Comment Archives: stories: Life + Outdoors: Field Notes

Re: “Language: Innate or Invented?

No, merge works recursively. Merge is just a computational operation whereby two syntactic units are combined together to form another syntactic object (for example, "the cat was killed" and "when it was hit by a car" produce, when operated upon by merge, the sentence "the cat was killed when it was hit by a car"). Merge is recursive because it is an operation that can be applied to its own output (in the last example, the inputs were "the cat was killed" and "when it was hit by a car", the computational operation was merge and the output was "the cat was killed when it was hit by a car"; via the application of the same merge operation, this output can then be combined with yet another syntactic unit, like "that was traveling at sixty kilometers an hour" for example, to form another linguistic unit: "the cat was killed when it was hit by a car that was traveling at sixty kilometers an hour"). So merge works just like any recursive function does in the theory of computation, which is why merge has the property of recursion. There's no "downgrade" from recursion to merge, you just didn't understand the theory.

Moreover, Everett's argument is fallacious in the most vulgar sort of way. Chomsky's claim is roughly the following: (1) if humans acquire recursive languages, then humans must have a genetic capacity that allows them to mentally process recursive languages. Anyone who knows their logic is aware of the fact that this conditional does not imply the following proposition: (2) if humans have a genetic capacity that allows them to mentally process recursive languages, then humans must acquire recursive languages. That is, in general, "if A then B" does not imply "if B then A". In finding an example of a human language that does not feature recursion, all Everett has done is to disprove proposition (2), but this proposition is not implied by Chomsky's actual claim, and so Everett's (very much disputed, if not refuted) discovery is irrelevant as far as the viability of Chomsky's program is concerned.

As for a younger generation of linguists abandoning ideas of innate grammar, well that might be partially true. At the same time, there are academics trying to argue that there are no such things as genetic programs, and that all talk of information being encoded in DNA is meaningless. In both cases, this doesn't represent the majority view, which is fortunate because in both cases it simply demonstrates a shocking lack of understanding of theory of computation. As far as I can tell, dissent from this basic view of Chomsky's amounts to an infantile and misdirected fear of genetic determinism (of course, many people, like Pinker for example, dissent from Chomsky in the finer details, and that's where the media coverage should be concentrated; at the moment, what the media is doing is analogous to claiming that the general theory of relativity has been disproved instead of focusing coverage on the more subtle disputes--the ones of actual importance to physicists--that exist between scientists who accept general relativity).

Posted by rationalistpaladin on 09/29/2016 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Myth of the Invisible Ships

Hi, just wanted to question the assumption of these peoples "living on the edge of survival". I believe quite the opposite was true.

It's fun to consider the possibility this reaction (if accurately reported) is similar to what you may expect from people who've seen similar ships before.

Enjoyed article, thank you.

CH

Posted by CH on 09/05/2016 at 4:26 PM

Re: “Shots, Shots, Shots

Nice historical story. I think the problem with modern vaccination schedules is the sheer amount of different strains the body is forced to deal with. The multiple of vaccines that are stacked and given at a rate that may very well be overloading a young, developing immune system. This, in addition to, the adjuvants, which often contain mercury are quite possibly too much at one time for anyone who might be dealing with other environmental issues. I'm of the belief that vaccines do have a place, but the schedule of multiple vaccines may not be the best thing for a young child. Personally, my youngest was hospitalized after a round of vaccinations, so it's a bit scary when something meant to help can also harm, And can have long lasting consequences for both children and parents. The debate is fierce, and we can look to the fluoridation of our water supplies when nothing positive has been proven by ingesting it. If you are a proponent of flouride, then why not just go for tablets or drops that each family can decide, depending on their individual needs. The FDA hasn't signed off on water treatment, so why are we so adamant about medicating an entire water supply when studies have shown that the amount of water actually ingested is less than 10%. So we are fluoridating our lawns, gardens, at a very real cost to the communities, the least bringin up questions of how to effectively manage real health issues and solutions.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by dylthepickle on 09/04/2016 at 9:49 PM

Re: “A No-Win GMO Label Law

Barry, now we know Glyphosate is being applied to the Lanphere Dunes,
seems that it is worth a mention, as in what the hell is going on with
HSU and why the sheer cowardice in reporting?

Posted by palustrine on 08/28/2016 at 2:03 PM

Re: “Sensed Presences and Heard Voices

I have had three distinct encounters, each of which has been life-changing.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by LaPortaMA on 08/25/2016 at 8:21 PM

Re: “A No-Win GMO Label Law

Well, I have left my comments at length. But your NCJ posting of comments system... After I posted... Your system posted my comments with a bright yellow frame border line... And a tag sign on top said, "Hold for 5 minutes to edit or delete".

What's up? I posted some very vital important sources for community edification about big global crisis with GMO everything!

I hope my comments content is NOT deleted!

Does your comments posting system ONLY allow a maximum of so many characters?
It did not state any limits before or after my pressing POST.

