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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
Zeviz, so it was nothing to do with the hoax I had in mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair
Comments from author:
In the words of Terry Pratchett, "It's all quantum." :D
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from Zeviz
Review:
Fpb, I think this is the program I was talking about: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/ (I am not sure exactly, since it's been about a decade, but that page looks familiar.)

PS While looking for the original program, I found this article: http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763 So it looks like by now the program is widely used both by people investigating conferences with loose editorial policies and by unscrupulous people who want to boost their publication histories.
Comments from author:
Catching fake papers written by researchers who were testing out other conferences is not the same as catching fraudsters who are trying to fake their h-index. And frankly, sometimes a conference chair or section chair cannot tell from a small abstract whether a paper is going to be good or garbage or nonsense, especially when the author does not appear to speak the language all that well. I've had conference speakers who turned in a reasonable abstract, and then did not speak on what they had proposed, and I've had conference speakers turn in a reasonable abstract and then a crappy 'paper' to fulfill the 'paper must be submitted by due date to be accepted at conference' and then do just fine in the conference. I've seen all sorts of permutations. It's even more of a problem when a section chair gets papers covering areas in which he or she does not know enough to judge paper quality.
Review By [Zeviz] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
Sorryl I keep forgetting that I can't let just anyone into my Facebook page. This is the link:
http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/10/23/3583347/felicia-day-gamergate/

And my comment:
Beneath contempt. What can anyone do the scarcely-human objects who would do this to one of the brightest, most talented, best educated and most charming persons on the Net, just because she is female? And I am neither a gamer nor a feminist - just someone who loathes cruelty and cowardice. Those people should be hunted down like the criminals they are, and jailed beyond reach of anything more high-tech than a plastic spoon.
Comments from author:
#gamergate could be something fundamentally useful, but it's being destroyed by these misogynistic sociopaths who probably make up less than 1% of the total.

The thing with Felicia Day is making it to more mainstream media, due to her status.
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "The Gathering Storm" from fpb
Review:
It occurs to me that the unexpected applause for Buffy has something in common with the applause that the Canadian Parliament's Sergeant-at-arms received yesterday from the gathered House of Commons. In both cases, hero and heroine had been seen taking on and stopping people whom everyone knew to be threats.
Comments from author:
Yes. Ordinary people may be ordinary, but that does not mean they cannot recognize the extraordinary when they see it.
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
AS you are a fan of Felicia Day, I thought you might want to know this. Mind you, I did not say you might like to. https://www.facebook.com/fabiopaolo.barbieri/posts/10203141942652556?comment_id=10203141969093217&;offset=0&total_comments=1&notif_t=share_comment
Comments from author:
That seems to be unavailable, at least to me. Oh well, maybe I'll just go watch Season 1 of 'The Guild' again to make up for it. :D
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fpb
Review:
I don't know whether the hoax article other people have mentioned is the Sokal hoax, but it does not sound like it. Beneath its hilarious surface, the Sokal hoax was an act of war. It intended to prove - and as far as I am concerned did prove - that postmodernism was rubbish, and that specifically the notion of a post-modernist approach to science and mathematics was TOTAL rubbish.
Comments from author:
That may have been the paper mentioned, but it is *not* the only possibility.
Review By [fpb] • Date [24 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from bookworm
Review:
Here are a couple screenshots of Vince from the first episode, since the only ones Google comes up with are pretty dim and poor quality: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxchpu0n1qqy83r/Screenshot-2014-10-23-21.42.png?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/7vfgqnymp2qmq69/Screenshot-2014-10-23-21.44.png?dl=0 It's possible he bleached his hair to start with and it's gotten darker (I've only watched the first season and just into the second, since starting to read this story), but those look blond to me, or at least light brown. I feel like the relentless paleness (especially of his eyebrows) is part of what made him so menacing.

At any rate, this is a very minor detail without much impact on the story as a whole, but it stuck out for me.
Comments from author:
Hmmm... Why do I think of him as having black hair? I must contemplate this subject...
Review By [bookworm] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
"About scientific journals, sometimes you have the opposite problem. For example, there was a scandal a few years ago when some people submitted a computer-generated paper to a bunch of CS conferences, and the paper was accepted. (The idea was to prove that those conferences were just a way to get money from attendance fees.) Then they wrote a real paper, presented at a more reputable venue, about their program that generated grammatically correct papers confusing enough to be accepted to these kinds of conferences. :)

And of course the "vaccines cause autism" article that has been disproven dozens of times, but keeps getting quoted by people who make a nice living scaring people about vaccines.

Comments from author:

There are tons of submitted - and accepted - papers which have then been shown not to hold up to proper evaluation. That's how science works."

*****

Recalling the prank/experiment where some _real_ scientists subbed a paper to a journal in another field. It was accepted, then they revealed that it was deliberate gibberish.
Comments from author:
Once you have a language parser good enough to sound like stilted English, you can do pretty much anything like that. All you have to do is write your grammar rules and feed in your vocabulary lists for nouns, pronouns, verbs, etc. Heck, I did something like that (although vastly simpler) for a comp sci class in the 70's. Nowadays, Siri can parse spoken speech and MS Office can grammar-check better than most people.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from Zeviz
Review:
About scientific journals, sometimes you have the opposite problem. For example, there was a scandal a few years ago when some people submitted a computer-generated paper to a bunch of CS conferences, and the paper was accepted. (The idea was to prove that those conferences were just a way to get money from attendance fees.) Then they wrote a real paper, presented at a more reputable venue, about their program that generated grammatically correct papers confusing enough to be accepted to these kinds of conferences. :)

And of course the "vaccines cause autism" article that has been disproven dozens of times, but keeps getting quoted by people who make a nice living scaring people about vaccines.
Comments from author:
There are tons of submitted - and accepted - papers which have then been shown not to hold up to proper evaluation. That's how science works.
Review By [Zeviz] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from DieselDriver
Review:
What a MARVELOUS neighborhood watch they have there. The Macks probably live in the safest neighborhood in the world.

I'm really looking forward to what you have planned for Alex. It's bound to be fun. (Fun to read, not to be involved in...)

Edit to comment reply to dcarson: "the plate tectonics arguments, but I have seen important paradigm shifts" and I thought "hmmm a paradigm shift for some continental shift". Then I thought, "hmm. Continentals don't have manual transmissions so their drivers must be 'shiftless' ".
Comments from author:
I pity the next burglar who tries to break into a house in that neighborhood.
Review By [DieselDriver] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from SilverWave
Review:
Good old fashioned fun :-)

I would have went with a very large numbers of Nukes - you would only need one to get through.

Of course you would probably lose New York Or Washington in a retaliatory strike by empire sleeper squads, but thats why you have Vice Presidents.

:-)

Also anti-ICBMs are probably very unreliable - IMC snake oil salesman.
"So Ivan, how many of these things have successfully taken down an ICBM..."

Or if you are not playing games:
Massive series of conventional explosive missile strikes mixed in with nerve gas delivery, followed by cruise missiles loaded with nukes ending with a massive ICBM strike.
Comments from author:
Somehow, I feel that a large number of South American countries might object to that approach. And there is no way Alex would go along when Jack and Willow were in there!

But yes, that is probably some country's secret back-up plan in case the heroes lose.
Review By [SilverWave] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from Difdi
Review:
I love it. Some towns have cancer clusters, Paradise Valley has GC-161 clusters!
Comments from author:
:D I have been warning everyone for some time about this.
Review By [Difdi] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from Xovervore
Review:
For fanreaderonetwo - that is one of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws]Clarke's laws[/url], that Arthur C. Clarke created - the most famous is of course his third law.
Comments from author:
Yep. And it is the one that has been parodied and twisted. Girl Genius comes to mind.
Review By [Xovervore] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from LordSchmodder
Review:
*ouchie*
I'm really curious how this will end.
Thank you for writing this!
Comments from author:
Thanks for reading. And I'm sure Hanna is not worried. Okay, she *should* be worried. But Hanna doesn't worry like I do.
Review By [LordSchmodder] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Confrontations" from Vld
Review:
So, they've been monitoring Eddings for a while, huh? Hopefully that means Lupo is still a good guy. Knowing your ability to throw curve balls whenever you want, i don't know what to believe right now. So i'll hope for the best but expect the worst.
Actually, my best case is that Tobias is actually working for the DHS since the alien fungus (or whatever it was) incident, and has convinced Jack and Lupo to be her liaison. Lupo for obvious reasons, and Jack because... well, he's Jack.

Damn, i was hoping we would see Hanna's raptor fight!! This would have been soo cool!

Oh, i can't wait for the inevitable talk between Danielle and Tera! "Ohohoho! Stupd girl, walking into my trap like that!" and Tera going "Noooo... that was a trap?" with sarcasm, then "you know Danielle, when something looks too good to be true? It usually is."

Carter and UM look like a pretty good team. The same for Bat-Crush. Wonder where Batgirl was during all the fighting, but i'm thinking she may be the character everyone ignores when they really shouldn't.

Wow! GC-Men to the rescue! (Like the X from X-Men represents the "X-Gene", the GC represents...) So, Cyclops-Devil (or is it Dare-Cyclops) and Human-Sun or Sun-Torch? I can't think about any equivalence i DC so...
Comments from author:
I didn't think that Hanna vs. four velociraptors would be fair. As soon as she got in trouble, out would come the heavy weapons and it would be over.
Review By [Vld] • Date [23 Oct 14] • Not Rated
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