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Messages - garygreen

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Flat Earth Theory / Re: Gravity vs. Universal Acceleration
« on: December 21, 2013, 08:01:58 PM »
Consider this example:

    Skeptic: "You know what, I've never seen a ghost. I think that ghosts don't exist."

    Believer: "You just made a claim. Burden of proof. Prove that ghosts don't exist!!"

But see, the skeptic did meet the burden. He has never seen a ghost. By default ghosts do not exist until evidence has been presented of their existence. This is why the burden of proof is always on the person with the positive claim. There is already plenty of evidence that something does *not* exist.

You're confusing two different claims.  And this whole 'negative/positive' thing is nonsense.  Those are asinine distinctions, and they're irrelevant to the 'burden of proof' as you see it.

The claim "I am skeptical that ghosts exist" isn't a truth claim (I guess it could be a truth claim about your thoughts, but that's obviously not what's at stake here).  It bears no burden of proof.  It's just an opinion or a state of mind.

The claim "Ghosts do not exist" is a truth claim and bears a burden of proof.  It doesn't matter that if contains a negation.  Check out the thread I started on this exact topic.  It's trivially easy to prove a negative.

1.  If ghosts exist, then irrefutable, reproducible evidence of ghosts exists.
2.  Irrefutable, reproducible evidence of ghosts does not exist.
3.  Therefore, Ghosts do not exist.

Regardless of its soundness, this proof is logically valid.  If you want to assume that any statement featuring a negation is automatically true until proven otherwise, that's your prerogative.  But you're going to run into some issues once you realize that every 'positive' claim can be reformulated into a 'negative' claim.

"It is not the case that ghosts do not exist" means the same thing as "Ghosts exist."  Do you have to automatically assume the former since it has a negation in it?  I mean, it has two of them.  I guess we should doubly assume it to be true, yes?

Science & Alternative Science / Re: The Apollo Hoax
« on: December 21, 2013, 06:21:58 PM »
Some of these issues are addressed in the following videos by SG Collins.  The second video is particularly impressive.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 19, 2013, 04:05:15 PM »
I'll back off my 'maybe the greatest defense ever' comment and settle in at 'top 5 pass defense ever.'
The league average Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt this season is 5.97, which would also be an N.F.L. record. (The previous high was 5.93, set last season.) The Seahawks have allowed just 3.40 ANY/A, easily the best in the league (San Francisco and Carolina are second and third at 4.62 and 4.73). But since the ANY/A league average has been rising for years, we cannot just compare Seattle to teams of yesteryear. We also need to measure how far from the league average each pass defense has performed.

The simplest way to measure deviation from the average is to measure the standard deviation among all pass defenses in the N.F.L. In 2013, the standard deviation of the ANY/A ratings of the 32 teams is 0.93. As a result, Seattleā€™s pass defense is 2.76 standard deviations above the 2013 mean of 5.97. If the Seahawks can maintain that level of dominance, it will rank as the fourth best season since 1970.

By this method, the top pass defense was fielded by Tampa Bay in 2002, the year the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. In 2002, Tampa Bay allowed 2.34 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt; that season, the league average was 5.35 and the standard deviation was again 0.93. As a result, the Tampa Bay pass defense was 3.22 standard deviations better than average. In the postseason, the Buccaneers allowed just three touchdowns while scoring four touchdowns on interception returns.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 19, 2013, 04:21:10 AM »
I also don't get the whole 'Brady lost one game that was important and so he isn't that good' argument.

Who said he wasn't good?  He is fantastic.

Oh.  I took you to be saying that he sucks or something.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 19, 2013, 04:08:48 AM »
I also don't get the whole 'Brady lost one game that was important and so he isn't that good' argument. 

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 19, 2013, 04:08:03 AM »
I'm biased to be sure, and I definitely don't think it's a no-brainer.  The post-merger defenses you all list are pretty spectacular.  But offenses have become remarkably more efficient even since the 01 Ravens, so I'm less inclined to accept that those defenses were better by looking only at point and yardage totals.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: Is it possible to prove a negative?
« on: December 19, 2013, 03:59:23 AM »
From the gravity thread...

It is true that you cannot empirically prove a negative but all this means is that you should not make such a truth claim to begin with unless you want to make an inductive argument. 

One can prove a negative using deduction in the empirical sense you're talking about.  Whether or not the conclusion or the premises of an argument contain negatives doesn't affect the logical validity of the proof.  We can modify the previous example:

If there is a baseball at location X,Y,Z, then my detector will detect photons as from a baseball at location X,Y,Z.
My detector not detect photons as from a baseball at location X,Y,Z.
Therefore, there is not a baseball at location X,Y,Z.

As before, the proof is valid (conclusion must be true if premises are true) even if it isn't sound (all premises are true).  And, we can certainly debate many aspects of the premises.  P1 can certainly be false for many reasons.  We'd need to better define 'baseball.'  P2 could be false if my detector is bad or faulty or insufficient in some way.  The list goes on.  But, the proof is still valid.

I see what you're getting at, though.  The claim 'there are no unicorns anywhere' would be insurmountably difficult to prove.  But, we could still construct valid deductive arguments in such a proof.  They just almost certainly wouldn't be sound.

1.  If the experiment used proper procedures to eliminate sources of error, then those procedures will be mentioned in documents on that experiment.
2.  Those procedures were not mentioned in documents on that experiment.
3.  The experiment did not use proper procedures to eliminate sources of error.

3. Proper procedures to eliminate sources of error were used, but not documented.

Just had to toss that in. ;)

But again, that's a problem with truth of P1, not the conclusion.  The argument might not be sound, but it's still valid.  I'm just being pedantic at this point; I know what you're getting at.  It's a good illustration, though.

Flat Earth Theory / Is it possible to prove a negative?
« on: December 19, 2013, 03:51:00 AM »
tl;dr version: every truth claim has a burden of proof.  it doesn't matter whether or not the claim contains a negation.

I feel like I'm derailing the UA vs. gravity thread, so I'm starting a new one.  This isn't strictly about FET, but it comes up a lot.

It's often claimed in various threads by members of both sides that one cannot proves a negative claim like, "There is no x."  This is a popular belief, and it's completely false.  Deductive reasoning is valid if and only if it is impossible for its premises to be true and its conclusion false.  Deductive reasoning is sound if and only if it is valid and its premises are true.  That's all.  It makes no difference if the premises or conclusions contain negations.

First, all truth claims carry a burden of proof.  Consider the following statement: Barack Obama does not exist.  The statement is not relieved of a burden of proof simply because it contains a negation.  Anyone making this claim would be required to offer evidence supporting the truth of its claim.  This is because all truth claims, negative or positive, carry a burden of proof.

Negative claims can also be proven deductively.  Consider the following argument:

1.  If A, then B. (If A exists, then B exists)
2.  Not B. (B does not exist)
3.  Therefore: not A. (A does not exist)

This argument uses a basic rule of inference called modus tollens, and we just used it to prove a negative: not A.  It's logically valid because if the premises are true, then the conclusion cannot be false.  Whether or not it's sound depends on the truth of the premises.

Let's consider a less abstract example:

If Barack Obama exists, then a birth certificate for Barack Obama exists.
A birth certificate for Barack Obama does not exist.
Therefore, Barack Obama does not exist.

This is a good example because it illustrates a point that is often missed in these discussions.  Notice that we can still argue and debate the truth of premises.  A proof can be both valid and not sound.  Obviously the argument I just made is very unsound (the premises are untrue), but if the premises were true, then it would be a logically valid proof of the conclusion (if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true).

There are obviously a host of other issues that would have to be resolved with the premises (What do we mean by Barack Obama?  Anyone with that name?  The person who is the president?  Does the argument require that the person who is the president be named Barack Obama?).  And, in practice, some conclusions and their associated premises might be too complex in reality for us to resolve; but, the fact that our reasoning includes statements with negatives doesn't make them necessarily irresolvable.

And, we can't just assume that every negative claim is true until proven otherwise.  There's at least one good reason for this: every positive truth claim can be reformulated into a negative one.  It's called double negation.  'x exists' can be rewritten as 'x does not not exist,' or, 'it is not the case that x does not exist.'  If every negative claim is assumed true until proven false, then all claims must be assumed true until proven false.  That is the opposite of skepticism.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 19, 2013, 02:27:55 AM »
I know I'm a homer, but goddamn
Oh?  It is barely noticeable...

I'll take SF in the playoffs.

But I hide it so well.

I certainly wouldn't be shocked if Niners take us down.  I'm a homer, but I'm not stupid.  SF can beat anyone in the league.  I'd still give give the Niners 3 at home against my Hawks, though.  It's a pick'em at worst.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 19, 2013, 01:49:19 AM »
Seattle is clearly the best team in the league.  Their defense might be the best that's ever been on an NFL field.  Richard Sherman plays man coverage with his hands.  Literally, he turns right to the QB at the snap and feels the receiver's cuts with his hands behind him.  I've never seen anything like it.

I know I'm a homer, but goddamn, I don't see what this team is lacking.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: Gravity vs. Universal Acceleration
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:16:06 AM »
For a riveting discussion on my important and groundbreaking opinions on proving negatives, see this thread:

Flat Earth Theory / Re: SpaceX commercial satellite launch
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:01:53 PM »
Tom, what evidence do you think would speak directly to SpaceX's status as a private firm?  What evidence do you think would be sufficient to confirm that SpaceX is private?

If the technology cannot be reproduced by others freely, and is controlled, then the claims that such things have been built, or can be built, are dubious.

Rocket engines can be reproduced by others.  You can go to engineering schools and learn how to build them.  You've only proven that the technology cannot be freely exported to other nations.

If, however, the claims are as dubious as you say, then what kind of evidence would be sufficient to settle one way or the other?  What kind of evidence do you think would be sufficient to confirm their claims?

SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and other rocket designers are all government contractors, operating under government regulation, with facilities on government bases, under direct supervision of government managers. There is no implicit trust of transparency or independence.

In fact, the government uses most of these contracting companies as temp agencies. While you might work for Lockheed Martin by name, the actual work you do for, say the Department of Defense, is done on DOD facilities and under the direct supervision of the government manager. There may be a small Lockheed Martin structure, where you report to your Lockheed Martin supervisor, who then reports to the government manager, but the environment is the same. The government calls the shots, not your contracting company.

Can you provide evidence that any of these things are true of SpaceX?  What evidence do you think would be sufficient to confirm that SpaceX is a private firm?

None of this applies to anything that I talked about in the OP because SpaceX was hired by a private, foreign telecom firm.  That's the point of the OP.  A private company hired another private company to put a satellite into orbit.  It was a success.

That SpaceX was once hired by NASA is irrelevant.  There is a large body of evidence documenting their company's history as a private firm.

That SpaceX is regulated by the government is irrelevant.  So is GM.  So is every business in America.

All you've contributed to this thread so far is weak inductive reasoning.

e: my apologies for the double post.  i thought i was editing my previous post, but i guess i wasn't paying attention to what i was doing.  whoops.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 15, 2013, 08:17:59 PM »
No hate at all, just reality.  They are -1 on the road, so they would be -4 at home.  Dolphins are -105 on the money line so the sharps have no confidence in the Pats in this game.

I bet the Pats this week at +120.  I was surprised it wasn't a pick'em.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: SpaceX commercial satellite launch
« on: December 15, 2013, 04:49:33 PM »
This entire discussion is exactly why I started by asking you what kind of evidence would be sufficient to prove that this case is different so that we can cut to the chase and talk about that evidence.  You know, rather than making a bunch of inductive arguments, speculation, and argument by analogy.  But I forgot that those are your only modes of argument and logic.

Please, though, continue with analogies and inductive reasoning.  Those things suddenly become logically sound and strong arguments when you make them.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: SpaceX commercial satellite launch
« on: December 15, 2013, 03:38:31 PM »
The analogy is apt for several reasons. As admitted, a car engine cannot simply be "scaled up" to reach 800mph. This makes the argument that rocket technology is already available to the public invalid. It necessarily does not follow that because small rockets are possible and exist, that a large one weighing hundreds of tons could exceed the speeds necessary to get into space or achieve escape velocity.

Markjo and I both provided you with schematics and technical documents for the F-1 engine used in the Saturn V launch vehicle.  Your analogy is less persuasive than direct evidence of the thing you say can't exist.  It exists.  I put it right in front of your face.

SpaceX is allowed to build space rockets because they are in league with NASA and the government they have complied with government regulation and oversight. They have facilities at government military and research bases and launch from government launch pads, for crying out loud.

A space program I start in my basement is not allowed to build space rockets because not only is FAA and military clearance required, space rockets are regulated as weapons I haven't done any of those things.


I notice that SpaceX is now simply in league with NASA and not just a front for them.  Again, you're just saying that SpaceX is heavily regulated.  Indeed.  So is Chrysler.

There's also nothing odd about launching your vehicle from a NASA launch pad, especially if NASA is one of your customers.  1) They're already set up to do that sort of thing.  2) It's cheaper than building your own launch pad.  3) What are they supposed to do, fire the thing off in the middle of LA?

You're not grasping my point: all of this 'evidence' is exactly what we would expect from a legitimate, private aerospace firm.

According to ITAR and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, both Launch Vehicles and Rockets are weapons. Even meteorological and sounding rockets are weapons:

ITAR regulates exports.  That's it.  Every regulation you listed pertains to the export of those technologies and materials from US citizens to non-US citizens.  It doesn't prohibit the development or creation of rocket engines in the US.

That document does not prohibit a US citizen from starting a private aerospace firm.

And again, no one is arguing that SpaceX exists in a legal vacuum, exempted from all US laws and regulations.  SpaceX is heavily regulated.  Just like everyone else.

Flat Earth Community / Re: Moon shrimp data
« on: December 15, 2013, 05:48:49 AM »
The much simpler, more obvious, and fact-based explanation is that China's stat-run news agency prepared the article in advance of the event because they're just the mouthpiece for China's propaganda machine.  Xinhua is run by the Propaganda Department.  Literally.  That's what it's called.  Propaganda machines usually aren't super concerned with journalistic ethics.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: SpaceX commercial satellite launch
« on: December 13, 2013, 04:21:38 PM »
Yeah, I'm also pretty confused on what any of this business about car engines has to do with SpaceX's status as a private enterprise.

Suggestions & Concerns / Re: Nominate 5 names for the council.
« on: December 13, 2013, 06:13:54 AM »
Tom Bishop

Flat Earth Theory / Re: SpaceX commercial satellite launch
« on: December 13, 2013, 06:10:10 AM »
As I see it, Tom is making two arguments: 1) SpaceX can't be a genuine third-party because they are so heavily regulated by the government, and 2) SpaceX can't be a genuine third-party because no one but NASA can make rocket engines.

To the first point, the fact that SpaceX is heavily regulated is irrelevant.  The same can be said of every business in America.  I couldn't start a business designing and building my own airplanes without heavy government regulation from many different agencies over many different aspects of my business.  That wouldn't be evidence that my new airplane company is secretly being run by the FAA.

To the second point, you still haven't produced evidence that it's true, or that all orbital rocket technology is classified/illegal/whatever else.  You've only asserted it.  I can't find any example of such a law, and I can find lots of examples of rocket engine schematics and technical diagrams.  Here are a few of them that I found just for the F-1 engine:

Some of these pdfs are large-ish.

There is no reason to believe that SpaceX would be unable to (or prohibited from) design and build their own rocket engines.

I'm still curious to know what kind of evidence you think would be acceptable to get to the truth of the matter.  You can begin to convince me that you're correct by showing me the relevant law that prohibits SpaceX from doing what it alleges it does.  What evidence or source would you be willing to consider as valid evidence that SpaceX is a private entity?

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Official Sports Thread
« on: December 07, 2013, 04:59:42 PM »
junker doesn't believe in variance.

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