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Comment Re:A simple reality check (Score 1) 641

As far as the climatologists go, the old guard of professors and mentors trains the new guard, and they are savage to anyone who doesn't follow in their lock step group think. Just do a google search for climatologists who have been excommunicated for disagreeing with the herd. PhDs typically enter the work force when they are ~28, not 40, so those who had just started working in the field in 1979 (the tail end of the ice age scare) would be 65 or just retiring this year and would have been leading the departments for the last 20 years.

Well, those entering the field at 28 are not "the same scientists who were running around in the 70s saying that the next ice age was upon us", in fact they are the next generation of scientists who have found different stuff. You started out saying "I can't believe these people, they keep changing their mind!", and I am just pointing out that they are not even the same people! You know, your argument about forced group think seems fundamentally flawed if your best example is one where you feel as though a consensus opinion actually changed. You can't reasonably say "they all think the same and never change due to peer pressure and other similar influences" and also at the same time say "they used to think one thing and now they think something else." Both of those statements might be reasonable criticisms individually, but they do kind of work against each other.

By the way, Wikipedia at least claims that Global Cooling was never any sort of widely held opinion of climatologists: - so while there might have been press reports of cooling being a possible problem, "Academic analysis of the peer-reviewed studies published at that time shows that most papers examining aspects of climate during the 1970s were either neutral or showed a warming trend." So before you go blaming those fickle for flip-flopping all the time, perhaps your should re-examine what the scientists at the time were mostly saying - and it doesn't seem like they were all saying it was going to get chilly.

As for a google search for "climatologists who have been excommunicated for disagreeing with the herd", I have not been able to find any, though I don't deny that it is possible. The thing is, in my experience of academia, it is pretty darn hard to do anything about tenured researchers doing crazy shit, and there are not insignificant numbers of people in the sciences who like to take a contrarian position against almost anything. The fact of the matter is that over at least the last decade, a number of valid criticisms of climate research have been made, and work has been done to address them. The number of climatologists who have had doubts about the "consensus" has been decreasing, as one would expect if the consensus was broadly correct.

Sure, it is possible that the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated by "big solar" against the virtuous carbon crowd. But I have to ask, if the consensus opinion was in fact broadly correct, how would everyone's behaviour be different? What would convince you that there was not some nefarious data manipulation going on?

Comment Re:A simple reality check (Score 2) 641

"The global warming scientists" seem to be virtually every climatologist out there, most of who were not working in the 1970s - 1979 was 37 years ago you know. Maybe they have all been brainwashed by their deluded mentors while in grad school, but working scientsts or age 40 in 1979 would now be 77 years old - and they would be the amoungst youngest of those group. Thus it seems unlikely that todays climatologist would be the "same scientists" you speak of from the 1970s.

Of course regardless of what you think of their predictive power, the actual climate change over the last ~20k years does seem pretty slowly changing - except for recently:

Comment Re:No matter how clueless we are ... (Score 1) 259

personally, i would say cancer is much more like wallstreet fatcats.

a mutation in the rules governing proper behavior causes them to consume all available resources, send ssignals to the regulatory system that they are essential and need protection, while earnestly believing they are the most important part of the system while destroying it from the inside, due to the removal of a system to terminate that behavior early.

Hey, that's pretty good. I'll have to remember that.

Comment Re: A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Do you like their methedology [sic] now that they show clinton winning 72%?

Whoops - "methodology". You are right that I should take the time to spell-check my postings. I blame the parents. Oh, and my spell checker says that "clinton" [sic] should be capitalized.

In any case, I like their methodology regardless of who it predicts, since I am trying to use it to get information about probably outcomes rather than to convince myself that a particular outcome is likely to occur.

Granted, I am generally happier when my preferred outcome is indicated as more likely, but like weather reporting I would prefer accuracy over inaccuracy, even if the forecast is for unpleasant weather.

Besides, my favourite candidate never seems to perform well in these models:

Comment Re:It depends. (Score 1) 993

Yes, first-past-the-post is a bad bad system, because it inevitably leads to situations like this. The sensible response, however, is not to pretend we don't have first-past-the-post, because we do!

The sensible thing to do, from a game-theoretic viewpoint, is to vote strategically (because that's provably the best thing to do with FPTP), and, in the mean time, try to get other voting systems accepted. My city uses instant runoff (IRV) instead of FPTP. If more cities used IRV or Single Transferable Vote (STV) or similar, then we'd be able to talk about getting the state to do the same, and if enough states switch, then maybe we could get the country to switch. Then you could vote for your favorite candidate without worrying that you'll case the worser of two evils to triumph. In the meantime, however, vote using your brain, not your gut. You're supposedly a nerd, unless you're on the wrong site, so that shouldn't be a difficult concept.

(And again, "vote strategically" does not necessarily mean "vote for the lesser of two evils". That's simply one possible--albeit frequently useful--strategy of many.)

Good advice! I like STV a lot.

Comment Re: 32% would vote clinton (Score 1) 993

I'm not sure what you mean by tactical voting, as opposed to any other kind of voting, but I would argue that the problem is the system, not the users. There are any number of alternative election or voting systems we could be using instead of a winner take all representative democracy. Many of those would at least better represent public sentiment, if not provide more desirable outcomes as well.

I think I supposed to say something hip like "This!", so show my heatfealt agreement.

Comment Re: A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Actually, it's not. Trump only has one path to victory, and that involves winning Ohio, where he has 0% support among blacks. So, even though the media would like you to believe that it's an ongoing contest, so they can keep you reading articles and watching pundits, the election is already over.

I suspect that you are broadly correct, but the polls agrigators over at actually have Trump with a 60% chance at winning Ohio.


I like their methedology.

Submission + - Indian Student Jailed for Cheating on Exams writes: BBC reports that Ruby Rai, a 17-year-old schoolgirl in India, has been thrown in jail after cheating on her exams. Ranked first in the Bihar state exams — Rai said in a video interview that her main subject political science was about cooking. After the video went viral, Rai was made to re-sit her exams, and was arrested after she failed and had her original results cancelled. Examiners who retested Rai told reporters they were "shocked" by her performance. When asked to write an essay about the Indian poet Tulsidas, she only wrote "Tulsidas ji pranam (Salutations to Tulsidas)". Meanwhile, arrest warrants have been issued for several other students who performed well in the exams, including Saurabh Shrestha who topped the science stream, but later could not say that H2O was water. Last March as many as 300 people were arrested for cheating in Bihar after the Hindustan Times published images of dozens of men climbing the walls of a test center to pass answers inside.

Comment Re:Absurd conclusion (Score 1) 760

Taxes are collected from privately owned assets. Tax deductions are government taking less private property.

One can only believe what you do if one believes that the concept of private property does not exist. For your premise to be true, all property would have to be owned by the government.

If you want that shit, move to Venezuela.

Well, to be fair, all of these "privately owned assets" are only "privately owned" because society has decided to enforce certain legal constructs through the use of a police and courts system. "We the people" have ultimately decided what all these things mean, and to what extent we are going to protect those meanings from other possible ones.

If we were truely following this type of ideal "private ownership" principle, the vast majority of the real estate on this continent would not be held by decendants of immigrants I am confident. Even after killing the vast majority of the continent's inhabitants, ownership should have passed to "nearest relatives", rather than "those who did the killing".

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 760

Straight to the labor theory of value. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Realize your fallacy and be enlightened. Value is set on the market. Including the value of labor and capital. The fact you don't like that, doesn't change it.

To think that the way we have implemented "the market" is optimal is pretty shortsighted.

The USA has one of the lowest amounts of "socio-economic mobility" amoung developed nations. Peole in the USA have a harder time moving "up the ladder" than in most other places.

We would be better off developing policies that give everyone more access to those top rungs.

Comment Re:But which one is more likely (Score 1) 180

Our nuclear arsenals are rotting today, and they're doing very little to prevent war. What is preventing war is the fact that war reduces populations and reducing population is bad for business when you're in the business of controlling as many people as possible. Terrorist propaganda is much more effective than war.

There seems to be some truth to the argument that war is reduced when nations are more tightly interlocked by trade and other exchanges. It is not so much that the evil puppet masters have decided to prevent wars, but rather than the whole system is so interrelated that large scale conflict becomes so obviously bad for everyone that it never gets considered.

Comment Re:Fuck off (Score 3, Insightful) 403

The first amendment begins "Congress shall make no law..."

Neither buzzfeed nor Facebook are Congress, obviously. Private businesses are free to publish or not publish whatever they wish. .

So I, as the owner of a private business, could post messages on the website of my place of business about the inferiority of various races, and the fact that women don't belong in the work place taking jobs away from men who have families to feed.

Thanks for letting me know about this. I'll get right on it.

Actually I don't think there is much legislation that would prohibit you from doing so. If you are found to be making hiring decisions based on those ideas, or vetting your clientel in that way, you may be in contravention of a variety of statues. Perhaps creating a hostile work environment by way of your website postings might also be a problem.

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