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Brendel Plays and Introduces Schubert – 5 DVD Set

Alfred Brendel is an outstanding modern exponent of Schubert’s piano music. He is capable of bringing not only the verve of this music but also its poetic intensity and intellectual depth to life with a special vibrancy. In this unique collection – a 5 DVD box (on Naxos) at a very attractive price – he plays all of Schubert’s major works for keyboard and introduces each piece, throwing light on its compositional substance and at the same time revealing his own highly personal relationship with these masterpieces of Romantic music. Read more >>

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Author Topic: A toast to Western pseudoscience!  (Read 924 times)
mjames
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« on: April 28, 2017, 09:38:28 PM »

Data supports the notion that Westerners are currently "the best" at science, and I propose that we are equally as good (or perhaps even better) at pseudoscience. Why do I think so? Because Westerners have the benefit of being born in regions rich with research institutions, standardized education, and technology that allows us to fact-check anything at the click of button. You would think that in a post-religious society such as ours people would stop believing in bullshit...apparently not.

So today I learned something about the wonderful blonde american s e x goddess Gwyneth Paltrow. She apparently thinks that:

Quote
Actor Gwyneth Paltrow has excelled herself. Her “popular lifestyle website” goop.com carries a recommendation that women steam-clean their vaginas for extra energy, to rebalance female hormones and for a squeaky clean uterus:

The real golden ticket here is the Mugwort V-Steam. You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al.”

V-Steam is not just any old steam douche, it is an energetic release that balances female hormone levels. It’s available at the Tikkun Spa in Santa Monica. “If you’re in LA, you have to do it.”

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?HuhHuh? And apparently she makes millions by selling this stuff to gullible women. I can't stop laughing. If you have any thoughts about it, or if you have any other interesting mumbo-jumbo crap to share please do because this thread is a toast to western (or any other kind really) pseudoscience!



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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 10:07:24 PM »

Some lady tried telling me that black people get vitaligo because when they move to northern colder climates their skin turns white to adapt to the less sunlight
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mjames
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 10:10:11 PM »

Some lady tried telling me that black people get vitaligo because when they move to northern colder climates their skin turns white to adapt to the less sunlight

I am dying.
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ted
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 11:13:28 PM »

I have a friend, otherwise seemingly intelligent, who sincerely thinks she controls the weather by setting light to pieces of material in saucers inside the house. Doing so, she told me, stops lightning immediately, which precaution is very important, as she herself knew of a whole family who perished when their house burnt down during a storm. The obvious inference eluded her.

Seriously though, the recent deluge of this sort of thing, especially on Facebook with its aphoristic tripe, but also in other media, is worrying, and seems concomitant with a general rejection of reason. Are we hell-bent on leap-frogging back into a new dark age ? Will two and two soon have a right to equal five because my belief is as good as someone else's ?

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georgey
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 11:28:27 PM »

Perhaps not so funny:

Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!

Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

The sun goes around the earth we can all see.  Fake news and fake scientists spread lies saying the earth revolves around the sun.  BAD!  Would still beat Hillary if .....
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mjames
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 11:55:19 PM »

What do you do when your understanding of a topic is at odds with what standard research claims? Do you:

1. Claim that all scientists are wrong and therefor incompetent
2. Claim that they're all corrupt
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Admit that you (a layman) might be misunderstanding something and that scientists might know something you don't.


Most reasonable people go for #4, the people we're talking about go for the other options; it's a manifestation of the dunning-kruger effect. I honestly thought that only paranoid schizophrenics went for the other options, but seemingly reasonable people fall for it too. My girlfriend's good friend (a civil engineer major, so obviously competent) believes that the earth is currently expanding like a balloon.

What.
is.
going.
on.
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mjames
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 12:07:21 AM »

Are we hell-bent on leap-frogging back into a new dark age ? Will two and two soon have a right to equal five because my belief is as good as someone else's ?

