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Comment Re:Is quantum mechanics a theory? (Score 1) 168

It's true that a model is not necessarily an explanation. Epicycles had predictive value (if tuned well), but almost all agree it's not how planetary motion "works". Newton gravity is considered a better explanation because it's the simplest working model: Occum's Razor.

If a better model comes along, we may make that the top model, ie, the "best explanation so far". Maybe there is no gravity, only something that happens to fit our gravity model. We do more experiments to find that out by testing the model more and testing alternative models.

Comment Re:Give me a choice (Score 1) 122

I wish I could request paper records. Some old systems are better than the replacement.

Better yet, let's use stone tablets so that it's harder for thieves to steal more than a few at a time. Paper is too easy to slip under a coat or tunic. And rats & moths eat it.

Never once was Fred Flintstone hacked.

Comment Put your money where your mouth is (Score 0) 341

Conservatives should purchase beach-front property if they are so confident in hoaxing. Some is already selling at a discount due to climate change risk. The prices would go back up after the Great Hoax is fully revealed by the alert and detail-oriented Fox reporters.

Comment Why Mars [Re:And the timeframe for getting anoth (Score 1) 77

Mars has been explored heavily because a manned Mars mission (MMM) has been in planning since W announced the project during his term. True, the funding for MMM has been waxing and waning, but so far the plan is still alive (even if sick).

It makes sense to probe Mars heavily before a MMM. For one, the question of past or existing life has yet to be answered. If there is life on Mars, that will greatly affect how a MMM is done.

Comment Re:Don't buy in. (Score 4, Insightful) 95

It's not something that just "capitalists" do; spinning and BS are part of every known organization. We saw it in the Soviet Union also. Humans, especially those who strive to move up in an organization or power structure, are overall aggressive and selfish, and playing games with language is part of this process.

Even if students don't want to play language games themselves, they should be exposed to spin and understand its usage and techniques in order to navigate the real world.

Comment Re:Typical Federal employee (Score 1) 43

to take five months to get within...

It has an ion engine. While quite efficient, current ion engines are slow. One advantage of ion engines is that they can use electricity from solar panels for power, and thus the probe doesn't have to carry large amounts of chemical fuel. This makes the launch cheaper, saving tax-payers money. See, the government cares!

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer