dionysus1999: (tick)
You know, this is not going to help get you more contributions, Mr. Wales.

I still like Wikipedia, but this political bullshit is just that.   Wikipedia is going to the dogs.
dionysus1999: (tick)
I think it's normal for humans to be looking for confirmation on our biases.   However, confirmational bias is a known fallacy, and it behooves scientists to be aware of this, rather than merely confirm their biases.    Some biologists are apparently either too lazy or too entrenched in their own baloney to pull their heads out of their asses. 

Really?

Apr. 1st, 2014 11:10 am
dionysus1999: (tick)
I find it sadly amusing so many people are fired up about a tweet (TWEET, for fuck's sake) Stephen Colbert posted.

If we could take all this outrage at Stephen and redirect it at a real asswipe, say someone who's first name rhymes with flush, then it might do some good.   Colbert has consistently "punched up" and I think based on years of behavior in which he mocks conservative commentators we can give him the benefit of a doubt.

Or we can all be ANGRY over a TWEET.  Your choice.
dionysus1999: (tick)
I was looking up the Carnotaurus based on a TV show I was watching and noted it has characteristics that make it a good example of the limits of scientific knowledge.

Carnotaurus knowledge is based on one specimen found in Argentina.  And check this out, it was inside a hematite concretion.  I didn't know that hematite, a form of iron ore, could be formed by sedimentation.  But it happens around springs and other areas with suspended minerals.  And thanks to the relatively unique preservation of Carnotaurus we also know the texture of its skin!

I couldn't explain how a dinosaur fossil was preserved in iron ore if I didn't know that iron ore can be formed by sedimentation.   Loons probably use this as an example that paleontologists don't know what they are talking about.

Scientists can also make educated guesses on basic morphology of related species, which is the case with Carnotaurus.  This does not rule out revisions based on new fossil evidence.  The more specimens we have of this critter the more accurate our educated guesses become.

There's nothing better than primary evidence, like bones.  Geological stratification is a complex topic,  but while the rocks can be confusing, they don't lie.   Opponents of evolution have only to find fossils in the "wrong" strata to disprove evolution.  Unfortunately for those opponents, over 200 years of paleontology has yet to find this type of inconsistency.

Science is structured to be self-correcting.   Yesterday's Lysenkoism is today's Evopsych and tomorrow's Psychohistory.    Without the controls of peer review and criticism we get stuck with propaganda.

Lysenkoism wasn't science, it was ideology.   Any evidence that refuted Lysenkoism was suppressed.  Eventually the science of genetics was allowed to be practiced in Russia again, because otherwise they'd have continued to fall behind the rest of the world.

Similarly, evolutionary psychology is a current darling among some who enjoy the comfort of its' 1950's version of reality it values above all others.   Evolutionary psychology is a valid subject of study, but in my mind seems to fall in the same field that anthropologists study.

Anthropologists study current and past human civilizations by either direct observation or digging.  Evolutionary psychologists poll college students.  Which of these forms of data would you suspect has more validity?

Evopsychs like twin studies, even though we know much of the twin study data is faulty.  Evopsychs love gender differences, but their research seems to get lost in the static of cultural relativity.  They spend time trying to show that rape is a valid reproductive strategy without considering the ramifications of their research.

Evopsych folks attempt to explain gender and racial differences through evolution.  They then get branded as misanthropes and racists.  Why are we picking on them?  Evidence, or the lack thereof, is the main problem, along with models of behavior.  One of the tasks of a researcher is to illustrate you've ruled out other hypotheses that have better fit for your subject.

So when you start with a hypothesis that men make more money than women because they are more evolutionarily fit, you better do your homework.  By which I mean sifting through the mountains of data collected by anthropologists over centuries.   I'm still not convinced much of what evopsych tells us is inherited isn't just cultural bias.  In fact, it's obvious to many that most evopysch research starts with a cherished opinion and the researcher merely cherry picks evidence to support discredited opinions on the poor, women and minorities.  Social dogma, similar to the religious dogma we see with creationists.

I don't see any evopsych people working closely with primatologists, which to me seems an obvious place to start to tease out cultural versus inherited characteristics.  If I was a department chair I'd challenge the evolutionary psychologists to go back to first principles.  You can't bake a cake without flour.  You can't call youself a scientist when the evidence you claim supports your theories is suspect.   And like that sad lump of material that people try to pass off as gluten free cake*, evopsych isn't well respected.  Something's missing, and all the college student polls in the world aren't going to correct it.

I'll even throw a "bone" to the evopsych folks.  Take a good look at the research that says that women were the primary cave painters.   You've got primary evidence in the form of artist hand impressions.  Just don't go out beyond what your data suggests.   This still doesn't explain gender pay differences, for instance.

* I've had some decent gluten free desserts, just don't call it cake. :)
dionysus1999: (tick)
Taking away options is un-American.   Could the soft drink companies sue the university for unfair practices?   First cigarettes, now our sugary pop.   What's next?   Per Penn State we already have forced exercise.  This stuff ain't funny anymore.

http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201310/new-healthy-beverage-initiative-all-umhs-locations
dionysus1999: (tick)
In regard to this.

The asshole's name is Theodore Beale, and he's a toxic shithead.   I'm making a exception to my pacifism if I ever meet him.   If you happen to meet him, please kick him in the balls, hard as you can. 
dionysus1999: (tick)
Author [livejournal.com profile] jaylakerecently mentioned on his LJ having a friend being upset with him for not being available.  Jay's been in the middle of the modern horror story we call cancer treatment now for many years, beating the odds, though he's running out of treatment options. Listening to a patient's caregiver berate her for something rather trivial reminds me that we need to be kinder to those of us who are ill.  Stress does no good for anyone, even more so for the loved ones who are healing or at the least surviving.  Cut those less fortunate some slack, they are doing the best they can under the circumstances.
dionysus1999: (tick)
Dear white Chrysler Army vet:

Keep driving like that, you'll kill yourself sooner than later.  The rest of us would appreciate it if you'd just drink a bunch of booze and take some pills rather than take us with you, fuck ass.
dionysus1999: (tick)
My opinion of the Catholic Church hasn't changed after reading this article on enslaved Catholic women.  I continue to believe the church is a boil on the world's ass.   It's a tragedy that many excellent Catholics in and outside the church and their good deeds are painted in shit by the continuing shame that is the hierarchy of the church.
dionysus1999: (amy)
After reading this article I'm done with Amazon. I can find products from some other faceless corporate entity. Not one more penny.  I recognize some of you are tied into the Amazon ecology, but I strongly recommend you take your business elsewhere, this kind of shit is douchebaggery at a level only Amazon can reach.
dionysus1999: (zombiedepp)
Ok, maybe he didn't do it personally, but Jon Lovitz said he got Phil's wife (the one who shot him) hooked on cocaine again.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Hartman
dionysus1999: (brain)
I don't know if this works for other people, but I can tell you ladies/women/female aspected people:

1) Fake tans look stupid (esp. when it's been raining and cloudy the last 30 days)

2) The word PINK has lost it's cache, if it ever had it. I'd like to see hot pants with the words "This space available for ads". Or the HTML code for pink (#F52887)would be more clever.
dionysus1999: (amy)
I find it annoying that BoingBoing spreads the Apple meme. 

I read an article yesterday that said that Apple users are more liberal.   I think that's an over-generalization, because liberals like me see through the marketing BS.    Apple makes products that correspond to a certain lifestyle.  It's no surprise that most of my friends don't own an Apple product.   Few of my friends seem to think a product being pretty is better than having a product that can be modified (without losing a warranty) and doesn't have restriction after restriction on where you can get music, software, peripherals, etc.

But maybe this highlights why our political system is such a mess, if liberals can't see through clever marketing.   I guess I prefer the type of liberal who can look beyond the obvious, and has issues with the way most money still seems to flow to old white guys with connections.  

Steve Jobs is a bit like a kinder, gentler Rupert Murdoch.   Murdoch (more accurately his flunkies) masticates the news into pap, adds his conservative spin and regurgitates it to the hungry conservatives.   They don't worry if the information is nutritious (true), only that it goes down smooth.

Jobs has some of the same spin doctors, he just targets a different, gullible audience.  Or maybe gullible's not the right word, maybe having more money than time, perhaps? 

None of this negates the fact that Jobs produces useful, if overpriced, devices.  If they were made in the U.S.A. I might consider purchasing them.    So he's really not that much like Murdoch, whose main goal seems to be to cover the planet with his lies.
dionysus1999: (Default)

First, look at this.

I seriously doubt this young'un got vaccinated.
dionysus1999: (zombiedepp)
I don't buy any of the stupid reasons people try to give me for being late.   Pagan standard time is the one that I have been told personally, though I've also heard Black standard time, Southern Standard Time, Hispanic/Mexican Standard Time, etc.   As well as being racist/classist, these are just B.S. excuses for rudeness.

Just stop it.  I don't want to hear your B.S.  If you don't have enough respect for your doctor, therapist, judge, or (insert other reason for an appointment)to be on time then I guess you don't get to see them, do you?

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