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Updated: 53 min 22 sec ago

You Learn More By Trusting Than Not Trusting

Nov 12 2019 - 16:11

We all know people who have suffered by trusting too much: scammed customers, jilted lovers, shunned friends. Indeed, most of us have been burned by misplaced trust. These personal and vicarious experiences lead us to believe that people are too trusting, often verging on gullibility.

In fact, we don’t trust enough.

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How Does The New York Times Get 'How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong' So Wrong? - Fact Checking Their Climate Articles

Nov 12 2019 - 16:11

The New York Times has done numerous mistaken climate change stories. They would never run an obituary about someone who hasn’t died. They wouldn’t make up a sports result and say one team won the superbowl when in fact the other did. They wouldn’t say that the UK has left the EU when it hasn’t.

Why do journalists feel that it is okay to invent whatever you like about climate change and claim it is the truth?

Here are my annotations for this article using Hypothes.is, the academic web annotation tool:

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Fake Asteroid Impact Meme By The Daily Express - Invented Dates And Probabilites For 2014 JO25, And 2014 AG5

Nov 12 2019 - 15:11

The Daily Express run this fake meme on many of their fake asteroid stories. It is riddled with errors and outright lies. The red top tabloid papers in the UK are well known for just making stuff up.

The most famous red top tabloid story which ran in The Sun, another similar paper here. They made up the story that Freddie Starr, a comedian ate a hamster in a sandwich. He never ate any hamster.

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Nobel In Physics: A Prize For Outstanding Discoveries Or Socio-Political Recognition?

Nov 12 2019 - 09:11

Written by Francesco Sylos Labini and Martín López Corredoira.

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Grouping Staff And Company Floor Plans: Elite Co-Workers Up Everyone's Game, But Toxic Ones Kill Productivity

Nov 11 2019 - 10:11
Scholars analyzing the performance at a large technology firm examined the productivity in a 25-foot radius around their best performers and found that these workers did inspire better performance in coworkers - by 15 percent.

Poor workers impacted their neighbors also, and even more. While “positive spillover” translated into an estimated $1 million in additional annual profits, "negative spillover" from so-called toxic workers was even more pronounced—sometimes having twice the magnitude of impact on profits as positive spillover.

And toxic spillover happens fast. The good news for your team as that its effect dissipates almost immediately once that worker is either fired or relegated to the far physical reaches of the company.

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The Technical Leader - Unique Challenges For People In A Unique Position

Nov 09 2019 - 17:11
When the FBI first conceived of DNA Technical Leaders as a requirement for CODIS eligibility, it sought to ensure that forensic DNA operations were overseen by individuals with sufficient training, education, and experience.

It also knew that many current supervisors of forensic biology units did not have sufficient credentials.

The emergence of technical leaders in forensic DNA units across the United States created one of the most challenging and complex HR problems in the history of forensic science.

Many unit supervisors who did not qualify as technical leaders no longer had full authority over their own units. Leadership was now shared, if you will, between a supervisor and a technical leader, creating ambiguities in authority.

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The Drug Chemistry White Box Study - An Interview With Jeremy Triplett

Nov 09 2019 - 16:11
A fascinating development has emerged in the forensic testing of controlled substances. A "white box" study aimed at establishing error rates for this commonly-practiced forensic discipline is currently underway. Below is my interview with the man who conceived the study, Jeremy Triplett.

Jeremy, you are a former President of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), so you've played an important leadership role in forensic science.  Can you tell us a bit about the white box study recently announced by ASCLD?

First, I want to thank you, John, for inviting me to talk about the study. I’m very excited about it and I appreciate the opportunity to share what we’re doing with your readers.

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XR Climate Activists “Please STOP Telling Children They May Not Grow Up” - Says IPCC Lead Author In Tweet

Nov 08 2019 - 22:11

It’s so good to see some climate scientists at last starting to speak up about the awful over the top things Extinction Rebellion activists are saying, though I wish more would speak up and speak up more strongly.

Here is a meme that may help with sharing:

Yes XR activists, climate change is a serious issue BUT “Please STOP telling kids they may not grow up”

IPCC author Dr Tamsin Edwards

Background image: Smiling child at school by Shlok Nikhil

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We Know We're Going To Die, So Why Don't We Really Believe It?

Nov 08 2019 - 07:11

In the novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Leo Tolstoy presents a man who is shocked by suddenly realising that his death is inevitable. While we can easily appreciate that the diagnosis of a terminal illness came as an unpleasant surprise, how could he only then discover the fact of his mortality? But that is Ivan’s situation. Not only is it news to him, but he can’t fully take it in:

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Government Is The Sugar Daddy Of Science, Not The Epsteins Of The World

Nov 07 2019 - 11:11
Writers are going to find a way to make their work topical. The most important article I ever wrote (in my estimation), in the Wall Street Journal, came out about five weeks after I wrote it, and with a different lede.

The news cycle had kept pushing it back but then a new event occurred which made it compelling and the editor saw the hook and had me redoo it, but the rest was evergreen facts.

