• 14 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: May 31st, 2023

  • Muons are naturally generated by cosmic ray protons colliding with atmospheric molecules and creating pions, which then rapidly decay to muons and muon neutrinos.

    So in theory they could exist anywhere in the universe somewhat close to a star, if the relevant particles in our atmosphere are around that star? That’s what I meant about the density distribution: are they spherically distributed around (all) stars, or are they only present in very specific situations?

    These themselves then decay into a bunch of other things.

    I thought they had a small selection of possible decay products. Not particularly relevant to me at the moment, though.

    As you say, with a mean lifetime of 2.2 nanoseconds, they shouldn’t be able to hit the surface of the Earth, but because at relativistic speeds time dilation occurs from our frame of reference (or, equivalently, in the muon’s inertial frame, it sees the distance it has to travel be radically shortened via length contraction), they do end up hitting the earth.

    I mistyped the mean lifetime, it’s actually 2.2 microseconds. That’s three orders of magnitude different, but from a (non-relativistic) view it would still only travel about 66 centimeters. I’m missing too much information to try to solve the length contraction equation (I don’t know its length, or its velocity) for the observed length. I’m curious here because they’re able to travel on the order of roughly 50 meters into the Earth, and from what I can find they disappear there due to absorption from the many atoms they pass through on that path. So that leads me to a question: If there is not relatively dense earth to get in the way and attenuate the muon, such as if it were produced by a gas cloud beside a star, how far would it realistically be able to travel? Since the muons on Earth “die” from absorption rather than lasting long enough to decay via weak force, they would, in open space, surely be able to travel far enough without enough collisions such that they do end up “dying” by decay.

    Thanks for the reply, I am curious here about something that I don’t have enough knowledge to answer for myself.

  • Your comment doesn’t make any sense.

    The fundamental forces are physical forces.

    It is feasible for consciousness to be something like a force (more accurately, perhaps, a field) and as such it would be by definition a “physical” force. The use of the modifier “physical” on force doesn’t make much sense here: all forces are physical, as are all things that actually exist. It could be useful to consider the objects of consciousness as emergent, and the force of consciousness as fundamental; I don’t know enough about this line of thought to say much on that.

    Consciousness is not a force, as far as we know.

    That’s literally what the comment you’re replying to says. Emphasis on “as far as we know”. There’s no obvious way to dismiss it outright as not being a force, it’s just that as far as we know currently, it isn’t a force.

    I don’t personally have a well thought out stance on the matter.

  • the worth of the guns and tanks and other things we’ve been giving them that were just collecting dust over here?

    Use of reserves motivates replacement. Just because you’re giving them weapons that were produced in the past, and therefore whose (production) cost has already been incurred, doesn’t mean that occurs in a vacuum. With stock running low, contemporary money goes in to replenishing that stock. In effect, there’s no difference whether you send old or new equipment, because both incur costs in the present.

    No actual money was involved and so didn’t really cost us anything.

    It cost you exactly the amount it cost to produce them. Just because it was produced in the past, doesn’t mean it was free. You paid for it X years ago, and are only now seeing it used. You paid for it. Moreover, you’re now going to pay to replace it.

  • Tangentially related but I can’t seem to find the answers and I have a couple questions that perhaps someone can answer:

    1. Do stars actually generate muons directly? From what I understand the muons on Earth are a result of cosmic rays colliding wtih particles in the atmosphere.
    2. If they do, how far do they travel before decaying? Even if they travel at relativistic speeds, they have a mean lifetime of 2.2 ns, so the math seems to say they don’t travel very far at all on average.
    3. Either way, are there any other sources of muons in the universe? I’m curious what the muon density distribution in the universe would look like.

  • You’re not completely wrong but neither is the person you’re replying to. While the raw materials of construction may have an established supply chain, NPPs are unique in at least two ways:

    1. Each has a somewhat different engineering design to account for conditions of where it’s built; and
    2. Since the designs differ, the construction process necessarily differs and, due to uniqueness, is inherently more expensive and complicated than just building something off-the-shelf or standardized like a house or office building (or, relevant here, a wind farm).

    Raw materials is only part of the supply chain: there’s construction (as you mentioned), but also engineering and design.

