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Sadri Hassani
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Let's eliminate pseudoscience!
Let's eliminate pseudoscience!

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You may have seen this, but it's worth seeing again!
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Alternative Facts: Brainwashed in a Democracy

Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” in the news did not pop up into our political consciousness out of thin air. First, our social consciousness had to be molded into accepting other forms of alternative facts, aka pseudoscience. A prerequisite for this acceptance was the dissemination of unfounded information by individuals in whom the public had unquestionable trust.

The Oprah Effect refers to the impact that an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, or an endorsement by Oprah Winfrey, can have on a business. Those who follow pop culture have watched Oprah’s turn-to-gold touch for decades -- on books and magazines, movies and television, fashion and lifestyle products, politics and political causes, and making stars out of nobodies she has embraced. Where would  psychologist Dr. Phil and health-expert Dr. Oz be if Oprah hadn't reached out and touched them? Mind-body guru Deepak Chopra, financial adviser Suze Orman, and lifestyle designer Nate Berkus are all celebrities because of their appearances on Oprah. Not to mention Barack Obama: where would he be had Oprah not helped elect him president?

But there is a darker side to The Oprah Effect. It is the effect that baseless and pseudoscientific nonsense promoted by Oprah has on the mind of her viewers.

http://skepticaleducator.org/uncategorized/alternative-facts-brainwashed-in-a-democracy/


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This is particularly important in light of the new administration's war on climate.

NOAA Was Right

deniers are a bunch of ignorant blowhards


In the summer of 2015, a team of federal scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a blockbuster paper in Science that appeared to wipe away one of global warming doubters’ favorite arguments.

The skeptics had for years suggested that following the then-record warm year of 1998 and throughout the beginning of the 21st century, global warming had slowed down or “paused.”

But the 2015 paper, led by NOAA’s Thomas Karl, employed an update to the agency’s influential temperature dataset, and in particular to its record of the planet’s ocean temperatures, to suggest that really, the recent period was perfectly consistent with the much longer warming trend.

This didn’t merely surprise some scientists (who had been busily studying why global warming had appeared to moderate its rate somewhat in the early 21st century). It actually led to a congressional subpoena from Rep. Lamar Smith, chair of the House Committee on Science, who charged that “NOAA’s decision to readjust historical temperature records has broad national implications” and requested more information on why NOAA had made the dataset adjustment, including data and communications from the scientists involved.


That controversy is likely to be stirred anew in the wake of a new study, published in Science Advances, that finds the NOAA scientists did the right thing in adjusting their dataset.

In particular, the new research suggests that the NOAA scientists correctly adjusted their record of ocean temperatures in light of known biases in some observing systems — and indeed, that keepers of other top global temperature datasets should do likewise.

“We pretty robustly showed that NOAA got it right,” said study author Zeke Hausfather, a Ph.D. student at the University of California-Berkeley and a researcher with Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit consortium that has reanalyzed the Earth’s temperatures.

“There was no cooking of the books, there’s no politically motivated twisting of the data.”



II.  The New Study & Reconciling The Data


To understand the new study — which gets complicated fast, as it dances back and forth between different datasets — you first need to understand the biggest issue underlying the original NOAA analysis.

This involved reconciling the data from two separate ways of measuring temperatures at or near the surface of the planet’s oceans (which are the largest component of determining its overall temperature).

One data source was global ships, which draw in ocean water in their engine rooms and take its temperature.

Key parts of the past ocean temperature record are based on these reports.

The other data source is buoys, which float in the water, take measurements, and relay the results to satellites. In general, buoys have been relied upon more for measurements beginning in the 1990s, as they have become more widely deployed.

They are, naturally, a more direct measurement, one less mediated by physical ships and fallible humans.

But the increasing use of buoys created an issue of reconciling the two data sources to piece together a seamless and continuous record — and NOAA was, essentially, siding with the buoys when it comes to accuracy.

“The ship data are systematically warmer than the buoy data,” NOAA explained in the controversial study. (After all, ship engines are relatively warm places.) It also said that the buoy data are “more accurate and reliable.”

Failing to account for this difference, once the shift from ship data to buoy data occurred, had led NOAA’s temperature record to be too cold — and also appeared to dampen the overall rate of global warming.

So to better patch together a long term temperature record necessarily reliant on both data sources, NOAA used a “bias correction” to take this into account, and more generally gave greater weight to the buoy data, in updating its dataset.

This highly technical switch, in turn, had the effect of increasing the overall warming of the oceans in the new dataset — and helping to wipe out claims that there’d been any recent slowdown in the rate of climate change.



more...




III.   helpful links:


[https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/marineocean-data/extended-reconstructed-sea-surface-temperature-ersst-v4]



Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records

[http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/1/e1601207]

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We can neutralize Trump's war on climate state by state!

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John Dewey is arguably the most influential American educator. Virtually all current philosophies of education practiced in America have been influenced by Dewey and his philosophy of pragmatism. His ideas, over half a century after his death, are still resonating in many educational circles. This article takes an in-depth look at Dewey's philosophy of education and illustrates its effect on math and science education. http://ow.ly/LAgh302mv82

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John Dewey is arguably the most influential American educator. Virtually all current philosophies of education practiced in America have been influenced by Dewey and his philosophy of pragmatism. His ideas, over half a century after his death, are still resonating in many educational circles. This article takes an in-depth look at Dewey's philosophy of education and illustrates its effect on math and science education. http://ow.ly/LAgh302mv82

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John Dewey is arguably the most influential American educator. Virtually all current philosophies of education practiced in America have been influenced by Dewey and his philosophy of pragmatism. His ideas, over half a century after his death, are still resonating in many educational circles. This article takes an in-depth look at Dewey's philosophy of education and illustrates its effect on math and science education. http://ow.ly/LAgh302mv82

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John Dewey is arguably the most influential American educator. Virtually all current philosophies of education practiced in America have been influenced by Dewey and his philosophy of pragmatism. His ideas, over half a century after his death, are still resonating in many educational circles. This article takes an in-depth look at Dewey's philosophy of education and illustrates its effect on math and science education. http://ow.ly/LAgh302mv82

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Not all memorization is "rote"

There is a lot of controversy surrounding memorization in teaching (especially teaching of of math and physics). Some educators recommend against it while others advocate "drilling" as a tool for learning. This article clearly identifies two modes of memorization, and illustrates them by two multiple-choice questions. It documents the advantage -- even necessity -- of one kind of memorization and the uselessness of the other.
http://skepticaleducator.org/education/the-triply-four-letter-word-of-

Post has attachment
Not all memorization is "rote"

There is a lot of controversy surrounding memorization in teaching (especially teaching of of math and physics). Some educators recommend against it while others advocate "drilling" as a tool for learning. This article clearly identifies two modes of memorization, and illustrates them by two multiple-choice questions. It documents the advantage -- even necessity -- of one kind of memorization and the uselessness of the other.
http://skepticaleducator.org/education/the-triply-four-letter-word-of-mathphysics-education/
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