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  • posted a message on Ought scientists feel intimidated by inquiry into their research?
    Quote from Cervid
    1. It seems you are only interested in funding research that has a direct, and applicable benefit to humans. So, you're against most basic research?

    I want to see an end put to most or all scientific research in the following fields:
    • weapons; arms, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons
    • nuclear power; fission, fusion
    • medicine; psychiatric, immunologic, birth control, sterilization
    • agriculture; cross-breeding, genetic engineering, herbicide, pesticide, preservatives, additives
    • social engineering; fractional reserve banking, subliminal advertising, brainwave entrainment
    • particle acceleration
    • nanotechnology
    • another field I'm not allowed to list
    Quote from Cervid
    2. Scientists publish their results routinely. They aren't trying to hide their research, they're trying to conduct their research without being constantly harassed by people who are looking to warp their research into anything but the truth. The data will eventually get published, and a case made for whatever conclusions they make.

    I thought science was supposed to form hypotheses and theories, rather than show us the truth?

    Quote from beebopbellopum
    I have a question: would you consider Richard Feynman, under your definition, to be a "legitimate scientist?"

    I think there ought to be a distinction made between scientists who really comprehend man's role in the universe, and "scientists" who project their self-hatred onto intellectual endeavors and enter research attempting to placate their own egos.

    Richard Feynman helped develop the atomic bomb. He was one of the latter, only studying science insofar as it distracted him from his contempt for mankind. I'm sure he could not explain his field to the public because his understanding of it may have been deep but it was also very narrow. He could talk at length about quantum physics, but he could not explain how it related to the fields of neurochemistry, astronomy, or religion, so he wasn't any help to our civilization.

    Quote from beebopbellopum
    Oh I see, you believe scientific research must be done in order to benefit the public, never mind then. It seems that you are typifying all scientists as the "climate scientist," and scientific research as "research done by climate scientists."

    Well, by my own definition, most scientists (at least, in Western civilization) have no legitimacy, as they lack comprehension of man's role in the universe. They're just messing around with mechanical tools and playing games with the public's resources, many of them serving either the military industrial complex or the pharmaceutical industrial complex.

    Quote from Harkius
    Communication is a two-way street. You can't explain calculus to someone that doesn't understand addition.

    I can explain calculus and addition to somebody who doesn't understand addition. I understand both calculus and addition, as well as communication. And I'm not a scientist.

    Quote from Harkius
    For example. Attempting to communicate science to lay people is not impossible, it is just often time consuming and difficult. Assuming that you are willing to invest the time and effort, you also have difficulties with bias against certain ideas (for example, I can't explain Bayesian statistics without mocking it), oversimplification, and other factors.

    We in the West ought to be graduating our comprehension collectively, rather than individually, as more perspectives will serve both to refine the information and to interlace the information with all the other information at our disposal, refining it as well.

    Merely because Western scientists have shirked their responsibility to our communities, does not mean that interested parties ought to be denied requests for information pertaining to laws which affect them.
    Quote from Harkius
    We're saying that the people who already know it can ask for the data, and they will understand it. It's not the case that people here are arguing that data and results should be completely withheld. We're saying that it is difficult to explain it to people, not that educated persons shouldn't be allowed to have it.

    Science does not have the authority to qualify the recipients in any respect-- the recipients always must qualify the research & methodologies, period!
    Quote from Harkius
    You can't really predict where research is going to end up. For example, dual-use research.

    Dual-use research is an excellent example of unlawful, mysanthropic scientific practices.

    Quote from Harkius
    No, but the NIH and NSF are the largest granting agencies, and they give money to scientists to do research. What's your point?

    Those agencies ought to have some kind of moral oversight.
    Quote from Harkius
    You see that "ought" that you typed? You notice that it wasn't an "is"? Yeah, you might want to work on that.

    I'm not a naturalist, so I, as a man, make my "ought" into "is" as a daily practice.

    Scientists ought to consider "ought" as having even more impoirtance than "is," unfortunately much of modern science has been hijacked by Kant.
    Quote from Harkius
    Legitimate requests are usually responded to favorably by scientists. Ridiculous ones are seen as the burden that they are.

    There is no such thing as a ridiculous or burdensome FoI request.
    Quote from Harkius
    Time taken from research would be better spent by educating the public on the off-chance that they might do the research themselves. But...oh wait...they would be educating other people. Damn. I guess we'd better do some research.

    We ought not do any research until we gain some familiarity with what its products might do to us.
    Quote from Harkius
    You make several staggering assumptions there. First, that their help would be more valuable than the person doing the research in the first place.

    "Many hands make light work," is an old saying, older than reason. I believe it dates back to prehistory, in fact.

    Quote from Harkius
    Second, that they won't fund the research willingly without understanding what they really do (which they currently are).

    I disagree with this characterization of "will" if the public does not understand the research.

    Quote from Harkius
    Third, that they will increasingly fund it when rationally convinced that it would be in their "best interest". These are unreasonable assumptions.

    The only members of the public who would refuse to act in their own best interests are those who have been demoralized by scientific advertising agencies, but *** is not going to allow those folks to drag this entire civilization down to their fatalism, I pray.
    Quote from Harkius
    Yeah. Let's give it a try for a while, see what happens.

    I believe it has already been tried. There was a government that disqualified certain groups from asking questions, then it banned those groups from participating in society altogether. Then it murdered them, experimented on them, and stole all their possessions and tried to erase their history from the Earth.
    Quote from Harkius
    You've wildly missed my point. I am saying that, currently, an FoI request usually operates the way that you are arguing against. Give me a good reason, i.e., something better than, "It's extortion! Oh noes!!!".

