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Comment: Re:POLICE STATE AMERICA (Score 1) 396

by boombaard (#45129927) Attached to: DOJ: Defendant Has No Standing To Oppose Use of Phone Records
luckily, we in backward Yurop (specifically, the EU) do not allow companies to do with our data what they wish, so that our government cannot argue, on the basis of specious reasoning about how, since the data about you isn't "owned" by you, they aren't invading your privacy by keeping all that data about you. They simply have no right to do so except when they get a warrant first. Which, at the very least, means that they cannot use it in court.

Comment: Re:UN takeover must be stopped? (Score 1) 454

by boombaard (#40201453) Attached to: UN Takeover of Internet Must Be Stopped, US Warns
It would help if you had actually clicked the links before spouting this comment. I don't read pravda, and I don't care for most of the salon writers either (self-congratulatory bunch of liberals that they are), but I don't think Greenwald should be dismissed as a source simply because he's paid by Salon... So please be a tad more substantive the next time you write something.
(PS. Why do you assume I would be shocked to hear something bad about canada, a country I've never visited?)

Comment: Re:Oh dear (Score 1) 285

by boombaard (#40097227) Attached to: EU Blocks France's Ban of Monsanto's GM Maize
Of course it's 'short on science'.. It's in a pop sci magazine. Will have a look at the nature article, but from your description it leads to the same conclusion: that given modern-day farming practices, and the drive towards monocultures -- a move encouraged and enforced by companies like Monsanto -- problems arise.
In any case, given that you cannot forbid farmers to act in stupid (short term profit-maximizing) fashion -- since it is nearly impossible to police them in most countries -- I much prefer a world in which different farmers are planting different crops than a world in which all farmers are encouraged (via Monsanto et. al propaganda) to plant the same crop.

Comment: Re:Oh dear (Score 1) 285

by boombaard (#40088287) Attached to: EU Blocks France's Ban of Monsanto's GM Maize
Again: contrary to your assertion to the contrary, you cannot separate IP and contract law considerations from Monsanto's lobbying efforts AND business practices, AND market dominance; all of these are related, and it can behave the way it does in large part because of its worldwide oligopoly position.
For similar reasons, you cannot leave the decision to use/not use this "potentially useful tool" to individuals, because of Monsanto's aggressive blackmail practices.
As for your claim that insect die-off isn't caused by Roundup specifically, but some other herbicide: this may be, but monoculturation is a big reason why herbicides are becoming more important to use, making it undesirable that Monsanto (et al.) gain a (worldwide) oligopoly status as supplier of seeds. (This is also why your claim that 'this is also a problem with other cultivars' has only limited validity: before we saw this push towards monoculturation, herbicides played a far smaller role in food production.)

Lastly, here's a nice article that discusses how weeds are becoming multiply resistant in time-spans that were considered "theoretically" impossible.

Comment: Re:Oh dear (Score 1) 285

by boombaard (#40084361) Attached to: EU Blocks France's Ban of Monsanto's GM Maize
The "crop yield increases" so frequently touted as the great advantage disappear after a few years. Herbs become roundup-resistant, requiring the use of more roundup, leading to more pollution, and the destruction of bee populations (like there's no tomorrow). Then there's lock-in, aggressive law-suits by Monsanto to force other farmers to start using their products, etc.. Lots of problems that don't exist with other cultivars. (Because no, you cannot separate GMOs from their salesmen.)

Comment: Re:Fear economics (Score 1) 220

But the cost for failure falls disproportionately on those who just happen to need a HDD during the period of downtime, while those who bought it at the right time pay less than the average cost, so I'm not sure this is a fair system. (Similar arguments seem to apply to this as to the question whether participation in insurance schemes can be mandated.)

Comment: Re:Fear economics (Score 1) 220

by boombaard (#38965391) Attached to: HDD Price Update: How the Thai Floods Have Affected Prices, 3 Months Later
Meant to type: "I'm sorry, but this is simplistic nonsense (that gets you +4/5 insightful...). What we are dealing with is not "fear economics", but "bad economics". That is, what we are dealing with are the consequences of the fact that all the players are overemphasizing efficiency at the cost of resilience and/or robustness. And the reason they do that is because that is what economic "thinking" teaches everyone to do."

Comment: Re:Fear economics (Score 5, Insightful) 220

by boombaard (#38965361) Attached to: HDD Price Update: How the Thai Floods Have Affected Prices, 3 Months Later
I'm sorry, but this is imply bullshit. What we are dealing with is not "fear economics", but with the consequences of overemphasizing efficiency over resilience and/or robustness. And at the root of that is that that is what economic "thinking" teaches economic actors to do.

Comment: Re:This guy ever been beaten up before? (Score 3, Informative) 566

by boombaard (#38142416) Attached to: The Future of Protest In Panopticon Nation
Not quite isolated..

Video footage has emerged of a police officer beating an Iraq war veteran so hard that he suffered a ruptured spleen in an apparently unprovoked incident at a recent Occupy protest in California.
The footage, which has been shared with the Guardian, shows Kayvan Sabehgi standing in front of a police line on the night of Occupy Oakland's general strike on 2 November, when he is set upon by an officer.
He does not appear to be posing any threat, nor does he attempt to resist, yet he is hit numerous times by an officer clad in riot gear who appears determined to beat him to the ground.
Sabehgi, 32, an Oakland resident and former marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has since undergone surgery on his spleen. He says it took hours for him to be taken to hospital, despite complaining of severe pain. Police have told the Guardian they are investigating the incident.
The footage was recorded by artist and photographer Neil Rivas, who said Sabehgi was "completely peaceful" before he was beaten. "It was uncalled for," said Rivas. "There were no curse words. He was telling them he was a war vet, a resident of Oakland, a business owner."
Sabehgi has previously said he was talking to officers in a non-violent manner prior to his arrest, which the footage appears to confirm.
The 32-year-old can be seen standing in front of a line of police officers, all of whom are in riot gear. The officers walk forward, chanting and thrusting their batons, and Sabehgi starts to walk backwards.
Although the video is dark, an officer can clearly be seen beginning to hit Sabehgi around the legs with a baton, then starting to strike him higher up.

Comment: Re:Psychology is a science. (Score 1) 254

by boombaard (#37931962) Attached to: Dutch Psychologist Faked Data In At Least 30 Scientific Papers
Oh, I do not dispute that medical 'science' is just as bad at this if not worse.. But the problem behind that seems to be that 'social' scientists of any stripe are simply not being taught proper methods, and that they lack the statistical/mathematical background necessary to do their own research. This is largely ignored by most of the social sciences (I guess so kids who are no good at math can also do 'science'), but it is a quite important thing to get right. Being capable of pressing buttons in SPSS is not enough, so to speak.
Secondly, please note that I have nothing against observational research. I have something against shoddily set up observational research, and I think that the latter is a rampant issue in the social (and that includes medical) sciences. Ioannidis, IIRC, also mentions somewhere how the more shocking the 'finding', the more likely it is to turn out a misinterpretation of data, or an outright statistical fluke (or worse). This is part of what I mean by "lack of replicability".
Lastly, I am not sure what you're trying to accomplish by straw-manning me, and suggesting I am a 'scientific bigot.' Again, I have already stated in the post you are replying to that I think that anything can be studied scientifically. Observational research is a fine, and a legitimate mode of research, depending on how it is done. What I object to is simply the -- pervasive -- attitude of not taking methodological issues seriously, and the equally wide-spread issues with the lack of statistics education. I can understand that understanding statistics is difficult, and that it is frustrating that the education system is lacking in that respect, but from this it does not follow that those issues can be ignored, or that knowing which button to press without understanding the limits of the tests being used is unproblematic..

Comment: Re:Psychology is a science. (Score 1) 254

by boombaard (#37931892) Attached to: Dutch Psychologist Faked Data In At Least 30 Scientific Papers
While I will admit that my assertion was somewhat flippant, and could've used further elaboration, I don't think it follows from that that I have "no understanding of the literatures". I never suggested (as you seem to read into my post) that social science research is invalid because it isn't done in carefully controlled settings (I do not particularly care for laboratory research); what I was hinting at was simply that the methodological "rigor" you are referring to simply isn't there when it comes to many if not most researchers. And because not enough attention is paid to that, it usually turns out that attempts at replication find different things, without anyone knowing whether this is due to differences implicit in the setup, because of unrecognized differences in the participants, etc.
Compare: when a physicist finds something shocking, he tries in pretty much any way he can to explain it, by doing new tests, etc. When a social scientist finds something exciting he is generally reluctant to go over the data again because he knows the statistics behind it are dubious at best, he will cite money constraints as preventing him from retesting his hypothesis in a different fashion, and he will quickly try to submit his Amazing Finding to Science. Now, while I will admit that I am now slightly type-casting, and probably over-hyping the physical scientist, it seems to me that this difference in basic attitude is quite important.

Comment: Re:Psychology is a science. (Score 1) 254

by boombaard (#37921040) Attached to: Dutch Psychologist Faked Data In At Least 30 Scientific Papers
That's all well and good, but I suspect that the majority of those papers will be shoddy methodologically/statistically; In all of the social sciences there is a widely shared shared tendency to say "let's keep analyzing the data until we find something that gives us a p value smaller than or equal to 0.05. Once we have that, we will write an introduction that fits that 'finding,' and we shall not mention that we did 30 different analyses to find this 'significant' finding (which might just be a statistical fluke, but who knew).." There is a reason why most social science research findings simply are not replicable.
Certainly the subject can potentially be researched scientifically, but from that it does not follow that the actual research being done is actually rigorous.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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