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Pre-Registration, Data Sharing, And Registered Reports Are How The Science Community Can Reduce Shoddy Research

Nov 07 2019 - 04:11

Last month, Indonesia’s previous Minister of Research and Technology boasted that in 2019, Indonesia had overtaken Malaysia and Singapore in the number of published academic articles.

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11,000 Scientists + Micky Mouse Sign Climate Paper Without Fact Checking Cites - Carbon Tax Error - And Uncited Fate Of Humanity

Nov 06 2019 - 23:11

It’s so good to see some climate scientists at last starting to speak up about the awful over the top things Extinction Rebellion activists are saying, though I wish more would speak up and speak up more strongly.

Rupert Read is a philosophy professor. He is also a frequent spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion on national TV here in the UK where I live.

Yes we do need to act on climate change. But we need to be informed by science. He is surely well grounded in philosophy. However, what he says in the video about climate science is mistaken.

He titles his video:

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An Argument For Exercising Before Breakfast

Nov 06 2019 - 05:11

Exercise is recommended for people who are overweight or obese as a way to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But people don’t always have time to exercise as much as they would like, so finding ways to increase the health benefits of exercise is important. Our latest research has found a way to do just that, and it’s to do with timing. This means you might be able to get away with doing less exercise if other commitments, such as family and work, always seem to get in the way.

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At Some Point Modern 'Star Wars' Writers Are Just Trolling Us With This Parsec Stuff

Nov 05 2019 - 18:11
I didn't see "Star Wars" when I was in theaters the first time. We were poor and living in rural Pennsylvania and never went to a movie as a family, but I did see it when it was re-released in 1981, after "The Empire Strikes Back." They had given it a new name ("A New Hope") but it retained an old gaffe.(1)

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How Does Solar Power Work?

Nov 05 2019 - 16:11

How do solar panels work? – Nathan, age 5, Melbourne, Australia.

The Sun produces a lot of energy called solar energy. Australia gets 20,000 times more energy from the Sun each day than we do from oil, gas and coal. This solar energy will continue for as long as the Sun lives, which is another 5 billion years.

Solar panels are made of solar cells, which is the part that turns the solar energy in sunlight into electricity.

Solar cells make electricity directly from sunlight. It is the most trusted energy technology ever made, which is why it is used on satellites in space and in remote places on Earth where it is hard to fix problems.

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Arbitrary Targets Made The Paris Agreement Useless - And The US Does More Without Being Involved Than Russia And Asia Anyway

Nov 05 2019 - 11:11
In 2014, the world's top polluter, China, told the United States president they unequivocally  would not even discuss emissions caps or targets until 2030 and American speechwriters quickly tried to spin that into a positive. China had never even agreed on a future date before, they rationalized, so that was progress.

Well, not really, but it was as much as almost everyone else was going to do under the Paris Climate Agreement.

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November 5th, Guy Fawkes And The Gunpowder Plot: Torture And Persecution In Fact And Fiction

Nov 05 2019 - 09:11

In 1605, England’s parliament was sitting on a powder keg, literally. Like now, the country was bitterly divided between two factions, with religion at the heart of the schism after the Reformation pitted Protestants and Catholics against each other in a life or death struggle. History tells us that instead of seeking a political solution such as an election, a group of 13 Catholic conspirators plotted to blow up parliament.

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No Cities WON’T Be Erased By 2050 - Millions More ALREADY Living Below Sea Level Than Was Thought - Protected By Dikes

Nov 05 2019 - 05:11

This is running with click bait titles suggesting massively more people are at risk of sea level flooding than before. But it’s just better elevation maps. The sea level rise is the same but more people than they thought are already living below sea level protected by dikes, as for Holland.

It makes no difference at all if the elevation data is already good. Example story to debunk:

This is mainly due to an increase in their estimate of the number of people currently below sea level (many people already live below sea level not just Netherlands). They estimate that

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US Alone Gives Notice To Withdraw From Paris Climate Accord - Not For Pittsburgh City - Agreement Remains Strong (with Meme)

Nov 05 2019 - 04:11

This is the first day that countries can give their one year notification to leave the Paris agreement. It's no surprise that the US has given notification. But he is not speaking for the city of Pittsburgh, who have taken strong action on climate change for over a decade, and many others in the US are in support of the agreement. Withdrawal is largely symbolic, and won't change anything, as there is no longer central federal support for climate action in the US as is.

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If You Are A Biologist, You Should Stop Giving Money To AAAS Right Now

Nov 04 2019 - 10:11
In February, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a bombastic press release to announce its 2019 Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility was going to to Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana, anti-glyphosate protesters who claim a causal connection between glyphosate and chronic kidney disease.

AAAS has long been a political body, its leadership has come solely from one political party for the last 35 years. and that means it is often going to pick and choose the science it accepts based on its political skew. But a whole lot of Democratic scientists are in biotechnology, they recognize the consensus on glyphosate and GMOs is even greater than it is climate change, and the blowback to this award announcement happened rapidly.

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