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Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 2) 379

by doomer (#47440361) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
We also speculated that our effort with lots of new parking lots and the building of large tempest proof buildings visible from space by the USSR was a key goal of the administration. At the start we had lots of true believers and we thought that all we had to do was to build it. It took some time to the techs to realize that physics would severely constrain us, but it was not something that we ever admitted officially. After all this was Regan's signature project. Perhaps the USSR did not know this and took all the activity as something to be feared? As one example, our new facility, in modular building units, had state of the art satellite communications that was to allow the various SDI centers to easily communicate. However, someone forgot to take into account the round trip delay (~1 second) of going to geosynchronous orbit satellite and back again. That coupled with our disk less synchronous Sun workstations made it all but unusable for any kind of interactive work over the satellite system. Within a year our 40 foot satellite dishes were quietly dismantled.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 5, Informative) 379

by doomer (#47438703) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
I worked on the beginning of Regan's Star Wars project. We viewed the problem as one in which you try to stop a bullet with a bullet. Add long range and intelligence to the bullet and the problem gets harder.The problem is hard and physics places many constraints on the solution. At one point management thought that space based defense was what we wanted until we showed that the time/distances were too great to be effective. Now we just have a scaled back terminal defense with very limited capabilities. After all these years the only value that I think that missile defense has is PR. Effective? Not really. Forget Star Wars the movie. It's not going to happen.

Comment: Wikipedia is OK (Score 1) 200

by doomer (#47101145) Attached to: Wikipedia Medical Articles Found To Have High Error Rate
In part the issue is one of authority. Who is to decides the 'true' content and description? Just for example, do a search for 'insulin resistance' using Google scholar. You will get about 1,870,000 hits. It is obvious that no one author is going to even read a fraction of those hits. So how do we decide what is right? Well, we use 'official' sources where it is assumed that very knowledgeable scientist have carefully reviewed the evidence to create an authoritarian description. The problem is that authoritarian sources are not necessarily right. We can find many examples in history that we now know were wrong (e.g., flat earth, earth as center of the solar system) and just statistically speaking I am sure that there is a significant number of current authoritarian sources that are wrong. So what do we need? My prescription is a vigorous debate and a willingness to challenge authority. After all, that is the scientific paradigm: hypothesis are not proved by evidence; they are rejected by evidence. We need a lot more of that. And that is what we get with Wikipedia today.

Comment: Actually has it not been more than 35 years (Score 1) 123

by doomer (#47036131) Attached to: Radioactivity Cleanup At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, 25 Years On
I stated working at Hanford in 1979 on the cleanup. We had many plans including a deep underground basalt storage system and glassification of radioactive waste. I even spent one year working on the instrumentation for the underground basalt storage system before I went on to other things. Hanford was screwed up then and it will still be screwed up when I die!

Comment: Re:Consensus achieved (Score 1) 330

Sadly I am starting to think that this is the norm. In Gary Taube's "Good Calories, Bad Calories" he painfully details how our advice to eat a low fat high carb (meaning high sugar) diet was not really based on science. Instead it was based on scientist bulling opponents to force through their flimsy hypothesis. Opponents could not get funding or publish and if they did they did not do it again. It became politics. I see the same phenomenon playing out in global warming.

Comment: Re:Pointless comparison ..... (Score 1) 324

It would help if climate scientists were more forthcoming on what they know and don't know. I was a strong supporter on climate change and doing something about it until I started looking into the details. Now I am a skeptic. It would also help if the climate scientists and their supporters would really do science. Today there is a huge confirmation bias in the community that does not allow anyone to question the validity of the science. And if they do they call them deniers and work to deny publishing and funding. Note that the term deniers is a religious term not a scientific term.

Comment: Re:missing the fat flavor (Score 2) 466

by doomer (#46855347) Attached to: Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test
Bingo. The lack of fat is quite important. I am a type II diabetic and eat 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat in order to normalize my blood glucose and weight. I also know that plant proteins are not the same as animal proteins. So I would be quite suspicious of this 'meat'. It sounds like company has bought into the low-fat high-carb 'heart healthy' diet and think that animal protein and fat is really bad for you. In fact it is becoming more and more clear that we need to be moving to a low-carb, moderate protein (animal based), high fat diet if we want to prevent the disease of civilization (diabetes, heart, obesity, Alzheimer, ...).

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]