BA: Denialism

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bystander
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BA: Denialism

Post by bystander » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:41 pm

Michael Specter talks denialism
Bad Astronomy - 2010 April 18
I wish everyone one Earth– including Oprah, and Jenny McCarthy, everyone — would take 19 minutes of their lives and watch Michael Specter talk about why science is so important:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Of course, Jenny McCarthy won’t listen. But if the people who listened to her did, then they’d stop listening to her. And what a wonderful world that would be.

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by wonderboy » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:03 pm

Jenny McCarthy is HOT.

I wish I could sit down and listen to Michael Specter with her. I'm not giving any guarantee's that I would be actually listening though. More along the lines of ogling.

:p

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:44 pm

had to look her up... well... I see nothing my wife doesn't have :D no, really. I know the beauty is in the eye of beholder, but I can aknowledge if women are hotter than my woman. This one is not the one of them.

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:45 pm

oh sorry, bystander, you posted some old dude video... I will watch it later... I promise ;)

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by owlice » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:02 pm

This is a fabulous clip, bystander; thank you very much for posting it.

It's sad that someone has to actually say what he says, but there it is: he does, and is, and I'm glad that he is. My son has an autistic spectrum disorder, and I hear the vaccination attribution when I am talking with other parents (most of them about my age) of ASD kids. I don't get into it with them; I just point out that his dad (my exH) also has an ASD -- undiagnosed until well into adulthood -- and that he didn't have the MMR, as no one our age did. And then I shut up (and, if necessary, bite my tongue, sometimes bloody). Interestingly, the parents I get this from -- usually but not always moms -- are typically married to really bright people whose socialization skills are a little off. Not bad, just not quite typical. Hmmm....
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:23 pm

makc wrote:I will watch it later... I promise ;)
I tried, I really tried...

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by owlice » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:07 pm

makc, is it that someone with white hair is speaking that renders it impossible for you to hear the very important message this man is delivering? It IS an important message. There IS danger in dismissing science, danger to you, to your children, to your children's children, to the environment, to the world, to the future. The "old dude" you are dismissing is saying something important. Try opening your mind, closing your eyes, and just listening to him if your ageism is so complete that his white hair kills your ability to hear him.
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:39 pm

usually TED talks are short and cool and new, but this one is 19 minutes of... what? I ffwd-ed right in the middle and there he said correlations are not causations or smth... I thought to myself, I would have to watch ~10 minutes to hear THIS? no thanks, another perfect example of TL;DR... err DW case. Oh yeah, and he mentioned Oprah at some other point - that also caused me to ffwd immediately.
The "old dude" you are dismissing is saying something important.
perhaps, but unless someone will compress his message to something shorter, I will have to pass :(

p.s. no, really, by all means please do, because I saw wonderful technologies getting only 3 minutes window on TED, and it's impossible to even scratch the surface in 3 minutes. what a hell makes whatever this dude has to say so important that he gets whole 20 minutes to read a speech that can't manage to hold my attention?

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:59 pm

makc wrote:p.s. no, really, by all means please do, because I saw wonderful technologies getting only 3 minutes window on TED, and it's impossible to even scratch the surface in 3 minutes. what a hell makes whatever this dude has to say so important that he gets whole 20 minutes to read a speech that can't manage to hold my attention?
Can any 20 minute speech hold your attention? This guy had 20 minutes of content. It was a little shorter than most TED speeches, but it seemed about right. Maybe the problem is that you fast forwarded through important points. If you can't invest 20 minutes to hear something that might make you think... well.
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:02 am

Chris Peterson wrote:Maybe the problem is that you fast forwarded through important points.
I assume you did not, and so can write down these important points in a few lines. Can you?

In that Faustus review I posted earlier the guy is asking one key question, "why do I have to read this". In this case, it's "why do I have to watch this". Whenever hollywood produces another hundred-of-millions-worth-of movie and wants guys like that to watch it, they have to answer this question - via trailers. I think this one is long enough to have its trailer, too, at least in text form.

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by owlice » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:23 am

makc, if you don't want to watch it, don't, but then, why bother commenting on it at all? You've spent more time writing posts about why you can't get through something than you'd have spent getting through the article/video/whatever you complain about, which is obviously, to you, a much much better use of your time and brain cells.
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:39 am

I take it you can't ssum it up either.

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by owlice » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:52 am

I'm sorry, makc, that you require spoon-feeding; that must be difficult. I hope you have someone in your life who can provide that service for you.
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:03 pm

makc wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:Maybe the problem is that you fast forwarded through important points.
I assume you did not, and so can write down these important points in a few lines. Can you?
I could. But I don't choose to. It's only 20 minutes; you could watch it yourself in less time than I could properly restate things.
In that Faustus review I posted earlier the guy is asking one key question, "why do I have to read this". In this case, it's "why do I have to watch this".
You don't need to watch it. I watched it based on the recommendations of a couple of people whose opinions I respect. I read many books or see movies for the same reason, without the need for a detailed synopsis. I'm glad I watched the talk- Specter made some interesting points in an engaging way.

If you aren't interested, that's fine. What I don't understand is that you seem to have a sort of pride in being uninterested. It seems a common attitude these days, and I think it is a sign of a very unhealthy society. There's a value in knowledge for the sake of knowledge. There is a value in educating yourself about the viewpoints of others. 100 years ago everybody, of all classes attended public lectures to learn about the latest ideas. Lectures happened nightly in most cities, and often had hundreds of attendees. The Internet provides that opportunity, enriched a thousand times. But so many people seem uninterested in taking advantage of it.
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:47 pm

owlice wrote:I hope you have someone in your life who can provide that service for you.
Btw, this could be a great idea for web service. Imagine if we could provide reasonable "trailers" for any lengthy bit of information on the web. Most blog rss feeds now push few first sentences (or even whole posts), most video descriptions are useless, most music does not have anything beyond track and artist name attached to it. Now if we could pay people for making valid descriptions of content (from ads or subscription fees), this could be a great site :)

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:52 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:There's a value in knowledge for the sake of knowledge.
Oh man, dont you even start this. I had this very subject under discussion on other site just days ago, I'd hate to go over it again. But, since I am replying to this, I thought why not be better than some other people and give you a "trailer" of this lengthy discussion key point :D Which is, if you spend 10 years aquiring some knowledge and then actually use only 10% of it in your daily life, you wasted 9 whole years of your life for nothing.

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:04 pm

makc wrote:Oh man, dont you even start this. I had this very subject under discussion on other site just days ago, I'd hate to go over it again. But, since I am replying to this, I thought why not be better than some other people and give you a "trailer" of this lengthy discussion key point :D Which is, if you spend 10 years aquiring some knowledge and then actually use only 10% of it in your daily life, you wasted 9 whole years of your life for nothing.
That's an incredibly sad attitude. You think that you need to "use" knowledge to make it valuable, that anything you don't "use" is just wasted knowledge, and the time spent acquiring it was wasted?

Here's the thing. Specter's presentation is a trailer. To fully understand his arguments would require several hundred hours of research. In his TED talk he is providing an extremely concise summary. You can't make it any shorter without throwing away important content. First people stop reading and just go for the Cliffs Notes. Then, even that is too long and they are only happy with a paragraph that summarizes the Cliffs Notes!
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by owlice » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:58 pm

makc, here's the summary:
Michael Specter talk(s) about why science is so important
That was in the opening post.

If you want to know more, watch the short video (it's even shorter than the standard sit-com, which is 23 minutes long). If you don't, don't.
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:56 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:You think that you need to "use" knowledge to make it valuable, that anything you don't "use" is just wasted knowledge, and the time spent acquiring it was wasted?
well, as I said, that's the "trailer", or, if you want, simple discrete model, where each bit of knowledge is assigned 1 if it is used and 0 if it is not. Then, we can sit at the pub (or at this forum) and discuss life on Mars, does that qualify as "use"? If not, we are obviously missing something in our model; if yes, we equate beer talk to actually building spaceships. At that point, you would need to assign values between 0 and 1 to knowledge. Then, you would need to go 2nd order, by considering use of some knowledge via analogy. BUT. If you go all the way down this road, will it alter initial conclusion significantly? Is it any better to conclude that only ~3.45 years are wasted, not 9?

