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Comment Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 19

So if our brains are hardwired with receptors for this stuff, maybe it's time to actually look at it and evaluate it for what is is instead of this bullshit moralistic prohibition which is there to keep a bunch of religious assholes happy?

Um, Puritanism is the State Religion in the USA. They offer platitudes about separation of Church and State, but all the evidence points in the other direction.

Puritanism is also considered Satanic by some serious theologists (assuming the premise).

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Comment Re:Some facts... (Score 2) 421

As the former manager for a team of 75 consultants, I saw the exact opposite. The companies my staff were placed at were so hell-bent on improving their stats that every woman they employed was promoted to project manager, team leader, or management within 2-3 years of starting with the company, far faster than any males were.

A minority woman? Shit, she was a director in five years.

Comment Re:Just (Score 1) 165

My sense is that distributed power production won't work until you get a quantum leap in battery storage so the generators can use their own excess capacity. I'd cover my roof in solar tomorrow if I could have 100 kWh of battery in the basement to cover evenings and peak utilization.

I don't think the idea of a random, unstructured network of spare residential solar over capacity is really what makes for a manageable grid. Maybe the existing grid could be redesigned to support a lots of local feeds in a manageable way, but it would be extremely expensive and I don't know that it's worth the cost, especially if its only to justify the individual generators personal solar economic choices.

I don't agree with the monopoly obligation agreement at all. The concession made by utility monopolies is rate regulation -- they get to charge enough to meet reasonable costs and a fair profit margin. Stable, minimal markup pricing is the concession. By forcing the utilities to buy power they don't need under their current generation and management structure (and at high rates), you're basically forcing them to charge more to everyone else so that they can buy power they don't need from people who have invested in solar.

I'm sorry, but I don't agree that utilities or other rate payers have a moral or any other obligation to subsidize the choice of putting up solar panels. Put up panels if you want, but your economic calculations should just include the power you don't buy from the grid, not the power you make the other rate payers buy from you. If that turns out to be a less winning economic decision, too bad. "Because solar" or similar isn't good enough.

Think of it this way -- if I shop at one grocery store and buy food and then discover I have too much, I can't go to a different grocery store and make them buy back my excess food or give me a discount on the additional food I buy.

Comment Let anyone with the aptitude and will code (Score 2) 421

Let anyone with the aptitude and the desire to code do so. Enough of this forced "equality" for something that will never appeal to everybody.

What's next? Forcing equality on nursing? Medicine? Firefighters? Garbage collectors?

Face it: "equality" is a mealy-mouthed politically correct term. The term people should be using is equivalency -- as in people with different skills are getting paid equivalent salaries in different professions.

Comment Re:I hate to be THAT GUY... (Score 1) 235

I just read the book. Basic biology is somewhat lacking throughout. But potatoes are one of the few foods you can survive on indefinitely. They contain quite sufficient vitamin C to prevent scurvy.


Sufficient light to grow 'em would have been a problem, but if they can get by well enough to feed a nation even with Ireland's average cloud cover, perhaps a better choice than most crops. Might get one somewhat scanty crop, anyway. (I've seen 'em produce even when all the light they got was what leaked through broken boards into a closed shed.)

The bacteria issue was overblown; Watney could repopulate the whole place from his own colon, even if a large proportion didn't encapsulate as many bacteria do when stressed. And potatoes themselves are hardly sterile.

I did gather the author has never used freeze-dried food, including instant mashed potatoes.

Comment Re: America (Score 1) 394

What has Obama done about it in seven years? Well, he has the SEC forcing health tests on the banks after the collapse happened, but would he have foreseen them any better than Bush?

It's on Clinton and the Republican Congresscritters who wrote the bill.

You see, despite people calling the President the Suggester in Chief, it's not the White House that drafts most legislation. These days it's not even the legislature that drafts most legislation. Think tanks, corporations, think tanks hired by corporations, nonprofits, nonprofits who are actually industry organizations for corporations, lobbyists, and other special interest groups write "model legislation". Then legislators at the state and federal level introduce it with minor changes (usually made by their staff) to committee, who then pass whatever the ruling party on the committee wants to the floor, where there's a vote on whether or not to allow the governor or President to consider signing it.

When have Bush or Obama either one been presented a bill to sign that reverses what Clinton signed?

Comment Re:I hate to be THAT GUY... (Score 1) 235

I just got done reading the book about two minutes ago. I have not yet seen the film.

Lots of interesting points about what's scientifically accurate or not... I had complaints every time it touched on biology or food (freeze-dried potatoes are a whole different beast than fresh potatoes.) Having driven in the desert, where dust pits are a hazard, I muttered about that too. Some I could chalk up to "Not Watney's area of expertise" but some was pretty evidently "author just didn't think to check beyond his own lack of experience".

But what I noticed more than anything is that this is a book written for the masses. It is NOT written for an experienced SF audience, and is barely SF -- and then only because it's set on Mars rather than Antarctica. Mars is more dramatic. Good choice. But when I realised this, I stopped expecting ordinary hard-SF rigor from it.

Comment Re:When you do microservices, it isn't one project (Score 1) 264

The thing is, many of these split points are becoming well-defined. Authentication? Just use OpenID Connect. Federated memory cache? Just use memcached. Need a database? Use an ORM that will speak to anything through JDBC, ODBC, PDO, or DBI and hides all the intricacies, then let your DevOps folks and DBAs handle those stock apps as infrastructure. Let the developers focus on the business value.

This works quite well when you're developing yet another web app. It's not the same as developing a new mainframe and its OS that just happens to need to be backwards compatible with two previous generations of mainframes from an application level and offer new features like VMs, virtual I/O, etc. like the 360.

Comment Re:Just (Score 1) 165

I just don't get the righteous indignation. Why should the utility be required to buy your excess production at all? I get that in some kind of ideal world, it makes sense to pump excess residential generation into the grid but I don't know if that's much more than wishful thinking right now -- there's no coordination or management of reverse feeds, for the utility its a nuisance and could be a real headache in the future.

At some point I wonder if this is really about being pissed off that the economics of a solar installation is dependent on excess power being sold back and their actual numbers aren't adding up.

I guess my thought is, too bad. If you want solar, you should pay for solar. Asking other people (the other ratepayers) to subsidize your solar installation is kind of BS and no amount of moralizing about your petty 10kw backfeed keeping them from spooling up a gas turbine will make it otherwise.

Comment Re:Planned Parenthood (Score 2) 142

I'm also inclined to give Sanger's eugenics a sort-of-pass.

I think you don't have to swing a dead cat very far to find contemporary medical ethicists exploring some of the same issues Sanger was pretty gung-ho about. Like should a couple discover they both carry a gene which will result in a high probability of a child with birth defects have children? Such a child would likely impose a significant dollar costs, and since most people can't afford to self-fund such care, they will just be shifting those costs onto everyone else.

The racialism and forced sterilization stuff seems distasteful (especially now), but there's a certain dark charitibility to her outlook when you consider the poverty, slums and misery of the poor of her historical era. All of the war on poverty money spent still hasn't cured poverty and the social costs of basically unchecked poverty seem to only perpetuate it.

If you did implement some kind of eugenics, would we have "solved" the problem of poverty, or at least reduced the scale of poverty to the point where it was manageable as a social and economic cost and allowed social welfare spending to actually produce the results its supposed to? Or would it have been a serious problem in terms of shrinking populations and reduced economic growth?

Could you implement a eugenic program in a way that wasn't coercively Orwellian? Could you model social welfare costs of poverty and offer some kind of net-positive cash benefit to people willing to be sterilized?

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]