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A place for the discussion of all things not closely related to the sport and its competitive side. (as always, locked for the duration of major international championship)

Postby tafnut » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:19 pm

figo wrote:that's what i see in al gore. and that's why he's not president.

Which is entirely due to the lunacy of Florida's voting disaster.
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Postby tandfman » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:22 pm

figo wrote:that's what i see in al gore. and that's why he's not president.

Al Gore is not President because we have an Electoral College rather than a direct election by popular vote. It's as simple as that.

I think the Electoral College is an anachronism, totally irrelevant to today's society and political environment. Yet there seems to be not a whisper on either side of the aisle to get rid of it. I don't understand this, but I'm not a politician, so I guess I'm not supposed to.
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Postby figo » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:28 pm

an al gore that's more solid, i.e better team and advisors does not need florida.
it was foolish gore vs foolish bush. silly "left" vs silly right.
where is franklin d roosevelt when you need him?
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Postby figo » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:37 pm

now this is what you want from your president, no?

Franklin D. Roosevelt quotes.

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.

A nation that destroys it's soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.

Are you laboring under the impression that I read these memoranda of yours? I can't even lift them.

Be sincere; be brief; be seated.

Confidence... thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.

Favor comes because for a brief moment in the great space of human change and progress some general human purpose finds in him a satisfactory embodiment.

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.

I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.

If you treat people right they will treat you right... ninety percent of the time.

In our seeking for economic and political progress, we all go up - or else we all go down.

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

It isn't sufficient just to want - you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.

One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment... If it doesn't turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.

Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force.

Put two or three men in positions of conflicting authority. This will force them to work at loggerheads, allowing you to be the ultimate arbiter.

Remember you are just an extra in everyone else's play.

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.

Self-interest is the enemy of all true affection.

Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.

Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch.

Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something.

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes strong than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity - or it will move apart.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.

The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.

The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea.

There are as many opinions as there are experts.

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.

There is nothing I love as much as a good fight.

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

To reach a port, we must sail - sail, not tie at anchor - sail, not drift.

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

We continue to recognize the greater ability of some to earn more than others. But we do assert that the ambition of the individual to obtain for him a proper security is an ambition to be preferred to the appetite for great wealth and great power.

We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we now know that it is bad economics.

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
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Postby tandfman » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:42 pm

figo wrote:an al gore that's more solid, i.e better team and advisors does not need florida.

But the Al Gore we had in 2000, who was the only Al Gore around at the time, DID need Florida.
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Postby MJD » Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:20 am

tandfman wrote:I think the Electoral College is an anachronism, totally irrelevant to today's society and political environment.


I'm sure many in the small states would disagree with that assessment. One of the reasons for the creation of the College was to protect the smaller states from domination by the larger states. Smaller states would still fear that and, you're right, it's a moot point because there are 15 states with less than 400k per electoral college vote and 13 states could veto it.
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Postby tandfman » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:12 am

I know all of that. But the differences between and among states and their citizens are much, much less than they were when they were forming the Union from what had been independent colonies. The Electoral College made much more sense then than now.

One of the unfortunate things about the system today is that many Americans feel that their vote in a presidential election doesn't make a difference because in the state where they happen to live, there is a large majority on one side or the other.
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Postby MJD » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:20 am

tandfman wrote:But the differences between and among states and their citizens are much, much less than they were when they were forming the Union from what had been independent colonies.


I'm sure a majority of the 15 states I refer to would take offence to your statement that there is not much difference between them and say, California and NY.
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Postby tandfman » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:43 am

Of course there are differences. But they're not the kind of differences that there were in the Colonial days. And they're not the kind of differences that justify effectively giving one American's vote greater weight than that of another.
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Postby MJD » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:52 am

tandfman wrote:But they're not the kind of differences that there were in the Colonial days.


As I said, my guess is that many would disagree-on both sides of the political spectrum. I don't agree with that sentiment and you clearly don't either but there are some that consider certain other areas of the country to be like a totally foreign country or maybe even planet!
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Postby tafnut » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:02 am

MJD wrote: there are some that consider certain other areas of the country to be like a totally foreign country or maybe even planet!


California springs to MY mind.
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Postby EPelle » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:57 am

Taking that a step further, Southern CA vs Northern CA are two distinctly different walks in the park.
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:35 am

tandfman wrote:One of the unfortunate things about the system today is that many Americans feel that their vote in a presidential election doesn't make a difference because in the state where they happen to live, there is a large majority on one side or the other.

This is really the biggest problem with the Electoral College. The Presidential votes of Republicans in CA and many other states are a total waste of time, as are Democratic votes in many states. Seems like the only place they make a difference these days is in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

And the protection of the small states argument is moot – that is not why the Electoral College was set up. Small state protection is why every state gets two senators despite their size or lack of it. And note that Presidential elections do not hang on the outcome of any small state; it is always the same pretty large states with an even mix of Dems and Reps.

The EC was set up because the Founding Fathers didn’t trust the general population, so the took the direct vote for President out of their hands (also the direct vote for Senators). It never really worked as intended (‘smart’ guys – those selected as Electors - will cut through the crap and vote for the best guy).

It became its current pile of dung when this winner takes all Electors stuff got going, which is not a rule in the Constitution or otherwise Federally mandated. States could, of their own volition, decide to have Electors votes split according to the general vote split in the state. Or it could be made a Federal rule.

The fact is that the original rationale for the EC has long since been deemed inappropriate, and the EC itself should be retired.
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Postby Daisy » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:43 am

bad hammy wrote:States could, of their own volition, decide to have Electors votes split according to the general vote split in the state. Or it could be made a Federal rule.

Very interesting. Has anyone ever tried it? Or even talked about it? Has there ever been a case of one member of a states EC breaking ranks in the past? Or are they all hand picked yes men/women?
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:46 am

Daisy wrote:
bad hammy wrote:States could, of their own volition, decide to have Electors votes split according to the general vote split in the state. Or it could be made a Federal rule.

Very interesting. Has anyone ever tried it? Or even talked about it? Has there ever been a case of one member of a states EC breaking ranks in the past? Or are they all hand picked yes men/women?

All of the above, I do not recall which one(s) but there is at least one state that does not do the all or nothing. Also, occasionally an elector breaks ranks, but it is pretty rare.
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:16 am

A small amount of (wiki) research has come up with a couple of points:

1. Apparently 48 out of the 50 states, plus DC, are set up so that winner takes all, period. Maine and Nebraska potentially can split the EC vote but has thus split the vote only once – Maine in 1828 (and who could forget that election!). Instead of a statewide winner take all, there is an elector voted in each congressional district, plus two statewide. Interesting that all congressional districts in these two states are always on the same side.

2. Moving to a proportional EC would have some very interesting results that would not put the largest vote getters in office. For a candidate to win the election they must have a clear majority (half plus one) of the EC votes. If a third party candidate gets enough votes, then the largest vote getter would not get a clear majority of EC votes. When this happens, the President is then elected by the House of Representatives, while the VP is elected by the Senate.

For instance, both the 1996 and 2000 elections has significant third party candidates (Perot and Trader :evil: ) which would have prevented the candidates with the most popular votes (Clinton and Gore) from winning. In 1996 Bob Dole and Jack Kemp would have most likely won the votes in the Republican House and Senate, even though Clinton/Gore had trounced them in the popular vote. In 2000, Bush probably would have won the Senate, but it would have been possible to have a tie in the Senate voting between Cheney and Lieberman, leaving Al Gore to cast the deciding vote, potentially giving us our first Pres/VP party split since Adams/Jefferson.

