Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Do You Trust Science?

Or do you trust scientists?

There's a pretty big difference.  I can illustrate it fairly simply: What percentage of research is replicable?

Less than half.  As little as 30%, according to some of Bayer's research.

What percentage of research is downright falsified in follow-up research?

Perhaps 33%, according to the same research.

Given that 5% statistical significance (that is, 5% of all studies -should- be false, according to the statistics used) is the bare minimum for most fields, this means somewhere around 27% of all published research is not only false, but unaccountably false.  Either there's a systematic bias that promotes publishing false papers, -or- scientists are consistently mishandling data in a manner than promotes false positives over false negatives.

Incompetence is one explanation.  The other is that a quarter of all scientific research involves some deliberate fabrication or mishandling of data.

Either way, the odds of something being published in a scientific journal being true is less than 50%.  The best bet is always to disbelieve what you read in a scientific journal; you'll be right more often than wrong.  Meaning that anti-scientific nutjobs are right about research, on average, more often than pro-science nutjobs.

Pretty sad state of affairs, that.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Face, meet palm

In the rare post where I comment on current events -

Government, what the fuck were you thinking when you asked DEFCAD to remove the liberator designs?

You've just changed this from a second-amendment issue to a defense-of-internet issue.

Congratulations.  You've just -guaranteed- the wide dissemination of this design.  The exact opposite of your intended goals.  Way to prove us libertarians correct that government is too stupid to get its consequences right.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Don't Retire, Don't Plan to Retire

First, accept one truth:

If you don't know what you want, money is of course great to have, because it permits you to get what you want as soon as you figure it out.  But there is absolutely no reason not to figure that out now.

Figure out what you want.  Pursue it.  Fuck money.  Fuck retirement.  Fuck everything else.  If you're spending your time preparing for undetermined desires, you're not spending your time figuring out what those desires are.

Work to achieve your desires.  Don't work in preparation for them.

In today's world, it is the mind, not the body, which produces.  You don't need to prepare for the days when you are too feeble to work.  Those days will never come.  If your mind is so feeble that you cannot use it to produce, it is too feeble to enjoy life in any meaningful sense.

Prepare yourself to be capable of producing your entire life, instead of preparing yourself to stop producing. Take fewer work hours.  Live a little bit.  Don't work for some distant future where you can be happy - be happy now.  Be happy today.  Those who work for the future will find themselves sent to the glue factory, metaphorically speaking.

Just don't use up all the years of your life supporting a society which hates you.  There's no point, no reward, nothing at all in that.  If you must be a martyr, be a martyr for a cause you believe in.  Don't martyr yourself on somebody else's ideology.