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Thread: The American Politics thread

  1. #211
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cevno View Post
    Yeah fair enough. Seems to be the case with most except Huntsman and partially Romney (Cain hasn't commented i think). But still it is a evolving issue on many levels.

    Can't go into the minute science of it to a large degree but there are 3 aspects to it -

    1)Is the cause of it man made?

    2)Can it actually be stopped or not? Or even slowed down? And if so is it even possible to do what has to be done, to stop it?

    3)Who does what on Policy front? Which country agrees to take the brunt to what degree and give up growth and money on possibly a unsettled issue?

    There is room for skepticism on all these 3 tbh and voices on both sides. Can't really ignore either side and paint it black and white AFAIC.
    Find me a scientific reference for point one and prove it isn't black and white.
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  2. #212
    International Vice-Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel_Vimes View Post
    List of countries by inequality-adjusted HDI - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Of course in America this would be dismissed as socialist, United Nations propaganda.
    If Bill Gates moved to Norway, inequality would increase but so would the wealth of the nation.

  3. #213
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    Find me a scientific reference for point one and prove it isn't black and white.
    Well climate sensitivity estimates currently vary from around 1.5-4 degrees per doubling of CO2. Quite a lot of leeway.

    Of course, the lower estimate means we're ****ed and the higher estimate that we're really ****ed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    In a lot of policy cases there is a unanimous opinion shared by scientists which is then promptly ignored by policy writers. I know in Palmy the current rich area is built on extremely dodgy loose fluvial sediment and they have destabilized the hillside. any geomorphologist will tell you it's only a matter of time before it comes crashing down (either through earthquake or heavy rainfall) but the developers have something we don't; money and PR.
    The Socratic maxim comes to mind: 'a wise man knows what he does not know.' by extension, he takes advice from those who do know.
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  4. #214
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    On consensus science; I remember this from cricsim, and you were arguing in favour of what "consensus science" basically is iirc. You are completely on the money when yyou say who is right is what matters; it's just fellow scientists need to be able to reproduce your results. It's a perfect system really, since if hypothesis x is true then if the experiment is repeated then anyone should be able to reproduce it. The more it is reproduced, the harder the evidence and it becomes prevailing consensus.

    Tomorrow, if some guy comes along and says "we don't need water to survive" and shows scientists results in favour of his experiment, after thinking he is bonkers the dudes will go away, repeat the experiment and if they get the same results, we have a new consensus.
    I think it depends to some extent how far someone wants to take the definition of "consensus". I appreciate the meaning of consensus in how you've presented it, but when I refer to "consensus science", what I'm trying to get at is where there is let's say a 60/40 split in opinion. 60% is a sizeable majority, and in matters of a political nature, I would say this satisfies the threshold of what can be considered a suitable amount to make up a "consensus" on what policy/law/program is the right one to implement. However, in matters of science, this is not satisfactory for me, if a theory is opposed by 40% of learned people in whatever area (i'm not attempting to claim this is the position on global warming btw, just saying this for illustrative purposes) then it really is not appropriate to rely on the 60% "consensus". In such instances, consensus is only invoked when the science is not solid enough.

    Having said that, I'm not foolish enough to suggest that one should wait for 100% agreement on a matter, or even that this could ever possibly materialise, but I am not happy to rely on a burden of proof which requires only that the majority opinion is correct "beyond reasonable doubt" or "on the balance of probabilities". Decisions based on consensus in the realm of science have a very poor track record indeed, in fact, those recognised as the great thinkers of the last few hundred years are thought of as being great precisely because they broke with the consensus. As I have said before, nobody ever says "the consensus agrees that E=mc2" or "the scientific consensus believes the sun is 93 million miles from the Earth", it would simply never occur to anyone to speak this way, and with good reason.


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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbacks View Post
    If Bill Gates moved to Norway, inequality would increase but so would the wealth of the nation.
    Read what it is ffs. It measures the wealth and health of the average person. If Bill Gates moved to the Norway the average person would be slightly wealthier so the index would change by 10^(-6)

    I was making a point about the relative positions in the two rankings, but its absolute position in the 'average' rankings doesn't reflect well on the US...they're barely ahead of post-Soviet Estonia (who admittedly have enacted pretty hefty neoliberal reforms and largely succeeded...until 2008)
    Last edited by Samuel_Vimes; 16-11-2011 at 05:15 AM.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    I think it depends to some extent how far someone wants to take the definition of "consensus". I appreciate the meaning of consensus in how you've presented it, but when I refer to "consensus science", what I'm trying to get at is where there is let's say a 60/40 split in opinion. 60% is a sizeable majority, and in matters of a political nature, I would say this satisfies the threshold of what can be considered a suitable amount to make up a "consensus" on what policy/law/program is the right one to implement. However, in matters of science, this is not satisfactory for me, if a theory is opposed by 40% of learned people in whatever area (i'm not attempting to claim this is the position on global warming btw, just saying this for illustrative purposes) then it really is not appropriate to rely on the 60% "consensus". In such instances, consensus is only invoked when the science is not solid enough.

    Having said that, I'm not foolish enough to suggest that one should wait for 100% agreement on a matter, or even that this could ever possibly materialise, but I am not happy to rely on a burden of proof which requires only that the majority opinion is correct "beyond reasonable doubt" or "on the balance of probabilities". Decisions based on consensus in the realm of science have a very poor track record indeed, in fact, those recognised as the great thinkers of the last few hundred years are thought of as being great precisely because they broke with the consensus. As I have said before, nobody ever says "the consensus agrees that E=mc2" or "the scientific consensus believes the sun is 93 million miles from the Earth", it would simply never occur to anyone to speak this way, and with good reason.
    Pretty much agree with all of this.

    How science is meant to work is what I described. How science works when politicians, media and various lobby groups get in on the act is another matter.

  7. #217
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    In a lot of policy cases there is a unanimous opinion shared by scientists which is then promptly ignored by policy writers. I know in Palmy the current rich area is built on extremely dodgy loose fluvial sediment and they have destabilized the hillside. any geomorphologist will tell you it's only a matter of time before it comes crashing down (either through earthquake or heavy rainfall) but the developers have something we don't; money and PR.
    I could understand if GM was largely prohibited in the EU if the opposition to it was based on moral or ethical grounds (though I still wouldn't agree with it), insofar as people just plainly didn't like the idea of products which contained GMOs. But the fact is, that the prohibition policy is based on the public perception that such products are unsafe, a claim which has no tangible evidence whatsoever, despite considerable resources being poured into research over the last decade and beyond.

    What further compounds how illogical the whole situation is, is that the EU is actually the home of some of the world's largest producers of GM in the world like Novartis etc...

  8. #218
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    I haven't come across this principle before, unless I've met it under a different name?
    From wiki

    The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.
    Which is bloody daft and lazy as it absolves you from having to make an argument that X is actually harmful and back it up with studies, evidence etc. Instead you just say "oh, well, it could be harmful, we just don't know! So let's ban ______ instead of being sensible about the whole matter."

    I think it depends to some extent how far someone wants to take the definition of "consensus". I appreciate the meaning of consensus in how you've presented it, but when I refer to "consensus science", what I'm trying to get at is where there is let's say a 60/40 split in opinion. 60% is a sizeable majority, and in matters of a political nature, I would say this satisfies the threshold of what can be considered a suitable amount to make up a "consensus" on what policy/law/program is the right one to implement. However, in matters of science, this is not satisfactory for me, if a theory is opposed by 40% of learned people in whatever area (i'm not attempting to claim this is the position on global warming btw, just saying this for illustrative purposes) then it really is not appropriate to rely on the 60% "consensus". In such instances, consensus is only invoked when the science is not solid enough.

    Having said that, I'm not foolish enough to suggest that one should wait for 100% agreement on a matter, or even that this could ever possibly materialise, but I am not happy to rely on a burden of proof which requires only that the majority opinion is correct "beyond reasonable doubt" or "on the balance of probabilities". Decisions based on consensus in the realm of science have a very poor track record indeed, in fact, those recognised as the great thinkers of the last few hundred years are thought of as being great precisely because they broke with the consensus. As I have said before, nobody ever says "the consensus agrees that E=mc2" or "the scientific consensus believes the sun is 93 million miles from the Earth", it would simply never occur to anyone to speak this way, and with good reason.
    In the end, scientific consensus doesn't actually mean much inherently from a scientific POV, but from a logical POV the argument that consensus is a good thing to look out for is reasonable. If all these very smart, independently operating people are for the most part saying the same thing... you'd better seriously know what you're talking about before saying they're wrong.

    More relevantly, though, from an outsider's and especially a politician's POV, consensus is really what you should be looking for, because you haven't got a hope in hell of filtering the wheat from the chaff on your own.
    Last edited by Spark; 16-11-2011 at 05:33 AM.
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  9. #219
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    I could understand if GM was largely prohibited in the EU if the opposition to it was based on moral or ethical grounds (though I still wouldn't agree with it), insofar as people just plainly didn't like the idea of products which contained GMOs. But the fact is, that the prohibition policy is based on the public perception that such products are unsafe, a claim which has no tangible evidence whatsoever, despite considerable resources being poured into research over the last decade and beyond.

    What further compounds how illogical the whole situation is, is that the EU is actually the home of some of the world's largest producers of GM in the world like Novartis etc...
    It's ****ing moronic and between that and their stance on nuclear it's why despite agreeing with then 80% of the time I have close to no respect for the established environmental movement. Some of the smaller organisations popping up here and there are more sensible but ideology > rationality in almost all circumstances when it comes to getting people's blood boiling so you rarely hear about them.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    I could understand if GM was largely prohibited in the EU if the opposition to it was based on moral or ethical grounds (though I still wouldn't agree with it), insofar as people just plainly didn't like the idea of products which contained GMOs. But the fact is, that the prohibition policy is based on the public perception that such products are unsafe, a claim which has no tangible evidence whatsoever, despite considerable resources being poured into research over the last decade and beyond.

    What further compounds how illogical the whole situation is, is that the EU is actually the home of some of the world's largest producers of GM in the world like Novartis etc...


    I suppose when you have companies like Mosanto being absolute ****s about everything, people declare the rest guilty by association.

    GM is one of those things where irresponsible companies can cause serious health concerns. That's nothing new of course; I could piss on the steak conveyor belt at the meatworks and cause a health hazard, but because GM is new technology, and people are afraid of news things if they're presented in the wrong light, everyone hits panicc stations.

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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    From wiki



    Which is bloody daft and lazy as it absolves you from having to make an argument that X is actually harmful and back it up with studies, evidence etc. Instead you just say "oh, well, it could be harmful, we just don't know! So let's ban ______ instead of being sensible about the whole matter."
    The only time I can perceive it ever appropriate to deploy the precautionary principle, is in a situation where there is a possibility that a certain technology/scientific development/whatever is considered to have such potentially severe, life altering, unalterable, irreversible effects that it would simply not be rational to entertain the thought of proceeding with it. Otherwise it's a load of bull which can serve only to stifle innovation and technological evolution.

  12. #222
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    The only time I can perceive it ever appropriate to deploy the precautionary principle, is in a situation where there is a possibility that a certain technology/scientific development/whatever is considered to have such potentially severe, life altering, unalterable, irreversible effects that it would simply not be rational to entertain the thought of proceeding with it. Otherwise it's a load of bull which can serve only to stifle innovation and technological evolution.
    Such as, for instance, climate change.

    The point though is that you reach exactly the same conclusion with a cost/benefit approach and analysis which is what you should be ****ing doing in the first place - the potential (and likely!) costs are so high that mitigation is necessary. No precautionary principle tripe required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    From wiki



    Which is bloody daft and lazy as it absolves you from having to make an argument that X is actually harmful and back it up with studies, evidence etc. Instead you just say "oh, well, it could be harmful, we just don't know! So let's ban ______ instead of being sensible about the whole matter."



    In the end, scientific consensus doesn't actually mean much inherently from a scientific POV, but from a logical POV the argument that consensus is a good thing to look out for is reasonable. If all these very smart, independently operating people are for the most part saying the same thing... you'd better seriously know what you're talking about before saying they're wrong.
    Oh **** yes, I know what that ****ing **** is. Or at least something very similar. ****ing **** **** social scientists told GNS not to tell Christchurch residents last September that there was a 90% likelihood of another big quake within six months because they would panic.

    Then of course there was another, and people got killed, and now GNS is in court for not releasing the information.

    ****ing stupid principle.

  14. #224
    International Vice-Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel_Vimes View Post
    Read what it is ffs. It measures the wealth and health of the average person. If Bill Gates moved to the Norway the average person would be slightly wealthier so the index would change by 10^(-6)

    I was making a point about the relative positions in the two rankings, but its absolute position in the 'average' rankings doesn't reflect well on the US...they're barely ahead of post-Soviet Estonia (who admittedly have enacted pretty hefty neoliberal reforms and largely succeeded...until 2008)
    A load of crap?

    By making poverty relative it becomes essentially a meaningless concept. The middle class of today are better off than the millionaires of not too many decades ago. Why would I care how equal people are if I don't have clean water, jobs available and shops with full shelves? To say that such improvements could occur without this disparity is incorrect. One only has to look at the boom in Africa since Keynsian madness was finally removed from the IMF/UN/World Bank.

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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    Oh **** yes, I know what that ****ing **** is. Or at least something very similar. ****ing **** **** social scientists told GNS not to tell Christchurch residents last September that there was a 90% likelihood of another big quake within six months because they would panic.

    Then of course there was another, and people got killed, and now GNS is in court for not releasing the information.

    ****ing stupid principle.
    My favourite critique of it, is that if you apply it stringently enough, it won't allow itself.



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