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Comment: Re:"Unconventional research" is fine (Score 1) 138

by Namarrgon (#48664855) Attached to: Does Journal Peer Review Miss Best and Brightest?

Philosophy != Science, but both have their place.

There are plenty of avenues for creativity, discussion, unproved hypotheses etc, but peer-reviewed magazines are not one of them. That way, everyone can distinguish solid, confirmed results that can be relied upon, from unproved assertions or tentative conclusions that might be right - or might not.

Scientists are free to follow hunches or interesting leads; nobody is stopping that. But there has to be a clear indicator of the reliability of information, and solid peer review of methodology is the best method we've found of determining that.

Comment: "Unconventional research" is fine (Score 2) 138

by Namarrgon (#48657573) Attached to: Does Journal Peer Review Miss Best and Brightest?

"Unconventional methodology" is not.

Papers that don't use sufficiently rigorous methods should be rejected, regardless of their conclusions - even if those conclusions eventually turn out to be right. It's the only way to have any confidence about the research. If the authors are so sure of their results, they should do them more carefully, and submit again.

Far too often, rejections are taken as evidence of cronyism or groupthink (usually by those whose beliefs are contradicted by established science), when it's simply obvious flaws in methodology. When your methods are bulletproof, only then you can expect with confidence to pass review.

Comment: Re:Check your math. (Score 2) 880

by Namarrgon (#48598037) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Quote from your Pew Research link:

Overall, 8% of Muslim Americans say suicide bombings against civilian targets tactics are often (1%) or sometimes (7%) justified in the defense of Islam.

Emphasis mine. This does not support the claim of jihads or fundamentalism, unless you interpret the "defense of Islam" to mean "spread Islam everywhere". Might be interesting to compare that against a similar poll for Christians; I suspect you'd have similar results.

We could maybe try just leaving their religion alone? Then not only the great majority of peace-loving Muslims would be happier, but most of the rest too. Save the aggressive response for the nutjob violent individuals, treat them for the mentally ill criminals that they are, and leave religion out of it.

Comment: I already have kids (Score 1) 574

by Namarrgon (#48510281) Attached to: Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

And who knows what they'll do. They might help me in my old age, they might dump me in an old folks home and steal my stuff, they might even conceivably kill me, but they'll probably just live their own lives and forget to call. If I've brought them up well, I'm hoping they'll be good to me.

Why should our AI children be so different?

They won't compete for the same resources as us, so they're unlikely to kill us or steal our stuff, even if they were lacking in all emotion or altruism or ability to see the advantages of mutual cooperation. But we're going to have to deal with not knowing for sure.

Comment: Re:Yes, go ahead...Blame Apple (Score 1) 189

by Namarrgon (#48476005) Attached to: Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Why did GT sign on the god damned dotted line?

Perhaps because of said "bait-and-switch" tactics?

Doubtless Apple assured GT they would definitely buy all that sapphire; why else would they invest so much in producing it? Even though the contract technically allowed them to back out, there was surely very little chance that would actually happen, and a far greater chance of massive revenue from being a key supplier for the next iPhone...

Then it turns out that the product wasn't as shatter-resistant as they'd hoped, and they backed out, or whatever. But who could've guessed that Apple might go back on its (non-binding) commitments? Tim pinky-swore!

Comment: What causation? (Score 3, Insightful) 132

by Namarrgon (#48274875) Attached to: New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

Who said the CO2 causes anything?

The article and summary use the words "contributed to", which we know will be true - as a greenhouse gas, any increased CO2 will amplify and contribute to further warming. Doubtless there are other causative factors involved (e.g. Milankovitch cycles), some of which may well have occurred before the CO2 release.

The interesting question is, what triggered the CO2 pulses?

Comment: Re:Women prefer male bosses (Score 2) 399

by Namarrgon (#48192123) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Daily Mail articles highlighting a single example should be dismissed, SJW or no.

The Business Week article discusses a series of Gallup polls, which make a better case. But even there, 34% of people had "no preference" - not that different to the 39% that preferred a male boss. I also note these have been steadily converging for the last few decades.

In any case, it's not particularly relevant to a Mars mission - candidates would be selected on their ability to get along, not randomly from the population.

Comment: Re:Nothing new here ... (Score 1) 292

by Namarrgon (#48052905) Attached to: 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore In Alaska

I presume you're referring to the interglacial warm periods, as shown in this graph.

We have a very good idea of what causes those - they align nicely with orbital variations (Milankovitch cycles). And we're not due for another one - we just passed the peak of one a few thousand years back. The temperature had been dropping slowly since then (up until a century ago).

Comment: Re:2013 Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high (Score 5, Informative) 292

by Namarrgon (#48044555) Attached to: 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore In Alaska

Usual selective reporting from the Daily Mail - claiming a 29% rebound from an all-time record low is somehow "proof" that global warming is overblown. The link is a year old too - this year is actually the sixth lowest in the satellite record.

Worth looking at an actual trend, rather than Daily Mail headlines.

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