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Comment Re:Bad argument (Score 1) 344

There is certain 'traps in science' although I think the term is very inappropriate. How many times have you heard someone call a certain field of study a dead end or a career killer. The opposite is true as well and string theory is a good example of how over-excitement can happen in a field, it was scene as the place to go for any theoretical physicists, and very few have panned out with any substance. PhD supervisors are sought for their fields of expertise and if you study cold fusion it is a career killer, unless you find some new novel idea, which is very unlikely.

Comment Re:Economic Change (Score 1) 344

With a good portion of the regular population, I would think you have a point. However, that doesn't explain the large amount of funding the anti-AGW has. This is a lot closer to acid rain and even closer to ozone depletion. In both cases the funding has been remarkably simple (even the same scientists being used to argue against all three). Yes, it is more about economics, specifically of keeping entrenched industry operating at the status quo. Change is disruptive, that is what these people are fighting against.

Comment Re:What is scientific consensus (Score 1) 294

Well... honestly, no, that's not science. If you look at attempts to formalize the scientific method, you probably won't see a step that is, "convince other people", and there's a reason for that. The process of convincing other people is political, and not really a scientific process.

Yes, that part of science is political but it is still part of the scientific process. You can't separate science from humanity, thus it is a CULTURE. That culture has many aspects, like the process you speak of, but part of it is convincing others that one theory is better than another. It effects, not only what is studied and funded, but what methods are favored and in the end taught.

There was a great CBC program on this recently, I can't link to it directly cause for some stupid reason the internet filter at work thinks CBC is a bad site to visit... But it's on CBC Radio One, Ideas and called Knowledge and Democracy. A sociologist of science explains this very well.

Comment Re:How about... (Score 1) 340

I want a study that compares the emissions of cattle to those of how many bison there used to be in North America. We've slaughtered so many animals that my gut instinct is that cattle emissions are less than that of the population devastation we've had on wild animals.

As a tangential topic, I want to see us transition from cattle to bison. Emissions are supposedly less (from what I remember), but they are also easier to feed in the winter, as they can still graze and won't need as much feed. As a bonus it would bring back the population, even if it is domesticated.

Comment Re:A positive step (Score 1) 74

That is probably what consumers what, but the goal of autonomous cars is much grander than that. They market it as driving for you as a way to sell it because safety sells, at least when it comes to cars. The goal is actually to network transportation to make it much more effective, so instead of having 1 self-driving car, the whole road is self-driving. This way they can route around congestion, bad weather, construction, etc.

Comment Re:The problem starts in school (Score 2) 45

Canadian here, I thought that's how it's always done, at least that my experience in Physics. Absolutely NO emphasis was getting the right answer (except for your calculations, even wrong data can be calculated to arrive at some outrageous number), instead marks are on proper note keeping, data COLLECTION and calculation, and of course the conclusion and what-not. That's where you talk about what may have gone wrong and you do not even talk about human error, that can always happen (and the experiment started from scratch to try and fix the human error) and we all SHOULD know that doing an experiment just once is not enough to draw any proper conclusion

Comment Small Modular Reactors (Score 1) 232

These things are great, can get down to the size of a car. Bury them and let them run for 40 years, then you can refill some of them once more and let run for longer. After that, just replace the whole device. If your power needs go up, bury another one beside it.

Plus they can be built to be 100% safe, some just rely upon the ground itself as coolant for the waste heat. As for radioactive waste, just re-bury it at a landfill and let it sit until the radiation is no longer at harmful levels.

Comment Re:most things are older than previously thought. (Score 1) 75

I think it was Democritus, but it could be a different Greek, who said that there will always be slaves until we have automatons to do the boring, uninteresting and menial jobs. That without complex machines there will always be slaves. So they did think about it critically but didn't really see an alternative, or that alternative would only present itself when technology was advanced enough.

Comment Re:For what its worth (Score 1) 387

It saddens me that whenever NDGT and Nye are brought up on Slashdot there is such a terrible knee jerk reaction. So many posters and scientists seem to think that if someone communicates science they are automatically wrong and don't understand science. This is the exact attacks Sagan had to deal with when he published his paper on global warming, they attacked him because he loved to communicate science and was good at it as clearly is shown in Cosmos. It saddens me that the community hasn't changed at all.

Comment Re:TL;DR? (Score 1) 208

What about other 'best practices' in coding. Big O is important to think about but it isn't the only thing you should hired or not upon, even in coding. Tidiness and documentation should also be looked at, I don't see how a timed 'exam' would allow the interviewer to see these things. Especially since some people code very differently when timed, or some people clean up the code after they are done and some do it right from the start (what do I know, I'm a very amateur coder).

Comment Re:Why do so many "abnormal" people play D&D? (Score 1) 321

I find it very different. Watching sports is very passive, sure you talk to others and learn stats and what not, but all that knowledge is passive. When you roleplay you explore ideas and concepts. Sure, some games are more comedy with friends and is more about just having fun, but other games are challenges that people collaborate, plan and execute complex ideas. I would say it's more like playing a sport in those games, by which I mean mental team sport, because each person can have their role on the 'field'.

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