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Topics - sciborg2

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General Misc. / Bring me your huddled podcasts, yearning to be listened to!
« on: September 30, 2013, 06:44:23 pm »
Welcome to Night Vale

"WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Turn on your radio and hide."

Philosophy & Science / Spacetime Geometry may "falsify" locality?
« on: September 21, 2013, 02:36:41 pm »
A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics

The new geometric version of quantum field theory could also facilitate the search for a theory of quantum gravity that would seamlessly connect the large- and small-scale pictures of the universe. Attempts thus far to incorporate gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes. The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity.

“Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.”

Locality is the notion that particles can interact only from adjoining positions in space and time. And unitarity holds that the probabilities of all possible outcomes of a quantum mechanical interaction must add up to one. The concepts are the central pillars of quantum field theory in its original form, but in certain situations involving gravity, both break down, suggesting neither is a fundamental aspect of nature.

For some context:

Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics

The Forum of Interesting Things / Sciborg's Indie Game Thread
« on: September 17, 2013, 04:48:17 am »
My new obsession is the side scrolling Diablo-like game Risk of Rain:

Basically you're running through hordes of monsters, gathering items, and fighting bosses. The items, classes, and monsters are pretty cool though you can only do so much with the demo.

This one guy has been doing tons of run throughs with the available classes though apparently the last 3 classes will be unknowns until release:

Philosophy & Science / The Therapeutic Value of Psychedelics and other drugs
« on: September 13, 2013, 04:20:10 am »
I mentioned in the Hungry Ghosts thread that I'd make a new thread to talk about the actual therapeutic value of psychedelics.

I wanted to step away from the paranormal aspects, though I'll try to find some stuff about the life review process that occurs in some (many?) ayahuasca and ibogaine cases. People seem to be guided in these reviews by entities, but discussion about the nature of said entities is better left to the ghost thread.

Knowledge from all spheres welcome, as well as any contrary evidence that these drugs are bad. Just note that we aren't talking about recreational use here, though a discussion about self-medicating does fit.

Why Doctors Can't Give You LSD (But Maybe They Should)

Part of the problem with studying psychedelics--and other illicit drugs, such as marijuana--for medical use, is simply that they're not high-tech, and no pharmaceutical company needs or wants to get involved. There's no money in it for them. Though drugs like LSD and psilocybin are relatively easy to make in the lab, as MAPS founder Rick Doblin pointed out in a 2012 interview, "psychedelics are off-patent, can’t be monopolized, and compete with other psychiatric medications that people take daily."

"My colleagues say to me, in these days of nanotechology and targeted therapy, what are you doing?" says Donald Abrams, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco who has done research on medical marijuana. "We live in the 21st century. Studying plants as medicine is not where most investigators are putting their money."

And without the outside funding to continue researching, a scientist's career goes nowhere, so even fewer scientists want to get involved.

Richard Dawkins defends 'mild pedophilia': Teacher putting hands down my shorts didn?t do ?lasting harm? | The Raw Story

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins refused to condemn sexual abuse he admitted to having suffered as a child in an interview with The Times magazine of England, Religion News Service reported on Tuesday.

While he told the Times that an unidentified schoolmaster “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts” when he was a child, he argued that he did not think the abuse — which he referred to as a “mild touching up” — against himself and other children in his class “did any of us lasting harm.”

Philosophy & Science / Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:34:44 am »
This is both cute and a handy reference.

Might be a good way to improve debate on the internet.

The Quantum Conspiracy: What Popularizers of QM Don't Want You to Know

Interesting presentation, probably worth more to people with a better understanding of physics than I possess.

What I got out of it was that due to contradictions in QM either Many Worlds has to be true OR "we are our thoughts" and thus Idealism describes the true nature of reality.

The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts

Ever read something that in ordinary circumstances you could dismiss as superstition but somehow the particular case still scares you.

The happened to me with this story of "ghosts" pretending to be helpful. My rational mind asks me how such beings could exist in realms undetectable to any instrument, how ghosts would imply dualism with all its philsophical weaknesses, and so on.

But it's still hard to fall asleep thinking about it. :-P

General Earwa / Trying to solve the Whodunit? (As in who is Damned?)
« on: August 27, 2013, 10:27:33 pm »
Bakker has referred to this series as a metaphysical whodunit, but do we have enough definitive clues to answer "Who is Damned?"

A big challenge to this, from my perspective, is we don't have much objective information.

Perhaps smarter minds than mine can figure out how to use the subjective evidence of all the varied PoVs to piece together an answer?

General Earwa / Requests for Tree Imagery from the Earwa novels.
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:47:31 am »
Post your tree imagery quotes here - whatever you recall.

I'll think about organizing it by book in the OP or perhaps in a PDF.

The Endless games are a sci/fantasy mashup:

Dungeon Of The Endless

The endless endlessness, it never ends! In the beginning, there was Endless Space, and it was endlessly space-y. Recently, we also told you of Endless Legend, which is another 4X strategy set in the same universe, only all fantasy-fied. But let’s not forget about Dungeon of the Endless...

...The game itself is thematic and mechanical smoothie – a sumptuously blended fusion of sci-fi and fantasy, roguelike and tower defense. You’ll be able to pick from 30 different characters, all of whom were prisoners before their jail barge careened into Planet Randomized Doom in the General Unpleasantness Sector. You’ll meet other characters too, and they might give you a helping hand, or perhaps they’ll grip your frayed fingers just long enough to put a space knife between your ribs.

A discussion of alien civilizations let do [lead to] someone mentioning this when I suggested the SA is why we'v not heard from any one else in the galaxy:

Desire Modification: the ultimate technology

However, not everyone will end up in the same cul-de-sac. The resultant "clades" of humans will be very, very different from each other, much more different than people are now. This will make human interaction very weird. In fact, in a sci-fi story I'm writing, I refer to the rapid adoption of d-mod as "The Weirdening", and I think the Weirdening would (will?) be even weirder and more important and less predictable than the "Singularity".

However, after all this talk of zombie slaves and Weirdenings, I should note that I personally think that d-mod will be pretty benign. Most people just want to be happier, more motivated, kinder versions of the people they already are. Although we could conceivably become a planet of bizarre posthumans, I think the more likely outcome is that we'll end up pretty close to where we started. But the extra life satisfaction that we'll get from d-mod, even so, will represent a bigger a boost to utility and happiness than any technology before or after. It will put the lie to the old (and wrong) idea that technology doesn't change human nature.

This hoping to ideally make a website for the resources mentioned here:

Added a bunch of things to this -> Register family with 911 services. Also mental health info & hotlines, articles, treatment assistance options, prescription assistance, legal aid, etc.

So if you have suggestions for the topics covered that'd be great - thanks!


I. Special Needs, Disabled Adults and Children, various registries including DC + Surrounding area.
II. Mental Health - free/cheap care, hotlines, online support groups
III. Youth and Adult Homelessness
IV. Legal Assistance - legal aid
V. Insurance Assistance
VI. Prescription Assistance - kids and adults
VII. Emergency Preparedness
VIII. Veterans
XI. Health Cost Management

The Forum of Interesting Things / Cheap/Free Mental Health Resources?
« on: April 20, 2013, 11:02:09 pm »
This seems the place to ask - slowing putting together some comprehensive stuff on US health care resources here.

Was thinking people here might help with the mental health section. Can be local or national.

There's a bunch of other stuff in there, like special needs and disability registries divided by state/city/county and one for DC+ its surrounding area.



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