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Comment Re:can't make $$$ if your study fails (Score 1) 313

Drug tests occur in an area where mistakes can ruin a company through lawsuits. I think the reliability there is far above average. That is, reliability where health hazards are concerned. I would not be so sure about effectivity testing but I still suspect that this more visible area of science is one where experimental rigor is way above average. I may be a sceptic about what average means.
Finding out whether your medicine will hurt someone in thirty years time can be pretty hard. Failing to do so doesn't mean you couldn't be bothered.

Comment Re:Why is income equality necessarily good? (Score 1) 476

Piketty is not against inequality, but he says/shows that when there's too much inequality, it becomes counterproductive. So doesn't condemn unequality as 'unfair'. At the same time he says there is a tendency for wealth to accumulate with those who already have it, leading to an increasingly skewed distribution of wealth. It's a trend but not some kind of law. This distribution can indeed be leveled by catastrophies like wars, but at (almost)everyone's expense. Government policies can accelerate or counteract the effect and neoliberal appraoches typically accelerate it.

Comment Re:Alternative Explanation (Score 1) 106

I agree that if they prove a tight correlation it means something. I can't see anything about that in the links though, so is this an article which proceeds from the assumption that the correlation with earth magnetism is very tight(if we assume correlation is tight then we can conclude magnetic field has decreased 30%), or does it prove the tight correlation as well. There is statistics involved and I can't see what kind.
Testing that correlation can also be done with experiments today with new pottery. Have such experiments been done? I take it that fast variability of the earth magnetic field exists is already a given, because I doubt if old pottery by itself will carry enough weight to prove that the magnetic field can change quickly.

Comment Re:Emails (Score 1) 895

Remember when like 70% of slashdot thought that it was a good idea to put this buffoon in power because Hillary was too "establishment" and was a dumbass about classified emails?

It's a good question really. Or could be, with some effort. I think there are serious arguments against Clinton too, but the classified emails aren't amongst them (even though I'm judging it more severely than 'dumbass'). The choice is about shaking up the system: at what point do you decide that shaking up the system, with whatever short term effects it yields , is better then letting it evolve in its current direction. I think it's a legitimate question. The' least evil' option is the one where you will not risk major shakeups. On the other side of the spectrum is 'creative destruction', from the ashes will rise a new better order. For those who support Clinton there is of course no such dilemma.

Comment Re:That's not why he resigned (Score 1) 895

it seems more likely that Trump and his team were finding Flynn was too much of a psychopath to work with and the conversations with the Russians are a convenient reason to dump him.

That is an interesting option. It's likely that Tillerson and Mattis weren't happy with Flynn and at least put up little resistance when Flynn came under fire. Flynn seems to be very much a broken clock on Islam. So, his prediction of the rise of Isis was good, his position about which side to choose on Syria was good , and - no that's two times already, day's budget is up. Well I think his position on Russia was good.
He coauthored a book with Michael Ledeen. I don't know if he's a psychopath - but he's seriously out there.

Comment Task Scheduling (Score 1) 145

Some have argued that it's a way to save energy. Others have suggested that slumber provides an opportunity to clear away the brain's cellular waste

Odd juxtaposition. Let's put it this way with some fake news. There once was a time when all there was was day. Then suddenly God made night. In a first stage the Day-beings spent their nights waiting, saving energy and keeping save. But in a later stage they started doing too much of some activities during the day because they could postprocess/recover/clean up during the night.So one does not exclude the other. As soon as your brain gets some spare time it can start to reschedule some things so that some bottleneck operations(which slow you down) are moved to the night stage.

Comment Re:Thank you (Score 1) 117

No that is not what occurred. There is proof whatsoever that Russia has given DNC dirty laundry to wikileaks and it's also unlikely, given that wikileaks denies it and in a situation where everyone expected Clinton to win, it's not really in Russia's interest to simultaneously signal their powerlessness and their aggression by scheming against her. It's plausible that Russia hacked DNC, or hacked anything they could hack. DNC could have been hacked a dozen times over actually by all kinds of parties. The NSA has records on all web traffic, so they should be able to show up whatever the russians did. but they're not coming up with proof(they just consider it plausible), which I would count as proof of absence.

Wikileaks is in another situation. They can't afford to sit on DNC dirty laundry till after the election whichever way it leads.

Comment Re:Ah, the noble savage (Score 2) 176

Actually I've been told that humans were bad for any animal under 200 pounds, but beyond that it was a lot less interesting because the hunters had to carry the loot. So as humans expanded over the planet and moved into new areas you could see all the middleweight species in those areas declining sharply and even going extinct in a very short time.

I haven't looked it up though. I suspect that the case that comes to mind, of humans hunting mammoths, would only happen if humans were hunting in large groups. Climate would be a large factor as well. If it's cold you've got more time to process the meat. I recall a scene from 'Into The Wild' where the protagonist kills a large animal and manages to retrieve almost nothing because the insects are instantly all over it.

Comment Always Compare with Other Numbers (Score 1) 88

It's always like that: '13 million pages released' . To place this in context you need some percentages, numbers to compare with, statistics. What's the yearly release rate, what's the yearly classifying rate. And with respects to levels of secrecy, because if it's always low level secrecy that's being released then you're not doing much either.

Comment Re:Profanity and Honesty (Score 3, Insightful) 283

There is some sense in that, in that online one can be honest in relative safety. The downside is that an awful lot of people think that because they can shout down people with obscenities there must be some value in what they're saying.

Personally I like the intermediate level of posting under a fixed username. It becomes a bit of an alternate persona rather than a license to act as an asshole. The alternate persona also has a reputation it cares about.

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