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Comment: Re:The crime happened to an Indian in India. (Score 1) 30

by Aighearach (#48945083) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

If you don't know how "standing" works in law, how can you be in a position to argue that there is a problem with it in this case? It seems to me the farthest reasonable position in the direction you're going would be, "golly gee, I have no idea how that stuff works, I wonder if her lawyer got legal advice first?"

Comment: Re:Cab drivers rape also (Score 1) 30

by Aighearach (#48945063) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

If they refuse to play by the same rules, then they have a hard time claiming their process is even better than the legal process they're supposed to use, without actually doing an almost perfect job.

Once they start following the same rules and checks as taxis, then if there is a problem all we have to ask is, "are they any worse than taxis?"

When it is a group that is in ongoing violation of the regulations, I just don't see why they qualify for the protection offered by having complied with the process. After all, that is the taxi company's excuse; background checks are regulated, and they did the checks that are supposed to work.

Comment: Re:Lemme pour some solar in my tank... (Score 1) 189

by Aighearach (#48944989) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Now, ARE biofuels truly carbon neutral or carbon negative? No.

Wrong. They're carbon neutral, because of the way decomposition works. Only certain types of ecosystems store large amounts of carbon. In biofuels, all of the carbon was removed from the atmosphere by the plants, and will be released either through decomposition, or burning as fuel.

Some people assume that it takes a bunch of gasoline to make biofuel, because they don't realize that you can also use the biofuel to run the factory and transportation equipment.

It is true though that E85 is only 85% carbon neutral. If that is what you meant by "truly" then I admit the non biofuel part of the mix is not carbon neutral, and it still does have that 15%.

However the B99 biodiesel is 99.999%

The anti-biofuel propaganda is funny. For example the WSJ did a story claiming biofuels aren't carbon neutral... because they think you have to clear forests in order to get plant waste! lol

In my state biofuels are big business right now. Most of the restaurant grease is being used. The processed fruit factories have largely gone to selling the "waste" for fuel production. Test factories are converting landscape waste, and corn stalks. We don't have surplus corn production here, so no food corn is diverted to fuel. It is also mostly unsubsidized in this region. I can hardly go a block without a new subaru with a "flex fuel" logo. The only time I see a string of cars without at least one flex fuel logo is when it is all electric hybrids. They're doing trial runs of using kitchen food waste, too. In restaurants to start, but with the plan of having the residential garbage haulers pick up food waste.

By the way, electric cars do have fuel tanks, they're called "batteries." The majority of new cars I see are either electric hybrids, or flex fuel. That is true of all categories, too; SUVs, cars, trucks, whatever. In 15 years most vehicles will either be electric or flex fuel. The old cars will be hybrids.

There is no escaping the fact that flex fuel and electric are both here to stay. Gasoline will be around for a long time too, but most of the cars that run it will be "flex fuel" cars that can also run E85. Real progress is happening, on multiple fronts. There is no silver bullet, and the time when people were waiting around for the perfect solution already passed. The future is here now, and vehicle emissions are starting a downwards trend. Unfortunately, cars are a small part of the carbon problem.

Comment: Re:Won't be enough (Score 1) 159

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?

I certainly concede that is a talking point of one side, but every time the people involved talk about it, they oversell it substantially. I don't think the case has actually been made that it is true. I think instead it is simply asserted to be true, and anybody who disagrees is shouted down as anti-science, or a "hippie."

Even your own statement, it is very strongly worded including a bunch of absolutes that ensure that the claims are not literally true, as stated. It is rather trivial to name safer energy sources. You need a whole pile of caveats to make it true, and if you state it with those required elements, then it will no longer just be some triumphant sort of, "we're right, we're 110% right, 120% right, we're the most right of anybody ever," etc.

You even find it necessary to disown real disasters, to suggest that Chernobyl doesn't count, somehow.

The reality is that you have to support those claims. You're saying it is super-safe, I'm saying that is contested and unclear. It is known to be a contested point. That it is not agreed on scientifically is a known known. You want to prove that it is not in dispute, that it is some sort of agreed fact that it is "safe," it is up to you to go into the weeds and prove that.

And the reality is that you'll end up making a bunch of value judgements about non-energy-related perils in the world, and balance them all, and assign blame, and apply geopolitical theories about resource access, before you can even make a claim for one position or the other. And you'll be sitting on a giant pile of contested points.

It is not going to become uncontested merely by handwaving or body language.

Comment: Re:Shame on them (Score 1) 128

by Aighearach (#48944855) Attached to: Mathematicians Uncomfortable With Ties To NSA, But Not Pulling Back

Suggesting somebody might be "off their rocker" somewhat precludes your complaint about a lack of politeness. It certain makes it unlikely that the person address thusly will be concerned.

As for the semantics, they are as written and it shouldn't be ambiguous. If you don't understand it, or it doesn't make sense to you, that is fine. As with other things that you don't understand, you can parse it until you find a way of doing so where it makes sense, in which case you probably understood the intended meaning. Or you can just call it names and move on.

You offered a substantial insult to a set of people, "mathematicians in the direct employ of NSA" who are probably very intelligent people who have no doubt already thought about the implications of their work. They are certainly more capable of such analysis than pundits. You seem to be completely unaware how patronizing and presumptuous your analysis was, even while getting particularly sensitive of your own feelings simply from somebody defending the ability of mathematicians to exercise free will successfully.

Government funding of things is everybody's business. People's moral codes are personal. And [worked with a group whose civics and/or politics I am opposed to] does not in any way imply they have a moral deficiency. Any more than you disliking a group approved of by mathematicians would mean they should question your morality.

Comment: Re:Won't be enough (Score 1) 159

How would you get it there without risk? There will be great risk in moving it. It is not obvious that the risk is less, even if the final storage is perfect.

It is obvious that for many of the people on the transportation route the risk will vastly go up, especially for people who have chosen collectively not to have any nuclear plants in their region. I've yet to hear of any transportation plan other than, "too bad."

With on-site storage, at least the risk is distributed according to an area having already accepted that exact risk.

The closest you can come to no risk is a nuclear industry press release, or a magic pony.

Comment: Re:Careful With This Logic (Score 1) 189

by Aighearach (#48943647) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

I'm from a US State that isn't Alaska, and I get money distributed to my county based on raw materials extracted here. In fact, that is where a lot of the money that paid for my public school education came from.

We also have Direct Democracy and can choose how we spend that money by direct vote. We may suck as much as politicians at those votes, but we do indeed get a slice of the pie that we control.

I'm sure lots of people in the world would enjoy having a similar setup, but they sure don't get it.

Comment: Re:Careful With This Logic (Score 1) 189

by Aighearach (#48943625) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Look up the Opium Wars. The "West" didn't produce anything of value to the Chinese, but wanted their spices, so they got the idea to get the Chinese hooked on opium. The only problem was, opium was highly illegal in China. So "we" invaded and killed lots of Chinese until they relented and allowed opium sales.

Many of the places that "don't produce enough things of value" used to do so, before others stopped them. Or they do make things of high value and used to have a high standard of living, and then after political changes a small percent of the population suddenly "owned" the fruits of all their labor. So it is perhaps not just as simple as just, aww shucks, they don't know how to make anything.

Comment: Re:Vast... Tracts of Land (Score 1) 189

by Aighearach (#48943581) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

It was totally fake. The starving people were mostly farmers. They had lost land ownership because the English were occupying their country and controlling everything. The main crops were grains, barley, wheat, etc. The potato crop was there because the land distribution was set up as a form of crop-sharing where the Irish grew grain on most of the land entirely in exchange for rent, and were allowed a small plot to grow 100% of their food. They weren't allowed to grow grain for their own use, either on their subsistence plot, or in plots that they could sell from for their own benefit. Potatoes were one of the only things that could be grown for food in the amount of (their own, nominally) land they were allowed to subsist off of.

When the potato crop failed, people literally starved to death while harvesting grain and turning it over to the English. If they ate the grain they couldn't pay their rent and would be banished to land that couldn't even support potato farming; almost certain death the very next year. Instead, the very noble and honest Irish people mostly died right next to sufficient food stores. Those that lived still had their land, though.

It was a crop failure, but there was never any actual shortage of food, even locally.

Comment: Re:Vast... Tracts of Land (Score 1) 189

by Aighearach (#48943519) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

During the Irish Potato Famine there were shiploads of American grain parked off the Irish coast that wanted to unload and sell at the regular price they had expected to get, but the English government refused to let them sell at anything other than gouged prices that the Irish couldn't afford, on the theory that the highest possible price had to be the Real and True Market Price because of the great need, and that allowing traders to sell at the prices the Irish could afford would somehow be a give-away that would cause the Irish to stop working forever, and they'd need food aid until the end of time.

It sounds like hyperbole until you read the actual quotes from English leaders at the time.

The grain of course mostly continued to mainland Europe, and sold for fairly normal prices.

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