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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29 February - Articles of Note

2008 NASA Great Moonbuggy Race: Carleton Unive...2008 NASA Great Moonbuggy Race: Carleton University (2/26/09) (Photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center)
Cost per Megabase of DNA Sequence (Why biologi...Cost per Megabase of DNA Sequence (Why biologists panic about compute) (Photo credit: dullhunk)
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Boeing 367-80 Jet...Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Boeing 367-80 Jet Transport, with Concorde, Fox Alpha, Air France in the background (Photo credit: Chris Devers)
Two Bombardier Talent low-floor DMUs on the O-...Image via Wikipedia
English: Avro Jet engine located at Carleton U...Image via Wikipedia
The Rideau Canal in summer, just south of Dow'...Image via Wikipedia
English: Carleton University from the south. T...Image via Wikipedia

Heartland agent at Carleton University

An associate of the Heartland Institute, the thinktank devoted to discrediting climate change, taught a course at a top Canadian university that contained more than 140 false, biased and misleading claims about climate science, an expert audit has found.
The course at Ottawa's Carleton University, which is being accused of bias, was taught for four terms from 2009-2011 by Tom Harris, a featured expert at the Heartland Institute.

The Mound of Sound said...
Boris, what I don't get is how those involved from Carleton either overlooked or ignored this guy's history. This really makes no sense and the "academic freedom" excuse Carleton is peddling sounds like someone there is furiously trying to cover his ass. Knowing that The Guardian is on this can't sit well with Carleton. If they don't get to the bottom of this their reputation is in the toilet - again.

Blogger opit said...
I guess your vote in support of 'conventional wisdom' - as conveniently supplied by the corporate press - is in.  Honestly, I don't understand how people who think they are labouring to free themselves from prejudice cannot do the legwork necessary to evaluate the case for proposing that all alternative thought to the predictions espoused by the so called Green movement is corporate scandal - and that conformity to some politically whacked standard of acceptable truth is consistent with a so called free society. Another college professor, Dennis Rancourt, got the heave ho in conjunction with leading a class project to evaluate the proposal. Horrors. The students said anthropogenic global warming was b.s. ! Higher education is supposed to teach independent investigation BTW I don't know if you see any connection with other demonizing of independent thought. It has gone to the point that people believe you unhinged unless you meekly submit to your conditioning.  Case in point. "Since its origins, the IPCC has been open and explicit about seeking to generate a ‘scientific consensus’ around climate change and especially about the role of humans in climate change" http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/18115/ That's InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change....not a scientific agency of independent investigation. I tend to rant about the role of politics in selling prophecy as science. That is the result of chasing the idea of a case against AGW for over 2 years now. It's not a popular pursuit. One must be immune to slander about the intelligence and orientation of one who considers the exercise hogwash enabling an international tax on the use of fire.  The UN proposes an emergency and the UN gets to play with literally trillions in revenue if they can make it fly. Everybody loses sovereignty.  Canadians especially ought to Red Flag such proposals : we've been burned a few times. "Post Normal Science, its culture and how it retards learning in our universities" http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/187-post-normal-science-its-culture-and-how-it-retards-learning-in-our-universities

How Expensive is it to Track Internet Usage?

One of the aspects of the Bill C-30 story that puzzles me as a network technician is the concept that it will cost ISPs gobs of money to install the equipment necessary to log customer traffic once a warrant has been issued. Today it was reported that the cost will be "$80 million dollars"

What is this $80 million for? Is this to buy equipment at the ISP or is this to cover costs incurred by the federal government to setup some sort of bureaucracy to support the bill? I hate costs without details of what those costs are to be. What most people don't realize is that the capability to log and monitor traffic is baked into most network equipment already. Almost any network equipment sold to businesses has mirror or span port capability built in.

Playing Devil's Advocate on Bill C-30

I assume that if you are reading this, you are already aware of the furor over the "lawful access" provisions in the unintentionally humorously titled "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act"* which is more formally (and more accurately) titled "An Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts" AKA Bill C-30.
Another privacy concern is that police departments will create databases based on the content collected from TSPs. In that database will be the history of all the data obtained from TSPs. To my mind, this contradicts the meaning of Part I section 17: "19. Information that is provided in response to a request made under subsection 16(1) or 17(1) must not, without the consent of the individual to whom it relates, be used by the agency in which the designated person or police officer is employed except for the purpose for which the information was obtained or for a use consistent with that purpose." I find it quite the stretch for a police department to claim that a database archive of all this data is a use consistent with the purpose of the original request

HarperCon Crime Ideology Drives Me Crazy

The only "right" I am interested in as a citizen is the "right" to a safe and prosperous society for everyone. So that means I support pre-crime (heh) policies that reduce or eliminate the circumstances that encourage crime (poverty, lack of education, lack of neighborhood programs, smarter drug policies, etc. etc.)

To sum up the Harper approach so far:
1) Make sure convicted criminals go to prison longer than they have been in the past
2) Do nothing to speed up the trial process so that accused criminals stay in prison longer before they are convicted.
3) Deny parole more often so that convicts stay behind bars and have no incentive to atone for their crimes and change their behaviour.
4) Take away measures that help convicts learn skills and humanize their experiences (ending of prison farms)
5) Remove any financial assistance so that released ex-con lose all dignity and any possibility of supporting themselves when released into society.

( So the next time you hear Cons tout 'small government'...laugh out loud

FBI anti-terrorism expert: TSA is useless

  a former FBI Special Agent and head of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force Al Qaeda squad, says that the TSA is useless. He says that they don't catch terrorists. He says they won't catch terrorists. He says that they can't catch terrorists

An Utter Waste Of Time

Question Period is supposed to be a means to maintain accountability. The whole concept revolves around the notion of the government answering to the issues of the day, the opposition playing its role in holding them to account, that’s the theory. In practice, an embarrassing display of nonsensical answers, it’s as though two parallel worlds exist that can never collide, just get the charade over with, make it until 3pm and everyone gets out of jail. Should anything of substance actually transpire, this is a seismic event, an anomaly that is really a byproduct of random chance, dumb luck, rather than true intent.

People who need a slap

using social media to draw attention to information already in the Public Domain as a response to proposed fascist legislation is EXACTLY like rendering meaningless the votes of swaths of the Canadian electorate and making a mockery of our very democracy. 

The Six "S" of Scandal Stickiness 

From my experience, there are 6 keys to a scandal "sticking", so let's see how Robocon stacks up. Robocon has more potential to inflict damage on Harper and the Conservatives than anything they've faced during their 6 years in power. Whether or not it does will depend on who exactly was involved.

Let Women’s History Month Begin!

 Gerda Lerner, one of the first American women’s historians, said in 1986, “When I started working on women’s history about thirty years ago, the field did not exist. People didn’t think that women had a history worth knowing.” Women’s History Month as it’s celebrated now wasn’t established until 1987, expanded to the whole month six years after Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Barbara Mikulski co-sponsored a a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week

Introducing The Radical Women’s History Project

(  :)  That business about the word HIStory likely refers to state sanctioned accounts in the style of royal biographers : absent inconvenient truths. That's not sexism so much as arrogance of the privileged.  )

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