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Comment: Re:Regular People (Score 1) 586

by Spazmania (#47437503) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

No approach to "programming" for normal people ever has allowed normal people to go beyond the canned capabilities. Excel macros are as far out of reach.

But why would this be surprising or unreasonable? Most people can't change the oil in their car either, or replace the stereo. And most of those who can can't make engine repairs. It'd be absurd to suggest this reflects faulty thinking on the part of car manufacturers.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 708

by Spazmania (#47394201) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Can I get you to concede that there are scientists unworthy of the title? And that many scientists belive that consensus with no serious contending alternative explanations is effectively settled?

Yes and yes. But I would suggest that those who fall into the latter category generally also fall into the former.

A theory has to coherently explain all of the evidence and make correct predictions about experiments not yet performed. Epicycles had no contenders for quite a while. But anyone who considered the orbits of the planets a settled matter was a fool -- each time data collection improved, epicycles' prediction was a little bit off yet again.

Put another way: I don't have to know the truth to know when someone is full of bull. I merely need recognize the characteristics of BS. It could still be the truth, but the guy BSing me is ruled out as a credible source for that knowledge.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 708

by Spazmania (#47393741) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

How else can you convince a layperson at all?

How do you make other people do what you think they should do? You don't.

You tell them what you're sure is true with a simplified explanation of why using the language of certainty. Then you tell them what you believe to be true and why, using the language of uncertainty. Then you acknowledge any competing theories that haven't been strictly disproven, again with the language of uncertainty, and briefly discuss the merits behind those points of view.

Anyone who needs to make a decision on that information will then ask their personal subject matter expert to spot check you -- do any of your certain claims appear questionable? Does any of the uncertainty in your beliefs appear to be mere wishful thinking? Did you deliberately omit the competition?

Folks won't make their decision on the facts. They'll make their decision based on whether they believe you're honest. Behaving like a used car salesman, using the language of certainty for everything you believe and ridiculing that which you don't, dissuades folks from finding you credible. The hard sell sometimes achieves a single result but it never achieves sustainable results over time.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 708

by Spazmania (#47393605) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

I don't suggest doing nothing. I suggest more research and more experimentation. I suggest public policy that encourages more nuclear power and addresses the dangerous build up of temporary storage for spent nuclear fuel, trading a risk of local toxicity for the proven regional air pollution and possible global impact.

What I -don't- suggest is that we rush it. Let change evolve slowly on a low-cost vector until the science is good enough to support more radical action.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 708

by Spazmania (#47393477) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

The only reason this whole thing is political (or a debate in the first place) is because there are people who stand to lose significantly from environmentally friendly measures and a move away from hydrocarbons.

And you and I are among them. The kind of massive economic shift needed to materially reduce the use of fossil fuels will seriously undermine your standard of living, as will the war with China necessary to stop them from burning coal.

Before we undertake such a massive and costly effort, we'd better be damn sure we're right. Something more than 97% of published abstracts declining to reject human activity as a major cause of global warming. Like maybe a model that can be shown to have been solidly predictive a decade or two after its publication. With numbers far enough outside the error band to lend the model credibility.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 708

by Spazmania (#47393377) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Phrenology has no scientific basis, but Eugenics certainly does. If you take all the people with traits you don't like, and murder them, you will have fewer of those traits in the next generation. That is a scientific fact.

That's basic animal husbandry. Eugenics takes it a step further - to a belief that weeding out the undesirables in a population will improve the species. But the last century of animal husbandry and now genetics suggests a different result - that from bulldogs to dairy cows the more thoroughly bred the animal, the more fragile it becomes. That a loss of genetic diversity leads to extinction.

Eugenics was presented as science -- look everybody, we can control attributes through breeding. Surely if we breed out the undesirable characteristics, our species will be better for it. But that conclusion didn't follow from the evidence. Eugenics' proponents made a long and unjustified leap to reach their conclusion from the available science. And in time they were proven wrong.

In my opinion, current "climate change science" quacks like the same duck -- a core of sound science deep underneath a pile of conclusions far more profound than the science actually supports.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 2, Insightful) 708

by Spazmania (#47392985) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

"97 percent of climate scientists believe human activities are causing global warming."

That's not a scientific statement, it's a political one. Science doesn't vote, it either provably is or it isn't.

When we push beliefs on people and claim it's science, we shouldn't be surprised when they treat it as flexibly as they do any other belief. Nor should we be surprised when such misuse of science erodes their faith in its overall veracity.

Is climate change human caused? Hell if I know. But I know it's been pushed on the public about as unscientifically as Eugenics and Phrenology.

Comment: Re:Now thats incentive (Score 5, Informative) 553

I don't like this kind of reasoning. Science should never be about authority.

Good point. Here's what his linked-in page ( http://www.linkedin.com/in/lou... ) says about him:

Louis A. Del Monte is a Internet marketing/sales expert, award winning physicist, author, featured speaker and CEO of Del Monte and Associates, Inc.

During his college & graduate school, Del Monte supplemented his income working as a professional magician at resorts in New York's Catskill Mountain region.

His first pride, foremost in his profile? His ability to sell you. Also important? His skill as an illusionist. Missing from the summary? Any hint of software development work of any kind, personal or professional, let alone AI.

Science mustn't be about authority but it mustn't be about salesmanship either. There's an obvious credibility problem here and no way to test his claim save waiting until he's old, decrepit and has already received the maximum benefit from anybody choosing to listen to him.

Guy's speaking out of his tailpipe and it looks to me like he really is a sales expert.

Comment: Re:Counter-notice! (Score 1) 349

by Spazmania (#47391673) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Do you have any idea what you would be claiming is not patented by them if you sent this little note?

Uh... yes as a matter of fact. The DMCA does not relate to patents (that C is Copyright). This "little note" makes no claims whatsoever about patents.

I frankly have no idea whether anything in cyanogenmod violates any copyrights or patents. If you have reason to believe it does, you probably shouldn't post it anywhere that U.S. law holds sway.

And if it's fully legit, well, yeah they can still sue you. Man up. You only have rights you're willing to stand up for. If you'll cede those rights in the face of a mere nastygram then you never really had them to begin with. But hey, I'm ok with you having fewer rights than me as long as it's your choice.

Comment: Re:Now thats incentive (Score 5, Insightful) 553

Louis Del Monte estimates that...

Who?

The average estimate for when this will happen is 2040, though Del Monte says it might be as late as 2045. Either way, it's a timeframe of within three decades.

I hope that's a in-joke. Like construction that's forever two weeks from done and jam two days a week (yesterday and tomorrow), three decades has been the estimate for "true" AI since the 1970's. Every year, it's just three more decades away.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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