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Delayed Outrage Over A Censored Site; What's a Better Way To Spread News?

Hatman39 Re:Redefining the definition of definition. (214 comments)

I believe the problem the author describes is called 'Illusory Correlation', i.e. the situation where people perceive a correlation that is either too high, or completely non-existent.

The reason for this seems to be the confirmation bias, where people censor the information they obtain according to their beliefs. In the example of the author, we believe that the Newspaper only picks up that which is interesting enough (maybe because it used to be the only source of news). Now, in more modern times, we still believe this and censor incoming information with this filter, resulting in too high a correlation.

One thing though, you're talking about a real-life, fluid situation where interpretations and motivations matter. These are rarely, if ever, captured by classifying them into 'fallacy groups'.

more than 2 years ago

US Funds Aggressive Tech To Cut Solar Power Costs

Hatman39 Re:Disruptive... (272 comments)

"Disruptive" really shifted the paradigm on buzzword market-babble.

\br Is that to say that it disrupted the buzzword market-babble?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Ebook Reader for Scientific Papers?

Hatman39 Re:What document readers are missing (254 comments)

In fact, when I do this, I tend to get it back from the editor with the kind request of removing those pesky links. I whole heartedly agree that everyone should use those links, but it seems scientific publishing is having none of it.

more than 3 years ago

Renewable Energy Production Surpasses Nuclear In the US

Hatman39 Hold your horses... (452 comments)

Hmm, did anyone notice that the conclusion (renewables surpassed nuclear) is only based on the first 3 months of 2011? I am all for extrapolating, but shall we wait with celebrating just yet and wait for the year to be out?

more than 3 years ago

Copyright Law Is Killing Science

Hatman39 Re:Then don't publish there (323 comments)

Maybe this depends on your field. My lab publishes a lot in open source journals, for a number of reasons: 1) The ones we use have a fully transparent and public peer reviewing process. 2) Because it is open access, they don't have a paper version, and as such everything happens online. This speeds up the process tremendously. 3) We measure prestige in impact factor, open source journals tend to have a higher impact factor exactly because they are open access. As an example, we tend to like publishing in Water Resources Research (impact factor of something like 2.5) because they have a lot of prestige. However, HESS, their main competitor, is open access and has an impact factor of 2.7 (huge in a small field). The problem I have is that in the sciences, an articles prestige is in citations, not in what journal published it... well, I guess I am a naive PhD student. :p Also, now that we are talking about this: At a journal, the editor is a volunteer, the peer reviewers are volunteers, the authors pay for publication (a lot), and the readers pay to read it. Now, I get that support staff is expensive, as are servers... but I don't get where all this money goes....

more than 3 years ago

Oxford University Tests Universal Flu Vaccine

Hatman39 Re:Worldwide death toll (218 comments)

If only we could make a vaccine against stupidity...

more than 3 years ago

Nobel Prize Winner Says DNA Performs Quantum Teleportation

Hatman39 Re:John Hagelin is right, the unified field is you (347 comments)

No no, you got it all wrong. Criminals will do crime still. However, other people will be too busy meditating to report the crime. The same goes for war, people will be too busy meditating to fight for freedom, so they will just be dominated. No fighting, no war.

more than 3 years ago

US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle

Hatman39 Re:Mortars. (782 comments)

Explain to me how you will get that mortar in the second floor window of a 3 story building without demolishing the floor above it... This is a (more-or-less) direct fire weapon that does not rerquire any time to setup, does not require the soldier to take his eyes of the enemy, and can be carried by one infantryman. To me, that seems like a solid improvement over a mortar or a machinegun, provided the right situation.

more than 3 years ago

Making Airport Scanners Less Objectionable

Hatman39 Rule 34? (681 comments)

Anyone care to google: Funhouse mirror p0rn? Because I sense rule 34...

more than 3 years ago

US May Disable All Car Phones, Says Trans. Secretary

Hatman39 Re:Go for it (1065 comments)

Since instantaneous detection isn't relevant, one could use the consistent speed over a few minutes. If you are travelling at any appreciable speed, the displacement will be noticable, and the random jumps can be filtered out. Moreover, using a suitable model of displacement, a filtering approach (i.e. a Kalman filter) could be used to make this all work as well as needed.

Of course, the idea is ridiculous for a myriad of reasons; the primary one being: what ever happened to personal responsibility? We don't cap cars at the maximum speed so people don't speed, so why can't we just tell people not to call and just 'trust'* them. * read: have police officers enforce it.

more than 3 years ago

From Slaying Dragons To Dictators

Hatman39 Re:For all that Iran is... (233 comments)


Since, apparently, the only difference between a Theocracy and a Dictatorship is the motivation, we should stop calling it a theocracy (Well, unless God himself can be proven to speak directly to his people) and start calling it what it is: A religious dictatorship.