Better to ditch the Electoral College altogether . . .
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Postby SQUACKEE » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:24 am

[quote="bad hammy

Better to ditch the Electoral College altogether . . .[/quote]

Im no expert but i tend to agree with Crappy Ham.Living in a perenial rock solid blue state i have little desire to vote either way, it doesnt seem to matter.
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Postby tandfman » Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:55 pm

As I indicated earlier, the real problem is that the EC effectively means that some people's vote means more than others'. That just not fair and it shouldn't be unless there's a compelling reason to justify it. And there isn't. Not today.
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Postby MJD » Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:25 pm

But it won't happen because there are those that WANT their vote to be worth more. Tough if it isn't fair. We are talking about the real world here. We changed the voting rules in our partnership but grandfathered everyone who was a partner when the change was made. It will take another 10 years or so to work its way through the system. In the meantime, the more senior partners have votes that are more valuable than the votes of more junior partners. Two of us, for example, can veto a new partner. It takes 20% if it is all junior guys. The senior guys did move slightly because it used to be that one partner could veto a new candidate.
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Postby Mennisco » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:00 am

Getting back to the original point of the thread:

"This was world's warmest recorded winter":

http://tinyurl.com/2xtwxp

"People run during unseasonably warm weather, in New York's Central Park January 6, 2007" :

Image
Last edited by Mennisco on Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:06 am

Didn:t the USA president just give a directive to researchers who travel outside of the USA to not have public discussions related to this issue?
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Postby figo » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:43 am

new zealand coldest december on record
http://www.stuff.co.nz/search/3917599a6000.html

new zealand very cool summer.
http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/NationalNews/tabid/184/Default.aspx?ArticleID=22292

coldest christmas ever in melbourne
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art48364.asp

western australia warmer than usual
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/season/wa/archive/200702.summary.shtml

tasmania a little warmer than average
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/season/tas/summary.shtml

new zealand overall weather for the year
http://www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc/cs/aclimsum_06

conclusion is that new zealand is probably getting colder over the past 20-30 years, australia's not warming up much.
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Postby figo » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:55 am

ever look at the jet stream?

a thousand gifs on weather here.
http://squall.sfsu.edu/gif/
Last edited by figo on Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:33 pm

Buried under a foot of snow and loving it. 3/16/07
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Postby figo » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:47 pm

Consensus My Eye: Global Warming Skeptics Win NYC Debate With Believers

http://newsbusters.org/node/11461

You probably didn’t hear about a rather topical debate concerning man’s role in global warming that took place in New York City Wednesday night.

Want to know why the media will likely ignore this fascinating event? Well, because the panel of skeptics beat the believers.

How large was the victory?

Well, before the debate took place, the tough New York crowd was polled, and the results showed that they believed global warming was a crisis by a margin of 57 percent to 30 percent. However, after the debate, this changed to the crowd feeling it wasn’t a crisis, with skeptics topping believers 46 to 42 percent.



Scientific American chimes in on the debate...
http://blog.sciam.com/index.php?p=462&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
Debate Skills? Advantage: Climate Contrarians

Last night at the Asia Society and Museum, a panel of notables debated the merits of the proposition "global warming is not a crisis." Arguing for the motion were the folksy (and tall) Michael Crichton, the soft-spoken Richard Lindzen and the passionate Philip Stott. Arrayed against were the moderate Brenda Ekwurzel, the skeptical Gavin Schmidt and the perplexed (by the inanity of the contrarians' arguments) Richard Somerville. (Note: all the adjectives are mine.)
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Postby lonewolf » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:08 pm

Thank you, figo.. I was not aware of that particular confrontation. It is comforting to learn that a significant percentage of presumably intelligent (by virtue of their attendance) people were swayed by reason.
I do know increasing numbers of qualified global warming skeptics have been speaking up debunking the hysteria.
I do not deny there has been inconsequential short term warming if you pick the right starting point.; most of it early this century before earthlings approached levels of carbon dioxide emissions that the Gorites claim is responsible for an impending climatic holocaust.
I agree that man should be as environmentally sensitive as practical. I just dispute that man is responsible for or can do anything to delay or prevent inevitable climate changes.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:31 am

