Huntsman Reverse Climate Change Line, Blames “Scientists”

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman appeared to take a notably more skeptical view towards current climate change science Tuesday, saying that the “scientific community owes us more” on the issue and that not enough solid research exists to “formulate policies” based on global warming.

“I’m not a scientist, I’m not a physicist, but I would defer to science in that discussion, and I would say that the scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description or explanation about what might lie beneath all of this,” Huntsman told an audience of bloggers at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“But there’s not enough information right now to be able to formulate policies in terms of addressing it overall, primarily because it’s a global issue,” he went on. “We can enact policies here. But I wouldn’t want to unilaterally disarm as a country, I wouldn’t want to hinder job creators during a time when our economy is flat.”

Huntsman made waves earlier this summer when he took aim at his GOP rivals for expressing skepticism about evolution and climate change science, sending out a much-retweeted message in August that read, “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

Asked by a reporter Tuesday whether he has reversed that position, Huntsman said that he still “defers” to scientists who study the issue but said that there remain conflicts among the research community.

“Because … there are questions about the validity of the science, evidence by one university over in Scotland recently, I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation, that’s all.”

via First Read – Huntsman tweaks climate change tone, says scientists need to clarify facts.

So just to be clear about the charge that Huntsman is the sane one…he’s now pandering to a group of echo-chamber enthusiasts.  Also curious is how he references some random conspiracy theory, but ignore the testimony to Congress about the issue  (note: it confirmed what the vast majority of climate scientists believe, the earth is warming and human activity is the proximate cause, while being conducted and funded by skeptics).

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Clearing off the desktop…

…sometimes I fall behind.  So to catch up, I just dump a lot of stuff with short commentary and reboot the browsers so my computer can think again.

Here goes…

First up is an acknowledgement of the change to Arizona law.  This took away the worst of it, but I’d expect the rest to be bad enough to fall on its own.

Here’s some of the local reaction to the immigration law.  The march took place before the changes.

Some Fox revisionism.  Seriously, WTF.

The smoke monster gets lose in the gulf.

They caught some guy who doesn’t know how to make a good bomb.

Who did what now?  You don’t say.

Federal money is only *sometimes* evil.  How very Hindu of you

No need for that extra $130 for a 3G iPad.  $99 3G iPhone works fine.

Some speculation by a sci-fi guy about Jobs hatred of flash.

More on the immigration law change in Arizona.

Tattle tales!  How silly.   I say let people strip in the name on art, like that.  This’ll get tossed.

The global warming witchhunt continues in VA via the Cooch.

A good Street Fighter movie? Unpossible.  Possible…

It’s like a cliche now.

The Tea Party takes the Republicans to a new dimension, and beyond.

The alternate question about who “introduced” nukes to the Middle East.

Wonderful reading about the longest living organism(s).

Let’s Clear the Desktop First.

I’ve been a bit lax (ha!) in keeping up the blog lately.  My apologies for withholding from you.

As mentioned previously, the saving the world bit is on the tiring side, and the writing stuff is on the high energy side, and seldom did the ‘twain meet.

When one is pouring all of one’s emotional energy into the real world at large, it leaves scarce little for casting such things into the semi-real state of internet literature.   Fortunate however for you, dear reader, the saving the world (at least in the manner recently mastered) shall be put on hold for a bit as more pressing matters are attended to.

Matters like revolution.

Matters like the health of a nation. (to be explored further, the debate on this one seems to have veered in a strange direction, and I’d like to try and do my nudge thing back another way)

Matter like that crazy former Mayor of the meth capital of Alaska, Wasilla, Sarah Palin. As you can tell from the tags over there on the right, Palin has been a favorite of mine.  Not only in she smokin’ hot, she represents all that is wrong with the country and neo-conservatism.  O.k. not really, but she is a wonderful foil to play against.   The rampant anti-intellectualism is the biggest draw.   It’s like have one’s very own “fool” to play with.

Matters like the new phase of evolution of mankind, which is something of a personal interest of mine, being a RPN.  Lots more on that one, and soon.

I also want to spend a bit of time closing this gap for future generations.

And, of course, there’s plenty of war stuff going on.   So it’s good to find a bit of time to write, and have the loving energy to do so.

Finally, and this is for the internet folks in the audience, Hulu is very solid.  Now there is no real excuse for not having seen most, if not all, of Arrested Development (currently finishing up the first season).   The media convergence of Internet as a direct competitor to cable and satellite is upon us.  Given the rise of pseudo-pirate sites, I’ve also caught up on my True Blood fetish.  If you want to save a few bucks and stop paying Rupert Murdoch for a channel you never watch (yea…everyone who has cable in pitching into the cable coffers), cancel that cable and watch the good stuff online (hooked to your big screen, of course).  Spend the rest of the time reading books, or watching good movies, or outside, etc.

For those that like to complain about the “MSM” and “those crappy cable news channels” there’s really only one way to get rid of them.  Cancel that shit.

Hmmm…that pretty much clears off the desktop.  Time to get to work.

Robots Taking Over the Runways and Dreamscapes

First up, from the far, far east….

(TSUKUBA, Japan) A new walking, talking robot from Japan has a female face that can smile and has trimmed down to 43 kilograms (95 pounds) to make a debut at a fashion show. But it still hasn’t cleared safety standards required to share the catwalk with human models.

Developers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, a government-backed organization, said their “cybernetic human,” shown Monday, wasn’t ready to help with daily chores or work side by side with people — as many hope robots will be able to do in the future.

“Technologically, it hasn’t reached that level,” said Hirohisa Hirukawa, one of the robot’s developers. “Even as a fashion model, people in the industry told us she was short and had a rather ordinary figure.”

[full story]

Interesting stuff for the second and third generation human-like robots.  Give us another generation of robotics engineers, looking at art like this, and we’ll be there for sure.

That artist, BTW, is Choe U-Ram, and you can see one of his nightmares in motion here.

I have another video that’s yet to be online about this stuff.  Quite frankly, I think it would be very bad for humanity if we were to create an AI.  I know that’s the dream of a lot of computer scientists and robotics experts, but there is the potential, nay the certainty, of calamity along that path.   Any sufficiently advanced AI (i.e. one that qualified is all respects as a “mind”) is going to have the capacity, as we do, to ignore any and all constraints placed upon it by the outside world.   Such is the nature of consciousness.

In that line of thinking, providing an intelligence with the vast power that could come from a body of steel and and effectively infinite life, and one is well on down the road to madness.   And, unfortunately, for a real AI, madness *must* be an option.   So as much as I love the robots, and the cool stuff we can make nowadays, there needs to be a rather firm limit on what kind of power we are going to give them, as they will certainly want to take more…if we make them anything like us.

I’m Still Trying to Come Up With a Title for My Book

I just thought of another good one, “Philosophy is an Action.”

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I’ve already written down some predictions of what people will think of it, and I want to check my work.

Joel, you first.  🙂

The First Two Chapters Are Up

As mentioned a little while back, I am putting the blog on hold and writing a book.

O.k. I didn’t do such a good job of that (as the latest posts can testify) but that hasn’t stopped the book from coming along nicely.

They can read be read here.

I’d love to get some feedback on what I’ve done so far.  There is contact information in that post as well, if anyone wants more information.

The most of the book I am going to post online for free is the first three chapters (and very few graphs, and no appendices, which is where the pudding is, so to speak).  I am currently going between editing and writing (editing takes a lot longer).

I’ve always been a fan of the shareware model for software distribution and something of a fan of the street performer protocol as a way to make money and give stuff away at the same time.  That’s the only reason for the tease and, quite frankly, it’s high time I tried to sell a bit of my writing rather than just giving it away for free, as I have done for a good long while now.

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy it!

Fallout 3 and Fable 2 End-scene Mash-up (*Spoilers*)

I put together this video the other day to compare and contrast the ending sequences of Fallout 3 and Fable 2.

Both these games are pretty amazing in their own respects, I did a longer compare and contrast post here.

They also employ the same end-game-sequence creator theory, in that the final cut scenese (as shown below) are built and narrated based on the character’s actions in a game.  In the case of Fallout 3, the eulogy aspect of it is literal, while you get to live and keep playing in Fable 2.

Enjoy!

Fallout 3: Inside the Heads of Raiders (bonus: Fable 2 and Fallout 3 Comparison)

Fallout 3 Comic

Fallout 3 Comic

 More available here.

FALLOUT FROM… FALLOUT

comic updated November 14, 2008

And today we venture back — back, through time, to continue the classic (old, actually) tale called forth from the hoary mists: The Otters in “True Crime Stories!”

So — not to brag, but guess who got featured on the front page of the Bethesda Blog yesterday? HMM? HMMM?

Which is pretty darned awesome — other people make games, Bethesda makes WHOLE WORLDS. And then sells them at a very reasonable price. In fact — and given how hyped up I was on the whole thing, this is a hard thing to admit — “Fallout 3” has turned out to be FAR more engaging than “Fable 2.” Not that “Fable 2” isn’t good! Just, “Fallout 3” is so much more… MORE.

Anyway, that’s notable enough for my day. Back to work!

Great comic and great game.  I think I have to agree about the Fable 2 thing, as well.  Fable 2 is a good game.  Maybe even a great one…but once I put in Fallout 3, I didn’t touch Fable 2 for a couple weeks.

This actually turned out to be kinda nice, because when I loaded Fable 2 back up, I got my back-pay of about 200,000 gold to continue building my real estate empire (side-note…Fable 2 has a LOT of fun things to do, building a real estate empire is but one of many…but the “style” of game is more…comic…and also much more raw [e.g. compare sex-scenes in Fallout 3 with Fable 2…both of which lose badly to The Witcher, but that’s a pretty high bar.] 