I will send this my 2nd comments post and seen what happens.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Meaghan Simpson on 08/11/2016 at 10:11 PM

Re: “A No-Win GMO Label Law

Hi Barry! GMO everything is monopoly monster madness mergers mounting...yes it is only getting way worse with GMO super weeds crisis global crisis new mega new GMO super poison
Pesticides to try and control super weeds by GMO... All the SCI-FI horror shows of wacko weird fake foods products are pumping out of GMO labs faster than you can have massive nightmares about fake foods full of poisons... New editions and renditions churning. This is not going away anytime soon.

The worst of the worst world order secret global corporate gov pacts from hell, the TPP - TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP pact from hell is hostile coup by over 666 mega multinational corporations buying our national, state, county and city legal sovereignty from WA, DC criminals politicos willing to sell USA and our planet Earth out and destroy everything for pennies on the $billions and $trillions for their owners profiteers MONSANTO and others.

Many millions of people around the world and 90% of USA citizens oppose GMOs. USA is part of 7 massive events been held, GLOBAL MARCHES AGAINST MONSANTO...and all the nations where GAFTA and NATT filthy dirty trade deals with MONSANTO corp invading INDIA taking over lands and farms and wiping out the local healthy heirloom organic crops the indigenous farmers have been successfully growing for centuries. This ever unfolding heart wrenching story of horrors of India's farmers wiped out SOOO stolen lives. Over 300,000 farmers have committed suicides because their ability to farm traditionally has been stolen! This is just one of the horror stories from other nations! This is the GLOBAL nightmare come out of Clinton's GAFTA NATT sick deals for HRC's big cronies client and campaign manager MONSANTO corp owns HRC since a young bitch lawyer! MSM does not cover the GLOBAL MARCHES AGAINST MONSANTO with mega millions of people so strong and articulate and boldly courageous! USA gov is sabotaging our common will and good and driving our standards into the darkest dumpster. Traitors.
We are getting screwed while RUSSIA bans all GMO and Russian AG is heirloom certified organic
With happy pollinators of all kinds. 70 nations either outright BAN GMOS or require GMO full disclosures on labels. 70 nations OUTSIDE the USA.

Much evidence for 20 years that over 90% of us USA citizens demand TRUTH on labels, every ingredient. What do we get? Nothing. We have demanded full disclosures of BIG CHEM poison PETRO fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides. The vast majority of USA citizens are on record for TOTAL BANS on EVERYTHING GMO. We want to be honest articulate adults DAMM it and claim the best standards in the world, not the worst which is what WA, DC 90% whores for the 1% poison PETRO corporations BIG AG BIZ committing crimes against humanity, the rights of heirloom organic nature and all living things.

This GMO issue just keeps on expanding with USA big gov who DO NOT CARE!
We do not get to vote. the deep secret global gov, by, for and of the corporations. We really must engage with our leaders globally and in USA for in depth full circle community awareness of this war on our health and safety that has polluted our planet egregiously so that killer Roundup ingredient, glyphosate is everywhere and part of climate crisis and it all rolls down into our sick oceans.

Good comparison is our fake corrupt democracy for decades bursting broken big time reality TV casino circus crimes on steroids, fixed, rigged, tampered, manipulated, illegal, immoral, most obscenely overpriced ripoff poison 2016 presidential frauds elections in human history... What we got is the two most untrustworthy unpopular candidates ever. Like Julian Assange said who he would choose, said something went viral, "the choice is between cholera and syphilis. No choice!"

Please expand way beyond MSM gov news! Many wonderful USA alternative true news reporting, movies, books, foundations, forensic testing for purity and potentcy,

1. Health Ranger Mike Adams and www.naturalnews.com... Check out all the articles and searches, GMO madness.

2. www.drmercola.com

3. ELIZABETH KUCINICH Foundation in WA, DC is the core of truth and light regards horrors of GMOs. Many leaders connected in our movement do explain this very evil complicated issue.
And is major source of information regards Regenerative AG transition of crops and pasture lands to Heirloom Certified Organic... The Problems AND the solutions! We are the walkers and talkers in the NEW EARTH uniting to transform our collective consciousness from empire based to earth based. Stop watching MSM and computer games and Help bring this foundation's light into our Humboldt community now!

4. Get the documentary movie "CONSUMED" award winning...

This is a conflict between real and fake.
Please make this a BIG cover story soon! I am glad our county was able to say no on a ballot to GMO, but we should be very wary about the corporations scamming to make GMO marijuana
working away in their mad scientist labs on all kinds of ways... Will GMO marijuana be way bigger than real heirloom marijuana?... Like GMO Salmon is on steroids. There are no doubt all kinds of weird seeds strains invading Humboldt with thousands upon thousands of illegal super grows by big greed heads for recreational MJ without any of our Medicinal Marijuana local heirloom organic strict standards. We are AG and we are being invaded. MONSANTO wants to own every seed strain on earth and they buy up every good old heirloom organic seeds companies they can buy for decades. They take all the seeds and put them in their vaults and hide them so GMO patented corporate owned seeds/plants that cannot reproduce fertile seeds..
And that brings us to the wild subject of real and fake seeds in our human dilemma. OY VAY my garden home is under SEIGE!

