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brorlob last won the day on September 15 2009

brorlob had the most liked content!

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About brorlob

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  • Birthday 10/28/1972

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  1. I have to agree with Mr. Shuman here. Lomborg knew when he published Cool It! that it would be held up to a ridiculous amount of scrutiny, and from reading the first dozen paragraphs of the newsweek article, I don't think there is much to Friel's debunking. Reading between the lines it seems to assume that where conclusions differ, there can be no supporting reasoning for Lomborg's claims; an untterly falacious (albeit persuasive to the in-group) idea. I haven't read Cool It, but have read TSE, and it specifically uses the same supporting data to reach different conclusions than the predominant political-scientific thinking on climate change. So yeah...if all you did was take all the cites from TSE and check the conclusions of the cited studies against Lomborg's analysis, you'd get exactly the same phenomenon. And apart from Origin of the Species and Galileo's defense of heliocentrism (can't recall the title of the book), I don't think any scholarly work in history has been more scrutinized than TSE. And yet, no claims of academic wrongdoing in TSE have been able to stand up to public or legal scrutiny.
  2. brorlob


    I liked the movie, but it was Dances With Wolves on Endor.
  3. That is dependent on the judge and the precise nature of the fallacy. If the Aff's entire solvency contention is based on a fallacious precept (or inherency for that matter), then exposing that fallacy is a powerful reason to vote neg in front of any judge who utilizes a presumption/burden framework. And even in an offense/defense framework, the idea of logical fallacies as an independent voter is no worse than many arguments for more traditional theory voters I've seen. AND: even if it's not enough to win a round on its own, a 30 second shell can neutralize the entirety of a larger position. I assume you'd accept that a fallacious link (hasty G and strawman are frequent in links) = No DA impact.
  4. I have serious doubts about the constitutionality of any government policy, even the American's With Disabilities Act, which mandates one private entity do business with another. I think the government runs out of power right when it goes from creating an incentive (like a tax break for levels of compliance with the ADA) to mandating commerce (Forcing business A to buy a particular product from company B or C). Nothing in the constitution grants the federal government the power to create an industry which could not survive in the markeplace (creating a demand is another thing altogether). And because the Constitution doesn't give that right to the government, the tenth amendment gives it to the individual or the business in question. It takes law school to learn how to read poorly enough to not grasp that. And the real problem with challenging the law on this front is what to do about the Federal Reserve; but not an insurmountable one I think. All the monetary and business interests in the country would see the status quo maintained, meaning the legal challenges would be tremendously difficult and expensive as well. So I am not holding my breath. But anyone with a working understanding of politics and eighth grade reading skills and who has read the constitution knows that its a guideline more than a rulebook to the clowns in charge.
  5. Terrance, you did imply that lawyers, not the insurance companies were the ones to blame for a lack of broad coverage. There is a common misconception that malpractice lawsuits are what drives up the cost of healthcare. And while they do to some extent, they also protect the consumer from both incompetence and systemic shortcomings. So, while killing all the lawyers might seem like a cathartic first step, it won't really lower the cost of healthcare. Bureaucrats, not lawyers are the real enemy of expanded coverage and lower costs. And if someone ever tries to force me to buy health insurance, we'll find out just how constitutional that provision is.
  6. I think you missed the point. You should know that the idea that insurance companies are somehow efficient examples of free market capitalism and that frivolous lawsuits are the primary reason premiums are driven up, is pure propaganda. Ask any former insurance company employee how efficient the organization was compared to other private sector organizations and you'll usually prompt laughter. I have never worked for any organization with more superfluous operational overhead as when I worked in the health insurance industry. Second place is a distant notion compared to an industry which does everything on paper, in triplicate and often has the same piece of paper reviewed for the same information by five or more people before acting on the information. The only parts of the insurance industry which have any practical necessity are fraud detection and accounting. The rest of it is superfluous in a society where health care is a right. Since we haven't become that enlightened, evidenced by the idiotic debate on both sides of this bill, I could care less about this bill. (And I am uninsured and stand to get covered by it...that's how foolishly idealistic I am)
  7. You're so wrong, Terrance. That's Henry VI pt 2.
  8. If you're really looking closely, you know it's not an either or proposition; both parties reek.
  9. That didn't go over well in 1994, thought the situation was somewhat different and the "blame the industry/GOP" tactic was badly organized compared to the GOP Contract With America (on a side note...can we sue for breach?). The problem is, doing this would require a large revolt against the Democratic party from its left wing. And let's face it...the left wing of the party has more power now than they would should they endanger the party's majority in congress. Because of politics, policy suffers. Nothing new, really...George Washington warned us about this when he left office, and no one has really paid much attention to his words yet.
  10. I don't think I am ranting. The CRU debacle is just the latest evidence of long-held contempt for open debate among many people who espouse radical, immediate, mandatory political action on climate change. Conclusions are held in contempt prior to investigation of methodology. Motives are impugned, characters maligned and positions misrepresented by the side that seems to have the evidence on their side. This is an alarming precedent in public debate. I can't imagine a well reasoned policy requiring such tactics. There is a whole lot of group think going on. Anyone who disagrees with significant portions of the political agenda is immediately treated as an outsider and ostracized. Application of science to policy done in such a manner is unworthy of an enlightened people. Of course, that makes me less than shocked; but being an idealist, I speak my mind just the same.
  11. Science is not about thwarting skepticism. Sorry, but this has turned into a chip in a political battle, and the reporting of the science is mixed at best, lousy more often than not, and flat out fantasy at times. This is just as true for those of you with the faith in the IPCC as it is for those with faith in Glenn Beck. I won't pretend otherwise.
  12. brorlob


