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A common quip when deniers go into denial mode on climate change is that the climate has changed massively in the past. It's natural! Search around and it's not hard to come across this week, like any other:
Paraphrasing Rand Paul 23 April 2014 -- The Earth is 4.54 billion years old, anybody who's ever studied any geology knows that over periods of time, long periods of time, that the climate changes. I'm not sure anyone exactly knows why ... but we have twenty-thousand year cycles ... it has been much warmer than it is today. We have data for 100 years, tell me what 100 years of data is in an Earth that is 4.6 billion years old?
Sen. Paul occasionally fights the GOP headwind by pointing out inconvenient facts, and credit is due for getting the Earth's age spot on. So let's put this dismissive climate tactic in terms a tea party MD might appreciate: disease has been with us for millennia. So how does a friendly neighborhood leper or your kid getting chewed on by a rabid skunk—or weaponized Anthrax—really matter in the great scheme of things? Medical science has only been around for a little while and this stuff has been happening for thousands of years. It'll all work itself out naturally.
  • City busting bolides impact our planet once or twice a year on average, but so far population centers have been lucky. Oh, and the seer, Pat Robertson, predicted this all along!
  • I don't know much about this topic, but I have come to trust Orac a great deal over the years and based on that track record, whoever has the Clintons' ear, please, PLEASE, pass this on:
    The Dunning-Kruger effect and motivated reasoning can indeed affect even people like the Clintons ... Sadly, functional medicine has even found its way into academic — or, as I like to put it these days, quackademic — medicine.
  • Solar power may have reached the necessary commercial efficiency point, close enough that the "magic" of the "free market" suddenly needs to be taxed and slapped down, ironically by those who used to demand more market freedom! And here's one possible solution to the remaining storage issues.
  • On a tech note, what John Cole wrote here: how is it that so many high profile news/websites, with presumably healthy budgets, are going from already lousy to utter train-wrecks full of embed glitches, comically bad layouts, unusable search functions, and endless, awful redesigns?
  • Newspace is good for America and Americans, plus it is the most viable path to harvesting the off-world resources anytime soon. Or we can keep sending a ton of money to the Bare Chested Manly Man of Moscow:
    The U.S. just renewed a contract to send six more U.S. astronauts to and from the space station on a Russian vehicle at the cost of nearly $500 million. And so, while we are sanctioning Russia in all of these other ways, we have also just sent them $500 million.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes the earth is old (20+ / 0-)

    and it has been warmer and colder. BUT, those changes happened very gradually over thousands & thousands of years and usually led to mass extinctions. So I guess he just left out the important information.

    One other point they spout that is true...
       "The earth will be fine"
    they leave out the part
       "It will recover, without humans"

  •  the US used to send people to the Moon (8+ / 0-)

    Now we can't even send our own people into low orbit.

    How the once-mighty have fallen . . . . .

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:13:19 AM PDT

    •  Sure, we can! (11+ / 0-)

      We just book a ticket for two on Putin air.

      The USA is totally dependent on the Russian space program to take our astronauts into space.  Wow!

      Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

      by NM Ray on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:29:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes you have to start over from scratch (4+ / 0-)

      I know, I've said this before, but Apollo was a terrible architecture for manned spaceflight; about the only thing it had going for it was that it was only marginally worse than STS in terms of fly away and launch costs and a far more capable heavy lifter.

      Even with NewSpace finally getting in on the game and lowering costs, we're still well behind where we should be in terms of sustainable access to and persistent, flexible presence in space.  And that's because we're still lifting everything needed to complete any particular task--large or small--from Earth's surface.

      •  The launches for Apollo 8 and 11 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dougymi, rduran, billmosby

        were mind blowing.  

        11 was the best party ever.

        And the Saturn 5 has to be the loudest machine in history. A mile away, you were pounded.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

        by waterstreet2013 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:51:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If Spacex accomplishes its Mars plans, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rduran, waterstreet2013

          prepare to be pounded a bit more in the not too distant future. Here:

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 09:10:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They want to create a special housing prison (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            on Mars.

            Then stock it with volunteers.

            One way.

            WTF ?????????????????????

            How long till the bright/shiny wears off and they figure out they're in a prison?

            This is crazy. What else?

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

            by waterstreet2013 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 01:55:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mars is a stunt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              You spend all that effort trying to get out of an 8 km/s well, and you're going to squander an additional 9 km/s to get trapped on yet another rock.

              Hell, do it for posterity a few times, but this is what we should be aiming to achieve:

              •  Building a stable, near-perpetual closed space (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                that houses humans ???

                Solve that first.

                Anything off just the least bit, they're dead.

                This idea of humans traveling through space to useful destinations is great for sci fi. Otherwise, way more difficult that the enthusiasts admit.

                "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

                by waterstreet2013 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 04:12:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We don't need a closed space (0+ / 0-)

                  Or a near perpetual one.  We have at least on the order of 10^21 kg worth of stuff drifting free in the solar system, including 100,000 times the amount of water in Earth's oceans

                  Beyond that, the critical engineering problems in building viable space habitats are straight forward.  We already know how to pressurize environments indefinitely (we spent $100 billion doing so in LEO and arguably in the least efficient method possible).  We already know how to protect eggshell environments against solar and cosmic radiation (use thick rocks).  We've known how to generate gravity since Newton.  And we know the solar system is littered with orders of magnitude more stuff we need and want than can be found on this planet or easily extracted--more than enough already packaged in nice, approachable, digestible chunks.  Arguably, space is more livable than Spaceship Earth.

                  •  No-no-no. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Wishing away biology has its limits.

                    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

                    by waterstreet2013 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 05:06:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So don't (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      These things are huge (5-10 km in diameter, 20-50 km in length).  If you ain't concerned about aesthetics, just hollow out the same size tube in an asteroid and pipe in the light.  You'll still breath the same atmosphere.  You'll still have the same hydrology and biomass.  And you put them in L5 and use mirrors to ensure you have the same amount of incident sunlight at the surface.  You spin them so you have the same surface gravity.

                      You build an ecosystem like the one we were born in, without all the annoying irritations that come with living on a 10^24 kg molten rock.

                      •  Balancing microorganisms in a small space (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rduran, RiveroftheWest

                        is one of the nigh impossible tasks to be solved.

                        Lose one essential symbiotic microorganism, you're dead.

                        Meanwhile, say a quick "Thank you" to your gut bacteria. Then we'll talk about how the eye works. And the teeth and blood pressure connection. And on and on.

                        Refreshing useful bacteria from Earth doesn't get much attention. Apparently zero from Elon Musk, who otherwise is a great manager and leader.

                        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

                        by waterstreet2013 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:57:46 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  At some point you have to take settlers' risks. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          waterstreet2013, RiveroftheWest

                          We know considerably more about extraterrestrial microbiomes  than we did decades earlier, and a lot more about how humans fit in a space-borne microbial environment for long durations (one of the few useful outcomes from the ISS).  But if the prerequisite for settlement is learning everything and anything possible and accounting for every and any possible danger, then we'll get nowhere.

                          And just to reiterate; nobody's suggesting permanent settlement in microgravity conditions.  The whole point of building settlements to this scale is so you can spin to something approaching 10 m/s^2.

                          I wouldn't consider someone who gets bogged down in every detail to be a great manager or leader, especially considering Musk's Mars dream is little more than that at the moment.  

                        •  On settlers' risks (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          waterstreet2013, RiveroftheWest

                          Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting we return to the devil be damned days of piling people on boats with no guarantee for rescue should their efforts at settlement fail.  At the very least, we should build a viable road back to Earth in the event of an existential threat to the colonies.  In fact, doing so is going to be part of the essential cislunar construction necessary to build permanent habitats and industry in the first place.  And the fact that no point in the Earth sphere is more than 4 days away by standard chemical impulse is an order of magnitude improvement over the lifeline (theoretically) available to trans-Atlantic colonists.

              •  I saw Gerard O'Neill in the flesh once. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rduran, waterstreet2013

                Complete with those graphics. I was enthralled, but then that was the big picture. The practicalities should be thoroughly investigated before jumping off.

                Moderation in most things.

                by billmosby on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:24:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I was just talking about the rocket. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              It'll be for future generations to decide what to do with it, really.

              Moderation in most things.

              by billmosby on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:27:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Musk wants to die on Mars. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Unintentionally, he might get lots of company.

                "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

                by waterstreet2013 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:59:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What the internet says he said is: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  waterstreet2013, RiveroftheWest

                  "Either we spread Earth to other planets, or we risk going extinct."

                  "An extinction event is inevitable and we’re increasingly doing ourselves in."

                  "All things considered, if one's going to die anywhere, it would be kind of cool to die on Mars,"

                  "I've said I want to die on Mars, just not on impact."

                  Sounds like he's continuing his emigrant/immigrant journey. lol.

                  Moderation in most things.

                  by billmosby on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 06:49:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe we can soon (4+ / 0-)

      SpaceX and Virgin Galactic(based in Spaceport America) and to a lesser extent Blue Origin, are developing human rated craft.  SpaceX has just completed it third supply mission to the ISS. SpaceX is close to a 'soft landing' after reentry, maybe even soft enough to do so on land instead of the ocean as has been traditional.

      Part of this is funding.  For instance the Air force continues to sole source it launches to Lockheed and Boeing, using Russian engines.  SpaceX is on the verge of completing milspec certification, with a good history of success.  In a competitive bid SpaceX says it can reliable transport military satellites for a fraction of the cost. SpaceX could then use the revenue to develop human flight.

  •  So according to Robertson God's aim really sucks (6+ / 0-)

    since we've been taking a hit from one or two city-busting rocks per year, probably since forever, yet none of them has wiped out the godless heathens in LA and NYC or the 4-knee-Kate-in sodomites in San Francisco yet.
    OTOH, one did flatten quote a bit of Siberia a century ago, so maybe the deity doesnt much like trees
    Or maybe, per Woody Allen, He's just an under-achiever.

  •  "It's God's Will !!" (7+ / 0-)

    That's the underlying conservative thought.

    Human responsibility is cast out. And believe me, the sociopaths running the Republican Party are big on anything that belittles taking personal responsibility... for anything.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:13:26 AM PDT

    •  Well, per their lights (4+ / 0-)

      being poor reflects your personal irresponsibility, and poor personal choices that responsible conservatives would never make.

      Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

      by ActivistGuy on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:25:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Accountability and responsibility (5+ / 0-)

      are all words of more than one syllable!  

      ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

      by glitterscale on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:30:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Biblical term for these GOPers is "false prophet." (7+ / 0-)

      Humanity suffered sociopaths long before psychology gave us the technical category. That's them.

      Today, consider the GOPers and Medicaid Expansion: this is the 800-pound gorilla for Red State politics. No way blocking Medicaid in 24 states lives up to Christian standards.

      Same time, church-going voters see the God of Moses as an embodiment of what is good. Faith, Hope, and Charity predominate. The False Prophets are hit again and again in bible verses.

      For example:
      Matthew 7:15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

      1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

      And in contrast to the "WMD" fakery and all the caskets out of Vietnam and Iraq:
      Luke 21:16 - And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and [some] of you shall they cause to be put to death.
      The poor die. Family members have been killed and maimed fighting useless wars. That's what you get with Republicans.

      Going into the 2014 election season, Charlie Crist and his supporters in Florida are hitting the Medicaid issue perfectly. This is a borrow from the Monday protests at Atlanta, Georgia:

      On the other side, everybody knows that the Fundie churches are sellouts. Cheap sellouts at that. But Jesus Christ is not a sellout.

      SBC and the rest are finding it very risky to oppose Medicaid Expansion. They are backing off.

      We're looking at a situation where the Fundie segment of the Republican "Base" could collapse as a voting block. 2014 and 2016 will be critical.

      The Senate race in North Dakota in 2012 shows what is possible. A net 15% of that electorate switched sides over a three month span, coming over to the Democrat. North Dakota was about as "Red State" as it got. Tactics from North Dakota can be applied everywhere.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:13:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Position vs Velocity vs Acceleration (6+ / 0-)

    It has (apparently) been this warm and ice-free, long ago, and a denier could say, "So what?". This ignores many problems but is at least fact-based.

    But the real issue are that the rate of change in temperature and sea-level are (again apparently) unprecedented, except for catastrophes. And the rate of change is a problem for the survivability of species and ecosystems, since it dominates the rates of evolution and migration. And this of course vitiates the deniers' claims.

    And again, the acceleration in CO2 content, temperature and sea level is what is truly worrisome--not only is the current situation dangerous, but we are steadily making it more dangerous--even if the third derivative does appear to be negative.

  •  great word: "quackademic" (8+ / 0-)

    But alas, Darksyde--you've once again spoken the name of Cthulhu, and once again our resident anti-science crackpot  fringe will be drawn here like a moth to a flame, to tell us all how we're close-minded tools of the evil corporations blah blah blah.


    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:17:04 AM PDT

    •  Guess I'm from the fringe. What is all the zeal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoolOnion, Lenny Flank, Brian82

      about stomping on complementary healthcare modalities?  

      Over 40 years I've seen so many good healthy things happen for people who use what the AMA calls "alternatives" or "complimentary" that it's hard to see folks go all fundamentalist on say, acupuncture, or meditation, or bodywork.

      Why the venom?  Everything's not a scam, guys.  Some things yes - some things in orthodox medicine too- but I don't get the push to demonize.

      •  the zeal is that science is the ONLY reliable way (4+ / 0-)

        we have of learning about the world around us, and it MUST be defended from the anti-science crackpot fringers--even if those crackpot fringers are on our own side (in the "reality-based community").

        And in particular, the MEDICAL crackpot fringers get my ire up. While other loonies are basically harmless in their kookery, the medical nutters KILL people with their dumbfuckery.  

        Do you know what we call "alternative medicine" that actually works? We call it "medicine".

        There used to be a time when we placed people's religious or ideological beliefs above science.  We call those times "The Dark Ages". They are not remembered fondly by most people. And I have zero desire to return to them.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:13:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As for why it must be defended (0+ / 0-)

          There's only so much money to throw around.  A dollar to snake oil here, a dollar to patent elixirs there, and pretty soon you're talking about a good chunk of change (and lives).

      •  We have good MDs in Dallas that provide FM (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank, Brian82, Wee Mama, hooper

        All it means to them is finding an illness in the beginning stages and treating it before you get to the point where you need surgery or standard medicine.  Carpal Tunnel, for instance.  With a regular doc, they might send you to a surgeon right away without asking many questions.  With an MD that practices FM, they'll ask you what you're doing that's causing the problem, they'll give you a set of exercises to do, they might perform some bodywork on you.  If your condition worsens, it might be time for surgery.  But if it improves, you can probably keep doing the exercise and make it better without surgery.

        Case in point--TR Reid, who wrote the book The Healing of America.  He had a shoulder injury that his doctor in the States said needed surgery.  But in India, his problem was corrected with a series of intense hot oil massages.

        FM is not "voodoo" or quackery, it's real medicine, it's about spending time with the patient and finding the best solution for that person.

      •  No, not everything's a scam (0+ / 0-)

        You also need to account for delusion.  Quackery has many fathers.

  •  My God that article by Orac is depressing (9+ / 0-)

    We already waste plenty of millions of science dollars on quackery, thanks to NCCAM and the pet magical thinking projects of clueless goober congressmen.
    Hyman sounds just like one of those creepozoids who get 100 hours of play during every PBS pledge drive.
    We dont need him or his kind having the ear of the President.

  •  In looking at one of your links (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, BYw, davidincleveland, myboo

    I was diverted and looked at this one:
    When the internet dies, meet the meshnet that survives which talks about a clunky but workable replacement for when the web crashes.

    ....routers link up with mine from a few hundred metres away. Soon I'm at the centre of a web of seven or eight nodes, connected through my smartphone. This meshnet, as it is called, is my only link to the others. The messages start coming in on my phone, flowing through an app called ChatSecure, built by the Guardian Project, a group of developers who design software for private communication. The app enables peer-to-peer communication between devices that are networked, but that don't necessarily have an internet connection.
    I cannot help but think that we are gonna need things like this and others to deal with big brudder and getting movements going without provocateur meddling, but I am not geek enough to know if it will be enough. If we added low spectrum radio to the mix???

    ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

    by glitterscale on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:28:11 AM PDT

    •  It's an excellent question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, davidincleveland

      The corporate thugs have stepped on the environment--how long before consumer demand and technical ability thwart the step?

