Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: The First Draft, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Science has its fair share of untested beliefs, which is I think what irritates some people when generic appeals to Science (as opposed to rational empirical scepticism) are used to shout down fringe beliefs and theories.

    Guys I think you are missing the point about science as a “thing”. It isn’t a belief itself. Rather it is a system of testing ideas, at its most basic it is observation hypothesis and experiment, which we were taught at high school.

    When used well it is the best system we have found in the history of civilisation for testing ideas.

    Sure not all ideas have been tested, sometimes because they are too silly for words sometimes because scientists haven’t figured out a way of doing the experiment.

    What makes me, as a scientist, annoyed is when people like Ken Ring present an idea that has already been tested scientifically, as thoroughly as possible and rejected by the best analysis possible, and still insist that their idea is as valid and reasonable as any other idea.

    It’s not so much that he hasn’t read the literature, some 40 or 50 years of literature about his idea, not everyone knows where to look or how to read scientific literature. It’s that after being shown the literature and shown that his idea is wrong, he simply runs off to the media and markets his idea anyway and lo and behold the media give him the time of day …

    When was the last time a real scientist got that much prime time to present his REAL work?

    People think there is no cost to idiots being given the time of day, well sorry there is a cost, it’s another lost cat story that couldn’t get to air because we had to waste time on a moron who couldn’t read the literature and wouldn’t take the word of someone who could.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The First Draft, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    while gnomes are small, cheerful and friendly.)

    That's what they want you to think

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mind Blending, in reply to recordari,

    Are you saying Ben's hairy tits made something come up?

    Is that one of the signs ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mind Blending, in reply to BenWilson,

    I hope I'm not expected to shave my tits first.

    How can I wash that image from my mind?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Price Gouging, in reply to Ben Winters,

    that the pricing system will do a better job on average of selecting the more from the less needy because it uses information about time and place better than queues and charity or government officials can

    Yes I'm quite sure the modeling shows that. How about you go away and find real world data that proves that before you assert such a truth. My observations of the real world is that the perfect information flow required to make you model work does not exist in the real world. In general only the rich have full access to information to enable such "perfect pricing" decision making. The poor, or in this case those experiencing an actual disaster have very poor information flow and hence have no fucking clue that petrol is cheaper elsewhere or that prices will drop in 2 days.

    But it's OK because somebody got rich so it must have worked right?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Price Gouging, in reply to Ben Winters,

    isn’t direct government aid or charity a far more efficient way to help than to misprice a key, perhaps the key resource, for the entire city in crisis?

    Wow. This is kind of impressive. So you're advocating using tax dollars to allow price gougers to get rich. You'd be happy to pay extra tax would you or do you have magic way of increasing govt revenue without raising your own taxes to pay for this use of our taxes?

    I find it interesting that someone (and I'm guessing here) who opposes taxes increases and approves of tax cuts (for sound economic reasons of course) advocates spending tax dollars on simply making some greedy (yes that's the word I would use) people richer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Price Gouging, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    My point really is the context

    Exacery. Economics has some pretty good maths to deal with cases such as those you describe but human behaviour sometime messes up the maths entirely, those damn humans and there behaviour without them economics would be perfect.

    But for now the science of economics as applied to real people is bullshit. To be fair they get it right sometimes but I'm, not 100% sure that isn't just statistical variation at work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What Now?, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I thought that most of the 200 missing would in fact be amongst the 147 recovered bodies,

    I thought I heard someone on this morning's news program saying essentially that. ie final death toll probably around 200 not 300 ... crosses fingers

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Price Gouging, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    that is a little too close to regarding economics a science. when in fact is a social science

    I doubt any economist would have a problem with describing economics as a social science.

    I have no problem with the science of economics. And describing it as a social science is an irrelevant distinction. Social sciences are just as scientific as any other science. The only distinction I would place is that most folks like to be able to test hypotheses with experiment, however like some other sciences (eg physics) some economic hypotheses are difficult if not impossible to experimentally test. That means economic theory is sometimes built on observation of past events without the ability to properly test by experiment. In such situations it possible to build plausible consistent but ultimately wrong theories.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What Now?, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Where will they drive now

    You just want to chase the cars.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3268 posts Report Reply

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