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Comment: Re:Null hypothesis (Score 1) 390

by orgelspieler (#49776013) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?
The null hypothesis is the assumption that things don't have a relationship. That is because far more things are not related than are. The size of my shoes is not related to the velocity of the solar wind. The frequency of web forum posts is not related to the life span of dolphins. Pick any two random measurable things, and they will not be related in any provable fashion most of the time. That's why it's so interesting when things are related. The whole point of any scientific research is to disprove the null hypothesis, i.e. prove correlation, for some set of data. If you want to do away with it, you will send us back to the dark ages, where adultery causes fishing shortages, and Jews cause the plague.

Comment: Re:They should be doing the opposite (Score 1) 309

There was a pretty good example last month. I don't think any musician listening to the two songs would say one is copied from the other. Maybe inspired by, but not copied. Nearly every march has horns playing upbeats, a trio section, and a stinger at the end. That doesn't mean the estate of John Phillip Sousa should be suing every composer of marches who came after him.

But even when you are "copying" the nature of copyright law still stifles innovation of transformation. I arrange music for a wind ensemble at my church. In order to even do that, I have to get written permission from the original copyright holder, which isn't trivial in most cases. That's time I could be writing music instead of doing paperwork. Yes, I could write my own tunes, but a congregation isn't going to connect with original music like they do with something they've heard 50 times before.

Then you've got companies who make a business model out of publishing public domain works, copyrighting the edition, and then suing anybody else who tries to publish the same public domain work. Not just music either, but books and photographs, too. Granted, this isn't a rampant problem, but it's enough of a concern/annoyance that some people drop out of creative markets altogether.

Comment: Re: Since when.... (Score 1) 270

by orgelspieler (#49512793) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment
Sorry. My ignorance of Twitter shows. My understanding was that unless you "follow" somebody, their post will not be pushed to your device. Yes, it's searchable, but so is everything else on the Internet. It's nothing that could have caused panic on the plane or otherwise terrorized large numbers of people. If anything seeing the guy taken away in handcuffs was probably more horrifying for the people on the plane, than if they had seen a random string of letters with no inkling of what it actually meant.

Comment: Re:Precalculated (Score 1) 109

by orgelspieler (#49512731) Attached to: For the most recent tax year ...
The problem with flat tax, and what most people seem to misunderstand about tax law, is that most of the confusion and difficulty filing taxes comes from figuring out what is taxable income. That doesn't get fixed with flat tax. There will still be rules on what is and isn't income, what you can and can't deduct. If you're a business owner, it doesn't make sense to say all of your revenue is net income. You can't just say all the money people take home in a paycheck is income either, because then people will hide it in other places. The wealthy already do this to some extent, hence the AMT. I guess you could remove deductions and credits, but that seems like a shitty thing to do, and most people would never go for it.

Comment: Re: I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 599

Boys have a high tolerance for failure, eh? Try telling my son that. His teacher asks questions that either have more than one right answer, but she'll only accept one answer (which polygon can you make out of two trapezoids?). Or sometimes she's just dead wrong (deer do not hunt for food). But if he doesn't get 100% on everything, he's completely heartbroken. We've tried telling him it's no big deal as long as he tried his best. We've tried telling him his teacher made an error. But he becomes completely inconsolable. Nothing helps. Poor kid.

Comment: Re:Since when.... (Score 4, Insightful) 270

by orgelspieler (#49494873) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment
WTF? Did you even read the article? They're harassing the CTO of a security firm because he dared to point out security flaws in airplanes. Cracking a joke on Twitter to your friends is not the same thing as threatening to bring down a plane. Just because he does private sector research instead of publishing for peer review does not mean he's not a researcher. I do R&D in my job, but it's all trade secret. Am I not doing research since I don't publish? I think the FBI out-assholed this guy by a long shot, and I'm surprised to see a comment like yours modded to +5.

Comment: Re:Humerous?` (Score 4, Insightful) 270

by orgelspieler (#49494661) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment
His tweet was immediately followed by "There IS a distinct possibility that the course of action laid out above would land me in an orange suite rather quickly :)" So clearly not an actual threat. It's just the FBI being dicks at the behest of large corporations, because Airbus and Boeing don't like being made to look like idiots.

Comment: Re: Decent (Score 1) 482

Your story is anecdotal and does not apply to the population in general.

Wait, what?! One of your prime examples in your argument is people with spending disorders. You can't seriously think that more people have spending disorders than have kids in day care? The argument you made was that money woes are caused by people spending poorly, which you back up with generalizations. That's not even up to the level of anecdote as far as data usefulness goes.

Here's another anecdote. I make more than enough money to live well. I do not buy new shoes until my soles wear out, and I don't buy anything that starts with a lowercase i. But even I would be pleased if my CEO cut his pay by 93% and used the money to bump my salary up even a modest amount.

Comment: Re:Boo, you fad killer! (Score 1) 111

by orgelspieler (#49346867) Attached to: The One Thousand Genes You Could Live Without
What if that is the gene to be allergic to poison ivy, and we just didn't think to check for that? There's no way to know that a gene doesn't just serve some rarely-used purpose. What if it increases your intelligence by 1%, or some other feature that is affected by hundreds of other factors, like weight or hairline. Or maybe that gene's function is being suppressed by some epigenomic thing. Even the GP's suggestion of making changes isn't a winner, either. If the gene has a subtle purpose, changing it isn't going to make any obvious changes.

Comment: Re:Maybe you should have read more than one senten (Score 2) 264

I don't think that blaming the victim is inherently immoral. There are several moral codes, including the Abrahamic faiths, that include some aspect of blaming the victim. For instance rape victims are supposed to be stoned to death, under most circumstances. Basically, if they are within earshot of others, then obviously they didn't yell loud enough, so they should be punished. There's an allowance for a woman who is outside walking around beyond where others can hear her. I disagree with this specific rule, but there is obviously room for debate on whether or not blaming the victim is immoral.

I happen to think it is perfectly reasonable for those who have not done due diligence to bear some of the burden when they get scammed. For instance, if I give money to somebody soliciting at my doorstep for a charity I've never heard of, I share some of the responsibility for my loss. Worse, I have given a scammer funds with which to propagate their misdeeds to more victims. I think this position is perfectly moral.

Saying somebody is not moral just because they don't share the same morals as you is fallacious at best, and quite possibly hypocritical. I think it's immoral to cut off the hand of a thief. I think it's immoral to commit adultery. I think it's immoral to pay CEO's 100x what their laborers make. But if you happen to think that these things are A-OK, it doesn't make you an immoral person. It just means we have different values.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong -- until the next person quits or is fired.