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  #1  
Old 07-18-2014, 09:06 PM
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Check this out, nothing to do with drumming but this is great stuff.

Here is an interactive graphic involving the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft which currently is closing in on a binary comet: http://sci.esa.int/where_is_rosetta/

Even if you don't care about Rosetta, the interactive graphic is a must try. It's not just a static video. You can zoom in and out, and even more fun, click and drag to move and rotate your orientation.

Here's some background: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:29 AM
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what on earth or should I say, in space, (sometimes I crack myself up) is a binary comet?
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:54 PM
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what on earth or should I say, in space, (sometimes I crack myself up) is a binary comet?
Two nuclei. Whether or not the two nuclei are even physically connected is the really interesting question.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:07 PM
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Awesome - thanks Jim.

My understanding is that the Earth is travelling through space at over two million kilometres per hour through space by the time you take into account its rotation around the sun, the solar system's rotation around the galaxy and the Milky Way's movement.

Moral of the story: no matter what BPM you think you play, you are moving FAST :)
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:42 PM
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Glad you made me look that up.

So our "armchair Astronaut" is now moving through 6 different directions and a combined speed of approximately 574,585 MPH
69,361 MPH Spin and Orbit
43,200 MPH Towards Lambda Herculis
15,624 MPH Perpendicular to Galactic Plane
446,400 MPH Orbiting the Galactic Center {or Galactic Spin Rate}
-------------------
574,585 MPH Speed of Earth within Our Galaxy
So for every hour you are away from the solar system, your planet is moving half a million miles, and in several directions…
Now if you want to leave the galaxy add another 1,339,200 MPH to the calculations. This is the speed the galaxy is moving through the universe. But THEN you really get into difficulties pin pointing you reference point. Details can be found here…
So you see… the propulsion unit is the least of your worries….
You better have a REALLY GOOD NAVIGATOR.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:48 PM
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Nitpicking time. We can't just add those velocities together arithmetically because they're vectors. We need to use a vector addition. Example: Let's say you're on one of those moving sidewalks in the airport and you're going to do a circus trick. The sidewalk is going 2 feet per second. You balance an extension ladder on it and begin climbing straight up with a velocity of 2 feet per second. To an observer on the floor you're not going 4 feet per second, you're going roughly 2.8 meters per second at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal. You can only add the magnitudes of vectors if they're all aligned, going in the same direction.

It really complicates the situation but that also makes it more interesting.

If they had graphics like this when I was a kid it's much more likely that I would've become an astrophysicist instead of an electrical engineer. It's like... science geek porn.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:37 PM
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I'm just thinking of the amount of Delta-V you need to construct an orbital solution around a comet... Crikey.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:59 PM
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If you play the animation from the start you can see all of the planetary gravitational assists they used. Planning that out has got to be tons of fun as well.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:42 PM
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Nitpicking time. We can't just add those velocities together arithmetically because they're vectors. We need to use a vector addition. Example: Let's say you're on one of those moving sidewalks in the airport and you're going to do a circus trick. The sidewalk is going 2 feet per second. You balance an extension ladder on it and begin climbing straight up with a velocity of 2 feet per second. To an observer on the floor you're not going 4 feet per second, you're going roughly 2.8 meters per second at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal. You can only add the magnitudes of vectors if they're all aligned, going in the same direction.

It really complicates the situation but that also makes it more interesting.

If they had graphics like this when I was a kid it's much more likely that I would've become an astrophysicist instead of an electrical engineer. It's like... science geek porn.
Cool link. You are not nit-picking at all, what you said generally sounds correct. Math and physics can be very fascinating. You'd have to calculate all of the components first to find the true vector. I remember studying and analyzing vector mathematics and the coordinate systems back in the day. Most useful in synoptic meteorology.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:36 PM
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It all makes sense now. I've got vectors in my back yard. They transmit and disperse fleas (eventually to my dogs!). My dogs think of them as squirrels.

Cool!

Vectors.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:17 PM
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Me thinks those are a different kind of vector, Victor, even though those vectors might vector to your pet with victory!


