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Comment Re:Politically driven pseudo-science garbage (Score 1) 172

Solar output in fact has decreased since the early 60s.

Also according to the Milankovitch cycles we should be in the middle of a cooling period, although the actual effect is quite complex (e.g. it makes a difference whether perihelion occurs in the austral or boreal summer). So it is also possible that we might be in for slight warming over the next twenty thousand years. But even if we were in for dramatic warming due to orbital resonance, that would be on the order of 0.1C/century, much lower than the changes we've observed.

You left out volcanoes, which are a natural source of CO2 (as well as cooling particulates).

If you add up all the known sources of natural climate variation you end up with no warming trend since 1900 (source).

Comment Re:Where are the error bars? (Score 3, Informative) 172

What Geoffrey said. It's easy enough to pull the instrumental record global average data into a spreadsheet and plot it; I've done it several times myself.

Also be aware of what error bars can and cannot tell you. You can't tell about the statistical significance of trends just by comparing adjacent years with error bars. It's the wrong statistical test to talk about decades-long tends. You might never ever see a year which is statistically significantly warmer than a prior year at some level of confidence, yet have a trend which over a decade or more hits that confidence level.

Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 157

An option I always disable. The RDS stream was unfeasibly rarely useful that it's not worth the distraction.

Surely a better answer is to just prosecute drivers that are too fucking stupid to realise that there's an emergency vehicle right behind them, they're in the way and everybody else has already made room.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 756

Given that the truth is that Chelsea Manning is female, it's good to hear that you don't feel she's trying to control how you think.

Of course, your logic is flawed in more ways than I can be arsed to enumerate, not least that humouring others' delusions would make you more stupid. Leaving aside whether you could become more stupid it's generally the case that the more intelligent someone is, the greater the allowances they need to make for those around them. It doesn't make them more stupid, it means they're tolerant, accepting and have the understanding needed to stop being a total cunt.

Me, I'm happy to act a total cunt and tell you straight: You're just stupid.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 756

While I do agree, and I tend to use male or female pronouns appropriate to how someone presents themselves (to the extent that I'll refer to men at a tarts & vicars party as 'her') I do struggle somewhat with the multitude of additional pronouns the gender fluid are seeking to introduce and mandate.

Sie or zie or ze or hie or hir? Sorry, no. Him/her/it is as much as my limited brain can handle, pick one of those and I'll do my best to remember.

Comment People have a crude form of telepathy. (Score 1) 127

Not actual radio-like telepathy like in sci-fi stories, but an inbuilt capacity to actually experience what our brains think other people are experiencing.

One of the classic experiments like this is to get a subject wearing goggles to identify with a mannequin. Of course this is artificially induced; we didn't evolve in a world with 3D goggles and cameras. But there is a condition called "mirror-touch synesthesia" in which this occurs naturally, in which people spontaneously experience what someone else is experiencing.

The parallel element I see is the brain somehow generates a sensation without an appropriate physical input, and the phenomenon of mirror touch synesthesia suggests to me this isn't just a curious bug in our brain architecture. The 1.6% of people who report spontaneous mirror synesthesia also score higher than the general population on measures of empathy. I suspect it may also be linked in some way to our ability to learn by copying what others do.

This is a really exciting time in neuroscience, and synesthesia seems like an interesting target for DIY brain hackers. Mirror-type synesthesia particularly so because it's easy to induce. The rubber hand illusion is probably the easiest dramatic effect to produce at home.

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