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Ask Slashdot: Should I Fight Against Online Voting In Our Municipality?

BrianPRabbit Re:"Vote Selling" Misdirection (190 comments)

The solution then is to make such behavior illegal, combined with heavy penalties.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Fight Against Online Voting In Our Municipality?

BrianPRabbit "Vote Selling" Misdirection (190 comments)

The concern over vote selling with online voting ignores the fact One can sell One's vote right now with show-up-at-the-polls voting.

about 2 months ago
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Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change

BrianPRabbit Re: Motivated rejection of science (661 comments)

As I was saying, it is not about accuracy.

Accuracy, is a necessary component and the higher the accuracy and more frequent the accuracy, such as with a number of climate models, the more likely, all else being equal, such a theory is correct.

That's why people accepted it. That is not true for climate change research. And predictions 10 years out tell us nothing about whether the models are going to be true 100 years out: completely different and untested conditions.

Researchers can construct new models or modify existing ones, make predictions about what One should find, say, in tree rings and/or ice cores and extrapolate if found to be accurate.

Questions 5-7 are not scientific questions because they can't be answered using the scientific method. Whether practitioners of those disciplines fancy themselves "scientists" is irrelevant.

Based on this statement, I will go out on a proverbial limb and say You are not that familiar with what Social Scientists, Economists, or Political Scientists actually do.

about 4 months ago
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Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change

BrianPRabbit Re: Motivated rejection of science (661 comments)

I'm sorry you seem to have trouble with scientific terminology. When scientist informally talk about "proven theories", it doesn't mean "proven" in the mathematical sense, it simply means that a theory has very strong experimental support. (4-7) do not.

I am Scientist and I don't recall Colleagues using the phrase "proven theories" ever.

It isn't sufficient for predictions to be accurate in order to support a scientific theory.

General accuracy of prediction, which the models have tended to have, is often considered a "good enough" basis upon which to act, however. For example, while Newton's theory of gravity did not jibe exactly with experimental results due to, say, wind resistance, the predictions were "close enough" to results for Others to accept the theory as a "good enough" basis upon which to make whatever relevant decisions were at hand.

In fact, points 5-7 aren't scientific questions at all; they are questions about social science, economics, and politics.

Social science is a science, as are economics and political science. Technically, however, point #7 is better described not as one of politics/political science but as a point about behavioral science and its ability to assist in influencing the state of the environment.

about 5 months ago
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Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change

BrianPRabbit Re: Motivated rejection of science (661 comments)

(4) Human activity is the primary cause of temperature increase over the 20th century. [unproven]

(5) Human activity will result in temperature increases in the 21st century that are larger than those experienced in the 20th century. [unproven, speculative]

(6) Temperature increase in the 21st century will have devastating consequences for humans. [highly speculative, controversial]

(7) Government intervention now can reduce temperature increases in the 21st century significantly. [highly speculative, completely implausible]

On point #4, I would agree except for this little ditty. Additionally, science never "proves" anything; it only gathers a body of evidence to show a model is accurate to varying degrees. Not even gravity is "proven" because One might wake up the next morning and find some evidence which says, "Whoops, Newton's wrong here"; such a scenario seems unlikely but is not impossible. On points #5-7, the same statement about science "proving" anything applies. In addition, any scientific prediction about the future in a case where testable environments, like planetary climates, are few and far between is, almost by definition, "speculative" to the point such a word is of no use regardless of whether the speculation is "high" or not. What Scientists do have is a collection of models in which One inputs various data, determines what predictions those models make and then compare those predictions with observed results. Such predictions have, to a noticeable extent been quite accurate so far, given the time scales on which Scientists have been able to conduct observations either directly or indirectly. To match Your political testimonial, so to speak, I use to be a climate disruption Denier but digging into the science, the predictions, the observations, etc., has convinced Me all of points 1-7 are either completely accurate or, at the very least, a very good "first order approximation" of reality.

about 5 months ago
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Eavesdropping With a Smart TV

BrianPRabbit Re:Simple (93 comments)

Except, you know, Apple, who was one of the first corporations on the NSA's list.

No, Apple was actually one of the last corporations on the list according to this. Have any evidence to the contrary?

about 5 months ago
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Eavesdropping With a Smart TV

BrianPRabbit Re:Simple (93 comments)

I think You have missed a key piece of the views on "piracy" by Many on /., which is summarized nicely by Randall Munroe here.

about 5 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

BrianPRabbit Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

Do You have verifiable citations for those statistics?

about 5 months ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

BrianPRabbit Whenever I hear ... (1633 comments)

... a plan to "fix" the Bill of Rights, amendments which have guided and protected Americans for over two centuries, I get very leery.

about 5 months ago
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Code Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary

BrianPRabbit In My experience ... (139 comments)

Coverity is no the best "yardstick". Too many false negatives and too expensive.

about 5 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

BrianPRabbit Re:Heading off the Republic Pedants (818 comments)

May I suggest AC acquire and use a dictionary. From the OED=>"republic (noun): a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch." Sounds like the United States. There is also Article IV, Section 1, of the constitution which reads in part, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government"; so, if this guarantee has not been met, the first step is to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances" instead of throwing around insults; unless, of course, AC doesn't actually believe what AC wrote.

about 5 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

BrianPRabbit Say it ain't so, Plucky! (818 comments)

[begin sarcasm]You mean having 1 voice in ~310,000,000 is negligible? Inconceivable![end sarcasm]

about 5 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

BrianPRabbit Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

Cherry picking, even cherry-picking-lite with conditional words like "some", is easy. The question is whether this "some" represents a non-negligible amount.

about 5 months ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

BrianPRabbit No need to go this far ... (342 comments)

Placing a sales tax of, say, 1% would go far at discouraging any excessive amount of trading, for some definition of "excessive", while helping to shift the tax burden off Those less able to afford it.

about 6 months ago
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Sand in the Brain: A Fundamental Theory To Model the Mind

BrianPRabbit Ick (105 comments)

Can We stop conflating the brain with the Mind, please? The Mind is a philosophical concept and the brain is a physical organ. The two ideas are distinctly different and their conflation speaks of gross ignorance.

about 6 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

BrianPRabbit Re:Good. (1037 comments)

I am not sure One can classify any system of faith, a.k.a. "religion", as either "good" or "bad" as a general rule; a large, if not overwhelming, factor is how the Adherant/Advocate interprets and/or applies said religion. For example, I know a large number of pacifist Muslims and the word "Crusades" come readily to Mind, as do the names "Mother Theresa" and "Osama Bin Laden". Like fire, religion is but a tool to Our benefit, individually and collectively; it is what We do with it which matters.

about 6 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

BrianPRabbit Re:Good. (1037 comments)

I doubt religion was the problem either. Could it not be Anyone using religion to try to justify an injustice is really just an Asshole and would have found some other excuse if religion did not exist?

about 6 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

BrianPRabbit Skeptical About Skepticism (1037 comments)

The connection strikes Me as questionable because, if We are going to compare anecdotes, My faith has only strengthened the more I have used the internet. For example, game theory in some ways backs up Christianity's Golden Rule, one recent Slashdot article suggests religion packages multiple psychological and/or physiological benefits better than just about any other institution, information on M-theory (which I would not have been able to access as readily without the internet) suggests the universe originated in a way which may be inherently untestable just like religion, the vehemence with which Some present hostility to People of faith simply because such Persons are People of faith leads Me to wonder just how much do said professed "Skeptics" are "Skeptics" because They genuinely doubt all religions or whether They are "Skeptics" because They are what Some might call "Assholes". If the internet has caused Some to lose Their faith, it may be such Persons were pre-disposed to doubt to begin with and the internet merely gave that final "push" instead of the internet taking Someone devout and transmogrifying Them into, say, Richard Dawkins, Jr.

about 6 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

BrianPRabbit Re:Obvious is obvious (1037 comments)

Explain FoxNews.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Bruce Schneier: Break Up The NSA

BrianPRabbit BrianPRabbit writes  |  about 7 months ago

BrianPRabbit (2020846) writes "Bruce Schneier proposes "breaking up" the NSA and redirecting the target hardware/software surveillance to US Cyber Command and moving the surveillance to the FBI (subject to federal restrictions) while "Instead of working to deliberately weaken security for everyone, the NSA should work to improve security for everyone." Schneier notes "This is a radical solution, but the NSA's many harms require radical thinking.""
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