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Author Topic: Science for Dummies  (Read 1895 times)
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BillO
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« Reply #80 on: Aug 30, 2017, 08:16AM »


You can be very kind sometimes Bill.

Sometimes I think I over do it.
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Baron von Bone
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« Reply #81 on: Aug 30, 2017, 08:52AM »

The discussion was going nowhere.  I feel Bob believed he could attack science by using his typical technique of refusing to accept answers to his queries and doubling down with other slightly different questions, as usual.  We got precisely nowhere because my initial answers were correct.  I just ended up repeating over and over again in different ways and words hoping he would get it.  He probably does, but he's just being ... Bob.

It's basically an evasive filibuster strategy of "discussion".
 
I guess it's affirming if you can manage such levels of selective perception.
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- Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves.  - Richard Feynman
- He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool.   - Confucius
BGuttman
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« Reply #82 on: Aug 30, 2017, 09:08AM »

I personally don't have a problem with religion until it starts to claim veracity of scriptural texts that we have clearly ascertained to be inaccurate.

I find it difficult to think that a Deity worked with King James in the 1600s to make a perfect translation of the Bible into English.  It's a noble attempt and fairly accurate to the original text, but the veracity of that one is also suspect.  We don't fully accept the works of Thucydides and those were written some 1000 years later.

If our space program actually finds an enclave somewhere that God and his retinue are working from, I'm all ears.  If they do a new calculation and the age of the Universe is only 5 billion years, I'm fine with that.  But I have a problem with somebody claiming the stars are actually simply very small orbs near the Earth.
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« Reply #83 on: Aug 31, 2017, 03:47PM »

In which case, why is it even worth saying the universe is 14 billion years old?

Because it's mind-blowing?

Or, if you're a pragmatist and care nothing about natural wonder, because that follows from several very practical technologies that we use every day, like GPS, global timekeeping, and making accurate measurement masters (like the Kilogram masters)
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Baron von Bone
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« Reply #84 on: Aug 31, 2017, 03:58PM »

Because it's mind-blowing?
 
Or, if you're a pragmatist and care nothing about natural wonder, because that follows from several very practical technologies that we use every day, like GPS, global timekeeping, and making accurate measurement masters (like the Kilogram masters)

What are you doing man!
 
Don't think it through!
 
Just go with what sounds good for your agenda.
 
If you think it through it might ruin the whole thing!
 
 ... particularly if your agenda isn't especially rational.
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- He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool.   - Confucius
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« Reply #85 on: Aug 31, 2017, 04:34PM »

The overwhelming majority of cars, busses, trucks, trains, ships and planes still motivate themselves by burning petroleum fractions. The geologists hired by the oil companies to find that stuff might not care about the the universe being fourteen billion years old, but the evidence for that age comes from the same style of inquiry that led to their model of the earth being about four and a half billion years old. The Carboniferous period, when the precursors of our present fossil fuels were laid down, was more recent than that, by their reckoning, but it's still part of the same big picture. It seems silly to ask which parts of that picture aren't important.

How many pebbles can be taken away from a pile of gravel before it isn't a pile any more? How old are those pebbles? How long can you leave a batch of concrete in the mixer before annoyance and regret set in? Is there a bright line between speculation and practicality, and if so, where is it?
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« Reply #86 on: Aug 31, 2017, 07:54PM »


What are you doing man!
 
Don't think it through!
 
Just go with what sounds good for your agenda.
 
If you think it through it might ruin the whole thing!
 
 ... particularly if your agenda isn't especially rational.
Wow! You must be really popular.
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« Reply #87 on: Aug 31, 2017, 08:11PM »

Wow! You must be really popular.

Easy, boy.  Just because he's being an idiot doesn't mean you have to as well.

Let's just contribute to the conversation.
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Bruce Guttman
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Baron von Bone
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« Reply #88 on: Sep 01, 2017, 11:12AM »

The overwhelming majority of cars, busses, trucks, trains, ships and planes still motivate themselves by burning petroleum fractions. The geologists hired by the oil companies to find that stuff might not care about the the universe being fourteen billion years old, but the evidence for that age comes from the same style of inquiry that led to their model of the earth being about four and a half billion years old. The Carboniferous period, when the precursors of our present fossil fuels were laid down, was more recent than that, by their reckoning, but it's still part of the same big picture. It seems silly to ask which parts of that picture aren't important.

How many pebbles can be taken away from a pile of gravel before it isn't a pile any more? How old are those pebbles? How long can you leave a batch of concrete in the mixer before annoyance and regret set in? Is there a bright line between speculation and practicality, and if so, where is it?

The selective inconsistencies are what stand out most to me, rather than just the lack of insight--it's when the insight is evident but then opted out of for certain cases. Even that's not so much of an issue without the sense of entitlement (majority privilege--to validate which we also have the persecution delusion on top of it all) that tends to come with this selective use of epistemic standards--it starts to mimic a bully mentality, and I've never tolerated bullies well.
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« Reply #89 on: Sep 01, 2017, 12:44PM »

Willful ignorance yanks the rug out from under attempts at shared understanding. A big part of that comes when the willfully ignorant try to use domineering styles of discussion. Is that a fair paraphrase of what you just said?

Poe tells us that it's not easy to tell the difference between a troll and an ignoramus; intent (or insight) is notoriously difficult to prove.
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Baron von Bone
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« Reply #90 on: Sep 01, 2017, 01:15PM »

Willful ignorance yanks the rug out from under attempts at shared understanding. A big part of that comes when the willfully ignorant try to use domineering styles of discussion. Is that a fair paraphrase of what you just said?
Quite.
 
More than that though, I'd say it's a more focused application.
 
I realize it's a Thing, but still it's always kind of bewildering how it seems to fly under the radar for so many, being such a malignant mentality. It's as if certain dog whistles or catch phrases/trigger terms and such have to be present before it's officially okay to notice the insult to honesty and integrity. And I suspect this game, and the fact some are playing it quite a bit differently than most, has a whole helluvalot to do with the current state of societal health in the US.
 
Poe tells us that it's not easy to tell the difference between a troll and an ignoramus; intent (or insight) is notoriously difficult to prove.
Yeah, but is there really any functional difference between lying and self-serving intellectual negligence? Why would it be reasonable to give either a pass?
 
 --
 
PS ... finally picked up some Lakoff stuff--absolutely awesome! A lot of what I've read so far is a clear distillation of cloudy ideas that I've had floating around in my mind for a while (particularly the different family models for morality--very clear in conservative vs. progressive churches--and the fact that language is both a strong indicator and influence regarding how we think-very apparent in churchspeak), but Lakoff nails them down, takes them much further, corrects/redirects my missteps, and provides the data support ... but of course I'm not dependent upon metaphor in my thinking or language myself ... heh. I'll probably end up reading just about everything he and Daniel Kahneman have written in relatively short time. Thanks for the recs!
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- Feeding a troll just gives it a platform and amplifies its voice.
 
- Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves.  - Richard Feynman
- He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool.   - Confucius
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« Reply #91 on: Sep 02, 2017, 10:14AM »

... finally picked up some Lakoff stuff--absolutely awesome! A lot of what I've read so far is a clear distillation of cloudy ideas that I've had floating around in my mind for a while (particularly the different family models for morality--very clear in conservative vs. progressive churches--and the fact that language is both a strong indicator and influence regarding how we think-very apparent in churchspeak), but Lakoff nails them down, takes them much further, corrects/redirects my missteps, and provides the data support
That pretty much parallels my take on Lakoff. My first exposure was Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, whose title comes from an aboriginal Australian language's use of grammatical gender, and how such categories reveal underlying cognitive wotsits. At first, the bits about prototype theory (e.g. when asked to name a bird, people mostly go for common passerines such as robins or sparrows, not penguins or emus, and certainly heaven forbid not cassowaries, even though they are undoubtedly members of Aves) and embodied cognition as it relates to conceptual metaphors grabbed me more than the political stuff did. But, yeah, A NATION IS A FAMILY leads to some interesting ideas.

... but of course I'm not dependent upon metaphor in my thinking or language myself ... heh.
Yes, well, about that...

Seriously, it needs to be repeated that conceptual metaphors are a neurological thing, built and used mostly below the threshold of awareness. They are not the literary metaphors taught in school.
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« Reply #92 on: Sep 03, 2017, 09:54AM »

That pretty much parallels my take on Lakoff. My first exposure was Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, whose title comes from an aboriginal Australian language's use of grammatical gender, and how such categories reveal underlying cognitive wotsits.

There's a bit on language and what we can learn from it in a fascinating book I'm reading now:
Everybody Lies, Big Data, New Data, what the internet can tell us about who we really are,
by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

He's a researcher who's been able to extract meaning by mining the results of google searches, etc.  He has some new conclusions about the liberal vs conservative leanings of media, about racism, and lots more. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AFXZ2F4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #93 on: Sep 03, 2017, 12:50PM »

There's a bit on language and what we can learn from it in a fascinating book I'm reading now:
Everybody Lies, Big Data, New Data, what the internet can tell us about who we really are,
by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

He's a researcher who's been able to extract meaning by mining the results of google searches, etc.  He has some new conclusions about the liberal vs conservative leanings of media, about racism, and lots more. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AFXZ2F4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

I found a review of it in the Grauniad. Get the kids out of the room before bringing it up on the screen.  Evil
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« Reply #94 on: Sep 04, 2017, 08:55AM »

Yes.  Pornhub gave him their search data.  Porn searches are anonymous so theoretically people are more honest than in a survey.

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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #95 on: Sep 04, 2017, 09:26AM »

I was thinking of the title he wanted to use at first, something like

How big is my
?


p.s. I see my local extended library system has a couple dozen copies. Might be something to settle in with on a winter or autumn evening. My inner grumpy cynical old coot wonders about the demographic and performance biases introduced by only working with data coming from the web, but I can't say until I actually read it, n'est-ce pas

I don't get tired of sounding off about Lakoff, though. As the Quakers say, he "speaks to my condition."

Word used to be that the main equipment a linguist needs is empty shoeboxes, to fill with index cards noting specific examples. Nowadays a searchable database can be carried around on a thumb drive.
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BillO
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« Reply #96 on: Sep 04, 2017, 09:37AM »

Yes.  Pornhub gave him their search data.  Porn searches are anonymous so theoretically people are more honest than in a survey.


Science for dummies?  Pornhub?
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