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Comment: Re:Feedback loops (Score 1) 272

by argStyopa (#47766149) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

...except that we just discovered a massive source of methane that we never suspected existed.

High level of CO2 is not true on the scales that I'm talking about - the last couple of million years.
Rate of change is relevant for biologicals, as it has to do with how fast they can evolve around the change, but irrelevant to the ultimate state of the climate. If I dump X amount of salt into water, does 'how fast it dissolves' matter at all to the final chemical composition? No.
State of Milankovich cycles: curious that you raise this. In terms of gross observation, we're in fact ON TARGET when it comes to the synchronicity of climate (temp, CO2 peaks) and M-cycles. Further, widely-recognized issues in Milankovich observations (divergent models, unplit-peak issues, etc) all suggest *error-bars* are still well in excess of the sorts of changes posited to be due to anthropogenic causes, meaning that all the sound and fury over AGW amounts to little more than arguing about static noise, in the big picture...

So to imply - as the IPCC has for years - that we have some sort of 'final, settled, authoritative' understanding of warming, the processes, and the methods is a little premature?

Comment: well... (Score 1, Funny) 428

by argStyopa (#47765085) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

I just hope global warming increases to the point where it can self-pop the popcorn I like to eat when these histrionic sorts of things come out. All the sound and fury, so little actually accomplished! Whee!

It's also likely that global warming might deliver pre-melted butter for the popcorn. Damn, what's wrong with this again?

Comment: Stop being such a drama queen. (Score 5, Interesting) 155

by argStyopa (#47757445) Attached to: A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

"Imagine a world in which the book burners had won"

Please. "Horrifying"?

The OP pimps itself breathlessly as "This interactive map of global Internet censorship is the most important thing youâ(TM)ll see today" - yes, it's about as important (and surprising) as the sun coming up in the East.

The facts are that
a) the ubiquitous availability of information is a relatively new thing. Public libraries didn't even really exist until the latter 19th/E20th centuries. The internet is less than a generation old.
b) governments and power structures have controlled such information throughout the span of human history.

The panicked tone of the article implies that this is worse than ever, which is patently histrionic bullshit. Even in these heavily censored countries, these people have access to information that they NEVER would have had before.

I'm not even 100% convinced that the ideal of universal access to information is an unalloyed good. Certainly, from the POV of a midwestern, middle class educated individual I *assume* that the net result of having more information is beneficial - but I can certainly see that there are negative aspects to "everything open", such as people who clearly don't understand basic science drawing conclusions from unfiltered scientific data. Or statistics? How many people are easily manipulated by presentations of statistics that they don't even understand? Again, my gut tells me that the "net" is a benefit, but I can't say I'm certain.

Again, as a small-l liberal, I believe that information and communication is probably good in the long run; even the small trickles of illumination sneaking into those heavily censored places suggests to me that their ability to keep their people in ignorance will eventually expire. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

A glass 95% empty is still a crapton better than no glass at all.

Comment: Lets be consistent (Score 0) 277

by argStyopa (#47752613) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

For all the people who believe that this is true, I think we should encourage them.

- Humans haven't evolved to travel faster than walking/riding speed, so they should eschew all forms of mechanical transport >30 mph.
- Humans haven't evolved to emotionally cope with communication without being in-person, so they need to give up cell phones
- Humans' eyes haven't evolved to cope with electronic text or really any text, so they should never read or go on the internet.

Personally, I agree, this would be a better world if they all did that. I know I'd be happier.

(in short, this is stupid; natural selection works as a RESULT of environmental and species' behavioral changes, not that we have to wait until we evolved to be able to cope with X before we can do it.)

Comment: Re:Feedback loops (Score 0) 272

by argStyopa (#47751545) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

Maybe you missed my point about the earth going through pretty much this same scenario at least a dozen times in the last couple of million years?
Human CO2 is dwarfed by natural sources, and the greenhouse effect of WATER VAPOR is massively more than that. What AGW zealots are asserting is that the climate is balanced on some sort of knife-edge of conditions, that the slightest tip by human CO2 emissions will push it into a runaway spiral of effects.
We've got historical records of sudden higher CO2 and temps a dozen times; each time, feedback brought the system back to an equilibrium state. Why would we assert that "now" is somehow different from all of those previous examples?

Comment: Re:Feedback loops (Score 0, Troll) 272

by argStyopa (#47750181) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

You had it, and then you lost it.

You talked about feedback loops that restore a system to equilibrium (which, indeed, are amply demonstrated in everything from physical to biological systems on Earth), then (somehow) assume this isn't one.

As you mention, nature frequently has feedback loops that offset changing conditions. If the "sweet spot" comfort zone of the natural system on earth were anywhere near as desperately sensitive one as it's currently portrayed, then over the 4+ billion year history of life on earth - and the half dozen cataclysmic extinction events that wipe out 3/4+ of the extant species - the climate would have spun off into one of these feedback loops that are so desperately (hopefully?) projected and we'd have a lifeless Venus or a dessicated Mars. We don't, ergo the system is robust, QED.

To your specific point, we even have several historical examples in the ice records of (geologically) sudden 'pulses' in CO2 and temperature to levels comparable or exceeding today.* In every case the system has then returned to an equilibrium....DOZENS of times over the past couple of million years. The feedback loops you talk about are real; the cataclysmic FUD you're talking about negative feedback is, quite evidently, not. I'll post 4 billion years of actual historical record of far more substantial shocks to the climate of this planet, against 15 years of panicky hypochondriac environmentalists finally devising an issue with some purchase in the public mind.

