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Comment Re:...and... (Score 3, Interesting) 381

These quack papers on ancient Indian aviation were written by some retired pilot not Indian *scientists*.

I work in a field in which Hindutva fundamentalists are a prominent presence. Papers making the same claims of early Indian aviation and advanced weaponry, published by actual faculty at Indian universities, are a common sight.

Comment Re:...and... (Score 4, Insightful) 381

It's a good thing this sort of quackery is limited to India and Russia. I'd be pretty embarrassed if we had some of our people claiming that the world was only a few thousand years old, that climate change doesn't exist, and that we didn't evolve over time but were all designed by a supernatural entity.

These two situations are not comparable. Yes, the United States has Creationists and such, but they tend to move in their own circles, and even in academia they are found at private Christian universities. In India and Russia however, one tends to see a lot of quackery coming from state-run universities. This is probably facilitated by stronger job security (against much lower salaries) for certain faculty, combined with lower barriers to publication.

Comment Re:that's because (Score 1) 376

The idea that the French work a significantly shorter work week than Americans is a largely a myth. The French do enjoy longer annual leave, but I suspect that in the US, the productivity gains resulting from a little more rest at certain points in the year would more than make up for the lost working time.

Comment Re:and that means it doesn't cost any more? (Score 1) 231

I think everyone is trading anecdotal evidence, but in well over a decade of living in Europe and never bothering to make an EHIC, but sometimes falling ill when travelling in another EU country than my own, I have never been charged, and other travellers I know report that they have not been charged more often than not.

You would expect to be charged at an airport clinic, as this is a place that gets a lot of foreigners, so their billing is streamlined for it. Your treatment in a small town hospital that rarely sees foreigners would likely have been quite different.

Comment Just one's mouth can make some powerful music (Score 3, Informative) 51

A few years ago I became interested in Kyrgyz folk music through the Smithsonian Folkways disc Tengir-Too . Like all Central Asian nomadic peoples, the Kyrgyz have cultivated the jew's harp, or kobuz. This instrument has only one vibrating element, and though it can produce only a single tone, the performer can create a variety of sounds through changing the contours of his mouth and lips. It's a humble instrument but so endless. During a trip to Kyrgyz, I bought a kobuz of my own, and though I'll probably never master it enough produce the virtuosic songs of the musicians on that disc, I'll certainly never get bored.

Comment Re:and that means it doesn't cost any more? (Score 4, Informative) 231

Within the European Union, doctors who treat foreigners (i.e. non-EU patients, or EU patients who can't show an EHIC) for one-off emergency visits commonly waive payment. It's just considered too much of a hassle to draw up all the billing, especially if the person may leave the country immediately after. Now, if the patient is going to receive a course of treatment, lots of tests, etc., then of course things are taken more seriously and he will be charged fees.

Comment Re:Hey don't worry (Score 1) 337

None of what you say contradicts my point. Even had he whipped up a Perl script, doing so just to post Space Nutter first posts is itself a sign of obsession, and it would also imply that he were always around the computer. Whether he is doing things in a clumsy manual fashion or using some scripting solution, it's not healthy either way.

Comment Re:ssh / scp / https maybe? (Score 1) 148

I'm WHAT? I'm arguing for a change?

Is claiming that a status quo is unjust not wishing for change?

Your use of the term "currently" when referring to the ex-pats implies a short-term nature of the ex-pat status, which also makes them less than location-independent.

I don't see where you get that from. Merriam-Webster defines "currently" as simply " happening or existing now" with no connotation that it's a temporary thing. Many US citizens abroad have left the US for good (or have never lived there, but simply received US citizenship through ius sanguinis), and they now, as they vote, are living somewhere else.

With regard to the American Revolution, the colonists who pushed for a break with England supposedly wanted no taxation without representation. US citizens abroad must file US taxes, and denying them the right to vote would mean being taxed without representation.

Comment Re:Hey don't worry (Score -1, Flamebait) 337

Dear Space Nutter troll, don't you think it's cause for concern that you manage to get a first post on nearly every space-related post on Slashdot? That must mean that you are constantly at the computer and obsessively reloading Slashdot. I'm not keen on the space program myself, and somewhere in comments threads I've occasionally shared my views on the subject, but geez, man, there are other things out there in life. You've gone from being a helpful dose of reality for deluded nerds to a worrying crank with an idée fixe, and thus you are undermining your own cause.

Comment Re:Don't plan on reading too much (Score 1) 223

If you are going to India as an IT worker, you're likely going to the south, and to big cities that are full of nouveau riche people with gadgets, and so they are well-served. I spent six months in India in 2009, and already then it was easy to find good internet; lots of establishments had free wifi with speeds similar to the West, and in the years since mobile broadband has exploded. You may feel when you get there that putting Wikipedia on a USB drive was a waste of your time.

Comment Electricity can be erratic (Score 5, Informative) 223

Are you going to Nepal, by any chance? The country has load shedding, in the winter you may have electricity only for two non-contiguous 5-hour blocks a day in big cities like Pokhara or Kathmandu, and it can be even worse elsewhere. Sometimes that time when electricity is available is the middle of the night. My advice would be to focus on hobbies that don't require a stable electric connection. Get a Kindle or similar ebook reader with backlight (battery lasts for weeks) and pirate a tonne of ebooks to broaden your mind. Focus on learning the local language (you can easily find textbooks for the major languages of the area like Nepali when you get there).

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 237

Competition is a good thing. And even government monopolies shouldn't be protected forever.

Completely private industries have the possibility to keep their prices low for long enough to seriously threaten public transportation expansion plans or even existing infrastructure, and then raise their prices as soon as they no longer have to compete. In some cities, public transportation is answerable enough to the electorate that fare increases can be prevented.

Comment Re:ssh / scp / https maybe? (Score 1) 148

I am aware that US citizens abroad can be subject to US taxes, and states may demand ownership of property for one to legally maintain voting rights there. However, I'm not sure that simply filing income taxes and keeping a property around would satisfy Obfuscant's demand that one be able to vote in a place only if one is subject to the overall laws there. The US simply has too old a tradition of people who have permanently left, and whose sole encounter with US authorities is income tax filing (on which most don't even pay anything anyway), but who still vote in US elections.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll