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The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

jbmartin6 Surveys are always biased (407 comments)

Surveys like this are always carefully designed to get the result the journalist has already decided he wants. In this case, there is a hell of a lot of wiggle room in these questions. For example, contrast "The Earth is 4.5 billion years old" with "the Earth is millions of years old" Might we get a different result? As other posters pointed out, someone might not be sure about 4.5 billion as the figure, and so might have answered with less confidence. Or "The average temperature of the world is rising, mostly because of man-made heat-trapping greenhouse gases" as opposed to "The average temperature of the world is rising". As other posters pointed out again, the survey here is conflating two questions.

There's also the question of sampling. Who would even participate in this survey? All these results describe is the part of the population that is willing to participate in surveys like this. I am not too confident that this adequately represents the American public.

3 hours ago

Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

jbmartin6 Re:Wrong question (158 comments)

You are right, this is the better question. Why do we have a world where a few pieces of information that are effectively public have any sort of value? I have to tell my address, phone number, SSN, and so on to every bank, doctor, potential employer, landlord, and so on. Yet we continue to delude ourselves that somehow the information is going to remain secret. Well, 30+ years of "the bad guys are winning" shows that keeping (essentially) public information secret just isn't going to happen.

Look at it from another perspective. Since I am not liable for false charges on my credit card, I don't care much at all about keeping that number secret. It is the bank's problem, not mine. (I suppose if I just posted it here on /. the law might be different though, since that is an intentional thing). And frankly, if we look at the numbers, not caring very much might be the best strategy. So the Target breach involved say, 200 million people. How many were impacted by anything more than some false credit charges? The banks paid the price for their failure to implement a better system, card holders are not liable for those charges.

What this story is saying is, why don't billions of people change their behavior instead of a few dozen financial institutions? I think we can see why the banks want us to ask questions like in the article. I am asking why we don't ask a few banks to change their process instead of an unrealistic expectation that human nature is going to change.

Yes, I understand I made a few oversimplifications and left some stuff out. Only for brevity, I assure you, I think the core point is still solid.


Scammers Lower Comcast Bills, Get Jail Time

jbmartin6 Insanity (95 comments)

This illustrates the insanity of our society (USA). 57-115 years in jail, and no one other than a legal fiction was harmed at all? Meanwhile a murder gets less than that. It's insanity.


Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

jbmartin6 Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (301 comments)

"Military (force|technology)" is an arbitrary distinction. "law enforcement" agencies of all sorts, national and local, use all sorts of technologies. As far as i have heard there is no legal distinction between a military and non-military technology. For example. The proliferation of violent commando raids against non-violent suspects.

2 days ago

Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

jbmartin6 Re:victorian clerks.. (311 comments)

No no no the "task chair" has no arms and is small and flimsy. The manager chair has arm rests, etc. I always took this to mean that the arm rest interfered with tasks getting done and thus it was OK for the manager to have them.

about a week ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

jbmartin6 Where is the teacher? (796 comments)

From the article, the incident took place while he was receiving math help from the teacher. From the sound of it, this crap goes on all during class. What a sad system that puts someone who needs a different approach to teaching into a class where kids mouth off and can't (or won't) be controlled.

about a week ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

jbmartin6 Re:Quite logical reaction (796 comments)

This is dead on, I had the same experience.

about a week ago

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

jbmartin6 Re:Revolt? (810 comments)

How about the founding of the Ming Dynasty?

about a week ago

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

jbmartin6 Re:Are you kidding (810 comments)

While this is true, there are generally two large parties that garner 60-80% of the seats, and these tend to be centrist parties with the same sort of minor differences that we see in the USA between Republican and Democrat. One drawback to the parliamentary system that I've seen is that fringe parties can have a disproportionate influence since neither centrist party has enough votes to form a majority on its own and needs to bribe them to join a coalition. At least, this is what I saw in Israel, and bribe is precisely the correct word. At one point it got so sickening that the two major parties formed a coalition instead.

about a week ago

Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

jbmartin6 Re:Danegeld (325 comments)

As I recall, they got rid of the Danes by assimilating them. Eventually.

about a week ago

Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

jbmartin6 I think we already knew this (610 comments)

The math is way beyond me of course, it sounds like it would be amazing to understand it. Kudos to the authors. And it is great to think there is a mathematical proof of this. But we already knew the conclusion was true in general by the fact that anything exists at all.

about two weeks ago

93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

jbmartin6 Wrong approach (214 comments)

I can appreciate their sentiment, but as one poster said, are they going to stop using electricity? I think instead of saying 'divest from fossil fuels' which is a showy, noisy position that doesn't really achieve anything, they should take a more positive approach and urge the university to invest in alternatives, or even better urge the university to deploy solar technologies or something to be less dependent on fossil fuels for power.

about two weeks ago

Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

jbmartin6 Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

"Libertarians believe in absolute liberty for everyone" is not correct. They don't believe in using violent coercion to violate the rights of others, aka the "non aggression principle". They do believe in all kinds of restrictions on liberty, such as private property rights, torts, fraud (as in against it), contract rights, self defense, etc. It is perfectly acceptable for a Libertarian to say "this cannot be called a marriage" What the OP didn't say was 'They should have a law against it' or 'people should be forced at gunpoint to acknowledge it'. Those latter two would violate the NAP. Nothing he said was a violation of Libertarian beliefs, now perhaps that is what he meant I can't speak to that.

about three weeks ago

NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

jbmartin6 Re:oblig... (402 comments)

That's funny to me, since I usually refer to the manned mission ideas of space exploration as "monkeys in a can"

about three weeks ago

Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

jbmartin6 There is a solution (303 comments)

Sure, the current poles of 'no ads' and 'fully personalized targeted ads' are not compatible. That's why we have negotiations. And there is plenty of middle ground. It is just a question of how targeted we are willing to allow to support the free services we all love to use online. For example, an electronics site might feature ads targeted to electronics hobbyists. Is that so bad? Somewhat targeted at least. And it doesn't require any tracking. I know this isn't exactly the sort of thing we are talking about, it is the old way advertising worked.

about three weeks ago

Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

jbmartin6 Re:It's a matter of trust (303 comments)

It takes a real psychopath to want to do to other people what they would never want done to them.

Why are you picking on psychopaths? This sounds like pretty much everybody.

about three weeks ago

How Far Will You Go For Highest Speed Internet?

jbmartin6 Re:Also how is the backhaul? (142 comments)

Well the local ISP WAN will be fine once Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, etc. all live on it locally. In fact, do we really need an "Internet" at all once that is in place?

about three weeks ago

Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

jbmartin6 Re:Big deal. (387 comments)

Me neither! I think all this whining is very childish. So sorry champ that the world asked you to use your brain and try something new...

about three weeks ago


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