Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Southerly: How I Became a Grumpy Old…, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Those stairs are a wonder, I can totally understand why each tread was a mission all of its own.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    Taking pleasure in causing people to leave a previously productive discussion is pretty disgusting behaviour and not something I am happy to see here. Sigh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: How I Became a Grumpy Old…, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    We like to wash in warm water

    In my day ....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    I heard a great quote the other day: Science advances one funeral at a time.

    But you don't actually need to change the extremes. The people in the middle are the ones that count - even if they aren't the loudest. But you do need to take the time to listen to them and understand what they see as relevant and important.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Moz,

    why doesn’t the mounting proof that climate change is a real threat persuade more skeptics?

    So we get occasional seminars by people studying this sort of question for different issues and I loosely follow the literature on it as well, again because of similar issues.

    There are several things going on but one thing to note is that on any issue there will be what are called polar bears and penguins, essentially people on opposite sides of an issue who will never change their minds about their position. They interpret every new data in the light of their position, dismissing opposing data and inflating the importance of confirming data, regardless of the veracity of the source.

    Once you understand that you come to realise it is pointless to address either polar bears or penguins.

    But you can talk to the people in the middle.

    The thing about most folks in the middle is that what they believe to be true depends very much on a set of core beliefs about the world. What's interesting scientifically is that a mixture of common beliefs is often found together. You can group people by sets of beliefs. Most folks in the middle will listen to data and can change their minds but different sets of people need different kinds of data to be willing to change their minds.

    The language I naturally use and the metaphors and examples I naturally use will only be heard by a certain set of people. For other sets of people there is no point in me using those examples and metaphors. It takes considerable effort to try and communicate to a really wide audience and be heard and accepted by them all.

    Nothing I ever say will affect the position of the extremes and worse, engaging with the extreme people really turns off the people in the middle who are capable of listening. There are people with whom I never engage on some subjects, it does nobody any good at all.

    The most important thing to know of all is that I am just the same as everyone else, I interpret data with the filter of my core set of beliefs. On some issues I am as intractable (because I'm right of course :P) as anyone, on some issues I view data with as skewed a bias as anyone. I hope knowing that about myself makes me more careful of my assumptions, but I'm not certain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Moz,

    If NZ devoted a significant proportion of GDP to training a generation of nuclear scientists and engineers, then once they graduated embarked on a crash program of reactor design, within a couple of generations of reactor build and test we could have safe, secure, reliable nuclear power for all.

    No no no no no no. I mean yes by all means build a safe stable reactor, although the need in NZ is dubious, but please don't reinvent the wheel. Other people have worked out all that stuff elsewhere - to pretend we need to do it ourselves is just all kinds of stupid.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: How I Became a Grumpy Old…,

    I also have the problem of 95%. But I'm also fond of the saying "house finished, man die" which I think has been horribly mistranslated from Chinese but works for me.

    At some point you have to figure out how to love doing the work, for me that means I do random jobs around the house in random order as the mood takes me - it makes the jobs fun rather than a chore - however, the risk of marital dispute can raise a chore into the fun category remarkably quickly.

    I'm very jealous of your table saw, or rather the space you have to use one, those old machines were built heavy and solid.

    And like everyone else I have to say your joinery looks amazing, I know how hard it can be to get those details just right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Sacha,

    and how many of those things are not a matter of sufficient resolution?

    Smell and touch are the obvious two.

    We are impressively visual beings but not everything can be reproduced on a screen. Also even just focusing on the visual you need high speed cameras to capture images of micro-expressions, they are too fast to ever get an image of them at normal frame rates - yet we respond to those incredibly rapid expressions even if we don't "see" them consciously. Yes you could argue that it's just a matter of always using high speed cameras and display systems but that would be a stretch.

    You'd be talking about huge upgrades to VC cameras and displays (at the limits of current technology) and the bandwidth required to transmit the data would be spectacular.

    Personally I'd rather take an overnight airship powered by electric engines to Melbourne for a face to face meeting and lunch at a nice restaurant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to Sacha,

    reliable, affordable genuine hi-resolution video will change that. We don’t have it yet.

    Unlikely. Actual real world personal contact communicates things that we can't reproduce over the internet (yet). I'm only too happy to use the internet but I also recognise the very real value of a face to face meeting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to David Haywood,

    This is the of thing that will work, if and only if, we can shift governments from focussing on minimising loss from dealing with climate change and instead focus on the opportunities it create and necessitates.

    Even the discussion here quickly focused on negatives, denying ourselves things, instead of figuring out how to have better things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

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