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Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 1) 133

DATA does not "say" dark matter exists. The indirect data we have suggests that as one possible explanation (and so far the only one that has survived critical analysis of numerous experiments).

What is dark matter to you? To scientists, it's matter we can't detect with current instrumentation. It's that simple. It does exist. Now could scientists be wrong. Yes. Absolutely. However you can't merely say there are wrong because they haven't found all the answers. If you have other plausible explanations please let them know. So far the best minds of science can't describe it in other terms other than "dark."

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 1) 133

You have it backwards. Our hypothesis to explain the DATA is black matter. The DATA does not (indirectly) show that dark matter exists.

No, you don't understand the data. The data says that there is an amount of the total combined amount of energy and mass; however only 5% of it can be accounted for if all the stars and planets in the entire universe is counted. The 95% we don't know what it is; therefore, it is considered dark. It's a placeholder designation. Scientists could have call it silly putty matter.

What scientists are trying to do is prove their hypothesis correct by proving dark matter exists.

No, they are trying to determine if one of their proposed methods might work in detecting dark matter. They know it exists; they don't know what it is. For example, scientists could only see the top layers of the ocean for a long time. Sonar could deduce that the bottom was several miles deep. Until the invention of deep sea vehicles scientists didn't know what was at the bottom; but they knew the bottom existed. They just didn't have the technology to determine what was there in detail.

Tomorrow someone could come up with a theory supported by experimental data that explains the data that has nothing to do with dark matter...,/

That someone still has to explain away the current 95% and why we can't detect with all the current instrumentation that exists. Again, dark matter simply means "matter we can't detect through current methods."

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 4, Insightful) 255

It wears out ridiculously fast.

For what value of "ridiculously"? I don't have a single 3.5 mm jack in the house with bad connection poltergeists.

But then, I'm still running an NAD 7140 from the 1980s as my stereo amplifier. Had to go in there last week with electrical contact cleaner to take the crackle out of the volume and balance pots, but I'm sure the audio jack still works perfectly. I'd have replaced some of the electrolytics, too, if my ears could hear any defects.

Obviously, though, I'm not a desirable Apple customer on several counts (ability to fix things myself, willingness to keep using unfashionable equipment that still works fine, ability to tell whether unfashionable equipment still works fine), so there is that.

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 3, Informative) 133

But we just proved it doesn't exist. The missing mass exists.

Um no. They haven't detected it yet does not mean it doesn't exist. it was an experiment failure. It's hard to prove a negative. That's like saying the Higgs Boson particle was proven not to exist until they detected it. See how silly that sounds?

Hence, my theory is just as valid, that EM has both mass and is a wave, and we're just confused little podlings who will have to go back and adjust our theories again, as we did over and over and over.

You don't have a theory. That's conjecture.

Remember, at first we didn't think light bent due to gravity.

Yes but that doesn't mean neither light nor gravity existed. We didn't know about the interaction between them could produce such results.

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 4, Insightful) 133

So, um...indirect experimental evidence is not actually empirical. It is absolutely, completely un-the-same as experimental evidence.,

Um, no you don't understand. There is direct evidence that we can measure the total amount of mass and energy in the universe. However, 95% is unaccounted for if we count all the stars and planets scientists think exist. Therefore indirectly, dark matter is the placeholder for the matter that should exist but can't detect. They could have called it Zoidberg matter and it would be the same.

It's like looking at the ocean. With the naked eye we can only see the top layers of the ocean. Historically, sonar allows us to determine the depths of the ocean to be miles deep; however, until the existence of deep underwater vehicles, scientists didn't know what the bottom was like. They could only guess. They could not imagine that life exists near the Marianas Trench for example.

The case for dark matter is more inductive or abductive reasoning. Given certain premises based on our current understanding of gravity and our observations of the universe, dark matter makes sense. However, our observations could be wrong, or our models could be incorrect.

Yes everything in science could be wrong; however, you must prove that every one of their observations is incorrect rather than assume that because someone doesn't have all the answers, they don't have any answers.

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 2) 133

Right, a theory. But if you can't count it, can't measure it, does it really exist?

You're not listening: There is experimental data. DATA says that dark matter exists indirectly. Measuring directly is the hard part. It's not theory. Again please read what I wrote above. Measuring the total amount of mass and energy in the universe, physicists are about 95% short of the amount for which they can directly account. So either every instrument and measurement they have is wrong; or you just don't understand science.

Secondly, string theory has nothing to do with dark matter. String theory is an attempt to resolve gravity with quantum mechanics. If String Theory never existed, there would still be the dark matter/dark energy problem. Please read up on some science before commenting further.

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 2) 133

Um, you do realize that scientists do have experimental evidence that dark matter exists indirectly, right? Not just one way but at least two different ways, scientists have been able to estimate the total mass of energy and mass. The problem is that the estimate of the known mass and energy that they have been able to detect is about 5% of the universe. That means 95% of the mass and energy is unaccounted. This experiment was a way to detect dark matter directly.

Comment Re:Leader at the top is probably clueless (Score 3, Insightful) 54

"Forcing people to buy"? Everyone has a choice between Xbox and PlayStation. They've had the same choice for decades. Sony doesn't want to be "embraced and extended" by Microsoft that's also their choice. There is a long list of former Microsoft partners who probably regret their decision to partner with them.

Comment Re: Fake (Score 1) 184

Others have covered that in order for NASA to fake the conspiracy they also had to play along and launch rockets anyway but to address your specific points, this commercial film maker lays out why faking the film wasn't likely possible. He does address other points like how conspiracy nuts like you don't really understand photography. To summarize, no one had the technology to "fake" a 143 minute live broadcast like that. These days with CGI, it's possible but at the time of the moon landing, 35mm film was the standard, not video like VHS. Faking it would have been extremely expensive with implausible edge film and computer technology not existing at the time.


NASA had this secret fabulous film/computer technology developed decades before anyone else. Yet at the same time used primitive analog computers.

Comment Re:ethical drift (Score 1) 322

I should have included the blurb in my post above.

Based on a recent co-authored paper, Wong argues that the paperwork and training burden on U.S. military officers requires dishonesty—it is simply impossible to comply with all the requirements. This creates a tension for an institution that prides itself on honesty, trust, and integrity. The conversation closes with suggestions for how the military might reform the compliance and requirement process.

What I recall from the episode is that by the end they both dodge the central question: in modern democratic society its politically impossible to give an honest answer to a special interest group (we'd love to add your special box to our form-filling and training rotation, but we simply don't have the manpower available to properly comply).

They do talk a little bit about improving internal honesty, but that remains far from the root cause.

Comment ethical drift (Score 1) 322

This is one of my favourite EconTalk episodes of all time.

The guest talks about the "ethical drift" resulting from the imposition of an impossible burden. (My favourite EconTalk episodes are usually the ones where Russ is surprised to discover that the world works as well as it does. In this one, he's shocked by the military's willingness to engage in self-criticism.)

Leonard Wong on Honesty and Ethics in the Military

This one is not unbearably polemic for a general audience, and it's tremendously apropos.

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