Ultimately, Fallout 3 gets the nod because it’s done with so much…how do you say it…”I don’t know what“….maybe it was just the story, and the GREAT humor (which Fable 2 has as well, tons…the “books” in the game are hilarious), and the realistic bits that drew me in so far (and of course VATS…but you get pretty close to VATS in Fable 2, including slow-mo decapitating head shots).

Regardless, it’s hard to go wrong with either game, but if you only have the budget for one…Fallout 3 is the way to go, IMHO.

UPDATE: Oh, and I got the comic off this blog.  Great stuff there for Fallout 3 fans.  Looks like that girl went through *everything* in the game and wrote about it.  Personally I try and avoid spoilers for the most part, unless I’m totally stuck and getting annoyed, YMMV.

UPDATE2: I realized just what that je ne sais quoi I mentioned previously actually was.  Sometimes when I’m playing Fable 2 I have to fight the camera, and it’s annoying as hell.  Take for example the Gargoyle Quest in Fable 2 where you have to find and destroy 50 stone gargoyles hidden around the world.  You always know when one is near, because they talk a crap-ton of shit to you in a very distinctive voice (yes, you get heckled constantly…it’s funny…and it takes a while before you learn to separate it from the regular chatter of Fable-folk).  To find them you have to look up and move around.  The problem is that when you move, the camera tries to move to it’s “natural” 3rd person perspective.  You tend to find yourself fighting the game in a functional sense.

Gaming is all about “beating the game” but you don’t want to feel like the game is making itself annoying.   It’s a fine thing to point out, because Fable 2 really is a very good game.  In Fallout 3, with its camera options and a UI that gives absolute and quick control to the player, the interface never gets in the way.  This is Fable 2’s little problem.  I have a video I’ll put up that illustrates it exactly (try buying and using 15 XP potions quickly), but it’s those bits that make the big difference.

Fallout 3 being a sequel built on the same engine as Oblivion obviously gave Bethesda a huge advantage here., but be that as it may, camera control and, frankly, frame-rate (yea…Fable 2 gets sluggish every now and again), are probably the two biggest differentiating factors in getting at the vast amounts of gameplay both titles have to offer.

Fallout 3 : Final Battle (SPOILERS)

Note: If you are playing Fallout 3 and don’t want to see the amazingly awesome epic finale as done by a fully realized, alien-pistol-toting, V.A.T.S.-abusing, tesla-armor wearing Wanderer…don’t watch this video.

If instead, you want to see it, or don’t plan on playing the game and wonder what all the fuss is about….watch the first video I put up….a really basic one…and then watch this. 

This game was a blast.  Fun from stem to stern.  Well done, guys. 

NOTE: Press play, then pause and give it a minute to load, this one is set to run at 720p.  That’s more than most standard DSL/cable connections can handle for pseudo-streaming.  If you are on Fios or other fiber, it’ll probably be fine.  The age of always-crappy YouTube video was short and is over.

If that’s too slow, here’s the “regular” HQ version.

Previous Videos:

Fallout 3 : Flaming Sword and Mini-Nukes

Fallout 3 : Predatoring

UPDATE: I recut the video with what I think is a more appropriate soundtrack.

HD version…

HQ version…

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Stupid Alien Artifact

I avoided this movie in the theatre.  I even refused to buy it, or rent it myself.

I remember seeing a Southpark episode about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas going around raping everyone as a metaphor for this movie.  I didn’t think it could could be that bad.

I’m glad to admit, and this doesn’t happen very often, I was wrong.  Boy, was I wrong.

The metaphor of raping an American icon and making them say they enjoyed it is *exactly* what this movie was.  Where the hell did Double-O Indy come from?  Aliens?  Really?!  That’s the best you could do?

Anyone remember that part in the movie where we go from Indy being chained up to being nice guy to the crazy man?  Yea….and then crazy man comes back…and…and…there’s just so much stupid, stupid crap in this movie.

There’s a scene I recall that was particularly cringe-worthy.  Shia LeBouf (please….can he go to rehab or something for a couple years…maybe find himself….this exposure thing…it can go too far) is straddling two jeeps cruising at about 30 or 40 through the dense jungle (yea…rape).   Anyway, as he’s going through the blatantly foreshadowed rapier-battle with a paycheck-cashing Cate Blanchett, he starts to get repeatedly smashed in the groin with the underbrush.

That’s what watching this movie felt like…being repeatedly smashed in the groin with large bits of foilage.

And the worst part about it…the absolute most nasty thing….I frickin’ smiled at the end.

Maybe I was just glad it was over, and I could now apply some salve to my wounds.  I had watched an icon (Indy) get trashed by an icon (Ford) at the direction of other icons (Lucas, Speilberg).    No wonder idol worship has been banned since time immemorial.  It always leads to sadness.