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Author Topic: AmeriPol thread  (Read 1046108 times)

Trekkin

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29835 on: March 18, 2019, 10:32:04 pm »

I have found that, at least for stuff you don't know anything about, checking if there were any experts on the field involved and their credentials is usually enough to judge the amount of bullshit being passed.
Works great here in Brazil, the last three times I check were zero experts and 100% bullshit, so it checks out.

There's a big pitfall with that, though. Most people only go checking when they already have a problem with the expert consensus, and there's a great temptation to scale your estimation of the scope of someone else's expertise according to whether you agree with them, particularly since how different fields relate is not obvious to the layman. It's tempting to insist, for example, that the "so-called experts" telling you that ferrets are dangerous have degrees in ferretology and Californiology and any number of other hyperspecific and often fictitious fields until they come up short and can be disregarded, while simultaneously deciding that your cousin who had a friend who had a ferret once and agrees with you that it didn't seem full of tuberculosis is obviously qualified -- particularly since laypeople massively underestimate the extent of expert knowledge until they start whining about not having jetpacks yet.

Then, too, argument from authority doesn't actually prove anything. It's just an excuse to sit and judge people, substituting opinions of experts (by whatever criteria) for actual subject matter expertise.
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wierd

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29836 on: March 19, 2019, 03:10:29 am »

So, apparently the defense department does not remember that we signed fucking treaties against this shit.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/03/pentagon-wants-test-space-based-weapon-2023/155581/

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

"Oh, our "neutral particle beam" weapon isn't a listed "weapon of mass destruction", so it's A-OKAY! Nevermind the FUCKING OTHER VERBIAGE IN THE TREATY--- that isnt important citizen! We need to install SPACE LASERS into military satellites for PEACE! Yes-- PEACE!"

Get me an emesis basin, I think I am gonna hurl.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 03:14:35 am by wierd »
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sluissa

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29837 on: March 19, 2019, 03:24:56 am »

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/18/politics/cnn-poll-trump-economy-tech/index.html

Well bobblehead's approval somehow went up, though most not happy with the wall which is a good thing. But even with whats been going on, somehow trump approval rating is still relatively stable and is even higher...wtf?

Granted, my stance is I'm not happy with either side, I think both sides are just the same penny on other sides of the coin with things both sides say and do. I think someone like obama needs to get to center stage and top of the democratic party polls, all I see topping democratic primaries (as I saw yesterday on CNN its biden and bernie) is old men that...well to put it bluntly...are more white politicians. like more of the same except not republican. I think its time someone of muslim descent tops the chart, or even one of spanish descent or anyone but the ones topping current polls...not just same ole same ole. I do like bernie and biden...but it be nice to see someone not like them top the charts and really bring diversity in presidency.

Let's not make the highest office in the land an affirmative action case. I don't care what the person looks like, I just want them to do a decent job.

That sort of messaging is exactly what turned a lot of people off of Clinton when she started leaning heavy on the glass ceiling, "I'm a woman" messaging. It does energize SOME people. But it also pushes others away. Net gain or loss? I'm not sure, but it's certainly not the best angle to use when you're an otherwise qualified candidate.
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wierd

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29838 on: March 19, 2019, 03:30:42 am »

I know I was strongly put off by the "First african american president! Oh huzzah!"  shit of Obama.  I agree, the skin color, and even the gender is immaterial.  What is material, is if they can do the job, and do it competently. 

I am actually disgusted by the virtue signalling; I consider it contra-indicative to actually being able to fucking do the actual job, rather than trying to hold office for purposes best seen as an analogy for penis waving.
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Kagus

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29839 on: March 19, 2019, 04:23:34 am »

Where do ferrets factor in to American politics anyways?

Orbital death lasers definitely sounds like a fun idea though... Especially with the international kerfuffle that's going to blow up if they try and actually go through with it.

Jopax

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29840 on: March 19, 2019, 05:10:28 am »

Suddenly I'm reminded of that one scene from Iron Sky where everyone is outraged that everyone else secretly weaponized their spacecraft.
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sluissa

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29841 on: March 19, 2019, 05:42:27 am »

Re: Orbital lasers

300 million isn't going to get a functional one into space.

While there's the old "If you give a mouse a cookie" path where eventually the mouse is going to want an orbital death laser after spending all the time and money doing the stuff to prepare for the orbital death laser, just doing research on a weapon system that other countries are likely to be doing their own research on isn't necessarily the worst idea.

There's a weird balance to it. I don't think the pentagon necessarily expects to launch them in the next 5 years, but they have to seem like they have some sort of plan for the idea if they want money to research it.

That also said, I'm sure there are people at the pentagon who fully 100% believe we need orbital death lasers and probably think we need them today.
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Starver

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29842 on: March 19, 2019, 05:45:53 am »

Orbital Death Ferrets.

Whatever the question is, that is the answer.
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Trekkin

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29843 on: March 19, 2019, 08:47:37 am »

That also said, I'm sure there are people at the pentagon who fully 100% believe we need orbital death lasers and probably think we need them today.

Well, of course there are. That is, in some sense, their job.

It's the defense version of what might be called the cop problem. Every day the police get called out to deal with some sort of threat; their presence in and of itself indicates that the normal order has broken down. Unfortunately, since they're present for all of it, they can get a distorted view of how often that actually happens and forget that, however often they see wrongdoing at work, they are no more likely than any other citizen to see it in their off hours. So they go sort of paranoid; after all, wherever they are, the guy who gets called out when all other options fail is here, so shit must have hit the fan.

Defense has the same problem on a larger scale. Spotting threats is their whole schtick, so they've become so adept at seeing them that they forget how rare they actually are -- and since they're usually the ones evaluating the threats in the first place, a paranoid feedback loop emerges. All countries seek advantage, therefore everything every country does must be an attempt to gain power over us, therefore all countries constantly seek advantage. Intelligence gets this the worst, since they can't be reality checked by anyone not in the same boat, but the Cold War was in some sense this idea run amok on both sides, and here we are yet again testing ways to deter or destroy hypothetical threats. They'll burn themselves out in time.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 08:55:32 am by Trekkin »
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Doomblade187

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29844 on: March 19, 2019, 08:50:05 am »

Suddenly I'm reminded of that one scene from Iron Sky where everyone is outraged that everyone else secretly weaponized their spacecraft.
Except Finland.

Poor Finland.
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Max™

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29845 on: March 19, 2019, 09:31:20 am »

Regarding the whole uninformed experts assumptions, I say never take anyone who says "trust me, I'm an expert" at their word, while it may be true, they're doing everyone a disservice.

I have found that, at least for stuff you don't know anything about, checking if there were any experts on the field involved and their credentials is usually enough to judge the amount of bullshit being passed.
Works great here in Brazil, the last three times I check were zero experts and 100% bullshit, so it checks out.

There's a big pitfall with that, though. Most people only go checking when they already have a problem with the expert consensus, and there's a great temptation to scale your estimation of the scope of someone else's expertise according to whether you agree with them, particularly since how different fields relate is not obvious to the layman. It's tempting to insist, for example, that the "so-called experts" telling you that ferrets are dangerous have degrees in ferretology and Californiology and any number of other hyperspecific and often fictitious fields until they come up short and can be disregarded, while simultaneously deciding that your cousin who had a friend who had a ferret once and agrees with you that it didn't seem full of tuberculosis is obviously qualified -- particularly since laypeople massively underestimate the extent of expert knowledge until they start whining about not having jetpacks yet.

Then, too, argument from authority doesn't actually prove anything. It's just an excuse to sit and judge people, substituting opinions of experts (by whatever criteria) for actual subject matter expertise.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.  So you have to be very careful about that.  After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists.  You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

I would like to add something that’s not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you’re talking as a scientist. I’m not trying to tell you what to do about cheating on your wife, or fooling your girlfriend, or something like that, when you’re not trying to be a scientist, but just trying to be an ordinary human being.  We’ll leave those problems up to you and your rabbi.  I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to do when acting as a scientist.  And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen." ~The guy who came up with THE diagrams
Orbital Death Ferrets.

