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Comment Re:record-shattering recording instruments (Score 5, Insightful) 507

I'm curious how the data can be compared reliably seeing as even assuming that all the thermometers used at the turn of the century were perfectly crafted, properly calibrated, cared for properly, placed properly, and recorded properly they STILL would have had an error rate of +-0.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In reality you can almost certainly at the very least double the error rate. Which means that any trends prior to more accurate recording devices aren't possible to compare.

See the law of large numbers. It is possible to get arbitrarily good estimates by combining sufficiently many fuzzy individual measurements. This is not an invention of some communist cabal of climate scientists, but was formalised by Bernoulli and Poisson in the 18th and 19th century. And it is, of course, used in every modern tracking radar system, wether to keep moving bodies apart or to bring them together.

That being said, even assuming arguendo that CO2 driven AGW is occuring, the solutions still have jack all to do with renewable energy. There are three possible solutions to the problem of large impact AGW, they are slaughter 90+% of the human race, try to chemically engineer the weather with various geoengineering attempts, or figure out a way to sequester carbon on a VERY large scale. Any other options are the fucking definition of whistling in the dark.

Thank's for your well-considered opinion. I'm sure both I and the world will give it the attention it deserves.

Comment Re:record-shattering recording instruments (Score 5, Informative) 507

[D] Use all available data as-is and track trends only across the same groups of instruments. [E] Be an actual scientist and control your variables. If you want long-term studies you need long-term data so you need to make sure all measurements are taken reliably and in the same way from the same type of device, if possible.

If you want to be called a "climate scientist" you NEED to do E. If you want to be called anything other than a charlatan you need to at least do D.

Of course, Berkeley Earth did take all the available raw data, automatically detected discontinuities (i.e. unexplainable jumps, especially if they conflict with overlapping neighbouring records), automatically cut series there, and then automatically realigned and reassembled all the snippets, in essentially the same way we do DNA reconstructions from fragmented DNA. And their result is indistinguishable from the more conventional reconstructions. The fact that several independent groups using at least two very different mechanisms come to the same result is either evidence for the reliability of that result, or, of course, for a big global conspiracy of scientists. Of course, the Berkeley study was mostly financed by the Koch brothers...

Comment Re:There are US DHS at London Gatwick?? (Score 1) 704

Are you saying he was wrong?

Because so far. what Jefferson and his fellow founding fathers did is held as the GOLD standard the world over for freedom. [...] They forged a country out of the reality that sime people can be trusted with voting and power and that the rest should not (non contributer. ..... those without a vested interest). [...] They are messed up because of this everyone gets to vote....everyone gets a say...screw dont pay pay in more than you take out then you should get no vote. Thats how it was back then...if you didnt own land (male and white) you didnt get to vote. And the reason was simply you cant trust most idiot humans with this kinda power. And everyday we see the dire results of letting everyone vote. You cant have nice things when you have even those who are nothing but blights on the world included in the votes. [...]No government contracts or handouts. WTF have you done. I employ over 1000 people...and have for almost 30 years now....WTF have you done? I didnt inherit the company i built the damn thing. Screw you and the ilk like you who take and take and bitch and bitch. When those like me have had enough of this bullshit running to the lowest denominator then your kind will really understand what a shit world you and your kind have created. [...] Your not paying for the system...i am....unless you can show that kind of dont realize who pays your way....but i do...because it is me...the John Galts of the world.

Well, Jefferson was creative with spelling, but at least somewhat consistent. Rand could spell. What you are ascribing to "Jefferson and his fellow founding fathers" was not Jeffersonian at all - it was Jefferson nemesis Hamilton, who suggested that "the rich and well born" had "a distinct, permanent share in the government", while Jefferson was much more of an egalitarian - within the confines of his times.

As for your rant: Odds are good that your mother was driven to a publicly supported hospital on a government-build road kept safe by government-provided police and military just to get you born. Your illusion of superiority because of your financial contributions is just that.

Comment Re:There are US DHS at London Gatwick?? (Score 3, Insightful) 704

I thought the US Constitution said something about all men being equal. Does it say it doesn't apply to foreigners?

The US constitution says no such thing. Jefferson's declaration of independence has the phrase that all men are created equal first among the list of self-evident truths, but that did not make it into the actual constitution. And of course "all men" for Jefferson in practice meant at best "all white males".

Comment Re:Unison (Score 1) 748

Nearly every time there is a drone strike, or an air strike, or an encounter between a US cop and a dark-skinned person, plenty of innocents are killed. [emphasis added]

Oh come on, think for a minute. I'll guess the 100 largest US cities average at least 100 police contacts a day with persons of color, that's 10 000 encounters per day. Only a few hundred incidents per year (out of millions!) result in anyone being killed (leaving aside the question of innocence). I'd certainly like to see that number reduced, but "nearly every time" is a gross exaggeration.

"Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech." Sorry - I didn't feel like putting a smiley on that sentence - it's too serious for that.

Comment Re:the new slow dummies in the left lane (Score 1) 748

Mostly because experts are people who have little slips of paper telling us their opinions are more valid than the opinions of others. It's the inversion of the American Cargo Cult ideal: while some people believe their opinion is as valid as any other opinion and that people who are well-researched just have an agenda, others believe that anything written by experts is Holy Writ and infallible.

Socrates had an issue with this.

Well, for one thing, there is a difference between expert and "expert". But then, typically even an "expert" has spend more time and thought on a problem than Joe Schmoe the average driver. From my cyclist perspective, Joe Schmoe does not spend much brainpower on anything ;-).

Socrates figured people should ask questions about *everything*. We have a world where people get a glance at something, make up some stuff, and then stop asking questions about it and presume anyone who disagrees with them is a moron; on the other end, someone gets a certification telling us they know about something, so we stop asking questions and assume anyone who disagrees with *them* is a moron. Socrates wanted us to question ourselves *and* the experts, to find out why the experts disagree with us, and then to decide if the reason for disagreement was valid, or if we could even assess it with the information we had. Do that enough and you'll start realizing the experts are wrong--they're always wrong, just less-wrong than all of their predecessors.

Socrates lived in a time when the sum total of human knowledge was a little fraction of what we know today, and this it was a lot easier to get up to the state of the art in several fields. Sure, we should question experts, but on average, the risk of rationalising our snap judgement with half-understood facts and simplified sound bites is not insignificant. The expert is not always right, but he usually comes closer to the truth than a non-expert.

Comment Re:Unison (Score 4, Informative) 748

Really, when will idiot philosophers get over their wet dream of getting people to condone murder? There are more important and useful questions to ask, but all I keep hearing about is some stupid variant of the trolley scam.

The trolley is a thought experiment, but the situation is not totally out of the way. Nearly every time there is a drone strike, or an air strike, or an encounter between a US cop and a dark-skinned person, plenty of innocents are killed. One can only hope that the people responsible at least convince themselves (if nobody else) that in the long term this saves lives, instead of acting purely reactively.

Michael Sandel's Justice course at Harvard is online, and is full of interesting discussions of moral dilemmas. There is not always a perfect solution, but there is a lot of value in thinking about the problem.

Comment Re:the new slow dummies in the left lane (Score 3, Insightful) 748

Which is a great theory, but the reality is that if the speed limit is set very low on a road for no apparent reason

Oh there is a reason, it just has nothing to do with safety.

Or there is a reason, it has to do with safety, or with optimising throughput, or some other valid concern, but that reason is not obvious to every dummy driver on the street. I don't trust every guy who owns a pair of pliers and a power drill to have a go at my dental care. So why would I assume that I know better than the experts which speed limits are optimal for a given set of goals?

Comment Re:Consider the progression (Score 2) 735

3) Cut the cord, Great Firewall of America. We stop routing traffic to and from unfriendly parts of the world. For this work we have be willing to cast a broad net. You can't say lets cut off Afghanistan and Syria but let Pakistan and Iraq stay connected. After all the boarders weak and ISIS/Taliban/What have you will use the coffee shot the next town over if that is what they have to do. We would need to consider cutting off 'allies' (I use the term loosely) like Turkey and Saudi Arabia in regions know to be terror hot beds as well unless they are prepared to police things somewhat like option (2) although that is more practical in their societies.

That's Trump-level stupid. It's not remotely going to work without completely abolishing freedom of speech (one of the things the US does get right). "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it". You cannot stop a one-way flow of information. You cannot even stop routing unless you forbid VPNs. In a pinch, I'm sure the EFF, the ACLU, or even Anonymous will provide anonymous routing. Good luck shutting them down without going all the way to Big Brother.

Comment Re:Where's the link to the draft? (Score 1) 138

That's actually a good capitalistic approach. ... Of course, in my not-so-uninformed opinion, a nuclear industry wouldn't even exist if not for government-sponsored X,Y &Z.

So are you advocating a market based approach or a government sponsored approach? We can combine both, or course. It is the outcome, after all, that counts. Is your adherence to free-market purity such that you could not conscience any government sponsorship in reducing carbon emissions?

I believe a market is a good tool to optimise resource allocation under given constraints. Ideally, we (via our government) would set the constraints and let the market find the solution. However, we don't have perfect markets. LLCs and stock companies (and death, indeed ;-) allow owners to go for short term profit and ignore long term consequences. Also, we have principal-agent problems. So I see some arguments for government regulation, and also for government intervention to curb nervous overreactions of the marktet.

I prefer setting realistic costs for natural resource usage, if via cap-and-trade or via fossil fuel taxes, to direct subsidies. If we let government pick winners, we will see more lobbying, and more pork going to experts in lobbying, not to experts in clean energy production.

I'm very doubtful about nuclear for a number of reasons, but in particular because I don't see it scale out. Maybe nuclear power plants can be safely operated by modern first-world countries (maybe not). But do you really want to see Nigeria, Burma, Iran, Somalia, Colombia, Iran, North Korea and the Principality of Sealand build breeder plants? I would definitely prefer a technology that is less risky and less centralised.

Comment Re:Where's the link to the draft? (Score 1) 138

I actually did take the time to look at it, and nope, no nuclear. Just a bunch of vague pie-in-the-sky bullshit. No real practical solutions, just repeating that man-made climate is bad and we must do something about it (the "something" being unspecified).

That's actually a good capitalistic approach. Set a goal, and let the market figure out how to achieve it most economically. Why would you prescribe a particular mechanism?

Of course, in my not-so-uninformed opinion, a nuclear industry wouldn't even exist if not for government-sponsored research and development projects, government-sponsored insurance, and the promise of government-sponsored nuclear waste disposal (not that we have any good final disposal sites, anywhere on the world), because the free market would not bear the costs. Indeed, in Germany the energy companies now try to spin off their nuclear "assets", because they know that the reserves accumulated for decommissioning the plants are unlikely to be sufficient.

Comment Re:Plenty people in power should be hanged.. (Score 1) 486

A few fanatics?

There are Muslim terrorist attacks practically every day.

There are roughly 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet. If each of these would commit one terrorist attack once in their lifetime, there would be about 60000 attacks per day - a bit less than 1 per second.

Comment Re:Plenty people in power should be hanged.. (Score 3, Insightful) 486

Neither are "the Muslims" killing anyone, just a few fanatics are. "The Americans" are commencing drone warfare with >90% "collateral damage" (that's a euphemism for "innocent civilians killed or maimed") - does that make it ok to attack all Americans and their values?

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