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Comment: Re:What a load of crap (Score 2) 696

by shma (#34700390) Attached to: Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers
"I just witnessed a murder!"

"Who cares? Murders happen every day. It shouldn't surprise anyone that there are murders in this country."

"But isn't it your obligation to take down in the evidence I have in order to help catch the criminal?"

"Not my problem. Come back when you have a juicy crime to report. Something exciting, and maybe titillating, like a rape charge or a kidnapped showgirl. Then we might do something about it."

Comment: Re:"Stand up for the cause"? (Score 1) 267

by shma (#34515704) Attached to: EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks
My mistake, I didn't realize Murdoch became a naturalized American citizen. Nevertheless, virtually every foreign newspaper has at some time published editorials trying to influence American policy, and every news organization in the world that is worth a damn has released classified documents at some point.

Comment: Re:"Stand up for the cause"? (Score 4, Informative) 267

by shma (#34503674) Attached to: EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks
Releasing a stream of illegally-released classified information from a democratic nation?

Your poor wording aside, it is not illegal to publish classified documents as decided by the Supreme Court in New York Times Co v United States. Leaking classified documents is only a crime for government employees.

Too bad people can't see this for what it is: a foreign national releasing illegally-obtained classified information in a coordinated effort to deliberately try to influence public opinion and US policy.

Other than your claim that Assange obtained the documents illegally, which I just showed to be a complete lie, that description applies equally well to Rupert Murdoch, but I don't see you calling for his arrest.

not the government that works on behalf of the people

If you had bothered to read even a fraction of what Wikileaks put out you wouldn't be so ignorant as to make the claim that the US government works "on behalf of the people".

It results in an environment where closed and repressive societies have an advantage in the information realm over open and democratic societies.

Did it even occur to you that you just spent your entire post attacking someone who has done nothing illegal and arguing that the media should shut up and only publish whatever information the government decides they should? Sounds like you would enjoy living in a closed and repressive society to me.

Comment: Re:Pot/Kettle (Score 2, Insightful) 701

by shma (#32869142) Attached to: Climategate and the Need For Greater Scientific Openness
I was responding to a post about the review's conclusions, not the scientific validity of the proxies, so obviously I didn't respond to McKitrick's claims. Don't insult me because I'm not discussing the topic that you so desperately want to debate. Start a new post if you can't stay on topic.

"If they were intentionally misleading the public, why would they omit the data from a later publication with much wider circulation?"

A report for the WMO has a wider circulation than NATURE, arguably the most prestigious science journal in the world? Are you kidding me?

The later publication contains all the information necessary to find the original articles. Anyone who actually deserves the label 'skeptic', instead of 'blind-faith conspiracy theorist' would have looked up the original articles by Mann and other to see how the proxy data was used to make the graph. Are you actually arguing a cover-up of data that is publicly available in the most prestigious journal in science? What kind of cover-up involves covering up material that is already in the public domain? If people like McKitrick are too damn lazy to check sources that's a mark against them.

Comment: Re:not cleared (Score 3, Informative) 701

by shma (#32868462) Attached to: Climategate and the Need For Greater Scientific Openness
"Intentionally supplying misleading figures is scientific misconduct"

Yes, it is. Except the report did not claim anywhere that it was intentional. Nor was it, considering that the dropping of tree ring data was made explicit in the original paper where the graph was used:

In one of the most notorious leaked e-mails, Jones, referring to the WMO report graph, described how he had "just completed Mike's trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years". Jones was referring to the fact that climatologist Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University in University Park had used direct temperature measurements to reconstruct temperatures over the past 20 years or so in a graph in an earlier Nature paper [2]. However, while Mann and his colleagues had clearly labelled which temperature lines were derived from direct measurements and which referred to proxy data, the graph submitted by Jones for the WMO report did not.
- UK climate data were not tampered with

If they were intentionally misleading the public, why had the same graph already been published with the missing information?

"What does bother me is the attempt to pass off the results of incompetent software engineering as valid science."

The evidence of your post tells me that the misrepresentation of facts doesn't seem to bother you at all.

Comment: Re:"Shamelessly buy votes?" (Score 5, Insightful) 319

by shma (#29251595) Attached to: Musician Lobby Terms Balanced Copyright "Disgusting"
In their world, politicians acting on voters wishes is 'buying votes', while lobbyists using the promise of campaign contributions to get favourable legislation passed is 'Democracy in Action'.

It's the same kind of logic that makes 30 copies of crappy pop songs worth over a million dollars.

Comment: Re:"Backwards" Causation (Score 1) 259

by shma (#29233813) Attached to: Entanglement Could Be a Deterministic Phenomenon

This act of preventing a future event is known as "bilking" and is a pretty sound argument against time travel. However, bilking is impossible for entangled particles.

I'm talking about backwards causation as a general principle.

On macroscopic scales not much changes since backward causes are limited...

Says who? What is the definitive study of backwards causation? I'd like to see some sources which claim that violating causality would not cause experimental problems. What about simple particle physics experiments where we are working on microscopic scales?

Moreover, sometimes science and mathematical calculations are hard. But that's the way the world is and the simplicity of calculations can't stand against the reality of observations. Calculation difficulties have been around since the three body problem.

You're not understanding my point. I didn't say the calculations or experiments would be difficult. I said that in any experiment where future events would have to be taken into account, you couldn't make definitive statements about your results. If I do an experiment to show A causes B and future events can also cause B, there is no way for me to state definitively that a seemingly positive result is caused by A and not some future event I can't control for. This is what makes causality so essential for science.

Comment: Re:"Backwards" Causation (Score 3, Informative) 259

by shma (#29232625) Attached to: Entanglement Could Be a Deterministic Phenomenon

Particles are just as likely to be influenced by future interactions as they are by past interactions

This seems to be a poor understanding of time reversal symmetry. Particle physics works if you run time forward, or if you flip its sign and run time backwards. But that does not mean the same thing as what you said above. You can look at an experiment with each event in reverse, but you can't, for instance, say that event 2 was caused by event 1, but event 1 was caused by event 3. It only can follow the laws of physics if the causal order is 123 or 321.

The idea of 'backwards' causation has obvious major problems. First of all, you run into causal paradoxes. But more importantly, if the outcome of your experiment rests on future events, how can you do science? Every result becomes meaningless because you don't know if a future event caused it.

Comment: Re:des (Score 1) 1100

by shma (#29201145) Attached to: Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

Um, we HAVE been seeing this cooling trend for a few years now, which is why misanthropic environmental hate groups have been trying to scrub the phrase "Global Warming" from the public lexicon and replace it with "Global Climate Change."

What the fuck are you talking about?

It's the same stupid bullshit I heard in 1999. Every time year X is cooler than year X-1, the same idiots come out claiming we're 'through the peak' and global warming is over. Do they know that regular global cycles act on top of global warming? Do they understand that two data points is not a trend?

Honestly, the fact that stupid shit like this gets +5 informative just shows how ignorant this community is when it comes to climate science.


"Smart" Parking Meters Considered Dumb 863

Posted by kdawson
from the sometimes-a-coin-is-just-a-coin dept.
theodp writes "The jury's still out on whether Chicago taxpayers were taken to the cleaners by a rushed 75-year lease of the city's metered parking to a Morgan Stanley consortium. But most would probably agree that the new shared Pay Boxes that replaced the city's old parking meters don't exactly live up to their 'Smart' billing. Here's what the redesigned 'user-friendly' parking solution looks like: 1. Park your car. 2. Walk up to 1/2 block to a Pay Box. 3. Wait in line to use it. 4. Use coins or credit cards to purchase parking time — up to $84 for 24-hours (add $50 if you run out of time). 5. Wait for a paper receipt to be printed. 6. Walk up to 1/2 block back to your car. 7. Place the receipt on your dashboard. 8. Head off to your destination, perhaps passing the Pay Box a second time. So before other cities suffer the same fate as Chicago, Portland, and others, is there a 'smarter' way? Some suggest the ParkMagic In-Car Meter, but no new orders are being taken in Chicago. Any other ideas?"

Comment: Re:but small exit ways can lead to death e2 nightc (Score 4, Interesting) 199

by shma (#29156363) Attached to: Obstacles Near Emergency Exits Speed Evacuation
They are not suggesting making the exit smaller, they are suggesting that an obstacle is placed further from the door to reduce the number of paths to the door and keep the number of people trying to push through the exit at any given time to a minimum. See Fig. 18 in the arXiv paper if you want to look at a diagram of this.

Interestingly enough, these results seem to have been known for a while (probably based on anecdotal evidence). I distinctly remember my fluid mechanics teacher telling our class almost exactly the same thing in 2006, explaining that a crowd headed for the exit behaved in similar ways to a fluid trying to pass through a small opening.

The use of money is all the advantage there is to having money. -- B. Franklin