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Comment Re:It's Politics, Not Conspiracy (Score 2) 232

Which is why science has built-in processes to deal with bias. It isn't perfect, and it can take time, but eventually fraud or bad science is caught.

And really, at this point, with so many streams of evidence for AGW, to deny that human-caused CO2 emissions are having a significant impact on global climate really is no different than denying that all life evolved from some common ancestor, or that eating high amounts of refined sugar is hazardous to your health, or that smoking cigarettes leads to cancer and lung disorders.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Insightful) 232

Also see Big Tobacco's decades-long war on research into the dangers of tobacco smoke and nicotine, or the more recently revealed sugar industry's war on research showing the dangers of refined sugars to human health.

Creationism was probably the first really sophisticated propaganda war on science, but it has inspired several later pseudo-scientific propaganda wars. Creationism's intentions were more to protect Christianity from the perceived threat that if science could provide answers to the life we see today, it was going to chip away at the edifice of Theism until Atheism reigned supreme. I'd also argue that for at least some branches of Protestant Evangelism, there was the more real threat that the vast amount of social control those churches wielded being undermined if they were forced to accept that vast swathes of the Bible became understood as being metaphorical, and not literal.

The story is a bit different for the tobacco, sugar, and fossil fuel industries. For them, a general acceptance of science has material costs. People reducing sugar consumption would lead to significant drops in profits. Of course, we know just how much damage the defeat of the tobacco companies has cost their investors. As for the fossil fuel industry, well it's the biggest beast of all. The entire global economy, and some of the greatest accretions of wealth ever known to humanity, are tied up in the continued exploration, extraction and use of hydrocarbons. If there is a significant shift to alternative energy sources, the fossil fuel industry will find itself a lot poorer for it, with the long-term outlook not exactly healthy.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 5, Insightful) 232

Why would you believe the Bible more than, say, Greek myth, Nordic paganism, or heck, an even older religion like Hinduism or Zoroastrianism?

And who said the Bible doesn't have motives attached to it? The entire book of Leviticus is about a pack of religious laws whose major purpose appears to have been social control. Seriously, do you think a law banning having sexual intercourse with your menstruating wife has no motive?

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Insightful) 232

Whilie the tactics of the pseudo-skeptics certainly have borrowed heavily from the Creationists (and the tobacco company-funded pseudoscientists), the intent isn't really to tap into belief that AGW is some sort of religious heresy. Rather, it taps into two streams; the tendencies of certain groups, particularly in conservative circles, to adopt a sort of kneejerk contrarianism to anything that requires a significant shift in the way society thinks, and in part of pure selfishness (i.e. I don't want to have to pay more for gas).

Note that not just conservatives are guilty of contrarianism. You see similar views among antivaxxers, who are often liberal or left-leaning.

For the pseudo-skeptics, having identified the audience they need to convince, it's simply a matter of tapping into the contrarianism via the classic path; associating the science with a "Liberal agenda". It probably hasn't helped that some of the chief advocates of AGW on the public stage have been liberals like Al Gore. This gives the pseudo-skeptics the target they need. When you couple that with a general Libertarian-style of anti-regulation, in which any attempt to price carbon will immediately lead to cries of government interference, well, you have a perfect mix; AGW is a Liberal lie whose sole purpose is to increase the power of the State. Finally throw in the pseudo-science itself; find a few like-minded scientists in related fields, get them to write articles in friendly papers, go on speaking tours and the like, and when they are inevitably critiqued, declare those critiques as attacks by the evil liberal scientific cabal.

Again, this was all worked out a very long time ago when the Creationists began their own attacks on science. Tap into inherent contrariarnism in certain groups, attach nefarious motives (those evolutionists are trying to get rid of God), and throw in a few friendly scientists (Michael Behe, for instance, the intellectual forebearer of Frank Spencer), concoct some scientific sounding word salads, and voila, you have your Creationist attack on science.

The AGW pseudo-skeptic community is also progressing towards the Creationists final tactic; accepting just enough of the science not to look utterly absurd. For Creationists, this was the creation of Intelligent Design, for AGW pseudo-skeptics it involves memes like "climate is always changing", or the newer "well yes, it is warming up, maybe we have something to do with it, maybe we don't, but we shouldn't do anything about it and instead should deal with the effects:.

Comment Re:Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 1) 184

Smart TVs still don't have the range of video playing capabilities that VLC does, and are certainly not as network friendly, and generally, if they have any support for network file shares, that support is rudimentary at best. Having a fully functioning PC as the video player creates a lot more options.

Comment Re:Microsoft Update Catalog is my new hero (Score 4, Informative) 184

The Convenience Rollup is kept on my keyring USB stick as its just soooo much easier than dealing with a system that may not have had a patch on it in years.

And as far as these new crap "mega updates"? Just turn off Windows Update and use WSUS Offline which last I checked is doing just as you described and grabbing the manual security updates, only you get them nicely bundled with a script that will install them all (and do any reboots required) and shut down the system, hassle free. I highly recommend it.

Comment Re:Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 5, Informative) 184

The way Windows 10 manages updates in general is frustrating. We have some dedicated Windows 10 Lenovo micro-PCs whose only significant job is show videos on some large flatscreen TVs, and we're constantly having to cancel out the update nag screens. GPOs that would seem to work don't always apply, so it just gets to be an annoying problem. I think the next set of such micro PCs we buy will probably have some small footprint version of Debian.

Comment Re:E.g. We can't use it if we can't cheat (Score 4, Interesting) 80

It's interesting, but some of the earliest accounting software I used, which was COBOL-based, didn't allow you to change any ledger once a month was posted and closed. I suppose it was possible to go into the actual database and directly alter records, but the underlying concept was that once a fiscal period was complete, it was inviolate, and the only way you could alter any closed ledger was to post adjusting entries in this period. This could be rather ugly, so you tried really hard not to do any major mistakes. Even end of the year adjusting entries were posted in the next fiscal year.

Since then I've seen a number of accounting systems that allow all sorts of monkeying around, including posting adjusting entries for a fiscal year within that fiscal year, even though you may be a couple of months into the current fiscal year. It seems common practice now, but a quarter of a century ago that was viewed as completely inappropriate, as it opened the door for fraud.

Comment Re:What a Waste (Score 1, Insightful) 832

How is this any different from Whedon forming a super PAC and using his Hollywood connections to shill for it?

Lets be honest folks, there really isn't an upside this round. On the one hand you have the most corrupt politician this side of Richard Nixon that has promised more wars and to flood this country with refugees ala Germany (didn't work out so great for them, did it?) and on the other hand you have a reality TV star that spends his time tweeting memes...ugh.

Comment Re:Wow, spend $3billion? (Score 1) 161

You're quoting just US figures. Now ponder how much money is dedicated to medical research throughout the industrialized world; in places like Britain, Europe, Asia and even in places like South Africa. I suspect Zuckerburg's $3 billion might pay for a week or two's work in the global medical research community. Not that such money would be unwelcome, but it is a drop in the bucket.

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