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652 comments

Have they actually found it? (-1, Troll)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40545669)

It sounds like they're saying they "think" they found it. Which is not the same thing.

We'll save the "bittersweet" nonsense until it's confirmed.

Re:Have they actually found it? (4, Interesting)

AikonMGB (1013995) | about 2 years ago | (#40545681)

They are saying that their experimental results fit the predictions of the Standard Model Higgs boson, to a relatively high confidence level. This is the best that you can hope for from any scientific experiment.

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40545811)

hmmm... an experiment must be falsifiable.

I've been following this and it sounded like they were going through a very long check list of possibilities. Trying one thing after another. And this whole thing about "we're getting close" was mostly that they were getting close to the end of the list of possibilities.

What I worry is that they didn't so much find it as they got to the end of the list and are concluding by process of elimination that that must be the Higgs.

I'm obviously a layman and my opinion on these matters isn't worth much. But I am a fair judge of human nature, human bureaucracy, and I do understand how important this issue is to the physicists. It would be deeply embarrassing if after all this they make a break through.

So... I'm skeptical.

Re:Have they actually found it? (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40545915)

hmmm... an experiment must be falsifiable.

It's theories that must be falsifiable. Experiments should be repeatable.

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1, Troll)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40546081)

you're right. regardless... I think it's prudent to let this settle a bit before drawing any firm conclusions.

Re:Have they actually found it? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40546055)

hmmm... an experiment must be falsifiable.

Here we go...

Why don't you explain to us what you think "falsifiable" means?

I'm obviously a layman and my opinion on these matters isn't worth much. But I am a fair judge of human nature, human bureaucracy, and I do understand how important this issue is to the physicists.

I think we can make some very good predictions about you from that statement. Like, there may be some other reason that you don't want to see any confirmation of the existence of the Higgs Boson. In fact, from your seemingly neutral statement above, I can make a prediction about your political views and affiliations with a great deal of confidence. I can predict with a very high level of confidence your educational level.

You are what happens after a decades-long attack on science - actually a decades-long attack on all forms of expertise. Because once people are convinced that scientists are all liars with agendas and all experts are eggheads that you can't trust, then you can fill people's heads with all sorts of BS, because now their only reference for reality is what you tell them. It's how outlets like Fox News work. "Oh those scientists don't know anything and they're all lying" and, "Oh those professors don't know anything because they're all lying" and, "Oh, you know those Nobel Prizes don't mean anything because...Al Gore is fat." etc.

I'm obviously a layman and my opinion on these matters isn't worth much

And yet, here you are telling us how you are "a fair judge of human nature" and how you "do understand how important this issue is to the physicists". I would predict, with a high level of confidence, that you are neither "a fair judge of human nature" nor do you understand what part of this issue is important to physicists.

It would be deeply embarrassing if after all this they make a break through.

Wait, what?

So... I'm skeptical.

No, you're not. If you were skeptical, you wouldn't have already made up your mind. It's OK to question what you hear, what you read, but only if you question to the same extent your own biases - your own limitations. And questioning your self is not, "I may not be an expert, but dad-gummit, I know what I know...".

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1, Redundant)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40546269)

A strawman isn't an argument. Do it again and I'll have to assume you're a troll.

I haven't made up my mind. To the contrary, I am merely waiting for confirmation. That takes time. I'm being patient.

That is the only intellectually valid response. To be hasty in such a matter is unjustifiable.

I applaud the team's work and wait for their findings to be vetted by third parties.

Re:Have they actually found it? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40546103)

I've been following this and it sounded like they were going through a very long check list of possibilities. Trying one thing after another. And this whole thing about "we're getting close" was mostly that they were getting close to the end of the list of possibilities.

What I worry is that they didn't so much find it as they got to the end of the list and are concluding by process of elimination that that must be the Higgs.

The particles that they are looking for are not exactly something that can be placed on a podium to exhibit to everybody

It's something even more minute than an electron

I am a layman in this too, but the way I see it is that they are trying their best to check, re-check and triple-re-check the list and compare it to what the theory has stated
 

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1, Troll)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40546169)

I simply have a problem with concluding things quickly.

Human auditing systems are not that fast. So if you decide this fast it wasn't audited.

I want it audited before I give it credence.

Re:Have they actually found it? (4, Insightful)

kno3 (1327725) | about 2 years ago | (#40546205)

PopeRatzo probably has you nailed down quite well, there. If a little harshly put.
Your information on this is, quite frankly, bullshit. I am familiar with the workings of the ATLAS experiment, and have been present at numerous private lectures given by them giving updates on their data and possible conclusions.
Indeed, far from being the last possibility on the list, the figure of 125.3GeV is basically exactly what the standard model predicted. In fact, the result is so predictable it is almost boring. You say that physicist would be deeply embarased if they didn't find it, but actually many were hoping to find a less expected result than this. So far, the results have not helped us at all with understanding dark energy (though, it is early days, still) as many had hoped. Supersymmetry is looking less likely.
It is OK to be sceptical, but you seem to be basing your comments on nothing more than an uneducated hunch.

Re:Have they actually found it? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545871)

Actually they said they found a mass of a possible new particle at one of many of the possible energy levels of the Higgs. It is very possible it is something entirely unrelated (there is no proof yet that it is even a Boson).

Re:Have they actually found it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545687)

Scientists are notoriously cautious when announcing a new discovery. They stil have to do some verification, but they found a 5 sigma bump that walks, talks, and farts like a Higgs, it's all over but the credits.

Re:Have they actually found it? (2)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#40545699)

They have a Sigma 5 confidence level which is equivalent to one chance in a million that they're mistaken.

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40545879)

I'll believe that when it's been passed around by peers for awhile.

Re:Have they actually found it? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 years ago | (#40545893)

They run billions of experiments. At that rate, you need higher confidence to be really certain.

And aside from that, it's very important to point out that what's been found is a "new particle". Whether it's the Higgs or not has yet to be confirmed.

Re:Have they actually found it? (3, Informative)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#40546109)

They run billions of experiments. At that rate, you need higher confidence to be really certain.

That's why they waited until they have 5 sigma confidence. They had 3 sigma last year.

Re:Have they actually found it? (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about 2 years ago | (#40546001)

They have a Sigma 5 confidence level which is equivalent to one chance in a million that they're mistaken.

The way that I understand it, is that they have Sigma 5 confidence level that they found a new boson type particle. And that they have sigma 4.9 confidence level that it is the boson responsible for the Higgs field i.e. the Higgs Boson

Re:Have they actually found it? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#40546141)

They have 5 sigma confidence that they found a particle, with the expected mass. They have quite a good confidence it decais to the right particles, except for one decaiment mode, that doesn't give much confidence, but is still at the expected band.

To confirm it is the Higgs boson they'll have to setle that decaiment modes down, and study the particle's interactions that, honestly, I have no idea how it is done.

Re:Have they actually found it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545739)

It sounds like they're saying they "think" they found it. Which is not the same thing.

I would still call that one hell of a lot further along than "never had the chance to begin trying to find it". "Bittersweet" applies muchly.

Re:Have they actually found it? (5, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40545789)

We'll save the "bittersweet" nonsense until it's confirmed.

As others have pointed out, they have this very accurately as what was predicted. There's not a whole lot more to do to prove it is what they think it is, shy of building another giant supercolider looking for something else, and having it give the same result.

This is significantly different from the 'neutrinos are faster than light' problem, where neutrino's being faster than light didn't fit with any existing theory, and it didn't really seem to make sense as a physical result and was far more likely something else (which is also in many ways the reason they published a paper saying 'anyone have ideas cause something seems seriously wrong here'). In this case they have a particle predicted by theory, that, within the bounds of how good any physical experiment ever can be*, seems like they've found where they expected.

*physics theory is usually very much a single effect sort of thing. They predict a single particle with a particular speed/mass etc. Unfortunately physical experiment is never that good. There's always some inherent detector error, certain inherent randomness in systems, some other very minor effects that normally can be discounted but still do something to your results. The unfortunate part here is that the theory seems to so accurately predict the result that we don't have any clues to anything else that might be going on to chase after. If the result had been close, but not quite what was predicted that would have led the way to even more interesting science. As it is physicists now have to start poking at the problem to figure out if there's anywhere the theory does fall apart.

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1, Troll)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40545931)

Forgive me thinking it's premature to jump to conclusions until the information has been vetted by a larger group of scientists. I distrust anything that moves that fast because I know human auditing systems don't work that fast. Which means this was only internally audited.

Just because their data is similar to what they were looking for doesn't mean everything hangs together perfectly. There have been many instances in which data was close to what hypothesis said it would be without the hypothesis being accurate.

All I'm saying is slow down and let a wider group of scientists look at the findings. If in three months everyone thinks they found the higgs then I'll take this more seriously.

Re:Have they actually found it? (5, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40546017)

Forgive me thinking it's premature to jump to conclusions until the information has been vetted by a larger group of scientists

how much larger a group are you looking for beyond all of the high energy particle physicists in the EU and the US?

You mean like how they waited 6 months since http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6061/1334.short? (title First Solid Signs of the Higgs Boson Could Be Announced Next Week).

They've been looking for stuff at the LHC since dec of 2009, and the whole point of the damn thing was to find the higgs boson. And they have been *very* tentative with every piece of data they've talked about since then.

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1, Troll)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40546219)

Wrong. The clock starts when the data has come in and the initial analysis has been disseminated.

Possibly the clock won't start until they formally publish. It doesn't start until the wider scientific community gets a good look at the data. And even then it will take months for that to be properly processed.

What we have here is something that "might" be the higgs. Great. Possibly in six months we'll know for sure.

Re:Have they actually found it? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#40546173)

The same thing was found by 2 groups, studying the data of 2 different sets of colisions on 2 sensors by 2 completely defferent ways. The only thing they have in common is that they use the same machine to accelerate their hardrons.

What more confirmation are your expecting? Well, whatever it is, you won't get it because people won't just build another LHC.

Re:Have they actually found it? (1)

Creepy (93888) | about 2 years ago | (#40545899)

From what I heard, "think" means 99.999% certainty. and yes, they spelled out that it was ninety nine dot nine nine nine percent.

Re:Have they actually found it? (-1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40546045)

So they say... you can't say 99.99999 percent until it's been peer reviewed.

Jesus, calm the f' down. Would it kill anyone to be patient?

It's absurd to assume this settled and done before it's been examined by a wider group.

It's fundamentally unscientific to be so hasty.

End of line.

In other news: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545675)

Mexico regrets the loss of Texas...

Re:In other news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545875)

Not

Re:In other news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545877)

Don't we all, amigo...

Re:In other news: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40546255)

Texas can no longer claim "everything is bigger in Texas" I guess, since the LHC is the largest collider in the world.

Haha (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#40545677)

Sounds like a sore loser.

Texas eh? (5, Funny)

mwfischer (1919758) | about 2 years ago | (#40545679)

If it's Texas.... should have said "God Particle" in the proposal.

Eleventy billion dollar grant.

Re:Texas eh? (5, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | about 2 years ago | (#40545737)

should have said "God Particle" in the proposal.

Eleventy billion dollar grant.

Make that a God Particle Gun instead of "Superconducting Super Collider" and you're golden.

Re:Texas eh? (5, Funny)

catmistake (814204) | about 2 years ago | (#40545773)

If it's Texas.... should have said "God Particle" in the proposal.

Eleventy billion dollar grant.

Make that a God Particle Gun instead of "Superconducting Super Collider" and you're golden.

If only a Texan would have caught them sneaking off with this stolen discovery, they could have legally murdered them.

Re:Texas eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545765)

I do think the SSC was badly marketed, starting with the name. "Super conducting super collider" is the kind of thing that comedians and Congressmen made fun of, mixed in with self-deprecating humor about their own lack of physics smarts.

"Texas SuperConducting Collider" (TSCC) would've been a better name.

Re:Texas eh? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40546179)

It's not the only political thing with a terrible name in this country; remember the "Information Superhighway" (which everyone else called the "internet") term that politicians were throwing around for a while?

Re:Texas eh? (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#40546247)

They called it that because they actually thought the Government was building it... just like they did (or helped anyway) the real superhighways.

Of course, it was private industry that built almost all of it; the government had little input or say over the matter.

And they shouldn't be able to regulate its content now.

Re:Texas eh? (4, Informative)

Creepy (93888) | about 2 years ago | (#40545921)

actually, for the book it was originally called the goddamn particle because it was so hard to find, then they cut out the damn (seriously!). I think Texas editors had something to do with it.

Re:Texas eh? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40546249)

First slur against religious folks! Congrats. You have to be quick to win the bigot race on Slasdot science topics.

Not all is lost... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545683)

At least Texas is still leading the way in Jesus based science education. USA! USA! USA!

So what you're saying is (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | about 2 years ago | (#40545693)

They should have recorded a song about discovering the Higgs Boson, then prepared to sue anyone who discovered it first.

(not really, but the nerd in me would pay 0.99 on iTunes to fund their Super Collider music)

-Matt

Get over yourselves (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 years ago | (#40545705)

This is science, not a pissing contest. Where something is discovered is meaningless.

Re:Get over yourselves (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 2 years ago | (#40545715)

When it is discovered, though, can have quite an impact on history.

Re:Get over yourselves (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 years ago | (#40545777)

Of course, but that was entirely not my point.

Re:Get over yourselves (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545779)

The USA drains the brains from so many countries because it leads in so many areas of science. USA cutting funding for scientific research is significant and will hurt it in the future.

Re:Get over yourselves (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40546213)

It does? How does the US lead, when the LHC is in Switzerland? Looks to me like Europe is leading in the area of high-energy physics, not the US.

What I don't understand is why these Texas scientists are upset, and why they're still in Texas. If all the work is in Europe, why wouldn't they just move there? That's the way it is when you're a professional; you only have a limited amount of choice in where you get to live, because you have to move to where the work is for your chosen industry. For instance, if you're a petroleum engineer, you're probably not going to get to live in Hawaii, since there's no oil there (that I'm aware of off the top of my head). If you're a VLSI designer, you're not going to get to work in Maine, since there's no companies there doing that work. High-energy physics doesn't seem like a career with tons of places to work.

Re:Get over yourselves (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#40545897)

Get out of your ivory tower; science is a career, much like any other, and scientists need to eat, just like everyone else. Yeah, in the scope of human history, where it's discovered is meaningless, but for the careers of the scientists and the state of funding for their future endeavours, it makes a huge difference. Moreover, it just reinforces the fact that no matter how good or skilled a scientist you are, these days your ability to do science doesn't depend on your merit, but on the state of science funding by your government. It's a perfectly valid point to bring up.

Re:Get over yourselves (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40546235)

I don't really agree with this. As I said in another post here, I don't understand why these scientists are still in Texas. They're not prevented from doing science by the US government (and its lack of funding); nothing is stopping them from applying for a job at CERN in Switzerland where all this great work is going on. So in fact, maybe merit really is a factor here, because if they're being turned down for these jobs, that shows they probably aren't as good as the people who do get to work there.

Re:Get over yourselves (4, Insightful)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#40546243)

Congresses cut of funding destroyed physics programs across the country- although the collider was in Texas there were people working on detectors, software and other aspects of the project across the entire US.

