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Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 640

by ranton (#47969149) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Nonsense. People understood the world before long science was invented, and very little of our useful understanding of the world comes from science. Most of it comes from direct experience or the experience passed on to us by others.

Nonsense. People may not always use science deliberately, but using direct experience along with inductive and deductive reasoning is the bedrock of scientific discovery. The scientific method is not the only way to gain knowledge, but it is also not the only method in which people perform scientific studies.

Science exists because people invented it.

Correction: people discovered science. Inventing things is engineering; learning the concepts and natural laws that allow us to invent things is science.

[Science] does not, by any stretch of the imagination, represent the sole mechanism for understanding the world.

Yes it does. Without logical arguments there is no verifiable way to ensure you know anything. Under circumstances where too much is unknown you can use very weak arguments, but they must still be backed up by some form of logical reasoning.

Even belief in God uses deductive and inductive reasoning. It is just very flaky reasoning that allows the believer to make no meaningful predictions.

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 640

by ranton (#47968275) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Well, "God" or "Gods" being, by definition, supernatural entities (emphasis on the super in that term) are beyond the purview of science.

You can't just define something as being beyond the purview of science, and then argue that is why it is outside the purview of science.

Supernatural is not a useful term in this argument. Its definition is simply anything that is considered outside the laws of nature. It doesn't mean it is outside the laws of the natural world, because in reality nothing can be. We find things that are outside our current understanding of the "natural world" quite often, and then they become part of the natural world. Electromagnetism, relativity, and quantum mechanics all come to mind.

If we found evidence that some entity could break the laws of thermodynamics, it would not be supernatural. We would simply change the laws of thermodynamics to adjust for this new information.

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 640

by ranton (#47967177) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Why are you right, and he wrong? Why are you right and the many sciences that believe in God are wrong about that?

How is what Feynman said and what I said at odds?

He says science cannot disprove the existence of God. Almost every atheist would agree with that. No one can disprove any claim which does not make falsifiable statements, and scientists are no different.

He also says someone can be a scientist and religious at the same time. That is obviously true because more than 0% of scientists are religious.

My contention is only that there are no questions that religion can answer that science cannot answer. The only time science and religion are truly at odds is when religion makes a claim that science already has a much more reasonable answer for. One example is contemplating the meaning of the universe.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    - Hamlet (1.5.167-8)

I personally see no problem with this statement. I would only disagree if Hamlet had said "Than can be dreamt of in your philosophy."

Comment: Re:Your employer (Score 1) 166

by ranton (#47966815) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

But personally I'd prefer a higher wage and leave out the modern over-hyped version of a flee-market we now call a "conference" It's a waste of my time and often costs 10% of my sallary for me to attend. Wouldn't you prefer a 10% raise? ...and I literally tell my management that. I wont waist your money, so don't waste my time. Pay me more and I wont leave.

The main reason why it makes more sense for your employer to pay for a conference instead of giving a raise is that the trip is tax deductible and you do not have to pay taxes on it either. The average real corporate tax rate is 12.1%, so that $10k conference only costs a profitable company about $8800. If they gave you the $8800 directly, after state, federal, FICA, and employment taxes that probably comes down to just under $5k.

So if you were to pay for the conference yourself, it would literally cost twice as much as if your company pays for it directly. And if you would rather have $5k than attend a $10k conference then the conference is clearly not worth it (either because the conference is worthless or you aren't ambitiousness enough to get much from it).

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 2) 640

by ranton (#47966479) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Please explain how science can explain its own existence,

Science can easily explain its own existence. Science exists because it is the only process of understanding the world in a way that can provide useful results. Or at least the only way we have found so far.

or why any given set of scientific axioms exist in the specific manner that they do?

They exist in the way that they do because that is where the evidence leads us. And basic human psychology shows any attempt to place desire or intent onto a scientific axiom is just anthropomorphism.

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 640

by ranton (#47966419) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

"Why?" is still a valid question; and science says we lack the tools to gather evidence of "why?".

"Why" is not always a valid question. When you ask "why is the universe here" the first thing to notice is you are giving human intent to something that has no intent. It is like asking "why does my shirt want to be blue?" There is a reason it is blue, but it does not desire to be blue. The universe was created (or always existed) but it did not want to be created or did not feel like being created. The desire to give "meaning" to natural phenomena is basic anthropomorphism and should be easily discarded.

Comment: The whole article is just trolling (Score 2, Insightful) 640

by ranton (#47964961) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

The article is just as bad or perhaps worse than the summary. Most of the summary is just taking snippets out of the article, and some of the more egregious ones that I bothered to check aren't taking anything out of context. And there is plenty of worse content that the summary has left out.

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

This particular line of reasoning is the first one I checked on hoping it was just embellishment by the submitter. But it was there. The article loses absolutely all credibility in this one sentence. Science is more than capable of contemplating the cause of anything. It may not be good at anthropomorphizing natural phenomena and giving it intent (like wondering why the universe was created), but that is simply because scientific reasoning easily dismisses such thought as not only irrelevant but ultimately incorrect.

Comment: Re:Mark Zuckerberg is a liar. (Score 5, Informative) 245

by ranton (#47961173) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

First of all, on the "poor underpayed H1-B" myth. I live and work in Seattle metro area. My base pay is $150k, and then another $40k on top of that in bonuses.

First off, individual salaries of very highly skilled H-1B visa holders does nothing to undermine the "poor underpaid H-1B" myth. Does the fact there is a black president mean there is absolutely no discrimination left in the US?

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, H-1B Visa holders in the computer industry make on average $13k less per year than a citizen. In addition to that, 85% of H-1B workers work for less than the median wage for their occupation. Looks like you are not the norm.

