Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 1) 236

by NoOneInParticular (#49794255) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

So let's all build arcs then. Our invisible friend in the sky might at any moment decide to flood the earth again. He did it once, so it's probably overdue.

In short: "no matter how unlikely" can be extremely unlikely. That's when we use reasoning instead of blanket statements.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 620

by NoOneInParticular (#49775683) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

So what do you suggest we do if a person is incapacitated, and doctors need someone's direction to perform life threatening surgery or not? Ask a random person in the hallway, or ask the person that is legally designated as the spokesperson?

I much prefer an elected government to decide upon these kind of issues than a religious tradition based on the necessities of living in the desert.

Comment: Re: This isn't a question (Score 1) 620

by NoOneInParticular (#49770751) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Because that's uncharted territory for law. Suppose there are three people in a marriage relationship, and one gets mortally sick, say in a coma. Who of the two others will represent the spouse, particularly when they are in disagreement. How would divorce be handled? Do the two left need to remarry, or does the contract allow to be continued? How does the estate get split up? How does alimony work? How would inheritance work? How would pensions work? What if there are 4 people, 10, 50? How would all this be structured legally?

Even in contract law, it's a big shift to go from two parties to more than two. Too much needs to be sorted out with too many institutions. That's why 2 consenting adults is the best we can do at this point.

Comment: Re:Republicans could... (Score 1) 609

by NoOneInParticular (#49745919) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
Wazzu...wot? Arguing for legalizing abortion and for gay marriage does not equate tax implications. It's completely consistent to be for legal abortion and against free abortions. Likewise, it's completely consistent to be for gay marriage and against tax benefits for married people. So again, what are you actually arguing?

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 609

by NoOneInParticular (#49729039) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
True, but the only states that actually matter are the swing states, and you do not become a swing state by splitting up your vote. This would immediately take you of the swing state list. So effectively, the only states that matter in a US presidential election are states like Ohio and Florida, and they use this to get concessions out of the presidential candidates. They get all the money, they get all the attention, they get the laws benefitting them, the other states do not matter. Great system.

Comment: Re:Do we really need a artcle about so called sexi (Score 2) 613

by NoOneInParticular (#49699699) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science
Indeed, that's how I read it. The paper started with an assumption that females are equal to males in producing scientifically correct papers, and therefore any discrepancy between male and female publication acceptance rates must come from discrimination. The reviewer pointed out that if you take an alternative hypothesis, that males are better at this stuff than females, then the conclusion didn't hold. They were begging the question. He went even so far as to explain that if you would take sports as an example, you could provide an absurd conclusion -- females are discriminated against participating in the 100 meters dash. Note, he was not saying that males are better than females at doing science, simply that this is not a foregone conclusion. And that's absolutely politically incorrect. All in all, I think he was pretty stupid to formulate it the way he did, but I don't think this is a slam-dunk to show suppression of females. Quite the opposite.

Comment: Re:-dafuq, Slashdot? (Score 1) 249

It was actually not an assertion, but an observation. I used the article that you fulminated against as an argument that the apparently, the world is moving on. The debate rages in fringe websites and far right political theatres. In scientific circles, there is no debate as the 'sceptical' side has completely failed to put any new arguments or competing theories in the debate for the past two decades. That's what the 'science is settled' means.

Comment: Re:-dafuq, Slashdot? (Score 5, Insightful) 249

For me, I draw the line with some basic facts and basic physics. If you disagree with those, I would say that you're in denial, and to have a rational discussion is as likely to have a rational discussion with a Young Earther on geology. This basic fact is that there is anthropogenic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. We had a lot of CO2 captured in the soil of the earth, and we've put it in the atmosphere. If you want to dispute that, there's no helping you, you are in denial. Second is a basic bit of physics: with increased CO2 there is increased retention of heat -- given all else being equal. This is the greenhouse effect. If you dispute that, I would like to urge you to create a greenhouse and observe. We can fairly accurate estimate what increase in warmth we can expect with increase in CO2 concentration. Again, disregarding all other factors such as heat sinks and many of the things that make climate modelling so difficult. This is a highly idealized physical theory that cannot be blindly applied to climate, yet it establishes one important thing: CO2 is a forcing term in the earth's atmosphere by its ability to capture heat. And we can very exactly compute how much heat it captures, and boy, are we in trouble!

If you accept those two things, it might be worth having a discussion about climate change. We, as humans, have introduced a forcing term in the climate that can be expressed as an additional amount of energy that is retained in the atmoshpere, and we are now trying to establish the actual effects. It is fine to be sceptic about some of the results, but honestly, you should also consider the possibility that some of those models are right. Just dismissing them is not an option, as the idealized model already predicts massive trouble. You would have to explain how this is NOT a problem. Claiming ignorance won't help you here, as you are arguing that many knowledgeable people are basically wrong.

The third breed of denier/sceptic is the 'anti-alarmist'. They hate the discussion about what to do about climate change and are denying the science in order to derail the discussion. A fair person would examine the actual ideas, and propose a weighted argument about the costs of the ideas versus the actual uncertainty in the rate of change we're experiencing. A denier just denies the science.

Finally, there is the bona fide sceptic. Somebody that has read up on the subject, has found some major issues, and is busy keeping his peers (because he is climate scientist by now) honest. Some of them exist (people know them by name), and although many don't agree with them, the are fairly well respected.

So, what type are you: the 'young-earth' equivalent of the denier that cannot understand logic and science, the lazy sceptic that does understand a bit of science but cannot be bothered to actually read up on it, or the political activist that denies the science because he hates his policial adversaries, or a scientist that has some informed sceptical point of view? You seem to be a mix of the first three. A bit more honest than most, but still pretty deluded in your reasoning.

Comment: Re:-dafuq, Slashdot? (Score 1) 249

Yes, something like that. I think the re-education camps should be basic physics and reasoning courses, with as a graduation exercise the formal delivery of a reasonably plausible climate model that takes anthropogenic CO2 increase as a forcing term and explains how that would NOT lead to climate change. Or, if not interested in taking that up, a big dose of STFU.

Comment: Re:A poltical agenda? (Score 1) 249

In response to climate change, Elon Musk made a point to make cool electric cars. Millions of people died. In response to climate change, some people have refrained from taking planes and are using their cars if they don't really have to. Millions of people died. In response to climate change, people have chosen to select energy suppliers that provide 'green' energy. Millions of people died.

At this rate of millions dying, we soon will have not enough people to put enough CO2 in the atmosphere to keep the furnace going.

Comment: Re:-dafuq, Slashdot? (Score 4, Interesting) 249

I am sorry that you feel left out. Guess what, this is what it means when the science is settled. It means that people stop caring about your untenable position. The world moves on and we are now looking at the effects of global warming, knowing that it occurs and that we do not know where it will stop. Glaciers are retreating, North Pole is shrinking, and Western Antartica is melting.

In contrast with you, Big Oil got the picture, and quite a few investigations are underway to figure out where the oil is when (not if, when) parts of the North Pole become accessible year around. I'm sure if Big Oil would listens to you they would save the 100s of millions they invest in this, but guess what, they follow the science, not the self-proclaimed sceptics that haven't been able to field a single climate model that explains how anthropogenic CO2 increase will NOT lead to climate change.

A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.