    This. It is also becoming more and more common (from the rounds I've watched the past couple years) to include advantages with critical implications in a policy case. These cases offer a method of gaining offense against a wide variety of negative positions and approaches. This can simplify block writing and save a lot of time and energy due to the more general style of refutation critical debates tend to employ. But it won't help you unless you know the material.
  13. We have hordes of evidence that the world is getting warmer...sure. It is human made? Um, I'll go with "it is partly, and probably significantly related to human activity." The idea that we alone are responsible for changing the entire climate of the globe is hubris. There is significant evidence that other forces have also generated warming, mainly the sun. (Mars is also warming, but we aren't burning any fossil fuels there) "Ignoring it will lead to catastrophic consequences" Hold the phone. I didn't suggest ignorance as a solution to anything, and only the idiots (Beck, Palin, Limaugh et al) are making such claims. Moreover, the evidence on that is not as clear as many make it out to be, and not even close to what the popular perception is. Compare "An Inconvenient Truth" in its predictions of sea level rises. It depicts, in one of its few memorable visual moments, that the sea levels will rise 20 feet. (About 6 meters) The IPCC estimates are that sea levels could rise anywhere from 1-1.5 meters. I am not making this up. Yes, the estimates were reduced after the release of the film, meaning it probably wasn't pure lying, but only the most extreme estimates this side of a Kevin Costner dystopian fantasy show results worse than those depicted by Al Gore in his sci-fi thriller which got passed off as a documentary. And even mentioning that vast areas of the northern hemisphere, largely unusable for agriculture today may well be able to grow the food which will be lost at lower latitudes is tantamount to climate treason among the group-thinking crowd. Ignoring it may lead to catastrophic consequences. Not questioning the validity of a scientific theory before re-inventing the world's economy on its predictions will be a precedent for irrational faith rather than reasoned public debate. And the reason to care about the academic wrongdoings is because they are part of a pattern of irrational belief trumping the scientific method, academic principles and general good sense. In science, when someone is skeptical of your study, you publish it openly so it can be replicated. You make the data available, so other scientists can examine your method and results. You don't hide things. You don't label someone who expresses skepticism a "denier" and suggest they are somehow inferior based on the fact that their results do not support your theory. If science and public debate have any meaning to you, you really should see this as something far more damning than the media (mostly) make it out to be, and not nearly as damning as Foxnews does. EDIT: here's an example...a neg rep I got for my earlier post: "yeah the evolution skeptics are the real scientists too, right? uggggghhhhhh there is no sigh long enough for this stupidity" Yep...I am skeptical about evolution. Nice Red Herring. Uh huh. I must also think taxes are theft, democrats are socialists and Barack Obama is Kenyan, right? I guess this person doesn't know enough to discuss the issue rationally. That hasn't stopped them from believing they know enough to have a valid opinion. And just for fun, they call me stupid. I guess Red Herring goes well with a side of ad hom, and a helping of poisoning the well.
  14. Just because climate change is real, Scu, is not indicative that there are not a lot of unscrupulous people overstating the dangers. The real question about the e-mail controversy is why the side which claims that there is no debate (a laughable proposition in science of this kind) feels the need to keep secrets, impugn detractors and engage in generally dishonest behavior? It's clear evidence of a lack of confidence in the science (which is in turn indicative only of sanity) and the belief that the ends justify the means. And I refuse to take seriously anyone who calls skeptics denialists, deniers or any such garbage. There are a lot of people with considerably more sophisticated understandings of the climate than Rush Limbaugh who have significant doubts about the political side of this debate, as anyone with a brain and a memory should. The "is it happening" debate may well be over (for the attentive), but the "how bad is it" and "how much is the human influence" and "can we stop it" and "what should we do" debates are very much alive. In 20 years of watching debates (competitive, academic, political), i have learned to doubt heavily anyone who uses intellectual dishonesty, fallacious argumentation and character assassination as tactics, regardless of how many PhDs they may have behind them. Dismissing the e-mail controversy as irrelevant is a sign of faith, not intelligence.
  15. You're going with the wrong book...Ice Nine. Of course, that does leave you open to the Bokonon K.
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