Posts by Rich Lock

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  • Hard News: Three Dreams, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    nested this two levels deep

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Breaking the Silence,

    For anyone that's in Oz in September, Ben Goldacre is on tour:

    https://www.thinkinc.org.au/events/ben-goldacre/

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Breaking the Silence, in reply to BenWilson,

    it would thus have many of the same failings anyway - inertia, mass stupidity, etc.

    Humans gonna human.

    Which is why I'll be advocating for a ruling council composed only of three benevolent AI overlords (triple redundancy, y'see). Remove the messy meatsacks, with their terrible signal-to-noise ratio of egos, feelings, and desires, from the equation altogether. All decisions made cleanly and clinically for our own collective good.

    Remain calm, citizen. Nothing can possibly go wrong.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Breaking the Silence, in reply to linger,

    something that was part of the ordinary curriculum (and therefore boring)

    A friend of mine, with a physics PhD, is fond of noting that he managed to retain enough interest in science to get his advanced Uni qualifications, despite the preceding seven years of school science. Part of the problem was that...

    Science is inherently a method

    Schools tend to teach the result (and expect it to be taken on faith), without explaining the why - the fact that 'science' is essentially a methodology, not a set of results, and the appplication of those results. I had to find out for myself (and about fiftenn years later than I should have), the difference between the scientific and mainstream definitions of 'theory', what a randomised double-blind trial is, and why it's one of the most useful tools ever, and so on.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Breaking the Silence, in reply to BenWilson,

    We have tried this kind of model before, it's called theocracy.

    While I appreciate the point you're trying to make, it's more than a little troubling to directly compare a model where you're literally asked to take everything on faith, with a model where your results ultimately only survive if your peers can't tear them apart.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A wilting rose, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Eleventy billion dollars!, in reply to DeepRed,

    They can already beat Garry Kasparov at chess

    Your 'Rise of the Machines' nightmare app needs a critical update. Get with the 21st Century, Grandad!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: More than a bang on the head,

    Didn't have time to dig these links out earlier:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/jul/19/nfl-star-brain-injuries-destroyed

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/feb/07/super-bowl-50-concussion-casting-large-shadow

    I don't have a link, but there's also anecdotal evidence that the parts of the brain that tend to get damaged in hits are, in part, the ones that govern risk-taking behaviour. Very crudely speaking, concussions tend to have the effect of making you go right back to doing whatever it was that gave you the concussions, because the part of your brain that would otherwise tell you that that's a bad idea has been put out of action. It's a negative feedback loop.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: More than a bang on the head, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Though I have to say using 'bear-knuckles' sounds pretty dangerous!

    Well, not if you're the bear....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: More than a bang on the head, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    I can't remember where I first heard this, but apparently boxing has caused more brain injuries since the introduction of padded gloves, because before then, your average pugilist could only land a small number of blows to the head without shredding his knuckles and wrecking his wrist.

    Boxing also has the 'standing eight-count', where a boxer who has taken a heavy hit can take eight seconds to shake it off before going back for more, which makes it more dangerous than, for example, MMA, where the match is over if you are unable to defend yourself.

    What's to stop rugby players wearing body armour and helmets like gridiron players, hockey players ...

    Helmets haven't stopped gridiron players suffering very badly from concussion. There's even a Will Smith film about it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

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