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Comment: Delayed due to 'consensus' (Score 1, Insightful) 109

by fygment (#49308121) Attached to: The Stolen Credit For What Makes Up the Sun

It took all her years of graduate research and effort, and four additional years, and finally someone with the stature Russell agreeing with her, to overturn the consensus that believed her conclusions were wrong.

If her supervisor hadn't have been Russell, it would have taken longer. And it would have taken much much longer if there had been anyone with a strong vested interest in her being wrong, say a political agenda depending on sun composition or many scientists trying to maintain a funding source to study sun composition.

That is the reality of science then, and now.

Comment: Salvageable through open science? (Score 1) 112

by fygment (#49266067) Attached to: Scientific Study Finds There Are Too Many Scientific Studies

If everyone must make their data available, then a paper will be judged on the strength of its:

a) academic contribution; and
b) quality/usefulness of the data.

So you might not be the author of the greatest paper, yet your impact might be the quality of the experimentation and resulting data.

Right now, papers appear and the data is just hearsay. In that environment, anybody can publish anything ... and today, there's is a strong incentive to do just that.

Comment: Because of a "Do It Yourself" (DIY) Mentatlity (Score 1) 320

Rarely will a biologist, say, coauthor a paper with a statistician and a computer scientist (or better, a programmer).
After all, there are statistics apps and programming isn`t that hard ... right?
And no statistician could understand the intricacies of biology, same for a computer scientist (obviously) ... right?

So like the persons doing their own home renovations, some get it right without a professional, and a lot more don't. The tools are available but they just don't truly understand them nor know how to use them properly.

Ask yourself: how many students went in to psychology, biology, anthropology, etc. because they hated and/or were poor at math? Should you trust their statistics as researchers?

The world of science need cooperation, 'silos of knowledge' belong to the nineteenth century.

Comment: Your bowel movements tied to climate ... (Score 1) 279

by fygment (#49223713) Attached to: California's Hot, Dry Winters Tied To Climate Change

... frackin' change. What the hell isn't these days?

And all predictions made with 50% certainty.

Oh, and this has all happened before climate change.

Someone is making money off the 'climate change' mantra, which means pronouncements in that regard are no longer credible. Too much noise in the message. Don't care.

Comment: 50% = Guess != Prediction (Score 1) 235

by fygment (#49209081) Attached to: El Nino Has Finally Arrived, Far Weaker Than Predicted


Do you think that errors in a model are cumulative?
Do you think the models used here are similar to, identical to, or components of, the global climate models?
If so, then the global models are not capturing all the processes that influence climate, correct?
If so, then the global models yield answers with a margin of error, correct?
Therefore, find out what the error is on the current climate models used to predict global climate change, because an error of +/- 2 degrees on a prediction of 2 degrees increase (say) is kind of important.

And good luck with that. Because there are no error values reported. And there probably can't be; we don't know what we don't know.

Based on that, how much do you want your governent to act on climate change "predictions"?

Comment: no longer need to hire ... anyone, actually (Score 1) 96

by fygment (#49100301) Attached to: How Machine Learning Ate Microsoft

PhD in machine learning or ...:

secretaries - because we can all do our own docs
car repair mechanics - because it's really just about replacing modules or the whole car
architects - because there's lots of free 3-D drawing apps out there
carpenters - because, hey, how hard is it to nail wood together
lawyers - because just a little reading and memorization will tell you what you need to know
engineers - because they're like carpenters, only with metal and bigger things
programmers - because anyone can learn 'hello world', and it doesn't get much harder than that.

And so on. But remember, you get what you pay for.

Comment: Japan ... about to need _more_ electricity ?! (Score 1) 215

by fygment (#49059655) Attached to: Japan Now Has More Car Charging Points Than Gas Stations

Go go Japan, everything electric ... but where will the electiricity come from? Will they:

a) cover thousands of acres of arable land with solar panels;
b) build and run more nuclear power plants; or
c) build and run more "fossil' fuel power plants?

It's lovely to get on the 'all electric' bandwagon, but really, the problem becomes creating that electricity and then efficiently converting it to useful work.

The same holds true for other countries like US, but at least the latter can claim to have:

a) land for solar (not necessarily easy to distribute it due to NIMBY attitude);
b) stable enough geography for nuclear power proliferation (not necessarily a good political/social climate for them though);
c) abundant natural resources for 'fossil' fuels (not necessarily cost effective ... yet :-)

Comment: Cant understand this but _can_ predict climate ? (Score 0) 77

by fygment (#49010171) Attached to: Mystery Ash Clouds Rain In Parts of Washington, Oregon

No this isn't "weather", this is large scale transport of particles in the atmosphere. And that is kind of critical to understanding climate (and weather).
Which simply tells you that the models, while possibly precise, are not accurate.
And when you are talking about sweeping changes in government policy or, more frighteningly, attempts at geo-engineering, then your models should be very accurate.
Or come with a warning and a statement of margin of error.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.