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Aaron Coakley
Lives in Peoria, IL
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Aaron Coakley

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Time Sellers!!!  Closed Caption - Voice to Text Irregularities

Something I just stumbled upon... I was watching a playlist on my Chromecast and noticed how bad the closed captioning was, so I went to the PC to get some screen-shots and the CC was much better.

Try this video on your chromecast and desktop starting around the 2:09 mark
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Good talk about the past, present and future of online education
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Triangulation 234 was a good interview between Leo and Jonathan. This is the Ted talk they discussed at the end of the episode.
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Good collection, Chris.
There is No Scientific Training Which Can Guard Against the Desire to Obtain a Particular Result / The History of Science Records a Number of Significant Examples Where the Entire Scientific Community Falls Prey to a Common Delusion

Unexpected: Parallax is Very Small Because Stars Are Farther Away than Expected

From William Broad and Nicholas Wade, "Self-deception and Gullibility," Betrayers of the Truth (New York, 1982), pp. 107-108

"In 1669, the distinguished English physicist, Robert Hooke, made a wonderful discovery. He obtained the long-sought proof of Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the solar system by demonstrating stellar parallax -- a perceived difference in [the] position of a star due to the Earth's motion around the Sun. One of the first to use a telescope for this purpose, Hooke observed the star Gamma Draconis and soon reported to the Royal Society that he had found what he was looking for: The star had a parallax of almost [30] seconds of arc. Here, at last, was impeccable experimental proof of the Copernican theory.

This heartening triumph of empirical science was only momentarily dashed when the Frenchman, Jean Picard, announced he had observed the star Alpha Lyrae by the same method but had failed to find any parallax at all. A few years later, England's first Astronomer Royal, the brilliant observer, John Flamsteed, reported that the Pole Star had a parallax of at least [40] seconds.

Hooke and Flamsteed, outstanding scientists of their day, are leading lights in the history of science. But they fell victim to an effect that, to this day, has continued to trap ... scientists in its treacherous coils. It is the phenomenon of experimenter expectancy, or, seeing what you want to see. There is, indeed, a stellar parallax, but, because of the vast distances of all stars from Earth, the parallax is extremely small -- about [1] second of arc. It cannot be detected by the relatively crude telescopes used by Hooke and Flamsteed.

Self-deception is a problem of pervasive importance in science. The most rigorous training in objective observations is often a feeble defense against the desire to obtain a particular result. Time and again, an experimenter's expectation of what he will see has shaped the data he recorded to the detriment of the truth. This unconscious shaping of results can come about in numerous, subtle ways. Nor is it a phenomenon that affects only individuals. Sometimes a whole community of researchers falls prey to a common delusion ....

Expectancy leads to self-deception, and self-deception leads to the propensity to be deceived by others."

Also Unexpected: Parallax is Only Accurate to 1% the Diameter of the Milky Way

"Triangulation, or trigonometric parallax, is a direct way of using the measured angular difference from two positions to measure the distance to some object. By observing a star's position relative to the background stars from opposite sides of our orbit about the Sun, we have a wide baseline that will allow us to get an angular difference from observations 6 months apart and be able to measure the distance to something as far away as a star.

The Earth averages about 93 million miles from the Sun, so that is its nearly-circular orbit's radius. This distance is often called an astronomical unit (AU) in astronomy. So the distance from one side of the Earth's orbit to the opposite side is 2 AU, or about 186 million miles. When we measure the angle to the nearest star (Alpha Centauri) from one side of the orbit, wait six months, and measure it again, we find that the angular difference is rather small, requiring enormous precision of measurement ...

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its automated Hipparcos satellite telescope to take measurements of over 118,000 stars during its lifetime from 1989–1993. Mission: improve the precision of catalogued locations of many stars and update the Tycho and Tycho 2 catalogs. Out of the newly measured parallaxes, 20,870 stars met the criterion of having 10% or less stellar parallax error.

Even with the more accurate Hipparcos satellite data, distance measurements to stars out to around 200-220 light-years have up to 10% error, and they are increasingly less accurate out to about 500 light-years. Beyond that, trigonometric parallax measurements should not be considered reliable. Pogge, in the link above to his Lecture 5, claims Hipparcos data give "good distances out to 1000 light-years", yet an estimated distance of only 500 light years with ±20%–30% error is already off by too much to be of much use. 1000 light-years is an almost incomprehensible distance, yet it is only about 1% of the way across our Milky Way galaxy.

(assuming, of course, that we've correctly identified the diameter of the Milky Way)

There Have Been Many Instances Where Expectations Led the Entire Scientific Community Astray

Some of the more well-known examples ...

1.  The maser, the laser's precursor, was originally thought by the most respected quantum theorists of the day to be impossible.  See the story here:

2.  When radio waves were first observed from space by radio engineers, they were assumed by astronomers to be either a hoax or a mistake.  Learn the history here:

3.  When Robert Goddard, the inventor of the rocket, suggested that science fiction books were right -- that we could indeed go to the Moon with rockets -- he was ridiculed for not knowing that a rocket would have nothing to push against in space (his critics obviously not understanding Newton's laws of motion).  This ridicule continued virtually all the way up to the point that that the Nazis were raining ICBMs down upon London in 1944.  See that incredible story here:

#science   #bias   #parallax  
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There is of course The 9/11 Affair where we do not have a physical or virtual model of the north tower collapse.  Only 14 years and counting.  LOL
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I want solar, too... I agree that if you aren't going to go completely off-grid, then sharing the infrastructure costs is only fair.

I would be happy with the solar being used in 2-stage hot water, air conditioning and maybe the refrigerator.  I would want to either run them off of a line-interactive or double-conversion topology UPS , or convert as much as possible in the house to DC and skip the inverters where I could like a car/semi/RV/off-grid.
Christopher Vallo's profile photoGreg Curtis (pSyONiDe)'s profile photo
I agree they should factor in the infrastructure costs, but the percentages they are shooting for being based on the idea that "only the wealthy" are buying in is going to make it even more difficult for anyone out of that top tier to get in the solar game.

In the last year it had become more and more affordable, with it crossing those lines into lower income homes. All of a sudden they (power companies) fear for their own pockets, and pull the reigns real hard.

It'll result in the Fed sticking their noses in and getting things stabilized, but it will take too long and in the time being, the shift will slow enough that big energy will have compensated, and solar will have to start all over again.
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Break free of the religious dogma and question everything.
Big Science: A Term Used by Scientists and Historians of Science to Describe a Change in the Way We Do Science Towards Larger-scale Projects / Occurred in Industrial Nations During and After WWII / The Idea Rests Upon an Assumption that Spending More Money Will Automatically Generate New Technology / Bruce G Charlton Has Something To Tell You About This

Pages 4-13:

"Not Even Trying: The Corruption of Real Science
Bruce G. Charlton
First Published in Great Britain in 2012

Since the later 19th century, science has, with each generation, broken-up into smaller and smaller specializations, and become more and more career focused.

For a while this specialization led to greater achievement, since it allowed the devotion of more time and effort to solving more manageable problems.  Yet each new-generation specialist had been educated in a more generalist tradition -- which acted as a drag on the tendency to fragmentation and incoherence.

However, specialization continued past this optimal point, and into less-and-less functional fragmentation -- such that science lost unity and specialism lost the ability to serve as mutual checks.

Science gradually became nothing but isolated and irrefutable micro-specialisms.

Apparently, therefore, specialization was a slippery slope for science: such that once science had stepped-onto the slippery slope of specialization, it could not stop the process, even when the science had slid far beyond the point at which specialization was helpful.

From Real Science to Generic Bureaucracy

At some point over the past several decades, science stopped being real and evolved into its current state of being merely a research-based variant of generic bureaucracy.

This was increasingly clear to aware observers from the 1960s, and indeed to the most astute observers (such as Erwin Chargaff) from several decades earlier.  But now it is so obvious that only ignorance or dishonesty prevents it being universally acknowledged.

However, bureaucracies are systematically ignorant, and dishonesty is now institutional and compulsory, therefore the disappearance of real science is not acknowledged but instead vehemently denied, and steady, incremental progress is claimed!

Science presumably always was done among humans -- albeit at a very low prevalence; technological breakthroughs have tended to accumulate -- albeit with interruptions and local reversals -- throughout recorded history; but modernity happened because real scientific breakthroughs came so think-and-fast that increasing efficiency out-ran increasing population -- and humanity escaped what Gregory Clark has called the Malthusian Trap.

So far, the thesis is relatively uncontroversial.  But if modernity depends on the take-off of real science, upon what does the take-off of real science depend?

My answer is creative genius.

My understanding is that real science grew fast -- especially in the populations of Northern Europe -- by recruiting from an increased pool of 'creative geniuses' who were motivated to do science.  This I regard as the essential underpinning of modernity.

The take-off of science therefore depended on two main things: 1. a sufficient concentration of creative genius focused on scientific problems plus 2. a modest degree of cognitive specialization.

That is to say, smart and creative people working cooperatively on relatively-specific 'scientific problems.'

And that, more or less, is my definition of science..

Merely that.

So, real science is smart and creative people working cooperatively on scientific problems.

But science proved so useful that it became professionalized, and initially this seemed to accelerate progress considerably.  The first few generations of professional scientists from the later 1800s into the twentieth century were immensely productive of significant scientific breakthroughs.

Science seemed very obviously useful -- the presumption was that even-more science would be even-more useful ...

And so the growth of professional science continued, and continued ...

Until it out-grew the supply of creative geniuses and had to recruit from uncreative but very smart people -- but continued growing ...

Until it then out-grew the supply of uncreative but very smart people, then it had to recruit from uncreative, only moderately smart but hard-working people -- but continued growing ...

And so on and on, until 'science' consisted of whomsoever who would do specific narrow technical and managerial jobs at the wage and conditions on offer.

That's where we are now ...

More importantly, professional science initially recruited only those who regarded the pursuit of truth as an iron law (and dishonesty was punished by expulsion from science).

Yet, due to professionalization, science increasingly attracted careerists rather than truth-seekers.

(Truth-seekers are typically resistant to bureaucratic organization; and bureaucratic organization is intrinsically hostile to truth-seekers.)

The professionalization of science having eliminated those who were internally-motivated to seek truth; various formal mechanisms and procedures were introduced to try and deal with purely careerist motivations.  These mostly amount to peer review mechanisms (peer review = the opinion of a group of senior colleagues).

So, instead of truth-seeking, a filter of committee evaluations was applied to ever-more-blatantly careerist individual behavior.

And science continued to grow -- recruiting less-and-less honest personnel until ...

... until untalented, unmotivated and dishonest career-oriented professional scientists became a large majority within science and included most of the most successful researchers; thus careerists took over the peer review evaluation procedures such as to impose their values; and 'science' became nothing but a 'professional research bureaucracy'.

I Wasn't Actually Doing Science

Looking back on 25 years in professional research -- I am forced to admit that, although I certainly tried, I wasn't actually doing science.

I began professional science in 1984 -- or, at least, that's what I thought I was doing.

Since then I worked in and across a variety of fields: neuro-endocrinology (brain transmitters and blood hormones) in relation to psychiatry; the anatomy and physiology of the adrenal gland (especially from 1989), epidemiology (statistics of health and disease, from about 1991); evolutionary psychology (evolutionary aspects of human behaviour including psychiatric illness and the psycho-active drugs, from 1994); systems theory (understanding complex biological organization, from about 2001); and from 2003-10 I edited an international journal of ideas publishing work from the whole of medicine -- and sometimes beyond.

In all of these areas and some others I found serious problems with the existing scientific literature: errors, inconsistencies, wrong framing of problems.

(I don't mean serious problems in-my-opinion; I mean that problems objectively, undeniably serious to any honest, informed and competent observer prepared to think for more than five consecutive minutes or two steps of logic -- whichever comes first.

I was not shocked -- after all, this is what science is supposedly about, most of the time -- providing the negative feedback to correct the wrong stuff.

After all, science is not at any time-point supposedly to be wholly-correct, rather it is conceptualized as a system of intrinsic self-correction.

(Generating distinctive new lines of true and useful scientific work is what we would all prefer to do, in other words to be original -- but only a few who are both very lucky and very able are able to achieve this.)

My assumption was that -- as the years rolled by -- I would have the satisfaction of seeing the wrong things tested, discredited, discarded and replaced with more-correct knowledge.  Error would be eliminated; truth built-upon.  So that overall, and in the long term, science would progress.

This is what was supposed to happen.

Well, it hasn't happened.

It hasn't happened in any of the scientific fields with which I am familiar or of which I have any knowledge.  Indeed, instead, much that was true and useful has been lost while much that is utterly worthless -- dishonest, incoherent, useless -- has thriven.

A few decades ago one could assume that published work was honest and competent (except in specific cases); now one must assume that published work is dishonest and incompetent (except in specific cases).

A few decades ago one could assume that high status ('successful') scientists were honest and competent (except in specific cases); now one must assume that famous and powerful scientists are dishonest and incompetent (except in specific cases).

Overall it seems that things have gone backwards, and not just slightly.

Yet research activity (personnel, funding, publishing, communicating) have all increased exponentially -- doubling in volume every 15 or so years (doubling every decade in medical research.  And China has exploded with research activity in the past 10 years).

So there has been massive expansion of inputs with first stagnation then decline of outputs.  Something has gone terribly wrong: not just slightly wrong, but terribly wrong.

So, I must conclude that although I believed I was participating in something called science, something that I thought I understood from the writings of Jacob Bronowski and Karl Popper and from reading the great genius scientists of the past -- it turns out that I wasn't really doing science at all.

I was 'going through the motions' of doing science, true; but the machinery of science was broken, and the work I was trying to do, and the work of those whom I respected, was like a free-spinning-cog -- disconnected from mainstream activity.

If real science is that done from truth seeking motives and communicated truthfully, then this kind of science had zero impact on the mainstream.

Get this -- real science had become detached from professional research, technology and policy; and (most important) detached from practice; detached from career success, status, funding, publication, prizes and awards ...

Real science had become a thing done for subjective personal satisfaction, merely a lifestyle choice -- nobody else was interested.

Maybe real science was being done, maybe it was published, maybe it was cited, maybe it was funded, maybe people made careers from doing it?

But in the end, real science did not make any difference: real science had become just a private hobby.

Those few who were lucky enough to find a niche that supported real science did so by accident; not by necessity; and the niches were shrinking all the time.

And we who thought we were participating in the group activity of real science were deluded -- pleasantly deluded, perhaps; but deluded."

#science   #specialization   #genius  
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Aaron Coakley

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can we just remove the capslock key now?  Watching someone type with capslock on or using the capslock key to enter [capslock]P[capslock]assword is soooo... disconcerting.  Long Description does not HAVE to be LONG DESCRIPTION people!
Good God, first postage is getting cheaper, now NWS broadcasts will use lower case letters? What's next? WHAT'S NEXT?
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Studies commissioned by APS and TASC have hugely different approaches to solar valuation, but share an important piece of common ground.
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"Everything"... this would include even apparent Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
The Forgotten History of the "Electron Worldview"

Many thanks to my knowledgeable friend, Don Berk, for pointing this out.  Comes from Quantum Generations: A History of Physics in the Twentieth Century, by Helge Kragh.  See Original at ...

