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Comment: Re:I don't know... Maybe... (Score 0) 299

by a whoabot (#48412579) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

That's just deflection. Grayson still wrote about Depression Quest and Zoe Quinn with no disclosure of the conflict of interest. That's a lack of journalistic ethics. It would never be allowed for example at the New York Times or any other respectable newspaper. The article is still up, it's right here:

For comparison, let me quote to you from the New York Times Ethical Journalism handbook, which all journalists must follow in order to remain employed there:
"Clearly, romantic involvement with a news source would foster
an appearance of partiality. Therefore staff members who develop
close relationships with people who might figure in coverage they
provide, edit, package or supervise must disclose those relationships
to the standards editor, the associate managing editor for news
administration or the deputy editorial page editor." (p. 9)

Did Grayson do anything comparable? No. And why would he? Kotaku has no comparable ethical standards!

Comment: Beat the bad effects of the real name policy. (Score 1) 305

by a whoabot (#48070319) Attached to: The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

The way to get around the negative effects of the real name policy is to register your real name, but using a different alphabet than the Latin one. Facebook allows you to submit your name using whatever alphabet you want. I.e., if you have a Japanese name, you are allowed to submit it in the Latin alphabet. If you have an English name, you are allowed to submit it in the Arabic alphabet. I submitted mine in the Greek alphabet, because that was easiest to get the correct transliteration in.

Comment: Re:Black holes are real, we observe them all the t (Score 4, Insightful) 356

by a whoabot (#47987989) Attached to: Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

Sensationalist? What are you talking about?

Not peer-reviewed? Mersini-Houghton's results were published this month in Physics Letters B, Backreaction of Hawking radiation on a gravitationally collapsing star I: Black holes? I don't expect you to read the existing literature, but the least you can do is check the indices to see if it exists.

Comment: Re:Science vs Faith (Score 1) 795

by a whoabot (#47965205) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

That is not a rigorous distinction. Why do humans have appendices? Science gives an answer to that "why" question: A common ancestor had an appendix and mutations in more recent common ancestors sufficient for its disappearance have not occurred since the time of that older common ancestor.

Same with the statement that there are no falsifiable statements concerning the "purpose of life, the universe, and everything".

Example 1: Let's say I have a religious belief that "purpose of life, the universe, and everything" is what Paul teaches in his writing of 2 Timothy. Let's say it's discovered that Paul did not write 2 Timothy (as indeed most researchers now agree, except for fundamentalists and extremely conservative evangelicals). Then my statement is falsified: Because it is shown false that the "purpose of life, the universe, and everything" is what Paul teaches in his writing of 2 Timothy, because Paul has no writing of 2 Timothy.

Example 2: Let's say I have a religious belief that the "purpose of life, the universe, and everything" is to gather the will and the means to rescue the humans that are trapped in a terrible prison of Hades in the Earth's crust (like a large-scale Orpheus operation). We do some seismology and drilling to locate this Hades, but after making a complete map of the crust we show that no such place exists. Which falsifies the belief, because there are no means to rescue those humans, because there aren't any such humans.

Just because some people have unfalsifiable beliefs about "purpose" does not mean that all beliefs about purpose are unfalsifiable. Indeed, many beliefs may just be so conceptually muddled that whether they are falsifiable or not is impossible to tell because they have no clear meaning.

Comment: Wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 795

by a whoabot (#47964751) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

The piece is mumbo-jumbo. Yes, Bacon eschewed the "Aristotelian" search for final causes. Does that mean that Baconian science doesn't try to determine the truth? Of course not.

The history of philosophy/history of science done in this piece is clap trap. He says that Galileo used experiment, whereas Aristotle did not. And that's why Aristotle thought that "heavier objects should fall faster than light ones". Supposedly. The problem: Aristotle didn't use "abstract reasoning" to come to that incorrect conclusion. He just didn't control his variables adequately. Not controlling variables adequately can happen to the very best of experimentalists.

"Science is not the pursuit of capital-T Truth. [...] Scientific knowledge is not "true" knowledge, since it is knowledge about only specific empirical propositions"

So how does this argument run? Scientific knowledge is knowledge about specific empirical propositions. Therefore, scientific knowledge is not "true" knowledge. Therefore, science is not the pursuit of capital-T Truth? That's a terrible argument. This seems like just a case of begging the question from the author where he has an unargued "definition" of what "Truth" is. Why anyone else is beholden to this definition, of course, is a mystery.

"Bacon, who had a career in politics and was an experienced manager, actually wrote that scientists would have to be misled into thinking science is a pursuit of the truth, so that they will be dedicated to their work, even though it is not."

I highly doubt Bacon ever said this. Of course, there is no citation to check. I think the author has confused Bacon's model of Bensalem, where he has the houses of specialists hide their operation from others, so that the others don't come to conclusions based on partial understandings, before the work of the specialists is completed.

