500m may not seem like a huge improvement over that but here's a picture that puts it in perspective:
Arecibo was built half a century ago now, and ever since has remained (by far) the most sensitive radio telescope available. Yet... it hasn't found much that we didn't already know about. FAST seems likely to sit in the same realm: it'll be able to see known phenomenon farther away, but that's about it.
We have plenty of radio sensitivity right now, what we need is broader coverage to pick up transient things like FRB's, and (as always) longer baselines for VLBI work (e.g. the Event Horizon "Telescope"), both of which which mean more dishes, not one giant dish.
And those extragalactic pulsar studies they hope to do sound pretty nice.
Real missed opportunity there to name it the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Radio Telescope. Bonus points if they detect an interesting pulsating signal and do as was done with the gravitational waves, shifting it into the audio band...
This price is surprisingly low compared to other big science projects.
This is correct to an extent, the surface of a mirror needs to be polished to a degree such that abnormalities in the lens are small relative to the wavelength being observed (I think it's the diffraction limit equation, not positive atm). Radio telescopes (with cm wavelengths) require much less precision than optical ones (with sub-micron wavelengths). This telescope, FAST, actually is made out of a collection of triangular (I think) sheets arranged into a kind of dome, if it were observing optical it would act like a disco-ball instead of a parabolic mirror. Arecibo is literally a hole in the ground with rocks and crap on the reflector.
This thing actually had "first light" observations with several holes in it from triangular sections that were fritzing just kind of fluttering in the breeze. The first radio telescopes were literally built out of post-coldwar trash just kind of rigged up in the back-yard. There's a major array going in in south Africa where the antennas are like christmas tree wires that are just kind of hammered into the ground, one of the PIs showed video at a colloquium I attended of his 10 year old kids setting them up. If anything in modern science can be called "low specification" it's radio telescopes.
Which is one of the things that makes democracy and civil rights great: different people can express different perspectives and influence the decisions made.
I effectively never had one, so does that make it acceptable?
> and indirectly society
I know plenty of drug takers that function fine in society. I anticipate your response might be "they would function even better if they didn't", but perhaps forcibly removing choice from adults is also damaging.
 and some don't, to be sure.
It's not even that there's no room for compromise, there's no space even to discuss it, to try and understand their rationale. It's like being a kid again in a classroom with the teacher shouting at you that you can't do that and no they won't explain why.
But even though this loose standard can be stretched to justify literally any prohibition, in practice the only activities that get targeted in the name of community enhancement are the ones that make the group in power feel threatened or uncomfortable.
It's not in the best interest of other children to let your children not be immunized.
One of the reasons immunizations work so well is because of herd immunity. The entire population doesn't need to be inoculated against every random mutation the virus will take. Enough of the population has good enough immunity that the virus can't take a foothold. But once you dip below a certain percentage, the virus gets free rein to spread and evolve again.
Effective immunization requires that we all mostly get immunized.
> It's not in the best interest of other children to let your children not be immunized.
This doesn't change my point at all.
First, the idea that my child should be subjected to something harmful because it's better for other children doesn't fly with me. I doubt it flies with anyone. I vaccinated my kid for her benefit and for everyone else's, but if the choice is "everyone else" or "my kid"... I don't think you have to be a parent to see how that one shakes out.
Second, that's not how anti-vaxxers see it. They see it as bad for those children as well.
They aren't being subjected to something harmful, they falsely believe that it's something harmful because they saw an infographic on facebook
>that's not how anti-vaxxers see it. They see it as bad for those children as well.
Yes, and this kind of toxic stupidity should not be tolerated as it puts everyone else at risk
The issue is whether allowing people voice in influencing policy in a democracy is an absolute good if it means people like anti-vaxxers can still influence policy. I argued that from the point of view of an anti-vaxxer they are doing good, and that, you might find yourself in such a position one day. That's irrespective of whether the anti-vaxxers are right or wrong and if the hypothetical you is right or wrong.
And if it's not clear by now, (which it should be for anyone who read the thread): I'm not an anti-vaxxer; I'm not in favor of them; and nothing I've said here is in support of them.
If you wish to support your position better, you need to acknowledge the worries people have, not be deceptively dismissive of real worries.
