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Comment Re:That ethical challenge is nil (Score 2) 177

Hmm... Call me a sick fuck then because rather than killing myself, my wife and my children driving into that upcoming 2 ton truck, I would choose to hit the pedestrian every day of the week! And to add a bit of fuel to the discussion, I (and I suspect there are many that agree with me) would only ever buy a car that makes decisions that takes ME into account first and THEN starts looking at minimizing collateral damage. But, like you said, I'm a sick fuck by thinking this apparently...

Comment What could possibly go wrong! (Score 1) 319

Yeah good idea. Let's start messing with this incredibly complex system on which all our lives depend and for which we have no validated model to predict what will be the outcome because we are seeing some measurements results lately that surprise us a bit because we don't have a clue of how it all works in the first place! Grand idea!

Comment Re:Great in the winter .. (Score 1) 148

'wind is clearly one of the cheapest source of energy.'

For power compagnies, maybe, not for end consumers. If you have the money, solar panels on your roof are a very good investment giving you a ROI of around 15% per year. After 8 or so years, you have payed off your investment but keep getting that 15% year after year. Try getting that from a bank or stocks. Wind turbines however are rarely a possibility for normal people and they end up buying that green energy from the same old power companies. Those companies love that of course! Wind energy keeps people dependent on the old structures and keeps them paying. THIS is the reason wind energy is pushed so much by lobbyists in many countries, not it's technical or economical merits....

Comment 1984 (Score 1) 496

Yep... showing respect towards the 'proper' authorities and recanting is the way to go if you end up on the wrong side of a society that is starting to show many parallels with George Orwell's 1984 (or the Spanish Inquisition or similar). I know I would. Sad but true...

Comment Re:email leak (Score 1) 476

Do you really think that the vast majority of climate scientists from around the world are falsifying science for the sake of money

Nope. No one does. That is just a far too simple representation of what is going on. What is going on is subtle and actually quite understandable, and it has hit many scientists over the ages, in virtually any field of science. And not even science: any research is potentially victim of this. Let me explain:

Science is based on so called 'hypotheses'. Generally these hypotheses are proved or disproved based on observations/measurements/math or whatever method is appropriate. This is how science has worked for the past hundreds of years. Under normal circumstances, an unbiased scientist should arrive at the correct concluson for his researched hypothesis. The problem arises when a scientist is no longer unbiased. Once a scientist 'believes' his hypothesis too much, he is willing to look at his data in 'new and innovative' ways to prove he is right. This is good. That's how science works. However, there is a pitfall, best expressed in a saying: "If you torture your data long enough, it will, in the end, confess". This means that there will often be a way to present data in such a way that it LOOKS like the hypothesis is correct, but it really isn't. Of course there are many ways of looking at the same dataset that say otherwise, but when a scientist is biased this is likely to be ignored. The result is a scientific paper that looks solid, but really isn't. It is VERY difficult to verify such a paper, without actually repeating it and especially without access to the raw data (this raw data is suspiciously difficult to come by for climate-science, so it seems. The general tendency seems to be that 'to avoid confusion' the data is not supplied by the scientist, making verficiation of a paper virtually impossible) .

It also is the case that in the media and politically there is some kind of 'concensus' that man-made warming is a indisputable fact. On schools and science institutes young people are indoctriated very early with this 'fact'. Also, it is in many countries professionally very unhealthy to be openly critical on the assumption of man-made warming. Even in the Netherlands, where I live, there have been ample recorded cases where people's careers were hindered by political views of others, ending their job or throttling funds. What all this results into is a very specific type scientist being successfully active in the climate research field: The true 'believers'. It is these very 'believers' that are likely to fall into trap I described above that are currently overly represented in the field. This provides a feedback-loop that will become worse with the years, as we have seen in the past two decades. It will likely take very convincing evidence to make these believers question their faith and restore balance in the field. It will probably happen if temperature starts falling significantly again. Even then they will probably find explanations to prolong their beliefs, as is they way of all true believers ;-)

Now all this isn't new. It can be seen over the ages and even today in many situations, where evidence is hard to come by or difficult to obtain. To name a few:
- Try to prove/disprove the existence of God. Or the creation - evolution debate in which it has resulted.
- Many people have been convicted of crimes they didn't commit because the detective in question was biased and presented skewed evidence. There are many recorded cases of this. Sometimes these people are later aquitted using the SAME evidence as was already available in the first trial, but now presented in an unbiased way.

With all this going on, it is not difficult to imagine some people are sceptical of climate science. I, for myself am one of them. Why? I read some of the papers and find that the evicence presented is either non-conclusive or cannot be easily verified. This is how I went to work (admittedly around 5 years ago): I skipped all the papers where no raw data was available or where unspecified 'corrections' were applied. I also skipped papers where the exact method of data manipulation was not described. There was surprisingly little that remained. My personal conclusions from what I have read: Warming? Yes, probably. Manmade? I don't think so...

Comment Re: because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (Score 1) 1215

I hear that a lot, but it is actually not true. 95% or more of what you can do with Excel can actually be done with Calc, just in a different way. Truth is, it tells me that you have not yet seriously looked into the program. I hear this argument almost exclusively from management/sales/hrm people and almost never from people that really have to work with numbers like engineers or programmers.... Draw your own conclusions.

Comment Re:New suggested article title... (Score 3, Insightful) 371

What part of "as well as other sciences" does not translate to "science" in general? If they didn't research science in general, they should not say they did. If they did research it, they have proven themselves that "climate" apparently doesn't have anything to do with it. However which way you look at it, it smells fishy. The fact that they did actually research the reactions to such a polarized and hyped field where unproven theories are floating around only makes matters worse. It is flamebait research and should be treated as such...

Comment New suggested article title... (Score 2) 371

The paper was put forward in a slanted way. The report apparently concluded that: "those who subscribed to one or more conspiracy theories or who strongly supported a free market economy were more likely to reject the findings from climate science as well as other sciences."

What it the report SHOULD have concluded is: "those who subscribed to one or more conspiracy theories or who strongly supported a free market economy were more likely to reject the findings from science" which is exactly as valid, is a far more neutral observation, and does not single out a specific group.

By including the "climate science" as a specific category the researchers make themselves suspect and people may (perhaps not entirely without cause) assume that this report was not unbiased and perhaps targeting "climate sceptists" rather than being an honest report on the behaviour of conspiracists in general. And of course this fuels a discussion. The authors could have known this and probably did. Therefore the article's title should be renamed to: "Those who play at bowls, must look out for rubs".

Comment Misunderstood... like all other financial markets. (Score 4, Interesting) 327

As a fallout from this news, the Bitcoin rate has dropped roughly 30% (even around 50% for a short while). Why? No one seems to know. Whatever the scam, this _should_ have had near-zero impact on the exchange rate of the Bitcoin and the drop can only be explained by people panicking and selling off their coins. No matter, I made a nice extra when the rates bounced back from -50% to -30%, but it goes a long way to show how many people do not have a real inkling of how financial markets really work.

Really... where is this any different from 'conventional' financial markets?

Comment Can't test this enough. Period. (Score 1) 267

Under normal circumstances you can build a test-suite that will present the software with a large number of scenario's and see if it still gives the 'correct' answer after a code update. However, here the 'correct' answer is not really clear. You are trying to test the results in a highly chaotic system of which you do even understand the mechanics, cannot simulate correctly and cannot measure. On top of that, your software is going to actively influence the dynamics of the very system you are working in, making things even more difficult. Impossible to test anything but some basic stuff really...

You could create software monitoring the actions of the trading software to some extend however. This is probably the only way to go...

Comment True, it can even be harmful... (Score 2) 550

Once in my life I was honest in an exit interview and it came back to haunt me later...

I had an exit interview after I had worked for a automotive-related company in the Netherlands. At the time, it was promised to me that whatever I said in this interview would remain a private matter between me and the HRM department and would be used in an anonymous context to improve things. Even so, I refrained from making any remarks towards the functioning of individual colleagues or my boss, and only commented on the serious flaws in research and development strategy the company (and my department) deployed, which were actually the reasons I decided to leave. It was constructive feedback. No ranting, nothing of the kind. I outlined a strategy that would, in my opinion, work out. My arguments seemed to be taken seriously and I went away with the feeling that at least I did what I could to steer things in the right direction...

About three years later I was invited back for an interview by a different department of the same company who had specific needs for my expertise and I felt that in this department I could do some useful work. However, before I was hired, I was invited by my former department head for an interview. In this interview the gloves came off: He had an exact copy of everything I had said in the previous exit interview before him and he was NOT amused. He said the interview was "to see if I had learned something in the meantime" but it was blatantly obvious that he was going to block me from being hired back. Didn't need to because I declined immediately after I learned how HRM had handled this.

In the end, it turned out for the better, because it was one of the events that prompted me to start my own company and I am now making more money that I could ever have made over there and I am sure having a lot more fun doing it. Still it sucked at the time...

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