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Comment Re:Programming (Score 1) 412

Somehow people are messing up "knowing math" and "knowing enough about math for programming". She never claims that basic math wasn't a necessity, she also doesn't claim that knowing some calculus and linear algebra is superfluous.

But there is a whole world between being able to do the math necessary to rotate a 3D vector in a 4D space and the proof of the Poincaré-conjecture.

Also a plumber doesn't need to be able to do the math of the Chapman-Kolmogorov equation to find out when the laminar flow in a water tube turns chaotic. But he should know that changing one parameter (e.g. the length of the tube or the diameter or the flowing speed) will move the limit and can turn the actual flow back to laminar, even though he's not able to write down all the integrals.

So yes, knowing math is fine for programming, and there are many task in programming which require some special knowledge about some obscure math problem and its solutions, but it is not necessary to study the whole field of mathematics surrounding that math problem, nor is it necessary to be able to solve the math problem on your own.

Comment Re:Ideology not reality ... (Score 1) 145

Even the first ever described bubble does not fit your description: The Tulip mania of 1637. So your thesis seem to be somewhat flawed. Yes, in most economic conditions, you also find some governmental regulation. And most of them do not turn into bubbles. Some of them do. But even something out of the reach of governmental regulation can turn into a bubble (see Exhibit A). Thus your argument is similar to the argument that because you find water in about any carcinoma, water causes cancer.

Comment Re:pros and cons (Score 1) 475

* Porche SUV - huh? Doesn't do either job all that well.

To be fair: A SUV does only one job well, and that is aggrandizing its owner, and the Porsche SUV is perfect for the job. If it was for the smooth ride at long distances, each car can do better, for less fuel. If it was for the space and driving position, a van would could do that for less fuel, if it was for the loading and hauling capacity, a truck would do better with less maintenance required, and if it was for the offroad capabilities, each dedicated 4WD would beat it hands down.

All a SUV can is telling the world, that you don't want to drive a van or station wagon and will pay a premium not to have to.

Comment Re:3mm is the key (Score 5, Informative) 382

And now we compare that with the tax breaks, subsidaries and profits for the oil and coal industry between 1989 and 2009. And suddenly we are talking about pocket change. They get $2.4 billion per year in tax breaks only, while the whole money spent on climate research (which includes weather forecasts, which people like to forget) is just $1.6 billion per year. And this does not include the $6.5 billion in subsidies per year for oil and gas. And the $14 billion per year subsidies for Nonconventional fuels (e.h. oil from shale, from tar sands, coal seams and coal based synthetic fuels). And the tax break of about $1 billion per year by declaring Coal Royalty Payments as Capital Gains.

So where are the government founded profits, in launching satellites and building expensive computers for weather forecasts and climate modelling at $1.6 billion per year and which aren't profitable to sell, or in mining coal and oil and gas for $25 billion in subsidies, and which you can then sell for a profit on the market?

So whoever brings up the financial gain argument against the climate scientists, has to honestly conclude that the financial interest on the anti-climate-scientist-stance is much more plausible. If you want to follow the money, the big stinking trace goes to oil and gas, and not to climate research and renewables.

Comment Re:Causation? (Score 1) 87

On the other hand: The most cited papers are those that describe some research method, which is often highly specialized, e.g. some test, some experiment, some analysis method. But if you use their methodology in your paper, you cite them because they describe in detail what you are doing. If you are doing some gene manipulation, you will cite some papers which describe how to detect and isolate genes. If you are doing geology, you will cite some papers about how to determine the age of stones. If you are counting species, you will cite the papers which describe how to tell two quite similar species apart etc.pp.

Normally this should give papers with long names some push.

Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 4, Insightful) 370

First of all: While being caught doing something immoral may cause embarrassement, feeling embarrassed does not necessarily imply immorality. And getting into a deep depression about some event that lets you commit suicide does not imply embarrassement at all. All you expose here is a very simplistic world view of moralinic acidicy.

Or to put it in a more graphic picture: It is totally ok to have a penis (half of the world population has one), it is absolutely ok to change your pants from time to time, and it's a pure necessity to put your pants down to do so. Nevertheless it's still embarrassing for most of us to be caught pants down and having our wang being stared at by lots of bystanders.

Second: As far as I know, it never said in the Terms and Conditions of Ashley Madison that you have to be in a relationship based on respective sexual faithfulness to be entitled to use the service. Thus all you can tell about the people registered with Ashley Madison is that with a high probability they once were looking for sexual encounters. Thus the argument that people who committed suicide because of the breach of Ashley Madison had it coming to them amounts to the idea that searching for a sexual encounter should be punishable by death. For a short time I was cherishing the thought of what if this was true for people with this world view and I smirked because it implied that people with this morality compass would be forbidden to procreate.

Comment Re:But but but.. (Score 1) 278

No, Teddy Roosevelt would definitely not be a T-Party supporter. The T-Party is the reincarnation of the Eternal Puberty, where the parents, represented by the government are guilty of constantly interferring with your life, messing it up and at the same time not supporting you and your great ideas, instead expecting you to clean your room, and especially stocking up the fridge with the wrong type of soda, even though you grumpily sat in your room when they made the error the last time.

Comment Re:But but but.. (Score 1) 278

I never understood why this law should be only valid on the Internet. In fact, I know of many examples of non-internet parodies which were, even though they were clearly recognizable as parodies, taken as the thing they were mocking. Most prominent example would be the Illuminatus! trilogy by Shea and Wilson.

Comment Re:A bit of history (Score 3, Interesting) 111

No, he's thinking more along Ulysses Grant; "I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution."

If you never test bad laws or laws with unintended consequences in court, no one will ever see the bad outcomes and unintendend consequences.

Comment Re: The only intuitive interface is the nipple (Score 1, Informative) 270

Actually, no, they don't. And yes, I have been present at a child's birth, and because my wife was sedated and lost huge amounts of blood during the sectio, for the first few hours, I was holding the child. And no, he didn't start to search for a nipple all by himself, I actually had to hold the baby bottle right to his mouth until he grabbed it with his lips and was starting to suck on it.

Comment Re:Insane government (Score 1) 484

Poland exports just 0.1 TWh to Germany per year, while Germany itself was importing 38 TWh. Thus even in situations of dire need (when Germany was importing electricity), Poland supplied only 0.3 percent of Germany's imported electricity, which renders your argument somewhat dubious. I guess Germany can do just fine if 0.3 percent of the imported capacity (non-withstanding the capacity Germany itself still has) are missing.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 5, Informative) 518

But I'll still be willing to listen to reasonable follow-up experiments instead of dismissing out of hand. So we get to Martin Tajmar and his claims (also not peer reviewed, but at least it's at a conference). Tajmar is not the guy I'd choose as the most reputable source. He has a history of claims about...creative physics from poor experimental setups. That is, he claims to observe new physics, but people have consistently had a hard time reproducing his results. Go ahead and google the guy.

I did, and appearantly it was Martin Tajmar himself, who found the flaw in his gravitational gyroscope thesis, and published it: FiberOpticGyroscope Measurements Close to Rotating Liquid Helium. So whatever you think about the guy, a superficial Google result seems to put him at least as honest. If he makes a mistake, he is able to admit it.

"The identical is equal to itself, since it is different." -- Franco Spisani