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Comment Re:Simulations - Program them to agree with you (Score 1) 125

when you make up the math to prove your point on the fly (which is what all theoretical physics does) its not impressive for the simulation to agree with your prediction

It never ceases to amaze me how violently anti-science a community of self-professed geeks can turn out to be.

Submission + - String Theorist Makes Intellectual Property Claim to Suppress Critical Paper (

An anonymous reader writes: Sabine Hossenfelder at the blog Backreaction has this curious story of a new paper which makes an experimental test of the "multiverse" in string theory: "In a recent paper, William Kinney from the University at Buffalo put to test the multiverse-entanglement with the most recent cosmological data. The brief summary is that not only hasn’t he found any evidence for the entanglement-modification, he has ruled out the formerly proposed model for two general types of inflationary potentials... Much to my puzzlement, his analysis also shows that some of the predictions of the original model (such as the modulation of the power spectrum) weren’t predictions to begin with...To add meat to an unfalsifiable idea that made predictions which weren’t, one of the authors who proposed the entanglement model, Laura Mersini-Houghton, is apparently quite unhappy with Kinney’s results and tries to use an intellectual property claim to get his paper removed from the arXiv. I will resist the temptation to comment on the matter and simply direct you to the Wikipedia entry on the Streisand Effect. Dear Internet, please do your job."

Comment Re:There nothing YouTube can do about this... (Score 1) 321

This one is quite incorrect. There are plenty of brick-and-mortar stores that died due to the Internet.

And good riddance, most of the time. On rare occasions, I am actually stupid enough to think that it's a reasonable idea to try looking in a brick-and-mortar store for something that would be useful for me today, not in two days from Amazon. Almost always, the brick-and-mortar store doesn't have the thing in stock, but "can order it for me." Why the fuck would I go to the trouble of driving out to the fucking strip mall where the box store is, if I wanted it "ordered"?

Most modern brick-and-mortar stores should just die, with the possible exception of grocery stores.

Comment Re:Armed robberies can't happen in Europe! (Score 2) 235

The UK has strict gun control, which is just as effective as posting "Gun-Free Zone" signs.

The number of gun murders per capita in the US in 2012 was around thirty times that of the UK. Genuinely interested in what you think this difference is down to if not a strong legislative and cultural approach to gun control.

Because the British are a bunch of sheeple, obviously. Free Men murder each other with properly virile gusto.

Comment Re:Not defending NASA on this one (Score 5, Insightful) 207

The last statement in the summary is completely uncalled for.

Ned Wright is known to have a pretty sharp wit. Besides, Myhrvold used his notoriety to grandstand with the press before his work was peer-reviewed, basically calling Wright a moron. I would get a little testy too.

Comment Re:science be damned (Score 4, Insightful) 207

Do we find the science too complicated? Too busy to actually read the papers? Too lazy to do a little digging? Never learned how to do the math? Never mind. We can always pick a side and run down the character of any and all opponents. It's quick. It's easy. It's fun. Science be damned.

Oh, please.

None of us, even the most scientifically sophisticated, is capable of developing sufficient expertise in every field in order to personally judge the scientific merits of technical arguments in highly specialized fields. Maybe one or two such fields, if we work very hard on it. This is why we rely on the opinions of experts. Putting every random crackpot who advances an argument on the same footing as established scientists in the field is false equivalence. Yes, every once in a great while, an outsider can point out an error being made by subject experts. But, 99.999% of the time, they're full of shit. The burden of proof here is on Myhrvold.

Comment Ouch! (Score 4, Insightful) 207

But Wright archly noted that Myhrvold once worked at Microsoft, so "is responsible in part for a lot of bad software."

That hurts.

Here's a link to the paper. Seriously, does this guy think the WISE team are a bunch of idiots? I'm personally not qualfied to judge the details of the physical arguments in Myhrvold's paper, but I would give it high probability that he's full of shit.

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interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language