A cricket bat! Twelve years, and four psychiatrists! Four? I kept biting them! Why? They said you weren't real.
Monday, April 28
On The Subject Of The Higgs Boson And How We Know For Certain That All That New-Agey Spiritual Crap Is, In Fact, Crap
Sorry, jump forward to about 34:00 to get to the delicious creamy filling. I did have that working, but now it doesn't want to behave.
Though then you'd miss the chocalatey coating, with tidbits like the fact that the amount of energy in the particle beam of the Large Hadron Collider is equivalent to a freight train moving at 100 miles an hour. (Which is why the thing is so big - freight trains have lousy turning circles.)
In essence, any hypothetical event - say, faith healing - can be reduced to particle interactions under Quantum Field Theory. People are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons, so whatever happens to us has to interact in some way with those particles.
We know the properties of the known subatomic particles, and none of them allow for faith healing. So if faith healing were real, it would have to be carried by a new, previously unknown particle. And under Quantum Field Theory the properties of that particle would be constrained by the very fact that it interacts in normal, perceptible ways (curing illness) with normal everyday matter.
The trick shown here is that the same equations that describe this hypothetical interaction also describe how new particles are produced in particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider. And the constraints on the properties of our hypothetical faith healing particle include a constraint on its mass. And for our hypothetical particle to interact in perceptible ways with everyday matter, that mass would be low enough that existing particle accelerators would generate it in quantity.
And yet, they don't.
In other words, any such particle would already have been found and catalogued, and the mechanism for faith healing discovered.
Which means that Quantum Field Theory can be correct, or faith healing can be real, but not both. The evidence for Quantum Field Theory is vast; if it were wrong, you would not be reading this, because computers and fibre-optic links simply would not work.
This doesn't mean that there aren't exotic undiscovered particles that show up at very very small scales or at very very high energies. It doesn't mean that we won't find such particles and harness them in advanced technologies. It just means that we know for certain that they play no direct role in our everyday lives.
There are known unknowns in physics; we don't know what dark matter is, and dark energy came as a complete surprise. And there are almost certainly unknown unknowns. But Quantum Field Theory tells us where these unknowns lie, and it's not in our day-to-day world.
Which means that not just faith healing, but anything that affects people in perceptible ways, that disagrees with known physics, is known to be untrue.
So bigfoot isn't ruled out (though it clearly doesn't exist), but ghosts most certainly are. Acupuncture isn't ruled out (though meridians don't exist), but crystals are just pretty rocks. And so on.
We reject all that stuff anyway because it's unsupported by evidence and contradicts well-tested scientific theories, but Quantum Field Theory tells us outright that it cannot be true. If the internet exists, then psychic powers do not. If you have an iPhone, you do not have a guardian angel.
I thought the faith-healing particles were what kept this guy alive...
Posted by: Mikeski at Monday, April 28 2014 07:03 AM (Zlc1W)
Steven - yes, special pleading is the first refuge of the wilfully deluded. This result does mean, though, that anyone claiming that their pet idea is supported by (unspecified) science, is consistent with science, that science doesn't know everything, or that it's "quantum" can be shot down immediately.
Then, of course, they too will resort to special pleading, and you can ignore them because they've established that they are immune to logic and evidence.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, April 28 2014 11:31 AM (PiXy!)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, April 29 2014 06:05 PM (PiXy!)
Simple substitution. "We know the properties of the known subatomic particles, and none of
them allow for [consciousness]. So if [consciousness] were real, it would
have to be carried by a new, previously unknown particle. And under
Quantum Field Theory the properties of that particle would be
constrained by the very fact that it interacts in normal, perceptible
ways with normal everyday matter."
Consciousness particles don't show up within the Large Hadron Collider; therefore either quantum field theory is wrong or consciousness doesn't exist. Right?
Posted by: Michael Brazier at Tuesday, April 29 2014 06:56 PM (VlMqg)
We know the properties of the known subatomic particles, and none of them allow for [consciousness].
False analogy. Protons, neutrons, and electrons are all that's needed to build the big, complex, electrochemical computers we call brains, and brains are what produce consciousness.
We know this. It's not up for dispute. We are still learning the structural and functional details of the brain, but there are no exotic particles hiding there, and consciousness has no exotic properties that would require them.
This is not true of faith healing, ghosts, magical crystals, psychic powers, or guardian angels. All of those require interactions - and hence particles - with properties outside the Standard Model but with energies that would place them within the Standard Model. That contradiction immediately tells us that they do not exist.
Did you watch the video? If not, please watch it before posting anything else.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, April 29 2014 08:42 PM (PiXy!)
"We are still learning the structural and functional details of the
brain, but there are no exotic particles hiding there, and consciousness
has no exotic properties that would require them."
That's only true if you go all-out into the many-worlds interpretation of QM. With the Copenhagen interpretation, consciousness necessarily has causal effects that are impossible for any known subatomic particle (or really, any possible particle.) And more recent speculations involving an objective reduction process tend to assume that consciousness is a result of that process.
BTW any such process would have to operate at mass scales well above the particles in the LHC experiments, though it can be tested for - it involves placing an object with a mass in micrograms into a quantum superposition, then seeing if the superposition decays.
Posted by: Michael Brazier at Wednesday, April 30 2014 09:34 AM (VlMqg)
That's only true if you go all-out into the many-worlds interpretation of QM. With the Copenhagen interpretation, consciousness necessarily has causal effects that are impossible for any known subatomic particle (or really, any possible particle.)
This sort of statement is always false. Interpretations of QM are just that - interpretations. The calculations you perform and the answers you get are identical no matter how you interpret the result. If you think Many-Worlds makes a different prediction to Copenhagen, you are automatically wrong.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, April 30 2014 12:10 PM (PiXy!)
This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am
actually pleassant to read everthing at one place.
It goes hand-in-hand with the Left's attempt at creating their own version of the New Soviet Man. Well, 'New Democrat Person,' since 'Man' shows gender-bias. He/She/It will have no eyes, just like Julia.
Of course, the Democrats have also learned the lessons of the totalitarians of the People's Republic of China, in that they are trying to shape and control the language people uses. Control the language, control the thoughts, even if that ultimately requires reorganizing the alphabet to a bastardized version.
Posted by: cxt217 at Tuesday, April 22 2014 02:39 PM (G3pCP)
Let's just say that they are lame hipster douchebag wannabe totalitarians, or are otherwise too ignorant to know.
Posted by: model_1066 at Tuesday, April 22 2014 09:04 PM (tNrYO)
Ma Rodham is looking to the right, possibly to differentiate her brand from Soetoro's.and remain comfortably familiar at the same time. Or she is keeping an eye on the VWRC.
Posted by: thirdtwin at Tuesday, April 22 2014 09:06 PM (FIe2Q)
So, a reservoir in Portland is to be drained because someone urinated in it. Essentially, they're using 38 million gallons of water to flush the loo.
This is... Something of an overreaction. Apart from the ick factor, and the possibility that the phantom micturator has an implausibly infectious UTI, the toxic substance in urine is urea. And if the entire population of Portland emptied their bladders into that one reservoir, the concentration of urea would still be undetectable by taste or smell and below the allowed limit.*
It isn't actually all that big a deal. The Bull Run watershed produces far more water than the City needs, so this isn't a case of "wasting water in the desert" etc.
Here in the Tualatin valley our water comes from wells. But it isn't fossil water like in Oklahoma. We get 40 inches of rain a year, and most of it is slow rain spread out over days and weeks, which is optimal for getting the rainwater to soak into the ground and replenish the water table. So we don't have any shortage of water either.
An interesting piece of trivia: that reservoir is on Mount Tabor, which is an extinct volcano inside the city limits. Not too many cities have extinct volcanoes inside of them.
They are aware of that, Steven. But human pee is grosser than animal pee.
No, seriously, that's why they're dumping the water (unless you want to invent some kind of weird conspiracy theory):
"The urine poses little risk - animals routinely deposit waste without creating a public health crisis - but Shaff said he doesn't want to serve water that was deliberately tainted.
"There is at least a perceived difference from my perspective," Shaff said. "I could be wrong on that, but the reality is our customers don't anticipate drinking water that's been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir.""
Of course, it might be funny to help the government understand why this is stupid by arranging the need to have the water dumped again a few more times.
Posted by: RickC at Saturday, April 19 2014 08:27 AM (0a7VZ)
Perhaps now would be a good time for Portland to have a serious discussion about homeopathy.
Posted by: J Greely at Saturday, April 19 2014 02:19 PM (1CisS)
Are you kidding? The way homeopaths think stuff works, 1 bladder's worth of urine in 38 million gallons is probably the strongest formulation ever actually made!
Posted by: RickC at Saturday, April 19 2014 02:36 PM (0a7VZ)
Precisely! And when they drain it, it will become even stronger!
Posted by: J Greely at Sunday, April 20 2014 12:17 AM (1CisS)
The contenders to replace my old Dell 27" monitor:
Samsung 28" 3840x2160 TN display for $749.
Dell 24" 3840x2160 IPS display for $1199.*
LG 34" 3440x1440 IPS display for $1299.
The Samsung is cheapest by a good margin, but it's a TN panel, and I've been using IPS screens on my desktop since I first moved away from CRTs.
The Dell is a very high-quality screen, but it's the smallest, and runs exclusively at 3840x2160. So it's not great for gaming unless you have something like the new Radeon 295X2, a $1500 500W liquid-cooled monster.
The LG is actually lower resolution than the others, but it's huge and wide enough for three workable documents side-by-side.
I think there's no bad choice here; they all look like excellent monitors. Unfortunately, I don't really have the money or space to buy one of each.
* It was A$1699 at the start of the year. That price is coming down fast.
You wouldn't really want to go DOWN in size, would you?
Posted by: Wonderduck at Saturday, April 19 2014 12:19 PM (Kv7m+)
TN panels are the cheap ones, where the colour, brightness, and contrast shift when you look at them from an angle. IPS panels (also known as PVA and other TLAs) are the expensive ones, where that doesn't happen nearly as much.
I'd rather not go down in size or panel quality, but there's no ideal solution at present... At least, not at a reasonable price. The only solution that gives me everything I want would cost about $7000, because I'd need the monitor itself (close to $3000), a super-high-end video card to run games at 4K resolution because the monitor only does 4K (around $1800), and a new computer to put the video card in because it won't actually fit in my current computer (upwards of $2000).
So if I give a little on panel quality, I can get pretty much what I want for 1/8 the cost.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, April 19 2014 01:20 PM (PiXy!)
Their take: If you're not doing professional graphics work where colour accuracy is key, go buy one. If you are, go buy one and keep a standard-resolution colour-calibrated monitor for doing colour checks.
I do some design work, but entirely for web, not for print. To a first approximation no-one at all browses the web on colour-calibrated monitors, so no matter how accurate your own setup is is, no two people will your work see it the same way. So good enough for me.
I think I'll get the Samsung when it arrives next month. Unless the price of the Dell 24" comes down even further...
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, April 19 2014 02:24 PM (PiXy!)
If you don't need ridiculously-sized monitors like Pixy, IPS prices have come down drastically relative to TN. I bought an Asus 22" VS229, then gave it to my son a month later, and replaced it with another Asus, the 23" VX238, which is actually a step up, and while I bought both on sale, they were both within spitting distance of non-IPS monitors (I paid maybe $10-20 more in each case and it was totally worth it.)
The VX238 is pretty awesome: it's insanely bright, has 2 HDMI inputs, and built-in speakers that are better than you would expect, given that the monitor is massively thinner than the run of the mill (for example, it's probably 1/3 as thick as your average Dell monitor.)
Posted by: RickC at Saturday, April 19 2014 02:34 PM (0a7VZ)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, April 19 2014 03:49 PM (PiXy!)
Well, no, I thought that was covered by "don't need ridiculously-sized monitors like Pixy."
Posted by: RickC at Sunday, April 20 2014 10:16 AM (0a7VZ)
Except that the Dell I listed is a 24" monitor, barely larger than the ones you mentioned. For the first time, more pixels doesn't necessarily mean a larger screen.
Your point about quality IPS displays being much more affordable than in the past is very true, though.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, April 20 2014 12:32 PM (PiXy!)
Oh geez yes. After mentioning what I use at home, I'll point out that at work, they bought me some TN Dell monstrosity. It's much dimmer and the colors aren't nearly as vibrant. I'd pay more than $20 more for IPS, frankly, and when it comes time to replace my current POS box I might just ask them to get me something better if I spring for the difference.
Posted by: RickC at Tuesday, April 22 2014 07:43 AM (ECH2/)
Check out the seiki 4k at 39 inches. Not a super fast refresh rate but it's only 499 at amazon and is pretty great for coders / developers
Posted by: McDirty at Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:56 PM (9uMB5)
No-one seems to sell Seiki in Australia, or I'd have one already.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, April 22 2014 02:34 PM (PiXy!)
I will wipe and reinstall a couple of virtual machines that don't have user data on them yet, just in case.
Of course, while mee.nu was secure* Amazon, Google, and any number of other providers have been exposed to this bug to varying degrees for two years.** And the nature of the bug is such that attacks would not show up in normal server logs; it's a silent, pseudo-random data leak.
* Entirely because I've been too busy to migrate to a newer version of Linux and install proper certificates, not because of any specific virtue.
** It's been a busy two years. Seriously. I don't want to talk about it.
No clear evidence of that. For GnuTLS and OpenSSL, it's open source and the changes are tracked, so we know exactly who introduced the bug and when.
The Apple bug is a bit dubious, since the specific bug should have been detected immediately by any code analysis tool or even the programmer's IDE (it left unreachable code), but again, no clear evidence that it was deliberate.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, April 09 2014 04:04 PM (PiXy!)
I mentioned recently how iiNet have been periodically upgrading my internet plan for free for eight years.
This leaves me with this "problem":
daily usage trends
suggested daily usage
I'm not sure that my connection is actually fast enough to download 125GB per day. Never mind finding that much content that I want. I just downloaded every current version of Linux Mint because it was there and I might want to try it some day. There's only so many Linux distros and podcasts out there...
I almost bought a new monitor (or two) last year. I have a Dell U2711, and while it's adequate, it's not a perfect monitor (and mine has a few flaws that have developed over the past couple of years).
So I've been looking closely at Dell's 4K monitors. The 32" model at around $3000 is simply too expensive; I might be able to afford it, but I have better things to do with the money. The 28" model is a lot cheaper ($829), but it's a TN panel rather than IPS, and it's limited to 30Hz.
The 24" model falls in between - it's IPS and a full 60Hz, but half the price of the 32" model ($1449). But it's not all that big, smaller than my current screen. Also, it doesn't have a scaler - the only resolution it accepts is 3840x2160. I have a Radeon 7950, which isn't a bad graphics card, but it's not up to playing the latest games at 4K resolution. I don't really care about playing games at 4K - I played Mass Effect 1 and 2 on my current monitor at 720p, and that was just fine - but if I have a monitor that only accepts 4K, I'm kind of stuck.
So, none of the Dells are ideal. But Samsung just announced their catchily titled U28D590D, a 28" display most likely using the identical TN panel as the Dell model, but with different electronics. Samsung provide 4k@60Hz via DisplayPort, and dual HDMI inputs for 4K@30Hz - or 1080p@60Hz. Or, for that matter, two side-by-side displays of 1920x2160, if for some strange reason you wish to do that. It can also do scalable picture-in-picture with the alternate inputs.
It has a fairly nice, minimalist industrial design.
And it costs $749. Australian. Including sales tax.