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Everything posted by Cometmaker

  1. You don't really want Civil War II

    RayK, I agree that purposeful and systematic actions to destroy possibilities of rational human action is a war against myself and my loved ones. We are subject to non-objective laws which threaten our fundamental existence in many ways because our rights to pursue rational actions are removed by threat of force. We cannot preserve human life, which by its nature is more than mere physical preservation, without facing significant penalties. When judgments based on erroneous understanding of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 U.S. 394 (1886) started to be made, that was when a fight for our rights could easily be won through LTEs and speaking to elected representatives, among other actions. When ASTM building standards and performance tests for snow loading reflect particular test contexts, but started to be enforced without regard to their relevance, that was when protests and peaceful campaigning were steps which were no-brainer priorities. In our current context, a rationally selfish individual may choose to spend limited time on the selective advocacy of rational ideas to carefully-considered audiences. This is to simply retain the potential to take actions for literal short-term, survival. Even before one can commit to advocacy for longer-term freedoms. By longer term, I mean committing to changing "net neutrality", FAA noise reduction classifications, income tax, property tax, FDA medical device regulations or some other rights violations, all of which have personally-relevant consequences. The inaction on the parts of those who have lived before me have, in part, resulted in the need for current positive peaceful actions to be spread very thin and anemic. To focus one’s priorities on changing even one of these problems takes more than firing off an LTE once in awhile. Should it come to brute, life-depriving force, I cannot fight a government apparatus. But I can use my mind effectively to save what I value while it is still not a situation of brute force, which for my context means committing a lifetime to creating the circumstances for those values to flourish, rather than exclusively advocating against my opposition for the same duration. It is each individual’s responsibility to prioritize where they commit their daily courage during wartime. You resort to unjust name calling against PhilO when you have no facts to back up your position. If you have concrete, effective suggestions that can be accomplished without sacrifice, suggestions which result in more than prioritizing attending protests and writing LTEs as if they were ends in themselves or medals of honor for all rational people, I would be glad to read them and work towards taking those actions. I hope you do have concrete suggestions which would bolster my respect for you, even though I do not think you will post a retraction. However, I deemed this division among the good and right significant enough to take time to post about the nature of your error in hopes that it translates into introspective evaluation and positive actions for readers of this public forum.
  2. Practice is the most effective way to learn how to clarify a purpose, analyze your audience, define key messages and determine the best way to say what you mean. Penn State's site is useful for self-editing existing material. Note the links to examples in various fields. The Craft of Scientific Presentations contains perennially helpful advice to communicate effectively with individuals whose choices of complex and risky work should be based on technical comprehension under abnormally stressful circumstances rather than whatever else may seem easier.
  3. To reiterate the responses in the thread Changing the language and usage, the Court of Appeal decision in Autogiro Company of America v. the United States aptly states that things are not made for the sake of words, but words for things. By proper law, an inventor - any of us - is his own lexicographer, but this does not allow any word to take on any meaning for the sake of constructing and interpreting claims by predating and cannibalizing English language misuse. Communication is useful, language only historically so. Communication is achieved by individuals who invent and alter language to describe entities and their relationships, not by honouring linguisitic agreements unless doing so implicitly makes communication easier.
  4. Happy 400th Anniversary to the Telescope

    Thank you to every man who has made it possible for me to enjoy cosmic scenery and the awe of understanding a speck of it. Thank you for fueling a desire to leave no explanation of nature to others who come after me.
  5. Teaching that humans are prime movers and encouraging qualities like determination, hard work and ambition can have negative consequences for perfectionist, intelligent children if done without also teaching reality-oriented optimism. Most optimist coaches are what Dr. Martin Seligman calls "empty" optimists that do not enable children to live up to and exceed their potential. He calls accurate thinking about real problems "learned optimism". Children can learn not to gravitate towards the worst possible causes and potential outcomes (catastrophic thinking), and change automatic pessimistic thoughts, much of it learned from parents' words and actions. With a word of caution about Seligman's statements about "depressive realism", I recommend his analysis structure so that children learn to think objectively and maintain realistic positive thoughts over a lifetime from parents who have strong negative emotions towards current events or problems that are fixable, but beyond their lifetimes and perhaps beyond the lifetimes of young children. Reality-oriented optimism can be difficult to maintain, more so for some than for others, and Seligman’s book The Optimistic Child – A proven program to safeguard children from depression & build lifelong resilience may be material to review over many years for both children and adults, altering the exercises according to maturity level and intelligence. (Seligman uses the term depressive realism to describe findings that low levels of depression are associated with accurate judgements about subjects' own competence, and are accurate about good and bad events. This is compared to happy subjects who overestimate their mastery, remember more good events and fewer bad events. He does not discuss any studies of individuals who are both happy and objectively assess adverse events or circumstances, their beliefs about self, and potential consequences of the effect of those beliefs on circumstances.) I read this book some years ago, but it is more relevant today than it was when I first read it. Seligman's more recent work is found here.
  6. The Overseer Regime

    Scott, are all the following possible within Overseer self-self evaluations? -The goals are realistic within the context of the person's life but the means of achieving those goals are not. -The goals are unrealistic within the context of the person's life, and as a result the means appear to fall short of those goals. -The goals and the means are unrealistic within the context of the person's life. Are there people who evaluate themselves as Overseers but treat others justly because they recognize different standards apply to other people in their contexts? Are there temporary Overseers? By temporary, I mean an example of a temporary coercive propulsion might be a homeowner who refuses to be at the mercy of hurricanes or earthquakes in the 21st century. That person places harsh demands upon himself for many years to create the financial means to own a home that is structurally sound and beautiful. After the self-discipline and injustice he believed he required to achieve the desired goal, the homeowner returns to a life fulfilled with a variety of enjoyable activities, including work, without experiencing guilt for his enjoyment. I am also interested in your comments on whether perfectionists can be psychologically healthy without becoming Overseers. This is what I see is the thinking difference between an Overseer and a perfectionist: Overseer: "What I do is never good enough." [Average overall results.] “The exam results show I am not good enough. I have to try harder, even though I don't know how I can. The person sitting next to me didn't even come to most of the classes, and she did better." Perfectionist: "I can't do this. I don't think I’m good enough. I better be wrong about that or I would feel really bad. I have to prove to myself I am good enough." [better than average results.] "That was good enough considering I just learned how to do it a week ago. Next time I can do it better and faster by…".
  7. Another Symptom

    Maybe I needed to quote your post about billboards. I didn't think my single sentence put that much work on a reader, with or without caffeine.
  8. Another Symptom

    The practical morality of electing politicians who promise to deliver voters from nightmares, instead of making it possible for them to achieve dreams, is not a "sensitive" subject that has epistemological or hypothetically debatable relevance to your desire for a delayed realization that there is "something missing" from your field of vision.
  9. Happy Birthday to Go 4 TLI

    A belated Happy Birthday!
  10. I had considered my writing to be appropriate for a public board with the majority of readers age 16 and up. I will keep your feedback in mind.
  11. The Craft of Scientific Presentations (see link above for contents) contains good advice on how to present technical subjects in stressful circumstances.
  12. Military promotions

    From this thread: I understand what you have said here (I've only quoted the salient points which I think you have expressed well, but I did read what you took the time to write). If the initial rank achieved by someone who possesses an academic degree should be the same as a person who does not, in your view should the stream of meritorious promotion be different for a person with an academic degree (that is of use for the defense of a country) or not? So which promotion type should it be: Academic degree (not a military college degree) > Rank_normal > Engage targets in 72-hour close-range urban combat in 105F conditions carrying x additional weight with machine gun type y with AN/PAS-13 thermal weapon sight > Fit-rep > Promote before peers? > Yes > Promotion_normal Or: Academic degree (not a military college degree) > Rank_normal > Engage targets in 72-hour close-range urban combat in 105F conditions carrying x additional weight with machine gun type y with AN/PAS-13 thermal weapon sight > Fit-rep > Promote before peers? > Yes > Promote to Armoured Engineer Infantry (or Logistic Brigade Infantry, whatever the person's degree best falls under/person's choice)? > Yes > Promotion to Infantry for Brigade grouped due to technical-innovation specialization. I unfortunately don't know our American equivalents for the divisions I'm using as examples above, but an Armoured Engineer "Infantry" doesn't currently exist - I'm wondering you think that would be appropriate.
  13. Inspirational Videos

    HubbleSite Space Adventures
  14. Man Harassed by TSA at St. Louis Airport

    One can compare the benefits of flight options of various types of aircraft with Travel$ense. If anyone knows of software that would allow easy comparison, using live information, about travel time and costs of other modes of transport compared to flight (both small jet and commercial carrier), please post a link.
  15. An Intellectual Exercise

    I am assuming there is more than one type of widget available, and more than one widget may be purchased between 9 to 5. If customers can be grouped by transaction efficiency regardless of the particular widget they came for on that day sometime between 9 to 5, and if customers can use other customers' widgets (meaning customers must check their inventory of widgets and the widgets used by those around them to see if they can use any held or existing widgets, given that a widget purchase log is explicitly created and classified after each transaction. Those unable to express what widget type they need or who did not realize a widget type did not apply to their needs are also identified.), I refer you to Heppner and Grenander's stochastic model of individuals interacting in beneficial competition in The Ubiquity of Chaos.
  16. Changing the language and usage

    In the examples la zafada provided, the meanings remain the same whether those words are omitted or included. The purpose of language is not to adhere to rules which exist in outdated style guides but to express concepts in a way understandable to others. Whenever two independent clauses can be reduced to one, unnecessary capitalization avoided, and sentences distilled so that the meaning is understood better and faster as above, changes in a language are good. Pop lyrics and some poetry rely on changing grammar rules to convey meaning. "But if this ever-changing world in which we live in makes you give in and cry..." "I can't light no more of your darkness..." What makes sense to the intended recipient - for the communication medium and context - should prevail, and does.
  17. Happy Birthday to Ed from OC

    Happy Birthday!
  18. The book is based on the author's freshman for-credit course "Everything I needed to know about physics, I learned from reading comic books". The author provides light, bedtime reading with discussions on basic physics topics in concrete, superhero applications including conservation of energy, quantum mechanics and Newtonian forces. I personally do not enjoy comic book scientists and caricatures of how they work nor the portrayal of fantasy-as-science situations, but this book shows what actual science topics can be explored with students despite those less than ideal depictions.
  19. Happy Birthday to Scott A.

    Happy Birthday!
  20. I recommend this useful site. I have used it for close to a year to supplement a homeschooling curriculum for first-year high school physics. A friend uses the Better Questions for Learning site in combination with EJS modeling instruction for her homeschooling materials.
  21. There are over 1400 inherited disorders for which molecular genetic testing is available, but even health-conscious persons tend not to think of inherited disorders as applicable to them when they are asymptomatic. The tendency to think only of the likes of cancers or Huntington's Disease rather than atherosclerosis or venous thrombosis as "disorders" is due to: 1. comparatively large media exposure on the genetics of cancers and Huntington's Disease (just one example) so genetic involvement in other health concerns simply do not occur to non-physicians unless they are specifically recommended for testing, 2. the widespread treatment of preventable, life-shortening diseases as perceptual concretes to be dealt with only if one presents symptoms, and possibly discovered by accident when undergoing an imaging test for an unrelated health concern. All that stuff in school about genetic inheritance required mental effort but has no value to the rest of life, and 3. the negative assumption that self-betterment after accessing one's genetic information leads to the creation of a "dominant" group of humans. This is the nature-knows-best approach. It is not comfortable or safe to pursue that information, and since it may contain bad news anyway, some people prefer to rank that potential action as less important than lying to their physicians. There are no current genetic screening recommendations in the U.S. that are mandated like newborn screening. I want genetic testing to remain open to choice, but it does not occur to many to choose to acquire all available information to plan one's future, which for some can include considerations of alternate paternity/maternity/adoption possibilities. This website lacks some user-friendliness, but is comprehensive, somehow updated even though it's run by the NIH, and explains genetic disorders to non-clinicians. CLIA regulation means only specific tests can be done by specially-designated labs, and the website is useful to find a lab somewhere in the world for a desired test (not all are available within the U.S.).
  22. Happy Birthday to RJM

    Happy birthday!
  23. Happy Birthday to Paul's Here

    Happy Birthday!
  24. For those interested in contributing funds to biomedical research, the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) is not just useful as a visual guide to thesis selection. It is also useful for selecting the specific research you'd like to support due to the way pathway stages are mapped. If you would prefer a visual explanation of "where I'm at" in disease progression, point your attending physician to the applicable webpage. It is simple for your physician to add probabilities of success for potential actions at each stage. A marked up printout is a handy reference to consider and discuss.
  25. Mild mannered , but big on violent sport

    A friend found discussing the physics involved in different martial arts helpful in choosing which one she and her husband want their children to learn and practice (they decided on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). The National Geographic Fight Science DVD is available on Amazon tomorrow.