*some might point out that it happens every 120k years so so, and the last one was about 120k years ago. Yet this specific instance, curiously, is deemed to be "caused by" humans? If I stood on a beach, and knew that the tide came in 10 times before, regularly, and now it is rising for an 11th time, what sort of a moron would I be to assume THIS TIME it's because I'm standing there?

The article itself states clearly that they have no idea how long these seeps have in fact been going on - while other seeps have been researched specifically for that and found NO BASIS for believing they're getting worse. So to automagically jump to the conclusion (which the article desperately tries to - "it's hard to prove they're the result of climate change" - as if that was the end goal of all research, right?) suggest at least faulty science, if not downright mendacity.
Want a feedback loop? How about this - the seeps are extremely sensitive to ocean temp and pressure. The article suggests that a warming ocean might(hopefully, again) be the cause. But if the planet is warming, and seas are rising, this is going to put those seeps under deeper water, which is in fact more likely to slow them down. And if they've been bubbling away forever (ie contributing steadily and unaccounted-for levels of methane to the atmosphere), this could be the mechanism that then reverses warming.

Comment: Re:In 14 years practising emergency medicine (Score 2, Insightful) 579

by argStyopa (#47748137) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Because fearmongering about dirty, nasty predatory men is a lot more politically palatable than talking to young women about making bad choices and the consequences thereof. That's "substantiating the patriarchy".

The public narrative is about "victimization" not about "stupidity and carelessness".

Don't get me wrong, a man who takes advantage of a girl who's drunk is just as much a scumbag shit as someone who takes advantage of a girl who's been drugged.

But... I know that if I left my car running with the keys in it, even if the guy that (almost inevitably) would steal it should & would be prosecuted, simultaneously the insurance company isn't going to replace my car because of my own stupid choices.

Just sayin'.

Comment: Re:Aaaand there goes the lizard squad (Score 5, Interesting) 131

by argStyopa (#47746983) Attached to: Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

I can't mod this + enough.
There seems to be a sort of collective dismissal of the power of government in hacker circles, as if the fact that some faceless bureaucrat in a lowly department failing to deploy a firewall to protect trivial information, or the FBI wasting billion$ on a worthless systems upgrade, were representative of the technological competency of the whole of the US gov't.

I doubt that's the case.

What people fail to understand is that the government is *huge* and as easy as it is to find laughable examples of waste, abuse, and outright incompetence, that's only one end of the bell curve.

The OTHER end has incredibly competent people, giant fat gobs of money, and a wealth of resources that beggar the imagination (ie if they need something and cannot ask for or buy it, they can resort to overt legalities like subpoenas, or not-so-legal methods like property condemnation, deportation, or IRS audits) to compel behavior in pursuit of their goals. Further, the great bulk of the US populace (ie not the very vocal 0.01% on internet chat boards) is IN FAVOR OF LAW AND ORDER, full stop, and will cheerfully volunteer cooperation to "the authorities" however they can. The US federal gov't has tremendous credibility with most of the population.

My point is enthusiastically reiterating the OP: it's one thing to hack some nerd-gamer servers, but when you attack the infrastructure of the US (and make no mistake, that's what this was) you will come to the attention of the 'sharp, pointy' end of the bellcurve.

Good luck with that.

Comment: Well no, not really (Score 1) 273

by argStyopa (#47741301) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

"Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer."

Maybe a teenage boy wrote this summary, because this sort of sophomoric pedantry would be part for the course for a teenager.

Yes, according to the literal meaning of the words, a "gamer" is someone who has ever played a game. In the vernacular, however, the commonly-accepted meaning is substantially narrower than that, implying someone who is an habitual player of video games, in this context, themselves being more involved than minsweeper, solitaire, or yes, kandy krush.

Comment: sure until you get used to it (Score 1) 105

by argStyopa (#47716501) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

I am a bibliophile, and much prefer to read a book to my kindle.
Nonetheless, I travel a lot and a kindle is inarguably an advantage for me.
I found the kindle was terribly distracting for at least the first month, until I settled down and didn't have to think at all about using it. So I would like to see this test done with experienced users.

Comment: What? (Score 1) 381

by argStyopa (#47695757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

No, I wouldn't pay a single penny.

See, I'm reasonably mature, and if someone says something that I don't like, I can choose to ignore them or, if I feel like it, engage.

It's as simple as clicking away (or even just closing my eyes).

Of course, this post might be labeled as a 'troll' because I'm deliberately being condescending, but that's a stylistic choice to convey that I believe someone, anyone, who claims to have been hooked by a troll 'against their will' needs to fucking grow up.

Comment: Dear Daimler (Score 1) 232

by argStyopa (#47695671) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Dear Daimler,

You don't really seem to 'get' the value of emails. The point is that they can be processed whenever. To delete them is stupid. Essentially, by negating the time-independent aspect of email, you're reducing it to little more than a phone call in terms of utility.

I'm not sure if you noticed, but the rest of the world doesn't conform to your standards of vacation, and there are even alternate TIMEZONES in this world, so it's entirely reasonable that someone might send an email while you're not there.

I look forward to the first time a Daimler exec sends an email to someone out of the office for something important to be done when they get back from vacation.

Dumb fucks.

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds