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Comment Re:slow news day (Score 3, Informative) 168

Waterbears can be dehydrated, frozen to only a few degrees Kelvin, and in that dehydrated frozen state withstand 100 g acceleration, hard vacuum and radiation without ill effect, on contact with liquid water reanimating. They can do so for at least a decade and thousands of years is not beyond reason. And that is not RNA, nor a bacterium. It is a complex animal. There are life forms that actually prefer extreme environments like this.

Comment Re:Right... (Score 1) 530

As I said before, I look forward to a valid case for this theory. A few decades should be enough time to provide the evidence it'll need. It'll also be enough time for your emotions to cool and you to get some perspective on this debate.

But this isn't a discussion about climate science. This is a discussion about whether it is appropriate to deploy psychology to explain the surprising level of inaction in the face of very clear science pointing to the danger of such inaction, or whether this is merely an attempt at medicalising dissent. And as the example of Jobs illustrates, this tendency to reject reality for wishful thinking is hardly confined to climate change.

So when are these psychologists going to study your preference for a good story over science? When such research gimmicks are blatantly biased against one side of a crucial debate such as this, something is going on other than scientific research.

Comment Re:Also (Score 1) 530

The problem is an issue from British Columbia through Washington into Oregon but I suppose you would consider all of that area local too.

Of course, I would. If you look at the link you provided, you would see that they even attribute the increased CO2 to deep water currents running ashore and note these haven't been exposed to atmospheric CO2 for many decades.

Basically, it's yet another ancient phenomenon being blamed on anthropogenic activity.

Since I'm no expert on the subject I'll continue to listen to what scientists studying the problem have to say but there appears to be no doubt that acidification is going to affect ocean ecosystems as it progresses.

I quite agree. This story does demonstrate that it can cause trouble at high enough CO2 concentrations. But let's look at what has happened in this thread. You claimed you had evidence that oysters were being disrupted in your state by ocean acidification from human activities. And you were right. There was an article that claimed just that.

But when we look at it in a little more depth, we see that it had nothing to do with ocean acidification by human activity and that the reporter (and perhaps others) had grossly misrepresented what had taken place. I'll note here that they weren't alone in such a practice. This particular story had legs.

Now, I don't think this particular article was part of a conspiracy though I do think some rather ugly and deceptive political machinery had sprung up over the years and tainted a lot of research associated with climatology.

The problem as I see it, is that anthropogenic global warming makes for a great epic story. And a lot of people believe in it because they want it to be true. It's the hubris of people you don't like, the wealthy, the overly smart, the overworking industrious, the ostentatious, the rude SUV drivers, the heartless CEOs, etc getting their comeuppance. It's gotten to the point that reporters seed much of their scientific stories with allusions to climate change even when there isn't a credible link - I think to increase reader interest and feed this morality play.

Even though I think there are valid issues somewhere beneath all of this, the fundamental problem is that a lot of society is acting on these issues on an irrational basis without reflection of what actually is going on and that this behavior is being fed by a lot of people who have a variety of interests in keeping it going. That's really dangerous when the resulting meddling is with the economic fabric of our society, particularly, energy and transportation.

My view on this is that no one has demonstrated that anything needs to be done to address AGW prior to 2050. There's no tipping points, no hidden heat sinks, no sharp increase in sea level, no considerable increase in extreme weather, etc to drive a mitigation or adaptation effort. Most of these appear to me to be used as mere rhetorical tricks to exaggerate the risks of AGW.

Thus, I think the best approach is to wait a few decades and see what happens. I think this will be enough time to see the difference between irrational behavior and genuine, scientifically-based environmental threats.

Comment Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 1) 526

The bit about young mathematicians being ground-breakers isn't really proof; that age has gone up steadily as the size of the field (and the amount of learning required to truly reach the top) has increased. A medal devoted to recognizing the work of young mathematicians, the Fields Medal, occasionally gets boycotted because of this ageism.

Age seems to be linked to decreased intelligence because of societal roles more than anything innate: most people stop learning and move into positions in life where they're expected to either pass on knowledge or maintain and manage others. In academia, the tendency for this has been diminishing (no doubt because of ever-lengthening career ladders) and as a result it's been possible to defy that norm. A wonderful example: Bertrand Russell was still active in political activism well into his late nineties.

Comment Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 2) 526

Can you explain how IQ test data is subjective? It was my understanding that it was a bad indicator of intelligence as a whole because the repeatable IQ tests all depend on pattern recognition and other very narrow topics, and that the test itself had a "subjective" component in how the definition of "intelligence" was established—not in the test data itself.

Comment Re:The emperor has no clothes (Score 1) 526

This is not what this news article says will happen. These guidelines are for ALL states, those with or without the liberalized marijuana laws. The only case where the particular states matter is the issue of sales across state lines where one state has liberal marijuana laws and the other does not.

Nothing here says that they'll look the other way in California and Colorado but crack down with federal felonies in Georgia and Virginia.

States already have their own laws and most marijuana prosecutions are at the state leval and not the federal level.

The feds have always focused most of their drug enforcement resources on drug cartels or gangs, so in that sense nothing much is really changing.

Comment Re:The emperor has no clothes (Score 1) 526

It sounds like they will enforce the federal marijuana laws equally in all states, I don't see any favoritism here. However there are states with state laws against its use and states with state laws allowing its use, but that has little to do with the feds. Basically these are common sense guidelines; prosecute the use and growing of marijuana where it affects the federal interests (gangs, cartels, etc).

These laws have always been selectively enforced anyway. Black guy with pot and you get a felony, white guy with pot and you get a misdemeanor or a warning.

Comment Re:Oh noes! (Score 1) 736

Nevermind the increases in safety. Nevermind the new jobs that this will enable. Nevermind the greater standard of living this will bring to all people. We've got to be concerned about potentially lost jobs above all else.

Nevermind the strawman. Nevermind engaging the non-debate, when the real debate is difficult, even for serious minds. Nevermind that throughout the animal kingdom, the unemployed are soon tagged on the ankle or wrist to become unwilling organ donors. It's not like employment has any bearing on survival or mating opportunities. I suspect one testicle well employed outperforms two testicles unemployed. But don't scream too loud when your first nut is clipped.

The point here is not that the swelling ranks of the unemployed and the under-employed moan loudly, it's that they moan badly, as ignorant gits tend to do. Still, even a bad moan is appropriate when your left one is severed by a rusty plutocracy (stored in damp basement wrapped in seven layers of oil cloth for about three hundred years after everyone in arrived in America fleeing this very same thing). Johnny Appleseed didn't fall far from the tree.

Greenspan held this quaint notion that the superpower quants would self-regulate due to interlocking competition of interests. What actually happened is that the superpower quants looked around the poker table and spotted a trillion dollars in Uncle Sam's pocket while he as stupidly wearing an "aw shucks, too big to fail" quasi-libertarian grin on his face. If there's any business that Government should not be in, first and foremost, that business is libertarianism. Of course, once government takes the first fatal step toward libertarianism, they begin to resemble exactly the straw man that libertarians wish to portray it as being. Call it the straw man death trap, and a fine business this is if your agenda is to lead government into the noose swaying above the trap door.

If the hollowing out of the middle class isn't giving plutocrats everywhere a raging boner, I don't know what would. This observation alone ought to give people pause for thought about committing Greenspan's error with regard to Schumpeter's gale of naively presuming that if it ends well once (or any finite number of times), it ends well in all cases.

After the fiscal crisis, did any of the elites go "my bad" and volunteer to repay the public rescue purse for emergency rescue rendered? Have they clucked about government intervention in their affairs so loudly as to set up a private rescue fund with a twelve digit cushion to tide them over their next salivary mishap? Oh, nooooo. That would never happen.

I can't see far into the future on this one. The one thing I'm fairly certain about is that filthy rich old bastards will require small standing armies of man and woman servants to cater to their every whim. So there will be jobs after all, no matter how this tempest in a teacup finally shakes out.

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