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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:we do not need fracking (329 comments)

In Soviet Russia, Nature fracks *you*!

about two weeks ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:How about a straight answer? (329 comments)

We know that humans are mostly responsible because:
- the isotope type of carbon in the atmosphere can be measured, and it matches the output you get when burning fossil fuels and not other origins
- the amount of carbon in the atmosphere that is measured matches the output you would expect by burning the fossil fuels we know are being used globally

Now the heating up of the atmosphere is not a simple relation to the fossil fuel CO2 output since there's all kinds of heat sinks that we didn't realize the Earth had, that can also suddenly turn into heat producers when certain limits are reached (see the article), and not all mechanisms are well understood or actually even charted.

So: we cannot safely say that humans are responsible for global warming with 100% certainty. We *can* say humans are responsible for pouring unprecedented rates of carbon into the atmosphere, at a rate where very basic science will predict that we get a greenhouse effect eventually. We cannot safely predict a timeframe for that however. But we do know that eventually, the chickens *will* come home to roost. And they're manmade chickens.

about two weeks ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:How about a straight answer? (329 comments)

Oh the poor, defenseless coal, gas and oil industry. Those poor companies, operating at thin margins with little resources, in far away countries that are nothing but desert, and god-forsaken tar sands. Yes, we must help those poor folk defend their livelihood from big business! Think of their children!

You're right, this is comedy gold :)

about two weeks ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:How about a straight answer? (329 comments)

I take it as a good sign. The climate denialist faction must become pretty desperate if they have to resort to this type of argument.

about two weeks ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

St.Creed Re:"Expected" to release methane (329 comments)

If I observe water temperature rising in a pot of water while I keep adding fuel to the fire, it doesn't take great prognostication skills to predict boiling water in the near future. So your observation is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

St.Creed Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

Good question: I am quite certain the people suing would lose in court, but there is also the question of which statute or law they could use to sue the employer. I mean, I can think of several but they'd all lead to quite expensive and embarrassing counterclaims for damage to the reputation of the business.

But in the final analysis, they could be sued.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

St.Creed Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

The employer cannot be sued except if he was colluding or conspiring in the theft, or negligent in other ways (like not providing lockers and forcing you to leave bags outside in the open).

The government declaration is not a shield against liability - the privacy laws are. The employer is both not expected to know about convictions that are irrelevant to the line of work, but it's also illegal to check them via other means.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

St.Creed Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

That's because Norway (and many European countries) is run by competent people, who care about their country.

It's because the working class organizations (consumer organisations, trade unions) are so strong in most parts of the EU and especially Norway, they have gained a lot of rights and limitations to the powers of capital.Nothing inherently competent about the Norwegians - a competent crook is still competent after all - but the ability of companies to get away with things most people find offensive has been limited by rules like this.

about two weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

I agree - you either can read it easily, or you need a course in reading cursive for specific purposes anyway. So teaching them at school is a bit overdone.

The only persons who will regret not writing cursive in school are jewellers, watchmakers and surgeons - the people who need highly evolved fine motor skills. That's difficult to (re-)gain when you're 18 or older, versus kids who have been writing cursive since age 6. But the question is: why subject the entire population to something only a few occupations will use.

about three weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

So true - even the very clear and well-styled Sont toll registers are pretty hard to read nowadays. See http://dietrich.soundtoll.nl/s... for a nice example of handwriting from 1557, versus this one from 1712 (http://dietrich.soundtoll.nl/scans/toon.php?fnr=175&sid=10).

I can actually read the last one (it's about a boat from or to Harlingen, so a Dutch boat), but it's in Danish and that's not a language I can read easily even with modern type.

about three weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

The obvious counterexamples to such conspiracy theorist are implementations in countries where the legal system does not base itself on a handwritten document for the constitution, and where this would be nonsensical to begin with. It's just as silly in the USA where I suppose there are machine readable versions available of every relevant document.

about three weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

And while we're talking about it, the headline "Finland dumps handwriting"- which the original story used and Slashdot copied- is misleading anyway. From the article itself, it's joined-up writing that's being dumped, not writing altogether.

And while it's interesting that this is happening in Finland, it's been implemented for several years in The Netherlands already. And I'm sure, in Finland as well. Since the sky hasn't fallen down, I'm assuming impact on most children has been negligible. And the typing course my son received in exchange sure helps him a lot with his coursework on the computer. All of the children in his class leave school at age 12 with the ability to type blind with 10 fingers.

about three weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

St.Creed Re:Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

Or difficult enough to require a pretty intense course. In the Netherlands, we have at least a dozen wildly different medieval writing styles, not counting the handwriting of different writers. Given the changes in how to write the letters of the alphabet, grammar drift, and various attempts over the centuries to "modernize" the language and make it "easier to understand", reading old handwriting is nigh impossible without a decent course.

about three weeks ago
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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

St.Creed Re:Its just Apple being Apple (189 comments)

True, but this is par for the course with publishers, and one of the reasons the publishing sector is in bad straits. It's a buyers market and if you don't accept the conditions, your competitor will. So either you go out of business outright, or you merely run the risk of going out of business. Not a very enviable position to be in.

about three weeks ago
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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

St.Creed Re:Its just Apple being Apple (189 comments)

IIRC, this was what killed off TRS (they of Dungeons and Dragons). They massively overextended by selling to a large buyer, who then proceeded to return all of the goods right before the deadline expired. They had to sell the company to either that party or someone else. So they sold themselves to Wizards of the Coast, to avoid having to sell to the original company that sank them.

The worse your business sector is doing as a whole, the more the predators and parasites come out and have a go at you.

about three weeks ago
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Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

St.Creed Re:reflexes? (114 comments)

I used to have no depth perspective from age 12 to about 20 because my lens was removed due to glaucoma. While playing baseball was something of a nightmare for me (try catching a ball without depth perspective - my main goal was to try and avoid the ball altogether), driving was never a problem. You just need to maintain a good distance from things, which is sensible advice for most drivers anyway.

about a month ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

St.Creed Re:Please wait here. (419 comments)

Aha... so they made sure to select lucky people only. I understand. It's a good idea for a trial run :)

about a month ago
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The Largest Kuiper Belt Object Isn't Pluto Or Eris, But Triton

St.Creed Re:Does the rock run Linux? (61 comments)

I personally think "weywot" is an abbreviated version of "wait... what?" - the astronomers exclamation upon discovering the object. It's currently my favorite Kuyper belt object name :)

about a month and a half ago
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Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

St.Creed Re:This. (273 comments)

Your initial point is fine: people rise to the expectations others have of them. Low expectations give lower results.

Your conclusion is flawed, however. My conclusions would be that we need to have higher expectations of kids, and if they fail, no problem - but they need to work at achieving the expected outcome (a good grade). I always tell my son that I know he's smart, but that it just means that for him, the lowest expectation for his grade is an A. If it doesn't work out that way, we look at what went wrong and learn from that. It's never "because you're dumb" but always "maybe you didn't start early enough with learning this?".

You can build up a good self-image in several ways, one of them is what I just described.

Unfortunately, another is to lower the bar for everyone so everyone thinks he's great: praise them for meaningless results, give out A's like candy. It's the easiest way for a teacher. But also the most insidious, vicious and harmful way for children - you're setting them up for failure later in life and then their self-esteem will take a great hit.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Is our universe a quantum cellular automaton?

St.Creed St.Creed writes  |  about 4 months ago

St.Creed (853824) writes "Noble-prize winner Gerard van 't Hooft is best known for the work that enabled physicists to predict the mass of the top quark, w-boson and z-boson. But he has long been known for his rather "idiosyncratic" ideas on the nature of the universe as well. His theory on the holographic universe is by now fairly well known. However, he has taken it a step further in a 202-page article (or book) on Arxiv.org, where he claims that there may well be a system with classical properties underlying quantum mechanics.

Our models suggest that Einstein may still have been right, when he objected against the conclusions drawn by Bohr and Heisenberg. It may well be that, at its most basic level, there is no randomness in nature, no fundamentally statistical aspect to the laws of [quantum] evolution.

The ideas presented in the introduction are quite interesting to read even for non-physicists."
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