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General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by grmcdorman on January 18, 2020, 05:44:20 PM »
There is a large number of people who do not support him, yes.

Thing is, he didn't get a majority of the vote. While the US is somewhat more skewed than most due to gerrymandering and the Electoral College system, any first past the post system suffers from a similar defect. This happened here in Ontario, Canada in the last provincial election: the party that won got only 40% of the vote. However, every other party got less than that.

The US also has the problem that the party lines have become so entrenched that there's almost no switching; Trump still enjoys a significant percentage of support in Republican voters, and has absolutely dismal support in Democrat Party voters. It's also got to the point that people loyal to one party automatically discount anything said or supported by the other party (although I hope the Democrat voters aren't quite as bad there).
The Hoax Theory / Re: Faking the moon landings
« Last post by Obviousman on January 18, 2020, 05:13:43 PM »
To go a little off-topic, the discussion regarding 'rote learning' versus 'understanding' was demonstrated to me when undergoing seamanship training in the Navy. You could see some people who knew the 'rules of the road' (AKA International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea or COLREGs) by rote but could not apply the rules.

On the bridge simulator a situation is developing and the instructor can see the student wasn't taking the required action. They might prompt the student:

"What does Rule 8e say?"

And the student would reply:

"If necessary to avoid collision or allow more time to assess the situation, a vessel shall slacken her speed or take all way off by stopping or reversing her means of propulsion."

The instructor would wait but the student isn't reacting. They'd ask the student to describe the situation and what the student needed to do. The student doesn't know, so again the instructor asks about the rule.

Again the student recites it by rote... but still doesn't understand it and therefore cannot apply the rule to a situation.

The funny thing was that the COLREGs had to be memorised word perfect. You were tested regularly and the pass mark was 100%. There were people who could memorise them but not apply them, and others who always got some little thing wrong (e.g. saying '... must be taken...' instead of '...shall be taken...') but were excellent at shiphandling and could be relied upon to safely navigate the ship.
The Hoax Theory / Re: Faking the moon landings
« Last post by JayUtah on January 18, 2020, 12:57:42 PM »
Yes, right, absolutely no-one questioned the Government in the 1960s.....

People were questioning Apollo at the time.  Not its authenticity, but its propriety.  They wanted to know why so much money was being spent on a program that was perceived to be taking money away from social programs, etc.
The Hoax Theory / Re: Faking the moon landings
« Last post by JayUtah on January 18, 2020, 12:54:00 PM »
Perfunctory memorization of factoids, definitions, formulas, etc. is a method I recall many of my engineering classmates trying to use as a way of "squeaking by" some tough courses and exams.

I remember wishing for shortcuts while I was trying to cram all that information into my head.  You're absolutely right that the successful graduates were the ones that found some way to let the deeper understanding "click."    These days the equivalent behavior seems to be frantic Googling for specific formulas and techniques.  In the face of that, my response tends to be, "You can Google for information, but you can't Google for understanding."  The cargo-cult approach simply doesn't work no matter what side of an issue you stand on.

That's why I always have a chuckle when uneducated conspiracy addicts try to characterize education in science and engineering as nothing but an elaborate indoctrination scheme where everybody is just told what is what, and they blindly believe it without ever working through anything themselves.

I speculate there are two reasons for that.  Ideologically, they want to believe that the Establishment is just as you say:  rote indoctrination and unthinking obedience.  They want to set up a situation where they're the ones who are the deep thinkers and the astute observers.  Practically, they want to believe that people who represent themselves as qualified are just frantically Googling for rote answers too, and are just momentarily better at it than they.  Which is to say, they want to believe that there's no real expertise to be had -- i.e., that there is no such thing as actual expertise -- and that their ad hoc methods are just as good a way of exploring any problem.

Of course, these delusional conspiracy types are, almost without exception, so far removed from having such an education that they have no way of knowing just how silly they sound.

They really do sound silly, don't they?  It's worth mentioning that at least a couple claimants we've seen here and elsewhere seem to have had some engineering education, and perhaps even received degrees and professional credentials.  I surmise they are probably more of your former roommates' ilk.  They seem to be trying to misapply shortcuts and half-baked methods.  The vast majority of claimants, however, really do seem to be faking it.

The general pattern is one we see over and over again.  The claimant arrives with some set of specific claims that sound in engineering and science.  The regulars -- who are variously qualified in pertinent subjects like aviation, engineering, geology, scientific methods, photography, TV and stage production, history, and so forth -- criticize the claim.  The claimant flounders for a while trying to rehabilitate the claim without having to demonstrate too much actual knowledge.  Then at a certain point there's an inflection in the argument.  The claimant appeals to "common sense" or to some other (supposedly higher) form of thinking by which he is still somehow right.  The post-inflection argument basically says, "Your knowledge, experience, and expertise in the details of my argument doesn't matter.  I'm just more in tune with things than you are, or I have more common sense."

You have to laugh, because it's such a blatant change of horse.  The initial argument is, "I know more about the science than you do."  Then the argument literally turns to, "The science doesn't matter."  Of course it matters.  It always matters.  And it was obvious that it mattered to the claimant when he first arrived and tried to play the expert.

Other openings like the Just Asking Questions approach still rely on the premise that the questions have scientific foundation -- which they rarely do.
General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by LionKing on January 18, 2020, 12:34:49 PM »
Surely there is a million person at least who don't support him..they should express it to exert pressue
General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by gillianren on January 18, 2020, 12:07:38 PM »
Oh, yeah.  I know a couple of people who aren't hard-core who are still convinced that it's all a sham and that he's never done anything wrong.
General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by grmcdorman on January 18, 2020, 09:36:35 AM »
Problem is that many of the Republican supports are OK with that. The hard-core Trump supporters, in particular, according to what I've read pretty much believe most of Trump's claims.
General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by LionKing on January 18, 2020, 08:29:22 AM »
Except for the part where many of the "impartial" Senators are actively working with the administration, and any number of them have flatly said they refuse to consider new evidence.

Then I think the people should go down to the streets to put pressure on them and show them that they are monitored
The Hoax Theory / Re: Faking the moon landings
« Last post by smartcooky on January 17, 2020, 09:29:37 PM »
Yeah, no-one questioned the Government in the sixties. Riiiiight.   

Yes, right, absolutely no-one questioned the Government in the 1960s.....

Sheeple bring compliant in the 1960s

or the 1970s....

Sheeple bring compliant in the 1970s
NOTE: On May 4 it will be 50 years since that particular effing disgrace

More sheeple bring compliant in the 1970s
The Hoax Theory / Re: Faking the moon landings
« Last post by Abaddon on January 17, 2020, 04:08:44 PM »
Ze flounce, she is hard to steek.
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