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mlooney

Story Friday, May 8, 2020

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4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

The leaf is dead but it can't really get THAT far from the tree, which is still living. But assuming it IS non-factor, ...

... then, "It is conceivable that the color of the leaves cold attract a parasite, like us, tapping maple trees, but mostly doesn't matter."

 

4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

No "decision" happened on that. ... Well, ok, some colors are more likely due to which chemicals remain there, but there ARE multiple colors involved ...

Exactly. The selection of the components of the leaf are germane to prior to it's death, while it is still a functional leaf, not after, when it is a leaf-corpse. Evolution does not care a whit about how you fare as worm food. Which portions of you can fossilize or not.

Although, there are some post mortem features that matter to evolution;  how tasty you are, what use is your hide, predator motivations ... so the structural components of a lettuce or spinach leaf matter, offset by, we are motivated to cultivate them.

 

4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

... not able to take advantage of, ...

Not an opportunity.

 

4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

... because the required change was too big step at once. ...

Not an opportunity.

 

4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

 ... which took long due to how complicated they are. ...

Not an opportunity.

 

4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

 ... you CAN argue that evolution managed to get to the Moon using the brain as middle step due to not being able to evolve rocket engines powerful enough directly ...

Oh, #@%%, yeah; technology is the antithesis of evolution until you consider what makes it possible, then, it's just a branch of the big picture. If we are too stupid to prevent global warming/deflect the next asteroid/not nuke ourselves/survive pandemic/not cause pandemic, that's evolution in action, weeding the flower bed. Although, in the extreme, being the next Venus shuts down evolution, doesn't it? Hard to say, life has survived some major events, and lives in some unlikely extreme environments.

If we reach the stars and colonize the stars, that's evolution in action as well. The end result has some commonality, either way, we're eventually extinct; in one, with finality (unless some future species clones us), in the other, eventually superseded.

Imagine, per the Terminator movie series, that we are eventually replaced by AIs in artificial bodies. Or that we choose to become cyborgs and augment ourselves artificially, like the Borg. Or that we develop and embrace nanite technology that becomes a part of us so much so that medicine has to factor it in to every decision. Are those not all still evolution in action, though no longer primarily biological? Can not each of those systems continue to evolve?

 

 

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13 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
18 hours ago, hkmaly said:

 ... you CAN argue that evolution managed to get to the Moon using the brain as middle step due to not being able to evolve rocket engines powerful enough directly ...

Oh, #@%%, yeah; technology is the antithesis of evolution until you consider what makes it possible, then, it's just a branch of the big picture. If we are too stupid to prevent global warming/deflect the next asteroid/not nuke ourselves/survive pandemic/not cause pandemic, that's evolution in action, weeding the flower bed. Although, in the extreme, being the next Venus shuts down evolution, doesn't it? Hard to say, life has survived some major events, and lives in some unlikely extreme environments.

I find very likely there is no evolution on Venus. There MIGHT still remain something here even if Earth ends up second Venus because there will be more life here and some may managed to adapt, BUT this is exactly the case of too big step: sometimes, the environment changes too fast for evolution to adapt, in which case evolution may fail. Evolution proved to be very effective way to solve the problem, but is not unstoppable. Sure, you can claim that it's weeding the flower bed, but if nothing remained, it's failure.

13 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

If we reach the stars and colonize the stars, that's evolution in action as well. The end result has some commonality, either way, we're eventually extinct; in one, with finality (unless some future species clones us), in the other, eventually superseded.

It is theoretically possible our current form proves to be so great it will survive forever. It's very unlikely, though.

Another, completely unrelated question however is if the form which will replace us will consider itself "still human, just with few upgrades" or separate species.

13 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Imagine, per the Terminator movie series, that we are eventually replaced by AIs in artificial bodies.

I find very likely that sky.NET was not actually capable of replacing us and that after winning the war it would stop evolving and eventually existing.

13 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Or that we choose to become cyborgs and augment ourselves artificially, like the Borg.

There doesn't seem to be much choice in case of Borg :) ... also note that Borg DID utilize nanotechnology.

13 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Or that we develop and embrace nanite technology that becomes a part of us so much so that medicine has to factor it in to every decision. Are those not all still evolution in action, though no longer primarily biological? Can not each of those systems continue to evolve?

Biological evolution works with randomness - it's actually capable of using random mutations to effectively search for better solution and continue. For cybernetic systems, random change which is not fixed is extremely likely to simply destroy the system. Well ... actually, that may not be inherit property of biological versus cybernetic system, more like the biological systems being optimized in way that allows mutation and limit reach of defective mutations (cancer) versus cybernetic system too often having relatively few points of complete failure ... but still: unless someone deliberately designs cybernetic system capable of evolution using random mutation, it's not going to happen.

Of course, it's possible someone will.

Alternatively, evolution can continue indirectly, with our own opinion having big influence on what feature is considered positive but results eventually being tested for survival in classic way. If we colonize enough planets and won't do the mistake of all using same design (think windows), it can work. If not, well ... maybe there is some life we don't manage to destroy before we got to the point where our shortsightedness, laziness and comfortableness remove us from the evolution race.

It should be. Universe is quite big.

(Short answer: Yes, such systems can continue to evolve. If we let them.)

 

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7 hours ago, hkmaly said:

I find very likely there is no evolution on Venus. There MIGHT still remain something here even if Earth ends up second Venus because there will be more life here and some may managed to adapt, BUT this is exactly the case of too big step: sometimes, the environment changes too fast for evolution to adapt, in which case evolution may fail. Evolution proved to be very effective way to solve the problem, but is not unstoppable. Sure, you can claim that it's weeding the flower bed, but if nothing remained, it's failure.

I agree, if we reach a point where the temperature finds positive feedback, it's all over.

 

7 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It is theoretically possible our current form proves to be so great it will survive forever. It's very unlikely, though.

Another, completely unrelated question however is if the form which will replace us will consider itself "still human, just with few upgrades" or separate species.

You raised the criteria earlier, if you can't breed with it, it's a separate species. Seems unlikely that as we spread and adapt, that we will be able to maintain compatibility. Also, there's nothing special about our form; we are fairly weak for large primates. (strictly speaking, there are a few things special; we can stand upright for long periods without a high degree of muscle fatigue, because our knees lock, and we are tops in running for the distance we can cover without quitting. We're pretty slow, but no one else runs marathons. And big heads, and pretty good eyesight for a mammal, in the daytime. Oh, and opposable thumbs, can't forget those.)

 

7 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Biological evolution works with randomness - it's actually capable of using random mutations to effectively search for better solution and continue. For cybernetic systems, random change which is not fixed is extremely likely to simply destroy the system. Well ... actually, that may not be inherit property of biological versus cybernetic system, more like the biological systems being optimized in way that allows mutation and limit reach of defective mutations (cancer) versus cybernetic system too often having relatively few points of complete failure ... but still: unless someone deliberately designs cybernetic system capable of evolution using random mutation, it's not going to happen.

Of course, it's possible someone will.

Alternatively, evolution can continue indirectly, with our own opinion having big influence on what feature is considered positive but results eventually being tested for survival in classic way. If we colonize enough planets and won't do the mistake of all using same design (think windows), it can work. If not, well ... maybe there is some life we don't manage to destroy before we got to the point where our shortsightedness, laziness and comfortableness remove us from the evolution race.

It should be. Universe is quite big.

(Short answer: Yes, such systems can continue to evolve. If we let them.)

A lot of things evolve that are not biological. Language evolves. Technology evolves. Knowledge is evolutionary, both in the aggregate, and individual learning. There are software techniques based on evolution.

I had two sets of picture cards when I was a kid, one was early locomotives, mostly US, the other was early automobiles, slightly less US centric. They were cool, they had a good writeup on each item on the back. The train one ran from early 1800 to around the turn of the 20th century. The cars went up to the twenties, maybe a few in the thirties. It hit me one day that both of them showed an evolutionary progression. DNA mutations did not drive it, of course, but there it was. New technology, market competition, features added for marketability, the throws of the economy, even the influence of warfare and other external factors. Products were competing in the market place, and only some survived; and those were gradually modified and enhanced, until eventually superseded.

I don't think we can prevent evolution of the things around us, it's not in our nature. You want a randomizing element; our goals don't even line up. On the occasion that they do, an item can advance rapidly.

 

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1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:
9 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It is theoretically possible our current form proves to be so great it will survive forever. It's very unlikely, though.

Another, completely unrelated question however is if the form which will replace us will consider itself "still human, just with few upgrades" or separate species.

You raised the criteria earlier, if you can't breed with it, it's a separate species. Seems unlikely that as we spread and adapt, that we will be able to maintain compatibility.

If most of our evolution will be done by nanotechnology and cybernetics, it's not only not going to change who we can breed with, it can actually help even with bridging the changes which WILL be in genes. Assuming we will want to, of course.

Also, do you only count natural breeding (and what is considered natural for cybernetic organism?) or also breeding assisted with gene engineers who at that point would likely be able to breed human with can just for the fun?

I already mentioned that this definition of species is not reliable. May be completely abandoned in future.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Also, there's nothing special about our form; we are fairly weak for large primates. (strictly speaking, there are a few things special; we can stand upright for long periods without a high degree of muscle fatigue, because our knees lock, and we are tops in running for the distance we can cover without quitting. We're pretty slow, but no one else runs marathons. And big heads, and pretty good eyesight for a mammal, in the daytime. Oh, and opposable thumbs, can't forget those.)

You already listed lot of special things. Also, we have big brains (with lot of folds) in those big heads. And, because of such big heads, mother needs bigger ... hips and few other things, and for compatibility also fathers need something exceptionally big compared to other mammals based on body size ... :)

And regarding the running: remember that we have exceptionally little fur. And that's not a mistake: it allows us to run longer without overheating. It's not (just) the distance itself: it's that in African savanna, we can pursue other animal so long they will cook themselves alive due to our superior thermoregulation.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:

A lot of things evolve that are not biological. Language evolves. Technology evolves. Knowledge is evolutionary, both in the aggregate, and individual learning. There are software techniques based on evolution.

There is specific method of programming based on simulated evolution. The rest of those ... sure, there is evolution, but it's not entirely same as the biological one. In biological evolution, windows would be extinct long ago. The criteria are more complicated, and number of individuals hardly matter.

(Actually ... for some plants, we already changed their BIOLOGICAL evolution that way. We can decide to change for example which kind of banana we grow, and clone millions of plants from single individual.)

Yes, it's still evolution, but some general things said about evolution only apply to the biological one.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:

I had two sets of picture cards when I was a kid, one was early locomotives, mostly US, the other was early automobiles, slightly less US centric. They were cool, they had a good writeup on each item on the back. The train one ran from early 1800 to around the turn of the 20th century. The cars went up to the twenties, maybe a few in the thirties. It hit me one day that both of them showed an evolutionary progression. DNA mutations did not drive it, of course, but there it was. New technology, market competition, features added for marketability, the throws of the economy, even the influence of warfare and other external factors. Products were competing in the market place, and only some survived; and those were gradually modified and enhanced, until eventually superseded.

New model of car may not have anything common with previous model of car from same company, yet it's survival depends on the company a lot. And fashion doesn't evolve, it's almost cyclical.

Most of the rules about evolution and survival of fittest work better when you apply them on the companies and not the individual models of car. Cars basically shows a combination of evolution of companies making them and evolution of technology.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:

I don't think we can prevent evolution of the things around us, it's not in our nature.

It is in our nature to fear the unknown. There WILL be resistance to any attempts to evolve human. There already IS, actually.

Now, can we completely prevent the evolution? I hope not, because it's definitely looks like bad idea.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:

You want a randomizing element;

In a way. My point was that without a randomizing element, the evolution is not going to work correctly.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:

our goals don't even line up.

Wait, who's goals?

 

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I think we're at the assaulting the deceased equine transport stage of this discussion. I'm going to do some massive clipping and answer a few key points, but mostly agree to disagree.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

I already mentioned that this definition of species is not reliable. May be completely abandoned in future.

What do you propose as a better alternative?

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

The rest of those ... sure, there is evolution, but it's not entirely same as the biological one. In biological evolution, windows would be extinct long ago.

Microsoft is highly adept at marketing. They are not primarily a technological company, they are a marketing firm.

I don't have the time to tell you all the things I don't like about Microsoft products. I use them all the time because they are mandated in the workplace. I get paid well to do so. but not because their 'better'.

But marketing is indeed a force of software evolution, and many innovative software packages go extinct because they are poorly sold. Hardware as well. Do you doubt that Commodore had a winner in the Amiga? And that only inept handling killed it? It was creating commercials and movie segments when the industry standard pc could barely print a letter.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

(Actually ... for some plants, we already changed their BIOLOGICAL evolution that way. We can decide to change for example which kind of banana we grow, and clone millions of plants from single individual.)

That would be technological evolution with a biologic subject. That banana is dependent on agriculture, and is set up for extinction in the wild.

GMOs are an interesting case. In spite of technologic mutation, they can breed true. So if a gene is added to resist a fungus, that is essentially a positive mutation. But then you have the Monsanto & co marketing strategy, which wants the farmer to have to buy seed each year doing their best to thwart it, so that may not be the case.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Most of the rules about evolution and survival of fittest work better when you apply them on the companies and not the individual models of car. Cars basically shows a combination of evolution of companies making them and evolution of technology.

Both evolve, the object and the implementors.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It is in our nature to fear the unknown. There WILL be resistance to any attempts to evolve human. There already IS, actually.

Now, can we completely prevent the evolution? I hope not, because it's definitely looks like bad idea.

You are not saying so, but you are agreeing.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Wait, who's goals?

The various human factions that want to own a piece of this future.

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

I think we're at the assaulting the deceased equine transport stage of this discussion. I'm going to do some massive clipping and answer a few key points, but mostly agree to disagree.

Really? I think we are mostly moving the discussion to more and more different topics ... but ok, I'll try to limit what I answer to as well.

11 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
14 hours ago, hkmaly said:

I already mentioned that this definition of species is not reliable. May be completely abandoned in future.

What do you propose as a better alternative?

That question assumes there IS a better alternative.

Specifically for human, the alternative would be to basically count as human anyone who insists on it and has money on lawyers. Is it better? Hard to say.
 

11 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
14 hours ago, hkmaly said:

The rest of those ... sure, there is evolution, but it's not entirely same as the biological one. In biological evolution, windows would be extinct long ago.

Microsoft is highly adept at marketing. They are not primarily a technological company, they are a marketing firm.

I don't have the time to tell you all the things I don't like about Microsoft products. I use them all the time because they are mandated in the workplace. I get paid well to do so. but not because their 'better'.

But marketing is indeed a force of software evolution, and many innovative software packages go extinct because they are poorly sold. Hardware as well. Do you doubt that Commodore had a winner in the Amiga? And that only inept handling killed it? It was creating commercials and movie segments when the industry standard pc could barely print a letter.

I don't think microsoft IS a technological company. But yes, their marketing is superior. It's just marketing is mostly NEGATIVE force. The product taking advantage from marketing usually isn't different direction of evolution, but basically stagnation, no significant change.

On the other hand ... the way cats turned "being attractive to humans" to evolutionary advantage isn't that different from marketing ...

11 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

GMOs are an interesting case. In spite of technologic mutation, they can breed true. So if a gene is added to resist a fungus, that is essentially a positive mutation. But then you have the Monsanto & co marketing strategy, which wants the farmer to have to buy seed each year doing their best to thwart it, so that may not be the case.

Yes ... interesting case indeed.

11 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
14 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It is in our nature to fear the unknown. There WILL be resistance to any attempts to evolve human. There already IS, actually.

Now, can we completely prevent the evolution? I hope not, because it's definitely looks like bad idea.

You are not saying so, but you are agreeing.

I think it's mostly agreeing but not completely.

11 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
14 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Wait, who's goals?

The various human factions that want to own a piece of this future.

Oh, those. Yes, unless someone manages to get monopoly on evolution humans (which would be VERY bad but unfortunately can happen) there will be different factions with different ideas about what goals to pursue ... and which of them would survive IS type of evolution.

 

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2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

That question assumes there IS a better alternative.

So, until then species mostly works and models related descent.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Specifically for human, the alternative would be to basically count as human anyone who insists on it and has money on lawyers. Is it better? Hard to say.

There are movements to grant 'person' status to some more intelligent critters. Preceded by decades by Heinlein.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It's just marketing is mostly NEGATIVE force.

Astonishingly, I find myself actually at odds with your assessment. I don't like being being marketed to but by manipulative ad campaigns, so generally also have a negative attitude toward marketing, and I can't see myself in that role, it goes against my grain. But marketing is ubiquitous, everyone markets (or they evaporate), not just businesses. Also, marketing is a source of information. If I am interested in a sale, I want them to handle the marketing well, and honestly. I don't like deceptive marketing, but i don't like deceptive a lot of things.

I think a total lack of marketing would be frustrating. It would be difficult to find those brands you like; if they were even brands. And user review as part of marketing, like Steam does, much appreciated. Amazon as well. I like Consumer Reports, but there's so much ground to cover, and they have little resources for many of my interests.

 

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

On the other hand ... the way cats turned "being attractive to humans" to evolutionary advantage isn't that different from marketing ...

Yeah, I guess docile tamed animals are marketing themselves. Well, their genes are.

 

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1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:
3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Specifically for human, the alternative would be to basically count as human anyone who insists on it and has money on lawyers. Is it better? Hard to say.

There are movements to grant 'person' status to some more intelligent critters. Preceded by decades by Heinlein.

I guess results of this may influence how many people would insist to be classified as part of human species.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:
3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It's just marketing is mostly NEGATIVE force.

Astonishingly, I find myself actually at odds with your assessment. I don't like being being marketed to but by manipulative ad campaigns, so generally also have a negative attitude toward marketing, and I can't see myself in that role, it goes against my grain. But marketing is ubiquitous, everyone markets (or they evaporate), not just businesses. Also, marketing is a source of information. If I am interested in a sale, I want them to handle the marketing well, and honestly. I don't like deceptive marketing, but i don't like deceptive a lot of things.

I think a total lack of marketing would be frustrating. It would be difficult to find those brands you like; if they were even brands. And user review as part of marketing, like Steam does, much appreciated. Amazon as well. I like Consumer Reports, but there's so much ground to cover, and they have little resources for many of my interests.

With the "mostly", it can still work :) , but ok, deceptive marketing is negative force.

Sure marketing is source of information and if it somehow could be completely removed (which would be naive to think can happen) it would be frustrating. But marketing is not property of product ; if you select product based on it's marketing, it means you ignored how good the product itself is - and there are lot of examples where the product with better marketing is objectively worse.

1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:
3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

On the other hand ... the way cats turned "being attractive to humans" to evolutionary advantage isn't that different from marketing ...

Yeah, I guess docile tamed animals are marketing themselves. Well, their genes are.

Docile tamed ... I was talking about cats.

Not just my idea, actually. In RPG terms, it was mentioned in nerfnow:

Nature's Balance 5
Alone, lot of traits cats got recently would be disadvantage. But cat got big advantage due to symbiotic relationship with humans, and now it turns nearly parasitic as the original stuff we needed cats for (protecting our grain storages from rodents) is rarely needed now.
From evolution standpoint, best cat is one which is cuddly enough to always get food from humans, but is careful not to end up owned, as that can reduce number of her offspring.

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One could say that "marketing" is the primary survival skill in modern human society, as the means of achieving "success" in a society where both violence and physical labour are disdained is to persuade other people to give you money/power/status/sex/whatever.

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21 hours ago, hkmaly said:

I guess results of this may influence how many people would insist to be classified as part of human species.

"I wannna opt out!"

 

21 hours ago, hkmaly said:

But marketing is not property of product ; if you select product based on it's marketing, it means you ignored how good the product itself is - and there are lot of examples where the product with better marketing is objectively worse.

's why I mentioned user reviews. Lack of marketing is also a failure to thrive; how many of Microsoft'sproducts would not be Microsoft products today if they were effectively marketed from the get-go?

 

21 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Docile tamed ... I was talking about cats.

Alone, lot of traits cats got recently would be disadvantage. But cat got big advantage due to symbiotic relationship with humans, and now it turns nearly parasitic as the original stuff we needed cats for (protecting our grain storages from rodents) is rarely needed now.
From evolution standpoint, best cat is one which is cuddly enough to always get food from humans, but is careful not to end up owned, as that can reduce number of her offspring.

It's true (Nice cartoon, too), but animals that are already wired to be social lend themselves to the tame lifestyle. The success of cats may be more of an outlier. We have little success with animals with a cat-like lifestyle, including most kinds of cats.

 

 

 

 

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On 5/25/2020 at 9:16 AM, ijuin said:

One could say that "marketing" is the primary survival skill in modern human society, as the means of achieving "success" in a society where both violence and physical labour are disdained is to persuade other people to give you money/power/status/sex/whatever.

There is even one group who tries really hard to evolve that skill. So far, it brought it lot of opportunities to find that violence is not THAT much disdained. Frowned upon, yes, but ...

In fact, in modern (western) society, you don't need ANY skill to survive, unless war happens, in which case it's not marketing skill. It can be argued that marketing is useful to propagate your genes, but there is quite big group of people who DO have lot of children and their main skill is to know when to shout "that's racism!". From evolutionary standpoint, maybe less socialism WOULD help ... but, practically, I would prefer to finally get into applying genetic engineering to the old-fashioned "decide who should die" eugenics.

On 5/26/2020 at 3:12 AM, Darth Fluffy said:
On 5/25/2020 at 5:11 AM, hkmaly said:

I guess results of this may influence how many people would insist to be classified as part of human species.

"I wannna opt out!"

Well, I belong to the group who would be proud to be Homo Superior if it happened to me, but there are apparently lot of people who see it differently. Also, well, Homo Superior would still count as "human" ...

On 5/26/2020 at 3:12 AM, Darth Fluffy said:
On 5/25/2020 at 5:11 AM, hkmaly said:

But marketing is not property of product ; if you select product based on it's marketing, it means you ignored how good the product itself is - and there are lot of examples where the product with better marketing is objectively worse.

's why I mentioned user reviews. Lack of marketing is also a failure to thrive; how many of Microsoft'sproducts would not be Microsoft products today if they were effectively marketed from the get-go?

Well, I guess with proper marketing QDOS could thrive under different company, but I fail to see how that would be a good thing :)

Or let's use Skype for example. Quite popular product with good marketing. It's quality went considerably down after being acquired by Microsoft.

On the other hand, I hear argument that Linux is more popular than BSD mainly because it's more catchy name. And while I'm using Linux, I think it's only better because better marketing got it bigger number of programmers.

On 5/26/2020 at 3:12 AM, Darth Fluffy said:

It's true (Nice cartoon, too), but animals that are already wired to be social lend themselves to the tame lifestyle.

Those tame species also give control over their evolution to us. Look at what that meant for dogs.

On 5/26/2020 at 3:12 AM, Darth Fluffy said:

The success of cats may be more of an outlier. We have little success with animals with a cat-like lifestyle, including most kinds of cats.

The success of cats is different case altogether. They did not let themselves be tamed, but found a way how to get most of the advantages anyway. Harder path, more reward. Possibly filled only such space, because any other animal trying would be compared to cats ... and fail. Although ... maybe there is space for some lizard around. There is quite a lot of people having lizards (or snakes, but you can't really have snake on leash ...). It's different enough to not be compared directly, and they are not really that much tamed ... they are not there yet, it's not considered normal for lizards to wander around city the way cats do, but it can happen.

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35 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

There is even one group who tries really hard to evolve that skill. So far, it brought it lot of opportunities to find that violence is not THAT much disdained. Frowned upon, yes, but ...

In fact, in modern (western) society, you don't need ANY skill to survive, unless war happens, in which case it's not marketing skill. It can be argued that marketing is useful to propagate your genes, but there is quite big group of people who DO have lot of children and their main skill is to know when to shout "that's racism!". From evolutionary standpoint, maybe less socialism WOULD help ... but, practically, I would prefer to finally get into applying genetic engineering to the old-fashioned "decide who should die" eugenics.

Generally, acting violently without the authorization of the dominant society leads to getting stomped by said society unless you have a large enough faction to elevate it to the level of gang warfare if not civil war.

"Marketing" in the broad context does not necessarily involve publicity--it is mainly about having the ability to persuade others without needing to put them under duress. Somebody who has (consensual) sex with a lot of people is successful in "marketing" themselves to potential partners.

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29 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

There is even one group who tries really hard to evolve that skill. So far, it brought it lot of opportunities to find that violence is not THAT much disdained. Frowned upon, yes, but ...

In fact, in modern (western) society, you don't need ANY skill to survive, unless war happens, in which case it's not marketing skill. It can be argued that marketing is useful to propagate your genes, but there is quite big group of people who DO have lot of children and their main skill is to know when to shout "that's racism!". From evolutionary standpoint, maybe less socialism WOULD help ... but, practically, I would prefer to finally get into applying genetic engineering to the old-fashioned "decide who should die" eugenics.

I think you give people too much credit. Our ability to move in a positive direction in the aggregate is absurdly disfunctional. Case in point, anti-vaxers. "This is clearly beneficial", yet people cling to their conspiracy beliefs.

 

29 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Well, I belong to the group who would be proud to be Homo Superior if it happened to me, but there are apparently lot of people who see it differently. Also, well, Homo Superior would still count as "human" ...

Yeah, doesn't pretty much everyone on the planet think they're Homo Superior and the rest of us are their Cromagnon cousins? But, please, go ahead and try, it should be amusing to watch.

Inevitably, something will succeed us, and to do so, it will have to be superior in some sense. But whatever that is may not be something we intrinsically value.

 

29 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Well, I guess with proper marketing QDOS could thrive under different company, but I fail to see how that would be a good thing :)

Or let's use Skype for example. Quite popular product with good marketing. It's quality went considerably down after being acquired by Microsoft.

On the other hand, I hear argument that Linux is more popular than BSD mainly because it's more catchy name. And while I'm using Linux, I think it's only better because better marketing got it bigger number of programmers.

DOS is not a relevant example. Who cares?

Skype, I agree with you. We use Skype at work, and it is typical Microsoft. Extremely easy to use, but doesn't bear the load. When it works, it's OK. Not much better than AIM two decades ago. When we use it for meetings, chances are you'll have a delay getting in, or have to dial in and listen on your phone.

Linux, I don't disagree, but there's also momentum, tailored releases, and support organizations like Red Hat.

 

29 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Those tame species also give control over their evolution to us. Look at what that meant for dogs.

The success of cats is different case altogether. They did not let themselves be tamed, but found a way how to get most of the advantages anyway. Harder path, more reward. Possibly filled only such space, because any other animal trying would be compared to cats ... and fail.

A cat's niche has some competition, but not a whole lot, and few as appealing. I think foxes fit a similar role, and have a similar appeal, obviously other slightly larger cats as well. Some of the raccoon relatives; the coatimundi was even kept by miners as a pet and called a 'ring-tailed cat', probably because of some similar behaviors, like eating vermin. Small raptors, but you can't let them run around loose or they'll fly away, owls as well. Snakes, but many folks fear them and would not view them as something to have around. A farmer might be more tolerant near the barn.

Cats are somewhat aloof and independent, with an ability to do OK feral or semi feral, but they are authentically tame and bond with their owners; evidence EtC.

 

29 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Although ... maybe there is space for some lizard around. There is quite a lot of people having lizards (or snakes, but you can't really have snake on leash ...). It's different enough to not be compared directly, and they are not really that much tamed ... they are not there yet, it's not considered normal for lizards to wander around city the way cats do, but it can happen.

Lizards don't fill the bill. Lizards and snakes don't bond. I doubt they have the mental capacity. Some species tolerate handling; that's not really the same thing. Lizards I would encounter would not be capable of eating mice. They do eat smaller insect pests, but their metabolism is low, so they don't kill all that many. They are more limited in habitat. You can't let it out and expect it to find it's way home. Larger lizards; iguanas are colorful, and vegetarian, and warm climate, smaller monitors would probably chase and eat mice, but all of the above, warm climate, and have nasty dispositions.

All of that said, I will specifically allow skinks and similar lizards around the outside of the house because I know they're harmless, I can teach the kids to recognize then and nor be afraid of them, and they are eating something I don't want. Same with most spiders that have the good sense to stay outdoors.

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18 hours ago, ijuin said:
18 hours ago, hkmaly said:

There is even one group who tries really hard to evolve that skill. So far, it brought it lot of opportunities to find that violence is not THAT much disdained. Frowned upon, yes, but ...

In fact, in modern (western) society, you don't need ANY skill to survive, unless war happens, in which case it's not marketing skill. It can be argued that marketing is useful to propagate your genes, but there is quite big group of people who DO have lot of children and their main skill is to know when to shout "that's racism!". From evolutionary standpoint, maybe less socialism WOULD help ... but, practically, I would prefer to finally get into applying genetic engineering to the old-fashioned "decide who should die" eugenics.

Generally, acting violently without the authorization of the dominant society leads to getting stomped by said society unless you have a large enough faction to elevate it to the level of gang warfare if not civil war.

That's usually not that much comforting to people who didn't survived that violent acting.

(But, yes, the typical case did involved person with good marketing who happen to obtain large enough faction to elevate it to war which wasn't civil - not even in name.)
 

18 hours ago, ijuin said:

"Marketing" in the broad context does not necessarily involve publicity--it is mainly about having the ability to persuade others without needing to put them under duress. Somebody who has (consensual) sex with a lot of people is successful in "marketing" themselves to potential partners.

Think is, people known for having lot of consensual sex with lot of people usually DON'T have that many children, because they use methods to prevent that as part of their marketing.

Convincing someone to have child with you is harder than just having sex.

17 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

I think you give people too much credit. Our ability to move in a positive direction in the aggregate is absurdly disfunctional. Case in point, anti-vaxers. "This is clearly beneficial", yet people cling to their conspiracy beliefs.

Well, ok, there are skill which can get you negative accomplishment on survival. However, it's quite hard: generally, even people so stupid to get mortally wounded by that are generally attempted to be rescued.

Oh, and about the aggregate stuff: sure, lot of people protest very loudly against that, but we are still moving in positive direction. So far. Mostly.

17 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
18 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Well, I belong to the group who would be proud to be Homo Superior if it happened to me, but there are apparently lot of people who see it differently. Also, well, Homo Superior would still count as "human" ...

Yeah, doesn't pretty much everyone on the planet think they're Homo Superior and the rest of us are their Cromagnon cousins? But, please, go ahead and try, it should be amusing to watch.

Inevitably, something will succeed us, and to do so, it will have to be superior in some sense. But whatever that is may not be something we intrinsically value.

Do you want to say you didn't watched X-Men? Because that was very clear reference to that.

17 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Skype, I agree with you. We use Skype at work, and it is typical Microsoft. Extremely easy to use, but doesn't bear the load. When it works, it's OK. Not much better than AIM two decades ago. When we use it for meetings, chances are you'll have a delay getting in, or have to dial in and listen on your phone.

We stopped shortly after the acquisition, and it was BECAUSE our managers, who use windows and rarely complain about that, said it became unusable.

We switched to Slack.

17 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Linux, I don't disagree, but there's also momentum, tailored releases, and support organizations like Red Hat.

It has support of organizations like Red hat NOW. If in 1994 BSD had better marketing, Red Hat could've been producing BSD.
Not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point Linux won over BSD and it was mostly about marketing as technically they were very similar.
Well, if Red Hat destroys Linux with SystemD, BSD may get another chance.

17 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
19 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Those tame species also give control over their evolution to us. Look at what that meant for dogs.

The success of cats is different case altogether. They did not let themselves be tamed, but found a way how to get most of the advantages anyway. Harder path, more reward. Possibly filled only such space, because any other animal trying would be compared to cats ... and fail.

A cat's niche has some competition, but not a whole lot, and few as appealing. I think foxes fit a similar role, and have a similar appeal, obviously other slightly larger cats as well. Some of the raccoon relatives; the coatimundi was even kept by miners as a pet and called a 'ring-tailed cat', probably because of some similar behaviors, like eating vermin. Small raptors, but you can't let them run around loose or they'll fly away, owls as well. Snakes, but many folks fear them and would not view them as something to have around. A farmer might be more tolerant near the barn.

Cats are somewhat aloof and independent, with an ability to do OK feral or semi feral, but they are authentically tame and bond with their owners; evidence EtC.

I never heard about people having foxes. Now, I believe it happens, but is probably rare - just like the "larger cats" cases.

Cats surely bond with their owners. However, where do you think all those memes like "you don't own cats, cats owns you" are coming from?

17 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
19 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Although ... maybe there is space for some lizard around. There is quite a lot of people having lizards (or snakes, but you can't really have snake on leash ...). It's different enough to not be compared directly, and they are not really that much tamed ... they are not there yet, it's not considered normal for lizards to wander around city the way cats do, but it can happen.

Lizards don't fill the bill. Lizards and snakes don't bond. I doubt they have the mental capacity. Some species tolerate handling; that's not really the same thing. Lizards I would encounter would not be capable of eating mice. They do eat smaller insect pests, but their metabolism is low, so they don't kill all that many. They are more limited in habitat. You can't let it out and expect it to find it's way home. Larger lizards; iguanas are colorful, and vegetarian, and warm climate, smaller monitors would probably chase and eat mice, but all of the above, warm climate, and have nasty dispositions.

All of that said, I will specifically allow skinks and similar lizards around the outside of the house because I know they're harmless, I can teach the kids to recognize then and nor be afraid of them, and they are eating something I don't want. Same with most spiders that have the good sense to stay outdoors.

I must admit I don't have that much experience with lizards either (that's why I'm using general "lizards" instead of specifying which exactly), I'm just saying that I can imagine it could work. Yes, it's possible they are all too stupid or have other disadvantages. Note that monitor lizards ARE being used as pets and if their biggest disadvantage is they need warmer climate, well, did you heard about the climate change? :)

(Also, they have marketing already done. It's hard to have anything with cooler name than dragon. Now, 3 meters may be too much, but if someone breeds something smaller and manages to keep it named dragon ...)

 

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26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Well, ok, there are skill which can get you negative accomplishment on survival. However, it's quite hard: generally, even people so stupid to get mortally wounded by that are generally attempted to be rescued.

Oh, and about the aggregate stuff: sure, lot of people protest very loudly against that, but we are still moving in positive direction. So far. Mostly.

You've heard of COVID-19, yes? We'll see how 'intelligent' the dominate ape is on our planet.

 

26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Do you want to say you didn't watched X-Men? Because that was very clear reference to that.

I did, not all of them, and enjoyed the ones I saw; did not burn the species label into my cortex.

I enjoy most of the superhero movies I see, but I'm not driven by an inner urge to view them.

 

26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

We stopped shortly after the acquisition, and it was BECAUSE our managers, who use windows and rarely complain about that, said it became unusable.

We switched to Slack.

We have a good tech crew, of which I am a component, and we can get anything to work. That obviously does not mean the product is any good.

 

26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

It has support of organizations like Red hat NOW. If in 1994 BSD had better marketing, Red Hat could've been producing BSD.

Not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point Linux won over BSD and it was mostly about marketing as technically they were very similar.
Well, if Red Hat destroys Linux with SystemD, BSD may get another chance.

I do not know all the details, my impression could be way off, but the gist of my understanding is that free Linux prompted much of the other free-ness. Not all, GNU is a track, and they predate Linux, right?

Red Hat cannot singlehandedly bring down Linux; too many players, ones that start to suck merely loose traction. I think someone like Microsoft could do more damage by 'embracing Linux' but the community resistance would likely keep it viable.

BSD's chance is in front of it. The Linux community is disorganized and fragmented enough (I consider that to be it's main weakness) that a focused competitor could still play the game.

 

26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I never heard about people having foxes. Now, I believe it happens, but is probably rare - just like the "larger cats" cases.

A lot of individual animals will be tame towards a human if raised from young, as often happens with rescues, so there have been semi-tame foxes. But like bobcats, they tend to be skittish, as is fitting for a predator that is also small enough to be prey.

Some Russian scientist has been working with foxes in the last couple of decades, investigating the whole notion of taming, and is developing a breed of tame foxes.

 

26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Cats surely bond with their owners. However, where do you think all those memes like "you don't own cats, cats owns you" are coming from?

Dogs are eager to please you, the pack alpha, or in extreme cases will challenge you for (pack) dominance. Cats lack the context, they bond, but it is not as baked in.

 

26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I must admit I don't have that much experience with lizards either (that's why I'm using general "lizards" instead of specifying which exactly), I'm just saying that I can imagine it could work. Yes, it's possible they are all too stupid or have other disadvantages. Note that monitor lizards ARE being used as pets and if their biggest disadvantage is they need warmer climate, well, did you heard about the climate change? :)

People keep all kinds of stupid $#!%. I've seen big ugly F***ing scorpions in a pet shop. I guardamntee you don't want to actually pet it. Or tarantulas. I fail to see the appeal, but I know of people who've had them and described them as entertaining. But to 'bond with it'? Erm, really? And to pet it? The hairs are like fiberglass, or so I've heard.

Seriously, if you want a lizard, don't get a small monitor. The biggest disadvantage is they are nasty. Prone to bite.

Re: Global warming, reptile thermo regulation sucks, they are somewhat prone to their brains cooking in their heads on a sunny day if they don't find shade.

 

26 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

(Also, they have marketing already done. It's hard to have anything with cooler name than dragon. Now, 3 meters may be too much, but if someone breeds something smaller and manages to keep it named dragon ...)

You think? If you've got to have a monitor, don't get one that can eat the dog and your kids. (But it will take a while, they have a low metabolism.)

The one you can be glad you'll never meet is this one.

 

 

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