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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

somepunk FDR said it eighty years ago (441 comments)

"the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"

about a month ago
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Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

somepunk It's not built into our moral wetware.. (140 comments)

But not taking action has consequences, too. Rather scary ones, in this case, I think one could argue. Maybe the responsible thing to do is to is to take a more deliberative role in how our species is altering the environment, rather than just allowing ourselves to continue to alter it according to maladapted systems and nonconscious collective behavior.

about a month ago
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Students From States With Faster Internet Tend To Have Higher Test Scores

somepunk I see a strong correlation (175 comments)

between articles submitted with the term "correlation" in the summary, and with comments taking the article to task for being wrong about correlation implying causation.

Nevermind that most of the articles make no such claim at all.

But is it causal? Hmm..

about a month ago
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The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

somepunk Re:We're Robots too (255 comments)

Reminds me of some other science paper which said that no machine can ever be conscious.

Perhaps they were right. I don't think anyone's ever proved humans are conscious either, except by defining it that way.

about 4 months ago
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A Look at Smart Gun Technology

somepunk Re:Need Smart Gun Owners (765 comments)

To solve this, though, we don't need smart guns, we need smart gun owners.

Good luck with that. While your impractal solution fails to be implemented, the rest of us would prefer to have one in place that saves lives.

We can agree that the problem is people. That doesn't mean that the workable solution involves fixing those people.

about 5 months ago
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Virtual Reality: Purpose Beyond Gaming

somepunk they missed the grand-daddy of em all.. (72 comments)

Flight simulators. Of course, we've been using VR for these for decades, so it's not exactly news..

about 5 months ago
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It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

somepunk A lot of progress needs to be made first (470 comments)

Science education at the primary level has long emphasized the products of science, with little regard for the process. Science teachers are a product of this system as much as everyone else. Most of them just aren't equipped to draw a distinction between science and pseudoscience.

Mumbling something about falsifiability isn't going to fly without motivating it and showing evidence, whether or not they have internalized those concepts themselves. Holding them to higher standards won't help, as there aren't enough qualified individuals to go around, unless some sort of mass teaching approach becomes the norm, and it's hard to see that working well with kids.

This is not an educational problem. It's a cultural problem, and it needs a broader approch.

about 6 months ago
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NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

somepunk Re:Realistically (402 comments)

Nobod's suggesting we send colonists! Well, nobody serious.

We've sent a lot of probes to Mars in the last couple of decades, a number of which soft-landed. A mission to take astronaust to Martian orbit could be done in a few years, with proper funding. A more likely scenario is landing and getting back, that would take a couple of decades to plan and develop, but it isn't really that far fetched.

about 6 months ago
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Researchers: Rats Didn't Spread Black Death, Humans Did

somepunk actually, it was the fleas. (135 comments)

Pneumonic plague being transmitted by air isn't news. It's a form of the disease that gets into your lungs, after all. Also, the primary vector isn't rats at all, but fleas, which often go directly from person to person.

The article's credibility is not helped at all when it mentions the plague virus, when it is actually caused by a bacterium.

about 6 months ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

somepunk another idea (653 comments)

Ok, you can't send em back, and the gov't says they aren't legal here. Why not a third destination?

about 6 months ago
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Is DIY Brainhacking Safe?

somepunk Re:It's called "DIY Brainhacking" (183 comments)

simple, just use the existing, tried 'n true APIs until the new ones are vetted. I hack on my brain all the time. All the sane kids are doing it!

about 6 months ago
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US Intelligence Officials To Monitor Federal Employees With Security Clearances

somepunk It's turtles all the way down (186 comments)

Who watches the watchers watching the watchers watching the watchers?

about 7 months ago
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Sniffing Out Cancer With Electronic Noses

somepunk Re:Early Detection (22 comments)

Some treatment, maybe, possibly harmful, but not chemotherapy. That stuff is saved for the real hard cases, not dubious initial diagnoses. There's a lot of ambiguity and overreaction in medicine, but I don't think much of it is here.

about 7 months ago
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US Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index

somepunk rankings will always be suspect (357 comments)

haven't you ever spent time going over product reviews loaded with benchmark charts? small variations mean very little, but when there are closely spaced items, it can really mix up the rankings. Learn some math, people!

about 7 months ago
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Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

somepunk why math works (745 comments)

1) physical sciences are based on measurements. all the fancy theory follows from these!
2) measurements are numbers.
3) Profit!

about 7 months ago
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Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK "A Success"

somepunk Re:Standard practice... (192 comments)

Not every 70th part is the same. Not homogenous. There's different stuff on the surface, probably a couple layers, and then there's the germ of the seed vs the bulk which is food for the germinating plant, and so on.

about 8 months ago
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First Global Map Outside the Solar System

somepunk curious orientation (19 comments)

The large scale structure seems to stretch between the poles, at fairly constant longitude, rather than around the axis at fairly constant latitude, like every other atmosphere we've encountered. Is there some reason they are really that way, or is it some artifact of the data gathering and rerduction?

about 8 months ago

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