      It will happen, the question is when--1 year, 10 years, 30, there's no way to tell.

      Anything could happen; the NSA has already vastly compromised the internet, and along with stupid commercial exploitation the rest of the planet could easily say fuck this and those lousy Americans, build a backbone with equality and security away from them. If they even start political pressures could bring change that we can't even wonder about now.

      [shrugs] Not exactly a description of beings in control of their tiny universe, but such is the shit sandwich fated to be digested by us.

    •  I'll buy that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when reliable wireless repeaters go residential (which, they very well may not since a lot depends on the building architecture and materials).

  •  Thanks DarkSyde (3+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:41:13 AM PDT

  •  “quackademic medicine,” (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me this circles back to the ACA. The Zombie argument  the so called "death panels" which in reality outcome based medicine.  If quackademia can't produce the metrics hopefully it will die off along as the ACA is intact.  

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:42:56 AM PDT

  •  I had the most amazing conversation (7+ / 0-)

    I stupidly corrected someone on Youtube.  They made some stupid statement about a "few" scientists claiming that global warming was happening, but we can't call it that, because it's not.   So, according to him, scientists changed the name to climate change.  

    So I said, um, not a few.. and showed the Luntz memo which recommends that the GOP use the term "climate change."

    This person was the best example of the dunning kruger effect I've ever encountered  

    To counter the idea that the vast majority of scientists are fin agreement, he gave me a link to a business journal blog which cited a heartland study questionnaire that was designed to take less than two mintuutes and was completed over the internet.  

    I, on the other hand, showed him a review of the peer reviewed studies in journals for the year 2012.  It showed that there was 1 of the 2000 papers that disagree with human caused warming.  I also showed him where NASA had compiled the same type of information.  

    He, referred me to a Christian News Service, and several denier blogs.  

    I explained to him how we can tell the burned fossil fuel carbon from the naturally released carbon.  He didn't even understand the difference between  carbon isotopes, and instead attempted to embarrass me by saying that different isotopes of carbon don't make a difference to the energy level.  

    I told him that I taught science for ten years.  That did it.  I was a liberal.  I was just believing in pseudoscience.  

    He tries to play the "You posted a study, I posted a study" game.

    In general, I think these are all clear indications that the person is a paid worker.  

    He didn't understand the science, but he had science sounding terms that he used, and he had immediate access to the exact set of studies and links that every single professional denier has.  

    I took a few minutes to lay out the simple, indisputable physics of the thing.  He couldn't understand it.  

    This person really wants to believe that the Heartland Institute and NASA are somehow on equal footing.  

    How the hell can we stop that kind of thing?


    by otto on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:55:15 AM PDT

    •  we can't stop it (5+ / 0-)

      The argument is ideological, not scientific, and ideology is impervious to facts.

      I don't even bother trying to correct them.  I'd rather just stomp them into the political ground.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:17:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ideology is impervious to authority (0+ / 0-)

        not necessarily facts.  Problem plagues all Big Science, but particularly science with immediate (and costly) policy ramifications.  Climate science is especially vulnerable to this line of attack.  It's costly to conduct (in terms of data collection) and complicated to derive (through development, maintenance and validation of models).  The expertise is sufficiently difficult that no more (and likely a lot fewer) than 11,100 people in the US qualify (compared to some twenty three thousand physicists and astronomers or 160,000 psychologists.  Combined with the broader population's uncomfortable grasp and near distrust of statistics, unreasonable skepticism stands a damn good chance of thwarting progress.

    •  You can't stop this. (5+ / 0-)

      You can only use it to your advantage.

      They're either paid oder completely self-centered and just cannot remotely fathom that they could be wrong.

      The funny thing is, that you're actually not in a dialogue - that guy isn't really talking to you but is tasked or eager to reach the audience beyond you.

      Once you realize that, stop worrying why they won't understand you and focus on the audience that may read your discourse and try to present good arguments to them while making a good impression.

      Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -- Philip K. Dick

      by RandomGuyFromGermany on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:18:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's really very simple. (5+ / 0-)

      "It is impossible to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

      You've run into a shill.  As has been pointed out, his task - for which he is almost certainly paid - is not to talk with you, but to get his talking points out to a wider audience, and he will not deviate one iota from that mission.

      The only thing you can do with shills is call them out and marginalize them to the larger audience.  If nobody believes their legitimacy, they can shill until the cows come home, and the money thrown at them is wasted.

  •  Now if Rand Paul can explain the difference (7+ / 0-)

    To the rest of his party members between 4.6 Billion years and 6, 000 years, and why the Biblical story of creation is a fairy tale.

    I can see some possibility of progress.

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:55:21 AM PDT

  •  Software gets more and more elegant, until... (4+ / 0-)

    it gets totally impossible to use. Thank goodness they went with simplicity, usability and stability at DKOS and I hope they keep it that way.
    One reason for endless, incomprehensible changes to software products and websites is  that software guys (or gals) and product managers get paid to roll out software, so they will do it whether it is useful or not.
    My favorite is the intentionally slowed down, animated lateral scrolling of the program icons on xfinity. I suppose they thought it was "cool" or maybe "youthful" to have really slow searching to emulate an underpowered smart phone. But their basic search, at least on the TV program guide, has all kinds of bugs and won't properly find your search term.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:56:43 AM PDT

    •  The web is significantly less usable than 5 years (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, rduran, shmuelman

      ago. Some good things have happened - hovering over an icon or such gives a bit more info. Google's search now includes basic search info without clicking on a link.

      But the frigging bells and whistles are driving me nuts! My least favorite is the window-in-a-window design (panes, maybe) that gives your multiple scroll bars and multiple areas of focus on the screen. You're always on the wrong one to arrow up/down. Info is hidden in mysterious areas of the screen where you can only guess at.

      As you point out DKos is not falling for that - but I could name a few things that DKon N+1 could incorporate for added utility.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 11:30:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only are the krazy-kwilt windows annoying, (0+ / 0-)

        but they drastically slow down page loading as those pages hit a dozen sites to do all the ad tracking and placements. I have been noticing more and more pages where I have to wait 10 seconds to get a scroll bar while the browser attempts to do the page layout.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 05:09:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A pretty decent retort to this argument: (11+ / 0-)
    but we have twenty-thousand year cycles ... it has been much warmer than it is today. We have data for 100 years, to simply ask, "if we only have data for 100 years, then how do we know that we have twenty-thousand year cycles?"

    Deniers usually can't help jamming these two contrary thoughts into the same paragraph:  "we have barely any data," but "here's a bunch of scientific facts on my side."  Where do those facts come from, if there's barely any data?

    The answer, of course, is that we have data on Earth's climate for a lot more than 100 years.

    Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

    by Caj on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:57:10 AM PDT

    •  It's pretty funny (6+ / 0-)

      This new "half denier" is interesting.   It's like when a kid gets caught in a lie.  They admit a little bit, so that it seems reasonable.  

      So, he admits that the earth is older than the majority of his party thinks it is.  And then he goes on to make this asinine statement about cycles.

      It's really amazing to me that these guys would say, "Well, look at this (sic) data we have for thousands of years ago, it just proves that the data we have today is (sic) impossible to have."


      by otto on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:02:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's a good sign (6+ / 0-)

        I was cheered this week when, in a diary mentioning the anti-vaxxers, we had a number of our resident crackpots piping up with "I'm not an anti-vaxxer, but . . ." and THEN go on to parrot all the standard anti-vaxx crapola about how "dangerous" and "untested" vaccines are. It means the crackpots finally realize that people think they are crackpots, and are forcing them to distance themselves from . .  well . . . themselves. So now they are sort of "crackpot-lite", so they can still try to spew out their bullshit without people just laughing at them and tuning them out.

        It means they know they are losing.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:25:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think maybe, just maybe the anti-vax crowd is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lenny Flank, rduran

          getting its wings clipped. The embarrassment having to deny being anti-vax while being anti-vax is not unlike how slavery advocates a la Bundy, have to deny even while they secretly believe.

          Has Obama (either one) ever had anything to say about vaccines and their necessity?

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 11:34:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  that is a common crackpot tactic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidincleveland, bythesea, rduran

      On the one hand, they claim "there is no evidence!!!" (usually because "they are suppressing all the real evidence!!!"), and on the other hand, they claim "here's all the evidence showing I'm right!!".

