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Comment: the wavelength is larger than the lab (Score 3, Informative) 347

by gothmogged (#34858634) Attached to: Nobel Prize Winner Says DNA Performs Quantum Teleportation

This is pretty nonsensical. At 7 Hz the wavelength for sound in water would be hundreds of meters and light would be many order of magnitude more. How would such an em field be involved in forming nanometer resolution structures in water?

This is yet another case of wild extrapolation from measurements that are at or beyond the limits of the tools being used.

Comment: Re:Dogmatic thinking is cross disciplinary (Score 1) 769

by gothmogged (#33608144) Attached to: Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

I went through engineering at a major university and the critical thinking training was negligible. More damning than the training was the prevailing attitude of the future engineers, which was very much a "do I need to know this for the test" and "will I ever use this material in my career" approach, rather than the "how does the world work" perspective which we might prefer to inculcate.

This "tell me only what I need to know" style of approach is fundamentally incurious and easily hijacked by authoritarian schemes. It is certainly not true of every engineer, and definitely not true of the best engineers, but it is in my experience extremely common.

I honestly can't speak to the other commenter's statement regarding artists and relativistic ideas of truth.

Comment: Dogmatic thinking is cross disciplinary (Score 2, Insightful) 769

by gothmogged (#33600610) Attached to: Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

The rigors of engineering training discourage fundamental questions of why and how in favor of rote mastery of rules of thumb which are known to work. To engineers the question of why gravity works is unimportant, their concern is in dealing with the consequences of gravity (and so forth for other physical laws). The analogy to faith based belief systems, wherein you accept rules handed down by authority and are discouraged from questioning that faith. or from seeking justifications for those rules, and are forbidden to consider revisions of those rules, is quite direct.

The kind of person who thrives under one set of these conditions has met many of the criteria to thrive under the other set of conditions.

Comment: Re:Judicial oversight (30+ days of spying w/o) (Score 5, Insightful) 202

by gothmogged (#24103467) Attached to: Telecom Immunity Bill Hides Spying Provisions

You're missing the point. The oversight process in this bill permits spying to take place for thirty days to four months before being forced to stop. The govt can spy for thirty days (plus the 1 week before submission of certification) even if judicial oversight rejects their case the moment it is presented.

The timeline assuming the agency's goal is maximizing the spying time:

0 day - spying begins without any preamble
1 week - Gov must submit certification for review
1-30 days + 1 week - judge must returns review
if judge objects
  30 days after review- the govt must stop spying
  unless they appeal to FISA
      then they could have another 30 days

If the judges and courts have full queues that could push the whole thing to four months.

Assuming it gets rejected they presumably (IANAL) cannot use the evidence in court. Nonetheless they were legally empowered to look through your internet/telephone underwear drawer for over a month. How are you feeling about your 4th amendment rights now?

The article goes on to describe how the constraints make this law very easily abused to include spying upon americans for a wide variety of pretexts. That is the other half of the problem.

This is a terrible law even if you ignore autocracy being implemented by the telecom amnesty provisions.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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