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Comment: Re:Philosophy of Science (Score 1) 409

by Tablizer (#47966489) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

the religious would see creationism as validated no matter how much evidence you put in front of them

Those who are stubborn, mentally protect their ego against being wrong at all costs, or have an agenda (like offertory funds) indeed won't budge. But some are generally more curious than they are egotistical and not afraid to consider alternative viewpoints.

In other words, just become some students are stupid doesn't mean all are.

By the way, a creator is a valid scientific argument to consider. Monsanto is a creator of sorts, and we may be in a giant simulation managed by a being (sysadmin), which is not outside of physical possibilities and thus not inherently "supernatural" in the traditional sense.

But the hard part is how to test for intelligence. If somebody says that a being put red crusty stuff on their metal mailbox instead of it being natural rust, how does one go about testing for both possibilities? Why doesn't the plastic mailbox have the red stuff? Does Occum's Razor always favor natural processes? Get the wheels turning in students' heads.

Comment: Models (Score 1) 409

by Tablizer (#47966329) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

The most compact description of science I've seen is "the process of finding the simplest model(s) that explains observations".

The model is typically math or algorithms, but is not necessarily limited to those (although life is usually easier if you do.)

The model may not necessarily reflect underlying reality, but until we have more data we cannot tell if it does or not. For example, epicycles and regression can produce "matching" models to an extent of certain physical phenomena, but further observations often end up showing they are limited, such as with 3-body orbits. (Epicycles and regression can offer prediction ability under a fixed set of circumstances, at least, which can still make a useful tool.)

If the global warming deniers can produce a model that is accurate (explains the past and continues to predict the future) that is of equal or lessor complexity than the human-caused global warming models, then they may have a leg to stand on. So far, they just criticize existing models without proposing a complete alternative.

We don't have to argue over who is the most biased or bribed; let the models do the speaking.

As far as the general public understanding the models, well, that's a trickier one. Complexity is complexity.

Comment: Re:Just in time for another record cold winter (Score 1) 150

"Superstorm"* Sandy

* So named because it wasn't even strong enough to count as a real hurricane...

On the contrary, Sandy was a category 2 hurricane when it made landfall on Cuba. Moreover, it still had hurricane-force winds when it made landfall in New Jersey; the only reason it wasn't called a "hurricane" was that it was post-tropical. In other words, it was as severe as a hurricane, but a different kind of storm.

Comment: Re:"Stakeholders" (Score 2) 88

by mrchaotica (#47964533) Attached to: Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

It would be the government is now regulating the actual traffic on the internet

You are a liar, doing nothing but spreading FUD.

Regulating ISPs as Common Carriers would "regulate the actual traffic on the Internet" exactly as much as regulating phone companies as Common Carriers censors the content of telephone calls -- which is to say, not in the slightest.

Comment: "Stakeholders" (Score 5, Interesting) 88

by mrchaotica (#47964055) Attached to: Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

Who are the stakeholders? Well, let's see:

  • Telcos
  • "Big Data" Internet companies
  • the FCC
  • the Public

Only one of these "stakeholders" have opinions that actually matter, and that stakeholder sent "a groundswell of 3 million citizen comments, most of them, presumably, against the FCC's approach" [and in support of regulating ISPs as Common Carriers].

I think we're done here.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 375

In your foaming response, please describe _exactly_ what you find so objectionable about the Affordable Care Act.... If you have corporate health insurance, describe exactly how the ACA affected your coverage.

My problem with the ACA is that it failed to end employer-provided health insurance, which serves to do exactly nothing except make it harder to change jobs.

My health insurance is paid 100% by my employer. My wife's insurance is paid 50% by my employer. However, as I understand it, because my employer offers health insurance for my wife, she's not eligible for the subsidized rate she would otherwise get for an exchange-based plan. I'm reasonably certain that the 50% of the premiums we pay is more than a subsidized ACA plan would cost, but less than an unsubsidized one would cost, so we're forced to overpay for the "privilege" of having a "choice."

What the ACA should have done is let employers wishing to offer health benefits pay into a FSA or HSA-like account, which the employee could use to pay the premium of the insurance plan of his choosing.

Comment: Re:House Committee on Oversight and Government Ref (Score 1) 375

Someone who can blame Obamacare on Republicans is someone who can blame anything on them.

First of all, Obamacare is the Republicans' fault. You can tell because A) they liked it when it was called Romneycare, and B) it's a shit solution (compared to "single payor" where said payor is either the government (i.e., a socialist solution) or the individual patient (i.e., a libertarian solution)) that only serves to entrench and enrich the middlemen. The Democrats would have designed a much more socialist program had they not been trying to appease the Republicans.

Second, your claim is a fallacy. There is absolutely no reason why, just because Obamacare is legitimately the Republicans' fault, that any of the other stupid shit Obama and/or the Democrats have done could be also. For example, here's a partial list of things for which the Republicans can not be blamed:

  • Treasonous NSA totalitarianism after 2009 (just because Congress passed a bill that purports to authorize and fund it, doesn't mean Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, actually has to do it. He could have unilaterally ended it 5 seconds after being inaugurated but didn't, and that's entirely on him.)
  • Parallel construction after 2009 (a concept entirely made up by the executive branch, as far as I know)
  • Benghazi and most other foreign-policy screwups since 2009
  • IRS scandal
  • the Obamacare website (note: distinct from Obamacare itself)
  • etc.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 182

by mrchaotica (#47963371) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

On return home, she found a "letter held" notification and contacted the post office who could not advise who the sender was.

Did she try reading the letter to see what it was about? I find it hard to believe that a letter could constitute "legal notice" unless it included a sentence explaining what it was supposed to be giving notice of (e.g. "hey, your insurance is being cancelled!") and the contact info of the insurer....

Comment: Re: What? (Score 1) 182

by mrchaotica (#47963347) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Sometimes, the police have a service whereby if you tell them you're out of town, they'll pay more attention to signs of burglary when patrolling past your house and/or check it more often. (You can also tell them what behavior to expect, e.g., lights on timers or cars in the driveway so they can more easily tell if anything is wrong.)

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.