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slade19

Veteran Member
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About slade19

  • Rank
    Veteran Member

Personality

  • MBTI
    INTJ
  • Astrology Sign
    How rational.

Converted

  • Biography
    not much
  • Location
    France, but been in Egypt most of my life
  • Interests
    cellular biology, system biology, microbiology, neurosciences...
  • Gender
    Male

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  1. What we mean by eradication is "no functional virus remains in circulation". I say in circulation because Russia and America still hold on to some vials of the virus for entirely innocent reasons. Basically, it's not a public health concern the same way a virus that existed a few million years ago is not our problem and never will. Not every pathogen is eradicable. Plague is not solved because it's still around and can come back with the right conditions. Once smallpox stocks are destroyed, smallpox will be a memory because there will not be any around.
  2. That's an argument from ignorance. Based on what we know, there is no reason to think we will find a general solution to cancer, claiming otherwise is completely unsupported wishful thinking as long as there is no reason to think it may be. Using your analogy again: If you look carefully at the shape and find no hole that fits, assuming a yet unknown hole or that the shape you are holding is made up of two shapes somehow or any other unsupported idea like that is unhelpful because it gets you nowhere and you still have that shape in hand. ...... added to this post 16 minutes later: The plague is still active, even common, in certain parts of the world, and still untreatable if not caught early. What we corrected, with hygiene and antibiotics, is the mortality and ability to spread of that disease. But if, due to floods or some other situation, unhygienic conditions arise again, a plague epidemic can start again. Compare with smallpox, which we think we have eradicated with vaccination campaigns.
  3. Yes, using your analogy of the box and the shapes, your approach may end up working, but if I give you a new box with new shapes, you are still going to randomly try it out. If I introduce an impossible shape into the mix, you will randomly check forever, unable to recognize that it's impossible.
  4. Getting hacked is unwelcome and harmful. Now practically speaking, it relies on exploiting faults in the system you are using, and we can say, mathematically, demonstrably, that we can't guarrantee that your system doesn't have any. Your problem will remain in suspense, solution-less. The same way there is no general way to know if a program is a malware or not just by looking at it.
  5. Yes. The only way you can still claim that there would be no unsolvable problems, is by defining a problem as anything that is actually possible in the first place and we want to achieve. We have no way to know preemptively whether or not a thing we want to do is absolutely impossible or not, but based on the fact that not everything is allowed to happen in this reality, some of them ought to be. Edit: I am not hostile to you, I am just annoyed by your insistance on that idea despite everything that has been brought up against it, you first excluded maths, then physics because it had the same problems, then tried to take refuge in fields too complex to be that sure, like biology, all in an effort to keep holding to that idea. That idea doesn't seem to work, let it go. ...... added to this post 8 minutes later: Using that logic is the same as saying "there was a bug, so we restarted that person's computer". It's not a solution, it's a temporary workaround and hoping to never encounter the bug again. We are no closer to helping people with more severe cases of cancer. Those doctors helped him, they did not solve anything, because neither his risk factors, the cause(s) of his cancer or anything really was adressed. One instance of surgical removal working for a specific instance of a problem is not an argument for or against the intractability of the general case. It's not because your father's colon cancer could be removed that the solution to colon cancer is "remove it", people will still die of colon cancer.
  6. Using your analogy, that's like answering the IT's explanation why "hacking" can't be completely prevented ever by saying "yeah but you are so focused on the practical nitty-gritty that you don't see what my real problem is: I don't want to get robbed". That may very very well be the case, and I am explaining to you, in general, why regardless of the damage or lack thereof, we probably can't help you. There are benign tumors, and there are victimless hacks, but it's irrelevant to our ability to solve tumors or hacks. Edit: In other words, using the damage it does is definetly not a better definition of cancer and doesn't help us solve anything. Cancer could be normal and harmless, we still couldn't do much about it for the same reasons.
  7. @Chaotic Enigma The irony being that your entire question in this thread is exactly about a need to control, predict, and produce results (otherwise, it's not really a solution, it's a fluke). That approach of trying to better define cancer isn't really tried anymore because it hasn't worked: cells divide too much, beyond that, myriads of things can lead to that, and those things change in the same tumor. And often when someone says "hey, try my definition instead, works better" we find that he defined the problem away by tweaking some parameters so that the original actual problem is still unsolved but he nominally "solved it". You overstate the importance of serendipity over all the less glamorous hardwork that comes with science. You seem to think if we just look hard enough at things, the answer is bound to jump in our face, and seem to find actively looking for a solution and reasoning around a problem to be a misguided attitude. Most of science is not in fact random luck and actually relies on pro-active testing. Meanwhile, I see no reason to think that every problem has got to have a solution, there are plenty around that elude us, sometimes for millenia. You convince me, and all the others in this thread, that you are justified in thinking as you do, because from simple observation and logic, some things really are impossible. They may not be what we expected (and sometimes we thought things to be possible to later find out they are probably not) but they are a constant in our history. A law only works by forbidding things, and as science uncovers the laws reality seems to obey, we get a more and more accurate sense of the limits we can't hope to cross, and they are robust to all our tests, that's what prediction is about: eliminating impossible expectations from what we anticipate. If you really wanted to do that thing that is now excluded, it is by definition an unsolvable problem. Life is not magical in that sense because plenty of things can't happen due to physical principles,e.g. Godzilla would break his legs simply standing up. Complexity and unpredictability=/=lack of boundaries and infinite potential and that applies to Biology just the same.
