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Comment: Re:Only 8%? (Score 1) 655

by decoy256 (#42274427) Attached to: Strong Climate Change Opinions Are Self-Reinforcing

Yes, and the Earth produces even more itself.... now we can argue that the Earth-produced CO2 is "better" than the man-made stuff and perhaps that is true, but there is insufficient evidence to say that of ALL the sources of CO2, OUR contribution (and I don't doubt we contribute) is CAUSING GW.

I drive on the freeway... I am aware that the pressure of MY tires on the road CONTRIBUTES to the erosion of the pavement, but MY contribution is infinitesimal compared to what is done by other contributors. There is absolutely NO reason to think that if *I* stop driving on the freeway, the erosion will stop.

And my point in another thread is that throughout Earth's history higher CO2 has accompanied explosions in evolution... life flourishes in high CO2 environments. So, even if we ARE causing CO2 to drastically rise, it isn't any higher than what Earth has had in the past and during those times it was BETTER for life. Why all the Chicken Little concerns? That isn't science... that is hysteria and POLITICS.

Comment: Re:Only 8%? (Score 1) 655

by decoy256 (#42274303) Attached to: Strong Climate Change Opinions Are Self-Reinforcing

Humans cause global warming with CO2 and similar.
a) Do nothing, climate gets worse, costs of a lot of money to adapt and repair damages.

Well, actually my point is that we have no evidence than higher CO2 = "climate gets worse"... climate perhaps gets hotter, climate changes, but not climate gets worse. Why does high CO2 = bad? Throughout Earth's history high CO2 has accompanied the largest explosions of evolution. Life flourishes in high CO2 environments. Perhaps humans are doing Earth (and its inhabitants) a favor.

So, before we start mucking about with unproven technology, costing us enormously, maybe we should actually do... I dunno, maybe... science?... and figure out WHAT we should do before we go rushing off to do "something". Maybe we're doing the wrong thing.

Comment: Re:Only 8%? (Score 0) 655

by decoy256 (#42231351) Attached to: Strong Climate Change Opinions Are Self-Reinforcing

There is a VERY important distinctions that continually is avoided... GW versus AGW.

The science is overwhelmingly in favor of GW. That is a reality. It is the anthropogenic variety that is questioned. I have a VERY hard time believing that anywhere near enough evidence has been collected to determine that humans are responsible for the GW. We've only been measuring this stuff at any really substantial level for the ~50 years (?). We can look at records previous to that to get an idea of what was happening, but even if we took into account the last ~200 years of climate information, what does that really tell us when the world's climate changes several times over the course of millions of years.

We have NO IDEA whether to expect temperatures to rise or fall on the macro-scale. We can look at previous ice-ages and their ups and downs, but have any of the previous ice ages ever really followed a predictable pattern?

And let's keep in mind that during the eras of highest atmospheric CO2, we had the largest explosions in evolutionary diversity. High CO2 has never been, bad for the Earth or for humans.

So, we don't know if we're causing it and EVEN IF WE DID (because I'm sure there will be someone who says that we are certain we're causing it) there is ZERO evidence that it would be a "bad" thing, in fact there is evidence to the contrary. Remember that all of this big/bad/nasty CO2 we're releasing was in the atmosphere already at one point in Earth's history. It's not like we're creating the CO2 where there wasn't CO2 to begin with.

So, I see no reason to implement radical immediate changes in the way we handle energy. It would be a good idea to explore other sources of energy, so we have more options and maybe even improve efficiency, but we do not need to radically change our lifestyles or risk "losing everything". It's just stupid.

Comment: This is why... (Score 3, Insightful) 272

by decoy256 (#41110607) Attached to: Radio Royalty Legislation Described As 'RIAA Bailout'

You do all realize that this is precisely the argument used to lower taxes in general, right? And specifically, to lower taxes on businesses. If we replace "royalty" with "tax" and "Pandora" with "every small business in America", then you have the exact argument that Republicans use to support tax breaks.

Just thought I'd point that out. So, in order to be intellectually consistent, should we also support Republicans on the tax breaks? Should we slash taxes to encourage economic growth?

