Ancient Aliens

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by BillJ, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TIN_MAN, what sort of reply do you honestly expect to get from a post like that? Or were you even thinking that far ahead? I reserve judgement so far on what your intentions are in even continuing this discussion...

    But then you post things like this:

    ... and the entire rest of your incredibly long post comes into focus.

    You have spent at least four posts now pushing the position that Egyptology is an intellectually bankrupt field, that a narrow (or broad?) majority of Egyptologists are self-interested charlatans who are so dogmatic and elitist that they cannot accept contradictory evidence even when it's staring them straight in the face. You have every right to believe this, and you have ever right to state this opinion publicly.

    That does not mean that this opinion is worthy of anyone's respect. In my case, you have all but guaranteed that it isn't. Apart from the fact I find your blanket denouncement of an entire class of professional scientists vaguely insulting, you have missed no opportunity to question MY intelligence or to dismiss my questions out of hand, simply because I either had the audacity to disagree with you or to assume a position that doesn't easily reduce to your strawman of the moment.

    Are you under the delusion that you're progressing towards any particular goal? I cannot now imagine what that might be. You haven't accomplished much except to present yourself and your beliefs on the nature of mainstream science in the worst possible light. And if you -- who spent two pages denouncing archeologists everywhere as narrow-minded hacks -- are the kind of person who finds Schochs to be such a credible source, then you have not merely painted YOURSELF as a pompous ass, you've also seriously damaged Schoch's credibility as well.

    And you wonder why scientists of all fields are so dismissive of outsiders? The fact is they're not. They're dismissive of intellectually lazy, self-important amrchair scientists who have convinced themselves that they know better than archeologists how to do archeology. IOW, they're not averse to collaborating with outsiders, they are averse to collaborating with people like you.
     
  2. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    The almost infinitesimal degree to which ancient alien believers may be right (and this isn't really a case of them being right, but some advanced tech, like batteries, or some vague artwork on a wall, or some other advancements in tech that disappeared and reappeared, or even Nazca lines--in which ancients likely had balloon technology, and possibly used that to survey them) compared to what Hawking and others have claimed with careful research based on sound extrapolation is not comparable. This is one of Alpha's silliest claims.

    It's useful to see why Hawking thinks what he does in his lecture:

    http://www.hawking.org.uk/life-in-the-universe.html

    Titled life in the universe
    RAMA
     
  3. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not even my claim though. Much more to the point: if Stephen Hawking came out in support of the Ancient Aliens theory, would that lend more credibility to the theory, or would it damage his own?

    This is Stephen Hawking apparently not knowing or caring that biological evolution -- e.g. speciation and phenotypical change over time -- and social/cultural/political evolution are entirely different subjects operating on entirely different timescales and aren't actually related to each other at all.

    Try replacing the word "evolution" in that sentence with "sex" or "procreation" to get the gist of that concept. Hawking is oversimplifying the concept tremendously and then assuming that everyone else does too. He is, in other words, coming at it from the position of a layperson. Michio Kaku is another who does this on a fairly regular basis, apparently unaware that evolutionary biology is entirely different field from sociology or history.

    I missed the part where Hawking explains how the entire human species will have unrestricted access to this technology, how natural selection will be universally and permanently mitigated, or how humanity manages to make this technical innovation permanent even in the event of natural disasters, wars or other unpredictable upheavals.

    Remember earlier how I mentioned you were clinging only to the most optimistic projections of the best case scenario? This is a pristine example of that behavior.
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In fact, RAMA, here's a teaching example for future reference.

    New York Times: Exciting breakthroughs in Deep Learning.

    Read the article if you haven't already. Exciting stuff. Key takeaways there could be:
    - Improvements in patten recognition and speech recognition
    - Improvements in computer cognition
    - Considerable improvement in machine grasping of complex behaviors (natural conversation, learning from mistakes/trial and error, etc).

    If you get really excited about this article, there are two things in it that are easy to miss.
    Firstly:
    Second is even more important to what we were just discussing:
    I do not mean to dampen your optimism, RAMA. Only to point out that optimism alone is not evidence and that realism has to be accounted for. The painful reality is that the development of technology is often hindered by other things, mostly involving money. I happen to know that even the speech recognition algorithms that eventually went into developing Siri and similar apps were originally developed in the early 1990s; they took so long to develop into a working application, not because of limitations in technology, but because the original developers got swindled into a bad merger by Goldman Sachs and they lost the rights to their own technology, unable to do any meaningful work on it for over fifteen years; the technology wound up getting picked up by Apple and its development partners only after successive mergers and acquisitions steered the original patents into the hands of someone capable of using them.

    Point is, it doesn't take a big disaster or a nuclear war to forestall the singularity. All it really takes is one poor business decision or one greedy hedge fund manager to sign the wrong contract at the wrong time to screw it up for everyone. The putative sentient AI could end up strangled in its crib just because Cisco Systems decides it isn't marketable and pulls its funding at the critical threshhold of self-awareness; the team disbands, work stops, and Cisco holds onto the rights to the research data, unwilling to fund further research but equally unwilling to sell it to someone who IS.

    That happens ALOT in this business, and it's not something Singularity theorists even BEGIN to take seriously when they make these sorts of predictions (which is exactly why Kurzweil's predictions about speech recognition technology were so disastrously wrong). Until we get to the point where meaningful AI development can efficiently bypass profit motive without sacrificing effectiveness -- IOW, until/unless the SOFTWARE curve begins to show exponential growth in pace with hardware -- the conditions for the Singularity cannot be met. In this case, the obstacle is the fact that only a few humans on the entire planet are even qualified to do that kind of research and there are huge limits to how efficiently that kind of education can be distributed to people who are less likely to care about profit motive and more likely to develop strong AI systems. As I've said many times, commercial projects aren't going to do that -- there's very little market incentive to develop machine sentience of any kind -- but there a lot of places in the developing world where the development of supergenius artificial mind would have certain advantages, not least of which would be increased access to education (schools and universities require far more infrastructure and investment than pre-programmed expert systems) and dramatically increased productivity.

    Until we start seeing these kinds of breakthroughs coming out of the developing world -- or at least being directly shared with the developing world on a partner basis -- this isn't Singularity news, it's just ordinary progress.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  5. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    Seconded.
     
  6. Balrog

    Balrog Commodore Commodore

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    A wizard did it.
     
  7. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Yay, Lloyd's here. Now everything will make sense.
     
  8. Balrog

    Balrog Commodore Commodore

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    It's quite simple to accept that aliens visited earth in the past to help human development if you accept that the universe is, in fact, banana-shaped.
     
  9. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Told you.
     
  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    As long as it's a hyperbanana, I don't see a problem.
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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  12. Balrog

    Balrog Commodore Commodore

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    HYPERbanana?!

    Heretic...
     
  13. The Engineer

    The Engineer Commander

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    Ancient Aliens may be the best satire ever put on screen.
     
  14. Balrog

    Balrog Commodore Commodore

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    It needs a Quinn-Martin Production theme song.

    "Ancient Aliens - In Color"
     
  15. The Engineer

    The Engineer Commander

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    Ancient Aliens is filmed in front of a live studio Ostrich.

    HAHA!
     
  16. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SASkqWyn40[/yt]
     
  17. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, the Romans invented concrete - they even built harbours and large domes out of it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_concrete

    The Parthians (contemporaries of the Romans) may also have known about DC electricity, viz. the Baghdad battery, which might have been used to electroplate gold and silver:

    http://riversfromeden.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/electricity-in-the-ancient-world/

    Perhaps this technology was the origin of Alchemy if the knowledge became corrupted through secrecy and mysticism?

    Human ingenuity 2, ancient aliens 0.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Evidently the Romans also invented time machines, which would explain why Asbo Zaprudder's post is almost six months late.
     
  19. Immolatus

    Immolatus Captain Captain

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    they couldn't have done that bad they lasted over 1500 years
     
  20. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Contrary to rumour, I am not ubiquitous, although I do move in a mysterious way.