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The debate over climate change is..

hawkfish Re:Why is there a debate at all? (278 comments)

That's not what he's arguing, he's arguing that having more efficient versions of things can save you money. Replacing lightbulbs with CFLs in my house paid for itself purely in terms of energy cost after a few months, and those bulbs lasted several years.

I don't know about you, but I hate shopping. One of the cost savings I got from CFLs was fewer shopping trips to buy bulbs.

about two weeks ago
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Biofeedback Games and The Placebo Effect

hawkfish Double blindness (57 comments)

There was some survey done in the UK a few years back where the researcher went around and asked a bunch of people in various disciplines how often they used double-blind experimental designs. The results were kind of depressing. Physics was the worst at about 0.5% or something. Medical stuff was around one third. Oddly enough, the highest rate was for... ESP researchers.

So this sort of thing seems pretty widespread.

about two weeks ago
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With New Horizons Spacecraft a Year Away, What We Know About Pluto

hawkfish Re:Anyone have Cliff Notes? (128 comments)

What do they expect to find on such a distant clump of rock and why is it they thought it to be a good investment to go snap a few slefies around it rather then use that money to go where things really ought to be interesting like Io and Europa?

Please return your 4-digit ID.

Second the motion.

about two weeks ago
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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

hawkfish Re:Not surprising. (725 comments)

All of science is based on the idea that something for which there is no evidence probably doesn't exist. Maybe gravity is actually based on the actions of invisible fairies, but unless and until you have *evidence* of the existence of such fairies the broader scientific community is going to say you're nuts. Similarly claiming the mind has it's roots in magic/soul/etc. Unless and until you have evidence that there is something outside normal physics involved, the default assumption is that there is not. Occam's Razor is not without it's flaws, but it is extremely efficient in trimming out the vast bulk of magical thinking from the scientific community.

Physical laws are - by their very definition - non-material. Ideas like the holographic universe suggest the primacy of information over matter. We should proceed cautiously, but pure materialism seems pretty obviously wrong to me. There are even suggestions (e.g. the small variations in the gravitational constant over time) that physical laws may be "habits". I have no idea what this implies, but it suggests we should look at non-material processes.

about three weeks ago
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Studies: Wildfires Worse Due To Global Warming

hawkfish Re:I thought weather was not climate... (379 comments)

So the fuel just built up everywhere and then when something happens to ignite it, be it lightening or a cigarette, the little fires have a greater probability of becoming bigger fires. Time means more fuel, greater risk. Tick tick tick. So then after awhile we get these huge fires. What do those smart intellectuals do? Do they review their suggestions of the past? Take into account the bureaucratic BS that contributed to these fires? No! First, they smoke a bowl and later .... they say "Let's help that farmer who lost his ranch. Let's help those people who lost there homes. Let's explain to them that it is all mankind's fault." They then go on to explain BS like carbon foot prints and how that is why fires are worse. It is also why flooding is worse or droughts or pretty much anything, and the only way to fix it is to accept global collectivism. Yup, only with global collectivism can we prevent forest fires.

Leaving aside your rabid ad hominem remarks about collectivism, your claim that increased fires are due to increased fire load has in fact been studied and discounted . In other words, those of us in the "reality-based community" (i.e. "libtards") are a lot more self-critical than you. Which is why we do science and you do politics.

about 2 months ago
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US Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

hawkfish Re:it ultimately means a very drastic change. (627 comments)

While I agree with the history, I don't think the remedy needs to be anything like that drastic. We just need the willpower to go nuclear. If we have enough 4th generation nukes, we would produce very little waste (and that short lived) and we could synthesise carbon fuels from the carbon dissolved in sea water (the Navy is very interested in this and is funding it). So no changes to the car infrastructure, no changes in electricity consumption, cleaner air and less lethal power production (Nuclear has the lowest death / TWHr ratio of all power sources by about two orders of magnitude.)

about 3 months ago
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Mathematicians Push Back Against the NSA

hawkfish Re:Fight your own battles (233 comments)

While I strongly disagree with the suggestion that ethics stop at the workplace door, there is a point here I agree with:

Politically-capable voters are refusing to get off their asses and use their political power to reign in these government agencies, and are instead demanding that STEM workers sacrifice their jobs, potentially ruining their careers, in an completely ineffective effort to stop government evil.

USAians have this dangerous attitude born (or co-opted) from their individualism that is often phrased "Think globally, act locally." The danger with this attitude is that it usually convinces a lot of people that acting locally is all they have to do. If you want to fight global warming, then buy a Prius instead of taxing the Koch brothers into bankruptcy. Buying the Prius is a nice safe thing for a good little consumer to do (disclosure: I own one). Organising to kick the asses of the plutocracy is much harder and may well cost you your life, your fortune and your sacred honour. But it is the only thing that really works in the long run.

about 3 months ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

hawkfish Re:The older I get, the better I once was. (103 comments)

As I get older I am noticing that I have lost my twitch reaction speeds, so I can no longer play Quake, or Team Fortress very well. However, what I have lost in speed reaction, I have gained in cleverness.

Well, there is the old saw that "age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill." Does that count?

about 3 months ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

hawkfish Re:Climate lobby won't accept this as an answer (343 comments)

What they want is control over global industry, insane amounts of unaudited "international aid money" and absolute moral authority.

Solve the problem and you take away their power, their money, and their claims to moral superiority.

This is something they will never let die.

If we fixed the climate tomorrow they'd still be harping about it.

Citation needed...

about 3 months ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

hawkfish Re:Vaccines did contain some questional ingredient (588 comments)

This was replaced with an aluminum compound, and aluminum is correlated with diseases like Alzheimer’s. Of course, we have no evidence that aluminum accumlation causes Alzheimer’s; it could just as well accumulate as a side-effect. Still, it’s cause for investigation. .

No it isn't. And the best current theory on what causes autism is that is developmental disruption of the cortex during pregnancy, not "toxins".

about 3 months ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

hawkfish Re:If you make this a proof of God... (612 comments)

I'm never sure if I want there to be an afterlife or not. And I'm Catholic. I have faith in God, but I can never know.

Really, what bothers me more than anything is the concept of hell. The exact nature of hell isn't really laid out in the Bible. It's described as being cut off from God and his goodness, permanently, which would be torment to us who were created by Him. But that doesn't tell you if it's really lakes of fire and demons with pitchforks (which was really just Dante's depiction that inspired everyone who came after), or if it's just some shitty shanty town...or if it's this reality we're in right now. But, if it is the whole 'torturing forever' thing, first thing I'm doing when I get to heaven is I'm tugging on God's cape and saying, "hey, can we get those people out of there?" I have no idea how I'm supposed to party forever in heaven with Jesus if there's even one soul suffering in hell.

While I have faith in God, I also kinda hope I'm wrong and there's simply nothing after death, because I would rather have there be nothing for me than torture for anyone.

This is an old question, and the best answer I know of is C. S Lewis' proposal in the Great Divorce that "the gates of Hell are locked from the inside".

about 4 months ago
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MtGox's "Transaction Malleability" Claim Dismissed By Researchers

hawkfish Re:Flawed assumption (92 comments)

You don't seem to understand the purpose of Bitcoin, or what a Ponzi scheme is. Ponzi schemes have nothing to do with exchanging money for virtual items, and Bitcoin itself has nothing to do with investment (although some people might use it for speculative reasons). The cause of all these recent Bitcoin problems is shady characters running the exchanges. But that is a problem with all currency, virtual or not.

You don't seem to understand why Bitcoins are a Ponzi scheme (and neither does the GP who brought it up.)

Bitcoin mining is designed to decrease over time until all 21 million coins have been mined. This means that the folks who got in early (i.e. the inventors) make out like bandits and the late arrivals are left holding the bag. The best part is that they have all sorts of true believers out there running interference for them in tech forums like /. It's like printing (real) money. Oh, wait...

about 4 months ago
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Why Are We Made of Matter?

hawkfish Re:It tastes better (393 comments)

"Hearts full of youth, hearts full of truth. Six parts gin to one part vermouth!"

FTFY.

about 4 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

hawkfish Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

Atheism isn't a faith. Though religious types like to believe it is. Just another of their false beliefs.

It depends what you call a "faith". In the sense that you assume a particular ontological and epistemological position called "scientific realism", then yes, you have a faith.

about 4 months ago
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Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

hawkfish Re:"Victims" (357 comments)

What about fist control? You can beat someone to death with your fists. Maybe they should require everyone to have their hands removed, or to be surgically altered so they can't curl their fingers into a fist.

As a kickboxer, I think I might support this ;-)

about 4 months ago
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Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides For Decades

hawkfish Re:Indian names (230 comments)

There's a story in Washington State that all of the river names here, Snohomish, Skykomish, Skokomish, have the postfix "ish". Which is an Indian term meaning "This is a flood plain, idiot. Don't build your house here."

But by "Indian", do you mean Hindi, Punjabi or Urdu?

He means "American". If you ask North American native peoples what term they use, it is "Indian", so please lose the uninformed pedantry...

about 4 months ago
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Last Week's Announcement About Gravitational Waves and Inflation May Be Wrong

hawkfish Re:No confirmation (194 comments)

We are just going to have to recreate another big bang and then see what happens and therefore settle this debate once and for all.

Sadly, if they were climatologists, this is exactly what would be demanded of them in some quarters...

about 4 months ago
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Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

hawkfish Re:Whatabout we demand equal time of our views ins (667 comments)

Of course no one but a church could possibly hope to run charities, food shelves, hospitals and orphanages.

Of course not. There are plenty of charities that do this that are not churches. Even the government (in theory) does some of this work too.

Unfortunately, they do not do enough of it - especially in this political climate of "makers and moochers" - so despite what you may hear about a few "wealth theology" abominations, most churches (and synagogues, and temples and mosques etc.) actually do a lot of work to patch up the truly evil state of the US "safety net". Just near me, local churches provide homeless shelters, food banks, cheap to free meeting space for support groups and if all else fails, a steady stream of volunteers for simply doing such work. BTW, I live in fairly large, affluent and nominally "liberal" city and these problems are still widespread.

And this is why churches have traditionally been given tax-exempt status - along with other organizations that do such work. Not because they are churches but because of the work they do.

The vast majority of us in worship communities would welcome help of any kind. For my part, I don't care if you are an atheist or an animist: If you want to do the work of the Kingdom, then I say that what we have in common is far more important than a few ontological squabbles.

about 4 months ago
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Earth Barely Dodged Solar Blast In 2012

hawkfish Re:ZOMG a bad thing didn't happen! (202 comments)

Yeah, because politicians have real long term goals, you know with having to get elected ever 2-6 years. They really plan for the future. rofl

I'll take two years and democratic control over 3 months and no leverage any day.

about 4 months ago
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Scientists Publish Letter Saying, "We Need More Scientific Mavericks"

hawkfish Re:Surprised Freeman Dyson is not listed (126 comments)

Why is it that "heretics" need to indulge in easily debunked ad hominem attacks like this:

It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.

Here are some people wearing winter clothes and measuring what is really happening outside. Perhaps Professor Dyson should get out of his "air-conditioned" Princeton office and do some climatology field work.

about 4 months ago

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