Perhaps not as drastic as your example buuuuuut feels like we're already there:



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ted
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2017, 12:42:44 AM »

What do you do when your understanding of a topic is at odds with what standard research claims?

Of course I initially assume the fourth case, but I also feel an imperative to follow the question through, within my limited access to information, to find out exactly why I might be wrong. This is especially valuable in the more abstract and objectively invariant fields, such as mathematics, because of the likelihood, however small, that I might have the germ of an interesting idea. To take a concrete example, if students hadn't insisted, against academic tradition, that something peculiar was happening with recursion on hand calculators, chaos wouldn't have been discovered as soon as it was.

I suppose it boils down to the difference between a rational open mind and an irrational one.
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2017, 01:04:51 AM »

Perhaps not as drastic as your example buuuuuut feels like we're already there:





I sometimes think I am living in a world of loonies. What on earth is she talking about ?
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2017, 01:24:37 AM »

What do you do when your understanding of a topic is at odds with what standard research claims? Do you:

1. Claim that all scientists are wrong and therefor incompetent
2. Claim that they're all corrupt
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Admit that you (a layman) might be misunderstanding something and that scientists might know something you don't.


Most reasonable people go for #4, the people we're talking about go for the other options; it's a manifestation of the dunning-kruger effect. I honestly thought that only paranoid schizophrenics went for the other options, but seemingly reasonable people fall for it too. My girlfriend's good friend (a civil engineer major, so obviously competent) believes that the earth is currently expanding like a balloon.

What.
is.
going.
on.

What is going on you ask??

My understanding: I see the sun moving across the sky during the day.  On the drive back to my home in the afternoon, it’s in a new location compared to where it was when I left home in the morning. Also, it does not feel like the earth is moving to me.  Therefore I conclude that the sun is moving.  Therefore I conclude that scientists are wrong when they say the earth revolves around the sun.  Therefore I conclude all scientists are wrong and corrupt.  Therefore, I pick number 3 on your list.

Of course I could make an effort to hear the scientists explanation for my sensations, but I don't feel like it.  I like my explanation.  Any more questions?

EDIT: Someone has pointed out to me that scientists say that the earth also rotates on its axis at 1000 mph and this explains why the son moves in the sky.  I say impossible.  This would make me very dizzy.  I conclude that the son is moving while the earth remains motionless..
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mjames
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2017, 02:16:42 AM »

To take a concrete example, if students hadn't insisted, against academic tradition, that something peculiar was happening with recursion on hand calculators, chaos wouldn't have been discovered as soon as it was.

I suppose it boils down to the difference between a rational open mind and an irrational one.


I completely agree. There's a distinction to be made here though, I'm not talking about students and researchers within an area of research, I'm talking people who extend beyond their fields of expertise (if they have any) to contest against experts. These type of people often "challenge" standard research by using either outdated, debunked, and/or nonsensical ideas. An extreme example would be a fellow trying to contest against say quantum field theory despite Galilean relativity being the most sophisticated area of physics he's ever studied. It's a display of sheer utter arrogance and incompetence, while yours is a classic example of the academic process.

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mjames
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 02:37:38 AM »

What is going on you ask??

My understanding: I see the sun moving across the sky during the day.  On the drive back to my home in the afternoon, it’s in a new location compared to where it was when I left home in the morning. Also, it does not feel like the earth is moving to me.  Therefore I conclude that the sun is moving.  Therefore I conclude that scientists are wrong when they say the earth revolves around the sun.  Therefore I conclude all scientists are wrong and corrupt.  Therefore, I pick number 3 on your list.

Of course I could make an effort to hear the scientists explanation for my sensations, but I don't feel like it.  I like my explanation.  Any more questions?

I mean it's funny because it's true... : (
I'm sure you will like this lol:



How do you get on national TV? Say nonsense and people will believe you.
Well to be fair, kids are allowed to be grandiose and arrogant. (I thought I was disproved special relativity back when I was 10 too).
The problem that every adult around him is so incompetent that they're unable to realise he's saying bullshit, and so we end up with millions of glen beck viewers calling bs on SR...

...America.  



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georgey
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 04:32:13 AM »

I mean it's funny because it's true... : (
I'm sure you will like this lol:

How do you get on national TV? Say nonsense and people will believe you.
Well to be fair, kids are allowed to be grandiose and arrogant. (I thought I was disproved special relativity back when I was 10 too).
The problem that every adult around him is so incompetent that they're unable to realise he's saying bullshit, and so we end up with millions of glen beck viewers calling bs on SR...

...America.  


Professor Beck.  I miss seeing him on Fox.  Poor kid. I don’t think it is very healthy to display a kid like this on tv.  All I saw was the kid starting to prove that a certain infinite series converges using the integral test.  This is something we learned in the 2nd semester of calculus.  The function that he was integrating looked like it might be a little difficult to do.  Maybe not bad using trigonometric identities.  The kid appears to dispute the big bang theory but he did not talk about it.  I blame Beck for this poor display.

Also, I edited my prior post:

EDIT: Someone has pointed out to me that scientists say that the earth also rotates on its axis at 1000 mph and this explains why the son moves in the sky.  I say impossible.  This would make me very dizzy.  I conclude that the son is moving while the earth remains motionless..  Wink
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 04:46:14 AM »

I gave up on humanity long time ago... We just need to admit that an average human is not a rational being. Then it all starts to make sense.
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mjames
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2017, 05:08:31 AM »

Maybe not bad using trigonometric identities.  The kid appears to dispute the big bang theory but he did not talk about it.  I blame Beck for this poor display.

I thought so too, but if you look at his other videos the quality is pretty much the same. He's obviously bright, i mean calculus at 12?! The kid is obviously surrounded by idiotic adults (family, friends) who instead of providing him a proper education egg him on and inflate his ego. His parents are obviously profiting off the prodigy persona they've created for him.

Speaking of bright misguided young individuals:


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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2017, 05:16:03 AM »

I gave up on humanity long time ago... We just need to admit that an average human is not a rational being. Then it all starts to make sense.

Let me restore your faith...



ok nvm
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2017, 05:56:48 AM »

Let me restore your faith...
Now you really got me worried...I think I saw a rainbow using my v steam the other day  Shocked
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2017, 08:15:17 AM »

I gave up on humanity long time ago... We just need to admit that an average human is not a rational being. Then it all starts to make sense.
Yep - other people come highly overrated.
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2017, 08:27:52 AM »

The most surprising one I ran across a few years ago was scientists who "didn't believe in" geologic history.  I think it was the creationism vs. science debate.  They worked in chemistry or physics but didn't believe the age of the Earth, etc.  Like it was possible to pick out what parts of science are true because you believe in them, but you could leave other parts out if you didn't.  
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2017, 08:43:13 AM »

I know of seventh day adventists who work at the Natural History Museum - go figure?
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mjames
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2017, 02:53:31 PM »

Someone just told me that geological methods used in climate science is not "real" science because we weren't around several hundred million years ago; literally just rejected the use of inference in science. Funnily enough he doesn't realize the Dunning-Kruger parallel he has with creationists and evolution even after I pointed it out to him.

Being an atheist certainly doesn't mean you're rational.
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2017, 04:54:04 PM »

In my experience people are only rational within their own personal logic.
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2017, 10:28:31 PM »

Vaccines, anti-GMO fanatics, climate deniers, evolution deniers, chem-trail conspiracy theorists, Christ, it's worse than we're letting on.
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« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2017, 07:31:59 AM »

I was surprised recently when I read about how recent it seems that the scientific method has been followed, or more that things are based off science instead of belief.  More towards the 19th century up to the 1930s or so (but it's still around I think), it sounded like doctors were coming up with a belief and then either blindly following that, having ideas to support it, or searching for ideas to support it, but the missing part was testing it and seeing if it worked like they thought.  ex. Exercise makes adults huff and puff, so it's bad then because it's wearing out the heart. 

That's if what I read is true for the beliefs.  It makes me wonder about ideas related to music practice.  We're taking ideas and using that but there's probably not much studied so much except for what we've seen ourselves.  That might still work but it's not based off anything, not as strong as it might be.  Still, there isn't a huge emphasize of studying learning compared to other things.
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mjames
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« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2017, 04:40:55 AM »

I was surprised recently when I read about how recent it seems that the scientific method has been followed, or more that things are based off science instead of belief.  More towards the 19th century up to the 1930s or so (but it's still around I think), it sounded like doctors were coming up with a belief and then either blindly following that, having ideas to support it, or searching for ideas to support it, but the missing part was testing it and seeing if it worked like they thought.  ex. Exercise makes adults huff and puff, so it's bad then because it's wearing out the heart. 

Scientific rigour seems to have entered various disciplines at different rates. After Galileo physics rapidly implemented experimentation and it had become pretty standard by the 18th century. While fields like early-anthropology and pre-modern medicine heavily relied on pseudoscience and superstition up until the 19th century. Medicine has the excuse of being heavily dependent technology and interactions with people, so it's not hard to see it get tangled up with a lot of BS. Use of experimentation existed early on (leeuwenhoek and pasteur for example) but its journey to standard practice was pretty slow compared to other fields.

I think female hysteria (women needing to have regular orgasms to avoid insanity) was still being diagnosed and being treated with masturbation by doctors up until the 20th century. lol
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« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2017, 04:42:17 AM »

Also it looks like Turkey (are they considered Westerners or not? w/e) has decided to revoke its secularism by stripping public school from teaching evolution to children, because Turkish politicians just don't like it! Yay, i guess?

We have the Turkish and their love for Islamist dictatorships, and we have secular Germans resorting to pseudo-science by promoting anti-nuclear views among the public and politicians.

Quote
The movement to pull away from nuclear energy has been a main talking point for politicians in recent elections. Now, with the plan in motion to take all of Germany's nuclear reactors offline, politicians and voters alike are concerned about what comes next - and who will end up paying for it.
Phasing out all nuclear power plants is one of the prongs of Germany's Energiewende, or energy transition, policy to curb its carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy. The movement to pull the plug on Germany's nuclear plants, however, started decades before Chancellor Angela Merkel made the call to immediately close several reactors following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-nuclear-phase-out-explained/a-39171204

It doesn't matter that nuclear plants have a near perfect safety record, and it actually has the less overall and average casualties in comparison to every other sources of energy, they are actually replacing them with coal factories. The fear is for nuclear is radioactive waste, and yet one coal plant produces more radioactive waste in a few days than all nuclear accidents in history. And unlike nuclear you can't clean up the damage within a few years, it's radiated in gaseous forms along with other toxic gases like arsenic and greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane that can only be cleaned through long geological processes.

A good example of an otherwise reasonable nation resorting to pseudoscience not due to religion, but fearmongering sensationalism. Poor Germany.
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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2017, 05:35:36 AM »

Mjames:

I think you are not looking at this in a fully objective way. I am not against nuclear power per se, but there are numerous problems in it just like with using goal. In the end the Germans are not planning to replace nuclear power with goal, but instead searching for energy sources with less problems and reducing energy consumption. They are perfectly aware of the problems associated with goal. Unlike in US where you live, very few people in  Europe question those.

I think the thread of terrorism and cyber attacks have contributed to the general feeling of security when it comes to nuclear plants. Not all radioactivity is the same as you must know and while any power plant can cause a lot of health damage to the surrounding population, an accident with nuclear power is not a minor risk...remembering a certain little incident in the former Soviet Union that also affected us.

The nuclear waste issue is another matter. It can only be stored safely in some parts of the world and are the people living there willing to take the responsibility for others? At the moment it seems much of it will be stored about 100 km where I live. I'm not worried but I do understand why some people would not want to take the risk so that people elsewhere can keep on spending energy as much as they want to...

Remember, politicians will always need to simplify their message to get anything done. It does not necessarily mean that they don't understand the complexity of the matter themselves. I too wish that science would have more power in the world, but it just does not work that way. Besides we know science cannot always give the right answers either, at least not at the time when they are needed.
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« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2017, 05:50:58 AM »

Posting with this phone is very difficult...

Anyway, it's all about risk management. The probability of a big disaster with nuclear power is not very high, but the immediate damages can be really huge. On the other hand the damage caused by goal is a bit harder to assess and is not as immediate, but the probability of it realizing is high. Science gives us tools for decision making but not ready made answers.

My point really is that this is not a very good example of Western pseudoscience but rather an issue which is complex and with not one simple answer provided by science. There are plenty of well educated people with scientific background in Europe who agree with this plan.

Personally I wish that even more money was invested in science and developing safer energy producion, whether nuclear or something else. But I guess we have a long wait for something like nuclear fusion or energy from space to become reality...
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« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2017, 06:50:01 AM »

DW is pro "anti-nuclear" so of course they're aren't going to say anything about what nuclear is being replaced with.

Quote
Unlike France, Germany is much more reliant on renewable energy and fossil fuels for its electricity generation than on nuclear power. That is because Germany decided to retire its nuclear units and promote renewable energy instead after the tsunami hit Japan’s nuclear reactors in Fukushima. While Germany gets 27.3 percent of its generation from non-hydroelectric renewable energy, it is also heavily dependent on coal and natural gas for base-load power and to back up its intermittent wind and solar power, generating over 50 percent of its power from fossil fuels.

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/france-germany-turn-coal/

Increase in coal usage in Germany is directly related to nuclear phase out plans. Despite the Merkel's environmentally friendly rhetoric, Germany's is projected to increase throughout the 2020s as well. Renewables just aren't enough to fill energy gaps left by closing nuclear plants and an exponential increase of energy consumption in Germany.

Quote
The nuclear waste issue is another matter. It can only be stored safely in some parts of the world and are the people living there willing to take the responsibility for others? At the moment it seems much of it will be stored about 100 km where I live.

A lot of the waste is re-processed and re-used as fuel, the remaining like you said are either stored in stable geological environments or artificial facilities (usually on site). These are stored where naturally occurring isotopes with far more radioactivity are present. While we have waste like plut. with a half-life of 20K years, we also have isotopes like cesium that decay into harmless materials in ~30 years.
Modern containers also aren't an issue. You can surround high waste containers with TNT, detonate them, and you'd still find no leakage. In fact awhile back there was a simulation of a 1 ton projectile colliding with them and there was still no leakage.

Quote
I think the thread of terrorism and cyber attacks have contributed to the general feeling of security when it comes to nuclear plants. Not all radioactivity is the same as you must know and while any power plant can cause a lot of health damage to the surrounding population, an accident with nuclear power is not a minor risk...remembering a certain little incident in the former Soviet Union that also affected us

Chernobyl is a direct result of officials (whether engineers or bureaucrats) deliberately ignoring safety protocols. Also modern reactors cannot experience a meltdown similar to Chernobyl, even out-dated ones like those of Fukushima failed to produce a fallout similar to Chernobyl despite being hit with a tsunami that happens several times per millennia. A radiation fallout that failed to kill anyone.

Quote
remembering a certain little incident in the former Soviet Union that also affected us

Understandable but then this becomes an issue of understanding risk. When a hydroelectric accident kills more people than the average nuclear accident and yet the former is considered the safer alternative is clear misunderstanding of risk. There is risk yes I won't deny that, but if we're assessing which alternative to use based on risk factors then nuclear clearly wins.
I'd advise you to read the Nuclear safety protocols and its records:

https://www.nei.org/Issues-Policy/Safety-and-Security
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_safety_and_security


The way the German government handles nuclear debates especially after Fukushima isn't based on statistics to assess risk, energy efficiency, or even a serious consideration of what negative effects they'll have on the environment through its phase out. I frankly don't find using the worst examples of human error and natural disasters while ignoring the near perfect safety record of nuclear plants a convincing argument. The German decision is based on public fear, considering their positions directly contradicts the advice of German engineers and scientists.
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« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2017, 07:09:01 AM »

I'm not going to engage in an argument about something we might actually mostly agree on. I am aware of the science and have studied physics myself, hoping to work with nuclear science myself one day (did not happen). I also studied risk theory extensively btw.

I hope you read both my posts, since I had to do a lot of editing for it to make any sense due to the posting issues... the point is, risk assesment is what is being done and it's based on science as well as politics and value judgements. It's not all about scare tactics on public. The economical interests are huge and all sorts of delay tactics will surely be used by the opposite side.

If you want an example of pseudoscience gaining ground in Western Europe, medicine is a lot better example...But I don't want to go into that, it raises my blood pressure Wink
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« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2017, 07:13:56 AM »

Posting with this phone is very difficult...

Anyway, it's all about risk management. The probability of a big disaster with nuclear power is not very high, but the immediate damages can be really huge. On the other hand the damage caused by goal is a bit harder to assess and is not as immediate, but the probability of it realizing is high. Science gives us tools for decision making but not ready made answers.

My point really is that this is not a very good example of Western pseudoscience but rather an issue which is complex and with not one simple answer provided by science. There are plenty of well educated people with scientific background in Europe who agree with this plan.

Personally I wish that even more money was invested in science and developing safer energy producion, whether nuclear or something else. But I guess we have a long wait for something like nuclear fusion or energy from space to become reality...

You basically followed up your post with what I said, sorry didn't see it sooner.
Anyways the hilarious thing is that the German government is also investing in nuclear fusion, which is why I'm fairly certain they are not being properly advised in science. Nuclear fusion also produces radioactive waste like fission. The only difference I can see that waste is produced indirectly, as in not by the fusion reaction itself but the resultant reaction's nuclides end up absorbing neutrons -leading to radioactive material. Only here that the short half-life isotopes are far more dominant than types like plutonium you find in fission waste. So I guess that's the upside, but in the end the whole process of containment and transport will continue...
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« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2017, 07:19:50 AM »

I'm not going to engage in an argument about something we might actually mostly agree on. I am aware of the science and have studied physics myself, hoping to work with nuclear science myself one day (did not happen). I also studied risk theory extensively btw.

I hope you read both my posts, since I had to do a lot of editing for it to make any sense due to the posting issues... the point is, risk assesment is what is being done and it's based on science as well as politics and value judgements. It's not all about scare tactics on public. The economical interests are huge and all sorts of delay tactics will surely be used by the opposite side.

If you want an example of pseudoscience gaining ground in Western Europe, medicine is a lot better example...But I don't want to go into that, it raises my blood pressure Wink

lol no prob.
i didnt know you studied physics
Physics buddy!

Quote
If you want an example of pseudoscience gaining ground in Western Europe, medicine is a lot better example...But I don't want to go into that, it raises my blood pressure Wink


I can't tell if this is a jab at modern or alternative medicine. <_>
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« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2017, 07:21:08 AM »

You basically followed up your post with what I said, sorry didn't see it sooner.
Anyways the hilarious thing is that the German government is also investing in nuclear fusion, which is why I'm fairly certain they are not being properly advised in science. Nuclear fusion also produces radioactive waste like fission. The only difference I can see that waste is produced indirectly, as in not by the fusion reaction itself but the resultant reaction's nuclides end up absorbing neutrons -leading to radioactive material. Only here that the short half-life isotopes are far more dominant than types like plutonium you find in fission waste. So I guess that's the upside, but in the end the whole process of containment and transport will continue...

There are other reasons to research fusion of course such as an unlimited source of cheap fuel.

I have to work closely with politicians and I can tell you that what they do and what they think do not always go hand in hand Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2017, 07:26:47 AM »

lol no prob.
i didnt know you studied physics
Physics buddy!
Be assured I have forgotten everything Smiley

I can't tell if this is a jab at modern or alternative medicine. <_>

Guess!

The problem is in both actually:
Because of the over reliance on medication only in modern medicine (because there are not enough resources for other effective treatments recommended by research and they are often more laborous to the patient) people are turning into all sorts of pdeudomedicine and humbug...and get very upset if you dare to question them.
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« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2017, 07:29:28 AM »

There are other reasons to research fusion of course such as an unlimited source of cheap fuel.

I have to work closely with politicians and I can tell you that what they do and what they think do not always go hand in hand Smiley

It's crazy to think of an energy source that can outlast the current age of the universe. I would love to see the reactor in Greifswald. <.>
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« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2017, 07:44:34 AM »

It's crazy to think of an energy source that can outlast the current age of the universe. I would love to see the reactor in Greifswald. <.>

Maybe you will one day...although those things look more like engineering projects to me. Not very elegant Smiley

Personally I am intrigued by the possibilities of getting energy from space. That could make nuclear energy as we think about it old-fashioned...
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« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2017, 07:55:17 AM »

Maybe you will one day...although those things look more like engineering projects to me. Not very elegant Smiley

Personally I am intrigued by the possibilities of getting energy from space. That could make nuclear energy as we think about it old-fashioned...



When i was a kid I watched a pretty cool cartoon show that introduced me to the space elevator:



Loved it so much I wrote a paper about it in high school. Probably not what you're thinking about because it is sooo unrealistic but I think it's just so cool. SOLAR PANELS IN SPACE!
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« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2017, 08:09:45 AM »



When i was a kid I watched a pretty cool cartoon show that introduced me to the space elevator:



Loved it so much I wrote a paper about it in high school. Probably not what you're thinking about because it is sooo unrealistic but I think it's just so cool. SOLAR PANELS IN SPACE!

Space lift would be the only hope for me to ever get to space which has been my life long dream...unfortunately I guess I was born a bit too early to see one.

But not SO unrealistic, because some of the technology is already there, such as nano fibres.

When it comes to things like space ships and nuclear reactors, the real things tend to be a bit disappointing compared to what you see in SiFi Sad
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« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2017, 08:15:34 AM »

I think female hysteria (women needing to have regular orgasms to avoid insanity) was still being diagnosed and being treated with masturbation by doctors up until the 20th century. lol
  What  Shocked  That's not true?
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« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2017, 08:23:17 AM »

  What  Shocked  That's not true?

One could assume that a more satisfying sex life does prevent insanity...so this was probably one of the LESS harmful medical treatments induced on women in the past.
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« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2017, 09:39:14 AM »

One could assume that a more satisfying sex life does prevent insanity...
Tell that to the Vatican. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2017, 01:52:48 AM »

Came across an old piece:

Quote
While the testing regime is flawed, it is stringent enough to present a serious problem for farmers in poor countries who want to export their crops. The fears of pampered northerners are thus creating an obstacle to the acceptance of food aid and the adoption of technology that might make the poor less poor.

Quote
Europe's anti-GM hysteria, however, will continue to deter farmers in poor countries (the majority of the population) from planting crops which tend to have higher yields and require fewer applications of costly and dangerous chemical pesticides. Hardly a green outcome.

http://www.economist.com/node/1337197
https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/06/30/is-eus-anti-gmo-stance-holding-back-developing-countries/

We're supposed to be helping developing nations not infecting them with our pseudoscience. I never knew our anti-GMO lunacy had such a strong impact on poorer nations.

https://itif.org/publications/2016/02/08/suppressing-growth-how-gmo-opposition-hurts-developing-nations

Quote
Anti-GMO activists have erected barriers to agricultural biotech innovation that could cost the poorest nations on earth up to $1.5 trillion through 2050.

Depressing..
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« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2017, 04:04:30 AM »

Don't have time to read the articles, but you have to be critical with them. In economical issues it's hard to separate interests, ideology and politics from science. Since the economical interests are so great, even scientific articles in well known publications are not always free from underlying assumptions that are non-scientific. Ask yourself who will have the most benefit from new GM modified plants replacing the original local crops. While they may be more productive, they are not free to use and that will add another cost to the poor farmers in developing countries. After the new crops have invaded the area they have less choice. It may also present a risk to genetic diversity which is just as important for plants as it is for animals.

So while we may have nothing to worry about eating gm food, there are other issues to consider...
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« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2017, 12:18:14 AM »

Couple of miscellaneous points -- and I'm delighted with most of the comments above!

The observation that people tend to believe what they can see, taste, feel -- e.g. the sun revolves around the earth -- is very very true.  And such beliefs are very strong!

The other comment just now is that one of the things most people are very very poor at risk assessment.  There are countless examples of this -- the tendency is to wildly overestimate the risk of something which is exceedingly rare, but catastrophic (such as an asteroid strike) and wildly underestimate the risk of something which is relatively mild but unseen (such as the idiocy of substituting brown coal for nuclear power in Germany, which has to be one of the silliest moves of the recent past).  Further, they tend to accept far higher levels of risk in something which they control (such as sky diving, or even driving a car) than in something which they do not control.

And politicians make their living by playing up the irrational in people... just look around.
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« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2017, 02:23:09 PM »


And politicians make their living by playing up the irrational in people... just look around.
Excepting that there is no rational, just personal versions of it.
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« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2017, 10:48:18 PM »

Excepting that there is no rational, just personal versions of it.

What about science?  That gets distilled down and still admits it might be wrong.
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« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2017, 08:07:47 AM »

My favorite this week...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/07/14/malcolm-turnbull-says-laws-australia-trump-laws-mathematics/

"Malcolm Turnbull says laws of Australia trump laws of mathematics as tech giants told to hand over encrypted messages"

Quote
Messaging apps like WhatsApp and iMessage would be forced to hand over the contents of encrypted messages under laws being proposed by the Australian government.

The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled the new laws on Friday, saying they had been modelled on Britain's Investigatory Powers Act, which requires companies to decrypt communications in some circumstances.

However, he generated controversy when challenged on whether it was possible to fully crack down on encryption, saying that the laws of Australia override the laws of mathematics that govern how encryption work.

Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia," he said when asked how the proposals would stop terrorists and criminals moving to encryption software not controlled by major tech companies.

Australia's plans are the latest effort to crack down on encrypted communications. Critics say WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, and other apps like Telegram and iMessage give criminals a place to hide.

Quote
The end-to-end encryption that these messaging apps employ mean only the sender and recipient of a message can see them, and the messaging providers cannot break into them even if they were forced to. Security experts say tech companies could only give authorities access to the messages by weakening the cryptographic protection that applies to them, which would risk making them available to hackers and rogue states.

"I’m not a cryptographer, but what we are seeking to do is to secure their assistance. They have to face up to their responsibility. They can’t just wash their hands of it and say it’s got nothing to do with them," Turnbull said when asked how the encryption should be broken.
He said allowing the government access would not amount to a "backdoor" in the messaging apps, because it would be lawful and introduced on purpose, rather than being a flaw.

From the prime minister of Australia...

*sigh*
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« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2017, 10:54:42 AM »

What about science?  That gets distilled down and still admits it might be wrong.
Science is not object.  How does the scientist direct his gaze?
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