      We see this argument, word for word, from creationists, from climate deniers, from moon-landing-was-faked-ers, from the anti-GMO fringe, from anti-vaxxers, from HIV deniers, and even from assassination CT fans. Any time you hear it from anyone on any topic, it's a pretty safe bet that you're dealing with a CT loonie.

      When you look at the type of arguments they use, ALL pseudosciences are the same.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:22:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have data for 2,000,000 years. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lenny Flank


      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Paul "False Prophet" Ryan von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:04:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Earth keeps some pretty decent records. (0+ / 0-)
  •  The thing to remember about the Cons is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that they are what I think used to be called "concrete thinkers." Evidence for this is to be found in their use of compound phrases, not for more specificity or qualification, but as an opportunity to reference a dichotomy, if not opposites.
    So, in the example "free market," the adjective does not function as a descriptive of the noun. No, free things are to be taken to market to be sold for a profit. That is, the market effects a change in free goods and free goods are made unfree.
    Apply the same analysis to "religious right" and you come up with the realization that religion and rights (especially human rights) are in a state of opposition. Moreover, because it is superior to the state (exempt from restraint), religion is posited to win.

    It all depends on the preconceived notions one brings to the debate. If one believes that everything and every person is in conflict mode, then that is what one perceives. There is no combination of opposites to emerge as a compromise or grand union. There is a contest that aims for the destruction of one party or the other.
    The thing about preconceived notions (a phrase I prefer to prejudice because prejudice implies judgement, of which there is none here) is that the brain which holds them does so quite jealously. A brain full of preconceived notions does not want to be disabused. It likes believing what it believes and will not be enlightened. Perhaps there's a sort of sclerosis that sets in early but goes unrecognized until age makes the person reliant on others to survive and has to surrender what it perceives as "independence."
    That would explain why the Cons really resent the aging process. Being connected makes them irate.

    by hannah on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:16:28 AM PDT

  •  Interesting link, but (4+ / 0-)

    the article at the link possible solution doesn't explain how the 400 C oil "unloads" its energy into molten salt, which melts at 800 C.
    I'd like to understand that.

    “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

    by dskoe on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:20:31 AM PDT

    •  I'm not a physics expert. (4+ / 0-)

      But I'm guessing that they goofed the article a little - that the molten salt is melted and kept melted by heating elements directly powered by the solar energy, and stored in insulated tanks.  They unload the heat energy back into the 400C oil, which in turn exchanges it into water, pushing steam to the turbines.

      During the day, they are kept at 800C by the solar-powered heating elements.  During the night, they slowly unload their heat to the oil; when morning and the sun comes, the salt then has to be reheated a while back to 800C.  It still has enough heat to keep the oil fully charged in the morning, but it's far below 800C.  

    •  Short answer. Not table salt (0+ / 0-)

      Apparently, it's a sodium and potassium nitrate mixture.  NaNO3 and KNO3 have melting points of 308 and 334 Celsius respectively.

  •  The linked description of "functional medicine" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TerryDarc, Lenny Flank, bythesea, rduran

    reminds me of the arborist who sold trees with a 100% guarantee, if you followed directions. He included in the purchase price a small bottle of blue liquid and a larger bottle of red liquid. The planting instructions included ones to add a teaspoon of the blue liquid to a quart of water and a tablespoon of the red liquid to a gallon of water and add those to the newly planted tree every two days. His trees did indeed have a very high survival rate.

    Someone finally asked him what was in the two liquids. "Food coloring. It's the only way I can get people to water their transplants."

    This version of "functional medicine" works (when it does) because they have found a way to make people do what their high school gym teacher told them to do: eat good food and get moving.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 10:54:16 AM PDT

  •  My nomination... (0+ / 0-)

    ...for the worst newspaper redesign is the Des Moines Register. All it needs are a few GIF animations to make it the worst of all time...

  •  You are wrong about functional medicine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank

    Yes, there is a lot of quackery like Dr. Hyman and people taking advantage by selling expensive supplements, but if it gets people to take cheap supplements instead, like Vitamin D3 and fish oil, I'm all for it.  Much of modern society's chronic illnesses are directly related to the deficiencies in Western diet, for example modern farming methods make our meat much lower in omega-3 fatty acids than free-range meat.  Fish oil helps make up the difference.

    Personally I found out that I am a celiac partly through Hyman's blog on HuffPo, although the Wheat Belly book was what cinched it for me.  

    •  I try not to get my medical diagnoses through (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a book or a website.

      That's why we have doctors.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 01:30:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  bullshit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank

        Orgasms, Cancer and the Sharing Economy

        Aside from surgery and very few other interventions, doctors are dependent on pharmaceutical companies to produce the treatments they administer.  And pharmaceutical companies actively discourage research into any sort of treatment they cannot patent, i.e. natural treatments.   Because of this we get Suzanne Somers instructing the public about bioidentical (non-patentable) hormone replacement therapy, instead of the more harmful Premarin.  The state of medical research today, at least in the United States, is similar to someone looking under a streetlamp for his dropped quarter because the light is better there.

        Dr. Hyman is in fact a doctor.  It would be nicer if he didn't have his own lucrative line of marked up supplements, but at least he's fighting the man.

        •  and here we go with the (0+ / 0-)

          "evil corporations!!!!" CT woo-woo. (yawn)

          But what can one expect from people who get their medical diagnoses from a blog and a book, and their, uh, medical information from a 1980's B-actress.  (shrug)

          (I think this is the part where you declare that I am part of the corporate conspiracy too . . . . )

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 05:42:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you obviously did not read my link (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lenny Flank

            so I will help you with blockquotes:


            Seventeen years later and cancer-free, Retsky cannot be entirely sure the treatment cured him, but he believes it likely did. Numerous laboratory, animal and small human studies suggest that low-dose, continuous chemotherapy holds promise in shrinking tumors and preventing cancer’s recurrence. But the next step—testing what Retsky did in a large-scale clinical trial—is a longshot given the way cancer treatments are developed today.

            Take Michelle Holmes, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She’s been trying for years to raise money for trials on the effects of aspirin on breast cancer. Animal studies, in vitro experiments and analysis of patient outcomes suggest that aspirin might help inhibit breast cancer from spreading. Yet even her peers on scientific advisory boards appear uninterested, she says.

            “For some reason a drug that could be patented would get a randomized trial, but aspirin, which has amazing properties, goes unexplored because it’s 99 cents at CVS,” says Holmes.

            •  whatever (0+ / 0-)

              I'm completely uninterested in your crackpot woo-woo.  

              Have a nice night.


              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:32:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  too funny (0+ / 0-)

              Bragging about their supposed miracle cure, the very first line says "Retsky cannot be entirely sure the treatment cured him".

              And the crackpots wonder why we laugh at them . . . . . . .

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:26:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The point is that science depends on testing (0+ / 0-)

                hypotheses.  If testing is only restricted to patented, lucrative cures, it will most likely overlook the best treatment.  No miracles involved.  You asked for proof that Big Pharma is compromising medical research, well, there it is. If the research community cannot look into promising cures for cancer, simply because they are neither unnatural nor expensive enough, what does that say about the current state of medical science?

                •  with respect . . . (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't pay any attention to crackpots who diagnose their own diseases from a website or a book--or who get their medical information from a TV actress--or who think science is a conspiracy against them.

                  Have a nice day.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:03:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, also I fucking WENT to a doctor! (0+ / 0-)

        I've been going to fucking doctors all my life for my skin disorders, all my goddamned life, suffering through excruciating pain, sometimes going to the emergency room because all the skin came off the bottoms of my feet.  All the fucking doctors did was give me hydrocortisone cream, stronger and stronger, weakening my skin, rather than DIAGNOSING MY FUCKING PROBLEM.  Doctors can go to hell.

  •  Rand Paul actually gave the actual age of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, rduran


    He's positioning himself to be the centrist choice in 2016. Just watch.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 01:11:40 PM PDT

    •  He's trying, but how does he appeal to (0+ / 0-)

      Big Money, authoritarians, and the NeoCons? Hard to see him becoming the GOP-e choice without consolidating those elements of that same establishment.

      •  i'm just shocked a Republican gave the actual (0+ / 0-)

        number and didn't mumble it or equivocate!

        I'm bowled over!


        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

        by terrypinder on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:47:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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