I can't help the vectors thing. AC electrical circuit analysis is nothing but vectors. I have to beat it into some of my students. As I always say, sometimes 5 and 5 is 10, sometimes it's 0, and sometimes it's 7. When you're used to nothing but scalars that sounds like crazy talk. Of course, we don't live in a one dimensional universe even though some people have one-dimensional thoughts.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:39 PM
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AC electrical circuit analysis is nothing but vectors. I have to beat it into some of my students. As I always say, sometimes 5 and 5 is 10, sometimes it's 0, and sometimes it's 7.
Hellllp!!!

Please don't start on S-Parameters, Jim, I gave up on them years ago. It's all smoke and mirrors, and I refuse to believe it. I passed a 2-week long course on RF circuit analysis, then promptly performed an alcohol induced brain dump to relieve the stress. I'm better now.

On a semi-related note, which is correct: hole flow or electron flow?

And how about this teaser - direct voltage. Is it really DC or is it infinite frequency alternating voltage?
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:57 PM
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Hellllp!!!

Please don't start on S-Parameters, Jim, I gave up on them years ago. It's all smoke and mirrors, and I refuse to believe it. I passed a 2-week long course on RF circuit analysis, then promptly performed an alcohol induced brain dump to relieve the stress. I'm better now.
If it related to the topic, I can assure you that I'd find a way to sneak it in. S parameter analysis has a special LaPlace in my heart. (Right. 3 people might get that joke including Smoke and me.)

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On a semi-related note, which is correct: hole flow or electron flow?
Answer: Yes.

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And how about this teaser - direct voltage. Is it really DC or is it infinite frequency alternating voltage?
Literally the opposite end of the spectrum. DC is not infinite frequency. It's a frequency of 0 Hz. We're talking serious bass here. Infinite octaves below low E. It makes the rate of change of air pressure due to weather systems seem absolutely shrill by comparison.

Seriously though, it works. If you think of DC as the limit of decreasing frequency, you can analyze all kinds of stuff correctly. For example, capacitive reactance approaches infinity and inductive reactance approaches zero, just by using the well known reactance formulas.

I think I may have strayed just a bit. OK, so I wonder- if the two comet nuclei are not in direct contact, do they revolve around each other in a sort of poly-rhythmic fashion?
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:04 PM
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Ever played Kerbal Space Program, Jim? I think you'd like it. It taught me basic orbital mechanics and it's very entertaining.

Those gravity assists are just beautiful. Absolutely ridiculous. The precision in those calculations is absolutely astonishing...
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:22 PM
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If it related to the topic, I can assure you that I'd find a way to sneak it in. S parameter analysis has a special LaPlace in my heart. (Right. 3 people might get that joke including Smoke and me.)
For Pete-Simon's sake!! Make it stop. (Recall aforementioned brain dump.) I'm a mechanical/dimensional metrologist. I can barely spell "RF."

µ, Θ, φ and σ are all Greek to me.

I think the two comet nuclei revolve in plain old cut time.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:22 PM
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S parameter analysis has a special LaPlace in my heart. (Right. 3 people might get that joke including Smoke and me.)
Make that 4 - I'm an electrical engineer, too!
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:47 AM
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Hey Jim, Dunc and other eggheads ... would it be fair to say that we are moving through space in fractal vortices?
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:44 AM
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Make that 4 - I'm an electrical engineer, too!
That makes you the third, unless you have a split personality, too.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:47 AM
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Ever played Kerbal Space Program, Jim? I think you'd like it. It taught me basic orbital mechanics and it's very entertaining.

Those gravity assists are just beautiful. Absolutely ridiculous. The precision in those calculations is absolutely astonishing...
Never heard of it but just found the site. Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:46 PM
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Hey Jim, Dunc and other eggheads ... would it be fair to say that we are moving through space in fractal vortices?
Not my area of expertise. We are rotating around a point (slightly outside of the Earth's core), that orbits a star that orbits a galactic central point that moves around another point. The local group of galaxies may also orbit or move around another point. Who knows what that rotates around? That's only assuming a four-dimensional Universe. The actual movement in multi-dimensional space is probably much more exotic. Add that to the fact that I'm only assuming a Classical model of physics and discounting quantum motion...

As of now, nobody has discovered any 'clumps' of matter more than 350 million light years across. The Universe also breaks down at the other end with the Planck length - a theoretical construct of the smallest measurable length.

This is only a hobby of mine. I can't pretend to understand the Mathematics of it all.

Jim, KSP is a seriously fun game. You can design and launch rockets and visit planets that are rough analogues of the Solar System, albeit smaller. It uses 'real' orbital mechanics, although the engine they use isn't perfect it's a pretty good approximation. It's also bloody hilarious.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:25 PM
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Hey Jim, Dunc and other eggheads ... would it be fair to say that we are moving through space in fractal vortices?
I imagine it's possible but who knows what the extreme scales will bring. As Dunc said, we are circling a point which is orbiting another point which is orbiting another point which I'd say is the beginning of a fractal, but a true fractal exhibits self-similarity at all levels of scale. To increase the number of levels, you could get on one of those spinning teacup rides at the amusement park, and to enhance it, spin around in your seat. Relative motion and scale can be fun to think about. It can also make you sick to your stomach if acceleration is involved.

Reminds me of that scene in Animal House where the freshman (Tom Hulce) says "..so that means that I could be part of an atom that's in the fingernail of some other giant being.." and it just blows his mind. Mind you, it's a horrible over simplification as the structure of an atom bears little resemblance to a solar system but it's entertaining none the less.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:18 PM
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Though I know very little about cosmology and astrophysics,the universe ,the big bang theory and that the universe is over 13 billion years old,and the earth over 4.5 billion.How does that not facinate the human brain.I'm also a huge Neil DeGrass Tyson fan.

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Old 07-23-2014, 06:14 PM
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NdGT gave a talk at our college last fall. I got to meet him at a mixer before. He's a lot taller than I expected and pretty intense. After the talk he must've answered audience questions for a good 45 minutes to an hour.

He is probably our top ambassador for science these days, a 21st century Carl Sagan. If you get a chance, go see him.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:25 PM
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I live in NYC,so the Hayden Planitarium is just a few train rides away from me.I used to go there quite a bit,as it's only a few blocks from my former precinct station house.I understand that the good doctor makes himself very accessable to the curious among us,especially to children.The man is truly a national treasure.

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Old 07-24-2014, 08:20 PM
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Cool. I was at Hayden once (drove down for a day of museum visiting). That's one of the things that I miss about living in a larger city- the museums. Years ago I lived in Rochester and I used to go to the Strasenburgh Planetarium practically every weekend. This was in the days of Laserium (remember that?) so it wasn't all star shows. We have a nice art museum here and a bunch of other museums not far away but I have to travel over an hour to get to a decent museum of science.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:22 AM
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Thanks Duncan and Jim.

Duncan, yes, who knows what could be going on in the extra dimensions of string theory if it is validated. Then there's the influence of dark energy on galactic movements (I understand that the galaxies are moving further from each other but the galaxies themselves are holding together with dark matter. That would mean the cosmic web remains but stretching outwards as the holes between strands of dark matter grow ...?

Haha Jim, I remember that Animal House scene. Many have noticed the similarity of the cosmic web to neuron networks, which gets the imagination going :)

Our existential reality sometimes blows me away with its weirdness - you look out there and it goes on forever, and we're hurtling around in this unimaginably massive void but we feel like we are still, hanging in the ether because there's no friction in the movement.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:08 PM
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Our existential reality sometimes blows me away with its weirdness - you look out there and it goes on forever, and we're hurtling around in this unimaginably massive void but we feel like we are still, hanging in the ether because there's no friction in the movement.
Here's a fun thought. It might turn out that the universe is curved into a fourth dimension at the macro scale (versus those extra dimensions everyone talks about being all curled up at the string level). If the universe is positively curved in a fourth dimension then it means that it's actually finite but unbounded. This makes sense to me on an intuitive level when I think about the big bang and the universe continuing to expand. Of course, human intuition on such topics is anything but reliable but it's interesting to think about.

The analogy would be to pretend that we're 2D (anyone read Flatland?) instead of 3D. Imagine we live on a plane. We think of that plane as going on forever but it could be warped into a third dimension. If it's positively curved that means it folds back on itself, like a sphere. So if we think of the surface of a sphere, there is a finite surface area but it's unbounded (no edges). You head off straight in one direction and eventually you get back to where you started. So we can visualize this 2D universe expanding simply as the sphere getting larger and larger. It started as a point and expanded outward, like blowing up a balloon. It's obvious that once we have the sphere, no point on the sphere can be considered the location of where the expansion began. Everywhere is where the expansion began.

Add one dimension to everything and we possibly have our situation.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:07 PM
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Cool. I was at Hayden once (drove down for a day of museum visiting). That's one of the things that I miss about living in a larger city- the museums. Years ago I lived in Rochester and I used to go to the Strasenburgh Planetarium practically every weekend. This was in the days of Laserium (remember that?) so it wasn't all star shows. We have a nice art museum here and a bunch of other museums not far away but I have to travel over an hour to get to a decent museum of science.
Laserium...how can I forget.The Ziess projector and all the smaller lasers,,blasting "Rocky Mountain Way" or something from "Dark Side of the Moon",on a state of the art PA system?.They still do it once in a while at the plantarium.

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Old 07-25-2014, 05:08 PM
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Cool. I was at Hayden once (drove down for a day of museum visiting). That's one of the things that I miss about living in a larger city- the museums. Years ago I lived in Rochester and I used to go to the Strasenburgh Planetarium practically every weekend. This was in the days of Laserium (remember that?) so it wasn't all star shows. We have a nice art museum here and a bunch of other museums not far away but I have to travel over an hour to get to a decent museum of science.
Laserium...how can I forget.The Ziess projector and all the smaller lasers,,blasting "Rocky Mountain Way" or something from "Dark Side of the Moon",on a state of the art PA system?.All the seats already in the inclined position.They still do it once in a while at the plantarium.

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Old 07-25-2014, 07:37 PM
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Here's a fun thought. It might turn out that the universe is curved into a fourth dimension at the macro scale (versus those extra dimensions everyone talks about being all curled up at the string level). If the universe is positively curved in a fourth dimension then it means that it's actually finite but unbounded. This makes sense to me on an intuitive level when I think about the big bang and the universe continuing to expand. Of course, human intuition on such topics is anything but reliable but it's interesting to think about.

The analogy would be to pretend that we're 2D (anyone read Flatland?) instead of 3D. Imagine we live on a plane. We think of that plane as going on forever but it could be warped into a third dimension. If it's positively curved that means it folds back on itself, like a sphere. So if we think of the surface of a sphere, there is a finite surface area but it's unbounded (no edges). You head off straight in one direction and eventually you get back to where you started. So we can visualize this 2D universe expanding simply as the sphere getting larger and larger. It started as a point and expanded outward, like blowing up a balloon. It's obvious that once we have the sphere, no point on the sphere can be considered the location of where the expansion began. Everywhere is where the expansion began.

Add one dimension to everything and we possibly have our situation.
This is a cool Sagan vid from Cosmos that illustrates this nicely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnURElCzGc0
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:13 PM
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Great video, Geez Louise, no joke, I still have the toothpick tesseract models I made in college. Two different perspectives. I also made some hyper-tetrahedron projection models. I would show them to people and they would look at me in a sort of wary way. My wife says I'm not like other people. I take that as a complement (pun intended).
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:23 AM
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Jim, if I remember correctly that's what the holographic principle is about - physical reality projected or reflected onto the surface by a more fundamental non-material reality.

I like the idea of the next extra spacial dimension being "in and out" (Freud! go away! :) to length, breadth and width. Growth and contraction. Dark matter and dark energy. Accretion and dissipation. Supernovae and black holes.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:37 AM
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Jim, if I remember correctly that's what the holographic principle is about - physical reality projected or reflected onto the surface by a more fundamental non-material reality.
Far out, man. "Hey, could I buy some pot from you?" *

But seriously, if we're talking physics, I have no idea what a non-material reality is. Reality is material, or at least our perception of it.

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Growth and contraction. Dark matter and dark energy. Accretion and dissipation. Supernovae and black holes.
This may explain why I have a bunch of Paiste Dark Energy series cymbals. I hope they don't supernova on me. That would definitely leave a mark.


*Tom Hulce later in that same scene from Animal House.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:13 AM
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But seriously, if we're talking physics, I have no idea what a non-material reality is. Reality is material, or at least our perception of it.
Au contraire, James. 96% of the known universe is not matter. Nor is information material.

Life is not material either, but a temporarily stable complex dynamic group of cohesive algorithms that cycle and process matter, energy and information. We are not made of matter but process it.

See Richard Dawkins talk: "Why the universe seems so strange" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1APOxsp1VFw - see this from 8:50.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:44 AM
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This may explain why I have a bunch of Paiste Dark Energy series cymbals. I hope they don't supernova on me. That would definitely leave a mark.
Worse things could happen...I love my UFIP Supernova crash.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:38 AM
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Never mind that, kids, I have the Gurus :P
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:37 AM
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Au contraire, James. 96% of the known universe is not matter. Nor is information material.

Life is not material either, but a temporarily stable complex dynamic group of cohesive algorithms that cycle and process matter, energy and information. We are not made of matter but process it.
Love isn't matter either but we're not talking about constructs of the human mind. And yes, we definitely are made of matter. If we weren't we'd have a damn difficult time playing the drums.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:26 AM
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Love isn't matter either but we're not talking about constructs of the human mind. And yes, we definitely are made of matter. If we weren't we'd have a damn difficult time playing the drums.
In Tina Turner's words, what's love got to do with it?

Life is a construct of the human mind and not a natural phenomenon?

Wow.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:19 PM
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Life is a construct of the human mind and not a natural phenomenon?
I did not say that. Also, I suggest that you might have misunderstood what Dawkins was saying in that TED talk. He's talking about our intuitive perceptions of the universe being colored by our evolutionary baggage, that is, what we evolved to directly sense. I agree with it 100%.

We can say that love or hate or jealously exist, we all agree on that, but we cannot measure it on a lab scale, we cannot take its temperature, determine its moment of inertia, etc. We might say, therefore, that it's immaterial, it's not made of matter. But that statement presupposes that they are independently existing things and this, I think, is part of why people are drawn to some kind of "otherness", something outside of the physical universe, to explain it. But love and hate are emergent properties of the human brain. They do not exist without it. 1 billion years ago, long before we had complex life on this little planet, let alone humans, there was no such thing as love and hate on the earth.

Regarding dark matter and dark energy, please note that we still use those words, matter and energy. We call it dark matter because we see its effect gravitationally but we don't see it in other ways (infrared emissions, visible light, etc.). So what is it? We don't really know, and that's pretty cool, but that doesn't mean that we somehow need to place it "outside" of the physical universe, that it's on "some other plane" or such.

If it's not clear by now, I am not a big fan of spirituality. I think all it does is give a different name to a question mark and then halts the investigative process.
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:14 PM
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Jim, the theme of the talk was that the universe is stranger than we suppose. He wants to invoke a sense of wonder and encourage people to think about the nature of reality.

So the passage was clearly an example of an unexplained phenomenon to stimulate thought. To quote:
"... think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren't you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place...Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn't make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important".
(my emphasis)

What he is saying could not be more clear. My previous comment about dynamic self-sustaining algorithms does not contradict his comments or any research work. It was just a way of looking at the situation and I thought the whole subject was interesting and cool.

"We are not the stuff of which we're made".

No, the atoms just come from what we consume as they flows into us, are processed and then passed out into the environment in changed form. A constant exchange of electrons. If we are our atoms then there is a new "you" every split second, never quite being the same as the previous iteration. That's one way of looking at it.

On the other hand, if you think something hangs together from conception to death that that something that stays together - growing and growing old - must be informational in nature.

I've been back over my previous comments and am buggered if I can find a single thing I've said here that's remotely spiritual. You seem scarred ...
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