Reader Mail – 12/11/2011 To 12/17/2011

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There were two interesting flamewars this week.

My post on node.js was discussed on a node.js mailing list. This led to a lot of negative comments on that post.

There also were some negative comments on my post on the Climategate scandal.

These actually are sort of related. When people react with hostility, that's an indication that the subject is important and that I'm right.

If I write

aspfho asduh rgpuh rgh prh gdrpsx;r xruxuxur;o w
Does that offend anyone? Of course not.

If I write

Node.js is a lousy language/framework. Stupid people and evil people are using node.js because they listen to the hype and don't seriously evaluate the technical merit.
"Carbon dioxide causes global warming!" is a scam. It's fake science. A lot of people listen to the hype regarding "global warming" and ignore the details.
Based on my observations, homosexuality is a mental illness.

Those statements really offend some people. For each of those statements, I'm mostly sure that I'm right. I'm not 100% certain, but I haven't seen any convincing counter-arguments.

That is one thing I've learned from blogging. The more hostility people have towards an idea, the more likely it is to be true and important. Pro-State brainwashing and the Matrix are very powerful. That helps me evaluate the importance of an idea, just from the amount of hostility it generates.

The truth is not determined by a majority vote. Even if a supermajority of people disagree with me, that doesn't automatically mean I'm wrong.

In the node.js discussion, if you follow the discussion on the node.js discussion group (linked below), most of the people were merely calling me names. They didn't address any of the real concerns I have about node.js.

There was similar poor reasoning demonstrated by the people arguing in favor of "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!"

marc calderwood commented on About FSK.

Just found your comments on BMI. My wife and I opened an open-air arts and crafts market 2 years ago. We built a small stage, a place for local musicians to come out and play. We're open only 60 days a year, we have musicians play about 2 hours a day and the rest is radio. I'm paying ASCAP a fee for radio, but they want performance fees. Ain't gonna happen! I don't charge for anyone to listen and we collect tips so that the musicians might get a tank of gas or a meal. Since I set up my little stage I've had the musicians tell me there are fewer and fewer places to play. I can only imagine this due to the "extortionist licencing pigs." I've already visited with a state legislator who will sponsor a bill, limiting how much these folks can soak us for. I'm intentionally targeting small business's under 100K gross. Most of the coffee shops and smaller venues cannot afford these fees. I have not finished your article, but will soon. Do you know of any other states that have limited what these thugs can collect?

Thanks for any help you can give.


There really isn't much you can do. They own Congress and the judges, and they know it.

State law won't help. Federal copyright law takes precedence over state law.

It isn't a true free market negotiation. It's "Pay what we demand or we sue. BTW, we own all the judges and never lose."

It can get worse. Under the new proposed SOPA law, copyright infringement will be criminal and not civil. Not only could you be sued, but if the law is changed, you can go to jail!

Current copyright law is totally the result of lobbying by big media corporations. The little guy gets squeezed out.

andy commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
wow. so everyone who doesn't agree with your cock-eyed view of the world is obviously a parasite or a psychopath. you really need to take a step back and listen to the nonsense you are spouting. your article is so full of factual inaccuracies i don't even know where to start. maybe you should put your LAMP stack aside for a few hours and take some time to actually do some research on scalable server design. node.js is far from perfect but it get's a lot of things very right and has a lot of very smart people working on it. i really hope you don't get the job because you will obviously just get fired again within a few months for not being a team player...

cheapest commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

It must be nice being able to fit the technologies you use in a four letter acronym. I'm sure its easier for you, stick with it!

Philipp Dunkel commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Interesting Article,

However if I were you, I would never have published it. Why you ask, because it proves that you are unable to find your behind with two hands. Now you might be right about the people across the table from you, but every bit of analysis you did is plain misinformed.

If you had any real idea, what you were doing, you would have done a more thorough assessment before spouting off. You would have had an in-depth look at the nodeJS source code. You would have then had deep hard think about the concepts involved. You would then have had a look at the nodeJS documentation. And after that you would have (presuming your intelligence is anywhere near what you claim) come to the realization that maybe you should rethink what you believe to know.

Now you might ask: "Why is he so confident in making these claims?" Well because I sam the CTO of a startup; we started out doing a prototype on a LAMP stack as a proof of concept. We have since been funded and have rewritten our site to be more easily able to expand. We did so by implementing all our back-end services in nodeJS and we did that in the time of 3 months, including redoing the front-end, and adding several verticals expanding our offering significantly.

Oh and yes, as a startup we are a small team and the CTO actually has to code. So I actually have a clear and present example of how things can turn out using nodeJS. Of course "disasters" can happen using nodeJS as well. Just like in Rails, Perl, PHP, or any other language/environment. In my time I have seen a bunch of disasters happening. One thing I noticed is that it never was really a problem of the language or the environment. Usually it was bad management, bad resource use, or a bad design.

If I were you, I wouldn't take myself as the fount of all wisdom. I'd reevaluate my preconceptions and try to imagine a world where I was completely wrong. And once that is done, I'd try to get myself some actual experience and try to look at the bigger picture a bit. Maybe when you get another 10 years of experience under your belt, you'll be able to find your behind with two hands; who knows, maybe you'll even be able to find it with one.

Anonymous Coward commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

You're just a jerk, no wonder you're in the job interview state..

I do have a job now. It's with a company that isn't going to be bankrupt in two years. I'm using ASP.NET and ASP and VB.NET. I've never used them before and I'm doing fine. (Actually, ASP.NET is very similar to PHP, except that the underlying language is VB instead of Perl-like PHP.)

I did look at the node.js documentation. It was unreadable garbage just like the Rails documentation. Why should I have to look at the node.js source code just to understand how to use it?

My article was probably discussed somewhere else. A bunch of people made negative comments at the same time.

If you're writing small services in node.js, that might work. If you're writing a complex application, it's probably going to be a disaster. There's no way my current employer's application would work in node.js.

The node.js idiots still haven't got a working website. They did say "It'll be ready in a month", and it still isn't done. They updated their placeholder website from "Sign up and we'll E-Mail you when we launch in late 2011." to "Sign up and we'll E-Mail you when we launch."

The node.js idiots were all using Macs. The "Rails Advocate" from my old job had a Mac. I'm starting to be pretty convinced that if you're a computer programmer and own a Mac, you're probably clueless. That should be Apple's slogan "A computer so easy to use, that even an evil person can use it." You're pretty stupid if you pay a lot extra for hardware, just so you can have the Mac OS. I also can't stand the iPhone, because it's way more crippled than Android.

Yes, bad management is also a factor. Bad management is much more likely to chase the latest trend, rather than do things right. I'm convinced that node.js is the latest hot trend, hype over substance.

I saw one amusing code fragment. He had "self = this" in every function. You have to preserve the "this" variable for the callback, because "this" always refers to the current object. If you have "self = this" at the top of every function, that's a sign that there's something wrong with your language.

Callbacks are a disgusting way to code. It rapidly leads to a mess.

There was another amusing "feature" of node.js. If you have a bug in your code, then the entire server crashes! That was amusing and pathetic.

Philipp Dunkel sounds like a world-class douchebag. I hope I never work for scum like him again. Also, his website looks like a spam site. Just because you're the CTO of a startup, doesn't mean you actually know anything. There are plenty of VCs willing to waste money.

I'm still convinced that node.js and Rails are garbage. I'll stick with VB/ASP or LAMP over node.js or Rails anytime. When evil people strongly disagree with me, I see that as evidence that I'm right.

I certainly can refuse all node.js and Rails jobs, and still find other jobs. It's actually helpful. If a job ad says "Rails required" or "node.js required", then I know they're idiots and don't waste my time.

I am openminded. I've noticed that "uses lousy languages" is highly correlated with "idiot/evil management".

Philipp Dunkel commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Thank you very much!!!

being called a "world-class douchebag" and "scum" by you is something I consider a mark of quality and I believe most of the world would agree with me.

Aside from that: reread my earlier post and take the advice contained, to which I only add one piece:

Just because you spew vitriol does not mean you are not clueless, quite the reverse in fact.

Paul commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

I like node.js, but the author does have some valid points about some of the node.js pain points (albeit in an abrasive manner). Some of it is even kind of funny, especially if you've ever had to work with "difficult" people.

alFReD NSH commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Well EACH NodeJS process is one threaded, but that doesn't mean you should run just one thread! In production of NodeJS application, we usually use more than one process(usually one for each core). You can have a load balancer which redirects the requests to processes. By this way you can scale and use more than one server easily. Node also have native clustering support. Using one thread for the whole application is not a good idea, since if there's any unhandled exception, that will kill the whole application. Beside the idea of using a load balancer, you can even use which is a provides a fancy TCP, for different processes of your application to talk to each other. With you can have one process for each component, using multi-core advantage, you can even have an easier error management design. The only thing that I find NodeJS might not be good enough, is that it is not faster than C! Though thanks to V8, it executes JavaScript faster than PHP, python and ruby. You can even easily have your async modules written in C, that can expose the library API to JS.

Sean commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Try doing 100,000 open websockets with PHP or ASP and you'll realise why Node.js is the right choice for it.

alessioalex commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

@alFReD NSH don't even bother, leave the man along with his LAMP stack and hatred towards Node.js, Rails and Apple. I'm sure he knows what he's doing #no #not_really

How many websites actually have 100,000 simultaneous users?

There's more to evaluating a language, than the # of "hello world" jobs it can do per second.

Try writing something with complex business logic in node.js, and you'll understand my point. I can see node.js working for small simple things, but not for anything complicated; if it's small and simple, you could use any language or even C.

My experience with a Rails disaster was very educational. If node.js is the Rails replacement, I definitely want to avoid it.

I probably have more experience than most of the people advocating for node.js. By programmer standards, I'm an old man now. In most of my job interviews, I was the oldest person there, and I'm not that old!

If you have to install a bunch of other packages and tools to get proper behavior out of node.js, that's a symptom that you're building on a flawed foundation.

You have not convinced me that node.js is not hype over substance.

Anyway, you're free to work with node.js, and I'm free to work for people who have a clue. At this point, we're just calling each other names and not really having a discussion.

I only looked into node.js because of that job interview. They still don't have a working website, and I know I could have done it by myself in a month. It reminded me a lot of the Rails disaster. I briefly researched node.js, and concluded it was garbage like Rails. In fact, many of the people who loved Rails are following the hype and moving to node.js. I wrote a post summarizing my conclusions, hoping to warn some of my regular readers. Some of them appreciated it, and one said that he avoided wasting time on node.js based on my recommendation. My old post was cited on a node.js discussion group, and now some people there are upset. All of the comments they made about me were name-calling without addressing any of my points.

There is one point that is true. If you're an evil hiring manager, it definitely would be a disaster to hire me. Fortunately, I found a job working for people who have a clue and seem to appreciate me.

I have a new job working with VB.NET and ASP.NET. Those will definitely still be around in 5 years, so that's good experience. I have no reason to investigate node.js anymore. PHP/LAMP/WordPress is fine for this website.

Nathan commented on More node.js Observations.
Your angry rant seems to have little to do with Node and more to do with disliking other programmers / business people. Are you sure that you aren't the sociopath? Sounds like you have trouble understanding the actions / emotions of others.

Isaac Z. Schlueter commented on More node.js Observations.

I also disagree with the fictional person you made up to prove your point.

No, Philipp Dunkel is real. Such clueless evil people are typical of node.js and Ruby on Rails supporters. (He actually looks like the Rails advocate from that old job. He also uses a Mac, which is another strike against him.)

That is pretty funny. Philipp Dunkel was so obviously evil that someone thought I made him up to discredit the people promoting node.js.

This is exactly the personality opposite I was talking about, "abused productive" vs. psychopath. I claim that Philipp Dunkel is a psychopath and he claims I'm evil. An evil person can go very far in a world where everyone is insane. The evil people get the illusion that they're a genius, when they're really criminally insane like Bernard Madoff.

I found the thread where they were discussing this post.

The title "realfreemarket spewing node.js hate" was amusing. I wrote two posts on the subject. This post is already more than a month old. I've moved on to other things, but a good flamewar is always amusimg. My current ASP.NET and VB.NET experience should be worth more than the node.js experience would have been, especially if I don't want to work for idiots. Maybe my current employer will really appreciate me and I'll be their awhile.

Yes, I do have a new job. Yes, they are getting good value. Here's something that happened today. They had the indexes on their database set up wrong. I explained it to them and now their website isn't slow.

They had a bad experience hiring someone clueless like the node.js advocates. They nearly wrecked the company. So, they are appreciating someone competent.

Back to node.js, it's nothing but name calling.

FSK: Using node.js is a bad idea and here's why ...

Philipp: FSK is an idiot.

FSK: You're an idiot.

There is no meeting of the minds. It's just a name-calling contest.

I do have specific criticisms of node.js, which nobody ever answered.

In these days of multi-core servers, why would anyone make a single-threaded-only server? You can spawn child processes with node.js, but then you lose the benefits of node.js in the first place. Why would I manually manage child processes and threads, when the OS can do it for me?

Someone said "Node.js has a package manager! Therefore it's awesome!" A package manager isn't anything special. I've used CPAN (Perl), apt-get (ubuntu). I haven't used PEAR (PHP) or the one for Rails. Also, many node.js packages aren't that good, because it's all new.

Callback functions lead to an ugly mess, if you're doing anything nontrivial.

I'd rather let the OS handle scheduling for me, rather than do it all myself in my code.

In node.js, you have to use self=this, to preserve the current class for when the callback is called. That's a mess.

In node.js, if you have a bug anywhere, the entire server crashes.

Node.js might work for small simple services. It would be a disaster for anything complicated.

I did look at the node.js documentation. It wasn't very helpful. It was very similar to the Rails documentation.

Some people said "We're at a funded startup and FSK isn't. Therefore, FSK sucks." There are plenty of VCs willing to fund something stupid. Chasing hype actually helps get VC money. If you say "We're using ASP.NET!", then the VC will say "Boring! Next!" If you say "We're using node.js! It's the hot trendy thing!" then the VC will say "How much money do you want?!"

Philipp Dunkel's website sucked. I tried to paste it into Google Translate, but Google Translate chocked on his node.js port redirecting.

I don't waste time trolling node.js or Rails discussion groups and tell them they're wasting there time. Why are you wasting time posting here and calling me names? If I'm such an idiot loser, then how pathetic does that make you for wasting time posting here?

If you genuinely have something good, it doesn't matter if people criticize it. If you called my employer and pointed out that they should fire me, they would laugh at you.

If you're running a con, you don't want anyone criticizing you at all. You don't want anyone saying anything negative, because that ruins your scam.

If I say "The emperor is naked!", you respond "FSK has a vision problem!" At this point, it's just a name-calling contest. There's no further progress to be made.

I think that this post is now #2 in Google for "node.js sucks"! That's quite an accomplishment. I hope I help a few other intelligent people avoid wasting their time. (My google might be biased, because Google now custom-fits search results based on what you do. I need to find an objective way to measure my search result rank.)

In another comment, someone said that he decided against learning node.js, after I pointed out the flaws. I helped someone, even if everyone else who reads this post is offended.

Paul commented on TV Shows That End At :01.
Program defensively. Pad your end time by 5 min. Sucks if you have only one tuner however.

Anonymous Coward commented on Climategate Dismissed.
I haven't investigated global warming (now called climate change [who decided to change the name and why?]) thoroughly enough to talk definitely.

1) Even if carbon dioxide does reflect heat back to Earth, is its concentration enough to be significant? Maybe the concentration could go up an order of magnitude before it has any warming effects?

