Computers can play Jeopardy! now. Your argument is invalid.
Interesting article about self control from The New Yorker:
Once Mischel began analyzing the results, he noticed that low delayers, the children who rang the bell quickly, seemed more likely to have behavioral problems, both in school and at home. They got lower S.A.T. scores. They struggled in stressful situations, often had trouble paying attention, and found it difficult to maintain friendships. The child who could wait fifteen minutes had an S.A.T. score that was, on average, two hundred and ten points higher than that of the kid who could wait only thirty seconds.
Professor Hanson noted that the supermice “are metabolically similar to Lance Armstrong biking up the Pyrenees. They utilize mainly fatty acids for energy and produce very little lactic acid. They are not eating or drinking and yet they can run for four or five hours. They are 10 times more active than ordinary mice in their home cage. They also live longer – up to three years of age – and are reproductively active for almost three years. In short, they are remarkable animals.” However, “they eat twice as much as control mice, but they are half the weight, and are very aggressive. Why this is the case, we are not really sure.”
I think it’s pretty crazy that the creature with the most DNA is a single-celled organism. No joke: Amoeba dubia has 670 billion base pairs. For comparison, humans only have about 3.2 billion base pairs.
Writes Richard Dawkins:
Evolution is an inescapable fact, and we should celebrate its astonishing power, simplicity and beauty. Evolution is within us, around us, between us, and its workings are embedded in the rocks of aeons past.
If I said this sounded like metaphysical or (if you’ll excuse my mentioning the word) “religious” language, would you still be my friend?
Mental exercise: replace the word “evolution” (and any appropriate pronouns) with any of the following: God, Allah, Vishnu, the Universal Mind, etc.
Just because Dawkins uses this kind of language, doesn’t mean a belief in evolution is necessarily a religious belief. Of course, that is not my criticism here.
If Dawkins does not mean these things literally, what is the purpose of writing them? If he meant anything scientific by them, it is very poorly stated. If he wrote those things to give emotional weight to his article when they don’t really mean anything, he is being manipulative. If he does mean those things literally, he is being religious.
That’s really all I wanted to say.
A Stirling engine in motion. Mesmerizing.
Beautiful stirling engines from Heteluchtmachines.
From the Wikipedia article:
A Stirling engine is a heat engine that converts thermal energy into mechanical energy. The engine is like a steam engine in that all of the engine’s heat flows directly through the engine wall.
This is probably outdated, but it’s a good read nonetheless. And it’s not from a partisan source, either—Crichton describes himself as a “political agnostic”.
In my view, our approach to global warming exemplifies everything that is wrong with our approach to the environment. We are basing our decisions on speculation, not evidence. Proponents are pressing their views with more PR than scientific data. Indeed, we have allowed the whole issue to be politicized—red vs blue, Republican vs Democrat. This is in my view absurd. Data aren’t political. Data are data. Politics leads you in the direction of a belief. Data, if you follow them, lead you to truth.