comment by Kawoomba ·
2013-03-28T14:09:51.599Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Postmortem for the bet:
EHeller was correct in so far as physical accelerations as occurring in every-day life do not have an effect on proteins and other small cell components which exceeds thermal noise.
I did win the bet since EHeller committed to a statement saying there would be no effect (on at least the order of magnitude of thermal noise) on any component of the cell, and as calculated by a referee, it turns out that larger cell organelles such as mitochondria are affected to such a degree (assuming 0.5g over 10s, 0.5g occurs e.g. when taking a car from 0 to 60mph in 6 seconds, so the 0.5g over 10s would occur for example when taking a car from 0 to 100mph over 10 seconds). Referee statement see here.
The wager goes to Miri, as chosen by Kawoomba, with thanks for all the fish.
I thank EHeller for his professional conduct and his charitable interpretations of my claims, resulting in the, well, result. Had he held me to my initial statements as made, he would have won.
I should have made my point in an entirely different way from the start: Namely, consider you took a psychoactive drug, such as an SSRI. Naturally, all sorts of channel configurations, concentration gradients and the such would be affected. But consider what happens after you stop taking it: you'd regress to some semblance (but not precisely the same state!) of the state you had before.
If someone paid you a large sum of money for taking SSRIs for 1 month, wouldn't you do so? I probably would. I wouldn't consider myself to be committing informational suicide, even though even post-SSRI-taking my state would still be different from my state now. That's my point; many-to-one transformations - variances between the original state and the reconstructed state - don't need to be functionally significant, and even when they are, it doesn't follow that we couldn't consider ourselves to be reconstituted, just as we don't consider ourselves to be committing identity-suicide when taking SSRIs for a month.
comment by EHeller ·
2013-03-28T21:16:18.769Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Just to verify- we made the bet and unfortunately I allowed the burden of proof to shift to myself, rather than to Kawoomba, and the statement we used for the bet was effectively "everyday scale accelerations will have an affect on proteins or other biologically important compounds at most an order of magnitude below thermal noise." This statement is technically not true, because fairly strong (~g), long-time-scale accelerations (10 s of seconds) will have an effect on the largest structures of just-about-thermal-noise (so basically if you get in one of those centrifuge-style-carnival-rides, you can affect your mitochrondia to order thermal noise).
A car doing 0-60 in 6 seconds won't quite do it, it needs to be 10s of seconds.
Also this should underscore that bets might not be the best way to go about truth seeking :)
Also, to respond to the SSRI point- I doubt Kawoomba would take a large sum of money to take ANY psychoactive drug for 1 month- rather he knows the specific affects of SSRIs. Some changes in brain chemistry can be more important than others.
comment by Kawoomba ·
2013-03-29T06:23:34.380Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Hmm, for sufficiently large values of 'large sum of money', as long as the drug was randomly (not maliciously) chosen from a pool of FDA-approved psychoactive drugs, I would. Wouldn't you, for one trillion dollars? If so, we're just haggling about price.
The original example used 0.5g, just to give an impression that would be on the scale of going 0-60 in 6 seconds, for 10 seconds just keep up the acceleration for 4 seconds longer.
Also, given "one magnitude less than thermal noise" (as in the statement), apparently normal rollercoasters are, after all, sufficient to affect even smaller structures such as lysosomes at >58 (fifty-eight) nm, see this amendment.