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Comment: Re:Cue "All we are is dust in the wind" (Score 1) 93

by gstoddart (#47967483) Attached to: "Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

Honestly the young earth creationist types(who are the only anti-science conservatives relevant in this case) don't pay that much attention to hard data and observational methodology at all.

LOL ... no shit.

Their objections fall more into the category of dismissing things with "common sense" objections that reflect very little understanding

Pretty much by definition this is true.

The only way you could be a young Earth creationist is to be well outside science and understanding.

Because it's pretty much "I reject your reality and substitute my own". They have no interest in anything like "facts", just their own beliefs.

Comment: Re:Science vs Faith (Score 1) 636

by gstoddart (#47965795) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

The why is for now firmly in the realms of philosophy and religion.

But let's not go around claiming either of these things represents truth.

They start with the things science can't tell us, you're right.

But from there, nothing they say is provable.

So, when people say "philosophy and religion try to give us Truth", they're really saying "this is what I believe and you can't disprove it".

The why may merely be a function of the how ... it happened because physical laws more or less made it inevitable.

If you have an example of an astrophysics text book that states why the universe exists, please give us the reference.

Now, point us to an objectively verifiable source which can tell us why.

You can't.

Comment: Re:The article is more extreme than the summary (Score 1) 636

by gstoddart (#47965279) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

No, science is not the pursuit of Truth, that would be philosophy down the hall.

Well, the problem with anything seeking "Truth" is there is absolutely no objective way to measure it or know you have it.

Which means, this so-called "Truth" is nothing more than something people believe with no actual proof.

That, my friend, is not truth. It's faith.

So, any claim to some higher Truth boils down to someone saying "sounds good to me".

Philosophy and religion can come up with a lot of things they believe to be "The Truth". But, that doesn't make it so.

Comment: Re:Science vs Faith (Score 1) 636

by gstoddart (#47965131) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Why are we here? What is the purpose of life, the universe, and everything?

But why does there have to be a why?

The question pre-supposes an answer in which there is a why.

Slime evolved. That doesn't necessitate that there is some grand plan for everything.

In fact, assuming there is a meaning or a purpose is about as un-scientific as you can get.

What is your evidence for such a thing? Other than wanting to believe that, which isn't evidence of anything.

Comment: WTF? (Score 1) 636

by gstoddart (#47964615) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

This is how you get the phenomenon ... thinking science has made God irrelevant, even though, by definition, religion concerns the ultimate causes of things and, again, by definition, science cannot tell you about them.

WTF is this drivel?

This reads like a thinly veiled plug for religion.

Hell the article contains the word "philistines". Seriously, what the hell is this crap?

Comment: Not just cars ... (Score 5, Insightful) 130

This is true of your thermostat, your fridge, and pretty much anything else which is a part of this "internet of things".

Every aspect about what these devices does will be analyzed, used for marketing information, handed over to law enforcement, or your insurance company, or anybody who hacks into it.

For some of us, this whole IoT is a privacy nightmare waiting to happen, and we have no interest whatsoever in it.

Unfortunately, a lot of people like to see that as a sign that you're paranoid and getting alarmist about things which will never happen.

And then, like the widespread surveillance being misused (which they swore would never happen), parallel construction (which is perjury in my books), or the scope creep we see all around us ... almost inevitably this comes true and people act surprised.

Sorry, but I for one will not be enabling this crap. It just seems like technology for the sake of it, and by the time people realize that those among us who have been saying this will be a problem were right, it's too damned late.

Unless there are laws governing how a company can use the information, and some controls over law enforcement to prevent them from getting this and misusing it ... the internet of things is a terrible idea, and will not make your life better. The sheer amount of information about every aspect of your life which will be in someone else's hands is staggering.

In the end, I predict it will make our lives far worse, and usher in even more of this surveillance society we've been seeing.

We can't trust them with the information they have now, let alone from another bunch of sources in your life.

You really think the government won't insist on getting all this data without a warrant? And they won't claim you have no reasonable expectation of privacy and that they should be entitled to know where everybody is at all times? Or that corporations won't sell this for marketing purposes? Or to deny you service?

Hell no. Now, pass the tin foil please.

Comment: Re:It's about time (Score 1) 233

by gstoddart (#47939241) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

And, the corollary to the parent post is ... even if you will never come up with some breakthrough or advancement in the field ... do it anyway.

So, you may not get published, or find something which rocks the community. Who gives a damn?

Do it for yourself. Have fun with it. You're old enough to understand that the reward doesn't come from anything but you.

After a bunch of years, who knows where you'll end up?

Comment: Astronomy club? (Score 4, Informative) 233

by gstoddart (#47938213) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

I can't give you any specific advice, but maybe a local astronomy club?

I know one of the people who discovered Hale-Bopp is a gifted amateur, and I'm quite certain lots of stuff by amateurs happens which is pretty cool.

In fact, I get the impression lots of amateurs can give coverage which the "pros" can't really do just because of the sheer number of amateurs.

Good luck with it. Hopefully people can point you at more concrete stuff, but you'd hardly be the first amateur who contributed something to the field if you get there.

Comment: Really? (Score 1) 61

by gstoddart (#47933671) Attached to: Tinba Trojan Targets Major US Banks

the Trojan gets delivered to users via the Rig exploit kit, which uses Flash and Silverlight exploits. The victims get saddled with the malware when they unknowingly visit a website hosting the exploit kit

Say it isn't so! Flash and Silverlight got used as a security hole? Well, I'm truly shoc ... oh, fuck it ... this is exactly why I don't install this shit in my browsers, and why I don't let strange websites run scripts.

Flash has been a gaping security hole about as long as it has existed.

I can only assume Silverlight is little better, but the only browser I have it in is IE on a work machine because we need it to run some in-house software.

But I don't let that browser touch the real internet. Because I don't let IE access the internet unless every other browser has failed.

I'm afraid I no longer have any sympathy when I hear people got hacked via Flash. Because at this point, it's hardly surprising.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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