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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/14/20 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    Decades of gerrymandered districts, voter suppression, power concentrated in the hands of only 2 parties, tribal us/them indoctrination where people vote party over person or policy, plus massive, unlimited, anonymous inflows of money into politics has allowed the craziest and most extreme candidates to “represent” us. The Republican Party saw a wave of extreme representatives come to power after the Great Recession with the anger of the Tea Party movement, has spent years denying basic facts on topics like evolution and climate change and tax cuts paying for themselves and all of that fertilized the ground for conspiracy thinking and treating their opinions as if they are equivalent to other people’s facts. This led then to an opening where the entire party experienced a hostile takeover in the 2016 election where Republicans were too afraid follow their conscience, to speak out against Trump, or to vote in favor of his impeachment. They put personal power over health of the nation and correctly calculated that their own voters liked Trump more than they liked them so they needed to fall in line or leave. Now it’s mostly just a cult who thinks people on the left are subhuman garbage in need of a bullet to the face and these divisions are being actively stoked by state actors like Russia, China, and Iran and are being further amplified by US citizens themselves who have plugged into QAnon and other actual fake news sources.
  2. 1 point
    "Strange chemical in clouds of Venus defies explanation. Could it be a sign of life?" https://www.space.com/venus-clouds-possible-life-chemical-discovery.html
  3. 1 point
    Where is the overstatement? (I don't intend that as a belligerent observation, but a genuine query as to what you think was overstated.) They do not 'headline' the possible evidence for life - the title speaks of the detection of phosphine They refer in the abstract to the apparent presence of phosphine. They detaill the abiotic routes to phosphine they have eliminated and note that a biotic source is suggested through analogy with its terrestrial production, not via any demonstrable pathway. They searched carefully all current databases for other possible chemical species that might have been responsible for the transition signature. They discuss at some length within the paper and the supplementary material what abiotic processes they have considered and why they have rejected them. They caution that other phosphene transitions should be sought in order to solidfy or disprove their belief that phosphene is responsible They note that "Even if confirmed, we emphasize that the detection of PH3 is not robust evidence for life, only for anomalous and unexplained chemistry." Where is the overstatement in all that? i genuinely don't see it.
  4. 1 point
    I’ll admit this isn’t an area I know much about but the results seem a bit (a lot?) overstated. They aren’t even completely sure it’s phosphine. I read somewhere that the rotational transition they measured could also be within the same region that SO2 might absorb on a planet with H2SO4 clouds. Is this accurate?
  5. 1 point
    There needs to be a mechanism to prevent such overreach, regardless of who is in power.
  6. 1 point
    In a very naive sense, sure. Learning the top 100 things that can kill you might add stress; instead of a generic knowledge that things could kill you, now you know specifics (plus, people are bad at assessing risk, especially when it's small). But this knowledge means you can take steps to reduce the risk of these things killing you, so ultimately this represents less stress overall. Where do vague talking points show up on the list?
  7. 1 point
    Not going to watch a 6 minute video to look for where he says that. As swansont points out, there is no such thing as 'the gravity'. It needs to be more specific. The gravitational potential above the surface of some mass is -GM/r, which is proportional to M/r, so perhaps by 'the gravity' he means gravitational potential. It can be expressed in the same units as velocity.
  8. 1 point
    There were pandemics before there were humans. There are still pandemics that sweep through the non-human animals and we don't usually notice them (we did spot a few recently- frogs, bats and, at least locally, dolphins). Nothing that humans do will stop pandemics. What we can do is recognise this fact and plan accordingly For example, we can choose political leaders who don't try to pretend that they pandemics do not exist. And we can support those politicians who recognise the importance of national and international cooperation.
  9. 1 point
    It was a dig on the assumption that things will be better after a second Trump presidency. But to be fair, even if Biden wins, I am not sure how much is ultimately salvagable. Social media for example has succeeded in creating custom-made alternative realities for folks, ultimately disruption any discourse one might have. If we cannot agree on what is real, how can we agree on how to deal with issues? I fear that in the long run folks will be able to fully manipulate the way we consume and communicate information to such a degree that democracy becomes nothing more than a meme. And right now we see that certain actors such as China and Russia have been very successful at this and especially right-wing political groups are gleefully embracing it.
  10. 1 point
    It assumes that you have both liquid water and air with water vapor. And it means that equilibrium has been reached and as much water is evaporating from the liquid phase as water from the air is condensating. So the air has as much water as it can have at that pressure and temperature. Thereby the "saturated" word. So the key is: above that pressure, water from the air would condense. I hope that helps and I didn't make any mistake --it's been a while and I'm a bit busy with other matters so I'm making mistakes lately.
  11. 1 point
    Or a future Gibbon will write of The Decline and Fall of the West.
  12. 1 point
    Do you have multiple Python installations? The installation you just did in the shell would be in whatever Python installation path you have in the system PATH variable if you're using Windows, so you should be fine if you run the Python script from the Shell. If you're using an IDE it might be using a different Python path.
  13. 1 point
    Very nice, Moontanman... as you once proposed and I accepted as more logical.
  14. 1 point
    Very interesting piece of news. Thank you. +1 Although, AFAIK, Mars' surface is very homogeneous, I wonder if one could detect signs of past transport phenomena, normally associated to glaciers, like erratics. Something like that would definitely clinch the case, IMO. Or maybe Mars' geology is just too boring to hope for that. Scratching patterns could be another sign. Maybe also difficult to see on Mars' surface, as Martian soil is generally soft and windswept.
  15. 1 point
    Why often repeated, it is worthwhile to add that evolution is not about anything. It is just the consequence of the way genetics and reproduction works.
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