Author Topic: Episode #605  (Read 4980 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #605
« on: February 11, 2017, 12:26:18 PM »
Interview with Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen; What;s the Word: Impedance; News Items: Super Bowl Drones, GM Wheat, Security Chips; Who’s That Noisy; Name That Logical Fallacy; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 05:19:58 PM »
Class B airspace:  It's the airspace around the busiest airports in the US.  All aircraft within that airspace must be under positive control with ATC.


The waiver isn't really as big a deal as Bob made it out to be.  Basically there is a volume of airspace that is released to the show organizers  for a specified period of time and the controllers will just route all aircraft well clear of it.  Frankly 300 drones under control in Class B airspace is less likely to have a problem than if the airspace was uncontrolled.

#non-belief denialist

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 07:56:56 PM »
The obvious answer to the claim that Trump isn't like Hitler because Trump doesn't have death camps, is that Hitler also didn't have death camps in 1933.

Trump is worryingly like Hitler in a number of ways.  In his narcistic personality disorder.  In his claim that he has greater support than he actually has.  In his habit of making large claims not supported by the evidence.  By his denigration of critics in the media and elsewhere.  Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

The more I think about it, the more worried I get.  Fortunately, America has a robust democracy, and hopefully he'll be gone in 4 years without causing too much damage.

Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 11:48:51 PM »
xkcd sums up the situation regarding sports analysis quite well:

https://xkcd.com/904/

Gotta say this, though: when it comes to sports analysis, the SGU might be straying outside their area of expertise.

Offline murraybiscuit

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 01:23:31 AM »
Having lived in a few countries outside the US, the length of time it's taken for chip and pin tech to get to US POS systems seems anachronistic. When it comes to banking, the USA is somewhat off the cutting edge of tech and security.

Europe and much of the rest of the world has had chip and pin for around a decade already. I was doing 3D secure transacting and receiving confirmation texts around 8 years ago in my home country. Many "developing markets" are pretty advanced with mobile wallets and mobile transactions due to a lack of a formal banking sector; the abundance of mobile tech and the inherent risk in carrying cash in these countries.

I don't think the question is really whether more secure tech exists in the online space. The question is really why the US has been so slow to adopt it. The reasons for this seem multiple and I don't pretend to be an expert in this area. But I should imagine many of the fraud opportunities mentioned are largely  particular to the US: a banking system with diverse local and federal regulatory frameworks; a privatised federal reserve benefiting from cash usage; the support for legacy non-electric transactions (EFT's are non-existent,  checks abound); and the entry of non-traditional payment providers (tech giants) into the mix, with proprietary protocols and limited merchant support. Part of the issue also seems to emerge from the problems inherent in the SSN system, which tech providers are ultimately trying to circumvent by marrying identity provision with transaction provision.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 01:57:13 AM by murraybiscuit »

Offline RMoore

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 02:45:41 AM »
Cara wasn't too far off with her explanation of impedance, but as an electrical engineer, I found it incomplete. I don't think Ohm's Law was mentioned. Ohm's Law states that a pure resistance will have a voltage across it (i.e., between two terminals), at any instant, that is proportional to the current through it at the same instant. This is true of both DC and AC. Resistors dissipate electrical energy (convert it to heat).

Of course, in the real world, we do not deal with pure resistances. We have capacitance and inductance, which store energy rather than dissipate it, and can return the stored energy to their environment under the right conditions. If capacitance or inductance are present, then instantaneous voltage is proportional to the rate of change of current (for inductance), or the instantaneous current is proportional to the rate of change of voltage (for capacitance). If the voltage or current applied to the inductor or capacitor has a sinusoidal waveform, then voltage will either lead or lag current by 90 degrees (lead in the case of inductors, lag in the case of capacitors). Think sine and cosine functions, which look identical except for the 90 degree shift (sine of 90 degrees is equal to the cosine of 0 degrees, sine of 180 degrees is equal to the cosine of 90 degrees, and so on). The peak amplitudes of AC voltage and current will be related by a ratio that is analogous to resistance, and which is called reactance. Reactance differs from resistance in that the values being compared are out of phase with each other. This out-of-phaseness is the reason ideal capacitors and inductors don't dissipate energy; they store it for part of a cycle and give it back during the rest of the cycle.

However, just as there are no pure resistances, there are no pure capacitances or inductances in the real world (ignoring superconductors). Components have a combination of resistance and reactance. AC voltage and current waveforms are not perfectly in phase, but they are not 90 degrees out of phase either. They are somewhere in between. So the component will dissipate some of the energy that is input to it, store the rest, and later give back the stored energy as it moves through an alternating current cycle.

Impedance is the combination of resistance and reactance. For reasons related to Euler's identity, in circuit analysis, reactances are expressed as imaginary quantities, while resistances are real quantities; therefore, impedances have values expressed as complex quantities (a complex number is the sum of a real number and an imaginary number).

Ohm's Law can be rewritten using impedance in the place of resistance, and a complex-valued representation of the voltage and current. The result is a more generalized version of the law, which is applicable to AC circuits.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_reactance
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_impedance
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler%27s_formula
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohm's_law

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 04:04:29 AM »
So you have an advertising ad where you talk about how you've rejected ads for making unsubstantiated claims, but then you say it's "really important" for people to take the survey so that they can become more profitable as targets. I don't think you substantiated that claim. Especially as ads are akin to homeopathy for me. The less of it, the better, down to nothing.

Ads put me off whatever they're advertising, being aware that the purpose of them is to try to manipulate me into doing something I wouldn't have otherwise.

There's one thing that might make me appreciate ads more. If as soon as I had purchased the product or service the ad was about, which means the ad had served its function (or if it happened regardless of the ad), I never again heard any ads about that product or service, anywhere. Any time spent on the ads after that would be an utter waste. I don't need to be paying with my time by listening to marketing for something I've already bought.

If I was casting a Wish spell I'd add something about not going deaf or being exploded upon purchase.

Online Tassie Dave

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 06:41:23 AM »
Gotta say this, though: when it comes to sports analysis, the SGU might be straying outside their area of expertise.

I thought Steve was wrong in using the Momentum myth to explain the Superbowl comeback as something that is just noticeable in hindsight, and saying that footballers are trained to deal with this situation.

I would like to hear a Sports Psychologist talk about it. But as much as sports people train to deal with all situations. Championships are a special situation that you can't train mentally for.
It's not just another game and that can mess with people's heads.
As much as they say the game isn't over until it's over, the Falcon players may have mentally started celebrating and planning their post-match parties in their head.
Even switching off a few percent could have been enough for the Patriots to get a few extra points.

This can build "real" momentum with the team that is trailing, lifting their intensity, and the leading team seeing their championship dream being crushed and trying to save the game, instead of trying to win the game.

As much as I believe momentum is mostly a myth in the more technical sports like Gridiron, you do see it in free flowing sports like Soccer and Aussie Rules. Coaches will design strategies to stop an opposition's momentum. In Aussie Rules this usually entails slowing the game down and playing a possession game to break their run and if you have the momentum, playing a run and carry brand of footy and score as much as you can while you have that momentum.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2017, 07:51:13 AM »
Of course the higher stake events will be more psychologically taxing. But I would think the effect would be roughly consistent across all players and therefore the actual effect on the outcome should be negligible.
The only way I could see it having an effect on the outcome would be if the stakes for one team are not the same as for the other.
My own experience with competition is that it is taxing in the lead up but once you are in the game you are in the game and 100℅ effort is 100℅ effort.

Online Tassie Dave

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 09:49:17 AM »
Of course the higher stake events will be more psychologically taxing. But I would think the effect would be roughly consistent across all players and therefore the actual effect on the outcome should be negligible.

At the start of the game it would be the same. But at 25 points in front, the Falcon players were the players that may start thinking they've won too early and have their minds drift and not be fully on the game.
Then once the Patriot comeback is evident, they could also be affected by their own "inner demons". Worrying about losing the game they thought they'd already won.


That's why I would love to hear a sports psychologist talk about the psychology of winning and losing at the highest level.

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2017, 11:09:30 AM »
Do you ever see much momentum on the ground barracking for Richmond, Dave?

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2017, 11:40:48 AM »
Re: Name That Logical Fallacy

The first one that popped into my mind was Hasty Generalization.

Taking the form, because you were wrong on this one thing, you must be wrong on other things as well.

I think it fits better than the ones discussed in the podcast.

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2017, 11:47:07 AM »
Re: the interview with the FTC commissioner:

I would like to have had it brought up how confusing packaging can be.

Take this:



A normal person could easily look at this, see the "Homeopathic" in the lower left, and see the "Clinically proven..." above, and conflate to two to get the impression homeopathy has been clinically proven.

What's been clinically proven to be effective is the zinc, an active ingredient which is decidedly NOT homeopathic.

They should target this sort of thing as deceptive packaging.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 01:18:24 PM by Fast Eddie B »

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2017, 01:10:06 PM »
A normal person could easily look at this, see the "Homeopathic" in the lower left, and see the "Clinically proven..." above, and conflate to two to get the impression homeopathy has been clinically proven.

What's been clinically proven to be effective is the zinc, and active ingredient which is decidedly NOT homeopathic.

They should target this sort of thing as deceptive packaging.

Seems like that should be treated as straight up fraud, unless the official definition of homeopathic has changed. Which would disqualify all the other stuff from using the label.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #605
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2017, 02:35:20 PM »
The obvious answer to the claim that Trump isn't like Hitler because Trump doesn't have death camps, is that Hitler also didn't have death camps in 1933.

Trump is worryingly like Hitler in a number of ways.  In his narcistic personality disorder.  In his claim that he has greater support than he actually has.  In his habit of making large claims not supported by the evidence.  By his denigration of critics in the media and elsewhere.  Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

The more I think about it, the more worried I get.  Fortunately, America has a robust democracy, and hopefully he'll be gone in 4 years without causing too much damage.

You beat me to it! Hitler didn't have death camps one month into his administration.

On another topic:

I was flabbergasted that Cara hesitated before naming 60 Hz as the frequency of AC power on the North American grid. Of course AC does not have to be 60 Hz. That's just the arbitrary frequency used here, though it is probably a good choice. Still, I thought that everyone knew that we use 60 Hz.

I think they use 50 Hz, and 220 volts in Europe.
Daniel
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