This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Anyone else start to have heart palpitations when you hear people seriously discussing putting a solar shade up in front of the earth ( I believe these would go into L1 is it?)
All I can see is the earth suddenly dropping several degrees. They worry about a trifling amount of CO2 causing catastrophic effects, but feel that sticking a filter in front of our planet won't have a more than minor effect on the conditions of the planet. This is an exquisite example of the idiocy that flashes itself across the media of the world. We'll combat a minor problem and replace it with a gigantic one.
If you want a solar shade, lets get some of these miraculous Solar Panels on the market. Just yesterday they were talking about Quantum Dot Tetrahedrons being made for cheap. I will happily put a roll of this on my roof to reduce my electric bill. Sadly, I expect the **** thing to pay for itself.
I have the wrong attitude.
Fantasy overtakes the so called 'developed' world.
In the grittier parts of the globe such fantasies are left to long term religions.
Both situations are potentially dangerous to individuals but not to the species.
Were the proponents of such technical fantasies (and there are fair reasons why such people need to exist if human progress, whatever that means, is to be effective) to persuade people to go beyond theory and into development and deployment unhindered by rational constraint, then there may indeed be danger to humanity and most of the current species on earth.
However the planet would undoubtedly survive in one form or another.
Personally I lean towards 'natural' solutions to percieved problems of this nature - if they exist. I'm fairly persuaded that Yellowstone may be a bit unstable - if it were to blow it might solve a number of problems and bring some reality back to the procedings. The impact on some of the global population could of course be severe but likely less so than many of the other plans which seem to be in favour at this time.
I use to live in Idaho Falls, ID (Would you expect it to be in some other state). The plain we resode in was created by the Yellowstone hot spot. We would often travel to Yellowstone through Island Park, which was nothing more than a huge Caldera created by that hotspot. IIRC it is responsible for all the wonders of Yellowstone.
If It caused a ruckus, it might cause a few people (on the order of 10s of thousands) to have to uproot, but I doubt that the world would wake up as a result.
We have a bunch of idiots on Digg.com calling all the congressmen to tell them to vote for impeachment. Digg is a rather liberal venue. They are amazed that they can flood a phone system with such a post. The digg effect in action. Nothing really dangerous about it (unless the politicians actually listen to them), but it is another example of numbers being abused. In this case it will result in phone systems becoming useless for people to contact their congressperson. 9/11 brought down the twin towers and made it so any future hijackers could expect to do little more than die (anyone who doesn't recognize that they are in a fight or die situation needs to wake up). Someone on Digg thought they might do something they thought was good, but the end result will be exactly the opposite of what they wished. The laws of unintended consequences will not be denied.
Brad, I know you are well aware of the significant and sometimes dangerous differences in the spalling and meanings of various 'english' words as differently used by people of the British Isles (well, some of them) and people from Northern America.
Recently I have been pondering the modern meaning of the word 'liberal'.
In the UK of late the word still, generally, appears to be used in its traditional sense although politically the party that carries the word as part of its name seems to me to be rather illiberal these days.
But the northern american use of the word comes across as existing in some sort of parallel word-universe. I find that very confusing.
Perhaps I am just at a difficult age.
I will be visiting Florida and Texas for a few days in two weeks from now and I rather suspect it could be useful to better understand the nuance of meaning in preparation for the trip.
Any chance of a pointer to a simple to understand guide?
I just recently discovered that I was a liberal (according to the classical definition). Further, I also just discovered that over the last 40-50 years scores of words have been mangled into other meanings. Boortz (www.boortz.com) discusses the mangling of Racist from "one who believes in genetic superiority" into "white man who says something hurtful about a person of a different skin color".
I don't speak the languages that would cause you the most heartache -- text message, ebonics, or democrat. Getting a democrat to recognize that we don't live in a democracy takes more than a little patience. As you may have seen in the papers Bush is a fascist (yet somehow all the papers are able to talk about him as they choose and we haven't just turned the great sand dunes of the middle east into a glass playground). You know most of the others-- Carbon dioxide at 380ppm is a deadly poison, Al Gore should be referred to as "his holiness", and if a hollywoodite says something then it must be true.
Lot's of help, eh. Well, I am not a socialite. I try to talk positively about the world (reflecting the views held dear on this site) and am perceived as negative. You would be ill advised to take advice from me on how to interact with others.
I still want to know how Liberal went from meaning "Free to do what you want and be responsible for what you do" to "Free to get anything you want for free and not be responsible for what you have".
Have you visited the Number Watch Vocabulary?
Yes I have visited before, though not recently I have to admit. (Until just now ...)
I remembered the gist of the vocabulary content but it seems to me there may be a further twist of meaning developing in northern America. Asking Brad seems like a good way to thoughtful up to the minute response.
Given the way UK Govt. Plc seems more than happy to hand over UK citizens to the US legal system at the slightest pretext I have no wish to risk upsetting anyone over there. Not that the opportunity to do so is likely, but then the way the world is at the moment who knows what might upset who?