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+ - Does "Scientific Consensus" deserve a bad reputation?->

Submitted by nerdyalien
nerdyalien (1182659) writes "From the article: Fiction author Michael Crichton probably started the backlash against the idea of consensus in science. Crichton was rather notable for doubting the conclusions of climate scientists—he wrote an entire book in which they were the villains—so it's fair to say he wasn't thrilled when the field reached a consensus. Still, it's worth looking at what he said, if only because it's so painfully misguided:

As a STEM major, I am somewhat bias towards "strong" evidence side of the argument. However, the more I read literature from other somewhat related fields i.e. psychology, economics and climate science; the more I felt that they have little opportunity in repeating experiments, similar to counterparts in traditional hard science fields. Their accepted theories are based on limited historical occurrences and consensus among the scholars. Given the situation, should we consider "consensus" as accepted scientific facts ?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Snowden reveals scale of US aid to Israel which explains turmoil in Middle East

Submitted by ltorvalds11
ltorvalds11 (3774511) writes "The turmoil gripping the Middle East is a direct result of the provision of cash, weapons and surveillance to Israel by the US, the latest Snowden leak illustrates. In a bold examination, the former Guardian journalist reveals the amazing contrast between what the United States says publicly, and what it does behind the curtain.
In fact, "the single largest exchange between NSA and ISNU (Israeli SIGINT National Unit) is on targets in the Middle East which constitute strategic threats to US and Israeli interests," the leaked paper reveals. One of the "key priorities" of this cooperation is "the Iranian nuclear development program, followed by Syrian nuclear efforts, Lebanese Hizbullah plans and intentions, Palestinian terrorism, and Global Jihad." The paper talks about "targeting and exploiting" these. Greenwald goes on to list the occasions on which the US has been exposed as supplying arms to Israel;
the last such occasion was just before the start of the operation in Gaza, wherein a $1 billion stockpile of ammunition the US stored in Israel specifically for situations like these was used."

Comment: Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (Score 1) 379

by JabrTheHut (#47442311) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Regarding Hamas bringing children to the buildings designated for destruction: you should realize that their values are different than yours and mine. We value life, they value heaven.

So you actually believe you are doing them a favour by killing their children? That's why you do it?

I've heard some low-grade racism in my time, but this takes the cake. I'd like to see you offer a source for this "Palestinians bringing children into buildings designated for destruction" that doesn't come from the IDF's propaganda division.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 379

by JabrTheHut (#47442209) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

But regardless of your personal motivation, why would you want to traumatize your children by having them grow up in the midst of such fear and violence?

Because there is actually very little violence directed at them, as the vast majority is directed at the Palestinians. And they want the Palestinians gone. They get upset when the Palestinians fight back, but it happens so rarely that they don't leave Israel over it.

Comment: The forecast for Gaza today is.... (Score -1, Troll) 42

The forecast for Gaza today is large amounts of rocket-propelled precipitation.

Looking at the article, which is shockingly badly written, it's a perfected method not in use anywhere in the world, including Israel, and the map they use for Israel includes the West Bank and Gaza, something that only Israel, in the whole wide world, does.

Expect lots of PR bullshit from Israel over the next few weeks while they bomb the crap out of Palestinians in Gaza...

+ - It's getting late pretty early on climate change->

Submitted by imikem
imikem (767509) writes "There is a really depressing article by Brad Plumer of the Washington post here. While I support an all of the above except fossil fuel approach to electric generation going forward, I often note the rather smug attitude of certain solar and/or wind advocates, ignoring serious problems with both. This irritates me, as their faith in these useful and necessary technologies often seems to approach that of a religion. Then too we get reflexively anti-nuclear, FUD-filled rants, and denialist members of the myth of the month club. On one hand, I cannot understand how apparently well-intentioned people can think that solar and wind plus efficiency can supply reliable energy to 7-9 billion people indefinitely. On the other are people who appear convinced that burning a hundred million years' worth of fossilized hydrocarbons in the space of a few decades won't drastically affect Earth's climate. I'm starting to lose hope that humankind will do anything meaningful in time to prevent a horrifying collapse of civilization and the global ecosystem within the lifetime of my children. Maybe The Matrix is the real future. Cue up some calm, reasoned debate in three, two, one."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Those poor bastards (Score 3, Funny) 102

by JabrTheHut (#46970137) Attached to: Australian Government To Standardise On Drupal

Coding a custom CMS is a start. Programming web-based systems isn't that hard. I do it for a living, but I use Wordpress or Joomla when the customer wants it.

I'm a consultant, and you're not thinking this through. You shouldn't start writing a new CMS from scratch whenever you start a new project. When I start a new project, say for a moderately complex web site, I go back to the beginning and design a new CPU. The new system that the CPU will fit into has to be designed, built and tested, and then a new OS written and debugged. Next a new communications protocol has to be designed, written and tested. Finally, a new set of applications written for the new OS, and then, finally, a web site.

This approach is the only reasonable way to turn a three month contract into a 15-year failed project. You've grasped the basic consulting creed of re-inventing the wheel at every opportunity, but you're not going far enough.

Comment: Too Little, Too Late (Score 4, Insightful) 165

by JabrTheHut (#46866523) Attached to: Setback For Small Nuclear Reactors: B&W Cuts mPower Funding
If they think there will be any need for this by the mid-2020s, they're in for a rude awakening and a nasty financial loss.

Solar panels have dropped in price by 65% in the last two years. They're expecting another 60% price drop by 2020, and efficiency isn't being sacrificed - it's only getting better, with 25% being achieved in the lab now. Research is also much cheaper - researchers ask for grants such as $5 million or $15 million, not the $1 billion mentioned in the article.

Combine wind farms, hydro power, solar thermal, and the recent improvements with storing energy, both as potential energy and in batteries, and I doubt any one will want to invest in "small" nuclear reactors, either now or 10 years from now. Solar panels aren't the fix for everything, but they will make it uneconomical to put in place big, expensive nuclear reactors, which are only small and cheap by comparison to even bigger ones.

Comment: Re:Someone call Ben Affleck (Score 1) 165

Actually, Israel is set to pass a new law that will effectively disallow Arab parties from running for elections. There is systematic anti-Arab racism in Israel, it won't end soon, and the Palestinians don't even have human right as far as Israeli courts are concerned.

Comment: Re:Statistics suck (Score 1) 367

by JabrTheHut (#46599313) Attached to: More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

It is a fact that in over 50% of all accidents there were at LEAST 2 breasts in the car at the time.

If that were even remotely true then Saudi Arabia would be the safest place in the world to drive. Looking at the stats on wikipedia, the answer is a resouding "no." Mind you, compare US and UK traffic accidents and you start to wonder why two developed nations have such different fatality rates for traffic accidents...

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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