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Not so much "moving the goalposts" as walking back my previous statement. I don't think that reconsidering my position in the light of discourse really warrants a scolding as a logical fallacy, but if that's where you want to take it then I guess I moved the goalposts to moderate my previous statement, which (if you go back and reread it) also contained a qualifier that a lack of math ability inhibited any practical understanding of physics.

Meh, po-tay-to, to-mah-to. I don't think I was particularly 'scolding', though. }|;o)

I suppose somebody can have a "slight" understanding of some very rudimentary physics concepts without understanding the math, but I certainly don't think that casual familiarity justifies the claim "I understand physics." Even at the high school level, passing an introductory physics course means being able to solve the math problems.

And when it comes to QM, even knowing the math is not a guarantee that one truly understands what's really going on underneath it all. Some of the concepts are totally inscrutable in the terms of the macroscopic reality that we inhabit. Consider the so-called "Copenhagen Interpretation," which basically boils down to Heisenberg and Bohr admonishing their students to just do the math, run their experiments and collect the data, but don't expect any explanations for the obvious paradoxes.

Well the fact that there are degrees of understanding does not mean that there are no extremes. That would be a false continuum. Those extremes are more likely to be found in more exotic, more advanced subjects, for obvious reasons. For example, I think I can say I have a good understanding of programming, a fair understanding of deep neural networks, some minor understanding of physics, a very small bit of understanding of chaos theory, almost no understanding of gauge theories, and I'm pretty sure I have zero understanding of Seiberg–Witten theory, since I just googled "obscure mathematical topics" and picked a term I didn't recognize without actually reading the wikipedia page. On the other hand, saying you can have no understanding at all of QM if you can't do the calculations sounds more like a false dichotomy. You can still know some useful factoids about it like "you can't know a particle's position and momentum perfectly at the same time", which counts for something. I would say that both the continuum and the extremes exist, but that QM has a much steeper learning curve than most areas of knowledge, for sure.

This is right on the edge of my physics vocabulary, so I wouldn't be able to give a satisfactory description. IIRC gauge theories are field theories that have to do with certain types of symmetry groups, where each symmetry group gives rise to a field with an associated boson (if the field is quantized). I couldn't tell you why this is the case, and I have only a very vague sense of what that means or what the implications are, but at the very least it tells me that the concepts of symmetry, fields and bosons are intimately connected, which I would count as slightly better than nothing.

That explanation doesn't even touch on how the gauge bosons and their respective fields interact with other fields to transfer their respective forces. But to be fair, you're not the one who bragged about understanding QM either.

Like I said:

This is right on the edge of my physics vocabulary, so I wouldn't be able to give a satisfactory description.

But again, degrees. Obviously the more specialized the subject area, the less likely you are to actually understand if fully or even to a significant extent.
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Health, Fitness, Nutrition, and Medicine / Re: EMDR
« Last post by fuzzyMarmot on Today at 09:30:35 PM »
Awesome! Thank you so much. I thought this might be the case. The mechanisms seem totally implausible. I appreciate you pointing me to the places Steve has addressed it. Unfortunately, this therapy seems to have really infiltrated mainstream medicine. A lot of addiction and mental health treatment centers seem to feature it is a core component of their programs. Apparently you can become a certified EMDR therapist.

Thanks again for the links!
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Forum Games / Re: Visual Counting
« Last post by Morvis13 on Today at 09:12:10 PM »
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Religion / Philosophy Talk / Re: Religion.jpg
« Last post by Noisy Rhysling on Today at 08:39:06 PM »

Even stopped clock is right twice a day.

How are they right?
They show the  correct time for that two minutes daily.

Yeah, but how are Christians right?
Didn't say that, I just made the rote answer there. I forgot the smiley. Oxycontin level way up there today.
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Religion / Philosophy Talk / Re: Pope Frank: "Fake News!"
« Last post by Noisy Rhysling on Today at 08:38:04 PM »
The point of this particular story though, is he's calling the VICTIMS LIARS.  These victims claim to know that Barros was aware of the rapes and helped cover it up and Pope Frank is victim shaming.

It is interesting how he will not accept someone's word on rape while he will accept somebody's word on a miracle.
I'm willing to bet that he just rubber stamps those "miracles". By his age he's probably got as much faith as I do.
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Tech Talk / Re: The Omnibus Sex Robots thread
« Last post by Redamare on Today at 08:11:35 PM »
What if this technology had some enormous benefit to society?

If it existed and everyone had access to it, pretty much the only reason to approach a person would be if you wanted something consensual to happen. There would be much less reason to use force and coercion. Even if you're a total sociopath, you'd have to appreciate that running off a pliable Xerox of someone is much less risky than putting even mild pressure on a real person.

Also it would democratize access to sexual experience for the chronically unattractive, the disfigured, those who are disabled in ways that make dating difficult, etc.
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TV & Movies / Re: Rate the last movie you just saw.
« Last post by SQ the ΣΛ/IGMд on Today at 08:05:59 PM »
The tension in such cases can never be the action or the stakes (because we know RDJ has signed up for X number of movies), its about whether or not the characters relationships can survive or thrive while dealing with these threats.

Agreed, but since there is so much focus on constant action, there's often not enough of that in these movies to keep me watching, and the wise cracking also ruins the more dramatic moments at times. Plus they dumb these movies down to make it understandable for a younger and broader audience, which also tends to make the characters pretty superficial and the inter-personal drama very generic.

