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jdavidb (1361)

jdavidb
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http://voiceofjohn.blogspot.com/

J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.
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  • Superficially the accusation of this argument merely being a variant of "Pascal's Wager" is compelling. However, there are a couple of reasons why the argument isn't comparable. With Pascal's Wager, if you guess wrong, it pretty much only affects you and then, only after you're dead and no one else is able to verify it. The argument the author didn't like, unlike the Wager, can be quantified (though not in discrete amounts) and the risk (and associated error bars) can be considered. This makes the argum

    • The argument the author didn't like, unlike the Wager, can be quantified (though not in discrete amounts) and the risk (and associated error bars) can be considered.

      Predictive climatologists are one infomercial away from being phone psychics.

      • Except that they are able to make predictions, albeit with large error bars, and presumably they might be able to improve their ability (this, of course, is different from being able to predict the weather. Short term and long term trends follow different behaviors). As a result, there's the potential for better acquiring knowledge and assessing risk. Not so with Pascal's Wager.

        • Psychologists can make and refine predictions of behavior as well; why not psychics?

          Any organization which allows some of its members to make predictions repeatedly and fail, without discussion statistical variance, has problems. "It will be 83 degrees tomorrow in Santa Rosa. I am a meterologist."

          What good is falsifiability in science if no one ever checks?

          • "It will be 83 degrees tomorrow in Santa Rosa. I am a meterologist."

            Meteorology is not the same thing as climatology. Everyone gets mad when their local weather report is wrong but somehow don't realize that making day-to-day predictions is much more error-prone than analyzing trends over time.

            • Is it much more error prone because it's so much easier to see all of the errors? Just wait 24 hours, not 20 years....

  • I particularly liked the part when he tells we are just a few clicks away from an Avalanche [wikipedia.org]

    So go ahead spread the word, start the Avalanche...

    --