Vanilla Ice Q&A

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by HippoCrushEverything, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. TL;DR
    Cyber security in critical infrastructure is the next life threatening terror; It will change warfare; Countries' ability to change another people's mindset (like Russia did to the Americans, for example on Twitter) will eventually undermine many Western democracies; The post-war decades relative safety and prosperity are over.

    Bit of a scare-fest, but it gives us something to discuss.
    SEABEE likes this.
  2. Yeah, I said "this one", as implying the current one. I thought I was very unambiguous.

    And while the Obama administration has some black marks (covert military operations, drone strikes, extrajudicial executions), they certainly tried their best to have warm relations with other countries, including Iran. And they certainly didn't get anywhere close to a full-on declared war with other nations. Same with the Clinton administration. The exception in recent times appears to be the Bush government, and we all know what he has in common with Trump, besides the handsome good looks and intellectual eloquence.
  3. obama was all about soft power
    trump has no regard for it
  4. i know it seems crazy
    I remember people always btiching about how horrible beauracracy is and how it slows things down and gums up the gears. but i think people are thanking god for beauracracy right about now.
    i think lefties (im not really an anti intel agency anti military guy, but i identify as left) are starting to recognize the point and importance of these organizations. Ostensibly, they have the security of the country as their foremost concern (and not neccessarily the happiness/freedom of citizens) and trump seems to be a threat to that.
    it will be interesting to see how things change in ten years when this is (hopefully) sorted out. Will the liberal media still be fawning of george bush? will these never trump republicans still be media darlings on msnbc and cnn? we'll see. it might have a galvanizing effect as we see the importance of both sides working for the good of the country again, instead of acting like liberal americans and conservative americans are warring factions
  5. anyone have any insight into the nerve agent poisoning on skripal
    you guys think the world is lying to blame it on russia?

    i see people online saying there is no way they could test it as quickly as they did or that they could pin it on russia
    but the UK seems very sure and very mad, and the rest of the world seemed to act accordingly

    some people are saying while the nerve agent cant be conclusively linked to russia, the nations who believe it was russia have access to some other intel (like sigint or humint sources) that make them confident, but they are unwilling to reveal why they are so confident
  6. I suppose that even during a period of poor relations, nations have channels to let the appropriate elements of the offended party to know it wasn't them (sharing crucial bits and pieces of information to aid the investigation, for example). Russia has very consistently done the exact opposite during the recent years. From Litvinenko's radioactive sushi to flight MH-17, Russia has simply declined their involvement while not really even bothering to cover their tracks.
  7. how does finland/finns like russia these days
  8. Finland doesn't really have an independent foreign policy when it comes to Russia. The major guidelines are determined in the European Council. Which means that relations are not that great. Repeated violations of Finnish airspace by Russian military aircraft and the circus in Ukraine haven't really improved those relations.

    As far as Russian stereotypes go in Finland, most of them are not positive. Untrustworthiness, violence and alcoholism comes to mind. Most Russians I have met have been intelligent, well-mannered and well-dressed, although a tad arrogant. That's probably because most of them have been from the wealthier parts of St.Petersburg.
  9. I wouldn't read too much into the E-4 flight. The E-4 performs functions in support of the VC-25 in continuity of government operations. That is, their purpose is to enable its passengers to survive, such that the "National Command Authority" (the legal source of lawful orders) remains intact and able to control the US nuclear arsenal. The total of six aircraft (four E-4s and two VC-25s) will be rotating around the US and internationally pretty much continuously, pre-positioning themselves to support the evacuation or transportation of the President and Secretary of Defense, or to accommodate maintenance. At least one E-4 has been airborne at least once a day every day since the mid-70s.

    One such aircraft is heading towards a warzone is actually a positive sign, since its purpose is essentially as a lifeboat and not as a combat platform. It means that a high-ranking official (one expected to be part of the National Command Authority) is heading to the area, and the E-4 might be required to get them out. It implies that diplomacy, rather than arms, are still the avenue being pursued.
  10. i have a vanilla ice questions since this guy is so into bio mechanics and stuff

    we all know evolution produces some pretty great and efficient designs over billions of generations

    what are more examples of bad design, like the giraffe, whose stupid nerve in its neck that goes either all the way up/down and back, with dawkins commenting that no engineer would have designed the system like that?
  11. Hemistage
  12. whats wrong with a humanish automaton guided by its steely boner
    if you were trying to build a human sex machine how would you do it? even down to the french thing
  13. It's worth remembering that evolution is locally optimising, not globally optimising. So if someone dropped you off in the middle of a hilly area and told you to find a high point, a locally-optimising strategy would be to look at your immediate area and say "I'm just always going to walk up hill". This will always lead you to the top of a hill, but it might not lead you to the top of the tallest hill. It's also worth remembering that according to evolution, 'fitness' is your ability to project your genes into the future, even if that means you're worse at everything else. (So ironically in the movie Idiocracy when uneducated / dumb people have more children, those people are, by definition, more fit).

    The evolutionary landscape is also not static like that hilly area above. It's constantly shifting and undulating, and you're just there trying your best to stay on as high a point as you can (because if you fall too low that means you're extinct). That means you can get trapped on these locally-fit pockets that are drifting really far from where you started. I think these are really obvious when the evolution of a grouptakes them from one environment to another and then back. Marine mammals are a good example of this, what with vestigial fingers embedded in their flippers (from their old hands) and tiny pelvic bones just floating in their body not connected to anything. The gymnastics that are required to balance the requirement to sleep with the need to surface to breath is all sorts of fucked - like sleeping one brain hemisphere at a time.

    But you don't have to go to Sea World to see bad local adaptation at work, you can go to your grocery store and just look at a chicken (and I encourage you to investigate this yourself next time you quarter a bird). Have you ever watched a chicken walk and wonder why it's knee is backwards? Well, that's because it's not a knee, but an ankle. And they don't turn very well either, they sort of have to skid steer taking many steps instead of just pronating the hip. Well, that's because their hip is actually a knee. They don't use their hip - it does nothing. The chicken's ancestors back in the day were dinosaurs - theropods like the tyrannosaur, actually. If you see images of a theropod, they stand on two big strong legs with their body leaning out to the front, and they have this huge meaty tail out back to balance their body. Well, when theropods eventually took to the air, that big meaty tail was one of the first things to go - they needed to trim weight. When the birds came back to walk on land, they ended up with the same problem as their older cousins - how do you balance the body well on your two legs?

    Evolve yourself a tail? No way, that's way too expensive.

    They tucked their legs up at the hip. The hips are right at the back end of the bird, with the thigh right against the body. This puts the knee near the centre of gravity, to be used as a hip. This also gives us our delicious drumstick, because the calf muscles have to do the job of both the quads and calves: it has to actuate both the ankle, working in place of a knee, and also the toes via long stringy tendons, in the place of an ankle.

    Unfortunately, you end up with people designing bipedal robots that look to biology for inspiration. They think, 'what's the fastest biped alive today?', and they look to running birds. Then they wonder why their robot is slow to turn and hard to balance. Meanwhile, there are purely-mechanical autonomatons with little to no formal control system that are able to walk because they got the hip and knee right.

    ETB4U and HippoCrushEverything like this.
  14. why walk when wheels/tracks are better
  15. In terms of evolution, or in terms of designing robots? From the evolutionary point, there's no easy way to evolve a rotating component. It's happened like, once or twice that we know of (the flagellum being the most common example), because every step along the way has to, on its own, independent of the final state, also be a local optima.

    But a point that applies to both is that wheels aren't better, at least not always. Wheels are great over even level surfaces, or surfaces close to that. But most animals have to be adaptable, and handle really rough or uneven ground, with roughness lengths on the order of their own body size. Have you ever seen a purpose-built off-road vehicle climbing rocks? You might see a human get out to spot the drive, and in fact, climb the rocks with ease to get ahead of the vehicle to get a better view of oncoming obstructions. What does that say about their comparative mobility? Humans can even climb vertical rock faces several times their height. This is especially true if a robot is meant to access areas designed specifically for humans - places that often include things like stairs and curbs (think about everything we have to do to make things accessible to wheelchairs, and then consider that robots are fucking dumb). The oil and gas and logging industries actually utilize walking vehicles specifically to access remote areas where wheeled vehicles would struggle.


    In evolutionary terms (and perhaps more in robotics as well as we advance), legs are super useful appendages. In fact, if you look at an insect, nearly every appendage they have used to be a leg. Legs? Legs. Wings? Legs. Antennae? Legs. Mouthparts? Legs.
  16. [​IMG]

    Oh that's fucking cool. If I was ultra wealthy, I'd buy one and build a mini city and go ape shit destroying stuff. Or rocket launchers and have my own Metal Gear.
  17. Robots wont always be dumb. Expert-level problem solving will come, probably sooner than we think. But not stuff being designed and built in 2018. Navigating human-designed spaces efficiently and safely is actually a very tough problem.
  18. Yeah, plenty of humans can't even do it. Look at *insert stereotype* drivers.
  19. what about wheels at the end of legs
  20. If you need a skating partner you can just ask
  21. So last night, Iranian forces in Syria fired 20 missiles towards Israel in an attempt to give us a scare. 4 rockets were shot down and the others fell within Syrian territory. In response, the IDF unleashed a bunch of hell on them, destroying a lot of their operations in southern Syria. This was a planned step, Russia was notified in advance and the Syrian army was strongly advised to stay out of this.

    Right now I'm hearing jet planes (not the civilian type) over Tel Aviv.

    This is either very stupid or kinda awesome. Hope this won't turn into a full-on war. Those are never fun.

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