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Comment: Ben Franklin was joking... (Score 1) 310

by drjzzz (#46440261) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

...when he proposed to tax shutters and wake people at sunrise by ringing bells and firing cannons. In his recounting, he had gone "home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my head full of the subject" (of artificial lighting), as well as probably a few bottles of French wine. The premise is that he is surprised that the sun comes up so early and doubtful that anyone gets up before noon ("it will be difficult to induce them to rise before noon").

Translation here:

Thus, Franklin demonstrated the challenge of using satire to communicate your ideas; even a genius will be often misunderstood (QED).

Comment: Re:Wikipedia is utterly broken anyway. (Score 1) 112

by drjzzz (#46218901) Attached to: IBM Employees Caught Editing Wikipedia

...The second worst thing is that it tries to pretend that you can eliminate biased people, rather than acknowledge that bias exists and tackle how to be open about it.

Doesn't the fact that Wikipedia "tries to pretend that you can eliminate biased people" necessarily include that they "acknowledge that bias exists"? Full disclosure: my bias is that I love Wikipedia (and send them money every year).

Comment: Re:in other words... (Score 1) 341

by drjzzz (#45900891) Attached to: The Quiet Fury of Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Similarly, I would recommend David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter" about the Korean War. Only a few years after the WWII triumph on two fronts, the US was completely unprepared in Korea and woefully led. Military reductions played a role but careerism within the military, and particularly toadyism within MacArthur's staff, was even more to blame. The book helped inform me about this little-remembered war and political era in the US.

NY Times review:

Comment: Re:High Certainty. (Score 1) 324

by drjzzz (#44971731) Attached to: Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades

You say it's not science because "Science has data and experiments". Permit me to add "hypotheses", which crucially guide the experimental design and the collection and interpretation of data. These elements are obviously integral to the climate change findings. Just because you cannot replicate their "data and experiments" on your lab bench doesn't mean they are not present.

Comment: Re:High Certainty. (Score 1, Insightful) 324

by drjzzz (#44971515) Attached to: Upper Limit On Emissions Likely To Be Exceeded Within Decades

Ok, let's posit that very few of us are climate scientists or in positions to evaluate the raw data. We have to take things on faith to some extent. Should we believe (1) the vast majority of professional climate scientists who have accumulated terabytes of data and analyzed them with many sophisticated models that all lead to a similar conclusion, i.e., anthropogenic global climate change is dangerous, or (2) a few who disagree, with seemingly little factual basis, whose minority opinions are massively promoted by businesspeople with obvious financial interests in stopping or at least slowing the acceptance of the professional's conclusions and recommendations?

Skepticism is healthy but group (1) seems unbiased, very reasonable and well supported by the data whereas group (2) is clearly biased, unsupported by facts, and unreasonable. From first principles, it seems reasonable that rapidly reversing the millennial-long carbon sequestration (producing oil and coal and gas) that changed the atmosphere from reducing to oxidizing *would* cause climate change and ocean changes.

Comment: Re:Renewable Energy vs Waste of Energy (Score 1) 626

by drjzzz (#42751119) Attached to: Will Renewable Energy Ever Meet All Our Energy Needs?

You calculate that the ratio drops from 7,400:1 currently to 740:1 if everybody lives like a profligate American? Seems like still a pretty healthy margin.

The original article makes many ridiculous extrapolations (emphasis added): "..even with an annual energy growth rate of only 2.3 percent, a civilization powered by solar energy would have to cover every square inch of Earth's land area with 100-percent-efficient solar panels within a few hundred years. Even if we covered the oceans too, and surrounded the sun and other nearby stars with solar panels, eventually there would not be enough energy in the galaxy to meet the growing demand. "

Within a few hundred years of compound growth... sounds like a stock broker. "Eventually", at the current growth rate, the mass of humanity will be expanding outwards at the speed of light... then... faster that that!!!

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