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sciencey stuff and astronomy type things.
  • i don't think i'm the only one interested in this stuff, HJ you like a bit of astronomy don't you? 
    i'm currently watching a live NASA webcast about the comet ISON, looks like its broken up on it's sun fly-by. what a shame it would've been cool :(
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  • I love science especially when its as "fun" as this

  • Cheers for the thread idea ping. But oops, I didn't know ISON had gone tits-up :-(

    I have a book called just 'Comet'.. by Carl Sagan. It's good but cannot compare to its predecessor 'Cosmos', which sold by the bucketload.
  • ^ i have a lotta love for mr sagan  :x
  • noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo i was looking forward to seeing ISON :(
    Just Keep Things Simple.....
    Love Goldfrapp.....
  • Great idea, Ping.  I was expecting ISON to disintegrate.  "Cosmos" and "Inside the atom" by Isaac Asimov both had a profound affect on me.  There are some other very fine science books by Sagan.  If you haven't read "Broca's Brain" or "The Dragon's of Eden", you should.  The guy really was something very special.
  • Oh, I remember reading 'Broca's brain'... in the late 70s. Amazing how someone can have such knowledge & expertise in 2 separate fields: astronomy and biology. If anyone could qualify as an "exo-biologist", it was Carl! :-)
  • I wanted to become astronomer before I wanted to become astronaut.
    I take the needle off the Technics and put it in my vein
  • Actually, Carl was all over the map.  He just had a mind with no boudaries and a rapacious appetite for knowledge.

    It's been about as long for me, concerning both of those books ("Cosmos" I tend to read every few years) and I can't really distinguish between the two very well.  I'm pretty sure that "Dragons of Eden" was about the reptilian ancestry of our brain, which is one of the main things we need to overcome in our behaviour, as a species, to act like more than just a reptile.  Sometimes, it seems like the reptile is winning.
  • ^much as I admire Prof Sagan, I find the "layered brain" concept seriously flawed. For a start, many birds (with so-called "reptilian" brains) have highly sophisticated social behaviours, including cooperation, parental care and language-based communication which goes far beyond beyond territoriality and aggression. Meanwhile, chimpanzees normal behavioural repertoire includes vicious social victimisation as well as the routine killing of other primates.

    There's also a philosophical-type problem in setting up a model of humanity which suggests that we will find solutions to our problems through suppressing or opposing an intrinsic part of ourselves. If we are always at war with ourselves, then how can we ever find peace with each other? 
  • So, what's your solution?
  • ^you'll have to buy my book, ww.
  • looks like part of comet Ison may of survived it's extremely hot (2,000+C) trip around the sun.
    i just hope i can get to see it in the morning sky (about 1hr before sunrise) in the next couple of days/weeks.
    Just Keep Things Simple.....
    Love Goldfrapp.....
  • whisperit said:

    ^you'll have to buy my book, ww.

    The interesting thing about your previous comment was thinking about birds and predators.  Most birds are safe from most predators, which probably makes for a very different situation.  Whereas, primates are the animal with close to the least protection available and predators all around.  Heck, primates (especially humans - in their natural state) can't even hardly protect themselves from weather.  Probably made us a bit paranoid.
  • Maybe finding peace with oneself is not what evolution is about?  The natural necessity for us to sacrifice our own profits for the common good of the species it not aligned with our modern world view. Nowadays we want to be self-conscious. Individuality is widely accepted. That surely could make one paranoid, but on the other hand, living in groups also provides us with many social activities and experiences that benefit the individual. So after all things are not always as bad as they look, are they?

  • No, not so bad.  Especially historically speaking.  Things are surely progressing in a direction that is superior to the past.  But, omigod, we're slow-learners!  And, at least to me, it seems we sure take alot of the branches on the path that lead nowhere.

    But, we should probably end this conversation pretty quickly becuase I'm not sure it is still on the track of "sciencey stuff".  Not saying end it here and not trying to get the final word but just saying...

    Well, in an attempt to take a new direction, I am so fascinated with all of the physics stuff that has been discovered over the last hundred years or so.  It's just staggering and about as close to paranormal as can be believed.  For instance, by looking at something, you cause it to do something different.  And, I'm not talking about people, that's easy.  I'm talking about particles, with some indications that that same would be true of the rock sitting outside my window.  If you actually read the heisenberg principle and the two-slit experiment, I think it would be mostly worded that you change the particles properties but I don't think that is really an accurate assessment of the evidence.  It is more a conclusion driven by the evidence.  Anyways, looking at something changes what it does.  You want one weirder, based on the same experiment?  In this case, using a gravity lense to perform the two-slit experiment, I'm a little uncomfortable with the conclusion being totally accurate but it goes like this.  If you look at something now, you change what it did billions of years ago.  The evidence is accurate, it's just I'm not sure how to sum up the accurate conclusion.  Then, there is quantum entanglement.  This one goes (and has been proven) that, if two things have interacted in the past, they can instantaneously affect each other over any amount of distance.  I'll tell you, I don't see a whole lot of difference between these scientific conclusions and what is proposed as "paranormal activity".  And, then, a newer one, so I have to be a little vague about it, since I am not well-versed in it, yet, and, besides, it's more just an off-hand comment by a scientist.  Anyways, there is something that has just recently been discovered called an amplituhedron, which is a geometric structure (basically a drawing of lines and squiggles) that describes quantum particle interactions.  These very simple diagrams replace some very complex calculations and drawings (to the point that they couldn't really be described) and help describe the underlying nature of the universe.  What struck me was a comment by a scientist about these very new (discovered in 2013) structures that simplify our understanding of the universe.  The rather off-the-wall comment was that, to him, these seemed to indicate that maybe our dimensional view - three physical dimensions (x, y, and z) and one time dimension (there are other theories with up to 11 dimenions (probably some with even higher numbers)) - was, altogether, the wrong way to look at the universe.  And, that, maybe, the dimensions really never changed at all but were fixed.  Well, I guess it's hard to explain why that statement fascinates me so.  But, if I ever figure it out, I'll let you know.

    So, there's my attempt to change the direction to a little more scientific bent.  I guess it's possible, if anyone were interested, to break this discussion into two threads, social sciences and physical sciences.  My guess is no one is going to care that much!!
    Post edited by Whickwithy at 2013-12-01 08:40:19

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