Whatever the question is, that is the answer.
Q: How many ferrets does it take to destroy a given target of interest?
A: One, at sufficient velocity.
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Trekkin

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29846 on: March 19, 2019, 10:23:27 am »

It's still argument from authority when you use quotations, you know, but I actually don't think Feynman was right about this one -- or rather, I think the context in which he made those remarks is sufficiently different from our own to warrant pause in taking them wholly to heart, as we have effectively done in outreach for many years. We've been so careful to note our uncertainty that we've forgotten to explain how limited our uncertainty is and by extension how confident we really are, and I think that's helped to erode confidence in our institution -- or at least made it easier for the anti-science movement to muddy the waters.

There's a story I like to tell about this involving a guy who, one morning on the bus I was taking to my grad school lab, attempted to convince me that π is exactly equal to 3, as implied by the Bible (1 Kings 7:23). I pointed out that π is demonstrably not exactly equal to 3, and his response has stuck with me: "Scientists have wasted billions of our tax dollars trying to find π, and millions of digits later they still don't have an exact number, just a lot of blather about how it's infinite or whatever. So how can you tell me it's not 3 when you don't know what it is?"

That was an extreme example (and wrong in every particular), but the basic pattern holds from climate change denialism through "citizen science" tomfoolery on into crystal healing woo: we do an absolutely execrable job of explaining how uncertainty actually works for us. We say we can never be absolutely sure about anything and people hear that we have no idea regardless of our actual margins of error; we're so careful to express humility and not sound overconfident that we forget to mention how much we actually know, and that's how the woo-peddlers and Republicans get a chance to spread their nonsense. We've overcorrected relative to 1974, I think.
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Zangi

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29847 on: March 19, 2019, 11:26:58 am »

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Kagus

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29848 on: March 19, 2019, 11:33:21 am »

Fake news is banned in Russia? Man, RT is in for a rough time...

SalmonGod

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Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29849 on: March 19, 2019, 11:35:02 am »

It's still argument from authority when you use quotations, you know, but I actually don't think Feynman was right about this one -- or rather, I think the context in which he made those remarks is sufficiently different from our own to warrant pause in taking them wholly to heart, as we have effectively done in outreach for many years. We've been so careful to note our uncertainty that we've forgotten to explain how limited our uncertainty is and by extension how confident we really are, and I think that's helped to erode confidence in our institution -- or at least made it easier for the anti-science movement to muddy the waters.

There's a story I like to tell about this involving a guy who, one morning on the bus I was taking to my grad school lab, attempted to convince me that π is exactly equal to 3, as implied by the Bible (1 Kings 7:23). I pointed out that π is demonstrably not exactly equal to 3, and his response has stuck with me: "Scientists have wasted billions of our tax dollars trying to find π, and millions of digits later they still don't have an exact number, just a lot of blather about how it's infinite or whatever. So how can you tell me it's not 3 when you don't know what it is?"

That was an extreme example (and wrong in every particular), but the basic pattern holds from climate change denialism through "citizen science" tomfoolery on into crystal healing woo: we do an absolutely execrable job of explaining how uncertainty actually works for us. We say we can never be absolutely sure about anything and people hear that we have no idea regardless of our actual margins of error; we're so careful to express humility and not sound overconfident that we forget to mention how much we actually know, and that's how the woo-peddlers and Republicans get a chance to spread their nonsense. We've overcorrected relative to 1974, I think.

I agree with this.  Although I'm not sure how much of anti-science sentiment is to blame on it vs people just generally being stubborn about holding on to whatever they want to believe.  They'll fall back on statements about uncertainty because it's convenient, but without them, I'm not convinced they wouldn't find some other weak misinterpretation to carry around in their pocket.

But also... it can be healthy to be skeptical of science, because it can be prone to corruption and flaw.  Here's a fantastic example of some bad science that permeated our culture for 50 years to the point of creating one of modern day's worst health crisis, and is only recently beginning to turn around.

Yeah... I know being able to tell a case like that from quackery like climate denialism is beyond plenty of people, and I hate mentalities that reject science wholesale.  But that doesn't make it wrong to take a deeper look yourself and form your own opinion when expert consensus looks too convenient for the interests of industry or state.
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