2) Is the increase of CO2 levels just a correlation i.e. cause and effect has not been provided?

3) Could the increase in temperature be due to sun spots?

4) Could it be some areas of the Earth are getting warmer and other areas colder?

5) Is the Earth really getting hotter? Could it just be the thermometers are located near hot cities?

Remember this comment, because I'm going to refer to it again below. I'll call this comment AC#1.

Anonymous Coward commented on Climategate Dismissed.

Can we do an experiment i.e. increase carbon dioxide levels on another Earth-like planet and see what heating effects it has?

Anonymous Coward commented on Climategate Dismissed.

Do you think regardless of the validity of climate change/global warming, we should have a diverse energy policy that includes solar, wind and more advanced forms of nuclear energy (i.e. with fuel reprocessing potentially getting 60x more energy out of the uranium)?

Obviously oil and gas is getting harder to extract if companies are having to get it out of deep water and develop new techniques (horizontal fraction, steam heating of heavy oil etc).

Anonymous Coward commented on Climategate Dismissed.

Off-topic I know, but I have a solution to the debt problem.

Jupiter and saturn are made up of a lot of hydrogen which can be used on Earth as clean energy.

We should issue bonds to raise money backed by the hydrogen on Jupiter.

This would solve our debt, energy and global warming problems all in one easy step!

gilliganscorner commented on Climategate Dismissed.

A number of people have replaced religion with climate change. You'll observe the *EXACT SAME* response when you challenge the existence of god as you do when you challenge the legitimacy of climate change.

Nathan commented on Climategate Dismissed.

Two people were discussing carbon dioxide and global warming being a scam.

I mentioned, "Did you hear that almost all peer reviewed publications by climate scientists supports climate change? Did you know that zero national or international bodies of science hold a dissenting opinion on the issue with few holding neutral opinions?"

They replied, "That's false!" They didn't provide any details. It was an emotional cut-off response. Their body language made it clear that they weren't interested in discussing anything that challenged their pro-Oil brainwashing.

This actually is a common trick. You used it here and it also was mentioned in the node.js flamewar. An evil person uses the language and attitude of an intelligent person, and turns it around. You took the point I made and inverted it. To a clueless observer, the two arguments cancel.

I have provided details. Peer review is a censorship process. If you have a dissenting view, you can't get your papers published, you can't get grant money, and your career is ruined.

The truth is not determined by a majority vote. Even if every single professor employed in a university believes "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!", that doesn't make it true.

It's a name-calling contest. If you question "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!", then you're accused of being a shill for big oil. If you support "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!", then I say you're a shill for the State.

Even if you believe that "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!" is true, none of the proposed laws are any good. All the "cap-and-trade" and "carbon credit" proposals are huge corporate welfare proposals. They have no merit.

Really Cowardly Anonymous commented on Climategate Dismissed.

(Apologies for the essay, I got carried away with what I wanted to say!)

Sorry FSK, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I am pretty sure (though obviously I can't be certain myself - I haven't done the experiments) that climate change is a genuine threat. As far as I am aware most of the science stacks up very well, and I am a chemistry student so I generally like to think I know what I'm talking about here. There are some holes, but they aren't very large ones and to be honest every theory has holes anyway. Just like with the Climategate business - it seems to be an open secret that scientists tend to fudge their data a bit most of the time. Nobody admits to it because of the whole scacrosanct edifice of science etc, but PhD's talk. and yet with all that fudged data, chemists have produced a huge number of remarkable discoveries that have vastly advanced human technology since the 50s. So it does work somehow, because bad data doesn't get corroborated.(Though even so it is jaw-dropping how many were actually made in the 1910s and 1920s, even if they didn't have the technology to understand what they'd found).

To get back on topic, who do you think has the most to gain from making people believe climate change is a scam? The oil industry sure has a lot of money to lose if people stop using their products. Remember how viciously the tobacco companies fought against claims smoking is bad for you? How long leaded petrol was standard even though everyone knew it's an environmental disaster, but the lead companies had the State behind them? The "Climate change is a scam!" argument sounds to me very much like an astroturf created by corporatism to protect their interests.

Of course you could turn that around and say that it is used by solar panel manufacturers to get more money, or a controlling state as an excuse for more control. But lets be honest, evil corporatism tends to support the status quo as new companies have no lobbying power. And controlling states have much easier ways to get control, like "Terrorists will kill you if you don't do as I say!". Besides, the US government seems to be doing staggeringly little about climate change anyway, at least in comparison to Europe. Oh yeah, and carbon trading and all that BS? Just an excuse for companies/the state to make money while nothing changes.

Finally to attempt answers to the first poster's questions:

1) It is believed that yes, the concentrations are enough to be significant. This is perhaps the shakiest foundation of the climate change argument because the Earth is so complex that it's really hard to be sure. But the climatologist people are pretty convinced based on past records.

2)There is definitely a correlation (from polar ice caps, which keep a record of atmospheric composition for the past million years or so), and the greenhouse effect is pretty well accepted. It makes sense due to various chemical reasons (vibrational spectrum of CO2) and also there is the example of Venus, which has a metric shitton of CO2 in its atmosphere. I don't think it's 100% that the correlation doesn't go the other way (temperature change causes CO2 release), but no one's found an alternate cause for the temperature change if that were the case.

3) No, it's not sunspots. They just don't match.

4) In fact I think that is likely to happen to an extent, especially if the Gulf stream shuts down due to temperature changes (in which case northwest Europe gets a LOT colder). But certainly over the past century or so the whole planet has definitely got much warmer on average. Look at the extent of the Arctic ice cap. It's shrinking rapidly. Hell, for the first time in recorded history the Northwest Passage is navigable in the summer.

5) A good theory, and one that was tested. I'm pretty sure in the end they disproved it though.

I'm not going to give a full reply in detail here, but I'll point out one huge mistake in your reasoning.

AC#1 said "Point 2: Correlation does not imply causation." You replied "Correlation is proven! Correlation does imply causation!"

Yes, there is an alternate explanation. We're in a warming cycle for the Earth anyway. Solar output is increasing. The Earth goes through warming/cooling cycles normally, without human activity.

Also, anyone who starts out with "Fudging data is common and OK." does not get my respect. The "proof" of correlation is based on forged data.

Nathan commented on Climategate Dismissed.

Yes your argument of "this anecdote happened therefore climate change isn't real" is completely valid and intelligent. How could I have been so blind.

It was pretty shocking, because the people in that anecdote were otherwise reasonably intelligent.

I'm getting pretty good at recognizing when people are thinking for real, and when they're just reciting propaganda. For example, your hostility is also interesting.

AF commented on Climategate Dismissed.

I all for conservation and sustainability, but the alarmist threat of climate change

has jumped the shark.

One of my favorite observations is "Climate change may be the modern-day equivalent of eugenics."

Here's another analogy. The banking cartel has nearly completely corrupted mainstream economics. Except for the Austrians, almost every economics professor believes "A central bank is great! Paper money is great! Gold is evil!" In a similar manner, mainstream university discussion of "climate change" has been corrupted.

That's why I'm not convinced by "Almost every university professor disagrees with FSK!" That doesn't convince me. If you apply the same argument to economics, I'm nearly 100% sure that I'm right and mainstream economics is wrong.

Anonymous Coward commented on MF Global Conspiracy Theory.
> “I’m incompetent!” should never be a valid excuse if you’re the leader.

I once worked with a scumbag that left a large, infamous bank to set up his own company.

For most of the time I worked with him I wondered whether he was stupid or dishonest or some deadly combination of both. Regardless of the explanation, any project he came into contact with would be wrecked or compromised. The only way to do anything sensible was to run away from him as fast as possible.

I thought that he could make decent money by doing honest, useful work and I could never understand why he preferred to make money by ripping people off with substandard work.

Two of the banks this clown was involved with had to be bailed out big time by the taxpayer.

Long after I left this scumbag I saw a newspaper headline saying the business he is involved with is responsible for putting _x_ pounds on everybody's tax bill per year.

He had the same personality type as his bosses. He was just like them. He fit in perfectly.

Robert commented on Games vs. Blog.
More blog please! I was thinking in my car yesterday about the all-christmas music radio stations and the christmas music everywhere you go that bombards my ears whether i want to hear it or not. As i've gotten older this has effectively ruined christmas music for me in that, after being forced to listen it non-stop outside my home, i have no inclination left to put on christmas music at home. I'm not a scrooge or anything, i love being with my family and friends for good food and get-togethers, but i can't escape the thought that the State pushes the "retail" christmas on us and that beyond even the retail, it's like some kind of yearly distraction ritual to keep us occupied and thinking everything is normal and happy, even though quality of life is eroding for most people. What are your thoughts on that?

Jason commented on Games vs. Blog.

It may be easier to blog from your phone but it doesn't seem to encourage you / happen...

Nevertheless, in three sentences you remind us of the power of "divide and conquer" i.e. the distraction from thinking and realizing the important things as accomplished by games in phones for example. Note how the system naturally protects itself from the creation of too many system critics - it is very stable but also struggling a little more than usually - so it may be a good time to act.

Christmas is indeed both a reason to return to "normal" human behavior for a limited time (socializing with family and perhaps friends) as well as a powerful distraction from the culminating global and local problems we are facing.

I too fall victim to distraction by games (or other things) occasionally but I like to think I do deserve a break from observing the worrying part of the world.

You have plenty of posts I haven't read yet - so enjoy those gaming highs :)

I am trying to keep a "one post per day" rule, which forces some discipline. I used to keep a queue of 5-10 finished drafts. I'm falling behind.

The "reader mail" posts helps me get one post per week easily. It helps that, on my Linode, I have a PHP script that scrapes the WordPress comment table and prepares the post template for me.

4 Responses to Reader Mail – 12/11/2011 To 12/17/2011

  1. Really Cowardly Anonymous December 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Okay, so what I said about correlation could do with some elaboration. What I meant is that yes, it is not 100% proven that this correlation does imply causation. But there’s a lot of evidence to back it up. The greenhouse effect is a known theory, the real question is whether the amounts of CO2 and CH4 mankind puts into the atmosphere is enough to cause it. And we’re pretty sure that it is. The climatologists may be wrong, but no-one’s come up with a better theory, and hanging around waiting for the temperature to rise and then say “okay, so the correlation did imply causation after all!” is a terrible idea given that the consequences would be mostly irreversible.

    Yes, we are in a warming cycle. Technically we’re not even out of the last Ice Age yet (there’s still ice on both poles, which is geologically rare). The oddity is that the temperature appears to be going up WAY faster than it should be, and this started relatively recently.

    Also, fudging data is not OK. But the crap drops out anyway. My point was more that “Some climatologists fudged their data!” does not mean “All climate theory is lies!”. I hope not, anyway…

    • Actually, I also dispute “CO2 greenhouse effect”. The big question is “How much CO2 causes how much warming?” I’ve never seen a satisfactory answer.

      One guy did an experiment with a tank of air and CO2, and concluded “CO2 doesn’t really improve the ability of air to hold heat.” I’d like to see that experiment reproduced.

      “Some people forged their data. Therefore, all those researchers are wrong.” is false. However, they *DID* destroy their raw data, making it impossible for anyone to independently verify their results. It shows an evil mindset. State funding for research really distorts things. Those scientists who committed fraud got away with it. Many people still cite their fake research as if it were a fact.

      Even if you believe “CO2 causes global warming!”, making the State bigger is *NEVER* the solution. All the proposed carbon credit/tax laws are corporate welfare laws.

    • Yes, that is frequently cited.

      First, animals in a zoo aren’t in their natural environment.

      Second, my observations of humans count more than what any scientist says.

      Also, animals can also be crazy. It might be the same mechanism as in humans, where low ranking people find same-sex partners because they can’t find opposite-sex partners.

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