Kaleb Roberts

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If you could learn one thing, what would it be?

If you could learn to grasp one idea, what would it be? No matter how small and trivial, or giant and ridiculous.. What would you learn? What would you grasp?

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    Dec 27 2012: i think there is one way to find courage which i think it's believing that a better life worth fighting for & worth taking risks .
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      Dec 27 2012: I think I just redefined my understanding of finding courage. Thank you, sincerely.
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    Dec 20 2012: To know God and enjoy Him forever.
  • Dec 20 2012: I am going to be very broad here but History, from essentially this moment backwards. If I could fully understand it then there would be nothing to stop me from proceeding forward to any goal under the sun
  • Dec 20 2012: How to effectively motivate and inspire others to excellence...
  • Dec 20 2012: The basic nature of information.

    When you look in the dictionary, or try to study this topic, you find a bunch of synonyms. No one knows the basic nature of information. I am convinced that if we could develop an understanding of the very foundations of information, that this would lead to solutions of many problems. It would have a huge affect on how we perceive everything. It would also accelerate the development of intelligent machines.
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    Jan 18 2013: Hi Kaleb,

    There is a saying i remember from my childhood: "lord, give me strength to change the things i can change, patience to accept the ones i cannot change, and wisdom to know the difference"

    Well, I am no longer a believer, but i think this still applies quite nicely to our understanding of what it is to be a human:

    Humans have two inputs in life: their nature (genetics) and their nurture (culture and environment).

    There are behaviors and traits that come from our nature, and others that we learn from nurture (and there are also some that develop from the mix of those two).

    We can definitely change our culture and environment much more easily than we can change our dna.

    If we could acquire the wisdom to know this difference, we would be much better off

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    Dec 26 2012: how to find the courage to take risks .
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      Dec 26 2012: I don't think there is a way to find courage, there might be, but I've never found it. But if you just go and do something, before you have a chance to regret it.. then people never know the difference.
  • Dec 24 2012: Yeah, that sounds reasonable. Best explanation I ever heard, in terms of pure fancy, was that some kind of swimming contest had been proposed. When the swimmers jumped in, they were attacked by sharks. The crew crowded up onto a makeshift platform to watch, and it collapsed under their weight, sending them into the sea . . . and the sharks. That wouldn't explain the missing lifeboat, however. Thanks!
  • Dec 24 2012: Patience. If I could really get a handle on it, life would be so much better in so many ways for me.
  • Dec 22 2012: How to be fluent in Spanish (which of course I intellectually I can) but u think true fluidity and fluency would entail living in a Spanish speaking country and being immersed in it which at this point in my life I cannot
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    Dec 22 2012: Actual theory of everything.
  • Dec 21 2012: I"m going to leave it to your other respondents to contribute the important and relevant stuff. Let me toss in a couple "fun" ones. First: What happened to the Mary Celeste? This sailing ship was found abandoned in the middle of the ocean; her crew completely disappeared. She was seaworthy, still sailing. Why did her crew leave her to disappear in the ocean? Second: What's in the Oak Island "Money Pit"? This elaborately dug treasure (?) hole on an island in Canada has frustrated treasure seekers for centuries. It's obviously man-made, but constant flooding prohibits its excavation.
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      Dec 22 2012: I've never heard of the Oak Island "Money Pit" but Goodle and myself may have a date looking into these things. What are your theories?
      • Dec 22 2012: I wish I had a theory. Whoever buried whatever is in the money pit went through a lot of work; there are layers of rope mats, oak planks, etc. down past levels where the water table seeps in. Some say it's "Blackbeard's Treasure", but how could a pirate go to all that trouble; trouble which we, in the 21st century haven't yet overcome? It's a fascinating hunt; you and Google have fun! As to the Mary Celeste; part of the ship's cargo was alcohol. It's been speculated that the crew feared a leak, fire and explosion, and cast off from the ship until the fumes could be dissipated. The ship caught a breeze, and sailed away from them. Possible, I guess.
    • Dec 23 2012: Actually, the Mary Celeste is not a mystery. The ship was a merchant type carying a load of alcohol in barrels. The barrels that cary liquids (like wine or alcohol) must be made from white oak which have occluded pores and are water tight. Red oak have open pores and any liquid will seep out (meaning they are only good for dry goods). Of the 1701 barrels of grain alcohol, there were 9 barrels of red oak in the hold that were empty (previously being filled with alcohol). The crew must have smelled the odour and worrying about an explosion or fire, taken the yawl (rowboat) and attached it to a halyard (line) and gone into the lifeboat to be attached to the Mary Celeste but at a safe distance. The hatches were left open to vent the explosive vapours.
      At sometime during the event, probably in stormy waters, the halyard broke free and the two boats were now a drift from one another. The Mary Celeste was found where it should have been under no sails and at the mercy of the currents, but the lifeboat was not found, having probably sunk with all hands.
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    Dec 21 2012: The reason that life exists.. but maybe there is no reason.haha besides that I am in the process of learning another language. Perhaps I wish I could learn an insteresting language that is difficult to learn like Polish
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      Dec 22 2012: That's possibly the most achievable response I've seen. Polish would be a very.. difficult language to learn I think. If I may ask, why Polish and not Scandanavion, or Spanish, maybe Latin? I
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    Dec 20 2012: The treasures and mysteries of God's word.
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    Dec 20 2012: Ying,

    I'm afraid I don't understand, can you please explain further? I've never heard of such a thing, what is it? How does one identify it? Where does it begin? Is it something like depression, or more a false sense of happiness?
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    Dec 20 2012: I would learn how to know there is INVALID (ineffective) happiness.
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      Gail .

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      Dec 20 2012: Thank you for finally explaining what INVALID happiness means. Your use of the word without the (ineffective) has been most confusing.
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    Dec 20 2012: Robert,

    I'm not sure how helpful this will be, As I said above I'm only twenty and very inexperienced in the world, but my Father taught me a little bit about motivating others to achieve what they are capable of. One of the absolute best gits I ever received from him was an old secondhand book called "Work Smart, Not Hard" by George Sullivan. now keep that book on my desk, in my car, essentially with me at all times. In it I've highlighted, underlined, and scribbled notes to an unbelievable extent. It's very, very helpful. I hope you might find it interesting, or at least as beneficial as I have.

    If I may amend my original question, I would like to propose this query instead.

    If you could learn one thing, and know absolutely everything about that one thing, what would it be? And if I may be as so bold to include, why that one thing?
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    Dec 19 2012: Thank you ma'am,

    It sounds like you know exactly what you want to see in the world, and in Humanity as a whole, As for being able to achieve that level of purpose, I am envious.

    Honestly, I don't know. I'm try to seek out something to focus on every day, but there is so much to learn, and so much to see. How can I select just one idea, when there are so many fascinating concepts? If I had to choose only one thing though, I would want to know how to truly understand people. People who are so set in there ways, the refuse to acknowledge the sun for shining it's light.

    I don't want to convert them to my ways, god knows that would be wrong in every aspect. But just open their eyes a little, make them see that honor does not demand to kill your wife's, or daughters when they have been raped by your "Brothers".

    I guess all I'm trying to say is, what I really, really want to learn is really quite simple. How to make people a little less cruel and a little more empathetic with each other, and with their surroundings (Ecosystem, habitat, etc. )

    Also, I apologize for my informal style of writing, I'm afraid it was never one of my strong suits. Something else to learn as soon as I can.
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      Dec 20 2012: Thank you. I wish I did actually possess such a level of purpose as well, but there is still much that eludes me, despite dedicating significant amounts of brainpower to thinking about many different topics and problems that interest me.

      I can understand where you're coming from, as I also considered a number of different topics before settling on interstellar travel and abiogenesis for the purpose of this discussion. The vast quantities of potential information to choose from are overwhelming, to say the least.

      I also share your frustrations with certain facets of humanity. If there exists a way to impart sensitivity and basic reasoning/comprehension capabilities to those who are lacking, I would also be interested to learn how to go about doing so.

      Committing yourself to exploring new subjects of interest on a daily basis is an excellent use of your time, in my opinion. In doing so, you will be gaining important context that can help you to process facts and see things from unique perspectives. Keep up the good work!
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    Dec 19 2012: This is an excellent question.

    I would like to learn whatever combination of physical sciences and engineering that is necessary to successfully make interstellar and intergalactic travel a reality during a single human lifetime. Being able to learn the mechanism of abiogenesis is a close second, though.

    And you?
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      Dec 20 2012: the answer to this question might prove itself depressing. at least, the more i research it, the farther it seems to go in the future.
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        Dec 20 2012: So true. I sometimes feel intensely depressed after watching shows like Star Trek because the fictional universe they're written in is so far removed from reality. The fact that space exploration has to compete for resources with trivial things like wars in addition to overcoming technological constraints is very sad indeed.
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          Dec 20 2012: well, if we take the enormous waste of resources, it is even more bleak. but alas, even if humanity gits its ass together, interstellar travel still seems utterly impossible with any technology we have. just for an example, assuming some good annihilation engine, which we don't have, and assuming high yield antimatter production, which we don't have, it would need the entire human energy production of 50 years to get enough antimatter to fuel up our vehicle. be honest, we can't spare our entire energy production, so it must take some longer. i believe interstellar travel can be expected not before 100 years in the future, and maybe well over 200.
        • Dec 21 2012: What I keep coming back to with interstellar travel is the "icepick". How can you ever collide even with something as small as a baseball without being destroyed? True, debris is extraordinarily rare, but can you imagine hitting a baseball at 1/2 the speed of light! After all, you would be travelling billions of miles without striking anything of any size.

          Personally, I'd like to know what characteristics a civilization a million years farther "advanced" than we are would look like.