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Comments by keddaw

Go to: 4 Things Most People Get Wrong About Memory

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by keddaw

Vorlund, an important point but one that may mean we have implants that record the signals from our eyes and so would be available to us at will and the police with a court order.

I can't wait, but we'll first need to implant a calculator because I'm fed up with all those maths geniuses who can do complicated sums in their head.

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 10:19:59 UTC | #858139

Go to: Spare the rod and develop the child

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by keddaw

Any adult striking a child in retribution or retaliation is committing a crime - parent or not.

Since when do we decriminalise a criminal behaviour because the victim was less competent, physically and mentally, than a regular adult?

Wed, 27 Jul 2011 10:57:50 UTC | #854592

Go to: Ban These Sick Ape-Man Frankensteins

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by keddaw

Anything that doesn't generate a human-esque brain leaves the rest of the animal as simply animal and there is no human rights issue.

Start mucking about with human brain structures and we are having issues that require serious consideration - although my view is that if it has a reasonable IQ and can suffer we should try to avoid making it do so - without its consent.

Much like loqueelviento and KJinAsia, I am very worried when people start to propose laws that tell us what we CAN do rather than what we CANNOT. The implication being that our rights are handed out by a generous government rather than realising that all laws reduce our freedoms and we should be very wary about creating more of the bloody things.

Tue, 26 Jul 2011 11:38:30 UTC | #854203

Go to: Francis Collins: Atheist Richard Dawkins Admits Universe's Fine-Tuning Difficult to Explain

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by keddaw

I know a few knob twiddlers...

@66 - it is 1 in base Pi.

And 0.5 in base Tau. C'mon the Tau!

Wed, 29 Jun 2011 09:58:16 UTC | #844348

Go to: Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by keddaw

This is stupid, there has been a drug available for this condition for millennia - ALCOHOL.

Although admittedly it does have some serious side effects and is frowned upon at work.

PS. I am a shy extrovert!

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 09:11:40 UTC | #843313

Go to: Lab yeast make evolutionary leap to multicellularity

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by keddaw

@sunbeamforjeebus, I wish God would stop tinkering in my experiments, he's really messing up the results.

@s.k.graham, I think the difference here from the generalised case you are talking about is that these cells only seem to be clumping together with their relatives and the 'snowflakes' split and reproduce at a rate that would appear consistent with a single organism rather than a clump of cells. Or I might be reading too much into it.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 08:36:02 UTC | #842167

Go to: How far should we trust health reporting?

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by keddaw

Why are people concerned about this when Fukushima is about to explode and kill us all????

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 11:23:22 UTC | #641169

Go to: Scientists trap antimatter long enough to study how it works

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by keddaw

Particles of matter and antimatter are identical, except for an opposite electrical charge.

Poor scientific reporting. Unless you want to count the opposite of neutral as neutral.

They are not identical, they are made up of the anti-quarks that make up regular matter. Hence when regular matter has a charge the anti-matter will have the opposite charge - as in electrons/positrons and protons/antiprotons but not in neutron/antineutron or neutrino/antineutrino.

@malreux - it doesn't do anti-gravity. To do that it would need negative mass. However mass, like energy, start from 0 and only goes up whereas charge can be either side of 0. If it did have negative mass then it would also have negative energy (e=mc2) and when it met normal matter it would not explode but simply cancel out.

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 13:27:44 UTC | #635338

Go to: Morality without 'Free Will'

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 358 by keddaw

Comment 353 by Steve Zara :

Clearly...brains are not necessary for survival, they are necessary for complex survival.

That is because they provide second-by-second freedom.

What is it you want freedom from?

We are take input, react to it in ways that are hideously complex within our brains and then act upon our environment based on the way our brain was initially, the inputs it received and the time that an output is needed.

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 13:36:55 UTC | #633678

Go to: Noah's Ark 'could arrive in London for Olympics'

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by keddaw

Excellent. Then he can explain to all the little kiddies how the 8 people on the ark went about repopulating the earth...

Plus, in a global flood either (almost) all the fresh water fish would have died out or (almost) all the salt water fish. And no land plants would have survived. Look at me, applying logic to a Biblical story...

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 14:27:55 UTC | #633251

Go to: Morality without 'Free Will'

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by keddaw

Comment 30 by Steve Zara :

Sam is talking about the 'man in the street' free will, i.e. libertarian free will

That's not what he says. If that is what he wanted to say, he would have said it. A statement that "free will is a philosophical non-starter" is clear enough.

It seems that Sam wants to walk a lonely path philosophically.

Steve, compatibalism is the Karen Armstrong of free will. It is free will as only understood by apologists, sorry, philosophers. When free will is described in terms of determinism then the man in the street, or anyone not well read in philosophy, is justified in asking in what manner is it free? Sam's article wasn't aimed at philosophers and I see no problem with him not intricately describing the differences between free will and libertarian free will. Having read his book from which this was adapted I can tell you he does point out the difference there where he isn't trying to limit the number of words, at least I assume he is.

Tue, 31 May 2011 14:19:08 UTC | #632654

Go to: Morality without 'Free Will'

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by keddaw

Comment 22 by Steve Zara :

This is wrong. It's unquestionably wrong that free will is a philosophical non-starter because most philosophers believe in free will. There are philosophers who believe in free will and who clearly understand the scientific issues. Daniel Dennett is one of those.

I find Sam's approach here very puzzling.

They are compatibalists. They do not believe in libertarian free will but claim free will in a deterministic way that confuses the literal minded among us. Sam is talking about the 'man in the street' free will, i.e. libertarian free will. Unless you know philosophers who do actually believe in libertarian free will, in which case you should point them towards the psychology department where virtually no-one does.

Tue, 31 May 2011 13:48:26 UTC | #632642

Go to: [UPDATE] Steve Jones "risks political storm over Muslim 'inbreeding'."

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by keddaw

The problem is not inbreeding, or incest, it's bad genes. It's also idiotic belief systems that make them think it is in Allah's hands as to what will happen when their recessive genes meet. And we then have to pick up the bill.

Let consenting adults copulate with any other consenting adults, who the heck am I to sit here and have overall approval of what ANY two, or more, consenting adults want to do. All we can do is offer as much advice on the potential problems, offer genetic screening, perhaps even egg and sperm selection to avoid problems.

But these sensible ideas are probably against the religious sensibilities of many people.

And against the typical knee-jerk reactions of people who are opposed to freedom (ban cousin marriages, genetically bad = morally bad, etc. etc.)

Tue, 31 May 2011 13:20:49 UTC | #632630

Go to: Morality without 'Free Will'

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by keddaw

Punishing people for vengeance is not something any civilised person or society should ever do - with or without free will.

Punishment should only ever be meted out to disincentivise that person from doing it again, to stop them from being able to do it again (be that imprisonment or rehabilitation), or to disincentivese others from doing something similar.

@KenChimp, the pattern of information in your brain is the mind. Neither the computer NOR the software is playing chess, the computer is running software and the software is obeying rules that with appropriate inputs can approximate chess. In terms of the brain it is both hardware and software, we have gotten so used to modern computers that we forget old fashioned ones had the hardware and software combined - as nature still does, however nature has left us plenty of flexibility in the hardware.

In terms of the overall discussion I seriously doubt Sam was aiming at readers of this site. I figured most people would be in agreemet with him and the only people piping up would have been compatibalists trying to claim Sam's (and the general population's) understanding of free will is unforgivably naive. From the comments though it appears I may be wrong.

Tue, 31 May 2011 12:57:23 UTC | #632622

Go to: Lord Patten attacks 'intolerant' secularists

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by keddaw

Comment 6 by Crimbly :

Comment 4 by Flapjack :

I'm still trying to find what the argument FOR inviting him was and I'm drawing a bit of a blank. Perhaps someone can help me here?

He has an awesome hat.

And sparkly red shoes. ("There's no place like home.")

Tue, 26 Apr 2011 13:13:56 UTC | #619570

Go to: France officially bans the burka

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 229 by keddaw

People telling women what they can and can't wear is not a good solution to the problem of people telling women what they can and can't wear.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:40:08 UTC | #614566

Go to: France officially bans the burka

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 209 by keddaw

Comment 205 by aquilacane :

Comment 182 by Michael Gray

Comment 10 by xmaseveeve : Comment 6, There is never a reason to cover your face. Tell that to a facial burns victim.

Tell that to the poor bastard skiing down the French side of the Alps in -20 weather.

Tell that to the person protesting against some government policies who knows he, his family and his friends will be targeted by an oppressive police state should his identity be made known to them.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:11:59 UTC | #614480

Go to: Chaplains accused of pushing religion in schools

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by keddaw

Comment 1 by Stevehill :

In 2007 the Howard government introduced federal funding for chaplains to work in schools, with the proviso they were not to evangelise or proselytise.

That's never going to happen.

You might as well give drunks the keys to a brewery on condition they only drink tea.

They're also not supposed to roger the children...

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:56:37 UTC | #614470

Go to: France officially bans the burka

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 202 by keddaw

This is an unfair attack on the liberties of ... MEN!

If you want to pass a law restricting the freedoms of women to wear what they choose because some are being coerced then fine, limit what women can wear, but there is no evidence that men are being forced to wear anything against their will so they should still have that freedom.

We already limit freedom based on gender: men can walk around topless and women can't.

Honestly France, sort it out, men should be able to walk down the street and/or protest without CCTV or the police able to identify them as long as they do nothing illegal. Basic civil liberties.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:46:21 UTC | #614462

Go to: Catholic Church reverses course on bill to eliminate statute of limitations on sex abuse of minors

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by keddaw

Comment 14 by strangebrew :

So desperate the lies are becoming ever more like those of kiddies caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Pathetic does not describe it...totally banal and insulting.

You mean their invisible friend did it?

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 13:23:56 UTC | #612597

Go to: It was awfully nice of him not to demand my immediate arrest

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by keddaw

Performing a harmless act to trigger the over-reaction of people to prove that they will over-react and that the belief that causes them to over-react is dangerous is a perfectly valid thing to do. That innocent people are injured or killed is unfortunate but is surely less damaging than pretending that belief system that makes them do it in the first place is harmless and allowing that belief system to become pervasive and prevalent in all countries.

This is true for communism, fascism and many religions.

If I burn the Conservative manifesto as an act of political free speech and Young Conservatives go on the rampage should I be held accountable? If I criticise the attempt to impose Sharia law in the UK and young Muslims riot am I again responsible?

At some point you have to be only responsible for what can be reasonably expected to happen. If I do something that 1 billion people don't like and all you can say is that some of them might over-react then that is not reasonable. If there was a specific threat then, yes, there is a reason to hold back, but a general feeling of unease doesn't cut it for me, sorry.

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 14:57:49 UTC | #612100

Go to: It was awfully nice of him not to demand my immediate arrest

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by keddaw

Comment 30 by mmurray :

Comment 28 by keddaw :

He'd have had the same risk of indirectly causing the death of 21 people by offering 21 million free scheduled airline tickets. Should that also be illegal? What's the logical difference?

In one case the people killed had no control over what happened. In the other case they had a choice to take a free ticket which they would know comes with a slight chance of death. So in the second case the responsibility goes with them and whoever or whatever caused the plane crash.


Except they were in Muslim majority countries so knew the amount of nuttery there. The risk was accepted and one of the risks was that someone would incite the mobs, little did they realise it would be the Afghan President, but there you go. What Jones did or did not do is irrelevant, what Hamid Karzai said caused the rioting. Credit where credit's due.

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 10:36:19 UTC | #611976

Go to: It was awfully nice of him not to demand my immediate arrest

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by keddaw

Comment 31 by Stevehill :

I'm commenting here on Myers' action rather than Jones, which I've exhausted on the other thread. But yes, in most countries without the First Amendment it would be possible on public order grounds to rein in Jones' actions and whilst I would not call him a murderer, I reckon he's borderline bang to rights on incitement to murder. That is, at least, a moral abuse of the privilege of free speech.

One would expect a better example from a Christian clergyman.

Having been a professional risk manager, I don't think the issue is susceptible to the kind of statistical defence you suggest. Any action which is reasonably foreseeable to endanger innocent lives should be capable of being restrained, unless it is first authorised by some democratic accountable approvals process (like building a nuclear power station). Society cannot function with allowing just anybody to add to the risks. Because the next thing you know is you've got a million Jones's all deciding they are free to do the same thing, and your risks have gone up a million-fold.

Well, kind of not. The point Myers and others are making is that if a million Jones all burned Qu'rans then the Muslim reaction would not be noticeably different to one and they may simply have to accept that the people in the West have the freedom to treat their religion as nonsense if they so wish. A bit like Catholics have to suck it up when a Eucharist is trashed. Except in the UK where it's a hate crime.

wiki: In English criminal law, incitement was an anticipatory common law offence and was the act of persuading, encouraging, instigating, pressuring, or threatening so as to cause another to commit a crime.

In no way, shape, or form did Jones incite a single person to attack the UN.

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 10:33:36 UTC | #611974

Go to: It was awfully nice of him not to demand my immediate arrest

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by keddaw


Jones did something that enraged Muslims to such an extent that 1 in a million of them became violent (assuming 1,600 Muslims were involved in violence, which seems a lot). 1 in a million is the same risk of being killed on a scheduled airline flight.

The actual risk of death from Jones' actions is approximately 1 in 250 million (21 deaths, 5.4 billion non-Muslims).

He'd have had the same risk of indirectly causing the death of 21 people by offering 21 million free scheduled airline tickets. Should that also be illegal? What's the logical difference?

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 08:58:03 UTC | #611956

Go to: Tweaking the climate to save it: Who decides?

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by keddaw

Short-term politicians, self-interested nations, decreasing infant mortality rates, increasing life expectancy, increasing energy use. Reversing the current trend is simply not going to happen.

Nuclear decreases CO2 emissions but increases the heat put into the system. Renewables have their own issues with regard to climate, not the least of which is the ridiculous amount of energy we'd have to put into building renewable infrastructure to meet current and future energy needs.

The only way out appears to be taking a few gambles on mad scientists with crazy ideas to see if any of them work. Can we have a mini-earth to practice on first?

Although we can hopefully rule out the truly mad ones (nuke a volcano!) I would like to see someone put a large sun shield in space that would reduce solar energy hitting the earth by say 1% - at least that is easy to remove if we don't like the effects.

Not that I care - the earth will be fine for as long as I live and I have no intention of having kids!

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 08:29:40 UTC | #611950

Go to: It was awfully nice of him not to demand my immediate arrest

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by keddaw

It was posted on April 1st...

Assume he is serious though then a general threat that an act which potentially insults 1.6 BILLION people around the globe, which only has to inflame 1 in a billion to be illegal, is crazy. There was no significant threat to any individual.

We create a much higher chance of death each time we get behind the wheel of a car.

Besides, who could have predicted a violent, lethal reaction from the Religion Of Peace?

Okay, dodgy statistics, but by the same logic he should be calling for Sarah Palin (Congresswoman Gifford and her crowd's shooting) and Bill O'Reilly (Tiller the baby killer) to be arrested for murder too.

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 07:09:00 UTC | #611934

Go to: Sexual preference chemical found in mice

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by keddaw

I'm not seeing how this could possibly scale up to humans.

My preference for white blonde women is due to an aesthetic choice as is my preference for women over men. I'm not seeing how altering any chemical in my brain would fundamentally alter that, 10 pints of Stella notwithstanding.

While it might be nice to think that you could be in total control of your sexuality, how would you feel if the person you're sleeping with had to take a pill each day to make you appear attractive to them? Don't know about you, but I don't think that would feel very good...

Mon, 28 Mar 2011 10:15:47 UTC | #608238

Go to: NBGA and the Japan Disaster

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by keddaw

Interesting take on it:

His controversial stance brings out the irrational in many people - even people who fundamentally agree with him are attacking him for it!

Fri, 25 Mar 2011 15:59:47 UTC | #606994

Go to: Bad at estimating? Blame evolution

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by keddaw

Depends if you're moving...

Butter would be lighter if you were moving upward (and vice versa) since the increased air resistance would affect the smaller surface area more.

Also, acceleration in a straight line (unless it was parallel to gravity) would change the apparent weight of the one that had it's centre of gravity the furthest out since you'd have to use more force to hold it in place.

Likewise, the effects of centrifugal forces cannot be discounted - the outside one would appear heavier.

If your kitchen was in free fall they would weigh the same.

Too many variables, not enough information, I refuse to answer which one is heavier.

Their mass is the same though.

Fri, 25 Mar 2011 15:56:21 UTC | #606992

Go to: Bad at estimating? Blame evolution

keddaw's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by keddaw

Comment Removed by Author

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 10:29:48 UTC | #606146