Comment: Re:And the unions are pissed... (Score 1) 575

by decoy256 (#40757205) Attached to: Khan Academy: the Teachers Strike Back

How about equal pay for equal work... I work 12 months, so I get paid for 12 months (and I'm barely making ends meet). If you work for 9 months, you get paid for 9 months. If they want to be paid for those 3 months, then they need to do something for those 3 months. This is pretty simple.

You don't get paid for "being" something... you get paid for "doing" something. If during those 3 months, they don't "do", why should they be paid? If they are "doing", then they should get paid.

They chose a career that lays them off for 3 months every year, they knew it going into the job. Why the fuss?

Comment: Remember this the next time (Score 1) 291

by decoy256 (#40602715) Attached to: Why Were So Many "Crazy" Higgs Boson Stories Published?

Remember how horribly stupid the media/news is about things they don't understand next time there is a story about the "right-wing" or they use eye-grabbing words and phrases like "fundamentalists" and the like. Chances are facts are blown out of proportion, details distort or flat out omitted, and everything is phrased in the most extreme way possible.

Just as most scientific discoveries (like the Higgs boson) are rather mundane (by comparison to what the media/news tries to sell us) so are most people. That includes people... most people only want to be left alone to raise their family, do their work, and live life happily. Sure, there is the occasional true story about crazy people who do and believe crazy things, but those are so extremely rare that they do not deserve the excessive amount of attention they get.

Comment: Re:To be fair (Score 1) 484

by decoy256 (#38171262) Attached to: Lego Bible Too Racy For Sam's Club

Well, the question is: Once you have accepted that a god exists, what attributes must He/She possess?

My own reasoning has lead me to believe that God must have certain attributes or else be wholly unworthy of love, respect, and worship. I rejected the non-monotheistic religions as being far too fuzzy to me. It made no sense that there would be multiple supreme beings or that a single supreme being would tolerate other uber-powerful beings to bicker with each other, etc... From a philosophical standpoint, it all seems too silly. So, if I were to accept the existence of a god, it had to be one god.

So, what attributes does he/she have? Take, for instance, the old philosophical dilemma "The Problem of Evil"... how can God be all powerful, all good, and still have evil exist? My answer is that God is not all powerful... since I know that Evil exists (being a student of history and having seen it myself in my own life) and because a god that is not all good is not worthy of worship, so I reject that notion. An all-powerful God that allows evil to exist is just sadistic.

Of course, popular Christianity tries to maintain contradictory notions of God and explain these contradictions away by saying the "God is mysterious". So, I reject popular Christianity. But popular Christianity is based on the Nicene Creed, the absolute worst collection of self-contradiction and meaningless confusion ever devised by man. So I reject the Nicene Creed.

But if God is not all-powerful, then why worship him? Well... I'll get to that...

In rejecting the Nicene Creed, I also reject the notion that God created us... I mean I accept that he created certain aspects of us (spirits, bodies, etc...), but the part of me that I consider most inherently "me" God did not create. If he did, then he would be responsible for everything I did, not me. If I choose to follow him, he designed me to do so. If I don't, likewise... so if that were true, why would one person be punished and another rewarded, each for doing nothing more than what they were designed to do?

After looking at these attributes of God, I consider what is God's purpose then? Again, I reject the Nicene notions that He created us "for his own good will and pleasure" (that seems highly ego-centric to me).

So, I am left with only one set of answers:

1. The universe self-exists (i.e. God did not create the universe) and there are rules that govern the universe to which even God is subject. This clears up a lot of confusion and problems with the classical views of God. Yes, there was a big bang, yes the laws of physics rule, etc...
2. We self exist. Otherwise God is cruel, capricious, and sadistic.
3. God's purpose must be to assist mankind to attain our highest potential through self-awareness and personal growth. Indeed, I think God is trying to make us like him.

It is that third point that I think makes God worthy of worship. His intentions are not to mete out rewards and punishments, but to lay out a road map that if we follow will help us to become gods ourselves.

The reason I accept Christ as the means by which this is accomplished is because it is in his doctrine that you find each of these ideas espoused (if not overtly, by implication). My religious view centers on Christ because I believe that more than any other religious figure, he espoused the personal growth that I'm talking about and never tried to subjugate his followers underneath him. Indeed, he encouraged his followers to "be perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect." That is pretty lofty stuff.

Most religions do not make such a philosophically pleasing assertion. Except the one to which I belong.

Comment: Re:To be fair (Score 5, Informative) 484

by decoy256 (#38160976) Attached to: Lego Bible Too Racy For Sam's Club

How does belief make someone ignorant? I am constantly baffled by the notion, spread by Christians and Atheists alike, that there is no peaceful coexistence (even peaceful coexistence inside the mind of a single person) between science and Christianity.

I agree with the atheists when they make fun of religionists (and I use that term very intentionally, since a religionist is different than a believer... unfortunately 90% of all modern Christians... heck 90% of all religious people... are religionists). There is much mock-worthy in their stand point.

I also think that atheists go too far... they see all of the problems of religion, but do not see the clear path through those problems to a set of beliefs that are not bound by the religionist superstitions and dogma. True religion is free of dogma and superstition and embraces all truth.

Because true religion isn't about building a fancy church or enjoying an entertaining Sunday sermon or even about feeling good because you do so much gosh-darned service and aren't you such a good-boy? It is about personal, deep and real growth. And that has absolutely nothing to do with the Flood or Plagues or a 6-day creation or parting the Red Sea or any of the nifty stories (whether or not they are true is completely secondary). I happen to believe that it is only in and through Christ that one can have the most personal, the deepest, and the most significant growth. But I believe He commanded us to embrace all truth, not just the truths that make us feel good about ourselves and are easy and convenient for us.

But religion has ceased being about growth and has become an industry like any other industry -- corrupt and self-cannibalizing, based on and directed towards individual self-aggrandizement (for both preachers and parishioners) and the cares and filthy lucre of this world. Except one. The religion that teaches personal growth (not just giving lip-service to growth) and its truth can only be seen and found by those who are committed to personal growth. Anyone else who stumbles into such a church would only see the outer trappings. It is interesting... the religion of personal growth can only be found through personal growth. We are, quite literally, a self-selecting group.

Comment: Re:Cool, how durable is it? (Score 1) 216

by decoy256 (#37869768) Attached to: 'Invisible Glass' Solves Screen Reflection Problems

Although, I suppose the advice is still valid... it probably is a good idea to change your IUD every once in a while also. I would assume. Having a T-shaped piece of plastic shoved up your bajango is not one of my areas of expertise. I will defer to the Apple users on this topic. (... and cue the flame war... it was a joke, people).

Comment: Re:Works with coal too (Score 1) 174

by decoy256 (#37652540) Attached to: Coffee-Powered Car Breaks World Record

You do not need correlation to have causation. That's the whole point of building the models.

I'm sorry, but I think you've missed a few classes in basic logic. You cannot determine causation unless there IS correlation... otherwise, you're just making guesses and stabbing in the dark with no idea whether you are getting closer to truth.

Let me give a few examples to illustrate:

1. A gun goes off, the man next to you drops dead. Is the gun the cause of the man's death? Maybe... correlation does not equal causation.

2. The man next to you drops dead with no gun being fired. Is it at all possible that the gun caused the man to die? NO! No gun was fired, therefore a gunshot cannot be the cause of the man's death.

3. A gun goes off. The man next to you is alive and well with no injuries. Is it at all possible that the gun was shot at him? Again, NO!

In the second two examples we have no correlation between the gunshot and the man dying and in both scenarios, there is absolutely no way that there is any causal link between the two incidences.

Correlation is the absolute beginning of ALL scientific understanding. Without correlation, we cannot determine the effect of any action.

Thus, correlation does not equal causation, but causation REQUIRES correlation. In logic terms, it is a condition necessary, but not a condition sufficient.

What you have basically said is that if we increase out carbon output, there won't necessarily be any increase in temperature and in fact, there might be a decrease. Also, if we reduce our carbon ouput, there won't necessarily be any decrease in temperature either and there might even be an increase. Then what is the point in trying to reduce our carbon output?!?

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

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