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  •  technical breakthroughs are (2+ / 0-)

    not something to take lightly.  I'm sure, just based on seeing how hard you work on eKos, that it's a very nice paper.

    I hope you have reviewers that are smart and thorough, but also fair and reasonable.

    "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

    by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:09:00 PM PDT

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    •  well, it turned out pretty well. It's not very (2+ / 0-)

      technical (to me at least) and doesn't have a lot of meat, but like I said before, this technique, though not truly original, has never been applied to ultracold systems. It's faster and more efficient. The best part is it required us to buy an old laser on eBay that was in pretty bad shape and fix it up. We made it work after making some custom parts.

      I'll start feeling better about the paper once it is accepted, lol. But one of our collaborators, who is a pretty big name in high resolution bialkali spectroscopy, seemed to like it. So not a bad start!

      eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

      by patrickz on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:15:55 PM PDT

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      •  off topic (2+ / 0-)

        but as an physics type guy, you might appreciate this comment/rant I just made. ;-)

        "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

        by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:19:10 PM PDT

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        •  lol (2+ / 0-)

          funny thing is that we're learning a whole hell of a lot about color and the human mind. Don't get me wrong, I understand where Garrett's coming from, but I don't see why there has to be any conflict. Maybe I'm missing something.

          eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

          by patrickz on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:28:10 PM PDT

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          •  I think it's part of the (2+ / 0-)

            religion vs atheist debate that is currently flaring up here at DKos, as it does sometimes.

            I am very biased with regards to that debate, so I tried my best to stick to the facts and words in the diary without responding to the anti-science comments.

            sigh

            "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

            by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:38:22 PM PDT

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            •  well, I sorta feel the same way. but I tend to (2+ / 0-)

              stay away from it. I said that there doesn't has to be a conflict because there are plenty of places where science has not, and probably will never delve in any concrete way. There are some reasonable religious folks (progressives tend to be, anyway), and for that I am thankful. But trying to argue about religion is becomes a rather pointless endeavor.

              Religious person: "I don't have proof, but I have faith."

              Me: "Well, I'm gonna need some proof before I believe in any magical deities. Sorry."

              Religious person: "No, I'm sorry for you. You don't have that fuzzy feeling, and I worry that you are going to hell."

              Me: "Meh. As long as you don't go around saying the Earth is 6000 years old, we're cool."

              Apologies to anyone I've offended, lol.

              eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

              by patrickz on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:48:31 PM PDT

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              •  I'm with ya (2+ / 0-)

                I would add one thing:

                "Meh. As long as you don't go around saying the Earth is 6000 years old... or trying to "convert" others, or try to legislate your religion...we're cool."

                And, I ain't apologizing for offense to anyone!

                ;-)

                "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:53:59 PM PDT

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                •  Fair enough. ;-) (2+ / 0-)

                  I had a bunch of that in undergrad. I mean, it was Oklahoma and all. I had some friends who tried to convert me (we all happened to be taking ballroom dancing lessons, haha). One of them even subjected me to a "Dr." Kent Hovind video (after I made her go to the Sam Noble Natural History Museum). It would have been one of the funniest things I'd ever seen if it weren't for the damage that kind of crap causes to education and scientific literacy. Bah.

                  eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

                  by patrickz on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 07:59:46 PM PDT

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                  •  totally (2+ / 0-)

                    if it weren't for the damage that kind of crap causes to education and scientific literacy

                    And more than that... it does damage to personal relationships...  As you described, and as I experienced when a  friend told me (in the midst of despair from a horribly traumatic personal loss) that to deal with my grief, I should really try some sort of religion.

                    One of my best friends ... who knew how I felt about religion... I couldn't believe it (and still can't).  It felt so opportunistic and wrong.  I almost told her to get out of my life.  But, since I do think she was "just trying to help", I didn't. Instead, we just don't talk about that subject, and I'm quite a bit more protective of talking about my emotions with her.

                    That is the kind of damage that religion can do.  And I thought I hated religion before that experience...

                    "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                    by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 08:17:47 PM PDT

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                    •  Sorry you had to go through that. (2+ / 0-)

                      My close friends never bothered me about it. I don't know how much my family is aware of my feelings on the matter, and I'd rather keep it that way. I have my Facebook religion set to Vailala Madness, a cargo cult. Nobody's ever asked me about it.

                      A little ot, I just followed a link to Digg, and noticed this headline was popular:

                      No rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide in past 160 years

                      I immediately thought, that's wrong, I've seen the famous plots. So I read the Science Daily article that it linked to, and quickly realized they were talking about airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2, not total. Basic science fail on the part of whoever wrote up the Digg headline.

                      eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

                      by patrickz on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 08:29:55 PM PDT

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                      •  thanks. I didn't really mean to (2+ / 0-)

                        get all personal and stuff, but it's such a good example, I couldn't resist using it. ;-)

                        Sheesh, that is truly a terrible headline.  Seems like someone with an agenda.  Especially when you read this in the first paragraph of the story:

                        45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.

                        Did you take a look at the Research Article in geophys. res. letters?  I am wondering how he can reconcile his claim with the Mona Loa observations...

                        I'll need to read it more carefully when I have more time (which means definitively not right now!)

                        I'm heading offline, so I'll catch you later.  Thanks for the great discussion!

                        "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                        by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 08:59:44 PM PDT

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                  •  And then, by avoiding talking about it (2+ / 0-)

                    our nation ends up electing people who promulgate, enact and pursue policies based on it.

                    If fewer people of science would avoid engaging the anti-science forces, we'd make more progress in this country.

                    We didn't win increasing acceptance for LGBT's by refusing to engage homophobes and just being amused at their ignorance.

                    The anti-intellectualism, anti-science sentiments in the US are growing, not shrinking, in large part because rational thinkers shy away from engaging irrational thinkers, and scientists avoid standing up for science in public forums.

                    Then you wonder why funding keeps shrinking and people get elected who are openly hostile to intellectualism and science and reason.

                    You think I enjoy the constant insults, caricatures, misrepresentations and demonization I am subject to here by aggressive theists any time I challenge the influence of religion on policy making and politics in America?

                    It would be a hell of a lot easier if I and a handful of others here weren't doing this alone. For all the supposed hoards of evil Scientific, Dogmatic Aggressive, Militant Fundamentalist Atheists here, one never seems to hear from any of you.

                    Same on Huffington Post. I try to post rational rebuttals to their woo woo every so often, but it is hard being one of the only voices of reason in a sea of gullibles and charlatans.

                    Engage a little. Help to promote critical thinking and reason in our society.

                    Don't retreat to an ivory tower and bitch about how the world is going to hell.

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 01:05:50 AM PDT

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                    •  I haven't exactly retreated. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hopeful Skeptic

                      I give lab tours to young people and gave some talks and demos for my mom's high school physics and physical science classes. We're pro-science at eKos, a project in which we've invested substantial time and effort. I've engaged several times with global warming denialists and picked apart other anti-science comments on DK. I would like to focus on education to promote scientific literacy.

                      I just don't enjoy arguing with people about religion, as it seems a pointless exercise. I'm not going to convince anybody to abandon their faith, and they won't convince me to join theirs. And I've never been bashed or persecuted as an atheist on DK (or anywhere else, for that matter).

                      I'm all for engagement, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to seek out useless pie fights over religion. To be clear, I'm not claiming that you seek out said pie fights, but this was the point I was trying to make in my previous comments.

                      eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

                      by patrickz on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 12:35:43 PM PDT

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                      •  Unless we are free to talk about our own (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        patrickz

                        non-religious convictions and philosophy here, without being subject to a torrent of hate, and thus choose not to talk about it, then we are, in fact, retreating.

                        It should be possible to discuss religion and religious beliefs and belief in a god or gods, just as it is possible to discuss every other belief, ideology or opinion, without being immediately subjected to attempted censorship.

                        The fact that every discussion about religion turns into an argument is primarily because religious believers, even self-labeled "liberal" theists, by and large do not tolerate such discussions.

                        Ignoring the fact that there is a deep-seated American cultural taboo against questioning religious beliefs, and that there is a false equivalence made between questioning religious beliefs and attacking people, does not make it go away.

                        Thanks for all you do, but the fact is that many atheists here who are not nearly as provocative or confrontational as I am have left because, no matter how gently or respectfully they try to raise questions, they are subject to exactly the same treatment I am - in fact, in many ways worse treatment if they don't fight back.

                        That needs to change. It starts with people not ignoring overt expressions of prejudice.

                        It starts with holding theists to the same standard of tolerance when it comes to expressing dissenting views on religion as on any other topic.

                        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:59:05 AM PDT

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