Archive for February, 2014

The Scientific Method

Let’s talk about the scientific method for a bit, shall we?

You may recall, it goes kinda like this:

Something is unexplained

Somebody develops a hypothesis explaining it.

People try experiments to test that hypothesis

If a bunch of experiments succeed with none failing, the hypothesis advances to the status of theory.

Now there’s more testing. Repeatability is required. All aspects of the theory are challenged.

If the theory holds up to all of that, it is advanced to a law.

A few examples: Newton’s laws of motions; theory of relativity, theory of evolution.

Let’s be clear here. Relativity is a theory. We have designed, built, and detonated, nuclear weapons based on ideas in that theory. But it is still theory, not law.

For evolution our ability to design tests is even more limited. It looks pretty solid, but still a theory.

And where is global warming/climate change on this list?

Well, the ‘science is settled’ people would claim it’s a law. They would also have you ignore the fact that they changed the name from global warming to climate change when warming didn’t match predictions.

In the scientific met hind, I wouldn’t rank it above hypothesis. But I wouldn’t categorize it based on the scientific method. I would categorize it as a religion.

Got horrible hurricanes? climate change.

Sudden absence of hurricanes? climate change.

In fact, for its followers, climate change is the default answer for everything, no matter what the question. Just like devout followers of any religion.

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Climate Change Will Murder You!

Are you panicked yet?

Here’s a ‘science’ article from the LA Times last week.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-climate-change-crime-20140219,0,2765136.story#axzz2uaGh4oOp

If I may summarize:
It is taken for granted that the planet will warm (ignoring the fact that predictions of warming-to-date don’t match actual observed temperatures)
It is taken for granted that increased temperatures mean increased crime, and focuses on the most dire crimes.
And then tells us of the myriad murders and rapes and billions of dollars of cost to be incurred all because of global warming.

Is there anything global warming can’t do? To hear these buffoons hysteria, we’d be in shangri-la right now if just we weren’t super-heating our homeland.

So, obviously, the proper response is to spend trillions, bankrupting our children and grandchildren. All to assure, hopefully, that the climate for the near future stays relatively similar to what it was when we first started keeping records of it.

Because, clearly, that’s the only proper weather allowed on this planet. Everything else is just wrong.

Just because You Can Do Something

…doesn’t mean you should do something. Part 1 in what will surely be a series

A scientist proposes stopping tornados by building a series of 1000 ft tall walls across the heartland of the country

http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/02/25/giant-walls-tornado-alley/5808887/

I’m not bringing this up to debate the merits of the suggestion, or weigh the costs and benefits even if it would work. I am bringing it up to point out that this is the logical progression after convincing ourselves that we have modified the climate and can, therefore, change any monster weather patterns we wish. I say logical ‘progression’ rather than ‘conclusion’ because I’m quite certain we’re going to see even more extreme silliness come out of the followers of the climate change religion.

The Science is Unsettled

A statement from a Greenpeace founder is thoroughly off the climate-change reservation. He cares more about the science than the politics, and no doubt the climate change zealots will be tearing him apart soon.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/02/26/greenpeace-co-founder-no-scientific-proof-humans-are-dominant-cause-warming/

A Story of Addiction

Don’t worry, I won’t bum y’all out with this…

So, we are coming up on the 5 year anniversary of the Stimulus bill. To me, understanding the stimulus requires looking back even further, and it is a story of addiction.

It’s been nearly two decades or so since the major tobacco companies lost a huge class action suit. The money was to be administered by the various states that had been the complainants in the suit. And the ruling said that the money had to be used to fund medical costs related to smoking. It started with Public Service Announcements. Then elevating to health care costs related to smoking.

Well, the states felt they’d never properly use the hundreds of billions of dollars on that, but at the same time many states were drowning in red ink elsewhere in their books.

It didn’t take them long to get the slush fund working. Decrease state payments to medical, increase tobacco money to offset, then shift that state money to somewhere else.

Excellent! They get to use all that tobacco money and don’t have to reign in their spending anywhere else. But damn, the tobacco money didn’t last forever. And suddenly states were needing to re-fund medical while wanting to continue to grow (indulge) spending elsewhere.

A new fix was needed. And along came the Stimulus. So much money was allocated at the federal level to create jobs. And the feds allowed the states to administer their shares because ‘they knew best what they needed.’ Unfortunately, what they needed was a new way to feed their addiction, so the stimulus became the new slush fund. And when each year’s allotment of money was gone, unemployment was, shockingly, no better than it had been before.

Well, clearly, the panderists screamed, we just didn’t devote enough money to solve the problem. Hand out more money! And more. And more. And still no real long-term jobs are created. But we’re not supposed to notice that.

So let’s celebrate the anniversary of the Stimulus.

Let’s celebrate by remembering just how successful it wasn’t.

Let’s celebrate with the sort of attention addiction needs: tough love.

Let’s celebrate by going to a meeting, standing up and saying, ‘My name is America. And I’m a spending addict. It’s been 1 day since I last increased spending on a program that wasn’t working.’

Let’s do it. One day at a time.

At This Moment

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The Call of Duty Ghosts phone app really knows how to hurt a guy. Fortunately it includes the words ‘At this moment’

Heresy

I’ve been watching the Olympics a lot this year, and in the early days there’s been lots of coverage of women’s skiing and snowboarding. I can’t help but notice that every single one of these women is downright gorgeous.

Now, the standard line of thought these days is that beautiful women are successful because they are beautiful. They’ve won the lottery, if you will. They get anything they want, from the ‘best’ men, to jobs, promotions, etc.

But the Olympic standard is precisely the opposite. You don’t just win for showing up and being popular or looking good. You devote your early years to a single thing, and you practice. And practice. And when you think you’re good you don’t stop, you keep practicing. in other words, you work. And you earn it.

So, why aren’t there, to be crude, a few ugly women in the competition?

Here is my heretical suggestion: Maybe beauty doesn’t lead to success as the PC crowd would have us believe.

Maybe, just maybe, success leads to beauty. Maybe being happy, confident, competent, and national (if not international) champions fills the body with whatever mix of chemicals are necessary to mold a woman’s features into one of the many forms we’d describe as beautiful.

Just a thought. Don’t hate me for saying it.