Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yes, but can't we still just accept it as plausible?

That's not how plausible works. I could say that I don't think that life on this process began with chemicals and random time like all the scientists doing real work on the subject actually think. But I think humans from the distant future traveled back in time and created this planet and invented the life on it.

Would you argue that is plausible and credible and open? Do you think there being no evidence against it or for it, is a mark in it's favor?

The answer really should be no. I can with enough special pleading make the claim that the moon is made out of green cheese something for which there is no evidence against. We know the density of the moon, well the cheese just happens to be very dense. We've been to the surface and found rocks, because it has rocks on the surface. If I explain away every objection with another bit of story I can get it to the point where we should find no evidence against the proposition of our moon being made out of green cheese in some kind of special way that makes it outwardly appear to be made out of rock.

Should we then say there's no evidence against the theory and at the very least we should consider it plausible and credible?

The actual answer is no. Evidence is largely defined by Bayes Theorem, and there are a few variables there for how ad hoc the hypothesis is and how much additional stuff you need to accept it and how good the alternative hypotheses actually are.

This is the case with Hameroff's theory. We should not consider it plausible or credible because it is stupid. It is trying to explain away a robust observation that our consciousness actually becomes aware of decisions our brains have made half a second later. It invokes utter crap that physicists and neuroscientists scoff in an attempt to explain these observations away. But, really we should just accept that those observations are true. The moon just happens to look exactly like it's made out of rock because it's made out of rocks. And our gap junctions have chemicals and only get triggered by chemicals and our brains consist of neurons firing in patterns because that's what we are, neurons firing in patterns. The truth isn't something that needs to be explained away with exotic explanations, it can actually just be true.

So, no. The fact that it's really absurd is actually considerable evidence against it. And the fact that the alternative is that what we see is what we get, and that explanation explains all the data that needs explaining suffices to say that a theory that needs to make thoughts exist in quantum fields and magically travel backwards in time, can go ahead and be discarded as wrong.

You may not solve the mystery of missing socks by involving elves. Elves are a greater mystery than missing socks. Socks go missing. You don't need to explain how because of QM they fell out of the universe and traveled forward in time and we'll end up getting them back. They really can just get lost. Brains really can just be a skullfull of neurons and chemicals. And the moon really can just be rock.

Hameroff and Penrose, nonsense²

Largely, this is cut and pasted from my reply to somebody on youtube about Hameroff and Penrose's idiotic theories about consciousness. It's really hard to explain how stupid they are but I fell I did a pretty good plain English explanation. And my blog is largely for myself, with the exception of the Trivia Bot parts that actually do a public service. But, I wouldn't want to lose such a nice reply so I put it here, where I could search and cite and rehash it in the future if it ever comes up.


There's no evidence that particles that pop out of this universe likely by colliding with anti-particles or generally just doing so went into another universe. We just know that at the very very tiny spacetime is broiling with fun pops in and out of spacetime. There's very little to suggest there are any other universes involved or that this carries any information.

There are a series of experiments which have rather firmly established that what we are consciously aware of lags behind by about half a second. We can hit a baseball with a baseball bat but the actual decision isn't made consciously, but rather the conscious mind is informed of it later, and fills it in.

We've also done a lot of experiments with split brain patients and confabulation. Where a person is sat down, they are told via a message on their left side textually to stand up. They stand up. And are asked vocally why they stood up. The standing up was decided by the right brain, but the left brain is being asked to answer the question and they will wax poetic about how they were cold and left a jacket in the car or about how the chair isn't comfortable.

There's also an experiment where a person is shown two small pictures of people and asked who is more attractive. After they make the decision, the pictures are switched with a little slight of hand magic trick and they are further asked why they chose that picture (the one they didn't actually pick). They will explain the decision at length.

We know this stuff happens in the brain. But, then Hammeroff and Penrose don't think it does. It's not a quirky weird thing about the brain that consciousness is informed later and confabulates the answers as to why it made that decision. No. What happens according to them. Is that your conscious decision from the future magically travels back in time half a second through the quantum field and something about gap junctions to have actually made that decision that it could not have made.

This isn't some amazing truth they've stumbled on that means that atheists are really bad at their jobs, they are actually trying to argue that the Emperor has cloths on even though he's walking around naked. When you get passed the fancy buzz words and the physics you realize the physics has the richness of the particles and the quantum mechanics and all they have is a lot of made up stuff about how Quantum Mechanics therefore Consciousness is real rather than made up. Even though there is absolutely no indicator whatsoever that it's either needed or real.

I wouldn't really go out of your way to blame ego, or insist that he's proved souls existed because he proposed a theory you don't possess the acumen to poke holes in or the desire to do so. It's really nonsense. The universe is not a massive conspiracy to get your thoughts into your brain half a second early.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Coining a New Word: Hypothetica

Hypothetica: like estoricia or Americana, are those things of the esoteric or American. For example, "maybe there were swarms of bees and that's why he hid in that hole." or "maybe if there were a meteor heading towards Earth" those hypothetical things are hypothetica.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Colorblindness and Maximally Distinct Color Palettes.

While I did bother to do a lot of legwork and effort to determine which colors are maximally distant the issue of color blindness was always on my mind. While you can push the list of distinct colors to a couple dozens (read left to right, top to bottom).

It seems that given color blindness, you'd really be better off mixing in a few things other than just colors. While you could just use a static lookup list, which is likely the best for color distinction, you might want to consider if there's a better way to do that same thing with aspects that are more distinct to more people, like dashed lines, thicker lines, candicaned lines, marquee text made to fit a line, etc.

You get about four or five really distinct colors for those with lower gamuts of colors. And while my list is still really awesome. You might want to rethink your entire idea to use colors.