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Comment: Re:"If you have nothing to hide..." (Score 1) 191

by jc42 (#49606397) Attached to: Inside the Military-Police Center That Spies On Baltimore's Rioters

How are they not terrorist? I mean using violence and the threat of violence against the civilian populations in order to influence actions of government is pretty much the definition of terrorism.

Nah; in the US, the term has been "re-purposed". It now means "Anyone that the people currently in power don't like." That definition successfully explains almost all uses of the word "terrorist" now, while the original, obsolete definition you quote doesn't.

Comment: I WISH he was a candidate (Score 2) 375

by damn_registrars (#49602525) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic
Unfortunately he is a candidate in name only. He can't raise the kind of money that Hillary or any other candidate running for the democratic nomination can raise, and hence has no chance of getting the nomination. He would be better off running as a third party candidate than trying to get the democratic nomination; it will be interesting to see him eventually reveal his plan for what to do when he has fallen too far behind in the party race.

The funny thing is, he is the liberal democrat that the conservative majority in this country always try to paint every other democrat to be. I would love to see what they would do if he actually gained power beyond his seat in the Senate.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 433

by Bruce Perens (#49598949) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

OK, I will try to restate in my baby talk since I don't remember this correctly.

Given that you are accelerating, the appearance to you is that you are doing so linearly, and time dilation is happening to you. It could appear to you that you reach your destination in a very short time, much shorter than light would allow. To the outside observer, however, time passes at a different rate and you never achieve light speed.

Comment: Just out of curiosity ... (Score 2) 297

How many papers can we find that have been rejected because all the authors are male?

I wouldn't be surprised if it had happened, but I don't remember reading of any examples. Maybe it's my forgetful male memory? ;-)

In any case, can anyone cite other examples (in either direction)? If they exist, it might be interesting to look into the stories.

Comment: Where we need to get to call this real (Score 1) 433

by Bruce Perens (#49596461) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

Before we call this real, we need to put one on some object in orbit, leave it in continuous operation, and use it to raise the orbit by a measurable amount large enough that there would not be argument regarding where it came from. The Space Station would be just fine. It has power for experiments that is probably sufficient and it has a continuing problem of needing to raise its orbit.

And believe me, if this raises the orbit of the Space Station they aren't going to want to disconnect it after the experiment. We spend a tremendous amount of money to get additional Delta-V to that thing, and it comes down if we don't.

Comment: Re:false positives (Score 1) 173

You missed the GP's point: the problem is not that true negatives were found; the problem is that they were not published. Because they were not published, future researchers might waste more effort re-discovering them.

Indeed, though there is often a more insidious effect. Suppose there's a claim that treatment T is effective for medical condition C, but it's actually a "placebo effect". If one study showed a (perhaps small) effect, and other studies showing no effect aren't published, a lot of money can be made selling T to customers. If the true negative results are published, the makers (and prescribers) of T lose that income.

This is one of many reasons for the low level of publishing "negative" results. Another reason is linguistic: In English and most other human languages, it's hard to make a clear distinction between "Our study showed no effect" and "Our study didn't show any effect". Most listeners won't hear a difference between negating the object and negating the verb, and the media frequently reports the former as the latter. Managers of scientific organizations are as prone to this problem as the rest of us are. "We want studies that show results, not studies that don't."

And, of course, there's the general cultural resistance to "negativity". This easily explains why many pseudo-scientific beliefs persist centuries after they've been disproved.

Comment: false positives (Score 4, Insightful) 173

'This makes it hard to dismiss that there are still a lot of false positives in the literature.'

An even more widespread problem is that there are a lot of true negatives that aren't in the literature.

Of course, this is a problem in most scientific fields, not just the "soft sciences" like psychology. I'm occasionally impressed by a researcher who publishes descriptions of things studied and found to be not significant, but this doesn't happen very often.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"