Salamander
  • 52 Posts
  • 91 Comments
Joined 1M ago
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Cake day: Dec 19, 2021

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I used to wish that I had lived in the 1800s because I thought that that was the cool time to do science (Charles Darwin figuring out evolution, Maxwell electrodynamics, Boltzmann thermodynamics, Pasteur disproving spontaneous generation, Friedrich Wöhler discovering that organic chemicals can be synthesized)… During high school science books gave me the impression that those guys figured out most of the cool stuff and that they left little for us. Now I know I was very wrong and am actually O.K. with living in this time, there is still a lot to explore and discover.


The numbers are meaningless without context and specificity about what they mean. But what type distribution would you expect for criminality in a population?


In genetics it is well known that a specific gene is able to affect multiple unrelated phenotypes (the term for this is “pleiotropy”). Intelligence is not close to being understood, and there is no agreement about how to quantify it. But we do know that the brain is very complex, and that the genes that control how the brain develops and how the brain functions can express proteins that have more than one function or, in the case of regulatory genes, serve different regulatory functions in different tissues and/or life stages. Because of this, mutations that affect intelligence are very likely to show significant pleiotropy.

So, I do not think that it will be possible to introduce mutations that will only improve intelligence. An “enhancement” is likely to be more of a “trade-off”. I don’t think that it would be ethical to introduce any type of mutation if this is the case.

But I don’t completely rule it out. If future research does show that there are specific mutations that can considerably enhance some aspect of intelligence without having an impact on other traits, and if technology progresses to the point in which we can genetically manipulate a zygote with very high precision, then yes. I think that the descendants of the descendants of our descendants should explore that option. It is way too soon now.


During the late 1990s the overwhelming majority of people in my community believed in creationism and were against teaching the theory of evolution. I witnessed several debates in which metaphysics, the bible, and bad statistics were used to argue in favor of creationism. But even in these debates the opposition was highly controlled. The works of authors such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins were forbidden, and these authors were demonized because they were ‘immoral atheists’. I was dumbfounded by the degree to which the catholic majority would censor and distort information.

Regardless of whether I agree with the majority or not on a given topic, I would never fight for censorship because you never know when you will be part of the minority that the majority has chosen to label as “misleading” or “demonic” or “conspiratorial” or whatever.

On the other hand… There is clearly some trolling/baiting/spamming going on in that community. I think that if you ban the community or the user they will continue trying to stir drama. Looks like some kind of trolling weekend project. I am not sure what the best way to deal with that is.




I was experimenting with culture isolation and became a bit distracted with other things. This agar plate was prepared in October and left in a drawer, so it has been about 3 months since then. …

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If people get banned for filling the rules admins make why should anyone trust this platform?

I don’t have to because I run my own instance. That’s the point of lemmy!

Admittedly my instance is quite empty, so if they were to disable federation between mine and lemmy.ml it would be very quiet… But the current state is not what is important to me, what is important to me is the goal that the project is working towards. I am here because I think building a de-centralized reddit is a very good idea.


What substrate are they growing on?


Nice flush!! I am happy to see that you’ve got back into it!


I think that a lower tech solution would be to simply let the cutting use the rooting hormones that it contains naturally! :-)

I have tried a few of these rooting tricks myself, and I just see an increased chance of the roots rotting. Timing and patience tends to be better rewarded. I find that what this document says on the topic is quite reasonable: https://www.gardenmyths.com/best-rooting-hormones/


Awesome, thank you for bringing this to my attention!!

I much prefer the title of the original work: “Quieting a noisy antenna reproduces photosynthetic light-harvesting spectra”

As opposed to: “Why Are Plants Green? To Reduce the Noise in Photosynthesis.”

The second title is way too confident, and the authors of the work never made a claim as bold as that in their paper!

The idea is super interesting, and a good case can be made that this principle of output stabilization is fundamental. Figure 3. is compelling, so I am going to try to really dissect this paper over the weekend to see if I am convinced.

But… they show only 3 hand-selected cases, amplitudes are not considered, and it is a very simplified system. Supplementary Material section 2.2 (Section 2.2. Discussion of Degenerate Peaks in the Model Optimization) also makes me raise an eyebrow…

The conventional idea is: an absorption threshold should not be exceeded to avoid damage, but there is no lower threshold. If the idea proposed in this work is correct, then the bounds to the optimal region now present not only an upper but also a lower threshold. The authors write:

In photosynthesis, an overpowered antenna will produce excess energy that can drive deleterious back reactions (24, 25). Conversely, a light-harvesting network in an underpowered state produces nonoptimal output, because the rate of energy transfer out of the network is fixed by electrochemical processes (26).

Their statement about the excess energy is well established, but the claim about the ‘underpowered state’ is not. Citation 26 is an old (1980) paper on the basics of electrochemistry in photosynthesis, so they did not make a large effort to justify this claim.

Compelling, interesting, and the implications can be profound. But there is still a lot of room for debate! I am still very very skeptical.

I am growing some small plants under artificial lighting - should I place a fan in between the lamp and some of the seedlings to see if this added light variability has an effect? I am kidding, my conditions wouldn’t be controlled enough to be worth it. But a well-designed experiment of this kind could be done in the lab. I suspect that the plants would be virtually unaffected by large fluctuations of intensity below the damage threshold… In which case there wouldn’t be much of a selection pressure towards such network optimization.


The URL is missing a few numbers: https://twitter.com/firefox/status/1481657624651313155

The tweet says:

“Earlier today, Firefox became unresponsive due to a change in defaults by a cloud provider which triggered a Firefox HTTP/3 bug. We disabled the configuration change and confirmed this fixed the issue.”

To be honest, I don’t understand what “a change in defaults by a cloud provider” even means. But it smells fishy indeed.


Could it be that the problem has been fixed by then?


Oh, I was under the wrong impression that my Firefox was not auto-updated when using Arch Linux!



Firefox appears to be down

I am not able to load any websites with Firefox on my PC despite having an internet connection. I went on Reddit and found other people complaining of the exact same issue, so it appears to be a problem with firefox: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/s2u7eg/is_firefox_down/



This instance has been updated to version 0.15.1

Thanks to the devs for their hard work. …




Papayas can be male, female, or hermaphrodite. Usually, papaya growers will select hermaphrodites because they can self-fertilize and thus produce fruit by themselves. However, this selection takes time an resources because the plants have to flower before the sex can determined. …


Still better than grandma’s door pull method



I liked method 3 a lot. I am going to transform a bedside lamp and a table lamp so that they use rechargeable batteries. …



Research article: “Systematic evaluation of horizontal gene transfer between eukaryotes and viruses” …


This is an interesting review on experiments that attempt to unravel the environmental triggers that cause the button mushroom to fruit…







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Photography tip that I recently learned: Easiest way to get a black background is to take the photo at night, making sure that there is a large distance between the object and any wall behind it. If the flash is unable to reach the wall, then you have a dark background. Final adjustments done with r…

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In my opinion, this video is one of the clearest and most concise explanations of how to grow mushrooms at home. …



Are there any flaws or problems with Nano?

I have been reading about cryptocurrencies, and I find Nano to be the most appealing on the basis that it appears to be a minimalist approach to digital cash - which is what I would like. I want to be able to pay online easily without needing a third party. I don’t really need smart contracts or any…