    The public can only take real responsibility for the scientists' research if the public is adequately informed about it. It's logically incoherent to place the financial burden of scientific research on the public before divulging the total sum of the information to them.

    The climate scientists are basically saying, "We are above you, we are your superiors, and you shall labor to serve our interests despite us not caring about your interests."
    Quote from Harkius
    As long as you understand that the FoI is a claim, you see that there are two claims. One of them is illegitimate. Which one?

    How about, the original claim, on which the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the subsequent claim depends?
    Quote from Harkius
    Your true motives come to light.

    "Intellectual feudalism" is quite proper a term to describe this behavior. It is not science as science has ever been portrayed. These folks are using the guise of science to commit crimes.
    Quote from Harkius
    Yeah, because Robert Boyle used a computer to calculate his law. : /

    Do computers perform mathematical operations under a set of rules different than men & women do?

    If you were trying to make a point about the advantages of streamlining methodologies, I think you ought to consider that all legitimate scientific research should be describing the same reality, and that methodology ought to be a tangential and slight concern where reality-describing science is involved.

    The fact that these climate scientists' methodologies and background conversations were so expansive, suggests that this is what they spent much of their time focusing on.
    Quote from Harkius
    Do you think that scientists are so stupid as to assume that it cannot be?

    When I said "Scientists do think it ought to be the assumption (that data can be manipulated or fabricated); this makes them legitimate scientists," your response was this: "You're wrong." What did that mean, Harkius?
    Quote from Harkius
    You know, most of the links I can find about the Electric Sun Theory are conspiracy theories. That's all that I know about it. It doesn't disprove it, but it makes me really suspicious. It doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, just a bunch of YouTube videos.

    Goes to show what "the scientific community" can do to blacklist important scientific research. I recommend studying the theory; it's well-proven.
    Quote from Harkius
    Seriously? No. Seriously? Did you just say that people aren't scientists if their emails are disorganized? And that is a piece of what you call "proof"?

    It is not professional to conduct research, or to form methodology, in a way that would present difficulty in documenting it.
    Quote from Harkius
    There you go with that "ought"/"is" problem again...

    Societies have derived "ought" from "is" for millenia.

    Quote from LogicX
    So if the material a scientist is working on requires such a detailed knowledge of the field that someone without a degree in it couldn't understand it, then it is not science?

    I understand that some fields of science are complex, but consider this: so is giving birth. Our civilization has not only figured out how to deliver children healthily while preventing injury or death to the mother, but we have also integrated much information and publicized it. Likewise for CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

    Civilization as a whole is capable of advancement.

    The American Medical Association says that the resources given to scientific & medical research by the public are being allocated poorly:
    Originally Posted by http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/05/09/23c.php

    Fri, 23 Sep 2005

    A special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, focuses on medical research spending and findings.

    A study that examined US spending for medical research---$95 billion approaching $100 billion--57% is spent by industry, 28% by NIH.

    But in an effort to answer whether this money is spent wisely--the answer is a resounding NO.

    "The data in this article make it plain that we are spending huge amounts of money, more than any other country, to develop new drugs and devices and other treatments," said Dan Fox, president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, a philanthropic group that works on health policy issues. "But we are not spending as much as we could to disseminate the most effective treatments and practices throughout the health system."

    The findings corroborate critics' analyses that most medical research funds are spent on marketing non-essential, "me too" drugs and treatments, while neglecting to develop treatments for intractable diseases. The findings also confirm the continuing health risk posed by industry's profit driven drug development.

    Once a market has been created--even lethal drugs are aggressively marketed, mostly with false and misleading claims about their safety and efficacy--e.g., Vioxx and its class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Paxil and its class of antidepressants; Risperdal and Zyprexa and their class of antipsychotics.
    Quote from LogicX
    So, what, you think they are making it up? If say, a physicist can't explain to a person with no knowledge of physics the basis of his research on quantum physics, then he is just a fraud because how could the material possibly be that difficult?

    He might have his own views on physics, but if he cannot translate those views into a simple explanation of reality, then laymen cannot critique them. I'm not saying some physicists can't apply their unexplained views of physics into making machines or diagrams that do interesting things, but even if these physicists can so apply their views, this alone does not excuse them from having their endeavors overseen by the public, especially when their endeavors affect us.

    Quote from Blinking Spirit
    What does this say about your own theories? Have you ever explained any of them coherently to anyone?

    Don't derail this thread, please. I'm not hiding behind false dignity like a climate scientist; any questions about my theory, I answer openly. I have been very generous in explaining it when given the opportunity to do so.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Ah, yes. I'd forgotten how they'd picked their data out of their own arse.

    Actually much of their data came from sensors cleverly placed above heating units on buildings.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Because apparently they do not exist, or at least not as they claim to be, as there is no scientific community.

    OK, well, if you really do want me to bring this to their attention, PM their e-mail address and I'll get in touch with them.

    Quote from Rodyle
    You said there was no scientific community, and we both were clearly talking about the scientific community as a whole. And now, you're moving the goal around by changing what we're talking about.

    I cited a study done by scientists without mentioning community.

    Quote from Rodyle
    And Fred Singer, you mean Fred "second-hand smoking is untrue and the people who thought that up are quacks" Singer? Sure, he's a clever man, but there are quite a few other clever men who disagree with him.

    Sure, even I disagree that second-hand-smoking is harmless. That's a different subject, though.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Then it's a badly written paper and it needs to be rewritten.

