NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#61  Postby Zadocfish2 » Oct 08, 2014 12:32 am

And again, you're working on the assumption that all life must resemble our own.

It isn't a problem of design so much as a problem with scale. In order to increase processing power of any neural network without increasing size would require the basic unit of that network to be reduced in size. So they would have to have something smaller than a neuron as the base unit. Any living version of a neuron is going to have to accommodate both the infrastructure to maintain the health of unit as well as it's information processing functionality. I doubt you will find many options smaller than a neuron.


In the neurons that exist in the biology we know of, yes. But again, "neuron" could be more or less a concept unique to Earth, for all we know. And your incredulity on the options that may or may not be available are not especially relevant as to whether or not they exist.

Then there is the heat problem. The denser the network the more heat it generates from processing. All processors are going to exchange heat energy in this way due to thermal dynamics. The denser the processor, the more infrastructure that is required to dissipate the heat, which takes up room. You will get diminishing returns as the scale get's smaller.


That does make a lot more sense, but I must mention that life has a way of finding unexpected ways to deal with problems.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#62  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Oct 08, 2014 4:33 am

Zadocfish2 wrote:And again, you're working on the assumption that all life must resemble our own.

It isn't a problem of design so much as a problem with scale. In order to increase processing power of any neural network without increasing size would require the basic unit of that network to be reduced in size. So they would have to have something smaller than a neuron as the base unit. Any living version of a neuron is going to have to accommodate both the infrastructure to maintain the health of unit as well as it's information processing functionality. I doubt you will find many options smaller than a neuron.


In the neurons that exist in the biology we know of, yes. But again, "neuron" could be more or less a concept unique to Earth, for all we know. And your incredulity on the options that may or may not be available are not especially relevant as to whether or not they exist.


Any intelligent biological system will be based on a weighted network of some basic component (a neural network). A neural network is the maximum in efficiency for adaptive parallel processing. That is because the base structure is extremely simplified. There just isn't a simpler structure for data processing. Because of this, there is a lower limit to brain size vs intelligence.

Any basic component of life is going to be cell like. Without a cell structure, there is no division of function and without a division of function, there is no complexity. So it will be a weighted network of cell like components which you might as well call neurons.

Then there is the heat problem. The denser the network the more heat it generates from processing. All processors are going to exchange heat energy in this way due to thermal dynamics. The denser the processor, the more infrastructure that is required to dissipate the heat, which takes up room. You will get diminishing returns as the scale get's smaller.


That does make a lot more sense, but I must mention that life has a way of finding unexpected ways to deal with problems.


It usually finds a way through tradeoffs. But there is only so much you can trade off before any accommodation for an increase in intelligent is more of a hindrance to reproductive success than a benefit.

I'm sure if the environment was pressing very very hard for both increased intelligence AND a smaller brain, natural selection could select for a higher brain size/intelligence ratio than anything we see here, but it isn't going to be anywhere near a human level intelligence in a rat sized brain. There simply isn't enough room to pack in all the individual components required without causing extreme issues with interference and increased heat.

Humans in fact are probably limited in intelligence simply because of the difficulties of childbirth due to the size of an infant's head.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#63  Postby patient zero » Oct 08, 2014 4:48 am

Alan B wrote:
DougC wrote:Another strange one.

Image

Proof at last that they had reached a high point in their civilization - a corkscrew!

It's obviously an Ogre robot tank.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#64  Postby Zadocfish2 » Oct 08, 2014 5:43 am

2 things.

1)
Any intelligent biological system will be based on a weighted network of some basic component (a neural network). A neural network is the maximum in efficiency for adaptive parallel processing. That is because the base structure is extremely simplified. There just isn't a simpler structure for data processing. Because of this, there is a lower limit to brain size vs intelligence.

Any basic component of life is going to be cell like. Without a cell structure, there is no division of function and without a division of function, there is no complexity. So it will be a weighted network of cell like components which you might as well call neurons.


Again you are asserting that things are the way they are here because that is the only way they could be. I am saying that that is not the case.

2)
it isn't going to be anywhere near a human level intelligence in a rat sized brain.


Just throwing this out there, but a housekept rat can be a lot smarter than a housekept Great Dane. They're actually extremely clever. As are octopi, and they have some of the smallest babies in the ocean.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#65  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Oct 08, 2014 3:19 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:Again you are asserting that things are the way they are here because that is the only way they could be. I am saying that that is not the case.


No. I am asserting that a neural network is the most efficient configuration you can achieve for adaptive parallel processing. Saying otherwise is like saying there might be a 100% more efficient way of packing round objects into a box than we currently know.

The best that you can do is reduce the size of the balls, but then you are bound by a lower limit of how small a cell can get without removing it's life sustaining properties.

I won't argue that evolution can't find a more efficiently sized cell or that there might be a more efficient way to arrange the larger structures of the brain, but there isn't much more processing power you can cram into the confines of your skull that isn't already there. Nature has had hundreds of millions of years at trying.

Just throwing this out there, but a housekept rat can be a lot smarter than a housekept Great Dane. They're actually extremely clever. As are octopi, and they have some of the smallest babies in the ocean.


Clever yes, but clever at selective rat specific tasks does not mean more intelligent. Cooperative hunting and other advanced social behaviors, including the ability for inter-species social interaction, are far more complex than finding cheese in a maze. A rat does not have the capacity for these advanced behaviors, and never will.

Less neurons and therefore less connections between those neurons is always going to mean less capacity for information processing.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#66  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Oct 09, 2014 11:44 am

If there is life on Mars it's not very impressive. At least considering the tens of thousands of empty desert photos you need to wade through before finding an oddly enough shaped rock that could be passed off as intelligently designed with enough special pleading.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#67  Postby BlackBart » Oct 09, 2014 12:07 pm

DougC wrote:Another strange one.

Image


I suspect this will go the way of 'The Face on Mars' once we get a high res photo.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#68  Postby Made of Stars » Oct 09, 2014 12:17 pm

BlackBart wrote:
DougC wrote:Another strange one.

Image

I suspect this will go the way of 'The Face on Mars' once we get a high res photo.

No, that's totally a planetary defence laser cannon, dude.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#69  Postby Varangian » Oct 09, 2014 12:20 pm

Made of Stars wrote:
BlackBart wrote:
DougC wrote:Another strange one.

Image

I suspect this will go the way of 'The Face on Mars' once we get a high res photo.

No, that's totally a planetary defence laser cannon, dude.

Obviously not working, then.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#70  Postby Made of Stars » Oct 09, 2014 12:35 pm

Varangian wrote:
Made of Stars wrote:
BlackBart wrote:
DougC wrote:Another strange one.

Image

I suspect this will go the way of 'The Face on Mars' once we get a high res photo.

No, that's totally a planetary defence laser cannon, dude.

Obviously not working, then.

Only 1 in 2 probes make it on Mars. Checkmate!11!!!
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#71  Postby Alan B » Oct 09, 2014 1:06 pm

And, of course, notice how the sand is disturbed around the corkscrew :snooty: and nowhere else...
Elsewhere is perfectly smooth.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#72  Postby DavidMcC » Oct 09, 2014 2:12 pm

Perhaps it's a piece of one of the various crashed space probes on Mars!
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#73  Postby tolman » Oct 09, 2014 6:02 pm

Is the snippet from an original image - there seem to be all manner of compression artifacts.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#74  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Oct 09, 2014 6:51 pm

When are you sheeple going to wake up and realize that NASA sent the rovers to Mars to find artifacts, post them to the public so they can deny what they already know. ALIENS!
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#75  Postby Zadocfish2 » Oct 17, 2014 8:31 am

Clever yes, but clever at selective rat specific tasks does not mean more intelligent. Cooperative hunting and other advanced social behaviors, including the ability for inter-species social interaction, are far more complex than finding cheese in a maze. A rat does not have the capacity for these advanced behaviors, and never will.