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by owlice » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:02 pm

Oh, yes, it's just soooooo much better to celebrate ignorance, isn't it?!
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:11 pm

owlice, not at all, there is at least one alternative - specialization, focus on particular areas of knowledge necessary to perform particular activities. Not saying it's perfect, but - hey - it works for bees.

I am not sure yet, what is my way out of this. Personally, I waste a lot of time daily, participating many online communities or watching random videos included. What's wrong in questioning the point of this once in a while?

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by owlice » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:37 pm

Question it for yourself all you want, but please don't demand that others summarize things for you. Sheesh.

And you can specialize all you want. That has NO bearing on anything in this discussion. None, zip, zilch, nada. Do you want children learning creationism (whether rebranded as "intelligent design" or not, and really, all anyone has to do is look at the flaws in the design of the human knee to know that there isn't intelligence in its design!) in public schools instead of actual science? (Your tax dollars at work; are you okay with that?) If you have kids or plan to have kids, have you/will you get them immunized? Do you want other people putting your children at risk? Your nation at risk? Your environment at risk? Your world at risk?

THAT'S what's at stake. Care or don't. Watch the video or don't. Celebrate and embrace ignorance all you want and call it "questioning" if that makes you happy.

I'm done discussing this with you; it's obviously been a waste of my time.
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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by makc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:46 pm

so now it turns out the video was another american science-vs-creationism carp? good thing I skipped it :D fyi, I dont pay any tax dollars to teach children creationism, because I live in other country (yes, there are other countries) where this bullsiht is not an issue. we have so much better stuff to discuss, such as russian military base:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

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Re: BA: Denialism

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm

makc wrote:so now it turns out the video was another american science-vs-creationism carp?
That debate wasn't even mentioned. The video was about how too many people disregard information that science has, for all practical purposes, elevated to "fact" status. This is not something limited to the U.S.
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la markcism

Post by neufer » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm

makc wrote:I dont pay any tax dollars to teach children creationism, because I live in other country (yes, there are other countries) where this bullshit is not an issue. we have so much better stuff to discuss, such as russian military base.
So, where do you stand on the russian base, makc, and do you have an umbrella?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism wrote:
<<Lamarckism is the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring. It is named after the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829). The identification of Lamarckism with the inheritance of acquired characteristics is regarded by some as an artifact of the subsequent history of evolutionary thought, repeated in textbooks without analysis. Stephen Jay Gould wrote that late 19th century evolutionists

"re-read Lamarck, cast aside the guts of it ... and elevated one aspect of the mechanics - inheritance of acquired characters - to a central focus it never had for Lamarck himself." He argued that "the restriction of "Lamarckism" to this relatively small and non-distinctive corner of Lamarck's thought must be labelled as more than a misnomer, and truly a discredit to the memory of a man and his much more comprehensive system".

A form of Lamarckism was revived in the Soviet Union of the 1930s when Trofim Lysenko promoted Lysenkoism which suited the ideological opposition of Joseph Stalin to Genetics. This ideologically driven research influenced Soviet agricultural policy which in turn was later blamed for crop failures.

Interest in Lamarckism has recently increased, as several studies in the field of epigenetics have highlighted the possible inheritance of behavioral traits acquired by the previous generation. Some recent notable studies include those made by the University of Linköping, Sweden, which have looked at foraging behavior in chickens as well as stress factors.

Several recent studies, one conducted by researchers at MIT and another by researchers at the Tufts University School of Medicine, have rekindled the debate once again. As reported in MIT's Technology Review in February 2009, "The effects of an animal's environment during adolescence can be passed down to future offspring ... The findings provide support for a 200-year-old theory of evolution that has been largely dismissed: Lamarckian evolution, which states that acquired characteristics can be passed on to offspring.">>
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