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TuftedPuffin's Avatar Joined about 6 years ago
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Parallels between atheism and feminism? - last commented 22 October 2010 10:38 PM

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Go to: How to Dispel Your Illusions

TuftedPuffin's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by TuftedPuffin

Comment 11 by Premiseless :

Yes , there is ambiguity throughout the article, partly due it needing a book to explain what the components of the arguments are. There is so much information "out there" I desire a more concise language that allows us to access books of info within a pamphlet. Frustrating! I think by violence he refers to irrational thought mixed with emotion. Instinctive procedures and how to statistically organise these as predictable outcomes. Chaos is rarely so obvious, as with the weather. More a guesstimate of possibilities. Reason, on the other hand. lends us all towards a more convergent consensus, except where the violence of emotion is permitted application e.g. religious fervour for the election campaign as a group strategy that can be utilised to put the cat amongst the pigeons for the corrupt 'SHOOTERS' to claim their quarry. Reason has a chaotic task ahead!

But irrational thought and emotion are pretty typical of warfare, and the author states in the beginning that Kahneman was able to apply his (nascent at the time) methods to decide the role soldiers would play in wartime.

I think that big emotions and irrational situations can be studied rationally in the same way that astrophysical events that we could not possibly reproduce in the laboratory can be studied rationally: via statistical analysis, naturally occurring "experiments" and observational science.

Sun, 05 Feb 2012 20:16:01 UTC | #914872

Go to: How to Dispel Your Illusions

TuftedPuffin's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by TuftedPuffin

The tirade about Freud at the end is somewhat misplaced. In particular I find it silly that the author asserts that Kahneman's method is unable to study violent situations, when he begins the article discussing an example of precisely that.

Sun, 05 Feb 2012 03:00:41 UTC | #914734

Go to: The Hunting of the Higgs: what is it and why does it matter?

TuftedPuffin's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by TuftedPuffin

Comment 31 by davem :

Ok, so the Higgs interacts with itself. As I understand it, the Higgs creates mass by interactimg with other particles, and the faster they move, the more mass is created. So does this mean that the Higgs is moving past itself at a constant velocity?

No, the velocity of the particle has no effect on the mass generated. The thing that's confusing you is probably the idea that the Higgs will slow down a faster moving particle more, but this doesn't mean it has more mass, but rather that it has the same mass, since making it harder to move things faster is in a very loose way what mass does.

As for the discussion about the "throwing a ball" metaphor, the reason it's not such a bad metaphor is that momentum really is conserved. The boson that carries the force really does carry the change in momentum from one particle to another.

The difference is that virtual particles aren't restricted by their mass in the same way as real particles. Instead of obeying p2c2+m2c4=E2 (which is the real version of E=mc2, by the way), they can have arbitrary p2c2-E2. In particular, this number can be either larger or smaller than m2c4, resulting in the particle potentially going "backwards in time" (not literally, but sort of from a speed perspective). So a boson carrying momentum from one particle to another might carry it in the same direction it's traveling, but it might also carry it in the opposite direction. The latter, if you think about it carefully, results in attraction.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 01:18:46 UTC | #898758

Go to: America cannot afford to lose its grip on science

TuftedPuffin's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by TuftedPuffin

Comment 7 by Red Dog :

Comment 3 by I Deny :

I read that about 50% of scientists in our US are working for military type contracts. Does anyone know if that is the case?

I don't know about that statistic, it seems reasonable but I suspect there are many ways to count who is a scientist and that can skew the results. But I do know that the vast majority of basic research that is funded by the US government is funded through the military. In my field (computer science) its virtually impossible to get a grant unless its from DARPA or directly from the military itself. Its been that way for a long time. In fact you can track the changes in policy by the name of one of the organizations most responsible for basic R&D. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) changed its name to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1972 and then briefly back to ARPA as a result of the end of the cold war. However, it didn't take the military industrial complex long to dream up new threats and the name was changed back to DARPA in 1996.

And just to further clarify in case this is what is worrying I Deny: the stuff the military is funding often has only very tangential military applications. I'm a String Theorist, and I might get funded by the DoD. It's really just one of the ways the government funds science in the end.

Sun, 11 Dec 2011 01:43:53 UTC | #897699

Go to: Higgs boson hunters scent their elusive quarry at the LHC

TuftedPuffin's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by TuftedPuffin

Comment 12 by prettygoodformonkeys :

comment 10 by TuftedPuffin

Nicely explained, and very interesting. I hope you write books....?

Heh, just read them at this point. I think I should probably get my PhD first. :)

Sun, 11 Dec 2011 00:59:12 UTC | #897688

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