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Comment: Re:That is the way it should be. (Score 1) 138

by gtall (#48659459) Attached to: Does Journal Peer Review Miss Best and Brightest?

I think your conclusion is essentially correct. The problem is that spotting good science in realtime is hard work. The scientists reviewing the paper can only put it in the perspective of their experience. If it too far outside and they are too far inside, then the paper gets rejected. It frequently requires a fair amount of time to pass before the results of a paper can be properly analyzed, and that's if the paper hasn't been so buried that no one recalls it ever being written.

To make matters worse, there are a fair number of whack jobs out there who act as though they were serious scientists when they are not, or are regurgitating something that may not even be their work and of which they have a dim understanding. And then there are charlatans who think science is some sort of dodge (e.g., those indulging their fantasies in scientific creationism).

Another complication is that interdisciplinary science gets rejected by the disciplines it spans because the reviewers inhabit a single discipline and see the interdisciplinary work as some other discipline infringing on their Universal Right to define their discipline.

Comment: Re:Who will get (Score 1) 360

by gtall (#48655401) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

I doubt the Japanese government would let a Japanese company do anything to N. Korea. As far as I can tell, the Japanese government is still hiding behind the skirts of the U.S. The PM would like to have more muscular military, but even if they had one, they will be wary of doing anything the Chinese could take objection to unless it is defending their islets in the S. China Sea.

Comment: Re:I don't see the big deal here. (Score 1) 182

by gtall (#48625273) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

Well, it is funny in a funny sense. The real problem is it showed the fragility of American media companies (movie chains) to blackmail and exposes a problem with freedom of speech. When an outside power can effect freedom of speech to this extent, it becomes a serious issue.

Writ large, someone mentioned it was probably the insurance companies that put a stop to the showing of the film. That lesson will no go unnoticed by other bad actors in the world.

Comment: Re:duh, it doesn't have to be complicated (Score 1) 190

by gtall (#48611819) Attached to: Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

You are not cutting in China for a slice. There was a news article a year or so ago where the Chinese government made the case for why they should get a slice of the Arctic. Given their absurd claims to the S. China Sea, they probably believe they are entitled to a slice of the Arctic as well.

Comment: Re:Another energy source (Score 1) 329

by gtall (#48563287) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

That's not entirely true, Japan has a program now to attempt to harvest methane. If they find a way to do it cheaply enough, poorer nations will be use using it. However, burning it still results in extra carbon in the atmosphere, although admittedly a less dangerous form. Some of the big oil companies also have small projects to see if it viable.

Comment: Re:How about a straight answer? (Score 3, Insightful) 329

by gtall (#48563261) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

You don't have to believe in climate change to realize dumping large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere is a problem. Just look at the acidifying oceans. Yes, it isn't methane (hence the difference in name and molecular structure). The implication of your statement is that since we have no good way of separating out the influence of man made climate change and natural climate change, we can forget about the controversy until the science resolves it. The science around the acidifying ocean is not in doubt except possibly by Sen. Sessions who never met a scientific fact he couldn't contradict.

You do recall the ocean, yes? Base the food chain? Screwing it up means you eventually go hungry.

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz