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Comment author: Chris_Yi 27 March 2007 07:04:39PM 1 point [-]

Hal: I'd like to see a cartoon of a timeline that goes from nothingness to probabilities to subatomic particles to ... to humans ... to AI controlled sentient galaxies ... to discorporated particles floating around in a post heat-death universe...

...all claiming to miss the good old days.

I don't think I would say that the "good old days" belief aided the "hell in a handbasket" belief; I think they are one and the same.

Comment author: Chris_Yi 27 March 2007 06:34:57PM 3 points [-]

Now there's a sentiment I can get behind. That'd make a nice hachimaki... http://www.jbox.com/SEARCH/zettai/1/

I sometimes wonder about that: As you move away from a point charge, the electric field falls off as 1/r^2. Infinitely long line charges fall off as 1/r, and infinite plates (with a uniform charge distribution) theoretically generate electric fields that are constant, with respect to distance from that plane. Though you are moving away from it, its influence on you doesn't lessen.

Is irrational behavior the same way? One of the mechanisms that allows fortune-telling and astrology to "work" is the mind's ability to recast perception to fit just about any description: "Well, I guess maybe I waaas a bit selfish, I could have donated more to that charity. Gosh, my horoscope sure is accurate!" I wonder if there is some degree of that as well with regards to irrational behavior. Of course I'm not suggesting that it doesn't exist, or can't be identified, but I'm looking at the far off case: behavior that cannot be identified as irrational and biased through any kind of mental algebra at all. I wonder if such a thing exists, and what can be done to achieve it.