    You're not volunteering, though, are you?

    Quote from Rodyle
    Independent panels have found that these guys didn't do all the stuff they were accused of.

    The American public, unaffiliated with scientific panels, knows they did.

    Quote from Rodyle
    And again: please learn the difference between climatologists and scientists as a whole. You made a thread about the latter, so please also discuss the latter.

    Climatologists represent a large portion of contemporary scientists, in their fascination with the specialization of scientific research into tedious fields, and their disdain for unsophisticated scrutiny.

    This incident merely leads the pack of a technocratic movement amongst men & women who call themselves "the scientific community" as though outside of their duly-approved boundaries there is no science to take place. Their territoriality is more dangerous than the Holy Roman Catholic Church and I'll leave it at that.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Red herring. These scientist feel they are being hampered in their research by unreasonable requests. That hardly constitutes as what this law is meant for.

    A technocracy is defined as the creation & enforcement of laws by intellectuals or scientists.

    These climatologists' behavior suggests they hold expectations that they and their fellow climatologists ought to be above normal public scrutiny, that their efforts are not equal to the efforts of other members of the public.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Going through a few thousand mails, or going back a few thirty, perhaps forty versions of a paper and documenting each change and why you make it is not the 'appropriate scientific methodology'.

    That is for the public to decide.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Straw man. My argument was that most scientists have no interest in entering spotlights and educating people.

    Why should their interests matter to our civilization more than the public's interest to know exactly what their motives are?

    Quote from Rodyle
    I've helped a guy at my university with a paper on the effect of ubiquitination of the EGFR on its trafficking. It was a highly complicated article which people without the proper knowledge would not understand. But then again: to explain every detail about everything in that experiment would require a book about the size of your average novel.

    You should have spent your time getting educated on the cancerous properties of wheat gluten, or electromagnetic radiation, instead of trying to find a cure for cancer that will allow the continuation of the production of carcinogens in our civilization. That would have been less complex and closer to the public interest, which is precisely the correlation that suggests complex matters of all kinds are against the public interest or tangential to it, with perhaps the exception of an immanent meteor impact.

    You might have noble motives for helping to write that article, for which I respect you.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Where the idea comes from matters not. The only thing that matters if it turns out to be correct, and what evidence backs it up or disproves it.
    And really? "attitudes antagonistic to mankind"?

    There is plenty of scientific research that turns out to be correct but is not in our interest to pursue. Biological weapons, for example. There are even more subfields which serve as distractions from more important areas of research. Space exploration is an example of this, not antagonistic to us, but a net waste of our resources nonetheless.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Because there is no such thing as a 'materials and methods' in any article.

    Yes, there is. And... it isn't always sufficient to satisfy the public's demands for information, obviously.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Or rather: they'd rather not release their preliminary results, since later experiments could disprove them. And seeing as how scientific results are misinterpreted so often by journalists, I don't blame them.

    Now you have conceded that they're making political considerations, that it's a political entity rather than a wholly-scientific entity.

    If they were strictly scientific about it, they would present whatever the public wanted and explain all of it.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Also, methods change. A lot. There is no such thing as "the biology method". There are literally thousands and thousands of ways to measure the same thing, and quite often, multiple are combined to try to deliver an as honest result as possible.

    Well, if the methods are measuring the same thing, then the translation among measurements ought to be conserved given that reality has remained unchaotic while the research occurred.

    If different methods are actually being employed to contrive the data to fit an agenda, then do you think it's OK to let that be kept hidden from the public?

    Quote from Marquoth
    I haven't laughed this hard in ages.

    May I recommend:




    Quote from Marquoth
    Is it not absolutely blindingly obvious to you that grasping a particular concept may depend on first understanding more basic concepts?

    Of course. If the public does not understand more basic concepts, then they cannot understand the higher ones. This shows that most of the men & women who claim to be scientists in Western civilization, have severely fallen behind in their responsibility to educate the public to allow us to keep up with their research so that we may competently scrutinize it.

    First of all, they're asking us to pay for their organization of reserach history. Secondly, they ask us to pay for their education of us in schools. Lastly, when any of us do dispute their conclusions, some of the scientists go ahead and ignore the criticisms anyway and they continue to receive government funding. None of this is civilly acceptable, nor is it wise for the long-term development of our civilization.

    Quote from Marquoth
    To borrow the example above, one must understand addition before one can hope to understand calculus. By the same token, a scientist may be researching what we might call (in an over-simplified, but easy-to-follow attempt to make my point) fourth or fifth tier concepts?

    ...while most of society watches television. I agree with you that the significance of the discrepancy between a scientist and a member of the public at large, is difficult to exaggerate.

    Yet, is charging a fee to process a request made by members of the public seeking to educate themselves, going to serve to alleivate this disparity, or to reinforce it?

    Quote from Marquoth
    It is perfectly acceptable to suppose the lay person will understand first and second tier concepts, but it is also inevitable that scientists will be researching topics which are simply far too esoteric for the lay person to ever have a hope in hell of coming close to understanding - there is simply too much prerequisite knowledge in the field. This is in no way a failure on the part of the scientist/researcher in question; it is an inevitability inherent in the furthering of any area of study.

    No way. Both individually and in collection, organisms have developed higher levels of sentience in the history of this planet, and to suggest that they have to stop now, angers me. Climatologists aren't going to lock down life on this planet.

    Quote from Serafis
    That's not the job of a scientist. That's the job of a middle man, which has traditionally been scientific journalism.

    The specialization of society, including of science, is a tragic deviation from normal organic behavior. I know insects specialize, but they are small, while we are big. We have been skewing our position in this world by encouraging what is essentially radicalization in terms of civic participation.

    The scientist ought to directly report to the public, his or her research, methods, and hypothesis motives.

    Quote from Marquoth
    It's a very different way of thinking to be able to bridge scientific understanding of reality to distill into something any layperson can understand.

    Yes, and this shows a profound weakness on the part of our civilization. If science is supposed to be an important endeavor for us, then communication about science ought to be very easy for us.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Was Bush Really Responsible for the Recession?
    Quote from Harkius
    Probably. But it would take hundreds or thousands of generations. The selection pressure isn't that high.

    It's getting higher all the time; water & food shortages are increasing in severity and frequency, nasty diseases like e-coli Cukes and MRSA and drug-resistant tuberculosis are spreading, radioactive material from Fukushima Dai-Ichi or from depleted uranium weaponry is being spread across the world, etc.

    We are actually in a bubble in terms of selection pressure, thanks to recent spikes in medical & agricultural research, but when these technologies wear out, the bubble pops-- and here come extreme selection pressures for altruism, even blind karma-based altruism as a heuristic. Sure, it's super-rational, but those civilizations which embrace it soonest shall be the ones that survive, just like *** intended.

    Quote from Harkius
    First, it won't be little time, evolutionary or otherwise. Second, your understanding of selection forces is failing here. Third, your understanding of population size is also failing here.

    I'm simply not assuming ceteris paribus or using induction.

    Quote from Harkius
    In brief, you aren't comprehending the problem. Dunbar's Number doesn't have anything to do with pure altruism. It has to do with the expectation of reciprocal altruism. This latter is predicated on knowledge of the person to whom you're being altruistic.

    So, Dunbar's Number does not apply as forcefully to individuals in religious societies where the religion involves some principle of karma, does it? Those individuals would have a low expectation of being ripped off as the rule and reciprocated as the exception, yes?

    Quote from Marquoth
    This presupposes that there is a relevant selection pressure*.

    Epigenetics suggests, if altruism is merely a trait, that the trait exists in most or all men & women, while the expression of this trait might be inhibited in certain (social) conditions.


    So, reciprocal altruism has less to do with "natural selection" and a lot more to do with what kind of society we allow / make for ourselves and our children.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on States Rights/Civil War
    Anybody will define "aggression" as whatever actions inhibit or harm their own interests.

    Can we suppose that everybody's interests are never going to incidentally overlap? There are 20,000,000 folks in New York City and less than 10 acres of arable land on which to grow food.

    The only way to have a civil society is to make it clear to everybody that their deepest interests ought to comprise the same things.

    The only way to accomplish this is through a balanced combination of appeals to spirit, emotion, intellect, and force of arms.

    Not everybody is always going to agree on what constitutes aggression; some cases of aggression are objectively quite clear to all, while other cases require dispassionate investigation by third parties (e.g., false-flag attacks). There is physical aggression, intellectual aggression, emotional aggression, and spiritual aggression, and many folks think some of these types of aggression ought to go unpunished.

    Then there's the issue of the currency to be used in court settlements. In anarchy, if I win a tort suit against somebody, but there is no medium of exchange, do I simply get to name any of that individual's properties for myself to receive as compensation? If so, it would seem rational for a community to regularly conspire against its most wealthy member, accuse him or her of a major crime, collectively testify against him or her, convict him or her, and proceed to divide his or her wealth amongst themselves.

    That might not seem too egregious in the abstract, but what about in the case where the city parties all summer while I labor constantly in the fields and forests gathering food and firewood for the winter? Ought the city-partiers be allowed to confiscate my preparations merely because they feel entitled to compensation for their own surrender to temptation? No.

    Now, Shining Blue-Eyes, you also have neglected to mention that the united States Congress adjourned sine die in 1860, the year before President Lincoln declared martial law. You also haven't brought up anything about the United States of America Corporation formed in 1871. These facts are integral to understanding the Civil War. The North did not win as much as our history ascribes to it, nor did the South lose as much as we have been led to believe. The conditions of this land today are not free of all slavery.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Holy texts: Literalism vs. Interpretation
    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    If one believes a holy text to be the literal word of a benevolent and infallible God, then Truth is laid out before them in the holy texts.

    Truth as we conceive it today is something akin to Plato's forms reinterpreted through Kant's tautology. A chair is a flat thing with legs under it, and a back, around yay big.

    Holy texts lay out something higher than mere truth; they lay out the word of the Divine Creator. Devotees of a religion hold such messages to a higher standard than truth; even if it doesn't "make sense" to them, they still memorize it and believe it, whereas truth must "make sense."

    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    If a holy text is to be taken literally, how does one reconcile things written that seem to conflict with the world around them or with other things in the same set of texts which are literally true?

    One does not always afford the privilege of logical reconciliation of religious texts. Logic isn't the most important thing to a lot of folks.

    You could also change the language to compensate for such contradiction.

    A third route would be to amend the text itself.

    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    How does one deal with the problem of trying to determine what is literally meant when the language used is ambiguous in meaning?

    One deals with ambiguity in literal meaning through prayer, reflection, conversation with others, or, at the extreme, rejection of literacy.

    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    If holy texts are open to interpretation, and thus a person sees in them whatever they wish, in what sense are they special or reflective of some sort of Ultimate Truth?

    I suppose they could still serve as a mirror for one's desires, something for one to project his or her aspirations & insecurities onto, to avoid projecting them onto his or her peers.

    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    Does God show a person the meaning He wishes for them to see? If this is so, why would He want different people reading conflicting things as Truth?

