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Comment Re:Yea (Score 1) 496

Why do you only ask "what makes us think we can hear them?"

Part of the point of the Fermi Paradox is that the galaxy should be filled with evidence of interstellar civilizations. A civilization sending out Von Neumann pobes could "exhaustedly explore a galaxy the size of the Milky Way in as little as half a million years." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox#Alien_constructs

There should be wave after wave of civilizations expanding into the galaxy, each leaving behind self-replicating probes, interstellar networks, and the heat signatures of their civilization. It would be hard not to notice them. Yet there is only the Great Silence.

If they converted a small percentage of their Von Neumann probes to Bracewell probes, which actively seek communication with other civilizations, we should have seen those by now. While radio may be a primitive form of communication for these civilizations, it is by far the easiest and cheapest method. To think that they would neglect radio and only use something like neutrinos or gravity waves is silly.

If we're not the only technological civilization in the galaxy then the only rationale is that they are avoiding us, perhaps for our own good. Still, I think we'd be able to spot a Kardashev Type II civilization from a long ways off, and a Type III might be impossible to miss from anywhere in the galaxy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale

Comment Re:I Suspect String Theory is Just Wrong (Score 1) 303

While I share the same concerns about string theory, there is also Kaluza-Klein theory which uses extra dimensions to unify gravity with electromagnetism. KK and Brane theory (the latter of which is derived from string theory) does offer an elegant solution to the hierarchy problem in physics. So extra dimensions are not solely a construct of string theory.

Comment Re:I love to be the first to say this... (Score 1) 787

I wasn't too young in the 70s, and the only reference to an impending ice age I remember was that global warming could cause a Younger Dryas type of event. The artic ice cap could melt causing colder water to interrupt the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation pattern, plunging northern Europe into colder weather. You can read about the possible effect of shutting down the thermohaline circulation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutdown_of_thermohaline_circulation

It wasn't that there was global cooling, but rather a dim concern that we might be warming the world up, causing climate instabilites.

Comment Re:The usual shill accusation, and Nazis too! (Score 1) 403

Dude, or if you prefer, uassholes, you naturally didn't comment on the chart that you yourself referenced. You used it as some kind of proof (I suppose to show that global temperatures have been declining since the beginning of the Holocene), but instead it shows that in very recent times the temperature has been sharply increasing. Also please reference the Reconstructed Temperature chart shown on the same page as the chart you used in your argument. You can find the bigger version here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png .

This chart shows just the last 2000 years. You can see the alarming change in global temperature since the beginning of the Industrial Age. Note, too, the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age temperatures -- are they wrong too?

So which is it, the data you presented as proof is now wrong and can't be trusted? Or is it, as you seem now to be saying, that no data can be trusted because of proxy measurements and/or Earl the drunk?

You seem to want it both ways. Sorry, but if anything smacks of entrenched ideological beliefs, it's your arguments.

Comment Re:The usual shill accusation, and Nazis too! (Score 1) 403

Dude, you need to revisit that chart of the Holocent Temperature Variations. If you will, please note that the Temperature Anomaly for the year 2004 is just under 0.5 degrees (NASA reports is was 0.48 degrees). This not only shows a reversal of the declining temperatures since the end of the glacial period, but it's a dramatic change! The global average temperature in 2004 is considerably higher than at ANY POINT IN TIME since the end of the last glacial period.

Comment Re:re Time for open discussion (Score 1) 1093

Yes, we need the hoi polloi to discuss global warming; we need to teach the controversy in our schools. We can't let the experts spend all those years out of their lives doing all that sciencey stuff without the rest of us putting in our uninformed two cents and deciding the matter.

While weather is a chaotic system and can't be predicted with precision, the trend in climate change can be discerned. Sure, we don't know how bad things are but we do know that if things continue as they have been, we can expect unpleasantness at the very least.

And 10-11K years ago? That's when humans invented agriculture.

Comment Re:personally (Score 1) 1721

I recall the Bush's adminstration endlessly repeated and inflamatory soundbite, "We can't let the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud" even after the Nigerian yellowcake "intelligence" was proven to be a sophomoric fabrication.

Just as we have a handle on N.Korea's and Iran's nuclear facilities we would have had the same on Iraq's, yet there were none. The only "proof" of Iraqi nuclear activity was the fake Nigerian document and some aluminum rocket tubes. Yet the Bush administration continued to prey on America's fear of nuclear war.

Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley stated that Bush had been directly and repeatly apprised of the deep rift in the intelligence community over the aluminum tubes, yet this was not communicated outside the White House.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 712

I agree with Lord Bitman and disagree with the article. Looking at the timeline referenced in the article we can see amazing inventions like blue jeans and toasters. The author's grandmother saw culture-warping inventions like flashlights and toilet paper. Where are all the amazing inventions today?!

I'm not trying to belittle the accomplishments of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; afterall, we stand on their shoulders. But to discount our own accomplishments is disingenious.

The author has given short shrift to things like the LCD & LED, virtual memory, PET scans, CD & DVD, probes to the outer planets, GPS, Bose_Einstein condensates, smart phones, the discovery of dark matter, discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, carbon nanotubes, genetic manipulation, construction of a synthetic chromosomes, brane theory, multi-processing, cloning, quantum wells, discovering neutrinos have mass, quantum computing, and the Holocene extinction event.

I've ignored entire fields of study that didn't even exist in the author's grandmother's day. This list could go on for quite a while.

Oh yeah, the last item in the list was just to see if you were paying attention.

Comment Re:could it? Sure. Should it? No (Score 1) 109

The State of Washington has multiple computing platforms. Why does everything think that these platforms are all supported by either Microsoft's or Amazon's clouds? I know the State of Washington also has IBM zSeries mainframe systems. Somehow I don't think these environments are supported by these particular clouds.

Comment Re:Even worse... (Score 1) 100

We had the largest data center in Seattle and believe me we did NOT have sprinklers in our data center. Saying that the city required them sounds like a cop-out to me. Our disaster recovery plan was pretty solid with off-site recovery several thousands of miles away within minutes. Unfortunately, we did not have a disaster recovery plan for being seized by the federal government and sold to a competitor.

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Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken