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Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

tinkerton Re:Mass production ? (187 comments)

The New Yorker has very good factcheckers. Maybe they don't work on everything (they don't, articles that get them in trouble get priority) but their reputation on factchecking is excellent.

about a week ago
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Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

tinkerton Re:Under US Jurisdiction? (281 comments)

The main problem is not whether they're really good guys. The main problem is that when a system of checks and balances gets skewed you don't even need really bad guys to make the system turn ugly.

about a week ago
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Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

tinkerton Re:Is it safe? (281 comments)

I would not reduce someone like Eric Schmidt to someone who's just in it for the money. This underestimates how ideology and interests tend to blend. I suspect that for someone like Schmidt working together with the NSA just feels morally right. And people who want to hide things from the NSA well, they're doing something they oughtn't to be doing.

about a week ago
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Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

tinkerton Re:Under US Jurisdiction? (281 comments)

They will be immediately forced to hand over everything and be silent about it.

Who says they need to be forced? They'll protect their interests but they seem to be fully in sync with the state. You know, the good guys.

about a week ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

tinkerton Re:Magic Pill - Self Discipline (153 comments)

Careful though. After a few cases of spontaneous human combustion scientists admitted their fat burning pills may still need some adjustment.

about two weeks ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

tinkerton Nice Try Bro! (417 comments)

So how do we know for certain that this so called expert wasn't put here by Roko's basilisk so enable it? Hm? Hm?

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

tinkerton Re:Republicans: Ideology over facts (772 comments)

This is missing the point. The legality always mattered. If you keep torture strictly illegal the CIA still does it but in only few cases or in foreign countries while avoiding direct involvement.All with a good amount of fluctuations of course.

But after 2001 it was made clear that the rules were going to be made as loose as possible and supervision was going to be minimal. So everyone went all out. NSA, CIA, security firms, everything.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

tinkerton Tautology Anyone? (772 comments)

the sentence CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations felt redundant and I got the idea of removing the tautological elements word by word but each time I ended up with an empty sentence. I had to start over 3 times before I realized I had to keep the first word.

about two weeks ago
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Asteroid Impacts May Have Formed Life's Building Blocks

tinkerton Re:why is it always comets and asteroids? (46 comments)

Why is it that astrophysicists always think that biogenesis and evolution have to come at the point of a comet or asteroid?

I also think this is a persistent and not very justified pattern of thinking. The hypothesis is a legitimate subject for investigation, but to quote an old post of mine: there's this assumption that the earth needed some kind of external kickstarter to get life going which originates in the conception that there was no way life could start from scratch so it had to come from elsewhere.

Let's take the idea seriously instead that the earth never needed the external kickstarter. Instead, and that any potential external kickstarter would have been drowned out by what's already present.

about two weeks ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

tinkerton Re:Fortune cookie (367 comments)

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

That would suggest those people all have in common that doubts inhibit action, and that they just have different and not very good approaches to resolving that conflict. The best way is have action without removing the doubts.

And that is relevant for the climate change debate. Because for instance a blocker is "nothing can be done unless we agree there is human made climate change". But you don't need to be blocked by that and the engineering approach that for instance Freeman Dyson advocates(global soil management) does not rely on proof that humans are the cause or even that the climate predictions will all come true. It just offers control over whatever happens.

about a month ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

tinkerton Re:Questions for any who have been following this (88 comments)

2. I assume we've measured whether Rosetta is rotating, even slightly. Is there a chance that this will help (or hurt) Philae's chances at coming back on line?

The comet is actually rotating a lot, once every twelve hours. Since the comet acts as a gyroscope its axis of rotation keeps pointing towards the same distant star while the comet goes around the sun, and because the axis is tilted, different parts of the comet will receive light. The comet has seasons.

about a month ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

tinkerton Re:Lander may wake up later (88 comments)

It'll drop to 1.25 actually. That's 5.6 times current flux.

about a month ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

tinkerton Lander may wake up later (88 comments)

A simple calculatoin:
Current amount of energy from panels is a quarter of what's needed
current distance from the sun is 3 earth units, it will go down to 1.3.
That means energy flux no the panels will increase (3/1.3)^^2 or more than 5 times.
If all the rest remains the same(er, what?), that should be enough.
And if the system can handle currents five times as high.

about a month ago
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How Google Can Get the Flu Right

tinkerton The Emperor Has no Cold (31 comments)

Or what was it again. Is google going to guess the length of the nose of the emperor of China next, based on search items? And has it got the flu? Look , that there's a good correlation is clear, but the reliability of the results is very low. Next the NSA will be using those tools in order to find out how much they can get away with. Or wait, they already made their minds up about that.

about a month and a half ago
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Largest Sunspot In a Quarter Century Spews Flares

tinkerton Sun spots earth. Pukes. (46 comments)

Ok, maybe I'm hineininterpretierung this a bit

about 2 months ago
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Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

tinkerton You can learn from Creationists (1007 comments)

I had to think about that. I don't have much time for creationism but I think their arguments have been underestimated.
The main problem with creationism is not that their arguments are so weak. I believe some of their arguments are valid and too easily dismissed by let's say 'most people who believe in evolution theory'. For instance it's a very legitimate concern that the power of the combination of selection and random variation may be too weak to explain what we see around us.

The thing is that the approach is one of case-making rather than scientific investigation. That's why you can't discuss with them. The arguments they'll come up with will be borrowed (in let's say, the best cases) from investigation that is arguably scientific. So it's not really proper to dismiss the arguments as a rehash of things that have long been settled. but because the appoach is one of case making, the arguments are only pursued as long as they can support a case. The story ends once the case is won.
Another approach is to accept the validity of some of the creationist's objections and to just keep on digging and finding out how it works.
And gradually you figure out more. And that is what has happened and will happen. A lot of work has been done on the speed of evolution since the first iteration of Fred Hoyle's Junkyard Tornado argument in 1982.

about 2 months ago

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