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RossD
RossD MegaDork
8/20/18 8:01 a.m.

I bought Dune at the airport not knowing anything about the story. It was a good read. I had fun and found myself picking up the book when I normally would have turned on the tv. I did look at the movie trailer online and... it looks really dated from a special effects aspect. Slightly disappointed; Star Wars IV set the bar really high didn't it?

I just bought Artemis but need to start it.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
8/20/18 8:09 a.m.

Mentioned in a thread on here a couple of weeks ago. 

Flynlow
Flynlow HalfDork
8/20/18 10:19 a.m.

The Dresden Files.

I started with Cold Days, one of the later books in the series, picked up as a random on the shelf at the library.  Very, very good.  Went back to the beginning and enjoyed the whole series.  

 

It's *sort of* like if harry potter grew up, moved to Chicago, and hung out his shingle as a private investigator.  Lots of old folklore integrated into the world.  

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
8/20/18 11:15 a.m.

Signature in the Cell.

600+ page behemoth the makes the case for intelligent design.

I’m applying my statistical skills to test the Darwinian explanation for the origin of life and the book’s deep-dive on microbiology is just what I need to be able to crunch the numbers (yes, I know that Darwin specifically stated that his theory of evolution didn’t apply to the origin of life but neo Darwinist today operate on that assumption).

My efforts are somewhat redundant as a husband and wife team (he’s got a Ph.D. in statistics and she’s got a Ph.D. in microbiology) have already gone down the same road but I’m looking for any holes in the accepted constructs or opportunities to qualitatively improve the odds through various mechanisms like self-organization.

Spoiler Alert…if you resist the group think from the scientific community and do what a professional scientist is supposed to do (be receptive to what the data is telling you even if it doesn’t agree with your preconceptions) you’ll quickly realize how wildly, wildly inadequate the Darwinian explanation is.

I’m bending over backwards to give Darwin the best odds possible and yet I’m still seeing far less than a one in a trillion chance that a single, self-replicating organism could have ever self-assembled through the random chance assembly of various amino acids / proteins in the entire history of the universe.

It’d be great if Weary Microbe chimed in with his thoughts on the subject.

 

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
8/20/18 11:17 a.m.
RossD said:

I did look at the (Dune) movie trailer online and... Slightly disappointed

You won't know disappointment until you actually watch the movie.  Dune is best left unwatched.

Just finished reading Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life." An older book, but good to help you find meaning and ... purpose... in life. Religious content, if you haven't heard of it. Might not be for everyone.

Currently reading:

As a father of two Autistic kids, and suspect Asperger's myself (suspect it's genetic, looking at dear old mumsie and her siblings, and granny.), it could be interesting. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/20/18 11:43 a.m.
RX Reven' said:

Signature in the Cell.

600+ page behemoth the makes the case for intelligent design.

I’m still seeing far less than a one in a trillion chance that a single, self-replicating organism could have ever self-assembled through the random chance assembly of various amino acids / proteins in the entire history of the universe.

The universe is a very, very big place that is filled with many, many things and is really, really old.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/20/18 12:03 p.m.

I'm currently reading End Of Watch, which is Stephen King's 3rd installment in the Mr. Mercedes / Finders Keepers story arc.  It's not bad, but sometimes I wish King would step away from the psychic / supernatural stuff and do a straightforward human psychological novel.  He's clearly capable.

Before that, I read Blackbird: A History of the Untouchable Spy Plane by James Hamilton-Paterson.  An OK overview, but really too short and undetailed to satisfy.  I literally read it in about 2 hours.

Prior to that, I read Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 by Max Hastings.  This was a long but good read.  Takes you through the Pacific end game, including a lot of the land war in China, Burma, Indochina, and Manchuria.  A good mix of detail and strategic overview, with some pretty even-handed conclusions about both America and Great Britain, considering he's an English author.  He's also pretty clear about what a trainwreck the Chinese were on both sides of the political spectrum, and fights hard against Japanese and Soviet revisionism.  I read this a few months after reading Ian W. Toll's excellent Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 and The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944.  Toll's books are frankly better, but he kind of left us hanging 2/3 of the way through the war.  He may be working on the third book or not, I don't know, but I wanted to read through the end of the war while the rest of that was still relatively fresh in mind.

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
8/20/18 12:05 p.m.
Duke said:
RX Reven' said:

Signature in the Cell.

600+ page behemoth the makes the case for intelligent design.

I’m still seeing far less than a one in a trillion chance that a single, self-replicating organism could have ever self-assembled through the random chance assembly of various amino acids / proteins in the entire history of the universe.

The universe is a very, very big place that is filled with many, many things and is really, really old.

I’m fully aware of that…

There are 10 to the power of 80 atoms in the observable universe X 13.77 billion years X a consensus estimate for the frequency with which atoms randomly collide per unit of time = a whopping big number.

But, do you know what makes that whopping big number appear astronomically tiny…comparing it to the number of random assemblies of amino acids / proteins that are required to get something that can self-replicate…that number is trillions and trillions and trillions of times bigger.

RossD
RossD MegaDork
8/20/18 12:17 p.m.

In reply to RX Reven' :

At the risk of floundering... religion has always filled in whenever the collective knowledge is lacking on a subject. Why would now be any different?

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
8/20/18 12:41 p.m.
RossD said:

In reply to RX Reven' :

At the risk of floundering... religion has always filled in whenever the collective knowledge is lacking on a subject. Why would now be any different?

Hi Ross,

You raise a good point and it’s something I take into careful consideration myself.

I’m not so much an ID advocate as I am someone that questions why we consider the Darwinian explanation to be a done deal when, in its current form, absolutely does not work.

At a minimum, a huge game changing refinement to the theory will be needed for it to be plausible. I won’t be at all surprised if we discover that refinement but until that time, not being open to the alternatives is just another type of blind faith though the irony is apparently lost by the mainstream scientific community.

Anyway, I don’t want to flounder either so I don’t mind letting this go.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UberDork
8/20/18 1:50 p.m.

In reply to RossD :

I finished Artemis last week and if you have any interest in audio books that is one you should get. Rosario Dawson does the reading and does a fantastic job.  Like if she wasn't beautiful and successful  already she could make a living kind of fantastic job. 

I also burned through Wil Wheaton's reading of Armada and while not as much fun as Ready Player 1 it's probably got a more widespread appeal and was still pretty entertaining. 

Now I'm in the middle of Stephen King's The Outsider and it looks like I am going to have to go back and read through Finders Keepers and such for some back story.  Still pretty decent but feels a bit formulaic. At one point I had read pretty much everything Mr. King had out up to that point but then I started Cujo and that awful rag turned me off books entirely for a couple of years. Still the only book I never finished,  13 pages from the end and I threw it in the trash. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
8/20/18 1:52 p.m.

Currently finishing my last loaned book, Welcome to Night vale. 

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
9/10/18 9:49 a.m.

stroker
stroker UltraDork
9/10/18 10:00 a.m.
Toyman01 said:

Mentioned in a thread on here a couple of weeks ago. 

I can't read that book.  I got about 1/3 through it and my blood pressure rose to near lethal levels.  Still can't pick it up even though it's on my shelf.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
9/10/18 10:02 a.m.

i just broke my brain reading a Corvette Forum thread.   post 1 is guy from NY asking if there's an easy way to increase ride height on his all-season daily-driver C6.   Posts 2 through 20 are guys in AZ and CA telling him that it will be worse, for the world as a whole, than Revelations.   He bought the wrong car.   He will destroy his handling.   He will endanger himself and those around him.   And on and on.

i heart GRM.

i'm also gonna break the corvette forum in Jan 2020 when i post pix of my lifted C6 on black steelies with Blizzaks, all Jeep'd up on a snow mountain in a Wal-Mart parking lot!

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
9/10/18 10:11 a.m.
AngryCorvair said:

i just broke my brain reading a Corvette Forum thread.   post 1 is guy from NY asking if there's an easy way to increase ride height on his all-season daily-driver C6.   Posts 2 through 20 are guys in AZ and CA telling him that it will be worse, for the world as a whole, than Revelations.   He bought the wrong car.   He will destroy his handling.   He will endanger himself and those around him.   And on and on.

i heart GRM.

i'm also gonna break the corvette forum in Jan 2020 when i post pix of my lifted C6 on black steelies with Blizzaks, all Jeep'd up on a snow mountain in a Wal-Mart parking lot!

Since you’ve got a single piece hatch, remove it and strap a dishwasher sized box in the back that’s labeled “Jeep Recover Equipment”.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/10/18 11:18 a.m.
RX Reven' said:

I’m applying my statistical skills to test the Darwinian explanation for the origin of life and the book’s deep-dive on microbiology is just what I need to be able to crunch the numbers (yes, I know that Darwin specifically stated that his theory of evolution didn’t apply to the origin of life but neo Darwinist today operate on that assumption).

[...]

I’m bending over backwards to give Darwin the best odds possible and yet I’m still seeing far less than a one in a trillion chance that a single, self-replicating organism could have ever self-assembled through the random chance assembly of various amino acids / proteins in the entire history of the universe.

Darwininan theory REALLY doesn't apply to abiogenesis, so you're beating a dead horse with statistics because a few people insist that it's just resting. Nobody who tries to mix the two concepts would be taken seriously by the scientific community.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
9/10/18 11:56 a.m.
RX Reven' said:
AngryCorvair said:

i just broke my brain reading a Corvette Forum thread.   post 1 is guy from NY asking if there's an easy way to increase ride height on his all-season daily-driver C6.   Posts 2 through 20 are guys in AZ and CA telling him that it will be worse, for the world as a whole, than Revelations.   He bought the wrong car.   He will destroy his handling.   He will endanger himself and those around him.   And on and on.

i heart GRM.

i'm also gonna break the corvette forum in Jan 2020 when i post pix of my lifted C6 on black steelies with Blizzaks, all Jeep'd up on a snow mountain in a Wal-Mart parking lot!

Since you’ve got a single piece hatch, remove it and strap a dishwasher sized box in the back that’s labeled “Jeep Recover Equipment”.

damn, that's awesome.  not sure i'll actually do it, but it is awesome nonetheless.

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
9/10/18 1:54 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:
RX Reven' said:

I’m applying my statistical skills to test the Darwinian explanation for the origin of life and the book’s deep-dive on microbiology is just what I need to be able to crunch the numbers (yes, I know that Darwin specifically stated that his theory of evolution didn’t apply to the origin of life but neo Darwinist today operate on that assumption).

[...]

I’m bending over backwards to give Darwin the best odds possible and yet I’m still seeing far less than a one in a trillion chance that a single, self-replicating organism could have ever self-assembled through the random chance assembly of various amino acids / proteins in the entire history of the universe.

Darwininan theory REALLY doesn't apply to abiogenesis, so you're beating a dead horse with statistics because a few people insist that it's just resting. Nobody who tries to mix the two concepts would be taken seriously by the scientific community.

Hi GameboyRMH,

I’m not supporting or refuting any particular position, I’m just acknowledging that some as yet undiscovered form of self-organization must be in play to avoid the unprovable explanations such as intelligent design, multiverse, etc. given that the popularized random chance explanation is wildly, wildly inadequate (i.e., there have only been 10 to the power of 40 organisms in the history of our planet and yet it takes 10 to the power of 193 random chance pairings of amino acids to just get one relatively simple protein to come into existence – not to mention that it would be completely useless by itself instead requiring many other wildly improbable things to occur in conjunction with it to serve any functional purpose).

Instead, I’m using Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the various mutation rates over time that yield the best likelihood for life to originate and evolve to its current state. Essentially, I’m going after the whole DNA First – RNA First - Protein First, Something that’s yet to be Discovered First question by simply asking what mutation rates are optimal (too slow and you don’t have sufficient change – too fast and you don’t have sufficient stability for any benefit that occurs to survive the destructive effects coming from other changes). This number isn’t a constant, rather it morphs from a high rate of change when you’re looking for a scenario that just allows for the establishment of self-replication to a slow rate when you’re looking for a scenario that allows for relatively complex organisms to evolve further.

So, I am using my math skills but not in an effort to prove or disprove anything, I’m just using them to say IF there is an answer, it probably lies within a certain defined region. From there, it would be up to microbiologist, organic chemist, etc. to apply the insight to better focus their investigations.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/10/18 2:22 p.m.

Just finished the book on the left and just started the one on the right a few days ago... Both are highly enlightening and quick reading.

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
9/10/18 2:40 p.m.
AngryCorvair said:

i just broke my brain reading a Corvette Forum thread.   post 1 is guy from NY asking if there's an easy way to increase ride height on his all-season daily-driver C6.   Posts 2 through 20 are guys in AZ and CA telling him that it will be worse, for the world as a whole, than Revelations.   He bought the wrong car.   He will destroy his handling.   He will endanger himself and those around him.   And on and on.

i heart GRM.

Though it's significantly better than it used to be this forum is not immune to that kind of thing. Think of some of the towing threads of yore.

The only time I went on a Corvette forum was when I was looking for one and the classifieds were bad enough that I stopped looking there.

My experiences with domestic car forums is that they're 10 times worse than the worst import forums. Sad but true.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/18/18 7:38 a.m.
RevRico
RevRico UberDork
9/18/18 7:50 a.m.

In reply to RX Reven' :

How would the numbers change if we discovered life, let alone "intelligent" or more "advanced" life? 

I've read a lot from physicists, biologists, astrophysicists, ancient alien people, religious people both zealots and more (i don't want to use this word but it's the best descriptor I know) "liberal" religious people, but I've never really had the chance to read or talk to  a statistician or a mathematician about it. I think it would be an interesting point of view if I knew the kinds of questions to ask. 

 

To get back on topic, I've started reading through "Food of the Gods" again. It doesn't feel as "edgy" or "counter culture" as it did reading it in high school, but with more life experience under my belt, it's almost a refreshing take on how human life has gotten to where it is, especially in today's world where "news" is more fitting for tabloids than something meant to educate and inform. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/18/18 8:41 a.m.
Suprf1y said:
AngryCorvair said:

i just broke my brain reading a Corvette Forum thread.   post 1 is guy from NY asking if there's an easy way to increase ride height on his all-season daily-driver C6.   Posts 2 through 20 are guys in AZ and CA telling him that it will be worse, for the world as a whole, than Revelations.   He bought the wrong car.   He will destroy his handling.   He will endanger himself and those around him.   And on and on.

i heart GRM.

Though it's significantly better than it used to be this forum is not immune to that kind of thing. Think of some of the towing threads of yore.

The only time I went on a Corvette forum was when I was looking for one and the classifieds were bad enough that I stopped looking there.

My experiences with domestic car forums is that they're 10 times worse than the worst import forums. Sad but true.

I dunno... I'd say they're bad in different ways. I personally think it is worse the higher upmarket that you go. Wanna have some fun? Go read a Lexus forum about installing a tow hitch on a[ny] sedan. You'd think the world is ending, but somehow the suggestion to buy an RX (AKA tall Camry) always comes up.

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