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  #1  
Old 2004-10-18, 06:12
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Q&A Knowledge thread

A kind of spin off from the Q&A thread.

Basicaly, one person asks a question...anything...could be something profound, something deep, silly or complex.
It wont be anything personal though, it will be a real question of some sort...maybe something that has been puzzleing you for awhile.

Not questions that have easily google-able answeres please!
Interesting, puzzley, weird or crazy

Then people try to answere it.
When the person that asks the question is statisfied with an answere, he says so...and the person that answered gets to ask their own question

I'm hopeing we might learn something here, or at the very least spread our ignorance around eveningly

(answeres can be silly or serious...its upto the person who asked the question to decide who 'gets it right')

eg.
Person 1 ~ "Which came first the Chicken or the egg?"
Person 2 ~ "The egg, because it came from the proto-chicken"
Person 1 ~ "Alright smartarse, your turn"

Ok?

First question....
(sorry, its the best i can come up with....im tired)

Does pushing buttons multiple times on traffic lights and elivators really speed them up...if not why do we keep doing it?
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  #2  
Old 2004-10-18, 07:45
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No.
Why keep doing it? urm...it let's people feel like they're doing something to get the light to change.
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  #3  
Old 2004-10-18, 12:02
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Oh I think yes, the light thinks that there are a lot of people waiting, thus increasing the change that it would light up sooner
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  #4  
Old 2004-10-18, 14:17
prone2accidents prone2accidents is offline
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No, pressing the button is a futile endevour. Why keep pushing them? Because there are sadistic people who go around every day and coat the buttons in a thin film of a mildly addictive substance which amplifies any aggresive feelings you may be having. The chemical acts fast and you need to keep repeatedly pushing to gain your fix, however when the lights change/elevator arrives you have no place to direct your anger and it will consequently diminish and occasionallly reverse entirely making you feel relief, and so the effect of the chemical (including it's addictive properties) will be neutralised and so allow you to cross the road/use the elevator. The sadistic people will then return and remove cells from people who have pushed the button and use them to analyse that persons genetic code and store it in a large database of unknown location. I have yet to ascertain the purpose for this database, though I am of the belief that it is part of a large operation centred around the goal of world dominiation.

EDIT: I can't believe I just wasted five minutes of my life writing that.
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  #5  
Old 2004-10-18, 15:39
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No, it's just to ensure that the button was really pressed
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  #6  
Old 2004-10-18, 20:12
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p2a wins this one by a long shot, conspiracy theorys rule

Ok, p2a..whats your question?
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  #7  
Old 2004-10-18, 20:45
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Damn, it's so much harder to think of a question...

OK, I'll go for a rather cliche 'If a tree falls in an abandoned wood does it make a sound?'
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As her body lay askew and lifeless on the floor I did not weep
As freinds and relatives spoke so fondly of her I did not shed a tear
But as I saw her body lowered beaneth the ground I realised that it was over and she was gone.
I cried until I could cry no more.
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  #8  
Old 2004-10-18, 21:11
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No.
Running the world requires lots of resources, so you can't afford playing sounds no one will hear. The other theory is that since no one is there to see the tree fall, it doesn't fall. The next time you're there, the environment is rendered so that the tree is already down.
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  #9  
Old 2004-10-18, 21:27
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wow :O
cool idea but, uhh... not really
it does make a sound, even if no one hears it, it just means that the vibration of the air particles doesn't go far enough to anyones ear drums.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
dont get me wrong, i like your idea better, but im right.
sorry
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  #10  
Old 2004-10-18, 21:52
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Define sound.
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  #11  
Old 2004-10-18, 21:53
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no - sound is only a concept of the human mind - and therefore it cannot exist without the human mind to create it
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  #12  
Old 2004-10-18, 22:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitzel-Man
Define sound.
Umm...sound has only one defintion
A disturbance in the air density.

So, yes, it will.
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  #13  
Old 2004-10-18, 22:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_angry_
no - sound is only a concept of the human mind - and therefore it cannot exist without the human mind to create it
how about, NOT? ;p

The way we "hear" sound through our ears is a concept of the human mind. (of many kinds of minds, actually)

Sound itself has nothing to do with humans, it just exists.
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  #14  
Old 2004-10-19, 01:19
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No, because if an action is unobserved by sentient being, then it purely exists as a quantom wave of all possibilitys.
The tree is in a superposition of being cut down and not cut down at the same time.
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  #15  
Old 2004-10-19, 01:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakin
how about, NOT? ;p

The way we "hear" sound through our ears is a concept of the human mind. (of many kinds of minds, actually)

Sound itself has nothing to do with humans, it just exists.

But without a sentient mind to interpret both tree and sound, one cannot ascertain that the tree even exists itself. All we have are words on a page, and an image in our heads of what should be happening, neither of which form realities known to ourselves. It is therefore debateable whether you continue to exist once I stop conversing with you on the Internet Anakin - with the most probable conslucion being that you don't
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  #16  
Old 2004-10-19, 11:00
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Nope.
Only microscopic stuff like atoms,quarks,electrons etc. are unpredictable.

If you have a radioactive atom, whose nucleus is about to split, but it didn't split yet, THEN you don't know what happens untill you check.
THEN it is split and not split at the same time.

When talking about something the size of a tree, we damn well know what it's going to do. The random behviour of microscopic particles stops having a significant effect. And we also know that if a tree falls, it falls.
And trees fall when there's nobody around as well.

Saying that nothing happens unless someone sees it is purely philosophical.
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  #17  
Old 2004-10-19, 13:45
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Anakin, but the tree is made of microscopic particles, yes? And each single one of them behaviours in a random way, yes? So each one exists and doesn't exist at the same time, so there is possibility (very small, but exists) that all of them will become in "doesn't exist" state at the same time.

And about the question: let's place a tape recorder near the tree and check sometimes if it have already fallen. When we some day come and see that it has fallen, then we will listen to the tape, and all will be clear . Problem is that we will need a very looong tape, or some kind of mp3 recorder with huge hard disk.
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  #18  
Old 2004-10-19, 15:21
prone2accidents prone2accidents is offline
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You can't change the laws of physics Anakin, but because your giving it your best shot I'll give you this one.
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As her body lay askew and lifeless on the floor I did not weep
As freinds and relatives spoke so fondly of her I did not shed a tear
But as I saw her body lowered beaneth the ground I realised that it was over and she was gone.
I cried until I could cry no more.

Last edited by prone2accidents; 2004-10-19 at 15:43.
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  #19  
Old 2004-10-19, 15:32
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Quote:
When talking about something the size of a tree, we damn well know what it's going to do. The random behviour of microscopic particles stops having a significant effect. And we also know that if a tree falls, it falls.
And trees fall when there's nobody around as well.
Answere: SCHRODINGER'S CAT

Sub-atomitic effects can easily be showen to affect the macro-world. A "chain of events" can be formed by which the large depends apon the very small.

Schrodiner didnt believe quantom thoery himself, thus invented the thought expirement to show how stupid it seemed when it effected large real objects.

Never-the-less, there has yet to be showen any mechcanism by which quantom thory can effect the small, but not the large.
Some thoerys involveing gravty particals collapseing waveforms have come about, but they have yet to be established in any real way.
For a scientist, you cant chuck a perfectly good thoery away...no mater how crazy it is....not unless you have counter evidence, or something that fits the evidence just as well but seems more logical. (occam's razor)

Quote:
And about the question: let's place a tape recorder near the tree and check sometimes if it have already fallen. When we some day come and see that it has fallen, then we will listen to the tape, and all will be clear . Problem is that we will need a very looong tape, or some kind of mp3 recorder with huge hard disk.
Problem is, quantom waves can,in thoery, be collapsed backwards in time
(ie, when you open the box with the cat in, you determain the state it was a few minutes ago)

Very well....anakin NEXT?
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  #20  
Old 2004-10-19, 16:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zink
Anakin, but the tree is made of microscopic particles, yes? And each single one of them behaviours in a random way, yes? So each one exists and doesn't exist at the same time, so there is possibility (very small, but exists) that all of them will become in "doesn't exist" state at the same time.

And about the question: let's place a tape recorder near the tree and check sometimes if it have already fallen. When we some day come and see that it has fallen, then we will listen to the tape, and all will be clear . Problem is that we will need a very looong tape, or some kind of mp3 recorder with huge hard disk.

Adding a tape recorder into the equation adds an element of human interpreataion when we hear the tape. We cannot be sure that the tree would have made a sound had we not interfered. Also the tree did not make a sound when it fell, only when we listened on the tape recorder
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  #21  
Old 2004-10-19, 16:07
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Darkflame: Yes but whether schrodinger's cat dies or lives depends DIRECTLY on a single unpredictable sub-atomic action. There is a direct relation to something unpredictable, that's why the cat living or dying is unpredictable.

Ofcourse, macroscopic events are effected by microscopic ones, but due to probabilty issues, when it comes to something the size of a tree, quantom fluctuations' can't affect a standing tree to fall. that's just TOO improbable.

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Prone2accidendts: giving it my best shot? I didn't try to answer the question, i was just commenting on what I believed was unexact.
But, whatever

Umm...is the universe infinite?
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  #22  
Old 2004-10-19, 16:08
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Probably not, at least not if we believe in the Big Bang theory. But we will never reach or see the end since it expands with the speed of light.
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  #23  
Old 2004-10-19, 20:09
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Depends of the definition of infinite and of universe really

The mater will run out no dought at some point, but the dimensions themselfs will continue forever.
There is no wall.
While the universe is often said to be curved, we havnt actualy detected any curviture...and even if we did the curves would mearly put the universe inside a bubble, or balloon.
The balloon could then, be said to have an outside...which would be measured in some weird super-demensions. There may be other bubbles, other universes.
But dosnt universe mean everything?

Overall
Id say the universe probably is not only infinite, but infinite in more ways then we can possibily imagine.
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Old 2004-10-19, 21:52
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But infinite is so big

This question always gave me head aches when i was small.
I used to imagine a wall at the edge of the universe, but then i had to figure out what was behind the wall. there has to be SOMETHING.

It would sure be cool to find out the answer to that question someday.

Anyway, i'll let gustav get this one; go ahead
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  #25  
Old 2004-10-20, 01:16
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I agree with DF: There is only one UNI-verse which by definitionmust be infinite. Within that there is matter, or a number of subuniverses or whatever. At this level anything is possible. Hence Yes, the UNI-verse is infinite
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