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Scientists Fight Back In Canada

smidget2k4 Re:Reality's well-known biases (277 comments)

I'm sorry, but what do you mean by "follow the money"? How do you think scientists get paid? They get a salary from their university. There, I followed the money for you. Grants can only cover lab equipment, grad students (lab equipment), and experiments. You are not allowed to spend grant money on anything else.

Please provide some evidence to back up your insinuation that "Scientists" are... what? Bought by someone? Have some sort of political agenda? Please also cite evidence for the "growing philosophy of post-normal science", because, being a scientist, I have not encountered it in any of the fields that I work in.

more than 3 years ago
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Hunters Shot Down Google Fiber

smidget2k4 Re:Immature and Gun Happy (1141 comments)

Here in the US we're still going strong after 9 years with no signs of slowing down. So... yes, apparently.

more than 3 years ago
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Hunters Shot Down Google Fiber

smidget2k4 Re:Immature and Gun Happy (1141 comments)

Huh? What? Dude, I'm trying to play some Halo here.

more than 3 years ago
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Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life

smidget2k4 Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (145 comments)

Science does not and cannot work by anecdote and hearsay alone. If the studies are not published, peer reviewed, and tested, then you could never say anything actually worked, it would all just be rumor. If quantum mechanics had never bothered to publish the enormous amount empirical observations that back up their theory, people would think they are quacks. Quantum mechanics, when you explain it in a vacuum, sounds absolutely insane.

There are certainly things about the mind that we don't know. And there are things about physics that we don't know. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Quantum mechanics was able to meet the criteria, as weird as it is. Other fields making extraordinary claims must live up to those same criteria, otherwise it would be inappropriate to call any of it science.

Also, please stop throwing James Randi's name around like a pejorative. He does excellant work exposing how charlatans perform their "magic", as has been the tradition of the pinnacle magician. Scientists and science-minded people appreciate his work and find it entertaining, but he certainly doesn't speak for scientists or researchers and is not part of the scientific community.

more than 3 years ago
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Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life

smidget2k4 Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (145 comments)

If they got very good results, then where are the break-thru papers? The experimentally tested and verified results? The peer review?

Science can accept wild phenomena if they are true, but without data, verification, and appropriate rigor, none of this is shown to be any more than simply talk. As far as I know, all proper studies on "psychic ability" showed that the participants were no better than random at any task they were given. The only ones that have every shown anything are the ones published in "alternative medicine" journals, and have obvious experimental flaws.

more than 3 years ago
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Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life

smidget2k4 Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (145 comments)

Precisely, and it should be added that all science says is "this is the best model that we have at this time with the tools available". It is likely that as our understanding of the universe grows, new phenomena will be discovered.

The point is that we don't know what we'll discover in the future, but we can use our current model to guide us. If the current model turns out to not be accurate, append it or replace it with a better one.

Nido, what it feels like you are driving at is that a supernatural force is required somewhere (if I am wrong with that assumption, please correct me). However, because this force is supernatural, we by definition have no means by which we can understand it, as our observations are limited to the natural world. If, somehow in the future, we were somehow able to detect a supernatural thing by something we could observe, then absolutely science would amend itself appropriately. But until then, we must work with the tools we have, which right now are confined to the universe that we live in. Making baseless assumptions about the universe at best does nothing constructive for our understanding, and at worst would hinder or destroy our progress.

more than 3 years ago
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Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life

smidget2k4 Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (145 comments)

Well stated, thank you, I agree wholeheartedly. I also cannot think of what quantum mechanics has to do with religious belief. Apparently, according to him, we have to spend ten years studying quantum mechanics and information physics before we'll get what he's talking about. Because I'm sure he has.

more than 3 years ago
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Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life

smidget2k4 Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (145 comments)

It also says:

"Modern philosophical materialists extend the definition of other scientifically observable entities such as energy, forces, and the curvature of space."

OK, so old materialists had that view. To be fair, when materialism was created, they had no knowledge of energy or forces. Artifakt is using an ancient, outdated definition.

more than 3 years ago
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Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life

smidget2k4 Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (145 comments)

Ah the classic, "you don't know what this, so you're dumb, but I'm not going to tell you what it is!" rhetorical move. Very nice. According to this, materialism is just that there is no magic "soul" or "spirit" and everything is simply composed of matter and energy. This seems to be in line with general scientific thought: science doesn't need to account for something that isn't observably there.

Philosophy of science classes just teach the ideas behind the scientific method, how it came to be, and how the early scientists worked. I don't see what relevance that class has to anything you're talking about, this is not a philosophy that scientists are pushing on people, it is the history of scientific pursuit and tools to be used for future work. There is no agenda, scientists aren't trying to push the ideology on you. The evidence says that is what happened, so they report it. Because you feel persecuted by it because it doesn't jive with your beliefs doesn't make it wrong. It doesn't make it right either, it is simply the best idea we have given the evidence presented thus far. That is all science is.

Your last paragraph is nonsensical. Why do we have to give up quantum mechanics? There is nothing magical about it. It may not even be how things work, it just makes very good predictions. What argument are we following to its logical conclusion? You are simply making statements without fully explaining them. What do atheists have to reject about quantum mechanics?

more than 3 years ago
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National Park Service Says Tech Is Enabling Stupidity

smidget2k4 Re:Charge for support (635 comments)

"Yeah, sure. It, along with the Republicans, is busy reinforcing the idea that the free market is here to take care of all your wants and desires. You have a problem? Call the free market, it's supposed to take care of you in every way possible.

This is the very predictable outcome of conservative policies that encourage people to trust companies for everything rather than look to themselves to take care of themselves."

FTFY. Yay off-topic idiotic knee jerk rhetoric! It can easily swing both ways.

more than 3 years ago
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Steam Prompts OS X Graphics Update

smidget2k4 Re:True. (313 comments)

This is precisely why I own a Mac laptop. I'm a graduate student in CS, and with my Macbook as my primary work computer, I need a *nix compatible operating system but don't have time to dick around for 2 days getting an Xserver working with a new graphics card (though Ubuntu has made this a late easier than a few years ago). I have a cheapo desktop PC/server that I use for that.

Using Windows would be almost impossible for any serious computing when all high performance clusters I've come in contact with at various universities use Linux or Solaris and I need to test the code locally before launching a job. Desktop Linux, up until recently, was an unstable option.

(Note: I do now own a netbook with Ubuntu 10.04 UNR on it and it is a pleasure to use for writing in a coffee shop or somewhere I'm not guaranteed a power outlet).

about 4 years ago
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NASA Universe-Watching Satellite Losing Its Cool

smidget2k4 Re:Fahrenheit... (153 comments)

[Pedant mode on]

Kelvin isn't a measure of degree, it is a unit. You say 12 Kelvin, not 12 degrees Kelvin.

[Pedant mode off]

about 4 years ago
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Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says

smidget2k4 Re:More Info & Dashboard (1657 comments)

And if you are going to ignore scientific data, I expect you to not do it selectively when it inconveniences you.

You may leave all of your technology at the door and live in a mud hut as well. MUD HUT PARTY!

about 4 years ago
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Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says

smidget2k4 Re:More Info & Dashboard (1657 comments)

I'm sorry that science is too hard for you. Not everything in science can be boiled down to a clean little experiment. That does not mean that the evidence is not convincing or converging.

about 4 years ago
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Java IO Faster Than NIO

smidget2k4 Re:Java counterpart to XNA? (270 comments)

I... just... I don't even know what to say to this other than to echo the other comment.

Really? That's your argument?

about 4 years ago
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Your Online Education Experience?

smidget2k4 Re:College (428 comments)

College is what you make of it. As someone said above, if you're interested in education, you'll learn. If you're interested in being trained for a job, you'll do that work and not much else.

about 4 years ago
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Dutch Agency Admits Mistakes In UN Climate Report

smidget2k4 Re:Anecdotes != Data (447 comments)

Then provide some damn citations (I'd expect at least a few tens of them, since after all, "ALL climate research said that"). I don't feel like researching your wild and inaccurate claims.

more than 4 years ago
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Measuring LAMP Competency?

smidget2k4 Re:More than just knowledge (453 comments)

You'll only get shitty applicants unless you are paying them a king's ransom to be in your little contest.

more than 4 years ago
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The Hobby of Energy Secretary Steven Chu

smidget2k4 Re:He is not good at handling social conflicts. (177 comments)

He was referring to BP donating $500mil to his alternative energy research lab at UC Berkeley in 2007, two years before he got the job. He was understandably excited about what the new money was going to get his lab.

From your article:

"The institute to date has launched 68 programs in five research areas: feedstock development, biomass depolymerization, biofuels production, enhanced hydrocarbon recovery and the socio-economic impacts of cellulosic biofuels development. More than 300 researchers are working to develop affordable and renewable sources of energy. And the program has produced a 320-acre energy farm that works as a "living laboratory" for developing promising biofuel feedstocks and studying greenhouse gas emissions. "

And the problem with that is...?

more than 4 years ago
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Climategate and the Need For Greater Scientific Openness

smidget2k4 Re:Can you spell W H I T E W A S H ? (701 comments)

I've done my own research and read the emails. The researchers there may be dicks, yes, but nothing nefarious was going on. Climateaudit and Wattsupwiththat are both tend to cherry pick data points that don't agree with the overall assessment, and then say "OMG THE WHOLE THING IS WRONG BECAUSE COLORADO'S WEATHER ISN'T GOING NUTS!"

Blogs are not the place for reputable criticism. I could just as easily point you to http://realclimate.org which are actually scientists at CRU, NOAA, and NASA to debunk all of your conspiracy theories. I would like (and have searched for, but maybe just not hard enough) published, peer reviewed evidence that climate science as we know it is actually incorrect. Not just Mann, et al (who do sound like they are douchebags), but the entire rest of the field.

more than 4 years ago

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