Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us

RockoTDF Re:Who says (474 comments)

Eh, it actually says more about why correlation is not enough than attacking actual experiments.

more than 2 years ago
top

Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us

RockoTDF Re:Then we must live forever (474 comments)

This question has come up in a lot of metaphysical contexts, and the response is generally yes so long as you are just copied on the other side. Whether or not you die if your particles are transmitted is another question, but probably yes as well.

more than 2 years ago
top

Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us

RockoTDF Re:Not proper experiments. (474 comments)

In my own defense, I read that article in print a few months ago, so I may have forgotten that bit about Pfizer. While I wouldn't call myself a cynic about drug companies, their track record for doing quality science is less than impressive. Mind telling me what was emotional about my comment?

I'm decently well read in philosophy of science, actually. I don't believe in a deterministic universe, nor do I believe that any question can be answered using the scientific method. So you aren't stinging me, because you are totally wrong about what I believe (minus the fact that I don't think we have souls and am not a dualist, but that is not relevant to the questions at hand). But, I do understand the difference between a well controlled experiment and a correlational study. Although "correlation is different than causation" is somewhat of a misleading phrase, one technique is far more rigorous than the other. If we just assume that correlation is good enough, we'd be blaming the navies for killing all the pirates, resulting in global warming! This article could be about error, but it uses really really sloppy examples of error. And basically, the crappy research examples cited here (or rather, crappy interpretations of good research, depending on your viewpoint or the specific study in question) do just that. And don't get me started about medical doctors who have no training in understanding research or science as a process, but rather know a lot of scientific facts, which I also think this article carried a healthy dose of but failed to discuss in depth. If you want a failing of science, is that many people who should understand how it really works do not, and think it is just a collection of facts collected with test tubes or [science-y device of your choosing]. If they were going to make a point about error, determinism, etc, they could have chosen a better way to do it, starting with better examples.

Also, what makes you think I am a man? I am, but if we are going to talk about idiots lets start with people that make assumptions about who they are talking to (in addition to your comments about what I believe). And don't tell me that you actually clicked on my profile, homepage, etc, and took the time to figure it out before you flippantly wrote "and trust me sir, you ARE an idiot." Anyway, I'm only replying for the interest of other readers who may be interested in the bigger picture. You can go crawl back under your bridge.

more than 2 years ago
top

Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us

RockoTDF Not proper experiments. (474 comments)

Science is not failing us. Apparently, the pharmaceutical companies and their correlational studies are. Science - whether behavioral, biological, or physical - does not necessarily depend on correlations. Manipulating an independent variable and comparing it to other conditions (a control group, for example) is what makes an experiment more than just a correlational study. This is what allows us to make causal relationships clearer, even if we don't perfectly understand the pathways that lead A to cause B. By failing to make this distinction, the article makes it sound as if scientists are merely fumbling around in the dark without a clue as to how anything works. Really this article just provides many fine examples of how correlational information used by medical doctors is failing us - not scientists doing actual experiments.

more than 2 years ago
top

Fatal Problems Continue To Plague F-22 Raptor

RockoTDF Re:The F-22 should be decommissioned. (379 comments)

Not to mention that China or Russia tend to build cool stuff and then only build a handful of them. I don't see either country churning out 100-200 of their next gen stealth fighters each.

more than 2 years ago
top

Fatal Problems Continue To Plague F-22 Raptor

RockoTDF Test missions? (379 comments)

Uhh....bullshit. They haven't flown in combat yet (because there has been no need for strict air-to-air combat since they came in service), but they are a part of the air defense system and have intercepted russian bombers near the arctic.

more than 2 years ago
top

Richard Stallman's Dissenting View of Steve Jobs

RockoTDF Re:Stallman and FOSS (1452 comments)

Actually, if you think about Jobs in the 70s and 80s, he DID make something available to the masses that previously had been stuck in universities and corporations. I also make this comparison because of their marketing abilities, and because he didn't personally design the most famous things his company made.

about 3 years ago
top

Richard Stallman's Dissenting View of Steve Jobs

RockoTDF Re:Stallman and FOSS (1452 comments)

I thought Henry Ford was the best comparison, to be honest.

about 3 years ago
top

Localizing Language In the Brain

RockoTDF Re:What about other species? (79 comments)

I'm not a linguist, but I do know from being in the cognitive sciences that language involves syntax, grammar, etc. Dogs can learn words to respond to commands (or get excited about a treat or a walk) but it isn't the same as having a conversation with them.

more than 3 years ago
top

Localizing Language In the Brain

RockoTDF Re:MIT (79 comments)

Fair enough, the summary presented on the MIT news website was quite misleading. Your abstract clearly indicates that this is not the case. However, having read some of your other work (FFA/FFG debate, a PNAS review from a year or so ago about functional specificity) I wasn't prone to question the summary as it fits with the view of brain functioning that I read about in said articles, and a view that I disagree with in a more general sense. My apologies if my previous criticism came across as ad hominem, I don't give slashdot posts the same kind of attention (tone, etc) that I would give an email or other communication because they are, as you would say, idle.

more than 3 years ago
top

Localizing Language In the Brain

RockoTDF Re:MIT (79 comments)

I've read plenty of other research (check out the fusiform gyrus/face area debates) and perhaps erroneously jumped to the conclusion that this was a bit of that history repeating.

more than 3 years ago
top

Localizing Language In the Brain

RockoTDF MIT (79 comments)

There is something odd about research out of MIT. They seem to really like the idea that there are parts of the brain that innately do one specific thing (well, at least Nancy Kanwisher does, and she is on this paper). It is pretty much ridiculous to argue that we have have a unique reading area of the brain since it is something the human race hasn't been doing that long. It wouldn't surprise me if the same brain regions are used in most people to read, but it is very odd to assume that one brain region would basically be useless or taken over by other regions for a large number of humans. Functional specificity makes sense for motor cortex and primary sensory receiving areas, but not something as high level as reading.

more than 3 years ago
top

Localizing Language In the Brain

RockoTDF Re:What about other species? (79 comments)

They communicate, but they don't actually use language. Also, it is hard to point out clear analogues in primate brains, much less other mammals or birds.

more than 3 years ago
top

Localizing Language In the Brain

RockoTDF Re:fMRI (79 comments)

It does now. This problem has been taken care of in the last few years.

more than 3 years ago
top

Space Station To Be Deorbited After 2020

RockoTDF Re:"Russia and its partners"?! (572 comments)

I read that last sentence in my head as the Emperor.

Such battle stations are banned by treaty already. They would be really easy to shoot down (target moving in a routine and predictable orbit), and are kind of unnecessary when you have ICBMs.

more than 3 years ago
top

Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's?

RockoTDF Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (330 comments)

I think you mean "if you are a university, you can pay the coaches more money and hire more adjuncts instead of tenure track faculty." There is a difference between a university wanting money to support staff, get new equipment, etc, and a company that is accountable to shareholders. Big difference. Look at non-profit vs. for-profit universities, for a start.

more than 3 years ago
top

Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's?

RockoTDF Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (330 comments)

It does reduce how you run things, you know, not having shareholders to worry about. Just look at how for-profit vs non-profit universities work, for starters.

more than 3 years ago
top

Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's?

RockoTDF Re:in the 90s... (330 comments)

Mod parent up. As a grad student it frustrates me that people don't think I'm "on the job" or "lack work experience" when I spend all summer working and about 35 hours a week doing research on top of 20+ hours of coursework and TAing stuff.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

top

Spokeo: Privacy no more

RockoTDF RockoTDF writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RockoTDF (1042780) writes "I was recently alerted by a facebook friend about the site Spokeo which aggregates information from publicly available government records, social networking sites, and online stores such as Amazon. Search yourself and you will find that a lot of the information is creepy and/or inaccurate. Fortunately I don't have a flickr account and my facebook page is pretty locked down, but I was still not happy with what I saw and requested that they delete me. I'm a tad confused as to why a bunch of Stanford grads thought making this site was in any way a good idea. I suppose it is a good way to know just how much information there is out there on you, even if it is false."
Link to Original Source
top

Dawkins Backs camp for atheists

RockoTDF RockoTDF writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RockoTDF writes "The Times reports that Richard Dawkins is backing a summer camp to "groom" atheists. Knowing Dawkins, can we expect something just as loaded with indoctrination and polarization as a church camp, or a place that really teaches reason and skepticism? Singing "Imagine" may point to indoctrination, but the £10 prize for the child who can disprove the existence of the mythical unicorn indicates that independent thought is put on a pedestal.

So I ask the atheists and agnostics out there, is this the kind of place you would send your child, or does it appear to be church camp sans church?"

Link to Original Source
top

New Alzheimer's Treatment Shows Results in Minutes

RockoTDF RockoTDF writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RockoTDF (1042780) writes "Recent research at UCLA has resulted in restoration behavior and cognition of Alzheimer's patients within minutes. "It is unprecedented that we can see cognitive and behavioral improvement in a patient with established dementia within minutes of therapeutic intervention," says commentary in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. The drug, Etanercept is typically used to treat arthritis. Interestingly, the treatment for Alzheimer's is administered via a spinal injection. The drug deactivates excess proteins believed to be connected to the proliferation of Alzheimer's disease."
Link to Original Source
top

RockoTDF RockoTDF writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RockoTDF writes "I work in a lab at a university where we study the behavior of fish, specifically the Betta. One thing we would like to examine further is the density of the bubble nests they create. We have several tanks with cameras mounted above them taking photos (10 Megapixel) at specific intervals. Is there any way we can determine density from this? What software is available? We thought that perhaps we could do a white pixel count in the areas of the bubbles and figure out an algorithm by which to calculate the density, but of course software (preferably FOSS) that does this for us would be ideal."

Journals

RockoTDF has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?