Its human nature to want to believe in impending doom. Its deep and it goes way back. How many people would want to go see a film that suggests "every things gonna be ok". We love our disaster movies and documentaries. Asteroids, floods, landslides, ,earthquakes, 200 ft. waves, Earth ending diseases, Aliens attacking, global warming, ice age, starvation, drought, nuclear war, giant volcano eruption, Nuc. power plant explosion, over population, computers turn on man, black hole eats our solar system, zombies and lastly Republicans

Now here's the cool part. You can find a popular movie to enjoy with your popcorn that features one or more of the above disasters featuring human misery and death.. My fav. END OF DAYS. :twisted:
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Postby Mennisco » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:35 am

lonewolf wrote:Thank you, figo.. I was not aware of that particular confrontation. It is comforting to learn that a significant percentage of presumably intelligent (by virtue of their attendance) people were swayed by reason.
I do know increasing numbers of qualified global warming skeptics have been speaking up debunking the hysteria.


One might reasonably deduce from your comments that you probably think that the vast majority of top world experts, viz., scientists, do fail to meet your criteria for "intelligent", or are intelligent but somewhat deluded, or are intelligent with a penchant for stirring up shit?
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Postby Pego » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:48 am

figo wrote:Consensus My Eye: Global Warming Skeptics Win NYC Debate With Believers

http://newsbusters.org/node/11461

You probably didn’t hear about a rather topical debate concerning man’s role in global warming that took place in New York City Wednesday night.

Want to know why the media will likely ignore this fascinating event? Well, because the panel of skeptics beat the believers.

How large was the victory?

Well, before the debate took place, the tough New York crowd was polled, and the results showed that they believed global warming was a crisis by a margin of 57 percent to 30 percent. However, after the debate, this changed to the crowd feeling it wasn’t a crisis, with skeptics topping believers 46 to 42 percent.



Scientific American chimes in on the debate...
http://blog.sciam.com/index.php?p=462&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
Debate Skills? Advantage: Climate Contrarians

Last night at the Asia Society and Museum, a panel of notables debated the merits of the proposition "global warming is not a crisis." Arguing for the motion were the folksy (and tall) Michael Crichton, the soft-spoken Richard Lindzen and the passionate Philip Stott. Arrayed against were the moderate Brenda Ekwurzel, the skeptical Gavin Schmidt and the perplexed (by the inanity of the contrarians' arguments) Richard Somerville. (Note: all the adjectives are mine.)


Winning a debate is a totally unreliable method of a hypothesis testing and you know it.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:12 am

Your right Pego. Im just glad there's a debate going on somewhere. I think debate is healthy. Let the listener decide.
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Postby tandfman » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:52 am

Just a reminder that when science becomes political, it may cease to be good science.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/washi ... 8yJME5YGBQ
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Postby Pego » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:32 am

This is what I just received from the American Association for Advancement os Science.

Message to Members
ADDRESSING CRITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES

Dear AAAS Member,

Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, extreme weather is increasing--scientific evidence is clear and scientific leadership is critical to dealing with global energy and climate problems.

The AAAS Board released a strong statement on 18 February saying, "We are already experiencing global climate change--and the pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years." The Board urges aggressive R&D to transform the world’s existing and future energy systems away from technologies that emit greenhouse gases.

The new AAAS Board Chair and former AAAS President John P. Holdren spoke out during the Annual Meeting in February saying, "Global risks require the scientific community to join with political and business leaders in a concerted search for solutions." Dr. Holdren drew a standing ovation when he called for scientists and engineers to "tithe" 10 percent of their time "working to increase the benefits of S&T for the human condition."

AAAS is addressing these critical issues with a broad range of initiatives including the recent Global Climate Change Town Hall, which attracted 1,200 people, and public access to online information resources.

The time to act is now. We urge our members to join us in this effort. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Alan I. Leshner, CEO, AAAS
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Postby tafnut » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:57 am

Pego wrote:Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, extreme weather is increasing--scientific evidence is clear and scientific leadership is critical to dealing with global energy and climate problems.


Coincidently, I just realized that for the first time in my 14 years in sunny FLA, I did not once have ice on my car in the morning this past winter.
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Postby figo » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:24 pm

tandfman wrote:Just a reminder that when science becomes political, it may cease to be good science.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/washi ... 8yJME5YGBQ


good science is largely a myth.
we're barely out of the dark ages.
but hey, we're doing pretty good for a bunch of hunter gatherers.
one of these days we might actually have competent scientists, decent gentlemen and classy ladies.
i for one am working on it, but it's tough, you know, being a hunter gatherer with an advanced chimp brain.
i still like monkey business.
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Postby bambam » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:42 pm

tandfman wrote:Just a reminder that when science becomes political, it may cease to be good science.


Which was virtually proven true in the late 19th century when the Indiana state legislature came within one vote of declaring it a law that, henceforth, the value of pi in Indiana would be 3. Just 3. Not 3 anything.
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Postby Mennisco » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:53 pm

figo wrote:
tandfman wrote:Just a reminder that when science becomes political, it may cease to be good science.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/washi ... 8yJME5YGBQ


good science is largely a myth.
we're barely out of the dark ages.
but hey, we're doing pretty good for a bunch of hunter gathers.
one of these days we might actually have competent scientists, decent gentlemen and classy ladies.
i for one am working on it, but it's tough, you know, being a hunter gather with an advanced chimp brain.
i still like monkey business.


The notion the Earth has rights will enter our legal systems as we evolve.
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Postby figo » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:34 pm

we humans pretty much rape the planet.
but all life forms are pretty much greedy and self centered ,we're just an extension of that.
in nature, the winner takes all and all it can.

we should get busy evolving into something better.
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Postby tafnut » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:37 pm

figo wrote:i for one am working on it, but it's tough, you know, being a hunter gather with an advanced chimp brain. i still like monkey business.

TAFNY!
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Postby bad hammy » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:43 pm

figo wrote:we humans pretty much rape the planet.
but all life forms are pretty much greedy and self centered ,we're just an extension of that.
in nature, the winner takes all and all it can.

we should get busy evolving into something better.

In theory, unlike other life forms, we are now aware that we are raping the planet and could choose to be a bit kinder about it. Take her out to dinner, have a few drinks, you know . . .
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Postby figo » Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:32 pm

bambam wrote:
tandfman wrote:Just a reminder that when science becomes political, it may cease to be good science.


Which was virtually proven true in the late 19th century when the Indiana state legislature came within one vote of declaring it a law that, henceforth, the value of pi in Indiana would be 3. Just 3. Not 3 anything.


politicians baffled with "fancy" math...
greeks of 2500 years ago would not be impressed.
remember gore blew science....

http://arshermeneutica.org/besieged/Legislating_the_Value_of_Pi


The bill made it through three readings and votes in the House, and its first reading in the Senate. It was evidently seen as of economical benefit, since Indiana would save royalties on the patent, and the legislators proclaimed themselves unfit to comprehend the details of the bill anyway. The finale was dramatic and down to the wire:[4]

That the bill was killed appears to be a matter of dumb luck rather than the superior education or wisdom of the Senate. It is true that the bill was widely ridiculed in Indiana and other states, but what actually brought about the defeat of the bill is recorded by Prof. C.A. Waldo in an article he wrote for the Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science in 1916. The reason he knows is that he happened to be at the State Capitol lobbying for the appropriation of the Indiana Academy of Science, on the day the Housed passed House Bill 246. ... The roll was then called and the bill passed its third and final reading in the lower house. A member then showed the writer [i.e. Waldo] a copy of the bill just passed and asked him if he would like an introduction to the learned doctor, its author. He declined the courtesy with thanks remarking that he was acquainted with as many crazy people as he cared to know. That evening the senators were properly coached and shortly thereafter as it came to its final reading in the upper house they threw out with much merriment the epoch making discovery of the Wise Man from the Pocket.
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