NASAs new NExSS institute aims high, looking for life near & far, trying to break its 50yr losing streak. Astrobiology: scientific method based? … or, if no life found after a 100yrs then, a “religious” $$$ making belief in thePromised Land?
Future Perfect:Bound to drive them wild Steven Johnson’s distributed peer networks show a more human (internet-trailblazed) way for a self-running productive society. Fun times ahead. Nick Lane’s explaining life as proton gradients producing order via excess energy comes scientifically nearer to “finding” life than NASA. Peer networks better again.
Spring cleaning 21stC science continues, as Science Direct complains: “The pollution of science and medicine by plagiarism, fraud, and predatory publishing is corroding the reliability of research,” and as Junk Food Science continues: “Nowadays, all of us are on our own to question everything, seek out original sources and do our own fact-checking, research and critical thinking. You’ll be surprised at how much of what “everyone knows” is not true.”
Extinction alarmists going extinct? Aeon Magazine now complains it is not species but decreasing populations we should fear. Moving-the-Goalposts logical fallacy in action?Political Myths abound, explains Roger Pielke Jnr, about science and technology in the economy and broader society. Data show the politically manufactured Green Revolution in 1966s “starving” India was really in famine-free conditions but used as “evidence” for the overpopulation “problem”. Oh well. Today population fears continue, now its the West’s aging populations, ignoring evidence of the growing 2.1+ children trend in richer societies.
So, humans, “If at first you don’t succeed …”, lets keep the vision high. Lets look for life everywhere, care for our populations and planet. But lets also keep our feet on the ground, mired in evidence based on the scientific method and logical arguments. So we may soon find that life down here is happy and that the advanced intelligent life out there is … us.
7 billion people on Earth, 3.6 billion with little or no electricity & Earth Hour-ers burn oil candles in the dark to “raise awareness” about our healthy and blooming planet … keeping “them” there. From Children’s Crusades to Witch Hunts to Eugenics to … Lets aim higher.
Our fossil fuel and food demonizing “eco-loons” are again in full retreat this month: “The next time that somebody at a rally against fossil fuels lectures you about her concern for the fate of her grandchildren, show her a picture of an African child dying today from inhaling the dense muck of a smoky fire.” Apoplectic they went, against counter evidence.
Food bonanzas rebreak 2015s predictions :”the world’s farmers have provided a growing population with more food per head, year after year, largely without cultivating extra land or using extra water or chemicals.” Time to crack down on enviro-ideologists so all can enjoy the cornucopia? Govt dietary “food plate” advice is facing heavy attacks: “For decades, they’ve been told what to eat because “science says so.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be true.” Jon Stewart has fun with Govt Academy Dieticians too
However some academy scientists are trying to distinguish the pursuit of knowledge from political ideology: “Academic freedom is the freedom of the faculty to teach and speak out as the fruits of their research and scholarship dictate, even though their conclusions may be unpopular or contrary to public opinion.” The new Galileo’s Middle Finger also sets the science achievement bar high, as it should: “the “stunningly lazy attitude toward precision and accuracy in many branches of academia”. In her view, chasing grants and churning out papers now take the place of quality and truth. It is a situation exacerbated by a media that can struggle when covering scientific controversies, and by strong pressures from activists with a stake in what the evidence might say.” Lets be better!
Aiming to Achieve Brady
Well well well, we’ve won once again
“World cereal stocks at the close of crop seasons ending in 2015 would surge to 627.5 million tonnes, up 8.3 % from an already large volume at the start of the season and its highest level in 15 years.” and “Compared with any time in the past half century, the world as a whole is today wealthier, healthier, happier, cleverer, cleaner, kinder, freer, safer, more peaceful and more equal.”
This calls for a song. A hug-your-hominans song! Still the One
We’ve been together since way back when, Sometimes I never want to see you again, I want you to know, after all these years, you’re still the one I want whisperin in my ear, You’re still the one — who can scratch my itch, Still the one — and I wouldn’t switch,
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one.
