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Comment: Re: Don't blame me. (Score 1) 121

by drsmithy (#49359603) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

I think the biggest indictment of them is the fact even my highly pro environmental friends refuse to vote for them as they see them as only a destructive force towards environmental sustainability and see either coalition or labor as a better choice for the environment.

I'd love to hear the rationale behind their thinking.

Because I'm at a loss how two parties promoting growth at all costs, overconsumption, exploitation of the environment (stripe-mining Coal, CSG, dumping of spoil on the reef, etc) could possibly lead to a "better choice for the environment".

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 121

by drsmithy (#49359597) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

I think you are thinking of the greens from more than a decade ago. The Greens haven't stood for that for a long time. They are basically part of labor and push for policies for short term rather than taking consideration of the long term effects or goals.

Here is the Greens policy platform.

Tell us about which parts bother you.

The greens having power would probably do more damage to human decency and DEFINITELY more damage to the environment and the prospects of a sustainable future (if you destroy business you can't head to sustainability, you head towards being a 3rd world country or Greece).

Yes, obviously they'd do far more damage than the "growth at all costs", "destroy the middle classes" pro-oligopoly parties.

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 121

by drsmithy (#49358525) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

They are all pretty much scumbags. Not even most environmentalists vote for the greens anymore as they are little more than an extension of the labor party, focused on short term thinking and power plays.

Greens an extension of Labor ? Now there's a chuckle.

Sounds like you get most of your political information from your local Rupertarian.

I'm sure a few hardcore greenies have abandoned the Greens as they slowly morph into a generalist centre-left social-democracy party, but their share of the primary vote has remained pretty constant for a decade or more.

Comment: Re:'Conservative' is a misnomer (Score 1) 121

by drsmithy (#49353057) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

If these people were actually conservatives, then they'd try to maintain the status quo, not introduce new controls, etc.

They are conservatives. They want to go back to the good old days of Feudalism.

Progressivism is how we escaped that history and created democracies, free speech, equal rights, and the like.

Comment: It's about results (Score 1) 320

I think it is laughable, when viewed against the net of human history, to say that there is a problem with science. The world is increasingly wealthy overall. However, there is a problem in complexity. There is a misunderstanding even among scientists about the fundamental mathematical underpinnings of information. The butterfly effect and the P=NP problem essentially say that, as far as math goes, we don't know what initial dependency might have some severe effect downstream, and that, if there are too many variables, we can't do much anyway.

Yet, politicians of certain political stripes and some scientists themselves are enamored of the idea that we should have "science based" policy making. Policy making is about masses of people, and too many variables. Thus, even though science can say, "these people are less meat based upon and were be better off", science cannot say "everyone will be better off if we eat less meat so let's make it a law". Indeed, there's a baked in butterfly effect that says any public policy has winners and losers. When we make laws that say, 90% of the people will be better off, well, those 10% are going to be irritated. At some point, as a civilization wanders through its history, it accumulates more and more of those people that were screwed by the law. People being what they are, they don't care about how they might have benefited through being in the 90% groups, but how they were in the 10%. If new science proves that the people in the 10% were actually -right-, then, it only makes matters worse.

From a government perspective, we've actually picked the worst things to apply science to. In most people's lives, it is their diet that matters most and the science underpinning FDA recommendations and recommendations from other food authorities has been fabulously and publicly wrong. Many Americans have grown up hearing that first, butter was bad, then, butter was good, then, corn syrup was better than sugar, then sugar is better. First, its clogging of the arteries caused by cholesterol caused by diet, then, just as every middle aged american devours statins, we find out it is a combination of stress and lifestyle. It doesn't help that the public lumps doctors in with scientists - to them, scientists just means "smart people", and they see doctors screw up enough that every family has the story of the loved one that doctors wronged.

The mistrust of the medical establishment when it comes to diet is epidemic and bipartisan. There's plenty of both tree hugging liberals and gun toting conservatives reading about various health food supplement and other weird nonsense about diet and health and even medicine on the internet. The FDA and the food industry alike are seen as corrupt in the minds of both conservatives and liberals is telling. Granted, they filter that corruption into their own political worldview, but that they don't trust these institutions at all suggests a real problem.

From there, it is easy to see, that if the public doesn't believe any of the science about the thing most common in its life, and the institutions designed to protect that science, then, it is going to be a hard sell for the public to genuinely trust science in anything beyond the latest breakthrough to make their consumer products better.

Comment: No social skills (Score 1) 700

by Computershack (#48978523) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
School isn't just about learning subjects. Its about learning about your society, how to interact with other people in the country you live in. Every single kid I've met who has been homeschooled has been weird. They've all been completely socially inept. They don't know how to interact properly and whilst they may be very clever in the subjects they've been learning, are completely oblivious about the majority of things going on around them at the time. Whilst these parents think they're protecting their kids, they're actually in my opinion harming them irreversibly. They'll eventually leave mothers bosom and go into a world completely unequipped to deal with the society they live in and it'll cause them real problems and hold them back.
Supplementing schooling with home schooling is great. Completely replacing it if you're the kind of parent who doesn't let your kid out to play with the other kids on the street is doing them massive harm.

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