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Comment: Re:Just Like the "Liberal Media" (Score 1) 340

As much as I appreciate and generally agree with your point, I'd remind you of something Bjorn Lomborg - no stranger to controversy - pointed out: if you want to talk about a disease, you talk to a doctor, no question. If you want to talk about climate, you talk to a climatologist, again, no question.

But if you're making a value judgement - deciding which of those things is more important, or which you need to spend limited dollars fixing - NEITHER the doctor nor the climatologist is appropriate. That is rightly the realm of politics, insofar as politicians are the avenue by which the public's will is exercised.

Comment: Re:Still the "best" office suite. (Score 1) 127

by RazorSharp (#49616559) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

It sounds like you work for Microsoft. I'm not accusing you of being a shill or anything, your post just sounds like it was written by a marketing department attempting to sell Office to the /. crowd.

There was a time when I had to fire up Office because of various formatting quirks or whatever, especially when it came to Excel, but it's been a long time since that's happened. If you believe that LibreOffice isn't good enough for 99% of users out there then I doubt you've used it recently. Using the Gimp/Photoshop comparison is ridiculous (even though I use Gimp for all my photo manipulation needs; I'm not a photographer or graphic artist but I do occasionally need/want to create images or manipulate pictures).

When it comes down to it text editors, spreadsheets, and presentation programs have hit their ceiling when it comes to desired features. They're like Vise-Grips. There was a time when you had to get the name brand ones because nothing else worked as well. Now you can find knock-offs that do the same thing. A couple x-mases ago someone gave me a set of these Kobalt things that were supposed to be like Vise-Grips but easier to use and fancier. They were a pain in the ass and I never use them. That's what Microsoft did when they rolled out their ribbon interface and this 365 crap. They tried to put bells and whistles on something that didn't need them (for the sake of continuing the upgrade cycle) and made an inferior product. LibreOffice doesn't just work as well as MS Office, it works better.

Comment: Re:"The Ego" (Score 1) 543

by argStyopa (#49615803) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

Well, by that logic then this is relevant too:


According to data published by the Social Security Administration, the name Hillary is the most severely poisoned baby name in history. Hillary had been steadily climbing the baby name charts since the 1960s, when it first graced the Top 1000, becoming the 136th most common name for baby girls in 1992. But the name sharply reversed course in 1993, smashing several longstanding records (Ebeneezer, Adolph) for name contamination in its plunge from the Top 1000 girl names last year.

Comment: Re:Just Like the "Liberal Media" (Score 4, Informative) 340

I'd only add one point further: as much as Ike's prescient warning about the military-industrial complex is quoted ad nauseum, what is much less-often quoted is his comments immediately following that bit...

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

Comment: Re:Just Like the "Liberal Media" (Score 1) 340

I'd beg to differ, as there was a long and fruitful conversation on quora about exactly this.
I read through at least the first 20 replies, and they're quite good.*


Not to mention that the idea that scientists are strongly liberal is supported by ample statistical evidence (one example at http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c... - Paul Krugman is hardly the mouthpiece of the GOP).

*let me be clear, I love science and hard science fiction, I think creationism is mythological poppycock, and yet I am a *staunch* conservative. So go figure.

Comment: Re:Never a good idea (Score 1) 105

by argStyopa (#49598465) Attached to: Climatologist Speaks On the Effects of Geoengineering

Have they been good at predicting things, or are the things predicted being 'adjusted' to better match the predictions?

"Last month, we are told, the world enjoyed âoeits hottest March since records began in 1880â. This year, according to âoeUS government scientistsâ, already bids to outrank 2014 as âoethe hottest everâ. The figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were based, like all the other three official surface temperature records on which the worldâ(TM)s scientists and politicians rely, on data compiled from a network of weather stations by NOAAâ(TM)s Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN).
But here there is a puzzle. These temperature records are not the only ones with official status. The other two, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama (UAH), are based on a quite different method of measuring temperature data, by satellites. And these, as they have increasingly done in recent years, give a strikingly different picture. Neither shows last month as anything like the hottest March on record, any more than they showed 2014 as âoethe hottest year everâ.

Back in January and February, two items in this column attracted more than 42,000 comments to the Telegraph website from all over the world. The provocative headings given to them were âoeClimategate the sequel: how we are still being tricked by flawed data on global warmingâ and âoeThe fiddling with temperature data is the biggest scientific scandalâ.
My cue for those pieces was the evidence multiplying from across the world that something very odd has been going on with those official surface temperature records, all of which ultimately rely on data compiled by NOAAâ(TM)s GHCN. Careful analysts have come up with hundreds of examples of how the original data recorded by 3,000-odd weather stations has been âoeadjustedâ, to exaggerate the degree to which the Earth has actually been warming. Figures from earlier decades have repeatedly been adjusted downwards and more recent data adjusted upwards, to show the Earth having warmed much more dramatically than the original data justified.
So strong is the evidence that all this calls for proper investigation that my articles have now brought a heavyweight response. The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has enlisted an international team of five distinguished scientists to carry out a full inquiry into just how far these manipulations of the data may have distorted our picture of what is really happening to global temperatures."


Difference between raw and final data sets (this is an official graph from NOAA):

Comment: Re:Getting lost in the shuffle. (Score 1) 300

His characterization that the quality of papers from men must, by definition, by higher quality clearly establishes the fact that he is a textbook example of the problem.

He didn't say that they, must be of a higher quality. He said that it's a possibility that shouldn't be ignored. You can't just assume it's not true.

Personally, I think the problem is that we try to use science to evaluate things it's ill-suited to do. "How gender differences affect the experiences that PhD students have when moving into post-doctoral work" is not a subject that's best examined using the scientific method. If one wants to come to a real understanding of this issue I would suggest asking a bunch of PhDs, both male and female, to write essays about it from a purely subjective point of view, and put those essays into a collection. It would certainly be much more enlightening than survey data and whatever various statistics were compiled in an effort to make a scientific study out of the whole thing.

I love science. It's great method for discovering truth. But I hate it when people try to apply science to social issues.

Comment: Not just soft sciences (Score 1) 174

A lot of people claim the soft sciences are not 'really science' due to the intangibility of their results - and this plays directly into that bias.

However, it's very much not just the softer sciences that have this issue. There's a growing realization that it's pervasive across many hard science disciplines:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB... : 64% of pharma trials couldn't be reproduced.

http://retractionwatch.com/201... - half of researchers couldn't reproduce published findings.

We're inundated with data that, due to the specificity of the field or detail of the results, has to come from 'experts' and doesn't lend itself to a sort of common-sense vetting that we can use to filter bullshit in the usual course of our lives. Whether it's from ignorance of statistical methods, poor experimental technique, motivated mendacity (for whatever reason), or simply experimental results that represent only an unusual end of a bell-curve, there are many, many reasons that scientific data has to be taken with a serious grain of salt. It can't be assumed to be conclusive until we've reproduced it in whatever context we're trying to apply it.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"