Good Riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545723)

Solid State Physics and the like always had better prospects for actual and non-encyclopedic returns to society.

Re:Good Riddance (2)

tragedy (27079) | about 2 years ago | (#40546183)

Because a deeper understanding of fundamental physics could _never_ lead to new discoveries and understanding in materials science. I mean, just because it always has in the past...

If discovered in the US... (5, Funny)

Nighttime (231023) | about 2 years ago | (#40545725)

... they would have patented it then sued everyone for having mass.

Re:If discovered in the US... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545945)

All the more reason to discover it in America. People have a lot more mass here to sue for.

Re:If discovered in the US... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545957)

A sad thing is this isn't even funny, it is almost fact.
It is such a sad state of affairs we live in today.

Well... (1, Insightful)

imagined.by (2589739) | about 2 years ago | (#40545731)

Well, I'm sorry to point this out, but you won't win any science awards by kicking critical thinking out of the classroom.

Just sayin'.

Yet Texas Schools ... (0, Troll)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#40545741)

are more interested in teaching "God" instead of the "God Particle". Hard hitting science is better left in the hands of civilized people with analytical minds -- not superstitious red necks who think with their gut and view the bible as the big book of facts.

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (1)

tmosley (996283) | about 2 years ago | (#40545809)

The schools aren't, the politicians are. Knowing the difference could save your life on day.

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (1)

meglon (1001833) | about 2 years ago | (#40546197)

It's the school boards driven by ideological dogmatic sheep who don't give a rats fuck about children being educated, nor preparing those children to live in the real world and be able to compete in said real world when they become adults. That should be considered a form of child abuse.

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545829)

The political landscape of Texas does not preclude the presence of civilized people with analytical minds. The supercollider in texas would undoubtedly have promoted awareness of hard hitting science that might one-day serve to quiet those superstitious red necks. A perspective like yours that advocates punishing an entire geographical area for it's failure to contain a few vocal nutjobs in a position of power only serves to set us back even farther. Eat shit.

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40546267)

People get the government they deserve; they're not being punished by any outside force, if they really wanted the SSC they could have pushed their politicians to push for it, but obviously it wasn't an important item for the voters, so they didn't get it.

You talk like people are being "punished" by some outside force when their own leaders make poor decisions and screw them over. Sorry, but the people are responsible for themselves. Those "vocal nutjobs in a position of power" were elected by the people, it's not like they took those positions by force, so obviously those "nutjobs" are reflecting the true attitudes of a majority of the population. The people of Texas have no one to blame but themselves.

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (2)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 2 years ago | (#40545883)

This might be a good place to mention that Democrats held both houses of congress and the white house. Whatever you may think about Texans, they didn't have anything to do with canceling the project.

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40546043)

The Texans wanted the free money. The loop to nowhere was pushed through by powerful Republicans in TX, and when the parties swapped, that pork was on the top of the list to go. Whether it was "good" or "bad" wasn't considered by either party when voting it in in the first place, or voting it out later. Just where it is and how much it costs. That's the same reason so few bases get closed. We could close 50% of our bases and not lose domestic military capability. But every time someone talks about closing a base, every congresscritter with a base in, or near, their district bands together and makes sure none are closed to guarantee theirs isn't on any closure list.

The *only* thing that will fix US politics is a revolution and Zombie Franklin writing a new Constitution "We hold there truths to be self evident, that all men are created BRAINZZZZZZZZ."

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545901)

I realize that you're just a bigot who wants to make a kneejerk comment about Texas, so this comment is probably a waste of my time.

However, a couple of points: Texas actually does have some decent research institutions (The UT System, A&M, and Rice all have excellent science departments).

Secondly, the SSC would have attracted the best and brightest from all over the nation.

Our K-12 system does have some issues, especially with the dolts who approve textbooks in Austin. However, we do have a lot of smart kids and good school systems in some places that have produced some of the nation's top talent in the sciences.

I don't have a problem with atheism, especially since I am one myself. However, mindless bigotry and gross generalizations puts you in some of the same moral categories as the Christians go as far as being pragmatic about solving the world's problems. You're not pragmatic; you just want to whine and moan with your air of superiority.

Re:Yet Texas Schools ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40546009)

Our K-12 system does have some issues

You're not alone. That applies everywhere in the US.

Go congress! (3, Insightful)

penguinbrat (711309) | about 2 years ago | (#40545745)

It will be a cold day in hell when the people of the US realize that those elected to congress actually need to KNOW their shit, rather than just talk it... Meaning that EVERYONE elected needs to prove they know what in the hell they are doing, technical and otherwise, rather just knowing how to talk the talking points...

Bye bye American EmPIrE (0)

bobby1234 (860820) | about 2 years ago | (#40545761)

Come on we can keep it going for a few more years.......

Can't we!

What does this mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545769)

A lot of people find themselves confused by this whole affair. They wonder, why should I care where the Higgs Boson particle was discovered; I don't know what one is, I don't know what it does, and if it really mattered they'd be all over the place already, not hiding inside a supercollider while I can't get my AC running this summer.

Well those people have a lot to learn! Higgs Boson particles are responsible for almost everything we do, from growing delicious fruit, to communicating over the Internet, and even the sky. The size of a small bumblebee, a Higgs Boson particle contains enough gravity to hold everything together. We wouldn't be standing here if the Earth's core weren't full of em!

But why is it a big deal that the Europeans got there first rather than the land of patriotism? Well, there's a saying: everything's bigger in Texas, so some hypothesize that the Higgs Boson really was discovered here first, but lost in the rush to enjoy all that great BBQ Texas is known for before taking in a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. Did they have those in 1993? God, I wish they had one up here.

Re:What does this mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545857)

Sober up, then post

And if they found it in the US? (1)

agm (467017) | about 2 years ago | (#40545771)

Step 1: Discover Higgs Boson.
Step 2: Find a way to weaponise it.

you have to understand (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40545817)

funding education, healthcare, science: that's evil socialism

Next you'll tell me funding bridges, roads, tunnels, railroad, etc. is good for the country

These are just feel goid schemes to funnel money away from rich folk and corporations, preventing them from creating jobsand growing a giant government that stifles growth

Nothing useful or capital creating will come out of this, just some socialist European egg heads making up theories without proof that destroys young people's faith in God ...welcome to America. Weep for us.

Re:you have to understand (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545907)

Roads aren't socialism, they make it cheaper to build oil pipelines.

Re:you have to understand (1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40546011)

obviously

invest in infrastructure and business thrives

now explain that to tea party dimwits who say otherwise

you have to understand: bike lanes, public transportation and intelligent civil planning in general is a UN plot to destroy America (people actually believe this, spurred on by the paranoid schizophrenia broadcast on Faux News)... welcome to USA, 2012:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/us/activists-fight-green-projects-seeing-un-plot.html [nytimes.com]

Re:you have to understand (4, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 2 years ago | (#40546041)

Slashdot needs +1 Sarcasm mods, or tags, or something.

Every time I see someone post something like this I fear for the confirmation bias that causes others to read it as though it was in no way intended to be sarcastic.

See, I could even have my own confirmation bias going on here. This can legitimately be taken as you genuinely believe the bullshit that I see as obvious sarcasm due to the last sentence, but it wouldn't be that clear to someone else. Especially fox news viewers. Of whom we have more than a few around here. That station is like a fucking plague on the intelligence of the US.

Who Cares (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | about 2 years ago | (#40545821)

As long as it's found, then I don't care where they found it. Get over yourself Texas.

Suddenly I'm reminded of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545831)

You know you really don't need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this.
If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook.

Don't be too depressed! (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | about 2 years ago | (#40545837)

We still have a space program! Well, for the moment.

The US isn't an innovator in Science (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545839)

On the other hand, it leads the rest of the world by leaps and bounds with innovations in Litigation.

stupid (5, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | about 2 years ago | (#40545859)

Oh, god, this is stupid.

Science is not a zero-sum game. Scientific discoveries enrich everybody, regardless of which country they're made in.

The SSC was way over budget. Better to pull the plug than to give various contractors a blank check.

American physicists are well represented at the LHC. Grad students are still being trained, etc. It's not like American experimental particle physics was dealt a fatal blow from which it can never recover by the cancellation of the SSC.

The actual fatal blow to accelerator-based experimental particle physics may be a world-wide one, due to (1) accelerator technology reaching the point of diminishing returns, and (2) a physics scenario in which the Higgs is detected but absolutely nothing else (such as supersymmetry) turns up. If this is how things turn out, then we'll just have to say that accelerator physics was a field that was active and then died. It happens. There's no god-given rule that says that every academic field will remain viable forever. Take a look at the Nobel prizes in physics [wikipedia.org] from years like 1912 and 1920. The future of experimental particle physics may be in cosmic ray experiments, for example. If so, then the US Congress will look prescient for canceling the SSC.

Re:stupid (-1, Troll)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#40546083)

"Scientific discoveries enrich everybody"
Tell that to the Japanese. It did not take very long for a certain scientific discovery to cross borders and land right in their lap, "enriching" them.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40546245)

And after that, scientific discoveries (And no small amount of preferential trade arrangements) led them to be the second strongest economy in the world.

And fuck you, idiot. Your attempt at pithiness is an abject failure.

Re:stupid (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#40546257)

The use of the nuclear bomb probably saved a few million Japanese lives. We need to keep in mind that the Japanese during the last days of the Second World War were preparing for an all-out defense of their homeland.

Sure, you hear some idle speculation that they were planning to surrender via diplomatic back channels, but this was also the case with Germany which played similar negotiating games at the end of the war. Germany ended up surrendering after it got completely overrun and the main leaders had died or been captured. No one has ever presented a reason why Japan would have turned out differently.

American Scientists Regrets Politics (5, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40545873)

Is what the headlines should read. The reason why SSC was not completed is because Poppa Bush had chosen it based on POLITICAL reasons. Had the reason been up to scientists, then this would have been built in illinois by extending our original collider AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FINISHED.
The reason that I say so that:
1) it extended the current collider. As such, only part of it had to be built.
2) the ground was soft in Illinois and did not suffer from water issues like Texas did. Just building part of the tunnel in Texas was more expensive then doing all of it in Illinois.
3) Illinois was loaded with diggers and plenty of workers that were finishing up various projects in Chicago. They would have brought the diggers down there and finished it in no time flat. In texas, they brought in loads of illegals who had to be taught how to do simple construction techniques.

What Americans should be doing is screaming that we have suffered ENOUGH of the politics that permeates today. For example, the neo-cons (these are the ppl that have taken over the republican party and are the ones responsible for the above screw-up), are currently pushing for the Space Launch System to be built (ANOTHER 20 B to build a system that will not have its first SCHEDULED launch for another decade) and working hard to kill off private space. They are basically trying to destroy NASA and America's space assests. What is amazing is that they proclaim one thing, but do another. And their loyal followers have not notice that over the last 30 years, they have sunk America into being a mediocre nation with massive debt and destroying our science and R&D.

Re:American Scientists Regrets Politics (-1, Redundant)

jbengt (874751) | about 2 years ago | (#40546131)

This (see above)

Re:American Scientists Regrets Politics (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 2 years ago | (#40546217)

So you want lots and lots of government money for sciencey stuff, but with no politics involved. Do you also want it delivered by unicorn-riding couriers?

