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Comment: Re:Have the Germans threaten to invade (Score 4, Informative) 699

by Brett Buck (#48548679) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

Correct. Then a large fraction of the government capitulated, formed a puppet government, and did the Nazis' bidding, including rounding up people for shipment to concentration camps. And in some cases, like in North Africa, fought (weakly) against the allies.

At the same time, the parts of the government and military that were caught in or escaped to England made themselves royal pains in the ass to the allies, posturing and playing politics to try to claim they were in charge of the government in abstentia, This greatly complicated the invasion planning and led to poor tactical decisions based on maintain the pride of strutting martinets like DeGaulle. This allowed the Germans to escape through the Falaise gap, for example, when they were otherwise going to be caught. This probably extended the war another 6 months.

        The ultimate was in the 60s. DeGaulle demanded that all American tropps be removed from French soil. Lyndon Johnson asked him "does that include the 65000 that died lliberarting it*.

    That's why we hate the French.

Comment: Re:the evils of Political Correctness (Score 3, Insightful) 201

by Brett Buck (#48544261) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Medal Sells For $4.1 Million

The latter is exactly my point. I would think the man's premise would be quickly and easily refuted. And it was and is.

      But the "community" couldn't let it go at that. He had to be punished for the way he thought, because it made everybody feel better.


Comment: Re:the evils of Political Correctness (Score 3, Insightful) 201

by Brett Buck (#48543899) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Medal Sells For $4.1 Million

You are probably right about the confirmation bias. But one should be able to make that argument without hounding someone out of a profession. That is more-or-less what happened here.

      I would also note that almost no one here is actually a scientist, much less a Nobel prize winner. So no one is all that qualified to debunk his idea. There are certainly falsifiable points in his premise on race (and probably plenty of research to support it). All that need be done is produce and make the argument, and the issue should be closed. But no, that's not sufficient, he has to be punished.

      This is a classic case of claims of "Science!" being used as a cover for political correctness. More like "Science! (so shut the hell up)".

Comment: There's a reason... (Score 1) 368

by Brett Buck (#48543273) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Of course it's a familiar cultural setting. Unless the nature of the culture and social interactions is the theme, you would rather have something that the reader can relate to. You need to relate it to something the reader will understand, because, otherwise, you will either use up inordinate space and words describing it, or leave the entire thing unexplained which loses the reader.

    Moreover, human nature hasn't changed consequentially for 10,000 years. The same motivations, reactions, and through processes are on some level universal. The culture *hasn't* changed all that much at the root level. The means and mechanism, and superficially changes, but deep down nothing is really all that different since the development of "civilization" coincident with the agricultural revolution.

Comment: Re:Chronology from TFA (Score 1) 77

by Brett Buck (#48543223) Attached to: Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Ends Hibernation To Start Mission

The components were already at the minimum operating temperature. You can't just let everything cool to the background, then hope to heat it back up later. Something will likely break. There have been survival heaters and (in this case) thermal shunts from the RTG to keep it warm enough the entire time.

Comment: Re:Spare me NASA's PR Hype (Score 2) 140

by Brett Buck (#48535641) Attached to: NASA's Orion Capsule Reaches Orbit

I agree that the OP is not getting it right but that is not the case. In fact, there were numerous Apollo-related unmanned test flights before the fire, and there were several planned after the nominal launch of AS-204 (renamed Apollo 1 later). In particular, what was later termed Apollo 4 was always planned to be an unmanned mission, as was 6. The only mission definition changes were to remove all the Block I CSM missions in favor of the Block II (which was already in planning, but were also altered due to the findings in the fire investigation) and the launch of the Apollo 5 which originally was intended to go on a manned Saturn V launch but instead was put as a LM-solo mission (obviously unmanned) mission on the Saturn 1b previously assigned to the mission that caught fire. Some other missions, particularly which LM abort cases needed to be run, were still undefined but they were always manned.

Comment: Re:Spare me NASA's PR Hype (Score 2) 140

by Brett Buck (#48533407) Attached to: NASA's Orion Capsule Reaches Orbit

It's "eerily similar" because they are testing the same test points they did before. The fact that a previous spacecraft built with 50's aerospace technology managed to do it doesn't mean that much. We know what to expect, but you still have to actually build what you are planning to fly, and then fly it and see. You can't just simulate everything, assume the simulation is correct, and then shoot it off with 3 people in it on national TV.

      In many ways, the added complexity made possible by much more computing power might be a liability in some ways. Radiation doesn't hurt a toggle switch.

Comment: Re:More worries over technical competence (Score 1) 71

by Brett Buck (#48526257) Attached to: Technical Hitches Delay Orion Capsule's First Launch

Right, this is the first ever launch delay or abort. Except for almost all of the Mercury flights, two pad aborts on Gemini, 3-4 launch slips on Apollo, alternate launch window launch on Apollo 16, repeated shuttle launch delays and scrubs, It happens all the time, all the preparation in the world will not prevent them, and it has nothing to do with "newbies" in the process.

    And in fact, since this is a ULA Delta launch, with NASA personnel who formerly ran the Shuttle and ISS operations, I would estimate based on my personal knowledge that they have several orders of magnitude more launch experience that most of the mission control people on Apollo ever had.

    Other than that, you are absolutely correct.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos