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Archive for September, 2007

An example of Confirmation Bias

I’ve had some time on my hands this evening and read some "conservative" political blogs.  Politics is the art of making decisions with insufficient evidence to firmly support one decision over another. Thus, unlike hard science, it is a subject of hot and passionate debate. In addition to lack of firm evidence supporting one view over another, we tend to be socially imprinted with a certain philosophical and political outlook early in live. For a good fraction of us, it is very hard to later re-evaluate views and opinions that we "soaked up" early in life as new...Continue Reading »

Politics and Society JJG 25 Sep 2007 20:54 No Comments

Dianne Feinstein, symbol of the worthless Beltway Democrat

Ours is a great country not because of our political leadership but in spite of it. Despite electing some of the most incompetent politicians we still manage to get by, although lately it has become a little harder than usual. Case in point: Understanding the Bush-enabling and base-hating behavior of the “liberal” California Democrat reveals much about the failures of the 2007 Congress.

read more | digg...Continue Reading »

Politics and Society JJG 24 Sep 2007 00:15 No Comments

Our national priorities

Yesterday the U.S. Senate has voted down the restoration of Habeas Corpus rights for suspected terrorists, thus making it impossible for those people to challenge their indefinite detention. Refusing basic right such as Habeas Corpus to suspected criminals, together with a tacit approval of torture makes the U.S. the laughing stock of the rest of the civilized world. We are no longer respected and admired but ridiculed and feared. However, fear not! Because today the Senate has been able to pass a glorious resolution in response to a MoveOn newspaper add. This resolution condemns "personal...Continue Reading »

Politics and Society JJG 20 Sep 2007 21:52 No Comments

The fate of the universe

The observable universe began in a gigantic explosion about 13 billion years ago. This explosion created everything now known, including space which is currently in an accelerating phase of expansion.

Composition of the Universe

About the major mass-energy...Continue Reading »

Science JJG 19 Sep 2007 12:07 No Comments

The cost of computer memory

Here’s an interesting table: The cost of one gigabyte (1GB) of computer memory over the last 50 years

  • 1956: $10 million
  • 1980: $233,000
  • 1990: $7,700
  • 2000: $ 13.30
  • 2006: $1

Sources: ALTS LLC and PC World. Table figures are not adjusted for inflation.

Computer Tech JJG 18 Sep 2007 20:40 No Comments

The Palestinian Situation

Our esteemed but ineffective Secretary of State, Ms. Rice, is currently traveling to the Middle East, presumably to re-start the always-stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks about peace and the establishment of a permanent, independent Palestinian state. The current U.S. administration has no credibility or moral authority left to deal with either the Palestinians or the much tougher Israelis. Thus nothing but empty gestures and words will come of this ‘effort’. Ms. Rice who I consider to be a abject failure in her job will return home to the U.S., and with much fanfare announce what...Continue Reading »

Politics and Society JJG 18 Sep 2007 13:54 2 Comments

Senator Chuck Hagel on Real Time, 14 Sep 2007

Have a look at this extraordinary interview of Senior Republican Senator from Nebraska, Charles "Chuck" Hagel. 

About the Middle-East:
Sen. Hagel: "Every country in the Middle East is as combustible as it’s been probably in the history of the Middle East. And there’s been no strategic context from this administration on anything. It’s all about tactics. And that is what I think, more than anything else, has gotten us in the mess that we’re in today."

Having General...Continue Reading »

Politics and Society JJG 17 Sep 2007 09:44 No Comments

How to put lipstick on a pig

As expected, our great leader, President Bush, has linked the minor troop withdrawal recommended by his straw man Gen. Petraeus to "progress on the ground" in Iraq. Here’s to the ‘progress on the ground’:

...Continue Reading »

Politics and Society JJG 14 Sep 2007 15:48 No Comments

Exchange Server message: Host unreachable

One of our older Servers runs MS Exchange Server 5.5, which is ancient, but very reliable.  A while back users started to complain that their e-mails were returned as undeliverable. When checking the logs I found that most messages were returned with a “Host unreachable” message. The Internet Mail Service outbound queue filled up and none of the messages got delivered. A simple telnet test showed that the hosts were reachable but the old Exchange 5.5 Server for some unknown reason refused to deliver anything. Googling “Exchange Host Unreachable” revealed a ...Continue Reading »

Computer Tech JJG 14 Sep 2007 10:11 2 Comments

Unbiased thinking is hard work

Let’s define a bias as a pre-conceived notion that may not have any correlation to reality. Everyone’s thinking is subject to such biases which have deleterious effect on decision making, problem solving and learning abilities. Here’s a list of biases to be aware of

The confirmation bias leads us to try to prove our existing notions and hypothesis. Rather than critically looking for evidence that contradicts our pet hypothesis, we try to confirm...Continue Reading »

Science JJG 13 Sep 2007 12:27 2 Comments

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