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Comment: Re:In lost the will to live ... (Score 1) 444

by lgw (#47967695) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

The worst thing I am reading in these comments is basically "I don't understand the summary". If this is you, you are part of the problem. You think you know what science is, and this article is confusing because you're wrong and can't even recognize what you're wrong about. If you don't understand, you need to stop talking about science until you do. You are damaging the cause for science by treating it like a belief system, so just stop. The more that people like you claim that God is made obsolete by science, the more that everyone else thinks that science is just like another religion.

Ever so much: this!

I meet people frequently who believe firmly in evolution, but don't understand why it's a good model. They take in on faith, because it's what the wise men told them. They don't understand why frequently-made creationist claims are wrong. They have some vaguely-remembered examples of evolution that are actually false. C'mon, it's all there in the FAQ, just takes a few hours of your time to make your belief in evolution founded in science, not in faith.

But no one cares. It's not about science. It's about tribal identification. You don't need any arguemnts for evolution - duh, it's what smart people believe! If you don't believe it, you're not a smart people!

You see the same thing with people who have a religious faith in global warming, but again it's not grounded in anything. They take in on faith, because it's what the wise men told them. They may have some vague idea about CO2 and greenhouses, but that's about it. (Protip: greenhouses don't work by blocking IR radiation, they work by blocking convection). They have no idea how the CO2 in the upper atmosphere getting warmer makes the surface temp higher, but who cares? It's all about tribal identification, dummy, and this is what the smart people believe! Aren't you a smart people?

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 444

by lgw (#47967517) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Science must take on faith a set of axioms, ones we assume to be true because otherwise we couldn't do science (basically: that inductive reasoning works), but that we have no a priori argument for, and likely cannot make any argument for.

Effectively, all science can every say is "assuming these common axioms, then what follows is ...". And that's fine. Science simply isn't about capital-T Truth. Science is about reliable and accurate predictions.

Comment: Re:Change Jobs (Score 1) 269

by lgw (#47966437) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

. An IT group that is stretched too thin, asked to do too many things, or held accountable for things beyond its control, and has therefore devised methods to insulate itself from complaints ... and accountability.

Who's talking about "IT"? I'm talking about software development. If you don't have those things I listed, you're doing it wrong - this is an engineering field now, the days of "seat of your pants" are past us.

But process that gets in your way is a sure sign of bad management. With the right tools, everything conspires to let teams work together faster, with no "who broke the build?" and no integration explosion at the end of large projects (a.k.a, the second 90% of the schedule).

Accountability is orthogonal to all of this.

Comment: Re:The article isn't any better. (Score 1) 447

by smooth wombat (#47965585) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

While the lack of knowledge of science might seem to an inhibitor, in this case it was unknowingly a brilliant stroke of luck. By over engineering the house the builder assured its survival under all but the most extreme weather conditions.

Since, at that time, trying to rebuild a house was a long and tedious process (compared to today), the over engineering served to protect the investment. Spend a little extra now instead of a lot more later.

Comment: Re:Nobody's neutral because it''s important (Score 3, Insightful) 92

by bill_mcgonigle (#47964515) Attached to: Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

Yeah, and if you ask most people who have an opinion on net-neutrality, "should an ISP with settlement-free peering arrangements be able to give preferential QoS service to their paying customers on congested interfaces?" most of them will have their eyes glaze over and start rambling about censorship or something.

You don't conduct a man-on-the-street interview to understand the energy of the Higg's Field, you build an LHC. Engineering and economics can work around opinion polls and popularity contests, but they sure aren't goverend by them, no matter what anybody wishes were true.

Comment: Re:Just in time for another record cold winter (Score 4, Informative) 154

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, however, ...

Obviously, you don't understand how science works:

Record hot summer = Evidence of global warming

As part of a trend of record hot summers, for sure. Individually? Not unless the record heat is so extraordinary that it falls outside of what would be possible without global warming.

Record cold winter = Well, that's just weather, pay it no mind.

A record cold winter would be evidence against global warming if it was part of trend, or it was so cold that it fell out of what should be possible with global warming. Having said that, globally this past winter had the 3rd warmest december, the 4th warmest January and the 21st warmest February, none of which exactly qualify as "record cold" on the global scale.

Extreme weather events = Evidence of global warming

Again it's the trends in extreme weather events more than the individual events that matter with certain exceptions where the events themselves fall out of what would be possible without global warming.

Lack of extreme weather events = Well, that's just weather, pay it no mind.

Again, it the trends, not individual weather on any specific year that matters

Ice melting in Antarctica = Evidence of global warming

Record ice in arctic = Well, that's just weather, pay it no mind.

I think you might have your north and south mixed up. We're near the record low for Arctic ice extent, and at record highs in Antarctic ice extent. Both of which are expected as part of global warming.


It actually is, whether or not you resort to derision and mockery.


Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the cooling-things-off dept.
mdsolar writes with an update on the People's Climate March. More than 400,000 people turned out for the People's Climate March in New York City on Sunday, just days before many of the world's leaders are expected to debate environmental action at the United Nations climate summit. Early reports from event organizers are hailing the turnout as the largest climate march in history, far bigger than the Forward on Climate rally held in Washington, D.C., last year. High-profile environmentalists including Bill McKibben, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva marched alongside policymakers such as Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Vice President Al Gore were also there, and more than 550 buses carried in people from around the country.

Comment: Re: Any news on the first stage landing tests? (Score 2) 122

by bill_mcgonigle (#47959517) Attached to: SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

Came here to ask the same. Somebody is patent-troll threatening them from testing landings on a barge offshore which was the sensible thing to do before actual land - for safety, not ease (waves). I'm planning to drive the family down for the first land landing, and it looks like imaginary -property knaves are doing their best to screw up this trip (and retard the progress of science and the useful arts, as usual).

Comment: Re:Trustworthy Computing was a sham (Score 1) 98

by lgw (#47952045) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

The engineers working on Windows 8 knew the Metro UI was crap for the PC. The usability studies all showed that the Metro UI was crap for the PC. It was senior management that forced the issue over the protests of those involved.

The reason I have hope for MS yet is the result from all that. The entire management chain responsible for that, right through the CEO, all of them gone. Gates, Ballmer, Larson-Green, and middle managers below her well fired or moved away from PC computing. Someone, somewhere, decided enough was enough.

Will the new guy be better? Who knows. But we've had decision after decision that left consumers saying "WTF?" being rolled back, starting with firing that X-Box VP whp insulted the customer base and reversing his decisions on used games and always-on DRM and hopefully through the restoration of the start menu. Of course, if Windows 9 ends up sucking, MS is as dead as a very dead thing.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann