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About SirJac

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  1. Perhaps modern progress is not as flashy as it was a hundred years ago, but it's no less impressive. We use to need most of the population farming in order to produce enough food for everyone, now only a tiny number can feed everyone with excess. Progress in medicine has increased average life span by over 30 percent in a very short time. Flying has become so widespread that people complain about it rather than be in awe that it's even possible. We've sent spacecraft to all the planets. For the first time in the history of humanity the absolute number of people living in poverty is decreasing. We all walk around with a device capable of sending a high quality video to someone anywhere in the world. All very recent progress, but we've become so numb to it because we are accustomed to such a fast changing world that the unimaginable becomes common place within a decade is normal. Progress would probably be much more exciting if it slowed down enough for it be novel again. As a side note, evolutionary processes have nothing to do with progress. Any connection is purely superficial.
  2. I would say it must be Venus, since it's the brightest object in the sky besides the sun and moon. Since you saw a shadow, it's definitely a planet, which discludes Betelgeuse. That would leave the possibilities of it being Mercury, Venus or Jupiter (Mars is easy to identify by it's colour). Venus is currently passing close to Earth atm, so it is at it's brightest and it should be more than half shadow. Mercury is pretty far and should only be visible in the morning if your extremely lucky. Jupiter is also somewhat close, but it would only have a slight shadow and not be visible until around 2 am. Based on that, I'm pretty sure you are seeing Venus and your app is having some troubles calibrating it's location and angle, giving you false information.
  3. Scientists try to convince others the same way they were convinced themselves. And to be fair, this is the only way they can do so. If they don't appeal to science but instead to emotion, they will set themselves up to be discredited and thus make it even easier for opposition to tar them as liars or frauds. It's easy to convince someone if your telling them something that they want to be true, it's much harder if your telling them something that they want to be false.
  4. Most likely. The developed world would have shrinking populations if it wasn't for immigrants. Developing nations have been experiencing the same decline in birth rates as they increase in wealth so it's likely that the world's population will start declining at some point. Most models seem to indicate that we will max out at ~11-13 billion people, which falls well below the theoretical carrying capacity of Earth given current technology (~18 billion).
  5. In my experience, the interesting times are generally quite negative. Growth is slow and boring while destruction is fast and captivating.
  6. I wouldn't say that it's one or the other (weak interaction vs entropy). Rather I would consider them different perspectives of the same thing, one a high level and the other a low level. After all, entropy is just a macro level phenomena resulting from micro level interactions. Depending on the specific question, one perspective might be more useful than the other, but both describe the same thing.
  7. It strikes me that this problem is strongly related to a previous problem Monte posted long ago; Seems that as long as the shape has a particular symmetry, it doesn't really matter what specific shape it is for either problem.
  8. I have no idea where you got that idea of intelligence. The word comes from latin meaning to comprehend or perceive. The original concept stems from the Greek word "nous" which is the ability under understand what is true or real. Where did you get the idea that intelligence is diametrically opposed to ethics? I have never heard any philosopher make such a claim.
  9. That is certainly a way that it could be interpreted, along with any form of affirmative action. This is often the reason why opponents of these programs object to them. Their supporters argue that they are in fact equality of opportunity in nature in that they are intended to offset the greater difficulties faced by those people due to factors outside of their control ie. being born into poverty. Issues regarding equality can often be fraught with these sort of issues since how one might interpret a particular issue can depend much on scope and what is considered intrinsic or extrinsic to a person with regard to factors that influences their opportunities. This is an issue that comes up quite frequently in education since it is the cornerstone that supports any form of equality of opportunity.
  10. There is no such thing as complete equality. What you described is a form of equality of condition, which is simply one form of equality. This is in contrast to equality of opportunity, which is what people more commonly refer to. They are incompatible with each other however, as to achieve equality of condition, one must treat people differently in order to ensure any innate differences are minimized. This violates the idea of equality of opportunity, which requires that everyone be treated the same and are allowed to benefit from their innate strengths. Hence no "true" equality can exist.
  11. I'm often proud of my students, their achievements and growth. I may have a role in that, but their success is not my own. I can't make someone reach their potential, all I can do is try and encourage it. My success is the success of the class as a whole, not any particular individual.
  12. I love the irony of a SJW calling someone a bigot. Occasionally someone on my facebook links a multi-page article/rant about some nano-offense and I just have to shake my head. As what befalls many religions, SJWs are the weaponization of an otherwise good idea.
  13. Some quick research shows that wikimedia went from ~40 employees in 2010 to ~280 now. I would imagine that makes up a big chunk of their rising expenses. Also it should be noted that they are involved in a number of other initiatives, and are not simply just maintaining the status quo. Wikimedia also finds itself facing lawsuits on a semi regular basis, requiring the retaining of legal professionals. Based on their financial statements, they have enough to go a year to a year and a half before they run out of cash. Seems like a reasonable cushion to protect themselves from potential disruption in revenue. All that being said, Charity Navigator's primary concern with wikimedia is financial inefficiency, so there is certainly room for improvement. But no one is making significant money, as compared to what they could make otherwise. The executive director makes only ~200k/y and Jim Wales has a net worth of around a million, partially from a separate, for profit venture. Many other charities pay their top talent far more.
  14. Then being a criminal has nothing to do with being in jail or even committing a crime. Plenty of people are considered criminals because they got busted for possession, but clearly that would not fit your own definition of a criminal. Perhaps you should simply argue about people who don't care about the common good rather than try to redefine the meaning of criminal.