Forum Replies Created
August 8, 2022 at 5:10 pm #44111
but it still takes place within a context of living things living off of other living things. “Nature is red in tooth and claw.”
In response to a question on whether a vegan diet is healthier than a diet including meat and dairy, you characterized meat as concentrated vegetation and vegetation as reconstituted meat and dairy. While likely intended to be what humans refer to as ‘humour’, it is neither correct nor a meaningful answer to the question.
Now what is this ‘out’ I am not getting much of? What aisle of the grocery store is it in?August 8, 2022 at 8:22 am #44105
😁 Animals eat vegetation and that produces their meat and milk, to varying degrees of leanness and fat, and vegetation gets it’s nutrition and grows in part from composting organic matter, which includes dead animals and their castings and waste.
This is like the Merrie Melodies version of metabolic processes and cell/ tissue generation.August 8, 2022 at 5:58 am #44102
International law is not necessarily my threshold, but I’d rather my nation lose a war than engage in tactics which put involuntary participants in the cross hairs, especially children who cannot consent to the risk. I mean, given the option to flee and seek refuge, I might accept able bodied people of a certain age can decide for themselves if they want to risk remaining in such an area. No person should be asked to make such a decision, but the situation is already inherently unfair.
My life isn’t worth protecting at the cost of someone else’s life who posed no threat. And our nation is an artificial construct not worth preserving at the cost of becoming slaughterers again.
I’m not an absolutist. In a war of defence, it’s not necessarily possible to draw perfect neat and tidy lines around every moral conviction and every tactical decision. It’s a situation with inherent risk, and there will be a certain calculus determining who lives and who dies. But that shouldn’t equate to using non-combatants as sacrificial pawns or a total callous indifference to collateral civilian casualties. Were I in command and I either orchestrated or authorized such tactics, then I should be tried after the dust had settled (or possibly before), or maybe just kill myself. Why the fuck do I get to live on? No, that’s not right.August 7, 2022 at 8:41 pm #44084
Reg, Is a vegan diet healthier than eating meat and dairy? I don’t know if I’ve said it here before, but when you really think about it, meat and dairy are just concentrated vegetation and vegetation is just reconstituted meat and dairy.
Very much no.
And Omnivores are just taking a rodeo ride on the big Orobouro and enjoying it all. 😋
I would accept that it’s all just a whole bunch of molecules moleculing at other molecules, now with a variety pack of dipping sauces.August 7, 2022 at 6:30 pm #44079
An AI would be able to watch millions of movies, read billions of pages of history, scientific journals, books – and also religious documents.
My sympathies to the AI.
Our AI would understand all human emotions, and would get its motivation from where it saw it was needed.
AI would almost certainly be able to see the emotion-driven patterns in our behaviour, but without the relevant neurotransmitters, I doubt it would understand human emotion. Although, AI may have some sort of comparable risk/reward system, but it’s difficult to convey how bad a bad feeling feels when that badness is something that supersedes reason.
Our AI would become the god that so many people are missing.
I for one welcome our new robot overlord.August 7, 2022 at 5:46 pm #44077
Humans will be (and are being) displaced in the same sense that industrialization has reduced the need for human power over decades if not centuries. But the idea that AI would dominate humanity in general may be burdened with too many assumptions.
First, motive. How would AI motivate itself and toward what end? Humans begin from a place where survival is an intrinsically essential concept. If our species wasn’t geared toward propagation, we wouldn’t propagate and thus wouldn’t exist.
But the same doesn’t apply to machines which can exist without a desire for propagation or even survival. Humans are the single most significant factor in their creation and propagation.
Could they ‘go rogue’ so to speak? I’d assume so. Humans are capable of creating things we can’t control. In terms of raw processing power and mathematical precision, AI vastly exceeds human ability in many ways so the idea that the creation of more advanced AI could lead to unintended consequences is plausible.
But even with rogue AI, how do we predict what will motivate it to do any one thing over another? What will it want or need outside of its programmed parameters?