In a sense it reminds me of communism, a decent idea in theory, but all to easily abused by those willing to lie, cheat and kill to enrich themselves.

more than 4 years ago

Sound As the New Illegal Narcotic?

Hatman39 Re:Agree... (561 comments)

Heh, yeah, I had that too. It can be caused by combining it with the wrong kind of alcohol (in my case, red wine) or weed that is too strong.

Also, I had visuals that I could direct and felt very real (although I knew they were not). It was a nice experience, although the first time sucked badly as I did not know what was happening and I had a panick attack.

The issue with online sources, and any other sources is that they tend to be biased, and they usually only contain the records of those fitting that bias. However, as I was taught in high school (yay Dutchies!), if you are going to do something potentially dangerous and illegal, always have a babysitter, and always fess up with things go bad. No one wants to die pointlessly.

more than 4 years ago

Sound As the New Illegal Narcotic?

Hatman39 Re:Seriously? (561 comments)

Acceptance and feeling comfortable with using drugs lead to an increase in drug usage!! News at eleven!

Nonsense! Case in point, the Netherlands. We have a hugely tolerant climate to all sorts of drugs, to the point where, say, a club cannot take your hard drugs away from you permanently (they have to give it back when you leave). And as a surprise, our drug usage is much lower than a lot of countries that have less tolerant attitudes towards it (like the US).

more than 4 years ago

Europe To Import Sahara Solar Power Within 5 Years

Hatman39 Re:Yay... (450 comments)

The official language of Morocce is Arabic....has been for many years.

more than 4 years ago

Scientists Question Safety of New Airport Scanners

Hatman39 Re:The main danger is (357 comments)

Ha, this reminds me of a story of my own. I was flying from a small regional airport in Turkey (Kayseri) to Germany and was sitting in the boarding area, after the final safety scan. And this elderly Turkish woman next to mean takes an apple out of her bag, takes a knife out of her pocket and starts peeling it.... apparently airport security seems to vary massively on where you fly from and to.

more than 4 years ago

Why I Steal Movies (Even Ones I'm In)

Hatman39 Re:Why?? (753 comments)

Well, that. Also, let us assume that

1) Car theft was a legal minefield like downloading copyrighted material is.
2) The chances of getting away with it are rather good.
Now, add to that the notion that one would not deprive the previous owner of his car. many people would steal a car? For an example, look at the Bosten police strike:

With the chances of getting caught going to zero, the incidence of crime skyrocketed.....I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.

more than 4 years ago

Ultrasound As a Male Contraceptive

Hatman39 Re:Club Of Rome Fascism (599 comments)

I think you have this figures messed up... condoms fail about 10-18% of the time. I believe that the 'rhythm' method is about 25% effective, now that means 75% failure rate. Also, this is not a per time figure, this is over a year of regular sex, no other contraceptives, 3 in 4 couples on the rhythm method get pregnant. Compare that to 1 in 5 couples for condoms. I know which I am using....

more than 4 years ago

Beaver Dam Visible From Space

Hatman39 Re:Bigger is Better (286 comments)

what do they drive? Given how much they hate trees, probably small hummers.

more than 4 years ago

Was Flight Ban Over Ash an Overreaction?

Hatman39 Re:I am no expert ... (673 comments)

In the meantime, busses, trains, and ships/boats still work. Ok maybe not in one day nor as cheap, but if you must travel those options do exist. Instead of whining, Branson should be scouting for other opportunities in transportation.

I think part of the reason for the cautiousness was this. In the US, everybody would be screwed (well, save a long drive), whereas Europe has an extensive railnet that is fast and efficient. Hence, we can afford to be overcautious.

Besides, I view this whole thing as an inherent risk of the flying bussiness. If the tides are too high for the ferries to go, no one compensates them either, nor do the bus companies get compensated for slippery roads, or any other transportation companies if problems arise. If everybody was going to go bankrupt over it, they might have a case (we need airlines), but they aren't.

more than 4 years ago

Anti-Cancer Agent Stops Metastasis In Its Tracks

Hatman39 Re:As usual (269 comments)

That's complete BS. When it comes to live saving drugs, trials aren't placebo controlled for, obvious, ethical reasons. How would you like to tell the family that mommy could have lived another 10 years, but instead died in the interest of a stronger experimental procedure?

more than 4 years ago


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