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Help with explaining the difference between real science and

  1. Aug 18, 2015 #1


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    ...real science and corporate backed bias.

    I've been having a debate over several issues with a, well he works for the same company, but we don't see each other, so I don't know if I should call him a coworker or not.

    He refuses to do any fact checking, one recent thing (about 5 mins ago) he claimed that volcanos emit more CO2 than fossil fuels, when actually it's less than 1% annually.

    He's a mortgage broker, probably in his 50s or 60s, and I cannot get through to him. He keeps arguing out of his arse, and claiming things are fact when they are not. We've argued over Trumps immigration claim, about them pretty much all being rapists and .... lol

    I just got an email that was full of ad hominem and generalizations about how conservatives are intrinsically more unbiased than liberals, so if he's resorting to that, I'm just gonna drop it. I may or may not post back.... Jesus H. Christ, some people...
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  3. Aug 18, 2015 #2


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    Well, have you fact-checked his claims that liberals are more biased? Because it has been my experience that, about certain things, they are.

    For example, this thread started with the phrase "corporate backed bias." This presupposes a great deal of claims that are not in evidence. And it very nearly qualifies you for a Godwin. Generally speaking when I meet people who talk about how biased other people are, I think of it as a shortcut. You don't really want to discuss these issues. You want people to agree with you without having to justify your positions.

    I won't try to chase you through such crapulent goo as immigration policy. I will make a side-long sneering reference to people who vote the straight liberal ticket so that they can get their lawn care cheap. But whatever. I have more forum-on-topic fish to fry.

    Just as one example: You probably think that government spending on science is a good thing. If not, then cheers. The rest of this post is not for you.


    In fact, every two dollars spent on science by government decreases the total spent on science by one dollar. That's right. If government gets out of the road and leaves it to private activity (those dreaded corporations) they will spend 50 percent more on science. And pure research like particle physics, astronomy, and other stuff that is not usually thought of as a priority for companies that want to make a profit.

    I will stand here for a moment while you sputter about "corporate backed bias."

    What happens when a company wants some research done? Consider a transistor company, and they want some research on solid state, and they don't want to do it in-house. They have to find out what motivates an academic. And that comes under the very broad heading of academic freedom.

    What comes under that heading? Well some of it is money. But it is also things like the right to publish your work and read other people's published results. The right to go to conferences or places with some special resource like a lab or an archive. The right to have a visiting speaker or guest colleague now and then. A nice library with subscriptions to various things and services. An interesting lecture presented by other departments in the university now and then. The ability to take grad students. The ability to get a reasonable computer. And so on.

    So the transistor company wants some solid state research. They drop a stack of cash on the solid state physics types. And the only restrictions are that the transistor company have a chance to make a profit. This may mean the researcher wait to publish until the company has it patented. Or implemented in their new chips. Or the details may be behind a non-disclosure requiring any other academic to sign the non-disclosure to get the details.

    At the same time the company drops a stack of cash on the university for the uni to do whatever they like. So the academics can decide what is the best way to spend that money. And the uni can spend it on science or the arts or a new library or sending people to a paleontology dig in Alberta or whatever they decide is best. The company literally does not care.

    The result is, private "corporate backed bias" is towards about 50 percent more cash for all forms of science, and the rest of the university as well. With far fewer restrictions and constraints on what they do or what they work on.

    So it turns out that the only way one would advocate for government spending on science was if you were biased towards government power for the sake of government power. Because government involvement shrinks support for science. And puts it under a lot more restrictions placed there by non-academics. People who advocate for government involvement do it because they like bigger, more powerful, and more intrusive government.

    So, whose bias?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. Aug 18, 2015 #3


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    No I haven't fact checked it. For two reasons, mainly:
    I'm almost positive it was directed at me (part of the ad hominem)
    and I've checked out quite a bit of what he claimed was "fact", provided multiple sources, and he has refused to provided (literally) a single one. I've gotten the "I'm going to lunch, I'll have to look up where I got those numbers from 5 minutes ago" and then nothing, multiple times.
    Honestly, that part of it is irrelevant.

    As to the rest of your post, you're comparing apples to oranges. If you read my post, you would see that what we were "debating" is almost entirely political. Solid state research is hardly political. All I was really referencing, I worded it poorly I admit, was that NASA is a more credible source that a partison backed research fund, or a research fund backed by big oil. That's what I meant when I said corporate backed bias.

    I don't really know about all that. I could see a transistor company doing lots of research in solid state, as your example, but I don't see private companies dropping cash for the search for the 4th neutrino predicted by SUSY. Not saying it couldn't happen, but it would have to be Elon Musk or someone for me to think that it might actually happen. If it happened, it would have happened, and I would be amazed. I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

    I appreciate the response, and I know you're trying to get me to look at me rather than at him, but he's trying to argue with no basis. I am trying to get him to realize this, but, he hasn't responded back since I called him out on the ad hominem. So it's really irrelevant.
    Just to give you a taste:
    OMG, you are too funny. * federal murders out of 14,000 murders. You sight BS, I point it out to you and you say I make your point. Well played but I didn’t make your point.
    What I have found over years of experience is liberals have their conclusion and then search and cherry pick stats to prove their point. Conservatives tend to look at honest info and draw conclusions. I won’t say their conclusions make sense, just that they are honest about it. I also find most liberals take those cherry picked stats as facts and fight like heck and can’t see the world through any other view. These murder stats really make my point. So does global warming…..liberals can not see any other view and take opinion or theory as fact. Man made global warming is a theory and not close to a fact. "

    From a 50+ Y.O.
    1 of probably 50 or so e-mails.
    I have actually found it to be the other way around, personally. He's referencing the fact that I chose NASA as my primary source for global warming statistics and that I used cis (Center for Immigration Studies) as my primary source on immigration stats, among others. That is my cherry picking he's referring to, but generalizing it to most liberals.

    So you don't have to agree with me, and neither does he, but he does need to site credible sources. That's all.
  5. Aug 18, 2015 #4


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    I should also clarify, before you call me out on the first line, that the point I was trying to make was that the statistics were skewed, because federally, only 8 murders were prosecuted that were commited by illegal immigrants. You can't generalize from 8 to 14,000. So he did, in fact, make my point.
  6. Aug 18, 2015 #5


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    Well, which is it? Is an oil-backed entity (NASA) credible or not?

    Oh, you mean you still believe that government science is good science, and corporate science is bad, even after I gave you the source on why it is not.

    You are doing exactly what you accuse this guy of doing. And you are also doing exactly what this guy accuses you of doing.

    By the way, the NASA data shows the hiatus is now 18 years. Most climate models are now wrong by three sigma, and getting worse all the time. The hiatus is longer than the period from 1973 to 1998 when we actually saw warming. What does an 18 year hiatus mean? It means that there are forces involved that are at least as large and at least as fast acting as any effect of CO2. And these are not included in the models. Hence the models are cruft.
  7. Aug 18, 2015 #6


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    Whee! Only federally prosecuted murders count! I don't even need to know any of the context. Just WHEE!
  8. Aug 18, 2015 #7


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    I'm not saying that, intrinsically, oil-backed entities are non-credible.

    You linked me a book on amazon. (I'm assuming, shopping is blocked) Was I supposed to have read it by now?

    What I'm saying is that if a group performing research is being funded by a group that is extremely biased, then you need to check multiple places. Honestly, at the end of the day, global warming got brought up by me arguing for renewables > carbon fuels.

    The three sigma very well may be, I don't know. I didn't bother looking up the stats on that, because I honestly don't care.

    Seeing as how you have that "advisor" under your name, you should probably not troll. It looks bad on PF.

    Aggain, I'm not worried about what the models predict, because that wasn't the original argument, the original argument actually stemmed because I brought up Bernie Sanders.

    Let's just drop this because it's getting really pointless. The question was how to get someone to check sources, not why I suck, but that's whatever. Peace.
  9. Aug 18, 2015 #8


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    Hey man, you win. This wasn't meant to be a political debate, but you felt the need to take it there.

  10. Aug 18, 2015 #9


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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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