    The expense of NPPs, including going over-budget and having to adjust engineering designs for new regulations, is largely because NPPs are regulated to “internalize” their externalities. Whereas a coal plant is allowed to pollute in gathering the raw materials, is allowed to pollute in producing electricity, and is allowed to pollute in disposal, and has weak safety standards overall, NPPs must be mostly self-contained and over-engineered for safety. If coal plants had to control all of their pollution, be earthquake resistant, be airplane-hijacking resistant, etc they would also routinely be over-budget and have delays, and have unique designs for each plant. Now, there is something like a plateau here, where at some point we will have decided on a fixed set of regulations, and common design features can be identified and re-used more than they are now, and therefore NPPs could become less expensive. But we aren’t there yet. Comparatively, we do have a practically fixed set of regulations and common design features for much of the renewable sources.

    Currently, other renewables get to benefit from existing supply chains where NPPs can’t really, but it doesn’t have to remain that way, and there’s reason to believe it will remain that way.

  • They’re obviously not fascist, and you’d know that if you were being honest about it and bothered educating yourself both on what fascism is, and on the realities of the PRC.

    Also, it’s not “state capitalism”. They do use a market economy in addition to a planned economy, as part of the overall socialist economic system. It’s not a binary either-or; using a market economy doesn’t mean it’s capitalism, and planned economy (intervention) doesn’t mean it’s socialism. They’re structural terms, and relate to purpose: capitalism’s purpose is to maximally extract profit and concentrate wealth; socialism’s purpose is to better the lives (materially and culturally) of its people. China, as a socialist system, takes advantage of the benefits that a market economy can offer (efficiency, competition, resource allocation, demand and pricing signals) but doesn’t use it to extract and concentrate wealth: instead, it uses the net benefits of the market economy to benefit the people. Similarly, a purely planned economy can be very stable and fair but is prone to stagnation and slow progress. By using both systems simultaneously, taking the relative advantages of each, China is able to benefit from efficiency and stability. There’s also no pure free market economy: every capitalist economy has degrees of government intervention (another name for planned economy), especially in times of crises.

  • Congratulations citizen! You have been awarded with a 600 FICO score for promulgating sinophobic nonsense. If you also prove that China is the Big Evil, you can get an additional 250 FICO score.

    I don’t think you see the irony in using the dead trope of “Social Credits” when an actual credit score exists in FICO and can be used to deny you housing, loans (and therefore access to education), jobs, and more. And if you think it’s just financial transactions, try looking at what companies like LexisNexis have on you that it coalesces into things like “RiskView”, or how much of a profile skip tracing agencies have on everyone. Then you have the profiles built on you by several government domestic (and foreign) surveillance agencies. And you have the profiles built on you by several big tech companies. Just because there’s not a single, unified, government-sponsored surveillance and consumer rating agency doesn’t mean the tangible effects of such disparate systems aren’t identical to what you claim happens in China (i.e., denial of services and access). It doesn’t matter if it’s 50 different entities controlling parts of the system if the end result is identical.

  • AFAIK Apple is the company that has moved to 3nm process before any other tech company. Apple’s camera are dog crap, but other than that they are streets ahead.

    Sure, but I didn’t say they were at the forefront in every facet of tech. That “just” in my comment you quoted is also doing some heavy lifting: they aren’t only (“just”) producing stolen IP-based tech; they are in part but not entirely. What I said was again two-fold:

    1. Not everything they produce in tech is stolen IP, such as the network hardware I mentioned (see below); and
    2. Since every country with tech manufacturing is engaging in corporate espionage, that is a useless metric to judge a country/company’s trustworthiness.

    Networking standards are agreed before implementation. It is not that the signal is stronger or there is a better reception. The difference between 4g and 5g is down to coding how the signal is sent.

    There is plenty of room for advancement in network tech that’s largely independent of the specific protocol it’s carrying. That’s why I mentioned Huawei in particular, because they have had some of the highest-throughput carrier-grade switches (that is, a single device can switch a much higher number of connections at a much higher bandwidth than alternatives). To simplify: instead of an ISP needing a dozen switches from a competitor to achieve the throughput of it’s supported bandwidth for the number of customers it has, it might need only a couple of the Huawei switches. And, frankly, it can be the case that a particular piece of hardware is able to put out a stronger signal than alternatives, for the exact same protocol (e.g., 4G or 5G); you could very well produce a consumer grade WiFi router with larger signal range, or a cellular tower with a larger signal range (yes, there are physical limitations to these, but we aren’t saturating that in general yet).

    This really is not the case. Companies look to steal tech not nations.

    Well as I said the USA as a nation performs corporate espionage on foreign companies who are direct competitors to a USA-based company. I would think other nations do too, but I didn’t look that far as I have more familiarity with my chosen point of reference, the USA, and all I needed to show was existence.

    As for how good Huawei is, how do you think they got the expertise.

    Once again, missing the point. You can’t steal tech that your competitor doesn’t have. If they were producing the exact same tech, you could speculate that it’s purely stolen IP. But if they’re at the forefront, as I’ve said, they can’t possibly have stolen it (else, the people they stole it from would also be able to produce it).

    Not only that but they are interfering in politics of other nations. They have a campaign to intimidate citizens of other states, right up to the point of kidnapping.

    This is blatantly false xenophobic fearmongering and frankly off-topic to this conversation. The original point was that it was irrational (fueled by racism and/or xenophobia) to flatly distrust Chinese tech. I mean, if you wan’t to play there, would you not consider the USA’s meddling in foreign politics, including having colonies, and funding and helping enact coups and installing puppets, to be just as problematic? To preempt, it’s not whataboutism to point out a double-standard: if you don’t trust Chinese tech for the reason you just listed, you also can’t trust USA tech (or really any “Western” tech for that matter). But if you aren’t so flatly distrusting of Western tech just by nature of being produced by the West, you need to assess why you are flatly distrusting of Chinese tech just by nature of it being produced by China.

    So no that is not racism. That is taking a moral approach to not trust a rogue state ran by a dictator.

    It is racism, because it’s founded in the racist notions of “Orientalist mystery”, Yellow Peril, Western chauvinism, and white supremacy. It’s hypocritical to take a “moral approach” to only one country; if it was truly a moral approach, you would apply it to any other country having the problematic characteristics you’re trying to point out. Also “rogue state” here is meaningless, and it’s not ran by a dictator (but I think you either know that, and don’t care, because it’s keeping with popular rhetoric, or don’t know that, because you don’t care enough to educate yourself and would rather keep with popular rhetoric).

  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    I hate this saying. It’s not explicit, and logical consequence isn’t bidirectional, but it implies that those who do remember the past somehow won’t repeat it. Which is blatantly false. Many people, even those who intimately know history, want to repeat it. Either because they think material conditions are just different enough to lead to a different result this time, or that the precise way the actions in the past was carried out was subpar and with tiny tweaks it would lead to a different result, etc. I do generally agree with the explicit statement[1], but I strongly disagree with the implicit statement.

    1. And even on the explicit statement I still have reservations. Sometimes material conditions are different enough, or the precise manner in which actions are carried out are different enough that those who know nothing about the past aren’t condemned to repeat it: what those who know nothing about the past do is only superficially similar to the past, and can have radically different outcomes. ↩︎

  • Right so that’s entirely meaningless. Read my comment again. I didn’t say they don’t steal tech, what I said was two-fold:

    1. Every country with manufacturing ability steals tech. Therefore basing whether you trust a country/company on that factor is worthless.
    2. There are some fields, such as networking tech made by Huawei, where they can’t possibly be stealing tech, because they’re at the forefront, ahead of all competitors.

    You took the one very specific thing I didn’t say in my comment (namely, that they don’t steal tech), and decided to just shit out a bunch of links saying they do. Yet, you didn’t address any of the points that I did make, such as saying that is a meaningless angle to look at this from.

  • This is why countries are banning use of their tech being anywhere near government communications.

    No, that’s also racism and xenophobia. They spread propaganda about supposed backdoors in network hardware, but can never actually point to any. If there’s no exfiltration, you aren’t “giving them access to your data”.

    I have zero trust with a nation that actively steals from any nation it can get away with.

    Considering a lot of Chinese network hardware, specifically Huawei, is at the literal forefront of technological development, continually developing and producing the fastest devices with the highest throughput, etc., it is false to say they’re just stealing their tech. They’re beating out all the countries you could posit that they’re stealing tech from. Moreover, if you’re basing your supposed trust in a tech manufacturing company/country based on whether or not they steal tech secrets, what countries could you possible trust? The USA steals tech through (government enacted) corporate espionage against firms competing with firms in the USA[1][2]. You’d be hard pressed to find any country with tech manufacturing that isn’t engaging in corporate espionage.

    1. Edward Snowden says NSA engages in industrial espionage ↩︎

    2. NSA is also said to have spied on the French economy ↩︎

  • I understand that. I don’t use any of it anymore but when I did I used the refillable ones.

    It’s just insanity to me that every single one of those has: a PCB, with chips (they have usb charging, and timing chips to auto-turn off, and a draw sensor), and a battery. Then the metal casing it’s all in. And that all gets thrown out. A reasonable sized battery and all its lithium[1], thrown out. Fully functional chips, thrown out. A PCB with a nonzero amount of gold, thrown out. And people go through them at a rate that’s just absurd.

    1. Each vape battery has somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5 grams of metallic lithium. ↩︎