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The Engineer
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The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/28/2011 10:12 PM

Now We're Losing Supercomputers due to Lost Funding

There is a series of Supercomputers across the US that are used by Scientists in a variety of disciplines to do complex calculations. One of these supercomputers is known as Ember (description can be found here). Work on Ember by scientists include everything from how to remove oil from oil shale economically (studying the chemistry), to how to build a better Solar Cell, Hydrogen Fuel Cell, etc. Subjects as diverse as Astrophysics, Quantum Computing, Alternative Energies, Traditional Energies, Fusion, Fission, Chaos etc are studied using this super computer. I too occasionally use these supercomputers in my work on magnetic semiconductors and oxyhemoglobin. Today I received the following email from the people who run the supercomputer Ember:

The Email

Dear Colleagues:

This note is a follow-up to my note of June 27 indicating the uncertain times we are experiencing. While we have yet to resolve the issues with support for the current production resources, it has become clear that NCSA's SGI Cluster, Ember, will no longer be available as a NSF resource after July 31, 2011. I wish I could have provided an update earlier, but this has only come to light in the past day and is due to funding shortfalls as described in my previous note. We are working hard to resolve support for MSS and Forge (replacing Lincoln) now.

For those with allocations on Ember, we will be working to proactively transfer those allocations to Blacklight at PSC. We will commence moves on Monday, August 1. Please keep in mind, however, that Blacklight is configured differently and you might not be able to do everything you have done with Ember on Blacklight. Also, if your work can be done on an alternate resource, this should be indicated to us. The loss of Ember represents a loss of nearly one third of the large scale SMP capability in the XSEDE portfolio of resources. We will be processing questions and requests as quickly as possible and thank you in advance for your understanding. Transfer requests to other resources will be evaluated on availability and need.

For those of you using certain third party or ISV applications, you will find that they are not all currently available on Blacklight. We have passed along this list of software to our partners at PSC for consideration of acquiring licenses for them and making them available.

Users on Ember may have noticed that we have already begun to drain the queues. Any jobs remaining in the queues on Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 11:59pm will not be executed. Restricted access to Ember will be provided through August 15, 2011 to allow people to move any files off of Ember if necessary. Data remaining in the scratch and projects directories after August 15th will be deleted. Data residing in NCSA's mass storage environment will be available until August 15, 2011 (or perhaps longer if arrangements can be made to make MSS available for a longer period).

At this point in time, we have not resolved support issues for MSS or Forge (replacing Lincoln). Unless something is negotiated between now and July 31, we will also be decommissioning Lincoln in the same way we are decommissioning Ember and MSS will go into read-only mode effective August 1. Access to both would be provided through August 15. I will be sharing news as it becomes available and I am hoping to have something positive to share regarding MSS and Lincoln/Forge soon.


The Consequences

I can't even begin to figure out the consequences to american science this shutdown is causing. The work done on Ember is not the esoteric work I sometimes talk about here on CR4, but rather practical hard science needed for progress in pretty much all fields of technology that involve chemistry or materials (which is all of them). This is basically a disaster.

So well done America, the war against science seems to be the only one we're winning.

Oh, and by the way, the Chinese seem to understand the importance of supercomputers. Is it really surprising they are increasingly better than us at math and science when we do things like this?

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The Engineer
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#91
In reply to #89
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 10:26 AM

What your suggesting costs money to implement and is much less efficient.

Think about it, there is a fully functioning, state of the art supercomputer ready to go, but the money to run it (electrical bills, maintenance staff) has been cut. It's still operational, but only to people at the university, not anyone outside of it (NSF members). It's just an incredibly shortsighted.

It is directly analogous to buying a car and having it sit in your driveway and not be used because you refuse to pay for gas. What you're suggesting is that we should buy a hybrid, but what about the car sitting in the driveway we've already got?

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#100
In reply to #91

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 12:51 PM

I understand and can empathize with your frustration. The best/easiest solution sitting right in front of you and not being able to use it is near the definition of frustration. But what practical options are there? You could spend some funding to lobby for more funding (is that legal?). You could hire out the two Russian brothers from NY that built their own supercomputer for $70k to build you one (hopefully for the same price! (btw, I heard an interview with them, and the near quote was this... looking at a meat thermometer, "you don't need to worry about overheating until it reaches "pork"). You could shift to the distributed model (already discussed).

Again, I'm not claiming any solution is best for you. I'm just tossing ideas out there. (and it still doesn't speak to the heart of your anti-science...) There are pros and cons to any option, whether it is money, time, materials, or quality there are always trade-offs. It appears your program has been forced to prioritize (sadly, like many other programs, both private and public).

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#102
In reply to #91

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 2:45 PM

NSF = non sufficient funds

couldn't help myself

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#59
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 12:16 PM

I was going to say the same thing. Your part in the anti-science may be a lack of forward vision because of a previous dependence upon a decreasing allocation of government largess. Don't count on the government largess. It's legalized stealing in the first place!
Distributed computing is something that has been done by SETI and others to great effect, and it is done through volunteer computing efforts. This can be a very practical way to accomplish what used to be the exclusive domain of large server farms. There is an enormous amount of FLOPS available if you can find a way to harness it. Contact the BOINC people and see what can be done. If the code can be run and the data broken down and distributed to the volonteers, then I will dedicate some time on my CPU's to help get it started. Post here if BOINC works for you.

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#61
In reply to #59

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 1:17 PM

Again, not every computational problem is suitable for distributed computing. Many are not.

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#47

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/29/2011 10:01 PM

.. -- --- ..- -, --. --- --- -.. - .- .-.. -.-

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#64

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 2:13 PM

I'm sorry that your company is losing access to the supercomputer of its choice. Maybe it's time for it to pay its fair share of the funding instead of expecting all Americans to do it with their tax money. It's not anti-science it's anti-rip-off.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 2:19 PM

My research isn't related to my company, I do that on my own time. I have an affiliation with an national laboratory in Japan so I can continue my work on their supercomputer.

You Wrote:"It's not anti-science it's anti-rip-off."

I'd be interested to hear why you believe government funded supercomputers open to the scientific community for research purposes is a rip-off.

Is your reasoning that government shouldn't fund science at all? (A perfectly valid position for someone to have, I would just like to hear you say it if that's what you believe).

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#73
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 3:04 PM

"I have an affiliation with an national laboratory in Japan so I can continue my work on their supercomputer."

Excuse me if I misunderstood. Do you get paid for this work?

"Is your reasoning that government shouldn't fund science at all? (A perfectly valid position for someone to have, I would just like to hear you say it if that's what you believe)"

One again you are trying to twist my words to suit your "needs". I'm not against government funded science. However, I am against large corporations who pay their top executives many millions a year getting free access to super computers at taxpayer expense. How much does a supercomputer cost by the way? Today's PCs are better than supercomputers of years past. How fast is fast enough? Will science never be satisfied?

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#75
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 3:12 PM

You Wrote:"Excuse me if I misunderstood. Do you get paid for this work?"

No. I do my research on my own time. I work at globalspec to pay the bills. Globalspec has nothing to do with my research.

You Wrote:"However, I am against large corporations who pay their top executives many millions a year getting free access to super computers at taxpayer expense."

I think maybe you should ask me some direct questions about my work and my job because you seem to be very confused as to what I do and how I'm paid.

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#78
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 3:53 PM

"I think maybe you should ask me some direct questions about my work and my job because you seem to be very confused as to what I do and how I'm paid."

I couldn't care less about what you do or how you are paid. Once again you avoid questions that don't fit in with your agenda. Once again you have turned your thread into a political debate (which is against CR4 rules). You get away with it because you have friends associates at GS. I posted here against my better judgement. Now my better judgement has taken over. I'm outta here.

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#79
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 4:07 PM

I'm interested

what are you researching?

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#80

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 4:43 PM

This is getting scary. Pretty soon the tax cutters will slash funding for my turbo encabulator project....

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#81
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/30/2011 4:52 PM

I'm pretty sure that will be the last thing to have it's funding cut. It's not like most people know the difference between a Turboencabulator and a Symmetrical Tokamak.

Lets test this in another thread. Call it an unscientific thread. I'll ask lCR4ers to chose between funding for one of the other.

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#85
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 8:45 AM

CR4 ADMIN: Deleted Post

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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 9:13 AM

CR4 ADMIN: Deleted Post

Irrelevant This post was deleted because it is related to a deleted post and would otherwise be taken out of context.

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#84
In reply to #80

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 8:35 AM

good one. really, what do these type of people accually contribute to society other than keeping the treckies occuppied. it seems like we're the only two people that knew hawkings was totally wrong. what an ignoramist

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#82

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

07/31/2011 11:29 AM

I'll probably seek funding at Mr. Starks Corporation =)

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#83

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 8:23 AM

the government seems anxious to spend billions to maintain their so called "super computers" to store personal information on it's own citizens, [you can decide for youself if it's an infringement of your constitusional rights],.but when they're used for scientific purposes, i ask myself if this money is going for for pure scientific research [who cares about the big bang when the earth is in the sh***er], or will we get an economic return on taxpayer money.

it's time we smelled the roses reguardless of how bad they're starting to stink.

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#87

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 9:59 AM

I personally like this view. Money has to come from somewhere to pay the increasing interest payments. It isn't about cuts to just one area, it is cuts to every area of federal government. As long as Congress keeps adding wasteful bills, our federal government will keep spending more than it receives. I saw a piece the other day (ok it was more like a year or so ago) about federal funding for regional airports. The airports can't use the money because they don't need it for maintenance. Congress can't do anything else with it because it is mandated by some bill passed in the 90's to provide maintenance funding. Or how about the wasteful gold dollars that are being made and stored with no demand on the market for them? Our government officials are just wasteful with the money that they didn't earn. Besides, they are rich and won't remove the loop holes for the rich. They also didn't remove the subsidies to the oil companies.

To bad NSF may have picked the wrong area of their budget to cut. Glad you have other options.

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#88
In reply to #87

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 10:15 AM

There has been inflation and increases in population over the past century. Surely we can agree that a nation of 300 million individuals is more expensive to run than a nation of 30 million individuals. Also we can agree that if something that cost a dime now costs a dollar, it is more expensive to run a government than it was in the past.

A way to incorporate the two variables above, economists use the measure "spending with respect to GDP". I think you'll find that if you look at that measure, spending is quite low.

If you think about it, spending must be low right now, because our tax rates are the lowest they've ever been since the gilded age. Also wealth inequality is as high as it's been since the gilded age.

So WWKayaker, I get that the debt is too high, but the problem is taxes, not spending.

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#97
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 11:44 AM

I would say it is both (tax loopholes and wasteful spending), but that is another discussion for another thread. To make it short, the people in charge are cutting the wrong programs and not correcting the wasteful spending. Then again, are they? To them, this program may be wasteful.

Yes, tax revenue should increase with an increase in working population. Problem is we are paying for the babyboomers retirements, medicare and medicaid. That is why there is an increase in spending for those areas and they have taken up a large portion of the fed budget. We are in a slow growth from a recession that could double dip at any time. There are many variables.

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#98
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/01/2011 12:20 PM

I agree there are many variables. But if you look at a graph of wealth inequality and a graph of the uppermost tax rates there is a strong correlation. Progressive tax codes offset the affinity of wealth to attract better interest rates colloquially captured in the old adage "money attracts money". Our current tax code is too flat and has been since 1980 so wealth inequality has grown since then.

If the wealthy have a higher percentage of the wealth and income as compared to any other time since before 1930 and are paying the lowest upper tax rate since the gilded age, it shouldn't be surprising there is a revenue short fall (the recession only is exasperating it).

Basically, what's happening today is literally this. We have the lowest GDP government spending in the past 50 years and the highest income after taxes for the wealthiest Americans in the past century. We have a revenue shortfall and our solution is to cut government spending even lower and under no circumstances raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. It's completely irrational.

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#122

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 10:48 AM

I saw this very cool show on History Channel last night. It went through the US space program with footage from both space and mission control. Apollo missions, fixing the Hubble, Skylab, shuttle missions, etc.

They also talked about funding for NASA. I would imagine that it would apply to all science funding. There was disappointment and anger about certain funding cuts.

The conclusion that they reached, is that all science funding, or lack thereof, comes straight from Washington, is all politically motivated, and determined by who's in power.

That short conclusion made more sense to me than anything you've written on antiscience.

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#123
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 11:09 AM

You Wrote:"The conclusion that they reached, is that all science funding, or lack thereof, comes straight from Washington, is all politically motivated, and determined by who's in power."

That's like saying "It's the bankers that determine whether I get the loan to buy my house"

It's sort of a simplistic explanation that really doesn't say anything, right? Politicians don't act in a vacuum, they do what the perceive will get them reelected. Consistently part of that has been to cut science before almost anything else.


Or to put it another way, imagine if every time politicians cut, it was always disproportionately cuts to Social Security. How long do you think they would stay in office?

Whether we like it or not, elected officials do exactly what we tell them to do.

People's frustration with politicians usually stem from three things, either they are asking for the politician to do something that is actually impossible (balance a budget with only discretionary spending cuts), or something that would actually destroy the country or have horrific consequences if they ever came to pass (Abolishing the EPA, Privatizing Social Security, etc.), or they are asking for something fully half of the country doesn't want or wants the opposite (Carbon Emission Restrictions).

When people say "Washington is broken", what they are really usually saying is "Washington is acting like an inefficient Republic instead of an efficient Totalitarian Regime.

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#124
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 11:50 AM

I never hear a word about science when they are on the campaign trail. They tell us whatever they think we want to hear to get reelected.

It sounds simplistic, because it is. In order for Washington to get going on science, there has to be a real or perceived goal of beating someone else in the equation. Otherwise it doesn't matter............................to them.

It was Washington that got America excited about winning the space race, not the other way around. It was Washington that got people excited about the Hubble telescope. It was Washington that got people excited about the shuttle program.

When Washington takes their eyes off the prize, and figures science funding isn't worth it, so go the people.

Politicians are very simplistic beings.

They always talk about cutting big things that are going to get people angry and emotional. They never have time to talk about cutting out the massive bureaucratic waste that exists within the federal government.

If they were ever to tackle that, I suspect many of the other spending cuts would become unnecessary.

I may be overstating, but I think that every program, agency, and department that has been created in the last 50 years is still in operation. Could they all have been great ideas that need continued funding? No way!!! They never talk about cutting government itself. Until they do, I don't think we're going to be able to start healing from this mess.

To them, every government position is important. They never lay anyone off, and they only continue to get bigger. That costs a lot of money too..................every year, more.

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#125
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 1:11 PM

You Wrote:"I never hear a word about science when they are on the campaign trail. They tell us whatever they think we want to hear to get reelected."

Yes, that is precisely my point. Think about what you just said.

You have however heard some candidates badmouth scientists on the campaign trail I trust? (Hint- Sometimes there derisively called "Alarmists")

You Wrote:"It was Washington that got America excited about winning the space race, not the other way around."

No, I'd say it was the success of the Russians that scared the heck out of the American people.

You Wrote:"If they were ever to tackle that, I suspect many of the other spending cuts would become unnecessary."

They can't, because the second they start mentioning cutting Social Security or Medicare, the same exact people demanding cuts in spending get enraged.

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#127
In reply to #125

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 1:20 PM

there are only minor problems with social security itself

taking the money for other things, isn't a problem with SS

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#128
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Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 1:55 PM

1) I haven't heard them badmouthing scientists on the campaign trail.................although I have heard alarmists on the campaign trail..........hello Al Gore......................hello all of them.

2) The Russians didn't scare the American people, they scared Washington. Putting a man on the moon was a move from Washington to beat the Russians...............it had the added benefit of distracting the American people from the ugliness of Vietnam, but it didn't last long.

3)That was my point. There are many other cuts that could not only be mentioned, but implemented, without mentioning defense, social security, or medicare..............science either, for that matter. They start by mentioning those things specifically to get people enraged. It's the best way to get debt ceilings raised, taxes raised, etc., without government itself giving up anything. They just get to continue growing unabated.

Government is in the business of maintaining the status quo, and continuing to grow. The best way to accomplish that is to scare the citizens.

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#129
In reply to #128

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 2:02 PM

1) I haven't heard them badmouthing scientists on the campaign trail.................although I have heard alarmists on the campaign trail..........hello Al Gore.

actually denying climate change is one of the conservative litmus tests

along with bowing down to Grover Norquist

being against the freedom to marry whoever you want [sort of anti liberty]

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#131
In reply to #129

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 2:15 PM

The climate is always changing, always has...............I don't doubt it.

I will admit to being a hard core fiscal conservative. The rest of it, live and let live, as far as I'm concerned.

I don't like the far right trying to govern by religious dictate, and I don't like the far left's attempts to remove any reference to religion from the public eye.

Neither side has the right to dictate beliefs and morality based on their own.i.e., it's none of the government's business. As far as gay marriage, I guess let the states decide. I'm not gay, so I just don't care. It's not my business.

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#140
In reply to #131

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 12:33 AM

in the end we agree on most of it

libertarian leanings

there needs to be some organization

we need better efficiency from these organizations

not just financial, but also operational

Dr. ol Rog is noting the symptoms of what happens when there are too many smart people [who never took the Dale Carnegie course] in too small of a space

sure part of what is missing is the of selling science

how many of the high IQ crowd, are socially inept?

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#141
In reply to #140

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 7:13 AM

I even agree with roger, that science should be one of the last things to see the budget chopping block.........except the massive big ticket items. We don't have the money.

Unfortunately, these antiscience threads are becoming like episodes of Seinfeld............each one is about nothing.

rog has no interest in solutions, suggestions, answers..........................anything, but proving that his antiscience thesis is correct........that HE is right. It's all nothing but preaching.

I'm sure they'll keep coming. Even if he proves himself right............it changes nothing.

Many of the high IQ crowd are socially inept..................I'm glad I missed that bullet.

The high IQers also have a tendency to become so focused on something, that they fail to see the forest for the trees.

I guess all of us will continue to see the antiscience loop replay itself. We can respond or not, as long as we understand that our responses mean nothing to the OP.

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#126
In reply to #124

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 1:15 PM

you are describing the effects of use it or lose it funding

there is no feedback mechanism that makes it beneficial not to spend all the money

your typical corporation has the price of a share, which is immediate,

too immediate, causing extreme short term thinking/action

we need something more moderate...

OMB isn't doing it

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Anonymous Poster #1
#130

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 2:06 PM

What really saddens me is that for the most part everyone here values science... and yet argues with each other about why it is being devalued and how to fix it. When I read through the comments, it's obvious that THEY (take your pick at who that is) or IT (again take your pick) is the problem. First comes the heartache and then the anger. It breaks my heart to see the disunity among the very people who should and could find a way to join together and try to find a way to truly make a difference. I feel the pain of almost everyone in this thread/discussion.

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#132
In reply to #130

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 2:53 PM

I've been pretty clear.

I've said clear that:

We are all the Antiscience (Link to Post in this Thread)

We Scientists in particular need to reexamine our values and escape our existentialist (anti-abstraction) prejudices

We Scientists need to stop being apologists.

I've actually gone out of my way to say that the fringe groups normally associated with "antiscience" aren't the problem. So maybe, rather lecture us, perhaps you could actually read the whole thread rather than read one post out of context and jump to cliche conclusions.

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#133
In reply to #132

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 4:31 PM

I am sorry if you took it the way you have characterized it. It wasn't meant to be a lecture at all. It was a thinking out loud emotion. That's why I put all the teary eyed emoticons. Please do not judge so quickly or take a post like that so personally. I have noted you sometimes have the same problem with being misunderstood. Quite a few of your posts are to that effect -- trying to explain that what people took your post to mean is not what you meant.

I read enough of the comments to know the same diagnoses and solutions are recognized and repeated. AND I am not disagreeing with any of them OR decrying the fact that they are repeated. Maybe I missed the posts where several people said, "Those are good ideas, NOW, let's do this..." It is very reminiscent of the current entrenched positions of Democrats and Republicans debating the debt ceiling, health care... you name it. There is too little cooperation. (The last few sentences were also emotion and not meant to be a lecture. Sometimes emotions just come out that way.)

My reaction is one of genuine sadness, not directed at anyone in particular -- more at the situation we all feel -- somewhat helpless in the face of a system that has an inertia that is hard to stop or change. And just the sadness over your and everyone else's pain and frustration. I actually started not to post what I did because I have tried not to post about this kind of topic recently. But my emotion got the best of me and I felt compelled to do so. I wish I had not.

I don't doubt your sincerity. Please do not doubt mine. And please accept my apology.

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#134
In reply to #133

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 5:34 PM

While roger sometimes has his endearing qualities, his gift for self rightous condescension often times gets the insult train rolling on his threads.

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#136
In reply to #134

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 5:59 PM

So close to an accurate criticism. We must be starting to get through to each other. I admit I do have a tendency towards righteous indignation.

Like getting angry at the hypocrisy of someone showing up anonymously and talking about how we should all get along. Really? You're delivering that message anonymously and I'm supposed to take it seriously? And it was such a cliche message too. Like anonymous invented the concept of cooperation. It made me indignant. Very indignant.

I'm sure there is a point to having the ability to post anonymously on CR4, but damned if I know it.

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#150
In reply to #136

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:04 PM

That'll teach those people for getting advanced degrees!

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#156
In reply to #150

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:38 PM

Exactly. Even the article is a misrepresentation.

Since the hostile takeover of the student loan industry by the government, to say they are paying the interest on graduate students' loans is a lie. They would simply not be charging them interest.

To suggest that graduate students are going to automatically hit the big bucks when they get out of school is also a lie.

To target people that seek advanced degrees is bull$hit.

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#161
In reply to #156

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 4:14 PM

No, actually the banks still owned the loans, the government was paying the banks the interest on the loans and guaranteeing the loans for the banks, but the banks still were making interest. Now the students want the interest.

To target anyone who is trying to advance themselves through education or vocation is garbage.

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#135
In reply to #133

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 5:52 PM

I just don't like Anonymous Posters. You have the right to post anonymously and I have the right to resent it.

I know we all grew up on sitcoms, but not all conversations need to end with everyone hugging. Look, we're having a dialog and voicing very different ideas about something not all of us are even convinced is occurring. To be honest, I'm surprised and happy it's as civil as it has been.

It's so easy to look at the world and throw up ones hands because it is hard. I see a lot of people on the news today talking about how "Washington is broken". That just tells me they have no idea how a Republic is supposed to work.

Republicans and Democrats are supposed to fight for their beliefs. I keep it no secret that I'm a die-hard Liberal, but what the Tea Party just did is textbook Representative Republic. Will they pay for it next election? God I hope so, but I respect what they just did. God bless democracy. Those "politicians" fight it out for us on the hill so we don't have to in the streets. We should be thanking them for being our scapegoats, our soldiers of fortune, in other words, our representatives.

So if we fight back and forth on this thread, saying our points over and over in different ways, it's not because we're incapable of compromise and it's not because the thread is pointless or "broken". It's that we're different people with different perspectives letting each other know as firmly (and loudly) as we can, that not everyone thinks the same way about these issues. That is a good thing.

But I'm sure there is a large group of scientists somewhere "solving the problem" by acting goofy and converting formulas to hip hop songs and generally making fools of themselves and pretending to be something they're not in their misguided attempt to "reach the people"..

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#137
In reply to #135

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 6:41 PM

Well, you may hate anonymous posters but you and I (anonymously) had a quite lengthy, and cordial exchange in another thread, a few weeks ago, which is surprising, I guess, given your vent about anonymous posts. And you did take me seriously enough for the exchange. AND it was to a large degree about what to do... not just complaining about something being broken. (Now, if you can get members of Congress and the President to all subscribe to CR4...then maybe your really on to something.)

I'm looking for any one of these discussions to produce some sort of action for change. If you truly think that most of the politicians are "fighting it out for US.." then I think you are being naive. K Street is just a mirage, then, I guess. I'm 60 years old. I think I've seen enough in my life to know better. Take a look at the documentary, "The Most Dangerous Man in America" sometime, for instance. It is instructive in the misuse of power and the, all too often, lackadaisical public.

I'll say it again. I don't doubt your sincerity. You are questioning mine just because I carry Anonymous around as my moniker. One of the points I've tried to make is, it's less important who said what... it's more important what they've said. Wanting to put what was said with a name is only useful to either praise or condemn the speaker. Neither serves much purpose in the long run. You are saying it really is about ideas, right?

Be a little more rationale and less emotional -- that's my gig. A lot of monikers here are really no different from Anonymous. You have chosen to use your real name. But more than a few don't. If it helps the situation, I'll start signing my Anonymous posts with some fictitious name, if I post in a thread started by you, to which you can then respond. Of course, the name may change from thread to thread.

- Adagio

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#138
In reply to #137

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 6:54 PM

If your argument is I'm not treating you fairly simply because you're posting anonymously, then I have to admit you're absolutely correct.

And if you're 60 years old, then you were born in 1950, which means you saw the government pass the civil rights act in a divided country, go to the moon, create the EPA, cut the top tax rate from 90% to 35%, send space probes to every planet except pluto, defeat the soviet union in the cold war, help rebuild Europe, help rebuild Japan, and many many other things.

I'm naive? No, I just don't panic in the moment. After all the things you've seen, I don't quite understand how you still do.

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#139
In reply to #138

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/02/2011 11:47 PM

"defeat the soviet union in the cold war"

I would comment, on this and the rest above, but much like Михаил Сергеевич Горбачёв, I recognize "pointless" when I see it.

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#142
In reply to #139

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 9:02 AM

If we didn't win the cold war, how do you explain this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpS4fCF4tqo&NR=1

That's what I thought.

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#143
In reply to #142

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 11:06 AM

Nearly as funny as this

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#144
In reply to #143

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 11:43 AM

A nice depiction of roger's obvious frustration. Can I assume that Penny represents the rest of us?**

**{Edit} The way the rest of us appear to roger.

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#146
In reply to #144

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 12:06 PM
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#147
In reply to #146

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 12:42 PM

Funny!!

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#149
In reply to #146

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:01 PM

Seriously, there's no Antiscience? That fact that you people actually believe this is what scientists are like says it all.

(Clip is funny though, what can I say, I'm a child of my times, I can recognize it as antiscience and still find it funny instead of offensive. I'm part of the problem).

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#148
In reply to #138

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 2:50 PM

Who said I was panicking in the moment? Only you. I hardly think my posts have conveyed a sense of panic -- maybe my view of "reality" that you and I can't agree on.

As to the things that you cited as being accomplished, they were done by doers not just writers. You think and write well but action is needed, whether it is you or someone inspired by your writing. It always comes down to someone acting.

Please don't use deflection. My reference to naivete was precise. It had to do with thinking that all the representatives in Washington are "fighting for us." I think most people my age would agree that just isn't so. Mistrust of government is in our country's DNA. A few books have been written about the subject. It's why it is so easy to use the words "big government" to strike fear in the hearts of those who don't want their Medicare or SS touched.

Along with the good things you've mentioned as accomplishments there are also cases to argue against a "them fighting for us" mentality. Just a few off the top of my head are the Gulf of Tonkin incident, WMD in Iraq, Watergate/Pentagon Papers... again books have been written about these and others.

While not a conservative by any means, I found this article interesting while looking up "politicians" and "lying." Should people campaign with dishonesty? What does that say about the public and their relationship to government? Of the most recognized representatives in Congress, I have the most respect for two: Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Aside from their philosophies, each is more consistent in remaining true to ideals. For the most part politicians use "political speak" (aka lying; although some would use the sanitized word, evasive) when speaking publicly or in interviews. Why is it so difficult for you to acknowledge that?

Yes, I've seen both good as well as lies. The lies can lead to tragedy on large scales, such as Vietnam and Iraq. Considering the number of people (many, just citizens... literally innocent bystanders) who lost their lives and/or had their lives ruined because of lies and political ambition, it becomes more than just an unfortunate blip on an otherwise pristine well-tuned Republic. In this context, budget cuts to scientific research pale in comparison on the scale of tragedies.

Our "Republic" isn't operating at all like it was intended. Corporations were very limited in their powers during the early history of the Republic. K Street is almost synonymous with corporate power. Until we have term limits and public financing, only, of political campaigns, this Republic will not be what you think it is or was intended to be. Early founders (Washington and Madison, for ex.) derided the idea of political parties. Now modern thinkers believe political parties are necessary and good. Maybe so in an ideal setting, but the environment is far from ideal. Yeah, I've seen good, but the bad can leave such a bad taste in your mouth that you don't forget it. There are many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who have been maimed because of the lies. Not all of them believe their leaders are truthful and "fighting for them/us."

Sure, good things have been accomplished. And as I noted in our previous dialog in another thread, it only happens by a person doing... acting... and usually sacrificing. Discussing budget cuts in an engineering forum is a positive act if it leads to someone acting. I just noted in my previous post I don't see that fruit yet. You noted in our "other" discussion that you've tried the usual routes of trying to express your opinions to political leaders, etc. And you said it went nowhere. If government is operating as purely as you think, then you are in the minority and have to just accept the pain of the budget cuts you dislike. Are you hoping discussing budget cuts and Anti-Science in CR4 will create a groundswell of public uprising? I'm pretty sure you would say you don't start these threads with that purpose. I'm also pretty sure you don't. In the end, it's no different than gathering around the CR4 water cooler until someone acts in some manner... not just pondering and discussing. And maybe that is your only intent. Or purely venting. Without action they are very similar. Statistically, it's like being on a deserted island, writing a note and putting it out to sea, hoping some ship will find it. But even then, only if the reader of your note acts on that note, will it achieve your desired result.

Since many on CR4 prefer to avoid politics, there is less participation because your posts, by definition are political -- or lead to politics quickly.

Maybe you only want to put the term Anti-Science more firmly on the map; i.e., your two-part article. Readers know how you diagnose the problem well, by now. What do you hope to achieve by pointing out the particular instances where it is happening? Maybe empathy and commiseration is what you seek. I don't know. For someone who admits to being lazy, you certainly find the energy for announcing specific repercussions of Anti-Science on a regular basis these days.

Ironically, if you and I met at a restaurant I'm pretty sure we could, and probably would, rant back and forth, in an enjoyable manner, about the laments of being in a seeming minority. We could commiserate with one another. I'm not sure why you want to be at odds with those who share the same goal. Sorry. I guess that's a cliche.

It is obvious the cuts in scientific programs are upsetting to you, and scientific research for knowledge's sake is near and dear to your heart. We all pretty much care too, and agree on that. But most here don't start these types of threads where horses get beaten to death (which I am also doing now). Why? What would be your explanation of that? (I know a practical answer -- You work in research and are closer to the disappointment. Still I'd like to know your thoughts as to why others don't. And there's no need to respond to the rest of my diatribe, since, as you and I both know by now, we don't agree on anyhow. Confining yourself to answering this one question is what I, and maybe others, are interested in.)

(Readers, please forgive any typos and grammatical errors which are likely in a long post.)

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#151
In reply to #148

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:08 PM

What is this, a Filabuster? Am I supposed to spend an hour answering you point for point? No thanks, not for an anonymous poster. Log in as who you are and post this and I'll address it, otherwise whatever.

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#163
In reply to #151

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 4:21 PM

Sorry for long post. Read only the last paragraph, Roger. That's all I should have posted. I keep making the mistake of thinking that your main interest is in discussion, which some seemed to have already learned is incorrect. I actually didn't want, or expect, a response to every paragraph. That was my mistake for falling into the same trap as before. There's only one question there. If you don't want to read it I'll repeat it here.

It is obvious the cuts in scientific programs are upsetting to you, and scientific research for knowledge's sake is near and dear to your heart. We all pretty much care too, and agree on that. But most here don't start these types of threads where horses get beaten to death (which I am also doing now). Why? What is your explanation of that? (I know a practical answer -- You work in research and are closer to the disappointment. Still I'd like to know your thoughts as to why others don't. And there's no need to respond to the rest of my diatribe, since, as you and I both know by now, we don't agree on anyhow. Confining yourself to answering this one question is what I, and maybe others, are interested in.)

My post certainly wasn't intended to be a filabuster. But now that you mention it, some people agree with the purpose behind them. So maybe somebody got something out of it.

Of course, you can refuse to give a response to that one question on the grounds that you don't know my name, address, phone number, etc.

- Adagio (Which should be as valid as any other moniker here. I could add the word Hero after Anonymous. Would that satisfy you? You really are making a mountain out of a molehill and being unfair, as you admitted. If you can't see that there is no real difference between, r&ddoc, Night Manager, ChaoticIntellect, bravo88 -- just on this page -- and Anonymous your reasoning is flawed. Most people can probably identify "me" as the author of posts I make by style, and ideas. And it really doesn't matter what moniker or Avatar is associated with it.. except in your mind. Your insistence on a moniker other than Anonymous is being petty. I've even supplied one. But... sigh... whatever.)

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#173
In reply to #163

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:33 PM

This post is basically just a personal attack, which I always find amusing coming from an Anonymous Poster.

Say what you will about Kramarat, at least he isn't sneaky.

See you around Anon.

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#175
In reply to #173

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:58 PM

I'll take that as a compliment. I prefer my shotgun approach to insults....................................done and forgotten.

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#157
In reply to #148

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:40 PM

GA.....................after seeing the way that roger treats people that are trying to agree with him, I don't know why anybody would post as themselves.

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#145

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 11:50 AM

Roger, please keep us (or at least me) posted as to the solution (if any) that the program directors decide to implement. If the work is as practical and needed as you say, I'm sure some creative solutions will be found and I'd be curious to know what they are.

Thanks!

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#152
In reply to #145

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:10 PM

The solution was to take the supercomputer offline. It's already happened.

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#153
In reply to #152

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:17 PM

Maybe I should clarify, if I may paraphrase... you said fundings for the programs were cut, therefore supercomputer gets cut.... I'm calling this "the problem". I would appreciate you keeping us posted as what solution(s) to "the problem" are implemented to keep the programs running.

Again, thanks!

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#154
In reply to #153

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:19 PM

I see you're not getting it. The Supercomputer is shut down. Until they get money it stays shut down, like a car with a tarp over it cause you can't afford gas. Why is this confusing?

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#155
In reply to #154

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:32 PM

You really are a pr*ck.

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#160
In reply to #155

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 4:11 PM

Why, because I'm telling you something you don't want to hear? The supercomputer is shut down, we can't use it anymore. Scientific research that was being done before is no longer being done now. I'm sorry it's not what you want to hear but it's the reality of these cuts in funding.

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#158
In reply to #154

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 3:45 PM

In your analogy of this as a car with a tarp over it because you can't afford gas, I would add "OK, so are you going to let your kids starve because you can't drive your car or are you going to DO SOMETHING?" (like walk to the store, ask a friend for help, take public transportation, etc) This is what I'M driving at...

I completely get it. If the solution to "the problem" is to "do nothing but whine", then that is the answer. One not as brilliant or innovative as I'd hoped, but an answer none the less. I am, however, curious as to what they do.

And still cordially... thanks!

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#159
In reply to #158

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 4:09 PM

I understand what you're asking, but you're still not getting it. That supercomputer is not available for runs. It's turned off. There is no cheap alternative. If you cut funding for a supercomputer, you just end up with one less supercomputer.

Think of it this way, imagine you went up to a soldier and said to him "hey guys, bad news, we can't afford to give you guns anymore, you'll have to innovate". Could the soldiers still fight with their knives? of course, but they won't be nearly as effective.

Look, I understand there is this fantasy that if funding is cut that an innovative (cheaper) solution emerges and we all hold hands and sing "Kumbayah", but that's a fantasy, especially with how tight science funding already is. When you cut funding to science, facilities are lost and people are fired, it's the opposite of innovation. Science just gets set back years.

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#165
In reply to #159

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 4:52 PM

Let me try to read between the lines, because you won't spell it out for me (for as smart as I am I often don't get "it")....

You're saying, it was 100% funding cut? So all research that relied on that computer is now completely shut down. Is that right?

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#168
In reply to #165

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:19 PM

The supercomputer is shut down. People doing research have to either find a new super computer or.... well they need to find a new supercomputer. Not all of them will. The ones that do will introduce more traffic to those other supercomputers and slow down everyone's work.

So I guess the better analogy is taking half the guns from a platoon of soldiers and telling them to innovate.

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#162
In reply to #158

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 4:20 PM

Yes. He's going to to run to the corner, curl into the fetal position, and lash out at anyone that tries to help. He doesn't give a cr*p if the kids starve!!!

You go out of your way to remain cordial on here. I do most of the time.......................roger is an exception.

kramarat- the antibully

I can, and will continue to lower myself to his level if I feel it's required.

If you keep getting roger's brand of special treatment, you're going to wind up in the gang if you're not careful.

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#164
In reply to #162

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 4:26 PM

You Wrote: "Yes. He's going to to run to the corner, curl into the fetal position, and lash out at anyone that tries to help. He doesn't give a cr*p if the kids starve!!!"

That's not true, I'll care that my kids are starving, it's just that I won't be able to help from the fetal position.

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#167
In reply to #164

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:00 PM

Oh come on rog..............................it's not about them.........it's about you.

How many times do we have to do this?

All of this garbage that's been written about antiscience by you........................and not one tid-bit on how to combat it. At least not by you.

Hell, at this point, I'd imagine that most of the members here have tried to offer something that approaches rational thought.................only to be slapped away by your punk a$$.

I'm sure everyone is looking forward to the next antiscience installment.

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#171
In reply to #164

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:30 PM

The difference between you and me, is that I'm going to do everything I can not to get in the fetal position.

If I end up there, I will immediately go to work getting out of it. Not assigning blame for how I got there, or waiting for someone else to get me out of it.

We will probably never agree on everything..................but, that's okay too.

Maybe scientists are just naturally wimpy.

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#166
In reply to #162

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:00 PM

I can see it in his posts so I try to add in as much patience and understanding into mine as he has frustration in his... it's the least I can do. I'm here to learn, understand, and help when I can... and poking a stick back just doesn't help that cause any.

(btw... does the gang have its own tat?)

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#169
In reply to #166

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:22 PM

Isn't this last post you made here precisely what you're saying you don't do? Where exactly in this thread have I been rude to you or Kramarat?

I think you are mistaking my disagreement with you for hostility. I know Kramarat does (and he shouldn't, I honestly have no hostility for Kramarat, and he knows I have cause if I wanted to).

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#174
In reply to #169

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:42 PM

Isn't this last post you made here precisely what you're saying you don't do?

No, if the question about the tat was stick poking you have my apologies, I actually have no idea what the "gang" is and thought it'd be a cute question. I was apparently wrong.

Leading a statement with things like "I see you're not getting it" can seem a tad ... what's the word I want to use... condescending perhaps? Easily taken for rude by many people. Personally, I could care less.

Based on your original posting having things like "Also, if your work can be done on an alternate resource, this should be indicated to us." I misunderstood that the research would be done on an alternate resource. You've cleared that up. If there is zero funding for the programs, then there's no need for the computer so it gets cut as well. (or in our recent analogies, if there's no people living in the house there's no need to put gas in the tarped car or go to the store, etc). I think I've got it now.

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#170
In reply to #166

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:23 PM

I'll let someone else answer that.............I don't know if you're worthy.

Keep fencing with roger..................you'll get there.

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#172
In reply to #170

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 5:31 PM

So you've fallen back to just attacking me personally then? No more discussion out of you? Ok. I don't much see the point in hanging around this thread then.

You seem to want to make my list of two (AH and Garthh), but understand it took them years to make it and it took them displaying unrelenting pathological behavior, not just towards myself, but many others. To be quite frank about it, I simply don't think you have it in you. I don't think you're pathological, I think you just get angry or frustrated or whatever and lash out. That I understand and don't take personally, or at least don't hold a grudge over it (but just because I don't take it personally doesn't mean I have to stick around and listen to it).

For a while it was a good discussion. See you around CR4.

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#176
In reply to #166

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 6:40 PM

I can't help but think of the sentiment...(paraphrased) "What if they started a war and nobody showed up."

Specific instances of discussion in these threads are still driven by the philosophy (analysis is more correct) of Anti-Science. But if you disagree that that analysis is the main or only answer for our ills as a species and/or society, or ask for it to result in a concrete solution, you likely will get oblique answers that are either deflection, or clever, or questions as answers to questions. From my experience, the cause has been settled upon. You just have to know that going into these discussions.

Roger: While this is humorous caricature, I think it is how many people feel when trying to participate in your threads. You just don't seem to get it. Take it as you wish. With a little bit of honest self-analysis, you might see a bit of truth in it.

- Adagio... at least in this incarnation for this thread.

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#177
In reply to #176

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 7:02 PM

I intentionally tried to stay out of the heart (philosophical aspect perhaps) of this thread for numerous reasons.

I enjoy puzzles, problem solving, and seeing how others tackle them. That was and is my intent. What I see is a "clash" due not to a difference in ideals (I agree with Roger on quite a few things), but a difference in perspective. A subtle but distinct difference.

Thanks for the info though, I'll keep that in mind.

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#179
In reply to #176

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/04/2011 7:13 AM

Well now you've gone and done it AN. He doesn't like it when people start making sense in a calm, rational manner.

I don't think he realizes how he reveals himself in his posts. Like his last one to me, stating that he doesn't take things personally, and in the same post, threatens to add me to.......................what? A hate list? That AH and Garthh have somehow managed to get on.

Garthh likes to argue for the sake of argument. Not a bad guy overall.

AH is opinionated and presents a very good case for his side of a debate. I would definitely want him on my debate team. Again, not a bad guy.

I hope roger doesn't play poker.

An interesting side note: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I may have arrived at the crux of the problem with these threads. I'll make it quick.

Roger claims that the antiscience is based on a fear, disdain, etc., of the abstract and abstract thought.

This is an engineering forum. As far as I know, engineers don't like the abstract. That's not to say they can't, and don't visualize things that could be, but the engineers I've known, prefer the real, the concrete..........the tangible, not abstract thought. That said, I think it's quite possible that roger starts these threads with the preconceived notion that everyone here represents the antiscience...................in fact I think he's as much as said it.

Of course he's frustrated..................he's posting on the wrong forum.

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#178

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/03/2011 8:01 PM

Came back not to talk but to drop off what I feel is a very articulate editorial explaining why our government is working exactly how it's supposed to. Have at it:

Here is an excerpt:

In fact, Madison writing in Federalist 10 said:

"There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes and the other, by controlling its effects. There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving every citizen the same opinions, the same passions and the same interests.

"It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an ailment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish for the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency."

Unlike Honoré, Madison understood the folly of trying to give every citizen the same opinions, passions, interests or purposes. Instead, Madison created a system to control the effects of faction, harnessing the tensions in America's diversity for the public good.

Our founders gave us a large, diverse republic governed by majority rule, subject to checks and balances designed to protect individual liberties. Politicians may bring extreme views to government, but no one leader or branch of government can impose those views on the country. Under our Constitution, dramatic change is difficult, and most reforms are slow, noisy and messy, just as intended.

The United States is engaged in an important debate about the proper size, scope and purposes of government. Along with the grandstanding that is part and parcel of politics, we are examining alternative arguments about the most fundamental questions of political life.

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#180
In reply to #178

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/04/2011 1:05 PM

Well, guess what... to me it's a flawed article (with flawed expression). If it wasn't for Gen. Russel Honoré's sentiments about elected officials then I'd say exposing them to military-like lifestyle would be exactly the wrong thing to do, because it has obviously produced a distorted reasoning in Col. Paul Yingling's article. Thankfully, since Gen. Honoré's outlook survived his military life, it shows that subjecting elected leaders to that kind of lifestyle, might indeed broaden their vision.

How can someone demean the phrase "shared purpose" in an article in reverence to the founding of this country? If it was nothing else, the Revolution was "shared purpose." The shared purpose of government by self-rule.

No one would argue that vigorous debate can't be ultimately positive for a shared purpose. But the Constitution itself is, by definition, a shared purpose -- put down in writing and ratified by all the states of the Republic.

We are all prone to mistakes, but I can't see how any author would not see this glaring flaw in his presentation. I would say, "Bush league," knowing what a tragic joke that is.

What is funny is I've told friends for many years basically the same thing as Gen. Russel Honoré apparently did in his CNN opinion piece, only a little less caustically.

I'm not sure when the term "public servant" began to be applied to elected officials, but they all refer to "serving the public good." Isn't that shared purpose? And how does a servant live? In civilized settings, never better than his keeper(s) and in course settings he no longer becomes a servant but a slave.

If dissent and rousing debate are cherished and important, then there is no way Col. Yingling should say this: "I find the general's views to be contrary to my oath as an officer and repugnant to my ideals as a citizen. If the general plans on sending Congress to Camp Shelby, he'll need to send me, too." And well he should if it will remove the fog of your reasoning. At least present your argument with consistent references. Shared purpose is in no way contradictory with vigorous debate.

As long as we're going to refer to (the holy -- and that could be a whole other "rant") founding fathers, I happen to like a few quotes by Thomas Jefferson. Here's a couple:

"If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions."

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." (I think he meant to say mortgage crisis. )

Now I'll immediately de-emphasize the quotes.

We are all flawed. We are all subject to flawed reasoning. It is an over-reach to use quotes from our fellow flawed beings out of the context of their lives. As becomes evident from learning about Thomas Jefferson's life, he was contradictory in many ways to his own thoughts and ideals. So quoting their pearls of wisdom to one another, while inspiring, can't be removed from their lives. That's why they are called ideals and carry the connotation of a goal for continuous striving. If we think we have reached our ideals, then I would suggest our ideals are too low.

The essence of Gen. Honoré's opinions are that elected officials have strayed too far from the ideal of being a public servant. Ever notice how in Senate hearings the Senators sit above those who have been called to "testify" before them? It does serve the ability of everyone being able to see the Senators better. But in that moment is the witness any less important? No, being physically raised above the one you serve can lead to feeling in one's mind that you are somehow superior to the "witnesses."

We shouldn't take anyone's word on anything if it contradicts our own experience. Maybe we all should be sent to Camp Shelby for the experience and then judge for ourselves.

- Adagio (or whomever you want me to be, Roger)

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#181
In reply to #180

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/04/2011 5:50 PM

Another very well written post AP. Keep it up, and I can just sit back and read your stuff.......................................it's infinitely superior to my beer drenched rants.

My hat is off. I look forward to hearing from you on the next antiscience thread.

Maybe roger will give you a name to use at the onset.

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#182
In reply to #181

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/04/2011 8:33 PM

Thank you. I knew the thread had pretty much fizzled out, but after reading the article cited by Roger I felt the thread would be more complete with at least one response to the article Roger cited.

I've had serious, cordial, and pleasant exchanges with a number of CR4'rs both as a Guest and Anonymously (after the Guest wars) and no one has made a negative issue about posting anonymously. I have had a few people enjoy a post and encourage me to not post anonymously. That is why it puzzles me to be criticized for it, as though I have a reason or history that would encourage secrecy. I have to chuckle because truly speaking there really is no difference, except one could click on my registered name and see a bit more about who I might be. But I put a minimum of personal information in my registration anyhow.

In the end, I guess people do want to know more about the people who post here. So if posting anonymously is stressful to others, maybe a name at the end of each post, such as Adagio (manufactured for this thread on demand) might help address that frustration. Of course, the natural question is then why not just use your registered name. Maybe I don't even have a fully satisfying answer for myself. I do have one, but current policy doesn't demand posting non-anonymously so I don't. And maybe I'll carry Adagio over from here on. It's as good as any other, right? I think that's a reasonable compromise. The only other advantage is people could send me private mail. But I suspect no one cares that much about that. I pretty much will type about any subject in posts, so, I don't think it's much of an issue. (Actually, because I do post anonymously, I never check for messages here in my profile. It is highly unlikely, since I post anonymously, but I hope I haven't offended anyone who might have emailed since I don't check.

I have also had cordial discussions (although not without strain) with Roger in another thread where we exchanged long posts until it was obvious there was no point in continuing -- I guess by that time it probably didn't seem pleasant to either of us. I suspect that is why he did not want to respond this time and just chose to use the Anonymous bit as good excuse as any to not cross a bridge he felt he already had. Still, I would have preferred a different explanation other than indignation over anonymity. It really doesn't fit in with the calmer demeanor of most of Roger's posts.

I don't know about future Anti-Science posts. It is obvious I think there should be some stated purpose (shared, perhaps?) underlying them. I can complain as well as the next person, but at some point, if all you do is complain, you actually stress yourself out for no reason. Change of the kind Roger (and most of us) wants to see is extremely difficult and, actually, does require an internal change of the public at large. Roger has his definition of what that change needs to be. Others would have a different one. But almost everyone agrees there needs to be change. It just seems obvious to me (and that's my problem) that complaining in most venues, by itself, won't bring it about.

I believe Roger when he says he holds no grudge against anyone who criticizes him and I feel the same way in return. I wasn't trying to derail the discussion (which in the end, I certainly aided). That is why I don't know if there is any constructive reason for me to post in Anti-Science threads anymore. To me, you can't (or shouldn't) discuss details of "problems" without discussing the root cause, and logically following that how to correct it. Maybe that is where you've ended up, too. I have enjoyed your posts, as well and would hate to see you stop posting when you have insights and think it helpful. But I suspect we've both come to the conclusion that helpful, to us, means trying to solve the problem. And therein lies our frustration. If all I'm doing is adding to Roger's stress, then I have good reason NOT to post.

I did frustrate you, too, in a thread before, so I guess we all can frustrate those around us at some point.

Sorry for SUCH a long post. No need to respond. I tend to make long posts just to say what's in my head and heart. I have a gauge for completeness that is most likely overkill. What can I say. It's one of my flaws.

See you around

- Adagio

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#184
In reply to #182

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/04/2011 9:41 PM

The best thing about posting AP is how much it annoys sanctimonious members such as our illustrious OP

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#185
In reply to #182

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/05/2011 6:48 AM

I'm only going to respond to say this. Apparently roger doesn't like anonymous posters, because he likes to be able to make a mental note of who he doesn't like. I was taken aback when he threatened to add me to some list of his.........................the pinnacle of pettiness.

Most of us are opinionated here. In any conversation, the ability to listen is at least as important as the ability to talk. As smart as roger is, that's one thing he has failed to learn.

I probably won't be responding to any more antiscience threads either. Everything that possibly can be said, has been. If I do, it'll be for the twisted enjoyment that roger and I get from slapping each other around.

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#183

Re: The Antiscience is Starting to Hit Hard

08/04/2011 8:34 PM

Roger,

I know you didn't intend to come back to this thread to post anymore, but in the hopes you may come back to read... what kramarat has said, about most of us being on your side of the "issue" of the loss of scientific funding is true. And my initial post about being sad at the lack of cooperation, while seeming like a cliche to you, was truly just a heart-felt lament, whether you can accept that or not. (It says something about the times that you would indict me so quickly over such a short post.)

I accept that you have no ill will for those who, out of frustration, engage you personally. I hope you can accept (whether you can relate to it or not) that I posted from a sincere intent. And as I've said above, I may not post much in your threads anymore -- Not because of anger or frustration, but because I probably did add to derailing the focus, and my thoughts will always be towards how to solve the problem. We have beaten that horse to death. As you said... see you around on CR4.

- Adagio

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