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Comment: Re:Don't bother. (Score 2) 509

by NeutronCowboy (#46658151) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

Since you clearly never took logic 101: an appeal to authority is only wrong when your appeal to authority does not involve an actual authority. Which the two people referred to, are. In which case an appeal to authority is actually the right course of action.

Asimov said it best: our greatest failing is that we believe that my ignorance is as good as your knowledge.

Comment: Re:I think this is bullshit (Score 1) 1746

by NeutronCowboy (#46654389) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Because too often, Americans are ignorant of what the Constitution says, how it came about, the philosophical ideas that its writers tried to cement in law and are thin-skinned, whiny idiots.

No, seriously. I've had this discussion with people since the mid-nineties, and it's because they were the above. Some people do get it, but a frightening amount of people have no idea what Freedom of Speech actually means, why it exists, and why it is important.

Comment: Re:I think this is bullshit (Score 3, Insightful) 1746

by NeutronCowboy (#46654331) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

It's not a dangerous road, it's how societies operate. As a matter of fact, it's the only way to actually build a society. Anything short of that is just pie-in-the-sky anarchism. As for your reverse example, that is exactly what's taking place in the US right now. They're free to do that, and I'm free to organize a counter boycott.

The alternative that you propose either requires an incredible restriction on speech and action, or requires a complete lack of interaction between any individuals. One is terrible, the other untenable.

Comment: Re:I think this is bullshit (Score 1) 1746

by NeutronCowboy (#46654287) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

And where does my free speech start to vociferously disagree with someone else's use of free speech? Let me clue you in: it starts the instant I open my mouth, the same way that Eich's did.

Free speech means exactly one thing: the government can't put you in jail for what you say, and even that comes with (very specific and spelled out, but nevertheless) limits.

What you're failing to understand is that free speech protection has nothing to do with protecting someone from others who he/she pissed off through his/her speech. And that speech extends to organizing a boycott. Because without action, speech is just.... well, speech. Eich supported his speech with money, and others threatened to do the same. Eich just found out that his right to speech and action cuts both ways. To his credit, he resigned. He would not have been able to properly run Mozilla after this kerfuffle.

  Living in a society means that you do follow local standards. Otherwise, they WILL kick you out. Eich just found out that he joined a society that disagreed with his stance on gay marriage. What you're advocating is nothing but anarchy. And that gets quickly eaten up by warlords.

Comment: Re:Projections (Score 1) 987

by NeutronCowboy (#46632157) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

I, on the other hand, can derive it at least in at the single layer model level such as the one laid out in Petty (a book that is sitting a few inches from my left elbow as I type this).

Great! So you should know how to verify whether your model has any sort of predictive qualities. Why in God's name are you then using arbitrary high points and windows to determine whether the various GCMs are accurate??

if the ocean was rising an inch a year

Which GCM predicted this? I have not seen a single GCM that predicted more than a meter over a 100 year range. Citation please.

, if the climate/temperature were completely flat before CO_2 started to increase

Wait - why would the global climate/temperature curve have been completely flat in any time frame? I'll even give you 1% fluctuations, since I'm sure you understand that temperatures cannot ever be completely flat, but that's a ludicrous starting point.

increased monotonically and consistently lagging CO_2 concentration

You do understand that global temperatures are influenced by more things than just CO2 concentration, right? If so, why would this ever be the case?

I'd very likely have a different stance than I do

So the starting conditions for you to change your mind on the current trajectory of GCC are completely impossible, physically ridiculous, and have never been advocated in the climate literature or by any of the major models?

I actually think it is rather probable that the bulk of the GCMs contain a substantial warming bias and represent the wrong balance between CO_2 linked forcing, feedbacks, and natural variation.

Care to elaborate? At this point, I see someone who knows a lot of details, but puts out ridiculous statements that seem to serve strictly to solidify a preconceived idea about GCC. As a result, I need more than just your opinion on the possible warming bias.

In even the crudest predictive statistical theory, fitting a training set with a mix of terms with opposing signs and strong covariance leads to entire volumes of parameter space that will all give decent fits to the training set data but fail to extrapolate correctly outside of the training set. I actually have a modest expertise on this and have studied it fairly deeply, and this looks like exactly what is happening with the GCMs. It is enormously difficult to avoid, actually, in highly multivariate modelling in general -- I could wax poetic about rough landscapes and optimization and the dependence of a particular fit on how the model was initialized and then optimized and a generalized degeneracy in the parameter space that fits particular data chords in incomplete models.

Agreed. But since you seem to know all this, then why in God's name are you talking about outliers, single monthly datapoints and windows with arbitrarily selected time frames that are designed to prove your initial statement - that the GCMs are junk?

I'll skip quoting the rest of your post, as it is similarly full of impossible requirements or cherry-picked single data points. I'm stymied as to why someone who spends so much time with statistical analysis, physical system models and energy calculations feeds me wrong assumptions, wrong end-points, impossible starting conditions and a lot of hand-waving about things that are likely, possible and otherwise somehow and vaguely not accurate.

I'm reminded about the joke of the physicist asked to describe the motion of a cow on a frozen lake, spiced with a desire to find data supporting a personal physical model.

Comment: Re:Projections (Score 1) 987

by NeutronCowboy (#46627951) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

So on the one hand, you're using an unusually hot event to skew the statistical calculation for the last 15 years, and on the other hand want to pick further arbitrary intervals to identify random trends? For your next trick, maybe you can show us that PI is encoding the last 42 presidential elections. I mean, if we are on the topic of applying arbitrary intervals to data sets in order to find trends that match your theory....

That's what, 0.5 C of total warming over 75 years, almost all occurring in one single burst

I'm sure you can calculate exactly how much energy is encapsulated in that temperature increase, right? Especially considering that oceans are little more than giant heat and carbon sinks?

except that warming occurred without the benefit of significant CO_2 forcing and was much more uniform.

Citation needed, considering that that is completely outside your area of expertise.

Comment: Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (Score 2) 466

The problem is that ATT uses its position as both a Tier 1 provider and as a consumer ISP to play both sides of the argument: on the one hand, they're arguing that Netflix sends too much traffic their way to get peering agreements hashed out, and on the other hand, they artificially constrain their upstream data by restricting how much and what customers can upload.

Because of this, there is no way for anyone to peer properly with ATT: they can always create traffic conditions that will suit whatever argument they want.

Comment: Re:Model Worship (Score 1) 76

What everybody seems to forget is that Nate Silver did only two things: he assumed that polls were actually somewhere between properly done and improperly done, and weighted them according to his own assessment of the polls' gathering process. Then he crunched the numbers according to basic statistics. Also, people forget that until the day before voting actually took place, he had one state incorrect - I believe it was North Carolina. It was such a close toss-up though that whatever numbers they were crunching and putting up on the site very slowly moved it over into the correct column.

As a result, I'm highly skeptical both of his new venture, which goes far beyond a straightforward data set and proper statistical analysis, and everybody's sudden belief that anything can be predicted, if you just use the right data set. A couple of decades ago, one of the SI sportswriters (Zimmerman) fully predicted the NFL playoffs at the start of the season. He never managed it again, even if he did better than most others. Keep that in mind anytime someone tells you that they have figured out how to predict human nature with statistics.

Comment: Re:Your source is biased (Score 1) 273

by NeutronCowboy (#46479209) Attached to: Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

Some citations are worse than no citations. Or do you think linking to timecube guy is somehow respectable when discussing the failings of the current physics models? Any of the major news agencies are better than a site affiliated with a particular party.

Also, you make a claim, you better back it up. Not up to us to do your research for you.

Comment: Re:And... (Score 1) 676

A representative democracy is a subset of all democracies, which are a subset of all republics. What the Federalist Papers talks about is the danger of a Direct Democracy. Seriously, read it sometimes. Don't take the word of others for what's in them.

So yes, we have a democracy. We also have a republic. Sometimes, I suspect that this right-wing talking point was created because some Republicans were tired of Democrats sounding like they're the only ones for a democracy, since their name is so close.

But even a Republic's financial solvency can be threatened by a majority of politicians out-promising each other over how many gifts they will give people in order to get elected.

Representatives handing out cash in return for elections is pretty much exactly what is happening now. No different than people directly voting for more money for them.

The fiscally conservative side of the voting block is very concerned that a numb

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