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Author Topic: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)  (Read 20282 times)

scourge728

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #420 on: February 23, 2019, 01:24:34 pm »

Why is everyone in that article of the opinion that enhancing the human brain is a bad thing? It seems like an amazing idea to me

Hanslanda

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #421 on: February 23, 2019, 01:26:08 pm »

Why is everyone in that article of the opinion that enhancing the human brain is a bad thing? It seems like an amazing idea to me

This. Obviously we shouldn't do it randomly and without care, but making the species better would be a good thing...
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #422 on: February 23, 2019, 01:32:26 pm »

I hear they're hiring at Gattaca again.
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Hanslanda

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #423 on: February 23, 2019, 01:35:46 pm »

The bad guys in that movie were his parents.
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Well, we could put two and two together and write a book: "The Shit that Hans and Max Did: You Won't Believe This Shit."
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Telgin

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #424 on: February 23, 2019, 07:30:31 pm »

Why is everyone in that article of the opinion that enhancing the human brain is a bad thing? It seems like an amazing idea to me

This. Obviously we shouldn't do it randomly and without care, but making the species better would be a good thing...

Yeah, I think we should try to improve our species but we've got a long way to go before we can do it ethically.  We've got to make sure edits we make work as intended and actually improve things, and also that it doesn't become a thing that the have-nots never get because they can't afford it.  Things like that.
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Kagus

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #425 on: February 23, 2019, 07:38:21 pm »

Why is everyone in that article of the opinion that enhancing the human brain is a bad thing? It seems like an amazing idea to me

This. Obviously we shouldn't do it randomly and without care, but making the species better would be a good thing...

Yeah, I think we should try to improve our species but we've got a long way to go before we can do it ethically.  We've got to make sure edits we make work as intended and actually improve things, and also that it doesn't become a thing that the have-nots never get because they can't afford it.  Things like that.

Pretty much. Socialism babies rather than designer babies.


...actually, I just remembered an audiobook I listened to a long time ago that had similar themes; someone had engineered a "superior" form of human and then set them loose after basically nuking the world to make way for the new strain.

One of the improvements he made was to pare down on the ambiguity of modern human sexuality and courtship. Instead, his new humans would simply sing loudly while their genitals swelled and turned bright blue (something very obvious, as his enhancements also made clothes unnecessary for these inheritors of the earth).


Very interesting book. Can't remember the title. Author included some passages about a video game, while clearly having no idea how video games function.

Starver

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #426 on: February 23, 2019, 08:57:21 pm »

I recall a book I read (late '70s, early '80s) in which an individual had a spontaneous mutation that gave him something like particularly aggressive sperm in acid seminal fluid and a 'repackaged' penis (possibly a penile/vaginal combo?) that in all but the most deliberate circumstances made rape (of males, as exclusive preference I think) fatal. When done carefully, though, the introduced genetic material would transform (Crispr-ise?) the recipient into a compatible aggressively-biological hermaphroditic member of the new mutation (now capable of safe mutual impregnation to conceive 'natuural' nu-numans).

This book was from the library, the few shelves of sci-fi/fantasy shelves between the children's section and the mainstream adult fiction room, which I was totally devouring at the time (where I encountered the first couple of Discworld novels, and got hooked*). I suppose it (the shelving) was aimed at what these days would be termed Young Adult. Which doesn't explain how on Earth such a blatantly homoerotically-themed novel found itself within easy reach of unsuspecting readers of delicate ages. One assumes it never survived Clause 28, if it even survived long enough for that without some more prudish reader complaining about it.

(I'd been crossing the corridor into the (age-wise) adult sections of the library for years before I was actually adult - there weren't any borrowing restrictions such as adult/child-specific library tickets. But I'd taken far too long to discover the interesting shelves with the SF on them.)


But as this is the Science thread and not a Reading Matters or Sexuality thread, maybe you could pick holes in the whole fully-formed in-vivo Horizontal Gene Transfer mechanism (and delivery system!) somehow evolving into reality in a single birth. Without deliberate (and competent?) design behind it.



* Plus L Ron Hubbard's fictional works, like the Mission Earth decalogy. Which had some of Elron's stranger ideas I later heard had been ploughed into his 'church' (see also Battlefield Earth) but also some rather extreme scenes of perversion that I probably shouldn't describe beyond the "Earth prostitute becomes sex-tutor on alien world" and "mad (alien) plastic surgeon basically creates human(sic) centipedes", because both those are dodgier than I've actually explained them.  Anyway, all that livened my reading list up, certainly. Better than Piers Anthonthy.
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Max™

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #427 on: February 23, 2019, 11:29:22 pm »

I think you're probably the first and only person to ever make any sort of remotely positive comparison between Hubbard and Anthony and I am baffled because I can't figure out the metacontext in which this makes sense as some sort of ironic joke. I mean Anthony got cheesy as hell at times but nobody compares to someone who failed at writing so hard he decided to start scamming people into joining a cult to make money.

As for science, and science fiction, it's hard to explain exactly why this gives me a feeling like we just unlocked a gamebreaking tech tree: Running an LED in reverse to cool electronics.

That combined with straintronics seems like a great area to invest development points.
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Egan_BW

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #428 on: February 23, 2019, 11:37:08 pm »

oh yeah just hook it up backwards and it does the opposite of what it normally does neat huh
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Ispil

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #429 on: February 23, 2019, 11:40:37 pm »

...y'know, that's one of those things that just seems so stupidly obvious but is actually not, that you're baffled when it actually works that way.

It's cartoon logic goddammit.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 11:43:04 pm by Ispil »
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wierd

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #430 on: February 23, 2019, 11:53:14 pm »

The "over unity" LED is kinda old news though.

(Basically, uses thermal oscillations at JUST under the band-gap energy applied, so that the thermal oscillations provide the energy to kick the electron over, and then emit the photon. This results in more photons generated than can be attributed to the energy applied, along with local cooling of the environment.)

It has some potential in some applications, but since it predominantly emits low-energy photons, its applicability is kinda low.  It might be useful for radiative cooling on a spacecraft or something though.


It's possible that running the LED backwards like this is just the same phenomena as above but with a higher bandgap to overcome.  I would expect it to destroy the LED over time though due to dopant migration.  The "over unity" method would work for very extended period.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 12:03:21 am by wierd »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #431 on: February 24, 2019, 02:47:04 am »

Very interesting book. Can't remember the title.
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood. She's generally good.
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Max™

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #432 on: February 24, 2019, 08:53:52 pm »

The "over unity" LED is kinda old news though.

(Basically, uses thermal oscillations at JUST under the band-gap energy applied, so that the thermal oscillations provide the energy to kick the electron over, and then emit the photon. This results in more photons generated than can be attributed to the energy applied, along with local cooling of the environment.)

It has some potential in some applications, but since it predominantly emits low-energy photons, its applicability is kinda low.  It might be useful for radiative cooling on a spacecraft or something though.


It's possible that running the LED backwards like this is just the same phenomena as above but with a higher bandgap to overcome.  I would expect it to destroy the LED over time though due to dopant migration.  The "over unity" method would work for very extended period.
Different thing, this is literally cooling something by having a DEL close enough that any infrared photons emitted end up absorbed and pushing electrons back the wrong way.
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The VectorCurses+1 tileset strikes the square set and the severed part sails off in an arc!

wierd

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #433 on: May 01, 2019, 03:20:17 am »

Microscopic (and basically useless) robots are now a thing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/30/science/microbots-robots-silicon-wafer.html

Got some ways to go before this has any real practical application, but the research has produced "mobile" flipper bots out of thin silicon slices.  Paramecium is pretty large though, so keep that in mind.
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Greiger

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #434 on: May 01, 2019, 04:31:15 am »

Pfft the government has been putting those in your water to control your minds for decades.  They are constantly fighting with the microbots corporations put in your food to make you impulse buy, and our own microbots from the chemtrails that we use to mess with your brains and make it so that you are incapable of visually or tactility processing our tails or scales so we appear human.
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