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Comment Re:Not ill timed... (Score 0) 633

Actually, the NRA and gun manufacturers don't HAVE to do any marketing after a tragedy like this

Yeah but they do anyway. I gotta say, Apple has got nothing on the NRA. They may be the most prolific marketing entity of all time. They manage to convince enough people that "background checks at gun shows = the world is going to murder you tonight" to completely dominate all legal aspects of firearms from local up through the federal government. No matter the rhetoric, more and more guns are sold. And selling guns is their job mind you, the whole "protect yourself" is just the marketing.

Comment Re:still advocating for extreme mitigation (Score 1) 138

I installed a 7.8 kW solar array on my roof which will pay its manufacturing energy back within 2 years and provide all or most of my electricity for another 20-30. Also convinced at least 2 neighbors and my in-laws to install solar. When I needed a new car I bought the one that gets 10 MPG better than the other final candidate. I got a road bike so I can take the bus to work weather permitting (the stop is 4 miles from the office). And new this year I'm going to start buying carbon offsets that fund renewable energy research.

Can I do more? Sure but I can also get pretty close to carbon neutral (hopefully net negative) with a few changes that really don't affect my lifestyle at all. It boggles my mind how people who don't own oil/coal companies can be so against getting off fossil fuels...even if you don't think global warming will become a huge problem in our lifetime...or ever. It would be worth it just to get us out of the middle east!

Comment Re:still advocating for extreme mitigation (Score 2, Insightful) 138

Second, humanity doesn't generate greenhouse gases arbitrarily. Instead it is in pursuit of other priorities.

Care to provide examples of some non-arbitrary "other priorities"? Continued existence for the sake of existence surely meets some definition of arbitrary.

As for evidence howsabout the following:

- Green house effect. Easily demonstrated in a closed car parked in the sun. Check
- CO2 is a green house gas. Surface of venus is hotter than the surface of mercury. Check
- Warmer oceans mean stronger storms. Check
- Warmer poles means melting land ice. Check
- 40% of all humans live within 100km of an ocean....

Arguing time frame is rearranging the deck chairs. If anyone cares about society as is, the sooner we reduce CO2 emissions, the better.

Comment Re:putting this into perspective (Score 1) 276

Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia together make up less than 3 million people, who have always lived under impoverished conditions and always been at high risk from natural disasters. Even if global warming were to displace all of them....

The problem with global warming is its not localized to atolls in the south pacific. 40% of all humans live within 100km of a coastline.

Comment Re:India vs. the Marshall Islands (Score 1) 276

it's not on the West to take responsibility for fixing everybody else's problems.

Too bad the west has never followed that mantra. If we hadn't been stirring the pot in the middle east for 70 years maybe we'd have an extra few $Trillion to develop renewable and nuclear energy making this whole issue a moot point. (yeah yeah, we had to fight the red menace and all but making oil worthless also might have bankrupted the soviets)

Comment Re: But (Score 1) 171

We'd do far better to direct such efforts to more realistic access methods, such as a Lofstrom loop or variant thereof, which requires no unobtanium and is far more efficient (space elevators lose huge amounts of energy to transmission losses, throwing away a large chunk of the advantage that they gain from bypassing the rocket equation). Active suspension via recirculating kinetic transfer, by one means or another, is something we can do today.

Great post and I'm all for any crazy contraption (by today's perspective) that can reduce the cost of space travel by factors of 100. It seems like you have a great handle on the realities and problems of space elevators. But I think you should apply some of that skepticism to the Lofstrom loop as well. Its quite a stretch to say maintaining 7850 cubic meters of iron moving at 14 km/s is something we can do today.

This falls under a certain /. post category. In summary: An infant technology that gets a ton of hype despite seemingly insurmountable challenges is crap whereas a totally un-hyped infant technology will solve all our problems if we'd all just take a look (see: thorium reactor, any number of alternate fusion containers, etc).

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 1) 387

Le Mans? Weak. Turbo pumps on rocket boosters probably operate in the highest stress environment of any engine ever designed! Extremely cold fuel pumped to extremely hot engines at 10+ G's at microsecond precision baby!

The point is, just because the WEC and Le Mans (my favorite race fwiw) is harder doesn't mean NASCAR engines don't also deal with a ton of stress requiring advanced development. Also, there is nothing in the sporting regulations (http://www.24h-lemans.com/wpphpFichiers/1/1/ressources/Pdf/2015/24-heures-du-mans/regulations/2015-fia-wec-sporting-regulations.pdf) about not fixing engines. I've seen plenty of radiator replacements, maybe a turbo or two, and a full rear end swap (transaxle & suspension...in 4 minutes!!!). All it has are time penalties for using more than one engine for qualifying and race.

Comment Re:Manufacturing is Hard (Score 1) 211

it's way cheaper than that, if you ignore the value of my time spent designing it and doing software tooling to support the fixture.

I doubt your boss ignores that time and I really hope you don't ignore the value of your time. And don't forget lost opportunity cost where you could have been refining or iterating your specific product.

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