    Maybe *** is not bound by reason?

    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    If one believes in interpretation of holy texts, how do they recognize whether or not their interpretation is correct?

    Perhaps it will impart meaning for them or for others. It's rarely possible to always gain immediate certainty on such matters.

    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    How does one distinguish a correct interpretation from an incorrect one? Are all interpretations correct? What about contradictory interpretations?

    The problem here is, if I know how to distinguish correctness from incorrectness, why am I reading a holy text?

    Quote from InfinityAlarm
    What are your thoughts on Literalism vs. Interpretation of holy texts?

    In addition to the Talmud, the Bible, and the Qur'an, there are other texts such as the Code of Hammurabi, Leviathan, magna carta, the Sudebnik, the declaration of independence & the constitution, and the communist manifesto. Plenty of times have societies amalgamated their outlook on the world and their respective purposes in it.

    Overemphasis on literal meanings of such heady scripts is missing the point a little bit; for, the message beneath the words is what matters, and it might matter only for a short while, to a small group of folks.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Was Bush Really Responsible for the Recession?
    That takes time. Man has only lived in large-scale communities as opposed to small tribes for a very small period of time, evolutionarily.

    If the global population really is growing at the rate claimed in this thread, then it should take quite little time, evolutionarily speaking.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Was Bush Really Responsible for the Recession?
    Bush wasn't responsible for this recession.

    Quote from Blinking Spirit
    Dunbar's number. Reciprocal altruism doesn't work nearly as well among strangers who are never going to see each other again.

    Shouldn't man evolve out of Dunbar's number through natural selection?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Ought scientists feel intimidated by inquiry into their research?
    Quote from Harkius
    It depends on what they request. For example, see the requests to Professor Lenski at the U Michigan by people who sincerely lack the ability to understand his work.

    A scientist whose work is too abstruse to be explained coherently to a layman, does not possess a sufficient understanding of reality, and ought not be considered a legitimate scientist.

    Furthermore, if we're going to start limiting disclosure of scientific information based not upon the accuracy or inaccuracy of that information, but rather upon the perceived abilities of members of the public to comprehend things, then we are going to have to reclassify science as a religion, because that is how it will be operating.

    Quote from Harkius
    They're saying, reasonably, that they don't have the time to educate a person who, in all likelihood has a 6th grade education in science, about all the details of their research.

    Neither does an imam have the time to explain to an infidel to Islam the sanctity of Muhammad and the Qur'an.

    Quote from Harkius
    Know why? Because you don't write a paper that explains how you got an idea. No one cares where the idea came from.

    I care where scientists' ideas come from, and so do many others as indicated by the large number of Freedom of Information Act requests into that matter as reported in the article in the original post of this thread.

    It is important that scientific research is restricted only to those areas which benefit mankind. Therefore, those hypotheses which are formed with attitudes antagonistic to mankind, must be prohibited by the public, preferably via a government.

    Quote from Harkius
    You don't understand the intersection of science and public policy.

    This is an ad hominem fallacy, which is not constructive to this debate.


    Quote from Harkius
    Because the amount of time it would take detracts from what the government is actually giving them money for. I.e., performing research.

    Not all research is equally in the public interest. Merely because scientists perform research, entitles them neither to receive public resources, nor to classify their motives and methods.

    The prerequisite for receiving public resources, ought to be that the scientists prove to the public that their research shall benefit mankind (and this society) in some way. FoI requests serve to realize this prerequisite.

    Quote from Harkius
    Yes. Especially considering the time that it honestly takes to do so.

    If the research is going to benefit mankind, then the time taken from research to educate the public about methodology would be compensated-- indeed, overcompensated-- by the additional effort accrued in newly-interested parties so educated. They would be persuaded to help do the research, or to help fund the research, given that they are persuaded that it is in their collective interest to do so, which a legitimate scientist, familiar with his or her work, could achieve.

    Quote from Harkius
    No it wouldn't.

    The alternative to persuading the public of the research's philanthropy, is to discriminate against some Freedom of Information Act requests by claiming they are nuisances. Consider the long-term impact of such a disposition; you have to qualify to ask questions. Those who determine such qualification gain a position to control the distribution of all the scientific information in a society. Are you ready to say you're looking forward to such a thing?

    Quote from Harkius
    Make an FoI request to the government. I've done it. You usually have to pay both 25 cents/page and for the copyists' time at like 12$/hour.

    Then please, define "extortion" in a way that does not include what is being done here.

    The onus is on the party making the claim, to prove to everybody else that the claim is valid. This includes all cost in doing so.

    To move the onus onto the critic of the claim, by any means including financially, is not science; it's religion.

    Religion says: "You have to prove that the claims I've made are invalid."

    The West has already graduated from that level of discourse, to a more civil one, but now these climate scientists are trying to revert to what is essentially intellectual feudalism.

    Quote from Harkius
    Because some of that information is not yet ready for the light. Some of it needs to be clarified. Some of it needs to be more detailed. And some of their research is preliminary and they haven't had a chance to finish it yet.

    Are you saying that, were they to release their methods now, anything further they do might later be seen as being inconsistent with them? Certainly methods remain consistent throughout scientific research, so there ought to be no problem in releasing methodology at any stage, yes?

    Quote from Harkius
    What if I asked you for ten thousand emails scattered across your computer, your employee's computers, and such from the last ten years. How long do you think that it would take you to find it? Especially if you didn't think that you would need to later?

    If I didn't expect to have to cite my methodology, I wouldn't be a scientist.

    Quote from Harkius
    You're wrong.

    Do you think scientists ought to assume that data cannot be manipulated and fabricated?

    Quote from Tuss
    Of course science involves community. Without other scientists you're just some guy saying things.

    Does one require others' consent before one can assert facts about reality?

    Quote from Tuss
    It takes scientists recognising each other as scientists based on more-or-less objective standards for there to be scientists at all.

    The only objective standard necessary, is reality.

    For example, Professor James McCanney does not need a community of scientists to agree that the sun is a capacitor, for that to be the case; it is, and Cornell University's science department is to regressive to admit it, so they let him go.

    Does his release mean the sun really is not a capacitor, mediating electromagnetic charge in the Sol System? No.

    Quote from Nis
    It can if you don't have any system in place to organize and/or search the archived emails. Combing through thousands if not tens of thousands of emails by hand is a tedious process. So why doesn't VA have software to index archived emails? Because state law gives the government an out for paying contractors. Very few government contractors will actually work with VA because there is no guarantee that they'll get paid. The state therefore relies on outdated technology if they have any at all.

    Such unscientific disorganization is not the fault of the critic of their methodology, and it merely reaffirms the assertion that their program is a political entity rather than a diligent scientific entity.

    Quote from Nis
    It's not blackmail. It's a cost deferral measure to cover up the state's technology impotence.

    OK, I meant to say extortion. It is extortion by a political entity that is not scientific and has a poorly-conceived hypothesis with a non-scientific methodology to boot.

    Quote from Nis
    I come to your house once every few years to ask for a cup of sugar. Reasonable.
    I come to your house once every few days to ask for a cup of sugar. Unreasonable and possible a nuisance.

    Except I don't advertise that I have a complete monopoly on sugarcane, while science-- especially the Royal Society of London-- does advertise a complete monopoly on truth.

    This monopoly is balanced only by the assertive efforts of a skeptical public. If the government of Great Britain is going to try to stifle these efforts, then it expressly has rebuked the public interest, as well as the interest of all mankind.

    Quote from Rodyle
    What makes them legitimate scientists is that they challenge hypothesis they believe to be incorrect, not that they are paranoid enough to see foul play in every article.

    Anybody can criticize. A legitimate scientist not only challenges hypotheses he or she believes incorrect, but also backs up his or her own hypothetical claims with methodologically-researched experimentation.

    Anthropogenic-climate-change theorists haven't done that.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Better tell that to my university then.


    Quote from Rodyle

    Oh, phew, wow, good one...
    Wait, you're serious?

    Not only myself, but these guys, too:


    Quote from Rodyle
    You fail to answer my question: why do they need to have a look at the drafts of a paper for doing so?

    Apparently the claims in the final product are so bizarre that they can't be made coherent in the absence of their history.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Citation needed.

    Look up climategate on the internet. I have already provided a link to it in this thread.

    Quote from Rodyle
    The scientists beg to differ, I believe.

    So, Great Britain is a technocracy?

    Quote from Rodyle
    Or it's just that the way this law is set up means that scientists will be forced by law to document everything they do in such detail that they spend more time doing that than the actual research.

    If they can't handle appropriate scientific methodology, they ought to find another profession, or take welfare!

    Quote from Rodyle
    Mother of all 'no true Scottsman's you're using there. As mentioned: scientists aren't usually the types to enter the spotlights and tell everybody about the results of their research.

    How do scientists' "types" pertain to the responsibility of science to benefit the public? Do some "types" of scientists have the privilege of receiving public resources in exchange for secrecy and obfuscation, or worse, presumptuous misanthropy that informs environmental policy for Great Britain, or Europe, or the West, or the whole of mankind?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Westphalian Sovereignty
    When Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, the Roman Catholic Church answered the Protestant Reformation it had caused, by declaring, in 1555, "cuius regio, eius religio," Latin for "whose realm, his religion."



    A major concession for the Roman Catholic Church-- the last vestige of the fallen Roman Empire, still trying to claim some degree of influence over all territories in Europe-- this compromise gave legitimacy to one particular view of Christianity alternative to Catholicism-- Lutheranism-- by decreeing that any Lutheran could leave the Holy Roman Empire peacefully, rather than be burned at the stake as had been done in the past century.

    The principle did not, however, legitimize other views of Christianity, such as Calvinism in England and France, nor the Remonstrants in the Netherlands. A dozen years later, the Eighty Years War began between the Netherlands and Spain (a stronghold of the Roman Catholic Church). Fifty years into that war, Bohemia revolted, and the Thirty Years War began.

    The Dutch had a strong navy, but, at this point, the Roman Catholic Church might have retained hope of reuniting Europe in a Roman Empire someday. Then, Sweden revolted. Then, France declared war against Spain. Then Portugal, which had come under the power of Spain's King 60 years before when her king died without an heir to the throne, revolted and put in her own royalty again.

    These wars culminated when Spain and the Roman Catholic Church gave up trying to maintain dominant influence throughout Europe, and the principle "whose realm, his religion" was broadened into the Peace of Westphalia, which ceded sovereignty to each of the respective royalties of the various feudal kingdoms in Europe.

    Included in this sovereignty, was a distinction in religious worship between public and private; while the royalty of each state might endorse Catholicism, Lutheranism, or Calvinism publicly, private communal worship of minority Christian faiths became tolerated. This freedom could be considered a precedent of the freedom of conscience outlined by William Penn in his Frame of Government of Pennsylvania and later in the United States Bill of Rights.





    A more generous interpretation of this concept, could hold it to be the beginning of the view that property ownership and material prosperity enjoin moral authority; "whose realm, his religion" taken to mean literally that property causes authority.

    In this way, the subsequent economic theory of capitalism, the megacorporation, and the balance of power in international relations, can be anticipated.

    Property causation of authority, could also anticipate naturalism and its concept of trait fitness (evolutionary theory beginning in 1859). Indeed, that "automatic choice" corresponds to the Lutheran & Calvinist theory of predestination, reaffirms such an interpretation of "natural selection."





    I believe it to be the responsibility of the government of a society to impose on its people some set of minimal laws to maintain civic trust and safety; otherwise, temptation and poverty damage the people and threaten the society's existence.

    Morality is the basis of the law; therefore, a government also has a responsibility to maintain a system of morality among the people it governs. In absence of morality, the law is viewed as a tool rather than an end.

    "Whose realm, his religion" is a cowardly principle for those in charge of governing a society to decree; it rejects compassion; it presents the people as different irreconcilably; it rejects government; it belittles civility.

    Ought the concept of Westphalian sovereignty be reviewed, or abandoned?

    What limits ought to be placed on the freedom of conscience, in a society?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on TEPCO confesses
    Typhoon heading for Fukushima Dai-Ichi:


    Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, estimates the radiation level to be one-tenth that of Chernobyl:


    Largest protest against nuclear power in Switzerland since Chernobyl:


    Switzerland stops building nuclear reactors:

    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Ought scientists feel intimidated by inquiry into their research?
    Quote from Nis
    Nope. This.

    Oh. That's equally specious; compiling e-mails could never cost thousands of dollars.

    Quote from Nis
    VA law allows those costs to be put upon the requester.

    Blackmail is against the law in Virginia, and any law that contradicts an existing law, is null and void.

    Quote from Nis
    Reasonable request? State should pay. Repeated nuisance requests? Requester should pay.

    How is a "nuisance" request to be distinguished from a "reasonable" request?

    Quote from Rodyle
    Don't think this should be our assumption though.

    Scientists do think it ought to be the assumption; this makes them legitimate scientists.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Again: any paper without a proper hypothesis will be disregarded by the entire scientific community. Why do you need to look at this beforehand?

    There is no scientific community. Science does not involve community. The group you're talking about purports to be scientific, when, in reality, they use peer pressure to promote their dogma. There is evidence to this effect in the links I have already provided, and the public certainly has an interest in examination of this group when statutory laws which govern us are being informed by their assertions. Their promise that they will be forthright and honest has been proven unreliable, so the Freedom of Information Act is being used precisely as it was intended to be used. Now they're trying to label its use as a nuisance, which demonstrates their secrecy.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Why is a matter of vital importance to look at an unfinished paper?

    Climate scientists' prescribed solution to their created dilemma presents the public with a clear and present danger.

    I see what you're doing. Don't try to sneak into your closed topic by the back door.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Rights
    After the eighteenth amendment prohibiting manufacture of alcoholic beverages was ratified, it was repealed by amendment 21 later on. It was thought that the individual right to ingest and sell liquor was paramount to any other concern about public health, although it seems that the ratification of the eighteenth amendment suggested some right to live in a society devoid of alcoholism, or something.

    Anyway, there are some amendments, particularly in the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the United States constitution), which seem collectively to assert an incoherent set of rights for men & women. Here are three couples of rights which are incoherent:

    Right to freedom of speech
    Right to remain silent

    When one exercises his or her right to freedom of speech, one violates his or her right to remain silent.

    Exercise of the right to remain silent violates one's right to freedom of speech.

    Right to keep and bear arms
    Right to life; not to be deprived of life without due process of law

    The right to bear arms premises that a militia can use lethal violence against oppressors, presumably as an act of war which would not involve a hearing to try those accused of oppression. Such use would serve to violate the oppressors' right to live and not to be deprived of life in lieu of a fair trial.

    Indeed, if everybody has a right to life outside of a duly-processed conviction, then execution of this right by oppressors would serve to violate the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of extra-judicial use of lethal violence by militias.

    Right to privacy; right to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures
    Right to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses

    Amendment VI of the United States constitution:

    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

    If one accused of a crime can force other men & women to come to court (to testify on behalf of his or her innocence of the accusation of crime), then this forcing would serve to violate the right to privacy of those men & women; for, the reason for the violation of their privacy would not have been determined by a warrant specifying a public interest and probable cause in securing suspicious persons or items; rather, the violation of privacy would be based on the subjective desire of an individual, not necessarily having any probable cause nor any public interest behind it.

    If the right to privacy can be violated only on the condition that there is probable cause to violate it for the protection of society, then witnesses could never be forcibly procured to testify at trial.


    Is there incoherence in the set of rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights?

    If so, is this OK for our society? Ought the Bill of Rights remain intact and in effect as law? Ought it be edited or replaced?

    Ought rights be defined on a case-by-case basis, even if, in their aggregate, they oppose one another? How can such rights come from our Creator, who loves us?
    Posted in: Philosophy
  • posted a message on Ought scientists feel intimidated by inquiry into their research?
    Quote from bighaben
    These people aren't asking for journals, and already published information that is hidden in some way, their asking for scientific papers that aren't published, and works in progress to be revealed, and throughly explained why each change was made to their work. It's just simple harassment at that point. If my teacher asked for me to explain every change I made to my papers it would be hell to get one paper done. The final product should be enough, and once it's published it's out there for public scrutiny.

    The scientific method begins with the formation of hypotheses and ends with experimental results which may or may not disprove the hypotheses. As long as a hypothesis is not disproven by experimental results, it is allowed to stand as working theory.

    The information published in scientific journals about climate change is merely sculpting the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis via results of experiments conducted under that hypothesis; there is no information in journals concerning the formation of this hypothesis itself. Yet, the formation of this hypothesis is the foundation of so many regulations, taxes, fines, and public stresses generally, that it is prudent for members of the public to make inquiry into it, beyond the superficiality of data gathered on the supposition that the hypothesis could be validated by them.

    Quote from bighaben
    So, I fail to see how this article sparks a debate, and there is no debate as science is open to scrutiny. The only way you get your voice heard in the scientific world is to get something published, or express your opinions loudly enough that people hear, and that's the very definition of open.

    As documented here--


    --there is proven collusion among climate scientists to prohibit views and research antagonistic to climate change theory, from finding publishment in scientific journals.

    Quote from dcartist
    Problem is that if the law CAN be legally used to harass and slow down research one side doesn't like, it WILL be used to do so.

    How can asking a scientist to explain his or her formation of a hypothesis, be construed as harassment? A legitimate scientist ought to be eager to educate the public about methodology; this would never be seen by a legitimate scientist as slowing down research, would it?

    If the scientist believed his or her hypothesis was valid, he or she would seek to educate many more potential scientists in order to leverage the interest in the research. This would be a maximally constructive and efficient use of the scientist's efforts.

    Quote from dcartist
    So now we'll probably have to eventually modify the FoI to get rid of the "nuisance requests" of the FoI.

    Do you imagine this could become a slippery slope?

    Quote from Nis
    Virginia's FoI laws put the cost of compiling the information on the shoulders of the requester. While this could have a chilling effect on FoI requests (for example, a recent request totaled $8,000) it can cut down on the nuisance requests.

    You're talking about this:


    The burden to pay for the preparation of material documents in response to an FoI request, cannot be put upon the maker of such request; for, this constitutes extortion: "Do you want to see the basis of our taxes & fines? Then you're going to have to pay us $8,500.00."

    The onus rests on the scientist to establish the seriousness of his or her research in the public domain; it does not rest on the inquirer to establish that he or she is not being petty.

    Quote from Rodyle
    Except that papers without the data to back up their claims will never be published in any self-respecting journal, much less be taken seriously by anyone with half a brain.

    Data can be manipulated and fabricated. Furthermore, it is the hypothesis that deserves scrutiny sometimes, which data, gathered for the purpose of disproving the hypothesis, cannot serve to access.

    Quote from Rodyle
    No, it's more along the lines of you being critiqued for every line you draw on a painting, in stead of the person being polite and waiting until it's finished to take a look at the end result.

    Except that this is not art; it's a grave matter of public policy and environmental importance, isn't it?

    Quote from Captain_Morgan
    I'm not opposed to a "shield law" for completed research in the same way we shield informants to reporters.

    Why would scientists need to protect their sources of information-- ostensibly, objective realities?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Ought scientists feel intimidated by inquiry into their research?
    Originally Posted by http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/may/25/freedom-information-laws-harass-scientists

    Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics said the intention of many of those making freedom of information requests was to trawl through scientists' work with the intention of trying to find problems and errors.
    Notice how the article creates the term "FoI aggression," as though the public ought to take for granted that requests made through the Freedom of Information Act are so bothersome to the climate scientists that we're to uncritically gloss over this claim with use of a catch phrase.

    Ought scientists feel intimidated by inquiries into their research? How can scientists complain they're inconvenienced by having their conclusions scrutinized? Aren't they claiming essentially that the findings from their research are too important (or sensational) to be questioned?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Supreme Court orders California to release scores of prisoners
    Anybody have an argument for releasing non-drug-offense prisoners, such as thieves, rapists, pimps, gang leaders, child/spouse abusers, or illegal immigrants?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Supreme Court orders California to release scores of prisoners
    Originally Posted by http://www.latimes.com/news/local/sc-dc-0524-court-prisons-web-20110523,0,2337401.story

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ordered California on Monday to release tens of thousands of its prisoners to relieve overcrowding, saying that "needless suffering and death" had resulted from putting too many inmates into facilities that cannot hold them in decent conditions.

    It is one of the largest prison release orders in the nation's history, and it sharply split the high court.

    Justices upheld an order from a three-judge panel in California that called for releasing 38,000 to 46,000 prisoners. Since then, the state has transferred about 9,000 state inmates to county jails. As a result, the total prison population is now about 32,000 more than the capacity limit set by the panel.

    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said California's prisons had "fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements" because of overcrowding. As many as 200 prisoners may live in gymnasium, he said, and as many as 54 prisoners share a single toilet.

    Kennedy insisted that the state had no choice but to release more prisoners. The justices, however, agreed that California officials should be given more time to make the needed reductions.

    In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia called the ruling "staggering" and "absurd."

    He said the high court had repeatedly overruled the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for ordering the release of individual prisoners. Now, he said, the majority were ordering the release of "46,000 happy-go-lucky felons." He added that "terrible things are sure to happen as a consequence of this outrageous order." Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

    In a separate dissent, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the ruling conflicted with a federal law intended to limit the power of federal judges to order a release of prisoners.
    A divisive issue.

    On one hand, if the prisons' conditions are atrocious, it is undignified to keep prisoners there. More prisons could be built, but that would take time.

    On the other hand, can the criminal justice system in California serve as a deterrent to criminality if there is a possibility for this type of thing?

    What do you think about this ruling by The Supreme Court?
    Posted in: Debate
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