For one thing there's a risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome.
There's also an inherent risk with introducing anything at all into your body via needle -- where/how was it stored; what other quality controls were practiced?
But that's not the question here. The question is whether someone should be forced to be vaccinated.
Not sure why this concept is so hard to get across.
The 90% can't afford to let the 10% have their own way when it would hurt everyone. In other news you aren't allowed to do all sorts of things on your own property that threaten your neighbors safety.
You're still not getting it. I don't have that position.
If you want an exception for your child, then privately educate them.
The chilling effect you're seeing on your devil's advocate arguments are because anti-vaxxers have caused so much harm with their pseudoscience. There is no room for playing nice or entertaining a middle ground.
The government has stepped in and made public health choices for us already. For instance, we chlorinated and fluoridated the public water supply. If you want to drink bottled water, that's fine. This isn't even a powerful enough analogy though, because vaccination doesn't just impact individuals. Every act of rejection lowers the fitness of the population.
Which tells me you're still not getting my point.
If some minority of children aren't vaccinated, how is that a threat to the rest who are? What's the point of the vaccinations if they aren't effective at protecting the vaccinated from the diseases carried by those who aren't?
I must be missing something, because it just looks like people meddling in the affairs of others. If a parent wants to have non-vaccinated children, I don't see how it's any different than a parent letting their children grow obese. It's their problem, live and let live.
A vaccine that only conveys, say, 20% protection to individuals can still convey ~100% protection to a group by tipping disease story from "spreads exponentially" (average_new_infects_per_person > 1.0) to "fizzles out" (average_new_infects_per_person < 1.0). That's called herd immunity. Even a modest minority of anti-vaxxers can sabotage herd immunity, leaving the rest of us with only the vaccine's individual protection margin.
Which just brings us back to worrying about the concerns of others.
What does herd immunity have to do with the lives of the vaccinated?
An increasingly large population of infected risks giving the virus a foothold first in vulnerable populations, then in everyone especially as mutations in an increasingly large reservoir provide exponentially more chances to find more effective forms that bypass existing immunity.
A minority of stupid people can put everyone at risk. Ultimately diseases continue to wipe out species. There is no particular reason to suppose we are immune to calamity just because we have better tools to respond to it than dumb animals.
Its possible to imagine that given unlimited resources we could discover ahead of time whom might react so and avoid vaccinating them or further reduce such negatives but resources aren't unlimited so currently some die.
We are already killing some kids so that others may live and the majority already supports that as do I.
This is very true, and there's no justifiable reason it should have been downvoted. The truth is more subtle than pro-vax or anti-vax dogma.
And yet we have lots of areas that are taboo: where speaking up or resisting will mark you as a danger, and you will be punished. #metoo
For the morons it's great, not so much for the millions of people exposed to diseases that had essentially been eradicated due to other people's stupidity
I would say it is, as long as they're being honest (even if you judge their honest position to be wrong).
These are also the scumbags that feed their autistic children bleach causing them to poop out their own stomach lining, and the parents think they are removing "autism worms"
TMT has fallen victim to an entirely unrelated political issue: the Hawaiian independence movement. There are people who believe that Hawaii is not legally/morally part of the United States, and they've chosen TMT as a highly visible project they can block, in order to assert sovereignty.
They make a number of claims to justify blocking TMT in particular. Their environmental claims are nonsense (nuclear-powered telescopes - imagine that!). They also claim that Mauna Kea is sacred to native Hawaiians, so that building a telescope there is desecration. That claim is actually extremely dubious, from a historical point of view. While going to the summit was taboo for most people in old Hawaii (as were many activities, such as men and women eating together), native Hawaiians also dug the largest rock quarry in all of Polynesia on Mauna Kea. There is also surprisingly little mention of Mauna Kea in extant chants from the old religion. But it's an oral tradition, so definitively proving that Mauna Kea wasn't as sacred as anti-TMT protesters claim is impossible. What's important is that the independence movement has made Mauna Kea's supposed sacredness a central part of their creed.
