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Adjusting GPAs: A Statistician's Effort To Tackle Grade Inflation

SETIGuy The difference between A and B is nothing. (264 comments)

Because in a system that allocates GPA fairly (where the average GPA is 2 and the standard deviation is 1) a single grade point in a single class is insignificant, so the difference between an A and a B is 0.02 in you final GPA

about 10 months ago
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Adjusting GPAs: A Statistician's Effort To Tackle Grade Inflation

SETIGuy Re:Use Class Rank (264 comments)

That's the problem with people who think that knowing a subject makes it possible to get every answer correct. Some of the best courses I took had questions on exams that were not possible to answer correctly without access to a supercomputer and a few hundred CPU months, where the instructor was looking for depth of knowledge and technique rather than "the right answer". It makes me wonder if those that advocate for absolute grading have ever had to do anything difficult in their lives. Or ever considered that two exams on exactly the same material could have different difficulties.

It's also not true that scores are proportional to knowledge. An obvious example is the multiple choice, multiple answer test where negative scores are quite possible.

Typically I design upper division exams for an average of 50%. I could easily design for 84% "standard," but it would tell me and my students less, because there would be less distinction at the upper end. It would be more difficult for students to know what they do and don't understand well. Yet you would have me punish my students for making the people with As work a little harder and maybe learn a little more.

about 10 months ago
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Adjusting GPAs: A Statistician's Effort To Tackle Grade Inflation

SETIGuy GPA isn't the problem, Grades are. (264 comments)

The problem is that grades are arbitrary. The instructor defines them, and the universities and the students pressure instructors to give higher grades in lower division courses. Instead of arbitrary grades, assign lower division grades by quintile. Top 20% A, Bottom 20% F. It's enough to maintain student competition, gets rid of the "easy graders". For higher division, drop the lowest grades, with F being giving to a small percentage at the option of the instructor. Mid division would be ABCD quartiles. Upper division ABC. Graduate AB.

If it's possible for a student to get a degree by taking only "easy" courses, that's a problem with the design of the major curriculum.

about 10 months ago
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Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened

SETIGuy Re:They should upgrade the warning ... (526 comments)

Given that about 1% of gas and diesel powered vehicles have a fire in their lifetime, I'm not very concerned about 1 in 6300.

about a year ago
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Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened

SETIGuy Re:They should upgrade the warning ... (526 comments)

The difference is that the batteries can ignite without an external heat source.

That doesn't necessarily make them more dangerous. I have a friend who lost a home to a fire that started in the engine compartment of a car in the garage. It was probably a leaky fuel line dripping onto a hot engine component. In your reconing is that an internal or an external heat source? Of order half a dozen car fires happen during a typical commute day on SF bay area freeways, and that's not counting the fires that start because of collisions.

It doesn't seem that likely that Teslas are any more fire prone than any other car. The rates for gasoline cars have about one serious (i.e. reported to police) fire per 18 million miles. If the average car goes 180K miles, that's about 1% that go up in flames at some point. The average Tesla hasn't gone that far, and I don't know what the fleet mileage is, but I'll be surprised if they are that flammable.

about a year ago
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

SETIGuy Re:Science? (440 comments)

When I drop a ball, and show that it follows the path predicted by gravitation, what more must I do to "show" that gravity caused the ball to fall.

When the atmospheric CO2 content increases and the global average temperature goes up about the amount Arrhenius said it would back in 1906 due to basic physical principles, and then I show that is in fact human emissions that caused the CO2 increase, what more must I do to "show" that global warming cause the temperature increase.

about a year ago
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

SETIGuy Re:Honesty? (440 comments)

Another well named coward that doesn't understand science. Do you know what disproving global warming would get a scientist? Fame and fortune! Oil companies would have a bidding war to hire him. You know why it hasn't been done? Because global warming is real and it's happening at pretty much the rate Arrhenius predicted 107 years ago. The reasons why it is happening should be obvious to anyone who has studied the subject. The way to stop it is also obvious.

The big fame in science comes from disproof. The most referenced papers of mine are ones where I disproved theoretical claims. Every scientist wants to be the one who disproves something big.

about a year ago
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

SETIGuy Re:Honesty? (440 comments)

Repost that without the lies and you'd have an empty post. I see why you post as an AC. Seriously, every statement you made there was an outright lie. Including the "No warming for 17 years" lie. Current temperatures are will withing the 95% confidence limits of the AR4 model assemblage.

about a year ago
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

SETIGuy Re:Rothchild bullshit (440 comments)

Signed the Truth? You are a laugh riot. How much do you think it would cost Exxon and the Koch brothers if oil and coal production gets cut? A hell of a lot more than any bankers stand to gain from it.

Follow the money, but use your brain rather than your politics.

about a year ago
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

SETIGuy Re:Tense About Nuclear Weapons (440 comments)

The AGW hypothesis may or may not reflect actual reality. That's the problem with an unfalsifiable hypothesis.

The AGW hypothesis is not unfalsifiable. People with no understanding of science often make that claim. A couple decades of significant cooling (0.05C per decade or so compared to the warming trend of 0.18C/decade warming since 1970. ) while CO2 levels continued to climb would probably be enough to do that.

The problem for people who like to lie about science is that the science of AGW is very basic and well understood. To pretend it's not going to happen you have to imagine something that could stop it. And so far nobody has been able to invent something that can stop it short of a catastrophic breakdown in global atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Be my guest. Find something that can prevent CO2 from increasing temperatures and prove it. In 1906, Arhennius calculated the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 when including water vapor feedback was 2.1C. Current estimates are between 2C and 4.5C. Go ahead, find a way to make the climate sensitivity negative and show that it works.

about a year ago
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

SETIGuy Re:Honesty? (440 comments)

And how many oil barons would be oil barons if drilling for oil were illegal. Or if they had to pay for the damage their activities does to us?

about a year ago
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

SETIGuy Re:Honesty? (440 comments)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed in 1988, so where do you get the idea that what it's called has changed?

The indisputable increase in global average temperature due to human CO2 emissions is called global warming. The response of the global climate system to that increase is called climate change. The climate changes vary by locale. That distinction has been there for quite some time.

about a year ago
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SETI Running Out of Money

SETIGuy Re:That's sad. (312 comments)

I wonder if there's a way someone could contribute to specific SETI projects.

more than 2 years ago
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SETI Running Out of Money

SETIGuy Re:That's sad. (312 comments)

It's important to distinguish between the SETI Insitute, an organization that does some SETI (but also does a lot of biology, geology, planetary science and bioastronomy), from SETI the discipline. Most people who do SETI do not work at the SETI Institute.

more than 2 years ago
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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

SETIGuy Re:PCs turning into a closed platform... (809 comments)

Yeah, because Apple isn't going to be requiring signed code in OSX? What planet are you smoking?

more than 2 years ago
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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

SETIGuy Re:Lawsuit (809 comments)

I wish I could believe that. The EU is distracted with other things right now.

more than 2 years ago
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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

SETIGuy Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (809 comments)

I assume that like it will be an annual fee with a sliding scale based upon net worth and how much Microsoft likes you. Plus a per unit charge. And your software will need to be distributed through Microsoft's distribution channels which won't be built for OS installation.

more than 2 years ago
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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

SETIGuy Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (809 comments)

It also won't run your existing software or any other software that Microsoft didn't sign. Welcome to the iPC.

more than 2 years ago
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Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

SETIGuy Re:Why not hardware manufacturers? (809 comments)

Yes, if you pay enough you can get a key. Microsoft is following in Apple's evil footstep by requiring developer registration and, I assume software distribution only through valid Microsoft channels. Do you like any software that you didn't pay for? Well, you'd better find a substitute. Microsoft is tired of FOSS and legacy software cutting into their profits.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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SETI@home is observing earthlike planets with GBT

SETIGuy SETIGuy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

SETIGuy (33768) writes ""The search began on Saturday, May 8, when the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope — the largest steerable radio telescope in the world — dedicated an hour to eight stars with possible planets. Once UC Berkeley astronomers acquire 24 hours of data on a total of 86 Earth-like planets, they'll initiate a coarse analysis and then, in about two months, ask an estimated 1 million SETI@home users to conduct a more detailed analysis on their home computers.""
Link to Original Source
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Allen Telescope Array Shutdown

SETIGuy SETIGuy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

SETIGuy (33768) writes "The Allen Telescope Array has been put into hibernation due to lack of funds to continue operations. Most of the technical staff have been laid off or moved to other projects. It's too early to call it closed, but the hibernation state can only last for 6 months or so before a full shutdown is necessary. Coming back from a full shutdown would be expensive.

It's unfortunate that the telescope never received the funding to build the 350 dish antennas that would make it a world class instrument. In its current 42-antenna state, it is not a significant enough improvement over other telescopes to attract enough funding to keep operating."

Link to Original Source
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Openleaks Founder Sabotaged Wikileaks

SETIGuy SETIGuy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

SETIGuy (33768) writes "Former Wikileaks programmer Daniel Domscheit-Berg admits in his book that he sabotaged Wikileaks in a manner that threatens the anonymity of leakers. Since leaving Wikileaks, Domschiet-Berg has become one of the cofounders of Openleaks. This raises the question, if you had material to leak, would you trust it to someone who has already jeopardized the anonymity of leakers at a site where he worked?"
Link to Original Source
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SETI@home Project Responds to School Firing

SETIGuy SETIGuy writes  |  about 5 years ago

SETIGuy (33768) writes "The SETI@home Project Scientist, Eric Korpela, has posted an FAQ responding to many of the allegations made by Higley Unified School District administrator Denise Birdwell regarding the difficulties caused by the installation of SETI@home. One of the founders, David Gedye, takes issue with Dr. Birdwell's claim that "an educational institution ... cannot support the search for E.T."

Meanwhile, the fired IT director denies misusing school computers"

Link to Original Source

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