2017 April 17

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April 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

I just shared some articles about the March for Science. It’s an interesting movement, one I’m decidedly on the fence about participating, especially should I end up staying in town this weekend. 

Science has an important role in society for sure – without it I wouldn’t be typing this blog post into a $40 Smartphone or sharing it on the web. Basic research, funded by the American government is essential for moving society forward. Everybody should accept facts based on the scientific method but realize that facts alone can not justify any public policy. 

Science is good at quantifying specific actions, it can illuminate the likely  outcomes of public policy. It can give us estimates of deaths caused by a specific action or predict lives saved. But science can not place a value on human freedom or choice, it can often not quantify the things that make us happy as humans. Science can never tell us what’s right or wrong. 

I worry about people using science to create self evident truths. I am fine with accepting facts but facts must always be put in context and our society’s  values considered in the bigger picture. Just because science suggests a particular  bad outcome to a public policy, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. 

We should fund public science and make sure that the knowledge gained by science is widely distributed. But we should also expect scientists to be non-political, abide by the Hatch Act, and provide nothing but the facts. Scientists who choose to include context to their research should always try to provide the widest context possible and present opposing views. 

It’s important as a society to invest in science and use science to weight the pros and cons of public policy. 

The March for Science: Why Some Are Going, and Some Will Sit Out

"The March for Science on April 22 may or may not accomplish the goals set out by its organizers. But it has required many people who work in a variety of scientific fields — as well as Americans who are passionate about science — to grapple with the proper role of science in our civic life.

The discussion was evident in thousands of responses submitted to NYTimes.com ahead of the march, both from those who will attend and those who are sitting it out. Nationwide, colleagues and friends are debating the meaning of President Trump’s election, and whether now is an appropriate moment for people in the sciences to speak out collectively."

March for Science

"The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.

The March for Science is a celebration of science. It's not only about scientists and politicians; it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.

Nevertheless, the march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?"

March for Science

"The March for Science (formerly known as the Scientists' March on Washington) is a series of rallies and marches set to be held in Washington, D.C. and over 500 cities across the world on April 22, 2017. According to organizers, the march is a non-partisan movement to celebrate science and the role it plays in everyday lives. The main goals of the march and rally are to call for science that upholds the common good and to call for evidence-based policy in the public's best interest."

Map: Ok Slip Falls

Map: Ok Slip Falls

The Hudson Gorge Primitive Area (HGPA) encompasses approximately 17,000 acres of State Forest Preserve in Essex and Hamilton Counties. It is located north of State Route 28 between the hamlets of Indian Lake and North River, near the center of the Adirondack Park.

The steep-sided Hudson Gorge is one of the most spectacular reaches of the Hudson River. Whitewater rafting through the gorge is the most popular recreational activity in the primitive area. With limited foot trail access, the interior of the area offers great opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and trapping in a wild setting. Most visitors to the primitive area have been customers of whitewater rafting outfitters, who have led rafting trips between the Lake Abanakee dam on the Indian River to the hamlet of North River on the Hudson, 16 miles away.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/22601.html

Photo: Dont Tread On Me

Dont Tread On Me

This is my other new camp flag. Goes will with the Blue Marble flag. I'm sure it will annoy my liberal friends, but I don't care. I'm not a fan of Donald Trump or Paul Ryan, but I do like the message of getting our increasingly large government over our backs. I'm fine with government regulating multinational corporations, but it shouldn't be micromanaging private citizens lives. I feel like such a rebel with this flag. Haha.

Photo: New Battery

New Battery

With the low-voltage disconnect, I'm hoping for much longer battery life going forward -- and lights that stay on longer. The low voltage disconnect will prevent the battery voltage from going below 12.1 volts when I leave the inverter or lights well into the evening.