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Comment: Re:One small victory for a man.. (Score 1) 717

by spinninggears (#37937228) Attached to: Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage

Is this sarcasm, a Poe, or have you misunderstood your audience? Most here are quite familiar with ad hominem, straw men, categorical errors and false equivocation.

I prefer to win arguments by presenting and refuting objective evidence, but usually just get fallacy ridden rants such as the one you present. Are you trying to show how ridiculous Haught is in debates by example? If so, you have done an excellent job.

Apologies for the tone, but hey as one of Coyne's ilk, you called me clueless.

Comment: So why hasn't UC Berkeley been getting cheaper? (Score 5, Interesting) 1797

by spinninggears (#37816626) Attached to: Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

In California, since the 1970's, the state has subsidized less and less of the tuition for students, while student loan amounts have not been increased substantially, and yet the state universities have not gotten less expensive in the process.

Sometimes Ron Paul says things that are correct, but silly (like how we could lower health care costs by removing the requirement medical providers be licensed. Probably true, but....) Mostly though, he just says things that are incorrect and silly. His supporters piece together some sort of reality from this that makes sense to them, I guess.

Comment: Urban OS Marketing Dept: This is Engineering... (Score 3, Interesting) 216

by spinninggears (#37569168) Attached to: An Operating System For Cities

With due respect to the marketing folks behind Urban OS, it reality the engineering is actually going in the direction of passing useful information through the network to a variety of embedded computers who then make such decisions as granting priority to a firetruck.

I have been developing software such as this for quite a while, and it simply makes a lot more sense to tell, for instance, a traffic controller directly that a city bus is on the way than it does to tell a centralized system that a bus is on the way and have it command a traffic controller. The traffic controller is the "expert system", developed by people who know what it is supposed to be doing. It just needs data to do it's job.

On that last point, sensor failures are the reason most intelligent traffic controllers fail to do their job correctly, and the more sensors you have, the higher the percentage of failed sensors in the system. You need to solve that problem first, before you worry about what CPU the solution is running on.

Comment: Is the FCC unbiased in this whole process? (Score 1) 160

by spinninggears (#36964372) Attached to: Measuring Broadband America Report Released

From the report: "The data in this Report is based on a statistically selected subsetof those consumers—approximately 6,800 individuals—and the measurements taken in their homes during March 2011."

Interestingly, after a year of complaining to my ISP, using the data from my SamKnows router, that I was not getting anywhere close to my advertised download speed, in March 2011 I suddenly started getting it ( an ~4x boost). I wonder if my speed will now start to degrade now that the report is out? Or is it just coincidence?

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 1486

by spinninggears (#35748196) Attached to: Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?

If all scientists were engaged in some conspiracy to hide the truth, then you might have a point. But they don't -- one scientist corrects another, and at some point, I am assured of getting the correct information (or the most correct information that science can give).

This is not faith. This is the result of the scientific methodology.

Comment: Re:What do you have to do to be called a "scientis (Score 1) 308

by spinninggears (#35737974) Attached to: MythBuster Developing Light-Weight Vehicle Armor

It takes a lot of things for people to seriously consider calling a person a scientist. I can think of a few:

-- Non-trivial investigations that build upon previous research
-- Objective measurements
-- Communicating results to peers in a format that allows conclusions to be verified
-- Advancement of knowledge
-- Funding by other scientific stakeholders

Does Mythbusters meet any/all of these? Maybe, but it would be a real stretch.

Comment: Another example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (Score 1) 308

by spinninggears (#35736936) Attached to: MythBuster Developing Light-Weight Vehicle Armor

Not knowing what you do not know often leads to an optimistic view about one's expertise in a subject. Mythbusters can be fun to watch, but only on television would one spend so much to demonstrate so little.

Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
-- Ambrose Bierce

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.