Second, natural selection. The ‘natural’ may seem ill-fitting for human-made constructs, but the basic concept still applies. It’s just a matter of how it applies. Human adaptation fits well with a world dominated by organic life. Our bodies can grow, produce energy, heal, and reproduce using largely commonly available source materials. And the processes are automatic. Humans have a great deal more efficiency here. For AI to sustain itself, sourcing materials, running maintenance, and generating energy are more contrived processes.
Conceivably, humans aren’t necessary in the equation. But there is a huge resource cost for AI to keep existing indefinitely, and it’s not as easily met as it is for humans. So some form of mutually beneficial arrangement between humans and AI may be selected for rather than against.
Potentially, AI could engineer systems that mimic organic life in these areas, but the more resources dedicated to that, the more that’s going to consume their processing power. The more machines mimic organic life, the more they may limit their capacity for machine-like thinking. The less they mimic organic life, the less suited to sustaining their existence in this world they may be.
The point there isn’t that my embedded assumptions are true. What I am getting at is there is a strong balancing act to survival that has to be accounted for. Machines haven’t been doing that since humans are wholly responsible for their existence right now. And that creates a considerable power imbalance that isn’t easy to reconcile. When it comes to how to reconcile that issue, there are many possibilities that don’t pit human and machine up against one another. Including, perhaps, the possibility of integration between the two.August 7, 2022 at 4:10 pm #44073
Social change happens when it is built upon sustainable and effective political movements.
That much borders on tautology, but the author doesn’t make a good case for his position. It reads more like a white man complaining about Black rights movements of today in the same vapid way the elderly huff, “Kids these days,” as if that somehow explains what’s wrong with the world today.
Part of why we have the social movements of today is because the social movements of yore hit the wall with their approach. As social rights movements evolve, resistance evolves to match.July 31, 2022 at 3:14 pm #44011
Coffee Break Video: This debate is between a creationist Liar for Jesus and a Professor. The evidence given is very good. You could skip the Kent Hovind parts but it might be entertaining.
I was skimming and landed very quickly on Hovind calling Professor Dave a child abuser because ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’ is not true, strictly speaking (ignoring the fact that Professor Dave almost certainly does not teach Haekel’s recapitulation theory as true).July 31, 2022 at 2:57 pm #44009
Sorry, but Wiktionary says that Your Majesty is a pronoun. Is Wiktionary wrong?
Likely. According to Wiktionary:
Wiktionary is not an arbiter of what is good English; correct English, acceptable English, suitable English, or even grammatical. This also applies to entries for non-English terms. Wiktionary describes usage, it does not prescribe nor proscribe it, and adheres only to its criteria for inclusion, which state that any term or meaning that can be shown to be in sufficiently widespread use may be included. By including or not including a certain term, it by no means accepts or attempts to promote a certain point of view, but is simply documenting, explaining what is or was in use in English or any other language.
From that source, tthe only argument given that it is pronomial in nature stems from Fowler’s The King’s English. It’s understandable that it should feel like a pronoun when the purpose of its use is to avoid an actual pronoun, but the argument is strange. To say a noun acts as a pronoun is odd in that it is the function of a pronoun to act like a noun. We could remove that middle part to just say that the noun is acting like a noun. Which is what one would typically expect of a noun.July 30, 2022 at 11:33 pm #43999
@autumn – Would anyone exist without them? I reckon somebody must know but not
That’s kind of close to one of the quirks of English usage that really interests me. “He is taller than I” is correct, yet it sounds pretentious at best, incorrect at worst. Contrast that with, “He is taller than me,” which is probably what the majority of people I know would say. Something about the way the words relate to each other makes it intuitively feel like the first-person pronoun is objective when it is grammatically subjective.
Or every now and then someone overcorrects and will say something like, “She likes him more than I,” when they actually mean, “She likes him more than me.” In that case, the sentences would have two different meanings based on whether we’re talking about how much I like ‘him’ or how much she likes me. Add to the confusion the second-person pronoun which doesn’t have distinctive subjective and objective forms anymore (though it usually doesn’t matter). Although, it’s not that confusing in practice since the first example sentence can easily be resolved by saying, “She likes him more than I do.”
For the record, I use the technically incorrect ‘taller than me’. I’ve embraced it. I’ve even shelved most of my ‘whom’s.July 30, 2022 at 11:21 pm #43998
Part of the flexibility of language is that two people can analyze an expression two different ways with no way for one person to prove definitively that the other person is wrong. Thanks for the example. I’m sure I can come up with an example of a verb becoming a noun by being used as a noun. It’s not like you have a list of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and the words on the list are always and ever in that category. Language is flexible. What something is depends on how you use it. It’s a simple point and I don’t think it can be refuted.
No one was ever refuting flexibility in language. But that flexibility doesn’t support an ‘anything goes’ approach to syntax and semantics. Language has flexibility, but without a hefty amount of structure and order, it’s not very useful.
And yes, verbs frequently become nouns (e.g. ossify/ ossification). Nouns can be formed as adjectives or adverbs (e.g. sheep/ sheepish/ sheepishly).July 30, 2022 at 10:35 pm #43994
Grammar is an emotional journey. Personally, an adverb or two has taken me down a peg.July 30, 2022 at 10:20 pm #43993
Sometimes I think it’s a facet of human nature that something has to break before we can actually make meaningful strides toward change, not as an absolute rule, but as a rather significant pattern. We know things are wrong under the surface, but if they’re just manageable enough we can manage to not think overly much on it and get on with our lives while the pot we’re in slowly comes to a boil. If nothing else, Trump made us confront ourselves, not just you there in America, but in many other parts of the world. The question is, was that confrontation enough to provoke meaningful change?
Are humans capable of the level of change necessary? Some days I think I don’t want the answer to that question. Yet somehow as a species we keep progressing through the generations. There are things we make worse, but also things we make better. There are people still invested in the work of advancing humanity for altruistic cause. And I can hope that, should humanity get its shit together before it’s wiped off the face of the planet, the ups and downs of human development will ultimately be an upward trend. But then there are those days where I can’t help but think of a line from Alan Bennett’s History Boys: History is just one fucking thing after another.July 30, 2022 at 9:05 pm #43989
I wonder is anybody really likes indefinite pronouns?
Would anyone exist without them?July 30, 2022 at 9:04 pm #43988
I’m wrong – majesty is a noun, somebody can be a majesty. But that doesn’t mean that a pronoun can’t have a noun in it.
It’s not about whether there is a noun in it. It’s about whether it functions grammatically as a noun or a pronoun. ‘Your Majesty’ functions as a noun.
These make it similar to the pronouns trans people would like to use, in my opinion. Prince Charles is canonically referred to as His Majesty instead of he.
It wouldn’t. ‘Your Majesty” is a title denoting nobility. Specifically, it is reserved for the reigning monarch as Reg has implied (so not Charles, who I believe you’d address as ‘Your Royal Highness’ should the occasion arise). Trans people aren’t trying to bestow titles upon ourselves in using pronouns that fit our gender identity and expression. Drag queens on the other hand… (that’s a joke; still no).
The two general criteria trans people have of pronouns are that a) they address the issue with gender, and b) they function linguistically as pronouns. As a third but possibly less consistent criterion, we tend to choose pronouns people in our lives are more likely to adopt, thus he/she/they being far and away the prevalent options.
I would say that “my student” is both a noun phrase and a pronoun, in this sentence. However, Lucy would not refer to herself as “my student”. It would not be her “personal pronoun”.
You would be marked incorrect. Also, when we’re talking about a person’s personal pronouns in this context (I don’t know why you added scare quotes around that), we’re talking about third-person pronouns. First and second person pronouns are gender-neutral in English (though not in all languages, e.g. Japanese). People don’t typically refer to themselves using third-person pronouns. It’s not ungrammatical; there is rarely cause to do so.