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Comment Re:Redefining the definition of definition. (Score 1) 214

I believe the problem the author describes is called 'Illusory Correlation', i.e. the situation where people perceive a correlation that is either too high, or completely non-existent.

The reason for this seems to be the confirmation bias, where people censor the information they obtain according to their beliefs. In the example of the author, we believe that the Newspaper only picks up that which is interesting enough (maybe because it used to be the only source of news). Now, in more modern times, we still believe this and censor incoming information with this filter, resulting in too high a correlation.

One thing though, you're talking about a real-life, fluid situation where interpretations and motivations matter. These are rarely, if ever, captured by classifying them into 'fallacy groups'.

Comment Re:Then don't publish there (Score 1) 323

Maybe this depends on your field. My lab publishes a lot in open source journals, for a number of reasons: 1) The ones we use have a fully transparent and public peer reviewing process. 2) Because it is open access, they don't have a paper version, and as such everything happens online. This speeds up the process tremendously. 3) We measure prestige in impact factor, open source journals tend to have a higher impact factor exactly because they are open access. As an example, we tend to like publishing in Water Resources Research (impact factor of something like 2.5) because they have a lot of prestige. However, HESS, their main competitor, is open access and has an impact factor of 2.7 (huge in a small field). The problem I have is that in the sciences, an articles prestige is in citations, not in what journal published it... well, I guess I am a naive PhD student. :p Also, now that we are talking about this: At a journal, the editor is a volunteer, the peer reviewers are volunteers, the authors pay for publication (a lot), and the readers pay to read it. Now, I get that support staff is expensive, as are servers... but I don't get where all this money goes....

Comment Re:Mortars. (Score 1) 782

Explain to me how you will get that mortar in the second floor window of a 3 story building without demolishing the floor above it... This is a (more-or-less) direct fire weapon that does not rerquire any time to setup, does not require the soldier to take his eyes of the enemy, and can be carried by one infantryman. To me, that seems like a solid improvement over a mortar or a machinegun, provided the right situation.

Comment Re:Go for it (Score 1) 1065

Since instantaneous detection isn't relevant, one could use the consistent speed over a few minutes. If you are travelling at any appreciable speed, the displacement will be noticable, and the random jumps can be filtered out. Moreover, using a suitable model of displacement, a filtering approach (i.e. a Kalman filter) could be used to make this all work as well as needed.

Of course, the idea is ridiculous for a myriad of reasons; the primary one being: what ever happened to personal responsibility? We don't cap cars at the maximum speed so people don't speed, so why can't we just tell people not to call and just 'trust'* them. * read: have police officers enforce it.

Comment Re:For all that Iran is... (Score 1) 233


Since, apparently, the only difference between a Theocracy and a Dictatorship is the motivation, we should stop calling it a theocracy (Well, unless God himself can be proven to speak directly to his people) and start calling it what it is: A religious dictatorship.

In a sense it reminds me of communism, a decent idea in theory, but all to easily abused by those willing to lie, cheat and kill to enrich themselves.

Comment Re:Agree... (Score 1) 561

Heh, yeah, I had that too. It can be caused by combining it with the wrong kind of alcohol (in my case, red wine) or weed that is too strong.

Also, I had visuals that I could direct and felt very real (although I knew they were not). It was a nice experience, although the first time sucked badly as I did not know what was happening and I had a panick attack.

The issue with online sources, and any other sources is that they tend to be biased, and they usually only contain the records of those fitting that bias. However, as I was taught in high school (yay Dutchies!), if you are going to do something potentially dangerous and illegal, always have a babysitter, and always fess up with things go bad. No one wants to die pointlessly.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 561

Acceptance and feeling comfortable with using drugs lead to an increase in drug usage!! News at eleven!

Nonsense! Case in point, the Netherlands. We have a hugely tolerant climate to all sorts of drugs, to the point where, say, a club cannot take your hard drugs away from you permanently (they have to give it back when you leave). And as a surprise, our drug usage is much lower than a lot of countries that have less tolerant attitudes towards it (like the US).

Comment Re:The main danger is (Score 1) 357

Ha, this reminds me of a story of my own. I was flying from a small regional airport in Turkey (Kayseri) to Germany and was sitting in the boarding area, after the final safety scan. And this elderly Turkish woman next to mean takes an apple out of her bag, takes a knife out of her pocket and starts peeling it.... apparently airport security seems to vary massively on where you fly from and to.

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