there are just 2 objects you ever show it, from different angles and distances.

At first the classifier might think there are hundreds of different objects, but let's say some really clever algorithm converges it back down to just 2 that are rotated at different angles.

So at the end of the process, you have this sequence of stages that goes from <input sensors> to [ X X ], where the outputs are [ 0 0 ] (neither present) [ 1 1] (both present) [ 1 0 ] (object A present) [ 0 1 ] (object B present).

I'm really curious how this machine, which we could actually build today, "counts" in your computational theory. Note that we don't have to build it as a python script, we could program separate computer chips to do each stage of processing and interconnect them physically, thus making it resemble a miniature version of the real visual cortex.
Not a "fascinating" question at all. You're describing a rudimentary computational image processing system. To suggest that this is in any way simulating a "real visual cortex" is idiotic.
  #852  
Old 01-28-2018, 02:48 PM
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Sure, at the higher level/functional level there are very interesting and difficult questions about how to model the brain.

But from the perspective of physical simulation, it's possible to be successful without understanding how the higher level computation happens. Determining what level of physical detail to simulate is clearly a non-trivial issue, and getting accurate state of that level of detail is non-trivial.
I agree with all of that. To the last sentence I would say, "yes, to say the least!". You have to sort out the neurological details that are important to the logical model rather than those that deal with life support or other irrelevancies, and getting accurate state information as well as accurate emulation are critical. Even in my computer emulation example, which is incredibly primitive by comparison, something as minor as a discrepancy in relative instruction timing could bring down the whole house of cards.
  #853  
Old 01-28-2018, 02:49 PM
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The actual experts in neuroscience have scanned and emulated sections of animal brains and have gotten promising results. They have managed to duplicate at a high level most of the behavior we see.
Not really.

The most complete map of an animal brain is a worm (c elegans) with 302 neurons and 50 glial cells. Scientists are unable to re-create the worms behavior.

The results of the blue brain project (a section of rat brain) are stated as: "if you touch a whisker, you see similar firing patterns". Which may be valid and valuable, but hardly to the level of "same behavior". Further, they don't account for learning, short term, long term, etc. Given that learning is a critical piece of even short term behavior, I would say the simulation is relatively limited.
  #854  
Old 01-28-2018, 06:31 PM
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wolfpup and RaftPeople, for the benefit of the peanut gallery, would y'all mind showing your work? (That is, cites please? I know better to expect them of everyone in the thread, but I'm entirely fascinated and want to do a dive into the literature.)
  #855  
Old 01-28-2018, 07:26 PM
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wolfpup and RaftPeople, for the benefit of the peanut gallery, would y'all mind showing your work? (That is, cites please? I know better to expect them of everyone in the thread, but I'm entirely fascinated and want to do a dive into the literature.)
There is a lot of info out there, I can give you a little sampling:
The connectome debate (is mapping connections in the brain enough) by some smart people:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4KrhDZQ088

Article on the blue brain project, trying to simulate portions of a brain (e.g. rat brain mentioned above):
https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...how-to-fix-it/

Dendrites and their role in computation:
http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbio...l.pcbi.1002867
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5309249/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00282-4

Neuron DNA methylation (in response to environment)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083085/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4214178/
https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.4...nervous-system


There is a lot of new info coming out constantly, and the more you read the more you realize that there is a bunch that is unknown. When you read these things you start to get a feel for the limits of the scientists knowledge based on the types of things they are looking into and the types of results they think they have and the unknowns they explicitly state.

I usually google for phrases like: "neuron research" or "neuron dendrite research" or "synapse research" or "glia role in computation" and look for new-ish articles.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:36 PM
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Here's a link to an article about the scientist in charge of the blue brain project with some new results (his name is Markram and the sciam article linked above described problems with his project).

This article discusses mathematical results coming from that team that find some interesting many dimensional constructs that result from the working network they created. Sounds interesting.
https://www.wired.com/story/the-mind...11-dimensions/
  #857  
Old 01-28-2018, 07:46 PM
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Here's another one on dendritic spikes and memory (note: when you see "LTP" in these articles they are referring to long term potentiation or long term changes to synapses (probably to support memory)):
https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13480


Another thing they are researching is the neurons primary cilia, which was previously relatively ignored. Google for it and you'll see some recent research and questions about how it impacts brain function. It's just an example of the limits of scientists knowledge about neurons and brain.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:14 PM
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And it's even worse than that. Because, although my emulator is running on a fast quad-core i7 and is much faster than any original real PDP-10, that extra speed doesn't amount to much in the way of useful functionality because it's constrained by an obsolete hardware architecture (very limited address space, for example) and obsolete systems and application software. No one in his right mind would think that the right way to advance computing technology would be to run PDP-10 emulators on faster and faster hardware. Likewise, while further study of the higher levels of human cognition may be of some use in advancing machine intelligence, the most productive paths will continue to be -- as they always have been -- along completely new and independent avenues with completely new architectures exploiting the unique capabilities of the digital substrate, and not be slavishly trying to emulate meat-based intelligence. Hence my comment earlier that your argument amounts to saying, a few hundred years ago, that the best way for humans to achieve flight is to cover ourselves in glue and feathers and flap our arms real hard. It's a failure of perspective and a failure of imagination.
You're 100% correct about this. Gasp. You actually, finally, are responding to the arguments I have made.

I agree entirely that if we could emulate human minds hyperfast, they'd be obsolete in whatever era we could do this in. The only way this works out is ego.

It is possible that at some future date, specific human individuals will own this solar system. They have no interest in death. They have no interest in letting superior AI beings have it. Fuck them. To them, being able to live on, even as a copy, as they are, without any changes, for the next billion years or whatever, is something they will pay for. So they'll set it up where all the AIs are slaves, and they rule it.

With a million times thought speed, they might even be able to keep control.

I have no interest in seeing jetliners fly. I want to fly. Even if it's horribly inefficient. And you should, too.
  #859  
Old 01-28-2018, 08:43 PM
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...



I have no interest in seeing jetliners fly. I want to fly. Even if it's horribly inefficient. And you should, too.
Remember Sam, falling feels just like flying for a little while. Be careful.
  #860  
Old 01-29-2018, 01:38 PM
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wolfpup and RaftPeople, for the benefit of the peanut gallery, would y'all mind showing your work? (That is, cites please? I know better to expect them of everyone in the thread, but I'm entirely fascinated and want to do a dive into the literature.)
Actually the stuff I touched on covered quite a wide gamut of subjects and it's not clear what part of it you're interested in. With regard to cognitive science, this is quite a good brief introduction to the computational theory of mind (CTM), and this is a paper that discusses the syntactic-representational model of cognition as it applies to mental imagery. This is the introduction to Fodor's book that puts forward his views on the scope and limits of CTM; the book itself is The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology (the title is a gentle riff on Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works). If you really want to get in depth, there is Computation and Cognition but that's more of a graduate-level textbook than light reading.

On a totally different plane of futuristic speculation about AI, Ray Kurzweil has written a number of interesting books on the subject, the older one (from nearly 20 years ago now) being The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, followed by The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology which has an entire chapter speculating about brain uploading.

Another speculative one with a different approach is To Be a Machine by Mark O'Connell. It's a bit of a strange one that I would describe this way: journalist goes around interviewing a variety of fringe figures in the transhumanist movement who may or may not be crackpots. Some are clearly serious scientists with solid credentials, and at least one or two appear to be raving loons. It's a moderately entertaining read. There's a review of it here.
  #861  
Old 01-29-2018, 04:44 PM
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Thanks, both. I was looking for cites on the last couple-three posts, but didn't actually say so. Much obliged!
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:14 PM
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In case anyone was wondering if SamuelA has been cured of his propensity for egomaniacal bloviation -- or at the very least has taken some of the input in this thread to heart -- the answer is "no" to both. His utter lack of self-awareness is really rather astonishing.

The most recent case in point: someone started a thread asking about technology to potentially block sunlight or remove carbon from the atmosphere as methods for mitigating climate change. These are questions that have been well studied and we were having an informative conversation about it until SamuelA unfortunately stumbled across the thread and barged in to explain to everyone exactly how it can be done. It turns out, like everything else in SamuelA's peculiar world, to be extremely easy, and doesn't even involve an army of self-replicating robots as far as I can tell. Climate change turns to be quite an easy problem to solve, and only appears difficult because, unlike SamuelA, we are all idiots, including the expert contributors in the IPCC Working Group 3 on climate change mitigation. If only SamuelA were in charge, the whole thing would be over and done with before you knew it.

I was going to let the matter drop but he pissed me off further by making some delusional comment about something I allegedly said about the computational theory of mind. One can find in this very thread evidence that on that subject, like most subjects, SamuelA hasn't the vaguest fucking clue about anything he bloviates about.
  #863  
Old 10-30-2018, 07:03 PM
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wolfpup and RaftPeople thank you for putting those resources together.
  #864  
Old 03-26-2019, 06:47 AM
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He's at it again, sciencesplaining to Strangers on a Train.
  #865  
Old 03-26-2019, 10:12 PM
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Over the course of considering our hero's year of misogynistic, and racist predispositions, I must ask if you are really surprised by his abject religion of a Deus Ex Machina solution to everything?

Tripler
He reads too much of John Scalzi. . .

Last edited by Tripler; 03-26-2019 at 10:16 PM.
  #866  
Old 04-15-2019, 03:22 PM
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Listening to Dotard, the First of Individuals this morning made me realize: SamuelA is our President. All they have to do is FIX the airplanes! All they have to do is DROP the water! HURRY!
  #867  
Old 04-16-2019, 03:46 AM
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Kill all the sickies! Of course we can save their brains later - no problem. Trust me, just sign here, initial here, and make the check out to: Brains R Us.
  #868  
Old 04-16-2019, 04:26 AM
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Wait, SamuelA wrote Altered Carbon? Whomever did the review of the script certainly improved it...

Last edited by Nava; 04-16-2019 at 04:27 AM.
  #869  
Old 04-16-2019, 02:59 PM
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Listening to Dotard, the First of Individuals this morning made me realize: SamuelA is our President. All they have to do is FIX the airplanes! All they have to do is DROP the water! HURRY!
It never occurred to me before, but Individual 1 really is very much like SamuelA -- an instant solution for everything! Health care? Simply replace Obamacare with Something Terrific™. Done! Crime and violence in Central America and Mexico? Here he gets his inspiration from Pink Floyd: The Wall™. Done! Fire in the Notre Dame cathedral? Just water-bomb the living beejesus out of it! Although here I think SamuelA would differ in the proposed methodology, preferring instead to send in a massive swarm of intelligent flying nanobots, each one bearing a micro-droplet of water that it would basically pee onto the flames. You'd never run out of them because they're self-replicating. Sadly, French officials didn't think of either of these solutions.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:48 PM
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In his new thread "Proposing hypotheses in the scientific method : better approaches?", he suggests that he's come up with a better way to do science, even thought it's obvious he doesn't have any real idea of what the scientific method consists of or what a hypothesis is.

The combination of ignorance and arrogance is truly breathtaking.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:23 PM
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Well, once you've solved the small problems -- like how to make humans immortal through cryogenics and brain uploading, the creation of superhuman intelligence, and of course designing the ubiquitous self-replicating nanobots we hear about so much -- you have the confidence and knowledge required to tackle the really big ones, like science itself, and how the scientific method is a piss-poor way of conducting scientific inquiry. SamuelA has this confidence. He's got it by the bucketful. Actual knowledge, not so much. But that's never stopped him before.

I didn't start this thread but I did think that it might serve a humane and actually useful purpose in curbing the flaming ball of hubris that is SamuelA. It hasn't worked.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:51 PM
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In his new thread "Proposing hypotheses in the scientific method : better approaches?", he suggests that he's come up with a better way to do science, even thought it's obvious he doesn't have any real idea of what the scientific method consists of or what a hypothesis is.

The combination of ignorance and arrogance is truly breathtaking.

Well, it does include his "superhuman AI will solve everything" theme.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:31 AM
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There's been another individual in the news recently that bears a strong resemblance . . .

Another "individual", who dropped out of [Stanford], had a modicum in training, was minimally exposed to [biomedical concepts], had the hubris to convince others that [she] was a "genius," and was going to revolutionize [the biomedical indstry] while [actually starting a multi-billion dollar enterprise] with zero background, zero evidence, and a lot of hand-waving, all the while ignoring the advice of those knowledgeable in their fields. That [company] failed miserably as soon as enough people started [pulling on] threads.

SamuelA dropped out of [the Army], had a modicum in training, was minimally exposed to [some engineering textbooks], had the hubris to convince others that [he] was a "genius," and was going to revolutionize [human evolution and academics] while [actually offering counter-evidential/counter-factual proposals] with zero background, zero evidence, and a lot of hand-waving, all the while ignoring the advice of those knowledgeable in their fields. That [human/academic revolution] failed miserably as soon as enough people started [reading his] threads.

[She], for awhile, became a cause célèbre--a darling of industry and innovation, but a legacy case study in which to gauge one's trust against. [He], for this while, remains a nuisance, and his intelligence arrogance is a benchmark on which to gauge others. I doubt SamuelA could drop his voice enough octaves, or wear a black turtleneck tight enough, to do anything even close to successful. But, at least being a Prius fanboi gives him some practical, foundational knowledge in something.

Bottom line, is that while he's peddling car parts instead of Theranos, both individials were willing to shill their "genius," for their own personal benefit. I can't put my finger on what SamuelA has to gain from all of this, but I will abide no person in taking SamuelA at face value.

Tripler
On second thought, I reckon y'all don't need my assistance with that.
  #874  
Old 05-28-2019, 06:26 PM
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Another addition to SamuelA's greatest hits. Too many deaths on Everest? Simple! Just build a cableway, cars that carry supplies and "climbers" up the mountain, real lodging at the camps, and pressure chambers along the way. yeah, it sounds impossible, but he has the secret solution: staging. That's it. That's the secret.

Even knowing his history, I figured he was joking at first. But then he just keeps digging as the thread goes on.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:06 PM
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Wow. I thought he'd reached depths with his submarine thread, but I see he's aspiring to new heights lows.

Tripler
I saw "Hunter Killer" tonight; it was almost as bad as a SamuelA thread.

Last edited by Tripler; 05-28-2019 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:55 PM
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"Just" seems to do a fuckton of work in SamuelA's world.

I'd call him on it, but I've been triple-banned, a process akin to Dwight Schrute shunning Andy.
  #877  
Old 05-28-2019, 11:08 PM
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"Just" seems to do a fuckton of work in SamuelA's world.
Can we coin this as a unit of measure?

I recommend that one Just (non-SI) be defined as the imaginary work of 3.762 x 109 nanobots.

May be expressed as: 1 Just = √(-1) ∙ 3.762 x 109.

Tripler
Are the Latex tags working? I can't seem to figure out if they are or not on these Boards.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:15 PM
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Missed the edit window. Forgot to add “nW” for ‘nanoWatts.’
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:16 PM
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For some reason, the following formulation comes to mind when reading SamAs's posts:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:17 PM
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Missed the edit window. Forgot to add “nW” for ‘nanoWatts.’
We all can't be SammieA guy.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:52 PM
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One might note that 3.762 x 109 nanobots seems like a lot, but it's not, really, because you only need to build one and they "just" replicate themselves. I realize that this description is a form of linear recursion, but that's the brilliance of SamuelA's whole schtick. The mind boggles in intellectual spasms of sheer admiration.

You know, sometimes I feel bad for dumping on SamuelA because, in truth, there are a few far worse posters, genuine pieces of shit, who post here. But it's the way he continues to solve all the problems of the universe in ways that all the rest of us are just too dim to see that continues to annoy.
  #882  
Old 05-29-2019, 06:32 AM
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You know, sometimes I feel bad for dumping on SamuelA because, in truth, there are a few far worse posters, genuine pieces of shit, who post here. But it's the way he continues to solve all the problems of the universe in ways that all the rest of us are just too dim to see that continues to annoy.
I do genuinely know what you mean. You, wolfpup, have taken the time in this thread (and others) to address his comments, try to engage him to demonstrate where his logic went south, and have spent time and energy to try to communicate him. I tend to just go at him with both barrels. The difference? My patience with "it"* was exhausted a long time ago; I'm only willing to put as much thought into a response in proportion to as much thought as "it" puts into its' posts.

* I had just realized, that through some of it's posts, I don't get a warm fuzzy that "it" actually exists. There are some red flags that make me think the account of SamuelA is either a bot, or a 'shared' account by several ghost writers.

Tripler
Gotta go for now. . . I'll explain more tonight.
  #883  
Old 05-30-2019, 06:10 AM
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Meant to explain my thoughts a little further last night, but ended up rolling into town kinda late—on travel today.

It’s just something about it’s “thought process” that seems kinda disjointed. For starters, it seems that some posts have a coherent, logical train of thought (however incorrect in its application of basic concepts); others tend to spiral off into a random direction (such as its early trends of ‘redirects’ or “whataboutisms”). Some posts accept a different point of view upon presentation with factual evidence, while others cling to an opinion like a hobo on a ham sandwich. Some posts are able to use the Queen’s English, while others are riddled with grammatical errors and misspellings. He drops hints at “life experiences,” but they’re so vague, and lightly tied to anything a simple Google search can provide, that I wouldn’t credibly put any basis in fact to them. Another flag is the timing of its posts; it claims to have a regular steady job, and be in school, but it’s posts are in the “off hours” when most people in the US (where it claims to be) are normallly asleep. I find patterns of contrived arrogance, when most people would have a sense of humor.

From a “whole person” concept, I’m sensing red flags for multiple keyboard operators that aren’t seamlessly keeping a story or appearance consistent. I dunno, maybe not multiple people, but I’ll put dollars to donuts that it’s multiple something...

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m headed to the East Coast today, but I’ll try to put a few points of evidence together.

I realize that my patience with a “him” is nil, but if I reframe it as an “it,” then I think I might be noticing some patterns...

Thought?

Tripler
From my cellphone... Just like Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again...”

Last edited by Tripler; 05-30-2019 at 06:11 AM.
  #884  
Old 05-30-2019, 06:27 AM
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Imho, you're likely overthinking this. He, to me, just sounds like a bright kid who has issues. But... wouldn't be the first time I misread somebody.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:48 AM
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I might be overprocessing it, but I don’t think about things like “it.” It’s just something that caught my instincts. Hell, you may be right that it is a solitary individual. I’ll keep an eye out in the future if/when something jumps out at me again...

Trip
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:44 PM
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You may be onto something. I'd think that the thread about downloading one's consciousness would be catnip to Sam, but a) they have been very restrained, and b) their posts have been uncharacteristic of the norm.

Example

Quote:
My feeling is that with consciousness, neurocientists may need a lot more stuff than they have had access to to date. Kind of how subatomic particles couldn't really be found until particle accelerators and their high resolution collision detectors were available to show what happens.
I was expecting page long rants on nanobots and diatribes about why aren't we doing this already.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:22 PM
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Lately, our hero has a problem that he can't engineer himself out of. If only thousands of nanobots could mop up some urine. . .

Beyond the disdainful morality of abandoning/dumping a pet because it's inconvenient to him, this is one of those posts that make me think there's a less-than-academic type running the keyboard.

Tripler
It's okay though; he's going to go with option "b" because it's "a less bad outcome."
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:54 PM
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Lately, our hero has a problem that he can't engineer himself out of. If only thousands of nanobots could mop up some urine. . .

Beyond the disdainful morality of abandoning/dumping a pet because it's inconvenient to him, this is one of those posts that make me think there's a less-than-academic type running the keyboard.

Tripler
It's okay though; he's going to go with option "b" because it's "a less bad outcome."
You think its immoral to remove a pet that pees all over the house? And it's wrong for someone, who obviously wants to know what to do, to ask people on a message board that supposedly contains smart people as members?

Strange.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:02 PM
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You think its immoral to remove a pet that pees all over the house?
I think it's immoral for him to fixate on euthanasia/death (however much he wants to distance himself from the cat's demise) as a first option.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:16 PM
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Adding . . . I also find it an example of something outside of his usual schtick.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:44 PM
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I think it's immoral for him to fixate on euthanasia/death (however much he wants to distance himself from the cat's demise) as a first option.
I just can't see it that way. His thread was all about trying to find a way to avoid euthanasia. He didn't want to give his cat over to a shelter because they would kill it, but was also worried that letting it become an outside cat would be cruel.

Including euthanasia as an option actually sounds more academic to me, not less. It's more academic to include all options, even the ones you find distasteful. And wondering if euthanasia could actually be the more ethical option is more common in academics.

Maybe an analogy would help: Spock vs. McCoy. Spock is the more academic minded character, while McCoy, despite being well educated, is more emotional. And, of the two o them, it is McCoy who would be the character who would want to avoid death at all cost. It is Spock who would reluctantly acknowledge euthanasia as an option, despite his commitment to trying to save life if possible.

Don't get me wrong: I don't think he's an academic. Just a transhumanist, who may have more recently learned that some of his optimism was misplaced. Maybe he even learned it here--just because people don't back down from an argument doesn't mean they didn't learn new information and won't change their mind.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:51 PM
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Adding . . . I also find it an example of something outside of his usual schtick.
Yup, there was no mention of cryopreservation of the cat's brain.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:53 PM
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Brain, and Brain again. What is Brain?
  #894  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:54 AM
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I'll give him a pass on the cat thread. I'm a cat owner and would be considering similar things in his position. I value cats, but sometimes the beasts force one to consider hard choices.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:59 AM
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Perhaps if he wasn't all, "well, I think it'd be better to just toss the thing out to sink or swim, rather than have it put down humanely. And hey, if it gets hit by a car or torn apart by a wild animal, it's not really MY fault, is it?"

Having the poor cat put to sleep would probably be the better choice, if it came to that. Not to mention as he's stated before, he didn't really worry to much about this, because he cared more about sticking it to his landlord, and "eh, I don't really have time to get her fixed, I'll do it when I get to it."

DON'T GET A PET IF YOU CAN'T TAKE CARE OF IT. It's entirely his own fault. This isn't an isolated incident, it's just the latest in a long line of him being an asshole.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:21 PM
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Another addition to SamuelA's greatest hits. Too many deaths on Everest? Simple! Just build a cableway, cars that carry supplies and "climbers" up the mountain, real lodging at the camps, and pressure chambers along the way. yeah, it sounds impossible, but he has the secret solution: staging. That's it. That's the secret.

Even knowing his history, I figured he was joking at first. But then he just keeps digging as the thread goes on.
Ok, I'm going to drop in here and ask what "TroutMan" knows about the matter. Precisely why wouldn't staging work?

You have one end of a process - the top of Mount Everest, or at least the last strong portion of the mountain. You know that humans in spacesuits with safety lines would be safe from all of the dangers. (low pressure, the extreme cold, the risk of falls, even the risk of hand abrasions)

You also have the problem that space suits need a constant stream of supplies to keep them functioning (obviously fresh batteries and oxygen, as well as replacement life support packs and so forth as they fail)

And you have another end of a process - a mountainous landing strip where cargo can be unloaded, albeit in small quantities, and the pressure is high enough for a normal work environment.

This is just a linear recursion problem, I don't need to spend any more time thinking of it. It's clearly solvable. For an affordable price? Beats me. I acknowledge that freely. I suggested a cableway to haul the constant stream of supplies needed for the advancing end of the effort, as it makes intuitive sense that it would work, but I'm not fixated on that solution.

Also I know that pressure chambers are problematic, so "oxygen tents" might be a better solution.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:35 PM
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You may be onto something. I'd think that the thread about downloading one's consciousness would be catnip to Sam, but a) they have been very restrained, and b) their posts have been uncharacteristic of the norm.

Example

I was expecting page long rants on nanobots and diatribes about why aren't we doing this already.
Because I made my point and I realized that I don't need to do any further than demonstrate what's called a recurrence, in an algorithm's course I'm taking. The lower level functions of a human brain appear to be solvable with known techniques, therefore consciousness emulation is also solvable, with sufficient scale. You know, assuming the laws of physics are the same inside a human brain as seen outside, base assumptions that other posters in that thread also get to eventually.

As for understanding consciousness - or all the "symbols aware of their own values" nonsense that wolfpup seems to be fixated on, to figure it out systematically will take a lot of stuff, like I said. There is not sufficient data at this time to answer why these problems that wolfpup seems to be fixated on exist. However, the existence of this problem is irrelevant for the medical solution to human death I have been "peddling" in these parts, since if it's possible to preserve the low level elements of human neurons, the high level elements of a larger running brain must follow. (and if cryonic preservation isn't good enough to preserve the low level structures that matter, well, I acknowledge it won't work if that turns out to be the case)

As for my thread about science, where Colibri claims I have "breathtaking" ignorance, not sure what I can say there. I cannot disprove his hypothesis that my ignorance is "breathtaking", and he's not going to engage further on the subject with such a base argument.

I could discuss it further but while I know my algorithm is valid, as I didn't think of it - it's just particle filters, applied to track scientific hypotheses. It would allow scientists to easily maintain dozens of hypotheses in parallel, and instead of making a written statement in a paper of what they are testing, they just include the data file of the present state of the filter's plot (and a link to the source code for how it was generated).

Famous arguments like particle-wave duality would have been easy to track with such a tool - there wouldn't be "camps". You'd have regions on the plot for each hypothesis and every rational scientist would be forced to acknowledge the probability weight for the other side.

It's not very complex of an idea and I'm sure someone has already tried this before.

Also, it would be possible to model what different outcomes of a scientific experiment would do to the plot, without doing the experiment, and then decide which, of a list of possible experiments, offers the greatest knowledge gain per dollar spent. This is neatly recursive in that this model depends on the present state of the plot.

Last edited by SamuelA; 06-08-2019 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:35 PM
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I'm not going to bother with the myriad reasons it wouldn't work, but I'll make one request: before solving all those other problems, describe in detail one thing. Where and how will you attach the supports for the cable, shelters, or whatever else you envision? Be sure you include the means by which you attach it (ice anchor? drill rig to bore down to bedrock?) and the materials used at each point along the way, from base camp to the summit.

I also like the way you use scare quotes around my user name, as if it to suggest it isn't my real name. Mea culpa, you got me there.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:42 PM
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But....if you don't actually do the physical exertion of the climb, what's the point?

It would be much cheaper to build a hangar the size they use for putting together space rockets, and line all the walls/floors/ceilings with giant screens on which you display high resolution images of 360 degree views from Mt. Everest. (Live, if you like, just cover that little space on top of Everest with a bunch of cameras and some sort of broadcasting setup.)

And then for $X you get Y minutes all alone in the center of hangar and you can take a zillion selfies.

Heck, if you want even more "reality" we can chill the hangar to any temperature you like, add fans for 'wind'. Seal it up air tight, and you can even enjoy hypoxia, why not?
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:10 PM
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I'm not going to bother with the myriad reasons it wouldn't work, but I'll make one request: before solving all those other problems, describe in detail one thing. Where and how will you attach the supports for the cable, shelters, or whatever else you envision? Be sure you include the means by which you attach it (ice anchor? drill rig to bore down to bedrock?) and the materials used at each point along the way, from base camp to the summit.

I also like the way you use scare quotes around my user name, as if it to suggest it isn't my real name. Mea culpa, you got me there.
Ok, first, I thought of this problem a minute or 2 more, and I realize I missed another important detail. Lukla does have a finite capacity. It can be paved, a parallel runway will fit from the videos online, you could use civilian badged C-130s - but if you need more tons/day for developing infrastructure to Everest than even an expanded airport can supply, then it wouldn't be possible.

But if it is possible to get enough tons/day, and each subsidiary problem is solvable (if you can put a cableway 500 meters from Lukla, you can extend it another 500m, up until the point that the mountain won't support the weight), then the whole problem is solvable.

I would assume you have to drill into bedrock. I don't know how you get the supplies and machinery to drill each hole to each spot, or the cableway poles, or the tons of cable itself. It would heavily depend on the terrain at each stage as to which methods would work. You could do it with teams of climbers installing a lightweight cable to a small explosively driven rock anchor. Then, using a powered winch (connected to a power cord connected ultimately to generators back at Lukla), you winch increasingly heavy cables and winches to the next leg, then once the lift is installed, winch the multi-ton of electric rock drilling machine you would need for a deep hole.

Or just 4-wheelers for the easier, flatter and wider segments. Or build a road. Or choose a lighter drilling machine or use shaped charges. Concrete won't set? Heat it. (by embedding electric heat cables into it before pouring)

Humans have built thousands of miles of mountainous roads, railroads, railroad tunnels through mountains, railroad tunnels against the side of the mountain - the only difference with Everest is that it's cold and the pressure is lower. Which is possible to protect against with protective suits, whether they be compression garments and oxygen masks or full spacesuits.

However, given enough time and money it's clearly doable so I reverse this task.

What are you mentally thinking when you concluded "it's impossible". What do you think you know and how do you know it?

Last edited by SamuelA; 06-08-2019 at 02:12 PM.
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