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Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1) 401

by tbannist (#47417683) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

New York still hasn't flooded

Are you sure about that? I mean sure not reading the article is pretty common on Slashdot but not reading your own sources is pretty lame. The article you linked says that New York will experience more flooding under storm conditions. The top category of flooding in my linked article for the flooding damager during Hurricane Sandy in New York City is 6-18 feet of water, because the top recorded flooding level was a little over 17 feet of water. There seems to be more than a few buildings in that top category. And the article says the average flooding level in New York city will rise by an estimated 4 feet of water by 2032 (20 years after the article was published). I don't see how that can be considered good evidence for your claims no matter how I look at the issue.

Comment: Re:That is not how conspiracy theories work. (Score 2) 401

by tbannist (#47417581) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

The guy should have just opened up his email voluntarily. He could then remove anything personal, which I'm guessing is his primary concern.

If he had removed anything they'd just claim that the removed emails contain the evidence that they were looking for, and more people would be inclined to believe them because they now have evidence that he's hiding something. Frankly, I suspect even if he opened up his email voluntarily and didn't remove anything personal they'd claim that obviously he'd already hidden the evidence they were looking for. Witch hunts don't end just because you're co-operating with your would-be executioners.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 401

by tbannist (#47417293) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Why can I simply multiply the temperature of the earth at 1 atm pressure by 1.176 to get the temp on venus at the same pressure?

Using the numbers from Venus Atmosphere Temperature and Pressure Profile:
Average Earth temperature: 14 degrees x 1.176 = 16 degrees Celcius
Average Venus temperature at 1 atmosphere (49.5 km above the surface): 66 degrees Celcius

It appears that you shouldn't be able to do so, and that's ignoring the question of whether the surface temperature on Earth should even be directly comparable to the temperature 49.5 km above the surface of Venus.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 401

by tbannist (#47417121) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Anybody who denies AGW catastrophism is termed a "denier" and the 97% number is trotted out to refute them.

No, generally speaking anyone who denies that global warming is occurring is labelled a "denier", because the evidence is conclusive that it's happening. The people who deny that catastrohpic climate change could occur because of global warming ir more properly lablled as a "luke-warmer", because they generally don't believe it will get "that hot".

So it's fair to point out that the number 97% is "nonsense" when used for that purpose.

No one (but you) is using it for that purpose.

Even if the paper wasn't shoddy in its methods, its conclusion would be useless for the AGW alarmism debate, because pretty much everybody believes that climate changes and that humans "play a role".

Surprisingly, close to half of Americans don't actually believe that, they think that there's no consensus on whether global warming is occurring. Probably because their primary news sources are under the control of Rupert Murdoch who personally stands to lose money from his portfolio if it's widely acknowledged that global warming is occurring and that human emissions are a key factor. Rupert, in case you didn't know, has a lot of money invested in coal companies which would bear the brunt of the effects of regulation, carbon taxes, or carbon trading markets.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 2) 701

by tbannist (#47399043) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

I was first introduced to the issue by Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", and pretty much accepted what he was saying... except that there was some nagging doubt due to things like unlabeled graphs and the like in his presentation.

Those nagging doubts? They're the manifestation of your political identity conflicting with the science.

It was when I started digging into the science that I started changing my mind. I found irresponsible handling of data, bizarre secrecy where there shouldn't be any, and so on. And all this has mushroomed in recent years.

And this is how you rationalize your refusal to accept the science. You use selective thinking to focus on minor issues while ignoring what should be the glaring obvious parts.

Case in point: the recent admission by NCDC that certain USHCN data had been derived and used improperly, and they had known it for a long time. They said they had "intended to fix it" at some undefined point in the future, but the question is: why was it not fixed already, and why had they not told anyone (including scientists) about it, even though they knew about it?

Are you referring to this? It seems like a rather minor bug.

And how about the recent "97%" claim by the people at SkepticalScience? It was dirt simple to show that it was nothing but statistical bullshit. Why would an organization representing responsible scientists lie to people?

Except that it hasn't been shown to be "nothing but statistical bullshit". I have yet to see a credible refutation of their claim that 97% of the published scientific articles that take a position on climate change support the consensus position that global warming is happening and driven by human activity. The argument that I'm assuming that you are referring to is the one made by Anthony Watts that they should not have excluded papers that do not discuss global climate change or global warming. However, it seems fair to me that when you are looking at positions taken on a issue to only look at papers which discuss the issue.

The IPCC's latest report states clearly that the science supporting their position is weaker than ever... yet they're even more certain that it's true. WTF?

That's a very interesting interpretation of the IPCC report, but one that most people do not get after reading the report. I strongly suspect it is a result of more selective thinking. You place undue emphasis on minor details of the report like a decrease in confidence of the link between severe weather and global average temperature and the lower of the top end of reasonable climate sensitivity, while ignoring the increase in the bottom end of reasonable climate sensitivity to conlcude that the "position is weaker than ever" while I think unbiased readers generally come away with the impression that uncertainty has decreased (because both the upper and lower limits have tightened).

Personally, I didn't believe in global warming when I first heard about it in the 90s, but since then I have been convinced that it is true. My experience with so called "skeptics" like yourself has played no little part in that belief. I have found that the actual scientific proponents tends to have well researched and detailed explanations for why and how it's happening, but the so-called skeptics tend to have arguments based on emotion and finger-pointing. Time and again you, in particular, have disappointed me with claims that were poorly backed up. Invariably when I investigate your claims I find them to be blown out of proportion, mistaken, or referencing some kook's incomprehensible arguments*.

I could, in theory, be falling for the same blinded by personal ideology issue (in your case, I believe it is your libertarian political beliefs), but fortunately (in this case) I don't have many strong political beliefs, I don't identify strongly with greens, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists or communists. So I'm inclined to believe that my personal views aren't filtering my view on this issue. Are you sure you can say the same?

* My personal favourite was when you linked to a kook who claimed the greenhouse effect didn't exist because greenhouses are encased in glass and the planet is not.

Comment: Re:Denial of use (Score 1) 281

by tbannist (#47281867) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Copyright infringement leads to loss of revenue to the content owner, therefore it is a form of theft.

"Loss of revenue" is not a recognized crime and for good reason, if it were, you could charge a reviewer with "theft" if he didn't give you a "good enough" review. You could charge your competitors for "stealing" your customers with their lower prices. You could charge window shoppers with "theft" for not buying what they're looking at... I could go on, but if you've got half a brain you should already understand the problem.

Either way, without using the word theft, according to you and your buddy, not paying for IP is okay, since the owner is not being deprived anything he originally had.

Neither of us said anything of the sort. You are creating strawmen. What we said is that copyright infringement is not theft, because nothing has been taken. Copyright infringement is violating the copyright holder's right to restrict who can make copies of the protected work. Notably, in most juridisction, copyright applies regardless of whether you are selling copies of the work or not. So for instance, a diary is no less protected simply because the author had no intention of publishing it, and copyright can be infringed in other ways that just copying. For instance, the copyright owner's moral rights prevent unathorized modifications to the work.

The original point was that the loss of bitcoins at Mt. Gox could actually theft because the bitcoins have been taken from the owner without permission, as long as we consider bitcoins to actually be property. Adn yes, theft is a more serious crime than copyright infringement because in theft the owner has been deprived of their actual property, where as copyright infringement may potentially deprive the copyright owner of hypothetical profits that they might have otherwise earned.

Neither of us have said anything about whether "not paying for IP is okay" because that is a completely different and multi-faceted issue. Effectively you're like the guy who's yelling that his computer doesn't work because "the CPU is full of RAMs and Gigs", you have very effectively demonstrated that you know next to nothing about what you're writing about.

Comment: Re:This just in. (Score 1) 281

by tbannist (#47281047) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

So if "straw man" was incorrect, I'm happy to accept "misinformed" or "willfully ignorant"

Those charges are reasonable, though I'm not sure that I'd agree. I seem to remember quite a few self-proclaimed libertarians talking about the glorious benefits of an absence of regulation... This episode seems to indicate some of the often overlooked benefits of regulation...

On the other hand, I do not know what contracts they had, or thought they had with Mt. Gox, or what the "system they would have used to address their grievances" would actually be.

Comment: Re:Denial of use (Score 2) 281

by tbannist (#47280545) Attached to: Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Suppose copying and using intellectual property is not stealing.

That would be good, because it's not stealing, it's copyright infringement. That's why we call it copyright infringement, because unauthorized copying infriges on the copyright owner's right to restrict who can make copies of the copyrighted work.

Therefore it is okay and legal to pay $0 for intellectual property.

No more than murder not being called "life theft" makes it legal to murder someone.

Comment: Re:The man has vision (Score 3, Insightful) 262

by tbannist (#47263913) Attached to: Elon Musk's Solar City Is Ramping Up Solar Panel Production

It's pretty simple, Bill Gates built two things: Microsoft and the Gate Foundation. Most of the innovative things that Microsoft has done have come from company's that Microsoft bought. Furthermore, Microsoft's (and Gate's) money comes mostly comes from anti-competitive and illegal agreements that shut competitors out of the PC marketplace and the monopoly rents those agreements enabled. The money came from overchanging PC manufacturers for an operating system, and those manufacturers, in turn, passed that cost onto computer purchasers. Microsoft skimmed money from the entire computer industry for over a decade by hiding the cost in the price of a new computer. They required every computer to have Windows on it. If a distributor didn't put Windows on every computer or at least charge for it on every computer, then Microsoft would prevent them from putting Windows on any computer. Ditto if they promoted any computer that didn't have Windows on it.

So because Gate's wealth was won mostly through deception and illegal practices, and Microsoft has a habit of buying new and interesting things and then letting them die, Bill Gates simple does not seem praiseworthy as a visionary. Jobs, on the other hand, was an asshole but it's reasonable to credit to his obsession and micromanagement as being integral to the success of the iPod and iPhone, which earns him the visionary credit (even if we ignore his role in the original idea that personal computers could actually be a thing).

So Bill Gates can be legitimately viewed as a con man because most of his wealth was earned through anti-competitive practices and extortion. Furthermore, as Bill Gates has been moving into charitable work, there have been disturbing indications that he's been repeating the boot stomping that Microsoft did while it was trying to be "the only company in computers". The rumours of NDAs or other agreements requiring research exclusivity with the Gates Foundation, for example, seem to indicate a greater concern for control and credit than results.

I suppose it comes down to the simple question: Can you actually name anything revolutionary that Gates has done? If you can't (and I can't), it's very difficult to justify calling him a visionary.

Personally, I tend to view Bill Gates as a very successful parasite, more than a con man.

Comment: Re:Queue the deniers (Score 1) 387

by tbannist (#47211235) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

I don't know what that can possibly mean.

It means there is a large and growing body of research that has collected diverse and disparate lines of evidence that support the major governing theory on the topic. In particular, it's enough that we can say with a high degree of confidence that the fundamental aspects of the theory of global warming are well founded and reasonably accurate.

Science, last time I checked, does not work that way.

That's what some pendants would like you to think. They want you to ignore the fact that science is both a process and the body of knowledge collected (and verified) through that process.

Comment: Re:Who is being taxed, exactly? (Score 1) 322

by tbannist (#47190871) Attached to: Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them

So let me get this straight, you are saying that if we do nothing about climate change, costs are going to increase some unknown amount naturally so we need to artificially increase costs with a known amount to combat it?

How about instead of playing five knuckle shuffle while attempting to funnel more money into the government coffers we instead look at ways to sequester the carbon emissions and perhaps replace them with naturally economically viable solutions?

Apparently we can't do that either because somdumass opposes anything that would "artificially increase costs". Oh wait. You appear to already be opposed to your own solution for the same reason you oppose tariffs. Or maybe you think magic fairies are going to pay for carbon sequestration? The carbon is already sequestered, it's far cheaper to stop burning it than it is to try and re-sequester it after we burn it.

I mean seriously, all the regulations and mandated emissions crap (which is mostly a good idea BTW) on cars has increased the cost of purchasing a new one by about 1/3 from between 1967 and 2001.

Somehow I doubt the veracity of that claim. After searching for a bit I only found one reference to what that amount actually is, and according to the chart that I found on the ICCT site, it's about to $200-400 per gasoline vehicle which is simply not going to be 1/3 of purchase price of any new car.

An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.

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