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Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 1) 174

Depends on how you define a hard science. The distinction is murky and ultimately set by the level or empericism in the field and how practical it is to test something.

Take cosmology... hard science right? Its just physics and astronomy. But how do you run an experiment on a galaxy. Is that a harder science than neuroscience or various fields of bioscience where they can actually test it right now?

In cosmology we have Dark Matter... matter we can't detect except by infrence with how far our gravitational calculations are off otherwise... we have dark energy which is accelerating entire galaxies away from each other at FASTER than the speed of light... suck it special relativity... and we just recently had scientists saying that we now need "Complex Dark Matter" because the motions of bodies in the hearts of galaxies which we've only had the instraments recently to see are moving in ways that don't make sense unless Dark Matter is even weirder than was previously thought.

And that's just one field.

Hard and soft? The issue is not whether any field is hard or soft but whether the support for a given SPECIFIC theory is hard or soft.

There are some things in physics that are hard because they've been tested over and over and over again. They're fucking brawlers... they're blooded positions. They've been in the pits and they've always walked away covered in the gore of someone else's position with crowd cheering.

Other positions are not tested. And you find this in all sciences. Typically newer theories are not tested immediately. And some will not be tested for decades.

And this is true in ALL sciences.

The rat running example is quite good. psychology used to be very interested in rat mazes for a long time. I don't know if they still do it. But the point was that they'd draw a lot of conclusions about how the rat responded to things without actually understanding how rats work. For example, it was quite common to put some treat in a maze that the rat would want without understanding that the rat could perceive where the treat was at any given time despite not being able to see it. The rats have excellent senses of smell and hearing... and they can use that to find out where they are in the maze because different parts of the maze are going to smell differently... and the rat can feel/hear variations in the maze just by listening to the noise his own feet make on the maze.

This was known fairly early on in rat running but was not well published or read and so the vast majority of rat mazes ever done did not account for how rats sense their environment. As a result the majority of the rat maze tests are bullshit. Even if we're just talking about rats.

They'd have figured it out if they had done a control group. But they normally don't.

As to why this is becoming a bigger and bigger deal... there is a general issue with scientific rigor in the last 20 years or so. It has been noticed by the people that pay the bills. Many of the top scientists have noted the problem. And several of the most prestigious journals have said that there is a problem.

So... A correction will happen as to what is and is not valid protocol. Good scientists won't care because they were probably already following valid protocol.

Lazy, incompetent, or outright unethical scientists will not like this... and of course, about as much care will be given to that as we give for alcoholic surgeons think about intoxication policies.

Comment Re: Well... some misconceptions there (Score 1) 48

You've reduced yourself to making petty off topic insults entirely abandoning any pretense of a rational dialog.

You therefore concede the argument by default in the same manner a child concedes a board game by tipping the board over and running away crying.

I hope future discussions are more productive and you are better able to master your emotions.

We had a philosophical disputed where you had every opportunity to offer your position in a rational and reasonable way... you were unable to do that. Your position was illogical, self contradictory, and when I held a mirror to your madness instead of showing some intellectual integrity and dealing with it rationally... you started throwing a temper tantrum dribbling apple sauce all over yourself. Its something that stops being cute after people are more than a few months old. When someone that is doubtless a full grown man... its pathetic.

It is "I" that shall give YOU the last word.

Good day, sir.

*tips hat*

Comment Why? (Score 1) 150

Why are they not giving you access? What is their goal with that?

Honest answer... not what they say but why they're actually doing that.


Why do you want access? What is your goal with that?

Honest answer... not what you say but why you're actually doing it.

State those two to yourself and you should be able to figure out a path forward.

Comment Re:Mirrors (Score 2) 100

I don't think you could make the reflective surface perfect enough to make the drone positively laser-proof, but I think a reflective coating would certainly reduce the laser's effective range. Analogously you can't nuke-proof an aircraft, but in the Cold War they were often painted "anti-flash white" to help them survive a bit closer to a detonation.

Comment Re:Which is why (Score 1) 174

Well, as far as Atkins is concerned, diet research is really, really hard and expensive to do right. I know because when I was an MIT student one of my jobs was office boy in the Food and Nutrition group, and I saw how hard it was. In one of the studies, research subjects were given a duffle bag from which all the input to their digest systems came, and into which all the output from the same went, for six bloody months.

Of course not every study needs to be that rigorous, but diet is one of those areas where the public needs lots of informed opinion but the funding for research is grossly inadequate to meet that need.

By the way, the current state of research seems to be that carbohydrate restricted diets work well in the short term but have only modest success in the long term.

Comment Which is why (Score 1) 174

... you don't make any important decisions based on a single paper. That's true for hard sciences as well as social sciences.

Science by its very nature deals in contradictory evidence. I'd argue that openness to contradictory evidence is the distinguishing characteristic of science. A and not A cannot be true at the same time, but their can be, and normally is, evidence for both positions. So that means science often generates contradictory papers.

What you need to do is read the literature in a field widely so you can see the pattern of evidence, not just a single point. Or, if you aren't willing to invest the time for that you can find what's called a review paper in a high-impact factor journal. A review paper is supposed to be a fair summary of recent evidence on a question by someone working in the field. For bonus points read follow-up letters to that paper. Review papers are not infallible, but they're a heck of a lot more comprehensive than any other source of information.

Comment Re: Well... some misconceptions there (Score 1) 48

... you confuse philosophy with reality. You are trying to argue against the West wind or debate noon day Sun.

This is not a question of opinion. It is a question of "is" and "is not".

You could as easily push your agenda as you could walk to the beach and slap the tide away with the palm of your soft little human hand.

This is bigger than you and bigger than your philosophies.

Comment Re:That would be penny wise and pound foolish (Score 1) 316

Well, a lot depends on how your actions fit into your long term vision, if anything. "We'll just rebuild this neighborhood and everything will be hunky-dory" is obviously not a long term plan.

The reason the Netherlands flood control makes sense is that the value of 25% of their country's land area far outweighs the cost of reclaiming it, as simple as that. When the net present value of keeping the flood waters off a piece ofland exceeds the net present value of the use you'll get from it, then it's time to abandon piece of land.

Comment Re:Exaggeration is not Necessary (Score 1) 316

Well, if you *insist* on being pedantic, what they mean is "It's not going to stop before it causes a degree havoc most people would find inconceivable."

I think they kind of expect people to understand they're not claiming that the water levels will rise, drowning the Moon, inundating the Sun, and eventually filling up the entire universe.

Comment Re:"...need to be prepared..." (Score 4, Insightful) 316

Sure. Or sooner if you are economically tied to businesses or people near the coast; or businesses or people not near the coast; or businesses or people not near the coast but dependant on others that are. That's the downside of living in a modern economy. I didn't hold any toxic mortgage backed financial instruments, but I sure felt the pain when the capital markets went tits up in 08.

Comment Re:Well... some misconceptions there (Score 1) 48

And you're vagueness implies you actually don't have anything to support your position... what... so... ever.

Short enough for you?

Given your hilarious comments elsewhere suggesting that no country has a right to have borders at all... which would negate nation states in the first place as well as undermine all law... and lead to anarchy... I question how clearly you've thought anything through.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll