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Comment Re: Militia ? (Score 1) 336

I don't think anybody was committing violence. They were just threatening it if people tried to enforce the law. If I was on your property and you called the police to have me removed, I don't think you could call me a peaceful protester if I made it clear that I was willing to exchange gunfire with any law enforcement office who came to remove me. That designation is reserved for people who allow themselves to be arrested without physical incident.

Comment Re:The "Floor" was always a kludge (Score 1) 138

Who is getting screwed? 1. The big institutional investors, who used to face the little guys on the exchanges but now only face each other and the HFTs. 2. The floor traders on the exchanges, who used to be able to play incredible shenanigans with the markets.

Exactly this. There have always been lucky bastards who were closer to the action and used that fact to extract cash from people far away, even back when markets included trades that were done by courier moved by sailing ship. The definition of "closer" has just gotten smaller and smaller and instead of a few lucky lumps picking up big chunks of money, it's a bunch of them moving really fast to pick up pennies. Nobody has really made a convincing case that the total amount of cash that these folks extract is larger than it was in the past as a percentage of total transactions. My guess is that it's getting smaller and smaller, and the difference between how much the average Joe pays and how much institutional investors pay is getting smaller as well.

Comment Not big on pair programming but (Score 2) 186

...pair debugging can be great. Two people looking at the same code and same test output at the same time can go back and forth designing tests and interpreting results really effectively, especially if the bug is at the intersection of two modules that you're reach responsible for. Of course, you don't spend all day every day debugging or something has gone very wrong wrong.

Comment Re:I'm not seeing the problem here (Score 1) 315

Seriously. There are enough cases about really unfair and arbitrary profiling of innocent Muslims that they don't need to use this nonsense example. If a kid writes that he lives in a terrorist house or a meth lab house or that daddy is a bank robber, somebody is going to poke around and see what's up.

A side lesson: If you actually do plan on running a terrorist house, don't have little kids living in it. They're really bad at keeping secrets.

Comment Re:return to reality, please (Score 1) 357

Oy. Wants to show glyphosate has been shown to be toxic. Presents a link to an article about research that shows damage in children exposed to glyphosate and two insecticides that are known to be toxic and cause developmental issues during pregnancy. You can kill sheep with witchcraft if you also feed them arsenic.

Look, glyphosate has had a target on its back for years. The piles of research done on it are not just done by Monsanto. And the research that has come out showing it to be dangerous is thin and weak at best. That's why bullshit sites like sustainablepulse.com and naturalnews.com need to scrape for articles that just sort of imply it's dangerous. Nobody has found the smoking gun because there probably isn't a smoking gun. It's not for lack of trying. It's for lack of evidence.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 1) 357

That not only happens in nature but in domestic crops as well. It could happen in any of the "naturally" bred versions of crops we plant. It has nothing specifically to do with GMO whatsoever. By not planting GMOs, you do absolutely nothing to mitigate that risk. So people who are anti-GMO because of that fear are also not basing their opposition on any good reasoning or science.

In fact, transgenics provide potential solutions to those types of blights when they happen. For example, the papaya industry in Hawaii. More recently, researchers have made progress on the citrus greening problem in Florida, which is on its way to being a major crisis.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

OK, let's go piece by piece. You wrote:

There are allusions to fraud but no evidence

I don't think I'm mischaracterizing your position by saying that you think there's no evidence of fraud. Postings of images from the papers that show signs of manipulation and duplication with different labels is evidence of fraud. Conclusive evidence? No. But strong evidence that should be weighed and not dismissed.

Later you wrote:

I don't know why the organizer is misrepresenting the report, or why he organized the thing in the first place.

Would it be unreasonable to characterize this statement as a claim that the organizer was misrepresenting the report? I'll back off on the claim that you accused the organizer of "lying" if you prefer to stick with wordplay and use the word "misrepresenting." But it seems to me like you made an accusation here without any support. What makes you think he's misrepresenting the contents of his own committee's report?

And as for "why he organized the thing in the first place" the reason is clear: He organized it on the instructions of the university rector. And the university rector gave those instructions because he received the evidence of image manipulation from Cattaneo and Bucci.

Comment Re:I know this is only 1 person and 1 family but.. (Score 1) 357

Organic simply means that no pesticides or chemical fertilizers were used in the production.

Actually, even that is a common myth. Organic growers are allowed to use both pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Just not all of them. And, like most religious strictures, the rules are a little bit arbitrary. They don't like to mention it because a big part of their customer buy-in is because most people erroneously believe that "organic" means "pesticide free." In reality, one of the most common pesticides in organic is the same pesticide that the anti-GMO people freak out about when it's produced by GMO plants. It's super dangerous when plants produce it, but it's totally safe for us to spray it onto organic crops.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

I apologize for overstating your position, but claiming somebody is misrepresenting a report from his own committee is a pretty strong accusation to make without presenting your reasoning and evidence.

If you're going to continue to make those types of claims, I recommend taking a look at the images and papers in question and the discussions around them. The summary in Nature is not the only information on this topic. The people they're reporting on are actually making real claims with real data. The fact that you've opted not to look at their evidence and instead wait for the committee's official result and a Nature summary of it (fine--that's what most people will do) is not the same as the evidence not being out there, and it doesn't put you in a good position to be accusing people of anything. The images and arguments are now publicly available and there are open discussions going on about what happened. It looks pretty bad.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 2) 357

I don't know why the organizer is misrepresenting the report, or why he organized the thing in the first place.

So your contention is that the organizer of the report is lying to us about what's in the report, and you're basing it on the fact that Nature's summary of it is written in the journalistic neutral tone? What evidence do you have of misrepresentation? There's a whole bunch of stuff going on here, and none of it is as arbitrary as you're trying to make it appear:

1) Independent scientist finds images in the papers suspicious and commissions an expert to investigate them. Expert says it appears images were reused and manipulated.
2) The author's university starts an investigation. The person coordinating that investigation leaks the results early and says they found manipulation. This is the part you're asserting is a lie. I have no idea why you think so.
3) Investigator from (1) posts his analysis online for people to look at. You're discounting his analysis and the posted images because... it's on the Internet or something like that. Presumably if the images weren't on the Internet, the claims would be untrustworthy because they weren't available for scrutiny.

On the second point, maybe it'll take more to convince me than a personal internet post from someone who claims he found evidence.

This isn't some random guy with no credentials claiming something on his own authority. This is somebody with real expertise posting his claim and the evidence that supports his claim. This isn't, "Trust me, they're manipulated." It's, "Look at this here!"

Notice Nature is being careful to not say they think the images have or not been manipulated.

That's not surprising. It's exactly what every publication writes about preliminary results of investigations of people doing bad things. The serial killer is always the "alleged" serial killer. That doesn't mean there's no evidence. It just means the findings are preliminary or that nothing has been proven in a court of law. You can still actually look at the evidence and make a decision rather than simply asserting that the evidence doesn't exist.

Question: If I asked you before this came out, "What's the probability that this journal article is fraudulent?" and you had to decide on a probability based on nothing, would your estimate have been the same as if I asked you today? Mine certainly would have changed, and that conclusion would be based on evidence.

Comment Re: FUD (Score 1) 357

Still, increased usage to combat increased resistance of a chemical that "Probably" is carcinogenic and definitely kills plants just strikes me as a bad course of action.

There's a good reason we don't use gut feelings for important policy decisions, though. Petroleum products are terribly nasty, but we put up with it so we can run tractors to farm our food. It's a trade off made using data. A substantial decrease in the cost of food production is nothing to just write off without carefully considering the costs and benefits. Given that glyphosate largely replaced more dangerous herbicides and given that a huge amount of research has been done to it and it's coming up pretty clean, that seems like good evidence that the costs are pretty minimal.

The problem with GMO's specifically is that they are engineered and not naturally occurring. Many could not be naturally occurring, and once out in the wild despite whatever controls are used to stop them, no one knows exactly what they will do. Added to that is the secrecy surrounding them, and the battle to not tell anyone if they are being used or not.

I'm looking for how GMOs are different from hybrids and mutants. None of those are naturally occurring, and trade secrets abound. If you're planting seeds for a farm, you're almost certainly planting a weirdo man-made organism that never existed in the wild. So what's special about GMO specifically?

Your point about Pollen almost works, I can see how one might argue about mutation from power lines, Eddie Murphy movies aside, there is a somewhat legitimate body of evidence that living/working under high voltage power lines can lead to cancer. The difference is that any mutation in that crop was not specifically engineered by scientists who inserted a specific gene from a different plant/animal into it.

Yes, I'll agree that that's a difference, but how does that difference affect my point? In both cases, you have a business model predicated on personal aesthetic preferences, which is totally legitimate, but it creates a new burden on neighboring business. Should neighboring businesses have to bow to this new burden to support your business just because you and your customers want it? It's an unfortunate situation with two legitimate interests, but I can't see how you could possibly say yes to this.

Given the size and budget most independent/small American farms have, any threat of legal action has to be viewed as significant because it could put them out of business. Monsanto is abusing that.

I agree that having to let Monsanto test your crops as if it were a government organization is distasteful from a "pit of your stomach" perspective, but is it really a problem in any real sense? If you're not infringing, they test the plants at their own expense and go away. If you are, then I'm not sure that the complaint that they shouldn't have been allowed to discover it is a very strong argument. I'd love for there to be a different way to enforce the patents, but I'm at a loss as to what that might be.

I'm still not buying Salmon though.

Why not? The salmon seem to be one of the things environmentalists should be most excited about. It's not from a big evil ag company and it will allow them to farm salmon with substantially less environmental impact. The fish are sterile and they're farming them in landlocked lakes. Given how destructive salmon farming can be and how much impact fishing can have on wild stocks, this seems like the first steps to taking a bite out of the problem.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 2) 357

He's commenting on leaked allegations of a confidential investigation that "suggest that images in the papers may have been intentionally altered" -- this isn't evidence of anything.

No, I suppose not. It's just the word that the committee that examined the evidence decided that the images had been manipulated. It could be evidence that the committee is a bunch of idiots or that they have an agenda. But is that really what you want to hang your hat on? The findings are coming out in a few weeks, so your complaint seems to be that we're getting a sneak peek and it could be a total rumor.

He "commissioned" a lab to give him a report on the papers, and then posted his "analysis"/"claims" on the Internet -- again this isn't anywhere near evidence of something.

Can you provide me a definition of "evidence" that somehow excludes the analysis of images that are available for all of us to look at and draw conclusions from? Would that definition of "evidence" exclude things like DNA on a murder weapon or an investigator observing that a door appeared to have been kicked in?

And what's up with "commissioned" and "analysis" being scare quotes? He had an analysis done on the images and they found that they were most likely manipulated. And based on the actual images that were posted to the Internet, they look pretty damned manipulated. If this isn't at least "evidence" that suggests the images were manipulated, I have to wonder if we're both speaking the same language.

Your argument seems to be that he didn't provide evidence, just stuff for us to look at and an argument that that stuff points to certain conclusions. Facts, schmacts. You can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true!

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