#theoryofeverything   #electron  
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so instead physics turned to quantum mechanics? Interesting...
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If we were truly honest, we'd hear more turn-arounds like this than we do.
What I find interesting in this article is the way the study tried accounting for publication bias.

h/t +Amelior Deliberator 
Nearly 20 years ago, psychologists Roy Baumeister and Dianne Tice, a married couple at Case Western Reserve University, devised a foundational experime ...
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When people find out that my bachelors was in Pyschology rather than something more related to the field I work in (IT), they ask why I didn't pursue the degree further. My response has generally been, "as an undergraduate, I was compelled to complete coursework in six different subfields in psychology. Where the sub-fields overlapped, the pretty much wholly disagreed. I came to the conclusion that if each sub-field disagrees with the other, then the chance of one actually being right was less than the likelihood of them all simply being wrong. I couldn't commit myself to a field that I suspected had at least as high a chance of being wrong as right."  Thus, I took my Bachelors and only ever had use for the jobs that had "must have 4yr degree" as a requirement.

Then again, I'm only representative of me. I don't expect anyone could or would want to try to replicate my thought process. ;)
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Electronics Engineer
Basic Information
I void warranties
Comment on my posts and I may add you back, I subscribe to the asymmetric following theory.


  • Electronics Engineer
  • Many types of geek:  Electronics, Computers, Woodworking, Metalwork, Outdoors, Automobiles, Mechanical, Boating
  • Jack of many trades, Master of a few.
  • In a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.  At-least enough to be dangerous in most things
  • Willing to tackle any challenge, but humble and smart enough to know when it's time to call in the experts or buy/borrow/rent the heavy equipment
  • If the task can be accomplished by someone who's not a 10 year veteran with millions of dollars worth of tools, I will usually attempt to learn the skill, buy the tools, and do the job myself
A few specifics
  • Build my own computers and networks
  • Do all my own home repairs
  • My Chevy truck has 302,000 miles, mostly self-maintained.

  • Operating Systems: Ubuntu Linux, Android, Windows
  • Electronics CAD: Altium P-CAD 2006 (Heavy dislike for the new designer platform)
  • Automobile: Chevrolet Trucks, Dodge Cars
  • Tools: DeWalt, Craftsman, Stanley, Fluke, Agilent
  • Sports: Those I'm actually participating at-least peripherally in
Work Duties
  • Design schematic and pcb for new electronic products
  • Lead product teams for new product designs
  • PCB design and layout
  • Software specification and testing
  • Mechanical specification and testing
  • Life cycle testing
  • Component selection and sourcing
  • Equipment maintenance, training and support, Robotic and Non-Robotic
  • Design for Manufacture
  • Product safety & FMEA
  • Standards based design: UL, CSA, CE
  • Support production of current and legacy electronic products
  • Industrial machinery consulting for Plastics assembly
  • IT and phone infrastructure and support for my remote location
  • Data retention
IEEE member

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Peoria, IL
Green Rock, IL - Colona, IL - Pekin, IL
Rooms were nice and clean. Staff friendly. Valet parking was responsive. Close to many nice restaurants and bars. We were on the 10th floor and getting hot water flowing into the shower took a very long time initially. You don't normally expect too much for continental breakfast at a hotel, but we regularly choose Hampton partially for the better than average breakfast and Saturday was severely disappointing and Sunday was only OK compared to expectations.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Wonderful authentic Irish fare in the heart of the downtown action. We have many lovely Irish bars near home that we all love and pretend to be this, but they pale in comparison and the goal-post has been set to a new high. On a Sunday morning as we were trying to find a place for brunch with less than an hour wait, they were one of the few that actually had some open tables, but this was clearly either because the parking situation is scary or because the idea of a pub for breakfast isn't people's first intuition, however for those, only the parking fear is half justified.
• • •
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
18 reviews
Cozy bar with more than the regular pub menu served later than anywhere else and something for everyone to drink.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
Great lunch buffet. Popular St Louis style pizza. New and clean facilities. Friendly and helpful staff. Great service.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago