Author Topic: Episode #734  (Read 1674 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Steven Novella

  • SGU Panel Member
  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
    • http://www.theskepticsguide.org
Episode #734
« on: August 03, 2019, 11:54:58 AM »
What's the Word: Buffering; News Items: Signals from Earth, Acupuncture for Angina, Asteroid Near Miss, Rainmakers, Lyme Conspiracy; Who's That Noisy; Name That Logical Fallacy: Law of Truly Large Numbers; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline GodHead

  • Off to a Start
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 03:42:06 PM »
Chinese culture is based entirely around dishonesty and lies. They have made dishonesty into a cornerstone of their societal philosophy in the same way that western societies value freedom and equality.

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9069
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 04:49:25 PM »
I have not listened to the whole show yet, but wanted to comment that my understanding has been that the first broadcasts to leave the Earth were early TV. So if aliens have the technology to pick up sufficiently weak signals, the first things they'll see from the Earth are Howdy Doody and the Army-McCarthy hearings. This pretty much guarantees that if they have the technology to do so, they will obliterate us.

Fortunately, due to the speed of light and our own stupidity, we probably won't even be around by then. (One probable solution to the Fermi Paradox is that civilizations just don't last long enough.)
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2953
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2019, 04:53:17 PM »
I'm all for ramping up asteroid detection, but we already have a guaranteed planetary-scale destruction event heading our way with climate change. With how little we're doing about it, I'm not convinced that we'd actually get together to divert an asteroid even if we had plenty of warning and knew exactly what we needed to do.

Online brilligtove

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7610
  • Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity, you deal with.
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2019, 06:45:27 PM »
Chinese culture is based entirely around dishonesty and lies. They have made dishonesty into a cornerstone of their societal philosophy in the same way that western societies value freedom and equality.

This seems like a broad, sweeping, bigoted generalization.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline stands2reason

  • Empiricist, Positivist, Militant Agnostic
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10745
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2019, 09:02:45 PM »
More specifically, the Chinese Communist Party.

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9069
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 09:36:07 PM »
A "city-killer" asteroid would kill a city only if it happened to hit a city, which is an unlikely occurrence even for an asteroid that hit the Earth. The ratio of city area to the total area of the Earth is very small. Jay's typical hyperbolic rant about how horrible it would be for an asteroid to hit the Earth assumed that it would hit a city.

I once worked for a man who had a huge cabinet shop next to his rural home. The rain gutters all flowed into an above-ground pool which he used to irrigate his large garden. This man told me in all seriousness that he could make it rain by prayer. He insisted that if he prayed for rain, God would give him rain. We were in a drought at the time, so I asked him to make it rain. His reply: "I don't need rain yet. I still have plenty of water." Which was true. His pool was still half full. I pointed out that all his neighbors, who were farmers, needed rain. But he felt that his special influence with God was only for his own use. I'll give him credit for his rainwater collection system. It was a great system.

Two or three months later he fell off his ladder and broke his leg. Maybe God was mad at him for not helping out his neighbors by praying for rain when they needed it.

Steve quoted someone as saying that a particular system of seeding clouds will work if there's 30% humidity inside the cloud. I was under the impression that clouds form when the humidity is 100%. I.e., inside a cloud, the humidity is always 100%. If it drops below that the water droplets evaporate and there's no more cloud. When I sailed on the Lord Nelson, at the start of every watch we recorded the dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperatures because if they are the same it means 100% humidity and fog will form. Fog is a cloud at ground (or sea) level and is dangerous for a ship at sea. So we kept track of the humidity, which we determined by the dry-bulb-wet-bulb method. If you don't get seasick I can highly recommend a sailing adventure with the Jubilee Sailing Trust.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline bachfiend

  • Not Any Kind of Moderator
  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2077
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 11:13:37 PM »
A "city-killer" asteroid would kill a city only if it happened to hit a city, which is an unlikely occurrence even for an asteroid that hit the Earth. The ratio of city area to the total area of the Earth is very small. Jay's typical hyperbolic rant about how horrible it would be for an asteroid to hit the Earth assumed that it would hit a city.

I once worked for a man who had a huge cabinet shop next to his rural home. The rain gutters all flowed into an above-ground pool which he used to irrigate his large garden. This man told me in all seriousness that he could make it rain by prayer. He insisted that if he prayed for rain, God would give him rain. We were in a drought at the time, so I asked him to make it rain. His reply: "I don't need rain yet. I still have plenty of water." Which was true. His pool was still half full. I pointed out that all his neighbors, who were farmers, needed rain. But he felt that his special influence with God was only for his own use. I'll give him credit for his rainwater collection system. It was a great system.

Two or three months later he fell off his ladder and broke his leg. Maybe God was mad at him for not helping out his neighbors by praying for rain when they needed it.

Steve quoted someone as saying that a particular system of seeding clouds will work if there's 30% humidity inside the cloud. I was under the impression that clouds form when the humidity is 100%. I.e., inside a cloud, the humidity is always 100%. If it drops below that the water droplets evaporate and there's no more cloud. When I sailed on the Lord Nelson, at the start of every watch we recorded the dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperatures because if they are the same it means 100% humidity and fog will form. Fog is a cloud at ground (or sea) level and is dangerous for a ship at sea. So we kept track of the humidity, which we determined by the dry-bulb-wet-bulb method. If you don't get seasick I can highly recommend a sailing adventure with the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

Not quite true apparently.  The relative humidity within a cloud is more than 100% (it’s supersaturated):

https://www.weather.gov/source/zhu/ZHU_Training_Page/clouds/cloud_development/clouds.htm

If Steve said that the humidity within clouds can be as low as 30%, then that’s more reason for my not listening to the episodes.  The only part this week I listened to was the section dealing with coincidences occurring with large numbers (the previous part with the role playing was just annoying, and I was grateful for the fast forward to avoid as much of it as possible).  And then I listened to the SoF since the first item dealt with aggression, anxiety and depression in children of older parents, since that applies to me.
Gebt ihr ihr ihr Buch zurück?

Offline CookieMustard

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 11:17:38 PM »
A "city-killer" asteroid would kill a city only if it happened to hit a city, which is an unlikely occurrence even for an asteroid that hit the Earth. The ratio of city area to the total area of the Earth is very small. Jay's typical hyperbolic rant about how horrible it would be for an asteroid to hit the Earth assumed that it would hit a city.

...

Steve quoted someone as saying that a particular system of seeding clouds will work if there's 30% humidity inside the cloud. I was under the impression that clouds form when the humidity is 100%. I.e., inside a cloud, the humidity is always 100%.

I would modify your "city killer" comments slightly. The recent "city killer" asteroid had dimensions similar to the estimated dimensions of the asteroid or meteorite which caused the Tunguska event. An asteroid could be pretty destructive if it hit close to a city, not necessarily hitting the city directly. But your main point is still valid, even hitting close to a city would be unlikely. I'm not sure what the effect would be if it hit water. Could it cause a tsunami?

Regarding the 30% humidity, I think you are right in saying that clouds form at 100% humidity and I was surprised when Steve mentioned 30%. Is there some other way of measuring humidity other than the standard
relative humidity?  The only connection I could come up with is that 100% humidity corresponds  roughly to 30 grams of water vapor per cubic meter of air.

Online brilligtove

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7610
  • Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity, you deal with.
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2019, 04:07:21 AM »
I think the term "city killer" was used to provide a sense of scale, not a comment on the probable impact site.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline lucek

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 137
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2019, 07:35:31 AM »
Wow the probability was really an ass grab. Rolling doubles on a 6 sided die is 1:6 rolling them 6 times is 1:46,656 even rolling double 6es 6 times is only 1:2,176,782,336 3 orders of magnitude smaller than what is claimed.

Also bob it's not that we can't see an asteroid because the sun is blinding us. The sun illuminates the asteroid so when it's between the sun and us it's dimmer. Think the phases of the moon.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 07:40:21 AM by lucek »
You have the power, but. . .
Power is just energy over time and. . .
Energy is just the ability to do work.

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9069
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2019, 11:17:21 AM »
... If Steve said that the humidity within clouds can be as low as 30%, then that’s more reason for my not listening to the episodes. ...

He was quoting someone. I was commenting on the quote, and the fact that Steve did not comment on the error in the quote. Steve himself did not say that a cloud could exist at 30% humidity. He just let the quote pass without comment on this aspect of it, as he was focusing on a different point.

I think the term "city killer" was used to provide a sense of scale, not a comment on the probable impact site.

That is how asteroids of a certain mass and composition get their name. But then Jay, in his usual manner, went off on his tirade, implying that any strike by such an object on the Earth would wipe out a city. Jay is prone to picking up on some factoid or sci-fi concept and running into la-la land with it. As when he postulated that once we have driverless cars we could have hotel rooms that detach from the hotel and pick you up at the airport, oblivious of the fact that the obstacle to such a thing is the transformer hotel room itself, not the means of driving it.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline CookieMustard

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2019, 12:13:33 PM »
Wow the probability was really an ass grab. Rolling doubles on a 6 sided die is 1:6 rolling them 6 times is 1:46,656 even rolling double 6es 6 times is only 1:2,176,782,336 3 orders of magnitude smaller than what is claimed.


Steve misremembered the details. On the podcast he mentioned a probability of 1 in 3.6 quadrillion for rolling six doubles, but in the original article (quoted on Steve's blog) that is the correct probability of rolling one specific 20 number sequence, 1/6^20

Offline bachfiend

  • Not Any Kind of Moderator
  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2077
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2019, 06:58:54 PM »
... If Steve said that the humidity within clouds can be as low as 30%, then that’s more reason for my not listening to the episodes. ...

He was quoting someone. I was commenting on the quote, and the fact that Steve did not comment on the error in the quote. Steve himself did not say that a cloud could exist at 30% humidity. He just let the quote pass without comment on this aspect of it, as he was focusing on a different point.

I think the term "city killer" was used to provide a sense of scale, not a comment on the probable impact site.

That is how asteroids of a certain mass and composition get their name. But then Jay, in his usual manner, went off on his tirade, implying that any strike by such an object on the Earth would wipe out a city. Jay is prone to picking up on some factoid or sci-fi concept and running into la-la land with it. As when he postulated that once we have driverless cars we could have hotel rooms that detach from the hotel and pick you up at the airport, oblivious of the fact that the obstacle to such a thing is the transformer hotel room itself, not the means of driving it.

OK.  But false factoids shouldn’t make it into the show.  It’s been shown that even if false factoids are mentioned, and then shown to be false, people (owing to the vagaries of memory) often tend to believe that the false factoids are actually true.
Gebt ihr ihr ihr Buch zurück?

Offline Ron Obvious

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 249
Re: Episode #734
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2019, 09:11:04 PM »
All factoids are false because they are factoids and not facts.

 

personate-rain