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Etiology of Alien Derangement Syndrome

first_imgWith no evidence for their invisible friends, believers in space aliens are losing their minds. Are they setting themselves up for mass deception?Another mystery signal from space has been solved, announces. Bad news: It’s not aliens. This has become a common scenario: believers get excited about the possibility of a signal from their imaginary friends (6/15/17), only to find out there’s a natural explanation, and the alien-of-the-gaps explanation gets narrower. The case of the “Weird!” signal from dim star Ross 128 was admittedly a long shot, but hopes ran high:“However, many people were more interested in the signals as potential proof of transmissions from an extraterrestrial intelligent civilization,” wrote Abel Mendez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo in a blog post Friday, revealing the true nature of the signals.The answer: it was just bleeps from intelligently-designed geostationary satellites.Jesse Emspak at Live Science recalls five other times when “‘aliens’ fooled us.” This suggests another trait of Alien Derangement Syndrome: projection. Patients tend to project their own gullibility on everyone else.Astrobiology, which concerns itself with any life beyond earth, and SETI, which concerns itself with intelligent life, have one thing in common: they have no evidence. Lack of evidence, though, was never a hindrance to the true believers. In the following news articles, we examine how the true believers accommodate themselves to the lack of evidence, avoiding depression by keeping hope alive.Titanic Poison BlunderUnder its poisonous smoggy atmosphere, Titan has frigid lakes of oily goo. NASA/JPLAlien derangement syndrome ran full bore when AAAS Science Advances announced the discovery of vinyl cyanide at Saturn’s large moon Titan. Vinyl cyanide sounds nasty, and it is. Also known as acrylonitrile, it’s a highly toxic, flammable gas. The discovery would probably not have made a splash, except that the ALMA instrument team speculated that there’s enough of the poison to form ten million cell membranes per cubic centimeter in the goo of one of Titan’s oily seas. ‘Cell membranes? Really?’ Reporters sprang to their teletype machines:Saturn’s moon offers glimpse of Earth’s primordial past (Science Daily): “These pools of hydrocarbons, however, create a unique environment that may help molecules of vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN) link together to form membranes, features resembling the lipid-based cell membranes of living organisms on Earth.”Building blocks of alien cells found on Saturn’s largest moon (New Scientist). “Conditions on Titan are looking more and more promising for life,” Leah Crane promises the hopeful. “For the first time, the building blocks of cell membranes have been detected in the moon’s atmosphere.”Saturn Moon Titan Has Molecules That Could Help Make Cell Membranes ( “Saturn’s huge moon Titan harbors yet another possible key ingredient for life,” Mike Wall opines.Has Cassini found a universal driver for prebiotic chemistry at Titan? ( “These linear molecules are understood to be building blocks towards more complex molecules, and may have acted as the basis for the earliest forms of life on Earth.” Interestingly, this article notes that the molecules are highly reactive and should not last long in Titan’s atmosphere.Saturn’s moon Titan may harbour simple life forms – and reveal how organisms first formed on Earth (The Conversation). Ravi Desai from University College London first admits that scientists don’t even know how the ingredients for life arrived at home sweet home. But then he jumps off the deep end, saying, “The discovery not only makes Titan a great contender for hosting some sort of primitive life, it also makes it the ideal place to study how life may have arisen from chemical reactions on our own planet.”Winner of the most deranged story should probably be awarded to National Geographic. In “Building Block for ‘Vinyl Life’ Found on Saturn’s Moon Titan,” the author envisions a “Squid World” of alien creatures complete with mythical vinyl cyanide membranes.When winter comes to Titan’s poles, it brings seasonal downpours of toxic molecules that could, under the right conditions, assemble themselves into structures like the biological membranes that encase living cells on Earth….“there’s enough of it in one large alien lake to potentially create 36 billion giant squid.”Reality check time: living cells do NOT use vinyl cyanide for cell membranes. If they did, they would die instantly. Vinyl cyanide is to life as iron in a statue is to human skin, or as soap bubbles are to living cells. Good thing this author is not named, or sensible folk might intervene to have him or her committed. During one brief paragraph, the anonymous reporter seems to have had a moment of clarity:So far, no one has done the actual lab experiment needed to prove vinyl cyanide can form membranes. It’s difficult working with cryogenic methane and poisonous cyanide—and after all, there’s only so much you can do to replicate what’s happening on Titan when you live on Earth.But the author quickly returned to the Squid World fantasy. This suggests that Alien Derangement Syndrome is episodic, with long periods of fantasy interrupted by brief moments of sense. The piece ends with appeals for more spacecraft investigations, suggesting a possible motivation for titillating the public.SETI and WaitMoving on to SETI, the search for intelligent life, true believers have found additional ways to sit and wait for evidence. Elizabeth Howell at cautions that “Detecting Alien Life Will Likely Be a Protracted Process, Not a Eureka Moment.” Hopeful signals often take months or years to confirm or debunk, Howell points out, claiming that’s normal for science. But SETI believers have  already had over 50 years to search, and every lead so far has been false. How long do they get? Too much longer, and the proponents will all be dead, with no accountability for misleading the public.Ian Crawford is taking out a kind of falsification insurance policy. On The Conversation, he explains “Why looking for aliens is good for society (even if there aren’t any).” Crawford argues that the search brings scientists from different disciplines together. It helps reunify the sciences that have tended to get fragmented. The open-ended search, he continues, helps philosophers and theologians reconsider their assumptions. It might even help world politics, he ends. This sounds like a ruse to help snipe hunters not feel so bad for having wasted their time. The leader can always say, ‘But we sure had fun out there in the woods, didn’t we? And we learned how to cooperate and think about the existence of mythical creatures, even though they might not exist.’  Crawford never considers the possibility of more productive ways to achieve those ends.Geraint Lewis at New Scientist doesn’t take too kindly to a new proposal to answer Fermi’s Where-are-they?-they-should-have-come-by-now paradox. The aliens, the speculation goes, have found it thermodynamically less costly to just sit back and ponder the big questions of life than to try to communicate. “There is nothing wrong with a bit of speculation,” Lewis says; “it can inspire new thinking and new solutions, but it should be taken with an appropriately sized pinch of salt.”Terror at Fallen Aliens, or, We Have Met the Enemy and It Is UsAlien Derangement Syndrome can also produce convulsions of apoplexy. Stephen Hawking, Fox New Science relays, is “deathly afraid of aliens.” In his dreams, he sees imaginary enemies, not imaginary friends: “rapacious marauders roaming the cosmos in search of resources to plunder, and planets to conquer and colonise.” The author of this article found a way to insert another secular terror into the story: climate change. That’s not likely to calm down Dr Hawking.A flip side of delusions about evil aliens is the thought that we could become them. Science fiction writers sometimes imagine what would happen if humans robotify themselves and launch themselves into space, seeding the galaxy with ‘transhuman’ aliens—perhaps the very rapacious marauders Hawking is worried about. Alexander Thomas, another UK PhD dude, speculates at length about that on The Conversation, proving that he has learned more about science fiction than science fact at the university. Note the references to evolution and fantasy:“Transhumanism” is the idea that humans should transcend their current natural state and limitations through the use of technology – that we should embrace self-directed human evolution. If the history of technological progress can be seen as humankind’s attempt to tame nature to better serve its needs, transhumanism is the logical continuation: the revision of humankind’s nature to better serve its fantasies.What is it that makes Thomas suspect such a future would be dystopian? Is it his awareness of human moral fallibility? Is it his own conscience? Is it his understanding of the amoral nature of natural selection that makes him see Hunger Games in the transhumanist future? Taking evolution into our own hands will not fix morality, he realizes in conclusion. It will reflect it. A terrifying prospect, indeed.Substitute ReligionYou can decide to believe God doesn’t exist, but something in human nature yearns for contact with minds greater than our own. We saw it in the unexpected popularity of the 1977 hit movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, being re-released this September. Clay Routledge at the New York Times shared something else unexpected: atheists are more likely than religious people to believe in UFOs. In “Don’t Believe in God? Maybe You’ll Try U.F.O.s,” he relays statistics that show that as religious involvement declines, there has been a corresponding rise in belief in paranormal phenomena, including ghosts, contact with the dead and UFOs. Fully two-thirds of Americans “hold supernatural or paranormal beliefs of some kind, including beliefs in reincarnation, spiritual energy and psychic powers.” Routledge attributes the trend to the need for meaning in life:These numbers are much higher than they were in previous decades, when more people reported being highly religious. People who do not frequently attend church are twice as likely to believe in ghosts as those who are regular churchgoers. The less religious people are, the more likely they are to endorse empirically unsupported ideas about U.F.O.s, intelligent aliens monitoring the lives of humans and related conspiracies about a government cover-up of these phenomena.An emerging body of research supports the thesis that these interests in nontraditional supernatural and paranormal phenomena are driven by the same cognitive processes and motives that inspire religion. For instance, my colleagues and I recently published a series of studies in the journal Motivation and Emotion demonstrating that the link between low religiosity and belief in advanced alien visitors is at least partly explained by the pursuit of meaning. The less religious participants were, we found, the less they perceived their lives as meaningful. This lack of meaning was associated with a desire to find meaning, which in turn was associated with belief in U.F.O.s and alien visitors.We can see the headlines on the National Exciter already: “Darwin arrives in UFO with the ultimate sermon.” But why would evolution create a need for which there is no fulfillment? Why would natural selection not leave humans disinterested in meaning, or simply satisfied with the meaningless of a material world? Would this poll suggest that people with spiritual meaning have greater fitness than secularists? Theists will find confirmation for their view in these statistics, (1) that faith is not irrational, and (2) we are created in God’s image with an innate hunger to know God. G. K. Chesterton would certainly feel vindicated at this illustration of Alien Derangement Syndrome. He said, “When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing but worships everything.”Extreme ADRAccording to, a NASA scientist thinks we are living in a hologram. This is the ultimate derangement stage, it’s easy to see, because it is self-refuting (hear Nancy Pearson discuss self-refutation at ID the Future). If Rich Terrile at JPL really thinks “our reality is an elaborate hologram created by an alien race,” then his theory cannot be true, because his statements are a reflection of the Matrix-like program, not an analysis based on his own independent reason. Reporter Kevin Burwick never quite catches on to the fallacy. He rather enjoys the delusion:Just because some professional scientists and people at NASA are entertaining the thought that we may be living in an advanced alien created hologram doesn’t make it true, but it sure is interesting to think about. Are aliens controlling what you read and what you eat for breakfast? Are some rogue aliens making the Matrix movies as a way to enlighten the “human” race? Or are we just a giant Sims game for the Aliens? We may never know, but technology certainly is catching up and our cultures are moving at new speeds trying to figure out human existence, which may in fact just lead us into out [sic] own realities.Actually, we can know, because any self-refuting proposition is necessarily false. Which leads back to our opening suggestion: if the true believers show themselves to be this deranged—this blind to logical incoherence—this open to suggestion—would they fall for a sufficiently advanced signal pretending to be from an evolved alien intelligence, but really coming from an evil, immaterial source? The Bible predicts that possibility as a virtual certainty (see II Thessalonians 2). It should not be surprising, therefore, that Terrile considers his self-refuting view to stand in opposition to theism: “Dr. Rich Terrile, the director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has said that we can all be the creation of a cosmic computer programmer as opposed to a God.”I knew who Rich Terrile was during my years at JPL. He was well thought of by his peers. As a secularist/evolutionist member of the Darwin Party in good standing, he can say any crazy thing he wants, even illogical things. But not me. When I simply tried to share scientific evidence for intelligent design with a few co-workers, I was disciplined, demoted, and eventually dismissed, cast out on the curb without  job after 14 years of honorable work. Ken Ham, bless his heart, recalled the unfairness of this situation after having read about Rich Terrile’s crazy idea. On his AiG blog for July 23, he said, According to reports, Dr. Terrile has been sharing these views—which are not grounded in any kind of scientific observations—since at least 2010. Now this is interesting because, as we reported in 2010 in Answers magazine, in 2009 David Coppedge, a computer systems specialist who also worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was demoted for sharing science-based Intelligent Design DVDs with his colleagues. Apparently he was being disruptive for supposedly promoting religion. He was later fired from NASA.So NASA tolerates a top-level scientist espousing the very unscientific idea that aliens (for which there is not a scrap of observational evidence) have created an elaborate hologram, of which we are part. But they have no use for someone who believes the incredible—and observable!—design we see throughout creation points toward a Designer?When the deranged run the show, the rest of us must cling to our common sense lest we be swept along in the delusion. Like Rudyard Kipling said, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” it might be a necessary part of becoming a true man or woman. And that’s no just-so story.(Visited 720 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Brand South Africa’s South African Competitiveness Forum and the Pan-African University Dialogue overview with Dr Kobby Mensah

first_imgBrand South Africa and the University of South Africa (UNISA) successfully partnered to host the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF) and the Pan-African University Dialogue in a two-day programme on the 11th -12th September 2018 and wrapping up the South African visit with a day-tour in and around Johannesburg and Soweto on the 13th September 2018.The conference brought together academics, and industry representatives from South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria to provide expert input on key issues that impact the competitiveness and reputation of the Pan-African brand. Additionally, to collaborate on finding a way forward in the Pan-African Marketing and Nation Brand research in the era of the Continental Free Trade Area.Further to this, it was important to determine inclusive solutions to the future of education in Pan-African brand marketing for students and educators across the continent.Dr Kobby Mensah from the University of Ghana Business School, a lecturer in the fields of tourism and marketing and one of the panellist at the dialogue, unpacks the two-day programme and his contribution to the dialogue.In a one-on-one conversation, Dr Mensah shared his key highlights on the dialogue, “There is a need for us to collaborate on a number of things, especially as academics, sharing of ideas in areas of study and collaborative research on the identity of Africa, Pan-Africa brand identity. To have a homogenous approach to building and maintaining Pan-African brand identity.”Dr Mensah’s presentation took on the topic of Pan-African identity and some of the ideas he reflected in the presentation was that “As Africa, we are suffering from the problem of autonomous sources of information – news, documentaries and textbooks which do not reflect the truth of who we are. We need to take charge, especially in technology to promote positivity about our countries and the Pan-African identity”As a lecturer he makes sure to challenge his students to advance in digital tourism were they share pictures of their communities, where they blog about their beautiful hidden gems, to influence the African narrative and change perception.When asked about the possibility of a future for a Pan-African brand. Yes, he said; “I definitely see the future and there must be clarity as to what it is we want in terms of a Pan-African Brand. How do we develop a brand that can be accessed within the African space and be able to push into the world?”Dr Mensah was amazed by the information shared by other colleagues and presentations it was “refreshing to see and hear”. This reaffirmed the imperative need for collaborative efforts and changing the principal learnings of what Nation brand is for a country and Pan-Africa.Rounding off the intensive yet informative dialogues, delegates were treated to a tour in and around Johannesburg and lunch served in the popular Lebo’s Backpackers.Dr Mensah encourages Africans to travel their continent and with Ghana, “travellers will be enthralled by the cultural diversity, and the colourfulness of the Ghanaian people and their kente garments”.last_img read more

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Microsoft Unveils Their Own Hyperlapse ‘Warp Stabilizer’

first_imgThe new algorithmic hyper-lapse stabilizer from Microsoft is insanely complex and effective.With the advent and popularity of the software-based warp stabilizer it has never been easier to stabilize your shaky footage. However, have you ever noticed that on extra shaky footage the corners begin to bend and melt making it unusable? Now this may not be a major problem for people with steadicams or even steady-hands, but if you are using a GoPro or handheld camera you can get into hot water.The people at Microsoft have seen this problem and have created a specially designed algorithm to use when stabilizing hyperlapsed footage (footage that is sped up). Without getting too specific, the stabilizer works by creating it’s own perceived 3D model of what the scene looks like as the camera travels in space. Pixel detail is then blended together, smoothed and color-corrected. The result is an incredibly smooth hyperlapse video.In this video created by Johannes Kopf we get an in-depth explanation of how this stabilizer works:And here is what the final stabilized footage looks like:Currently, there’s no word on if or when this technology will find it’s way into your favorite video editing software. If you want to learn how to stabilize your shaky footage using the built-in Warp Stabilizer in After Effects check out lesson 9 of our Adobe After Effects Fundamentals Series.What do you think about this new tech?Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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Dhoni fined 60 per cent, team 30 per cent for slow over-rate

first_imgTeam India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. ReutersThere seems to be no end to Indian’s team’s woes as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was docked 60 per cent of his match fees while his teammates were handed a 30 per cent fine for being guilty of maintaining a slow over-rate during the fifth cricket Test against England at the Oval.According to a press release issued by the ICC, match referee Ranjan Madugalle imposed the fines after Dhoni’s side was ruled to be three overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.In accordance with ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel regulations governing minor over-rate offences, players are fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.If Dhoni is found guilty of one more minor over-rate offence in Tests over the next 12 months, he will receive a one-match suspension as per the provisions of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.The offence is contrary to Article 2.5.1 of the code which relates to minor over-rate offences. The penalty was accepted by India without contest so there was no need for a hearing.last_img read more

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Premier League 2019 Newcastle vs Manchester United Live Streaming: When and Where to Watch Live Telecast, Timings in India, Team News

first_img english premier leagueEnglish Premier League 2019EPLEPL 2019 First Published: October 6, 2019, 6:01 PM IST Manchester United will travel to Newcastle for their next Premier League 2019 game on Sunday, October 6. The Premier League 2019 Newcastle vs Manchester United will be played at the St. James’ Park in Newcastle. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ side look to end their 10-match winless run away from home with a win against Newcastle United. Manchester United will face Newcastle without Jesse Lingard, who injured his hamstring against AZ Alkmaar in Europa League. Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial might not be available as well as they suffered ankle and thigh injuries.United are currently outside the top 10 of the Premier League table after managing two wins, three draws and two losses in their seven games so far. United have scored only nine goals so far in the league and have conceded seven. After the disappointment of drawing with Alkmaar in Europa, United will look for some domestic medicine. On the other hand, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has sought a response from his players in the upcoming EPL clash. Newcastle, who were thrashed by Leicester City 5-0 last Sunday, will look to rub the salt on United’s wounds. Speaking to the media on his side’s loss to Leicester City, Bruce said, “There should be a few words when you get as badly beaten as we did. What we have to do is respond and look to the next game to erase it.””Enough has been said… we were disappointed. We had our backsides kicked. When that happens you have to show a certain degree of pride and make sure you put it right,” he added.Newcastle United are currently in the relegation zone at the 19th place with just a single win from seven game and four losses. On top of that, Newcastle have lost or drawn their last four league games.Premier League 2019 Newcastle United predicted line-up vs Manchester United: Dubravka; Yedlin, Laschelles, Schar, Clark, Willems; Almiron, S Longstaff, M Longstaff, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton.Premier League 2019 Manchester United predicted line-up vs Newcastle: De Gea; Young, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Dalot; McTominay, Fred; James, Mata, Pereira; RashfordWhere to watch Premier League 2019 Newcastle vs Manchester United match live in India (TV channels)?Newcastle United will host Manchester United on Sunday at 9:00PM. The EPL 2019 Newcastle vs Manchester United match will be played at the St. James’ Park in Newcastle. The Premier League Newcastle vs Manchester United game live telecast will be on Star Sports Select HD1 channels in India.How and where to watch online EPL 2019 Newcastle vs Manchester United match live streaming?Newcastle vs Manchester United live stream will be available on Hotstar app and website in India for premium users. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

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Bahamas 94th Murder victim identified suspect arrested

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, murder, palmdale Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bahamas Police takes 10 to court for murders and other crimes, including a couple for cruelty to a child Recommended for you Freeport Man Killed in ‘The Ghetto’, Homicide Count Now At 100 Worst fears as a tourist is murdered in Providenciales; ten homicides for 2019 Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, September 6th, 2017 – Nassau – Yesterday we reported that a man was shot and killed on Monday night as he was accompanying a women to make a deposit at a First Caribbean ATM in Palmdale. That man has since been identified as Freddy Rigby and sources say Berard Apollon aka “Boy Mary” has been arrested in connection to the killing.According to police reports, Rigby, who was a manager at Executive Security and familiar with protecting others, was approached by gunmen at around 10pm. The suspects then robbed and shot both Rigby and the woman before they sped off in a dark coloured vehicle. The woman was taken to the hospital for critical injuries but Rigby reportedly died on the scene. His killing became the country’s 94th murder for the year.Story By: Kay-Marie Fletcherlast_img read more