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Comment: Close, but I think it's simpler and more normal (Score 3, Insightful) 394

by aussersterne (#48020019) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

than that.

It's not that the public doesn't trust the abilities of scientists.

It's that they don't trust their motives. We have a long literary tradition that meditates on scientists that "only cared about whether they could, not whether they should," and the politicization of sciences makes people wonder not whether scientists are incompetent, but whether they have "an agenda," i.e. whether scientists are basically lying through their teeth and/or pursuing their own political agendas in the interest of their own gain, rather than the public's.

At that point, it's not that the public thinks "If I argue loudly enough, I can change nature," but rather "I don't understand what this scientist does, and I'm sure he/she is smart, but I don't believe they're telling me about nature; rather, they're using their smarts to pull the wool over my eyes about nature and profit/benefit somehow."

So the public isn't trying to bend the laws of nature through discourse, but rather simply doesn't believe the people that are telling them about the laws of nature, because they suspect those people as not acting in good faith.

That's where a kinder, warmer scientific community comes in. R1 academics with million-dollar grants may sneer at someone like Alan Alda on Scientific American Frontiers, but that sneering is counterproductive; the public won't understand (and doesn't want to) the rigorous, nuanced state of the research on most topics. It will have to be given to them in simplified form; Alan Alda and others in that space did so, and the scientific community needs to support (more of) that, rather than sneer at it.

The sneering just reinforces the public notion that "this guy may be smarter than me, but he also thinks he's better and more deserving than me, so I can't trust that what he's telling me is really what he thinks/knows, rather than what he needs to tell me in order to get my stuff and/or come out on top in society, deserving or not."

Comment: Re:Time to retire bash! (Score 1) 316

by Waffle Iron (#48019199) Attached to: Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

Python? You serious? Bye bye one liners with for loops or anything else. I really doubt anyone wants to have pretty code enforced on them for something as simple as iterating through a few numbers one time, ever.

$ python -c 'for x in range(3): print "One"; print "Liner!"'

Comment: Speaking as a Customer (Score 2) 157

by Greyfox (#48014409) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?
Having access to bug tracking databases has resulted in me deciding not to use a product a couple of times, while it has encouraged me to use a product zero times. Having access to them gives you excellent insight into development priorities and developer attitudes toward customers. You can have a pretty high expectation that developer priorities are not your priorities as a customer. You can also have a pretty high expectation that your developers generally think customers are retarded. Neither of those things is particularly good to display on the Internet.

Comment: Re:Not so.... (Score 2) 464

by Dr. Spork (#48010687) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit
That's a useful chart, but it shows that the growth of coal in Germany is far larger than the total portion of solar. So if you want to call that growth a "fluctuation," you should call the contribution of solar a "rounding error" or something. What I learned from the chart is that in Germany, the burning of household trash produces twice as much power as solar, and this is growing much faster than solar. I bet it's also costing the customers far less and provides other benefits, like municipal hot water. So yes, Germany is having a bit of a trash burning revolution, and I applaud this. The solar thing though, I don't think that's going so well for Germany.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 464

by Dr. Spork (#48010587) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit
Um, you tell me about the coal burning plants that Germany shut down, and I'll hunt down the links for the 12 ginormous coal-burning powerplants that have opened up since 2010. The largest of these are designed to burn fucking lignite (brown coal, the dirtiest thing we have ever used for power in the history of mankind). This is not 1812, it was 2012. CO2 emissions are growing faster in Germany than anywhere else in Western Europe, while US emissions are sinking over the same timespan. Germany acts like it's some model citizen because everyone loves to hear about solar this and that, but most of their power comes from coal. Also, most of their new capacity comes from coal. Every year this decade, even the proportion of German power that has come from coal has increased. Yeah, coal. For this I hardly think they deserve any congratulations.

Comment: Re:I still don't get this. (Score 0) 299

by aussersterne (#48009859) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

I frankly don't see any difference. Big, fat force, tiny little space. That's not good for a sheet of glass, a sheet of metal—hell, you've seen what happens to a sheet of paper after spending all day in your pockets. People learn that in grade school.

If it really has to be on your waist somewhere, get a holster. Otherwise, just carry the damned thing, or put it in a shirt or coat pocket, briefcase, backpack, etc.

Since the '90s, I've never regularly carried a mobile device in my pants pockets. Obviously, it would break, or at least suffer a significantly reduced lifespan. On the rare occasions when I do pocket a device for a moment, it's just that—for a moment, while standing, to free both hands, and it is removed immediately afterward because I'm nervous the entire time that I'll forget, try to sit down, and crack the damned thing.

Comment: I still don't get this. (Score 5, Insightful) 299

by aussersterne (#48009653) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

Who thinks it's okay to sit on their phone? Why do people think they ought to be able to? It literally makes no sense. It's an electronic device with a glass screen. If I handed someone a sheet of glass and said, "put this in your back pocket and sit on it!" they'd refuse.

But a phone? Oh, absolutely! Shit, wait, no! It broke?!?!

Comment: Working On My Pandering Campaign Platform (Score 3, Insightful) 193

by Greyfox (#48005259) Attached to: The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes
I'm going over the headlines today working on my pandering campaign platform. So far as president I promise to fire the entire forest service, prosecute the phoebus cartel to the fullest extent of the law and demand that my banking regulators not only do their jobs properly but to antagonize the bankers as much as possible (Up to and including stabbing them in the face if they feel it's required.) I predict this will be fairly popular on the internet but end up receiving no campaign contributions. How's that working so far?

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.