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Comment Re:I've given up (Score 1) 605

It is in short supply these days, in all camps. Actually, to be fair, I frequently run into proponents of Climate Change who've as much understanding of scientific methodology as the Creationist posing for a photo next to the exhibit of the saddled triceratops. Maybe they 'believe' it because they saw it in a picture with text on facebook. Who knows. It doesn't help, either way.

Comment And where do they 'camp out' climate change again? (Score 4, Interesting) 605

'In the 1970s scientists were predicting an ice age, now it's global warming.'

There's plenty of deniers who claim warming isn't happening, who claim its a conspiracy to raise taxes, who cite a Time magazine article from the early 1970s (when global warming actually still was more or less a consensus) as evidence of some discrepancy in the sciences, because apparently 40 years of scientific advances can be refuted by misquoting what scientists 'believed' in the past.

Deniers won't be able to find 'safe places' to camp out, it's not like one can just find a bunker and ride it out for a couple of years. Even if some now accept that warming is taking place, the science is still being denied. The net effect, doing nothing, is the same. The difference amounts to splitting hairs.

Although it's true there are parts of the world that won't be hit as hard as others, and those of us who live there won't have to worry about camping out.

Comment Wish people would RTFA (Score 1) 183

This article is not claiming to know anything about consonance, if anything it's opening up the field to more questions.

It's comparing musical and amusical listeners to debunk the notion that constructive/destructive interference patterns (beats) are how we neurologically perceive consonance and dissonance. Nothing more. It's making no value judgements as to what consonance or dissonance is. If anything it goes out of its way to demonstrate how complex it is to make judgements regarding that. As others have pointed out here, 'consonance' varies substantially from culture to culture and between time periods.

Comment Re:so Plato was right, then (Score 1) 183

I'd mod this up if I could. It's not what you're doing, it's how you're doing it. Schoenberg is easy to pick on but something like Anton Webern is remarkably expressive and has wider appeal. I just saw some footage of a concert collaboration between Aphex Twin and Penderecki, it was remarkably high budget, very, very atonal, and it looks like the audience knew what they were going to see.

Comment Re:News! people don't like music they don't like.. (Score 1) 183

Anyone going to a zombie horror flick will hear dissonant music piped at them for an hour and a half at a time.

Also, true story. Go check out raves and you'll find it is not unusual to hear a lot of wildly dissonant synth pads and glissandos while people are jumping up and down and having a good time.

Comment Western music left Pythagoras behind circa Bach.. (Score 1) 183

Actually we had to abandon Pythagoras hundreds of years ago, because 'pure' consonance sounds bizarre to our modern ears:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_temperament

Modern chords+chromaticism that we take for granted did not exist before we had the mathematics and engineering to develop temperament, which, if you've ever tuned a piano before, you know introduces specific patterns of beats between intervals and offsets the pure ratios to allow for key changes, etc etc.

Off topic, likewise foreign scales and tuning sound very bizarre to western ears. (I remember the first time I heard zazen flute music, deliberately detuning two flutes to produce complex patterns of beats, that clearly environment and culture has a role in what sounds good and what sounds bad)

Study is interesting but inconclusive, too easy to confuse correlation/causation, or draw conclusions that make the fallacy of ecology.

Comment Re:And exactly why is this a bad thing? (Score 1) 537

A three year old being able to figure out basic GUI operations conversely does not equate to an OS being overly simplified. GUI use is user end stuff. I take it there isn't a lot of sysadmins on slashdot today.. Under the hood, Windows 8 is anything but simplified. I take it there isn't a lot of tech support staff, either.. the kind who has to help users navigate unintuitive interfaces..

Comment Re:Hitler used Religion. Argument fail. (Score 1) 678

I've read the Bible so I remember those things, and I agree with the quote "I like your Christ, I don't like your Christians." Problem is, it's hard for others to tell what a Christian is or isn't, when many who've loudly professed Christianity didn't put up again their swords back into their places.

Comment Hitler used Religion. Argument fail. (Score 1) 678

Hitler: “Along with the fight for a purer morality we have taken upon ourselves the struggle against the decomposition of our religion. We have therefore taken up the struggle against the Godless movement, and not just with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out. And above all we have dragged the priests out of the lowlands of the political party struggle and have brought them back into the church.” Documente Zer Kirchenpolitik

Also The Taiping rebellion alone killed as many as World War I, and that was a long time ago. You're not factoring in the countless destruction of cultures around the world deemed Satanic by the puritanical invading Christian armies either. Lastly Hitler was also not a Communist, the communists were his enemies, he attacked the communists, and where do you think the concept of the Third Reich came from? The First Reich was the Holy Roman empire.

Comment The real problem is Belief. Not Religion. (Score 2) 678

Yes, and the common ground here isn't religion. Religion is a symptom of the real problem.

It desn't matter whether you are a Taliban shooting a little girl, or a member of the Red Army killing doctors and teachers--you know, those dangerous edjoomacated people--or a brainwashed 19th-early 20th century expansionist nationalist.

Humans tend to.. not question their beliefs. We become emotionally attached to them. We place way too much value on them. Our beliefs are tribal--We tend to believe what we believe to fit in with our peer groups (when's the last time you were at an outing and someone spewed crap and the rest of the group went along?). We discourage critical thinking, and encourage anti-intellectualism, and encourage far, far too much Authenticity (thinking from the gut) at the expense of reason. It's easy for us to kill. All it takes is a sociopath or narcissist in a position of power to motivate us to do it. Sometimes, not even that much. Our beliefs trump the lives of others. Our beliefs trump the rights of others to live their lives in peace. The problem is humans are arrogant. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Comment Re:Correlation != Causation (Score 1) 203

I wish I could find the study off the top of my head. It linked a specific gene with a dramatically increased risk for psychosis, and adults without this gene were conversely, at very low risk.. I saw the study a few years ago so it's one of those things where I can't recall any more detail than that. Maybe google..

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