Federico Pistono's blog


Debunking a Climate-Change denier

"The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."(from /.)

And for those who still can't face reality, here's the empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming. It still amazes me how people don't realise the most fundamental and undeniable facts of nature. The deniers' arguments are always the same, poorly researched, very confuse, and sound like a broken record. Furthermore, science should be taken seriously, and unless you know what you are saying and have the factual backup to support, you should have the decency to shut up. That's why bloggers and journalists typically report what actual scientists say, by reading their publications or specialised magazines, but don't actually do research. Climate deniers, amazingly enough, do just the opposite. They don't study, they don't have any respect for the peer-review process, and they only present unproved, untested, original research, with the typical excuse: "It's only logical. No, it is not.

The confusion in their minds is probably caused by a sense of frustration, which is caused itself by other confused ideas they have. For instance, it's one thing to recognise the fact of global warming, and a completely different one accepting a carbon tax, a regulation, cap and trade or any other type of monetary reform. The former one is science, and the latter is politics, things that often take different directions, if not always being divergent. I don't think any of the proposed solution is going to solve the problem, to me they seem only badly designed patchwork, they don't address the real issues. The cause of the problem is the sick values that this society is proposing, the need for cyclical consumption of goods and services, the fact that it's economically convenient to pollute rather than not, that efficiency and sustainability are intrinsically enemies of a monetary based society.

I know what you are thinking. Here comes the idealist, the communist, the socialist, the utopian, or whatever label may come to a mind. Until we realise that social problems result from scarcity, that when a few nations control most of the world's resources, there are going to be international disputes no matter how many laws or treaties are signed. If we wish to end war, crime, hunger, poverty, territorial disputes, and nationalism, we must work toward a future in which all resources are accepted as the common heritage of all people.

Before you close this post, or mark it as nonsense, take some time to watch these videos. You might be surprised.

Peter Joseph: "Where are we going?" Nov. 15th '09 1/2 from peter joseph on Vimeo.

Peter Joseph: "Where are we going?" Nov. 15th '09 | 2/2 from peter joseph on Vimeo.


Just because the math works doesn't mean it's true

Genius comment on /.

As part of a psychological experiment, two single men, a physicist and mathematician, were placed in an otherwise empty room with a beautiful naked women at the far end.

They were instructed that they'd be allowed to close half the distance to the women every 10 minutes. Disgusted at the obvious subterfuge, the mathematician walked away in disgust. But the physicist stayed behind, occasionally glancing at his watch.

The experimenters looked puzzled, then asked the physicist, "You do realize, of course, that mathematically speaking, you can never actually reach the woman?"

"Naturally", replied the physicist, looking up. "But I can sure get close enough for all practical purposes!"


The great String Theory debate: Brian Greene and Lawrence Krauss

Wed., March 28, 7 p.m.

It comes down to this: Are all things in nature actually super-tiny bits of strings that are vibrating strands of energy? If so, string theory would merge general relativity and quantum mechanics, and would explain the origin of space, time, and the universe itself. Or is the theory, as some critics claim, just extraordinarily complex mathematics which may have nothing to do with physics and a theory of nothing, not everything? If so, physicists are back to the drawing board in their quest for the Holy Grail of physics'an ultimate theory of everything.

Lawrence Krauss and Brian Greene, two world-renowned physicists, square off in a spirited debate and discussion moderated by noted cosmologist Michael Turner. Greene's research focuses on superstring theory, which proposes a quantum theory of gravity as well as a unified theory of all forces and matter. This requires that the universe have 10 or 11 dimensions, not just the 4 we're aware of.

Krauss works at the boundary of particle physics and astrophysics, cosmology, and general relativity. His research deals with black holes, the very early universe, the future of the universe, dark matter, and dark energy. He is sceptical about string theory because it has yet to make a prediction that can be verified by experiment and has not solved any major physical puzzles about nature, including why the expansion of the universe is speeding up, the most profound question of our time.

Greene is a professor of physics and professor of mathematics at Columbia University; Krauss is Ambrose Swasey professor of physics and a professor of astronomy at Case Western Reserve University; and Turner is the Rauner Distinguished Service professor in the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago.

The Dept. of Energy's Office of Science (www.science.doe.gov) is the United States' largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences.

I took the audio from HoodedHawk (thanks!), merged, polished and uploaded to the archive.


I'm sick

That's it. I'm sick. Again. But this time is different. I'm sick of it all.

I'm sick of being ill all the time, of this constant and unbearable pollution that surrounds me.

I'm sick of all the cars, trucks, motorbikes, and moped that grind around, the stench is suffocating, the noise is ear-crushing.

I'm sick of the incinerators, the cement plants, the industries, the nuclear waste, the destruction of biodiversity, the depletion of the soil, I'm sick of Monsanto, Coca Cola, Dupont, and all the sick criminals that run them.

I'm sick of all the lies.

I'm sick of bureaucracy, of wasting days in useless procedures that don't bring me anywhere. I'm sick of signing papers, making photos, sending applications forms, go to the civic hall and find it closed when it's supposed to be opened.

I'm sick of this rotten food that we buy, of all the supermarkets that eat you up and choke you.

I'm sick of living with people I don't know or I don't like.

I'm sick of not being able to speak about these things, because they are depressing, and we should always pretend, pretend to be happy, don't spoil the party, don't be such an asshole, why so serious?

But most of all, I'm sick of all the people that don't see these things, all the idiots that play this this death game of monopoly, they don't give a shit about the billions of people starving to death, of those who drink filthy water and die of diarrhoea, of those who vomit blood since the day they were born because of the pollution of their rivers and their soil, of which we are responsible.

I'm sick of all the people who defend this sick society, who don't realise the symbiotic relationship that we have with our planet.

I'm sick of all the people who look away, who think that "our" kids are more important than "their" kids.

I'm sick of this false moralists, of the meaningless superstitions, religions, pseudoscience, and ignorance that permeates our subculture.

I'm sick of television.

That's it, I'm leaving this place. I'll move out from all these cars and trucks, a new house, where I live with somebody I trust and I like, where I can see the trees and the changing of the seasons not by looking at the forecast, but by looking at the leaves falling.

For now. And if that's not enough, I'll move out of this country. And if that's not enough, I'll move to a freaking ecovillage in the middle of a forest.

So long, my friends.


Happy Newton Day!

On this day, one of the greatest man of the history of mankind was born. It was December 25th, 1642,, when sir Isaac Newton came to this Earth.


Newton was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, theologian and one of the most influential men in human history. His Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, is considered to be the most influential book in the history of science. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries and is the basis for modern engineering.

Newton showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the scientific revolution.

In mechanics, Newton enunciated the principles of conservation of momentum and angular momentum. In optics, he built the first “practical” reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into a visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound.

In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of the differential and integral calculus. He also demonstrated the generalized binomial theorem, developed the so-called “Newton’s method” for approximating the zeroes of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.

Newton’s stature among scientists remains at the very top rank, as demonstrated by a 2005 survey of scientists in Britain’s Royal Society asking who had the greater effect on the history of science, Newton was deemed much more influential than Albert Einstein.

A truly great man, let us remember him, on this day of secular jubilee.

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