Comment author: 17 January 2017 12:52:17AM 0 points [-]

This is pretty fun in a sick way. Suck it, pedestrians! I wonder how much their results will be skewed by people answering flippantly?

For the record I didn't mess with the test, I honestly tried to judge the scenarios, even though trolleycar problems drive me nuts. I swear if I'm ever in that freakin' trolley I'll run over the five kids on one track then go back and beat the other one to death with a shovel.

If a consensus emerges I predict that it would go "kids over adults, humans over animals, law-abiders over law breakers" and maybe "old adults over young adults" but what the hierarchy would be when rules conflict is trickier to guess.

Also interesting that they chose the emotive term "flouting the law" over the more obvious "breaking the law".

Comment author: 17 January 2017 08:38:29PM 0 points [-]

You have a computer researcher who is planning to pitch an upgrade to the trolley car system logic and computation systems on one track.....

Comment author: 17 January 2017 02:21:52PM *  0 points [-]

You get infall at speeds like that by falling close to the star - it is the strongest gravitational field in the system and the closer an orbit takes you to it the faster you go. Something falling from the Oort cloud to the surface of the sun reaches a speed of 600 km/s at the moment of impact, and at four solar radii away it is moving 300 km/s. Speed goes down with the square root of distance. Sungrazing comets do this all the time in our solar system, but they are for the most part smallish. The data seeing cometary material moving across the face of another star at that speed was interpreted to mean that there were large numbers of large sungrazing comets falling very close to the star at that point in that star system's evolution. Keep in mind that at the distances you are looking at, the entire star system is basically a pixel for most instruments so you are seeing the whole thing superimposed over itself.

When two objects interact gravitationally, the maximum physically possible delta V provided to a small object by the big object by a near miss is equal to twice the orbital velocity of the large object. From far away it basically looks like an elastic collision in basic mechanics, and that maximum speed is provided if it comes in and 'bounces off' exactly along the orbital vector of the larger object with an initial velocity of nearly zero. Planet 9, if it exists, has an orbital velocity on the order of low single digits kilometers per second and if it sent things into the inner solar system that 'elastic collision' would be very much not along the line of its orbit and impart rather less. The biggest thing that could impart velocity changes would be the other star and it would be passing through at 15 kilometers per second, at right angles to the radial direction towards the inner solar system at close approach. Furthermore, near misses would be exceptionally rare. These things are notable for stirring the orbital parameters of very slow moving oort cloud objects by providing a small far-away force for a short time over only a piece of its orbit and allowing some to approach the inner system on orbits with very similar energies rather than adding appreciable energy to the system.

Comment author: 17 January 2017 08:36:21PM *  0 points [-]

I understand this, and as a young system, you would potentially have a lot more rocks affected by the proposed gas giant, but as you also point out, any un-bounded material should have already been ejected from the system. It is difficult, but obviously not impossible to change parabolas into hyper parabolas to enable these kind of speeds, but they obviously got close enough to hit the roche limit, or simply dissolved like the Christmas Comet of 2014.

Planet 9 is also theorized to be near 90 d(edit:30d) to orbital plane also, so tossing things out where we aren't looking for them is another hazard in itself. I think the orbital plane of galaxy is out where Pluto is now, (because of the diffuculty of finding secondary targets for New Horizons was made more difficult by background clutter from MW) and 9 is another 40d around the orbital plane, so with a (edit:15k) orbit, there is not a great chance it is going to be relevant in the double influence scenario.

Comment author: 17 January 2017 07:35:51PM 0 points [-]

This is the big discussion of gold bugs, and bitcoin enthusiasts, India policy just upped the game, along with the negative interest rates in Europe, and the drive to ban cash.

What is really abhorrent here in the US, is the fact that the Banks get to create money by entering a credit on their ledgers, rather than the State actually printing money and taking the markup from paper to dollars.

Homeland Security just announced they are going to use blockchain to monitor their IoT sensors and cameras also...

It seems like money is a tool, and commodity to the average citizen, and just a gambling token to financial gamblers and institutions.

Comment author: 17 January 2017 07:26:20PM 0 points [-]

I heard Britain just passed a Robotic Rights Act, but only in passing, and can't find anything on it in search, except the original paper by the U.K. Office of Science and Innovation's Horizon Scanning Centre.

"However, it warned that robots could sue for their rights if these were denied to them.

Should they prove successful, the paper said, "states will be obligated to provide full social benefits to them including income support, housing and possibly robo health care to fix the machines over time.""

not to mention slavery, international transportation of sex workers, overtime, right to quit, etc.

anyone writing this up ?

Comment author: 16 January 2017 02:52:10AM 1 point [-]

Which is exactly why I didn't read it - and I'm not saying I'm going to read it either. I'm just saying that it's a neat example of how debating the terminology is, in many situations, the low-hanging fruit. I know it's mentioned in the Sequences, though I can't remember where. Debating the content of the argument is harder and, I find, quite often means reading a lot of boring things like white papers and scientific studies and reports to commissions nobody's ever heard of. That comes up in political discussions all the time.

(Though speaking of terminology, I think we should throw things at morganism for posting a link to a 166-page "strategic communication guide" and calling it an "article".)

