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Comment Re:XMir is dead. (Score 1) 88

I ran precisely one Ubuntu server, but they compiled Apache with some fucked up options and it would not, no matter what I did, run one of my PHP sites. In frustration, I through Debian on another machine, and it worked fine. At that point I decided never to try Ubuntu on a server again, and since then I've basically dumped it entire.

Comment Re:Use Slashcode. FFS. (Score 1) 281

I remember in Ye Olde Days, when the sci.* Usenet groups started trying to push all the whackos to the talk.* and alt.* hierarchies, where researchers, if they were feeling particularly bored, could go and beat on netkooks. Coupled with moderation, it did return the sci groups back to some modicum of reason.

Comment Re:Dissident Speech (Score 5, Insightful) 281

When it comes to AGW or evolution, the two topics I've paid the most attention to so far as comments from non-scientists, the bulk of the "skeptics" information seems to come from a very small number of organizations whose sole purpose is to spread anti-science FUD. Whether it's the Koch Brothers and their various shills or Answers in Genesis, it's all the same strategy; muddy the waters by making it look as if there is still huge debate on the scientific theory they're attacking. Throw in a bit of "consensus is evil, only believe dissenters" nonsense, they can give the appearance of a theory being total dreck, without ever having to bother actually publishing a single article in a journal to support the claim. Of course, it helps they have nasty little shills like Michael Behe and Roy Spencer who happily cash the cheques and publish anti-science material with their PhDs prominently displayed, but when you look at their actual publishing history in the journals, never publish anything to support the claims they so eagerly make on blogs, editorial sections or comment sections.

Comment Re:Dissident Speech (Score 3, Interesting) 281

It's one thing for people of near equal knowledge and ability to have a debate, even a heated one, but when we're talking about every one from credentialed experts to netkooks to astroturfers all posting in a format that seems to give equal weight to everyone, the results are anything but productive or useful.

One of my favorite blogs is by Professor Matt Strassler, a physicist at CERN, and also a damned fine writer, but frankly I ignore the comments to his blog entries because for every legitimate question or observation, there's some bloody nutjob who thinks because they use the word "quantum" in a sentence, that somehow makes what they're saying a legitimate critique.

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