Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: 1 ... 1989 1990 [1991] 1992 1993 ... 2271

Author Topic: AmeriPol thread  (Read 1114902 times)

Kagus

  • Bay Watcher
  • Olive oil. Don't you?
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29850 on: March 19, 2019, 12:00:39 pm »

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.
Quote
(this is a trick of the language: we call an overweight person “fat”; we don’t describe a person with a muscular body as “proteiny”)

Well we never used to, but now that you suggest it...

Doomblade187

  • Bay Watcher
  • Requires music to get through the working day.
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29851 on: March 19, 2019, 12:18:02 pm »

I do have several proteiny friends... :3

Let's make this a thing, eh?
Logged
In any case it would be a battle of critical thinking and I refuse to fight an unarmed individual.

Trekkin

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29852 on: March 19, 2019, 12:52:53 pm »

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.

Oh, I quite agree, but people should be careful to recognize the difference between skepticism of scientists and skepticism of science itself. Much like how theists will speak of "what atheists believe", nonscientists often implicitly assume that there exists some cabal of old scientists that dictates The Expert Consensus that we all believe unreservedly, and by discrediting them science itself may be proven wrong. This matters particularly when looking at paper retractions and so forth, which by their nature have to be publicized; they're usually the end result of serious, professional doubt rather than the beginning, so it's not so much science being wrong as science being loudly self-correcting. It's just a full-time job to look under the hood, so all anybody hears is that famous eminent scientist so-and-so "fooled everyone for years." They almost never did; everyone just quietly dismissed them until they had proof. The same is true of the predatory journals that keep getting hoaxed with fake papers, incidentally. You hear the laughter when the Journal of Very Excellent Sciences publishes something an AI spat out, but nobody mentions their impact factor of 0.

This gets particularly egregious when politics gets involved, particularly in metascience. When, for example, a scientist who is a woman makes some advance in a way unexpected by her male colleagues, this is almost universally regarded as a good thing in-house and another reason to keep working on diversity -- but the worst of the feminist press runs headlines like "Brave Woman Proves Stupid Man-Science Wrong" because the nuances don't fit in their columns, and that's what ends up on Facebook because it's snappy. The same thing happens with conservative scientists and the alt-right press, although they have far fewer examples to draw from, and of course the lunatic conspiracy theorist fringe eats up every scrap of uncertainty they can find.

So yes, skepticism is a good thing, but it needs to start internally, with a recognition that the lay enthusiast is working from a very restricted data set filled mostly with bottom-of-the-barrel open-access papers with all the perverse financial incentives they still have to publish as much as possible and an understanding that, since it's our job as scientists, we have a better understanding of what is to be taken seriously than is apparent to people from the outside. Yes, form your own opinion, but never forget that it is opinion after all.
Logged

Max™

  • Bay Watcher
  • [CULL:SQUARE]
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29853 on: March 19, 2019, 03:13:51 pm »

Bah, don't bother with opinions at all, everyone's got an asshole and some opinions, but at least assholes serve to eliminate waste plus possible... alternative uses... they're generally best kept to yourself all the same.
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.
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.
Not sure climate science suffers from a problem of excessively forthright presentation of uncertainty. I mean, nobody bothers to even mention a consensus on plate tectonics, general relativity, solar plasma physics, thermodynamics, or the more exciting branches of chemistry where stuff like flourine gets to come out and play when people aren't tossing around words with far too many wurtzitaneizene sounding syllables. It's important to identify and compare things like majority and minority positions when working towards a political consensus, but it will never cease to baffle me that anybody thinks it has any sort of relevance when doing science. You don't determine experimental results by committee, you get them by running experiments--indeed, this is a case where quantity matters: more experiments is generally going to mean more understanding--and a single experimental result can outweigh any number of scientists arguing against it until they do their own experiments and find the prior results flawed or otherwise inaccurate.

The political easy-button for funding in various fields where you might struggle to convince a board to fund shit like... I dunno. THE GODDAMN JWST... but you find a way to hook it into climate something or other, pow! You're set to start pulling in grad students and ordering gear to test your brains out with.

Being skeptical of science though, that shit is straight up ridiculous, it's a verb. Are you skeptical of juggling, or weaving, or driving?

I doubt your walk and remain suspicious of swim!
Logged
Engraved here is a rendition of an image of the Dwarf Fortress learning curve. All craftsdwarfship is of the highest quality. It depicts an obsidian overhang which menaces with spikes of obsidian and tears. Carved on the overhang is an image of Toady One and the players. The players are curled up in a fetal position. Toady One is laughing. The players are burning.
The VectorCurses+1 tileset strikes the square set and the severed part sails off in an arc!

Egan_BW

  • Bay Watcher
  • D'yeh feel that stirrin', longfriends?
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29854 on: March 19, 2019, 03:27:47 pm »

There are some verbs that I am sceptical of. Such as telepathy.
Logged
There can be no escape, only victory.

