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MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "Abstract from a paper titled "The Nonsense Math Effect," by Emmo Eriksson: Mathematics is a fundamental tool of research. Although potentially applicable in every discipline, the amount of training in mathematics that students typically receive varies greatly between different disciplines. In those disciplines where most researchers do not master mathematics, the use of mathematics may be held in too much awe. To demonstrate this I conducted an online experiment with 200 participants, all of which had experience of reading research reports and a postgraduate degree (in any subject). Participants were presented with the abstracts from two published papers (one in evolutionary anthropology and one in sociology). Based on these abstracts, participants were asked to judge the quality of the research. Either one or the other of the two abstracts was manipulated through the inclusion of an extra sentence taken from a completely unrelated paper and presenting an equation that made no sense in the context. The abstract that included the meaningless mathematics tended to be judged of higher quality. However, this "nonsense math effect" was not found among participants with degrees in mathematics, science, technology or medicine." Link to Original Source top
MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "In an announcement dated Monday, Nov 26, 2012, Dublin based InTrade stated "that due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets." The Washington Post reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a complaint in federal court against InTrade for "illegally facilitating bets on future economic data, the price of gold and even acts of war," demonstrating just how far the long arm of U.S. law can reach." Link to Original Source top
MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "When Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Philip Roth, who wrote “American Pastoral” and “Portnoy’s Complaint,” recently petitioned Wikipedia to correct inaccuracies in an entry regarding his novel “The Human Stain,” Wikipedia said no:
I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”
MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) writes "Through an analysis of the files themselves, and not their content, Lance Levsen concludes that the CRU files were leaked. Here is his conclusion:
"It is most likely that the FOI Officer at the University put it on an anonymous ftp server or that it resided on a shared folder that many people had access to and some curious individual looked at it.
If as some say, this was a targeted crack, then the cracker would have had to have back-doors and access to every machine at UEA and not just the CRU. It simply isn't reasonable for the FOI Officer to have kept the collection on a CRU system where CRU people had access, but rather used a UEA system.
Occam's razor concludes that "the simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one". The simplest explanation in this case is that someone at UEA found it and released it to the wild and the release of FOIA2009.zip wasn't because of some hacker, but because of a leak from UEA by a person with scruples."
The significance being that a leak indicates a worker unhappy with the integrity of the organization. Or someone who likes ot make big messes." Link to Original Source
MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "Anthony Watts, a meteorologist from Chico, California founded a volunteer project, surfacestations.org, in 2007 with the goal of surveying all of the 1221 United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) weather stations to see how well they meet the National Weather Service's (NWS) own siting requirements. These are the stations that report the official record of temperatures here in the U.S. The project uses a network of volunteers armed with basic tools such as cameras, tape measures, GPS units, and a printout of the project's instructions to report the results of the surveys to the project.
In May, the project completed its first report with 70% of the USHCN stations having been surveyed. This report found, among other things, that 89% of the stations fail to meet the NWS requirements. Of note is that they failed in such a way that the stations would likely indicate higher temperatures. The report also discusses the poor recording processes of many stations and how the data is 'adjusted' by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.
But most disappointing is the complete lack of coverage by virtually all media. This simple and provocative investigation into the data which is at the very heart of the entire AGW theory doesn't seem to register anywhere when, at the very least, it should warrant a demand for a solid rebuttal from the theory's proponents by the media. There are some out there who are warning of the new 'Climate-Industrial Complex', of which perhaps the media is a beneficiary."
As many Slashdot users have reported, one overzealous, overly-opinionated Wikipedia administrator can send away many useful and well-informed ones. Now there is direct evidence to support that at least one of those authors was working directly for a political cause. William Connolley "created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles" and as a website administrator he acted with "virtual impunity" to remove "more than 500 articles", barred over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors and rewarded those whose edits he was in agreement with. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."