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Comment: Re:That's how I clean my cat's litter box. (Score 3, Insightful) 58

I would have intuitively said the other way around.

Since the gravity is so small I would have expected the motion of the smallest particles to be close to random, perhaps close to Brownian motion if you looked at the system over a long enough period of time.

I guess, even though there isn't much to pull the material together, once a small particle is in a crack or void it is very unlikely to ever escape and so the crack does eventually fill in, it seems to me that the process should exist but be much slower than when compared to the effect in a strong gravity field.

As you said, "Intuitively, which we all know is probably wrong"

Comment: Re: Political/Moral (Score 3, Insightful) 305

by Captain Hook (#47358419) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

I'm not sure you understood the GP's point. In fact you seem to have interpreted it completely backwards.

Allowing the companies making the loans to go bust, rather than trying to protect them by not allowing Student Loans to be cleared by bankruptcy is the attenuation that you are looking for. It's sends a clear message to other companies loaning money that there are risks and that they should be filtering potential customers.

Comment: Re:Political/Moral (Score 2) 305

by Captain Hook (#47358371) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

If economists had known in advance of one of the great depressions that it was going to happen, and releasing the results would of only sped-up the collapse, should they release the information?

The earlier the bubble is burst, the small the correction needs to be and the quicker the recovery afterwards can be. Knowing a burst will happen, it is ethical to make the information public as quickly as possible.

The tricky bit comes when you are 55% sure of a crash, but knowing that making those fears known publicly will definitely cause a crash. How sure do you need to be before it is worth causing a small crash to offset the chance of a bigger crash later on? 60%, 70%, 80%?

Comment: Re:Some thing are not worth aiding (Score 2) 129

by Captain Hook (#47154953) Attached to: Whistleblowers Enter the Post-Snowden Era

Do you stand to gain, directly or indirectly, any benefit either personally, professionally, or politically, by whatever is being whistle blown on?

That is an extremely wide difinition.

Anyone whistle blowing is doing it because they want something changed, whether that is an improved working environment or a social/political change. That means they are indirectly benefitting and therefore by your definition no whistleblower is a whistleblower.

Comment: Re:Cops need doughnut money, too! (Score 1) 626

by Captain Hook (#47054469) Attached to: Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

There will still be plenty of tickets to write for a long time, as until we are at 100% adoption, people will still break trafic laws

I'd imagine there is a network effect which would dramatically reduce traffic violations even with a realtively small proportion of fully automous vehicles on the road.

You can't speed if the car in front is doing 3 mph below the speed limit, you can't run the red light if the car in front is already slowing down for the amber. As the proportion of automous vehicles increases, people will get used a more conservative driving style and their driving style will change to compensate.

I don't know the proportion of traffic which would have to be automous to have an affect, but it will be far less than 100%

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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