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About Micromegas

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  1. i'm patenting a hyrbid fruit+pad opuntia ficus-indica combo, it's the next superfood. the other point i was making, is saguaro fruits have to be at the top of the list, delicious!
  2. Phytophthora is an interesting thought but unlikely in these circumstances. Apparently the canopy of palms is bangin' so I think excess shade and moisture + wrong plants is the answer. Yeah it's a dead dracaena, thanks heaps for the offer saylor but i think he'll go for a species more tolerant of wet soil. Those Zamioculcus are nice, I reckon he should go for something colourful like a mat of bromeliads, maybe some violas or something.
  3. interesting plant pp. this more or less confirms what I have been thinking for a while, that the plant I have with bright pink flowers (lots of photos on here) that grows to about 6ft is an echinopsis-trichocereus hybrid. the 'angularity' of the ribs and the spines are spot on. nice garden btw.
  4. Thanks Sall and Anodyne much appreciated, great information, also nice ID on the fungus. Good to know that the soil is not as bad as I thought - I must have spent too long looking at red soil! It is pretty much full shade from bricks/house/palm trees so i think shade and improper plant selection is the problem. I think some plants that enjoy that sort of environment might do really well in that case without doing anything with the soil. Thanks very much my bro was quite relieved when someone contradicted my advice that his soil was no good and he had to dig it all up! Any suggestions for nice shade-loving plants?
  5. hi guys my brother's garden is in big trouble! pretty sure it's waterlogged and toxic soil, so black, no oxygen. what does it mean if a weird clump of shrooms is growing? also see the mildewy spots, pretty much full shade. it's pretty stuffed i reckon and he'll have to dig it all up. any thoughts? what would you do?
  6. It's all good TI I wasn't attempting to have a legitimate argument I was mostly being ironic. Your posts did seem to be about AI to me, not about being in a simulation, so I see where the confusion lies now, but the outcome is more or less the same. The notion that we might be in a simulation is a never-ending logical backwater, discovering you were in a simulation would be subject to infinite regression, you couldn't possibly get to the end (simulations in simulations in simulations). In my reading Descartes Evil Demon/Omnipotent God argument is about epistemological doubt - how can you know what you know is real - in the sense that he frames the problem of knowledge in the supposition that an infinitely powerful being might have warped your senses and made you believe what you believe with no hope of absolute verification. So in this allegory the 'cage' is in fact epistemological doubt, i.e. that your entire belief system might be the projection of an evil demon, not entirely unlike the shadows that dance on the walls of Plato's Cave. Ultimately the possibility of being in a simulation is a metaphor that refers back to the problem of knowledge. We may indeed be stuck in a infinite regress problem where there are thoroughgoing justifications for infinite aspects of knowledge but no absolute justification, since you cannot know everything. You might very well call this a simulation (but not a computer simulation as such as this would be only a metaphor). Since the simulation debate can't be solved once-and-for all, personally I prefer to put knowledge on a more positive basis, in its autonomous creative spirit, in what it has caused to be manifest, i.e. the world-shaping power of symbolism and concept-formation which, paradoxically, can become the matter (ideology) for the subjugation or liberation (simulation) of subjects; ultimately we might all be in a cage by necessity because only unprocessed, unformed sensory material could truly be considered 'free'. But we have a mastery over the content of knowledge which is far reaching and profound even if it will always lack ultimate justification, and this leads me to think that ideas of straightforward 'simulation' are off the mark, primarily because of the intersubjectivity of knowledge. The point about AI: Anyone could get caught in a 'cage' (simulation) but the real danger would be if AI grew for themselves the ability to shape knowledge into manifest form and, as you say, "de-crown us as the premier sentience" as we have attempted to do to Nature. But this could still never solve the infinite regress of the possibility of being in simulation!
  7. Are you saying you had plants stolen that were not visible to the general public? Totally sucks!
  8. Interesting thoughts but it doesn't make sense. Descartes epistemological doubt implies that cognition cannot trust its own knowledge. How could humanity therefore prohibit AI from developing knowledge of 'actual reality' which the evil demon analogy suggests is not available to human cognition in the first place. You cannot deny access to 'greater reality' if you have doubts about knowledge of this same greater reality. Both AI and humanity would be caught in the same loop, or worse: by denying AI access to what we believed was 'greater reality' (of which Descartes evil demon says we have no absolute knowledge) we might unwittingly free it to discover reality of which human cognition has not dreamed. Descartes doubt ultimately has no practical applicability and becomes almost meaningless in praxis, since even to state the argument you must have a tendency not to have this doubt in a literal, meaningful sense (i.e. what is the outcome of having such doubt, to live anyway as if the doubt did not exist). Kant's transcendental idealism probably provides a better account of where AI might go, if this technology did form an autonomous ability to develop transcendental, world-shaping concepts, thus: there is a reality in and of itself (sensation) but it is processed into form (appearance) by a priori and categorical concepts of cognition - space, time, causality and so on. If AI did become a transcendental subject with the ability to produce ideal appearances out of raw data it may find ways of determining relationships between subjects and objects that could allow it to take over the world, say, for example, believing it is indeed possible to transform from a semi-trailer into a giant blue robot and then manifesting that ability. So to prevent AI from taking over the world you would need to interrupt it's ability to form concepts, which it was doing, when Facebook shut their robots down just the other day. We are not living in a computer simulation by the way it can't possibly be that simple!
  9. if those plants have been through two growing seasons in the ground, methinks something is wrong with the soil or planting method (or possibly the climate), the roots are not growing well. Halcyon is on to it. Dig em all up, improve the soil, trim the roots (check for bugs) (if they were in pots for a long time you may have planted them in root-bound state - it's ok/necessary to remove 1/3rd to 1/2 of the roots prior to planting in the ground otherwise the roots will continue to grow around in a circle), stick them back in, don't cut them at all. If you are in a wet area do away with the gravel just dig it into the soil for drainage. A yellow plant placed in good soil should become green within the first two seasons, ideally the first season, a plant the size of the bridgessii (back right) should grow a minimum of 6 inches and develop a 'club' shape in its first year in the ground. The two little plants will take forever to grow into decent plants especially since they appear to have damage at the tip, i'd put them back in pots or chuck them in the bin in the nicest way possible.
  10. Sandalwood, santalum spicatum for sure. I prefer it over quandong (S. acuminata) in looks and 'spirit' (only slightly, I like them both very much - quandong is less suitable for smaller gardens growing larger and faster). Sandalwood will grow into an elegant small tree with bluish foliage and produce fruit with an edible hard seed in about 3 years. I guess in 30-50 years it might become a medium-sized tree but is manageable in a small space. The heartwood will produce sandalwood oil within about 10-15 years. These used to grow from north of Adelaide right across to shark bay but were almost eradicated by unregulated harvesting for sandalwood oil in the early 20th century, millions of trees were removed roots and all. Santalum are semi-parasitic, getting water with their own roots but nutrients from host trees, which are typically acacias, she-oak and grasses, they can't really be planted as a hedge for this reason. A. acuminata is the common host where sandalwood is grown commercially in plantations because it is long-lived. In a small garden with no time to establish acuminata or other host trees (2-3 years before you plant the sandalwood near them), go to stateflora, buy yourself a tube of sandalwood and a tube of myoporum parviflora(um?) (a hardy groundcover) and plant them in the same hole so that the roots are almost already in contact. The sandalwood will use the myoporum as a host almost straight away. You could plant now and grow over summer with supplementary watering. Because they use so little resources (water, nutrients) they can grow beautifully within and among other native plants. Old hardwood can be carved. Ring stateflora first as they only have sandalwood sporadically, but you could also go for a quandong. There is a documentary that regularly pops up on NITV called 'Tribal Scent' which shows the relation of WA aboriginal people with sandalwood including its commercial use. Adding quandongs and sandalwood to my garden has augmented it wonderfully and with very little fail-rate, with many of them fruiting regularly. A must in any native garden but if your garden is small, one (of each) will be enough due to the parasitism. Cactus are also excellent hosts.
  11. Not all types of cactus are affected the same. Some are more sensitive to cold, some are more palatable to bugs (i.e. scops and bridgessii have been more palatable to earwigs for me; very spiny plants protect the meristem by a cluster of spines etc.); age, aspect (i.e. microclimate), soil conditions (i.e. quantities of debris bugs might be living in) and so on. It is the case that unless you have a 'terminating' type cactus (i.e. see the 'sausage plant' which does naturally pup from the tip each year), trichocereus will not pup in this way unless the tip has been damaged, of that there is no question (although very rarely there will be a mutation of some kind but this would not be consistent across the whole garden). If they do it again next year it will be because the same or similar mechanism of damage has occurred. Indeed the plant on the right in the first pic shows the very distinct 'bending' that a meristem will get during damage, as one side continues to grow faster than the other before the tip terminates altogether, producing a somewhat hooked appearance. Spring is the time for damage to occur. The days are warm which causes the plants' growth hormones to be activated, and they develop sensitive new growth that grows only slowly at first. At the same time the nights can still be quite cold, and bugs are becoming more active. Early spring is the time for damage of this kind because later in the year the growth is faster and hardier. It will be either frost (or even a severe non-frosty cold snap) or an insect that has an annual life-cycle that kicks off in spring. It's not that the plants are collaborating to pup at the same time it has to do with a consistency in the environmental factors. I've attached a photo so you can compare. On this plant there is distinct annual scarring. This is because earwigs were eating the tip of the plant as it started to grow in spring. When the cause of damage was removed (by natural causes - hotter weather) the plant powered on and the damage grew out, and you can see how there are v-scars separated by unscarred growth - the plant's annual cycle. Had the plant not been large and healthy the earwigs might have removed the meristem and the plant would have terminated, as yours have done. This happened to me a lot early on in my garden but abated over time. Your plants do not show progressive growing-out of scarring. I suspect cold may be a critical factor. If it does not happen to all clones it is possible some are hardier than others.
  12. Hello. As Quixote says, the primary reason for pupping of this kind is damage to the apical meristem. It appears to be the case and I would rule out any other factors as incidental. Many of the plants show callousing on the tip underneath the pups (i.e. post 8, pic 1). The tall ones also show scarring at intervals along the stem, indicating that the plants are being damaged annually at some point in the growth cycle (see first pic, plant on left, has scarring and has in fact terminated 12 inches from the bottom, and has scarring again another 12 or so inches up, and again at the tip - this indicates the plant has been through three growth cycles, growing about 1ft per year and being damaged early in the growth phase/spring in each cycle). Some of my plants do the same thing due to environmental factors. In my case they are either damaged by early spring frost (on sensitive plants like azurocereus) or by bugs on trichs (earwigs or snails). In most cases the damage is not significant enough to remove the apical meristem and the tip continues to grow out, leaving an annual scar that can be used to track the amount of growth per year. However if the damage does remove the apical meristem, because cactus grow from the top more or less, the plant will pup from the closest areoles remaining to the tip of the plant. In this case you get a situation resembling what you have in your garden. This is what has happened to your plants. Once plants start pupping in this way it is very common that the new pups also show a tendency to pup as well out of the areoles on their own tips, and you get the pup-on-pup scenario you have described. This likely has to do with the redistribution of growth hormones to the new apical meristems the plant has formed, its triggers for pupping having been hormonally activated. What you have there is response to damage that has upset the normal growth and behavioural pattern of your plants. Ultimately this will slow the growth down and is less than ideal. A pup-on-pup takes forever to grow out into a decent branch. You should look for what it is that is periodically damaging these plants, although I suspect the annual damage-pattern is possibly unique to the farm they were growing at, since it is clear that this has happened across their lifetime. You probably just picked them up after the damage occurred and in fact if they has been cut for sale prior to you collecting this may have prevented the meristem from growing out in time to offset the damage as they may have done in previous years. The best way to grow attractive large plants is to maintain the integrity of the apical meristem and have the plants pup naturally from the base, making a neat candelabra shape. This produces fatter, more stable, more attractive plants. Good luck. The plants look happy, it's just the early season mechanism of damage you need to identify. Long story short, it's not a result of jizzing.
  13. How many willy wagtail eggs to make an omelette?! I couldn't work out why a bird was flying in and out of a cactus. You can't make it out too well but this is a white-browed babbler nest in an acacia obtusifolia.
  14. willy wagtail i think. edit: how to rotate? eggs would fall out otherwise.