But hey, lets not let boring data replace scary stories. “Ocean Deaths Now!” scientivists’ hearts are jump-started back to the scientific method: “biases; no evidence; not skeptical”. Even no-raw-data-required Nature science journal distances itself from ocean alarmists’ “groupthink”. However our PC media are still not with Charlie here.
“2014: Warmest Ever!” becomes: only 38% chance, after 1997 & 2005, not statistically significant, continuing cooling trend. Still warmer than the 1850s Little Ice Age. Great! These sorts of Pathological Politicized Science and its Stealth Advocates are now being reined in with Honest Broker restraints in the EU & US.
So, let’s end the old and begin 2015 with this amazing image of stars like sand grains in our next door Andromeda Galaxy, on its way to meet us in 4 billion years. However, what with us making new worlds of Ceres (between Mars & Jupiter) and Pluto in 2015, & Kepler data narrowing in on Earth 2.0s, then maybe, with even more scientific optimism,
… we’ll visit these wonderful Andromeda worlds years sooner than that.
Aiming High Hominan Brady
Great thinking & Groupthink. Shooting to the stars & stuck-in-the-mud. Such are we humans. Well, we’re working at it. On 5 Dec NASAs new Orion spacecraft completed its successful flight test, ready for asteroid mining. And building deep space habitats?
Meanwhile, back in the mud, the CO2 OCO2 satellite, even with 1/8 year data & 15ppmv range, drives another stake into Global Warming, with CO2 red spots in Greenland etc. More garlic arriving in 2015? Greenpeace: Planet Saviour™, just redrew Peru’s most pristine 2000yr old Nazca Line, but .. can it recant? And the Swedish Postcode Lottery is one of their biggest donors. Oh well.
British Medical Journal articles support again investigator Nina Teicholz’s claim of the evidence poor base of Govts’ food plates. “Many findings are entirely implausible … many of which present grossly implausible observational claims. Poor biomedical science … the great unreliability of most studies linking nutrition to disease and mortality, ..whether it’s total fat, saturated fat, trans fats, sugar, or salt.” So much human folly.
Ocean “acidification”: Dr Feely’s (Obama & UN advisor) data shows post-1988 cherry picked computer modelled trend (pink line), leaving out 80 years of pH values (2.5 million points) showing natural varying alkaline oceans (grey & blue lines). Not good. On an up note, the poison loving sea slug joins the list of 221 new 2014 animal and plants species. None extinct (nor likely) due to our cooling warming world. That’s good!
Meanwhile, saner voices (on video games & violence) were saying: “This research may help society focus on issues that really matter and avoid devoting unnecessary resources to the pursuit of moral agendas with little practical value.” Good thinking to be more widely applied to other muddy Groupthink. And, more confidence for humans from our space faring enthusiasts: “The … reason for spreading into deep space … is … due to humanity’s desire for knowledge or adventure … humans both in the past and present are … bright enough to solve their own problems and build wondrous devices in the process … the intelligence and ingenuity of our ancestors and our present selves, who have done and learned some amazing things without any external assistance and beaten some very strong odds against us and our societies.”
Finally, fascinating christmas caring Interstellar thinking, about 5D Bulk beings tesseract transporting human beings across 10 billion light years, in minutes, to be with loved ones. Is this a step towards reconciling gravity & quantum theory? Let’s use our
b ranes brains & let the evidence decide. And so look forward to more New Year’s cheer
Bulky Being Brady
Doing like we do, we are on the way up. Our International Space Station is permanently crewed (now with 2 women & 4 men). The Orion spacecraft lifts off on 4 Dec for trips to the Moon, Mars & asteroids. The Rosetta space probe orbits Comet 67P & its Philae lander just made a bumpy touchdown. Planets beckon and The Galaxy awaits.
Down on Earth, chocolate is plentiful, and that is always good. World Poor are getting richer and are now able to savour the dark brown delights of cacao. As usual the alarmists spin this good news as the coming Chocolypse (to support UN-Obama climate action?). Climate continues cooling, for 20 years now (20 to go?) Beaufort polar bears are booming & the Black Footed Ferret is back from being extinct for 20 years. Is there a pattern here? “Group failures often have disastrous consequences—not merely for businesses, nonprofits, and governments, but for all those affected by them.” Enviros, Climatists, Energy Doomers & Medical Malpracticers … can they be better?
Yes indeed! Making Dumb Groups Smarter authors Sunstein & Hastie moan how groups: amplify errors; follow the statements & actions of those who spoke/acted first; take up extreme positions; don’t take into account critical information that only one or a few people have. What to do? : Silence the loud leader; “Prime” critical thinking tasks; reward group success not individuals; appoint devil’s advocates & “red teams” to find mistakes and exploit vunerabilities in the group’s thinking. Now, that should be easy.
Ambition (ESAs Rosetta space probe PR video) explains the human quest for ever more knowledge and the realizing of possibilities “We fall, we pick ouselves up again and we adapt”. So, lets get up & do it, again.
Eye opsins and their photoreceptors, the seeing sites in animals, are being tweeked for more colour vision. Is a colour blindness cure for humans next? Can we also enrich human vision with gene therapy of a fourth cone opsin in the violet giving us 100x more colours? “What beauty might we experience in art …?”
Other pulse-of-the-world indicators continuously get better too. “The number of natural disasters in the past year was the lowest for ten years, not more.” The International Red Cross reports: “Accordingly, last year 337 natural disasters were recorded, almost half of the peak level 2005. The death toll stood at 22,452, well below the average for the decade of 97,954 victims.” Modern technology rocks!
And …”Based on the latest forecasts for production and utilization, world cereal stocks at the close of crop seasons ending in 2015 would surge to 627.5 million tonnes, up 8.3 % from an already large volume at the start of the season and its highest level in 15 years.”
Even biomedical research is waking up from its 80% wrong & 85% $s wasted nightmare.
However, our facts & costs-benefits challenged Apocalyptic humans seemingly still can’t see the science. Species extinction alarmists are getting worried they are being found out. “There have certainly been some enormous exaggerations,” said Richard Ladle, a Brazil-based conservation scientist who studies extinction. There’s at least one problem with these predictions: Where are the bodies? Actual documented extinctions are vanishingly rare.” Their “damn the data, we have an agenda” thinking, makes an increasingly skeptical public dump them in with other enviro-fanatics. Also, another inconvenience: Global Warming’s presumed man-made “missing heat” is still … missing. The now 18+ year stop (or “pause”/”haitus”, but never: drop/cooling) in world temperatures was expected to be hiding heat in the deep oceans, but the data say no (black dots=below 2km). Are our misty eyed alarmists falling in“to dungeons deep and caverns old“?
Prof Brown at Duke Uni sums it up best – “Science isn’t a search for Truth. It is a search for that which it is best to believe, given the evidence, so far.” And as Pascal Bruckner says: “We need trailblazers and stimulators, not killjoys disguised as prophets. We need new frontiers in order to cross them, not new prisons where we can stagnate… Every new invention must strike the heart of human desire, elicit astonishment, and allow people to embark upon an unprecedented voyage… We have to count on the genius of the human race, which is capable of overcoming its fears in order to improvise new solutions.” Clearly said & seen scientific sentiments indeed!
Finally, Interstellar. After the obligatory Hollywood apocalypse preaching comes a visual black hole beauty feast, informed by science’s living legend Gravitation expert Kip Thorne. And it shows! “The visualization of the black hole environment, including the accretion disks and gravitational lensing, … will be based on an accurate calculation rooted in Einstein’s general relativity…. it should be the most accurate depiction of a black hole ever.” WOW … what a view, too!
Sightseeing seeing sites Brady