Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Global Warming will not harm biodiversity



The people getting all jazzed up about global warming and biodiversity, if they care so much, should  spend some of their energy attempting to understand what they are talking about.

Genetic differences are not all equally important nor are they all equally hard-won. Important characteristics will suffer no appreciable effect from a few degrees change in temperature, wandering water tables or whatever. Climate change, even in the highly unlikely event that it follows the path predicted by alarmists, will have a negligible impact on biodiversity.

In the time that it has taken to evolve the higher animals, the earth has undergone many changes significantly more radical than the modest changes in climate that even the most nutty alarmist predicts.

If one examines the various adaptations as they currently exist, it is quite clear that life on earth has endured changes of temperature larger than the worst case projected by the IPCC. These temperature changes are common enough that life here has evolved to rapidly accommodate them. Our evolutionary environment spans millions or even billions of years depending upon which characteristic you are examining. The fact that so many species can accommodate such wide temperature variations demonstrates that temperatures have varied up and down over a fairly wide range many times. Had that evolutionary pressure not existed, we would not see these elaborate adaptations.

Species extinction is a fundamental aspect of evolution. Species are constantly going extinct and it does little ultimate harm to our genetic 'wealth'. That is because *important* diversity that allows living things to radiate into new environments is extremely well conserved. Characteristics cross species boundaries and very important things like DNA replication span phyla. Entire broad categories of living things could become extinct without greatly injuring the earth's genetic wealth.

Whatever is ultimately important in terms of 'biodiversity' as represented in a Polar Bear, for instance, will survive even when (a long, long time from now), the Polar Bear species (Ursus maritimus) itself becomes extinct. In terms of genetic diversity, the 'maritimus' is just a modest evolutionary variant of the genus Ursus. Ursus is in no danger of going anywhere, even if some of its branches (as in the past) die off. It is the 'Ursus' that is holding nearly all of the genetic 'capital'. The characteristic of 'bearness' is not going anywhere, likely for millions of more years.

Like the rest of the fatuous 'catastrophic climate change' narrative, the notion that the genetic capital of the earth is in jeopardy contradicts both well established principles of science and common sense.

One of the beauties of mathematics and science is that it is ultimately immune to assaults such as the current one being waged by global warming alarmists. Wide-spread bureaucratic corruption has allowed this bizarre quasi-religious meme to persist for an astonishingly long time. The current 'climate science' orthodoxy says we have impending global disaster, which we must mitigate at an expense that cripples the world's poor. It is at odds with the entirety of the balance of science and mathematics.

Like Lysenkoism, which lasted for decades, this nonsense has lasted years and threatens to persist for many more. Like Lysenkoism, it has done much damage. It will continue to accumulate damage as long as it lasts. Like Lysenkoism, it will eventually collapse because it is ideological rather than scientific.

Eventually, as funding is redirected to more reasonable pursuits, we will close this sorry chapter in the social history of science. In the meantime we have convinced a generation that strong belief, self-righteous moral conviction and a notion that the ends justify the means is somehow a substitute for learning, understanding and an appreciation for ethical boundaries.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Modern Alert Screen

Modern Alert Screen

I have some ongoing design notes that I add to every now and then. It is sometimes when I get a brainstorm about how to do something  new or better. More often than not it is prompted by something so old, bad, stupid and annoying that it forces me to pay attention. Just about three years ago, I encountered one of those profoundly annoying status alerts. It took the focus away from what I was working on. It started hijacking my keystrokes. It forced me to stop what I was doing and make sense of their idiotic message. For whatever reason, this really sent me over the edge. The impertinence of these journeyman programmers is sometimes more than I can bear. 

I stopped that day to create the mother of all annoying alerts and put into it every one of the annoying practices these things foist upon us. As ridiculous as it may seem, every single one of these items are based on real events that happen with real software. It is entirely impossible to exaggerate how bad these things are. They may not all be combined in one screen, but more than one often is, and some companies come dangerously close to incorporating all of them somewhere. 



Let's review these: 

Helper Process:chkSomethingUnnecessary, Launched by process YouNeverHeard Of, subSystemNotRequired, component of jnkStuffA VendorInstalledWithout My Permission:: Starting Startup Stage 3, sub-stage 11,work unit 18:initialize array.

Info:193 work units remain, 5 sub-stages remain, 7 stages remain, 4 sections remain, 3 components remaining. Notifications remaining (est): 88,620,

Just reporting back that the system is at a stage that we thought was noteworthy. We thought it was important enough to not only interrupt your work immediately, but stop it completely until you attend to this application.

Alert:You are running the CrippleWare version of WhoKnowsOrCaresWhatItDoes (TM) by eBanditSoft (SM), Customer Relations Experience Enhancement Program (CREEP) division of Canukistan country office of North American unit of supra-national quasiCriminalOligoSoft LLC (R), which requires you to restart the program again every 90 minutes. Click on the upgrade button to upgrade to something functional. Have your Credit Card and your 16 digit alpha-numeric customer code handy and we will issue you your 120 digit alphanumeric activation and decripplification code.

Time remaining (est based on user history average time of 6sec to dismiss dialogs):6 days, 3 hrs, 42 min, 0

Alert:Critical Security Update is available. It is strongly recommended that you install it. Uncheck 'update now' option to install later. Update takes only a few minutes to install and a single reboot.

Note:You must be a Certified eBandit (TM) Administrator. Click 'LearnOnline' button to enroll. Spaces are limited, so please sign up and take advantage of the 10% early bird registration (R) discount.

Our customers are our most important asset. We hope this product has delighted you by exceeding your expectations. Please take a moment and click the survey button to tell us how we are doing with this particular dialog. We know your time is valuable, so we will issue you 1,000 customer loyalty points (expiry in 60 days) if you complete another survey within 30 days. Even though you have no choice, we promise (TM) to work hard to keep your business! (Some Restrictions Apply).

For your convenience, you can uncheck the survey checkbox to complete it later. This feedback is only for this dialog. Product feedback will be requested on the 'Thank You' dialog when the system shuts down.

[X] I want to take the survey [TakeSurveyButton] [X] I wish to receive third party offers.

[X] Sign me up for courses. [SignUpNowButton] [X] My participation is voluntary.

For legal reasons, this dialog will not dismiss until you agree that you have read, agree you understand and have consulted with appropriate legal representation in your jurisdiction that are conversant with the governing jurisdictions for all contracts both express and implied by the checkboxes you must check to continue. By clicking 'OK', you agree to waive any and all rights beyond those specifically stated in the enclosed licenses. In the event of a dispute, you agree that the decision of International Terran Simplicity Universal Creative Knowledge Systems (ITSUCKS) (TM) is final. This agreement and its provisions are CONFIDENTIAL.

[X] I have seen and understand this message.
[X] I have into this and any future agreements freely without inducement of any kind.
[X] I have read, understand, and agree to any and all legal documents associated with this product now and in the future. I waive any and all rights I have.

Activation Code
[PIQIHP][RPC207][BXJN56][PUYX4M][QH4VEC][8S1M4B][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

You can't do anything until you acknowledge the fact that this line of code has started. Please enter your customer number, password and your key file and click OK.

Linguistic Loot: The Secret Behind English's Global Charm

In the grand bazaar of languages, English is the shopaholic, ever eager to fill its lexical cart with linguistic souvenirs from around the g...