"by definition, religion concerns the ultimate causes of things and, again, by definition, science cannot tell you about them"

Who made these "definitions"? No one in sight.

"This is how you get the phenomenon of philistines like Richard Dawkins"

Oh I see, Dawkins, a great evolutionary biologist, is a philistine. The evidence? I guess because the author disagrees with Dawkins about God. No argument is given.

Comment: 200 years ago. (Score 5, Informative) 937

by a whoabot (#47898921) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

There is already value without God. Kant derived moral judgements on purely secular bases 200 years ago. The "deontology" he ushered in is now the single most common ethical view held by philosophers today (25.9% according to Bourget & Chalmers 2013), and Kant scholars are at pains to teach it to students and anyone else who would listen.

The problem for many people is they suppose that determining what is wrong and what is right must be easy. Why think this? Why should it be easy? Do you fully understand Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem? Probably not, but he gave it. Do you fully understand Kant's deduction of the categorical imperative in particular and his deduction of the possibility of synthetic a priory judgements in general? Probably not, but he gave them.

Comment: Re:Won't do any good. (Score 1) 264

by a whoabot (#46485711) Attached to: Cameras On Cops: Coming To a Town Near You

The results show that use of force and complaints are down. How is that the "exact opposite" of his theory? Maybe most of the complaints that were prevented would have been frivolous. Maybe most of the use of force that stopped would have been appropriate: I.e., the cameras cause those interacting with the police to behave better. Maybe most of the abuse is intentional: If that's the case, then there is nothing strange about hypothesis that the police intending to be abusive would also intend to turn off the cameras when they intend to be abusive.

There's no reason to assume that he "ignores real evidence".

Comment: Re:Maybe, but... (Score 1) 246

by a whoabot (#45572731) Attached to: Piracy Offers Heavy Metal a New Business Model

Power go out on the autotune? Power is more likely to go out on the mains than on the outboard, and no large show is happening without those.

You know that the stage flash and gimmicks of Iron Maiden are partly what Spinal Tap is mocking, right? They are not known for the quality their music, but for their bombast in both the music and the stage show. Many acts will play with a single dim light and sit down in some chairs and just play their songs. Iron Maiden brings out lasers, fog, sets, costumes, pyrotechnics; they are an Insane Clown Posse antecedent. Iron Maiden's only number one was called "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" which became famous almost solely for its shock value.

Comment: Re:No Big Mystery (Score 1) 372

by a whoabot (#45217411) Attached to: Wikipedia's Participation Problem

It's been over 2 hours now. Still no reversion of my edits. And these were done with an IP address, which has the highest chance of being scrutinized and reverted. Over 500 users have the page on their watchlists (source, and the page is viewed between 2000 and 5000 times a day source, making it ranked 3496th in traffic, out of over 4 million articles, therefore making it in the top 1% of most viewed articles.

Comment: Re:No Big Mystery (Score 1) 372

by a whoabot (#45215915) Attached to: Wikipedia's Participation Problem

So I did your test. Here are my edits: It's been over 15 minutes now from the last edit, and no reversion from a bot or a user. Although I don't doubt that a user reading this will now come on to revert just to make a point. Perhaps you could show your results so that we can see what you actually changed?

Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 516

by a whoabot (#45074353) Attached to: Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

I am in Canada and I can tell you that Health Canada does indeed decide not to cover expensive treatments. My father is a physician and director at a hospital in Ontario. Here's an example he has spoken to me about: Someone in critical condition needs to be transferred to the regional hospital for surgery, transferring by air ambulance (helicopter) is far more likely to save their life than going by road. If the person is old, a drunkard, etc. they are not likely to receive such treatment. If they are young, employed, have young children, they are likely to receive the air lift. Decisions like this are made every day. Medical professionals in Canada have a duty to keep costs down, as there are not infinite resources. Anyway, you can see why costs can be less but outcomes better given such actions: If the distribution of medical treatment more closely follows the distribution of wealth, then costs can be higher, as the wealthy would be willing/able to pay more, and there is no connection between one's having money and the aptness of one's treatment to be a marginal benefit to the average outcome/cost ratio. Indeed, wealthy Canadians often go to the US for medical treatment where their money can buy them something.

Comment: Re:Human eye (Score 1) 414

by a whoabot (#44448779) Attached to: Are We At the Limit of Screen Resolution Improvements?

Completely ridiculous. You've taken "angular resolution" to mean "angular pixel spacing". You would need more than one pixel for every 4 arcminutes in order to have an angular resolution of 4 arcminutes. has a review of material which shows that the pixel spacing required would be around 0.3 to 0.4 arcminutes, a far cry from 4.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.