Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Co2, data and global warming..

This recent post on a blog I follow hits the "data," that I so love, regarding global warming and CO2 emissions. I urge any, and all, readers to go HERE:

He offers no judgments, no conditions, no political agenda. Just good old fashioned numbers. The conclusions are simply objective if trends continue.

Here is a YouTube Video that climate-change deniers tried to have banned at YouTube (pay careful attention at 2:21... trust me it may make you chuckle):

I have been spending some of my Summer researching this issue. There is much that is clouded with dogma and agendas. I have concluded that if trends do NOT change in our energy consumption habits, my children (and grandchildren) will live on an Earth that reflects the ignorance and hopelessness of my forefathers, father, and me. It may damn well kill them. This is not alarmist rhetoric, it is simply my conclusions based upon multiple data sets which achieve, for me, a high standard of convergent scientific research.

To do list:
1. Plant more trees,
2. Walk anytime possible,
3. Vote the environment,
4. Hug my kids and apologize for what will surely happen (much less what may well happen with no changes),
5. Pay more for energy alternative devices whenever available, and
6. Talk about it whenever the opportunity arises.

SH (Serious Heretic)

Those LIberal fools in the Netherlands.

They have fallen into chaos with thier leaglized pot, brothels, and gay marriage. America is SOOOOOOOOOO much better:

America: land of the stupid.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not sure I shouldn't be worried here:

My son is the killer:

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HH =)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I am always intrigued when observing a radical change in behavior when context and "discriminative Stimuli" change. BF Skinner inferred from his data that when Antecedents and Consequences change, so does the response rate.

For example, when a pigeon pecks a disk on an VR (variable reinforcement) schedule with a "green" colored disk, and then the color of the disk is quickly changed to "blue", the pigeon simply stopped pecking the disk. However, when the disk was gradually changed from green to blue the pigeon continued to peck for much longer without any additional reinforcement.

This is illustrative of a human analogue. When context slowly changes (say one peer addition, or graded environmental changes) over time, behavior remains remarkabley consistant. However, when the context changes to quickly (say "sunday" church, to gathering at the local brew-pub) then the rate of reponse stops akin to the pigeons.

Is human behavior (e.g., overt muscular twitches, and covert {thinking/cognitive}) really that evolved compared to other organisms?


We are highly skilled with verbal behavior (talking, writing, "manding and tacting" {shane and ron-- I am being deliberately unfamiliar} *wink*) because our environment demands it. But we really have no special endowment on this planet when it comes to complexity, genius, etc. The Following video is illustrative:

How many of us were intelligent enough to learn this before seeing the model provided by a more "primitive" species? I will never peel a banana the same way again.

My ethical conundrum is this... Is it less moral to change ones responses under differing conditions, or are both simply outside the moral scope of questioning? Under the first condition (gradual change) the behavior is consistent. However, under the second (radical change of SD) human behavior looks somewhat hypocritical. For example, take religious bashing behavior. If someone is verbally critical of religion in one context (say a brew pub), and religiously sensitive in another (say a pubic forum), some might say the persons behavior reflects "hypocrisy." However, under a behavioral paradigm is is perfectly lawful, and judging it without analyzing the antecedents, consequences, and learning history is prejudicial.

So there is the "explanation", and "description" demanded by science. So what of "prediction" and "control"? I should be able to predict that if I am able to put one context starkly over another in time and space, without gradual "drift", then I would see a very different set of behaviors from my subject. Indeed I have. I will hold back the data for reasons of my own.

Finally, there is the control aspect of the phenomena. First, why should I want to control it? What is in it for me, the other person, or anyone else for that matter? In my most recent case, there is nothing to gain for anyone. Therefore, I left it alone (the variables controlling my behavior are not contingent enough to warrant a response change in my behavior). However, now that I know the controlling variables I could quickly manipulate that variables analyzed to measure the effect (if any).

This is behavioral science. Not perfect (due to limitations in measuring technology), but certainly scientific (not scientism). This can be replicated, and falsified.

It has often been the criticism that behaviorism turns people into response machines. But what is often overlooked is that behaviorism includes the fact that the environment is collaterally changed by the organism. The "operant" is a relationship between the behavior pattern and the environmental variables, not a cause-effect. Further, that the subject of study is NOT static, but dynamic. Thus, measurements must match the subject under study (rate of change versus punctate measure).

Of course you may pour a few beers down my throat and watch my smart-ass arguing behavior increase. But, what's in it for you???

HH =)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Richard Feyman on Doubt, Uncertainty, and Religion.

One never expects Feynman to sound like a New Yorker. Yet...

Its fun to have opinions which are consistent with those who have proven to benefit the world through their work.

HH =)