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pzkrakz's Avatar Joined about 4 years ago
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Kevorkian Dead at 83 - last commented 24 August 2011 02:55 AM

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Go to: Atheism: the cheapest alternative?

pzkrakz's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by pzkrakz

Despite all the comments above to the contrary, I think that it actually is a good hook. I'd bet that what drives most people in the secular world to atheism/agnosticism it the financial contribution expected. Why pay someone to levy a bunch of arbitrary rules on you? This was the case in my family, no doubt (and thankfully so).

This concept should feed well into the billboard campaigns. Why not open with something like "Want to save $2500/year? Easy, become an atheist." or "... , stop paying charlatans". The $2500 figure is 10% of the median US income for a 25+ high school graduate (one has to think about which group to target).

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 16:40:40 UTC | #949902

Go to: Take a stand for public access to taxpayer funded research

pzkrakz's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by pzkrakz

Can you explain what you mean by potentially corrupt peer review and how the ArXiv and PLoS change this ?

Sorry, I don't always see later posts in a timely manner.

I agree with your second point. If the for-profit journals could accomplish this, then I think that's the way to go. However they don't seem apt to do so, which is why PLoS sprung into place. With ArXiv, the difference is that the author can post the article, and the peer review process begins immediately, much like this forum. I think that fully open 'peer review' in this sense is superior to what we get in the biological or medical sciences.

In principle, having a subset of your expert peers privately judging the validity of a submitted paper pre-press is great, but in practice what often happens is that one or more of those peers can use this as equivalent of scientific 'inside information' to guide their own research, or they in some cases can make esoteric claims against the data. While many, I am sure, are fine playing by the 'honor system', private deliberations over one scientists work, typically by their very competitors, creates unneeded rivalries. If the process were in the open, those same reviewers could air their concerns about the data or conclusions, but their comments would also be subject to 'peer review'.

Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:53:26 UTC | #949494

Go to: Religious conversation and the Socratic method

pzkrakz's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by pzkrakz

Seems to me that the best evidence for God not existing (other than the fact that one need not prove such a thing in the first place) is the suffering humans, and other creatures, are capable of by virtue of our nervous system. And how this is put to work throughout history to torment the innocent, whether by malice or pure accident. This DOES NOT COMPUTE in the face of a benevolent creator. Keep going back to that argument; there are so many examples throughout history.

If that doesn't work, I suggest that you purchase multiple copies of the Brick Testament, which can be had for like $10 on Amazon. As RD has pointed out, religious texts are poetic. They conjure many interpretations. IMO, nothing brings it home better than seeing accurate (yet benign) depictions of described events. For those who profess biblical truth, but fail to read the texts, I think this book is our best resource.

Tue, 19 Jun 2012 22:08:57 UTC | #947879

Go to: Take a stand for public access to taxpayer funded research

pzkrakz's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by pzkrakz

Comment 2 by Jos Gibbons :

Haven't we already achieved this with ArXiv?

Yes, for the physics and math communities, but there are great strides being made in other disciplines, such as the cell and molecular sciences, that are relegated to paid subscription. Out of bounds for most. ArXiv and PLoS are great examples of how things should be. It turns the potentially corrupt peer review process on it's head as well, which is useful. That said, there is a reasonable argument that this shouldn't be handed over to governments/academics completely. Rather, I think the corporate owners need to find better business models that enable them to profit from more efficient delivery while increasing access. It's the same problem the journalistic world is struggling with now. My $0.02

Thu, 24 May 2012 14:20:58 UTC | #943286

Go to: Ancient walking mystery deepens

pzkrakz's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by pzkrakz

This is going to be fodder for the creationists... even if it remains fully supportive of evolution.

Thu, 24 May 2012 13:52:22 UTC | #943280

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