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Comment: Re:It's kinda cute (Score 3, Insightful) 416

by the gnat (#49779343) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

nobody outside the US even remotely takes that "controversy" serious

Hell, most scientists inside the US don't take the "controversy" seriously, or even notice it most of the time. The only reason most of us care is because those fuckwits keep trying to legislate their mythology into the public schools, otherwise they'd be worth no more thought than, say, flat-earthers or faith healers. And in large parts of the country, e.g. liberal urban areas like the one I live in, it's not even an issue in schools either. (God knows our public schools have enough other problems...)

Comment: Re:Why is this dribble on the front page? (Score 4, Insightful) 416

by the gnat (#49779319) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

identified Christians as potential extremists

Identified specific Christians as potential extremists. And they do exist - why is this in any way a surprise? Every faith-based ideology (Marxism obviously falls into this category) eventually attracts violent nutjobs. Even Buddhism has violent extremists, some of whom are currently hard at work ethnically cleansing a Muslim minority in Myanmar. There are also left-wing environmentalist extremists, along with Maoists and anarchists, all of whom the DHS and FBI also track.

Among other things, I find it curious that DHS was searching so hard for "non-Islamist" extremists - almost like Islamist extremists had DHS tacit approval.

The fact that most worldwide religious extremists are currently Muslim does not mean we should give a free pass to domestic extremists just because they happen to follow your preferred religion. (And what makes you so certain that the DHS wasn't investigating domestic Islamists too?) Since Christians are an overwhelming majority in the US, it is certainly logical to look for extremists in that population, especially since they may have an easier time blending in, and there are existing organized extremist groups, some of which have a long history of violence. (I should note that Timothy McVeigh was an "honorably discharged military veteran".)

Comment: Re:Real Science Is No Longer In the Academic Lab (Score 1) 392

by the gnat (#49776179) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

It will never again occur in academic labs, because academics has been undermined by the multiple generations of decreasingly literate students.

The students you describe don't end up in academic labs, at least not for any job more important than cleaning glassware. Everyone doing real work already has a BS degree at a minimum, and most of them either hold PhDs or are in graduate programs. (Also, a huge fraction of them are immigrants, at least in the US.) Some of them are pretty sloppy nonetheless, but there's absolutely not a surplus of semi-literate scientists in academic research (as opposed to small technical colleges).

Comment: Re:sophistry (Score 1) 392

by the gnat (#49776097) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

I'm just saying that the science rot we're seeing is not coming out of the corporate labs.

Corporate labs have a very different incentive system, and at least in most areas of the biomedical sciences, they publish far less in peer-reviewed journals. What they do publish will usually be better vetted, but this comes at the expense of taking much longer - because, of course, their scientists aren't dependent on (rapid) publication for career advancement. (The issue of applied vs. directed research is a separate problem - very few companies can afford to do truly undirected basic research.) There are certainly things that could be changed about academia to mitigate the problem; the current system of grad students and postdocs doing most of the work in academia is a disaster. (I say this as someone who has spent more than a decade in this system.)

Where you err is assuming that you can simply weed out the bad actors through some kind of personality test. Contrary to your supposition, very few people go into academic research for any impure motivation, and it isn't simply a problem with the people in power. Much of the fraud and incompetence is produced by junior researchers who aren't rich or famous or powerful, and are motivated solely by the need to advance to the next stage in their careers. And there are plenty of examples of people who are motivated in part by "money or power or attention", but also manage to do excellent science at the same time. (Craig Venter is one obvious example, but there are plenty of pure academics who are equally ego-driven.) But in general, everyone following this career path is fundamentally interested in and excited by science, otherwise they would have become doctors or bankers.

Comment: Re:Maybe science went off the rails... (Score 4, Informative) 392

by the gnat (#49775933) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

Mann will sue your ass off, an innovation he has personally added to the scientific method.

Mann didn't sue anyone for hurting his feelings, or claiming he was wrong - he sued them for claiming, very explicitly, that he had committed fraud, and for calling him "the Jerry Sandusky of climate science".

Comment: Re: Capitalize on JS (Score 1) 268

by the gnat (#49754057) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

Doing AJAX through jQuery these days is only acceptable in small stand-alone pieces of your application.

Care to clarify? I'm not familiar with any of the modern MVC frameworks so I don't understand what the alternatives are as far as AJAX is concerned. I certainly hope we're not expected to deal with XMLHTTPRequests directly...

Comment: Re:More proof the media is controlled by Republica (Score 2) 276

I generally agree Jeb is unlikely to win because people don't want him, but I'm more worried than you are. If your sort of analysis could be counted on, then we could already call a Hillary loss in the general election because people don't like Hillary. She has very little to offer and probably won't be able to do anything to surprise anyone or to motivate a strong turnout.

I'd guess the most likely outcome is President Scott Walker and Vice President Marco Rubio.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich