Related A soft touch Powered by a chemical reaction controlled by microfluidics, 3D-printed ‘octobot’ has no electronics Soft robots can’t always compete with the hard. Their rigid brethren dominate assembly lines, perform backflips, dance to “Uptown Funk,” fly, dive, and walk through volcanoes.But each year, soft robots gain new abilities. They’ve learned to jump, squirm, and grip. And they can handle tomatoes without bruising the fruit, emerge unscathed after being run over by a car, and journey through radiation, disaster zones, and outer space, all without the challenges facing their harder peers. For people and animals, they have a “cooperative function”: a soft touch.Recently, researchers in the lab of George M. Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, have invented soft replacements for the last hard parts required to build a robot. Instead of electricity and wires, pressurized air expands and contracts rubber inflatables to create movement, soft valves take over for the hard, and soft digital logic replicates the same capabilities of an electronic computer.Now, postdoctoral scholar Daniel J. Preston’s latest innovations give these robots new, complex movements. As first author on a study published late last month in Science Robotics, he introduces the first soft ring oscillator, which gives these machines the ability to roll, undulate, sort, measure liquids, and swallow.“It’s another tool in the toolkit to make these smart, soft robots without any electronics, and without any hard valves,” Preston says.Until now, ring oscillators were made with electronic transistors or microfluidics. Electronics always require hard components. Most microfluidics do, too. Many use glass for their pressurized water or air systems. Preston’s macroscale pneumatic ring oscillator relies on inverters and air. They manipulate the air pressure in his robot’s rubber tubes: If the input is high pressure, the output will be low pressure, and vice versa. When three or other odd numbers of gates are connected in a ring, one gate’s shift triggers the next, which triggers the next, and on and on.“The cool response that you get when you combine an odd number of these inverters in a loop is an instability that travels around the loop,” Preston says. He likens it to a Slinky that collapses in order to spring down a flight of stairs, creating a constant pace without the need for another push.To test what the soft ring oscillator could do, Preston and his team created five prototypes. Each uses a single, constant source of air pressure to run three pneumatic actuators (the inverters).,One prototype nudges a ball around a ring. Another undulates a stage to keep beads of two different sizes rolling against the edge. Eventually, all the smaller beads fall through a hole in the side of the stage. They sort themselves out.“The ring oscillator is really good for things like rolling motions,” Preston says. Rolling requires coordination of several actions in time. A single input and output will not suffice. For example, to get their hexagonal foam robot to roll forward, the ring oscillator helps inflate a balloon behind the robot and deflate one in front at the exact same time. The coordinated push-and-release shifts the hexagon forward again and again as the balloons inflate and deflate in perfect sync.Yet another prototype provides a more tangible purpose. A textile-based sleeve, wrapped around the lower leg and secured with Velcro, exerts coordinated pressure, “pumping” fluid up the leg. According to recent studies, this pumping motion improves symptoms of lymphedema and chronic venous disease better than simple compression. The device could also help nurses, waiters, and police officers prevent deep-vein thrombosis, a result of working long shifts on tired feet.Before they start clinical trials for the sleeve, the team wants to gauge interest. If enough people crave a softer, less-expensive way to alleviate and prevent symptoms, the product might find a big enough market to merit further research.The low cost of Preston’s materials — rubber-like silicone elastomers — make them ideal for more than just inexpensive home care. Biocompatible, disposable, gentle, and sterile versions could be used for lab experiments, drug delivery, or even medical devices inside the body like a sleeve that helps the heart beat that was developed by Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital researchers. Preston’s final prototype can sort three different colored liquids based on a predetermined sequence and time, a tool that could prove useful for chemists.Preston expects his innovation to result in far more applications than the ones he demonstrated in his five prototypes. Since the paper explains how to replicate and customize the design, he hopes other labs will find even more uses. “People can use the soft ring oscillator for a lot of different applications in soft robotics, some of which we may not have even thought of or envisioned yet.”The research was funded by Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Science, Division of Materials Science and Engineering (ER45852); National Science Foundation (IIS-11317744), NSF MRSEC (DMR-1420570); Harvard University Mobility Scheme; U.S. Department of Defense, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program; National GEM Fellowship. The first autonomous, entirely soft robot Pneumatic digital logic eliminates the last hard components from robots The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
For Accenture Mortgage Cadence, August represents a month of reflection. August 31st is the end of our fiscal year, marking the unofficial beginning of our forward outlook for the year ahead. The second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015 have certainly been unique for the mortgage industry. The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule was supposed to go into effect this month, and it is clear that the refinance era is over. This means credit unions and technology vendors alike are winding down on their TRID efforts and beginning to look to the future of their business. We like to think of this new beginning as a transformational era; we are sure it will be an era unlike anything we’ve seen before.Defining this new era are emerging market participants, like Millennials ready to take on their first mortgage, Gen Xers recovering from the recession and Baby Boomers adapting to the technological world we live in. As a result, innovations in efficiency and technology will be more important than ever. This will not be like the cyclical financial landscape we’ve seen in the past; the way that credit unions deal with this transformational era will shape the face of lending in the years to come.In this environment, we believe that two key factors will separate those who succeed from those who struggle.The first is the ability to go with the flow. Transformation is not something that happens overnight; in the mortgage industry, it is likely to take many years. Think of transformation as a slow-moving wave that eventually finds its way to shore, almost melding into the beach – not the kind that suddenly crashes onto the rocks. The path to accommodate future members looking for mobility and immediacy is not cut-and-dry. No one can predict the rate at which members will demand these enhancements, and some members like the “old way” and will want to stick with it. Along this transformational journey, there will be a need to make numerous tweaks and adjustments.The second factor is an acceptance that reinvention is the new normal. This is perhaps the harshest reality for many credit unions. Old metrics for success will no longer apply as lenders enter uncharted territory. Without tried-and-true metrics to rely on, it’s easy to feel unsure, but it’s essential to stay the course. What will drive process and technology changes if not tried-and-true measurements? The new metrics will be developed by listening to consumers and not making assumptions about members’ needs. Credit unions who solicit members’ opinions, listen carefully and make needed changes will find that reinvention will flow seamlessly.Transformation of any sort takes time. The institution must undertake its own initiatives in the face of a constantly evolving set of external conditions. Our experience, however, has taught us one sure thing: Proactive – not reactive — steps towards transformation versus reactive steps are the way to go. There’s no reason to wait until the end of 2015 to plan for the future. Credit Unions should be taking steps today to enter their own transformational era. 36SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Volling Sarah Volling is Marketing Manager at Accenture Mortgage Cadence. Beginning her career with the company over seven years ago, Sarah now oversees the marketing department, strengthening brand identity through thought … Web: www.accenture.com Details read more
Syracuse released its depth chart in a media guide at the ACC Football Kickoff Sunday.Sophomore Terrel Hunt and junior John Kinder occupy the first and second spots at quarterback, respectively. Hunt, a 6-foot-3 quarterback from Rosedale, NY impressed in the preseason and is currently the frontrunner to start the season opener against Penn State on Aug. 31.Charley Loeb, Mitch Kimble and Austin Wilson are listed as backup quarterbacks.Sophomore Ashton Broyld is listed as the No. 1 halfback, and 5-foot-9 freshman Brisly Estime is No. 2 at that position.At running back, there are no surprises. Jerome Smith – who was named to the Maxwell Award watch list – is listed as the No. 1 running back, Prince-Tyson Gulley is No. 2 and George Morris sits at No. 3.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn defense, Durell Eskridge and Ritchy Desir are listed in front of Josh Mims at strong safety. Robert Welsh and Ron Thompson are listed as the top defensive ends.Jay Bromley, Micah Robinson and Cameron Lynch are also listed as starters on defense for the Orange.Other positions are as follows:Kicker: 1. Ross Krautman 2. Ryan NortonPunter: 1. Jonathan Fisher 2. Riley DixonKickoff returner: 1. Jeremiah Kobena 2. Wayne MorganPunt returner: 1. Ritchy Desir 2. Steve ReneLong snapper: 1. Sam Rodgers 2. Keith MitsuuchiShort snapper: 1. Sam Rodgers 2. Eric Morris Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on July 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHass read more
