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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

sideslash Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (532 comments)

My sister had that done as a Type 1 diabetic with severe cataracts. The cataracts are gone and she jumped to perfect correction of her nearsightedness, although she immediately needed to start wear bifocals for near vision, despite being in her 20's. Not entirely sure how that worked, but that's all I know.

3 days ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

sideslash Re: Astronomy, and general poor night-time resu (532 comments)

No, they put a few drops of some chemical on your eyes, then wait a few minutes, and the chemical forces your pupils to dilate, in other words the hole at the front of your eye gets bigger and more open. Then they can look inside your eye and see if the retina looks healthy -- it gives them a bigger hole to peer through.

After the procedure your eyes take a while to re-adjust so the pupil stays dilated for a bit. My eye doctor gives patients free eyeshades if they don't have sunglasses with them, as it can be really hard on your eyes to go out in the sunlight with pupils still dilated -- sunlight can be extremely bright and painful. It wears off over an hour or two and your pupils get back to normal.

3 days ago
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

sideslash Hoping this is not as bad as it sounds (272 comments)

Can they give "warning shots" for some time period ahead of time to clear the area? Can they definitively detect whether any large mammals are in the vicinity before giving the big blasts?

Actually, even if they can, this sounds really bad, no pun intended. :(

about a week ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

I disagree. We are not entitled to say that a change in carbon will effect a change in net energy that we can predict using simple measurements. One reason is that a change in carbon causes changes in other features of the atmosphere that have a profound effect on the planet's warming or lack thereof. Climate change is chaotic and, thus far anyway, it's been impossible to predict over the long term.

Check out this article explaining why this is complex. For example, changing the CO2 changes the water vapor in the atmosphere, which will quickly goof up your best intentioned "back of the envelope" calculations.

about two weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

Maybe you're in a different discussion by now, but many parents ago I posted:

Carbon sensitivity can make the difference between an expectation of climate change catastrophe, versus the anthropogenic component being dwarfed in the long term by the fluctuations of natural variability. As far as I can tell, the urgency or non-urgency of the climate change debate rests on this piece. And we don't know the answer to it.

So it's on topic for the discussion _I_ was having. Maybe you are talking to yourself. /just-joking

about two weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

No, we know how much heat CO2 traps based on direct measurement

Your faith is strong, but it's misguided and based on popular oversimplifications. Here's Richard Lindzen writing in a WSJ editorial:

There are, however, some things left unmentioned about the IPCC claims. For example, the observations are consistent with models only if emissions include arbitrary amounts of reflecting aerosols particles (arising, for example, from industrial sulfates) which are used to cancel much of the warming predicted by the models. The observations themselves, without such adjustments, are consistent with there being sufficiently little warming as to not constitute a problem worth worrying very much about.

In addition, the IPCC assumed that computer models accurately included any alternative sources of warming—most notably, the natural, unforced variability associated with phenomena like El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, etc. Yet the relative absence of statistically significant warming for over a decade shows clearly that this assumption was wrong. Of course, none of this matters any longer to those replacing reason with assertions of authority.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

sideslash Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

Fortunately, the software will have no bugs, and there will never be any lawsuits related to its performance. ;)

about two weeks ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

sideslash Re:Dumb dumb dumb advice... (278 comments)

There are two things you aren't grasping here:

1. I don't care about any data I'm sharing with the site. So if my password was posted on Twitter, that would not cause a major problem for me.

2. I may not even trust such a site to handle my private data. So I would typically not even use my personal email address, but rather something like mailinator.com. (Credit: The AC who also replied makes this excellent point. Healthy online distrust should be extended to hosts and sites as well as to other internet users.)

about two weeks ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

sideslash Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

Humans are sometimes faced with those decisions, too. The reality is that there are some solutions that don't have any good answers -- just a bad answer and a worse one, and we can argue about which is which.

For every one of those kids/octogenarians the computer decides to execute, it could be that there will be 100's of people who get to live because computers took over the driving. So your "look at all the blood" argument is a little misleading.

about two weeks ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

sideslash Re:Dumb dumb dumb advice... (278 comments)

That is just so stupid. Use a password-keeper and use strong passwords everywhere. Then you only need (1) physical access to your password keeper and (2) to remember one strong passphrase.