It's a sad situation, because TMT has the law on its side, and even with all the will in the world to accommodate opponents, TMT has no power to grant their central demand - independence from the US. The protesters fundamentally just want to block TMT entirely, as a statement about sovereignty over the mountain, and over Hawaii more broadly.
In this case, "I don't want another giant telescope on my culture's sacred mountain" isn't about astronomy at all, it's about the culture (and the larger perspective of indigenous interest in local resources, and respect for a pre-existing treaty that wasn't quite honored -- these folks aren't primitives or hippies, they know very well this is a political process in the real world).
That said, the idea that NIMBYs won't oppose a luxury hotel or housing development is laughable. My NextDoor is filled with people posting proposed development of our downtown, criticizing it with specious reasoning, and trying to rally people against it. The nature of the development doesn't matter. How much it will improve our property values doesn't matter. How much it will help with housing or traffic doesn't matter.
A luxury hotel... I can already hear them shrilly decrying how we don't "need to bring more people to the area," as stupid an argument as that would be for a hotel.
I don't know how to flesh it out better.
IIRC, the anti-TMT protestors would ideally like all the telescopes on Mauna Kea removed. However, obstructing the construction of the new one is the most practical present course of action for them.
The other side of this is that there is an element of obstructionism built into the model of democracy. Too much process, back and forth, judge-intervention, lawsuits, counter-lawsuits, voting and representation, etc. It would be ideal if we simply allowed everyone to vote on it, and go with the majority outcome.
If Paris can move graveyards and cemeteries underground for progress, surely something similar can be arranged to enable progress on the one hand and afford people the ability to honor their ancestors and culture.
Also putting a telescope near your home probably hinders addition of other things that produce light pollution or am I wrong?
The old Hawaiian religion we're talking about, by the way, fell increasingly out of practice from the early 1800s onwards, when the Hawaiian monarchy broke the taboos, defeated the priesthood in battle, and converted to Christianity. What we're actually discussing is a modern reinvention of the old religion, in much altered form. This modern version is heavily entwined with a political movement - Hawaiian independence.
But even if one accepts the modern practitioners' claims about what the old religion says, this isn't like building on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It's like building a mile away, beyond a ridge, in a location you can't see from the Temple Mount. TMT isn't at the summit, specifically because the project wanted to avoid any religious sites.
The fact that you go to Mexico and it seems like everyone is Catholic is because that’s what you had to make it look like if you wanted to not die.
It does not mean that the old religion disappeared. It means you won’t see it unless you are very deep inside the circle of trust.
The fact that you’re suddenly hearing about people practicing these things is not “new age” nonsense, it’s people finally having the visibility and support to do something publicly that it wasn’t safe to share until very recently.
It’s also people who may have never grown up with it, but whose great grandma practiced bits and pieces, who are re-learning from the handful of knowledge keepers how to begin again. That too is not “new ageism” it’s an endangered species growing its population again. It’s a delicate process that is just as important as any telescope.
And lastly, you may want to adjust your tone. You are talking about the murder and total cultural suppression of your opponents’ ancestors. This isn’t about the old CinePlex getting torn down, this is people’s basic tribal identity and their direct ancestors’ slaughter and slavery. These are not things you should just roll over with bravado.
The old Hawaiian religion was suppressed about 200 years ago, not by outsiders, but by the Hawaiian monarchy itself. Whether or not that was a good thing is a difficult question. The old social and religious system was extremely oppressive, with a dominant priestly class. The religion involved human sacrifice and strong strictures on behavior that people nowadays would find very troubling. The decision of the Hawaiian monarchy to break the power of the priests could be viewed as positive, as far as it allowed greater social freedoms to most Hawaiians.
You say that the new practitioners of the religion are essentially just coming out of hiding, and practicing the same religion they've privately held for a long time, but that's not entirely true. Some of the central claims they make about the religion (e.g., Mauna Kea as the most sacred place in the religion) just do not square with what's known about how it used to be practiced. Other elements, such as "kapu aloha," are clearly very recent inventions. It's very naive to just ignore the entire political context of the religious revival (the Hawaiian independence movement and the attempt to create a separate national identity) and the historical evidence about the religion, and accept all the claims made about the religion by the leaders of the anti-TMT movement, who just happen to be independence activists.