STFU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545885)

America...

hmm (1, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#40545905)

It was still discovered, and this way I didn't have to subsidize it. WIN.

Re:hmm (0)

Kohath (38547) | about 2 years ago | (#40546147)

Really. What difference does it make whether it was "discovered" now or 10 years ago?

This is a serious question. The SSC was very expensive. Someone please explain the value proposition of making the discovery then vs. now.

shoula, coulda, woulda. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545949)

~20 year old news is news?
Whatever.

Maybe they can find solace in God... (0)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#40545953)

...if we didn't just trap him/her in our magic SCIENCE LIGHTNING RING.

I'm going to stop getting my science from Fox. Sorry.

SSC boondoogle (1, Troll)

stox (131684) | about 2 years ago | (#40545959)

The whole SSC project was amazingly corrupt. It was fortunate it was cancelled when it was, otherwise it would have completely ruined the reputations of all involved, although many would have deserved it. Sadly, no one ever dug deep and exposed what a fiasco it was.

We Lost SSC Yet Got ISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40545993)

The bittersweet news from Texas is just that and more.

SSC lost in Congress. ISS won in Congress.

What can ISS address in Physics or any other discipline of Science? Nothing! It has no purpose at all other than a revolving billboard in a useless orbit.

And even as over budgeted and oversold ISS is it stands as the quintessential quagmire of 'Collaborative' Science in the USA with blessings from the pervert 'monks' of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a line of 'general' Presidents.

A sad commentary indeed.

The NSF is our own home grown USSR in miniature geographic size and gigantic monetary footprint to 'screw' Science at the whims of the President.

'House cleaning' of the Federal Government is dearly needed.

Abolishment of the NSF with imprisonment and execution of its monks is long overdue.

not LoL.

satiric science?? (1)

ach1lles (671687) | about 2 years ago | (#40546031)

Congress thought what?! sounds like the word "esoteric" was a bit too esoteric for TFA's proofreader...

Now what? (3, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#40546049)

Okay... they've discovered a particle that confirms existing theories about the universe are actually correct. That's really cool, and it's not my intent to downplay that accomplishment.

But now what happens?

I mean, it's all well and good to know that it exists, but what can we actually *DO* with that knowledge?

What does the existence of the "God Particle" actually mean for the future science? Will it actually ever make any difference to anybody's future who isn't into theoretical physics?

Re:Now what? (5, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#40546191)

They don't actually have any such thing. They have a particle that is necessary for the theories to be correct, but they don't know if the behavior of the particle follows the theories so there is a lot of excitement and potential for new ideas to be generated from the study of this.

As far as practical uses, well few thought General Relativity would have practical application, and now it's use is a common everyday thing because GPS depends on it.

Who can tell what uses will be made from this when the theory isn't even settled yet?

It was a double loss.. (1)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40546063)

Had they not cancelled the Superconducting Super Collider, chances are high they would've also beat Aperture to the Supercolliding Super Button which history proved to be just a logical step away. Oh well. I'm not American anyway, my country didn't lose anything because it's never had anything to being with. Woohoo!

If only it gave illegals jobs (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40546071)

If Texas had said it woould give 1000 illegal aliens work then Congress, and the President would have been all over it.
Alternatly, they could have just lied and said it would be harmful to the good of the country, then it would have gotten approved.

Texas? Science? (1, Funny)

Sarusa (104047) | about 2 years ago | (#40546119)

I don't think Texas has had any use for science since 1993 either.

Officially coming out against critical thinking was just the final reveal.

Tell me again why it matters? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40546163)

The USA is declining, we know, but the information was finally found. What difference does it make where it was found?

Wait. (0)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#40546229)

People do real science in Texas? :-)

USA just isn't the country it once was (0)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 2 years ago | (#40546261)

Of course things like important scientific breakthroughs aren't going to happen in America anymore. It just isn't the country it used to be. It's a broke, collapsing empire, not the great nation it used to be.

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