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Comment: Re:Thought that was obvious... ? (Score 1) 52

by lgw (#47770843) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

Another surprising fact about fusion in the Sun is that the fusion power generated is about 1.5 watts per ton of core. Even in conditions in the core of the sun, fusion is hard, and the particular reaction process just confirmed was at the end of a long chain of reasoning explaining what we do see. So I think this actually give evidence that a bunch of stuff in Wikipedia about processes in the Sun is also true. (If a different fusion process was found, then we'd likely be wrong about how much power is generated, and thus about the rate and manner that that power eventually makes it to the surface and gets radiated).

Comment: Pretty much (Score 1) 389

by Sycraft-fu (#47770653) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

If you tell me that the Earth is going to change for the worse, and there's nothing we can do to stop it, then my response is we shouldn't try. We should instead work on how to survive the change. No reason to waste resources trying to stop something that can't be, spend them on dealing with it instead.

Likewise if you tell me Earth is doomed, and there's nothing we can do to stop it, then my response is that we should just not worry about the future at all, and enjoy what time we have left because there isn't anything else to do.

However if you tell me that we are creating a problem, but we can fix that problem by changing what we are doing, then I'm interested in hearing what you propose we do, what it would cost, how it would mitigate the problem, etc, etc.

If a problem is solvable then it makes sense to talk about what it would take to solve it. If a problem is just something we can't do anything about then we shouldn't worry about trying.

Comment: Re:What is it? (Score 1) 776

by Arker (#47770403) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide
You act like this contradictory. Alpine is NOT some overgrown blob, it's nice because it does one thing - email - and does it in the way a fair number of people think sucks least. It may try to be your editor too but at least it is easy and straightforward to tell it to knock it off, and it listens.

Systemd is not like that. It takes over everything and wont give it back, even when it pretends to. For instance, it logs in binary. IF you read the docs and throw the right switches, you CAN get it to put out text logs. Ok, so no big deal, just flip the switch, right?

No. The main reason we want text logs is because of what happens when the system crashes. Even if you flip the switch, systemd is still logging in binary and just writing out a text version to make you happy, a few milliseconds later. So this fix is, well, not totally pointless, it does at least make the logs manipulable using standard tools again. Except on occasions when you really need to read them.

Comment: Re:Flip the switch (Score 1) 218

by sumdumass (#47770225) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Nah. You are correct in strict terms but not in addressing his comment. If one lego brick equals one model, the most you can have is the same number of bricks as models. If it takes two bricks to make one model, you will always have half as many models for bricks even if there are an infinate amount of them.

That was his point, any simulation or model will be tied to the host msking it possible. It will never surpass the host and often be less than.

Comment: Re:It's all a matter of energy (Score 0) 52

by ScentCone (#47770159) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

but the actual neutrino's observed then (and until now) were high energy electron neutrinos

I don't know why these observations are being thought of as a big deal. Why go to all the trouble of building some big underground Italian detector when we can see, right here, that passing neutrinos hit the /. servers and cause apostrophes to appear randomly (but due to a quirk of quantum behavior, almost always right in front of the letter 's').

Comment: Re:Accepted the challenge, nice. One more interest (Score 1) 420

by mrchaotica (#47769635) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Most of what you said is so full of weasel words "essentially, close enough" that I think you realize how weak that line of argument is.

I thought about that as I was writing them, and I apologize. Let me clarify:

First, on the use of "essentially:"

My claim that science is the opposite of religion depends on the context, which I explained in my previous posts (and which I go into further detail about below). In some other context, perhaps atheism would be the opposite of religion (but not in this context -- when comparing to science as I'm doing, atheism is every bit as religious as Christianity).

These things are complicated concepts, and if you're going to make a claim that complicated concepts are opposites of each other then you have to clarify what aspect of them, or in what sense, they are opposite. I'd like to think I've done a decent job of that, but I included the word "essentially" to try to prevent the rebuttal that science and religion weren't opposite in some context other than the one to which I was referring.

Second, on the use of "close enough:"

If a law prohibits teaching the Scientific Method, then it establishes religion. Absolutely. No weasel words about it.

However, this law doesn't quite do that. Instead it "merely" removes the "focus" on the Scientific Method -- it uses weasel words itself to attempt to effectively prohibit teaching the Scientific Method without explicitly doing so; i.e., it's "close enough."

You said "the Scientific Method (P) is (essentially) the opposite of religion (Q): P". From my perspective, such an idea indicates a rather bizarre understanding of either science or religion. Let's look at each. [Followed by a list of bible quotes]

You seem to think that just because an idea happens to be written in the Bible, that that makes it a "religious idea." That is a fallacy. If an idea is similar to that of the Scientific Method, then it is scientific, even if it as a quote by Jesus.

I liked that quote about "false prophets," by the way -- I would expect it to surprise and upset creationists (or at least the less well-read ones, who haven't already incorporated it into their cognitive dissonance). If "Intelligent Design" were able to produce "fruits" (i.e., falsifiable hypotheses), then it would become legitimately scientific. But it doesn't, so it isn't.

The way I see and use religion is very, very similar to any science. Chemistry tries to figure out how atoms and molecules work, in order to build good molecules for important purposes. Biology tries to figure out how cells and organisms work, to do things like build replacement organs. Religion tries to figure how how relationships and lifestyles work, to build good relationships and fulfilling lives.

Those things aren't similar at all. The differences are the tools that are allowed to be used to evaluate and accomplish those goals, and indeed what kinds of goals are valid.

Science is concerned with understanding how and why things do work (using rigorous logical and mathematical models). In contrast, your statement about what religion tries to do is all about making rules to enforce how things should work. Science is strictly objective and descriptive; religion is inherently subjective and prescriptive.

If you're a chemist, for example, and you decide to disregard the results of your experiment because they aren't "good," then you are no longer practicing proper science.

Incidentally, it's possible for an idea to become more or less scientific over time. Who knows; maybe some Babylonian sociologist did a comprehensive, well-researched study of adultery and that passage you quoted ("Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman...") was the conclusion of his scholarly journal. That would be scientific! (Well, sort of, anyway -- sociology is kind of "iffy" as a science to begin with.)

But when you replace "a survey of N Babylonian men showed that the ones who committed adultery were X% less happy, on average, than the ones who didn't" with "thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife, or else God will smite thee down!" -- that is, when you become proscriptive instead of descriptive and stop caring about having a rigorous answer to the question "why?" -- then the idea stops being scientific and becomes religious.

Conversely, a religious idea, like the Great Flood, can become scientific over time. Geologic evidence has been found that the Mediterranean flooded through the Bosporus into the Black Sea suddenly in about 5600 BC. It didn't literally flood the entire world, but it could have seemed that way to somebody living on the (previous) shore of the Black Sea at the time. (So far, the existence of the Ark -- and particularly, the idea that Noah was commanded by God to build it instead of some more mundane explanation -- would still be outside the scope of the scientific theory.)

Comment: Re:All new passenger cars and light trucks (Score 2) 177

by lgw (#47769393) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Airbags, when first mandated by government ahead of when manufacturers were prepared for roll-out, were in fact quite dangerous. Does your car have an airbag off switch for the front passenger seat, so a child can sit there? It took a while for people to catch on and socially impose a "no kids in the front seat" rule, after many unfortunate incidents involving children. It was an total fuck-up, a perfect example of government do-gooding directly injuring people - children and the elderly in this case. And it was years before the problem was properly addressed with weight-sensors in the seats.

There's a strong market for safety features in cars today. You really don't need ham-handed government applying force for adoption.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 440

by ScentCone (#47769343) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

If cops couldn't let thousands of people off per day on minor things, those minor things would cease to be illegal and our legal code would finally have some semblance of sanity.

You're right. If a cop sees you step outside the crosswalk at an intersection, he should have NO choice but to cite you for jaywalking, and generate all of the paperwork and costs involved, whether or not the reason you stepped out of the cross walk was to avoid walking through a big puddle of hydraulic fluid that was just spilled by a trash truck. It's situations like that where a cop's body cam might very well record such an infraction, and in the name of ridding society of any potentially abused judgement calls, we should use that technology to make sure that everyone involved toes the line, literally and figuratively. We can't have judgement calls! Your judgement call that we shouldn't is good enough for me.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 440

by ScentCone (#47769291) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

It seems to indicate that the poor, defenseless disenfranchised police officers are the victims in all of this

No, the victims are the residents and business owners in a trashed place like Ferguson where a bunch of idiots decided that wrecking the place is the right reaction to events like that lovable big lug, Mike Brown, being shot for no reason whatsoever. We know it was for no reason because thoroughly reliable witnesses (like, the guy who was within him when Lovable Big Mike, the 6'-4" 300-pound Gentle Giant was intimidating a retail clerk) said so, and the witness who said he was "shot in the back, execution style" said so. Except both witnesses are full of crap, and they know it. The cop who got his face mashed by this giant guy would indeed have had an easier time of it if Lovable Giant Mike's altercation with the cop inside the cruiser had been recorded. But more importantly, there's a chance that a lot of people's businesses wouldn't have been wrecked by people who came in from out of town specifically to trash the place and steal stuff with the tacit blessings of guys like Al Sharpton.

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry up is not nailed down. -- Collis P. Huntingdon, railroad tycoon