Just because you are one of the few H-1B workers that almost all US citizens would agree we want to immigrate here does nothing to disprove the fact that H-1B workers depress wages by flooding the market with underpaid workers.

Every time I see these stories, I know what comments there will be, but I'm getting tired of all the whining and bullshit.

The sad thing is when anyone complains about H-1B workers they are almost immediately accused of xenophobia and/or labeled as whining. I hate our H-1B system, but only because of how unfairly it treats H-1B workers. I am a consultant and I work with many of these immigrants. I am appalled at how horrible the system is that they describe. If we had a properly functioning H-1B program, instead of the indentured servitude it usually consists of, I would bet that H-1B workers would make above median wages.

If they weren't just an exploited group (in the vast majority of cases), companies would only bring over the best and the brightest. And this would be wonderful.

Comment: Never had passion in the first place (Score 2, Insightful) 271

by ranton (#47949347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

I find it just as likely that these workers never had passion in the first place. They were knowlegeable of the current trends right out of college because they spent the last four years learning them. But as soon as they left college the learning stopped. It wasn't noticeable for the first 5-10 years, but as the industry shifts it starts to become more obvious.

Everyone I know who was passionate about this industry in college has stayed passonate today (almost 15 years later). Some have switched to the business side and have become passionate there instead, but that internal drive is still there.

Comment: Re:Too Bad (Score 4, Informative) 106

by ranton (#47928851) Attached to: Interviews: David Saltzberg Answers Your Questions About The Big Bang Theory

Too bad the show doesn't portray any intelligent person as normal as those you receive "support" from.

In the scientific crowds I have been a part of, Leonard is on par with the more "normal" people I have known. He still has quite a few geeky quirks, but overall he can blend in as well as most geeky guys can. He has a hard time with some of Penny's brain dead friends, especially when watching sports, but overall he seems pretty normal to me.

Leonard has always struck me as that one normal guy which is quite common in many geeky cliches. They can't have too many of their characters be well balanced or else why would the show be fun to watch?

From another angle, take a look at Two and a Half Men. You have a womanizing morally bankrupt millionaire, an incompetent brother, and a brain dead son. If I were a millionaire playboy, divorced middle aged man with career problems, or a teenager who struggled in school, I wouldn't want any of those characters to represent me. While each of them may get laid more than the character on BBT, I wouldn't consider any of them to be "normal" either. Abnormal people simply make for great television.

Comment: Re:Is it COBOL or the people? (Score 2) 270

by ranton (#47928349) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

After reading the article, the $10k difference they are using was between those who took the COBOL class and ALL Business Computer Information Systems students. That degree is more of an IT degree than a software development related degree (at this school). It is a very bad comparison.

I would be more interested in how those students who took COBOL compared to the university's Computer Science and Engineering students.

Comment: Re:Dual degrees (Score 1) 391

by ranton (#47928195) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Anthropology and Sociology are not typically considered STEM but "social sciences."

Social Sciences are part of STEM, it even has the word Science in there to help clear any ambiguity.

Most organizations such as universities and scholorship programs use the National Science Foundation's (NSF) definition of STEM. This is apt considering the term originated from the director of the NSF. Here is a list of degrees that are considered STEM which was compiled by the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency, who revised its definition of STEM to more closely align with that of the NSF in 2012. It clearly shows many social sciences as being part of STEM.

Comment: Re:Dual degrees (Score 2) 391

by ranton (#47923517) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

The thing that really makes me chuckle, though, is that they don't seem to believe that someone with strengths in the arts could ever be an autodidact, in spite of the fact that most good geeks have this capability as a defining trait.

But if anyone ever suggested that I fill my software shop with nothing but STEM grads, I would laugh them out of the room. No offence, all you engineers, but there's a whole raft of software design and development issues that you guys suck at.

The thing that really makes me chuckle is the hypocrisy in the two statements I quote above. I actually think the entirety of your post is brilliant until the last couple sentences, where you go from making very enlightened points showcasing a different point of view to just being someone with a chip on your shoulder.

While filling your whole software shop with nothing by STEM graduates on purpose is nothing to be proud of, it wouldn't be a tragedy either. STEM degrees range from Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, and even social sciences like Anthropology and Sociology. Thinking that you absolutely need an English major in there is just as silly as thinking an English major doesn't belong there.

To be honest I am personally giving you the benefit of the doubt because of how insightful you seem to be, but I think you went completely overboard with your last statements.

Comment: Re:Deism (Score 1) 918

by ranton (#47909287) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

For starters, deism isn't a religion, which makes the rest of the comment not worth bothering with.

How does our differing definition of the term "religion" have anything to do with the rest of the comment? It is amazing sometimes how people are able to find reasons to not think critically.

Comment: Re:Whe do you "keep an open mind" at all? (Score 1) 918

by ranton (#47901203) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

There's no need or ability to "prove a negative"; This has always been a fallacy as proven all over the world on a daily basis: People are being proven NOT to be guilty of various things, containers are proven NOT to contain things, various theories are proven NOT not be true, etc. all over the world all the time.

The actual argument you are referring to is not that it is impossible to prove a negative. As you illustrate, it is possible to have evidence of absence. Looking inside a container provides evidence of its contents, theories that make falsifiable claims can be proven false, etc. What makes proving God(s) exist different is that no evidence is presented at all. All that leaves is an argument from ignorance, which is the fallacy in informal logic non-believers are referring to when they say you can't prove God does or does not exist. If religions made falsifiable claims, then this logical fallacy would not exist.

Your second fallacy is just you projecting opinions onto people so you can easily shoot them down. Evolution is not "proven" scientifically just because we know it is a possible solution. So far it is the only proposed solution. Religion solves no questions regarding how we got here because any questioned answered by "God did it" should be promptly followed by "then how was God created?"

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project