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Comment: Re:Nova on Catholic scientists (Score 1) 120

by TapeCutter (#47970657) Attached to: "Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust
The big bang theory was the brain child of a Catholic priest who was employed by the vatican as an astronomer. The priest's theory was sarcastically coined "BBT" by a well known astronomer who dismissed the idea as nonsense. The name stuck, and the priest's evidence eventually forced the astronomer to change his mind. The names escape me, I think the astronomer was Patrick Moore but can't be bothered googling.

Comment: Trolling? Or just crap? (Score 2) 731

by khasim (#47966159) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Here's the full quote from that partial in the summary:

This is how you get the phenomenon of philistines like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne thinking science has made God irrelevant, even though, by definition, religion concerns the ultimate causes of things and, again, by definition, science cannot tell you about them.

He's wrong. The problem is that the concept of "God" is un-falsifiable. So you can always tack "because God wanted it that way" onto anything.

And then it gets worse:

You might think of science advocate, cultural illiterate, mendacious anti-Catholic propagandist, and possible serial fabulist Neil DeGrasse Tyson and anti-vaccine looney-toon Jenny McCarthy as polar opposites on a pro-science/anti-science spectrum, but in reality they are the two sides of the same coin.

Normally I'd say that that was trolling. Why toss irrelevant insults into a discussion? But I think it is an attempt to bolster an argument that he knows cannot stand on its own.

Both of them think science is like magic, except one of them is part of the religion and the other isn't.

And then he COMPLETELY skips over how Tyson believes that science is "like magic". He makes that insulting statement and then fails to support it.

This bizarre misunderstanding of science yields the paradox that even as we expect the impossible from science ("Please, Mr Economist, peer into your crystal ball and tell us what will happen if Obama raises/cuts taxes"), we also have a very anti-scientific mindset in many areas.

He thinks that Economics is a science. That's how wrong he is.

Not because science is "expensive" but because it requires a fundamental epistemic humility, and humility is the hardest thing to wring out of the bombastic animals we are.

Please look up the definition of "bombastic".

TFA could be a great example of trolling or Poe's Law or such. But I think it is just crap writing from someone who does not understand the subject.

Comment: Frank Luntz (Score 4, Informative) 196

The terminology "climate change" goes back to at least the 1950's in the literature, "global warming" first appears in the 70's. There was no confusion until the early 2000's when this silly terminology argument was started by the brain fart of "public opinion guru" Frank Luntz, a GWB advisor who penned a memo advising the Bush administration to use the term "climate change" in preference to "global warming" because...I don't recall "sounded less threatening"......or something equally inane and deceitful.

Comment: Re:Here's why (Score 1) 274

by TapeCutter (#47951449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

there's a good chance that people problems become more interesting that software problems

I'm 55, this is true, but it hasn't diminished my interest in software, it's just something else that fascinates me and just happens to be the root cause as to why "work sucks" sometimes. My Dad is 80, a retired mechanical engineer, last we spoke about programming he had got one of his games he wrote in Delphi running on android and was playing with the python graphics library.

Comment: Nobody has solved the "work" problem. (Score 1) 274

by TapeCutter (#47951351) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?
Solving coding problems the fun part. The work part is getting the solution to the customer, ironically few engineers are willing to tackle the work problem, or accept other people's solutions to it. So what you generally end up with is an imposed solution from above that doesn't work because the people who wrote the process haven't got a clue how the engineers are currently keeping it together. Rather than tackling the problem by demonstrating a superior answer, the engineers do their best to pretend the work problem doesn't exist.

BTW: If you're solving the "same [coding?] problem over and over again", you're doing it wrong

Comment: Re:For many it's not burnout but disillusion (Score 4, Insightful) 274

by TapeCutter (#47951263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?
I mostly agree but I would say that a good engineer provides (and meets) a deadline of his own making. Good managers have clear business plans but they can't create them if software systems randomly pop out of the basement shouting "surprise". The most overlooked and underrated skill for a "professional" engineer is business administration skills (and vica-versa with PHB's). Someone who speaks both languages is far more useful than someone who speaks only his native tongue.

Yeah it's easy to become disillusioned, if you don't have the political clout to organise your own work and "lead by example" to meet their vague goals, then get it or get out. If you do have some influence then vague, numerous, and ever changing management goals are your best weapon against the idiocracy, simply pick the brain farts that give you license to do TheRightThing(tm) and politely deflect the others.

*you - the royal version.

Comment: Re:Recent claims by whom? (Score 4, Interesting) 218

by TapeCutter (#47943037) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other
Whom? - A suprising number of well educated people are still unwilling to give Jane Goodall's pioneering work the recognition it deserves. These same people tend to belive animals are little more than automata, some even refuse to belive chimps have a mind of their own.

Comment: Just do it. (Score 5, Interesting) 234

by khasim (#47938175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

I don't expect to be a Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I'd love to have enough knowledge in these subjects to research and experiment to the point where I could possibly start contributing back to the field.

Look up "Galaxy Zoo". You can start contributing today.

As for classes, start reading. Find out which books are used for the courses and buy the books and read them even if you cannot take the courses.

Comment: Bullshit. (Score 1) 182

by khasim (#47938071) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

They tried to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993.

Snowden released the files he had in 2013.

That's TWENTY YEARS where they would be using their old communication methods while we were hunting them. There should not be a terrorist left alive.

The PROBLEM is that we collect too much data. It is impossible to process into useful information. It is a mass of "dots" for 300,000,000 people that increases every single day.

And terrorists are so rare that they (and their communications) vanish into the mass of regular people. If you live in the USofA you are more likely to be killed by someone in your own family than by a terrorist.

The Tao doesn't take sides; it gives birth to both wins and losses. The Guru doesn't take sides; she welcomes both hackers and lusers.