Have you ever owned a pet rat? Their behaviors are actually quite similar to a dog's, with enough interaction. Like a dog, the more time you spend with it, the smarter it seems to become.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#76  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Oct 20, 2014 3:52 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:
Clever yes, but clever at selective rat specific tasks does not mean more intelligent. Cooperative hunting and other advanced social behaviors, including the ability for inter-species social interaction, are far more complex than finding cheese in a maze. A rat does not have the capacity for these advanced behaviors, and never will.


Have you ever owned a pet rat? Their behaviors are actually quite similar to a dog's, with enough interaction. Like a dog, the more time you spend with it, the smarter it seems to become.


Again, this doesn't equate to overall intelligence.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#77  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2014 4:18 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:Has anyone noticed that there seems to be quite a few of these small Martian rocks of unusual shapes? I'm interested in what environmental force could have caused these.


Many of the same as on Earth - erosion, chemical and photon degradation.


Zadocfish2 wrote:Again, I wish Nasa would just drive the thing closer to them to investigate...


They're way up close on some of these pictures - again, the scale is important. What can appear to be a vast horizon with giant boulders might actually be a close up of just a metre of the surface.


Zadocfish2 wrote:Unrelated, but people here are talking like being small makes it less likely that it was made by Martians. There is no evidence that these are not natural rock formations, I agree. But size doesn't really matter; if we ever even found life, it's doubtful that it would have developed as life on earth has.


There are numerous universal physical laws which place extreme demands on creatures of very large or very small size. For example, thermoregulation is far easier for larger animals than smaller ones because a larger animal possesses less surface area to body mass ration, meaning heat escapes less easily. Likewise with a being of extremely small dimensions, while brain size does not directly correlate to intelligence comparatively, it does so absolutely. A brain needs a certain area of substrate to achieve the numbers of connections necessary to generate more complex forms of intelligence. The brain itself is limited in its building blocks like neurons by the physical dimensions of other elements of the universe, such as the size of the chemicals it is made up of. While I won't go out and say it's impossible, the chances are that highly intelligent life would be considerably larger than a toy soldier.


Zadocfish2 wrote:Mars has much different atmospheric properties; actually, it would make more sense for life and signs thereof to be small than large.


I don't follow the 'sense' there. Can you explain why that would make sense?


Zadocfish2 wrote:Also unrelated: Am I just easily awe-inspired, or are others just less so? I mean, think about it: Not only have we landed on the Moon, we now have a pair of eyes on Mars. And, we have an object currently on its way out of the solar system. In the history of not just mankind, but of this entire planet, in 3,000,000,000 years of existence, we know of no other time when any other creature has observed the goings-on of other planetary bodies, and certainly not directly. A thing made by one planet, built here on earth, is moving and looking around on another planet for, for all we know, the first time ever.

Simply fantastic.


No, consider me sufficiently inspired to awe! :cheers:
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#78  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2014 4:29 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:
Also, you are not going to find a civilization of tiny, inch high technologically advanced aliens. Brain size is gong to be a limiter on how small vs how intelligent a species can get regardless of environment. Physics is still the same everywhere.


Physics do form a limit to the intellectual capacity of our animals, but again you assume that life elsewhere would follow the same rules of biology.


If they don't, can you explain how that would work when they're assuredly following the same laws of chemistry.


Zadocfish2 wrote:Perhaps they would have developed a more efficient method to transfer information between what would for them constitute cells, for example.


Even cells have hard limitations on the size they can be due to the component parts, requisite surface area to perform functions etc.


Zadocfish2 wrote:More directly, the very idea that they would have a recognizable form of "brain" is remote; while our animals certainly do, our animals might not set the standard of the entire universe.


You have to understand that the term 'brain' can be used to encompass any substrate where the nerve endings are gathered - the core nervous system. It's entirely possible, as with the octopus, to have distributed brain cells but we don't consider their appendages to be brains because they don't all conglomerate there.


Zadocfish2 wrote:That's how life was best set to develop under our circumstances, but the circumstances on other planets are radically different, and would result in radically different body forms and survival adaptations.


Of course the circumstances are different, but the laws of physics aren't. There are hard limitations on morphology due to universal physical properties. The band of possibility still offers unimaginable diversity, but not simply 'anything'.


Zadocfish2 wrote:Let's not forget, it's not just selective pressures that would change, but the base that those pressures would have built on; not just the results, but every step since the formation of what could be called "life" would have been completely different.


Well, I'd say that the base would be reasonably similar, even if entirely different chemistry was at work. The only way i could imagine truly different fundamental properties being possible is if another building block than carbon was used - perhaps silicon.


Zadocfish2 wrote:It isn't physics that caused the multicellular groups that eventually resulted in complex life to develop ganglia and then brains; that was what was useful for ferrying information. What would or would not be useful to a Martian surviving would be different. Different paths would be taken.


Actually, physics was almost certainly a part of it. How do you judge which way you're going without sensing the physical properties of the world around you? What do 'senses' even mean if not to process external information internally? The senses, nerve endings, ganglia and ultimately brains are all dependent on the physical properties they inhabit, and a significant part of their function is based on being able to perceive and navigate those properties.


Zadocfish2 wrote:As for whether or not we would call them intelligent, that remains to be seen. Even if there is life on Mars capable of forming "ruins", it could well just be the result of some sort of mindless animal from our perspective. It's all speculation, though, and as of now there is no reason to think that there might be life on Mars... but hey, here's hoping.


There's no evidence for ruins on Mars, nor much of life on Mars, not of animals, and certainly not of the kind of complex societies which would produce material culture. The kind of life we're hoping to encounter on Mars would be bacterial - actually, the most prolific building life form we know of considering they're effectively chemical processing factories - but ruins? No.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#79  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2014 4:29 pm

DougC wrote:Another strange one.

Image


Fucking narwhals get everywhere.
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Re: NASAs rover Curiosity just posted this pic of old ruins

#80  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 20, 2014 4:36 pm

Zadocfish2 wrote:And again, you're working on the assumption that all life must resemble our own.


Not resemble our own, but using the same properties of the universe as our own - yes... and for good reason.

To suggest otherwise is to begin applying special sauce.


Zadocfish2 wrote:
It isn't a problem of design so much as a problem with scale. In order to increase processing power of any neural network without increasing size would require the basic unit of that network to be reduced in size. So they would have to have something smaller than a neuron as the base unit. Any living version of a neuron is going to have to accommodate both the infrastructure to maintain the health of unit as well as it's information processing functionality. I doubt you will find many options smaller than a neuron.


In the neurons that exist in the biology we know of, yes.


But at this level, we're not really talking about 'biology' but 'chemistry'. Those laws are universal, not specific to Earth.


Zadocfish2 wrote: But again, "neuron" could be more or less a concept unique to Earth, for all we know.


Even if 'neuron' is a concept unique to Earth, any brain must possess a substrate and be composed of some kind of building block. Those blocks are likewise formed by chemicals which are not subject to variation planet by planet.


Zadocfish2 wrote:And your incredulity on the options that may or may not be available are not especially relevant as to whether or not they exist.


And your credulity is not especially relevant either, particularly when you're appealing to things that actually cannot be.


Zadocfish2 wrote:
Then there is the heat problem. The denser the network the more heat it generates from processing. All processors are going to exchange heat energy in this way due to thermal dynamics. The denser the processor, the more infrastructure that is required to dissipate the heat, which takes up room. You will get diminishing returns as the scale get's smaller.


That does make a lot more sense, but I must mention that life has a way of finding unexpected ways to deal with problems.


Absolutely - a fundamental characteristic of life.

However, there are again hard limitations as a result of sharing the same universal laws. There will not be lifeforms where chemistry is unstable, for example, or where the properties of an area present no free energy to exploit.
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