Folly

  • Bay Watcher
  • Steam Profile: 76561197996956175
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29855 on: March 19, 2019, 06:29:58 pm »

Being skeptical of science though, that shit is straight up ridiculous, it's a verb. Are you skeptical of juggling, or weaving, or driving?

After a general survey of human beliefs and policies now and throughout our entire history, ridiculousness should surprise nobody at this point.
Logged

bloop_bleep

  • Bay Watcher
  • U want sum seed?
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29856 on: March 19, 2019, 07:11:20 pm »

I disagree with Max that literally nothing except the raw data matters. You always have to interpret the data, find flaws with the data, find uncertainties in the data. That’s what scientists argue about. Otherwise there would be no such occupation as a “scientist”; as the data collection itself could easily be done via manual labor.
Logged
bloop_bleep's Moving Fortress Parts Mod!

Quote from: KittyTac
The closest thing Bay12 has to a flamewar is an argument over philosophy that slowly transitioned to an argument about quantum mechanics.
Quote from: thefriendlyhacker
The trick is to only make predictions semi-seriously.  That way, I don't have a 98% failure rate. I have a 98% sarcasm rate.

thompson

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29857 on: March 19, 2019, 07:31:26 pm »

Science and telepathy are both nouns...
Logged

Frumple

  • Bay Watcher
  • The Prettiest Kyuuki
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29858 on: March 19, 2019, 08:25:37 pm »

Science gets verbed occasionally these days, for what it's worth. Telepathy, less so.
Logged
Ask not!
What your country can hump for you.
Ask!
What you can hump for your country.

SalmonGod

  • Bay Watcher
  • Nyarrr
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29859 on: March 19, 2019, 09:13:24 pm »

All nouns are verbs just taking a break from their 'd
Logged
In the land of twilight, under the moon
We dance for the idiots
As the end will come so soon
In the land of twilight

Maybe people should love for the sake of loving, and not with all of these optimization conditions.

Folly

  • Bay Watcher
  • Steam Profile: 76561197996956175
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29860 on: March 19, 2019, 09:23:52 pm »

You're sciencing me bro. Don't science me bro. If you keep sciencing me, you're gonna get scienced bro. You don't wanna get scienced bro...
Okay, that's it, now you're getting scienced bro! I'm gonna science you like you've never been scienced before bro! You're gonna learn that you can't just go around sciencing bros, bro! It's sciencing time!


Google spell-check found 0 issues with these sentences.
Logged

MrRoboto75

  • Bay Watcher
  • Belongs in the Trash!
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29861 on: March 19, 2019, 09:33:24 pm »

Being skeptical of science though, that shit is straight up ridiculous, it's a verb. Are you skeptical of juggling, or weaving, or driving?

I am skeptical of some people's driving, yes.
Logged
I consume
I purchase
I consume again

hector13

  • Bay Watcher
  • It’s shite being Scottish
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29862 on: March 19, 2019, 09:38:00 pm »

Being skeptical of science though, that shit is straight up ridiculous, it's a verb. Are you skeptical of juggling, or weaving, or driving?

I am skeptical of some people's driving, yes.

I saw a speeding, lime green Jeep weaving in and out of traffic this morning.

Unfortunately I couldn’t see if the driver was also juggling. I apologize for my failure.
Logged
Look, we need to raise a psychopath who will murder God, we have no time to be spending on cooking.

EnigmaticHat

  • Bay Watcher
  • I vibrate, I die, I vibrate again
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29863 on: March 19, 2019, 10:09:19 pm »

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?"
Popular portrayals of science deserve some blame, for throwing the word "prove" around.  Science is about disproving things.  Anyone can form an idea, scientists test ideas by trying to destroy them.

That guy was pointing out your idea wasn't proven.  You were pointing out that his idea was trivially disproven.  Only one of you knew what science is.
Logged
"T-take this non-euclidean geometry, h-humanity-baka. I m-made it, but not because I l-li-l-like you or anything! I just felt s-sorry for you, b-baka."
You misspelled seance.  Are possessing Draignean?  Are you actually a ghost in the shell? You have to tell us if you are, that's the rule

thompson

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: AmeriPol thread
« Reply #29864 on: March 20, 2019, 12:09:24 am »

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?"
Popular portrayals of science deserve some blame, for throwing the word "prove" around.  Science is about disproving things.  Anyone can form an idea, scientists test ideas by trying to destroy them.

That guy was pointing out your idea wasn't proven.  You were pointing out that his idea was trivially disproven.  Only one of you knew what science is.

I work in materials science, so to me science is about figuring out how the hell I managed to turn my germanium black the first time I tried. So, kind of like engineering, except you don't know what you're doing.
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 1989 1990 [1991] 1992 1993 ... 2271