  8. Why would you be surprised? If anything was potentially possible, "physical laws" would be meaningless. Undoubtedly, some problem will be unsolvable due to the way reality actually works.
  9. And I don't disagree with you, I am just explaining why your approach hasn't somehow been tried before by the multiple cancer research facilities around the world. ...... added to this post 27 minutes later: Ok let's try an analogy: you (and critical illness health insurance) are asking if you got an "invasion" and if it can be stopped. Sure, there are some enemy soldiers on your territory (and tests can tell you that with a certain degree of accuracy). Asking whether or not it can be fought back depends on the number of soldiers, their training, how close they are to your population, how adaptable and unpredictable they are, the terrain they are in... And you have high uncertainty for a lot of those. And the situation changes quickly because they move around, camouflage themselves (something cancer cells literally do) and recruit in your population ressources and people. All you can do is your best, and statistically, you get an idea of how effective you are at fighting back against invasions coming from different locations based on the number of successful invasions despite your best efforts. That's all well and good, but what your problem is, is the invasion. All those tactical details and success rates are accidents, contingent on the specific conditions you are in. Your actual problem is "I have hostile forces on my territory". The question "can I find a battle plan that will allow me to defeat them" is meaningless due to all the practical details. That's why the closest thing people are imagining to a cure for cancer is personalized medicine, i.e, putting maximum emphasis on information gathering for each case and treat it separately. But a panacea for cancer is a pipe-dream, not because the problem is ill-defined, the test is easy; but because the problem is complex.
  10. And the answer to that is based in probabilities for even more practical reasons: where it is, if it can metastize, if it is highly vascularized yet, and how big it is. And nobody is speaking of that kind of cure when they ask for a "cure for cancer". So I guess it was practical enough for the OP.
  11. Let's try again: "cancer" is a vague problem because cancer is vague. No two cells in the same tumor are the same, nor do they remain the same. This is the karyotype of a single tumor cell, with each colour normally representing a pair of chromosomes. As you can see, we have a mozaique, some pairs that are now three to five, some chromosomes are broken, some have fused together... And notice that no title is given, no "osteosarcoma cells" or other details. That's because it's a meaningless distinction for this specific cell, it's on freefall evolution with a high, severe, unpredictable mutation load that allows it to escape any treatment we might use against them. The only difference with healthy cells is that they function slightly differently, especially when it comes to DNA repair and internal checkpoints, which is why most treatments are potent poisons. And the treatments fail because they select the cells that have the right mutations to be less affected, or even not affected at all. We are basically fighting Life, as a highly versatile, dynamic, adaptive entity whose sole purpose seems to be multiplying itself. Embryonic cells are very similar in behaviour to cancer cells for a reason. Better defining the problem is not something anyone has an idea how to do at the moment. And better defining the problem, like "poverty", doesn't mean it's something we would know how to solve. By analogy with mathematics, some of the most simple conjectures and problems are the ones we have absolutely no idea if we will ever be able to solve them.
  12. "Cancer" is not a single well-defined process, and is different in every individual, let alone every tumor is not even homogeneous. You can't have "a cure" for something so vague. A major problem in that is that normal cells do not have to be that different from cancer cells physically speaking. I agree with his sentiment therefore. It's like looking for a cure for "incompetence", meaninglessly vague practically speaking. Control is lacking. There are plenty of behaviours and problems in biology that are very complex and/or non-linear. This means that continuously changing something may suddenly give you completely unexpected results with very little predictibility. This is an issue of computability in many respects, and the tools we have, while powerful, are myopic in many respects (for example, we average behaviours over many cells, and this hides all the intrinsic variety in behaviours, even complex ones like bistability etc.). And when it comes to engineering, we are not even close to the efficiency of evolution, yet even it has periodic failures (extinctions) and other unhappy circumstances. One example would be death; if you consider it a problem, it's unsolvable in the absolute.
  13. Animals have cultures too, and some of them are simply separated into different groups on overlapping territories (i.e, genetically very very close). Cultures evolve independently from the (genetic) biology, even though the biology of certain animals allows for the transmission of "culture" across generations. The same way the internet allows for content to be shared but doesn't in itself really condition the content.
  14. Didn't see it before. I don't know how you make edits without it appearing as such.
  15. What, the rigorous empirical study of a physical natural object within a falsifiable theoretical framework is not sufficient? This field, like others, uses Physics to make testable, falsifiable claims about a specific object's properties, aiming to understand it better. Isn't organic chemistry the application of physical chemistry to a specific element (carbon)? Why wouldn't the study of a class of objects be a science Monte? Can I study stars as objects, and planets as objects as well, or does that fall outside of science for some reason? Or take neurosciences, a field entirely focused on a single part of a physical object. I think this would be easier if you clarified what a "science" is to you.