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Comment: Re:Not my findings (Score 1) 175

by IamTheRealMike (#48947635) Attached to: The NSA Is Viewed Favorably By Most Young People

So, now you have strong evidence that the people you talk to are not representative of America as a whole.

I would not put it that way. I'd say we have strong evidence that opinion polling can easily result in confusing or apparently contradictory results. The first sentence of the linked blog post has an air of mild surprise about it, and not surprisingly - when polled, 75% of Americans disagree that their government is trustworthy all or most of the time, yet they view most departments favourably? That makes little sense.

Something else doesn't make much sense. This result can easily be read as "people approve of what the NSA is doing". That must be what favourable means, right? Yet this very same polling agency has found a year ago that a majority of Americans oppose NSA practices. It's possible things have changed in the span of 2014, but other polls frequently return contradictory results too. This one by the Washington Post says, in the same set of questions, most people think monitoring all online activity to prevent terrorism isn't worth it, but monitoring all phone calls is. Why the difference?

At any rate, it's certainly true that the civil liberties wing of western societies has done a really appalling job of explaining to people why this sort of behaviour by governments is so risky, and Americans don't have recent local experience to fall back on. Unlike, say, people in former Soviet bloc countries, or Germans.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 175

by IamTheRealMike (#48947567) Attached to: The NSA Is Viewed Favorably By Most Young People

TFA is actually covering opinion polls relating to several government agencies, but in typical Slashdot form, TFS only focuses on the NSA section, because that will be more inflammatory.

.... or maybe, just of more interest to a tech/geek focused site? I guess the NSA is a lot more relevant than the VA, especially to non-American slashdotters like me.

The poll isn't very surprising given its consistency with previous polls, but that doesn't change the fact that the attitudes of Americans don't seem to be very internally consistent or easily explainable. Either American people are just strangely illogical or there's some subtle issue with the polling method (or both?). The big question mark this survey leaves hanging is why trust in government is at an all time low (along with falling trust in most institutions), yet iterating specific parts of the government yields mostly favourable views. This is such an odd result that the very first sentence in the poll writeup says:

The public continues to express positive views of many agencies of the federal government, even though overall trust in government is near historic lows.

Yes, indeed. The public does A even though B. How strange.

The way the poll works means there's little information that can be used to explain this. Perhaps the 8 departments they chose to ask people about aren't the reason people distrust government. Perhaps their distrust falls exclusively on Congress, or on the judicial branch. We can't tell from this result alone.

Another possibility is that the wording of the poll - although superficially neutral - does trigger bias. The question was "do you trust the government in Washington always or most of the time?". People might be distinguishing between "the government in Washington" and "other bits of the government", e.g. the NSA is not actually in the city of Washington whereas Congress is. Ditto for various other departments and especially the military which does a great job of spreading itself around the country.

My final thought is that people might be more naturally inclined to take out their dissatisfaction on Congress than on the executive branch, because getting mad at Congress feels like it might achieve something due to voting, whereas getting mad at the NSA is about as useful as getting mad at a brick wall. They answer to no one and can't be controlled, so it's a lot more comfortable if you can convince yourself they're on your side rather than not.

Comment: Re:I love how it is pushed (Score 2) 373

by MillionthMonkey (#48945345) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

I cant believe people still believe that paying a carbon tax is going to do anything but make a few people richer and everyone else poorer.

What? Who are these few people who are going to get rich off a carbon tax?

There is no attention paid to space weather trends

There has been a lot of attention given to space weather, like solar dynamics. So far there has been no evidence that space weather is having warming effects. That doesn't mean that nobody has been looking. People have, especially in the energy industry, and so far what little evidence there is actually points in the opposite direction.

or the use of a carbon tax to fund a corporate policy boards that will act as a defacto world government with an agenda that is not friendly to individual rights.

I've heard this point made a lot- we can't reduce CO2 because that means a one-world government would take my guns away and force me to be an atheist, or something.

Proponents don't seem to notice that there are weather manipulation programs in place right now.

Have any reference to that other than geoengineeringwatch? Scientists do talk about that as a possible idea but so far it remains speculative, and nobody is actually trying it. Those jet trails you see over your house are from carrying passengers. Sulfuric acid just doesn't have the money to afford the ticket prices.

How is screwing up natural weather by spraying compounds into the atmosphere and shooting it with radiation just dandy but using any petroleum product is killing the earth?

(If anyone got confused by that, the "compounds" he's talking about are sulfur aerosols, not CO2.) To my knowledge the idea strikes everyone as fanciful and distasteful; it only gets discussed as a possible last ditch, desperate option. Cities would have to be pretty flooded before anyone would actually seriously consider doing that. The main argument in its favor is that one ton of sulfuric acid would be potent enough to offset the warming of about 100000 tons of CO2. That's about all that can be said for it. (FWIW, CO2 is also an acidic gas, and obviously it also "shoots the atmosphere with radiation".)

All of you Al Gore subscribers pay honor to the creation but not the creator.

The Senate just voted 98 to 1 that the climate is changing, but refused to vote on whether humans were in any way responsible. I think that if anything qualifies as "paying honor to the creation but not the creator".

You are looking for your keys under the streetlamp instead of where you lost them because the light is better there.

I think that's because we can see them under the streetlamp- if we're the type who even bothers to look at all.

I love how the lefties always say global warming is ruining everything and it is not up for debate and that 100% of scientists agree.

IIRC it's 97%, not 100%. But that's still a really good consensus for a scientific theory, especially given the financial incentives for scientists to dissent.

The planet will gain it's equilibrium back with or without your participation if it needs to.

That's definitely true- a typical CO2 molecule remains airborne for about 10,000 years before being reabsorbed. in several million years the planet will have forgotten about us, except for any mass extinction event that we might have triggered- similar to what happened during the Carboniferous period, when today's fossil fuels were actually fossilized.

The NOAA all stars could not even predict the New York blizzard accurately. Why do you think they know what the climate is going to be like in 25 years?

Rush Limbaugh said this the day after the storm. Weathermen and climatologists aren't actually the same people. In fact most of the "skeptical scientists" that appear on TV to deny climate change are actually weathermen. But even if a weatherman can't tell you whether it's going to be warmer next week than today, he can predict with good confidence that exactly six months from now it's going to be warmer than today was. You're demanding a perfect weather forecast over every possible timescale before you'll even pull your fingers out of your ears.

You sure feel smart being ugly to people that you deem as doing something wrong. It is gross how satisfied lefties feel when they get to be ugly to others. It seems to be their most favorite game. They invent reasons why others are stupid and tell each other how smart they are when they all repeat the same things. It sounds like evil chickens squawking. Just noise for the sake of the people making it.

Actually, climatologists are pretty irritated that they can't talk about their science in public without the discussions instantly getting mobbed by Rush Limbaugh fans. I see these articles and I figure, there might be actual scientists posting intelligent things in there somewhere, but I'm never going to find them through all this crud.

Did you ever think that the big push for the climate controversy may have others agendas in the payload? Did you ever consider that some of the people steering it admit this? Did you ever consider the conflict of interest that occurs when the pushers stand to make trillions if they can get the carbon tax policy in place?

I've heard a lot about scientists who are supposedly scamming the government with a giant hoax so they can get piddling NSF grants, but this is the first I've heard about wannabe trillionaires.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 373

by MillionthMonkey (#48945013) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

I can't afford $30K a year in gas tax or a Tesla. Most people can't.

But some people can. Then Tesla can get more business, they can come out with better and cheaper cars, other companies will be incentivized to sell similar cars, and someday your car will work that way too.

Say what you want about pencil pushers, they can usually do math. Most households pay about $3000 on gas per year. If you're worrying about paying $30K a year on gas taxes, that's some pretty serious driving.

Comment: Re:Imagine $100,000,000,000 for cancer research (Score 1) 373

by MillionthMonkey (#48944929) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

How many millions of people have died because you'd rather play hippy than deal with the issues that are actually killing millions of people every year? Well, about 10 million people every year, the math shows.

We're talking about a problem that isn't causing us difficulties in the short term but threatens to be a long term disaster. Cancer, traffic deaths, child abuse, teen smoking, alcoholism, disease, etc. are all problems in the short term as well as the long term, which is why we address them. That doesn't mean that specifically long term problems aren't worth addressing at all, especially if they need to be dealt with in the short term by their very nature. It's like saying "my kid is hungry today, I can't afford to vaccinate him- so I'll just wait until he actually gets the measles".

Comment: Re:as requested (Score 1) 373

by MillionthMonkey (#48944851) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

The world would be down right exactly the same as it is now if Al Gore hadn't made the movie.

Except for the fact that a majority of conservatives get offended by the topic simply because it was introduced to them by people they don't like. Seriously, I think he did a disservice to the environment just by getting himself associated with it.

And there is absolutely no proof otherwise.

<fail type="ad_hominem" class="projection">This is what is wrong with you extreme alarmists. Exaggeration as a talking point. FEAR FEAR FEAR. Honestly, you are down right dishonest.</fail>

Ow! That hurt!

Comment: Re:as requested (Score 1) 373

by MillionthMonkey (#48944741) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

If you want to understand why rising CO2 is a problem, try to imagine for a second what the world might be like if Al Gore hadn't made a movie about it.

It really sounds laughably desperate when the arguments have devolved to "So-and-so failed to predict the weather 30 years ago". Scientists over the years have come out with lowball estimates too, but those usually don't appear on paste sites.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1, Insightful) 373

by MillionthMonkey (#48944709) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

This argument again? I'm so sick of having to explain why "Don't feed the bears" != "Don't feed the poor". If you feed bears, they'll learn to nag you and other people for food. If you feed the poor, they'll also learn to nag for the food, but there are good reasons why you'd maybe want a hungry poor person to ask you for food instead of having a bear ask.

Anyway, regardless of how they feel about bears, conservatives certainly don't like wolves.

Comment: Re:Bubbles in Bloodstream is Dangerous (Score 4, Interesting) 15

You get the bends from high levels of nitrogen dissolved in blood plasma under pressure. If you move to low pressure regions near the water's surface too fast, the nitrogen is able to separate out into bubbles that get stuck in tissues and blood vessels.

These things are "round" like gas bubbles, but they're more like some sort of fake dummy cells, with a fluid interior surrounded by something that looks like a lipid bilayer made of soap-like molecules that bind together by van der Waals forces and have charged tips that interface with the surrounding water. There is no gas.

It's a badly written article- "oooh bubbles!" People should try not to write stupid shit like this, especially about vaccines. I'm already blue in the face screaming at thick skulled idiots on #CDCwhistleblowers who post crap about how vaccines cause autism because Big Pharma stuffs them with disgusting crap like dihydrogen monoxide.

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney