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Comment Environmentalists need to shoulder some blame (Score 0, Troll) 438

I will stipulate that any oil spill damages the environment. Given that accidents do happen, would you rather try and fix an accident that occurred 5000 feet below the surface of the ocean or one that occurred in ANWR? An accident that occurred on land likely would not be measured in multiples of Exxon Valdez. Sure I want solar and wind and any other renewable energy source development to be pursued vigorously. But until our world can wean itself off of petroleum we need to show more sense from the standpoint of disaster recovery.

Comment Re:Oh great... (Score 1) 191

Egad that is harsh. Of course, being married 16 years and being parents to three kids doesn't automatically qualify them as a successful marriage but at this point I would think you could assume that their motivations for a relationship went much further than getting laid.

Comment More needed than just source code review (Score 2, Insightful) 459

I used to write software for the US Dept of Defense, and our office had a fairly good sized team that all day every day manually compared expected results to actual results when compiling our programs. I was amazed at how frequently that team uncovered errors. Most of the time they found subtle errors in how the compiler program performed its translations, but it was not unusual for them to find logic errors embedded in the computer chips themselves. All of these things had to be corrected, even it if meant re-engineering a computer chip, before our software could be deployed, and for obvious reasons: you cannot allow a weapon to fire due to a computer error.

This drive-by-wire stuff is very serious. I seriously doubt that any car manufacturer validates their computer software and hardware as rigorously as the Dept of Defense; in fact they probably don't do compiler or chip logic validation at all. I bet the aviation industry could give them guidance in this arena.

Comment Interesting that this is funded by Dept of Energy (Score 1) 226

Anyone else find this odd? Is DoE the source of most medical research funding? I know they do a whole lot of work for the Dept of Defense, and actually I wish those projects were rolled up under the Dept of Defense budget for more accurate accounting (but that is another story). That said, this is awesome and I hope this technology advances at the same pace as Moore's Law

Comment Re:Kill the Pork (Score 0, Offtopic) 340

Who modded this insightful? You are saying that the inability to borrow money is the enemy of small business? Our federal government, for the past several administrations, has borrowed money with utter recklessness and saddled every citizen in the United States with tens of thousands of dollars of federal debt for the next three or four generations. This is not limited to the US, either, as the EU is facing the very real possibility that three or four member states may collapse under their debt load in 2010. The real blame belongs on a federal government that couldn't budget its way out of a pile of leaves and because horrible regulatory policies make lenders so uncertain about the future that they WON'T lend money. Every government program is "well intentioned", but well intentioned does not mean necessary. Pork is used to obfuscate a lack of budgetary discipline with shiny objects. And ultimately the blame falls on us...we keep re-electing the same ignorant representatives and senators back into office to perpetuate pork and keep us firmly in the center lane on the road to ruin.

Comment Re:My psychic prediction (Score 1) 306

One of the references (to 'behemoth') can be found in Job 40, which many scholars consider to be the earliest Hebrew Scripture:

15 "Look at the behemoth,
              which I made along with you
              and which feeds on grass like an ox.

  16 What strength he has in his loins,
              what power in the muscles of his belly!

  17 His tail sways like a cedar;
              the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.

  18 His bones are tubes of bronze,
              his limbs like rods of iron."

Some scholars believe the writer is referring to an elephant or a hippo, but other scholars note that the phrase in verse 17 comparing the animal's tail to a cedar sounds more like an overall description of a dinosaur, since that particular phrase would not accurately describe the tail of the elephant or hippo.

Besides 'behemoth', the word 'leviathan' also appears in Hebrew Scriptures to describe enormous animals.

Comment Re:Love the spin (Score 3, Interesting) 326

I was stunned by your quotation of Bush. I had never heard anything like that before and agree that such a statement coming from a sitting President (or even a former President) would be very disturbing. I followed the link, read the article, and noticed that the author did not cite ANY sources of this comment. I noticed he also attached outrageous statements to other administration officials, also without citing any references. I searched the internet could not find any other sources for any of the author's claims, other than repetition of the same article you linked to. I must conclude that the writer of that article is not telling the truth and you have been duped. If there had been any truth to this kind of statement, other media would have latched onto this. I am not saying there aren't numerous other reasons to despise Bush, it simply appears that this one didn't actually happen.

Comment Re:Good (Score 5, Insightful) 227

They are NOT stupid. They are corrupt. The voting positions of politicians are based almost entirely on campaign contributions, not on any moral or logical consideration. That is why I feel that modifying campaign finance laws so that you can only give money to a candidate for whom you can cast a vote would go a long ways toward cleaning up this mess. This would mean that corporations and unions and foreign individuals could no longer contribute to any candidate because those entities cannot cast a vote.

Comment Re:How to restore healthy debate (Score 1) 1747

Thanks for the great explanation. By "our" government I meant the United States.

Regarding robust code, I was thinking of the Linux community when I suggested open sourcing the climate software...I am sure this statement will be debated but I perceive that the Linux community effort produces continuous improvement and it was that kind of concept I felt could unify more people in the global warming debate; at a minimum I would hope it would prevent the current science credibility issue.

I am not ready to accept that there was no dishonesty in the task. The e-mails clearly call out tricks to suppress undesirable results as well as methods to dilute the credibility of dissenting opinions.

At any rate, thanks for taking the time to respond and broaden my understanding of the academic process associated with this issue. We all want a solution and the confidence that our taxes are spent wisely

Comment How to restore healthy debate (Score 4, Insightful) 1747

The best way to restore healthy debate on climate change science is to open source everything...the data, the source code for the computer models, and the methodology for how the data is collected: specific locations of data collection (is it a rural area, a parking lot in a city, on a school roof, in direct sunlight or in the shade), date and time of day (noon, midnight, 5pm), weather conditions at the time it is collected (sunny, raining, under a snow drift), age of the equipment (mercury thermometer installed in 1953 or digital sensor device). All of these factors would influence a simple temperature reading. Heck there are probably dozens of other factors that I am not considering.

Since our government is PAYING for so much of this research it should be no problem to PUBLISH all of these details and let everyone debate from a common framework. However, I believe our government has an agenda and therefore won't ever take such a logical approach.

While we are at it, let's do the same thing for how inflation, unemployment, public health statistics, education metrics, and poverty rates are calculated.

Comment Re:Arizona is worse than California (Score 2, Insightful) 301

You raise some interesting points. I have a friendly disagreement with you on these to some extent...regarding term limits, if it takes more than two terms for a representative to thoroughly understand how to contribute to running a state government then perhaps the state government is already too complex, or there is no incentive to make state programs efficient. I imagine it is even worse in that both of these cases are true. With regards to illegal alien crackdown, let me first commend you for using the phrase "illegal alien" instead of "undocumented worker" or some other euphamism. Arizona has a particularly tough challenge in this regard due to its proximity to a national border. I admire Arizona's efforts to do something, and better options may result from studying the unintended consequences of the crackdown. However, I think going back to the way things were (I think you are suggesting that we essentially not enforce some or most illegal alien legislation) prior to the current crackdown is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I believe most people hold few grudges against legal immigrants and reserve their wrath for illegal immigration and the perception that many of our elected officials and peacekeepers deliberately ignore enforcement of the law. Our prisons are full of a disproportionate number of illegal aliens, and prison costs are substantial. Our hospital emergency rooms are full of a disproportionate number of illegal aliens, and hospital costs are substantial. Those costs are borne by us honest folk, and it is very easy to resent having those costs dilute state budgets, money that already is poorly managed by our elected officials.

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