Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:Lots of weird crap coming out of Congress latel (Score 1) 349

by mrchaotica (#49188973) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

The EPA should be subject to due process. If they're saying they're doing something because of a study... then that study itself should be subject to examination... that includes whether it is reprroducable and therefore science at all... and then you're going to want to know where the information came from so you can audit it.

You're holding the EPA to a lower standard then a corporation that files its yearly tax return.

You've got this entirely backwards: you're trying to argue that the EPA should be required to justify erring on the side of caution by prohibiting a potentially-harmful thing, when in reality the company wanting to do the potentially-harmful thing should justify that it isn't harmful before being allowed to do it.

If you have such contempt for the political process then just come out and say it now... just say you hate democracy. Say you hate due process. Say you hate freedom of speech. Just admit it.

You first.

Comment: Re:Lots of weird crap coming out of Congress latel (Score 1) 349

by mrchaotica (#49188863) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

Sure they do... in the same way that the recent Republican-backed net neutrality bill would have preserved genuine net neutrality, and was not even slightly an Orwellian doublespeak-named poison pill stuffed chock-full of loopholes in order to accomplish exactly the opposite.

Let's take a look at HR 1030, shall we? In part, it reads:

Section 6(b) of the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 4363 note) is amended to read as follows: "(b)(1) The Administrator shall not propose, finalize, or disseminate a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such covered action is-- (A) the best available science; (B) specifically identified; and (C) publicly available online in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results."

In other words, what it really means is "the EPA is prohibited from regulating anything to reduce global warming because no possible justification would be deemed capable of 'substantial reproduction of research results' until after we've collectively finished 'proving' it by cooking the planet... or at least, all proposed regulations would be tied up in court for decades by industry shills arguing such."

And what about the other one, HR 1029? It reads, in part, that:

The Administrator shall ensure that-- (A) the scientific and technical points of view represented on and the functions to be performed by the Board are fairly balanced among the members of the Board

In other words, legitimate scientific and technical points of view must be "balanced" by industry shills.

(C) persons with substantial and relevant expertise are not excluded from the Board due to affiliation with or representation of entities that may have a potential interest in the Board's advisory activities, so long as that interest is fully disclosed to the Administrator and the public and appointment to the Board complies with section 208 of title 18, United States Code

In other words, it's trying to say "quit blocking appointment of our industry shills to the board! It's making it too hard to effect regulatory capture!"

There's more bad stuff in there -- along with some good stuff, which is unsurprising because if the bill were all bad it would be too blatantly obvious even for some Republicans to support it -- but I can't be bothered to go through and analyze the whole thing.

Comment: Re:Hmmmm! (Score 1) 349

by mrchaotica (#49188487) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

literally every single anti-science thing that ever originates in D.C. comes from the GOP. Every. One.

The Democrats have anti-science blind spots too, such as the folks who think GMO crops are harmful simply because they aren't "natural." or some BS (as opposed to the less unreasonable arguments that GMO crops are harmful because they're designed to produce pesticides, or that they might out-compete non-GMO things and reduce biological diversity or something).

Of course, I'm not sure that the Democratic nutjobs are prevalent enough to get legislation as far through the process as the Republican nutjobs can, so maybe what you say is still true.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 237

by mrchaotica (#49188335) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

Nuclear is expensive precisely because huge amounts of money are spent attempting to appease anti-nuclear nutjobs like yourself. If the engineers were allowed to simply get on with building the damn things instead of being mired in decades of frivolous lawsuits every single time, then it really would be cheap!

Comment: STILL smells like a duck... (Score 1) 153

by fyngyrz (#49186083) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

Except that science collectively doesn't claim to know what happened at the points when the universe was dense enough and at high enough energy scales that it is speculated current laws of physics break down

Yes, that's my point exactly. They don't. Because they can't. Because the theory is based on assuming something happened that our physics can't describe. BB theory is therefore incomplete in a way that makes it unable to stand in the face of what at this time appear to be some very simple and reasonable questions. Questions physics force us to ask.

To stick with your analogy, the Big Bang theory isn't saying the baseball materialized spontaneously from the ground, but that it appeared at some point on that path, with some evidence that the trajectory goes back some where near the ground for loose definition of "near." In which case, there being a pitcher and it being spontaneously generated on that path both being consistent with current theories and observations

No. Quite wrong. The specific reason I use this analogy is that BB theory goes right to the ground -- fractions of fractions of fractions of a micrometer above -- such that the option of there being a pitcher or a ball launcher, or a firecracker under the ball, or a really strong dwarf cricket or even microbe, etc., has completely gone away. You cannot explain BB any further using our physics because they state that the theory covers it right back until it cannot. Consequently it either has to be some other physics, or else it's massively wrong. Theories that are rigorous but then, still within the context of their own propositions, devolve into "and then we don't know" or "because we have no idea"

BB theory may, as I said above, be quite correct, and we may need new physics to understand it. if that's the case, on that day, it becomes a complete and compelling theory to me. Until then, it's not.

As of right now, spotting a galaxy that shows what we understand to be evidence of being older than would be possible if BB theory is correct does not particularly surprise me, any more than finding evidence that "Thor" was just some dude with a really big hammer would surprise me in the context of the ideas that present the Æsir and Vanir as "gods." Because just as, at present, there are no physics that would actually make the idea of a god or gods credible in the face of objective, reality-based inquiry, there are no physics that actually make the idea of the BB credible in the face of same.

Comment: Re:If it smells like a duck... (Score 1) 153

by fyngyrz (#49185093) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

"Monoblock" or "the primordial monoblock" is a term for the presumed state of the presumed material comprising the presumed universe just before it presumably exploded. Everything, no exceptions, including space itself, all in one tiny... something, (tiny with respect to... something), that did.... something, and then [waves hands] Big Bang! Try this google search.

Science can trace the expansion of the universe backwards quite a ways, within the bounds of our understanding of physics as it stands and it makes sense, albeit some very strange and difficult to swallow sense. But go back far enough, and a point is reached where our physics simply do not serve to describe the previous state. At all.

I liken it to tracing a pitched ball backwards, not having been around to witness the pitch, but analyzing the arc of its trajectory and theorizing that the ball erupted spontaneously from the ground in order to arrive where it is. We can't account for such a spontaneous emission, but after all, hey, there's the ball, right? The immediate and obvious objection is that "but physics tells us that can't happen"... well, physics tells us the exact same thing about the big bang. That's why I consider the comparison apt.

I'm not saying the big bang theory is wrong; I'm just saying it is definitely unproven, and that there are severe and fundamental problems with attempts to prove it at this time. Tomorrow, we have new physics, and that may resolve everything very nicely. But until or unless that happens -- until someone shows how the "ball could erupt from the dirt, spontaneously or otherwise" -- personally, I'm reserving BB theory acceptance.

Comment: Re:Hey Roblimo: Make a "loser edit" autobiography! (Score 2) 142

by mrchaotica (#49179919) Attached to: Technology's Legacy: the 'Loser Edit' Awaits Us All

The job of an editor is NOT to just present stories that go along with the group-think of the day. We have Faux News and their ilk for that. Also, if they edit submissions too much "for clarity" the submitter will complain that's not what they wrote. So what are you going to do?

Well, would it be too much to ask for them to fix the typos and make sure the links work?

Comment: Re:Better idea (Score 1) 555

by countach (#49178289) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Actually, a properly implemented scheme would NOT require the user to be intelligent. You might want to show the user, hey this is a Microsoft word file, but what's the point in making the user say deal with the whole .doc vs .docx distinction? Case in point, we check files out of share point as doc, we upgrade them to docx format, but guess what, it doesn't work because I can't change the file extension in SharePoint. All because of the stupidity of assuming that file name should be welded permanently to file type. Crazy stuff.

Comment: Re:Better idea (Score 1) 555

by countach (#49178255) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

There is nothing wrong with file extensions to hold this information, or at least there wouldn't be if the computing universe was more geared up towards preserving it in various copy scenarios. In fact is say file extensions are definitely the RIGHT spot for it, it's just that the rest of the universe needs to catch up with it so they are preserved in all cases.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...