Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

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1,859 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. For you BruceS. I don’t know what to make of it, good or bad, but I thought it was interesting.

    https://www.stevens.edu/news/quantum-future-which-starship-destroys-other

    (Hoboken, N.J. – August 22, 2019) – Quantum mechanics boasts all sorts of strange features, one being quantum superposition – the peculiar circumstance in which particles seem to be in two or more places or states at once. Now, an international group of physicists led by Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Vienna and University of Queensland flip that description on its head, showing that particles are not the only objects that can exist in a state of superposition – so can time itself.

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  2. stcordova: For you BruceS. I don’t know what to make of it, good or bad, but I thought it was interesting.

    https://www.stevens.edu/news/quantum-future-which-starship-destroys-other

    (Hoboken, N.J. – August 22, 2019) – Quantum mechanics boasts all sorts of strange features, one being quantum superposition – the peculiar circumstance in which particles seem to be in two or more places or states at once. Now, an international group of physicists led by Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Vienna and University of Queensland flip that description on its head, showing that particles are not the only objects that can exist in a state of superposition – so can time itself.

    Either general relativity or quantum mechanics is wrong.
    Since entanglement violates general relativity, why would QM be considered to be wrong?

    This is a perfect example:

    “According to general relativity, the presence of a massive object slows down the flow of time, such that a clock placed close to a massive object will run slower compared to an identical one that is farther away.

    Based on that observation, the Gedanken experiment goes like this: imagine a pair of starships training for a mission. They are asked to fire at each other at a specified time and dodge the fire at another time, whereby each ship knows the exact time when to fire and when to dodge. If either ship fires too early, one will destroy the other, establishing an unmistakable time order between the firing events. That is, starship A fires before starship B, and starship A survives and starship B is destroyed.

    However, if a powerful agent could place a sufficiently massive object, say a planet, closer to one starship it would slow down its flow of time. As a result, the starship would be in line of fire of the attack and be destroyed.

    Quantum mechanics complicates the matter. When placing the planet in a state of superposition near one starship or the other, both can be destroyed or survive at the same time. The sequence of events exists in a state of superposition, such that each starship simultaneously destroys the other as two separate events, llustrating for the first time how this quantum scenario can occur and how it can be verified.”

    Quantum level is timeless and spaceless…No spacetime applies…

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  3. J-Mac: Either general relativity or quantum mechanics is wrong.
    Since entanglement violates general relativity, why would QM be considered to be wrong?

    Both are wrong as overall theories. We need something new that combines both into a theory of quantum gravity. Many think that GR spacetime will be emergent from that theory. But that is still to be seen.

    Quantum entanglement challenges everyday notions of causation. That is well known. But it does not do so in a way that that FTL signalling or causation between spacelike separated events is allowed. There are models of what part of the ordinary ideas of causation is violated (namely, faithfullness) .

    The linked paper provides a thought experiment involving entanglement near a massive objective distorting spacetime. The thought experiment involves some assumptions about what some future theory of quantum gravity will say about those situations. It is not peer reviewed and I don’t have the expertise to evaluate its claims. But I am reasonably sure they are about entangled systems.

    My concern with some of your posts is that they try to apply the nature of entangled systems to decohered systems. Decohered systems will always be observed to be in a classical state, not a superposition, because the system has interacted with a now inaccessible part of the environment, such as a stray photon which is now receding at the speed of light.

    It is wrong to apply the quantum aspects of entanglement to decohered systems. And decohered systems are all we directly encounter in everyday experience, unless we do a lot of work to prevent decoherence. One reason we do not have any but trivial quantum computers is we have no idea how to do that work effectively at scale.

    ETA: I said we only encounter decohered systems in everyday life. Of course, entanglement can be an important part of the scientific explanation of the behavior of undecohered systems. Science is needed to recognize such systems. And also to recognize whether entanglement could play a role in the observed behavior of the system under study.. I am not forgetting that you have posted theories including entangled quantum behavior in eg photosynthesis and consciousness. FWIW, believe the first is taken seriously in the relevant science, and the second is not.

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  4. BruceS: Both are wrong as overall theories

    Do you have an example of an experiment that proved QM wrong…ever?

    Why then QM is the most precisely tested theory in the history of science?

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  5. J-Mac: Do you have an example of an experiment that proved QM wrong…ever?

    QM as it currently stands cannot explain the well confirmed spacetime behavior captured by GR. That is why it is a quantum theory of gravity that is needed. ETA: I agree QM does an amazing job with everything else.

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  6. BruceS: QM as it currently stands cannot explain the well confirmed spacetime behavior captured by GR

    That’s because GR is wrong and spacetime doesn’t apply to GM because it can’t.

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  7. J-Mac: That’s because GR is wrong and spacetime doesn’t apply to GM because it can’t.

    Have you heard of quantum logic?

    I propose the name “J-Mac logic” for the relationship between your post and my post, to which it is responding.

    Of course, I am aware that some people might claim we already have a term for the logic in that relation: ‘non sequitur’.

    But such people are stuck in a Newtonian world and have failed to appreciate the holistic, entangled, self-referential structures that modern quantum approaches impose on our conceptions of reality and logic.

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  8. BruceS: Have you heard of quantum logic?

    Have you heard of quantum weirdness? Or quantum paradox?

    If you have, try to apply one of these principals to quantum logic and then get back to me…
    Would you like an example, or you know how to google???

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  9. My paper on choice voluntarism came out online today in Philosophia (though not free). The acknowledgements include a thanks to “several anonymous contributors to The Skeptical Zone website.”

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  10. walto:
    My paper on choice voluntarism came out online today in Philosophia (though not free). The acknowledgements include a thanks to “several anonymous contributors to The Skeptical Zone website.”

    Congratulations

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  11. walto: My paper on choice voluntarism c

    Congratulations, Walt.

    Paper is downloadable on sci-hub, for those who are morally-bankrupt commie-lovers.

    Same day service for the availability. Got to hand it to those Russkie-hackers. And no need to pay for Prime, either.

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  12. walto,

    My paper on choice voluntarism came out online today in Philosophia (though not free). The acknowledgements include a thanks to “several anonymous contributors to The Skeptical Zone website.”

    Congrats, walto. I look forward to reading the final version.

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  13. BruceS: For J-Mac and Mrs Calabash, wherever they are:

    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2019/09/09/63-solo-finding-gravity-within-quantum-mechanics/

    “So today we have a solo podcast in which I explain a bit about the challenges of quantum gravity, how Many-Worlds provides the best framework for thinking about quantum gravity, and how entanglement could be the key to showing how a curved spacetime could emerge from a quantum wave function. All of this stuff is extremely speculative, but I’m excited about the central theme…”

    Who wouldn’t be excited when 96 % of the substance of the universe is unknown?!
    Dr. Maybe (Sean Carroll) can speculate all he wants and sell his boring speculative fiction books… None of us will be alive to tell he was wrong…

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  14. J-Mac: “So today we have a solo podcast in which I explain a bit about the challenges of quantum gravity, how Many-Worlds provides the best framework for thinking about quantum gravity, and how entanglement could be the key to showing how a curved spacetime could emerge from a quantum wave function. All of this stuff is extremely speculative, but I’m excited about the central theme…”

    Who wouldn’t be excited when 96 % of the substance of the universe is unknown?!
    Dr. Maybe (Sean Carroll) can speculate all he wants and sell his boring speculative fiction books… None of us will be alive to tell he was wrong…

    So bohring

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  15. J-Mac:
    Who wouldn’t be excited when 96 % of the substance of the universe is unknown?!

    Which of course we believe because of the scientifically informed speculations of cosmologists like Sean C.

    Dr. Maybe (Sean Carroll) can speculate all he wants

    Whose speculations should we take seriously? Sometimes that can be challenging, but with come commentators, not so much.

    None of us will be alive to tell he was wrong…

    That’s a tone I have none seen in your posts. I do hope things that this is not reflecting anything in your personal life.

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  16. BruceS: Which of course we believe because of the scientifically informed speculations of cosmologists like Sean C.

    We have no choice because of scientifically informed speculations about big bang…The self-creation of the universe out of nothing…

    BruceS: Whose speculations should we take seriously? Sometimes that can be challenging, but with come commentators, not so much.

    Those that are based on all available science, including CMBs, and not on cherry picking…

    BruceS: That’s a tone I have none seen in your posts. I do hope things that this is not reflecting anything in your personal life.

    I’m a seeker of truth…but because most people don’t want to hear it, for one reason or another, this does affect your life to a degree but I sleep well at night with clean conscience….After all, you can’t force people to believe something if they don’t want to believe it…no matter what the evidence…

    Imagine a disease that affects millions, if not billions of people. Both the cause and the treatments are 90% + wrong because of the predominantly accepted dogma. Nobody wants to hear the truth because there is too much at stake, such as pride, scientific beliefs but mainly greed and money…

    What would you do if you knew that 90% plus cases of cancer were caused by metabolic disorders and the so-called cancerous mutations were the effect of metabolic disorders and NOT the direct cause of cancer?

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  17. walto: The acknowledgements include a thanks to “several anonymous contributors to The Skeptical Zone website.”

    You shouldn’t have…you are so kind.

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  18. walto:
    My paper on choice voluntarism came out online today in Philosophia (though not free). The acknowledgements include a thanks to “several anonymous contributors to The Skeptical Zone website.”

    Friggin awesome!!!

    I’m glad this place has given you some value for the time you’ve invested here!

    Hope you are well.

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  19. Alan Fox:
    @ dazz

    Wow, that’s some rough weather you are getting. Hope you are OK.

    Thanks, Alan. It wasn’t too bad here where I Iive, but what a mess. It’s been the worst gota fría ever recorded. 😞

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  20. J-Mac: What would you do if you knew that 90% plus cases of cancer were caused by metabolic disorders and the so-called cancerous mutations were the effect of metabolic disorders and NOT the direct cause of cancer?

    In such a case I would expect wealthy individuals like Ted Kennedy and Steve Jobs to research the problem on their own and seek out the best possible treatments.

    Instead, what I see are wealthy and brilliant people succumbing to cancer at exactly the same rate as everyone else. I might also add that public health statistics are among the most extensive and reliable datasets in the world of science. Lots of people have alternative diets, and lots of people seek alternative treatments. Anything useful would jump out. At the very least, it would be found by the people having the motivation and the resources.

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  21. petrushka: In such a case I would expect wealthy individuals like Ted Kennedy and Steve Jobs to research the problem on their own and seek out the best possible treatments.

    Instead, what I see are wealthy and brilliant people succumbing to cancer at exactly the same rate as everyone else. I might also add that public health statistics are among the most extensive and reliable datasets in the world of science. Lots of people have alternative diets, and lots of people seek alternative treatments. Anything useful would jump out. At the very least, it would be found by the people having the motivation and the resources.

    Warburg effect has been known since 1920. The experiments proving that mutations are not the cause of great majority of cancers have been done since the 90.
    If you are really interested, read the paper.

    https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-7-7

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  22. Public Service Announcement:
    J-Mac does not know what he is talking about.
    Neither a ketogenic diet nor dichloroacetate is going to cure your loved one’s cancer. Listen to your oncologist, not some twit on the internet (that includes me).
    [Iff you have a methylated MGMT gene then a ketogenic diet in combination with temozolomide may help your loved one’s glioblastoma multiforme; in all other cases, all bets are off.]

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  23. DNA_Jock:
    Public Service Announcement:
    J-Mac does not know what he is talking about.
    Neither a ketogenic diet nor dichloroacetate is going to cure your loved one’s cancer. Listen to your oncologist, not some twit on the internet (that includes me).
    [Iff you have a methylated MGMT gene then a ketogenic diet in combination with temozolomide may help your loved one’s glioblastoma multiforme; in all other cases, all bets are off.]

    Public Service Announcement:

    If DNA_Jock, or anybody else, shows me where I said not to listen to oncologists, including lousy twits like DNA_Jock, I will never post on this blog again.

    However, if no such evidence is provided, I expect DNA_Jock to swallow his arrogance and pride and take his words back…

    I bet neither the evidence nor the apology will be provided…

    BTW: Maybe DNA_JOCK should state, if he knows, the reason why glioblastoma multiforme tumors were tested with keto diet? Well, here is the prognosis If your loved ones gets it:
    “Prognosis: With standard treatment, median survival for adults with glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype, is approximately 11-15 months. There are factors that can contribute to improved prognosis, such as younger age at diagnosis (less than 50 years), near-complete removal of the tumor in surgery.”

    If your loved one is over 50 and the tumor is inoperable, what is the prognosis, Jock?

    So, some experimental scientists took on patients with inoperable brain tumors who did not respond to temozolomide and shrunk them with a variety of approaches, including ketogenic diet. When the tumors became operable, some were able to remain tumor free after surgery, as long as they stuck with the variety of approaches, including keto diet. If they didn’t, tumors often came back…

    Here is an interesting alternative to temozolomide, which can be toxic:

    “Introduction: Temozolomide (TMZ) is part of the standard of care for treating glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive primary brain tumor. New approaches are needed to enhance therapeutic efficacy and reduce toxicity. GBM tumor cells are dependent on glucose and glutamine while relying heavily on aerobic fermentation for energy metabolism. Restricted availability of glucose and glutamine may therefore reduce disease progression. Calorically restricted ketogenic diets (KD-R), which reduce glucose and elevate ketone bodies, offer a promising alternative in targeting energy metabolism because cancer cells cannot effectively burn ketones due to defects in the number, structure, and function of mitochondria. Similarly, oxaloacetate, which participates in the deamination of glutamate, has the potential to reduce the negative effects of excess glutamate found in many brain tumors, while hyperbaric oxygen therapy can reverse the hypoxic phenotype of tumors and reduce growth. We hypothesize that the combinatorial therapy of KD-R, hyperbaric oxygen, and oxaloacetate, could reduce or eliminate the need for TMZ in GBM patients.

    Methods: Our proposed approach for inhibiting tumor metabolism involved various combinations of the KD-R, oxaloacetate (2 mg/g), hyperbaric oxygen, and TMZ (20 mg/kg). This combinatorial therapy was tested on adult VM/Dk mice bearing the VM-M3/Fluc preclinical GBM model grown orthotopically. After 14 days, tumor growth was quantified via bioluminescence. A survival study was performed and the data were analyzed and portrayed in a Kaplan Meier plot. Preliminary dosage studies were used and strict diet and drug administration was maintained throughout the study.

    Results: The therapeutic effect of all treatments was powerful when administered under KD-R. The most promising survival advantage was seen in the two groups receiving oxaloacetate without TMZ. The survival of mice receiving TMZ was diminished due to its apparent toxicity. Among all groups, those receiving TMZ had the most significant reduction in tumor growth. The most powerful therapeutic effect was evident with combinations of these therapies.

    Conclusion: This study provides evidence for a potentially novel therapeutic regimen of hyperbaric oxygen, oxaloacetate, and the KD-R for managing growth and progression of VM-M3/Fluc GBM.”

    So, stick to your oncologist but make sure you make an informed decision. Make sure you know your alternatives if the standard care does work or it can’t be applied or continued…

    I hope my position is clear enough for those who can read with comprehension…
    Let me know jock if there is something you still have a hard time grasping, including high levels of LDL among peoples free of atherosclerosis…lol

    Good documentary on keto aplication including breast cancer and autism:

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.netflix.com/title/80238655&ved=2ahUKEwij1rDA_NPkAhWfHDQIHZWaC5wQFjARegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw2vtsUdGVOmq7zuFODzn8zR

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  24. DNA_Jock: J-Mac does not know what he is talking about.

    Really?!
    Thank God DNA-Jock retired!

    “THE KD IN CANCER
    Cells that exhibit the most active metabolic rates (i.e., cancer cells)
    are most sensitive to the lack of metabolic energy to fuel their
    activity, a well-recognized biochemical phenomenon known as the
    Warburg effect. Theoretically, depriving rapidly dividing, highly
    metabolic cancer cells of their usual fuel supply, e.g., glucose (by
    use of the KD or 2DG), could be clinically therapeutic (Aft et al.,
    2002; Pelicano et al., 2006; Otto et al., 2008). Despite this well
    documented cellular observation, the KD has only recently been
    considered as a clinical treatment in the oncology field. (It looks like things have changed for better after DNA_joke retired)
    Pioneering work by Seyfried et al. (2011) over the past decade
    has shown that animals with experimentally produced brain
    tumors placed on a KD exhibit markedly decreased tumor growth
    rates, and these remarkable effects appear to be a consequence
    of calorie restriction (i.e., reduced blood glucose levels) rather
    than KD-induced ketosis (i.e., fatty acid oxidation) as the princi-
    pal mechanism. Other investigators have found similar effects of
    the KD in animal models. One group found that the KD reduces
    ROS production in malignant glioma cells, and gene microar-
    ray expression profiling demonstrated that the KD induces an
    overall reversion to patterns seen in non-tumor specimens and
    a reduction in the expression of genes encoding signal trans-
    duction pathways and growth factors known to be involved in
    glioma growth (Stafford et al., 2010). It is also interesting to note
    that PPARα-activated by nutrients such as fatty acids – is now a
    target for developing anti-cancer drugs that target mitochondrial
    metabolism (Grabacka et al., 2010).
    While clinical validation of this phenomenon is not yet forth-
    coming, there are several case reports suggesting that the KD
    may be efficacious in humans with brain tumors. Nebeling et al.
    (1995) reported beneficial effects of an MCT-based diet in two
    pediatric patients with advanced stage malignant astrocytomas.
    More recently, Zuccoli et al. (2010) described a case study of an
    elderly woman with glioblastoma multiforme who was treated
    with standard radiotherapy plus concomitant temozolomide ther-
    apy together with a strongcalorie-restricted KD, and a complete absence
    of brain tumor tissue was noted on FDT–PET and MRI imaging
    after 2 months of treatment – results the authors attributed in part
    to the adjunctive dietary treatment. Further, in a pilot trial of the
    KD in 16 patients with advanced metastatic tumors, six individuals
    reported improved emotional functioning and less insomnia,indi-
    cating that in some instances, the KD may lead to improved quality
    of life (Schmidt et al., 2011). In contrast, a retrospective exami-
    nation of five patients with tuberous sclerosis complex treated
    with the KD indicated either a lack of tumor suppression or fur-
    ther tumor growth (Chu-Shore et al., 2010). Thus, it may be that
    distinct tumor types within different organ systems may respond
    differently to the KD or other dietary treatments and that such
    differences may reflect variations in the metabolic vulnerability of
    specific tumor types, perhaps through intrinsic differences in the
    expression of metabolism-related genes (Stafford et al., 2010).”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321471/?report=reader

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  25. J-Mac,

    I did enjoy your bolding the bit describing failures of the ketogenic diet. That was cool.
    Anyone who wishes to understand the role of the KD as a potential cancer treatment should read the article I linked to above.
    Or this article, which offers a more recent view of how little the field has advanced in the past eight years.
    But please ignore J-Mac’s unsourced claims about the role of mutations in cancer; it’s the LDL debacle all over again.

    I hope my position is clear enough for those who can read with comprehension…
    Let me know jock if there is something you still have a hard time grasping, including high levels of LDL among peoples free of atherosclerosis…lol

    The Tsimane have low levels of LDL. I explained this already.

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  26. BruceS,

    Yes, I enjoyed this quite a lot

    The “foolish extravagant spirit” that threatens modern discourse is not the jargon-infused pedant of the university; it is the public intellectual whose fundamental vapidness is masked not by Latin phrases and obscure literary references but by smooth, citation-free rhetoric and by celebrity.

    But ALSO the jargon infused pedant of the university I would suggest- Harris, Degrasse Tyson, Sean Carroll, Jordan Peterson, Benjamin Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, Dave Rubin, Lawrence Krauss…

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  27. phoodoo: But ALSO the jargon infused pedant of the university I would suggest- Harris, Degrasse Tyson, Sean Carroll, Jordan Peterson, Benjamin Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, Dave Rubin, Lawrence Krauss…

    Yep. Can’t stand any of them.

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  28. phoodoo: Sean Carroll,

    What specific did you have in mind for Sean C? I would not place him with the rest (I’d also put D-G outside the rest, but I know he has issues related to sexual harassment).

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  29. BruceS: What specific did you have in mind for Sean C?I would not place him with the rest (I’d also put D-G outside the rest, but I know he hasissues related to sexual harassment).

    That was Krauss, not Degrasse Tyson, for all I know

    ETA: Damn, I just googled it and looks like Tyson is being investigated for sexual harassment too

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  30. BruceS,

    Why Sean C. Well, where to start? Sean C is a physicist (who went to Harvard, “Have I mentioned I went to Harvard? Because a lot of times people who went to Harvard are so busy doing important things that they forget to mention they went to Harvard, so I just want to make sure I mentioned that I went to Harvard, I might have forget to tell you about Harvard…”) who thinks that by virtue of him playing with numbers in physics, he is qualified to pontificate using his celebrity about all things big and small, because you know, he went to Harvard and he is a physicist from Harvard, do I mention..

    He thinks he is a genius, but I see zero evidence for that. He talks all about how he knows there is no God, because well, he is a physicist, so, he knows…he talks about things he has never read and says how wrong they are. He talks about how Harvard is not there to educate people, its there to do research. And his blabber of the multiverses is just plain conjecturing horseshit. Here are just a few examples:

    Harvard et al. judge themselves by the research and scholarship they produce. Students will always keep applying to those places and trying to get in, because the aura of intellectual attainment produced by precisely those scholarly accomplishments will always act as a powerful draw. Such students are by no means making a mistake; the intellectual atmosphere at such places truly is intoxicating, and if nothing else the interaction with your fellow talented students can be a life-changing experience. But to try your best to get into Harvard and then complain once you are there that the professors seem interested in their own work rather than in teaching is to utterly miss the point.

    Maybe that should be their recruiting slogan Sean “We are not here to teach, dammit!”

    Look, we know our observable universe looks the same, on average, many billions of light-years away from here. There’s a cutoff to how far we can see, so it could be infinitely big. If the universe is infinitely big, and it looks the same everywhere, that guarantees that infinite copies of something exactly like you exist out there.

    Uh, no.

    Say you flip a coin. Heads, you get a million dollars—tails, you die. Many Worlds says that once you flip the coin, both worlds are in existence?

    The worlds branch when you make a quantum measurement, not flip a coin. But to the spirit of your question, yes. When a macroscopic observer becomes entangled with a microscopic quantum system in a superposition, the world branches….

    There are even formal proofs, given certain assumptions, saying this is true.

    Another pure conjecture horseshit conclusion. I would mind him nearly as much if he would just put that tagline after virtually everything he says: *By the way this is just horseshit conjecture, it doesn’t mean anything.

    No surprise, really; whatever the story of life might be, there’s no question it’s a complicated one. But it all comes down to the elementary building blocks of Nature doing their best to fulfill the Second Law.

    Did you know he is a “Poetic Naturalist”?

    “The world is not magic — and that’s the most magical thing about it.”

    Shut the hell up already, Sean.

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  31. phoodoo: Look, we know our observable universe looks the same, on average, many billions of light-years away from here. There’s a cutoff to how far we can see, so it could be infinitely big. If the universe is infinitely big, and it looks the same everywhere, that guarantees that infinite copies of something exactly like you exist out there.

    Uh, no.

    I think the argument goes something like this: If there’s a finite number of possible quantum states, then there’s a finite number of possible arrangements of particles that, in an infinite universe where matter is evenly spread, must produce repeating patterns.

    This is from the link Bruce posted a few days ago

    Max Tegmark:
    According to current theories, processes early in the big
    bang spread matter around with a degree of randomness, generating all possible arrangements with nonzero probability. Cosmologists assume that our universe, with an almost uniform distribution of matter and initial density fluctuations of one part in
    100,000, is a fairly typical one (at least among those that contain observers). That assumption underlies the estimate that
    your closest identical copy is 10 to the 1028 meters away. About
    10 to the 1092 meters away, there should be a sphere of radius
    100 light-years identical to the one centered here, so all perceptions that we have during the next century will be identical to
    those of our counterparts over there. About 10 to the 10118 meters away should be an entire Hubble volume identical to ours.
    These are extremely conservative estimates, derived simply
    by counting all possible quantum states that a Hubble volume
    can have if it is no hotter than 108 kelvins. One way to do the
    calculation is to ask how many protons could be packed into
    a Hubble volume at that temperature. The answer is 10118 protons. Each of those particles may or may not, in fact, be present,
    which makes for 2 to the 10118 possible arrangements of protons. A box containing that many Hubble volumes exhausts all
    the possibilities. If you round off the numbers, such a box is
    about 10 to the 10118 meters across. Beyond that box, universes—including ours—must repeat. Roughly the same number
    could be derived by using thermodynamic or quantum-gravitational estimates of the total information content of the universe.
    Your nearest doppelgänger is most likely to be much closer than these numbers suggest, given the processes of planet formation and biological evolution that tip the odds in your favor.
    Astronomers suspect that our Hubble volume has at least 1020
    habitable planets; some might well look like Earth.

    Emphasis mine (just to get phoodoo a bit more triggered) 😜

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  32. dazz,

    Uh, no.
    </phoodoo>

    Although I did like phoodoo’s quote of (I assume) Sean C:

    Harvard et al. judge themselves by the research and scholarship they produce. Students will always keep applying to those places and trying to get in, because the aura of intellectual attainment produced by precisely those scholarly accomplishments will always act as a powerful draw. Such students are by no means making a mistake; the intellectual atmosphere at such places truly is intoxicating, and if nothing else the interaction with your fellow talented students can be a life-changing experience. But to try your best to get into Harvard and then complain once you are there that the professors seem interested in their own work rather than in teaching is to utterly miss the point.

    which of course is entirely accurate and an important point to be considered by bright high school students: Harvard (and other top-ranked research universities) do NOT choose their professors (nor even their humble Teaching Assistants) based on the ability to teach. Some undergraduates are surprised at this; they miss the point.

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  33. DNA_Jock:
    dazz,
    Uh, no.
    which of course is entirely accurate and an important point to be considered by bright high school students: Harvard (and other top-ranked research universities) do NOT choose their professors (nor even their humble Teaching Assistants) based on the ability to teach. Some undergraduates are surprised at this; they miss the point.

    I did my grad studies in a very intellectually stimulating environment. I was not hoping that some profs would pour their wisdom on a static me. I knew I was there to challenge others and be challenged, to have great conversations, to read and challenge again. It’s the fucking environment, not whether the profs are “teachers” who can handle a classroom with hundreds of students in it.

    Either way, students are not supposed to be people just sitting in classrooms, students have to participate or they won’t learn regardless of how good their teachers are at performing for them.

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  34. phoodoo: He thinks he is a genius, but I see zero evidence for that. He talks all about how he knows there is no God, because well, he is a physicist, so, he knows…he talks about things he has never read and says how wrong they are.

    You take him too seriously. Carroll doesn’t take himself that seriously.

    Part of what you quoted (and took seriously) was probably intended as joking around.

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  35. dazz: ETA: Damn, I just googled it and looks like Tyson is being investigated for sexual harassment too

    Who isn’t?

    Personal note: I have heard a lot of loutish talk in my workplaces. I’m sure any woman of ordinary sensibilities would have been offended, if not intimidated.

    But I have never witnessed any of the things that have made the news as part of METOO. Just none. No abusive bosses. No discrimination. I spent more than half of my working life being supervised by women. I can’t recall any being held back.

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  36. petrushka: Who isn’t?

    Personal note: I have heard a lot of loutish talk in my workplaces. I’m sure any woman of ordinary sensibilities would have been offended, if not intimidated.

    But I have never witnessed any of the things that have made the news as part of METOO. Just none. No abusive bosses. No discrimination. I spent more than half of my working life being supervised by women. I can’t recall any being held back.

    I once saw a boss of mine slap a female coworker in the butt. Then all hell broke loose. He was an asshole and was eventually kicked out of his own company by the rest of the owners.

    At any rate, I think our personal experience is nothing more than anecdotal evidence and it’s not necessarily representative of what’s going on.

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  37. dazz: I think our personal experience is nothing more than anecdotal evidence and it’s not necessarily representative of what’s going on.

    Agreed. But fifty years of not seeing something and not hearing about it is approaching the realm of data.

    Part of my personal suspicion that if one person in a thousand does something newsworthy, that’s enough to feed the daily press maw, and the media exist by getting everyone stirred up all the time.

    The problem is that numbers of incidents is not the same as prevalence, and laws designed to cope with outliers are oppressive when treated as yokes for everyone’s neck.

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  38. petrushka: But fifty years of not seeing something and not hearing about it is approaching the realm of data.

    That would depend on how wide a range of workplaces you’ve been in.
    My workplace experience is almost entirely limited to environments where almost everyone has a degree or two. Representative, it most certainly is NOT.
    Even so, I did experience a woman getting fired for dating her boss’s ex-boyfriend.
    She ended up with a rather nice severance deal, but there were no consequences for her boss…

    I guess I would echo my mother’s comment regarding workplace equality: the truly oppressed women are those in the lower socio-economic groups. Business executives, professional athletes, and movie stars are not the most oppressed groups, and make somewhat unsympathetic poster children.
    [Ducks]

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  39. phoodoo: Why Sean C. Well, where to start?

    Geez, I seem to have touched a nerve.

    But Gregory has you beat on vocabulary and references to ideology.

    I consider your depiction of Sean C to be false and scurrilous. I’ll leave it at that.

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  40. DNA_Jock: I guess I would echo my mother’s comment regarding workplace equality: the truly oppressed women are those in the lower socio-economic groups.

    I can’t argue with that, except to say that everyone in that group has limited freedom. But then again, being white collar involves a lot of self discipline, which is a constraint. I have never in my life felt free to criticize management.

    Once, in a touchie feelie kind of training session, I was lured into expressing an opinion. I later found this offence related in my performance review, as a preface to being fired. The boss was female, although I don’t think that says anything. I’ve had bad bosses from every category. And good ones.

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