I keep a weblog like it's still the 90s. For commentary and dissent please visit jontaylor.ca, or various other purveyors of thought online.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

New York to Paris: Google Maps Style

Let me suggest that you appreciate the sense of humour over at google.
maps.google.com will give you directions from New York to Paris.

I've used google maps to get lost many times before in my life. Sometimes it helps to get me unlost as well, but no. 23 is beyond funny.

I believe the consensus: April Fools!

Just joking, still March,

I'm just wondering about the number of scientists who have sullied the name of science by believing that consensus equals truth.

Einstein faced some notable political descent to his science in Germany, before he moved to the USA. During that time 200 scientists stated that by consensus they believed he was wrong. To this he said, 200 beliefs mean nothing, all they needed to do was to prove. He was, of course, right.

The scientific method is not well understood by politicians. I believe this to be because to become a politician you will most likely be a lawyer. If you are a lawyer, there's probably a good chance that you did your undergrad degree (at least in Canada) in history or politics or sociology, and therefore had little time for science.

So, a primer for those who are being primed:

When a scientist comes across a problem, he or she will state a hypothesis (an educated guess) as to what the problem is and how that problem manifests itself.

At this point the hypothesis is a theory. (this is important)

A scientist will then create an experiment. During this process she or he will create a list of constant measures that will be enforced to assure that the test can be repeated.

The hypothesis is then tested using the materials and methods listed as constant measures.

Should the data observed in the test be in support of the hypothesis, the scientist can report that his or her first test positively reinforced the hypothesis and therefore the theory.

The test must then be repeated using the same control. Should the results be repeatable then the theory can be reported as verified.

A scientific theory can only become truth in the case that all possible reasonable detractions from the theory are proven to be false (also with scientific hypothesis testing).

So, as always, I will link this with global warming.
Firstly AGW (warming caused by people) is a theory.
Secondly, consensus does not replace the scientific method.
Thirdly, the models used to simulate the effects of different GHGs on our atmosphere are not repeatable and therefore invalid.
Fourthly, those models did not take into account various levels of solar radiation change.

So, in conclusion, please remember that if a scientist relies on funding she or he will probably report that his experiment is unproven, but there is consensus that could be true.

I don't think that people without science degrees should decide on matters of science. I don't think that people without law degrees should decide on matters of law.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

On Work

Today I went to the Sunshine Coast (rather ironic name I think) and helped map a possible penstock route.

I can't believe that I get paid to do this job.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

On Seals

Just some simple personal background on myself.

I am a vegetarian and I think that people who oppose the seal hunt are sad and misguided people.

Firstly, the thought that seals are more important to you and your fascist organizations than Newfoundland and Inuit hunters is appalling; you should be ashamed. Furthermore, preferring that the seals (and hunters) starve is abhorrent.

Secondly the seals will die anyhow. If you don't believe me correct my logic. I'll be waiting in the comments for you.

These baby seals live on icebergs.
The icebergs melt as they move south from the Arctic.
These seals will be eaten by whales.
If they are not eaten by whales and not hunted, they will starve to death.
They will starve to death because there are only so many fish and the fish population on the east coast has waned.

So in conclusion, if you don't like seal skin don't buy it. I certainly won't. If this causes less demand for seal skin, there will be fewer hunters. If there are fewer hunters you will accomplish your goals of stopping the hunt without demanding that the government intervene for an issue which is about your fascist morals.

Remember, not all activism is good activism.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Madison Wisconsin

So, here I am. In Madison that is. I just spent 12 hours driving from Milton which was interesting to say the least. I think that it's the longest I've sat silently in a really really really long time.

I found out some new things today.
According to one Church Billboard in Michigan: God loves you, no matter what!
According to Another: God hates murderers and Gays.

The new Arcade Fire CD is pretty good. I'd suggest it for fans, otherwise I don't think you'll find the Revolution(lies) track you're looking for.

The Sears tower in Chicago stick out like a sore thumb, if a thumb were actually longer than the fingers.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Cross Continent Checkup

Like all people who have run out of things to talk about, I am going on a roadtrip. I am actually moving west (BC) for my career but things can sometimes hold a double purpose.

Like my friend Kelsey says: "Sometimes even white clouds could use a silver lining"

So day one is over, and I'm not entirely sure there will be another post for a while... but whatever right.

Maybe I'll make a video or two on the way.

Today I was listening to Weezer (Pinkerton), Bob Dylan (Modern Times), Sheila Rogers on CBC and Edge 102.

I'm hoping that Detroit and Chicago radio is better than Toronto.

Also, the Arcade Fire album is out tomorrow, so I'll probably grab that for the ride too.