But the same article says that in 2016 support was much lower.
I wonder what is happening to change the level of support over time. Maybe the 2018 poll was just an anomaly.
The parent article (hawaiinewsnow.com) makes me sad, because it sounds like opposing the telescope is becoming a way of feeling cultural identity. The desire to feel a part of something is satisfied by mobilizing in opposition to something. I would like to believe that cultural expression and belonging can coexist with modern scientific inquiry. From this page it sounds like the project has done a lot of work to minimize the impact and do community outreach: http://www.maunakeaandtmt.org/facts-about-tmt/
They're also very strict about checking: you have to go through two different x-ray machines to check you didn't sneak any electronics through.
The need for X-ray machines due to tourists ignoring the ban is a more likely development.
Also FAST has discovered about 100 new pulsars, in at least one case they detected a pulsar at a position Arecibo had observed three times already and not finding anything.
China is also building a super collider that's larger than CERN. The big question though is if they plan on doing an international effort (and if so, can they attract international scientists while operating an authoritarian state?) or if they plan on doing it only nationally (seems much harder to do and not as effective).
But yes, overall China is executing an excellent "brain drain" (not meant in a negative sense) by being willing to invest in these "keystone" projects when other countries are tightening budgets.
One is national prestige. I'm not sure that's a good reason (if that's what's happened here).
If someone claims a new supercomputer place, the first thing to ask is whether they're getting real performance out of it.
(I'll repeat that this a question, and not an assertion that china's making a mistake)
> Blowing resources doesn't necessarily get results.
> If someone claims a new supercomputer place, the first thing to ask is whether they're getting real performance out of it.
So like TaihuLight and Tianhe? ()
I still think these machines add to national pride, but you're right that the money would be much better spent if it ALSO did actual science. I don't think these kinds of moves are as beneficial, because the benefits that I described in my first post are well known in the community (though not sure if they are well known by the public or even Rick Perry (though I know he's been told)).
 I work on super computers and from my understanding (I haven't personally used Taihu or Tianhe) is that these computers are "Linpack machines" (linpack is the metric used to quantify the rankings). That these computers are extremely difficult to work with (all super computers are difficult to work with, and so these are HPC guys telling me that they don't want to work with those machines and are much happier to work on machines like Summit, Sierra, or even Titan) and so not much science is actually done on them.
I understood that the TaihuLight etc. were based on SW26010 cpus and as these use scratchpad rather than automatic cache hierarchies I assumed they were a bugger to program therefore were less efficient (it's not that simple but you know what I mean).
But I checked on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOP500#TOP_500 which gave, for this machine, Rpeak (theoretical peak) of 125 PFlops and Rmax ("the highest score measured using the LINPACK benchmarks suite") as 93 PFlops. Which really wasn't at all bad compared to the US machines, so I wondered where that left my assumptions. But you now mention they're hard to use.
I'd assumed that if linpack was written and tested, you just used it and got the peformance. Apparently not?
(I don't work with supercomputers, just in case you hadn't noticed)
So basically what I've heard about Taihu is that installing any packages and writing code for the system is even more of a pain (like adds months to your work (probably an exaggeration)) to write for. Libraries that are commonly used aren't supported and so many things need to be written by hand (including all the optimization). So they go (from my knowledge) fairly unused. Hence calling them Linpack machines (someone got linpack running and submitted test results. Doesn't say how utilized the machine is).
But this could also be people in the labs playing up lab pride too. So take everything with a grain of salt. I want to try to be fair here. (US labs do have lots of internationals at them, not just western countries, plenty of Chinese nationals. They just want smart people).
As for performance, it depends on a lot of things (it is actually REALLY hard to measure). Linpack is just a good baseline and has been highly optimized. But it doesn't tell you how fast your software is going to be because frankly your software could be completely unoptimized. It is highly dependent.
That said, having the fastest/biggest HPC computer doesn't mean too much. No one is running across the entire machine at one time. It is generally a lot of different programs and groups working on the same machine. There are benefits though. It is easier to have a single big machine than many smaller machines and it does enable you to do the science you want to do if you do end up needing a huge capacity. More bang for your buck. And for only a few hundred million dollars too, not a bad price.