Also I find it hard to relate to most of these superhero characters sometimes. "Oh, you're a hyper-intelligent multi-billionaire flying around in a suit of armor and kicking ass, but you're also a narcissistic asshole so you have troubles maintaining inter-personal relationships. I know just how you feel!"
This is why I absolutely understand people who are sick of superhero movies because thats what superhero comics are. They are basically pro wrestling where action is there to keep your eyes happy while simplistic interpersonal drama plays out.
I happen to like it.
But musicals are basically the same and I hate those.

It certainly shows the limitations that comic books subject themselves to because there are so many genres that could be explored.

I'm not sure it's just the fact that they're based off comic books though. I have the same sort of feeling with movies like Independence Day: Resurgence and Jurassic World. By contrast, I love Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but they focus much more on the characters and the drama than they do the action. They're just very well-balanced films.

And they make the action much more personal, as well. In Jurassic Park, almost all of the action is dinosaurs chasing individual characters that we're invested in. In Jurassic World, we barely get to know any of the characters at all and most of the action is dinosaurs rampaging through large faceless crowds. They keep upping the scale of things, but as a result the devastation becomes anonymized and hard to relate to and it no longer clicks. In the original Independence Day (not exactly a deep movie), we see individual people dying as a large building is blown up, and it's a big dramatic moment. In Resurgence entire continents are uplifted and half of humanity is probably wiped out, but I couldn't possibly give a shit. In the original Star Wars, they introduced each of the pilots that were doing the death star trench run and they show us characters we relate to at the Yavin base. The tension is palpable because we connect to those characters. In TFA, when the X-Wings are fighting their battle at the star killer base (still the worst name for any star wars weapon, btw), we know exactly one pilot, who is barely even recognizable, so that battle barely registers.

Filmmakers are not oblivious to this, of course, but the problem is that it's hard to make the story appeal to a very broad and not necessarily very mature audience while at the same time making it very personal. So they try to replace the personal stuff by more generic psychological trickery that is supposed to trigger those same feelings in us. The Russian family in Justice League that I mentioned was obviously this movie's attempt at doing so, but it was the weakest possible attempt I have ever seen. It was so clumsily done that it just underlined and emphasized what was missing from the movie.

I could go on and on about this, but I think you probably get my point.

FYI - Jurassic World II with returning characters -


But musicals are basically the same and I hate those.

You hush your mouth.  Also - AFAIK most musicals that are not about superheroes have dick all to do with wrestling.   >:D

I'm sure there's volumes written about the diversity of comic book material in the last 70 years and how its basically distilled to superheroes in the imagination of the larger public.  There's a number of movies based on comics that nobody realized because hey weren't superhero movies, From Hell comes to  mind.

Road to Perdition, A History of Violence, Ghost World, Men In Black, Barbarella (although one could argue that she is a superhero), Scott Pilgrim, The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky), one of my faves Persepolis - great movie and comic.  Another great one is Snowpiercer.

I will not touch on Anime because they are almost all based on Comics, and few deal with superheroes.

So yeah - 100% agree Ah.hell

Mystery Men?  :D
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Health, Fitness, Nutrition, and Medicine / Re: EMDR
« Last post by Tassie Dave on Today at 08:04:08 PM »
It was brought up in an interview that Steve did with Scott Lilienfield (a clinical psychologist and a professor at Emory University, and the editor-in-chief of the Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice)

It was Show 103 from July 2007
https://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcast/sgu/103
Discussion of EMDR starts at 57 Mins 40 Secs.
Scott Lilienfield seems dismissive of it.

Steve has also written about it on the Science Based Medicine blog.
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/emdr-and-acupuncture-selling-non-specific-effects/

Steve's summary:

Quote
EMDR, like acupuncture, is likely nothing more than a ritual that elicits non-specific therapeutic effects.  While there are some who may consider this a justification for both modalities, there is significant risk to this approach. First, the non-specific effects are often used to justify alleged specific mechanisms of action which are likely not true. This sends scientific thought and research off on a wild-goose chase, looking for effects that do not exist. Science is a cumulative process built on consilience – scientific knowledge must all hang together. These false leads are a wrench in the mechanics of science.

Second, the false specificity of these treatments is a massive clinical distraction. Time and effort are wasted clinically in studying, perfecting, and using these methods, rather than focusing on the components of the interaction that actually work.

And in the end these magical elements do not add efficacy. For example, as the review above indicates, EMDR is no more effective than standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Rather than getting distracted by alluring rituals and elaborate pseudoscientific explanations for how they work, we should focus on maximizing the non-specific elements of the therapeutic interaction, and adding that to physiological or psychological interventions that have specific efficacy.
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Religion / Philosophy Talk / Re: Superman and God
« Last post by Redamare on Today at 07:48:22 PM »
Seriously, can we not? Are you really having fun here? Just ignore him and he'll go away. He'll also hate that, which it sounds like you should appreciate.
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Religion / Philosophy Talk / Re: Religion.jpg
« Last post by Mr. Beagle on Today at 07:30:47 PM »
Humans are very naturally drawn to symbols, since well before anything resembling the religions we know today. And it extends well beyond religions to flags. football jerseys, etc. None of it makes logical sense, but it makes a lot of neurochemical and psychological sense.

So I see the various symbologies of Christianity as kind of a separate deal from the religion itself. Some religions like Eastern Orthodox embrace their symbologies, while classical Calvinists strictly limit symbols in their churches to an empty cross (as opposed to the bleeding Christ on Catholic crosses).

Humans also tend not to see any meaning n other peoples important symbols. Think everybody's university logo except your own.
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