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

When Beliefs and Facts Collide

comp.sci Re:Not surprising. (725 comments)

"That's not a scientific statement, it's a political one." How else can you convince a layperson at all? Wikipedia tells me that Fermat's last theorem was proven after hundreds of years but when I look at the proof it is 150 pages long and inaccessible to me. If you tell me that 97 of 100 mathematicians who reviewed this proof stated it is correct I would happily agree that the problem has been solved. Essentially what it does is show you that the vast majority of individuals in the environmental sciences have evaluated the evidence and came to the conclusion that human activities are causing global warming. Because I know I cannot possibly properly evaluate the existing evidence without years of study, I need to rely on them to make this judgment. (This is not debatable by the way, imagine laypeople trying to argue over a book-length assembly program and if it is as fast as it could be...)

about 2 months ago
top

Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

comp.sci Re:Go after em Nate (335 comments)

There is a fundamental difference in how debate works in science VS anything else. In science you do *not* have the right to your personal unique viewpoint, while retaining credibility, if you cannot defend it properly. It's a bit like discussing with your friends which actors were in a movie: perfectly acceptable to have your opinion on this but as soon as someone shows you that you were wrong you move on. If the article used poor data he needs to be able to defend his choice or expect to lose its credibility, simple as that. In science you have to be a bit more thick-skinned than you are prepared to be, you have to expect that people will continuously attack your conclusions and your data. The fact that climate scientists agree so much should really be a clue as to how much evidence there is for climate change. If anyone could actually show data that disagrees they would be superstars at this point for upsetting the current best evidence. Science is by no means perfect but it's not high-school gossip either, something a lot of people here seem to think.

about 5 months ago
top

Pro-Vaccination Efforts May Be Scaring Wary Parents From Shots

comp.sci Re:Wrong, study shows disfavor with science. (482 comments)

That is because you are confusing scientists with policy-makers and spokespeople trying to interpret science. We are quite far removed from politics and care deeply about the subjects we spend all of our professional lives on. It's sad bordering on insulting that you think that we don't care about the truth and are somehow connected to politics. It's true that we don't care about your best interests, that has nothing to do with science.

about 6 months ago
top

Psychiatrists Cast Doubt On Biomedical Model of Mental Illness

comp.sci Re:Psychology VS Psychiatry (329 comments)

If you actually read my argument instead of instantly feeling threatened as a "non prescribing" healthcare provider, you would have noticed that I simply stated the difference between professions, never made the "argument of "They are just jealous"". What I *did* do was show how outlandish their actual claims were and people replying to me posted great evidence for that. You saying "I put more faith in psychologists" really shows your ignorance of how they work. Psychology and psychiatry are not two mutually-exclusive options, they are both part of the healthcare team. You say that doctors will always prescribe, well that's pretty much the point to be fair. A patient that requires medication is more likely to see a psychiatrist than a psychologist. Many times they are referred to a psychiatrist by their psychologist - precisely as it should work as we all pull together to help the patient.

about a year ago
top

Psychiatrists Cast Doubt On Biomedical Model of Mental Illness

comp.sci Psychology VS Psychiatry (329 comments)

It is worth noting that the central distinction between psychiatrists and psychologists is that generally psychiatrists can prescribe medications (they are doctors). It's therefore not surprising that some psychologists would issue a statement like this. Honestly, this single statement by what appears to be a spokesperson discredits their entire ramblings: "it was unhelpful to see mental health issues as illnesses with biological causes". It's quite shocking to see professionals show such ignorance of their own field, just because they specialize in one aspect of it. While we are certainly still in the dark ages of neuroscience and psychiatry, there is a reason why we can control a ton of psychiatric illnesses with medications. We have many decades worth of research that specifically shows you what goes wrong in a person's brain with many psychiatric illnesses.

about a year ago
top

US Near Bottom In Life Expectancy In Developed World

comp.sci Re:National Academies of Sciences Report (1063 comments)

Unless I am missing something fundamental, this is simply a book published by the NAS (National academy press). NAS is by no means the be all end all of peer review you seem to imply. In fact, the NAS has journals which are peer reviewed (of course) but this appears to simply be a compiled report. Peer review also does not mean that they are reviewed by the NAS before publishing but by outside sources that are intimately familiar with the subjects. A peer reviewed report of 400some pages would be quite unusual.

about a year and a half ago
top

US Near Bottom In Life Expectancy In Developed World

comp.sci Re:Yeah, but we're very productive (1063 comments)

While statistics do show that the US is uniquely productive, it certainly comes at a cost. You present this as a binary choice (Greek lifestyle VS US) whereas there are plenty of highly successful countries (think Germany or Switzerland) that work less. Most people likely can relate to this but for many white-collar jobs the number of hours worked dont correlate perfectly with productivity either.

about a year and a half ago
top

US Near Bottom In Life Expectancy In Developed World

comp.sci Re:Well... (1063 comments)

That is simply not true for two reasons: First, this is appears to not be peer-reviewed, and thus does not count as "medical research" by any means. It's a book / report they are publishing, it doesn't have the same weight as a peer-reviewed article in a medical journal. Second, while there definitely is commercial money in medical research, these studies are scrutinized very carefully before being accepted by the community. For every publication each author has to disclose financial interests and where all the money for the study came from. This is taken very seriously and these safeguards are working quite well. People often get confused by independent reports or white-papers by "think tanks" and think this is the same as peer reviewed academic research: it's not and the medical community knows that. One of the reasons why it's so hard to have an argument online and somebody posts a "study" that "debunks" a concept without keeping the above in mind.

about a year and a half ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Temporary Backup Pouch?

comp.sci Re:SkyDrive (153 comments)

For 99.9% of all users a backup is simply that, a failsafe in case their main HD gets lost / damaged. So what if dropbox or skydrive suddenly were to go out of business (as unlikely as that is, youd know in advance)? You suddenly lose access to that safety copy of your data and will know right away because the client cannot connect anymore. But you still have your primary copy of everything, nothing was lost, you can just switch providers or change your backup strategy. The chances that something would happen right then in the time-frame that the cloud provider fails and you make another copy with another provider are incredibly low. If you can't take that risk then you'd have a third backup anyways.

more than 2 years ago
top

NTSB Recommends Cell Phone Ban For Drivers

comp.sci Re:Citation please (938 comments)

Reductio ad absurdum, you are taking the argument to a nonsensical extreme. Distractions while driving are dangerous, however mostly on a statistical level. That's why it's so simple for people to argue against bans like these, because on a personal level your chances are hardly increased if you let yourself get distracted. However the number of fatalities and serious accidents is quite ridiculous given our modern times (accidents are the biggest killers for young people). We are simply discussing for which level of safety to settle until cars drive themselves.

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Enter Private Space Industry As an Engineer?

comp.sci Re:Go to a good state school (283 comments)

You don't go to a fancy school for the classes, you go because of the research opportunities. If you are looking for a graduate education getting work done in a well-known lab (and get recommendations from the PI there) will be very useful.

more than 2 years ago
top

Drug Companies Lose Special Protection On Facebook

comp.sci Re:What 'Special Protection'? (181 comments)

As a matter of fact, medicine has been trying very hard to stop basing its beliefs in "individual experiences" but rather in statistical proof that meds work or don't work. I think people upvoted you because medicine is increasingly impersonal and that's unfortunate, but equating this to listening to personal experiences when discussing medications is ludicrous. Have we learnt nothing from the big vaccine scare? Some people deducted that it was vaccines that cause autism and were treated as equals by the media. This is actively leading to quite a few children needlessly dying. To make this more applicable to Slashdot readers: replace "doctors" with "IT specialists" or "programmers". Should we really treat everybody as equals when it comes to implementing new policies, what technologies to use or which devices to use? Of course not, expertise is needed, otherwise the new policy will be to install at least 4 toolbars for IE 6 on every Compaq computer.

about 3 years ago
top

Stanford CS101 Adopts JavaScript

comp.sci Re:The things they will NOT learn are interesting (255 comments)

Because they are not learning CS with this class but how a computer works. This class is meant for humanities students who never took a "computer" class and looks very good for that purpose. Did you really think that the Stanford CS curriculum will stop teaching recursion...?

more than 3 years ago
top

Stanford CS101 Adopts JavaScript

comp.sci Important: This is NOT their "Intro to CS" class (255 comments)

To clarify, this class is a cursory overview of how computers work, a few basics on whats makes them tick and how to make them do fun things. This class is meant as a general education "learn about computers" effort, this is NOT their intro to CS class. Look at CS106X for programming, CS103X for discrete math, ... To repeat: Stanford is NOT teaching CS majors javascript, they are showing off what computer can do for humanities students with CS101. On a side note: I can see why most commenters would not catch this but how did the editors miss this obvious fact? Do a tiny bit of background research (aka click their link) and you will see how this summary is entirely misleading.

more than 3 years ago
top

EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Bees

comp.sci Re:I think it's time to consider banning EPA itsel (410 comments)

The FDA? The FDA is extremely aggressive and restrictive compared to European regulators for instance. This results in drugs reaching the U.S. market much later. One can argue that this delay causes more damage than by introducing drugs a bit earlier.

more than 3 years ago
top

US Trials Off Track Over Juror Internet Misconduct

comp.sci Re:The courts are getting what they are asking for (405 comments)

Only stupid people have social networking accounts? Everybody gets to control how much information you want to share with others and be available online. Some decide that easier communications between friends and acquaintances is worth posting a few facts about yourself online, it doesn't automatically make them stupid. I am certain that a good amount of slashdot users maintain social networking accounts and the majority of people don't post every detail of their lives on them either.

more than 3 years ago
top

NASA's 'Arsenic Microbe' Science Under Fire

comp.sci Re:NASA is becoming sad... (152 comments)

You know, many "this paper looks interesting" discoveries had a larger impact on your life through medicine etc than landing on the moon. Don't discredit something with potentially huge implications just because you can't "see" it, groundbreaking discoveries can be on any scale.

more than 3 years ago
top

South Korea Deploys Killer Robot In DMZ

comp.sci Re:Good (243 comments)

They have nuclear weapons. I'd say that's a pretty big threat.

more than 4 years ago
top

Reading E-Books Takes Longer Than Reading Paper Books

comp.sci Re:I have a study for you... (186 comments)

Lacking in detail and lacking a real conclusion as studies tend to be? This really depends on your definition of a study. A "study" that leads to a newspaper article (like this) can't be held to the same standards as a study that appears in a peer-reviewed journal. Please don't let this little experiment color your image of actual research.

more than 4 years ago
top

Reading E-Books Takes Longer Than Reading Paper Books

comp.sci Re:Not statistically significant (186 comments)

24 can be a statistically significant sample size, no problem. Remember that sample size AND effect size determine significance. (Just a warning to prevent people from thinking that sample size only is important or that 24 can never be a real study). Now in this specific study this didn't work out quite that well as they aren't statistically significant and therefore can be promptly ignored.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

comp.sci hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

comp.sci has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>