Posts tagged ‘science’



by wfgodbold

The #Occupy Little Rock crowd is pretty pathetic. Who even cares about LR City Hall? For that matter, doesn’t “march” imply that someone is leading?

The only thing better than a life-size VF-25 Valkyrie would be a functioning life-size Valkyrie. Because the only thing better than mecha are transforming mecha!

How scientifically literate are you? I got 43/50; I should’ve gotten a few more right, but made some stupid mistakes.

Ever wonder what Philip K. Dick thought of Blade Runner?

I think the last one is my favorite.

And just because Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is awesome, here are a few screenshots (click to embiggen):

A boss tries to dictate to the main character how he should fight her.

A newly created Shaman introduces herself.

A new party member shows up to save the day!

Prinny Mask (who has nothing at all to do with Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) takes over as homeroom teacher.

The party faces off against an army of enemy gunslingers!

The gunslinger homeroom teacher gives us some good advice.


And without even trying, Matthew Yglesias shows why STEM majors mock non-STEM majors…

by wfgodbold

If only we could be as well educated as Harvard philosophy majors!


Even engineers (perhaps especially engineers) know to proofread before publishing.


Who needs science?

by wfgodbold

When you’ve got video games!

I, for one, welcome our protein-folding gamer overlords.

Before long, strategy games will be tied into real-world military control!


Just when I was worried that my foil hat was losing its luster

by wfgodbold

That conglomeration of kleptocrats, despots, tyrants, and general pain-in-the-ass busybodies otherwise known as the UN goes and talks about creating a green-helmeted “environmental peacekeeping force.

A more suspicious man than I might tie this to their unceasing efforts to ban via treaty small arms (I certainly can’t imagine why a bunch of power-hungry dictators would want to make it harder for their loyal subjects to get arms. It’s a goddamn mystery.), but I’m sure that’s just a happy coincidence (Look, even the Canadians think the treaty is out there. Aside from a few, anyway.)

I suppose I should be grateful that the UN isn’t at least talking about AGW; in light of recent news, it seems that the sun has even more of an effect on climate than originally thought (shocking, I know), and that even a couple of puny asteroids have had enough of a chaotic effect on the earth’s orbit that its climate can’t be traced back more than 60 million years.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how science is supposed to work; when new information is learned, it’s supposed to be integrated in with what we already know, and anything that doesn’t fit with the new factual information is no longer treated as the truth. Consensus has no place here; if every scientist and non-scientist, save one man, agreed that the sun revolved around the earth, that consensus would not make it so.

Stay tuned for more exciting science; hopefully my theory about the aliens moving around asteroids in an attempt to flood island nations and cause unrest, with a side of green-helmeted UN peacekeeping environmentalists invading forcibly disarmed despot-ruled nations will prove to be true.

After all, it’s science*!

*That last paragraph is not actually science**.

**Or is it?










You can’t argue with the Black Hat guy; it’s Science!

by wfgodbold

In case you hadn’t heard the news about cell phones and cancer, Black Hat sums it up:


Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – James M. Taylor

by wfgodbold

Apparently the University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group has decided to add 0.3mm each year to their actual sea level measurements (H/T Hotair); land masses are still recovering from the ice age, and this fudge factor accounts for the gradual rising of land masses. This accounts for the fact that ocean basins are getting bigger.

If that’s the case, then the rate of the sea level rise by itself doesn’t tell us much; what matters is the relative rate. If the basins are increasing in volume faster than the sea levels rise, then who cares about the rise in sea level? It’s not going to affect us at all. If the rates are the same, then the sea level will remain essentially constant. If the sea level rate is faster than the ocean basin rate, then rising seas could be a problem; but just giving us the rate of sea level rise by itself doesn’t tell us how serious the problem is. If the seas are rising at 0.31mm per year, and the land is rising at 0.3mm per year (note: these numbers are made up), then the actual rate of sea level rise isn’t 0.31mm/year, but is instead 0.01mm/year.

That’s a problem of an entirely different magnitude.

Which brings us to our quote:

When Al Gore talks about Manhattan flooding this century, and 20 feet of sea level rise, that’s simply not going to happen. If it were going to happen, he wouldn’t have bought his multi-million dollar mansion along the coast in California.

Or, as the Instapundit is so fond of putting it, “I’ll believe there’s a crisis when the people who tell me there’s a crisis start acting like there’s a crisis.”


Idiocy tends towards a maximum

by wfgodbold

In all things (by way of Kevin Baker). It’s like our own mental entropy.

Wanting something to be possible doesn’t make it possible.

Steven Den Beste (chance of NSFW pictures high) has written on this phenomenon at Hot Air’s Green Room a couple times now.

In Government By Wishful Thinking, he talks mostly about how this relates to politics, and one of the key quotes is regarding the anti-war movement from a few years back:

It was teleologists who were mainly involved in the anti-war movement about five years ago when it was at its greatest. I remember reading about how they’d have a demonstration somewhere. Lots of people would come out. They’d parade about carrying signs saying, “End the war!” Someone would burn a giant mockup of President Bush’s head. And afterwards they’d all talk about how successful the demonstration had been.

Successful how? It didn’t have any political effect that I ever noticed. The war didn’t end because of the demonstrations. So what was it that they thought was successful? Well, if you asked them they’d talk about how there was all sorts of positive vibes. How good it felt to be out there. And how so many people were feeling the same thing. Which sounds like masturbation, if you’re a materialist, but genuinely makes sense for a teleologist. They really thought that if enough of them got together and wanted the war to end strongly enough, it would spontaneously end. Not because getting enough voters on their side would have electoral consequences, but because the act of wanting it would directly bring that about.

In the more recent Wanting and Doing, Den Beste explains the president’s action (or lack thereof) on Libya from a teleological perspective:

For a teleologist, expressing your desire is how you bring about the event. If enough people say that Qaddafi “must go”, he will vanish in a puff of smoke. That’s why you work for a world consensus, for it is that consensus which alters reality.

(A slightly less implausible way to put it is that if there is strong enough international disapproval, Qaddafi will bow to peer pressure and voluntarily go into exile. But clearly that isn’t going to work with him.)

To a teleologist, it isn’t necessary, and it is obviously wrong, to use military force to depose a corrupt and brutal dictator. Soft power is obviously better.

Except for the minor fact that it isn’t very effective. But as mentioned, to teleologists, empirical results are not persuasive.

When applied to the morons at the Democratic Underground who think that the only reason we haven’t got magical disaster-proof reactors that can siphon off earthquake power to provide all our energy is that the engineers are too hung up on worrying about whether it’s actually possible or not, the idea of teleology explains a lot.

It’s bad enough when people think that government works by wishful thinking, but the idea that science works by wishful thinking I find particularly horrifying.


So they found an “earth-like” extra-solar planet

by wfgodbold

Which of course prompts even more speculation that we’re not alone in the universe.  After all, if there are planets like this relatively close, it’s likely that there are even more like this farther away that we can’t see yet.

And thanks to that asshole Drake and his stupid equation, speculation on the likelihood of intelligent alien life is sure to follow, with most people probably concluding that aliens are out there.

There’s only one reasonable response to this news; we must immediately begin preparations to deal with the inevitable alien threat to humanity.

Some people suggest that aliens will be peaceful; I doubt it.  I think it’s far more likely that they’ll be agressive.  An aggressive species would be more likely to develop the tech needed to get into space, and would need to expand (either for more territory, or to hedge against other factions) into space eventually; I don’t know that a peaceful species would have any reason to leave their home planet.  What are they going to do, seek out new planets to be nice to everyone on them?  An aggressive species would want more resources and more territory, and if we’re going to defend ourselves against evil resource and land hungry aliens, we had better get our shit together.

I don’t much relish the idea of future humans being enslaved by a race of galactic overlords; if anyone is going to be top dog (and someone has to be; a galactic UN seems incredibly unlikely, especially given how ineffective the strictly human UN is), I’d rather it be humanity and not the lizard men from the Horsehead Nebula.

And if politicians insist on nuclear disarmament (not that there’s anything left of our nukes after the aliens took them out (see?  We need to hit them before they hit us (no, I don’t really think aliens have been deactivating our nukes)!)), we could end up facing a hostile alien race with nothing but our drive (and communications!) system for a weapon.

Disclaimer: No, I don’t think we’re in danger of imminent subjugation by evil aliens (or even by benevolent aliens), but we should be prepared at all times!

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