Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"
Now would you call the science on that subejct "settled"? Would it still have been "settled" if he proved himself wrong with that stunt?
The point is that science isn't ever "perfect", but at some point, it is good enough to be useful. At that point you can call it "settled". It doesn't mean that all research and understanding of the subject is complete, but, for at least some aspects of it are well enough understood to the point where further argument of them becomes fruitless.
I also think you are grossly mischaracterizing what amounts to healthy scientific skepticism of his hypothesis until he had evidence to back it up. Yes, he was right, and the research eventually supplied the needed evidence to validate his claims. That's the way science works, and should work. You can't just make a claim and expect people to accept it on your say-so alone. Up until then, the science had been "settled", just as it is now with his work, and, until the next person comes along and upsets the applecart, it is "settled".
I think the problem is in the way lay people (mis)use and/or (mis)understand scientific terms, like "theory", not with the method and practice of science itself.
PC Game Prices — Valve Starts the Race To Zero
Maybe I am just old-school, but I don't see the attraction to F2P games (in terms of alternate monetization methods -- not totally free games). I would much rather pay a fair (but not exorbitantly high) price up-front for a game I think I would like, or have heard about, or even played the trial version of, rather than downloading for free, and dealing with micropayments, in-game advertising, or other bullshit when I just want to relax and get a little entertainment, an escape from all that crap.
This is the model I plan to use for all my games as well, and I have no plans to use Steam in their distribution, either.
IEEE Predicts 85% of Daily Tasks Will Be Games By 2020
Of course, because everyone on /. is in the same timezone, and has the exact same work hours as the person reading the post!
How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?
Not quite true. The original "huge consensus" rumor was started by an article (NOT a peer-reviewed paper) that appeared in Nature by one Naomi Oreskes, years ago. Oreskes claimed to have surveyed a database of science papers and concluded that none of them (not one) disagreed with the greenhouse gas global warming idea.
Ahh, yes, the old Oreskes essay "scandal". It was not published in Nature, but in Science. Small quibble, but if you're going to be critical of something, at least get your facts correct.
It was soon shown that Oreskes' "study" was in fact a textbook example of cherry-picking. She had searched the database for papers that included the phrase "global climate change". Only those were included in her analysis. The problem with that being that at the time, only papers that were ABOUT the effects of greenhouse gas warming mentioned the phrase "global climate change" at all. So, in effect, she selected out of the scientific literate just the papers about greenhouse global warming, and then conclude that they all agreed about greenhouse global warming! How surprising!
No, it wasn't. It was exactly what it claimed to be. The phrase used did not include the word "global"; it was just "climate change" (which could go either way -- remember all those supposed "global cooling" papers from the 70s? They would still qualify as they referred to "climate change").
Yes, she chose "climate change" because, you know, all those papers on the reproduction cycles of ring-tailed lemurs are not so relevant to the subject.
She did not select papers about greenhouse global warming, as those were not her search terms. The fact that most of the papers that mentioned "climate change" endorsed anthropogenic causes to some degree or another, rather than saying it was something else when they most certainly could, is significant and not a simple result of cherry-picking.
The fact was, of course, that the majority of climate papers were not about greenhouse warming and never mentioned the subject at all. But those weren't counted
Incorrect. 25% of the papers she counted did not endorse or were neutral on the subject of anthropogenic causes. NONE of them rejected it.
Further, her essay was formally challenged by Dr. Benny Peiser, who ended up later retracting his challenge, concluding:
"Only [a] few abstracts explicitly reject or doubt the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) consensus which is why I have publicly withdrawn this point of my critique. [snip] I do not think anyone is questioning that we are in a period of global warming. Neither do I doubt that the overwhelming majority of climatologists is agreed that the current warming period is mostly due to human impact."
This "consensus" idea was bolstered by people claiming that almost all of the "thousands" of scientists behind the latest IPCC report had agreed about it. This, too, was a distortion of the truth. The scientists involved in the AR report at the time numbered in the hundreds. There were about 2,500 or so reviewers, and not all of those were scientists. Further, not all of them actually agreed.
"bolstered by people" By whom? The 97% figures come from several independent studies, most of them dealing with longer periods and an order of magnitude larger sample size than the one Oreskes used. None of them refer to the "thousands of scientists behind the latest IPCC report". I question where you're getting your information, because it isn't from the people performing the actual research.
Shortly after that, the Petition Project was undertaken to show that scientists in fact did not agree. Some 30,000 people with actual science or engineering credentials signed the petition DISagreeing with greenhouse global warming, and their names and professions are still publicly available at petitionproject.org. More than 9,000 of those were PhDs... far more than the 2500 who supposedly agreed, again many of whom had no advanced degrees.
The Petition Project was done by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which is a known house of whackjobs, including Arthur B. Robinson, of hormesis "let's sprinkle a little radiation over the country" fame. It was largely an informal, unverified petition which was more or less a public "opinion poll". It was not anywhere near as well researched as Oreskes' or the other studies which are relevant to the subject.
As for people with PhDs having an opinion on AGW, I think Peter Hadfield summed it up well:
"In between Aaagard and Zylkowski, the first and last names on the petition, are an assortment of metallurgists, botanists, agronomists, organic chemists and so on. ... The vast majority of scientists who signed the petition have never studied climatology and don't do any research into it. It doesn't matter if you're a Ph.D. A Ph.D in metallurgy just makes you better at metallurgy. It does not transform you into some kind of expert in paleoclimatology. ... So the petition's suggestion that everyone with a degree in metallurgy or geophysics knows a lot about climate change, or is familiar with all the research that's been done, is patent crap."
Further, the petition, and the associated manifesto that was attached to it were fraudulently presented to those polled as if it were a peer-reviewed science paper in PNAS. Robinson responded, of course, "I used the Proceedings as a model, but only to put the information in a format that scientists like to read, not to fool people into thinking it is from a journal". Sure you did, Art; sure you did.
Another "study" was done in this last year, which came up with that "97%" figure. Unfortunately, THAT "study" suffered from exactly the same flaw as the discredited Oreskes study: it searched the literature for papers that contained the phrase "global climate change". Self-selection at its finest.
Oreskes' study is not discredited, at least by anyone with any qualifications worth taking seriously. I mean, Monckton discredits it, but he's about as qualified to speak on the subject as BP is on the health benefits of oil spills.
There are two recent independent studies which come to the same conclusions. Cook's and Powell's research looked at 12,000 and 14,000 papers, respectively for the period 1991-2012. Further, they polled the actual authors of the papers in question directly, so it is more than just a simple analysis of the papers.
You seem to take issue with the search term "climate change". What search term do you think would give better results and find those "missing" papers contrary to the consensus view?
And of course then there's the real kicker here: even if these "studies" had not been statistical nonsense, the fact remains that "consensus" is not science. If consensus were a scientifically valid measure of anything, we'd still be in the stone ages.
Science is BUILT on consensus. Do you even know what consensus means? It is the point where scientists stop arguing, and accept a particular understanding as a practical view of reality. Further, they start building on each others' work, which leads to some truly amazing things, like the Internet, the transistor, vaccines, etc. That a tiny percentage of scientists in any particular discipline disagree doesn't change anything -- in fact, it is important for scientists, and the health of science in general, to be skeptical, even of the consensus. It sometimes can help refine/correct the consensus, but it rarely changes the consensus view wholesale. That said, the consensus view allows us to make important decisions, because it is very likely the most correct representation of reality.
Further, our LIVES are built around a consensus understanding of reality. Lay consensus isn't always correct, but the vast majority of the time, it is. For example, the consensus view is that if you put your hand in a flame for long enough, it will get burned and hurt. You don't need to experiment for yourself; you can accept the consensus view and choose not to stick your hand in a fire.
We're never ever going to have unanimity in agreement for everything in science, thus we should never wait for it before we choose to act, especially when time is a factor, like it is with climate change. You can poo-poo about the consensus view all you want, but until someone actually provides an alternative with more support, I think I will take the consensus view as practically correct, and act accordingly. I am still going to be open-minded about challenges and alternatives to it, but I am not waiting around for them.
How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?
I can't speak to the accuracy of historic weather data or modern weather models, but I can say this:
Global Warming / Climate Change (pick one, please) alarmists do themselves an incredible amount of damage when they do the following:
1. Grossly exaggerate predictions and base everything on the worst case they can find.
2. Manipulate charts to make changes look far more significant than they really are.
3. Instantly ridicule anyone who disagrees with them on anything, even if that disagreement is valid.
I'd say that, by your use of the pejorative term "alarmist", you yourself have already violated your own rule #3. Let's see how you fare on the other 2.
Let's say for the sake of argument that all of the predictions from these weather models are 100% accurate, all of the research and data is correct, and that the climate is indeed warming because of CO2 emissions, and that the climate will warm 5 Celsius degrees in the next 200 years. Let's pretend that the science is completely perfect.
Something which is NEVER claimed by anyone researching or participating in climate science, but for the sake of argument, ok.
Ahh, here we are. A gross violation of your first rule. You are basing your judgment of so-called "alarmists" on the worst cases you can find. I don't know of any serious climate scientist or climate change / AGW adherent who says any of these things or, if said, are taken out of context by someone to prove the opposite. Yes, there are some nutjobs who should rightly be called "alarmists", and they say some pretty outlandish and stupid things, but they are far in the minority. What they say shouldn't have any impact on the science or anyone's perception of it. They are simply noise in the signal, and are pretty easily eliminated by even a modicum of critical thinking and a little bit of research.
Do you see why so many people don't listen to those who are trying to push human-caused climate change?
Politics needs to be taken out of the equation. Completely. Everything needs to be 100% transparent. The science needs to be broken down in ways the average person can understand. Even if that happens, it will be decades before the damage the global warming alarmists have caused can be reversed.
I hate to break it to you, but real AGW/CC climate science adherents or "climate hawks" don't take the nutjobs seriously, either. The problem is in terms of where you get your information on the subject. Politics are inserted into the equation by people with an agenda. Understand who is talking, and what their goals/motivations are for telling you the things you are hearing from them, and seek out the source of their information. If they can't or won't provide it, then only take what they say with a heavy dose of skepticism. Everything in climate science is open and accessible (more today than in the past, to be sure), and there are many sites which break down the hard science into more meaningful chunks which the lay person can consume at their leisure.
I think the damage that the "alarmists" (supposedly) have caused pales in comparison by far to what the well-monied climate contrarians have caused. We even see it in *this very article* by Spencer, who grossly violates your own Rule #2. It's easy to dismiss a nutjob statement that is very easy to source and check, like Ted Turner's noise. It is much harder to dismiss deceptions which are carefully and painstakingly constructed for the express purpose of disinformation and obscuring the facts.
So, in the end, you personally violate two of your own rules, and the people you are going to bat for violate the third. Not a very good start to a reasoned take on the subject, don't you think?
How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?
> Did he take funding from the public?
Who? Spencer and Christy? As principal researchers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, they receive quite the plethora of public funding -- research grants from NASA, NOAA, DOE and the DOT. They ALSO get quite a few checks from private sources, including the fossil fuel industry.
> Did he hide his data and refuse FOI requests?
No, they fudge data. I mean *REALLY * fudge data. They fabricate and distort it. (In)Famously, their own UAH satellite temperature record was originally badly flawed, and they were forced to admit it and correct it.
Did he splice together separate graphs or choose outliers?
Worse, as part of their standard modus operandi, Spencer cobbled together a set of graph with disparate cherry-picked parameters to show something that doesn't exist, but fits his own worldview. Basically, fabricating evidence in support of his position/hypotheses.
> Anywhile, still waiting for someone, anyone on the Warmist side to admit that Mann was, or even could be, wrong.
Why would anyone do that? Mann hasn't engaged in *ANY* of these practices. His research and conclusions have withstood the test of time and severe scientific and public scrutiny. All challenges against him have, so far, been dismissed with prejudice (which means, in legal terms, those who challenged him had *ABSOLUTELY NOTHING* to their case when examined with the same level of critical scrutiny Mann's work has been subject to, and were summarily dismissed).
I am still waiting for someone, anyone on the Denier side to admit that they are, or even could be, wrong.
Yeah, I know; that's a long wait for a train don't come.
Under Armour/Lockheed Suit Blamed For US Skating Performance
Heh.. had to fix your fix for me, eh? Fail much?
No, not all significant human endeavors can be substituted there, but it still pretty much makes my point for me, anyway.
So much for "fixing" it for me. :-/
Thanks, I guess.
Under Armour/Lockheed Suit Blamed For US Skating Performance
It's not about pitting the best athletes in the world against one another in a competitive sport, it's all about money and power.
It's a triumph of the corporate spirit.
Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
I live in the far north part of the state, and we had no issues dealing with the snow / icy conditions on the roads. We saw the front coming in, and people either didn't go in to work, or left work early. No disasters that I am aware of occurred.
What you say is a significant part of the problem, but this particular storm and the circumstances and actions of the state and local government offices made it far worse than it otherwise would have been.
First, the system was difficult to predict; the NWS only upgraded its forecast to a "warning" a few hours ahead of the morning rush hour. While, in theory, it should have been plenty enough time, the way such things get to the most people usually take more time than that.
Second, the local TV news didn't take the NWS warning to heart, with local meteorologists disagreeing with the NWS and making their own forecasts that were less severe.
Third, the state and local governments were completely asleep at the wheel. Part of it was the standard "well, if we cry wolf, and it doesn't happen, it'll cost millions of dollars in lost business/revenues/blahblahblah" (whereas, if it DOES happen, and we're not prepared for it, it will cost far more, and it did -- a typical failure of risk management demonstrated over and over again by both conservatives and AGW deniers -- usually the same people, in fact). So, they didn't take it seriously, failing to advise GDOT as well as the local news to tell people to also take it seriously.
Fourth, the weather system itself was particularly dangerous because of the prior days' weather, and the time in which the storm arrived. People don't get that it wasn't the SNOW that was the problem, but the ICE that resulted from the SNOW partially melting / getting compacted. This snow was a loose aggregate powder snow, it came down in very small flakes that you couldn't compress well in your hands into a snowball. However, when you compressed it harder, like under tires, it instantly formed into an ice sheet, which adhered to the road surface like glue.
Fifth, road preparations weren't made because of the short timeframe, not because of the lack of snow/ice road equipment and supplies. GDOT has plenty enough equipment and supplies stockpiled to handle this kind of storm, but it takes /time/ to get it deployed in advance of 1) rush hour traffic, and 2) the weather system itself. At 4AM, which would have been the absolute fastest they could have gotten started deploying salt/gravel, they would have had about 2-3 hours before the morning rush hour gridlock started and that is simply not enough time to get it done. Further, putting down salt/gravel 8 hours in advance of any precipitation would mean that the vast majority of it would have been swept clean of the majority of the road surface by traffic, so it would be almost useless by the time the snow started falling in earnest, and they'd have to do it all over again -- in the middle of the day when everyone started panicking and clogging up the roads again.
All in all, I fault the local media and the governor for this failure. I don't blame the people -- they did EXACTLY what I would expect a disorganized, uninformed, and leaderless mass of people to do in any similar emergency - panic and make bad judgment calls based on complete lack of information or coordination. So, yeah, I award the 2013 Atlanta Snowpocalypse Fail Awards to Gov Nathan Deal and WSB-TV, WXIA-TV, and most especially FOX-5 for their dismal bungling of their core roles and responsibilities. Runner-up awards go to the some of the mayors of local municipalities who also did nothing.
Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:
Well, I voted for the option above that, though my stepfather does the local state college planetarium show regularly. I can have easy/regular access to the school's 16-inch Cassegrain scope, if I want.
Researchers Claim Facebook Is 'Dead and Buried' To Many Young Users
But then Farcebork has been dead to me since its inception. Stillborn. Kaputski.
That millions of people can be duped into giving up their private information and be tracked and mass-marketed to death is still amazing to me. Then, I think about why we have the government we do in the US, and it all makes sense.
Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million
Funny this should come up in a topic about patent trolls.
Amazon is no stranger to patent trolls, since it also is a patent troll. One-click shopping, anyone?
I have never bought ANYthing from Amazon, and NEVER will. While I won't go all over-the-top Scott Adams on Amazon customers and wish them die a slow, painful death, I most certainly am happy to wish it on Amazon as a corporation. Though not a slow death; a quick one. The sooner, the better.
It is the epitome of irony that consumerism ultimately funds its own demise.
Facebook Deletes Social Fixer Community Page Without Explanation
Go where we've been for the last 20 years before FarceBork. Community-run social sites and forums. FarceBork knows nothing about me, nor will it ever, and I am very happy with that decision.
The battle is only lost to those who throw their weapons and armor on the ground before the battle is even over. Just lay down and die already, amirite?
As for the topic, play in the Devil's sandbox, eat soiled kitty litter. Don't like it? Go pound said kitty litter.
Ask Slashdot: Is Development Leadership Overvalued?
"We overvalue the leaders and undervalue the followers to the point that we forget that leaders cannot do any good if they are not also good followers."
In my experience, the best leaders are the ones who want to lead the least. They make the tough decisions, then get the hell out of everyone's way and get back to work getting the job done.
It kind of goes back to what someone said earlier in the comments.. the best chiefs are found amongst the indians.
Google Pressure Cookers and Backpacks: Get a Visit From the Feds
It probably was a honeypot of some kind. The feds more than likely put up fake sites with all kinds of anarchist information (most of it edited to be wrong or missing critical pieces to make actual working devices), get it into search engines, and investigate visitors.
Liberal Saudi Web Forum Founder Sentenced To 600 Lashes and 7 Years In Prison
Yes, now, at the peak of human civilization thus far, we have advanced to such things as waterboarding, force-feeding innocent people who have been illegally detained for years and go on a hunger strike as a humanitarian protest to their plight, and extended solitary confinement. I can see how we've risen above all that horrible barbarity.
I don't see the bulk of mainline christianity sounding condemnation of it, so I guess it must be OK, right?
As someone once said: "It's the same dance; it's just a different tune."
Google Argues Against Net Neutrality
"I was a devout fan of Ayn Rand and a card carrying libertarian for many years of my young adulthood."
Ahh.. the folly of youth, how I loathe thee.
Same Programs + Different Computers = Different Weather Forecasts
1) There never was any such thing as an 8081.
2) The earliest Intel math coprocessor was the 8087, for the 8086. The 80-bit float was a special temporary-precision representation which could be stored in memory, but was otherwise unique to the Intel MCP architecture.
Colorado Company Says It Plans To Test Hyperloop Transport System
I'd love to see engineering documentation of the anticipated failure modes for an atmospheric or sub-atmospheric 4000mph transit system.
On the plus side, it will save a bunch on funeral costs for the unlucky passengers!
FCC Rural Phone Subsidies Reach As High As $3,000 Per Line
The OP that was being responded to didn't distinguish like you are implying. If you want to make a different point fine, I can agree with that, but the original statement was: "It's rural areas being a drain on the nation's resources", to which the responses were largely fair and proper.