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New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

Orgasmatron Re:Correlation does not imply causation (60 comments)

No, it almost never happens in science. That error is typically a symptom of pseudoscience.

4 hours ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Orgasmatron Re:It's in the license! (571 comments)

If you park in a ramp, the back of the ticket says that the ramp's owners/management disclaim responsibility for damage to the cars.

That means that you shouldn't complain to them if the guy that parks next to you dings your car with his door. It doesn't mean that the employees expect that they have permission to walk down a row of cars smashing out headlights with a hammer.

about a week ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Orgasmatron Re:Pseudoscience Lunacy (366 comments)

So, what you are saying is that you are unaware of the mountain of research into this field, and prefer to rely on something you heard from someone who was equally uninformed, but which sounded "right" to you?

Intelligence is wildly complex, and even the one part of it that we measure as IQ is beyond our current comprehension, so I wouldn't bet much money on the results of selecting for it genetically, based on our current knowledge of the subject. But if you think that IQ is "dubious", you are telling us about your biases, nothing more.

about two weeks ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Orgasmatron Re:Citation please... (366 comments)

Don't be too hard on him. I read the same story a while back. It may have even been linked up here on /., but I don't remember exactly.

I spent a couple of seconds looking for it too, but can't find it. Doesn't matter though, it was from a soft "science" that places no value in reproducing results, has no tradition of introspection, and a tendency to stretch results (occasionally real, but usually statistical artifact) into sensational claims. And just imagine how much worse it gets when the press gets involved...

Usually these are done by picking a "proxy" for X, a "proxy" for Y, torturing the data until it provides a small p value, and then claiming that X causes Y. Note that you can't reliably determine an infant's political views, so a proxy for Republican-ness is necessary unless you are willing to wait a couple of decades after measuring the thing that you are going to pass off as "fear".

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Orgasmatron Re:Overrated... (839 comments)

"sit on their money and let it grow" ? Really?

I've got $100 in my wallet right now, and I'm sitting on it. I don't use cash much, so it's been there for ages. But it has not grown and never will. (Though if we had honest money, natural deflation would make things cheaper, which is sorta like growing, but not the same.)

If I want it to grow, I have to take a risk with it. I need to give it to someone else, in return for a promise that they will return it and more. Or I need to spend it myself on something that I think will be a productive asset.

(I'm not making an argument for/against consumption or capital taxes here. I'm just pointing out a gross error in your post and/or thinking.)

about two weeks ago
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What's Been the Best Linux Distro of 2014?

Orgasmatron Re:Slackware (303 comments)

You are doing it wrong. Slackware isn't for gurus, it makes them.

about three weeks ago
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Belkin Router Owners Suffering Massive Outages

Orgasmatron Re:Why a fixed hostname? (191 comments)

Mostly.

I moved a while back and have fiber now. The ONT is powered by a special UPS, using some unusual power connector. So, I didn't set up the relay box.

But the scripts still run, they still harvest IPs and monitor them. Fortunately, it hasn't needed a reset yet. My few problems have been at the head end: their DHCP server died once, and they had routing problems one other time.

about three weeks ago
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Belkin Router Owners Suffering Massive Outages

Orgasmatron Why a fixed hostname? (191 comments)

Old cable modems sucked. Mine would often lock up, needing a power cycle to resume working. Very annoying when I was at work.

The quick and easy solution is to monitor the connection status and flip a relay to reboot the modem. But how to monitor the connection? Setting a single host or IP seemed like a bad idea because it would have added an extra, and totally unnecessary, single point of failure.

Instead, my home router (slackware box with 2 ethernet cards) collects the IPs that I connect to (by watching the conntrack stuff in /proc/ ), and if it can ping them, adds them to the ping list. It then pings random selections from that list to verify connectivity. IPs are removed if they are unreachable for a while (until it decides the connection is down; no point purging the whole list because of an outage).

Took me a couple of hours to set up and debug, back in like 2002 or 2005 or whenever I wrote it. I presume that there is some free software to do the same task by now.

Monitoring a single fixed hostname is foolish, at best. And this is like the 3rd or 4th big story (that I can think of) about home routers acting badly because of hardcoded values.

about three weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

Orgasmatron Re:Two words (425 comments)

Obama already tried that. His decision to pull out without leaving a residual force is why we now have ISIS on the news today.

Are you suggesting that we should invade again, so that we can flee a second time? Or do you think we should pull out-er than we've already pulled out?

P.S. There were no false pretenses and at one point we had won and accomplished something close to political stability. Obama really snatched defeat from the jaws of victory here. I don't know what to make of your other claims.

about three weeks ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Orgasmatron Re:Communism Inspired Tyranny (652 comments)

Central planning does not work, in general. See Hayek's "The Fatal Conceit" if you are wondering how and why.

Which isn't to say that central planning can never work. A rail network is a large enough project that it more or less must be planned. The question there is who does the planning and who pays for it.

Under capitalism, the people planning it are the ones providing the funding. If they plan it poorly, they lose money, and thus have less ability to make poor decisions in the future. If they plan it well, they profit, and thus have more ability to make good decisions in the future.

about three weeks ago
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Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

Orgasmatron Erm... (534 comments)

It isn't like we are getting live video from these exoplanets. I find it a bit unlikely that any major (or minor) religions will be shaken by spectrograph squiggles, even if we are pretty sure they are evidence of biology.

about a month ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Orgasmatron Re:net metering != solar and 10% needs new physics (488 comments)

By counting atoms, it may be thousands of times more common, but in terms of extracting metal, it looks like it'll run into the same problem that lead has. See http://www2.manganese.org/rese...

I'm a firm believer in the ability of industrial mining to get at the things we need, so if we start making batteries using manganese electrodes, we'll come up with the metal, somehow. But when your project requires on the order of 1.6 billion tons of anything, and that thing's experts say that there are probably around a couple billion tons of it around, you've got problems. We certainly aren't going to be extracting most of the currently estimated world's supply of manganese at a price anywhere near today's prices.

(Math on the amount of manganese needed: The lead battery needs 5 billion tons at 15kg per kWh. The Aquion battery needs ~10 kg of NaMnO2 cathode per kWh. About half of the mass of the electrode is elemental manganese, so 5 kg per kWh.)

You can have your electrical storage, and these new batteries can make that cheaper. But you still can't scale this up to a national project.

about a month ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Orgasmatron Re:net metering != solar and 10% needs new physics (488 comments)

Read the national battery article again. Unless these batteries use something vastly more plentiful than lead (which seems unlikely, considering the abundance of lead) it won't scale up.

Solar can't average out the night. We would need to store between 60% and 75% of national consumption at an absolute bare minimum. If we used every single mined, mine-able and suspected atom of lead on the planet for a lead acid battery, we get 2%. Using something 10 times as abundant (which doesn't exist) and we are a third or a fourth of the way there.

about 1 month ago
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Outlining Thin Linux

Orgasmatron Re:Sounds like Slackware to me. (221 comments)

Slackware indeed. You'll never know it has a GUI if you don't go looking for it, and architecture decisions are made based on Patrick's desire to keep it stable and sane.

about a month ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Orgasmatron Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (937 comments)

Our brains and minds are a bunch of hacks. We see faces in the static on a TV because we have powerful machinery to detect faces. Ditto shapes in clouds, etc, etc, etc.

When a financial market goes up, or goes down, or goes sideways, we want to know why. We prefer to believe that mysterious and powerful men are manipulating things to our detriment because the notion that "sometimes shit just happens" is abhorrent to our mental machinery.

Turn on any financial news program and watch the parade of rationalizations for a while. Then come back here and talk to me about what is and is not a predominant human trait.

Even better. If you rationally understand that sometimes shit just happens and you don't go seeking to explain every random happening, your body knows that you are faking it, and it will respond to the stress of the unknown.

about a month and a half ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Orgasmatron Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (937 comments)

Congratulations, msobkow, your point went over a bunch of heads.

To the four or five people that posted "Nuh uh" in reply, he isn't saying that atheists "should" feel a need to believe, and he's not saying that "you" feel a need to believe.

The human experience gives a clear indication that faith is a near-universal drive. Even if you are really immune rather than delusional, the bulk of your peers do not seem to share your immunity.

G.K. Chesterton may have been engaging in hyperbole when he said "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything." but he doesn't seem to be far off in my experience. Virtually everyone I've met that believes in conspiracy theories, UFOs or sociology papers (to pick some examples of gullibility) are atheists.

While you personally may have high evidentiary standards, and you may have chosen atheism after careful consideration of the options, your peers, by and large, have not and did not.

about a month and a half ago
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Surprise! More Than Twice As Much Mercury In Environment As Thought

Orgasmatron Are we british now? (173 comments)

Where is "Environment"? I've never heard of a place by that name. Or was the headline about ambient mercury in "the environment"?

The good news is that finding out that there is twice as much of it around means that it is half as harmful as we were thinking it was, assuming the retarded LNT model preferred by statists everywhere.

about 2 months ago
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Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Orgasmatron Re:Where to draw the line (326 comments)

You must be very confused indeed if you are wondering about Stallman's view of open source.

He doesn't give a shit about "open source". He believes in Free Software.

You should check fsf.org and gnu.org for more info. This page might be a good starting point.

In general, he does not endorse any distribution that includes non-free software. (This is nearly all distributions.) He also makes no distinction between platforms and applications, or system vs. user software. It should, ideally, all be Free Software.

about 2 months ago

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