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Re: Hands and brains

On Sun, 28 Jan 1996, Timothy van der Linden wrote:

> ReplyTo: Kelly
> >Well it takes 10,000 to operate an aircraft carrer, and far more than that to
> >maintain it.  Add in other professions to maintain the entire civilization
> >needed to support them, and you get millions.

How many of those are actually maintaining the boat, and how many are 
training to use the weapons that boat is carrying.  you keep bringing up 
the military model Kelly, Are you assuming we are going to have to fight 
someone/thing.  I'll say again, the military is a bad example, many of 
the people are engaged in specialized activity which has nothing to do 
with the maintainance of the boat.  Another large part of the crew is 
engaged in activity to repair any damage that the enemy will inflict on 
them.  both groups would not be needed in a star-ship (given the fact 
that we have written off weapon systems as unescessary, our only defense 
upon meeting a hostile ship would be to surrender or self-destruct)

> > >> My misunderstanding, but can food be kept for 20 years?
> >
> >Sure.  We kept some cold war rations around for that long without
> >refrigeration.  With high tech, you can keep normal foods almost indefinatly.
> > (Give or take a few problematic fruits like apples.)
> OK, indefinatly, so a humble 60 years would be possible for a single way
> mission :)

Even if we can keep such foods, my carrots example shows that it's 
cheaper in both mass and space to grow many foods rather than carry them .

>> >In a world without photosyntisis the non-oxegen forms could still dominate.

you could have photosynthesis, without having oxygen.  in our system, 
plants break down water into hydrogen and oxygen, the hydrogen is tacked 
onto a CO2 subunit, and then built up into carbo-hydrates.  It is no 
large stretch of the imagination to envision a system where the [Plants] 
break down H2S and release S2 into the atmosphere tacking the hydrogen 
onto a CO2 etc etc

> (By the way I couldn't find the meaning of "chavanist", are you sure you
> spelled it right? (I've an idea of the meaning though))

Kevin speaks:
chauvinist -- one who has a prefrence for a particular group of which he 
is a member.  applied to gender, to would mean a man who thought that it 
is better to be a man than a woman, not really one who thinks that men 
are better than women, just one who thinks it is better to be a man.  It 
is a milder form of racism.

> About Dolphins, they are a species that went back to the sea after living on
> land, they are also air-breathing. So that may explain some of the size of
> the brain.
> You said proportionally, but for intelligence only the absolute size is
> impotant. Besides that, dolphins are almost the same size we are. So if they
> have big brains, they have to use them somehow otherwise it would be a bad
> evolutionary design which is unlikely. I really wonder what a "fish" could

there is some evidence that dolphins devote a large portion of their 
brains to sonar image processing.  and perhaps even language.  as to 
absolute size, that is not true.  even the lowly prairie dog has a 
rudimentary language.  It is sophisticated enough to convey the following 
1) human approaching
2) dog approaching
3) yellow human approaching (man wearing a yellow coat)
4) black dog approaching from the north

In short, the prairie dogs gave different vocalizations when a dog, or a 
human approached the nest, and gave different vocalizations when the same 
man wearing different colored jacket walked through.  they also gave some 
indication what the direction of approach was.  When a man walked in from 
the North, the voalizations were recorded, and played back several days 
later.  every member of the prairie dog nest looked, not at the speakers, 
but to the north.  and when Hawk warnings are recorded and played back, 
they all look to the sky