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Meaghan Simpson on 08/11/2016 at 9:29 PM

Re: “A No-Win GMO Label Law

UPDATE: Prez signed into law July 29.

Posted by barryevans on 08/11/2016 at 6:56 AM

Re: “Non-random Random Primes

Hi Maybe, these were from first billion primes (i.e. two billion pairs). Apparently the bias effect tapers off as you increase the dataset, all the pairs trending to 6.25%. Cue spooky music...

Posted by barryevans on 07/16/2016 at 7:25 AM

Re: “Non-random Random Primes

Barry: I assume these percentages were derived from analyzing the first X number of prime numbers as a sample. Because the series of prime numbers is actually infinite, what guarantees that these percentages don't shift around significantly after adding another million prime numbers or so. For example, couldn't the percentage of "1-9"s say surpass that of "7-3"s?

Posted by Maybe,maybe not on 07/15/2016 at 4:35 PM

Re: “E-Cigarettes vs. Tobacco

I got the 7 seconds from the World Health Organization — looks like (averaging several sites) it's more like 30 seconds (not minutes) for nicotine vapor to affect brain. Thanks for catch!

Posted by barryevans on 06/03/2016 at 10:00 PM

Re: “E-Cigarettes vs. Tobacco

This youtube video explains the real reason for the CA Dept. of Public Health's attack on e- cigs. Short version: follow the money:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxNM1pUoOn…

Also, Dr. Michael Siegel is an anti- smoking zealot who supports e cig use as a method of harm reduction. He has a blog:
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/

Posted by Fred Mangels on 06/02/2016 at 7:17 AM

Re: “E-Cigarettes vs. Tobacco

Mr. Evans, a 25 second Google search, and 5 minutes of reading will provide you with the information conspicuously absent from your attention grabbing opening sentence. Nicotine delivered in vapor takes minutes, not seconds to be detected in the blood.

I do appreciate the relatively even-handed nature of the rest of the article - shame the lead was inaccurate.

Posted by mstave on 06/02/2016 at 6:54 AM

Re: “The Good Old Days?

I should used "life expectancy" when talking about a baby born today (77 years)

Posted by barryevans on 05/25/2016 at 8:12 PM

Re: “Cash, Plastic or Bitcoin?

Barry: Before you pronounce bitcoin as secure, you might want to Google "bitcoin theft."

Like any predator/prey interaction it's always a a pendulum swing. And one should consider what legal mechanisms are available to help the victim in case of loss.

Bronco

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bronco on 05/09/2016 at 6:20 PM

Re: “A Little Lower Than the Angels?

"Charles Darwin showed how the relentless thrust of evolution further dilutes our previously self-glorified status."

"...according to some contemporary physicists who propose that even our universe isn't special! "Universe" used to be interpreted literally: "that which is combined into one." Now speculation runs rife with talk of "multiverses." Whatever process created our universe..."

Darwin did not know about the digital code of DNA in the 1800s and the multiverse is untestable. It's all part of our final exam. We can believe what we WANT to believe, and what we WANT to believe tells God who we are.

Posted by Robert Lockett on 05/09/2016 at 5:47 AM

Re: “Cash, Plastic or Bitcoin?

Succinct.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Erik Aronesty on 05/05/2016 at 9:31 AM

Re: “General Relativity, 100 Years On

Just saw this myself... good questions all of them. Do you think they can be answered apart from our assumptions concerning the meaning and purpose of the universe and of life? How do we extricate ourselves and answer them objectively?

Posted by Robert Lockett on 04/16/2016 at 8:44 PM

Re: “Bayes, Mammograms and False Positives

On thing to add... given that there are credible historical grounds to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, and that there are credible scientific grounds to believe that the universe came into being, each only once in this course of natural history, we can then use Bayes' theorem not as a proof, but as useful ground in terms of probability for believing -not that each will happen over and over, but that each can happen once more (a total of twice), ergo a collective resurrection and a new heaven and new earth. But it is important to notice that in the prophetic regime, the second nature is not like the present, but seems to be a more real nature, not lacking the added dimension/s and permanence of this nature. It almost gives the picture that this present nature is only the precursor to the real, the prototype, or the evolutionary ancestor of what (in one sense) is still being fashioned.

Posted by Robert Lockett on 04/16/2016 at 9:20 AM

Re: “Bayes, Mammograms and False Positives

Assigning probability to the existence of God or the miraculous is a category error as C.S. Lewis explained very well. If, for example we try to contemplate the probability of the resurrection, we will find that it falls into a different category like that of the history of the earth. The whole history of the earth is very improbable and by its nature it only happens once. Lewis masterfully shows that in the same way, the resurrection is one of those 'one-off' events that cannot be subject to the kind of probability that things within the ordinary cause and effect relationship of the total system reside.

We must not let our habits of thought blind us to the obvious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv4kx2QP4U…

Posted by Robert Lockett on 04/16/2016 at 7:57 AM

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