Comment author: 16 January 2017 09:55:43PM *  0 points [-]

Yes, power point must die...science presentations are getting better, but NGO's still lagging on content.

Section 2 starts getting down to it, but starts incorporating the first workbook too ! (pg 37)

I thought the first paragraph on the landing page was pretty succinct in stating why it was "dangerous", instead of just hateful or inciting, as it encourages action against a group.

The article in CSM wasn't that helpful either, this is a very interlinked system, as she points out that defenders can also become targeted just from trying to protect the attacked group. Guess that is why there is so many points to deal with, tho they do show how to diagram it with just 5 post-it notes

Comment author: 11 January 2017 02:12:26AM *  1 point [-]

I think that events like this have happened before, many times. Question is the exact frequency.

Comment author: 16 January 2017 09:47:13PM 0 points [-]

Latest paper in line says 250 my lines up with extinction record pretty close...

Comment author: 16 January 2017 12:10:04AM *  2 points [-]

You can't have an oort cloud comet hit the Earth at 160 km/s. The absolute fastest that anything falling from an orbit bound to our sun (oort cloud comets being very lightly bound) in the outer solar system can hit the Earth is about (((1+ square root of 2)* the Earth's orbital velocity)^2 + Earth's escape velocity^2)^0.5, or about 73 kilometers per second. This is if it falls from basically infinity (oort cloud distances) to the Earth's distance from the sun, reaching solar escape velocity at our altitude (square root of two times our orbital velocity) and then hits us head on in our orbit. The true velocity would vary between 73 km/s and 16 km/s with most values somewhere in the middle. Those measured faster velocities came from comets that were falling closer than one AU away from their parent stars.

Granted that's only a factor of 8 in maximum available energy per unit mass (difference between 73 squared and 160+earth's orbital velocity + dealing with earth's escape velocity as above). Still, this has almost certainly happened before over the Earth's history, many times, on ten to low tens of megayear timescales. Slightly less extreme events would be much more common - events with one tenth the calculated perturbation parameter would be ten times as frequent and come every 1-3 million years. EDIT stellar mass lessens this argument a little, this star is relatively large and thus its perturbation parameter is larger than the average stellar pass at this distance

Comment author: 16 January 2017 09:45:23PM 0 points [-]

yes, i have no idea how a 25 my old star and disk could have rocks in-falling at that speed, seems like even a gas giant wouldn't do that, as Jupiter only gives you 30kps,(outside Roche limit).

Still, if Planet 9 is real, and starts slinging stuff around out there, there may be some un-bound bodies in the system soon enough....

Comment author: 16 January 2017 12:30:44AM *  0 points [-]

What do you mean by 'we have' 4-5 billion years? A lot happens in that time. Theres a several percent chance of destructive orbital dynamical chaos in the inner solar system during that timeframe coming from the eccentricity of Mars or Mercury, the Earth will almost certainly pop into Venus mode from the increasing solar luminosity by 1.2 gigayears from now (if some parameters are overly harsh maybe as little as 300 megayears and DEFINITELY by 2 gigayears from now). And amusingly enough if we have a longer period of time before popping into the runaway greenhouse, there is a reasonable chance of a carbon crisis in which atmospheric carbon falls low enough that it becomes the limiting factor in biomass production due to the slowing geosphere and increasing burial of carbonate rock. And the average mammalian genus lasts what, ten, twenty million years?

This being said, I again point out that events like this have almost certainly happened many times over the history of the solar system. Even if events like this are rarer than every few tens of megayears due to the larger than average mass of this star, the sun was only 1% dimmer a hundred million years ago. Runaway greenhouses aren't THAT easy to get going and I believe there is evidence from the KT impact that the atmosphere was only strongly disturbed for a short time, potentially single digit years. And there are large impacts not associated with mass extinctions, leading some paleontologists to suggest that they only are associated with mass extinctions when the biosphere was already strongly stressed by something chronic like a large flood basalt eruption. (I myself am partial to the idea that the KT event in particular represents an ongoing low-level flood basalt eruption that got kicked into high gear for a few thousad years by the more or less worldwide 9-pointer earthquake the impact would've generated, providing a double punch). The biosphere and complex life in general is not threatened by impacts.

Comment author: 16 January 2017 09:21:10PM 0 points [-]

4-5 gy is stellar lifetime that most astrophys guys throw out there when discussion of solar sys/Earth comes up.

I agree with the flood basalt/ volcanics postulation, i was never convinced they were extinction driver by themselves.

I thought the orbital danger was Venus, as it is still so close to us on perihelion that it has gravitational interaction.? Reminds me of the exoplanet system found with 5 planets inside the orbit of Mercury, we are a pretty unusual system...

Comment author: 16 January 2017 09:11:04PM 0 points [-]

"Even so, there is a lesson here about the ways that smart animals handle the stuff of their world. They carve it up into objects that can be remembered and identified despite changes in how those objects present themselves. This, too, is a striking feature of the octopus mindâ€”striking in its familiarity and similarity to how we two-legged types make sense of our world."

Comment author: 16 January 2017 09:02:24PM 1 point [-]

Is there a simple coding trick to allow this blockchain micropayment scheme into Reddit based sites ?