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Comment: Re:Won't be enough (Score 1) 160

much less establish a track record of nuclear safety.

Do you realize that nuclear power - with everything that people have done wrong with it - is by far the safest method of producing energy (clean, dirty, or otherwise) that mankind has ever developed? Literally nothing, including wind or solar, is safer. Nothing is. Even if you choose to include Chernobyl (which was an experimental reactor used as a weapons research lab that happened to produce electricity for nearby communities), it's still by far safer than any other source.

So let's talk about risk and let's be real about it. The other sources of power are killing human beings; actually killing them (not just pretend in somebody's head killing them). Nuclear, even 1950s nuclear, is vastly safer. That's demonstrably the case with decades of clear evidence.

Comment: I think you're America-culture centric (Score 4, Interesting) 236

by PeterM from Berkeley (#48920269) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

Some of the Asian countries do have cultures that love learning and the very smart. However, they have various other cultural problems.

There's this old joke, heaven is English policemen, German scientists/engineers, Italian lovers, Swiss bankers, and French cooks. Hell is English cooks, German policemen, Italian bankers, Swiss lovers, and, well, I don't suppose French make bad scientists/engineers, but I'm botching the joke some. But the point is that if we could take the very best of all our cultures and fuse them, humanity would advance far faster.

The Chinese have admirable work ethic and love of learning, however, their government needs improvement in inclusiveness and combating corruption. Some of the European governments are far superior in these respects (or so it seems from the outside.) The anti-intellectualism of the USA is rapidly degrading the US political system, its economy, its worldwide power, and its future prospect for maintaining dominance in science/tech/economy/military. However, again, not everywhere in the world does humanity glorify sports or singing and hate learning and intelligence.

Perhaps we can hope that the negative aspect of humanity will cause their own self-destruction without destroying the best aspects of humanity.

Comment: Re:"They" is us (Score 1) 337

by roman_mir (#48916545) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

Right, USSR ideology to the rescue... destroy the wealthy so that there is no more concentrated wealth so there is no wealth left at all, then come after the less wealthy and once you don't have those left, come after the less wealthy yet, rinse and repeat until you have made everybody equal... in their misery.

Comment: Re:Control the bureaucracy? (Score 1) 282

by PeterM from Berkeley (#48915503) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Right, "rein". At least I didn't write "rain".

At the moment, at least nominally the government bureaucracy isn't writing the laws. Instead, it's the various congressional bureaucracies that change when the ass occupying the congressional seat changes. However, with government by sortition, I think it'd be a practical necessity that each congressional office have a permanent bureaucracy associated with it to provide expertise and continuinity that would be lacking.

It is this bureaucracy that I think might become problematic and corrupt.


Comment: Re:The system is corrupt ... (Score 1) 180

I don't care what most people believe or do not believe, they are wrong. Dangerous monopolies are created by governments, not by the free market, in a free market no monopoly has more power than the market is willing to give it and if the market is willing to give a company monopoly power it is always temporary and it is there as long as that company provides the market with the highest quality, cheapest product.

Cable companies or any companies should be able to merge all they want, governments interfering with any mergers is the problem, not any type of a solution, especially given that governments created monopolies in telecommunications in the first place.

Comment: Great, but how do you point it? (Score 1) 124

A half-mile diameter disk isn't going to be easy to rotate and point in different directions, and considerable motion by the light detector is also going to be required.

Frankly, I think these disadvantages so severely reduce the utility of the telescope that I wouldn't want to deal with it.

Not only that, but a half-mile diameter disk is one heck of a target for random space junk.


Comment: Control the bureaucracy? (Score 1) 282

by PeterM from Berkeley (#48913609) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

I've pondered sortition government, but I wonder how you would reign in the power of the bureaucracy.

As an AC said, the random citizenry isn't going to have the depth to really write good laws, so it'll probably largely fall to a bureaucracy, which might end up with all the real power. I can scarcely see that as an improvement.

However, the sortition has the big benefits you mention:
1) Actually representative of the people, because they ARE the people
2) Don't arrive in office corrupt, aren't beholden to donors

Maybe have the lower house of Government chosen by sortition?


Comment: Re:"They" is us (Score 1) 337

by roman_mir (#48912187) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

Oh, I see, so who did google steal from? Or those guys that sold them youtube for a billion and a half (for starters)? The silly 'whatsup' billionaires, did they steal from somebody? For that matter transportation or energy or any kind of billionaires. No, thieves are found in government and among the voting mob first of all. Glass houses.

Life is a game. Money is how we keep score. -- Ted Turner