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Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 425

by NeutronCowboy (#48083261) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

His duty is to the president, not the public. I have a lot of respect for him that he gave the president his opinion, the president disagreed with him, and he kept his mouth shut in public. I also have a lot of respect for him that he isn't just bashing Obama, but merely strongly disagreeing with him on some decisions the president made. On others, he is actually openly agreeing with him (see his position on "Enhanced Interrogation") - or at least, showing far more agreement than a standard republican would.

Yeah, Panetta was a republican, through and through. He was a security hawk, and never made any bones about it. At the same time, he fully supported the president while he was in office. Just for that, he deserves respect.

Comment: Re:please no (Score 1) 423

by NeutronCowboy (#48073335) Attached to: Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Meanwhile the assertion that models fit past events is near irrelevant since that is data which is already known and it is expected that the models would have been adjusted in the first place to fit that data). For example, I can construct an interpolation of any temperature (or other numerical) data to perfect precision using an even degree polynomial of sufficiently high degree, yet it'll be completely irrelevant once I attempt any sort of extrapolation into the future (odds are good, about 50% I'd say, that it'll predict temperatures far below absolute zero by 2100).

Shockingly, scientists are aware of that issue, and have developed methods to test models against existing data. They do that by training on one chunk of the available data, and testing against another.

You're making two more mistakes in your analysis.
One, you complain that models that fit old data perfectly are wrong because all they do is fit data. Then you complain that the models don't fit the data perfectly - precisely because they don't just fit data. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.
Two, you think that we have direct measurements for everything. We don't. We'd like to, but we don't. And even the direct measurements we have need to be transformed into data that can be compared across measurements. All of that is subject to being wrong.

This profound inability to admit error is why I don't trust current climate models or the doomsday predictions they spawn in the least. That's why I'm going to wait a few decades and see what happens. If it genuinely is as bad as claimed, then we'll see something by then.

Unfortunately, that inability to admit error is only in your head. The models have been changed countless times over the last decades, and have gotten better in response. Lastly, if you wait a few decades, it'll be too late to head off any meaningful changes. As the joke goes: what if we'd make changes for a better planet when it's not necessary?

Comment: Re:Not just college applications (Score 1) 389

by NeutronCowboy (#48073251) Attached to: Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

If you're applying for a programming job, that will never come into contact with customers, why the hell should you need to demonstrate an ability to sell stuff?

You're always selling something even if you're programming. During the interview, you're selling yourself. While working, you're selling your ideas and proposals (even if it is just prioritizing features and putting time and numbers to them).

Sales is part of life in general. And this is coming from someone who has tried to stay away from sales as much as possible.

Comment: Re:In Business for the Wrong Reasons (Score 2) 185

by NeutronCowboy (#48062389) Attached to: Downtown Project Suicides Shock High Tech Community

I think #1 was probably the key driving factor here. People became emotionally invested in their business, and started to identify with it. When the business went south, they had invested so much into it (personally - the financial investment was probably secondary) that they had nothing to fall back onto. At the risk of assuming something of people I never met, I'm going to guess that they justified everything with "if this is gonna make it big, it was worth all the sacrifices I made". And when the business went bust instead of boom, they realized they made sacrifices that were never going to be recouped.

It's worth repeating: you are not your business; you're not your income. If you are, get ready for a short life full of regrets.

Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 2) 99

by NeutronCowboy (#48055421) Attached to: Facebook Ready To Get Into Healthcare

Because when you're looking for highly accurate, trustworthy information, you think of Facebook!

That's really the only comment that's necessary here. Fine, use Facebook for advocacy. The ALS challenge clearly demonstrated Facebook is actually good at that. But getting medical advice from Facebook? All I know is that the medical advice I see dispensed on Facebook would make a snake-oil seller from the Wild West blush. As an absolute edge case, I can see support pages for people with specific conditions, but I'll be a two-faced goat from Nepal if people stick to just being supportive, and don't start peddling homeopathic crap.

Comment: Re: Scientists don't *NEED* to be trusted! (Score 2) 460

by NeutronCowboy (#48019619) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Science is absolutely not about proofs. It's about gathering facts and comparing them to a prediction, along with the use of math to transform data sets into comparable sets.

To paraphrase: science is about the search for facts. If you want truth, philosophy is down the hall.

Comment: Re: why does the CRTC need this list? (Score 4, Insightful) 324

by NeutronCowboy (#47948613) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

Wow. Every regulatory agency is just there to expand its own powers? They do nothing else?

The reason people point you at Somalia is because your hyperbole leads you directly there. Want to have a civilized discussion about the optImal size of government? Great, start by dropping the ridiculous hyperbole.

Comment: Re:Hypocrits (Score 4, Informative) 199

by NeutronCowboy (#47866093) Attached to: China's Island Factory

Why does one deed excuse the other? It's not like anyone complaining about the chinese annexation of the Spratley's was alive to condone the annexation of Hawai'i by the US.

Both were and are bullshit. Extending national boundaries through force is something we were supposed to leave behind after WW2. Apparently, some people think that the lessons from WW2 don't apply to them.

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.

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