I didn't RTA, but when you say it's stupid not to always use a strong password, aren't you making an unwarranted assumption? There are some sites where it truly doesn't matter. On such sites I will never send any sensitive data, and all I want is to get past the annoying login to get to something I care about. You know, like the bugmenot cases. If you take the time to create such accounts for yourself with an insecure(!) and memorable password, there's nothing wrong with that.

about two weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

Yeah and the 97% was about the climatologists doing formal climate change science.

How useful many of those papers are is another question. And the most useful function Cook's 97% paper serves is to filter out the scientists from the cargo cultists. I find it difficult not to laugh at anybody who considers the 97% paper a high quality scientific research result that is meaningful for the climate change action/inaction debate. In a way Cook was unintentionally sabotaging his own camp by putting out such nonsense, and sort of descending into self parody of everything that's wrong with politicized AGW alarmism.

about three weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

You keep on insisting that AGW catastophism and AGW are basically the same thing. They are not. The first one you made up, the second is real.

I didn't insist that they are the same thing. I am well aware that they are not the same thing, and that's why the 97% number (even if rigorously derived, which I doubt) is not particularly relevant to the climate change action/inaction debate. Richard Lindzen could easily fall under the 97%.

97% of climatologists agree that the evidents to global warming caused by humans.

What does that even mean? Are you drunk?

Stop pretending this is not the case by lumping in loonies with scientists.

I agree with that approach. In general, we need to distinguish between formal climate science, which is largely a rational undertaking that aims to be useful, versus political agendas. Like the way certain loonies at the IPCC politicize this stuff, focus on unimportant or misleading elements[1], remove statements of uncertainty in the summaries[2], and blow warnings way out of proportion into Armageddon[3].

[1] Such as the (in)famous hockey stick, endlessly presented as the face of the IPCC reports for its shock value, even though it's not really as shocking as it seems when you understand how it was put together, e.g. dropping all of Briffa's tree ring proxies after 1960 or so because they didn't fit the desired curve, yet retaining earlier values from the series because they "fit the narrative".
[2] In fact, the actual peer reviewed academic material assembled by the IPCC tends to be very cautious in tone, and most people would be surprised to learn that the wild eyed AGW catastrophism associated with it has more to do with people's opinions (including scientists' opinions, don't get me wrong), but is not so much driven by the research itself.
[3] For example "All the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035! Doom! Flee for the hills!"

about three weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

With computers, an output derived from garbage input is rarely useful. But perhaps the computation will help heat the server room. :p

about three weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

And saying "scientists" question it is an illegitimate statement. No one cares what a neurobiologist thinks of climate, and no one cares what a climatoligy thinks of nuerobiology. A non-expert is still a non-expert, even if he happens to be a scientist in some other field.

I agree with you on one level, and disagree on another. It is perfectly fine for a generic "scientist" to audit and evaluate scientific methods of another scientist. You don't have to be a biologist to criticize faulty statistics in one of our sadly abundant faulty medical studies. And similarly, if climate scientists claim more than is warranted by the data, you don't have to be a climate scientist to raise your hand and say "there's a problem with your handling of this data". Math is math, and statistics is statistics, and the kinds of errors people can make are really the same in a fundamental way across disciplines.

about three weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

Now, if you want to predict exactly how much global temperatures will increase in the next 100 years or the next ten years, then yes, you need very complex models. If you want to understand what forces are behind those trends, you do not need complex models at all.

Carbon sensitivity can make the difference between an expectation of climate change catastrophe, versus the anthropogenic component being dwarfed in the long term by the fluctuations of natural variability. As far as I can tell, the urgency or non-urgency of the climate change debate rests on this piece. And we don't know the answer to it.

about three weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

You can't calculate carbon sensitivity on the back of a napkin, and that's what everything depends on.

about three weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

Anybody who denies AGW catastrophism is termed a "denier" and the 97% number is trotted out to refute them. So it's fair to point out that the number 97% is "nonsense" when used for that purpose. Even if the paper wasn't shoddy in its methods, its conclusion would be useless for the AGW alarmism debate, because pretty much everybody believes that climate changes and that humans "play a role".

about three weeks ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

sideslash Re:Careful what you wish for (497 comments)

It's just a figure of speech, but that would be really funny.

about three weeks ago

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