The summer may be getting ready to go into its annual hiatus, but with winter still a few months away staff and management at Mallard’s Source for Sports decided to take a look back into the warmer, outside sports for the latest edition of Team of the Week, Louie’s Slopitch Team. The squad overcame and earlier loss to make a return to the final of the Nelson Mixed Slopitch League. However, the only problem was Jackson’s Hole, the team that defeated Louie’s earlier in the tournament, was once again waiting. Still Mallard’s is quick to salute Louie’s as Team of the Week. The team includes, back row, L-R, Shauna Long, Nikita Gardner, Arlene Anderson, Robin Stoll, Clarke Winsor, Jo Elliott and Brad Carson. Front, Moe Penner, Mary Forwell, Cory Whitford (holding Stella), Ken Anderson and Wayne Germaine (holding Max). Missing, Tom Trubetskoff, Brittany Kerr and Loni D’Andrea. read more
SANTA ANITA STATISTICS TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Tyler Baze10319181918%54%$971,530 FINISH LINES: Richard Mandella reports Beholder came out of her expected victory in Saturday’s Grade I Vanity Mile “real good” and will be pointed to the Grade I, $300,000, “Win and You’re In” Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar July 30. The Hirsch is for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/16 miles. The Vanity was the eighth straight win for Beholder, her 13th in 14 starts at Santa Anita, and her 10th Grade I win from 22 career starts. “She’s amazing,” said Mandella in an understatement for the ages . . . Should Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator win the Belmont Stakes, it would mark the eighth time in the last nine Triple Crown races a horse headquartered in Southern California has captured one of the three-year-old Spring classics: Los Alamitos-based California Chrome, 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes; Santa Anita-based American Pharoah, 2015 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years; Santa Anita-based Nyquist, 2016 Kentucky Derby; and Santa Anita-based Exaggerator, 2016 Preakness . . . Kona Gold winner Wild Dude, prepping for the Grade I Triple Bend on June 25, worked five furlongs in 1:01 for Jerry Hollendorfer, who also sent Gold Cup candidate Lieutenant Colonel the same distance in 59.40. Laz Barrera winner I Will Score, who runs in the Woody Stephens at Belmont next Saturday for Hollendorfer, went five furlongs in 1:04, while Bob Baffert trainee Justin Squared, also headed to the Woody Stephens, went four furlongs in 47.40 . . . Two-time Shoemaker Mile winner Obviously worked five furlongs on the training track in 1:00.40 for Phil D’Amato, who won two races Saturday including the Grade I Shoemaker with Midnight Storm to open a commanding 16-8 lead over runners-up John Sadler and Hollendorfer in the race for training honors . . . Masochistic, whose long-range goal is the Grade I Bing Crosby at Del Mar July 31, worked a half mile Sunday in a bullet 45.80 with Mike Smith up for Ron Ellis. It was the fastest of 46 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 48.85 . . . With his easy 3 ¼-length win aboard Plus Perfect for trainer Hector Palma in yesterday’s first race, Brayan Pena lost his apprentice weight allowance and now rides as full-fledged journeyman . . . Santa Anita’s jockey colony will be depleted next weekend with several riders in New York on Belmont Stakes weekend, namely Kent Desormeaux, Martin Garcia, Mario Gutierrez, Martin Pedroza, Flavien Prat and Mike Smith. Pedroza rides four-time Grade I winner Private Zone Friday for the Good Friends Stable and trainer Brian Lynch in the Grade II, $250,000 True North, and unbeaten Chick Lang winner Justin Squared for Zayat Stables and Bob Baffert in the Grade II, $500,000 Woody Stephens on Saturday. Justin Squared worked four furlongs at Santa Anita Sunday under a strong hold by Pedroza in 47.40 . . . Congrats to Toby Turrell of The Yellow Sheet on tabbing six winners on top Saturday: Plus Perfect ($10.20), Angel Lane (2.60), Too Fast To Pass ($7.20), Beholder, everybody’s free square, ($2.40), Reflected Star ($17.20) and Horse Greedy ($11.80) . . . The Golden Pick 6 at Golden Gate Fields stands at a life-changing $1,201,886 going into Sunday. If no one claims the massive prize before next Sunday, June, 12, there will be a mandatory payout that day . . . Live racing at Santa Anita resumes Thursday with a new first post time of 1:30 p.m. . . . First live race post time on Belmont Day, next Saturday, June 11, is 12 noon. Admission gates will open at 8 a.m. Edwin Maldonado9317151218%47%$669,239 (Current Through Saturday, June 4) Santiago Gonzalez9212161013%41%$621,039 Steven Miyadi1443029%50%$123,040 Hector O. Palma1343031%54%$72,885 Mike Smith2144019%38%$327,555 Mike Puype3373321%39%$228,495 Richard Baltas3356415%45%$224,078 Doug O’Neill4659911%50%$419,313 Martin Pedroza5175914%41%$255,335 Martin Garcia5174814%37%$411,620 Tiago Pereira6259128%42%$232,532 Fernando Perez4754311%26%$217,528 Rafael Bejarano9121151723%58%$1,294,315 EURTON PUTS ‘SUMMER’ AND ‘KOBE’ THROUGH EASY DRILLSPeter Eurton supervised workouts for two of his stakes stars Sunday morning, budding handicap ace Second Summer and multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter Kobe’s Back.“I was looking for something easy for both of them,” Eurton said after Californian Stakes winner Second Summer went four furlongs under exercise rider Jose (Pepe) Aragon in 50.40, and Palos Verdes and San Carlos winner Kobe’s Back went five furlongs with regular pilot Gary Stevens aboard in 1:01.“Summer’s as good as any handicap horse out here that’s ready to run,” said Eurton, enjoying a solid meet with five wins from 19 starters through 19 days. “I don’t claim to say that he’s a California Chrome, but anyway, Chrome is probably shooting for the San Diego (Handicap at Del Mar on July 23).“All I can worry about is my horse and one race.” Mario Gutierrez3647111%33%$361,885 Brayan Pena3844711%39%$99,360 Philip D’Amato601612527%55%$1,126,869 Victor Espinoza3245813%53%$355,320 Joseph Talamo7313131218%52%$734,033 John Sadler4484718%43%$571,025 James Cassidy2553220%40%$313,400 Jerry Hollendorfer47831117%47%$574,810 ‘TRUE STAYER’ MELATONIN SET FOR GOLD CUPSanta Anita Handicap winner Melatonin, who worked five furlongs Tuesday in a bullet 1:11.80, is on course for the Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita at 1 ¼ miles June 25.“He’s coming up to the race great,” said David Hofmans, who trains the son of Kodiak Kowboy for Susan Osborne’s Tarabilla Farms. “He’s doing really well, he’s fresh, he feels real good and strong.“I wasn’t so much surprised that he won the Santa Anita Handicap (at a mile and a quarter), but that he handled the distance, because I thought the distances he had been running might be somewhat beyond him.“But he’s shown now that he can run long, and even (jockey Joe) Talamo thinks the mile and a quarter is better for him than a mile and an eighth. He said he’s a true stayer, and that surprises me.” BIG CAP WINNER MELATONIN ON COURSE FOR GOLD CUPKOBE‘S BACK, SECOND SUMMER WORK FOR PETE’S SAKECLEMENT L. HIRSCH IS NEXT FOR SUPERSTAR BEHOLDER Peter Eurton1950226%37%$220,530 Mark Glatt3658714%56%$221,751 Richard Mandella2474429%63%$604,215 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Chad Lindsay3154216%35%$104,325 Peter Miller3449312%47%$199,935 Flavien Prat69228932%57%$1,134,478 Ignacio Puglisi1741224%41%$114,623 Simon Callaghan2042220%40%$221,445 Patrick Gallagher1540027%27%$113,585 read more
TOP AWARDS Eurotrend, with a goal from Kemar Bygrave in the 12th minute, defeated Miles to win the third annual Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce six-a-side football competition, which is held at 451 Spanish Town Road in her native Waterhouse community. Earlier, Varma Rangers defeated defending champions Darkside 9-8 on penalties to claim third place, after playing to a 0-0 scoreline in regulation time. Bygrave, showing good dribbling skills, picked up a clearance from defence, then went by one Miles defender in their half before powering a low, hard shot to beat the other Miles defender at his far left post. For their effort, Eurotrend earned the winners’ prize of $180,000, while second-place Miles earned $80,000. Varma Rangers earned $50,000, while Darkside got $30,000 for fourth place. Choppas earned $10,000 for being the Most Disciplined team and Angola Strikers were presented 15,000 for winning the dress parade at the start of the competition. Bygrave won the leading goalscorer award with four goals, while his teammate Fernando Hunt was voted the competition’s Most Valuable Player. Both players were awarded phones courtesy of Digicel. “It brings me so much joy to see these young men relating to each other on and off the field, especially when former schoolmates talk about the old days, parents and kids sharing family time as the atmosphere fosters friendship,” said Fraser-Pryce, the Olympic and World 100m champion. “The response from the players and the community has been great and I will continue to help them.” Digicel, for whom Fraser-Pryce is an ambassador, is the competition’s title sponsor, while GraceKennedy; Wisynco, through their product Wata; Tank-Weld Metals; Sagicor Bank; and the National Commercial Bank Foundation were the other sponsors. read more
Can morality evolve in Darwin’s universe? Steven Pinker, evolutionary psychologist at Harvard, is just the man to ask. He wrote an 8-page article for the New York Times about it, facing the issues with frankness and forthrightness. To Pinker, as with other evolutionary psychologists, the “moral” behind morality is an evolutionary artifact of psychological choices and behaviors that have evolved over millions of years. Populations choose what is right or wrong based on shared and habitual patterns that aid survival. Pinker justified his scientific amorality on the grounds that scientists are just trying to be objective observers:Science amoralizes the world by seeking to understand phenomena rather than pass judgment on them. Secular philosophy is in the business of scrutinizing all beliefs, including those entrenched by authority and tradition. It’s not surprising that these institutions are often seen to be morally corrosive. And “morally corrosive” is exactly the term that some critics would apply to the new science of the moral sense. The attempt to dissect our moral intuitions can look like an attempt to debunk them. Evolutionary psychologists seem to want to unmask our noblest motives as ultimately self-interested – to show that our love for children, compassion for the unfortunate and sense of justice are just tactics in a Darwinian struggle to perpetuate our genes. The explanation of how different cultures appeal to different spheres could lead to a spineless relativism, in which we would never have grounds to criticize the practice of another culture, no matter how barbaric, because “we have our kind of morality and they have theirs.” And the whole enterprise seems to be dragging us to an amoral nihilism, in which morality itself would be demoted from a transcendent principle to a figment of our neural circuitry.So Pinker is certainly aware of the criticisms of the “new science of the moral sense,” but blames them on misunderstanding of the “logic of evolutionary explanations.” Evolutionists don’t believe that “selfish genes” are really selfish, he says; the phrase is merely an anthropomorphism to describe appearances in behavior shaped by the process of natural selection. The first half of Pinker’s article concerned itself with moral dilemmas and taboos, and results of neuropsychological tests on twins and on people forced into difficult choices. On page 6 and following, he got into the meaning of evolutionary explanations when talking about morality itself. Does natural selection necessarily lead to moral relativism?Here is the worry. The scientific outlook has taught us that some parts of our subjective experience are products of our biological makeup and have no objective counterpart in the world. The qualitative difference between red and green, the tastiness of fruit and foulness of carrion, the scariness of heights and prettiness of flowers are design features of our common nervous system, and if our species had evolved in a different ecosystem or if we were missing a few genes, our reactions could go the other way. Now, if the distinction between right and wrong is also a product of brain wiring, why should we believe it is any more real than the distinction between red and green? And if it is just a collective hallucination, how could we argue that evils like genocide and slavery are wrong for everyone, rather than just distasteful to us?Well-stated questions. What is the Darwinian answer? Religions and Platonic philosophers can point to God or the Logos for a universal morality, he knows, but can evolutionists find a moral pole star in an unguided, essentially amoral process? The crux of his argument is on page 7, where he argues that nonzero-sum games push any rational, self-preserving social agent in a moral direction, and that this direction becomes a natural standard, like a mathematical eigenvalue, by which moral actions can be judged. Two features of reality, he says, might not give us 10 Thou-Shalt-Nots, but provide useful If-Thens:One is the prevalence of nonzero-sum games. In many arenas of life, two parties are objectively better off if they both act in a nonselfish way than if each of them acts selfishly. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other’s children in danger and refrain from shooting at each other, compared with hoarding our surpluses while they rot, letting the other’s child drown while we file our nails or feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys. Granted, I might be a bit better off if I acted selfishly at your expense and you played the sucker, but the same is true for you with me, so if each of us tried for these advantages, we’d both end up worse off. Any neutral observer, and you and I if we could talk it over rationally, would have to conclude that the state we should aim for is the one in which we both are unselfish. These spreadsheet projections are not quirks of brain wiring, nor are they dictated by a supernatural power; they are in the nature of things. The other external support for morality is a feature of rationality itself: that it cannot depend on the egocentric vantage point of the reasoner. If I appeal to you to do anything that affects me – to get off my foot, or tell me the time or not run me over with your car – then I can’t do it in a way that privileges my interests over yours (say, retaining my right to run you over with my car) if I want you to take me seriously. Unless I am Galactic Overlord, I have to state my case in a way that would force me to treat you in kind. I can’t act as if my interests are special just because I’m me and you’re not, any more than I can persuade you that the spot I am standing on is a special place in the universe just because I happen to be standing on it.In this way, Pinker has described morality as a “natural” outcome of rational parties having to survive. As support for his thesis, he points to the fact that great minds throughout history – Spinoza, Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Kant and Rawls (all noteworthily non-religious in their approach) – have ended up aligning with the same eigenvector we call the Golden Rule. There must be something natural about this outcome. “It also underlies Peter Singer’s theory of the Expanding Circle – the optimistic proposal that our moral sense, though shaped by evolution to overvalue self, kin and clan, can propel us on a path of moral progress, as our reasoning forces us to generalize it to larger and larger circles of sentient beings.” Pinker ended by pointing to cases of opposing groups moralizing against each other. “Our habit of moralizing problems, merging them with intuitions of purity and contamination, and resting content when we feel the right feelings, can get in the way of doing the right thing,” he says. The surprising conclusion? Evolutionary theory does not lead to moral relativism! “Far from debunking morality, then, the science of the moral sense can advance it, by allowing us to see through the illusions that evolution and culture have saddled us with and to focus on goals we can share and defend.”Did you catch the flaw in Pinker’s reasoning that makes his whole case collapse? For some of you who are getting good at baloney detecting, it was a no-brainer. The core of his argument was that competing (selfish) parties are better off if they cooperate rather than compete, and that this can become a standard for morality. Let’s ask the eminent Hahvahd professor a simple, two-word question: “Define better.” As we explained in our 12/19/2007 commentary, evolutionary “progress” is like erratic motion on a frictionless surface infinite in all directions. There are no guidelines to what constitutes “better” or “worse” in Darwinland. Why? Because the core belief that underlies all Darwinian thinking is that evolution must be unguided. Purpose and aim, therefore, are out, along with any ideas of universal truths. There are neither gridlines nor compass points on the Darwinland surface. They try to hide this fact sometimes using their two-platoon strategy (01/06/2008 commentary), but Phillip Johnson in his books has exposed this essential feature of Darwinian evolution, and you see it in the evolutionary literature all the time. What you don’t find in the evolutionary literature is an acknowledgement of the fact that this leads to a self-refuting belief system. Learn the following principles well, because the Darwinists are ratcheting up the propaganda campaign to sell their pseudo-scientific “evolution of the moral sense” plot in a devious attempt to undermine the claims of Christianity and make Darwinism appear self-sufficient, able to explain the most intractable aspects of human behavior (06/25/2007, 12/01/2007, 05/22/2007, 05/17/2007, 06/14/2007). Their explanations do little more than add to the just-so story database (11/05/2005, 09/09/2007 01/21/2006) and cannot be defended rationally, but they are luring students into the Darwin Party with their seductive tales (12/21/2005). Pinker has no grounds on which to describe his pseudo-morality as “better” than a Hobbes-style “war of all against all.” Remember? Darwinists claim that meteorites have bombarded most of life extinct several times. Can a Darwinist shed a tear about those episodes in his myth? No. He must be consistent and simply take notes when the world kills itself, gets killed by natural causes, or never generates life in the first place. Evolution is what evolution does. There is no goal, no purpose, no destiny. The myth of evolutionary progress went out with Lamarck. This means that Sewall Wright’s model of the “fitness landscape” is a also myth. Since fitness is a vacuous term (fitness, remember, is not “better” than the lack of it; see “Fitness for Dummies” from 10/29/2002), the model collapses into the flat, frictionless surface where there are no measures of good, bad, right, or wrong. Any attempt to extrude the Darwinland flat surface into a third dimension, such as describing a fitness landscape with peaks and valleys, is cheating. Similarly, you cannot add coordinates, pole stars or GPS systems. Where would they come from? What rational being would impose them on the flatland? As surprising as this sounds, one consequence is that fitness is a concept alien to the Darwinian world view. Why? Because it implies fitness is “better” than non-fitness. Says who? I don’t see any impartial judges or scorekeepers around; do you? Where did they come from? Did they evolve? If so, what gives them any right to sit in judgment? Pinker might respond that as a scientific observer, he is not making value judgments at all, but simply attempting to describe objectively what populations tend to do: cooperation among sentient beings, a.k.a. morality, “happens”. But here he has snuck in another alien concept (that is, alien to his world view): sentience. Pinker simply helped himself to the concept of sentience (consciousness), like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Sentience is not composed of particles. You can look inside a brain all you want and you will never discover sentience. You will see neurotransmitters moving from point to point, and electrical impulses traveling. You might even see more activity when a sentient being is having a sensation. You will not, however, “see” sentience, any more than watching the pixels in an LCD with an oscilloscope will reveal the conceptual content of the TV program. Neither will you ever be capable of observing sentience emerging from a Darwinian process. A creationist will come along and say that “God endowed animals and humans with sentience” – on what scientific basis can Pinker show this is not the case? It certainly fits the observations. It fits the logic of causality, because out of nothing, nothing comes. God’s sentience is the foundation for our sentience. Q.E.D. OK, Mr. Darwinist, explain that. Pinker, like so many other Darwinists, has the Yoda Complex (see 04/30/2007 commentary and links). He has conveniently removed himself from Darwinland and is portraying himself as a detached, neutral, unbiased observer. This is cheating. He cannot simply step outside his evolved skin and pretend that there are laws of logic and universal truths that are eternal, necessary and certain, nor can he take with him the Judeo-Christian concept of rationality, or spiritual concepts and values found in the Bible: truth, logic, honesty, right and wrong. The devil didn’t write Scripture, but he quotes it when it suits his purposes. Pinker was aware of the problem of universal truths and thought he could get away with a slick appeal to philosophical dualism (that there is a world of matter and a world of ideas). He dismissed Platonic forms but then turned right around and reintroduced them in a modern Darwinian sense, filching concepts that Darwinism cannot generate on its own. Watch him:This throws us back to wondering where those reasons could come from, if they are more than just figments of our brains. They certainly aren’t in the physical world like wavelength or mass. The only other option is that moral truths exist in some abstract Platonic realm, there for us to discover, perhaps in the same way that mathematical truths (according to most mathematicians) are there for us to discover. On this analogy, we are born with a rudimentary concept of number, but as soon as we build on it with formal mathematical reasoning, the nature of mathematical reality forces us to discover some truths and not others. (No one who understands the concept of two, the concept of four and the concept of addition can come to any conclusion but that 2 + 2 = 4.) Perhaps we are born with a rudimentary moral sense, and as soon as we build on it with moral reasoning, the nature of moral reality forces us to some conclusions but not others. Moral realism, as this idea is called, is too rich for many philosophers’ blood. Yet a diluted version of the idea – if not a list of cosmically inscribed Thou-Shalts, then at least a few If-Thens – is not crazy. Two features of reality point any rational, self-preserving social agent in a moral direction. And they could provide a benchmark for determining when the judgments of our moral sense are aligned with morality itself.Did you catch it? Don’t be fooled by the magician; watch his hands and learn how the trick is done. He just helped himself to ideas. He helped himself to rationality (i.e., his proposed idea is “not crazy”). He helped himself to If-Then statements, which presuppose laws of logic. He helped himself to Universals, a moral sense (no matter how rudimentary), moral reasoning, benchmarks and all kinds of non-Darwinian things. Foul! Don’t let him get away with it. Appealing to “mathematical reality” with an argument from analogy only adds fallacy to trickery. If mathematical truths are abstract concepts, then abstract concepts are true, universal, necessary and certain: they too could not evolve from particles in motion.Plato was a secular idealist: he believed in the existence of a world of ideas, including idealized universal forms of which actual instances are particulars, and of universal values like truth, love and morality. But it is not going to help Pinker to appeal to an updated, Darwinized version of Platonism, because Platonism collapses under its own arbitrary assumptions. Plato had no explanation for how the forms get impressed on the world of reality. He speculated that maybe it’s like an actor playing a role; different particulars are like different actors acting out the universal character. This is another argument from analogy, and it fails to explain how the forms get impressed on the particulars. To account for the connection, he had to resort to a myth about some demiurge he could not justify other than that he believed it. You can prove anything with an arbitrary assumption. Christians have evidence of God, the eternal and universal standard of rationality, virtue and truth, imposing these universals onto the world of particulars at Creation, in the 10 Commandments, and in Christ, among many documented cases of His revelation (including the whole Bible). Christians, therefore, have a “justified true belief” that legitimizes universal truths and explains how they were impressed on the particulars. Evolutionists have no such resources. Interestingly, both Augustine and Justin Martyr believed Plato got his ideas from Moses. This is possible in light of archaeological evidence that there was trade, including trafficking in slaves, from the Middle East into Greece centuries before Greek philosophy reached its zenith. Jewish victims could easily have taught their masters the principles of the Torah (illustration from another context: the servant girl of Naaman the Syrian, II Kings 5). Additionally, Israel was located at the crossroads of empires; undoubtedly there was ample opportunity for trade in ideas as well as goods and services. In this view, Platonism is parasitic on concepts that did not emerge out of the presuppositions of Greek thought. Another view is that Plato, and Pinker, reason about these things based on the innate sense of morality and rationality that is part of the image of God embossed in every human soul. Either way, the world of ideas requires a real soul; it cannot emerge naturally from particles in motion. Pinker can only write an 8-page treatise on morality when he plagiarizes Judeo-Christian concepts. If he were forced to use his own evolutionary presuppositions, he would babble Que sera, sera incoherently and go have more sex any way he can. Morality? What is that? Logic? Rationality? No comprendo. This pernicious habit of the Darwinists will only be eradicated when enough sentient, rational, moral souls on this planet rise up and demand consistency from the thieving Darwinists. For without consistency, you can prove anything – therefore, nothing. Without universal truths, rationality and morality are vacuous concepts. Arrest the thieves. Make them get their own dirt.(Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 read more
The science media seem beside themselves with enthusiasm over some dots and lines. When scientists analyzing data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) told reporters they determined the polarization of certain points in the cosmic microwave background, one could almost hear the yawns. But when they suggested that this tells us something about what might have happened in the first trillion-trillionth of a second of the birth of the universe, one could hear the laptop keys chattering like old-fashioned ticker tape. “Proof of Big Bang Seen by Space Probe,” reported National Geographic. “New Satellite Data on Universe’s First Trillionth Second,” trumpeted a Johns Hopkins press release. NASA helped translate the data bits into interpretation with a glitzy diagram and title, “Ringside Seat to the Universe’s First Split Second.” And Science Now explained, “Big Bang Afterglow Points to Inflation.” What’s the ruckus about? Some of the WMAP astronomers believe that the polarization data is consistent with a controversial model of the Big Bang proposed by Alan Guth in 1981. He claimed that the universe doubled in size a hundred times times in a trillionth of a second, going from the size of a marble to “outta sight” in less than the blink of an eye. Inflation Theory, despite numerous criticisms, overhauls, deaths and resurrections since it was proposed, has become somewhat mainstream in the last decade. Science Now explains that the WMAP polarization data merely falsify certain models of inflation, assuming inflation happened. Brian Greene, a theoretical physicist from Columbia University, said, “This is a powerful step toward winnowing the field of contenders of how inflation took place.”Is that all? They woke us up for that? Good grief. The only inflation here is exaggeration in the media, taking a data point and making a worldview out of it (cartoon). Theoretical astrophysics is nearly incomprehensible (cartoon), certainly not enough to produce confident pronouncements (cartoon) that violate all common sense (cartoon). Whatever happened to scientific objectivity and caution? Not a word said about all the problems with inflation theory (11/02/2002). In these days of molecules-to-man hype, hubris is the highest virtue. Are all science reporters from Texas? (cartoon).(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio State University Extension Nutrient Management Field Specialist Glen Arnold and Ohio State University Extension Educator Sam Custer have been running tests on side dressing corn with manure since 2013. This spring, they purchased a new piece of equipment to make this unorthodox task a bit more efficient. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins has more in this video from Harrod Farms in Darke County.
Tags:#start#startups Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts dana oshiro As an entrepreneur raising funding, it’s easy to get into the mentality of pitching to anyone who will listen, but an active discussion amongst the investment community has sparked considerable debate on whether or not entrepreneurs should be more respectful of the chain of command. Should startups be pitching associates directly or should they be waiting for general partners to take notice?Yesterday Venture Hacks sent out an update on Twitter quoting Sweepery founder Matt Oesterle’s statement, “Associates at VC firms can be your greatest advocates to partners, not roadblocks.”VP of Strategy and Business Development at Slide Keith Rabois responded with multiple comments on how True Venture, Khosla, Sequoia and Benchmark don’t depend on associates for introductions. Said Rabois, “The best VC’s do not even have associates.”Naturally, a number of associates chimed in. Most notably, Bessemer Venture Partners’ Sarah Tavel directed readers to her blog post about junior associates as a firm’s frontline and Senior Associate at Spark Capital Rob Go responded with a post on the advantages of connecting with associates. The one thing that the group seems to agree on is the fact that quality introductions to GP’s are the key to landing a serious meeting. The issue is, what constitutes a quality introduction and who are the best advocates? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Photo Credit: Aidan Jones A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market read more