Posts Tagged ‘science’

It’s a Big, Big, Big, Big Universe

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

A small lesson in a large topic:

(via Kevin)

7 (or more) reasons to be (scientifically) skeptical of Anthropogenic Global Warming

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Bore Patch blog has an excellent post up: Should You Be a Global Warming Skeptic?. He details the problems with the AGW theory, much of it known even before the revelations of the “Climategate” leak.

Read the whole thing, really, but I especially want to point out this paragraph, which is a pointed response to any argument that “the science is settled”:

I thought there was a consensus that Global Warming is occurring? The “science is settled”, isn’t it?

Actually, there’s never been a consensus. We’ll come back to this later, but the most interesting thing about this argument is that it’s not a scientific argument. Science simply doesn’t care about consensus, it cares about data and reproduceability of results. If your data is solid, and other people can get the same results, it simply doesn’t matter if you run with the crowd or not.

Simply put, if science depended on consensus, we would never get anywhere — as any fundamentally new theory pretty much depends on throwing an old theory out. Reputable scientists in modern times never argue that something is “settled”. I mean gravity isn’t “settled” science for Chrissakes — do you really think that the climate is settled science, when we can’t even predict next week’s weather?

If you’re hearing “the science is settled”, what you’re hearing is politics, not science. It’s smoke and mirrors. It a different way of saying “We have a vested interest in people believing us, so everyone who doesn’t agree with us should just shut their mouths.” Specifically, it’s an Appeal to Popularity fallacy — an attempt to shame critics into silence — and it is shameful coming from people who claim to be scientists. Don’t let them get away with it.

What’s Wrong With Microsoft’s ‘Mojave Experiment’?

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Mike Elgan has written an excellent article regarding Microsoft’s so-called “Mojave Experiment”.

This is not simple Microsoft-bashing (of which I am not fond). It’s a well-thought out article, and a good discussion of how companies and marketers should relate to customers, and how not to.

Microsoft held a series of videotaped focus groups and told attendees — all non-Vista users — they would be shown a future version of Windows called “Mojave.”

First, they were asked what they thought of Windows Vista, and many comments were negative. A Microsoft representative showed them a variety of specific features of “Mojave,” and comments were positive. Then, Microsoft told them “Mojave” was in fact Vista, and some attendees said the Experiment had changed their thinking about Vista.

Microsoft gathered the most favorable comments and placed them on a site called The Mohave Experiment.

Since Microsoft cast this marketing push as an “Experiment” — i.e., science — I would like to hereby publicly challenge Microsoft to answer the following questions:

? The Mojave Experiment involved 120 people. But the Web site shows 55 people saying nice things about Vista. What did the other 65 people think?

? Most or all Mojave Experiment videos posted to date feature an expert or marketing person showing neato features to someone. If Vista is so great, why didn’t you let people touch the computers?

Go read the whole thing — it’s not that long… 🙂