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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:left/right apocalypse (418 comments)

>Then there's the "Hiding the decline" remark

No. There isn't. Quoting somebody out of context is a fallacy, a variation of the strawman fallacy, ignoring the context in which it was used means you are ignoring what it actually meant.

You don't KNOW what that context was do you ? You have no idea what sentence came before do you ? What came after ?

So how can you imagine you have the slightest idea what the sentence phrase meant ? You don't even know if that was the full sentence.
For all you know that sentence read
"Make sure you remember to input the data we got today or it's absence may hide the decline we're studying".

Now I'll leave finding just the paragraph that phrase is from as an exercise for the reader and I'm prepared to bet you won't do it.
Because you don't want to know. Because you know that three separate investigations - who DID know the context all exonerated them, so you KNOW that in context that sentence clearly did not mean anything bad - and you don't want to admit that.

8 hours ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:left/right apocalypse (418 comments)

No, I did not threaten anybody.
I merely made an analogy. I showed, by example, what actually happened to Michael Mann - and how I could confidently say that the same could be done to absolutely anybody, indeed I could confidently predict that it could be done to a stranger since nobody could possibly be immune from it.

8 hours ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:left/right apocalypse (418 comments)

What you just described never happened.

But since you deniers think you can dismiss the evidence we have, and claim the theory is false without presenting a shred of evidence yourselves, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised you also don't think you need evidence to accuse somebody of fraud.
If I steal all your email I bet I could find a few choice sentences to make you look like your guilty of quite a few crimes, especially if I can take those sentences out of context - any decent investigation will quickly clear you of wrongdoing (as no less than 3 investigations found Michael Mann innocent) - though of course, if I have a nice big PR budget and a lot of political clout and I shout those alegations loud enough from the rooftops I could certainly convince quite a lot of diehards of your guilt.

What would you like to be branded as ? Pedophile ? Child-murderer ? None would be hard, and you'll still find people thinking you had been guilty ten years later.

But by all means - keep doing unto others what you sure as fuck wouldn't want done to you.

12 hours ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:Riiiiiight, because that's what this issue... (418 comments)

So what you're saying is... you like when science gives you information but anybody who tries to use that information for anything useful shouldn't be taken seriously ?

I'm pretty sure that your ivory tower vision of science died with the ancient Greek empire.

yesterday
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:History is written in the geologic record. (418 comments)

I know you think those are counter-arguments but they really are not.
The greatest diversity tends to exist immediately AFTER mass extinctions - with all the competition dead the survivors rapidly mass diversify because practically anything can survive.
Soon as the actual numbers of INDIVIDUALS go up though, the number of species starts declining again because competition is restored.

No doubt the kind of climate change humans could bring about would lead to massive diversity of life - but only after killing of the vast majority of the lifeforms here right now - including, quite possibly, ourselves.

What survives mass extinctions is generally not (typical) evolutionary advantage but sheer dumb luck because evolution adapts creatures over a long time to a particular environment. Being able to survive in a radically different environment which arises (relatively) rapidly isn't a result of natural selection over the previous generations (which selected for the old environment) but of by sheer dumb luck *also* having some traits suitable for this new environment.
We have ZERO reason to believe that humans can survive in anything other than the temperate climate phase we evolved for, and even if we did - we certainly can't assume our kind of developed existence is possible in the aftermath - it may take thousands of years to build something comparable to our world again.

yesterday
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:left/right apocalypse (418 comments)

And they have, very accurately. Some surprizes along the way but those didn't affect the over-all theory at all - they did however, like good scientists should, subsequently refine the theory to account for the surprises.
Theories are seldom born perfect, they get proposed working for "most" situations observed and then graudually refined by many scientists - often over many generations to work out why the exceptions are, in fact, exceptions.
Very, very rarely you find an exception that simply cannot be explained - that isn't just some variable previously unaccounted for - that is, in fact, evidence that the theory has a fundamental flaw - when that happens, we write a new theory partly from scratch to account for it (problems with Mercury's orbit was the unexplainable exception for Newton and directly lead to Relativity for example) - even THEN the original theories do not cease to be useful (because science isn't a true/false thing but a useful-for-understanding thing) we put a man on the moon using Newton many decades after we knew Newton's laws were flawed - they are more than accurate enough for hitting a target as big as the moon though and a lot simpler to calculate with than relativity.

yesterday
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:left/right apocalypse (418 comments)

>Hypothetically, what do you suggest for when the experts are untrustworthy? Or is this impossible in your worldview?

We don't trust the experts to begin with - hell they don't even trust each other ! We trust the scientific method - which is designed to protect humanity from many sources of bad faith, including, but not limited to - untrustworthy authorities.
Of course sometimes experts are untrustworthy, but when they are - the scientific method reveals them and they get ostracised from science - a recent high-profile case would be Andrew Wakefield, prior to committing fraud and ethics violations so he could get kickbacks from a lawfirm - the man was considered one of the greatest experts in his field. Subsequent to the discovery of his fraud - his career is utterly destroyed.

yesterday
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

silentcoder Re:left/right apocalypse (418 comments)

>Yes, we get it: people who doubt evolution are not of your tribe - they think badthought and no tolerance can be shown to other tribes.

See the resemblence ?
If you want to debate science - fine, but then give us science in response. Give us observations contradictory to what we have. Give us a better hypotheses to explain those observations or give us evidence that our hypotheses is wrong.
Those are you three options. Fuck-all else has meaning and the correct response to all other replies is, indeed, to tell you to shut the fuck up.

yesterday
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

silentcoder Re:Evolution isn't earth-origin theory. (641 comments)

Well I was talking about creation myths in general and about what they usually have in common and why this leads people to conflate together three theories with completely different histories and status in science. Hell one is a biological theory expressed in words and another is a physics theory expressed in mathematical equations.

I wasn't particularly concerned about whether any specific creation story could be read in a way that is more accurate.

I'm also well aware that within Christianity genesis is an area of significant debate - the official Catholic faith has accepted the scientific view for a long time - so do many Calvinists as well while others cling to an extremely literal interpretation flat out contradicting scientific evidence.
The main difference seems to be in just how directly involved they believe God to be in every moment of their lives. The reason the "evolution was God's tool" interpretation is rejected by the fundamentalists is because it means God used a tool that does *not* require constant intervention.
Their God is a bureaucrat and the suggestion that he may not be editing every file at every moment (or at least, doesn't HAVE to be) is problematic to their definition of power.

yesterday
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

silentcoder Re:Evolution isn't earth-origin theory. (641 comments)

>So... Turtles all the way down, then

Mmm, I hadn't thought about that but yes actually.

Of course, every good scientist who mentions this hypotheses also tells you that it's (currently at least) impossible to prove and shouldn't be taken as fact, it's possible but we don't know.That's perhaps the most important difference between science and religion: science is never afraid to admit ignorance.

yesterday
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

silentcoder Re:Evolution isn't earth-origin theory. (641 comments)

It is also not abiogeneses theory.

Religious people tend to lump these together because most creation myths cover both Earth-origin (and Universe-origin mind you) as well as life-creation.
All of them assuming that life-creation basically got right to present-day creatures from the start (with a few rare stories where a particular new species is created in a myth in an almost evolution-life story).
In the case of the Christian creation myth in particular - no such exceptions exist, so for Christian creationists big-bang, solary-system formation and evolution are all intruding on something they explain with a single (unscientific) story.
Hence they tend to lump the science together as well.

Of course this is ironic and silly - abiogenesis at this stage has no firm answers or theories, it has a few ideas but none have any significant supporting evidence yet.
Evolution was hailed as a scientific breakthrough since first published and been validated with only minor corrections ever since.
The Big Bang (like black holes) on the other hand was despised by scientists when they first realized that Einstein's theories had it as a possibility, physicists do not like singularities and to them the Big Bang theory was little more than creationism ! The fact that popes had embraced it by the 1960's actually HARMED It's acceptance in science.
It wasn't until decades later as the evidence mounted that the big bang theory became mainstream science - something helped in no small part by the growing evidence for black holes (another hated singularity).
Indeed the hypotheses that black holes in one universe are the big bangs of another universe was first proposed because it would take a universe with two types of known singularities and at least reduce it to ONE singularity, and importantly - one we understand a lot more about !
If that hypotheses is true - then the "other side" of the big bang theory isn't a mystery - it's a black hole in another universe created by a supermassive star collapsing under it's own gravity.

2 days ago
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20 More Cities Want To Join the Fight Against Big Telecom's Broadband Monopolies

silentcoder Re:Not quite a monopoly (97 comments)

Telecoms is a fairly clear-cut case of a natural monopoly and will always tend to favour monopolization.
I generally hold that it's in the public's interest if natural monopolies are tax-funded rather than provided by companies. Companies without competition have no reason to care about consumers, no market to control costs or improve value - so a government that is accountable to voters is actually MORE free market in a natural monopoly than a private company (since the voters and the consumers are the same people).

2 days ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

silentcoder Re:Obvious to Engineers (184 comments)

I provided you proof that he said what I say he said - including which episode it was said in, if you want the original source - get it yourself, it's copyrighted you know.

3 days ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

silentcoder Re:Obvious to Engineers (184 comments)

>I've entertained your references there, and they don't provide a theory or an explanation of how Earth could have a runaway greenhouse effect such as that posited for Venus. They are of no value toward verification of your ideas.

I NEVER said the Earth COULD have such an effect on that scale, nor in fact that Tyson - though he certainly hinted at the possibility.
I said that Neil De Grasse Tyson says the proximity of Venus to the sun had little or no impact *there* - and I gave you proof that he said that.

>The Earth isn't wrapped in foil. It is exposed to the same radiation as Venus, but at a lower exposure.
Venus has no ozone layer for one - there's at least one layer of foil right there.

> That is why the Earth is cooler than Venus. I don't need a degree in Astrophysics to understand that.

But somebody who has a PHD in astrophysics claims that there were sufficient other factors that the proximity was not a factor (most likely - it was simply cancelled out by those factors). You're the one who, admittedly, is arguing about something you are not an expert on, with somebody who *is* an expert on it and has researched it extensively under extreme scientific scrutiny.
Therefore the burden of proof is on you to show that the data he cited was incorrectly measured, the theory explaining that data flawed or provide some other evidence that the theory is wrong.
He has already SATISFIED the burden of proof to support it, you can't shoot it down because of "common sense" you need EVIDENCE.

> have seen nothing from the global warming fanatics but fearmongering, and no real science
Then you haven't been paying attention to the scientists talking about it.

>Science requires verification against collected data, not against quotes from website summaries.
But I never claimed to BE a scientist, I merely told you what an expert scientist says about your claim (i.e. that it's false) it's HIS job to provide evidence for his claims and believe me if a scientist of his calibre says something that public without strong evidence his career would be *over*. The scientific community would completely ostracize him Andrew Wakefield style.
Forget what politicians like Al Gore says - I don't care what he says *either* - but I do pay attention when SCIENTISTS show me solid cause and effect and the effect.

And now I AM going to make some claims:
Since you like ultra-oversimplified metaphors so much and think they count as arguments - here's mine.
If you light a fire out of 100kg of wood and dump a bar of iron in it, the iron will not melt.
Yet for centuries we've been melting iron in wood-fired forges often with less wood than 100kg.

Why does the forge work and the open fire doesn't ? Because in the open fire most of the heat radiates away into the cooler air, while the forge is contained in material with low heat-transmission and so most of the energy remains within that confined space, and the same amount of heat causes a MUCH higher temperature.

As Tyson also said: "It's basic physics, energy cannot be destroyed or created. If the energy is arriving here, and not leaving at the same rate, then the earth must heat up".

That's how basic the physics is.

Nothing in climate science, nothing in chaos theory and sure as fuck nothing in political philosophy will change the laws of physics. If you add more than you take out, the total increases. It really is THAT simple.

3 days ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

silentcoder Re:Obvious to Engineers (184 comments)

>Your claim that Tyson said something in an episode of Cosmos is not a citation.

It's hardly difficult to verify.
And here is a description of the episode and the opening sequence I was talking about:
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2...

And here is some deniers complaining BECAUSE he said it:
http://thefederalist.com/2014/...

>Common sense had better apply to most theories
It doesn't because common sense was evolved to deal with extreme macro-level abstractions based on extremely imperfect measuring devices known as "human senses" after being passed through a network of filters and prejudices in the brain before we're even aware of them.
There is no common sense to the idea that if I run faster my watch will run slower that's why Newton never considered such a thing and nobody else did for 500 years - until Einstein proved it.
Now on my pocket watch at the rate I can run, the difference is too small too measure, but stick an atomic clock on a plane and another perfectly synced one on the ground and compare them after a supersonic flight - guess what, the one on the plane is now behind, because time runs slower as you accelerate.
And thats one of the *EASY* ones.

>If you hold your hand closer to a light bulb or a heating element, it will get warmer.

And if you wrap one hand in reflective foil and hold it even closer it may STILL not get as warm as the bare hand.
Many, many things determine how much heat something gets beyond distance. It's quite easy to believe that with just a few variables right, Venus and Earth could have receive about the same amount of heat at some point. At least, to people who are versed in science.

"Common sense is the greatest enemy of science" - Albert Einstein (a man who, coincidentally, is famous for theories that are all completely and utterly in violation of common sense).
Many scientists have remarked that the most amazing thing about the universe is that it makes any sense at all - expecting it to make COMMON sense, a silly set of human abstraction devoid of critical thought... that's asking WAY too much.

3 days ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

silentcoder Re:Obvious to Engineers (184 comments)

I didn't make claims - I merely said that Tyson said (in an episode of Cosmos actually) that Venus's being closer to the sun had little or no impact on it's climate but greenhouse gasses did.
That is ONE claim - singular, with a citation.

You've given no evidence at all for your disagreement.

You started out with zero credibility (since I have no reason to believe you), and instead of gaining some by citing good sources or pointing me at evidence you cited "common sense" - which causes anybody who knows anything about science to immediately give you NEGATIVE credibility.

Hint: the real world hardly EVER complies with common sense. Common sense was great at making YOUR ancestor the human who did NOT get eaten by a lion before procreating, but it's absolutely USELESS for absolutely ALL OTHER THINGS.

3 days ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

silentcoder Re:Obvious to Engineers (184 comments)

>A: Its more distant orbit from the Sun.

You say that, and Neil De Grasse Tyson specifically says that Neptune's closer orbit had no significant impact on it's climate and that prior to massive greenhouse gasses, all the evidence suggests it was quite similar to early earth - especially it's climate, without that impact, Venus may have had as much life as Earth does.

So now I wait for you to show me why I should trust YOUR claims about Astrophysics more than Tyson's - a PHD in Astrophysics along with your (or at least SOMEBODY's) peer reviewed and published research which has disproved the theory he cited would do. Thank you.

3 days ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

silentcoder Re:It remains unfortunate that this issue is so... (184 comments)

>Because Americans don't appreciate telling them which car to buy

Which is why no car company has ever bothered to waste their money on advertising in America, right ?

3 days ago
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Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

silentcoder Oh boy... here we go again (184 comments)

Scientists: "Our studies have increased our knowledge of the climate, which will help us to make our models even more accurate and refine our generic theories further giving even better immediacy to the results"

Deniers: "See, scientists still know nothing about the climate - they are constantly finding things that influence it which they didn't know about before so we should just ignore whatever they say about it forever"

Deniers with rabies: "See, humans can't possibly be influencing the climate because there are all these huge natural forces more powerful than us and there's no way humans could EVER change their environment and even though we always change it to suit ourselves surely none of our changes could ever have negative unintended consequences - only governments and LAWS have unintended consequences because guvmit is evil and this whole thing is just a giant hoax they made up because they hate my SUV"

3 days ago
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NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

silentcoder Re:my thoughts (372 comments)

Fair point, but Ebola has no chance of doing the same. You have to put the disease in context.

If you want a worst-case scenario for Ebola in the US - this little history should suffice:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

Disease fatality rate at the time: higher than Ebola.
Disease spreading rate (and ease to catch): much higher.
Patient zero spread-risk factor: orders of magnitude higher than anybody exposed to Ebola in the US.
Higiene and care levels: far lower than today.
Level of panic: comparably exaggerated.
Quarantine protocols: major screwup.
Medical knowledge: 100 years less of it.

Total deathtoll: 53.

So it's rather unlikely Ebola will get that much done. My point was that if it is evolving this rapidly, that is good for Liberia - the US risk factor will barely be affected on the basis that it's so close to zero that the change from this won't be statistically measurable.

5 days ago

Submissions

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Lucasfilm threatens company for making lasers.

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

silentcoder (1241496) writes "Lucasfilm has sent a cease and desist letter to the poducers of a powerful hand-held laser device meant primarily for industrial work claiming it resembles the lightsabers from the copyrighted Star Wars films too much. The manufactuers, Hong-Kong based Wicked Lasers, deny any correlation between their product and the lightsabers in the films. An interesting side question arises however: can a company owning the idea for a fictional technology later prevent somebody from creating a real product even if is directly inspired ? Would Steven Spielberg be able to stop anybody from making a time-machine in an automobile? Will Lucasfilm be going after the Martin Aircraft Company next because Boba Fett had a jetpack ?"
Link to Original Source
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New dinosaur species discovered in South Africa

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

silentcoder (1241496) writes "Scientists at Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa today announced the discover of a previously unknown species of dinosaur. The new species was named Aardonyx Celestae from the Afrikaans word for "earth" and the Greek for claw,. Earthclaw which is particularly interesting as it provides a crucial link between the early dinosaurs and the later giant Sauropods was discovered during a routine dig on a farm the northern FreeState (South-Africa's most central province). Two other species were discovered on the same site, but their announcement will only happen later after further laboratory testing has been done."
Link to Original Source
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The first Kongoni Screenshots ever

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

silentcoder writes "With their first public release just days away, the kongoni project a GNU/Linux distribution originated in Africa and designed to be a fully-free desktop-friendly system on a BSD-like architecture lead developer A.J. Venter has released a full set of screenshots showing the "baseline" release in action. The baseline is intended to provide common platform for the further development of the system and as such represents a new approach to the development of a community distribution. It allows all potential contributors to work on a common installable platform without huge investments in server and bandwidth infrastructure.

The official release anouncement is expected within days."

Link to Original Source
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KDE releases version 4.1.1

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

silentcoder writes "The KDE project announced the first major update to KDE4.1 today. Version 4.1.1's changelog is largely focussed on performance improvements and bugfixes. The desktop shell, plasma, had numerous improvements in this regard which should be the most immediately user-visible.

With each KDE4 release the project seems to be edging closer to true next-generation desktop that was promised and despite the initial 4.0 controversy is becoming ever more widely adoptable. The particular focus on performance improvements are especially telling of a renewed commitment to giving users what they want."

Link to Original Source
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Office2007 fails ISO 29500 compliancy tests.

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

silentcoder writes "Groklaw picked up the story that OOXML documents created with Office 2007 do not actually conform to the OOXML standard as it was approved for ISO 29500. After a much criticized voting process, extensively discussed on /. and elsewhere one major point seems to have been overlooked by the ISO members: the fast track process is only for standards that are already implemented. Since Office 2007 is not in fact capable of creating OOXML documents that conform to the published standard where is this implementation ?
Much more details on the nature of the failures, who did the tests and it's further meaning for the industry (right back to square one: playing catch-up forever) in the article."

Link to Original Source

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