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Comment: Re:I am shocked! (Score 1) 123

So every one of them would know how to calculate the left limit and right limit as x approaches zero for the function y = sin(3x)/x. But would still treat their computing devices as black boxes, learn enough to map to know what to do make it do something, but would not have a fundamental grasp of why the computer does what it does.

Comment: It is a solvent for hydrogen. (Score 1) 113

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47892859) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water
According to the article the biggest potential is as energy storage solution. (both meanings of the word solution).

To free hydrogen from water, you need energy, not low quality energy like heat but high quality energy in the form of electricity. So there is no special advantage there. You still go through hydrolysis. But instead of releasing hydrogen as a gas, you dissolve it in this oxide solvent. The liquid can be stored at room temp and pressure without the danger of leaks, fire or explosion. When you want hydrogen, you pour it over catalysts and the gas is released. So it can serve as energy storage medium. Since the efficiency of { electricity --> hydrogen --> electricity } is much higher than { renewable energy --> molten salt --> heat --> electricity } it could be useful.

I am sure some click baiting writer jazzed up the headline with a totally irrelevant comparison 30 times faster. The catalyst releases hydrogen from the solution 30 times faster than electrolysis. But it is electrolysis that produces the solution in the first place.

You need an energy source. You need electricity. It is, at best, a good energy storage solution. Modest improvement. Nothing to sneeze at, most advances come by small increments. But still ...

Comment: MEH, not impressed. call me back when ... (Score 1) 155

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47866735) Attached to: 3 Short Walking Breaks Can Reverse Harm From 3 Hours of Sitting
Three short walking breaks from hours of watching TV from the couch? Too much. Cant be done.Let me know if I summon enough will power to take three short 5 minute breaks from hours of eating junk food while watching TV, will it count? Hey! Got a bright idea. Should patent it. How about combining the bathroom breaks from TV watching to get both the walking break and the snacking break? All I have to do is to remember to leave the beer by the laz-e-boy.

Comment: Heads must roll, or they aren't serious. (Score 1) 111

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47860539) Attached to: Home Depot Confirms Breach of Its Payment Systems
Corporations treat security as an after thought. It shows up in the expense column, nothing in the revenue/income column. The top corporations do not see any benefit to security expenses. It is as idiotic as not installing doors to help customers enter the store easier.

The CEO's bonus must be docked, the CIO must be fired, all the top executives who were in the decision chain of the security decisions must have their bonus forfeited, pay docked and a few of them should be fired too, Unless we see a strong reaction that hits the top management hard, they are not serious. When the things were going was good they had no compunctions in attributing it all to their own super brilliance and their actions and decisions. Thus they justified awarding themselves compensation two orders of magnitude more than rest of the corporations.

They must also take the blame as seriously and pay for it in terms of cash and career prospects.

They should, but they won't.

Comment: Re:Scientific Consensus (Score 0) 765

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47852917) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Piltdown Man was once "consensus". We know how that turned out.

And who proved the Piltdown Man hoax? Was it your fire and brimstone sermon delivering priest? Was it your friendly neighbourhood law firm Dewy Chetham and Howe? Was it the Member of Parliament? Or was it a member of House of Lords? Who showed Piltdown Man hoax?

It was another scientist, buddy, another scientist. The track record of correcting their mistakes, is pretty good for scientists. In fact they are the ones with a very good working system to correct their own mistakes. How many religious heads have been proven wrong by others in the same fold?

Think about it, "Onward Christian Soldiers!" cried Britain. "God is with us" claimed Germany. Both sides had chaplains who sent their soldiers to kill the other side. At the end, was there any religious head who came out and said, "We were wrong!"?.

My point is, all of them go wrong. But science has a self correcting process.

Comment: What consensus means: (Score 4, Insightful) 765

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47852825) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

'Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results.'"

The phrase "One investigator who happens to be right" assumes one would be able to tell who is right and who is wrong immediately as it happens. The consensus is agreeing who got reproducible provable results.

People who do not understand science, who want to game the system are intentionally gaming the system. They bring in rules used in philosophical debates and legal arguments into science. Equal time for both sides works ok in philosophy and in courts. But not in science. Let us say one side has tons and tons of data and the other side is waving hands. Giving equal time to both is doing a great injustice to the side with data.

If one side is just asking questions, raising doubts, etc and the other side is actually answering the questions and clearing the doubts, it is a great injustice to give equal time to both. It takes much longer to answer questions than to raise them.

One should gain standing to raise doubts. Getting funding from industry groups with vested interests is not getting the standing. Must publish in the relevant field, get peer reviewed papers. Must risk reputation gained by hard long work to raise questions.

Comment: We don't need that many super brilliants. (Score 2) 203

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47833009) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?
The creativity distribution obeys a very strong version of the power law [*1]. What it means almost all the brilliant scientific breakthrough comes from very few scientists. Creating incentives for creativity will make the scientists use all that creativity in getting the incentives, innovative proposals, truly genius grant applications etc. Take for example, the true innovation in understanding the "evolution of cooperation". On the face of it "survival of the fittest" and "nature red in tooth and claw" would seem to discourage cooperation between individuals. But many species including our own are highly cooperative. How come? The ground work was done by one guy (Maynard Smith?) in "Evolutionarily Stable Strategies". One guy conducted a tournament of strategies in 1980s in U Mich (Axelrod?). One guy won it, (Anatol?) tit-fot-tat. I think Richard Dawkins played a catalyst by bringing together a biologist and an economist. They were both working on the same cooperation problem but were unaware of each other's work because they used different terminologies. Then a whole bevy of scientists refine the understanding of Iterative Prisoners Dilemma problem to the present level where we can explain how cooperation evolved.

All I am saying is this emphasis on leadership and creativity is a little too much. Leads to "All Chiefs and no Indians" problem. Good, strong, independent thinking followers are as important to science as leaders. And we need an order of magnitude more followers. If anything we should reduce the incentives for creativity so that only truly creative people shine through.

[*1] Power Law: aka 80-20 law. 80% income by top 20% of earners, 80% of crime by 20% of criminals etc.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson