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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

nobodie Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (770 comments)

As a language scientist ( a linguist) I know that you are coming from the hard sciences with an argument that I honor for its simplicity, its integrity and its beauty. Unfortunately it struggles in the real world of complex systems. In simple experiments we can shave away all the complementary and supplementary functions that are connected to any simple act or action. But in the real world we are constrained by reality and complexity, because if we remove attendant functions, we lose the reality of the system itself. Things/actions do not exist in simplicity, they grow, change, advance or retreat through complexity and this is where the hard sciences fail to recognize that complexity is the nature of reality and that the empirical function, of reducing to a single simple element or action, does not reflect the nature of the real universe.

Thus we scorn "modeling" because if we make a change in an attendant function we get a different answer even though the simple question ("Are we changing the world through pollution?") has not changed. We get different answers because of the complexity of the system, not because of the inability of the practitioners to define the component functions (or parts) carefully enough.

about a week ago

Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

nobodie Re: A fool and their money (266 comments)

Dude, I have the experience too, and don't really want to believe it or to make up pseudo-scientific reasons why it works, but it does. Come on over to the house, I'll stick a couple bent copper wires in your hands and let you do it. Although I have seen one or two people that really don't get it/do it, most everyone else in the world can.

about three weeks ago

Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

nobodie Re:1st post (266 comments)

I was taught this trick by a carpenter I worked for. He even showed me that if you put copper wires in a coke bottle they would find the pipes as well. I have used this many times, just a couple of months ago in fact, and it always works. I have also used it to find underground water flows when I lived in Thailand.

about three weeks ago

A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

nobodie Re:What about.. (158 comments)

and why is the data from 2012? Looks like the author of the article followed a link to a 2012 report and wrote an article using that info, without any attempt to update. Or else the project died, or was censored?
Too many questions, my brain hurts when there is bad articles, bad data, bad , bad , bad................turtles. everywhere....

about three weeks ago

Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

nobodie Re:What's so American (531 comments)

There are solutions to the problems we have with government that don't involve the demolition of government. That kind of binary thinking leads to a binary world that is not a reasonable and natural world. If we work toward a government that functions reasonably (unlike the American government which has dived deeply into binary logic and rhetoric) then we can have reasonable roads paid for by reasonable taxes and kept up to reasonable quality by reasonable companies that make a reasonable profit. What we have instead in the opposite of all that, so let's change the topic of discussion how we can create a reasonable world:
1. Reasonable expectations about time, humanity and expenses
2. Work on the core, not the rind
3. Use, grow, support and teach a reasonable set of virtues
4. Set aside ideology and empty stances, replace them with thoughtful, coherent ideas

There is probably a #5, but I'll let you share yours.

These are the reason's that I supported Lawrence Lessig's original proposal to create a SuperPAC to help end SuperPACs. I've stopped listening to him now as his ideology has overtaken the project. This will be its downfall.

about three weeks ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

nobodie Re:Nobody else seems to want it (727 comments)

as to your basic "challenge", the computer sitting next to me is a core2 duo that I built in Thailand in 2007. I thas been running Fedora since then, and nothing else. I upgrade it when new ones are released using the upgrade tools. Still works, all works, runs everything fine, never broken once. Does that satisfy?

about three weeks ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

nobodie Re:Nobody else seems to want it (727 comments)

hf, if your challenge is so realistic then why are so many companies running various distros? Why have I run a variety (say 8 or 10) of different distros in 4 or 5 different countries with different hardware and never, ever had a driver problem with any hardware? What is it in your challenge that you use to set a use case that would overcome the basic needs of a business person (me) a university professor (also me) and a parent with a wife and 3 kids all running Linux for home work and school (obviously also me.)

I really don't get why you feel the need to get all trolly about it as well. I have heard you being reasonable, intelligent and someone with useful viewpoints that, while not my own, are still valuable. What you are doing above is none of that. Why bother to be like this when you impressed me most as a reasonable and intelligent commentator?

about three weeks ago

South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

nobodie Re:Yes it is. (421 comments)

"Wumao brigade"
The Chinese army of "fact checkers" who make sure that nothing "bad for the public" gets on the internet (or SMS when I was there, including Skype of course). The sad part is that most of them are unemployed Masters and PhD holders from mid to lower level Chinese universities who have formed the "Ant Tribe" and live in little concrete boxes with a bed, a desk and a computer on the desk. It is worse than you can imagine: they have tapped out their family's resources and have nothing to show for it, not even a factory job (they are over-educated for something like that).

about three weeks ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

nobodie Re:Nobody else seems to want it (727 comments)

hf, dear old friend, most of us who do use Linux are clueless about this driver problem you harp on about. We just don't see it. Now, someone has modded you down as a troll, which I think is unfair, because it is just you being you, and you really aren't a troll, you're just very tightly focused.

Robert A Wilson pointed out in his book "Final Trigger" that people have a basic instinct to find patterns, even where there are none. He pointed to a number of examples, but this over-focus of yours is my prime example for today: there is no "driver problem" with Linux, there is only your pattern rocognition brain sectors seeing what you "need" them to see.

I hope this helps, because you don't deserve to be modded troll, even though you did go a little over the top.

about a month ago

Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

nobodie Re:Absurd assertion, you've never lived with humid (214 comments)

I'll meet that challenge:
I live in Tampa, today the high will be 94, I will be outside working in and out of the sun. Depending on the level of output required I might (OMG~!!!) sweat. But, because I keep the house AC at 80 (I have AC in the "common" area of the house where our guests spend time: I have a small B&B), I don't get uncomfortable in heat and humidity.

I hired a guy to come and help me load (and take to the dump) some roofing I had ripped off yesterday. Halfway through the loading (say about 4pm) he had to stop, fire up his truck and sit in the AC for ten minutes before he could go on. This is the state of the nation.

It is not the heat, or the humidity: it is your personal habits, your laziness, your lifestyle that abjures contact with the natural atmosphere in preference to your "comfort." I often point out that when I was young, in the 50s and 60s, my family lived in tidewater VA where the summer humidity was "stinkin'." We had a single fan in the cieling above the stairs to the bedrooms. That was it. I am sorry that your abusive parents treated you like a fragile flower and you didn't build up the immunity to heat that is a built-in possibility for you. Sue them!

(My kids often complain now about having air conditioning set too low: they "escape" to the outside, just as I have done most of my adult life. I hate AC, and especially the closed windows and doors that go along with it.)

about a month ago

Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

nobodie Re: Automated notice not necessary here (368 comments)

yes, but think:
If you record that announcement ("this call may be...") and play it back at the beginning of your call with the company isn't there a good chance that the person on the other end of the line will assume a company phone glitch and ignore the information. That way they are still assuming that they are not being recorded even though they have been notified of the recording.
We all need to begin to record any conversation with commercial reps in all situations, what they say is innane, stupid and often wrong. But it is actionable.

about a month ago

Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

nobodie Re:"Intelligence" is not earned. (160 comments)

I was, years ago, a very skilled carpenter. What i have learned since I put my tools down is that now, almost 20 years later, I still know how to do those things, but I physically can't. My hands and body have lost the skill, the micromotor skills, the knowledge if you will, that they used to hold. I am not so much sad about it, but aware that many of the things that were trained into me are lost now that I am older and no longer practiced.
The other thing I know is that those skills can come back quickly if I want to practice them again. But really, I don't. I do little projects here and there, but as I am seeing the "knowledge" come back, the project is finished and I go back to my desk and my classroom while the "knowledge" drains away again.

about 2 months ago

Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

nobodie Re:sure, works for France (296 comments)

Well, I use LO in the US, in an office environment with a hundred or so people, almost nobody knows that I'm not using MSO. What people don't seem to get is that most people would use a text editor daily if it said "Word" on the icon.

If I tell people that I am using a Linux desktop, they won't touch it. If I tell them I am just using a cool new desktop they try it out and like it. I don't bother to show them all the things I can do that they can't, don't baffle them, just keep work flowing and everything is good. The same thing with LO. Just bring up a document and let them write, no problem. Tell them it is different and they will freak.

stupid humans

about 2 months ago

Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

nobodie Re:Papers (225 comments)

sorry, missed that close quote, damn it!

about 2 months ago

Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

nobodie Re:Papers (225 comments)

Professor Alley here: I don't accept typed papers.
"All papers must be handed in through Canvas>Assignments>Submit Now, You must check the box that says 'This paper is my work and my work alone and meets all standards for attribution explained in the syllabus for this class.' before being submitted through Turnitin.

Plagiarism is such a big problem that everything must go through a "similarity engine" that can compare the work with everything in all the databases, including google. The chromebook is perfect for all this, I begin with a first draft done in Canvas>Collaborations>GoogleDrive and then comoplete the work with the submission process listed above. Paper? We don't need no stinkin' trees!

about 2 months ago

UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

nobodie Re:Why ODF? (164 comments)

As well: I am perfectly willing to cripple others for my ideological purposes. My Coordinator keeps sending me stuff in Outlook Notes. It's unreadable in anything other than Desktop Outlook Notes. I just tell her, "Sorry, your email is unreadable, could you resend it in a readable format?" She says: "Oh you always make it hard for me. " My reply? "And you make it impossible for me."

It is her job to communicate with me, I am using open standards, she is not, not my problem then is it?

about 2 months ago

VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

nobodie Re:Appre (225 comments)

But consider this other news from the NYT just yesterday (for me anyway):
(It's paywalled after ten articles per month)
Why bring this up? Well this American "Master's degree" is shocking from top to bottom:
1) a 14 page Master's thesis???? WTF, My Master's was 80 pages plus 10 pages of quant data that I made into a poster for better clarity
2) He used end notes for his thesis paper, five effin' pages of end notes? Most of which were "ibid?"
3) Who the hell was his supervisor? Looking at the sheer volume of copy and paste material and the sources (mostly googley available source stuff from gov or other reliable information providers) I can't believe even for a minute that anyone actually read that paper and didn't say "Whoa, this is word for word from... Oh, I see, he has an end note for the source, hmm, no quotation marks or other in-text tools like reporting verbs, phrases, hmmm, he'll need to make some changes.... hmmm, this paper is crap, but he has the sources to back it up and if he had done the attribution right it would be ok. Hmm, better send him an e-mail for a meeting tomorrrow!" How long did that take?
4) because of 3, the War College is also, maybe equally, to blame for this trash.

Again, what is the connection? This Masters is just like dozens, hundreds or thousands of Asian Masters degrees awarded every year. I saw many of them as a university Lecturer in Asia, and so we can consider this example, something we see as horrible plagiarism being not just not good but standard now in the Army War College as well as all over Asia. My friends, you are looking at the future of education. A world where a Master's degree will have a standardized test you have to take because you can't be trusted to do real thesis quality work because that paper exists just to get you a job. Most of my students today (but not all, thankfully not all) are in class with the goal of getting a piece of paper that gets them a job, that is their goal.
They are supported in this by the American government, and governments all over the world who see testing as a way to standardize what people know.
I'm pissed off, so I'll just shut up now....

about 2 months ago

Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

nobodie Re:No shit really? (140 comments)

This, my friends is the core of the issue. The solution, the one that worked in the 40s, 50s and 60s was a skilled literate and dedicated Civil Service. My father was a part of that civil service, he was skilled in providing and transporting petroleum products to the armed forces in combat and worked war games for the army, often traveling to the Pentagon to support the games. His background? WWII from Normandy to Berlin (the "fighting 25th") and the Korean "Police Action" from beginning to end as well. He retired when he was blocked from a promotion because the "General Staff must have university degrees" decision by Macnamara meant that he either had to go to Vietnam and get a battlefield promotion or quit. He quit.
6 months later he was in the civil service, doing what he had done before, just for more money.

Because of decisions made, and attitudes about public service that changed during Reagan, Bush (and not counteracted by anyone), the civil service has been derogated as incompetent, chair sitters, lazy, and mere office holders. Anyone with a sense of self-respect left, of course, and now we have this mess where we have revolving door public servants who only know the business line, can't wait to get back to the companies with their favors built up to where they can move up in the corporate hierarchy. Thank you Ronnie Raygun, what a brilliant effin' move.

So now we live in a world that we helped create because we voted that assshat into office twice, followed by his VP to continue his "legacy."

If you want to fix it we have to rebuild a real civil service. We have to compensate them for their abilities, just as the corporate world is compensated (and equally to corporate compensation). We have to pay for that service so that people will make it a career, instead of a lever for a high-paying corporate job. Who in our political landscape is addressing this? the Libertarians (HAHAHAHAHAH) the Repuiblicans (HAHAHAHAHHAAH) the Democrats (HAHAHAHAHAHHA)????? nobody. We have cut our governmental balls off and now we wonder why our joystick doesn't work.

Stupid Humans!!!

about 2 months ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

nobodie Re:user error (710 comments)

Also note that this is a UK study, people there are already rather frugal, seldom have or use AriCon (a major energy drain) and have little to do to reduce through conservation. They also already are using small cars and other reductions to create a smaller footprint.
Add to this their nanny state and the psychological result of relying on the gov to fix problems and I wouldn't expect to see much difference. The question is, what about in the US? We have groups here that glory in using massive quantities of fuel and electricity just to prove that they can. And others who have dropped off the grid to avoid being responsible for climageddon. Might show some more interesting data.

about 2 months ago

Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

nobodie Re:666 (753 comments)


about 2 months ago



Fascists circling the wagons

nobodie nobodie writes  |  about 4 years ago

nobodie (1555367) writes "In a shocking recent story, the New York Times describes how Microsoft is being used by the Russian government to quell dissent by seizing the computers of NGOs and other dissenting organizations (individuals next???) in order to search for .... pirated MS products. This has the blessings of the Redmond giant because it is inline with their global anti-piracy efforts: "Microsoft lawyers made statements describing the company as a victim and arguing that criminal charges should be pursued. The lawyers rebuffed pleas by accused journalists and advocacy groups, including Baikal Wave, to refrain from working with the authorities." (from the story, by Clifford Levy)"
Link to Original Source


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