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Cake day: July 6th, 2023

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  • Well… That’s like alot of steps, lol. In UX design, we would call that a violation of the Three Click rule, and obfuscating the expression of user intent.

    Like… Do you gain anything from these launchers? I guess Frosty you opt into because you use it to manage your mods. Maybe launching through that is how your mods get bootstrapped. Kay cool.

    Epic games, you definitely need and want to use for other reasons-- Shopping for games and managing your library-- but is it really benefitting you to open that app so that you can open the app you actually want to use? Maybe you have a reason that you actually like that better, idk, but I’d rather just open the app that I want.

    And then the EA app… What does it offer that makes it worth putting another step between you and your game? Login to the EA account you don’t need? DRM? Ads for other games? The premise of most launchers is that the company has some goals that you don’t share, and they’re willing to add friction to your experience to achieve those.

    Some launchers aren’t so bad. I dunno what EA’s deal is. Speaking of Ubisoft Connect specifically:

    • It’s an online-only service that forces you into having an account to play… It’s not just an extra launcher in front of your game
    • Ubisoft Connect is part of their DRM mechanism
    • It wants admin privileges on your system
    • It leaves processes running in the background when you aren’t using it
    • And more

    Those things aren’t necessarily all bad per se, and you’d certainly tolerate them for some apps… But it’s a big imposition for the company to insist on, IMO, and part of the reason for the launcher hate.

    I didn’t downvote btw, I think you’re entitled to your opinion and maybe you’re fine with the launchers you use… But personally, I just choose not to play Ubisoft games for that reason, even though there are games that I would like to have played.



  • Lol I think you’re onto something. Maybe better off sticking to sea cucumber posts.

    It did make me learn some things, though. The person who I was responding to told me to “See any textbook on the Philosophy of Science,” so I did, and I learned about the Demarcation Problem, Logical Positivism, and some new Karl Popper ideas. So, it has not led to a collaborative discussion, but it was pretty interesting, and I’m much more confident now about what’s reasonable to say about what “counts as Science.” Time well spent, IMO.

    (In case you were wondering: Any activity performed while wearing safety goggles or glasses is technically science.)


  • Oh thanks for editing in an example-- that wasn’t there when I wrote my reply, but what did you think of the other Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy links I provided?

    That article that you linked (Scientific Pluralism) is an interesting read, but it’s more about the importance of diversity in the scientific community… it doesn’t really address the Demarcation Problem, and it doesn’t discuss peer review or anything as far as I could tell.

    Mentioning in passing that “science is social” (which is IMO uncontroversially true in a non-demarcation way, btw) is a few shades away from “any textbook will tell you that science is a particular process of peer review.” I think the Science and Pseudo-Science entry that I linked is more germane.


  • thanks_shakey_snaketoScience Memes@mander.xyz✨️ Finish him. ✨️
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    1 month ago

    That’s not like a big gotcha, lol… I actually said “Let’s go look at that checklist,” and had a link to it (in a quote). Those checklist items correspond directly to section headings, and I quoted and responded to the even-more-strongly-worded section heading directly.

    In fact, I included it as the best evidence I found for your point: That if I read any textbook on the philosopy of science, it will spell out how “science” is “a particular method of peer review.” Well… I found some evidence that kind of points that way, and a whole boatload that suggests that that isn’t really thought of as part of the Demarcation Problem. I wasn’t going in trying to “be right,” that’s just what I found.

    Like I put quite a bit of work in good faith to try to understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t feel like you’re trying to meet me half way.


  • thanks_shakey_snaketoScience Memes@mander.xyz✨️ Finish him. ✨️
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    1 month ago

    Your desire to collapse all fact-finding into the concept of “science”

    Well that’s a reach. I had to buy a new laptop charger and find facts about what voltage, etc. I needed… I certainly don’t consider that fact-finding exercise to be science, and I don’t think I said anything to suggest that.

    But okay, I don’t have a textbook handy, but let’s see what we can find out about the Philosophy of Science:

    Philosophy of Science - Wikipedia

    Seems to pretty clearly indicate “lots of interesting and useful ideas, no consensus.” Peer review mentioned 0 times. The “Defining Science” section links to a page for the demarcation problem, so let’s go look at that.

    Demarcation Problem - Wikipedia

    “The debate continues after more than two millennia of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in various fields.”

    And the article basically continues to that effect, IMO: Demarcation is difficult, unclear, and there is no consensus. Peer review mentioned 0 times.

    Maybe it’s just Wikipedia that has this misconception. Let’s check some other sources.

    The Philosophy of Science - UC Berkeley, Understanding Science 101

    “Despite this diversity of opinion, philosophers of science can largely agree on one thing: there is no single, simple way to define science!”

    Re: Demarcation problem:

    “Modern philosophers of science largely agree that there is no single, simple criterion that can be used to demarcate the boundaries of science.”

    Starting to sound familiar. Lots of opinions from Aristotle to Cartwright, none of whom highlight peer review or acceptance by the institutions as criteria. The page does talk about empiricism, parsimony, falsification, etc. though, consistent with other sources.

    Glossary - “science” - UC Berkeley, Understanding Science 101

    This one is simple:

    Our knowledge of the natural world and the process through which that knowledge is built. The process of science relies on the testing of ideas with evidence gathered from the natural world. Science as a whole cannot be precisely defined but can be broadly described by a set of key characteristics. To learn more, visit A science checklist.

    Let’s look at the checklist.

    Science is embedded in the scientific community - UC Berkeley, Understanding Science 101

    The page heading sounds pretty prescriptive, and that’s about the closest I can find that claims “if it’s not peer reviewed, it’s not science.” The body (IMO rightfully) describes the importance of community involvement in science, but doesn’t say anything like “it’s not science unless it involves the community.”

    Take this excerpt about Gregor Mendel:

    However, even in such cases [as Gregor Mendel’s], research must ultimately involve the scientific community if that work is to have any impact on the progress of science.

    So yes, sharing his findings with the world was why it was able to have an impact, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to interpret that he wasn’t doing science while he was working in isolation, or that it only became science retroactively after it was a) shared, and b) accepted.

    Let’s take a look at another textbook and see what it says:

    1.6: Science and Non-Science - Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science

    This chapter suggests that you can take two approaches to demarcation:

    • What makes a theory scientific or non-scientific?
    • What makes a “change in a scientific mosaic” scientific?

    For theories - They’re clear that there are no clear universal demarcation criteria, but offer these suggestions:

    • Suggestion 1: An empirical theory is scientific if it is based on experience.
    • Suggestion 2: An empirical theory is considered scientific if it explains all the known facts of its domain.
    • Suggestion 3: An empirical theory is scientific if it explains, by and large, the known facts of its domain.

    For changes - This pertains specifically to whether a change to “a scientific mosaic” is scientific or not, which necessarily pertains to a scientific community. But I’d argue that this analysis seems pretty clearly downstream of a priori participation in a scientific community, not attempting to define science as such.

    Didn’t read the whole textbook, so I might still be missing something, but the focus in the chapter is still definitely on the properties of the inquiry, not on the scientific institutions surrounding it.

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Also looked at the entries for Scientific Method and Pseudo-science, which seem to be consistent with the other sources

    TL;DR/Conclusion

    So I’m still getting a really strong signal that:

    • Science/non-science doesn’t have a clear demarcation line, and that problem is called the Demarcation Problem. It has a special name because it’s still a big deal.
    • Ideas about what is science vs. non-science focus mostly on the properties of the inquiry: Is it a testable, falsifiable hypothesis that can be investigated with empirical observations?
    • Scientific communities are still super important, and you can make statements about how scientific activity should interact with communities, but community involvement is not usually a factor in demarcation
    • Peer review is useful and stuff, but has little interaction with the science/non-science demarcation question… I don’t think it came up in any of the sources I looked at

    So… Do I still seem misguided? Are Wikipedia and UC Berkeley and this textbook called “Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science” and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy all also misguided? Or am I just interpreting them wrong?

    Like I started this investigation feeling 100% ready to learn that my concept of “what Science is” was misguided… But idk, I did a bunch of reading based on your suggestion, and I gotta say I feel pretty guided right now.

    If you wanna throw something else to read my way though, I’ll happily have a look at it.