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Comment Re:Sentient machines exist (Score 1) 339

There's a semi-famous SciFi story first published in a 1990 edition of OMNI magazine:


Quite relevant, and quite funny.

Someone also made a seven and a half minute film of the story. It has a few cute video aspects, but overall it didn't come off so well and it's missing a few lines. I definitely recommend the original text link above rather the video version, but here's the video link anyway.


Comment Re:Bah (Score 1) 209

Can we get a Star Trek like movie but instead of meeting human looking weirdos in outer space, let's meet species that look really weird, yet make friends with us and we commnunicate.

I can imagine a world without war, a world without hate, a world where everyone lives together in peace. I can imagine us attacking that world.


Comment Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

The Slashdot population leans heavy on the tech and science geek side, people who are generally pretty good at finding reliable websites like the National Academy of Science, and secondary websites that reasonably reflect reliable mainstream science.


Except when it comes to fucking climate change, when suddenly a substantial portion of our population buy into some wacky conspiracy theory that the entire mainstream science community is in on some conspiracy to publish lies, and they start actively rejecting the fucking United States National Academy of Science as presumptively unreliable, and instead start digging up random blatantly trash websites that gain "reliable" status when they see that the info supports the "right" side of the issue. And you start running into "climate" papers cited to support a point - papers filled with blatant errors - and when you google the author's name to try to figure out what sort of idiot wrote it, it turns out the author wasn't a climate scientists at all..... no... the author was a "combustion engineer".... and then you think "WTF is a combustion engineer" and you find the link to his professional page you see (drumroll please) he's a combustion engineer specializing in how to burn coal better. And you can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. Because the otherwise competent geek you were debating with fell into paranoid conspiracy nonsense throwing out everything he knows about reliable science, and rejecting sites like the National Academy of science as "unreliable".... and instead found himself a "reliable" junksite that said what he wanted to hear.

You can use reliable sites to figure out what to believe, or you can use what you believe to determine which websites are reliable. One of those two options doesn't work so well.


Comment Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

I could point out that in 20 years of tracking the climate you'd EXPECT typically one result breaking the 95% confidence band on the high side and one result breaking the 95% confidence band on the low side.... and that I'm pretty sure we broke the 95% confidence band on the high side in 1998... but never mind that....

The whole warming thing is basic undeniable laws of physics. Sunlight shines down, hits the ground or ocean, and turns into heat. And basic laws of physics, CO2 blocks thermal infrared energy from leaving. Heat energy is trapped, Q.E.D. the basic principal and basic fact of global warming is an absolute undeniable result of basic laws of physics. The only complicated part is exactly what will happen with that trapped thermal energy. Where will it go and what will it do.

Surface temperatures have been rising slightly slower than predicted for the last few years, however the ocean temperatures have been rising faster than predicted for the last few years. That means the total warming balances out right just as expected. As I said, basic laws of physics, a pretty well predictable amount of heat energy was trapped, exactly as predicted.

The complicated part is how that heat energy will flow in the climate system and what abnormal effects it will produce in climate system. And just as we (in general) expected, it resulted in random anomalies in climate circulation - there was anomalously high rate of ocean mixing carrying more of the heat energy into the deep ocean.

The earth is warming exactly as expected, and weird random shit is starting to crop up in climate circulation patterns, just as anticipated. (I believe Donald Rumsfield would call these "Known Unknowns. We can predict that the climate is going to start doing weird shit we've never seen before, even if we can't predict exactly what that random shit is going to be. The overall heating of the Earth is a pretty well Known Known.)

Changes in ocean circulation is a core expected "unknown". The slight increase in vertical mixing we got is pretty insignificant, it gives a temporary slowing in the land-temperature rise. But another very possible change in ocean circulation patterns would be a shift or shutoff of one of the north-south circulation loops. If that happens.... well.... then they're going to start saying the "Alarmists" were overly optimistic. No one can even guess at the odds of that, so scientists focus on the known-knowns of the total amount of warming and sea level rise.


Comment Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

I suspect a lot of AGW denialists are also Evolution deniers

Indeed, there is a heavy overlap. Furthermore there's a well established correlation between conspiracy theories in general. Someone who believes in one conspiracy theory is more likely to believe in others. Anti-vaxxers and moon-landing deniers are more likely to be warming-deniers or creationists, creationists and warming-deniers are more likely to be anti-vaxxers or moon-landing deniers. Oh... and toss in 9/11 Truthers of course.

Once you start believing NASA/Doctors/Biologists/Climatologists/Geologists or whoever are in on some vast global conspiracy of deception, it's easy to expand and merge the conspiracies.


Comment Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

I don't like societies transformed by government mandate
never been a society successfully "transformed by science"

Lead was eliminated from gasoline (and our air) by government mandate. The same goes for keeping mercury and other crap out of our water.

So either agree that it is reasonable and appropriate for the government to restrict/prohibit the usage of the atmosphere/waterways as an unlimited dumping ground for industrial waste, or go move to some communist country toxic hellhole city in China or Russia where society polluting HASN'T transformed by government mandate.


Comment Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

Here, you use the old tired fallacy of Argumentum ad populum (appeal to widespread belief, bandwagon argument, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people) - where a proposition is claimed to be true or good solely because many people believe it to be so.

No, he wasn't using Argumentum ad populum.
An example of Argumentum ad populum fallacy would be "Most of the general public believe global warming is scientifically controversial, therefore global warming is scientifically controversial".

He was using Argument from Authority, and as he was citing expert climatologists on an issue of climatology, he was using it in a non-fallacious manner.

The "bandwagon" says eating lead paint chips causes brain damage in children. And if you think effectively unanimous agreement of experts in a field and decades of research and thousands of peer reviewed papers and an entire planet of scientific evidence "bandwagon" is a SANE justification to reject something, then clearly your parents actively avoided the lead-paint-chip-bandwagon when you were a child.



Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts 784

mdsolar (1045926) writes "The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday. The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis."

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 627

How's this for cherry picking: The Earth has been on a cooling trend every year since 1965.

Genuine global mean temperature data, continuous coverage from 1965 to 2013.5, no tricks or manipulation other than cherrypicking 5 dates to split it into 6 cooling trends. The graph was inspired by recent claims that warming has stopped, it's a perfect illustration of how utterly fictional that claim is.


Comment Re:What poetry is this? (Score 1) 183

Or flip the view:
A towering bank undercut by a small church.


In the intersection between religion and the modern world
Religion razes grandeur to the ground for 20 pieces of silver.
In the intersection between religion and the modern world
Religion refuses to budge from barren historical ground.
In the intersection between religion and the modern world
A towering bank undercut by a small church nearly kills us.


Comment Re:Appeal to authority is not good enough (Score 1) 588

if 100% of vaccines are 100% safe

There is no if. There is no 100%.
"If" is anti-vaxism.
"100%" is antivaxism.

Real world data from a multitude of studies by a multitude of independent professionals show that vaccines are something like a hundred or a thousand times safer than any random food item.
There is no "if" there. There is no "100%" there. Vaccines are safer than food.

ad hominem attacks

Ad hominem means "against the person". More specifically, an ad hominem attack is an argument that someone's statement is false, or should be ignored, because the person is bad.

When the argument is "don't listen to her, she's a nasty ugly bitch", that's ad hominem.

When the argument is "she's repeating stuff that was shown to be fraudulent research, and her claims have been exhaustively proven false, therefore she is wrong" is not ad hominem.

Proving her wrong, and then concluding she's a bad person because she's wrong, is not ad hominem.

Getting angry at her after she is proven wrong is not ad hominem.

Throwing gratuitous insults at her, after she is proven wrong, calling her an ugly bitch or whatever, after she is proven wrong, is not ad hominem. Gratuitous insults certainly add nothing to a debate, BUT THERE'S NO DEBATE HERE. On one side you have data and science and evidence, and on the other side you have an irrational social movement - fear based on a fraud all flying around a rumor mill of conspiracy theories and ignorance. "Don't take your child for their routine medical checkup, I heard the doctor is a pedophile! Don't take your child to any doctor for a routine medical checkup, you don't want to risk that doctor is part of the vast secret pedophile-ring that I hear is running the American Medical Association".

Heck even the huge Wakefield thing was handled like someone who was trying to cover up bad behavior.

Your description of events is rather inaccurate.

Wakefield was being directly paid to do his "research" by a lawyer looking to file a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers.
Wakefield drew up a business plan, with figures for how many tens of millions of dollars a year could be brought in by marketing a competing vaccine
Wakefield established a contract with the medical school where he was working, requiring them to conceal the source of his funding, prohibiting them from disclosing his involvement with a pharmaceutical company.
Walkfeild established a contract with that pharmaceutical company requiring his involvement to be kept secret - secret specifically until he would be able to cash out on stock options.
Wakefield preformed "research" which, on later investigation, was found to be entirely fraudulent.
In order to publish his research the Journal REQUIRED the disclosure of things like the source of his funding and relevant business plans or involvement with pharmaceutical companies. In order to get his fraudulent study published in the Journal he fraudulently denied the existence of any financial conflicts of interest.
Countless legitimate scientists, a ton of valuable medical research money and research resources, were all WASTED trying to replicate the fraudulent Wakefield paper. It resulted in massive confirmation that the original claims were fictional and that vaccines were extremely safe. And then the specific investigation revealing exactly how Wakefield's original work was fraudulent.

And if things had ended there, all of this would be a pretty insignificant non-story. But things didn't end there.

We got a melting-pot that took on a life of it's own. We got the news media hyping an insignificant "research study" based on an insignificant patient sample, a paper which had not yet been confirmed (and which would turn out to be fraudulent). And in the melting pot we got parents of autistic children DESPERATE for any explanation why their kids have autism. And in the melting pot we got the kooks whom no one usually listens to.... the ones who spin conspiracy theories about vaccinations being some evil government plot... kooks who latched on to vaccine news stories to sound credible while they spew random scary paranoia-generated vax-nonsense into the mix. And then some famous idiot like Jenny McCarthy picks up the banner and tells millions of uninformed parents how scary and dangerous vaccines are while saying how any good parent would eagerly choose measles over autism. Which is a load of crap. It is a completely fraudulent implication that choosing to vaccinate is a choice about autism. It is a fraudulent and DEADLY implication that a parent who vaccinates is a bad parent risking giving their child autism.

What is the pro-vaccine response? To tell people they are stupid murderers

You kinda skipped a few steps in your story. In particular you skipped the step WHERE CHILDREN STARTED DYING.
And we're not even talking about anti-vaxxers killing their own children, which would be bad enough. We're talking about anti-vaxxers killing other people's children. We're talking about actual disease outbreaks among anti-vaxxers, who then infect someone else's 1 month old infant. You can't vaccinate a 1 month old baby, their immune system isn't developed enough yet and the vaccine isn't effective yet. We're talking actual infant corpse, dead of vaccine-preventable-disease. Not to mention any cases resulting in brain damage, deafness, blindness, infertility, or other sever complications.

But, I guess you're right..... it's not literally murder by the legal definition. Perhaps manslaughter would be a more appropriate term? Reckless endangerment and disregard for life resulting in someone's death. I'm only half joking there. There are severe problems with trying to make people criminally liable for something like that, but they sure as hell are morally responsible. People DIE from this antivax bullshit. Antivaxxers are morally culpable for causing deaths or catastrophic injury to innocent bystanders, including other people's vulnerable infants.

There's good reason that smallpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella were targeted for world vaccination. We've had a generation of people growing up in a world essentially free of these diseases, and people are blissfully unaware of just how painful, horrific, or fatal the outcome can be for a percentage of the people who contract them.

three shots seperatly

You mean 6 shots. The triple vaccine is 2 shots, giving them separately requires 6 shots.

First, lets just rationally examine the merits of that plan.
We have thirty years record of probably a billion+ people and a gargantuan body of research establishing the triple vaccine is extremely safe and and highly effective. We have only limited study and limited track record on the safety and efficacy of a 6 shot program, and essentially zero basis on the ordering or timing of such a program.

What we do have is an extensive record that vaccination programs suffer skyrocketing failure rates as the number of doctor visits and injections increases. Whether it is due to poverty, apathy, forgetfulness, children begging their parents to avoid the needle, or whatever, vaccinations programs fall into catastrophic collapse because too much of the population fail to reach each increasing doctor visit or injection.

Some children aren't bothered by needles while others escalate the fear and pain to almost traumatic levels, but in any case it's hardly in the child's best interest to subject them to it three times more than necessary.

It's certainly not in the child's best interest to subject them to three times as much pain, three times as much bleeding, three times as much risk of infection from the puncture. And while the risk of adverse reaction is negligible... vastly lower than the risk of adverse reaction of eating a banana or any other food... it's still contrary to the child's interest to multiply the risk of an adverse reaction.

Splitting vaccination into 6 shots leaves the children vulnerable to two-out-of-three diseases during the delay period. (What delay period anyway? A day? A week? A month? 6 months? A year? There's no answer on that because this is all a vacuous hear-say "fix" for an urban legend nonexistent problem.)

The only "other side of the argument" is parents who are going to harm their children out of fear of an urban legend. Given a choice between harming children by not vaccinating them at all, or harming children with an untested regimen involving three times the pain and three times the skin punctures and multiplied risk of adverse reaction, well...... an untested vaccination regimen with a multiplied suffering and multiplied negligible-risk is vastly better than the dangers of going unvaccinated.

As for single vaccines they are around, although it seems that for one of the three diseases the most effective version is only available from Merck and only in the triple vaccine. The others are known to be less effective and aren't approved in all countries. I guess it would be a good thing if Merck offered all three as single vaccines if it would reduce the harm being done by vax-paranoid parents. And if Merck doesn't want to do that, well every country has health-and-public-safety clauses to their intellectual property laws and they could take the extremely extraordinary step of issuing an exemption allowing other companies to manufacture single vaccines. Or counties could just plain invoke health and public safety and make the triple vaccine mandatory, and simply ignore the anti-vax nonsense the same way we ignore the fluoridation paranoid conspiracy theory nutters.

It is like my wife coming home and finding a womans jacket that does not belong to her.

No, someone TOLD your wife that there was a woman's jacket.

And after that person was shown to be LYING about it, your wife just spiraled deeper into paranoid jealousy and started following an internet psychic who tells her details about the (fictional) woman you're sleeping with. And then your wife kidnaps the kids and takes them to hide out in cabin in the woods, refusing to take the kids for regular checkups at the doctor because she's afraid you and the (fictional) woman you're sleeping with are planning to sue for sole custody of the kids.


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