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## Comment Re:Back? It never left. (Score 1)198

Let's take your homeopathy example. Suppose your kid comes to you and says, "Crystals can cure cancer." Start by getting her to think in a scientific way, with questions like, "That's interesting. How would you devise an experiment to test that idea?" You want to at least get them thinking scientifically. If there a little older, you can ask her what experiments have been done to test that idea. This is really easy now with the internet. When I was a teenager my dad taught me to do research at the library, and it was a pain.

As for the 'definition of Pluto,' you can tell her that it's just a definition, and it doesn't fucking matter, you could call it a rose and it wouldn't change the actual physical nature of the object, and arguments over definitions are a waste of time, best left for potheads and morons.

## Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 1)315

Of course you are right, (we are both right), the question is how many events do you need for it to 'stabilize'? In some places we've only had good weather station coverage for less than a hundred years, so it really depends on the variance, and how many random variables are involved. Obviously with climate, there are quite a number of random variables.

## Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 1)315

Incidentally, if we just looked at the temperature increase from CO2, without feedbacks, then it is not enough to worry about. Positive feedbacks are necessary before the temperature change will be enough to cause problems.

## Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 1, Insightful)315

Record high temps, record low temps. record rain, record drought.

That's actually what you'd expect with a chaotic system built of multiple random variables. It would be unnatural for weather to always be the same.

## Comment Re:Back? It never left. (Score 1)198

not doing so makes you look ignorant, especially when your kids come up to you and tell you you're wrong because a textbook only has 8 planets listed.

It's a good chance for a teaching moment for your kids: that the establishment, and especially textbooks, can be wrong.

## Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1)198

And more to the point, the biggest problem with the concept of Mars clearing its orbit is that its orbit was already largely cleared [nature.com] when it formed. According to our best models, Jupiter reached all the way in to around where Mars' orbit is today, and had cleared almost everything to around 1 AU.

How did the asteroid belt get there, then? That's a question, not a polemic.

## Comment Re:Oh, is it 4GL time again? (Score 1)328

I went through a workshop with some Xilinx vendors a few months ago on their new FPGA tools. They were nice, you could just drag-and-drop an entire CPU design into your FPGA, but at the end of the day, they didn't relieve you of the burden of actually understanding how things worked. In most cases I think you'd be better off just applying the time and effort to learn verilog (which is what I was hoping to get from the workshop, but oh well).

## Comment Re:Oh, is it 4GL time again? (Score 1)328

And the same Alan Perlis quote still applies: "When someone says 'I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done,' give him a lollipop." Note that this was also the goal of second-generation UML.

But you know, now that we have AI, this time it will work.

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