Archive for the ‘idiocracy’ Category

..is despicable.

They take clearly too little water.
They take it clearly too slowly.

They idle far too much at the beginning.
They idle far too much at the end.

They do not offer fast forward capability like mechanical machines did.
They do not show their current status like mechanical machines did.
They’re often broken like mechanical machines were.

They make it unclear which programs have pre-wash and which don’t.
They make everything else pretty unclear too, like what a particular button does.

An ideal washing machine:
Large intake hose (or two if it is a model that takes warm water too where district heating or wood heating is available). When the user presses start, the machine starts taking water at full speed at that precise microsecond, unless it is gauging the weight of the laundry.
Laundry weighing will be done in a few spins, after which water intake commences with no delay.
A display shows the state of the machine. At least the following states are displayable: pre-wash, wash, rinse, spin.
A fast forward mechanism moves the machine to the next state.
A stop mechanism stops the machine in any state.
After the laundry is spun, the machine can spin slowly and reverse a few times to unstick the clothes from the drum walls, but this can be stopped and the laundry removed from the drum immediately.
The spin is braked so it doesn’t take minutes to coast down.
The temperature of the wash can be changed even if the program or wash has already started without having to reset or flush.
The spin cycle can be enabled or disabled even if the program or spin has already started without having to reset or flush.
Extra water can be enabled in the middle of the program.
etc etc.

All this was possible with seventies mechanical logic industrial washing machines. Note that almost all of it is pure logic whose cost is pretty much exactly zero once you’ve developed it, and other things like large hoses are trivial improvements.

If you will use this specification when designing a washing machine, then send me a machine: I will test it and say what improvements still have to be made.

Read Full Post »

of how journalism is interpreted too, or how to drop your company’s stock 15% in a simple interview which has nothing peculiar in it…

Read Full Post »

The whole climategate affair was a quite successful smear campaign where the press was played easily. Michael Tobis has more and you can comment there if you want or on the blogs he links to.

If you want to get someone convicted of murder, just accuse him of two. The stupid “truth is in the middle” crowd will then feel like reasonable good guys by sentencing him from one. Or maybe if they’re journalists, just widely circulate the accusations – they will certainly make people’s life harder even if they had no basis whatsoever.

Read Full Post »

Surveying Some Scientific Publications

So, some guys did a study on who are the top names in climate sciences, by how many publications and how many cites they have etc.. They also looked at what published petitions people had signed so they could have an easy way to check their views and found out that “climate sceptics” have few cited climate publications. Pretty straightforward, as all this is public knowledge.

Naturally it doesn’t tell anything directly about a science. It’s just a survey or a meta research paper.

The paper here.

Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

Stoat has more. And Michael Tobis more and more elaborately and in a larger view.

I’ll close the comments for a while as I’m spending the midsummer elsewhere and these kind of posts tend to attract comments that have to be responded.

Read Full Post »

How does a corporation respond to a disaster it has created? By seeking the best PR strategy by polling around which response might look like the best move! Is this for real? Thanks to Things Break.

Read Full Post »

Local is not Global

global temperature anomaly map for January 2010

RSS Satellite Temperature, January 2010 Anomaly

Some people in the blue islets say and have been saying it’s been cold. It has been, locally, in the US, Europe and Siberia. But globally averaged, January 2010 was warm. At least according to this data. They’ll be checking it thoroughly since January only ended a few days ago.

Anyway, it’s one of the beginner fallacies to extrapolate globally from a local (or short time) situation, and it seems to sit very tight even among some engineer friends of mine who should clearly know better. It’s “cold here now hence IPCC is wrong” or some variation thereof, like Peter Sinclair reviewed a year and again a few weeks ago.

Read Full Post »

BEGIN EDIT: I think I misread the Britannica part. Netherlands has half of it’s area highly developed and half of that highly developed area is low lying, so a quarter of the total. END EDIT

The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced

IPCC AR4 Working group II Chapter 12.2.3.

If this too is wrong, you bet the WG1 people are pissed off.  (WG1 is the scientific basis, WG2 the effects and WG3 is the mitigation ways working group of IPCC.)

But it seems Britannica has information in similar vein:

The Netherlands is bounded by the North Sea to the north and west, Germany to the east, and Belgium to the south. If the Netherlands were to lose the protection of its dunes and dikes, the most densely populated part of the country would be inundated (largely by the sea but also in part by the rivers). This highly developed part of the Netherlands, which generally does not lie higher than about three feet (one metre) above sea level, covers more than half the total area of the country. About half of this area (more than one-fourth of the total area of the country) actually lies below sea level.

So, the question becomes tides and how sea level is measured: if it’s the mean sea level, then even low stuff over sea level is unlivable because of the tides (unless you put dikes and pump it dry of course).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »