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Comment: My shield is called `Bob` as in: The Duck Hunter . (Score 1) 137

by fygment (#47958301) Attached to: Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

Bob`s a neighbour with a semi-automatic, double-barrel, under-over, 12 gauge shotgun.

Bob likes to shoot quail, duck, skeet, highway signs, and drones.

I asked Bob, ``How can you shoot someone`s expensive drone?"
He replied, " Easy. You just have to lead 'em a little more."

Comment: $50-80K ... unless subsidized ... (Score 1) 391

by fygment (#47935281) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

which would be a pretty good investment by the government, backed by the electrical industry, industry willing to gamble on building the infrastructure for electrical vehicles, and environmental interest groups/industries.

It is easy to come up with possible ways of subsidizing the Tesla to keep its cost low, possibly lower than the $35k proposed. It is a technology a lot of people want to see succeed.

Comment: Best photogs of 20 yrs ago were 'older' because .. (Score 1) 97

by fygment (#47935227) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

... it takes time to become a good photographer .... or painter, or sculptor, or any other artist.
It's called 'skill', and it takes time to refine to the point that others recognise it.
Some people have 'talent' and blossom quickly, but that is rare now, just as it was then.

Also the point is completely incorrect; getting in to photography isn't easier today! A decent camera was available for $200 way back 20 years ago. And young folks who were interested in photography, paid the price. Just as young folks today spring $200 or more for their phone.

The actual difference between photography now and 20 years ago? The camera (in the phone) is waaayyyy more portable. And that's kind of it. In terms of quality: film resolution beats cell phone (and all but the most expensive cameras) hands down, lense quality of an old SLR beats cellphone camera by orders of magnitude.

Comment: Most Compelling Reason to Doubt "Consensus" (Score 1, Flamebait) 31

by fygment (#47879303) Attached to: The Exoplanets That Never Were

Science is full of stories like this.
Someone presents a result that catches the imagination. They achieve "great scientific stature".
Someone else quesions the result. They are pilloried while the "consensus" sides with the person of "great scientific stature".
But if there is persistence, sometimes the person of "great scientific stature", and by extension, the "consensus" is proven wrong.

The lesson: "consensus" is meaningless in science. It is desctructive, politically-driven artifact that inhibits the discovery of truth.

Sad fact: Stories like this have happened over and over and over again in science. And we never learn.
Other sad fact: Almost nobody in this forum will recognize the import of this article.

Comment: Finally biologists have some 'first principles' .. (Score 1) 211

by fygment (#47879155) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Yeah, finally biology (the 'butterfly collecting' adventure labeled as a science) has something like a 'first principle' to hang on to.

Nothing shows biology to be more a 'butterfly collecting' venture than the repeated surprise biologists express when they find life in environments where they never expected to. You would think they had learned by now. Regardless, a theory with bona fide first principles clearly lays out that finding life supporting environments is the norm.

Comment: Ultimate Argument for Reproducibility (Score 1) 74

by fygment (#47879121) Attached to: Reanalysis of Clinical Trials Finds Misleading Results

There have been recent cries for reproducible results in science.
The scope is too limited.
There should be a cry for reproducible results in any research prior to its publication.
Long and short of it for researchers: if only you can get the results and conclusions, then the results and conclusions are not publishable.

Comment: Crichton Was Right; Consensus ALWAYS Political (Score 1) 770

by fygment (#47860963) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

If a hypothesis is proven, reproduceably, there can be no denial. It is a fact.

If a hypothesis is not able to be proven reproduceably, it is an opinion.

People back opinions for self-serving reasons, and a consensus is when a majority of people see the most personal advantage in taking up a particular opinion.

Scientific consensus, is a political consensus. No more, no less. Doubt it? Look at the history of tectonic plates to name but one valid hypothesis that was, at times savagely, repressed by those whose academic careers had been made on another hypothesis (the consensus). Look at the history of neural network theory.

Comment: Validate the Model first _then_ call it conclusive (Score 1) 302

by fygment (#47806179) Attached to: Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

The models were chosen to support their beliefs, and conclusion.

That's a problem because a model can be tuned to a desired outcome.

If the opposite had been true, say that model after model had predicted a rise, and then they went out and found the model to be true, there might be more credibility.

As it was, they had a measurements first, they had a belief/hypothesis first (naturally), and they found a model they could make fit. That's not a proof, not conclusive. They should take the model, and see if it tells them something they didn't know/expect, and then try and see if they can find it in nature. Validate the model beyond the very very narrow conclusion you are trying to justify.

Comment: Re:Don't worry... only a computer model (Score 1) 121

by fygment (#47806065) Attached to: New Computer Model Predicts Impact of Yellowstone Volcano Eruption

".. extremely general to be at all accurate ..." Just think about that and what it means. Now think a bit harder.

You also have to know what assumptions are made in the model to 'generalise' it.

And you have to know just how 'fragile' the mode is, how does it hold up to deviations, perturbations.

And then after you've run the model a hundred times and it matches closely the training data (there has to be some), you really have no idea of how it performs as a predictive model.

No shame in that because that is the nature of scientific exploration. BUT you are the fool if you bet your money or your life on it.

Comment: Wireless Charging = The Problem (Score 1) 49

Think about wireless charging: convert energy to RF, transmit, convert RF to energy. Each conversion is not perfect. The transmission loses energy density according to a power law. Just that simple transfer is inefficient. And for what reason? Convenience. Nothing more.

Our impact on the planet is what it is. There are a lot of humans. But we are so staggeringly wasterful it is obscene. We net tens of thousands of fish in one catch, to get the thousand we really want. We run air conditioners and pool circulation pumps 24/7 for months, for literally hours of comfort or pleasure. We leave cars running unoccupied for tens of minutes rather than feel the minutes of discomfort of a too cold (or hot) vehicle. All for convenience.

Fact is, we don't need to geo-engineer our planet (in virtual ignorance of potential side effects). We just have to begin using our resources as efficiently as possible.

Comment: Climate Whiz (et al) are all knowing, right? (Score 0) 140

by fygment (#47764533) Attached to: Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

Because climate is part of the global system, clearly one must understand the interaction of all the components.
Which means the Climate Whiz (et al) know what all the components are.
And naturally, the Climate Whiz (et al) know what all the components do and how they work.
And, of course, how all the components interact.
With such knowledge one supposes that what 'they' say is true, there is nothing left to discover.

Oh, hey look here, was this already known? Hope there's nothing else hidden out there. How catastrophic could that be :-p

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke