Christopher Davies

Swansea, United Kingdom

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Comments & conversations

83666
Christopher Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
James Randi: Homeopathy, quackery and fraud
Hi Joshua, You seem to have missed out on a very fundamental part of mathematics - adding. 'Homeopathic medicines have been diluted for a purpose, and have been tested to be effective that way, but when taking them in excess, the dilution does nothing, and the entire purpose of the medicine has been ruined. Try taking them as prescribed, and see if they don't work.' Do you see what you have just said? That taking more of a medicine will do nothing and it will only work in an exact specified dose? Can you name one single, solitary substance in the known universe that affects our bodies less the more of it we take? Because guess what... there is none.
83666
Christopher Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
James Randi: Homeopathy, quackery and fraud
Marieke, These premonition-style 'predictions', when they occur, often seem incredible and difficult to explain. Here is why the easiest and most common explanation people create is that it must be a power beyond those we understand: the human brain is a powerful and complex pattern-creating structure. It strives every second to find patterns and order in every single thing that we do - this is the means by which the human brain allows us to understand the world, by creating a structured 'overlay' of the observable universe so that we can interact with it on a logical level. Consequently we believed the earth to be flat, lightening to be an act of a celestial deity and the Aurora Borealis to be a gateway to other dimension - the natural, hard wired fear of the unknown forces the mind to create an explicable reality to put those events into a self-defined category relative to the rest of the structure of our world. So, even knowing this, it is easy to see why the challenges made by James in the video above will never, ever be accomplished. Physic phenomena, telekinetic abilities and other 'unknowns' are simply our interpretation of extremely rare events - say, someone guessing that a family member is in trouble when they really are. But - this is the big 'but' - extremely rare events happen all the time, every day, all over the world. People are struck by lightening, narrowly miss car crashes by 1/4 inch, win the lottery, meet their life partner - all of which have infinitesimally tiny chances of occurring, yet they do. We have a word for these events - coincidence. Our world is incredibly amazing, beautiful, vibrant and vast with enough to wonder at to last 1000 lifetimes, it is only those who are not open enough to see what is right in front of us that will continue to create a false reality that sadly dulls their lives to a huge degree.
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Christopher Davies
Posted almost 2 years ago
Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games
Robin - your experience is interesting in that you've seen first hand that online gaming can disassociate our social values from conscious thought as there is no visual stimuli to remind us of who we are playing with - correct me if this is not what you meant. While this could inevitably lead to a drop in social skills and apathetic behaviour, I think that the different ways your son played when close/far from you in a physical sense is more related to the fact that he wanted you to enjoy the game more (and out of respect for his mother) when you were physically there. I've had some more intimate social experiences while gaming with someone on a different continent that some I've had sitting in the same room.
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Christopher Davies
Posted almost 2 years ago
Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games
Slider - I'm afraid I think you've misunderstood my point. What I am stating is that gaming can be instrumental in developing certain skills to an immensely advanced level. The fact that Daphne is not aware of gaming principles is nothing to do with the fact that she has an in-built bias that games have dangerous elements to them, that we need to change them so that only the good, positive elements remain (See end of talk). It is this stigma, and it is a very, very powerful one as games have been widely blamed for massacres in the past, that need sto be addressed before any real research can be done.
83666
Christopher Davies
Posted almost 2 years ago
Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games
I found this hugely interesting and great credit goes to Daphne for taking an open view on this topic. However, something that I feel needs to be addressed more is the undeniable stigma still attached to video games. At 29, I have been a gamer 20 years. From this experience one thing is strikingly obvious to me: when somebody is or is not themselves a gamer. Why is this important? Take this excerpt from the TED introduction: 'how video games, even action-packed shooter games, can help us learn'. This statement implies that 'action-packed shooter games' are detrimental to intuition and constructive learning. This is simply not the case. The cognotive accuracy, hand to eye functionality and lateral thinking required take many months to perfect and can be applied positively to many, many tasks and objectives in real life terms. My own spatial awareness, sense of direction and capacity for innovative planning have all increased exponentially and I attribute a large part of this directly to gaming. Also Daphne states the 'objective is to get your opponent, zombie, whatever, before they get you.' This is the objective according to someone who, with all respect, has not observed or researched the actual dynamics of gaming. Modern Warfare, Quake Live, Battlefield 3 and other front row titles consist of hugely complex objective based gameplay such as flag capture, defensive operations and espionage and require advanced planning, strategy and timing in order to succeed. Observe the two blue player in this simple example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTpo-iCc89E. This research is fascinating and I hope to see much more to find out how and why gaming is the unstoppable force that is has become - but understanding the fundamental fact that the games do not need to become chocolate flavoured broccoli - experts need to look beyond the face value of what they are studying.
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Christopher Davies
Posted about 2 years ago
P.W. Singer: Military robots and the future of war
War machines are horrific things. I'm impressed with the technical accomplishment, but any appreciation ends there. Once we've seen the mutilated corpses our views soon change. Wars, as someone has already mentioned, are a means to and end, but the real reasons that we are at war are not valiant, just or brave: it is to fulfil the hideous and sickeningly selfish greed of the people who perpetrate wars. The money some governments will make from selling this tech... and the mental scars that will ruin for life the minds of the young men and women that will still be the ones pulling the trigger are almost equal to the physical scars they would obtain in battle. It makes me sad.
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Christopher Davies
Posted about 2 years ago
Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future
Excellently put Gabriel, I was thinking this exact thing. People will continue to utilize technology both old and new to achieve their goals, and the goal of criminals will not change (to benefit themselves) until the underlying factors that affect their actions are balanced for the good of us all and not simply a small minority at the top.
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Christopher Davies
Posted almost 4 years ago
Barbara Block: Tagging tuna in the deep ocean
The green tea example is a great example of what you mean. There is no racism, simply a cultural barrier, or rather a seperation, many thousands of years old. It would be the same as trying to explain why women are put before men in our culture (theirs is the opposite).