Author Topic: Episode #704  (Read 948 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #704
« on: January 05, 2019, 11:35:18 AM »
Predictions for 2018 and 2019; News Items: Ultima Thule, Magic and Pseudoscience, AI Breakthrough; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
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Offline JohnM

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 03:25:11 PM »
Great show. I do love the more whacky predictions.

I disagree that the Mullar investigation hasn't been a problem for Trump, why else would he be tweeting about it almost daily?

And on the final discussion on climate change between Steve & Cara I think is an insight into the broader picture I see going on in the discourse between the optimists and the pessimists. Steve has remained an optimist: that CC will likely be solved - though there will be considerable damage, it's just a matter of how much b4 tech solves this problem.

Vs the more pessimistic view of Cara's which is that all the evidence suggests we're not making the required shifts and there's no indication this going to change anytime soon - I put myself in this group. I also think - and forgive me as I'm somewhat guessing here - but it's also an indication of the generational divide of boomers and millennials with Gen x split between the two.

That's not to say the pessimists are giving up. It means that IF climate change is going to be solved it takes radical action. This can come in the form of government and I think we're seeing new politicians with this view but also in the form of protesting. In London, for example, there have been peaceful demonstrations that shut down roads and airports. I expect these sort of demos to escalate.


Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 04:04:10 PM »
I disagree that the Mullar investigation hasn't been a problem for Trump, why else would he be tweeting about it almost daily?

Haven't listened to the episode but is there a way to quickly summarize their comments?

At a glance, the bolded bit made me think of this article.

Article: All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far
From: VOX
Date: 2018 NOV 29

Quote
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 33 people and three companies that we know of — the latest being former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

That group is composed of five former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Seven of these people (including now all five former Trump aides) have pleaded guilty.

...
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 08:11:31 PM »
It is cool that we have two large cats in North America, the jaguar hanging on until Trump's wall can finish it off.

Offline skepticahjumma

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 07:57:53 PM »
Sorry to be pedantic, but Steven is not a boomer. If anything, he’s on the early side of Gen X.

Fun fact: the book Generation X was published in 1991 about people in their late 20s. Steven would be classic Gen X.

Offline PSXer

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 08:34:43 PM »
Can you really say that a dwarf planet was discovered last year? The last time the IAU recognized an object as a dwarf planet was 2008- there are only 5 "official" dwarf planets. There are also a bunch of others that probably fit the criteria but haven't officially been named dwarf planets for some reason.

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2019, 08:53:18 PM »
Can you really say that a dwarf planet was discovered last year? The last time the IAU recognized an object as a dwarf planet was 2008- there are only 5 "official" dwarf planets. There are also a bunch of others that probably fit the criteria but haven't officially been named dwarf planets for some reason.

Perhaps 2018VG18, which is a possible dwarf planet?  As you note, the IAU doesn’t rush to ‘declare’ a celestial body a dwarf planet until its size and orbit have been determined.  Although size is problematic, relying on brightness being a rough measure of size.  It’s estimated to be 500 km in diameter.

As an aside, I thought the comment that Galileo was the person who last discovered a supernova in the Milky Way Galaxy was incorrect.  Kepler was the official discover of it (he was actually second) SN 1604 (obviously seen in 1604 CE).
Gebt ihr ihr ihr Buch zurück?

Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2019, 01:51:51 AM »
Sorry to be pedantic, but Steven is not a boomer. If anything, he’s on the early side of Gen X.

Fun fact: the book Generation X was published in 1991 about people in their late 20s. Steven would be classic Gen X.

It depends on which group are crunching the numbers. A lot of demographers and statisticians use 1945 to 1964 for Baby Boomers. Most Australia groups use those numbers.
My sister who was born the same month and year as Steve is classed as a late baby boomer.

It's not an official term but people like me and Steve are "Generation Jones"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones





Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2019, 11:23:57 AM »
Sorry to be pedantic, but Steven is not a boomer. If anything, he’s on the early side of Gen X.

Fun fact: the book Generation X was published in 1991 about people in their late 20s. Steven would be classic Gen X.

It depends on which group are crunching the numbers. A lot of demographers and statisticians use 1945 to 1964 for Baby Boomers. Most Australia groups use those numbers.
My sister who was born the same month and year as Steve is classed as a late baby boomer.

It's not an official term but people like me and Steve are "Generation Jones"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones

Yeah, I was born in '59 and I don't feel like I belong to either baby boomers or gen x.  I like that idea  8) Generation Jones!
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 11:28:10 AM »
 :P
Sorry to be pedantic, but Steven is not a boomer. If anything, he’s on the early side of Gen X.

Fun fact: the book Generation X was published in 1991 about people in their late 20s. Steven would be classic Gen X.

It depends on which group are crunching the numbers. A lot of demographers and statisticians use 1945 to 1964 for Baby Boomers. Most Australia groups use those numbers.
My sister who was born the same month and year as Steve is classed as a late baby boomer. :P

Or these are broad categories that may have some value when looking at broad trends but very little when considering an individual. 

I am solidly Gen X and I'm generally well described by those generalizations. 

It's not an official term but people like me and Steve are "Generation Jones"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones

Yeah, I was born in '59 and I don't feel like I belong to either baby boomers or gen x.  I like that idea  8) Generation Jones!
That's only because you don't want to be considered a babyboomer, you my friend are solidly part of the generation that squandered the achievements of the war generation. 

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 11:38:22 AM »
Great show. I do love the more whacky predictions.

I disagree that the Mullar investigation hasn't been a problem for Trump, why else would he be tweeting about it almost daily?

And on the final discussion on climate change between Steve & Cara I think is an insight into the broader picture I see going on in the discourse between the optimists and the pessimists. Steve has remained an optimist: that CC will likely be solved - though there will be considerable damage, it's just a matter of how much b4 tech solves this problem.

Vs the more pessimistic view of Cara's which is that all the evidence suggests we're not making the required shifts and there's no indication this going to change anytime soon - I put myself in this group. I also think - and forgive me as I'm somewhat guessing here - but it's also an indication of the generational divide of boomers and millennials with Gen x split between the two.

That's not to say the pessimists are giving up. It means that IF climate change is going to be solved it takes radical action. This can come in the form of government and I think we're seeing new politicians with this view but also in the form of protesting. In London, for example, there have been peaceful demonstrations that shut down roads and airports. I expect these sort of demos to escalate.

Can we really talk about climate change being "solved"? Isn't it rather a matter of degree? We have already hit 1 C. Will we hit 1.5 C? Very likely. Will we hit 2 C? Probably. Will we exceed 2 C, and to what degree? At what degree would one consider it to be "solved"?

Getting 3 degrees is better than 4 degrees. 2 degrees, better still. 1.5 degrees, even better, though probably not attainable. I think we need to talk about it is this way rather than "solved" or "not solved".

The world is also unfair in the way that many of the major polluters are far north, and will suffer the least (though they will still suffer to some extent).

Unfortunately I am in the pessimist camp. But what do I know? I have been wrong before. Perhaps in 2020 the Americans will get a president who is really serious about climate change, and manages to unite much of the world around this cause, in addition to pushing for policies and investments at home that drastically reduce carbon emission. It could happen. But not very likely, to my mind. If there is anything positive to say about this, it is that the heatwaves of 2018 really awoke lots of people to this issue.

Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2019, 11:42:26 AM »
:P
Sorry to be pedantic, but Steven is not a boomer. If anything, he’s on the early side of Gen X.

Fun fact: the book Generation X was published in 1991 about people in their late 20s. Steven would be classic Gen X.

It depends on which group are crunching the numbers. A lot of demographers and statisticians use 1945 to 1964 for Baby Boomers. Most Australia groups use those numbers.
My sister who was born the same month and year as Steve is classed as a late baby boomer. :P

Or these are broad categories that may have some value when looking at broad trends but very little when considering an individual. 

I am solidly Gen X and I'm generally well described by those generalizations. 

It's not an official term but people like me and Steve are "Generation Jones"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones

Yeah, I was born in '59 and I don't feel like I belong to either baby boomers or gen x.  I like that idea  8) Generation Jones!
That's only because you don't want to be considered a babyboomer, you my friend are solidly part of the generation that squandered the achievements of the war generation.

I wouldn't say squandered, as much as continued past practicality and into denial of consequences.
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
---George Bernard Shaw

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2019, 12:40:10 PM »
Can we really talk about climate change being "solved"?

Yeah, that doesn't work for me either.  I'd considering, "solving," to be prevention of catastrophic warming and it's too late for that.  We'd also need a very clear definition of the problem which everyone agrees upon and we don't have that yet.

But as for definitions of the problem, I parse out 'climate change' as a problem for humanity along two lines:
  • Geographic Changes - Our human geography is built atop a physical geography which is undergoing fast and damaging changes. Best examples being damage to coastal settlements and farmland.
  • Degradation of Environmental Goods and Services - As a species, we rely on free goods and services.  Best examples being fisheries and agriculture-friendly climates.
Here's a fun graphic about the shrinking of American's colossal stretch of arable land:
https://twitter.com/YaleE360/status/1082075594362441730

Here's a long article about the world's shifting geography:
Article: Redrawing the Map: How the World’s Climate Zones Are Shifting
From: Yale
Date: 2018 OCT 23
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 12:45:28 PM by Soldier of FORTRAN »
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2019, 04:08:58 PM »
There were charges at the time that the IBM Deep Blue team cheated in the game against Kasparov. The allegation was that the team vetted the computer’s moves before they were made, and that at at least one critical juncture the team vetoed the computer’s move and picked its second choice instead. Kasparov asked to see the print-outs, but IBM refused to release them, and then IBM dismantled the computer, alleging that the components were needed for other projects.

There are people, and I am one of them, who believe that Deep Blue did not win that game legitimately.

Computer-assisted chess is a thing, in which you are allowed to use a computer to help you analyze the positions and moves. But the game between Deep Blue and Kasparov was not supposed to be computer assisted. It was supposed to be the computer alone on the IBM side, and it seems likely that’s not what happened.

Daniel
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Offline cmesserman

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Re: Episode #704
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2019, 07:04:35 PM »
Regarding magic acts and paranormal beliefs, I once showed one of David Blaines Street Magic shows to my freshman science class. My goal was to increase critical thinking by discussing or revealing how I thought the tricks were done. I remember that some of my students became a bit combative and upset that I was explaining the tricks. It seemed like I was telling them Santa doesn't exist! I came to realize over the rest of the year that these particular students were Fundamentalist or Evangelical Christians. I concluded that they had a proclivity to believing in "magic," and I inadvertently was grinding against their belief system. Of course, my science teaching was probably doing the same thing!
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