Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: The Poll is Too Simplistic (Score 1) 278 278

The poll choices frame the question as a simple science vs. politics issue. It's a bit more complex than that. On the anthropomorphic global warming/climate change side, you have both evidence-based scientific thinkers and non-scientific wishful thinkers. On the anti-AGW/anti-climate change side you have some very smart cynical people with a vested interest in the current energy economic status quo and a group ideological, unthinking wing-nuts.

The problem for the AGW/CC scientists is that they are not just battling both the cynics trying to preserve their current economic advantages and the wing-nuts who will believe anything as long as it's not "Liberal." They're also handicapped by their supposed allies: the "Lefty Loonies" who undermine the scientific case for AGW/CC by being just as ridiculous as the loonies on the anti-AGW/CC side.

Maybe next time we can get a poll like this:

The Debate Over Climate Change Is:
1. The most critical debate over the fate of humanity ever.
2. An important one, but not the most important.
3. Less important than deciding who will be the next American Idol.
4. Not a debate any more, just people talking past each other.
5. Over, and my side won!
6. Uh, climate change? What's that?

Comment: What's The Difference? (Score 1) 70 70

You can follow a suspect in plain clothes. You can photograph someone from a distance even if he's on his own personal property. You can follow someone in an unmarked car. You can observe someone from a helicopter or via satellite photo.

You can even send people moving traffic violation tickets based on photos taken via automatic cameras.

All of which you can do without a warrant because the subject is publicly visible.

So how is drone surveillance any different from a legal/ethical/moral standpoint?

Comment: Foxy Cherry Picking (Score 1, Troll) 545 545

And Fox News, of course, pushed a story that only referenced the part of the study that found that climate change "skeptics" scored higher (by one point, 51 to 50) on a test of general scientific literacy, proving once (and for Fox) that the "skeptics" know more about science than climate change "alarmists" and are therefore right to doubt anything related to climate change.

Fox News: the experts at picking the one cherry on the entire tree that satisfies them since 1993.

The Internet

+ - Vint Cerf Questions Whether Internet Access Should->

Gallenod writes: In an op-ed for the New York Times (registration/subscription required), Vint Cerf writes that civil protests around the world, sparked by Internet communications, 'have raised questions about whether Internet access is or should be a civil or human right." Cerf argues that "technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself," and contends that for something to be considered a human right, it "must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since over time we will end up valuing the wrong things.'
Link to Original Source

Comment: We Already Have Them (Score 1) 336 336

We already have Web organizations that do a pretty good job of cutting through BS -- Snopes.com and Factchecker.org to name two. The problem is not that we don't have objective arbiters of the truth, but that many people don't want anything other than confirmation of their existing biases and will label any group that doesn't do that as "biased" against their "truth."

Having the government sponsor the Truth Police will not give it any more credibility and may just make it less credible depending on who does the appointing.

Best example: the Supreme Court, which is supposedly the ultimate arbiter of justice. Justices used to get confirmed by huge bipartisan majorities until someone decided that controlling a majority of the Supremes was a way to achieve political control. The Web Truth Board would likely suffer a similar fate, only much faster..

Unix: Some say the learning curve is steep, but you only have to climb it once. -- Karl Lehenbauer