Mark Melancon, Will Smith vying for Giants closer job

first_imgSCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–Halfway through one of the most lucrative contracts ever signed by a relief pitcher, Mark Melancon insists he’s healthy for the first time.The pain that wreaked havoc in his forearm has apparently disappeared, leaving the right-handed reliever in excellent spirits heading into his third season with the Giants.“I haven’t felt this good since I got here,” Melancon said. “Mentally it was a grind and physically it was a grind. To have that (pain) gone is great.”The Giants …last_img

Consciousness Is Not Computable

first_imgA key principle of materialism and physicalism is that all processes must be reducible to matter and energy.In the march from molecules to man, materialists must not encounter any insurmountable hurdles: any observable facts that cannot be reduced to processes beyond matter and energy. That’s because matter and energy are all that exist. Materialist reality cannot countenance anything irreducible to those entities. Already they have a candidate for the insurmountable hurdle, because the proposition of materialism itself is immaterial. As Robert Jastrow said,[Film courtesy of Illustra Media, at TheJohn1010Project.com]Ignoring that show-stopper, the materialist faces several other candidates for insurmountable hurdles: (1) the origin of the universe, (2) the origin of heavy elements, (3) the origin of the Earth, (4) the origin of life, (5) the origin of mulicellular life, (6) the origin of sex, and (7) the origin of consciousness. Consider that last one. If consciousness were reducible to material processes, it should be computable. In other words, a sufficiently programmed computer should be able to re-create consciousness. (Ignore the conundrum for now that programming implies a programmer, which implies intelligent design.)An article by Subhash Kak from Ohio State, published at Live Science, explains flatly “Why Computers Will Never Be Truly Conscious.” One should never say never, but Kak is convinced that artificial consciousness is forever beyond the reach of robots and computers. It’s not a limitation of technology. His conclusion derives from the nature of human consciousness, that inner experience of self that is our closest experience of reality. We humans are aware of our thinking. Computers are not. Kak relates a thought experiment by the late Alan Turing that illustrates the problem: Try to prove that a program will stop on its own. Another computer, monitoring the program, would have to rely on a stop-checking algorithm to decide if it will stop or not. But a deceptive programmer codes the program to do the opposite of what its stop-checking routine says it will do. Kak describes what will happen:Running the stop-checking process on this new program would necessarily make the stop-checker wrong: If it determined that the program would stop, the program’s instructions would tell it not to stop. On the other hand, if the stop-checker determined that the program would not stop, the program’s instructions would halt everything immediately. That makes no sense — and the nonsense gave Turing his conclusion, that there can be no way to analyze a program and be entirely absolutely certain that it can stop. So it’s impossible to be certain that any computer can emulate a system that can definitely stop its train of thought and change to another line of thinking — yet certainty about that capability is an inherent part of being conscious.Human consciousness is also distributed throughout the brain (or at least activates disparate parts of the brain), Kak adds, as he recounts other show-stoppers to the computation of consciousness thought up by scientists and philosophers. So if consciousness is not computable, that makes it a strong candidate for a hurdle too high for reductionist materialism.Not Just One Man’s DifficultyLike Thomas Nagel, author of God and Cosmos, philosopher of mind David Chalmers would prefer to stay satisfied with a material universe. Both of them, however, only have highly speculative and untestable ways to maintain their preference. In a well-stated interview on YouTube reposted by Evolution News, Chalmers delves into the “hard problem of consciousness.” None of us can doubt our own consciousness, he says; it is the most direct experience we have. We can doubt other people’s consciousness, but not our own. He illustrates it with zombies—not the living dead, but theoretical zombies that appear and behave just like us but are not conscious.“When God created the world,” Chambers speculates (ironically for an atheist), He could have created a material world without consciousness. “That would make sense,” he says; it would be logically conceivable. But consciousness is something God would have had to add as a separate thing. Even taking out God, the problem remains that consciousness is separate from materialism, and superfluous to a material reality.Chalmers then dispenses with evolutionary theory as a source of consciousness. Theories about this are generally vague and doubtful, he says. The main problem, though, is that evolution has no need to invent consciousness. The world could work perfectly well without it. An evolutionist’s world would work just fine with complex reflexes and behaviors programmed by genes. Evolution also cannot explain qualia, the direct experiences we have of the world. A color-blind person can know about colors, but cannot have the experience of red unless cured of colorblindness. Chalmers concludes that humans will never be able to solve the hard problem: Why is our behavior and sensation accompanied by conscious experience? Scientists will never find that in neurons, he argues.How many show-stoppers does it take to stop a show? All the other insurmountable hurdles listed above for molecules-to-man evolution in a materialistic universe remain. But here we see three prominent experts in physics and philosophy of mind, who are non-Christians, stating explicitly that materialism is missing something critical. Two of them say that consciousness is permanently beyond the reach of materialism. So readers do not have to take our word for it that the materialist show is stopped. We would just heighten the hurdle infinitely further by saying that the very use of language by these thinkers requires supernaturalism. Every proposition depends on logic (which must refer to timeless, universal and necessary truths), and morality (which assumes that the speaker desires to share his logic honestly). The materialist show, therefore, is stopped; go to another show. There’s a good one across town about a Creator. It’s called the greatest story ever told. (Visited 528 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Gift of The Givers Plays its Part in Makhanda (Grahamstown)

first_imgA nation that takes care of its destitute, is a nation that instils in its people the ethos of active citizenship, of Ubuntu. This echo true for the citizens of Makhanda (Grahamstown) who reached out to Gift of the Givers for over the water crisis faced in the area.Settlers Dam is at 13%, water cannot be extracted from the last 10% due to high silt levels, effectively it has 3% reserves. Waainek Water Treatment Works that receives water from the very much smaller Howiesons Poort Dam had a problem with its pumping capacity due to electrical failure recently and was out of service for a few days.However, with rapidly dropping water levels in HP Dam, the Waainek Water Works will essentially shutdown. It supplies the West of the town with 8 Megaliters per day. The only feasible option is the James Kleynhans Water Works which is also compromised currently. It receives water from the Glen Melville Dam which in turn receives water from the Orange-Fish River scheme. But recent high content of mud that was released into the dam from the Fish River necessitated shutting down the pumps to allow for the mud to settle.Currently 80000 people in parts of Makhanda east and 19 streets in Makhanda West are without water. The municipality and residents are using water tankers and bottled water to compensate but the shortfall is huge.Days after the cry for help by the Makhanda community, the Gift of the Givers called on citizens across the country to assist. Dr Gideon Groenewald, Gift of the Givers specialist hydrologist, geologist, palaentologist, engaged the municipality to see what sustainable alternatives could be found in the immediate to medium term as work continues to double the capacity of the James Kleynhans Water Works to 20 Megalitres by 2020.On the 13th February 2019, distribution of water and siting of boreholes took place. There were jubilant shouts of “amanzi”, with faces beaming in disbelief as people ran towards the Gift of the Givers trucks entering Grahamstown. Nine days of no water, nine days of desperation. The crowds, including many university students, gathered outside the municipality eagerly awaiting whatever they could get. Our teams commenced delivery whilst Dr Gideon Groenewald, Gift of the Givers hydrologist, briefed the media on the drought issue.Dr Groenewald gave the municipality an in-depth presentation on various aspects of the drought with specific solution-oriented options focusing on boreholes as an immediate intervention for medium to long term relief.After the presentation, Gift of the Givers teams distributed water in the water starved communities whilst Dr Groenewald commenced his “search” for underground water.A special thank you to the magnificent team work, co-operation and commitment of the Municipality, SAPS, SANDF, RTI, volunteers and the community and a special thanks to generous South Africans.Contributions can still be made into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Account Number 052137228, Branch Code 057525, ref. Drought, will be accepted. To obtain Section 18A tax benefit certificate please send proof of payment to [email protected] toll-free on 0800786911. Visit our website and Facebook page for updates.last_img read more

Google To Announce Major Identity Initiative for 1 Million+ Companies and Schools

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Google plans to announce in coming weeks that it is turning each of the one million plus Google Apps customer domains into an OpenID provider, enabling millions of people to log in to OpenID-supporting websites with their work, school or organization ID.“For these organizations,” Google Security Product Manager, Eric Sachs, wrote on the public OpenID Board mailing list this morning, “Google Apps can now become an identity and data hub for multiple SaaS providers.” Sachs appeared to believe his email was not being posted to a public board; he asked that it not be circulated so that some unusual technical work could be completed and political support shored up in the face of likely community and press cynicism. There’s good reason for that – it may not be the good news it seems to be.But First, A Word from OpenID’s New SponsorOpenID is important not just because it makes logging in to sites around the web easy, with one username and a secure password, but because it’s a way for people or organizations to maintain control over their own identities and data. There are no policy changes you don’t approve of when you’re in control.Google’s Sachs explained in his email that in order to pull this all off, OpenID relying parties will need to be redirected from the domain provided at user login over to Google’s OpenID service. In order for this redirect to happen, all relying parties will need to start looking for a new OpenID extension that Google has developed and implemented in conjunction with one relying party technology, JanRain’s RPX. “There is the potential for some community members (or press) to assume (or at least imply in articles) some evil intent by Google to co-opt OpenID with these extensions,” Sachs wrote today. “It would be nice to have a blog post on the formal OpenID blog that was supportive of our approach, so I wanted to see if the board members are comfortable with that.”Watching to see if the nonprofit OpenID Foundation will speak out in support of Google’s forcing the rest of the industry’s hand with new code extensions that are required to recognize the users of one million Google Apps customer accounts will now be a spectator sport.Getting the Job DoneOn the other hand, if one were to put a group of well-intentioned people in a room and ask them to solve the sticky problem of asking millions of organizations to adopt OpenID provider infrastructure – that might not ever happen. Enter Google’s largess and the “proposal” that federated identity for all these companies and schools can be outsourced to a centralized player, Google, and OpenID might get a big boost in adoption. Companies and schools using Google Apps will now only need to flip a switch in their Google Apps admin controls to turn on OpenID support, and Google will do all the heavy lifting.Caveat EmptorPresuming that all the sites that let you log in with OpenID decide to play nice and look for Google’s redirect (to Google) then the idea of logging in to sites around the web with your favorite, secure account credentials (My Job, Powered By Google) could become far more common. It might defeat the purpose of putting people in control over their own identities through distributed identity providers, because so many “OpenID” users would be coming back to Google, but the OpenID brand would no doubt benefit in the short term at least. And Google can do no evil, right?In other words, this move by Google could kill the spirit of OpenID by drowning the letter of OpenID with support. We think we’re logging in to websites with our work or school ID, and OpenID lovers think we’re logging in with OpenID, but we’re actually logging in with a Google-controlled ID. All the heavy lifting would be done, Google would take care of the data storage and probably offer some neat value-added features. All the companies involved would have to do is hand online identity provisioning over to the company that they have already purchased email, calendaring and document sharing from. (“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,” Ben Franklin once wrote, “deserve neither liberty nor safety.”)At least it’s not Facebook! So goes the wrestling of titans, on the very playing field created by champions of the free and independent little guy. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Tags:#Analysis#news#NYT#web Related Posts marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

Using a Dimple Mat to Keep a Basement Wall Dry

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img Homeowners with problematic basements often post questions on GBA. They generally complain that their basements are damp, and that basement moisture problems aren’t easy to fix.Solutions to damp basement problems are only indirectly connected to the topic of green building. In recent years, however, green builders — that is, builders who focus on energy efficiency — have become experts on moisture problems in buildings, in part because insulation problems are intimately tied to moisture problems.In short, green builders are more likely to build a dry basement than a run-of-the-mill builders — and in this way, building a dry basement has become a green building concern.One elegant and simple way to reduce the chance of moisture problems in basements is to install a dimple mat on the exterior side of the basement walls. What is a dimple mat? A dimple mat is a sheet of semi-rigid plastic (usually high-density polyethylene) that comes in a roll. The plastic has an egg-carton shape, with protruding dimples that make the membrane fairly thick — generally between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thick.When a dimple mat is placed against a concrete wall, the dimples make the plastic stand out from the wall, leaving a free-draining air space between the plastic and the concrete. If any water reaches this air space, it easily flows to the bottom of the dimple mat. It’s part of a system While a dimple mat helps convey water to the bottom of a basement wall, it’s not enough to keep a basement dry. The dimple mat is intended to be part of a drainage system that includes a footing drain (see Image #2, below). Ideally, the footing drain system includes perforated 4-inch piping surrounded by crushed stone and a filter-fabric “burrito.” The footing drain needs… last_img read more

Amazon wants your company’s data by the truckload… literally

first_imgIn the race to win clients in the highly competitive cloud computing market, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has taken to transporting client data in high-tech tractor trailers.AWS recently introduced its data-on-wheels platform with the appropriate yuletide moniker of Snowmobile.ZDNet covered the recent launch of the data truck by AWS CEO Andy Jassy. He hailed the mobile data storage vehicle as an innovation that solves data transport challenges which remains a key obstacle to moving largescale workloads to the cloud.See also: Amazon unveils Greengrass for IoT developersSpecifically, migrating massive data sets in the petabyte range to the hybrid cloud remains problematic and a huge bandwidth hog.Enter Snowmobile, a secure tractor trailer that can store up to 100 petabytes (PB) of data at time. Moving information via the truck can allow exabytes of data to migrate to AWS over a few weeks. For those unfamiliar with mind-numbingly large units of data, an exabyte equals one thousand petabytes.And the company also announced a new storage appliance called Snowball Edge. ZDNet’s Larry Dignan believes this technology will up AWS’ game in the Internet of Things (IoT) space.“What makes this interesting is that AWS’ Jassy also redefined on-premise infrastructure,” said Dignan. “Forget servers and datacenters. On-prem infrastructure will really be your sensors and things in the field that are connected.”“Naturally, AWS wants to be in that IoT mix,” he adds.Amazon also going growing GreengrassAnd to further its IoT offering, AWS also released Greengrass, which is a system that relieves remote devices and sensors of computing workloads. This is done by allowing for local messaging, data caching and computation.The expanded offerings of AWS come as cloud computing and IT infrastructure are proving to be especially potent drivers of IoT revenues. This stems from vendors’ expanded role in helping companies cope with ever increasing rivers of data being pumped out by proliferating IoT devices.A report from earlier this year shows healthy revenues for 21 benchmarked IoT companies with quarterly revenue growing by almost 15% to levels approaching $7 billion. Tags:#Amazon cloud#Amazon Web Services#AWS#Big Data#cloud computing#data and security#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#top Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…center_img Donal Power Follow the Puck Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more